Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Hey, everyone, Nancy has posted a great report about this event. Everything she wrote, I went, Yeah! Yeah, me too! Yeah, it was just like that!

Except I didn't throw up.

And it took me two tries to find the Special Needs stop. Maybe Nancy noticed it on her first trip past it because after I missed it they started advertising themselves via bullhorn :-)

And although I didn't see Nancy's unsportsmanlike guy riding side-by-side with his Dear Whoever in the van, I had to put on my brakes when a driver pulled out of a string of about 5 cars to pass the rest of them, with me coming along in her oncoming lane. Did she pull back into line? No, she just kept coming at me. There was no shoulder. I hit the brakes and slowed down. I didn't have to get off the bike, though.

Nancy's food discoveries always make me want to try them. Uncrustables, hmmm. So, are they more durable and/or less ooze-y than just home-assembled PB&J on Wonder Bread? I'm all for the cheapest option.

I don't think I included, in my somewhat-vague description of my bike ride, that all-important information on my nutrition and hydration that everyone always wants to know. At least I do.

I had set my watch to beep every 10 minutes for a drink, with a longer beep every half-hour for food or a salt capsule. Food was a mixture of Starburst jelly beans, Wal-Mart Great Value Fruit Smiles, Wal-Mart Great Value Fruit Slice Candies, cheese Combos, and string cheese. I had 68 oz of Gatorade Endurance in my Camelbak, and 2 24-oz water bottles in my frame cages. I loved my food mix. The jelly beans were a little too sweet; I'll probably skip them next time.

First half-hour, all I took was water.

After that, every 10 minutes I took 4 long swallows of Gatorade from my Camelback; every half-hour a handful of my weird party mix, and every hour a salt capsule, at which time I drank water rather than Gatorade.

I was counting on the Gatorade to do double-duty for both fluid and calories/carbs.

Last year I loved it when the half-hour beeper went off, because it helped mark nice big milestones of time; I often thought, "Wow, food time again already?" This year the long beeps seemed to come even sooner. I loved it. I was flying! I must have started my timer on the 2nd of the 3 10-minute intervals instead of the first, because the half-hour beeps weren't always coming on the half-hour, sometimes 40 minutes or something. This confused me a little, especially late in the ride, when I forgot whether it was salt time or not, and whether I had eaten anything at the last beep (I got off schedule when I was hungry before a beep and then skipped eating on the beep)..... I'd be pedaling like mad, watching out for bumps in the road and fighting the wind, and "Beep-beep-beep-beep-beep...." OK, what am I supposed to do? Did I take salt on the last beep or the one before that? What's it time for, and is it time for it already???

I wonder if they make a talking watch, like blind people often have, that you can program with a robot issuing audible messages: "Eat. Something. Now." "Take. Salt. Now." "Drink. Water. Now." "Breathe. In. Breathe. Out."

Later, when I was clearing off all my watch splits and resetting it, I disovered that I had set it for TWO 10-minute intervals, not three, and it had been beeping to eat or take salt every 20 minutes. And here I thought the time was flying because I was having fun. Obviously, I was confused before I ever got on the bike.

My coach, while tickled with my overall performance and my time, yelled at me for not taking in enough fluid. She was sort of appalled when I said I didn't pee during the bike ride. (I had peed about a gallon and a half after the swim, though; probably took my kidneys awhile to start catching up again.) As a matter of fact, after I did the math (68 oz Gatorade from Camelbak; 24 oz water; about 4 oz Coke, which was a bad idea and which I traded in at an aid stop for Gatorade, drank about half of that) I discovered my total intake had been about 108 oz. for 8.5 hours of swimming and hard biking, about 12.7 oz/hr. She said I needed to aim for at least 20 and preferably 30, if I wanted to be hydrated enough to run a marathon after getting off the bike.

After I got home, I counted out how many swigs it takes from my Camelback to consume 8 oz of water. I need 10 swigs every 10 minutes to equal 20-30oz/hour. This will mean a stop to refill my Camelbak, which can be a little time-consuming, as it's hard to screw the lid back on when it's full to the gills.

So I have ordered an aero bottle. And I have read on some forums (fora? What's the plural of "forum"?) that on bumps they can splash right through the scubbie-poufie-thingie and get Gatorade all over you which of course dries sticky, so it's best just to put water in your aero bottle.

So if I do that, I will have to recalculate my calories and carbs. Might have to go back to using gel. Or honey homebrew, like Nancy.... Or I might just get extravagant and spring for a keg of HammerGel.


nancytoby said...

Try the Uncrustables! They're a LOT easier than making them yourself. Prepackaged, non-messy, and they have 2 layers of peanut butter next to the bread so it doesn't get soggy. They're only like $3 for 4 of them. Go wild. The best thing I like about them is that they REALLY calm my stomach very nicely.

runr53 said...

That nutrition thing seems like a lott of work. I buy the need for additional salt but the gels seem the easiest to handle and no confusion. Que?

Vickie said...

Well just another hint on hydration--faster recovery and less fatigue in the days after. Water in itself give energy. I suspect a lot of us feel the delayed reaction of a long event from lack of hydration during and after the event. So maybe try inncreasing fluid now too and see how you feel.

Ellie said...

Good point, Vickie! Thanks!

Downhillnut said...

I wonder if you can find a system that works so you know what to do next when your watch beeps.

Dawn does a thing with an elastic beaded bracelet when she counts laps - she moves beads over. Could you allocate one colour for water, another for salt, another for food, etc.?

I have NO idea if this would work for your mind in this kind of endurance challenge, but it's a thought.

Downhillnut said...

Oh, I almost forgot,

GREAT RACE! Love the photo of you on "Hot Flash".

Ellie said...

Hmm, Karen, that is a thought. I think a lot of my problem was that I inadvertently had my watch set for cycles of 2 rather than 3 10-minute periods. If I'd had it right, I could have matched it up with my time, food every half-hour, salt on the hour. But colored beads could help, too :-)

Rainbow said...

a suggestion for the aero bottle: the yellow thing it comes with...crappy, crap, craparoo. Splashed all over the bike and my face and hands soooo...I bought a body scrub (you know the ones that come in all different colors for a dollar, round and netty?) I cut off the rope thingy and then stick it in the bottle. I have had ZERO splashing, but I still only put water in it. Good luck as you figure this out and I look forward to reading how you do.