“Refining” My Goals

On Saturday morning I went for an eight mile “run”.  I probably walked half of it, yet I still could barely walk for a couple of days.

I’ve been ignoring the need to train a great deal for swimming.  Swimming is painful due to my shoulder arthritis.

I’ve made the decision to not compete in the triathlon.  Actually, I won’t be competing in anything.  I’m also not going to attempt to race the Tour Divide in 2015 as I initially intended.

The problem, is training.  Training isn’t fun.  Training hurts.  I don’t want to hurt.  It’s just not worth it.  I want to ride my bike and have a good time.

I had been formulating my decision all weekend.  I really didn’t want to talk about it.  I was ashamed.  I was angry with myself.  I posted on BikeForums about it with the subject “I’m a quitter“.  I actually got some really good feedback from the other members.

Quitting would be sitting on your sofa and eating cheese puffs. You’ve just refined your goals.

That made me feel better. I do still want to ride, and I want to ride a huge number of miles. I want to lose more weight, and stay fit. I want to go on a tour.

Life’s too short to do things you hate. Go out and ride, tour, randonnee, ride around the neighborhood….whatever. Do what you enjoy.

+1 on what everyone else said. Do what makes you happy. You’re still exercising and improving yourself by riding recreationally instead of training to race. I don’t blame you one bit for not wanting to do that stuff anymore. I tried it during the first half of 1993 for mountain bike racing. It was mostly fun at first and I did pretty well, but when it came time to upgrade from the Beginner class the fun was over. It became the kind of sufferfest I DON’T like, and not worth it to me. I’d rather suffer on my own terms.

I mentioned that Kent Peterson was my inspiration for attempting the Tour Divide in 2015.

The thing to realize is that Kent is a mutant. I mean that in the nicest way possible; I’ve ridden with him and he’s a really nice guy, great advocate for cycling, etc. But he’s in a class above most when it comes to riding.
He’s one of those guys that can survive on little to no sleep. He can fuel himself on garbage. No, really… we’re talking about a guy whose personal slogan is “Not A Nutritional Role Model”. He’s done a 1200k fueled on little more than Payday bars and Starbucks. He can ride for hundreds of miles on trail mix and peanut M&M’s. He won the Raid Californie-Oregon (1200k from SF to PDX, fixies only) then rode the additional 200 miles back to Seattle so he could go to work. By his own admission, he doesn’t beleive in “training” either. When you ride 12,000/year you really don’t need to do anything additional as training.
Most of us, with the right training, could finish a race like the Tour Divide or a 1200k brevet. Some people, like Kent, Vinnie M (over 40,000k RUSA distance last year), and Mark T (4x 1200k events last year) just have a different natural ability for the sport, and structured training doesn’t play much into their routines.

I’m of the attitude that if it’s not fun anymore, then why do it?

I know I don’t need the approval of others to make these decisions, but it did make me feel more comfortable with it after the fact.  I’ve disappointed at least two people by doing this, but I want to ride a bike not run and swim also.

Training, Racing, and Other Silliness

I still haven’t decided whether to continue training for the triathlon.  Every time I run or swim, I’m sore for days.

If I don’t compete in the triathlon, I can’t see making my goal of racing the Tour Divide in 2015.  Should I give up on both, or dig in deeper and train?

My training partner and I are doing a mini-tour to Indianapolis and back over five days.  It’s a leisurely pace with a full day in Indianapolis.  It’ll be in late March, and I’ll have a lot of pictures.  We won’t be camping, but staying in hotels.

Starting Again

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’m still gaining weight.  I’ve made a few drastic decisions today with some exceptions.

No more coffee. My coffee consumption has skyrocketed.  I seldom brew my own, I go to the coffee shop and end up buying snacks while I’m there.  It’s hurting my weight loss effort, and my wallet.  I’ll drink water and milk.

Very little eating out. I guess it’s a mental thing where I feel like I have to treat myself.  I’ve been doing it too often, and it’s causing problems.  I need to pack a lunch when I go to work, and cook dinner at night.

