Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Goodbye 260

I have to admit something.....something terrible. I have liked my time in the 260's. I have spent a lot time with these numbers over the years....off an on and off again. 260 is easy to hang out with. We can eat what we want, when we want, how we want it. I am talking Pizza, Ice Cream, chips....anything. But the problem I have with you 260 is that you make it hard for me to breathe....you actually try to suffocate me. And because I can't breathe it makes is more difficult to sleep, or to even get comfortable. You do keep me warmer, I give you that....but I just can't hang around with you any more.

The main problem is that You are a poison. You tell me everything is okay but then you make my knees hurt when I run. You say it will be fine and my legs get sore when I stop riding. You tell me that the chips and cookies are not going to hurt and then a few of your friends come to hang out. I don't care for your friends either...they drag me down to their level and make me feel worse about myself.

So.....for the last time...I am saying goodbye. Not a goodbye as in "I will see you later", but a goodbye as in "I never want to see you again". I have already started seeing numbers in the 250's and I did see the 240's check me out as I was walking by the other day. See....you need me way more than I need you. I am a better person without you. I am happier. I am healthier now that your toxins are wearing off. I know I have told you goodbye before and eventually I have always come back...but this time is different. There is nothing you can do to convince me to see you again...ever.

This new set of numbers I am hanging out with are better numbers than you. They just are. But don't get me wrong, I don't really want to hang out with them either....just car pool with them for a few weeks until I can catch a ride with the 230's. Those are some numbers I haven't hung around with in forever...and I think it is time. Time for me to hang out with numbers that are on the same path as me. Numbers that encourage me to keep going. Numbers that care and want me to succeed. Numbers that know you are the poison that has had your grip on me for too long.

I hear the 230's are pretty amazing numbers. They love to run and ride and exercise. They eat healthy. They hang around with the 220's too on occasion, so that means I can start building my relationship with them while leaving you further behind. I can't wait.....it will be so amazing!  Wait....are you....crying?

Don't be sad 260's. Please don't cry. You are only toxic to me, not to everyone. There are people that hang out with the 300's that I am sure would love to hang out with you...and I wish them the best of luck with that. But sadly, they too might turn on you and leave you with only 250's and 270's around you. You can sadly find yourself alone yet again. I won't forget you though, I promise. We did have some good times...even as rough as they could be. But please, if you see me out and about...just duck into the ice cream section or the candy bar isle because you won't find me there anymore. Remember what we had....and don't make it awkward.

I will never forget you...................................

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Solid week....for nutrition

I started my new diet two Sunday's ago and I gotta say....it works. I posted that my goal was to be sub 200 on January 1st 2015. I got some tips from racer from the other side of the state. He told me what he did and I couldn't hardly believe it. I bought a book....and started reading. Now to start....I am not here to tell you jump on this diet or that diet or to argue which diet is better. Everyone is different and I have tried a handful of different diets. This one has been main stream for a long time and I always figured it was just a fad so I never even picked up the book. This year my focus has been much different than in the years past...and I took a tip from a fast guy...and gave it a try. I jumped on amazon and order this book.....

I know....nobody was more surprised than me when J. told me that he uses this diet. It is fairly simple, read the book....follow the plan....only eat the foods you can in each phase. Well, it resulted in a 5.5 loss in the first week. And that was with 3 beers at Founders on Saturday (which are a no-no in the first two weeks). So I started.....and I am never hungry. I actually feel like I don't want to eat. I eat breakfast, a snack, lunch, another snack, and then dinner....and perhaps a dessert. Simple....the hard part is cutting the carbs. We eat a lot of pasta, a lot of bread, and a lot of potatoes....along with a lot of pizza. Can't have any of them. In fact, I have a free lunch at work tomorrow that I won't go to because they are bringing pizza and I am really focused on losing this weight. If I eat pizza I could spiral out of control. As an emotional eater I tend to say "screw it" once I get off track and then I gain back everything that I worked so hard to take off. So until I get control....I just can't take the risk. That is my willpower....avoid it! That being said, the second day I was on the diet the rest of my family had homemade wet burritos...that I put together. They are delicious....but I didn't take a single bite. A few nights later they had Pizza. And a few nights after that they had Teriyaki chicken stir fry with noodles. I made my own version and it was delicious. So...I dropped 5.5 the first week and it is looking like that much again this week. That will not continue...I know that...it can be unhealthy to lose more than 3 pounds a week because you are losing muscle instead of fat.

