Monday, June 11, 2012

Another wasted weekend

The plan was for a good long ride, but things didn't go as planned.

Sleeping in turned out to be a better application of my time.

Despite not getting in the long rides, and taking a nice dinner-and-a-movie date with The Lovely Wife, I still hit my interim weight loss goals.  Not taking in the long ride, though, is going to present a challenge for the longer term goal of dropping a full 15 lbs for the month.

Nonetheless, I'm going to go back out there and hit it again this evening.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Another set in the books

Good ride yesterday.

Really good ride.

I took in 18 miles, to bring the total for the week to 35 (and a new top speed on flats of 25 mph!).  That brings the weekly mileage completion ration to 35%, the hours in the saddle ratio to 33%, and the week is 42% complete.  I'll likely not ride tonight (unless I get lucky and can squeeze out an hour), but I'll hopefully get in a ride tomorrow of a solid 15 to 20 miles.  That'll leave me with a good, long ride to do over the weekend of 40 miles or so.

Oh, and as a bonus, I've already dropped 30% of my goal weight for the month.  Sure, most of it's water weight, and that's fine.  The first 5 comes off quick.  The next 10 will be slightly more challenging.  And the 30 that follows that will be even more challenging.  But no sweat.  I can swing it.

The better news is that the heel is almost pain free, even with the added activity and exertion.  Cycling puts almost no strain on my Achilles tendon and there's hardly any impact to inflame the connection at the heel.  If this keeps up I should be in shape to tentatively start running again in the fall.  Plus, if the weight loss continues apace, I should be a leaner and trimmer runner--more so than I've been since picking it back up.

The real question won't be whether or not I can run, but whether or not I want to get off the bike and into the road flats.  The thought of it is just...  ugh.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Follow up

I got the ride in yesterday.  I made my way over to the picnic loop (and enjoyed every bit of the irony of sitting in traffic with a bike on the back of my car) and logged 17 miles.  As of today, with 28% of the week completed (Monday counts as the start and each day is roughly 14%), I've logged 17% of my mileage target and 17% of my time-in-saddle target.  Tonight I'll log another 15 miles at least in probably another hour in the saddle, which will will give me 32% mileage and time at the completion of 43% of the week.  If things continue on pace, it looks like I'll have hit 35% of my weight loss goal for the month by Sunday, too (no weekly targets on that).

Data driven results, baby.

I certainly like riding more than I like running.  Sure, there's a simplicity in running--just grab some shoes and something to keep your junk from bouncing too hard and you're out the door.  And biking is far more complex with the machinery and the gear and the maintenance and blah blah blah.  Running is cheaper (shoes [$100] and not much else) and biking is way, way, way more expensive (bike [>$300], shoes [>$75], pedals [>$50], helmet [>$50], bike maintenance [>$200/yr], glasses [>$75], padded shorts [$>$40]).  And there's that whole primal biology thing about running when the endorphins blow up and the eyes dilate and you salivate and the thought of catching that beast you've been chasing for the last hour or so....  or maybe that's just me.

But when the wind is whistling in your ear and you're flying at speeds that man was not designed to achieve and the only thing protecting you from the elements--the hard, unforgiving, abrasive element of concrete--is a thin film of lycra, there's just something beautifully dangerous about that.  It's a different kind of primal.

And to think just 2 months ago I was considering selling my mount.

Silly me.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The schedule is a challenge in and of itself

So, when you have a loving wife, and two beautiful children, all of whom you actually like, it's exceptionally difficult to get an hour of daylight to yourself to go out for a bike or run.

Well, it's hard for me, at least.

This weekend's ride didn't materialize.  
First, there was the construction meeting.  Then there was lunch with the extended nuclear family.  Then there was the obligatory socializing and nap time (I should have taken my bike to the meeting, then I could have gotten the ride after lunch).  Then it was back home to ready the house for the birthday party.
Then it was up early for lawn work before it got too hot.  Then it was watching the boys while the Lovely Wife went to the store for supplies.  Then it was more house cleaning before the big shindig.  Then there was the shindig.  Then there was cleanup and more obligatory socializing with some really great friends.

I know.  I have a pocket full of excuses.

But I didn't gain a single pound over the weekend.  I held steady, which is good enough.

