Saturday, June 10, 2006

Flab

Saturday, 10 June

Women store fat in different places than men. I used to work with a woman who wore long sleeves all summer because she was embarrased by how much fat she carried in her arms. I vowed not to let myself reach that state. So when I noticed a few years back on my TT bike that the fat in my forearms, um, jiggled when I rode, I figured I was headed in the wrong direction. But then I happened to see that Lance Armstrong suffered the same affliction when I watched a TT in the Tour that year. The pudgy jokes were all about Jan, not Lance, so I was hopeful that I didn't have so much to worry about.

Today Martin and I raced in the Oregon state tandem road race championship in Elmira (I think), west of Eugene. The course (which I last raced on 6? years ago) featured a "short, steep" climb (which was actually about a kilometer long, maybe 4-5% at the bottom and a healthy 8% at the top) and a "long, gradual" climb, which was about 2 kilometers long and maybe 4-5% most of the way. It was an 11-mile circuit we did 4 times. The descent off the "short, steep" climb was wicked fast: one tandem reported that they hit 52 mph, so we probably were somewhere in that ballpark.

So, going downhill at 52 mph on the back of a tandem, I now have no worries and plenty of time to notice that the fat in my upper arms jiggles when we're just rolling down a hill. I clench my muscles as tight as I can. Apparently I don't have enough muscle because it just keeps wobbling in the wind. WTF are all those hours in the gym for?? With nationals just a month away, clearly it's time for me to go on Kerry's Starbucks-and-water diet. And no, I don't have any delusions that I'm "fat," and yes, I remember that Leslie recently accused me of having arms so skinny that they are an "anatomy lesson." And the XS arm warmers I got for TRIA are loose and sag around my biceps/triceps. Maybe I should just wear long sleeves all the time so I can't notice my fat wobbling. Oh yeah, that was the problem/solution I vowed to avoid.

There was a race going on, even while I was having personal image issues. First time up the short hill we're neutral because the cat 4 men are catching us, and still I think we dropped 3 bikes. After the next time up that hill (also neutral--we played leapfrog with those guys until they finished at the end of our second lap), I think we were down to 6 bikes. And then 4. And then 3. The third lap was moderate up the hills because we figured it was going to come down to the last time up the last hill. And it did. We rode together pretty steady until 100m to the finish and then they accelerated and we did not. So we finished third.

Don't let anyone tell you stokers just sit on the back of the bike and confront their deepest fears of accumulating body fat and forget to pedal; my legs are more tired tonight than they were after the first road stage at Mt. Hood where I was racing/keeping up with professional women cyclists. I guess I should go to bed, eh, and stop blathering--I mean, blogging.

Martin's race report (sans flab) is here.
Results are here.

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