Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Biggest Winner Week 8

8 weeks into a 10 week competition.  8 weeks I've been seriously focusing on what I should be doing.  The good news is that as of Saturday morning I weighed in at 413.8 lbs.  That makes a 21.2 lb. total loss for the competition.  Just under 5% of my body weight gone.  I am feeling good about that. That is a loss of 3.4 lbs. since last week.

Its been a tough week.  AS I posted in my ride recap, I attempted the Tour De Cure 30 mile ride, but it was too hot and too many hills.  I did get out for a couple of other rides which gave me 30 miles for the week.

I also completed the FitBit 50lb. challenge.

My FitBit report for the week shows an average of 4507 steps per day and a calorie deficit for the week of 10,324 which is evident in the loss this week.

Only 2 more weeks until the final weigh in for the competition.  Once I hit that date, I will eat a more balanced diet.  I just know that for me, low-carb works the best for weight loss, but I don't know if its sustainable long term because of the huge restriction necessary of fruits and some veggies.

I am setting a goal for myself for the Month of May - Ride my bike at least 23 of the 31 days this month.  In order to count as a "ride" it must be at least 3 miles in length.  I'm going to track each ride in this blog so stay tuned!

Have a great day and remember the "secret" to a healthier you - Eat Better and Move More.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

I'm a winner

Last November, after I had purchased my FitBit, I was looking around the website and came cross a group that was forming around a challenge - lose 50 lbs.  The Challenge started on December 1st and was simple, the first one to lose 50 lbs. wins.  I decided I was in and joined the group.  Little did I realize what an awesome group of individuals I was joining.

Adam was the organizer and personally put up the top few prizes.  Thanks Adam.  I weighed myself on 12/1 and found my weight had increased to 464.4 lbs. so that was my starting weight for the challenge.

As the challenge started everyone was encouraged to share who they are and some friendly challenges started within the group. There would be daily or weekly challenges centered around the number of steps in a day, or your daily average for a week, or the number of flights done in a day.  The competition was always friendly and always with an eye towards being supportive of the others in the group.

I can't say enough good things about the people in the group.  I know I'll miss a few, but Lee, Adam, Chrissy, Tom, Doyle, Chris, Laura, Nanigoat, Xeyda, Maria, Rachel, John, Tonya, Barbara  Cala, Act Out and the rest - THANK YOU.

These people are total inspirations.  Some of them are doing upwards of 40,000+ steps in a single day!  Some are doing more than 200 flights in a day as well.  Everyone was working towards the same end - losing weight and getting healthy, and while it was, and is still a competition, everyone was very supported of the rest of the group.

Well the good news is, it is now 21 weeks later and the first 2 people have lost 50 lbs!  I am one and Lee D. is the other.  In fact we are tied at losing 50.6 lbs.  What is amazing is that while I near the start of my weight loss, Lee is near his goal which makes his achievement that much more awesome!

So, that means I weighed in yesterday morning, before the tour at 413.8 lbs.  It is a great feeling to reach this point, but I am by no means done.  Neither are those in the group.  We are going to stick it out and support each other until we all achieve the 50 lbs lost.  I am surprised at how close many of us have become and I think I can truly call them friends.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

2013 Tour De Cure Report

Today was the 2013 Tour De Cure Las Vegas.  Thank you for all those who sponsored me.

I was up early and had to wait around at home since registration wasn't until 9:00 and the 30 mile course start wasn't until 10:00.  I couldn't wait around all morning and actually got to registration early and picked up my number:

I also picked up my t-shirt and took it to the van.  Then it was a matter of waiting for the start.

To pass the time I ran by and talked to J from ProCyclery who was manning the bike check.  Thanks J!!!!

Finally it was time to line up for the start:

And then we were off!

As is normally my modus operandi, I faded towards the back of the pack leaving the start line.  Eventually I was riding behind another rider - Juan.  He was a red rider.  He was setting a very comfortable pace and I resisted sprinting around him on the flat/slight incline we started on.  However we hit a small downhill and I couldn't hold back, I let the gravity assist boost me forward hoping to get a good run up the next hill.  It wasn't enough, but I was able to ride up the next hill.

We continued on and it was getting warm, but I was enjoying the ride.

The next hill was more than I could handle.  Lots of people were walking their bikes so I did the same.  It sure felt like walking was as hard as biking up the hill.  I had to stop several times on the way up.  Juan caught up to me and he was awesome.  When I had to stop and rest he stopped as well and encouraged me on.  Thanks Juan!

