Shooting For A New Record

In August, I rode my bike 671 miles for the month.  I crossed 500 miles for this month yesterday.  I want to exceed 700 miles and set a new personal best.

My top ten months are below.

RankMonthMiles
1August 2011671.0
2June 2010665.6
3March 2011646.5
4August 2008626.8
5March 2010574.9
6July 2010562.7
7June 2009542.2
8October 2011538.9
9September 2011462.9
10May 2009452.0

There are seven more days to ride.  One of those days is Gravel Grovel, which will get me about 60 miles.  That means I can average less than 23 miles per day for the other six days and hit my target.

Why yes, I do have a Thanksgiving Day ride planned.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Bike Miles

I still have two months left in the year, but I’ve had four months with more than 500 miles each.  That’s better than I’ve done in previous years.

My overall mileage year-to-date is a bit lower than last year, but that’s due to my horrible June because of my neck.

I mentioned in my previous post that I’ve driven the truck to a ride for the last time.  It’s true.  It’ll be sold by Saturday.  I will be officially car-free.

I was car-free briefly in April 2009, but then I bought the truck.  I lived in Charlestown and the time, and the time and energy spent commuting that distance was more than I could handle.

Now, I live in town, and this car-free episode isn’t being forced on me.  The Kia needed a new engine, spurring that car-free stint.

I’ve Got To Keep Reminding Myself

Monthly Average Weight
Monthly Average Weight

When I was having the most weight loss I was constantly reminding myself about my progress.  That was the point of this blog.

Since then, It’s turned into either talking about bike rides or complaining about depression.  Both of those affect my weight loss and will still be mentioned here, but I need to get back to basics and post my weight daily.  I just recently started weighing regularly again.

So there is now a Daily Weigh-In link under the pages section.  I’ll keep it as updated as possible.  It also has a link to a chart of my monthly progress that I’ll keep updated on a monthly basis.  I’m putting the chart here also, that is updated through September.

I’ve had some weight loss for the last two weeks.  I need to keep that going.

Shrinking?

My weight this morning was 225.8.  The last few weeks I’ve been eating healthier, partially to save money.  I haven’t been going out for meals.  It’s working.

I had a can of soup for dinner last night.  Not exactly satisfying, but I’m running out of groceries.  I’ll be making a grocery trip tonight after work.

I still don’t have my weigh-in page figured out, but I have the data in an Excel spreadsheet.

More About Weight

My weight this morning was 228.4.  Although down from the last few weeks, it’s still five pounds heavier than it was in December 2008.  That’s not acceptable.

Under 230 Again – Two Days in a Row

Yesterday and today my weight was 229.2.  I last went out to eat (or drink beer) on Monday.  It’s nice to see almost immediate results.

I almost drove to work yesterday, but I am short on money and didn’t want to pay for parking.  If I’m going to sell my truck, driving to work can’t be an option.

I feel better today and I’m looking forward to riding into work.  Given the choice, I think I’d rather crawl back into bed.  🙂

Danger!

Problems

I’ve been at risk of undoing much of the health improvements I’ve done over the last four years.  My eating habits are not only directly unhealthy, but not great for my mental health with the self-loathing I feel after a whole week of eating bad… week after week.

I’ve let myself get lazy and distracted.  I haven’t been keeping up on household chores.  I’ve basically been a mess.

I’m going to refocus.  I’m weighing myself again.  I haven’t started posting it again because the page is crazy with too much data.  I’ll find a better way to present it soon.  My weight this morning was 236.4lbs.  That’s higher than it’s been since October of 2008.

I need to stop going out to eat so much.  Going out for pizza or a burger and a beer three or four times a week is not only working against my goals, but is costing too much money.

Today, I cooked a pork chop on the grill and had celery sticks.   I have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.  It was a sensible size portion and I drank water with it.

More Goals

In December 2008 I listed a few secondary goals.  I just revisited that.

