Keep on Keeping On

bike

18 months later we find our hero still riding at least twice a week and hitting the gym at least once a week. Usually more on both counts, but not always. We also find the the diet has been relatively consistent, both for quality and quantity (except that night last week at Espo’s, but we are chalking that up to whatever). Alcohol consumption is also down from a few months ago.

The best I have seen on the scale is 212.5. I was able to maintain that for a solid 2 weeks before it started creeping back again. I have been at 218 now for at least 6 months, rarely wavering more than 2lbs in either direction. With the added trips to the gym, I’m really starting to see some good results that make me proud of what I am accomplishing.

I started at 300 and couldn’t take a solid walk around the block without huffing and puffing and getting drenched in sweat. Now, I can ride for 20 miles without a break (I have done 32 with a break) and have even managed to start working on one of my original goals of running a 10 minute mile, having gotten back to the 13 minute mark on the tread mill.

I’m finally starting to realize that I’m no longer a fat guy. All of my XXL shirts and other ill-fitting pieces of clothing have been donated and I have been upgrading my closest. Shirts are now size large or XL, depending on if they are cut wide enough for my shoulders. pants are at a 36 waist and a belt is needed, down from a 40-42.

Just need to keep these things in mind, focus on the big picture. I’ve been slacking in that department lately. Just need to keep on keepin’ on.

Bike Notes and Vacation

Thoughts I have while riding my bike.

  1. You need to expect a headwind when riding. From all directions.
  2. Cyclists on the canal paths don’t wave unless they aren’t wearing gear that costs more than your bike.
  3. If it doesn’t hurt, just a little, you are in the wrong gear.
  4. If there are children, animals or old people on the path in front of you, at the last minute they will move to be directly in your path. Plan accordingly.
  5. You will never bring enough water. Plan accordingly.
  6. People in cars are idiots and don’t know how to deal with bicycles.
  7. It’s ok to stop.

I’m a goal missing fool lately. Was hoping to see 210 on the scale by the end of May. Missed it. Adjusted to make that weight by my birthday, missed that as well. Wanted to ride my age by my birthday, I’m still pushing for that to be completed by the end of the month, even if it’s in KM instead of miles.

Again, I am reminded how much I am affected when I skip my rides or exercise. Taking vacation (sitting by the pool, drinking cocktails, eating good food, not exercising) was what I really needed mentally, but it did affect me physically. I’m back on track and should be clocking just over 50 miles on the bike this week. Next week I’m back at the gym.

What’s Next?

Comparing this year to last year for the same time period would be like comparing shiny, crispy, sweet red apples to rusty razor blades. Yea, last year was bad. This year has been so much better than last that even the above description isn’t strong enough. Besides my shitty job, everything has been awesome.

My fitness goals have been staying in check. I’m stuck on a plateau of sorts right now. My fitness has been increasing, but my weight loss has been at a stand still for the past month. I know it’s muscle weight, but still. I’m sticking with it and actually think this might be about the right place for me, especially if I can get my weight training back on track.

All of that. But when I’m out on a walk after dinner without a single thought in my head, I’m suddenly struck with the title of this post.

I don’t know what’s next.

I mean, there is tomorrow and next week and the MINI event and everything going along as it does. But I need change. I have already had some big changes this year, but it some how does not feel like enough. Personally, I’m good. Professionally I’m bored. I’m aggravated. I’m tired. I don’t know what I need to do. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I’m sending resumes out, not getting replies back, so I’m stuck where I’m at.

And that’s a bad place for me to be.

It’s been 2 years since I decided to take on this job. I don’t feel like I’m any better at the job, the job itself hasn’t improved in any way. In fact, it’s gotten worse. I really need to make a change.

I just don’t know how.

The Best Laid Plans

My plan for this week was to jump on the bike, #rideeveryday, hit the gym once or twice. That plan failed, miserably. Instead of doing those things, I ended up having to spend the week mostly in bed due to a bout of something that gave me fever for a few days, tight chest for a few days and wicked cough and sneezing fits for a few days.

Today I will ride. I’m far from 100%, but I will ride.

For Refernce

And, for why I’m not switching to a fancy pedal/shoe system anytime soon.

How to Use Clipless Pedals

Using a clipless pedal system takes some practice. To disengage your shoe from the pedal, simply twist your foot, starting by pressing or turning your heel outward, away from the bike. At a certain point, the clip system disengages and your foot releases from the pedal. This motion is simple to learn, but it must be practiced to develop muscle memory and confidence in the process.

A note of caution: While learning how to use clipless pedals, find a level, grassy field for practice. You may fall a time or two while learning, and soft ground can help prevent injuries. Optionally, you can practice clipping in/out while on a bike trainer or by having a friend hold your handlebars.

Tip: Develop the proper muscle memory by getting in and out of each pedal 50 to 60 times. With this number of repetitions, your legs will begin to be trained to do the right thing without you having to think about it.

I went a few rounds with the boys on Instagram about pedals. They were insisting that I try them and that they are safe.

  1. If my foot is anchored to the pedal, and I don’t disengage quickly enough, I will have a crash.
  2. I do not want to have a crash.
  3. This combination costs $100 more. I’m a cheapskate.
  4. I’m only riding for exercise, not riding any races.
  5. I do not want to have a crash*.
  • This is important, hence the reason it is listed twice.

Back to #RideEveryDay

Now that I have a bike that is new and reliable and fast, time to get back on track, time to Ride. Every. Day.

Bike came home on Wednesday. Rode 4 miles around the hood, 12 miles the next day, 7 miles (late) the next, 22 miles yesterday, 5 today.

Ride. Every. Day.

I can tell that I haven’t been riding regularly. I’m sore, my chest hurts from the extra O2 I’ve been taking in and my body is purging every sin that I have taken part in over the past 4-6 weeks. All that said, I would ride right now if I knew it wouldn’t affect me tomorrow.

Tomorrow is Monday and kicks off my getting back on track and refocusing on my goals. My goal of 20* by the end of March will be a tough get (at 214lbs this morning). Not impossible, but without some serious dieting, I don’t think it’s going to happen. Besides, I’m not a diet, remember?. This week will be ride and gym until Friday, ride on Saturday and Sunday. New goal, by the end of March, will also including covering no less than 30 miles on the bike. I’d like to ride my age by June (still), and think that is completely obtainable.