To make a long story short, there were 4 or 5 more tough hills that meant lots more walking and I was getting hot and tired.  We did hit a few decent downhills and I surely enjoyed them.

We got to what is essentially the lowest point and started up the next little hill and I was really done.  Juan stopped with me as did the SAG.  Juan talked to me about going to sit in the SAG to cool off, but I knew I was not going to continue.  I really think it was a combination of the heat, bad nutrition and a lack of hydration.

One great lesson I learned - if you are going to ride hills in the heat of the day, then you should train on hills in the heat of the day! :)

Next year I will conquer this!

Thank you to the Lions Club for manning the SAG vehicles and giving me the lift back to the start.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Better now

Ran by ProCyclery and J pulled my tire off and checked it for foreign objects. Nothing.  We then looked at the wheel and the rim tape looked good.

Finally looked at the tube and it was "snakebit" which means I got a pinch flat. Seems I ran over a rock just wrong and pinched the tube on the rim.  One new tube and I'm on my way - ready for tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Not a happy camper...

It was a struggle getting out of bed this morning.  I really need to adjust when I hit the sack.  Regardless, though, I managed to get my butt up and dressed for a nice cool morning ride.  I got out to the garage about 4:20 (running a bit later than usual) and felt the tires on my bike.  They were a little softer than they had been so I decided to top them off.

The front was down to about 70 lbs and the rear about 80.  I pumped them to 95 lbs or so and finally got under way.

I was feeling pretty good doing my usual morning loops about 1 mile each.  On the third loop I noticed it didn't feel right going into the "fast" corner.  I immediately slowed and checked - my front tire was flat.  It was 3 tenths of a mile back to the house so I walked my bike with its completely flat front tire.

Not sure what the cause was.  I am still waiting on my latest Amazon purchase of a wallet with levers, CO2 and a patch kit.  I didn't even pull the wheel.  I thought I should be good to go with the gatorskins, but it seems that may not be the case.  I'll have to take it apart and see if I can identify the cause.

I had planned on a couple of good morning rides today and tomorrow, resting on Friday for Saturday's ride.  Now it might be a bit of a longer rest as I may not get to the bike this evening.  Stay tuned. :)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Biggest Winner Week 7

Hard to believe we are already 7 weeks into this 10 week competition.  Its been a pretty good week.  I've eaten decent, gotten in some exercise so I figured I would see some progress on the scale today.  Unfortunately the scale didn't agree and showed me with a gain of .8 lbs this week.  Sure, its not a big gain, but I really was expecting a loss.

According to my FitBit report  I averaged over 4700 steps per day and had a net calorie deficit of about 7000 calories for the week.  I rode my bike 35 miles over the last week.  All of this would make me think I should have lost something on the scale. That is not the case, though.

I know I am doing the right things.  I know that the weight will come down as I get in more exercise and watch what I eat.  I just wish it would be a bit faster since I am in the competition and there are only 3 weeks left.

I am going to stay the course.  I know it works and I just have to trust the process.  This Saturday will be a big test for me - the 30 mile ride for the Tour De Cure.  Watch for a full report.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Wonderful, unremarkable ride

Got on my steed and headed out on Blue Diamond towards Red Rock. Noticed right away how awesome my ride felt.  The new tires and wheels gave a smooth and stable ride.  The gatorskins had noticeably less rolling resistence.

Funny but it was a great ride primarily because nothing remarkable happened.  The winds were in the 10 MPH neighborhood the sun was shining and temps in the low 70's.

The above picture shows the road looking towards Red Rock by Blue Diamond.

Yesterday I did a quick 10 laps around the block as a test to gauge what the 100 Miles Of Nowhere was going to take.  The 10 laps netted 4.71 miles which means it will be 212 laps to hit the 100 miles on June 1.

Before that, though I have the Tour De Cure coming up on Saturday.  30 miles with 1960 feet of climbing.  It will be a challenge, but I'll do it.  Join me in fighting Diabetes by making a donation on my page.

Thank you.

Friday, April 19, 2013

My ride is ready!!!!

Was very excited today when my cell rang and it was ProCyclery letting me know that my bike was ready for me to come and get it.  I got in the van and headed to check her out with her news wheels and tires.'
J at ProCyclery assures me that these wheels are "stout."  Just what I want to hear.

I got there and they wheeled her out and she was sexy with her new look:

Specifically the new wheels are Velocity Chukker rims, with 36 spokes woven in a 4x pattern and Shimano 105 hubs.