  • Learn to ride a unicycle (next year)
    I wisely gave up on this.
  • Be car-free (three years away)
    Strangely enough, I’m on track for this.
  • Either fix-up my house, or move (three years away)
    I moved more than a year ahead of the goal.
  • Meet a woman crazy enough to like my lifestyle (never?)
    I got married – we’re split up now – don’t want to say much more than that.
  • Ride a several hundred mile multi-day tour (next year?)
    Although late, I did this in March of this year.

Message From The Past

In January of 2009, I wrote something that I needed to read now.  Luckily, I do re-read my older blog entries occasionally.

I mention effort to save a life.  I was trying at the time to convince my audience that this is possible and necessary.  It turns out the audience is me in 2011.

Alright Then

If I fix my eating habits and focus more on productive activities, not only will I lose weight, but I should feel better about myself.  It’s not a cure for depression, but it means fewer bad days.

It’s strange that the things I crave when depressed (food & beer) are things that will eventually make me more depressed.  This is common.  What is it with the human psyche?

How Did I Manage a Record Month?

August 2011 was  a record bike-mile month for me.  How did I do that?

  • I did a 130-mile camping trip on the last weekend of the month
  • I spent a lot of time running errands out to the east end
  • I rode my recumbent for 70 miles by riding to the Crestwood ride 25-miler, then back home
  • I rode a 70-mile RCCS ride
  • I rode my bike to work every day
  • I had several 20-40 mile rides
  • I rode a few extra miles on the last day of the month – just to push myself to a new record

On 8/31, I rode to work the normal way, a whole 3.6 miles or so.  I left work early for a doctor’s appointment (which got me okay’d for a third epidural).

I rode the following route from work to the doctor and then home:

Download

Instead of taking the normal way, I took River Rd all the way to Lime Kiln.  This was flat as a pancake and I managed a 15mph average on this stretch… on the single speed.

After turning unto Lime Kiln there’s a small climb, but it’s mostly flat after that.  I stayed on that same road, although it changes names to Herr Ln then to Lyndon Ln, all the way past Shelbyville Rd and nearly to my doctor’s office.

On the way back, I took the more normal New Lagrange, Washburn, Westport route.  After meandering through the parks, I wen’t to Za’s for pizza then headed home.

After getting home, I realized I was still short of a new monthly record, so I headed back out.

I basically just wandered around.  I didn’t have a destination in mind.  I had mentioned to Tim that I might go through Indian Hills, but I never made it out quite that far.  I was still on the single-speed (actually haven’t ridden the LHT since the camping trip).  Here’s my route:

Download

Once I got back home, I had 671 miles, a new personal best month.  I’m going to shoot for 700 in September.

Monthly Personal Best

I rode my bikes 671 miles for the month of August.  I can live with that.  🙂

I had another doctor appointment after work today, so that got me about 33 miles.  I needed a few more to put me over my old record of 665.6.  I wandered around parts of town that I’m not familiar with.  I eventually ended up in the Mockingbird Valley area, then on River Rd.  Then I went out for a beer.  That made it all worth it.

This new personal best tells me that my neck is “good enough”.  I can ride whatever bike I want for as long as I want without any more discomfort than I get sitting in a chair.

I also had a 130-mile weekend with camping.  I’ll write about it soon.

March Mileage

I use two methods to track my mileage, and they don’t always agree.  I use MyCyclingLog and I also track my bike odometer readings in an Excel file by the week and by the month.

The Excel document is more accurate, as I don’t forget a full week or month.  Apparently I do forget to enter rides on MyCyclingLog, because the numbers are different by more than 15 miles.

Using my record keeping, I had 646.5 miles for the month of March which is my 2nd highest mileage month yet.  The first was June of 2010 at 665.6 miles.  The March mileage is higher in large part due to my mini-tour.

I want to exceed 700 miles in April, yet I’m not doing a tour.  I’m taking a longer route to work, and trying to longer rides on the weekend.  This morning, Tim and I put in over 30 miles.  I have to mow the lawn at my old house in Charlestown, so I’m going to ride there.  I may ride back depending on the time I finish up.

I don’t know what tomorrow has in store yet, but I intend to be on the bike.

