I went out on what was intended to be a really slow recovery ride yesterday afternoon. With the wife and kids taking our niece down to the airport for her flight home they weren’t expecting to be back before 8 pm so I had plenty of time. My legs were feeling quite a bit wiped out even after a day off. I did pretty well, at the beginning, to keep my speed down too, which is quite the departure from my normal… Usually I’m on the gas just as soon as I clip in but I can still feel the effects of my Century on Saturday so I managed to stave off my normal urge to roll out – at least for a couple of miles, actually almost exactly two, before I started winding it up.
Getting into town (and heading into the wind) I slowed it down a bit before hitting the main road west. With the wind at my back I really started rolling but decided to stop by Assenmacher’s to talk to Matt for a minute. We got to talking about the distance rides, his century coming up and about how everything played out at the Tour des Lacs while he was working on a woman’s road/tri bike… Eventually the conversation evolved to what I was doing for mileage and speed while I was out and I told him that I was trying to take it easy after Saturday because I’d cramped up pretty bad after the ride and was still feeling quite tight. The tri-girl mentioned that I should try electrolyte caps and asked what I did to remedy the situation… She looked just a touch more than surprised when I told her that my remedy was a double quarter pounder and medium fries. Her remark was, “Oh, the pink stuff, but you’re so skinny”(?). As with most vegetarians, I got to hear one more time, about how meat always made her feel “bad” after she ate it – of course, I always assume this as “physical” bad, I presume she could have meant “mental” bad but that just seems too silly. I won’t bother getting into the rocket science of protein, exercise and the fact that burning a lot of calories requires a lot of food.
Before I get into the remainder of the discussion about meat (pink stuff), I would like to point out that the Double QP value meal actually makes a lot of sense. Here’s why: I’d consumed more than enough water on my ride. In addition, I drank 64 oz of Gatorade. Even so, my legs were cramping really bad, so what’s next in line that I could be deficient in? Salt. From there, it’s well-known that McDonald’s hamburgers in particular are high in sodium. A Double QP and medium fries later and I was no longer cramping. Amazing how that works. Now, did I find this path from a great wealth of knowledge in how the human body works? Of course not, had I been able to draw on that I’d have had the electrolyte caps in the first place. It just seemed to make sense as things were happening – and it worked so I must have been right. In addition, when the DQP popped into my head as the thing to eat, it could definitely be labeled a “craving”. Spend enough time paying attention to what your body needs and it’ll give you a little heads-up in the form of a craving. When I crave a salad, I’m on the greens just like I am a burger. When I crave fruit, I’m all over the apples (bananas are a staple with me, I never crave a banana).
Now, with that explanation out-of-the-way we can get to the meat of the issue. Vegetarians never cease to amaze me. First of all, rarely are they as thin as they think they are, and even if they are thin, the vast majority of them look sickly as hell. Now, tri-chick, she was absolutely thin – a whole lot skinnier than I am, but she didn’t pass the “sickly as hell” test. She was literally skin and bones held together with a few strands of muscles and tendons and because she looked to be quite a bit older than me – which means she was probably my age + or – 2 years – she looked beat (tired). Of course, as all vegetarians do, she went on for a time about how good she felt. Well, I’ll tell you folks, she may very well feel good. It’s distinctly possible… She sure didn’t look it though.
Now, what happened next, I have a little shame in admitting… As she talked to Matt about vegetarianism and how good it makes her feel, I described my lunch to one of the other technicians: A Famous Dave’s Ultimate BBQ Burger (Dear God is it good): “A juicy ground beef patty beneath a pile of Georgia Chopped Pork with two strips of jalapeño bacon, melted sharp American cheese and our signature Beam & Cola BBQ sauce”. I followed that up with the notion that I’d have a few hot dogs for dinner – hot dogs always make the veges cringe… That’s when Matt jumped in and accused me, rather correctly, of teasing her. I did plan on having hot dogs for dinner, though I scrapped that for something vastly healthier, but I didn’t need to add insult to injury.
In the end, I just don’t understand vegetarians. Their insistence (or rather persistence?) on epistemic closure is rather befuddling.
I just thought of something interesting… Now I know there are plenty of runners, triathletes and cyclists who go the vegetarian route, but I’ve never heard of a vegetarian mountain biker. Is there such a thing?