I started out this morning fairly busy, at least enough that I’m sleeping well, and got on my bike for my normal late morning/lunchtime spin at about 11:10. On the big screen today was Ironman 2 so I settled in quickly to a nice easy pace. Yesterday was a pretty hard ride so today’s goal was to keep things at an enjoyable but decent pace. As is par for the course, that didn’t last very long and before I knew it, I’d shifted up a couple of times and was mashing quite steadily… I pedaled away watching my flick and the next time I looked up I only had ten minutes left on my hour – and I felt excellent! Have you ever had one of those rides (or runs) that you absolutely blew by your expectations? Man, that was fun!
Today’s ride was one of those perfect days. I just got in a rhythm and I could have gone all day long – and I was riding in a harder gear for my easy ride than I rode in last winter to push it for a half an hour… This is going to be a very good summer.
Ah yes ladies and gentlemen, today is the aptly named Fat Tuesday. On stopping at the gas station exactly one mile from my house and missing the billboard outside, I went in to get my usual morning cup of Joe and was shown the prominent paczki display, at which point the station attendant complained about how “gross” they are. I won’t lie, I’m a big fan of raspberry jelly donuts, so with my usual joyful exuberance, I respectfully disagreed. The attendant exclaimed, “but if there was anyone that didn’t like them, I’d assume it would be you”! It’s funny how we’re labeled, eh? Because she sees me in there picking up my Saturday morning Gatorade in my running outfit, she assumes that I don’t “like” some of the best jelly filled pastries on the planet. How silly!
I did pass on the rather gorgeous display though, barely giving it a glance. Today’s breakfast will consist of a cup of yogurt and an orange followed by an average sized sugar cookie if I’m feeling adventurous. You may wonder why, after all I’m exceptionally fit and trim. I’ve put in enough miles this winter to be more than ready for the upcoming cycling season and by the time it rolls around in 4-6 weeks I won’t even have to drop weight to get into shape – I’ll start the season having to make sure I’m eating enough to replace burned calories… In other words, if there was anyone who could afford a paczki, it would be me, right?
So what’s the deal?
Paczkis average out to about a thousand calories – each. This equates to 1 hour and 45 minutes on a spin bike, 20 miles on the road bike (in an hour), 14 hard single track miles on a mountain bike or a seven mile run (at an 8:oo/mile pace) – each. I’m not above a high-calorie desert now and again, especially mid-season or on Thanksgiving, but I have a serious problem with any celebratory day with the word “fat” in front of it. I know exactly what it takes to not be fat. Once I got that, a lot of the fun of eating a big ole fat jelly donut on fat Tuesday goes right out the window (and it becomes a little easier to walk by that wonderful paczki display).
Far be it from me to advocate for anyone else to skip the paczkis, I don’t roll like that – besides, they’re SO good! Just know what you have to do to work one off. Caloric intake is cumulative.