Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Eating, Disorders, and Being Frugal

Imma try to be serious about something for once. We'll see how it goes, and then maybe never do it again... I don't know, we'll see.

Let's be honest, I don't really know what I'm doing here, racing bikes full time that is. Some of it is easy, like following a training plan. Coach says go hard, I go hard. Coach says do core, I do core. I also have an awesome support network around me through Ridebiker and team ShoAir, as well as through my friends and family, but a lot of the time I make decisions that aren't so good because you can't have someone telling you what to do 100% of the time. Mostly these bad decisions are in the nutrition department. It feels a little sad to say that at 29 years old I am still struggling with how to feed myself appropriately, and I know in my brain lots of good facts about what to eat and when, but for some reason it's really hard to put that knowledge into practice.

This problem is at it's worst when I'm on my bike. Yesterday I rode for 3 hours (was only supposed to be out there for 2, but I get lost a lot) with just one bottle of water! Seriously, I have no schedule, nowhere I need to be at a certain time, and yet I couldn't take the time to throw drink mix in said bottle, or some back up food in my pockets? What is wrong with me?! I am very well aware of how much I should be eating and drinking on the bike, especially when the ride involves intervals, but I'm not smart enough to follow through! I have the same problem during races. I know drinking as much as possible will make the race less painful, and will help me perform, and I go into EVERY race with the goal of drinking as much as possible, but 1.5 bottles is pretty much the max I have even managed to drink in an XC race.

I also have major nutritional issues off the bike. For example, after the XC race in Missoula, a time when I knew the right thing to do would be to eat a well balanced meal with some protein, I goofed off for 45 minutes cooling down, chatting with friends, stood on a podium, etc, and then drank a bottle of recovery mix and ate 1/3 of a turkey sandwich. That was it, that was my dinner. Then on Sunday, because I couldn't find an open grocery store before leaving town I gnawed on a loaf of bread all day, like that was all I ate for breakfast and lunch. Yeah some of this stems from being extremely frugal, to a fault, because of the trauma of surviving college with zero dollars for food, but now that my job is to perform on the bike, shit needs to change. I can't keep making these horrible decisions.

The problem isn't just stupidity and being frugal. Add to those a pretty serious fear of gaining weight (the disorder part) and you have a great recipe for terrible nutritional choices. It's no secret that being very light can mean being really fast, but I know there is a point when not eating, or not eating the right things is harmful. And I've gotten a lot of grief from friends lately about what healthy looks like/ means.

For now I am trying to use the energy I once spent planning lessons and grading papers to plan my day around solid eating, riding and recovery. If anyone has advice on how to make it easier, to eat the right stuff at the right time, fire away! It's bizarre that I need to put so much time and energy into fueling my body properly, but hey, maybe one day it will be second nature!

1 comment:

  1. I am in a similar situation but instead of being an incredibly awesome mountain biker, I am just pregnant. I find planning meals and eating enough, and eating balanced incredibly challenging. The one thing that works: reading cookbooks. It is the only thing that gets me excited about food. I'll check out a few cookbooks with photos at the library, read through them every now and then, and get excited to try new flavors and textures. Thanks for sharing your personal experience. And best of luck this season!!!

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