Welcome to my Cycling and Weight Loss Report for August 2011. If you remember, I started these monthly posts last month (that makes this report #2) in order to update you on my progress as I use road cycling to win the battle of the bulge. It helps hold me accountable, provides inpspiration to those trying to lose weight, and gives you some insight into my weight loss and cycling goals, methods, failures, and successes. Here we go!

Tale of the Scale

My starting weight for this month was 269 pounds and I set a goal to lose four pounds in August. I fell way short of that goal. On August 31st I tipped the scales at 268.5. That’s a half-pound loss for August. Dissappointing? Yes.

For some reason, the first couple of weeks of August I was in a serious funk. I didn’t want to ride, slide on and off my eating plan, and was struggling with motivation. I knew I wasn’t holding up my end of the bargain but was having a hard time getting out of the rut I was in. I had fallen off the wagon. That’s when I exchanged some emails with Kelli, my nutritionist, and she gave me some great advice. Read about that advice here.

After that things improved but it was too late for me to make any signifiant gains (losses?) in the weight department. Lesson learned.

On the Bike

Like I said, the first couple of weeks in August I struggled on the bike too. The first week of August I rode a whopping 45 miles. The second week saw me get in a dismal 35 miles. That wasn’t going to cut it.

Again, after talking with Kelli, I turned my riding around for the month and I’m glad I did. I saw some significant gains on the bike in August. Such as:

  • Had my best group ride ever on 20-Aug with a 34 mile ride at a 19.8 mph pace. This involved getting dropped from the fast group, chasing them with another rider for about five miles, catching them, and saying on for another few miles before heading back to the shop. That was a great day for me.
  • I broke my 2000 mile goal for the year on 24-Aug.
  • I got 116 miles in the saddle the third week of August.
  • On 25-Aug I set a new personal best solo pace on my daily training ride at 16.9 mph. I set a new one on 31-Aug at 17 mph.
  • For the month of August I got in a total of 343 miles. My best month of the year!
BTL Cycling Mileage August 2011

Awesome miles for August!

So you can see that I enjoyed a lot of success on the bike in August. That group ride on 20-Aug made a significant change in how I ride. It told me that I had the stamina and strength to ride harder, I could stay with the fast group longer, and that everything I was doing was paying off. This translated into my weekday training rides where I ride solo. Knowing that I could ride harder I saw great changes in my daily rides that included being able to go at a harder pace for longer periods.

In a nutshell it was a huge motivation boost. And it’s awesome!

Things I Changed in August

This month saw me change a few things relating to my eating and riding. They were:

  1. I started to eat a meal that included pasta on Friday evening. This gives me some extra carbs in preparation for the Saturday morning group ride. I’ve been carefully watching my total carbohydrate intake and noticed about a month ago that I had ridden very well on Saturday morning following some extra carbs at dinner on Friday. I spoke with Kelli about it and we decided to go ahead with trying to repeat that event. It’s worked well so far.
  2. After every ride I’ve started to include whey protein isolate in my post-workout recovery. I plan on writing more about this in the near future but feel that it has helped me significantly in recovering from the harder solo weekday and weekend group rides.
  3. I lengthened my weekday rides to 20+ miles. I had been riding anywhere from 13-17 miles but knew I needed more mileage so I started extending them. It wasn’t hard and I feel better after getting the extra miles in. I’m currently targeting between 21 and 23 miles each morning before work.

September 2011 Goals

Just like last month, I’m going to set some new goals for this month. My goals for September are:

  • Achieve a weight of 264.5. Again, that’s a loss of 1 pound per week. I’ve just got to stick to the eating plan and continue to ride.
  • Ride 400 miles for the month. I don’t think I’ve ever ridden that many miles in a month and there’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to.
  • Complete the Patriots Memorial Ride. I signed up for this 50 mile ride today and it’s next Saturday. A few of us from the Saturday morning shop ride plan on doing it together.
  • Start core training. I still didn’t start this in August. Got. To. Get. It. Done.

New Annual Mileage Goal

I’ve been thinking about this since achieving my 2000 mile goal. I’ve still got plenty of riding left for the year so I need to make sure I challenge myself. With four months left I’m sitting at 2135 miles. I think I can get in an additional 1200 miles for a new toal of 3335. What do you guys think?

How did you do with your cycling or weight loss goals in August? Are you on track to meet your 2011 goals?