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Nutrition, Races, Three Things Thursday

Three Things Thursday: The Countdown

It’s September — in just over 9 days I’ll be at the IM start!

1. My Felt and gear bag are packed and ready to be dropped off at Bonzai tonight. I cleaned the bike really well — you’re welcome, mechanics — in preparation for a thorough pre-race tuneup and packed up all the things I can do without for the next week before I arrive in Madison. Full details on the packing situation later, but basically everything’s going except my helmet and Newtons because everything else I have duplicates of (road shoes, bike, water bottles, clothes, visors etc). So after I get race wheels put on and everything triple checked, the Felt will be on it’s way to Wisconsin at noon on Sunday. Here’s hoping all this makes it in one piece!

2. I’ve been doing a little nutrition experiement for the last month or so — following the fad in the endurance world right now, I’ve gone gluten-free. My decision was based on reading about the experiences of a lot of other people who had weird stomach issues and bloating and all that good stuff we hate and that basically resolved when they figured out they had sensitivities or intolerances to certain foods. Most commonly, gluten. Basically this hasn’t changed my habits much — I have to buy gluten-free bread and avoid the crackers I usually eat with hummus (and pasta, oh, pasta), as well as some other processed snack foods, but a lot of the things I normally take in are gluten-free anyway. I even made GF cookies and they were delicious. And because I don’t have celiac, I don’t HAVE to buy things that are certified GF — it’s not a threat to my health. The biggest challenge is dining out or with friends when options are more limited.

In any case, I feel better. I haven’t had any stomach issues that I can recall and have generally felt light and healthy. I’m sticking with this until after IM — all my race nutrition also happened to be GF — and then may go back to normal and see if there’s really a difference or if it’s possibly the placebo effect. But I wanted to throw it out there for anyone who is thinking about trying it, intolerance or not, to say that it’s an interesting experiment and definitely manageable.

3. After learning that someone I know was injured while riding, I’ve realized that wearing a bike helmet NO MATTER WHAT is really, really, super important. Seriously. On my run last night I noticed that probably half, if not more, of the people on bikes in D.C. don’t wear helmets, which is terrifying given that traffic and drivers in this city are really not cyclist-friendly. And no matter how careful you are, it’s the other guy  you have to worry about. We are not immune. WEAR YOUR GODDAMN HELMET.



12 thoughts on “Three Things Thursday: The Countdown

  1. I love seeing people with a helmet dangling off their handlebars. Right-o, folks.

    Posted by Victoria (District Chocoholic) | September 1, 2011, 3:02 PM
  2. All the non-helmet wearers in this city drive me crazy! I can’t think of one good reason not to wear one.

    Posted by Liz | September 1, 2011, 3:02 PM
  3. I get so mad when I see people without helmets (or with them on the handlebars). It’s just stupid. It’s not like wearing a helmet makes you uncomfortable or slows you down or causes any issues. Would you drive without a seat belt? (well, maybe these people would…).

    Also, the GF experiment sounds interesting. I hope it pays off and you have a happy stomach on race day!

    Posted by Allison | September 1, 2011, 3:09 PM
  4. So exciting that everything is packed! I’m also pretty fascinated by the gluten-free thing, and I say this as I eat a box of goldfish. I’ll be curious to hear more about how you feel when you re-introduce it post race.

    Sometimes I want to say things to people not wearing helmets, especially parents without them riding with their kids. The kids always have it on but it just doesn’t seem like they’re being very good role models without them.

    Posted by amy | September 1, 2011, 3:16 PM
  5. 9 days!! That’s less than 2 full hands! (I’m really good at math….)

    I know a few people that went gluten free for performance rather than actual dietary concerns and like it for the most part. Basically, even if the gluten wasn’t doing anything you’re probably cutting out most processed foods and baked goods. That’s just a better nutritional profile.

    Posted by Beth | September 1, 2011, 3:21 PM
  6. Have you ever seen the guy that rides a pretty sweet tri bike around Haines Point at 20+ miles an hour? Brilliant!

    Posted by Whitney | September 1, 2011, 3:41 PM
  7. I can’t believe the number of people I see without helmets. I think because they are on a trail they think they are safe??? Crazy. I feel weird if I leave the driveway without mine. Actually did that this morning on the way to the pool. Got to the neighbors house and realized something was off. Turned around to grab my helmet.

    Posted by Kevin | September 1, 2011, 4:03 PM
  8. That means 10 sleeps – woohoo!

    I am doing the GF experiment too – I found it totally manageable (except the going out with friends bit you mentioned!). After about 6 weeks, I was feeling great, but then started getting stomach issues back. So I’m reintroducing gluten this month and will see what happens. I haven’t tried the GF baking yet, but if I decide to keep it up, I will definitely be trying it!

    Posted by laura | September 1, 2011, 7:49 PM
  9. I shake my head everytime I see some “tool” on a road bike without a helmet. Its like the looks points just went negative because they are going to win a darwin award a mile later….

    Posted by Jon | September 1, 2011, 9:18 PM

    dah duh duh duh dah dah DUH DUH DAH DAH DAHHHH the FINAL COUNTDOWN.

    ok, now that’s stuck in my head thanks.

    Posted by katie | September 2, 2011, 9:45 AM


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