Jan 4, 2009

peanut butter & jelly

i was practically weaned on pb & j's. i can vividly remember my mother's exasperation when asked what i wanted to eat; the response was always the same: pb & j. there was even one thanksgiving, i think i was 6 -where i looked with disdain at all the usual festive trimmings on my plate, and i think without even saying a word, my mom got up and made me a peanut butter & jelly sandwich.

i have broadened my food repertoire since then, but still love a good pb & j - its gotta be on some nice soft bread (none of that healthy shit), and have valleys and mountains of peter pan peanut butter, and a scant bit of welch's grape jelly. i thought i was gonna die when they took my beloved peter pan of the shelves for a while last year. i remember getting up the next morning to hear about the recall on the news - they read the numbers of the eboli or salmonella or rabies or whatever it was- infected jars and i looked at my brand new jar of peanut butter with big scoop taken out, and sure enough, it was one of the bad ones. natch. the peter pan incident of 2007 coupled with the sugar purge of late fall, meant i had to find another, healthier brand. but every now & then, nothing tastes quite like peter pan & i did a little happy jig inside when i saw it return to the grocery shelves.

anyhow. i digress. this post isn't about peanut butter and jellies as a sandwich. it's about our team base mile training rides - dubbed "the pb & j's" cause they're so long you need to bring a sandwich. whether or not its' actually a pb & j is entirely a personal choice.

i joined the team last year in april - well into the spring racing season and long after the pb & j's had ended. i always felt like i had a good base under me from marathon training, but once we got further into the season & i saw the difference in the other girls who had those pb & j rides under their belts; well, they were, um - faster and fitter and better. and of course i wanted to be them. so i couldn't wait to get on these rides once they came around again. couldn't wait to get those proverbial base miles under me. those rides that would give me the whole, iambikerchickhearmeroareatmydust thing.

well, they're here and i really should be careful what i wish for.

yesterday was the first pb & j ride. in a nutshell? lets see. how to explain? they suck. they are hard. a lotta fast and hard. and there's no one nearby to hear me roar, nor is there anyone behind me to eat my dust.

i dressed perfectly for the not at all so bad 43 degrees. there would be no hypothermia, nor, after the ambulance incident of 2007, would there be any bonking. i did not bring an actual sandwich, but i did have all manner of real food - bananas, clementines, trail mix - the usual suspects - really, i had everything but the kitchen sink in my jersey pockets. so. i was comfortable & well fueled. no excuses, right?

that, plus some very simple directions from coach: sit in and try to avoid zone 5.

so we're at the park, doing pre-ride pees and stuff. and then the ride leader says let's roll. and i am facing the wrong direction, cause, ya know - we were all just hanging out in the parking lot after peeing, doing a nice little chatty thing. but he says lets roll and everyone goes. and i'm still trying to get my gloves on and so i turn around and try to get them on while rolling and within the first mile, and i swear, we are doing 24 mph and i am pegged at zone 5 within first 3 miles. and i'm off the back. there's no sitting in back there.

whoopsie daisy.

the ride was 3 hours with 3 climbs. i glanced at my heartrate on the first climb and since i had never, ever seen it that high, i just stopped looking at it after that. there was no 'sitting in'. there was me - hanging on for dear life at the back of the very fast, 28 person pack.

the hills were tough as hell and i desperately wanted to clip out and walk the first one, but the torture of the hill was far preferable over the ridicule from walking. so i kept going. the middle hill was miserable, but i did that one too and the last hill was dare i say ever so slightly enjoyable - the banana i had just prior to climbing it gave me a nice little second wind such that i could actually go from 3 mph to a lung busting 7 mph midway up and get to the top feeling better than i had at the bottom -when i wanted to cry and turn around.

so, except for the white knuckle insanely steep descents, where i got dropped so far off the back - which was fine, really - it meant i could wear my brake pads down in solitary peace; i did indeed successfully hang on for dear life and make it to the end of the ride.

evidently, yesterday was an "easy" day. i'll just keep doing those rides and hope to hell everyone's right about the whole, you'll thank yourself come spring thing.


ItchyBits said...

?? that sounds like some weird base training

Gotta Run..... said...

I had a "white knuckle" ride this past week. Wind gust from hell. My entire upper body was so sore the next day from the "griping on for dear life" ride.

Cheers to 2009!!!

Laurel said...

Sounds pretty intense. I think I'll stick to the PB & J sandwiches, which I love. I eat them for dessert sometimes.

house on hill road said...

so there is hope for jane? she might eat something other than pbj some day?

fatty's thinking of doing it on saturday. i won't let him read this. ;)

zanne said...

erin - yes, there is hope for jane! although i am getting payback in a big way with henry - he only eats pasta & chicken salad. maddening.

fatty will do fine - i suggest he ride to the ride to get in a warm up first - cause there is no warm up on ride. (we drove to the start to lessen time away from home & payment to sitter!)

gotta run - my hands were sore from gripping brakes so hard. and i just went to a bike maintenance class last night to find that brakes are worn down!

laurel - good call on sticking to the sandwich kind.

bettybetty - I hear ya ... evidently, last year - it was a little more traditionally base-mile oriented (speed-wise). at least the first few rides were. but saturdays ride was just blazes fast from the get go ... no warm up, nothing - everyone said they were not that fast last year. Had i had a little warm up, I don't think I would have struggled as much as I did. It was some tough shit, but the kind that makes you feel really good that you actually stuck it out & made it to the end (and I had a few opportunities to go with a slower group & once, to even turn around) - so while it was crazy hard, I'm pretty happy with the way it all went.

Groover said...

Oh dear. This doesn't sound like base k's (or in your case miles) at all. Base training is usually "smell the roses along the way" rides. It's all about growing more capillaries in your muscles. The ride you describe is rather using up all capillaries there are. Oooopsy!

But all good as long as you are having fun! :-) Everything that doesn't kill us is supposed to make us stronger, right? :-)

Anonymous said...

There's nothing like a good pb&j on plastic bread!

I remember the first time I tried to feed Henry a pb&j here. He took one bite and said, "Um, no thanks. This bread is a bit too hard."

HA! I love that kid!

(p.s. Lily now draws the line at seeds in her bread.)

~ lauren said...

good lord! that sounds like a hammer fest, not base training at all.

have any of them been racing cross? have they been doing base for a while?

the one thing i had a hard time with on those early season rides when i raced road - was that they'd rarely stop for pee breaks. and i personally, always had to pee.

have fun! and happy new year.

Unknown said...

You constantly amaze me! (Oh, and BTW -- I'm more of a Jif gal) :)

zanne said...

Caroline - half the time, I'm surprised he eats ANYTHING ... so the fact that he refused your pb & j is not surprising!

Groover & Lauren - exactly. doesn't sound like base miles at all. Lauren, a lot of them did NOT race cross and yes, a lot of them have already been doing base miles. I have too ... maybe I've been slacking though & need to step up my game. :-). Didn't have to stop and pee, but I need to eat often to stay ahead of that bonk - I was considering taping ziploc bags to handlebars with food in them so I could get at my food while rolling & not have to try & reach back into jersey pockets with lobster gloves on. The guys would stop to pee - just right there on the side of the road - would whip it right out & go ... but they were all strong enough to catch back on.

Betsy - lord, you're up early! Headed out for a run? Never liked Jif. :-)

Judi said...

zanne - way to go! i would have been dropped within the 1st 20 minutes i am sure! you are going to kick ass this season if you keep this up.

i was a blt kid. all i ever wanted was a blt w/o the t. i still don't like the t.

hey - i am doing a half iron down there in july - cardinal harbor. you going back to tri's at all?