So, that was my week in a nutshell. I am down 13 pounds since the first of the year. I am on target and plan to continue. I have been doing my Focus T25  off and on but I am still looking for consistency. I have ridden a few miles in the past weeks and my legs are feeling pretty good. I am seeing a slight increase in my average speed on the trainer which means I am focusing more and able to hold my intervals longer. So...I am on track....feeling good....good mood....focused. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Beer? You know I don't drink beer....

That sentiment changed a little last night. I was invited to go see Nuclear Cowboyz with Dan S. at Van Andel arena. We left plenty early so we could head to Founders to grab some food before the show. The weather here has sucked, but we didn't have any problems making the trek to Grand Rapids. The rest of the night went as follows....

We finally find a table. Founders was packed. We traded our 5 person table for a 2 person table and figured out what we wanted to eat. Dan ordered a Sweet Repute and I ordered an Ice water. Yeah, how out of place do you think I felt with a glass of water at a brewing company? Well, they delivered this to Dan...and he suggested I try it even though I am not a fan of beer. I took a sip......and ordered one.
Click here to go to Founders Brewing Site
This beer is probably the first one I have ever liked. It was delicious...without the normal beer aftertaste. It was so good in fact...that I had 2. Now, I am on a low carb diet right now and should not have been drinking the beer but I did have an amazing salad for dinner....which didn't help the situation. A high alcohol percentage and no bread or heavy meat to soak up the beer left me very relaxed and laughing at everything.


We got there a bit early so we had a few hours to kill. We were people watching and watching some people play pool. Fairly uneventful. I went to get rid of some fluids and when I got back there was a glass of Backwoods there for each of us. I do believe that Dan is a bad influence. HA!

Click here to go to Founders Brewing site

I didn't care for this beer as much...but again...I am far from a beer drinker. This one was still better than any of the other beers I have tried in the past. So....three beers down on a salad and it was time to go to Van Andel.

Seats were awesome. Three rows back and right in the middle. These Nuclear Cowboyz are nuts. back flips, double back flips and all other kinds of crazy shit. It was a cool show. It finished up and we headed home. Looking back I guess I should have bought a bottle of the Sweet Repute.....but maybe next time. I just might be a beer drinker now.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

2014 Schedule?

From what I can tell...these races are on my schedule for 2014. I am sure I might skip a few and add some different ones in....but this is the base starting point.

Barry Roubaix (36 mile)
Lowell 50 (34 mile)
Yankee Springs TT (MMBA CPS)
Fort Custer Stampede (MMBA CPS)
Hanson Hills (MMBA CPS)
State Games of MI. (MMBA CPS)
Sweat Shaker (MMBA CPS)
Boyne Challenge (1.5 pts) (MMBA CPS)
Big M Marathon (1.5 pts) (MMBA CPS)
Ore to Shore (not sure on this one yet...but if I make the trip...probably HARDROCK)
Maybury TT (MMBA CPS)
Addison Oaks XC (MMBA CPS)
Pando XC (MMBA CPS)
Lowell 50 (probably 34 mile again...depends on how first race goes)
Iceman

Tri-Allegan (sprint tri close to home)
Xterra (maybe Yankee...always wanted to try one)

I probably won't do all of the CPS races because they are scattered, but I will do one of the marathon races for sure. Love the test from those damn hills. Like I said before....this is the base....and I am sure it will change. Barry Roubaix for sure....got a bone to pick there...after a DNF last year. Yankee and Custer are like my home courses....so....gotta do good there. It will be an interesting year. 

New attitude can fix a lot of things.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Fast.....

As I approach the corner I realize that this is the section of the course I have been dreading. The last 25 miles have gone fairly good, but this section is pure sand. I go for it, finding a path where other riders have beaten the trail flat. I make it about 100 yards down the 2 track before I sink like a rock and stall. Knowing this entire section is like this I get off and start pushing. I hear a voice behind me and then a car? What the hell is a car doing here...this section is off limits to cars...morons.

the voice I hear is some dude with a video camera. The car is carrying more camera equipment and they had permission to be out there...so whatever. My issue....I am going to be on the video...WALKING. Dude couldn't have come 5 minutes sooner. SHIT. Anyway....

