January 28, 2010 Weekly Wrap Up

Ok folks, time for a weekly wrapup. I’ve been doing good in my riding this week and only took one day (Thursday) off and that’s because I was super tired. Work has been crazy (it gets that way at the end of the month) and I had stayed up too late on Wednesday. Something had to give. I can still easily make my 5.5 hour riding goal as I’ve ridden every other day this week and plan on a 1.5 hour ride tomorrow. My ride on Wednesday was super tough. The temp was an awesome 58F but the wind was crazy out of the West-Southwest. It wasn’t blowing too hard when I started out but by the time I headed back home it was gusting to 20 mph or more. The last 20 minutes of my morning route has me headed west with a small section pointing me to the Southwest. When I hit that section on Wednesday it was like hitting a brick wall. I struggled to maintain 11 mph and it destroyed me legs and I paid for it all day. This mornings ride was better with a small breeze but temps had dropped back down into the high 30s and low 40s. So I was all bundled up again this morning and stayed pretty warm. Venus was out with her slice of cheese and I only saw one other lady who was running with her dog. Right now I’m up to 51 miles for the week (148 for the month) and I think that’s a good number for where I’m at physically. If the last two...

I Thought My Butt Was Tougher

Last night my youngest daughter had an audition at one of the local magnet schools that specializes in the arts. She was more than ready to get it over with as she had been practing a lot. We had to be there no later than 6 PM so we arrived early (“If you can’t be on time, be early” is my motto) and I’m glad we did. There must have been 500 kids there auditioning for spots in programs like visual arts, band, voice, creative writing, and dance. The theater was jammed with kids and parents. Little did I know that I would be pushed to my physical limits. The school officials promptly called the kids back to the testing rooms at 6 PM. Parents weren’t allowed to leave the theater. It was filled to capacity with parents, siblings of kids auditioning, and it was hot. I told my wife I would stay and bring our daughter home so she could head home to do stuff she needed to do. That may have been an error in judgement. There was tiered seating along the walls but it was all full with parents who had gotten there real early. All that was left was the folding chairs that were setup in rows on the floor. Without much choice, I promptly sat down a few minutes after 6 and settled in for what would hopefully be a short wait. That was wishful thinking. Saddle Comfort Does Not Equal Folding Chair Comfort As cyclists, we have to get out butts conditioned to being in the saddle. Things like bike fit, chamois pads,...

Feels Good To Ride Again

Saturday marked the completion of the first week of Cycling for Optimal Weight – a Mission. As you know, I’ve been off the bike for what might as well have been about two months after only riding for 41 miles in Nov and Dec 2010. Following my goals post a couple of weeks ago I started on the Cycling for Optimal Weight plan authored by Darryl at Loving the Bike and Kelli of Apex Nutriton. Last week saw me do more riding in one week than I have since Sep 6-12, 2010 and it felt great. Last Week’s Goals and Results Last weeks goal was to get 5.5 hours of riding in for the week. I didn’t start until Tuesday morning and missed riding on Wednesday but managed to get 61 miles on the bike and 2 miles of walking last week. That’s a total of 63 miles for the week. I haven’t had that many total weekly miles since the last week of August 2010. I fell short of my 5.5 hours of riding but managed to get 5.4 hours of total excercise time in. That includes 4h:34m of riding and a :50m walk the day I missed riding. I’ll take those numbers for my first week being ‘back’. I’m not ready to post about the nutrition side just yet as I’m still adjusting to the meal plans Kelli has subscribed. I have started the supplementation plan she wanted me on and I’ve experienced no issues with that so far. I’ve even gotten used to the taste of apple cider vinegar. Saturday’s Ride I rode the longest I...

Prevent the Training Plan Derail

I’m well into my mision of Cycling for Optimal Weight. The last few days I’ve been reading the information Kelli sent back to me including my health assessment, recommended supplementation and eating plans. As she said in an email to me, it’s a lot to ‘digest’ all at once. Once I have a handle on the supplements and meals I’ll do more detailed posts on those areas of the plan. I’m really excited about this if you can’t tell. It never fails that when you start a new diet, training plan, or resolution that you’re bound to have something try and derail your progress and motivation right away. It happened to me yesterday. I’m supposed to get 5.5 hours in on the bike this week and was on track to do that after my ride on Tuesday morning. All I needed to do was ride for my hour each morning from Tuesday-Friday and then 1.5 hours on Saturday morning. Not so fast my friend. The Inevitable Derail Wednesday morning I woke up naturally at 4:50 AM to the sounds of the neighborhood through my open window. No, it wasn’t the birds chirping, or a dog barking, it was the garbage truck picking up the recycling bin. And then the truck goes in reverse. Beep, Beep, Beep. Need I remind you that it’s 4:50 AM? I think you get the picture. As I lay there listening to the sweet sounds of the garbage truck, I heard something else. The pitter-patter of rain and the flow of water in the rain gutter outside my window. The rain was actually a relaxing...

Cycling for Optimal Weight – A Mission

A few weeks ago, Darryl over at Lovingthebike.com and Kelli of Apex Nutriton, unveiled a new training program called Cycling for Optimal Weight. Darryl and Kelli released a mini-ebook that covers both the cycling and nutrition sides of getting fit and healthy with the sport of cycling. The ebook (which is totally free by the way) is filled with some great tips and I love the section at the end where they include sample eating plans tailored to when you are riding – morning, mid-day or in the evneing. I decided to take them up on their offer to track my progress and have already filled out my assessment, taken my starting measurements (rope and choke), and snapped a couple of profile photos. The measurements and photos were an eye opening experience but I kinda had an idea of how bad they would be. As I work with Darryl and Kelli to get this weight off, I’ll keep you informed of my progress here on Biking To Live. I’ll do my best to relay to you what I’m going through, the riding I’m doing, and what I’m eating. I believe I’m going to learn a lot and it’ll be the perfect opportunity to pass that info along to you, my readers, as you work to improve your health with cycling. Why did I decide to try their plan? Well, there are a few reasons: Darryl is a great person. I’ve come to know him personally over the last six to eight months and the encouragement he’s shown me has been awesome. I couldn’t imagine working with another person to...

