Saturday, January 25, 2014

Whole30: day 25 & Coast Ride

Last weekend, Rich and I joined about 150 friends and acquaintances to cycle down the California coast from San Francisco to Santa Monica. We were a little concerned about how eating Whole30 would hold up while we were cycling 5-7hrs a day. We had been using Lara bars and Clif Kits Original Bars as our workout nutrition to this point in our Whole30 plan... but the idea of eating 6-10 of these bars a day (they're all date based so the taste and texture is very repetitive even though there are 10 or so different flavors!) was something I could not wrap my head around. Other alternatives (fruit, nuts, sweet potatoes, eggs) were not as portable given the small backpack we were allowed to take with us. Therefore, we decided to add gluten free Picky bars and Bonk Breakers to the mix. Thanks to a new stash of Nuun goodies, I also continued my plan of drinking Nuun for hydration on the bike.

Thanks for keeping me hydrated! #nuunlove
Day 1 took us from San Francisco to Seaside... We decided to push off a little earlier than the slated 8am start with a small group of friends in order to avoid the swarm of 150 other cyclists navigating the city streets.
The overnight crew leaving from CasaBlanco
Beautiful morning on Crissy Field

Riding a few miles with fellow #Betty, Christine Gould.
After stopping for water in Half Moon Bay, Rich, Christine and I were engulfed by the lead group near Pigeon Point. It went without saying that Rich hopped on the back of that group. I tried to tag on the end but the pace was a little hot... however, shortly afterwards, the second group came by and I was able to slide into that pack. The pace was not cushy but it was not nearly as painful as the lead pack. I rode with this group all the way to the lunch stop at Davenport (~75mi). After a quick lunch stop (I just ate a bar!), Rich and I joined up with Mimi to ride the 50 miles remaining on the day.
Jordan & Mimi
It was a gentle ride through Santa Cruz and the little towns south of there before rejoining highway 1 near Moss Landing. Once again, the lead pack came flying by and Rich hooked onto the back. Since I needed more water, I stopped to refill and hooked up with another couple of guys to finish up the last 15 miles of the ride... they were happy that I knew where I was going!
Day 1 125miles, 6.5hrs

We hit Chili's for dinner that night with Hailey, Jess, Christine, Laura and Sonja among others. Dinner included a steak, broccoli and sweet potato fries... this was supposedly Whole30 but in hindsight, I am guessing the sweet potato fries are cooked in canola oil (kind of a don't ask, don't tell policy).
Dinner crew

Chili's "Whole30" dinner

Day 2 of the Coast Ride is by far the hardest and once again, Rich and I decided to push off a little early and enjoy sunrise on the road. We ended up making it almost all the way to Ragged Point before the lead group caught us, even with a couple of decent stops in Big Sur and Lucia for water refills (and coffee!).

Could the scenery be more beautiful?

The ocean was on our right all day.

At Ragged Point, Rich took off with a couple of buddies while I waited for the SAG wagon to hand off some excess clothing. No one else seemed ready to leave so I ended up pushing off solo, thinking a group would be along shortly to sweep me up and carry me to Morro Bay. Unfortunately, it took until Cambria for a group to catch me (I enjoyed a lovely 30 solo miles) so I was getting a little tired at this point. Fortunately the group was not riding too hard so I hooked up with them (some familiar names: Sonja, Chuck, Hendrik and Caroline) for a little while... until I dropped my chain and lost the little group. D'oh!Thankfully, we were just a few miles from Morro Bay at this point so I didn't mind.
Day 2, 127 miles, 7hrs 
Date night in Morro Bay: Whole30 halibut & olive tapenade
On day 3, Rich and I switched over to the AIMP & SagMonkey ride (since they were riding all the way to San Diego and the other group was stopping in Santa Barbara). We had some great food to fuel our ride today... I asked for a little avocado on my omelette.. looks like I got a whole one!

Breakfast omelette in Morro Bay
The group wanted to take the freeway into town (which I hate!) so Rich and I took the *back way* into San Luis Obispo (SLO). I had never gone this way and Rich forgot to note that it tacks on a few extra miles and is bitterly cold. I saw 27f on my SRM as we were riding in one of the valleys. My fingers have never been so painful... I am used to riding in 50f+ weather so this was a shock to my system. We met up with the group in SLO and then rode with them into Guadalupe. My right knee was really bothering me whenever the road headed uphill (back of the knee, hamstring/IT band) and so I chatted with SagMonkey and decided to take a break and help with SAG for the rest of the day.
Nick Nicastro is SagMonkey - best bike concierge ever!
It was fun to hang out and catch up with Nick and a couple of other riders we picked up along the way, and I also truly appreciated how hard he works, keeping track of 30+ riders with differing riding abilities.