As you can see they are clad in Continental GatorSkins in 700 x 32mm 

Haven't ridden more than a half mile yet, but she felt really nice!  I can't wait to take her for a longer ride tomorrow.

Watch for my full report then!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Oh my, what have I done????

In a fit of insane behavior (at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it) I just registered for an insane event that is scheduled to occur on or about June 1 this year.  It is a very worthwhile event, I assure you, but what was I thinking????

The event is Fatty's 100 Miles Of Nowhere.  If you  are not familiar with this concept, in a nutshell we are to ride either stationary trainers or around a very small course for 100 miles in support of charity.  Fatty explains it so much better here.

The race is going to benefit a very deserving cause this year - Camp Kesem.  To quote from their webiste:
"Camp Kesem empowers college student leaders nationwide to create free, life-changing summer camps for children affected by a parent’s cancer."

 As you can see this is a very worthy cause for such a crazy stunt.  What makes this even more crazy is that I have not ridden 100 miles in a long, long time.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Biggest Winner Week 6 progress

Well, we are now 6 weeks into this 10 week contest.  Things are finally moving consistently, but before I go into that, I just have to take a moment and talk about what happened yesterday in Boston.

Unbelievably someone set off 2 bombs, about 10 seconds apart, near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  The timing was such that they went off when the majority of the "average Joe" type runners would be finishing.  Who did it or why is still unknown.  No one has come forward to claim responsibility.  The fact that someone would deliberately target the spectators (they are the ones who were hurt and killed) is unthinkable.  My hope is that those who are responsible are caught and punished swiftly and severely and that this doesn't negatively impact these type of events in the future.

Our thought and prayers go out to the victims and their friends and families.

OK, back to this week.  I had a decent week.  The low-carb diet is working.  I got out for a few rides including the windy Saturday ride.  The net result is I weighed in this morning at 417 lbs. that is a loss of 18 lbs. or 4.14% for the competition.  If I can maintain the pace, I might actually hit the 10% loss goal I set for myself at the beginning of the competition.

My goals for the week are to continue to eat within the plan, to keep my butt moving (I hope to get in 4 rides for a total of at least 50 miles) and to drink plenty of water.

To borrow from Fizzhog:

Eat better!

Ride your bike!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Saturday Ride, With Wind!

I had been planning on getting a few miles in this weekend.  I had obligations yesterday which precluded a morning ride, so I figured this morning would be a great time for a ride.  I had thought of surpassing last weekends 20 miles.  Last night I checked the weather and the forecast for the morning was for light winds in the 5 to 10 mile an hour range, temps in the low 70's and sun.

So I got ready to head out this morning a little after 8:00 and imagine my surprise when I heard some strong wind gusts.  I didn't think much of it.  I checked my spokes, put air in my tires, put on my helmet and set out.  The gusts weren't bad heading up my street.  I made the turn out onto Blue Diamond and the true nature of the wind hit me.  It seems stating about 8:00 the winds kicked up to 20 mph sustained and gusts up intot he 30's from the SSW and I was pedaling West.  Right into the wind.

I decided to just keep the cranks turning for a bit and see what happened.  After 30 minutes I took a break, checked my Garmin and saw that I had only gone about 4 miles.  I rested for a minute then got back to it.  I made it to the junction with HWY 159 almost 15 minutes later.  I was done.  I was tired of fighting the wind and it was time for the pay off - downhill with the wind.  I made the turn and didn't really have to pedal most of the way back.

Looking at the Garmin record of the ride, I made it back in under 10 minutes and hit 31.4 mph - all without pedaling!  It sure helped the average speed for the ride. :)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Scales are funny things

Yesterday morning was my weekly weigh in for the Biggest Winner progress check and after my challenging ride I got on the scale.  The number wasn't quite what i had expected - 423.4.  I had hoped for it to be less, but it wasn't.  I was back to where I had been 2 weeks before (before Easter weekend and the feeding frenzy).

This morning I didn't ride as when the alarm went off, I was just too tired to get my butt up and out there.  Imagine my surprise, then when I got on the scale and it showed 420.4.  I couldn't believe it so I got off and back on to double check.  Yep 420.4.  I had lost 3 pounds overnight by not exercising.

OK, I realize that the weight is probably mostly water weight and that there is no way I could truly lose that much fat overnight, but I was very happy to see that number on the scale!

Now we did change our eating this week.  We went back to the low-cab Atkins type eating plan.  I know this works for me and from he scale I would say its true.  For the duration of the Biggest Winner, we are going to stick to low-carb and see how much we can melt away.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Biggest Winner Week 5

Its been an interesting week.  While I didn't get in the miles I had hoped to on the bike, I did manage too get in that great 20 mile ride on Saturday.  I also fought the wind this morning to put in another 8 miles.

