Infinit Nutrition Canada - Premium Sport-Specific Nutrition

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

There is No "I" In "Team" - 24 Hr Real Deal

If you didn't get a chance last week to read our Read Deal 24 Hr Track Attack Post, this is the prequel to this entry.

Some things are just so cool and grand that you want to be part of them. The Track 24 Hr. Attack was just that.  Simple: just ride 24 hrs and raise $25000 to improve the heating and lighting at the Forest City Velodrome.  After connecting with Ed Veal (the chief participant), and coming up with a fuelling strategy, my attention quickly turned to ‘how can I join in the fun and help them hit their goal of raising the $25K?’  Ed put me in touch with the club president, Craig, to arrange to set me up on a rental bike and share some details.

An old friend describes my life as Tetris - he says ‘you just seem to turn the blocks and they all fall into place’.  I played a little Tetris this weekend and it was amazing.  My plan was to complete my long trainer ride in the morning as normal (training for Paris-Brest-Paris - have to get my miles in), and then head up to the ride to arrive at 4 pm in London, Ontario. I ended up getting there at 5 pm, and headed into a transformed Forest City Velodrome. I have ridden here twice for introductory track sessions and the facility didn't look like this:

Once up at the top of the track, I was amazed and thrilled - the infield was filled and there were 15-20 riders on the track.  This is a big deal! What a community!  I asked one of the volunteers if they knew where Craig was, and went down and introduced myself.  There was lots going on yet Craig asked me, “Can I help you bring your tent in?” Awesome. We quickly got our stuff, and he proceeded to get my bike, which I was going to ride between midnight and 4 am.  
Great vibe here! Setting up the tent I met Amanda - Ed's wife and a major support during the 24 hrs.  Amanda was amazing. She told me how grateful she and Ed were that we at Infinit had taken care of the fuel. Her incredulous comment regarding (Cold Brew) this coffee protein stuff: "Where has this been all my life?!"  Everything felt great.  Next, it was off to my parents for dinner and a chance to watch the Leafs game together.  My long-time friend Corey came over to catch the game as well, so my boots were being filled! 

After the game, I got my bike kit on and headed back to the velodrome.  There was still lots of activity when I arrived at 11:30 pm.  I got my bike set, got the lap counter sensor on the bike and I was ready to go.  I don’t know if you have ever ridden a fixed gear track bike or not.  There is no coasting: if you are moving, the pedals are moving. The only brakes are your legs and when you stop, you best click out at the right time or you topple!  I was worried about the moment of truth.  When I got on the bike - I mentally rehearsed this the two nights prior so I wouldn't fall flat starting or stopping. I guess that helped because I was good.  Ok, now this will be easy. Just ride- that's what I do.  I ride lots, so this will be good.

My goal was to go at least 100 km or 725 laps.  I was riding fine and starting to get into a groove - not terribly fast. Every few laps the main group (which included at least one of the Real Deal Racing Team members) and Ed would pass me, I would always hear ‘Stick!’ - basically hold your line so you don't cause an issue.  The line I was holding was the Black. I tried to stay there, and honestly, I was so focused on the black line that I made myself nauseous.  After 20 km, I had to go off the track and into the infield as I thought I was going to hurl.  I sat there for a while, actually quite scared. I had folks through Infinit and family/friends donate an amount per lap. Based on the commitments that had been made,  if I rode 725 laps, we would raise about $1200.  I had to figure this out!  In talking with Mike from the Waterloo Cycling Club, he gave me a tip to look further ahead and look up to the corner and not directly down on the Black.  Once I made this adjustment - the laps went by quickly. I got in behind Ed and one of the Team for lots of it, and was happy to be keeping the pace.  Sometime after 4:00 a.m., I came off the track and confirmed I had hit the 100 km - actually I hit 104 and 756 laps. Great!  I was able to go back to my parents and sleep!

