Monday, August 14, 2006


I got an early start today at about 5:45 am. My ability to leave a suit, tie, belt, towel, and toiletries in a locker at work pays off in prep time. Plus my learning the elementary lesson of packing shoes, socks, a folded shirt and all the other junk the night before makes for a quick get away.

The night before, I also prepared my usual 28 ounce bottle of Accelerade. Accelerade is like Gatorade mixed with dried milk. It provides protein in addition to the electrolytes sweaty people need to avoid dehydration and/or death. I read an article in a 2003 Outside magazine (that was probably pimped by the makers of protein sports drinks) citing studies that stated protein in addition to the usual gook in sports drinks provided better performance and recovery. Seems to make sense. The body burns up protein, why not provide a means to replace it while on the go?

I was heavily into adventure racing at the time and during training and races we downed a lot of sports drinks, powders, gels, and energy bars. So I figured I could also add Accelerade and Endurox (a recovery drink) to my repulsive training table. Fortunately both were on sale at Performance (probably their old stuff). Accelerade isn't bad tasting considering it is a mix of fruit drink and dried whey. But Endurox was gaggingly repulsive. I don't know what else is in it but it just didn't go down easy. I use to prepare a bottle of it before I went to the gym. I remember being very worn out and sweaty and trying to swallow this goby concoction. After a few minutes I did feel pretty good compared to when I just drank water.

I can't say whether or not Accelerade and Endurox significantly improves my performance. However after a long ride I'm not extremely thirsty and fatigued. When I raced, I wasn't exactly a well tuned specimen and able to judge whether the stuff was a factor in my successes and failures. But what I do know is I bought a couple big tubs of the stuff in 2004 and I still have a lot of it left. I don't know the shelf life of dried whey but I'm pretty sure it isn't two years. That hasn't stopped me from using my old supply though and I haven't vomited it up yet (not counting my last adventure race in 2005; but that was a heat issue). A later tub of Endurox tasted much better. And I still have it in case anyone wants it.

The ride was pleasant but winds from the southwest slowed my southerly pace to about 16.5 miles per hour. The Lakefront Trail was pretty empty. One guy on a mountain bike passed me near North Avenue Beach while I was just cruising. The nerve! I was on track to reel him in but got stopped at the North Avenue Beach parking lot traffic light. It wasn't until Ohio Street Beach that I was on his rear tire approaching Grand Avenue. Then he turned off toward Navy Pier while I continued south. Sissy.

Distance Traveled: 24.7 miles
Distance to Date: 101.2 miles
Price of Gas: $3.31

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