Two days, 60.2 miles, 17 cornfields, 593.2 hills (slight exaggeration...), 2 mattresses, 25 horses, 5 screamed expletives, and 6 deer...though I must admit...three of them were plastic upon further inspection.
Guess who learned to make collages in Picasa?? :)
But that's enough about me.
This installment of Operation Bike MS is all about FUEL.
You know, the stuff you need avoid ending up in a convulsing sobbing pile on the side of the road.
That's the stuff.
And since I have recently taken the Paleo plunge, fueling has become a little more difficult. I already needed to avoid my allergens/intolerances (dairy, egg, gluten), but adding Paleo restrictions really complicated things. Try getting a run-of-the-mill protein bar sans rice, oats, and tons of processed sugar. Aint-a-gonna happen. With a little creativity and plenty of stubborn will, I have found tasty foods that kept me hydrated and energetic through to the last pedal push.
One thing I have learned while training for endurance events is that fueling up for a workout begins the night before.
And so I give you:
Admittedly, I turned my nose up at Kombucha at first. Rotten Tea? No thanks. It took three close friends recommending it to me and all but pouring it down my throat for me to give in. You know what? I was pleasantly surprised. Think fruity beer...only it's good for you. I'm not exactly sure why it helps--but I will say I felt much more hydrated and less "hung-over" after my long ride.
Pickle juice is just a no brainer. Salty goodness. Chug some the night before a high exertion workout and you will be much more likely to stay hydrated--especially in these crazy Midwestern temperatures. Yum!
Though my stomach can handle more than the average Joe, I don't usually have the mental capacity to make a large breakfast for myself at 5am. So...a great (almost) Paleo option is a banana with almond butter and a cup of coffee. Technically coffee is a no-no, but I really need extra caffeine if I'll be working out longer than an hour or so.
I typically stop every 10 miles for a hydration/re-fuel break. My current faves are GoGo Squeez banana applesauce pouches, Larabars, natural fruit strips (found at Aldi), sunflower seeds, dark chocolate squares, GinGins natural ginger candies, Laborade*, and of course, water.
Here it is all shoved into my fuel belt:
I had to add an extra bottle cage to my bike so I could fit two water bottles, and though it was a trick, I finally found the courage mid-ride to wriggle out the pink one. Score! I filled the blue bottle with water, and the pink with Laborade*. This was just the right amount for my 30-milers, but I would need to figure out how to pack more with me when I ride farther.
After a grueling ride, my stomach is usually rumbling for something tasty. In recent mornings, I have been enjoying this:
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
1/2 C. Diced Onion
1/2 C. Diced Bell Peppers
4 Button Mushrooms
1/2 Summer or Zuchinni Squash, halved and sliced
1 Clove Garlic, minced
1 Medium Tomato
1 C. Spinach, torn into pieces
1/2 lb. Natural Breakfast Sausage (I like Beeler's)
1. Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat
2. Add prepared veggies through the squash, throw in some salt and stir.
3. Once veggies are becoming soft, add tomatoes and garlic, some more salt, and stir.
4. When the tomatoes have cooked down a little, throw in the spinach.
5. Saute until wilted, remove from heat.
In the meantime--fry the sausage in a separate pan...or you can begin with the sausage and add the vegetables to the same pan. In which case, I would recommend cutting down the oil.
Refueling and recovery doesn't end after the first post-workout meal. I find I have to be prepared with extra snacks all day. When you burn over 1,000 calories, you HAVE to replace them--and then some. With some additional stretching and rest, you should feel as good as new in no time!
The most pressing challenge for me as a newly reformed Paleo-ite, was finding a sports drink that would do the job but not break all the rules. I used a homemade electrolyte drink during my (40 hour natural) labor with Abby and decided to see if it would work for other endurance endeavors.
Here's the recipe:
32 oz. Water
1/4 C. Fresh Squeezed Lemon or Lime Juice
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Honey
1/2 tsp. Calcium Citrate pills, crushed
I mixed the ingredients together in an over-sized mason jar, stored it in the fridge, and carried it with me in one of my water bottles on the bike.