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.