Although I ride practically every day for commuting and errands, I don't really do distance anymore. So today, I did a century I've done many times in the past with no prep whatsoever just to see what would happen.
First the bad news. I logged the slowest time ever for a century with less than 10K feet of climbing. I probably should have brought a prosthetic beard and belly just to complete the picture.
However, today may be the best I've ever felt at the finish. Because my legs were so weak, I couldn't pedal hard enough to stress my body. Normally, I can barely hold anything down and have to force myself to eat/drink. But I was able to eat anything I wanted all day. Eggs and sausage for breakfast. At mile 55, I ate two bowls of chilli, a tub of sour cream, a half cup of salsa, and a handful of cheese. At the rest stops, I was throwing down fruit, nuts and all kinds of good stuff. I can't say for sure that I didn't eat more than I burned today. Zero side effects of eating all that crap which BTW tasted great. And with the exception of my legs, I felt fantastic all day.
So despite the fact that my time sucked, this is the way I plan to ride in the future since it's way more fun. When you try to ride with the big boys, you inevitably spend most of the time staring at some guy's butt. This way, you actually get to smell the roses...