Friday, May 29, 2009

Lost Again

I lost again this week—only 0.4 pounds, but progress is progress. I was glad to see the scale keep moving in the right direction. Yesterday was payday and I went to the grocery store and stocked up on a bunch of good stuff that will help keep me out of restaurants and away from junk. We had a really good WW meeting this morning about motivation, too, so I'm feeling good about the coming week. Hopefully, I can get some more posting done this weekend, since I still want to tell about my disastrous trip to Hanson Hills.

This weekend should be a good one. I'm supposed to meet some friends tonight, get in a trail ride tomorrow morning with a cookout and hike or other outdoor adventure with my family in Jackson, then a road ride with my mom on Sunday. Also, on Sunday my Dad is coming to fix our plumbing finally! I can't wait to take a normal shower again.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I'm No Boy Scout, Part 1

I was ill prepared for both of the rides I did this weekend. Fortunately, the first one turned out great despite my lack of preparation. If only the second one had ended so well.

We went to our cabin for the first time since Thanksgiving. It's so nice and relaxing to be there. It's also great hill training. My mom was staying with us and I wanted to make sure I got out for a road ride with her. She's training to do her first DALMAC this year, and I know how valuable that hill training was to my second DALMAC. There just aren't any hills in mid-Michigan you can ride to prepare for those on DALMAC. Everything down here is pretty small. There are, however, some killer hills right outside my cabin door. I thought it would be great conditioning for my mom and wouldn't hurt me much either.

I brought along both bikes, all my clothes and gear, tires to change since my back road tire was toast after 600 miles on the trainer this winter. I remembered everything, or so I thought. As I started to get ready to ride Saturday morning, I realized I forgot my road shoes. Since I have Speedplay pedals on my road bike and SPDs on my mountain bike, wearing my MTB shoes wasn't an option. I didn't have any tools to swap the pedals, either.

My mom suggested we go for a walk instead, but I knew she wanted to ride. I did, too. So, I decided to try it on my mountain bike. I thought my mom on her carbon Orbea (I know, can you believe she has a cooler bike than me?) would be miles ahead of me and I'd never be able to get my tank of a mountain bike up those huge hills. Now I know I've ridden my mountain bike on the road plenty of times, but not long distances and not on those hills.

Guess what? I turns out I'm in better shape than I was last year and the year before. Granted, that bike's not ideal for that purpose, but it worked just fine. I was able to get up all the hills without even using my granny gear and I was able to keep up. We ended up getting in a 30-mile ride.

The coolest thing about this is that now I know that I can use my mountain bike for riding around up there. That means I don't have to drag two bikes up North if I want to ride on the road, too. It also means I can ride the gravel roads and the pavement on the same ride without switching bikes. How cool is that?

Lately I've been thinking that all that training I did this winter was really worth it. I know I'm still not a great mountain biker. I know I'm still really slow. But every time I have been out on a trail or on the road lately riding something I rode a year or two ago, I'm amazed at how much better I am at it than the last time. That alone would probably make it worth it, even if my race times weren't getting better.

In the next installment, I'll tell the story of yesterday's Hanson Hills debacle.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Back on Track

I just have time for a quick post, but I wanted to let everyone know I'm back on track. I was down 2.6 pounds today at weigh in, which made me really happy. I certainly wasn't perfect this week, but I was a lot better. On the down side, I only got in one ride. I had a weekend filled with plumbing issues. Monday we had a suite night with customers at the Lugnuts. Tuesday I had to attend a master composter class/tour.

Chris and I headed out to Burchfield on Wednesday night for the first time this year. It's closed in the winter for skiers and it's been so wet so far this spring that we've been avoiding it. Burchfield is right next to a river and has a lot of low, swampy areas. However, it had been dry for a few days and we thought it might be okay. Many of the trail sections were closed due to the high water, still there was a decent section of trail to ride. We ended up and getting out for about an hour and a half and it felt great. I feel like my confidence is really improving, which I'll talk about it more detail another day.

After work, we're heading up to our cabin for the first time since last fall. I can't wait! I've missed the peacefulness of just reclining on our porch reading and looking up occasionally to see a woodpecker at the suet feeder. The only problem will be having to go home again. My mom, my brother and his girlfriend are joining us, so we should have a great time. I'm bringing my mountain and road bikes. Chris and I will take a day and ride Hanson Hills and I'll probably ride once or twice on the road with my mom, who's getting ready to ride DALMAC for the first time this year.

