A blog for (semi) athletic middle-aged men (and women) holding on to (the last vestiges of) their youth
by training for and competing in running, cycling, swimming and triathlon events!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mad City

Greetings from Madison, Wisconsin! This is my second trip to "Mad City" (last time I was here was during the World Dairy Expo in October 2005). Based on my two experiences, I can see why it is consistently voted one of the ten most livable cities in the U.S. I've never visited Madison in winter, but in the spring, summer and fall, it's beautiful.

I'm definitely not sure about the whole raising chickens in the backyard deal. But I can testify that the steakhouses in Mad City stack up against the best in Denver, KC and even NYC. I ate dinner tonight at johnny Delmonico's and had the 20 oz. Certified Angus Beef bone-in ribeye (at left). It was as tender, juicy and tasty as any ribeye I've ever had (and I've eaten a lot of bone-in ribeyes!).

I worked up a big appetite before dinner with my own version of the Mad City 10K. Wearing my Garmin Forerunner 305 I set out from the Best Western Inn on the Park Capitol Square and headed to the trail along Lake Menona. From there I ran along the lake and wound my way through downtown Madison, up and down the State Street Mall and circled the State Capitol (twice) before ending up back at the hotel (exactly 6.2 miles later...thanks to my Forerunner!).

Sitting in my hotel room tonight, looking out my window at the State Capitol (at left: the view from my hotel room window), my legs and feet are feeling the effects of running for the first time since I was in Sacramento a little over a month ago.

Running that far in my first run in over a month was probably not a good idea. I have a blister on my right foot and I'm sure I will be barely able to walk tomorrow. Running is so different than cycling. So much more punishment on the body and running uses different muscles in the legs.

Last year at this time I was training for the Vineman Half Ironman, so was running, cycling AND swimming. But this year I am focused on getting ready for Ride the Rockies and have only run when I'm on the road without my bike. But as soon as RTR is over I have to start pounding the pavement to get ready for the Boilermaker 15K (in Utica, NY on July 13). I'll be running as part of Team ZIP -- over 50 beef-eating athletes demonstrating the power of beef protein by competing in the country's biggest 15K race.

It's going to be awesome...but I will have some work to do between June 21 (when RTR ends) and July 13 to reach my goal to finish in under 54 minutes (less than 9 mins per mile). The good news is that I'll get to eat lots of beef to strengthen and sustain my body during the training. In fact, I plan to throw a brisket on the smoker this weekend to feed a bunch of hungry cyclists after the Elephant Rock Ride on Sunday, June 1. We're hosting a BBQ at our house for my friends from Team DFL and RTR following the ride.

Of course I will use the opportunity to tout the benefits of enjoying great tasting beef after a big ride -- sports medicine experts say that consuming protein within two hours of a workout is as important as consuming carbs to replace glycogen. Protein provides the amino acids necessary to rebuild muscle tissue that is damaged during intense, prolonged exercise. The amino acids in protein can also stimulate the immune system, making you more resistant to colds and other infections.

But not all proteins are created equal. The best source is complete proteins (those containing 8 essential amino acids) coming mostly from animal products such as meat, fish, and eggs. And of all the meat protein choices, beef gives you the most bang for the buck. Not only does it taste good, beef is also a great way to fuel your body. In the American diet, beef is the number one contributor of protein, zinc and vitamin B12, number two of vitamin B6, and number three of iron and niacin. By supplying a nutrient bundle in every bite, eating beef is a great way to make your calories count. A 3 oz. serving of lean beef contributes less than 10% of the calories in a 2,000-calorie diet. At the same time, it supplies more than 10% of the Daily Value for these nutrients.*

To me, there's nothing better than a good steak after a nice long ride...and a cold malt beverage (liquid carbs) to wash it down!


1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed reading about the "Mad City" and have heard before that it is a great place. Several of the doctor board members of the National Pstient Safety Foundation were from Madison. They seemed like salt of the earth people. Love you, Mom


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