Now, yesterday (Monday) was another set of issues entirely.  I didn't sleep on Sunday, so I was garbage all day yesterday.  I ached, and had a headache, and couldn't focus my sight (almost like a migraine, but I don't get those), and I was even a little nauseous a couple of times.  All in all, it was not a good day.  Compounded by the fact that I had to get my dry cleaning after 6, so no ride in the morning, no ride at lunch, and the possible time for a ride in the evening was consumed by a combo trip to the dry cleaner and grocery store.  Arriving home at 6:15, then baths for the boys, dinner, and next thing I know I don't have an hour of daylight left to get a ride in.  FML

But today I've planned it out differently.  I have my gear bag and bike at the car so I can snatch a quick hour ride during lunch (maybe 15 miles).  Failing that I'll knock off at about 4:30 and grab an hour then, getting home between 6 and 6:30 so I can grab the oldest and get to baseball practice.  It'll be tight (4:30 - 4:45, change and prep the bike; 4:45-5:45, ride like the wind!, 5:45 - 6:00 towel off and cool down, 6:00-6:20 drive home as fast as I effin' can, because 6:30 is baseball practice.  Ugh!)  Needless to say, if the ride doesn't happen at lunch, there's a VERY good chance that the ride doesn't happen at all.  

Maybe I drop off the boy and hit the road while he's at practice.  That doesn't seem quite right, though.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Converging forces

Ok, so there's several things going on:

1.  I can't run right now.  Well, I can, but I shouldn't because I need to let my foot heal properly.  And that means not stressing the Achilles tendon and, quite literally, staying off it as long as possible.
2.  I can't just sit around.  If I do, I turn in to a big fat fatty.  And that's not good.  So, I need to maintain some kind of fitness without straining the foot.
3.  We're building a house, so we're imposing some serious fiscal discipline.  The fiscal discipline leads into ...
4.  Dietary Discipline!  If I sit around and eat like I'm still being active, I turn into a big fat fatty.  If I eat responsibly I can maintain a decent weight.  If I get active AND eat responsibly, I can maintain fitness AND lose weight AND save money!!  It's a win, win, win situation.

And I like to win win win.

Needless to say, right now I'm hungry.  I'm damn hungry.

Fiscal discipline is actually pretty easy.  I do math, I do spreadsheets, I do budgets.  That stuff is easy for me and when I set the challenge up of $XX per day, I can meet that challenge.  Almost without fail and almost without effort.  That's how I roll.

However, the dietary discipline isn't quite so easy.  It's hard to do a spreadsheet for food.  It's hard to do math for food.  It's hard to do the things I'm good at when it comes to food.  I know, I know... count calories and fat grams and blah blah blah...  But that's not what I do.  I'm really REALLY not good at that.  I'm much better at food categories and types of food and foods that make fuel to make my body work better.  It's turns into a very organic process for me where I push my body to do something, then my body wants something in return.  Like I'll hammer out some hills, and then CRAVE bean burritos.  Or chicken salad.  Or spaghetti.  Or (yes, I know this is weird) lentil soup with peanut butter toast.  When I was deep in training awhile back I almost never ate a hamburger because I just didn't want burgers.  Or pizza.  Or a lot of other garbage.  

My body spoke and I listened.  It was as easy as that.

But I don't know how to direct that process, I just know how to listen and let it happen, or at least prompt it with rigorous physical activity.

So, with that said, here is a set of specific, tangible, trackable goals:

1.  100 miles per week on the bike.  That's a little more than 14 per day over 7 days.  Or 40 miles on the weekend and 15 miles for 4 of the other days.  Very doable, very modifiable to accommodate more miles.  At my latest paces, that ends up being about 1 hour on the bike 4 times a week and 3 hours on the bike once a weekend.  A very decent workout schedule.

2.  Drop 15 pounds this month (June).  I'd like to do about 40 - 45 lbs by the end of summer, and that'll get me to the middle range of what I should weight according to stupid government charts (180-ish).  Of course, I know that won't happen, but it's something to shoot for. I haven't seen a number on the scale below 195 in more than a decade and 2 years ago came as close as 199.  Of course, the last time I saw 195 on the scale I was biking slightly more than 100 miles a week.  So, there's that.  

Of course, the dietary discipline and the financial discipline will go hand in hand, because I can't go buying burgers every day.  For that matter, I can't go buying much food every day.  That shit adds up.  (5 days at work * $7 for lunch * 4 weeks = $150.  Throw in breakfast at $5 * 5 * 4 = $100 for a total food bill of $240.  And that buys mostly garbage.  Meanwhile 20 cans of soup are $50 and a couple dozen eggs to hard boil are $5.  Throw in a couple loafs of bread and the food bill is still way below $100.  See?  I do numbers good.)

Besides, I'm closer to 40 now than 35 and I need to bang this old frame back into something that approaches fighting shape.  That way when I slip the running shoes back on I won't have to haul so much ass in order to haul ass.