In February ALP Coach, Alison Powers, announced that she had signed up for a bike race-Steamboat Gravel (SBT GRVL), a 141 mile race with 100 miles on dirt/gravel roads. Now, inside 1 week from race day, she’s been blogging every day leading up to the race. She blogs about the specifics of her training, her preparation, head space, etc. All the things that lead up to race day that not everyone gets to see or understand.

4 days to go-Thursday August 15th

I was talking to my sister and she was telling me how much she enjoyed reading the blog (yay!). I said, “you know what you won’t read in the blog is the fact that I’ve had diarrhea the past 1.5 days so I’m stopping all fiber now. Too many wild raspberries, mushrooms, and salad from the garden is wrecking havoc on my system”. To which she replied, “I think that would be a great blog post! The nutrition part of the training and racing along with a race that starts so early in the morning is hard to figure out, especially for people who eat healthy and include a lot of fruits/veggies/grains in their diet”. So, there you have it. You now know I’ve been on the potty a fair amount the past day and I didn’t sleep well last night because my stomach hurt.

With the advice of one of my athletes, I had planned to stop all fiber Friday night at dinner and continue all day Saturday. The goal being not having to stop to go poo 2hrs into the race (which has happened both times I have done a race that starts at 6:30am). But with this new liquid development, I will start now. Far less fruit and very few veggies. As I get closer to race day, whole grains will go away too (which feels weird and “unhealthy”).

Another thing you have not read on the blog is the fact that I have been battling a saddle sore since our tour of Colorado. After going 5 years without a saddle sore, one decided to show up on day 1 of the Tour. I thought I had it figure out (which chamois to avoid), but it came back during yesterday’s 1 hr ride. So, that is annoying.

Early in this race blogging adventure, I wrote about my bike- gearing, tires, etc. But I didn’t write what tire pressure I was going to use. During today’s ride, I figured out that I like 35. Just like tires, everyone has their opinion on what pressure is best. Ultimately, it comes down to the rider and what he/she likes.

Back to Thursday; I didn’t feel great thanks to my stomach issues and LB’s body work on Wednesday, but I wanted to put some work in my legs and today was the day to do it. I started with ~20min of dynamic stretching, core, Foundation Training and then rode for 75min on a hilly dirt route that required pressure on the pedals to just get up the hills. I didn’t push the pace, but I didn’t really hold back either. I felt pretty flat, but that’s ok. Then, because it is Thrusday, it was time to ride MTB’s with friends. I felt much better for the evening ride and again, didn’t push the pace but didn’t hold back either. This double day is just what I needed to wake up the body and get some spunk in the legs.

A few more prep things got done today as well;

  • dialing in the van

  • re watching the course videos

  • list check offs

  • etc

Looking ahead, I will write about my day today (Friday) later today. Then I’ll be off to Steamboat and won’t blog until after the race. Thanks for reading!

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