I slept until 8:30 a.m., had breakfast and a shower, then went back to see Ed finish this out. 
This morning was much like yesterday when I first arrived - lots of folks on the track and lots of supporters.  It was terrific to see Ed finish and get emotional - it is impossible to not get emotional when you go to these dark places and achieve something as epic as this. Ed broke the record at 735 km and had 20 minutes to spare. Ed speaks to the experience in the photo on the right. Click to see the CTV post coverage here. Actually, it was so great to see the images of the facility just a few days before as this was how I remembered it previously – it was absolutely amazing that the Team transformed it in a week.

I don't know all of the Team, but I know the Real Deal Team and Amanda took special care of Ed for the 24 hrs.  Ed was all business: 55 minutes of riding per hour, refuel a bit, stretch, mild massage and get ready for the next hour.  It wasn't until the very end where you could see him relax, if you will, that he was really able to take in how magical this was and comprehend that he had accomplished an incredible goal.

Back to the reason for all of this, in the coming months with $55 K raised an update to the heating and lighting will occur. This will make for a more comfy environment, one that will keep our youth coming and lap by lap becoming some of the best the sport has to offer. Infinit supports raised over $1,500 while Darcy completed 756 laps.

This weekend was truly inspiring. Dare to dream, have the discipline to act and don't forget to ask for help - That's exactly what this community did and I can't imagine a better outcome.

A couple of days later, Ed sent me this email:

"I am so thankful for you and your wonderful product. I can't imagine going the distance without it. I was working so hard on putting the event together and getting the track ready that the ride and my fuel was really an afterthought if you can believe that. You came out of nowhere to save the day Darcy and I couldn't be more thankful. It is hard to know how these things happen. A random email turns into you and I sharing the track and doing an epic event together"

I am so grateful that I got to be part of such a great Team experience, this community and to witness someone truly stretching their limits for an amazing cause. There are the physical ways we will see immediately, improved lighting and heating and likely stronger attendance. Coupled with that you will have many young and old, exploring their limits because Ed showed us what is possible when you dream big.

Congratulations Forest City Velodrome, Ed Veal and the entire Team that made this result possible.

- Darcy Haggith, President, Infinit Nutrition Canada

Friday, February 1, 2019

Round and Round We Go!!!

For the last two weeks, we have been reaching out to cycling clubs to see if we can get a few more on board this season. When we reached out to Real Deal Racing, this is the note we got back:

Hi Darcy,

Thank you for reaching out.  The team needs you but more specifically I need you on Feb 2 more than ever.  Have you seen what I have got myself into? 

Let me know when you have a minute to chat 
Ed Veal

This was immediately intriguing to me for many reasons:
  1. I love crazy long endurance efforts.  I love when folks stretch limits. 
  2. I have a soft spot for track cyclists - love the sport, we have supported Canadian National track cyclists over the years - most notable Mischa Partridge and Kate O'Brien.
  3. I love the Forest City Velodrome - I used to watch the London Knights play there as a kid (my hometown), saw many greats play there: Brad Marsh, Rob Ramage, Dino Ciccarelli and even Wayne Gretzky.  I even played there myself back in the day. I don't know the exact history of the origins of the Forest City Velodrome - but what I do know is it was put together for the love of the sport and involved a lot of sweat equity. I have had the pleasure of riding there a few times - an absolute blast.
  4. Ed Veal is putting himself out there to help raise $25K to help update the facility, specifically heating and lighting. This is a great facility and is where champions are born.  

For those reasons and more I wanted to help. The first way I could help is to fuel Ed like we have fuelled countless 24 hr athletes - our most typical ultra endurance folks come from 24 hr mountain bike racers, like Julie Kelly and ultra-marathoners like Jay Kinsela - both are some of the best at their craft in Canada. Ed and I arranged to talk and we quickly went through a nutritional consult, I got his details: weight, sweat rate, salt: sweat concentration, planned intensity, taste preferences and a few other details. We created his Real Deal Blend to supply the majority of his base calories. Additionally, we have supplied Infinit Power, a lower carb blend to cycle through, and lastly the secret weapon, as Jay Kinsela puts it: Infinit Cold Brew.  Cold Brew has become a favourite of mine at the 3-4 hr mark of rides - sits well and gives a boost of energy along with a shot of caffeine from the real coffee in this protein beverage.  

