Friday, June 27, 2008

Greasing the Chain of a False Analogy

100 miles is a lot farther than 60 miles.

This is what the Mainstay texted me last night. Along with a bunch of other texts served, I think, to psyche me out:

lots of carbs tonight! Steak and baked potatoes tomorrow. Eat like you are in a contest--lots of water and Gatorade tomorrow.

I responded that I always eat like I am in a contest. But, nevertheless, I did eat a lot yesterday. But, then again, I always eat a lot.

Gel or three bloks an hour during ride. At least one big bottle an hour. And munch on bars the whole ride. Tips to success from THE MAINSTAY!

I am fairly certain that The Mainstay was referring to water in "one big bottle" advice but knowing him as I do part of me does wonder if he meant a fifth of something. I probably should have asked for clarification on that point. At any rate I responded to the text that if I eat like that I am going to gain weight on the ride. And to that he wrote, after he told me that I would be burning a bazillion calories:

don't call me when you bonk at miles 90

Hey, and don't call me when you bonk the final lap of your crit and find yourself a bridesmaid. Oh, ouch. But hey, good luck.

Finally, when I asked if he thought it was a bad idea that instead of cycling this past week I have run 43 miles instead. He wrote:

I guess we will find out Saturday afternoon!

I am sure there is a lot of truth to what he says. But I also know this is his MO as I have witnessed him try to take Colby down this way. And I suppose the smack talking did work in that case since Colby got taken out by a wreck--though the wreck wasn't his fault--in the Roswell Crit.

So I am taking it with a grain of salt. And while that may sound like I am not heeding the advice it is quite the contrary. I take salt very seriously. I love salt. I eat a lot of salt. I crave it. I need it. In fact, I just had some salt for breakfast. Sure it was on a bagel with cream cheese but the primary component of that breakfast was definitely salt.

In all honesty though I think I am just not taking this century ride serious enough. And I am certain I will be handed my sore ass on saddle tomorrow as a result of my lackadaisical approach.

But I am sorry. I can't help it.

I am a runner.

And I think running is the hardest physical thing I do--well, aside from raising Beau.

Please, don't misunderstand me. I definitely think cycling is hard but the fact that you do it sitting down just makes it in my mind less of a challenge than running.

Really, I guess I have been thinking about this century ride as a marathon that I get to do sitting down.

I know.

I am trying to compare sprockets to strides. Which as much as I try is probably just not comparable. I guess it will be a bit of an athletic experiment to see if being an endurance runner can prepare you to be an endurance cyclist. But I am placing my bets on that it works out.

What is my scientific basis you might wonder?

Well, The Mainstay did run the Peachtree one year(albeit that's just a 10k) with almost no running. And he put up a not too shabby 53 minute for a crowded, hilly, hot and humid race. Granted there are some holes in my scientific basis but surely if I can run marathons I can do a century. Right? After all, I do cycle more than The Mainstay runs. Then again, he does have youth on his side. . .

At this point the sane and rational side of my brain is most definitely wondering how in the hell I arrived at that riding in a century would be a great idea. Even more so, it is completely boggled as to why I thought I could do it.

But of course the insane and irrational side that unfortunately occupies 90% of my brain knows with almost certainty that come tomorrow afternoon-- just like after the 6 marathons I have done-- I will be happy, probably even proud of myself, for taking on such an endeavor and that I won't regret it. The tough part, of course, will be getting that 10% sane part of myself through the 100 miles. That 10% part of my brain can become quite loud and obnoxious.


  1. Running is a lot harder, but sitting in the saddle all day HURTS worse :-) You're welcome...

  2. My opinion is you'll have no problem with a century.

    In my experience with both (both at the back of the pack without truly pushing myself in either, granted), I consider them about equal in overall effort... except, centuries take longer than marathons do to finish... So if you're hurting doing it you have to keep it up longer!

  3. You be fine. Its not like its a race. He's probably right on the nutrition though

  4. If it were me (because I'm a safety girl), I'd bring a bottle of water AND a bottle of electrolyte drink. That's right TWO BOTTLES. On YOUR bike. Amazing, I know.

    OK, I'll tell the truth. I'd bring 2 bottles of electrolyte drink and another of water. You don't want to run out.

    Because, Mrs. I-love-salt, you know how you get all crusty after a long bike ride? That's your salt coming out and you'll want to put it back in so that you don't get all loopy and crampy. If you need some, I'll give you some GU2O or Accelerade or whatever else we've got. Txt me.

  5. You are going to be great. I told Neal to make sure that you fuel. ; )

  6. My plan is to eat whatever is on my bike then start picking off my neighboors bike. Keith doesn't eat much, at all, ever, it's disgusting really. I will have two bottles of water, two of Perpetuem, and potatos to eat. I am trying something new. There are lots of nice sag stops on the ride with brownies, cookies, water, gels, etc,etc, it's hard to actuall run out of something. Just remember to eat it!!

  7. Okay I have 2 bottles. One is 24 oz that will be water and the other is 20oz which will be gatorade and I have powder packets to make more when I refill.

    I also have one Vanilla Gu and pkg of Cran Razz Cliff Shots. And 2 Cliff bars. I think that is plenty. The key will be to remember to drink and eat. That is the part I always forget about. Too preoccupied with thinking I am going to die to remember to eat or drink usually.

  8. Have a good ride, Nat! I know you'll do fine. Honestly, after last Sat., I am more concerned about my long run tomorrow...

  9. Lance Armstrong said that running a marathon was the hardest thing he's ever done...I'll take his word for it! Hey, you can COAST on a bike, maybe when I'm running I could slide down a steep hill on my butt, but even that would be harder than sitting on a bike.