28 February, 2011

Are you a Caveman, or a Modern Man?

I have been doing some thinking about food lately.  In all honesty, I have been doing a LOT of thinking about food lately.

As both followers of this blog know, I have been been adding calories to my food regimen for some time.  Starting the first week on January, and lasting over a month, I was eating in excess of 3000 calories a day.  That added about 12 pounds to me.  Starting mid-February, I dropped back 500 calories for a week, then last week, another 500.  For those of you that aren't good with math, I am now back to ~2000 calories a day.  This is the "maintenance" intake for me, where I will remain for a couple more weeks.  I am very hungry now, and find myself on the verge of  making excuses to eat more calories.  I have since dropped 3 pounds from my peak weight, but I am still ~14 pounds above my race weight,  where I wanted to be by Yankee.  It looks like that isn't going to happen.

So, back to the topic at hand, there are a ton of options to consider when dieting.  There are the fad diets, like Atkins (don't eat carbs), the South Beach Diet (Atkins with carbs), Grapefruit diet, Gluten free (more descrimination against delicious bread), Raw food dies (do you need an explanation of this?), the Amish diet (Which I assume means no eating in your car), and the new hit of the athletic scene, the Paleo or Caveman diet.

Now the premise of the caveman diet is not new, but it is rather simple: Eat what only a caveman would eat.  That means nothing from domesticated animals, grains, dairy, legumes, oils, etc.  Now, the last time I checked, saber-toothed tiger steaks are relatively hard to come by, so lean meats are allowed, as is cooking in some instances.

Now, the caveman apparently had a lifespan of 20-35 years.  Apparently the short life span isn't attributed to being trampled by dinosaurs (which I thought too!) but rather, lack of modern medicine.  Apparently a hangnail could be fatal due to infection.

Apparently our bodies are the same as they were near the end of the Paleolithic era, some 20,000 years ago.  So I began thinking, if our bodies have not adapted to the modern conveniences of Easy-Cheeze and Ritz crackers, what if we take things to the next level?

Of course it would be rather hard to acquire a cave in this housing market, but what about sleeping on the basement floor?  Instead of cushy leather office chairs, we should stack some rocks.  Basically redefine your lifestyle to mimic an episode of the Flintstones as close as possible!  Where do we draw the line, should we draw a line, did the cavemen draw lines?

Now, I know many follow certain diets because of medical issues, so by all means take advantage of the opportunities that modern medicine provides.  I certainly don't want you dead by 35.  Others may eat based on what works for the pros, if they only eat raw pork, maybe I should as well.

However, I am a firm believer in moderation.  An occasional Whopper is fricken' delicious.  It doesn't mean you should eat one or seven a day, but it isn't the end of the world if you indulge on occasion.  Apparently, you can lose a bunch of weight eating only Subway, but this means going from eating 3 large pizzas for lunch to 12" of processed meat.  You could accomplish the same thing by eating Twinkies.

What is the point of all this rambling?  I don't know.  I believe it is an excuse for me to rationalize the fact I still enjoy the occasional corn dog, even if I want to race my bicycle.  Maybe at some point I will become good enough at riding that my diet will become a limiter, but until that point I will continue to nom on modern man meals.

21 February, 2011

Been slackin'

Wow, it has been nearly 2 weeks since I updated.  I guess I am not as "into" this blog thing as I had hoped.  Or perhaps I just don't think anybody would be interested in hearing about me spinning on a trainer for hours at a time.

This is where the crux of this post comes in.  I have been following a Friel based training program for the past 15 weeks.  In this time, I have exceeded the recorded number of hours ridden last year (January through Iceman), and most likely the number of miles as well.  I should have my first 1000 in before Barry-Roubaix.

After talking with some people, and reading some online information, I found that many/most recommendations were in the 8-10 hour/week programs to be competitive in Sport class.  I decided on a program of 350 hours, that gets me to the 7-9 hours a week window.

However, I am worried about over-training.  As I was spinning away last night, trying to get in my 90 minutes of E2 endurance training, I was having trouble maintaining my HR.  At that point, I just stopped.  Yes, I could have probably "dug deep" and forced myself to finish the second half of the workout, but why.

I am also into some heavy lifting for my weight program, a bit late for the Friel schedule, but working out nonetheless.  So, I am hoping all of my concerns are based on this high weight (for me)/low rep work, and not the dreaded over-training.  At least I am no longer trying to add weight to my body, and I am finally back to eating normal amounts of food during the day, from ~3500 calories down to ~2200.  In a couple weeks I will begin my work back towards race weight.

My legs don't have the "snap" I had hoped, and I can feel the strain just climbing the stairs to go to bed.  I have ~2 more weeks of this, and then back to some light weight work.  I will (hopefully) be riding outside by then as well.  I am hoping these 2 things are what I need to fell good in time for Barry-Roubaix.

Meanwhile, in the time since, I have received my official email from Twin Six to be part of their racing team.  There are some pretty fast and intense people on the list as well.  I hope I can represent.

I am also racing for On 2 Wheels in Jackson, if I can ever get around to getting a contract signed.  Plus get some new parts ordered for the Superfly!

08 February, 2011

Special Needs

Well, it has been a little bit since my last post, so I figured it is time for another.

Not much has been happening on the mountain biking front in the last couple weeks.  I have been spending a lot of time on the Kinetic torture device in the basement.  I am very ready to get outside.  I also tore apart the Superfly down to the frame.  So now I can order some new parts.  I hope I can get it back together before Yankee.

Now, on to the main topic of this post, which is people with special needs.  Now, this isn't the politically correct usage to refer to those folks with disabilities.  No, I am referring to the people in the forums, specifically MMBA.org.

There has been a lot of complaining lately from a vocal few about their treatment in these forum.  There have even been other blog posts complaining.  Apparently, "kid gloves" need to be worn at all time to cater to these people, and their special needs.

These are the people that come into a thread on page 24 and have such insightful comments such as "I didn't read the whole thread, but I have a question" and then proceed to ask the very same question that has been asked on EVERY page of the thread.  If they don't get the response they are looking for, apparently it becomes the MMBA attacking them personally, kicking their dog, and pissing in their Cheerios.

Now I know several lines of text here aren't going to change any of this.  The people that believe they are different, and require special treatment will always feel this way.  Those that cry for attention, will always have another reason to shout from the hill tops about their mistreatment.  The ones that know everything will return to snidely comment after the fact that they were right all along.  It is apparently up to the "core" group of volunteers to ensure the happiness of every member of the board, not just every MMBA member, but even those that are barely capable of getting past the Captcha to utilize their clever online moniker.

 In happier news, this is the final week of my 5 week binge period.  I have gained roughly 10 pounds in that time.  This is the most I have weighed since last August.  This coincides with the date that I vowed to drop weight and ride faster after a disappointing finish at the Stony Creek TT.  I most likely no longer meet my goal of "Race weight" by Yankee Springs.

Starting next week, I am going to dial back the calories.  I have a conservative plan for this, as I think going from a huge calorie excess to a deficit would to crazy things to me.  I hope to dial back faster than the plan, but it will depend on how I feel going from eating ~500 calories at a time, 6 times a day to more reasonable amounts.  Right now I eat more calories before lunch than I did in an entire day 2 months ago.

Now, if you will excuse me, it is time for second breakfast...