I can see the tree...and I make the right. The sand is freaking deep. I wish I could ride it...but I sink too much. Ah, maybe now I can. I throw my leg back over the bike and start the slow trudge toward the pavement. How much further...all I see is 2 track and a handful of riders. at least they are riding. sand is better. wait...i wonder how far behind the pros are...can't be long now...the camera crew just passed. Oh crud...is that the motorcycle.....crap....getting close. There is the pavement....about 1/4 mile away...go Sean....GO....get to the pavement before they catch....there goes the motorcycle...and I know they are gaining on me.

......50 yards.....25 yards.....shit...here they come...GO GO GO.....5 yards.....still haven't got me....PAVEMENT.....left turn.....ON YOUR LEFT.....and then WHOOOOOOOOSSSSHHHHH! a group of nearly 25 riders passes me like I am sitting still. Holy shit are they fast...try to jump on the train....hahahaha.....uphill...not happening. these guys pass me like I am standing on the side of the road and disappear over the next hill which is just a long grinder. it is the home stretch and they are just chugging away.....here some some more....one here or there....and then a few groups of 10.

What I realized...is that when the first group passed...even with as hard as these guys were working...I heard a few of them say "good job man" and some "keep going"...out of a group of cyclists that should have been sucking oxygen and worrying about winning their groups or divisions or the overall awards. to hear words of encouragement at that point was awesome for me...and awesome of the ones that had the lungs to give them.

My moment of clarity is that I can be that fast some day...and I hope that I have the lungs to give words of encouragement to the people that are not as fast...but feeling fast...because without that encouragement from total strangers...out in the middle of nowhere...I might have gotten of the bike...and never gotten back on. Keep the sport moving forward. Tell someone good job...you just might keep someone moving...

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year (resolutions....eh goals)

Happy New Year to everyone.

I know not everyone believes in making resolutions, but I am making them....under a different name. I am going to call them goals. But first.....I want to revisit last year for a second.

2013~
First off, I didn't have the best year. Lots of blah blah this and blah blah that. It is over and done. What I did actually accomplish....that makes me proud. I did a 5K and I ran the entire distance other than to get a bottle of water. Not bad for a larger guy like myself. It was fun, and this will get touched on in my resolutions goals for 2014. My race season was not as good as I hoped, but with all of the heart attacks and major injuries in the cycling community I will take getting through this last season as a win. Family always keeps us busy but it is always worth it. Meg got invited, and will be going, to tour with Blue Lake Performing Arts in Europe. She is amazing! Izzy did her very first race and did very well. It was a tough course and she did her best...making our team and her parents very proud! Zoe did amazing in her dance too and is learning more and more every day. Zack started driving and we actually did some snow training tonight. Never a dull moment in our house!

But...that is the end of last year. It is a new year and I am setting my resolutions goals right now....right here. It will be the typical goals that I have set before....but this year is different and I will reach the goals I set.

1. Weight: on this day next year I will be under 200 pounds. I have 65 pounds to lose as of today. In 52 weeks that is only 1.25 pounds per week. Not terrible. It is attainable. So...how do I go about reaching this goal? Nutrition. Exercise. Attitude. I will eat better....I have no choice. It is about my health. As my weight has creeped back up I have had more trouble sleeping...with a touch of apnea rearing it's head now and then. Gotta drop the weight...so I can reach goal #2.

2. Ride faster: seems simple enough when #1 is achieved. I did get down to 235 pounds in 2012 and I felt freaking amazing. I was faster and my handling skills were solid. It was so much more fun to ride fast and keep up with the group....well...sorta keep up....but not be so far behind. how is that?

3. Run more: this will be a key difference for me. I actually don't mind running as much as I thought. After the 5k last year I only ran a few more miles for the year. I am going to run more this year. Still thinking about how far....how many miles.....I will get back to this.

4. Ride more: duh. It is more fun to ride more. Just gotta do it. Simple. How many miles? Well....I would like to say 10 miles a day for a total of 3650....but that seems aggressive. 5 miles a day is only 1825 miles per day. I will set this goal at 200 miles per month or 2500 miles for the year. That comes down to just under 7 miles per day. Totally doable.

5. Be happy. This means that I need to focus on the positive and push out the negative. As a realist this will be the most difficult thing on this list.....but.....I can do it.

So to recap:

1. Be sub 200 pounds....down 65 pounds.
2. Ride faster
3. Run more.
4. 2500 miles for the year
5. Be happy.

Here we go.