How’s My Week?

Monday

I rode to work and back.  Not much else to add.

Tuesday

I rode to work, then to a massage appointment, then home.  I ate too much.

Wednesday

Woke up with a horrible headache, called work to let them know I’d be late, then went back to sleep for a while longer.  I did go into work, but I drove.

Since I was driving anyway, I ran some errands after work.  I went to Swags to buy some running shoes.  Found some that will work for about $60.  Then I went grocery shopping.  Now that 2011 is here, I’m tracking all of my driving miles.  Well, Wednesday was 22.1 miles put on the truck.

Thursday (Today)

Rode to work again.  After work rode across the bridge to Jeffersonville to meet up with Debbie, who I’m training with for the Triathlon.

We discussed scheduling, training, and whatnot.

After I got home, I put on my new running shoes, and some thick base layers (it’s cold outside!) and my reflective vest, and went for a quick run.  The shoes will work.  I should probably buy some thin gloves.  I have thick ski gloves I wear on the bike, but they are not ideal for running.

Rest Of The Week?

I’m now committed to running the Reindeer Romp 4k on Saturday.  I might be crazy to run this soon, but at least it’s only 4k (2.4 miles) and I can walk as much as I need to.

I also need to spend some more time at the Y.  My swimming technique needs a lot of work.  I also need more miles on the bike.

The Long View

I want to look at my weight for the last few years.

2007

Most of this is fairy-land made up stuff.  I didn’t own a scale until late October, but I wanted to fill in a full year’s worth of weight, so I guessed.  You can see the weight start dropping at a pretty good clip near the end of the year.  That part is real.

2008

Through 2008 the weight loss continued nicely. I did bitch and moan at the time about the plateaus that I hit, but it was temporary, and the weight loss continued.

2009

The first couple of months of the year started out well, but then I struggled to lose weight and actually gained weight in the last half of the year.

2010

For the first quarter of the year I lost the weight I gained in the last part of the previous year.  Then I gained it back and another 15 lbs just for good measure.

What Now?

I try not to get too upset about this.  My weight is still below 220 and considering I started just below 300 I’ve still made progress overall.  I do feel like I’m on the verge of undoing it, but I have a much different lifestyle now.  I am fit and active now, I wasn’t before.  I’m eating too much again, thus the weight gain.

The triathlon training should help.  Does that mean I’ll gain more weight after the triathlon is complete?  Maybe.  Should I worry?  Not too much.  I do need to start eating better.  It’s the 2nd day of the year, and I’ve already went out for pizza twice this year.  I can’t keep doing that.

New Year – Time To Put More Miles In

2010 was a good year for bike miles.  I had 5087 miles.  Let’s look back at the last few years.

2008

I bought a bike and started riding in April of 2008.  At the time it seemed like I made slow progress in being able to ride, but I quickly shot up to 626 miles in one month (August).  It tapered off after that.  I finished up that year with 2238.6 miles.  The average monthly was 186.6.

2009

In 2009 I brought my average monthly mileage to 321.7.  I had a total of 3860 miles.  I didn’t have any incredibly good months, but I only had one really bad month, December, with only 91.6 miles.

2010

In 2010 I was more consistent.  My worst month, February, wasn’t really that bad at 297.3 miles.  I also set a new monthly record in June of 665.6 miles.  I barely made my 5000 mile goal for the year by getting 5087.2 miles, averaging 423.9 per month.

2011?

Now that I live closer to work, I’m a bit worried my mileage will drop.  I’m also spending more time on other activities related to the triathlon.  I’ve left my goal for the year at 5000 miles.  Commuting alone will only get me about 2000 miles for the year.  I need to squeeze in longer ride and/or take the long way to work.

I think I’m off to a good start.  I put in a 43-mile ride on the first day of the year.  I may (or may not) get in a ride today.

5000 Miles?

I rode to work and back today.  Yes it was cold.  I met another commuter on the way home.  George lives near my home, and I ran into him in the Old Louisville neighborhood.  He was riding a fixed-gear, and knows one of my co-workers.  Not as many of us are out in the bitter cold.

