Monday, June 8, 2009

Better living through chemistry

After a ride and some oh so good Ayinger Celebrator Dopplebock this weekend I headed over to Bicycling to get the yin to my yang. My self amusement of people who take things too seriously and contradictory information was the main stimulus behind starting this blog many moons ago. Sometimes I feel the need to go and view the train wreck so I can get all caught up in a bunch. At times I feel like I've deviated from this course, but what good is an epic ride, or long strange trip, without a little exploration?

I started out with the Fit Chick, because honestly I haven't decided on her yet. On the one hand the uber-seriousness and seemingly no fun at all costs is everything I am against. Yet, the fact that she responds to all of her comments and seems very encouraging and genuine has a seductive charm. I can't help but to think I'd enjoy having a wheat grass shot with her before going on an easy recovery ride which turned in to me gasping for air, puking my lungs out, faking a ride-ending mechanical and standing on the side of the road begging any rider that gazed upon my wretched existence for some Accelerade. My soul would be lost with a sip of the Accelerade, exiled to wander the earth aimlessly on a Cervelo in time trial position. For this reason I know I must never ride with the Fit Chick lest I be tempted by the Accelerade.

The latest blog had the supplements she takes. Selene later went on to clarify that she doesn't take them every day and her day isn't ruined if she doesn't take them, but it just makes the lemming wonder how many newbs read the blog and started formulating their own diabolical plan of what they must take if they want to finish the local MS150 this year. The list went as follows:

Optygen HP - $74.99 (30 servings)
SportLegs - $26.99 (40 -3 capsule servings)
MultiV - $49.99 (30 servings)
Muscle Armor - $89.99 (30 servings)
Phosphagen Elite - $59.95 (20 servings)
Ultragen - $44.99 (15 servings)

That's a lot of supplements, and a lot of cash, nearly $400 a month. Being a writer for Bicycling has its perks, she mentioned that she doesn't pay for most of them. I remember as I was getting started riding, one person would mention a supplement and everyone else thought they had to have them. We were fortunate in having an older mentor who told us to forget about all of that and ride our bikes, a lot.

Selene rides her bike, a lot, and she does other activities, a lot. It's certainly justified that she supplements her probably already stellar diet with a little extra. And to be honest, if any of that "engineered nutrition" were thrown at me for free I'd probably wolf it down like a hungry dog, hoping to become some sort of super cyborg cyclist who felt no pain and snapped crankarms as if they were the bones of my feeble competitors.

My hope is that no Bicycling newb reads the post and believes that she needs to fill her water bottle with some sort of sports drink for an hour ride, and then down a 60g of sugar, 320 calorie recovery drink immediately after, because she doesn't need to, in fact, she shouldn't.

I would be interested in knowing what supplements Selene would believe in enough that she would still take if she had to shell out her own money for them each month... Selene?


Linda said...

Back in yon olde days I went to a sports chirpractor/nutritionist who promptly put me on about, no lie, about 18 different vitamin and mineral supplements. I was taking about 40-50 capsules of whatever a days. I tried this for 2 months. The bad news was that I shelled out a lot of bucks for nothing because I still stunk at races. The good news was the entertainment from the abundance of pretty colors that got flushed down the drain.

BikeLemming said...

Whoa! You had to be pretty hydrated though with all the water needed to swallow 40-50 pills?

Linda said...

Per day. I should have nicknamed myself "Slosh". It obviously also affected my typing.

Katherine Stump said...

Interesting piece. I don't like her. I think a lot of her articles are way over the top for most riders. I don't like when professional athletes write like we all should do what they do, even though we don't have the time or sponsorships.

In a recent issue, she wrote about riding with the boys. The tone and attitude of the article just rubbed me the wrong way. If I were a self-conscious, young, female rider (I hit two out of three), I'd freak out reading that article, in which she makes it sound like one is a total failure if they can't keep up with male cyclists. I got the sense that she wrote it under a very dark cloud immediately after one of those rides in which she beat all but one man and was really pissed about it.

Whew, sorry. That article bugged me but I couldn't really put it into words enough to write my own post about it.

Anonymous said...

Katherine that's really funny--laughing with you not at you. However, I must say her article on how to position yourself on the saddle for various types of climbs was not bad. I used some of the information to the best of my (very) limited abilities and it helped.

mrbill said...

It's called Marketing, It's the American way, although I admit I'd be in trouble w/o Ibuprofen

Richard said...

HA! This reminds me of a 25-mile (cat 5) road race I did once. Some 20-something guy was riding up front without his hands on the bars and sucking down the contents of a GU packet like he had just crawled over Alpe d'Huez on a mountain bike. All I could think to myself was (1) This fool is going to cause an accident, and (2) Who in the Hell needs a GU for a 25-mile ride?

BikeLemming said...

Richard, that's great. He took the propaganda hook, line, and sinker.

Selene Yeager said...

This is probably the funniest thing I have ever read. BikeLemming, if you met me, like really met me, you'd be very, very surprised. I am, well, intense. But serious? You have no idea. I love a good party as much as the next Rave-goer and I just don't take life as seriously as it probably comes across.

Katherine. You also have no idea how much I deliberated, debated, and self-flagellated myself writing that feature. I didn't want to come across as conceited and I didn't want to send the wrong message and I worried endlessly that I would do both. I'm perfectly cool with you not liking me. I'd rather make you mad than bore you any day. But please know that I don't write anything of that nature without a lot of introspection. And believe me, I love riding my bike. And if I don't beat the boys? So what.

It's not easy to try to write something to appeal to everyone. In fact, it's impossible. But you know what? I am genuine. I do try my best. I love riding. I'm hardly all that serious. And if we could all have beers sometime, you'd get what I'm all about.

But this is really great.

Selene Yeager said...

Oh, and I missed your question at the end...
Here's the deal: If and only if I am doing Ironman level training--17 to 20 hours a week, including 5 to 6 hour hard days--do I take a lot of these supplements. And when I am doing that level of training, I will (and have) pay for Optygen and SportLegs, as well as some energy drink and recovery drink, like the ones I mentioned. When I am riding more sane amounts, I'll take SportLegs because I do like the way they make me feel and I like having the calcium anyway. But I don't use any other supplements or special drinks.

I have done MS 150s and a Charity Ride across Montana without popping any pills or drinking more than (I actually ate to say this based on your last post) Accelerade (yep, that's what I packed...)

Finally, I will never share a shot of wheatgrass, spirulina, or super blue-green anything with anyone ever!

Ride on!

BikeLemming said...

Selene, it's funny you found this, but thanks for responding. I can tell you are genuine from how you respond to comments on all of your posts. The clarification you've given helps a lot. I'm bummed about the wheatgrass...

Selene said...

Happy to oblige. And honestly, this post made me laugh out loud like a loon several times.

If you want to see my favorite sports nutrition beverage, check out what I'm quaffing in this little feature:

BikeLemming said...

Now that's more like it... Was this sponsored beer or full price beer? :)