Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Leadbelt XC

I can't believe it's Wednesday already?! And 3 o'clock too boot. Man, June and July alway seem to fly by. 

Last year maggie was starting her third year of med school at this time and began with the most time, energy, and emotionally intensive speciality- Surgery. I basically didn't see her much last summer so I'd take Cassidy too school as early as possible (Maggie would have left the house at like 4:30), go into the lab, get some experiments cooking, then ride for 2hrs from work, come back and work until 4ish, pick up Cassidy, then go home too cook and hope too eat dinner with Maggie (I do 99.8256% of the cooking around here). Now things are finally slowing down a bit, although my day's are almost identical! I'm even doing pretty similar rides as last year: 2 to 2.5hrs with 2-3 20min subLT intervals. Anyway, this is supposed to be a race here it goes:

St Joe Park near Farmington, MO is awesome. Next time you get the chance, go ride there. The way the course ended up this year, with some rain the night before, made it my favorite course I've raced this year. There was one pretty decisive climb with a few hundred meter flat and non-technical section at the top, so laying it down and keeping on the gas for the flat at the top seemed to have been the golden ticket...for the first time ever in a XC mtn bike race I was able to run almost exactly even splits for the 3 laps and even a negative split between laps 2 and 3. Too me that's the ultimate measure of a good performance and is one of the most satisfying feelings I can have in a race. My cross country (running) coach in college taught me about that and always emphasized that if you can pace like that, it doesn't matter if you're winning or not, it's pretty much the goal of endurance racing in my's like being in this zone right on the edge of your limits. The feeling reminds me of a quote from this old runner named George 'Doc' Sheehan: "Sweat cleanses from the inside. It comes from places a shower will never reach". 

If you're looking for a good book to read sometime, check out his book called "Running and being". Very applicable stuff to any endurance sport, e.g. "The mind's first step to self-awareness must be through the body" and "The distance runner is mysteriously reconciling the separations of body and mind, of pain and pleasure, of the conscious and the unconscious. He is repairing the rent, and healing the wound in his divided self. He has found a way to make the ordinary extraordinary; the commonplace unique; the everyday eternal".

On another note, it's hot out. We need lots of Na and some K, Mg, and Ca when we sweat. There was an interesting article in outside magazine that I didn't really agree with...but posted on twitted to Skratch labs and received a good response from Dr Allen Lim, this is his response to the article:

"Water Alone Can Kill You:
    All of this may lead people to think that if hydration were the primary goal then just drinking water would be the quickest and most effective way to hydrate. In fact, because water can be transported passively along its osmotic gradient and also co-transported with sodium and glucose, having some salt and sugar in a drink solution that is hypotonic (less concentrated) or even isotonic (same concentration) compared to blood would actually be the fastest way to hydrate. While drinking water alone is just fine if you’re sitting around or having dinner at home, drinking water alone is not fine if you’re trying to rehydrate when you’re sweating or have some illness or hangover that results in diarrhea or vomiting. In fact, drinking water alone when we are exercising can be risky since we can lose an appreciable amount of sodium in our sweat (400 to 800 mg per liter of sweat) and if we don’t replace that sodium then an influx of just water can dilute the sodium in our body.  This can lead to a scenario called hyponatremia, which include symptoms like headache, confusion, a drop in performance, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, irritability, muscle spasms, seizures, coma, incontinence, and in some very rare cases death. 
So the point is that you CAN drink too much water, but if what you're drinking is balanced properly you need to drink before you're thirsty.  Allen weighs all his riders before and after training to teach them how easy it is to loose massive amounts of water even when they're drinking what they think is enough.  Staying hydrated (ie not losing more than 2% body weight) is one of his points of focus with his athletes. " -Dr Allen Lim

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