Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Lost Summer

The kids start school tomorrow.  Where did the summer go? 

The summer started out with Zach's bar mitzvah in June.  Year's in the making, our boy did us proud.  There was so much build up, including almost three weeks away from home traveling to and from Maryland, what followed was sure to be a let down.

We had plans to spend lots of time getting the most out of our passes for Six Flags and Hurricane Harbor, but the Texas heat was just too much.  Only a couple of sub 100 degree days since July 1 kept us home in the cool comfort of the air conditioned house.  (Anybody wanna swap electric bills?)

I'm disappointed that we didn't do more.  Where did the time go?

Summer is supposed to be peak riding season.  There should be a direct correlation between warm riding months with lots of miles on the bike and overall general fitness, and weight loss, too.  For me, I feel like I've been on a treadmill, though not literally.  Back and forth in the 260's for the most part:  I've been unable to break below of the 260's since we got to Texas.  I have good times, but any emotional change has been met with a break in activity or at least in healthy eating.  It's been very frustrating.

There are some positives.  Last week, I was traveling with a co worker who has gotten into fitness over the last six months or so.  We spent almost as much time talking about biking, running, activity, etc. as we did about work.  There is a definite kinship developing in a good way.  It was great to have those conversations and it most definitely helped ensure that my running shoes didn't just earn frequent flier miles.  They made it to the gym and the parking (for an impromptu boot camp -- from what I could remember from years ago.)  Since then, we've emailed about activity since.  It's been great to have another level of accountability.

Next Saturday is the Hotter 'N Hell 100 bike ride.  It's the culmination of the summer riding season.  Yesterday I rode 55 miles of hilly terrain.  Deb thought a heat-of-the-day ride would be in order for today, so who am I to argue.  I went out for what was supposed to be 25 miles of relatively flat and fast miles.  The result was something less.  Much less.  I knocked off just 21 miles and the pace was slower than yesterday's 55.  Despite the fact that I had yesterday's miles in my legs and the temps were pushing 110, I am still pretty bummed about the result.  Without a doubt, I'm considering this another kick in the pants that I need.

My plan for Saturday is to ride and, unlike last year, to finish 100 miles.

I've said it before, but it's all about the intake.  I know what I need to do.  Just got to put those feelings into action.  I did it before.

So, that's all for now.  Gotta go make sure the 8th and 6th grader's are asleep.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Black Eye

There you have it in all of it's splendor -- a tough bar fight, if I've ever been in one.  You should see the other guy!

Well, not exactly. 

Three weeks ago tomorrow, I was six miles into an evening ride with my group from the bike shop and a the concrete jumped up and wrestled me to the ground. 

Well, not exactly.

I rode right into an uneven pavement joint.  Three back in the group, I never saw it until it was too late.  Went down -- hard.  Surprisingly, concrete is pretty unforgiving.  I was sure my left shoulder or collar bone were broken. 

In addition to the six other riders along who stopped, one cardiologist and two nurses also stopped to help.  One nurse lived near by, went home to get her triage kit and came back to bandage me up.

The damage:  No broke bones!  The black eye you see, six inches of torn up elbow, jammed middle finger, a very sore shoulder, some rib pain, and a nasty hematoma on my hip.  (Best guess is that the middle knuckle went into my eyebrow, turning it purple.)  I knew I'd be okay when I started worrying about my bike ten minutes after the fall.  As for the bike: a bent front rim and torn bar tape.  All in all, could have been much worse!

As of today, I'm dealing with the shoulder and the hip.  Waiting for the MRI results to come in.  The hip will just take time.

I spent a week off of the bike, then took it slowly.  Back riding now.

Thanks to my old buddy Aaron for reminding me about this old blog.  Aaron is another formerly fat guy with an incredible weght loss journey.  Check out his blog by clicking his name above. 


Monday, February 28, 2011


I got a lot of good feedback from last week's post.  Enough so that I thought I'd do it again. 

It's been a good week in many ways.  Last week's travels took me back to Florida and my running shoes again came along for the ride.  Nothing new, except this time, they actually made it out of my hotel room.  I got in two runs on the trip, which is two more than the last few trips before that.  Nothing to get too excited about except that I could see immediate improvement.  Not quite ready for prime time, but at least I didn't forget how to put one foot in front of the other.