Very little beer.  I love beer.  It’s something I treat myself with, usually when going out for dinner.

No ice cream. I haven’t had any recently, but if it’s in the house, I’ll eat the whole container.  Kristy will be home soon, and probably bring some in the house.  If the allowed amount is none, it should be easier for me.

Changing weight-tracking. I’m still weighing daily, even if I haven’t updated the page here in a while.  I’m no longer going to post daily weights.  I’ll change the weigh-in page to be weekly averages.  Then maybe I’ll be able to keep posting regularly.

I did mention some exceptions to the changes.  I may occasionally violate one of the rules during social functions.  This could include an RCCS coffee ride, pub crawl, whatever.  If I ride a 40-mile round-trip to have pizza and beer, that’s okay.

I won’t be training this week, but I will be back at the YMCA on Sunday.  It’s time to get in gear again.  After the triathlon in July, I’m going to re-attempt switching to a paleo-diet.  I tried before, but I felt like crap when I didn’t eat carbs.  I’ve since learned that it takes 2-3 weeks to adjust.

Am I Training?

Yeah, ouch, I am.

After running the 5k yesterday, and attempting a spin class last Tuesday, not to mention the four days I went to they Y for swimming and weightlifting… I met up with Tim this morning for a 34-mile ride on the single-speed.

After the ride this morning, I intended to be lazy around the house.  Debbie, my training partner, sent me a message about a 2-hour spin class this afternoon, so why not?.

I had only managed 10 minutes of my previous attempt at a spin class, but I realized that I tried to go all-out too often.  So, I met up with Debbie at the Y, and managed to complete the class.  I did take it a bit easier in the beginning, but in the last hour, I was keeping up, and could barely walk when I left.  Not a problem, I only had to ride home.

I took a small detour and stopped for food.  I was famished after eating very little all day.  I overate, and had a few beers before trundling home.

My legs?  Do they hurt?  Uh… yeah, actually they do.  Why do you ask?

I’ll be up tomorrow morning early for swimming and weightlifting before work, and running after work.

My First 5K

As part of my Triathlon training I ran a 5k this morning.  This is not only my first 5k, but my first organized run.  I met up with my training partner (Debbie) at the Frostbite 5k.

A week ago I was supposed to run a 4K. I didn’t even buy running shoes until two days before. I didn’t train at all. I was saved by bad weather. I didn’t run.

This past week I ran indoors at the YMCA. 1 mile, 3 times. Not a huge distance, but I did better than I thought I would. For some perspective, the last time I ran a mile, I was in high-school, and despite being lean and muscular I could barely breathe and almost vomited.

So today, I didn’t wimp out.  I even rode my bike to get there, which was a good idea due to lack of parking.  There were over 700 people running.

For the first 1.5 miles I kept up a good pace without walking. I think my first mile was about 11:30. After the halfway mark I did drop to a walk a couple of times to recover before getting back to a jog.

I saw a lot of Couch to 5K t-shirts. There were some icy spots on the road.

My finish time was 34:16. I did a lot better than I thought I would.

The ride home was at a leisurely pace. My legs are sore.

Some observations from a bicyclist point of view:

  • Running requires fewer layers of clothes in cold weather
  • A 5K run wasn’t bad, but a 5K bike ride is nothing
  • I was generating enough heat during the entire run, it was like climbing a hill on the bike, constantly
  • A lot of people run – how can we get them on bikes?
  • Once the run was over, I quickly got chilled
  • I had minor knee pain, and will probably look into one of those bands that goes around the leg just below the knee

I don’t think I’ll ever become a regular runner, but I’ll do it enough to train for my Triathlon in late July.

Spin Class?

I went to the 5:45 a.m. spin class at the Y this morning.  I was the only male in attendance, and I was probably about average age-wise for the group.

