Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Part I Left Out....

After I went to bed last night, I realized I had referenced something in my blog about not eating properly on the bike ride yesterday, and I said I would provide more details in a moment.

I forgot, and when I went to bed (at 7:30), I was too exhausted to get back up and correct the blog post. I apologize.

I have remarked before that it is darn near impossible to know what and how much to eat on a bike ride. Some are more difficult than others, sometimes it's hotter than other times, and what and how much I've eaten in days before can also have an effect. I don't have any hard and fast research, nor have I kept my own personal data to back these claims up, because that would make it a much more scientific undertaking than I'm willing to... undertake.

Complicating the issue is the fact that while it SEEMS as if a cyclist could eat whatever food he or she wanted to in whatever quantities, that's sadly not the case. We burn A LOT of calories on a bike ride, but we don't burn an infinite number. We still have to strike a balance, and that is the problem. 

Rest stop food on bike rides tends to be pretty standard. Bananas, oranges, sometimes apples, cookies, granola bars, and PBJ's. A couple of rides (the Tony Serrano Century, for one) go all out with homemade baked goodies, but those are the exception.

Yesterday morning, FINALLY, the scale showed me a pleasant surprise. It finally budged a couple of pounds, and since I've been at a stubborn plateau for almost a year, it made my day.

Unfortunately, it also made me think I could do a 62-mile bike ride in 90-degree heat with 2200 feet of climb without eating properly.

I wasn't trying NOT to eat, don't get me wrong. But I was trying to avoid the white bread in the PBJ's and stick with fruit. I ate about an eighth of an orange at one rest stop, half a banana at another, NOTHING at the third rest stop. And while I didn't go into a full-fledged "bonk" (I'm still not sure exactly what that means, but I hear cyclists use the term all the time), I did begin to fade.

Now, how much of that is due to my poor eating and how much might have been expected to occur anyway isn't clear. It scared me enough that at the fourth rest stop I ate a couple of PBJ's (they were cut into quarters) and some peanuts (for the salt and protein), and I sat down in the shade for a while. I also drank an entire bottle of sports drink and refilled it before I left.

I told you all this not to point out my own stupidity (this time) or just to make it a "what I did on my bike ride" blog post. It's simply an illustration of how issues of food and weight can take hold in our minds (it ISN'T just me, is it?) and make us behave in a way that normally we would be much too intelligent to do.

And it may not have been the scale talking to me at all. I didn't drink properly yesterday either, and that is VERY unusual for me. For whatever reason, I just didn't take care of myself the way I should have yesterday. Fortunately, there were no adverse results. This time.

Except for a brief moment on the drive home when I was drinking my DQ frozen hot chocolate. Not only did I not know where I was for a second, I had no idea where that delicious drink had come from. Luckily I DID know the way home.

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