I’m up to 4900 miles on the bike so far this year.  I’ll easily hit 5000 for the year.  Getting 5000 next year will be the real challenge with my shorter commute.

I still don’t seem to be losing weight.  I am eating better now.  There was a company potluck yesterday, but I skipped dinner after I got home.

I ate much better at work today, but don’t feel like cooking tonight, so I’ll probably just microwave some frozen vegetables.  I’ve been ignoring my food diary.  I still need to start using my dumbbells, or doing push-ups, or something.  Writing blog posts, sleeping, and reading are taking up my time though.

Friday Ramblings

Kristy left yesterday morning.  She won’t be back for a month.

I drove to work yesterday.  I paid $8.75 to park the truck.  Ugh.

I’ve been having problems getting up in the morning.  This morning I got up early and rode to the coffee shop (where I’m at now).  I’ll be leaving here shortly to go to work.

My single-speed bike has been switched over to a fixed-gear.  Riding fixed is different.  It works well for riding around town.  I certainly wouldn’t want to ride it on a long, hilly ride.

My weight continues to climb.  This probably in part due to the snacks at the coffee shops.  I would be better off if I limited myself to just the coffee.

There are two RCCS rides this weekend.  Saturday morning at 8:30, there is an easy urban ride starting at Sunergos.  Sunday is the 80-mile gravel ride that is “training” for the overnight ride coming up later this month.  Can you join us?

Ugh

I’ve been gaining weight.  I haven’t been weighing myself regularly.  These things need to change.  I have a goal to be back under 200 lbs by 3/1/2011.

Here’s my monthly weight chart.  It looks like I’m heading toward 220 lbs.

New Records

From Saturday's short ride
From Saturday's short ride
What a Week!:

Weekly Miles: 255.6 (my new weekly record)
Miles Today: 116.6
(my new daily record)
Top Speed Today: 47.5 mph (my new record, possible stupidity involved)

Today:

I rode to Tim’s house (about 21) miles, leaving home about 4:30 this morning.  We left on a planned 70-miler that ended up a tad longer.  I then rode home.  It was a do-it-yourself Century ride.  🙂

Morning
Morning
At Iroquois Park
At Iroquois Park
Kentucky Tobacco
Kentucky Tobacco

Record Month

I won’t be riding any more for what is left of this month.  I need to get well and I’ll busy spending a few precious days with my wife before she leaves again.

I was on track to have 800 miles for the month of June.  Then things got busy, but I was still on track for over 700 miles.  Then I got sick.  If I rode to work and back one day this week, it would put me at 700 miles.  That’s not going to happen.  So my total for June is 665.6 miles.  136.6 of those miles were on the recumbent, the rest on the LHT.

June 2010 is a record mileage month for me, beating out August 2008 with 626.8 miles.

I’m not done.  There’s a new month starting soon.  Now that my daughter has moved out, and my wife will be gone again, I intend to set a new record for July.

Top Months for Bike Miles

I was really surprised when I took the time to figure out which months I did the most riding in.  Here are the top five, sort by miles.

Month Miles
2008-08 626.8
2010-03 574.9
2009-06 542.2
2009-05 452.0
2009-11 443.9

I knew that March of this year was good.  I assumed it was a new record.  I had no idea that I did more miles in August of 2008.  I had only been riding a few months when I set my record.

I’m hoping to blow that record away this month.  If I keep up the pace that I’ve been doing, I should have 800 miles for the month.  We’ll see.

My commuting bike for this week will be Oria, my recumbent.  I’ve got some “butt issues” that need to heal, so comfort is the word.

Looking Back at My Weight

I looked back at this chart of my weightloss from the beginning.  The “good weightloss” range was October 2007 to March 2009, with a loss of about 94 lbs.  Nearly all of my weightloss occurred at that time.

During the slower weightloss period I dropped about five pounds from March 2009 to July 2009.

From July 2009 to present I’ve actually had a small net gain.  I actually weight more today than I did in early March 2009.

