Sixtyith200kJanuary: Ditch the Flab and Partake in Skratch Labs – Catherine Shenk, Feb 2013

This is the time of year when I traditionally dig myself out of the winter stupor of resting and recovering from last year’s cycling & sporting efforts and gear up for getting in January base miles. Like a lot of folks, I typically start hibernating around Thanksgiving and succumb to a combination of holiday parties, catching up on movies I missed, and sleeping – sometimes through the movies I missed in December. I also start trolling around the Internet, picking out my “A” rides and my “B” rides and maybe a fantasy ride or two, and a bike touring trip. I also use this time to kick up my riding plans a notch so I was excited to join the Epic Endurance Cycling team.

My January base miles consist of fat-burner rides that get rid of that hibernation flab accumulated over the holidays. There is a bunch of technical jargon about % lactate threshold and VO2, heart rate monitors, zones – all important stuff but which right now is outside the scope of current my day-to-day bike riding existence. At some point I will catch up with all the information techies and go by the numbers but right now, I go by feel. If I feel really, really bad, I am riding too hard. If I feel really, really good it is too easy and I am not riding hard enough. If a lot of people are passing me in January, well good for them!

Aside from paring off that slab riding around on my backside, I also take advantage of my January base as a low risk opportunity to test new foods and hydration products and after joining Endurance, I was excited to see that Skratch Labs is an Epic Endurance sponsor. A couple weeks ago, when I was planning out a 125 mile ride, I decided to test out their Exercise Hydration mixes.
Skratch offers up four flavors of Exercise Hydration Mix and I picked out two yummy-sounding ones: Lemons & Limes mix and the Oranges mix, and mixed them up for my ride, one flavor in each water bottle. I found they blended well with water and there were no suspicious lumps floating around. The easy-to-use single serving stick packaging took the mystery out of how much to use (although the directions on the one-pound container are very clear) and I slipped a couple extra into my jersey pocket for re-filling the water bottles later.

The weather during my day out on the bike was in the mid-50s (more like March in Colorado than January) so I was not that thirsty! As someone who rides all year-long in all kinds of temperatures, I agree with Allen Lim’s assessment that it is possible to become dehydrated in very cold weather and I am happy to report that both drinks were easy to consume and were tasty.

I am happy to report that I can recommend these drinks! I found they have just the right mix of sugar, salt, potassium, magnesium, citrate, and flavor, and best of all, neither left a sticky film on my teeth as the day wore on.

Oh yeah! I forgot to mention, my ride was my 60th month of riding at least one 125 mile ride, or longer, for the past 5 years. To celebrate, I just picked up the Scratch Feed Zone Cookbook filled with yummy looking recipes to fuel me on my next base mile ride as well as help me ditch that holiday flab.