The good news is that I am down this week.  The bad news is I'm basically back to where I was 2 weeks ago at 12 lbs. lost for the competition.  I was good, but not perfect with my nutrition this week. I know that if I want to lose weight quickly I have to cut out the carbs and so starting yesterday, I'm back on Atkins.

This morning's breakfast was 3 hard boiled eggs.  Last nights dinner was grilled boneless, skinless chicken breast and broccoli with a bit of cheddar cheese.  I know what to do and how to do it so I will be losing more weight for the next 5 weeks.

The one fly in the ointment is the Water Cooler at work is closed so I don't have easy access to low-carb options for lunch.  Going to have to plan ahead and start bringing lunch until they reopen.

Monday, April 8, 2013

(Extremely) Windy Monday

OK, I'm not sure if its just a coincidence, but it sure seems like Monday's are tough riding days.  In fact this morning was so tough, I didn't ride!  OK, it really doesn't have anything to do with Monday, it has everything to do with wind.

I was planning on getting up at my usual 4:00 am and heading out for a nice 10 miles around the neighborhood.  Alarm was set and everything.  Went to bed at an OK time (not the best, but I have done worse).  Then about 2:20 am I was woken up by the wind trying to tear the blinds off the bedroom window. At least that's what it sounded like!

After mostly closing the bedroom window, I decided I needed to investigate the weather conditions.  I fired up my phone and went to Wunderground.com to look at the local conditions.  Lo and behold there was a sustained 24 mph wind with gusts approaching 50 mph.  There was a high wind warning which stated that gusts could surpass 60 mph.

Well, I figured being such a high profile cyclist (you know like the high profile vehicles), that winds of this magnitude might cause a significant, unpleasant event that I just didn't want to deal with - namely it could easily blow me off the bike!  So I reset my alarm for 5:25 am and went back to bed.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Beautiful Saturday ride...

Sunny, temperatures in the low 70's, a light wind all make for a wonderful day for a ride. So, that's what I did.  There were quite a few other cyclists out enjoying the beautiful weather this morning.

I decided to head out towards Red Rock, west on Blue Diamond and then North on Hwy 159.  I wasn't sure how far I would make it, so I decided to ride out for an hour and then turn around and head back home.  Surprisingly I felt pretty good and made it all the way to Bonnie Springs Ranch.  Total distance was 20.4 miles.  My farthest ride in 2 years!

The bike did well.  I still don't trust it yet and can't wait for my new rear wheel so I can trust it.  Jay over at ProCyclery helped me spec out the wheel and I can't wait for it to come in.  We have put together what I think will be a fairly bulletproof wheel.  Of course to get that durability, it costs money.  In this case its almost the cost of the bike.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Biggest Winner Week 4

Well, I didn't weigh myself this morning.  A bit of family drama overnight made for very little sleep and I forgot it was weigh in day.  Truth to be told, I figured I was going to be up a pound or two anyway after the indulgences over the weekend.

Why is it so easy to fall back into those habits that we know are not good for us?  I know that I shouldn't overeat.  I know that eating too much or the wrong foods isn't healthy, yet it is far to easy to do just that.  Time to just get back to it and re-focus on the goal and the journey to get there.

I am going to get stronger and healthier and along the way the weight will come off.  I know how and what I should be eating and am going to stick to it.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Windy Monday

The good news is I got my wheel back from the bike shop on Friday.  They replaced the 2 broken spokes and trued it up for me.  I put it on and did some cruising around the block with the kids over the weekend.  All seems to be well, at the moment, but I truly believe for long lasting durability I am going to need to build up a new rear wheel.

This morning I did a nice 8 mile ride despite 20 mph winds.  Again, the bike seems OK, but I just don't trust that rear wheel not to throw a spoke.

From some preliminary discussions with the guys at Pro Cyclery, I think a 36 spoke wheel should do it.  They are talking about possibly doing a 4x weave instead of a 3x which would distribute the point load across additional spokes. Not sure which rim and hub we will go with as yet, but the budget will be fairly tight.

I just realized that in less than 4 weeks I will be riding in the Las Vegas Tour De Cure.  I can't wait to do the ride, but I have got to get some more miles under my belt between now and then.  My longest ride so far this year has only been 18 miles.  That's just over half the distance of the TDC.  I want to do all I can to help eradicate this disease.  If you haven't done so, please contribute to help find a cure here.