It's May 1st, the Pass is open, and spring flowers are blooming across the hillsides in the beautiful Methow Valley. The water surging down Beaver Creek on the east side of Rockchuck Ranch has that tea color that lets you know it is passing through growing roots. Later in the season, it will be clear and lovely, and perfect for a refreshing dip, or for just cooling off the feet in the middle of a hike.
There are other signs of spring. Trail-runners, mountain bikers and road cyclists are making their colorful appearances alongside the flowers and grasses.
For casual bicycling and running enthusiasts, wheel and sole sports are part of a weekend getaway, and merge seamlessly with hiking, strolling, shopping, and lounging by the pool. Logging miles is about getting exercise, sure, but also it's about working up an appetite for dinner, seeing the sights, decompressing, and spending quality time with loved ones.
For some runners and bicyclists, spring kicks off the marathon season, mountain bike eventing, or both, and the competitive juices start flowing. The 2019 sunflower Trail Marathon, 1/2 Marathon and Relay, for example, is May 4, 2019.
Even if your competition is against your own goals, it is important to do your best on the trails and roads this season. And doing your best, and recovering properly from the effort, means a careful approach to eating and hydration. The more competitive your event--or you!--the more important it is to eat and drink strategically.
Does this mean that if you stay at the Twisp Terrace Lodge you have to take a pass on all the yummy food? Absolutely not! You can, quite literally, have your cake and eat it too, although as discussed in this article you may wish to wait to eat the cake until after your event.
Before the Event
Hydration is important during training, and critical during the days leading up to your event. Practice good hydration habits early and listen to your body to learn how to keep your fluid levels up without becoming overhydrated. Avoid alcohol, and other diuretics, in the days immediately before your event. Competitive athletes should avoid even a single alcoholic beverage on the evening before their event. But you don't have to miss Happy Hour at the Lodge; have a non-alcoholic lavender soda instead! As a bonus, the salty pub snacks will, in moderation, help retain fluids and contribute to overall hydration.
Morning of the Event
On the day of your event, you should absolutely eat breakfast. You should eat what you typically have before long runs or bicycle rides. Because many events start early, you may need to eat earlier than the normal Twisp Terrace Lodge breakfast service (9:00 AM). No problem; if you let us know we can have fruit, granola, yogurt and toast ready for you any time after 6:30 AM. Many athletes swear by day-of-event coffee or caffeinated tea. If this is for you, coffee can also be ready after 6:30 AM if you let us know (normally coffee is available after 7:00 AM).
During the Event
Don't forget to eat during your event. Practice eating the same foods during training as you will eat during your event. Products like gels are easy to digest; pretzels, crackers and candy are also good choices. The important thing is that you practice eating these during rigorous training, and you are not trying them out for the first time during your event.
and, of course, keep hydrated during your event using water and sports drinks as you prefer.
After the Event
Immediately after your event, you should eat carbohydrates and protein. You need to rebuild your tired and worn muscles. You should also concentrate on rehydrating by drinking lots of water and, if you prefer, sports drinks.
The Twisp Terrace Lodge is honored to help with your recovery. We can assist with the rehydration process, the crucial post-event relaxation (by the pool, or in the spa pool), and the refueling. It is true that Gatorade, energy bars and peanut butter sandwiches can get the job done, but we respectfully suggest that our 5-course prix-fixe dinner comes with plenty of carbohydrates and protein and is a more suitable way to celebrate the completion of your event. Most importantly, our English Pub is the perfect place to toast your success!
Thanks for reading and good luck to all of you as you run or bicycle the trails and roads of the beautiful Methow Valley.
P.S. A brief postscript for partners of running and cycling enthusiasts: if you are not participating in the event, pastries and coffee or tea will be brought to your room at 8:00 AM, followed by a full breakfast on the Veranda at 9:00 AM. The pool opens immediately after breakfast, and the outdoor spa pool is maintained at a comfortable 102 degrees. A leisurely walk down to the barn to pet the horses will give you an appetite for lunch, and you can always practice your billiards game in the Saloon. See you there!