On arriving in Santa Barbara, Rich and I grabbed an early dinner (Marmalade cafe) and then went to the movies (American Hustle). It was such a treat to sit and relax in a movie theater after being absorbed in everything cycling for the prior 3 days.
Day 3, 45 miles 2.5hrs
Riding with another fellow Betty, Monica Moreno.
On day 4, the route took us from Santa Barbara to Santa Monica and with just 2000ft of climbing, I was hopeful that my knee would be okay. A good night's sleep (93% on Sleep Cycle) also seemed to have done the trick! After a water stop 25 miles in, Blanco decided that warm-up was over and launched an attack that splintered the 30 strong group. That left just 6 of us (which quickly dwindled to 5) to ride to the lunch stop 35 miles down the road, and then on to our final destination in Santa Monica.
The ladies hanging on to Blanco's wheel

Katya in a sweet Betty Kit

Three Betty's in a row
The pace was fine on the flats but Rich confirmed to me that he wanted to push the rollers so I was left working my butt off over every hill, trying desperately not to get detached from the back. My fellow Betty companions, Katya and Caroline, worked with me to keep the group together and share the pain as Blanco pushed over the rollers. Soon enough we were in Santa Monica, greeted by my father-in-law who had stationed himself to watch for riders nearby our hotel destination.
Day 4, 100 miles 5hrs

We had a few hours to clean up, grab dinner before heading to LAX for a flight home (SagMonkey drove our bikes back later in the week).

Ceviche was my Whole30 meal of choice to celebrate the end of the Coast Ride
It was a fun coast ride, but I was definitely tired and sore by the end of it... it was great to tack on a 4th day, but it helped that I cut back the miles on day 3. Before the ride, coach Matt had told me to ride hard but be smart and avoid digging myself in a hole. I think I accomplished the goal of adding fitness and avoiding a black hole of deep fatigue.

We were able to eat Whole30 during our trip, with the exceptions mentioned above, but it was nice to get home and be able to cook for ourselves and have access to Wholefoods and our other favorite places.

Wholefoods salad bar

Flank steak over ratatouille and green salad

Kale salad with carrots and watermelon radish

Favorite breakfast scramble with eggs and fruit salad
We have just five days left of our Whole30 experiment and I'll be honest that I am ready for it to be over. Rich tells me that he *can't eat another nut*! I also miss having a glass of wine with dinner! The greatest challenge has been the loss of foods that I considered to be convenient (and not necessarily unhealthy) such as yogurt, or using corn tortillas as vehicles for everything from almond butter and bananas to vegetable and buffalo saut├ęs. I am now trying to give some thought to the re-entry to eating dairy, gluten and other foods. I am enjoying the steadier energy levels and my stomach has mostly been settled throughout the experiment (dried fruit and nuts have disturbed it lately!). I also love some of the new breakfast dishes I have created (sausage and sweet potato scramble) even though the recipe ran counter to my former belief of what is healthy (saturated fat in the sausages??)

I am wondering whether we eat Whole30 Sunday-Thursday, or Whole30 before 6pm (thinking of Mark Bittman's book Vegan before 6pm). The challenge, however, is that Whole30 takes a lot more preparation and can be challenging when we are both working, commuting and training... there are not many hours left in the day when I am aiming for 8hrs sleep too! If you have suggestions, send them my way...


  1. Wonderful recap, Jordan! And I love the pic of us leaving your place. I was seriously impressed by the caliber of riders on this ride, especially the chicks! I'm inspired to go into it next year with more bike fitness. And I love your thoughts on Whole30...made me think of Pollan's quote "eat food. not too much. mostly plants." Simple simple simple, right? I have been tempted by W30 but just keep coming back to *real food* and balance. Cheers lady!

  2. Awesome recap! I am glad to read you've been eating the Kit's bars since I just ordered them :) It does seem like Whole 30 is awfully labor intensive, and I just can't wrap my head around not drinking wine & skipping yogurt. The breakfast dishes do look good though!!

    And gosh, your Betty kits are so darn cute!