Now if only the workday was over already ...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Bad News, Good News and Otherwise

Bad News: The Addison Oaks Race got cancelled yet again today.

Good News: My teammate sent me a text message to let me know, so I was only half-way there when I found out it was cancelled. (Thanks, Jake!)

Bad News: In the space of the last month, I've gained back 6 of the pounds I lost since December.

Good News: I'm really bummed, but it just may be the jolt I need to get myself back on track. I had a good conversation with my WW leader that I think is really going to help my mindset, and so far it has. Yesterday's eating was a lot better than it has been in a long time.

Bad News: My training has been mostly nonexistent the past few weeks.

Good News: This week, I got back out on the trail twice. I'm disappointed about the race being cancelled, but I'm going to get some other riding in this weekend to make up for it. I do hope that they will reschedule this race again for later in the season and I'll be able to make it.

More Good News: Next weekend is a long weekend, I'm going to my cabin for the first time since last fall and I will get to preride Hanson Hills while I'm there. I'll just have to stay motivated until that race, which is June 7, which is only three weeks away.

Still More Good News: I finally updated my blog.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Second Chances

I haven't done much lately besides eat, drink, go on vacation, work and lounge around on the couch. I certainly haven't been updating my blog (no surprise there) and I haven't done much in the way of riding. Since I skipped the Ft. Custer race to go on vacation and I really want to make some strides in endurance racing this year, I was committed to racing 6 Hours of Addison Oaks this past weekend. However, in the end I decided to skip it, since this was how my week went:
  • Sunday - Wednesday, vacation in Key West
  • Wednesday, arrive in Detroit at 11 p.m., home at 1 a.m. Thursday
  • Arrive at work by 7:30 a.m. on Thursday
  • Pick up puppies from puppy hotel on lunch break
  • Work an evening event until 7:30 p.m., then go home and crash
  • Work 8 - 3:30 on Friday
  • Go home, let puppies out, get changed, drive to Jackson for my cousin's wedding at 6 p.m.
  • Leave Jackson at 10 p.m. to pick Chris up at the airport
  • Arrive home at 1:30 a.m.

Needless to say, there were plenty of reasons for me to not want to drive back to the east side of the state to get there for a 6-hour race which began at 10 a.m. But I felt guilty, because as I mentioned before, if I let myself keep backsliding sooner or later I lose complete control, don't care anymore and convince myself that not training and shoveling food in my mouth constantly aren't that big of a deal.

Luckily, the Addison Oaks race was postponed. So one more time in my life I've been given a second chance. Now, I still haven't ridden much since Yankee so I won't be in optimal condition, but if I get my legs moving on the trail a bit this week and get some rest, I should be able to hold my own and not completely humiliate myself at the race on Saturday. It will also, hopefully, start a good precedent for the weeks to come and help me get back on track.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Not That Bad

This morning on the way to WW, I just kept thinking "if I gained less than 3 pounds, I'll be happy." Without belaboring it for hours, I don't think I can actually explain how badly and how much I've been eating for the past few weeks. On top of that, I really haven't been training at all. So when I stepped on the scale this morning and found that I had only gained 2.8 pounds, I was pretty relieved. I almost didn't go weigh in today, but I know how I operate. If I want to stop this downhill slide, I have to face the reality of the weight gain. Otherwise, I will keep shoving it under the rug and as long as I don't see the numbers, I'll convince myself it's not that bad. The only way to avoid that is to be confronted with the reality.

I rode for an hour last night, which was a good start. I'm going to try to work a short ride in tonight and a long one tomorrow. Then, bright and early Sunday morning we get on a plane. What that means is that for four days I'll be in Key West, surrounded by food and, more importantly, cocktails. I know I'll be eating and drinking things that are fattening while I'm there. anything bad while I'm there. Realistically, it would be silly to think I would avoid it. And truthfully, it wouldn't be much fun if I did do that. But maybe this year, instead of eating and drinking everything that crosses my path, I'll be selective and make sure the things I treat myself with are things I really want and will really enjoy. I'll try to go for quality over quantity. We'll see how it goes.