So with the fuelling out of the way, I think of ways I could help. Ed has set up various levels that riders can participate to help raise funds, Ride an Hour with Ed, 100 km Challenge, 300 kg Challenge and the 24 hr Challenge (honestly I think he will be the only one taking that on). So I talked about me participating - I told him I would love to help. So I am in! I'm going to start riding after midnight when the track will be relatively quiet and we will see what we can do. I am worried about the comfort or my ability to stay reasonably comfortable on a track bike - currently doing 5 hr trainer rides, I somehow feel this will be a lot different. I am looking to do at least 100 km to challenge myself, to be there in person and perhaps further help Ed with his nutrition strategy and lastly, and most importantly, raise money. I would be thrilled if I could help Ed and others reach the $25K goal.

I hope that some of you are willing to help me out!  I am proposing 3 donation levels:
  1. $0.02 per lap.  100 km would be 725 laps or $14.50.
  2. $0.05 per lap.  725 laps will be $36.50.
  3. $0.10 per lap.  725 laps will be $72.50.
For all donations, Infinit will provide 50% of the donated amount as Infinit Bucks.  For option 3 that would get you $36.50 off your next Infinit purchase.

I will personally be pledging $0.10 per lap and hope I have at least 100 km in my legs, frankly, it likely has more to do with my behind.

We will keep you posted on our social media.  

Really looking forward to a great weekend!

- Darcy Haggith, President, Infinit Nutrition Canada

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

What is Keto Krazy?

Even if you’ve just crawled out from under a rock or awoken from a long Rumplestiltskin-like sleep, you’ve probably heard about Keto (short for Ketogenic Diet). It’s everywhere: on talk shows, morning news programs, radio, TV, social media, magazines, and books. There are many cookbooks, blogs, how-to guides, documentaries, and Facebook pages full of transformational stories. So what’s the big deal?

At Infinit Nutrition Canada, we don’t endorse any particular diets, but there are a couple of staff members who eat this way or have at least tried it (including yours truly).  Ketogenic diets (and its kissing cousin, Paleo) are not going away, so I thought you all might be interested in knowing what the hype is about.

I first became aware of a ketogenic diet about 10 years ago when a friend of mine, who happens to be a physician, gave me the lowdown on it. I was not as plant-based back then, so it was easy enough to dive in, and my husband joined in the crazy sounding quest: eat lots of fat and protein, slash the carbs, and lose fat; we both convincingly dropped body fat and overall mass in a month.  These days, I purposefully cycle in and out of Keto.

So - eat fat to lose fat?  Well, that’s certainly one of the tenants of ketogenic eating. It really flies in the face of everything we’ve heard since Duran Duran was hitting the charts (the first of many  80s references in this blog). Even Michael Jackson could have told you that fat was ‘Bad’ in those days (I’m sorry - I can’t help myself). I’m feeling a bit nostalgic, so before we dive into the Ketogenic way of life, I thought we’d have a look at some of the dietary trends that have come along over the last few decades. Stick around - this is fun! And see how many 80s songs you can find in the text along the way.  Seriously, if you were Wide Awake in America, you might remember some of these crazy diets and trends...

In the 50s, people still largely ate at home: meat, potato, veg.  No internet, not much TV, no video games, and lots of outdoor play as we grew up (I say WE, but I was not yet born, FYI). There was not a great deal of talk about diets as there was little need for them.  Those bent on ‘slimming’ cut portion sizes and counted calories. Obesity stats on this side of the pond were about 10% of the population, and that’s obesity, not just overweight. Obesity was then defined as 20% above ideal.  Compare that to today when the CDC estimates that 75% of us will be obese or overweight by 2020. Ulp! Something has gone terribly wrong. Let’s look at the next decade.

In the 1960s, Jean Nidetch founded Weight Watchers. As you well know, this organization is around today with group support and food tracking as essential parts of the program. It would be unfair to count this among the fad diets as it really is intended to be a lifetime shift in behaviour.