On the bright side, I think my body fat percentage is a little lower than it was in March 2009.  I have been riding the bike a lot more.  I’ve built a lot of muscle.  I’m on track to have over 5000 miles on the bike this calendar year.

Also being fit (which I feel I am) at any weight is healthier than not being fit at the same weight.  My quality of life has improved greatly.

I just need to keep working to eat better, as my natural inclination is to binge on things I shouldn’t.

Long, Strange Commute

In addition to work today, I had a number of errands to run.  My route took me these places:

  • Home
  • Post Office
  • Coffee Shop
  • Bank
  • Work
  • Doctor’s Office
  • Coffee Shop
  • Home

It turned out to be 43.5 miles in beautiful weather.  I had to spend a few hours working, and some time getting poked and prodded by my doctor, but overall a good day.

As far as my crushing depression I was having before… It disappeared <poof!> last Thursday.  I did discuss it with my doctor, but I really don’t want to take medication for it.  As far as an existing medication causing it, I should get the lab results soon.

Oh, I weighed this morning.  I’ve gained weight, as expected.  My weight this morning was 211.2, which is about where I was in early February.  So, I lost some progress again.  I’m back on the wagon.

A New Month

A new month begins tomorrow.  I’ll start weighing myself again, after not doing it for two months.  I’m also going to start tracking everything I eat in a “food diary” again.  I’m not going to track calories this time, but I will be able to review what I’ve eaten.

I’ve ridden my bike 1974.2 miles for the year so far.  Here it is broken out by month:

January 323.6
February 297.3
March 574.9
April 364.9
May 413.5

I would really like to have over 600 miles for June, so I’d better get riding. 🙂

Not Wasting the Week

My weight has been just under 200 lbs all this week so far.  I started off not riding my bike to work, although I did ride the 56 miles on the Sunday RCCS ride.

On Wednesday, I was ready to ride.  I took the long way to work wandering down Waterline Road, through Utica, along the river.  I took a mostly normal route home, with a total for the day of 37 miles.

Today, I didn’t ride to work.  I took Nermal to work to use as “lunch ride” bike on days that I don’t ride to work.  I figured it wouldn’t get any use this week, as the weather forecast was calling for thunderstorms.

We had beautiful weather in the early afternoon.  The roads were even dry (good thing too, Nermal is running without fenders right now).  Patrick, who has joined us on a couple of RCCS rides met up with me downtown, and we rode through Old Louisville and The Highlands, before parting ways, and each getting back to our duties.  That was a nice 13-mile spin.

Tomorrow I’m attending a Norah Jones concert with my daughter.  Riding my bike to work is not really in the cards.  So, I took a 19-mile night-time ride now.  I may do another one tomorrow night after the concert.

Beautiful Weather – Day 2

The RCCS held a ride today titled “Gone With Thee Old Man Winter”.  I’m hoping we’re not jinxing the nice weather we had this weekend.  I’d hate to put the studded tires back on.

Four of us arrived in Edwardsville for ride.  Tim, Dominic, Patrick, and I were prepared for a chilly day, as the temperature was barely above freezing at the ride start.

As we headed toward New Middletown we ran across several members of the Louisville Bicycle Club, and they were moving quite fast.  It turns out they were running time trials.  One of them was Dale, who used to ride with us occasionally, until he preferred riding faster.  As we got into New Middletown we talked to a few more LBC members including Chaz, Tom, and Jen.

As the ride progressed we needed to shed clothing due to warmer temperatures, and actual sunlight!  I know, it was sunny yesterday, but after months of dreariness, this weekend is wonderful.  The temperature topped out in the low 60s.

We went a little off-route, so the total mileage was about 56.  This was probably the best ride I’ve had this year.  The New Year’s Day ride was nice also, but was much colder.

I was also in a cheerful mood because my weight had dropped below 200 lbs as of this morning.  We’ll see if that trend continues.

I rode 126 miles this week.  That’s my highest mileage week this year.  I’m hoping to start next week off with a full commute to work tomorrow morning.