Ruts, Importance and Relevance

Before I get into today’s blog post, I wanted to tell you about my ride this morning. I knew it was going to be cold (in the twenties) but I knew I wanted to ride. I needed to ride. My body needed to be forced to work. The alarm went off at 5 AM and a quick look at my phone confirmed that the temp was 28F with windchill down to 19F. I hopped out of bed and went about the task of getting kitted up. Tights. Long sleeve thermal baselayer. Bibs. Long sleeve jersey. Socks. Shoes with shoe covers. Balaclava. Full-fingered gloves. Helmet. Jacket. I was ready to roll. I can’t describe to you how crisp the air is on these cold, clear winter mornings. Venus looked like somebody from the heavens was shining a flashlight at me. The stars looked like they were held in suspended animation between the earth and the sky. Just awesome. Rolling out of our condo complex the temp didn’t feel too bad. As I made my way over towards the University of North Florida I began to catch a headwind and I started to feel the effects of the cold. My fingers began to ache some, my legs and feet (even with shoe covers) began to get cold. I dealt with it and when I was able to get the wind on my back everything went back to normal. If you can call riding in 28F weather normal. I opted to forgo my second loop of the campus and head back home. I was pretty slow on this ride and am pretty...

I’m Riding the Jax Tour de Cure

I mentioned this the other day in my New Year, New Goals post (it’s goal #2). Why the Tour de Cure? I’m glad you asked. Why the Tour de Cure? For those of you that don’t know, the Tour de Cure is a series of fundraising cycling events held in 43 states nationwide to benefit the American Diabetes Association (ADA). It’s a ride, not a race, with events for every rider. Noob to seasoned veteran. The funds raised by the Tour de Cure go to support the mission of the ADA. From the Tour de Cure website: Last year, more than 50,000 cyclists in 80 Tour events raised nearly $17 million to support the mission of the ADA: to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. Personally, I’m riding the Tour de Cure and raising money for the ADA because diabetes has impacted both mine and my wife’s families. My mother, sister, and an uncle all have Type 2. My wife has several family members on her side of the family that are impacted by this disease. With diabetes impacting our family so much, I thought riding to raise money to support the ADA would be a good thing to do. And it’ll be good for me. What this will do for me There are several benefits to riding the Tour de Cure. They are: I’m doing a good thing. Raising money for a great cause is always good. It helps me get into better shape. Signing up for this ride is going to force me to ride my bike. I’m...

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...

The Cyclists Christmas List – 2010 Edition

I’ve put this post off because I keep telling my wife that I don’t want or need anything for Christmas. With less than two weeks until Santa comes, she’s getting a little impatient with me and gives me “The Look” when I tell her I don’t want anything. Not the Lance Armstrong to Jan Ullrich ‘I’m about to drop you on Alpe d’huez look’ but the squinty-eyed ‘You’re really getting on my nerves look’. Husbands know ‘The Look’ I’m referring to. I bet that look could intimidate both Lance Armstrong and Jan Ullrich. Maybe not Chuck Norris though. So, what do cyclists everywhere want for Christmas? I have no idea. I’m not Santa Claus. I’m a cyclist though and I know what I want for Christmas so, by the Associative Laws, you could say I do know what cyclists want for Christmas. Or not. It would depend on how loosely you apply said laws. FWIW, here’s a breakdown of some cool stuff a cyclist (me) would like for Christmas. Explaining the breakdown. In our house each year we have the kids make a list of things they would like broken down into Needs, Wants, and Wishes. It gets them to really think about the things they ask for and how important they are. You should try it with your kids someday. You’ll be surprised at what they say. Need The items here in the Need category are just that. Items we, as cyclists, need all the time. Without these items our riding would become harder to do or make us unprepared to ride. Several of these things would make...

No Twitter, No Facebook, and No Blogging

The move to Daylight Savings Time occurred first. Instead of being able to ride in the morning, when it was still getting light outside near the end of my rides, setting the clocks back an hour turned my morning ride into an adventure into pitch black. I don’t like riding when its dark for the entire length of my ride. I’m not a vampire. Then I got sick and stayed sick, off-and-on, for several weeks. It was hard to get over. And then I got into a serious funk with my online activities. By online activities I mean time spent on Twitter, time on Facebook, time spent reading other peoples blogs, and, sadly, the time I spent on this blog. I had become seriously disgruntled with blogging, keeping up with the Twitter time line, and sifting through Google Reader. I needed a break and took one. I didn’t open Hootsuite for a couple of weeks. I try to keep tabs on Twitter while at work but my workload was getting to the point where it wasn’t possible. And it still is. Honestly, I don’t see how people on there can send out Tweets all day long and get anything else accomplished. They must have lots of free time on their hands. I stopped looking at Google Reader. I have 95 feeds I subscribe to (66 cycling or fitness related, 9 financial related, and 20 others). I can see my feed count on iGoogle and it was well over 1000 unread articles before I looked at some cycling feeds yesterday. Every once in a while a title would catch my...
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