Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Putting a shot, throwing a softball, a walk race and a weight loss competition

What do all of these have in common?  They are all events I have signed up for in the 2014 Las Vegas Corporate Challenge.  I am actually team captain of our weight loss team competing in what is called the Biggest Winner event.  This is going to be an interesting 10 weeks.

The overall competition runs from March 4th through May 17th.  the biggest Winner starts with a weigh in on March 4th and a weigh out on May 12.  The teams are then ranked by percentages of weight lost, with Gold, Silver and Bronze medals awarded for the top 3 teams.  I was team captain last year but we only came in 6th place.  The top team had a weight loss percentage of 8.96%. Our goal for this year is 10% weight loss over 10 weeks of the competition.

The other events should be interesting as I have not competed in them before.  Sure I've thrown a softball and I can walk, but haven't done either in a competitive environment.  The shot put will be totally new to me.  Anyone have any tips on how best to put the shot?

Update:  I have just volunteered to be the team captain for the Tug of War team as well.  Not sure if this gives us an advantage as the weight limit for the team is 2000 lbs.  I am taking the spot of what could be 2 people, but we'll see!

Update #2:  I have also volunteered to captain the new Laser Tag team.  I really want us to win the Corporate challenge this year!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

2014 is flying by

I was just looking at the calendar and realized that we are already 7 weeks into 2014.  Whee has the time gone?  I had big plans going into this year to put up some decent mileage number in both January and February to jump start my training and get moving towards my goal of 2014 miles for the year. Obviously that hasn't really happened yet as I sit here having only ridden twice so far this year for a grand total of 11 miles.  Not tearing it up by any means.
Part of the issue has been my health, first waiting on the doctor's OK to start exercising after my hospital stay and second the fact I had a nasty cold this past weekend when we had the nicest weather of the year, setting a record high temp of 81 degrees on Sunday.  Fortunately I am feeling much better and will be riding this weekend.  In fact I need to get my butt out there as there are only a scant 10 weeks until the Tour De Cure on May 3rd.

Not only does that mean I have to start putting in some serious miles to get my body back into riding shape, but it also means I need to get on the fundraising to meet my goal for the ride.  In the training department I am going to ride 28 of 31 days in March and 27 of 30 days in April.  I know better than to pledge to ride every day for 2 months straight as I would quickly burn out.  I need strategically placed rest days to prevent that.  In order to count for the above goals, each ride must be at least 5 miles in length.  Ii hope to do all of the ride outdoors on my bike, but in the event of inclement weather, 5 miles on the sin bike at the gym will substitute.

Diabetes is a terrible disease and I hope that my small efforts both in terms of fundraising and awareness raising through participating in the Tour De Cure will help to put an end to this disease.  Won't you please donate to help?

On a secondary note, I received a notice this week that the BIKE: MS VEGAS Challenge is not going to be held this year.  I really enjoyed that ride last year and was thinking about adding it to my calendar again this year, but apparently there wasn't enough turnout last year.  Bummer.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

And the weight is coming off

Its not amazing, but it is remarkable.  The basic, simple truth is that if you eat less calories than your body burns in a 24 hour period, you tend to end up losing weight.  I can prove it by looking at what has been happening with me over the last 6 weeks or so.  I started the year at 470 lbs. and I am down to 429 lbs.

Now that is an impressive 41 lbs lost, but I have to be honest.  Not all of it was fat. In fact there was a significant amount of fluid weight that has been lost.  I was very swollen at the beginning if the year after my hospital stay.  That was slowly correcting itself, but my doctor prescribed a twice a day diuretic which has helped immensely.  Realistically, I would say that I have lost about 11  lbs. of actual fat and 30 lbs. of fluid.

Now its time ti increase my exercise so that I am getting a larger daily deficit which will aid in the weight loss.  It will also help me to increase my endurance and achieve better muscle strength.  My plan is to visit the gym 3 to 4 times a week for a little cardio and more strength training.  Then on the weekends I'm going to be riding my bike to get in additional cardio work, not to mention get into shape for my upcoming rides and ultimately Pumpkinman come fall.

Speaking of upcoming rides, I am once again participating in the Tour De Cure ride which is coming up on May 3rd.  Please donate what you can to help those afflicted with diabetes, like my mom and my Aunts.  Thank you.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Now what???

The other day I posted that my wife and I had joined a gym.  That's all fine and dandy, but the question becomes, what do you do at the gym once you've joined it?  That is a question that plagued us last evening as we went to the gym for the first time to "work out."

Let's really put this in perspective.  I am definitely in need of the gym, but have very little experience in what to do at the gym.  Sure I see all of the machines and other equipment like free weights and can figure out from the illustrations what they are supposed to do, but what, exactly should I be doing with them?  There are 9 different machines targeting various muscles and muscle groups in the upper body.  Should I work out on all of them, some of them or none of them?  There are ellipticals, treadmills, stair machines and spin cycles.  Should I use one, all or none of those?

It basically came down to trying to decide how we should spend our time at the gym.  I decided a start on the spin bikes to get the heart rate going and then a run through all of the upper body machines with 10 to 15 reps on each at a light to moderate weight followed by a short treadmill walk.  This is what we did.  the actual work out took about 35 minutes and I know I did some work.  Was this the best use of our time there, I don't really know.

Right now I think this is a good start in that it is working various muscles across our bodies and not overdoing it in any one area.  Do we need to increase this work out? Yes, but we want to work into it slowly as per the doctor's advice.  We will also want to vary what we do so as not to get bored with it.

What do you like to do at the gym????

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

We've joined a gym

My wife and I just joined the Planet Fitness gym here in Las Vegas.  We opted to go for the "black card" membership so we could enjoy any of the the Planet Fitness facilities plus exclusive use of the hydromassage and tanning rooms.

Now I have to be honest here.  Its been a good 12 years since I've been in a gym and then it was the local YMCA.  I see there are a TON of different machines all targeting specific muscles or muscle groups plus the spin bikes, ellipticals and a large quantity of treadmills.  I need to figure out what I'm going to do with all of this equipment!

I know I would like to work on my arms and upper body, so that will be part of the workout.  I also should work on my cardio and leg strength.  I think it will be worth our time to sit down with one of the trainers and see about creating a nice, balanced work out for each of us.

One thing I have to keep in mind is that the doctor has said I can work out, but I have to take it easy.  he is still concerned about my blood pressure as we tweak my medication.  With that in mind, I am going for higher repetitions at lighter weights to help strengthen and tone my muscles.  I figure it will also help to burn some extra calories.

I'm curious, does anyone have any favorite routines at the gym?

Monday, February 3, 2014

A cold morning ride

OK, I've said it before and I'll say it again - since moving here to Las Vegas, I have been a fair weather cyclist.  to be fair my body has been adapting to the warmer weather here and I can now withstand much warmer temperatures than I used to without melting.  There is a price, though.  That is that I no longer deal with the cold as well as I had.

This morning is a great example.  I finally got back on my bike before work.  I hadn't been on the bike in close to 3 months.  The problem is that I was very cold, even though the official temperature was 40 degrees, but I don't believe it. I about froze!

Now, part of it was my fault as I was under dressed for the weather, but only part.  My ears, face and neck were freezing from the air moving past.  Fortunately the gloves I picked up last fall were great on my hands.  My body was cold too, but that was because all I had on was a long sleeve jersey.

I hope it warms up soon as I am planning on continuing to ride in the mornings and it is going to be tough if it stays this cold.