Ohhh and the title even rhymes…BOOM!
In 2 days of 90+ sweltering heat, we did it! State #4- check! I could go on about a lot of things- the laughter, the arguments, the tears, the blood (I think there was some at some point), etc. Those things happen, and, in the end, we are a team and we move forward.
What saved us was the nutrition. These big-finish smiles (Ok, Rachael’s smile and my shenanigans) would have been non-existent without it. This is not a shameless sponsor/ambassador plug either.
I usually start preparing nutrition and thinking several days before a big race or multi-day ride. Especially if there will be heat. In that regard, Mother Nature did not disappoint this year.
I honestly applaud those who rode this with MS. I can’t imagine how grueling it was with the heat and sun beating down for 2 days. It’s not an easy course either. If you’re not on our Champion Bandanna yet, please let us know so we can get you on there!
72 hours before I started to add a few extra grams of carbohydrates to each meal- a little more oatmeal than usual at breakfast, carrots/hummus for snack, etc while maintaining my usual protein intake of about 130-150g per day. Not heaping piles of carbs, just a few grams here and there. I also don’t automatically go for potatoes, rice, and oatmeal to carb-up. I just happen to eat oatmeal for breakfast every day because I love it. When I prepare for a ride or race, I get most of my carbohydrates from other sources- beets, carrots, berries, sweet potatoes, leafy greens, bananas, and so on. OH- I do all of this with no wheat, no dairy, and no soy.
At 48-hours I increased the carbohydrate-dense foods, focusing on those that are mainly easy to digest. At this point there were no salads, or “roughage” to avoid stomach aches while on the bike. I switch from rolled oats to quick-oats which are easily digestible.
24-hours With nerves in play, I keep it pretty normal. For dinner this year, I ate a gluten-free pizza crust with roasted tomatoes, chicken, and peppers. No dairy. I sipped on electrolytes and water all day. Thanks Skratch!
Morning of– The ride started at 7:30 but I got up at 4. I ate a square (~1 cup) of my usual oatmeal bake with some water and a small iced coffee by 4:30 am. At 6:30, I started sipping on a starch drink mixed with water. At 7, I had a waffle. At this point I was beyond hydrated. I was already retaining water due to hormones and I had been hydrating with water and Skratch religiously all week long. I still had time for some pre-ride pics.
On the bike– I didn’t eat again until a little over an hour into the ride. I drank though. Oh boy did I drink. The key was to drink even when not thirsty and eat before getting hungry (the latter I do off the bike as well). We stopped more than I think we usually do but at each one we had to refill bottles. Eating on the bike I decided I don’t care for chews as a nutrition source- they’re tough on the gut in the heat. Instead I stuck with gels, bars, and waffles with Skratch hydration which was clutch. The two things I was pretty thankful for was one gel with 150 mg caffeine and the stop with a garden hose pouring out cold water. Felt so good.
After– Immediately after riding we take a 20g shot of protein and amino acids to aid with recovery. But I start thinking about what protein source I will devour because I’ve been known to slip and get a little jittery/light-headed. The thing with the multi-day rides is we have to do it again the next day. So nutrition after Day 1 is critical….along with the Rice Krispie treats in our tent. We basically wake up and do it again for Day 2.
After that, time to party and hydrate of of course! 😊