In the 1970s, dieting started to become a big business opportunity. Dr. Herman Tarnower addressed the problem with the infamous Scarsdale Diet: limited carbohydrates, no fruit save grapefruit, some proteins, some fats, no dairy, and was very restrictive in terms of calories. As an unfortunate aside, this poor fellow met his demise at the hand of his ex-mistress. At around that same time, folks were talking about Dr. Atkins and his revolutionary Atkins Diet.  He touted that carbohydrates were to be avoided and that protein was to be embraced (within limits). Dr. Atkins famously died of a myocardial infarction in 2007, but it was apparently not related to diet. You can read a bit about it here, if you wish. It seems as though fad diets were really having their day in the 70s because at around the same time that Atkins was getting famous, Frances Moore Lappe’s: Diet for a Small Planet  was also worming its way into the press, although it was still firmly in the ‘hippie’ realm. It was the first of its kind to encourage us to give up meat as being unsustainable for the planet, and ‘combining proteins’ became the next big thing.  While I wouldn’t describe this as a fad, the necessity of combining proteins has come into question in the scientific community, and the terms ‘complete’ and ‘incomplete’ proteins are all but obsolete.

The 80s (finally!) brought us The Cabbage Soup Diet (need you ask?), The Beverly Hills Diet (eat only fruit for the first TEN DAYS and then carbs and protein must be eaten separately after that), Jenny Craig (no need to cook - just heat and eat the pre-made meals), Richard Simmon’s Deal A Meal while people were Sweatin’ to the Oldies with him.  Alright, so the 80s was amazing for music - but for dieting, not so much.

The 90s had us eating low fat everything. Even today, this ‘trend’ continues to make its way into products. But while the fat went down, the sugar went up.  Dean Ornish, author of Eat More, Weigh Less was onto this and wanted us to cut down on refined carbs, lower fat intake, and eat more whole grains and vegetables. Friends star, Jennifer Aniston made The Zone Diet hugely popular in the mid 90s.  This was about keeping carbs, proteins, and fats in certain proportions: 40/30/30. About this time, we started to hear that sugar was bad (so companies got better at giving it different names and continued to put it in their products). Oh, and do you remember the Blood Type Diet??  Enough said about that.

Along came the new millenium and we figured it all out and lived happily ever after!  Harumph. I wish. The year 2000 brought us Jared and the Subway Diet. Seriously - cured meats, nitrates, oversized white buns (Subway’s not Jared’s)... this was the answer to the dieter’s prayers?!  So many diets, so little time... Here are the big ones: The South Beach Diet, Atkins (gets popular again), The Pink Diet, Raw Food Diet, Vegan Diet, Paleo Diet, The Mediterranean Diet, PBWF (plant-based whole food), and finally the trend that leads to this blog post: The Ketogenic Diet.  Whew! I’m almost too tired to write the rest of this post. Snack time…

Okay, some of those diets in the last paragraph could be called lifestyles rather than diets, so we needn’t quibble about it. I’m back to the beginning before I’ve come to the end.

What is Keto, Ketosis, and the Ketogenic Diet?

Let’s start with the easiest one.

Q: What is Keto?

A: It’s the short form for ‘ketogenic’. See?  Easy.

Q: Okay then, what is ketogenic?

A: A ketogenic food or diet is anything that supports the body to get into, or stay in, a state of ketosis.

Q: And the million dollar question is… what is ketosis?

A: Come on Eileen, that is a bit of a harder question. The simple answer is that ketosis describes when your body is primarily burning fats as its source of fuel, rather than carbohydrates. Now for the longer answer: carbohydrates are an easy source of fuel for your body.  They convert to glucose which the body can use immediately, or we readily store it in the form of glycogen in our muscles and liver. Glucose/glycogen is the go-to fuel because it’s so easily accessed, whereas fat tends to be stored and coveted by our body for those rainy days of potential starvation.  The only way to circumvent this is to deplete your stores of glycogen and force the body to burn those fat stores. This is no simple task because we are hard-wired to protect those ‘hard-won’ storage supplies. It’s not easy to Beat It. When these fats are finally broken down, they produce ketones - a type of fatty acid.  The release of these ketones is what leads to the condition of ketosis - basically a fat-burning state. When your body starts dumping ketones, they can be detected in the urine and the blood with a simple test. Now for some FAQs:

Q: Why do people want to get into ketosis?

