Monday, June 1, 2009

New weight challenge.

My weight fluctuates WILDLY! I’m not sure what it is – I have been weighing daily for about 7 years and it never falls – the weight is all over the place. I have learned to only be concerned with the trends. However, it does baffle me that it still fluctuates even when you are doing everything right. We have been having a little weight loss challenge at work for the past month. It was really just a motivational exercise for me. Going into the home stretch I was doing well and I was determined to follow through for the last weekend (the first weigh in was on a Friday and the last on a Monday – talk about challenging).

Well, I had a night out last Thursday and got the requisite 4 pound spike. That was okay because I knew it would fall – and it did – bam 4.4 pounds right off again. So this weekend I had a lot of riding to do and I was not going to splurge and kill the diet. I followed the plan (diet and workout). Saturday I did a fast 50 miler - I headed out and rode into Tony at Clyde Station and we rode together for the first 10 miles and then I just churned it out for a just under 20 MPH average (take out the water stop and it was better than 20 MPH). I immediately followed this up with a hard (read – really hard) BRICK. 4 fast miles. My legs were aching, it was hot out – it was just plain tough and painful. My nutrition on the bike was my usual Gatorade and a couple of gels. In the past I did not take many calories on the rides and I found that my performance really suffered and I would get bonky for the rest of the day – irritable and loopy. I had about 600 calories for the 3 hours of intense exercise. After the session there was a quick ice bath. The legs felt fine – a little achy but nothing much. I ate a health lunch and dinner of lean protein and steamed vegetables. All within the plan.

My weight jumped 3.6 pounds the next morning. I know that I drink a lot when on longer bike rides. I also know that the sodium and other ions in sports drink can cause me to hold water but come on. Sunday would be another long day in the saddle. The legs still felt fine. Jodie and I headed out at the same time and would ride together for the first 10 miles. This was an easy 70 miler and I would keep my heart rate low – like zone 1 low. I wanted to evaluate where my ironman pace might be. I had no problems just churning out the miles. Being silly I decided to not take any Gatorade or gels with me. I wanted to see if this was the cause for the water retention. However, I did take food for the ride. I grabbed 4 fruit and nut bars and an emergency gel. The fruit bars are like rice crispy treats with almonds and cranberries sprinkled throughout. They were good. My oatmeal breakfast was gone by the time I hit Bassfield (25 miles). I stopped and refilled water bottles and had the first bar. Back on the trial I was already feeling a little tired and I was actually hungry. I stopped at Prentiss (the trail end – just over 10 miles from Bassfield) and had another bar. I could not believe it but I needed to stop again and have a bar just 10 miles later back at Bassfield – and I would stop again 15 miles later at Sumrall for the last bar. The previous day I stopped once in 50 miles and I was riding at a much higher intensity. I consumed just over 800 calories for the ride. The 72 miles ended up taking 4:10 – much longer than I would have thought. I did not have an ice bath following this ride – I did not think that the legs were pushed to far – just too long. I don’t know if it would have helped but my legs were sore that night.

So what is the take away from all of this – not much really - I think the easily digestible nature of sports drink and gels really allow for my body to take calories in more easily than solid food. I cannot make any assessment to the performance of the ride - after all I was exercising on tired legs from the previous day.

In the long run the weight does not matter – just putting the time in and eating health. That is working out well!


Kristin said...

One thing to keep in mind is that if you don't get enough carbs while on the ride, your body can't adequately use fat as a fuel source. I do a combo of Endurance and gels only and I never get hungry or bonky. I gain about 3-5 pounds after really hard efforts from swelling in my leg tissues, but it always subsides within a week. It's all so frustrating isn't it!?!