We quickly got going.  Maybe I started off too fast.  Maybe I’m still too weak from yesterday’s workout.  I am still sore from yesterday.  In any case, I lasted all of ten minutes in the spin class before I bailed.  I went and swam for a while, now I’m sitting here at the Y watching the news channels go crazy about the snow.

I’ll be riding to work in a minutes, but my shortened workout has left me some extra time.

I Ran a Mile!

I haven’t run a mile since high school.  Although I was lean and muscular at the time, I still remember feeling like I was going to lose a lung.

Today, in addition to swimming and weight-lifting, I took advantage of the indoor track at the Y.  I settled into a steady pace, and before I knew it, I had run a mile.  I felt fine.  I guess my cardiovascular system is stronger now than when I was in high school, even if I sag more now.  🙂

I’m a bit sore now, but I’m pleased with myself.  I’m going to the Y again tomorrow, but I’m not sure if I’m going to run.  I’ll see how my legs feel in the morning.

I have an appointment on Thursday morning with a “wellness coach” at the Y.  I basically just asked how to use the computer-fitness-tracking-thing (I can’t remember what it’s called), and had to schedule an appointment.

I’m really only doing strength training for my upper body, arms, and core.  I think my legs are doing  just fine from a few years of riding a bike.

How’s My Week?


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


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


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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Walking, Raw-Food, and Getting Up Early


Candy is unsure
Candy is unsure

After riding my bike to work and back home, I needed to go to the grocery store.  I didn’t feel like riding, so I intended to drive.  Once I was standing next to my truck, keys in hand, I realized it was silly to drive.  The local Kroger is less than a mile away.  I didn’t need much, so I walked.

The sidewalks had been ice-covered a few days ago, but they seem to be clear now.  I bought what I needed and headed home just as it began snowing.  By the time I arrived home it was sleeting.


While researching paleo-diet stuff (which I’m not doing right now), I came across raw-meat diet for pets.  Dogs and cats are carnivores, so I did a little reading and decided to give it a shot.

My finicky cat is not taking to it at all so far.  The dogs however, love it.  They’ve eaten pork ribs, eggs, and chicken legs.  I need to buy some organ meat to round out the diet.

I was buying some fairly expensive dog food before, so I may actually save money doing this.  You don’t have to buy expensive meat.  The cheap stuff is fine.  Watching a dog eat an egg can be funny.  Both of my dogs eventually eat the whole thing, shell and all.

The downside to this plan is that I’ll have to mop the kitchen floor much more often.

Sandy is being protective
Sandy is being protective

Getting Up Early

I hate mornings.  Even if I go to bed early, I still really dislike getting up.

I need to start getting up earlier so I can train for the triathlon.  I’ve got a couple of weeks before I really start training, but I need to get up tomorrow and get down to the Y before work and work on my swimming.

Stepping It Up

I’m going to participate in a triathlon in 2011.  I’m starting training in the next couple of weeks.

The joke has been made that triathletes are not cyclists.  I’ll be a cyclist who isn’t really a triathlete.

That’s why I started a Y membership yesterday.  My swimming needs a lot of work.  I need to learn to run without hurting myself.  I need to get faster on a bike.

This came about because I got an email from Debbie, a former co-worker, from my pre-weight loss days.  She had found out about my blog.  She wants to participate in a triathlon, and has asked me to join her.

My gut reaction was to decline, but that is the “fat-person mentality” that I mentioned yesterday.  After rolling the idea around in my head for a while I decided to go for it.  It could very well be what I need to make it to the next level of fitness.

I don’t expect to do well, I just expect to finish.  That’s my goal.  Hopefully I’ll attain my goal weight along the way.

I have a friend willing to loan me a bike that is a bit better for a race than my current bikes.  If that doesn’t work out, I’ll strip my LHT down, and use that.

I still have a lot to learn, but I’m commited.  I signed up for the Y membership and agreed to do this.  The next step is to buy some shoes I can run in.  I’ll probably go to the Y for some swimming and running very soon.  The real training starts in early January.