A: There are a few reasons:

To burn excess body fat
To deprive the body of sugar and combat sugar-fuelled diseases
To help reduce seizures in people with epilepsy
Reduce addiction/dependence on simple carbohydrates and processed foods

Q: How do you get into ketosis?

A: Well, there are a few ways.  One way that some people kickstart a Keto diet is a 24 hour fast with only water from 6 PM to 6 PM.  Another quick way is to deplete glycogen stores through high-intensity exercise: cycling, running, weight lifting, HIIT workout. This would be coupled with a low carbohydrate intake. Ketosis is a delicate state and requires a lot of effort and monitoring to stay within this fat-burning range. A few grams of carbohydrate can bump you out and then you’re back to square one.

The most popular way, albeit slower method, is to choose foods that will put the body into a state of ketosis.  This is a Ketogenic Diet. Very, very low carbohydrates means avoiding even complex carbs like brown rice, sweet potatoes, fruits, whole grain oats, and beans.  Carbohydrates come only in the form of vegetables low in natural sugars, some nuts, seeds, and high fat dairy products. Fats and proteins are consumed in much higher amounts than traditional diets. So with this method, even if you’re Hungry Like The Wolf, you stay away from bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, sweets, milk, sugar…  F.Y.I, this diet can be done as a person who eats meat, as a person who eats a vegetarian diet, or as a person who eats a vegan diet. I fall in the middle these days, but I have cycled on keto while eating vegan - suffice it to say that I ate a lot of soy-based food: tofu, tempeh, seitan (for a while, I couldn’t even look at tofu without gagging (maybe you never could). Here is a keto calculator that you might want to try.  There are plenty out there.

If you manage to eat in this way, and use diet alone, it will take your body a full 48 hours to get into a state of ketosis. And unless you really manage it carefully with enough water and electrolytes (LINK TO KETOLECTROLYTES) and alkaline foods, you will experience the dreaded Keto Flu - a feeling of lethargy and general malaise with headaches and muscle fatigue. Most people go through this every time they fall out of ketosis and have to climb back in, which is why they work so hard to stay in it, counting macros and tracking their food intake.   There are plenty of apps that track for you. You might like this one:

Q: Is a Keto Diet for me?

A: I’d say do your own research and decide for yourself!  No one knows you better than you. You can talk to you doctor - it’s becoming pretty mainstream, and it’s been recommended for certain medical conditions for decades, so he or she will have heard of it.

Q: Where can I get more information?

A: There are lots of great blogs and info sites out there.  Here are some you might like:

Q: What kind of foods should I eat?

A: Real foods, whole foods. Many Keto folks supplement their whole food diet with protein and support products. Because I eat a mostly plant-based diet, I personally take a dose of extra protein ‘bolus’ in my morning smoothie, and then at least one more time during the day. I am the number one fan of Infinit Raw and I don’t know how I’d stay in ketosis without it. Meat eaters can generally use a bit less than I do, but most still supplement to some extent.

Q: Why did Infinit create the Keto Krazy brand?

A: We’re doing a Keto line of products because our customers have asked for this.  Many of our products are already keto-friendly, but our customers have asked us to tweak some of the other favourites to make them in line with keto. At Infinit, we feel like we have the knowledge and the products to support our customers and the keto community.

Q: Why the heck is this blog 4 pages?!

A: Sometimes I just like to Push It.

Well, dear readers, have you tried any of these diets through the decades? Have you tried keto or paleo?  Did you find the 80s references? Perhaps you prefer the 90s? What’s your story?

Thursday, November 15, 2018

"Be Like Mike" - Movati Mike

Last week, we made a visit to our good customer, Movati Athletic in Burlington.  As always, when I get a chance to visit, I had to fit a workout in - I love their facilities.  As I am still in bike mode and chasing 13,000 km this calendar year, I spent an hour on the Matrix stationary bike doing the rolling hills workout.  While riding, I was already thinking about the great shower and steam room! After 60 min. of hard work, I headed down to the change room.

