January 31, 2010


I once bonked so hard after a 50 mile ride that even with a glucose recovery drink in my hand, I was unable to consume it. Honestly, I could hear my brain screaming commands, but I could not get my arm to transport the fluids to my mouth, even though I knew it would save me. It was like my body was so heavy with dehydration and energy loss that it weighed down the synapses, and all processes were delayed. Man, was I out of it. I never wanted to feel that way again.

For awhile, like 6 months, I let this experience convince me that I was not cut out for rides over 30 miles or so. I figured that some people were cyclists, and that I was someone who just had to tolerate the bike long enough to get me from the swim to the run. I was ok with that . . . no one looks good in bike shorts anyway, right?

But then, I learned something that changed it all for me. I learned how to fuel. Don't get me wrong—I'm not one of those girls who'll eat celery for lunch or only eat one cookie. I know how to eat! But I hadn't realized that, for me, calories are the key. I had to figure out what my individual caloric needs were. It turns out, my body needs to have consumed somewhere around four hundred calories before I even climb onto the saddle, and then I need to keep eating and sipping. Usually, about 230 calories per hour of riding and sometimes, that includes leftover homemade pizza, chocolate chip pancakes, or whatever else floats my banana boat that day. I just need to be consistent about pounding the fuel and the fluids if I want to ride farther.

Meanwhile, I'm still not ready to call myself a cyclist, but I'm getting there. I completed my first 1/2 ironman triathlon last summer and thoroughly enjoyed my 56 miles of road biking bliss, enough so, that I’m considering a century. But I'm positive that, even more than decent training, good fueling is the vehicle that will help you cross that finish line.

Eat up, girls. And ride hard!



jenhirr said...

sweet crooked pic, heather. :)

Anonymous said...

sign me up!

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