Glazed crinkly warm sweetness and fresh moist dough that melts in your mouth. Iced delicacies of sugared perfection with sprinkles and dainty sweet sparkles. Richly plump delights filled to overflowing with fruit flavors that burst at the first bite. Cinnamon rolled with gooey icing that sticks to everything it touches with cloying sweetness. Daring chocolate confections that hide iced pudding under sugared dough or flaky crunchiness. Reds, cherries, blueberry filling, apple pie tarts, and icing surprises all before me: tempting and tantalizing.
The 2016 Olympics are now old news and the media headlines are all about Angelina and Brad’s impending divorce… if you care. Regardless of the media’s latest craze; there is one thing in particular that stuck with me from the Olympics and it might be helpful to those that would like to continue competitive sports long after their so-called ‘prime’. And that one thing was brought to light by one person: Kristin Armstrong.
Kristin Armstrong has inspired so many of us, not only as Americans, but as hard-working, athletic, competitive women who have real lives that include jobs and kids. The fact that she has won three Olympic gold medals – all of which have been obtained after she turned 30 – is revolutionary in the history of the Olympic Games. Kristin is a REAL person, with a REAL job, family, commitments, and struggles. She is someone we women can relate to, empathize with, and most importantly: she breaks the barriers that have held most of us back from serious competition later in life.
Oh boy, can I sweat in the summer! Not the delicate dew and occasional lady-like bead of sweat…. Nope. I’m a dripping soaked mess. My jersey weighs at least 8 lbs when I take it off. I can wring sweat out of my gloves after about 25 miles in 87+ degree heat. I’m constantly redirecting sweat out of my eyes and there’s a steady drip off of my chin. At least my feet don’t sweat, but it’s a good thing that I wear tall socks to prevent my feet from being soaked from the small stream that develops on my shins….
In short: it’s gross.
Regardless of your feelings about excessive sweatiness – there’s a plus side to it (especially if you live where it’s hot)! In my home state of Texas, in particular: it gets CRAZY hot. Silly hot. So hot you can fry eggs on the hood of your car. It’ll have you hunting for shelter at about 11:00 am and the sun feels like it’s drilling holes in your skin through your jersey. It’s the only time of year that I am praying for a breeze and the heat from the pavement almost melts the soles of your shoes. BUT, because I’m a Sweaty Betty – I stay relatively cool as long as I’m sweating.
That gross sweat is the key to survival in summer heat.
Even as unstructured as I tend to be in regards to race training, there are a few things that I do my best to adhere to when it comes to the days before a competitive event. I do not ride with a heart-rate monitor yakking at me or a Garmin to tell me where to go (unless I’m in unknown territory), or a power meter to let me know all sorts of electronic goodies. I’m a bit old-fashioned and I don’t have a coach telling me when I should do what. Anything on a bike has to be fun, including training and racing… and this subject is a whole other blog waiting to happen.
Regardless of my unconventional approach: there are some common sense guidelines to make sure I have a good chance of performing at my best and enjoying myself.
I think it’s totally appropriate for me to write about cycling nutrition having just eaten the better part of a piece of cheesecake after dinner. Heck, if that was the nutrition plan everyone would sign up! I’d be rich … and fat – very, very fat.
I have a suspicion that Scooby and Shaggy had more in those snacks than I, as a 6-yr old, could have imagined. Regardless: you rest assured that my recipe for ‘Scooby Snacks’ are legal in all states and contain no controlled substances.
Now that we’ve got that disclaimer out of the way… Let’s talk FOOD.
Cycling and coffee, like Forrest Gump said: “go together like peas and carrots”. There’s a time-honored tradition of caffeine swilling in the long history of the bicycle, and it’s just as prevalent today. Actually: some may not consider you a ‘true’ cyclist if you don’t drink coffee! I’m sure there is something in the Velominati Rules about it.
Regardless of what type of cyclists you are, from single-speed loving hipsters to weight-weenie carbon fiber worshipers: the one uniting brew (other than beer) is COFFEE. Is there a reason that coffee and cycling go hand in hand? Perhaps. Here are a few bonuses of drinking that brownish caffeine-drink:
Well, sort of…
This is a topic of much contention between myself and my fellow male competitive cyclist. Most men become quicker on a bike when they reach ‘race weight’ – which is around 10% body fat. This makes sense, right? Worked for Froome in 2015 Tour de France after all…