I had a quick shower (you cannot imagine the luxury of a Movati shower - you’ve just got to try it for yourself) and then went into the steam room.  After a few minutes, this fellow entered and we struck up a great conversation. Mike shared with me that he works out every other day; exercise is part of his way of life – a fit 71-year-old. I love seeing that. I have this saying: You have to keep moving to keep moving.  Mike exemplifies this perfectly - you see, if you keep moving and working those muscles, you kind of earn the right to do it again tomorrow, no matter your age.  I was surprised to learn that Mike had had a triple bypass surgery 19 years ago and is equipped with a pacemaker. Mike is a lucky one, a smart one. I remember that I saw a sobering stat in the documentary, Forks Over Knives, I believe: the most common symptom of heart disease is sudden death. Obviously, Mike had a warning shot across the bow and lived to make the necessary changes.

Darcy speaking with Mike at Movati Burlington

I asked Mike what lifestyle changes he had made following his surgery (I assumed correctly that his heart disease was attributed to a poor diet and lack of exercise).  At the time of his surgery he was 240 pounds, and today there he sat almost 20 years later, below 200 pounds (a reasonable weight for his large frame). Turns out Mike was a shot putter and discus thrower for Canada in the 60’s and 70’s. In those days,  he was a muscular 270 pounds. Mike told me that he switched his diet up and he started a regular exercise regime. He also mentioned that the best thing he ever did was join Movati Athletic in Burlington last January. He is a fixture there and it shows. I just love seeing this. No matter your age, you can make a change. We found this out in the study we supported under the direction of Dr. Stu Phillips where men with a mean average age of 73 showed increase muscle mass with a multi-ingredient protein supplement and omega 3 when combined with routine light resistance training. See resistance training study here.

Mike mentioned a friend of his who suffered a severe heart attack at around the same time. He also had bypass surgery, but sadly, unlike Mike, he made no lifestyle changes, and unfortunately, he passed some years ago.

Mike asked me what I do; I let him know about Infinit Nutrition Canada and if he had ever tried any of our products sold right there at Movati. He hadn’t, so I told him to come see me in the Café and I would buy him our protein/coffee drink: Cold Brew. He asked me about our brand, “Can you buy it at GNC or Popeye’s?” I said, “ No - really Mike, I think we would be lost in stores like that. A lot of products use a lot of marketing hype and it’s hard to compete with that.  We offer the best protein period – comes from Fonterra in New Zealand. Honestly, it’s not for everyone, but those who use our products, love us.”

I was happy to see Mike come over to the Nutritional Café and I fulfilled my promise and bought him an Infinit Cold Brew – he chose to have it on the rocks.  He couldn’t believe a protein could taste like that – 21 g and in a coffee. He was an instant fan, and he made my day. Mike also went on to say that this would be perfect for his wife; she struggles to get enough protein in and he thought this would be a perfect solution:  something she gets to have, instead of has to drink.

This is why I do what I do - I absolutely love seeing people living their life to their fullest potential.

Be like Mike – either get moving or keep moving: this way you earn the right to keep moving!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Riding Long: Creemore Classic 401 km in 24 hrs

This past weekend I completed my first 400 km Brevet.  I had previously participated in 2 other Randonneuring rides: a 384 km Fleche ride and a 200 km Brevet.  This by far was the toughest, as expected.

Local riders participating were Rick Meloche, Brenda Wiechers, Tim O'Callahan and myself.  Luckily we had two friends/cyclists come to support the 24 hr journey: Steve Tymczak and Geoff Owen (invaluable!).  This time around we headed to Port Elgin late Friday afternoon - arrived in time to have dinner with the group, plus the organizer of the Creemore Classic: Carey Chappelle, and his wife Donna.

After a good sleep at the Chappelle's we got up at 4:30, went down to the local Tim Horton's,  and got our card verified (has to be signed at each of the 7 control points).  A total of 7 of us left at 5:30 a.m, right on schedule (Carey, Matthew, Paul, Brenda, Tim, Rick and I).  Geoff joined us for the first 100 km, and then assisted us for the next 20 hrs at the control points.

