logo.jpg (10041 bytes) a what? players do a challenge links
news advertise sponsors contact us

What's a Birthday Challenge?



Do a challenge

Old News

Player Archives





Contact us

tuconavbar.JPG (9809 bytes)
Tuco: The official mascot of birthdaychallenge.com


Steve's Diary


A Month to Go:

Guessing the numbers.

steve2.JPG (16794 bytes)

One month out. Physically I have worked my way into pretty good shape. Not my best shape ever but pretty damn good.

My resting heart rate is around 48. At my age I think it’s almost optimum. I had it down to 40* once at 30 and 44 at 35, so I will consider 48 to be fine.

My body fat is around 9%. This isn’t particularly low for me but I don’t want to go much lower**. I figure I will need some extra. If I got it to 6%, which is where I am to climb well, then I will have to eat perfectly on the monster days or bonk—and realistically, I don’t think that will happen. Too much time away from any support. I also can’t count on support everywhere I would like it because it’s all volunteer and my friends—for the most part—have jobs. The stage I am worried about enough to pack on an extra 2% is the peaks. It looks as though I will have no support for the last third, which is also the toughest. But to have support would require my team to drive for two hours and then run 3.6 miles to Icehouse Saddle, so I’m thinking that this will all be about what I can carry.

My weight is 180 or just a little below. This is 20lbs higher than my best climbing weight but my legs have gotten bigger again with all the running and cycling. To get to 160 (to climb better—weight is all-important) I once went on a 1,200-calorie a day diet where I cycled a ton to try and catabolize the muscle in my legs. In 8 weeks I lost two inches in my thighs and 15 pounds. I was able to stay around this weight for about 7 years while I was climbing hard. As soon as I started eating normal and doing leg sports again I shot right back up.

I will try and start eating for the challenge and shed any fat or weight that I don’t deem necessary. I hope to be at 177 and 8-9% on my start date of Oct 13. Then if I drop 2% during the Yosemite and peak day I will be lighter for the hard climbing—the only day where a pound or two might matter. I will then eat like crazy to maintain. This planned fluctuation may be crazy but I have no example of this type of training to work from since no one has done anything like this before. Stage cycle races are similar but they have team doctors and nutritionists to make sure they are getting the proper nutrients. Man, that would seem like cheating, and would cut my prep time—and anxiety—in half!

Eating—Jesus! Have I mentioned how important this is going to be? I know a bit about nutrition but just hope I can keep organized and clear-headed enough to eat right, otherwise I haven’t a chance.


* I think a doctor in high school once said that my heart rate was 26 but I had no idea what he was talking about. All I remember was that he took it once, looked perplexed, took it again and said to me, "You do run a lot, I hope." The lowest I’ve ever counted was 36, while I was running in college. And it gets lower while breath holding in a pool but that doesn’t count because it’s not a normal resting heart rate, it’s induced through meditation.

**  I’ve been as low as around 3%. This was disastrous, really. I didn’t have enough fat to keep my skin oily, my defense mechanisms were nil. I was cold—even when it was 75—and sick all the time. I could climb well when I wasn’t injured but I always seemed to have a nagging tendon injury. I was super-ripped, but in more of a concentration camp way than a fitness way. My mother thought I looked awful but I was like "but Mom, I have no body fat. I’m super fit." She was right, I was not healthy fit.

Previous      Next     Birthday Challenge Home



Birthday Challenge
Santa Barbara, CA
To report a technical problem with this website: