I am honored to present a Guest blog by Randy Steuve, a regular customer of the Farmington, NM, Great Harvest Bread Co. and our first customer guest blogger.
Randy is the Director of Pharmacy at Pagosa Springs Medical Center and an avid triathlete. He has been practicing hospital pharmacy for over 15 years and has been racing triathlons for nearly 10 years. After getting his start in shorter distance triathlons, Randy progressed to the full ironman distance in 2006. He has competed in over 50 triathlons including 8 Ironman triathlons. He recently raced in Ironman St. George where he qualified for his third Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.
Food is fuel. That’s the view I take of my daily bread. Sure, I will succumb to the occasional less-than-healthy treat, but by and large, I’m a pretty healthy eater. I train and race triathlons year round, so I eat a lot of food. Frankly, I don’t have time to eat junk. The closest thing to junk that I eat on a regular basis is during a race. Gels and processed energy bars are ubiquitous with a triathlon. Usually, I don’t mind what’s in them as long as it’s simple calories that my body can absorb quickly, and my stomach can tolerate.
There are limits though...and that limit for me is an IronMan® race. I can only tolerate so many hours of gels and bars. Thankfully, the IronMan® folks provide a nifty little thing called a “Special Needs Bag”. You can put whatever you want in these bags, and the race organizers will have them waiting for you at the halfway points on the bike and run courses. I’ve put a variety of things in these bags: spare tire, CO2 cartridges, socks, food, etc.). I rarely need any of it with one exception. I always include an almond butter and jelly sandwich on Nine Grain bread in my Special Needs Bags, and I always eat them. More importantly, I always look forward to them.
In the midst of an IronMan®, I tend to lose sight of the big picture. I’m an IronMan® two or three days out of the year...I’m just me every other day. I have a job to return to on Monday. I have a family that worries about me. I have friends and loved ones that care about me and whom I care about.
I think this special sandwich on this special day takes me out this selfish zone and reminds me of everything I have to be thankful for. Maybe it reminds me of how a sandwich made for me by my mom or girlfriend always tastes better than any sandwich I’ve ever made for myself. I guess it reminds me of all of these things, and that if I hustle a little bit, I’ll get to see them at the finish line just a little bit sooner.
To be sure, this sandwich is real food, and it’s nutritious, but it’s what it represents to me that makes it so special.