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.