Welcome to my July 2011 Cycling and Weight Loss Report!

This is the first of a series of reports I’ll be posting each month summarizing my weight loss and cycling progress. I want to keep you updated on how the pounds are coming off, highlight things that are working for me both on and off the bike, and share whatever else may be of importance. Honestly, I don’t know why I haven’t started this before now.

Tale of the Scale

Almost exactly a month ago I made a July Weight Loss Goals post where I told you I wanted to see the 250s on the scale or the low 260s at a minimum. I didn’t come close to seeing the 250s. Or the low 260s. I may have been a little over ambitious.

On July 1st I weighed 273.5, hit a low weight for the month of 268 on July 16th (probably due to water loss from a hard ride) and finished the month at 269 on July 31st. Overall that’s a total weight loss of 4.5 pounds for the month. That’s a loss of about 1.13 pounds per week. A weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week is considered healthy so I think I did pretty good.

Hitting that 269 on July 31st couldn’t have made me feel better.

On the Bike

I have to admit that my mileage as of late has been pretty disappointing. For some reason I’ve battled motivation early in the morning. I haven’t had a problem with that before but wonder if it may be due to not getting enough sleep. I have a bad habit of staying up until 10 or 11 at night, then reading for an hour or so. When the alarm goes off at 5 AM my body says no. When I force myself to go to bed at 9, read some, and lights out by 10 then I’m usually good. Gotta work on that.

My total mileage for July 2011 was 260. Not bad but looking back at the days I didn’t ride I know it could have been more. My longest ride of the month was a little over 25 miles on one of my Saturday shop rides.

2011 July Mileage

2011 Cycling Mileage

Last Saturday, July 30th, was my best group ride of the year by far. On these group rides I try to hang with the fast group as long as I can and then join the slower group after getting dropped. The longest I had been able to stay with the fast group was about 13 miles and never to the sprint. Last Saturday was different.

The group kept the pace at a respectable speed (23 mph) for the first 12-13 miles which allowed me to conserve some energy and stay with them. I was sitting fourth wheel in the paceline when a small gap opened up in front of me and a rider went around me. I thought this might be the break getting ready for the sprint so I grabbed the wheel of the rider going around me and hung on. The pace quickly picked up to 26 mph and before I knew it there was five of us off the front with me sitting fifth wheel behind the shop manager (the guy who went around me). The speed gradually picked up to 28 mph before riders 2, 3, and 4 started to pull out for the sprint. I followed the shop manager trying to stay on his wheel. By this time I’m out of the saddle and trying hard to keep his wheel. I look down at my computer and it’s registering 30.6 mph and about to explode. I couldn’t maintain that pace so I had to sit up.

It felt great to stay with the group that far, see the break, grab a wheel to make it into the break, and be in the sprint. While I couldn’t maintain that 30+ mph pace I knew that I was making significant progress in my riding. The first time I rode with this group I got dropped at mile 8.

Saw a Bike Race Live

My neighbor rides and he told me about a summer criterium series put on by one of the local clubs. I had no idea such a series existed here locally. Early in July I drove to the race site (only about 3 miles from my house) to check it out. It was a 1 mile circuit with two races – a ‘B’ Category for Cat 4/5 Men, Women, and Juniors; and a ‘A’ Category for Cat 1/2/3. There weren’t a lot of riders but I was impressed by the whole thing. The ‘B’ race was fast and had a wide range of riders in terms of skill and performance. It was obvious who the strongest rider was and he wound up winning many of the primes and the overall.

The ‘A’ race was very fast and had a couple of riders from different teams there (some local and some not). Even with just two of three people to a team there was still some tactics being played out and it was great to watch. There was one girl who rode in the ‘A’ race and she placed 5th overall.

Two weeks later I took my youngest daughter with me to watch the races again. This time there was a very young rider in the ‘B’ race and we were cheering him as he went by each time. About 20 minutes into the race there was a bad crash right in front of us and it involved the young rider. I don’t know the exact cause but three riders ended up hitting the pavement with one being very, very hard. The kid ended up fine but the rider who hit hard had some serious road rash afterwards. Here’s a link (can’t post the pic due to copyright) to a picture of the crash. Check out the guy in the US flag jersey. He’s the one who hit hard. Amazing that he didn’t break anything after watching him bounce off the ground.

http://photos.jacksonville.com/mycapture/enlarge.asp?image=36962677&event=1292586&CategoryID=57820

Like I said, that was my first live race experience and thought it was cool. I could see myself trying it once I lose some of this tonnage and get in better shape. In the meantime, I may try and volunteer at a race or two.

Improvements and Goals in August

After reflecting back on July I noticed some things I could do to improve both on and off the bike. They are:

  • Go to bed sooner. I mentioned this earlier and think doing so will help with my motivation issue.
  • Refine the eating plan. I’ve made serious headway in controlling what I eat but know I can do more.
  • Ride more. There’s no reason I shouldn’t be getting 100 miles a week. I just need to do it!

My goals for August 2011:

  • Achieve a weight of 264. If I can lose 1 pound a week that should be an achievable goal.
  • Start a core exercise plan. I keep putting this off but know I need to do it.
  • Complete the Hot on Fire – 200 miles in August Dailymile Challenge.

There you have it. I’d be interested in hearing any feedback you might have regarding my goals. I’d really like to hear about your July and what you have planned for August. Don’t be shy and tell me, and my other readers, below in the comments.