New Year, New Goals

As a general rule, I don’t like New Year’s resolutions. Most of them are made ‘on the fly’ and aren’t achievable. This won’t be a resolutions post. Instead, I want to talk some of my cycling goals this year. I’ve spent some time the last month thinking about what I want to do and it was time I made it public. But first, lets talk about what happened last year. 2010 Review Last year I rode a total of 847.89 miles. I think that’s an OK number but it’s nothing to brag about. When you look at the whole picture (below) it could have been much more. There were five months that I didn’t ride at all. In Nov-Dec 2010 I only rode 59 miles. So, technically, I only rode five months last year. So pathetic. No excuses though. It’s my own fault. As a result, I haven’t lost much weight either. Again, my own fault. I think one of the big problems with my riding last year is that I rode with no plan or goals. With no goals I rode aimlessly. Basically, the same mileage each day. No intervals and no long Saturday morning rides. I did manage one group ride though which was a big plus and pretty cool. Overall though, my cycling really wasn’t that much to brag about. I want to change that in 2011. In a big way. 2011 Goals For 2011, I know I want to ride more. Lots more. I also want to complete my first century ride (something I attempted in 2009 but couldn’t ride in due to a broken...

Lessons We Can Learn From The Rescue Of The Chilean Miners

The last couple of days I’ve been watching the dramatic rescue of the 33 Chilean miners. I’ve kept in touch with the story off-and-on since they became trapped but with their rescue over the last two days I’ve kept close tabs as they were pulled to the surface. It’s a great ending to what could have become a tragic story. It required a herculean effort by hundreds of people to pull those miners to safety. I couldn’t help but notice how the entire ordeal seemed to pull the country of Chile together and captivate the world. As I watched the first miner, Florencio Avalos, being pulled to the surface late Tuesday night and the last rescuer, Manuel Gonzalez, stepping into the Phoenix Capsule to make the journey up last night, I couldn’t help but think about what it took for those 33 men, the rescuers, and the country of Chile to make it through the entire ordeal. Here’s what I think it required: Teamwork. There were two distinct teams in the rescue – the trapped miners and the rescuers on the surface. In the mine the 33 miners relied on each other in order to survive. They had to work together in order to live in inhospitable conditions while at the same time keeping their sanity. The rescuers had to work as a team in order to pull off one of the most, if not the most, difficult rescue ever attempted. They brought in expert American drillers, consulted with NASA, developed a plan, and executed it flawlessly. Neither of those groups could have accomplished what they did without teamwork....

That Blueberry Muffin Isn’t Helping You Lose Weight

I haven’t ridden in a week now due to a couple of things. First, I was out of town last weekend with the family. Second, my wife has been out of town all this week and I’ve had to play Mr. Mom. That left me with no real opportunity to ride and still feel comfortable that the kids were getting off to school OK and all that stuff. Plus I’ve been riding pretty solid for two months now and thought some time off the bike wouldn’t be too bad. Taking the time off has forced me to do some thinking about losing weight, getting fit, and lifestyle in general. Back in August I wrote an article titled Do You Have A Training Mindset? In it I talked about the word ‘training’ and how it can not only apply to elite athletes training for sporting events but also to those of us trying to lose weight and get in better shape. To summarize, I said it takes a 24/7 commitment and training mindset in order to achieve the weight loss and fitness goals we’re after. This week I had some time to think back to that article and see how well I’ve done in making a 24/7 commitment to training. I won’t say that I’ve failed but I can certainly improve. I would imagine that most of us have room for improvement. Identifying Areas of Improvement My areas of improvement need to be in diet (which I’ve make good improvement in already), more exercise, and sleep. I consciously know I need to continue improving in those three areas but I...

Mother Nature Is My Gym

Today, while reading a post over at 265andFalling about how he joined a gym, I made the following comment: Mother nature is my gym because that’s where I do my cycling. The ‘Mother Nature Is My Gym’ part really stood out so I sent that out via Twitter. It was nice to see several re-tweets of it and how a few folks liked it. After seeing that, and thinking about it some more, I liked it even more. Why Mother Nature is My Gym The fact that I don’t like being trapped inside a gym is what drove me to say that. I’m not self-conscious about working out in front of people (although I may be self-conscious about riding with them) but working out in a place with four walls, a roof, nasty bathrooms, a lingering stench, preening weight lifting behemoths, and scantily clad chicks isn’t my thing. Alright, scantily clad chicks would be OK. So, why is mother nature my gym? I like the smell of fresh air. I like the crispness of a cool morning. I like to hear the birds singing. I like to see the city come to life as I ride. I like to listen to my tires as they roll over the asphalt. I like to feel the sun on my body. I like to see things in their natural state. I like seeing animals as I ride. I like to see new things. I like to look at beautifully manicured lawns. I like cycling with the moon and stars overhead. I like the surprises a ride in mother nature can give. Mother...

Words: The Elixir of Motivation

Today, while riding the elevator up to the 9th floor in the building I work in, I got into a conversation with a lady who works on the same floor as I do. It went like this: Her: Have you lost some weight? Do I really need to say anything more than that? I think not but I’ll finish the story anyway. Me: I’ve been trying. Her: Well, I can tell. Especially in your face. By now we’re at about the 5th floor but my spirits are already on 16. Me: Thanks. Her: What are you doing? Me: I’m riding a bike 10 miles before I come to work each day and longer on Saturdays. Her: (insert totally shocked face) What?! Are you serious? Me: Oh yeah. And we continue talking about my riding, how to start out slow and then build up endurance/time in the saddle, and so on. It was a great conversation and an even better way to start the day. All of us have our ups and down associated with trying to lose weight, or get in better shape, but it’s comments like my co-workers that tell us that what we’re doing is making a difference. A few simple words like hers can have the following effects: They can lift our spirits. On our weight loss journey all of us have good days and bad days. Sometimes more of the later. A simple comment from a co-worker, family member, or friend can do wonders for our attitude and spirit. They can re-energize us. Getting into the shape we want to get into can put a...

Finding Measurable Improvement In Your Cycling

Do you find yourself struggling to get better on the bike? Ever wonder if you’re making any progress at all? I do and I bet others do as well. That’s why I keep a log of my training. It isn’t detailed, or even linked to a GPS enabled cyclocomputer, but it tells me what I need to know about my riding and if I’m making any progress. For instance, I went back and looked at my rides over the past three weeks to see how my average speed was doing. I felt like I was riding faster but I wanted to see if there was any truth to my ‘feelings’. I went back through three weeks of data and found the following: Average Speed Three Weeks Ago – 13.475 mph Average Speed Two Weeks Ago – 13.775 mph Average Speed 1 week ago – 13.975 mph Those aren’t huge numbers, only a .5 mph increase, but considering my level of fitness and weight, they tell me that I’m improving. Do I feel like some of that improvement Is due to my ongoing Fit with Bicycle Lab? Yes, but I think part of it is due to my legs coming back as well. Regardless, I wouldn’t have been able to look at this data if I wasn’t logging my rides. Seeing empirical data showing progress is important because I don’t feel like I’m making much progress on the bike. Granted, I’ve only been riding again for a month but I feel like my gains are coming very, very slowly and I’m not making headway on my weight. At all. Not...
Page 3 of 612345...Last »