Saturday was the bike ride with the bike shop crew.  There would be a 25 mile group and 45 mile group.  I wanted long, but since I hadn't broken 30 since late fall, I wasn't sure I could do 45 (besides, last week's 45 came in at 50.)  I decided to go with the long group and hang on as long as I could.  I felt very good at 20 and 25 miles.  Though I wasn't leading the pack, I was in the pack.  Unlike other rides where I died off between 20 and 25, I held strong to 30, when the pack went up a short climb and left me in the dust.  I worked my way back to the shop and finished at 40.  Feeling stronger every ride.

With travels this week, I knew my number one challenge would be eating.  On Tuesday, I started to track my food and activity with Livestrong's My Plate.  I know that tracking food can provide huge benefits, but I've often avoided it for the exact reason that I should have done it:  I'll know what I don't want to know.

The tracker recommends for me to eat about 1800 calories per day to generate a two pound per week loss.  Add to that any calories generated from exercise -- for example, 3 miles at 5 mph burns almost 700 calories.  The total calorie budget for the day is then about 2500 calories. 

After plenty of exercise and healthy eating this past week, I find myself lighter by about 8 pounds.  That doesn't even include the mental plusses.  Getting back on track for a week isn't a long time, but it's been a long time in coming.  As I sit here gnawing through a grapefruit, I look forward to staying back on track.


Monday, February 21, 2011

A Thousand Words

No point in apologizing for almost three months without a post.  It is what it is. 

The last few months have followed a cycle:  activity, eat well, inactivity, eat poorly, repeat.  There have been at least five failed attempts to get back on track since January, even with more than 600 combined miles of biking and power cycling.  Today, things are back in the good, hopefully for more than until tomorrow.

Yesterday, I participated in my first true multi-sport event, the Texas Motor Speedway Duathlon.  (A duathlon is similar to a triathlon, just without the water.  It's a run/bike/run event.)  I was psyched to get back into an event after quite a hiatus.  I had been doing lots of biking, including an intensive power cycling class and I could begin to see the results.  On the running front, not so much.

A group of friends from the local bike shop all signed up for the event.  I knew the run would be an issue since I had done so very little actual running, but what's a couple of miles, twice.

A fine looking crew:  (l to r) Robert, Amy, Dave, Debbie, me and Josh
 I finished the first run in a reasonable time, 21 minutes and change.  Did some walking along the way, but not too much.

On to the bike.  I had ridden the course twice over the past week, both times with stiff 20 mph winds on the course.  The winds work great on one part of the course, but not so great on another.  Yesterday was the same.  Overall, I was pleased relative to my training rides, about a mile per hour faster.  Then off the bike.

Run number two was tough.  In fact, my calf's were screaming and I was relegated to walking the first half mile until I loosened up.  Then run-walk the rest of the way.  (Well, in all honesty, it was more walk-run than run-walk.) 

It's really nice that the multi-sport guru's have a category for fat folks -- for men it's Clydesdale's, women are Athena's.  Gives us a shot at some bling (I guess, maybe some day I'll find out.)  I finished 8th out of 14 Clyde's over 40 years old.  Not bad for a first effort.  Looking at the results, there is plenty of room for improvement on both the run and the bike. 

Then there are the pictures. 

One look at these and I'm instantly reminded of how far I've gone. . . the wrong way.  Have to wonder how that 15 pounds of carbon on rubber holds me upright.  Not a pretty sight, but it's the reality check that I need.  I'm certain now that the bike shop folks are friends, allowing me to grace their jersey in all of my blubbery splendor.  (Notice how I conveniently hid my lower 80% behind the studs and studettes in the group picture above?)  (Photo credits to Tori -- thanks for the reality check!)

Alas, I'm back to where I've been since I moved to Texas, needing to get back from where I came, size wise, at least.  These pictures came with a wagon and I'm officially on it. 

Debbie found another du just six weeks hence and I'm in.  It's longer -- 5k/19m/5k -- and I plan to run the runs and do them 15 pounds lighter than I am today.  I'll still be a Clyde, but a slightly smaller version.