My Worst Peak to Peak (And Why You Should Think About What You Eat)
One Shitty Peak to Peak
For the record, I've had many positive experiences at Peak to Peak over the years. Even when the weather is terrible, you still get incredible views from the top of the ski hill once you crest the backside climb. The venue itself, Crystal Mountain, is an absolute gem of a resort in the Midwest, so anytime I get to go hang out there, I do. The course is fast and fun, plus, you know, there's beer.
But I did have one bad race at P2P, albeit had nothing to do with the venue or the race organization. It had everything to do with something called Magic Shapes.
Don't Eat Magic Shapes
At 25, nutrition doesn't really factor into a lot of your culinary decisions. At least, it didn't for me. I went through college eating turkeys sandwiches, PB&J toast, and cheese sticks as the basis of my diet. I had zero issues pounding three bowls of Fruity Pebbles and then doing a two-hour ride, followed by two or three or six beers with friends to follow. I'd wake up the next day and do it again. No issues.
But at 26, that started to change. I'd get an irritable gut every so often during a ride or a run. Not terribly frequent, but it did happen at a frequency where I began to consider my food intake prior to rides. I did a lot of thinking about the issue, but didn't actually change anything. You know. Because I was 26.
My moment of bowel-movement induced catharsis came at Peak to Peak that year.
The Race to the Lodge
I knew in warm-ups that something wasn't quite right. I had eaten Magic Shapes, which is the generic version of Lucky Charms, for breakfast because I thought it was quite thrifty to not pay extra for brand names. Still feel the same way about that. But at the time, it had caused me to feel queasy. Not nauseous. Just a little off. By halfway through the first lap, I know something horrible was happening inside me. I was riding with some of the Elite women and I was pretty sure they could see my face going red with embarrassment. I had arrived at a very inconvenient truth; my race today had nothing to do with the rest of the participants. My future dignity hinged entirely on my ability to make it back to the lodge at Crystal before my Spandex became as equally unenviable a place to be as North Korea.
Somehow, following a death-defying descent of the ski hill to the finish, I made it to the lodge in time to avoid an extremely embarrassing episode. Relieved, in more ways than one, I vowed to take a larger interest in the food I eat. It's been a long period of transformation, but a few cookies here and there aside, I've come leaps and bounds from my days of Magic Shapes and Fruity Pebbles.
Some Resources to Check Out
I'm way into blogs, and I've found a few good ones that I check out from time to time for motivation more than anything else. athletefood.com has some really cool recipes, as well as excellently-written blog posts about competing at the highest-levels in triathlon.
The whole vegan thing has become more interesting to me recently, too. Tim Coffey is a believer, and so is Ryan Kennedy. Ryan is having a vegan meeting about going vegan that I'm going to try to make it to next week.
I guess I'm saying you are what you eat, so don't eat stuff that induces emergency bathroom visits.