We knew the forecast wasn't the greatest - we pretty much assumed we would be wet for most of the ride, and we weren't far off.  We started in  a light drizzle - the only fairly flat section was mostly dry from Port Elgin to Owen Sound, following the shoreline the whole time - beautiful area. I'd never traced the coastline like that before.  Funny when your mind is prepared for a 24 hr effort just how quick a 100 km ride can feel.  Seemed like no time and we were having coffee at our first stop: Frog Pond Cafe. A quick drink and we were set to take off again.  Tackling a ride like this is all about conserving energy, nourishing your body and staying hydrated - doing that well, makes it doable.  Oh also, heavy use of Chamois Butt'r makes sitting on a saddle for 24 hours manageable (I didn't say enjoyable); I am not sure why it works - just does!

So as we headed out of Owen Sound, we hit a sharp climb that was like a smack in the head. It turned out that this is what the rest of the day was: climb, descend, climb, descend... repeat.  It was also the time the rain hit - really hard at times, like when descending down Bowles Downhill: wow - 64 km/h in pouring rain was a bit tense (glad this was in the daylight).  Of course when you go down, you can expect to go up - Cat 4 climb up to Eugenia and our 2nd Control. I have to tell you this wasn't nearly as pleasant as the first.   Even though we would have generated a ton of heat climbing, we were all pretty chilled, as soon as we stopped.  At this stop, I had some hot mac and cheese, and mixed another two bottles of Infinit Power. I drank a serving per hour all the way through the day.  I was looking to stay reasonably hydrated, keeping electrolytes in check and have some calories (when I know that the pace is down and I will be consuming lots of real food on stops, Power is my choice).  I was really happy to head out of Eugenia - and was hoping for clearer skies!

Headed from Eugenia, and already at 400 m elevation, we only had another 100 m before we descended one of my favourite roads in the county - Grey Road 19.  By now the rain had stopped so we had a no brake descent - not pushing it (getting aero) I managed to get to 70+ km/h. It was fun cruising down behind Tim.
After collecting, we headed into town for our next stop - The Georgian Bowl.  Yes, I said bowl. As in bowling. While it's not normal to bowl while riding, it is for the Creemore Classic. We swapped the bike shoes for bowling shoes and went after the big trophy.  I came up a few pins short - Rick took those honours.  Immediately after, we were on to Creemore. I had been looking forward to the fish dinner all day. No beer for me on this day, but on another day, I will add a Lot 9.  The ride to Creemore was made up of rolling hills - nothing crazy. Luckily, it was dry but we did have a heavy head wind.  Everyone's spirits were still high - we were approaching 250 km, and knew we had a big stop ahead - we had all preordered.  Steve and Geoff had a table waiting, so we had time to get into a new bike kit and then dinner was on the table.
By the time we left, darkness was upon us, so it was back to the reflective clothing and lights.  We had a few bigger climbs on our way back to the Villages, our last control point before it got real... everyone was thinking of the Scenic Cave Road climb.  It was an uneventful ride into the control point: more Infinit Power and Jimmy Bar (protein bar - one of the best I have had) before we headed out for the last 112 km of the journey.  Starting with the big climb: 200 m, 9% average grade.

As it turned out, Scenic Caves wasn't as hard as we had all built it up to be.  Earlier in July - I got up the main climb in 11:49. On this night, with 300 km into my legs, I kept the pedals moving all the way up for a respectable16:13 - I was happy with this!  Tim was right behind and we figured we might have a bit of a wait for the others.  5-10 minutes later, everyone was up. Awesome!
From here it got 'dark!'  We had a big descent but, unfortunately it was during a downpour and heavy winds - we were all a bit pensive.  Once down, we had another big climb up Grey Road 40. By this time, after the climb (I think it was around 2:30 a.m.), I still had lots of power, but I was getting crazy sleepy, just like that feeling when you are driving a car and you are trying not to nod off.  I told the group, so we put a foot down at the next stop sign. Tim gave me his 'magic glasses' (green glow)  and I used them for 5 minutes, eating 3 chocolate covered coffee beans along with it.  It was enough to get to me to Chatsworth, the last control point before the finish.  This was supposed to be a 24 hr coffee shop. Well,  despite what the sign said, it was not hot coffee now. Ugh - it would have been great as we had just travelled 62 km in heavy rain, wind and even fog.  We stopped anyway for about 20 minutes, had an Infinit Cold Brew,  a bagel with peanut butter and fresh jam (thanks, Brenda), and of course, mixed up my last two bottles of Infinit Power.
Still smiling - 50 km to go!!!
All 6 of us left together, but by this time we were riding different paces.  Rick, Tim, Brenda and I rode as a group - really, it was uneventful. Of course we were all tired and feeling it, but we were buoyed by the fact that we were less then 2 hrs from the end.
It was a steady ride in to the Tim's where it all started 24 hrs ago.  In total we covered 401 km in just a hair over 24 hrs, with 16:40 of moving time.  We had our cards signed at our last control point and we were official - under the 27 hr time limit.  Back to Carey and Donna's house, quick shower and then I slipped into a deep sleep.  Loved the ride, loved riding with Tim, Rick, Brenda, Matt and Paul - you really get to know someone over 24 hrs on a bike.  This was the second time I had the pleasure of doing a long one -  last time, Tim and Brenda were there.  Special and immense thanks to Geoff and Steve. At every control point they took care of us, filling bottles, making sure we had everything we needed.  

