One Month At A Time

Triathlon: Gu!

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With the upcoming race, the subject of eating has come up.

While my race isn’t all that long compared to an Iron Man, it’s long enough. It’s been suggested that it wouldn’t hurt to have something between the bicycle portion and the running race (only a dork eats in the pool).

The problem is: I can’t eat and run.

I’ve tried, but even a piece of toast is too heavy for my stomach. It becomes something that restricts my breathing and makes running longer than 200 yards next to impossible.

So, I don’t eat, but with the swimming, biking and running, there’s a good chance I could “bonk,” become light-headed and groggy, which isn’t good either.

Probably, if I was a lighter American and not wildly overweight, I could handle a short sprint triathlon with nothing more than a mineral water and a stick of gum, but I’m an ox.

So, I began looking into things I could take along –and discovered GU.

GU is basically a flavored sugar gel that also contains amino acids and probably caffeine.

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I hit up the Cycle Shop in Kanawha City and bought three different types to try out. The idea was that I could give them each a shot and then hopefully have one or two to choose from on race day.

First, the good news: They’re all vegan, including the maple bacon.

Second, the bad news: There’s a reason they come in opaque packages. You don’t want to look at this stuff.

On the charitable side, it looks a little like shampoo. On the uncharitable side, just don’t look at it.

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Of the three, the peanut butter tasted the best. It tasted a little like some kind of peanut candy, but it contains no caffeine.

Also, I couldn’t tell if it improved or assisted my performance since I wasn’t actually training, but typing in the newsroom. I did like the flavor, however. It was yummy.

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The maple bacon was a novelty. I haven’t actually tasted bacon since December, and Andrew at the bicycle shop sort of warned me about this one. He said, “If you can think of it as like wine tasting. It’s very up front with the maple and then the bacon is at the end.”

I didn’t taste a lot of bacon.

And after a short while, I felt vaguely angry. That could have been the 20 mg of caffeine talking, but that’s barely half a cup of coffee.

I wasn’t overly impressed.

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The Tri-Berry was highly recommended. My triathlon mentors seemed to like it, but it tasted like candy with a vague chemical aftertaste –sort of like Runts, maybe.

Unlike the maple bacon, it didn’t fill me with hate.

That was a bonus.

So, I figure I’ll bring along the peanut butter and the Tri-Berry, in case I need a bigger pick me up than just some sugar and peanut goodness.

If I do something like this again, I’ll look into some of the other flavors –you know, after I get a better bike.

Triathlon: Final week

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Well, here we are, down to the last week of my training.

Looking back on it, I think I should have pushed the running portion a lot harder in the beginning. Also, I think I should have jumped harder into the mix rather than eased into training. Those first couple of weeks, I did a little cycling and a little swimming.

I wish I could have found a slightly better bike.

I almost bought another bike. For the last two weeks, I’ve been driving past the Capitol flea market on Greenbrier Street and noticed a blue 10-speed sitting out in front of a junk dealer.

I stopped in Saturday to look at it. The bike was $30, but needed new tires and probably brakes.

I decided to pass.

I’ll manage with the one I have. It’s a tank, but it’s my tank.

During this last week, I’m tinkering with my nutrition to see if by cutting out some of my starches I can maybe drop a pound or two and increase my energy a little. One of the books I’ve been reading, “Primal Endurance,” pushes staying away from refined grains, potatoes, and basic starches.

It may be too late for all of that, but a pound is a pound, right? That would be one less pound to carry.

I’m also going try out some of these energy gels I’ve been hearing about. “Primal Endurance” doesn’t like them, but I need to be able to refuel somehow during my race –and I can’t handle much on my stomach and still run. I don’t think I could keep down a banana or a Cliff bar.

I plan to work out hard the first part of the week and then slow it down by Friday. I won’t do a lot Saturday, just rest, stretch and try to hydrate up.

I’m going to try to get some extra sleep somewhere and try to meditate to relax.

Right now, I figure my biggest problem is anxiety. I’m worried that I won’t complete the race. I’m worried that I’ll embarrass myself and come in dead last.

All of this is silly. None of it matters.

I’m doing this.

Going Vegan!: Well, maybe

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A while back, I took a trip to the other Charleston, which is very nice, if you like beaches, peaches and whatnot.

One of the things I really enjoyed was a place called “Smoothie King,” which offered a bunch of vegans smoothies.

Keep in mind, I haven’t had anything like a milkshake since last fall.

The smoothies I had were fantastic –and I’ve never been a real hardcore smoothie kind of guy.

Smoothie Stop seems promising, but… there’s a lot of yogurt and whey on the menu, and I don’t know if the sherbet is vegan or not (Sometimes, it is… Sometimes it is not…).

Anyway, since I go to the Y a lot, I’m hopeful.

I hope it opens soon.

 

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Throw Back Thursday: Dispatches from the dark

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After a long break, we’re back in the blogging business.

Here are a couple of “official” blog posts I did while I was unplugged in June.

Thanks again to Sullivan’s Records and Bluegrass Kitchen for putting up with my nonsense (though not a lot. I only wrote four posts by hand)

It seemed like I should have shared this earlier, but meh… triathlon training is hard.

To put it in perspective, I started blogging late. Mostly, because in the beginning, I wasn’t sleeping particularly well.

 

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Here’s another:

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