As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, I’m doing the 42-mile Epic Ride at Santos this weekend. The prospect of doing 42 miles (all off-road) in the heat and humidity got me thinking about comfort, and the wisdom (or lack thereof) of attempting that ride wearing my usual riding clothing: baggy Fox Sargent MTB shorts and a loose-fitting wicking sleeveless shirt.
When I rode on Tuesday morning, even after just eight miles my shorts were soaked in sweat, heavy and uncomfortable. The thought of doing more than five times that distance in wet shorts pushed me into territory I’ve been resisting for a long time: Lycra.
I’ve got the Pearl Izumi Men’s Elite Inrcool Bib Short (XL) and the Pearl Izumi Men’s Elite LTD Jersey (L). For reference, I weigh 175 pounds and am six feet tall. I’ve got big legs, and so the “Large” bib shorts were simply too small. If you’ve spent any serious time in the squat rack, I would definitely go a size larger on the bib shorts over what’s recommended in Pearl Izumi’s sizing chart. The “Large” jersey fits me perfectly.
It’s definitely a strange feeling wearing skin-tight clothing. It’s just not my usual style. I have to say, however, that the Lycra is extremely cool and comfortable (I put a bag over my head and did a ride around the ‘hood yesterday afternoon). I have no doubt that when I’m doing the Epic Ride this weekend I will be really glad that I put comfort over my personal tastes in fashion.
I also heard from my friend Jeff B., who is a fellow mountain biker and a regular on the XC racing scene in his region. He highly recommended a chamois cream called DZNuts to help protect against chaffing and discomfort on the long ride. Thanks, Jeff!
So after the nearly two weeks of basically doing nothing and eating like crap, my scale weight on Monday morning was 180.2 pounds–five pounds higher than normal. I’m pleased to say that it looks like most of that was water weight, as this morning I’m back down to 175.8 pounds. I expect my weight will drop a little more before this Sunday’s weekly measurements. I do, however, think I put on a little fat during those couple of weeks. We’ll see on Sunday morning.
That two weeks off really hurt my athletic performance. My cardio and stamina are way off, and this morning my legs are still feeling fatigued and even slightly sore from Tuesday’s mere 8 miles on the trails. I’ve also done two 14 mile indoor cardio sessions this week, but those were low intensity aerobic sessions. I have to admit that I’m concerned that my legs and cardio are not going to be up to snuff in time for the Epic Ride this weekend, but I’m doing everything I can to prepare. Diet this week has been 100% clean, I’ve been going to bed very early and I’ve trained every day. Even if I’m not at 100%, I’m looking forward to the Epic and I will complete it.