Creemore Classic - 410 km, 2700 m elevation
I am certain this is not for everyone, but what I would encourage you to do is pick a goal/challenge that seems ridiculous and scares you.  I thought of this ride for months. It lead to completing lots of rides to prepare. I visualized when I went to sleep at night - not afraid - just looking forward to what would be.  I feel so grateful that am I physically able to do stuff like this and have the time and support to take these crazy challenges on.  Makes you feel alive!

- Darcy Haggith, President, Infinit Nutrition Canada

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Road to Ironman: Flavour Fatigue & Hitting Nutrition Goals

We're welcoming back Andrew from STAC Zero for the 3rd Installment of Road to Ironman. Have you missed the first two posts in the series? Catch up here:

Flavour fatigue sounds simple enough -- and a bit trivial, actually -- but it is something very serious when it comes to performing at your best.  If you're in the middle of a race, your body reacts differently to flavours than you might imagine, and the nutrition which you know that you desperately need might seem unappealing, making it impossible to follow your plan.  I've heard of this happening to even the pros, and recently experienced it myself due to some of my own mistakes.  

With the weather warming up, my training has progressed outdoors from my self imposed training prison -- and this has led to me needing to carry 100% of my required nutrition on my rides.  No more sneaking up to the kitchen to mix up another bottle of Infinit if I felt like I was lacking some energy.  Although the individual flavours are excellent on their own (my own preference being the fruit punch, which is curious given my typical aversion to overly sweet sports drinks), but due to poor planning, I had run out of all but the orange flavour.  Mixing up 4 bottles of a single flavour, I headed out on my planned 4 hour ride.

The first 3 hours felt great -- I was right on my power target with an exertion that felt relatively easy.  I had noticed that I was actually feeling so good that I didn't keep up with my nutrition targets.  Then it started to hit me -- I could feel the bonk coming.  But, at this stage, I had already drank so much volume of a single flavour that I was really fighting being able to finish my nutrition.  I knew that I would feel better once I drank it, but just struggled to get it down.  Flavour fatigue had hit me.  I had heard about this countless times, but never experienced it so acutely until now.  It's amazing how something you previously enjoyed can become so difficult to palate when you're pushing your endurance limits during long training sessions!

Having stopped, I was able to compose myself and eventually finish off another bottle.  I started feeling much better right away -- the best part, after only a few minutes, I was able to continue the ride, eventually finishing more or less on schedule and on pace!

Having learned my lesson this time, I now make sure to always pack all 3 of the flavours on any long ride or even indoor training session.  Being able to quickly and easily go back and forth between the Infinit flavours is a sure way to be able to avoid any of the issues coming along with flavour fatigue.  I would highly recommend this to anyone -- if you're investing in adapting to a proper nutrition strategy, giving yourself multiple options is the only way to go.  Seeing that I manage to go through the bags of the custom blend fairly quickly, it only made sense to have all 3 flavours on hand at the same time ,meaning that I could switch flavours depending on my preference that day -- or even better, give myself the option for long rides where I don't know what I'll have a taste for!