Sunday, October 31, 2010


Since the day I introduced cross into my life, I've made one huge, recurring mistake: I consistently underestimate it's power. Last year, when I first picked up the sport, I assumed I'd be fine. I spent a few days learning how to dismount, remount and rode around Gravelly for kicks. And then I fell 230 times at Charm City, DNF'd for the first time ever, and was incredibly, royally humbled. Lesson number 1: cross is very, very hard. Even when you think you are good at mounting and dismounting, you still aren't. Practice, practice, practice.

Of late, I've been complaining a lot about my inability to recover from cross races. Two and three days afterward, I'd still feel super lethargic and really unmotivated to get on the bike for even an easy recovery spin. After two weeks in a row of this, I'd had more than enough. Less number 2: just because cross is "fun" and is done during the "off-season" doesn't mean it isn't incredibly hard (reference paragraph 1) and successfully put you in the red for a solid 45 minutes straight. I've never raced as hard on the road as I have on a cross course - there is no one to draft of of and certainly no time for recovery.

And to make a long story short, I simply wasn't looking at post-race recovery the way I would after a road race. This past road season, I was incredibly diligent about my Paleo post-race shake - tons of glucose to immediately replenish glycogen stores and prep my body for the next tough workout. After a cross race, I'd settle for some fruit or the rest of a Snickers bar or a sip of Brian's Belgian beer. Just didn't cut it.

Before DCCX last weekend (which was a ridiculously hard/fun course and a total blast - my favorite racing weekend of the year! way to go DCMTB), I made the conscious decision to return to my post-race ritual. I changed up my shake a bit, however, just for kicks. Here's what was in the mix:

Rice milk
1/2 frozen banana
Smidge of chia seeds
Smidge of glutamine
Accelerade (not ideal, but all we had in our cabinet - and ended up sitting well with the tum, luckily)

and blend. It ended up tasting quite enjoyable, and I immediately noticed a difference the following day. Lesson learned.

And because it is Halloween, I'll leave you with a truly scary image from DCCX. Grrr.

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