Thursday, August 28, 2008

Yeah, I am intense like that.

I got nothing. Had to work late, got home just in time to get Son#1 suited up and out the door for soccer practice, no time for a ride. I did do the technique Spinerval this morning before work, and walked for lunch, but that’s it.

Oh, I weighed in at 204.2 this morning.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

We HATES deeeze!!!!!!

The family is back, and it’s been chaos since they pulled into the driveway. Son#1 got his shin guards and his first real set of cleats for his third season of soccer. He loves to hang about 3 feet back off the ball, I guess he is more of a “thrill of the chase” kind of guy. Oh well whatever, he is hot, sweaty, tired and happy after a game, as long as that is the case we will keep signing him up. There was also back to school shopping, and his first official grown up bike ride, the 16 mile CornFest Bike Rally. He got his first taste of schwag in the form of a T-Shirt and a water bottle. The kid had a blast. Thanks NCC!!! Then there was back to school shopping, and a couch story straight out of Seinfeld, but we all survived. The Warden had some adventures of her own. Big court case, lots of drama, something to do with abusing authority, you know, the typical absolute power corrupts absolutely type stuff. She looks all sweet and innocent, but there are skeletons in her closet, spring loaded hair triggered skeletons. Son#2 is still pretty much screaming or puking. That boy is all about endurance.

As the title indicates, Son#1 is currently doing battle with his sense of balance. I let the poor little guy enter first grade not being able to ride a bike without training wheels. I’ve been cutting my ride time down this week trying to help this kid stay upright on only two wheels. I should have been doing this all summer. This is proving to be more of an effort than I had originally envisioned, but the Universe seeks balance, and so do we. Progress has been made though and I think we are on the cusp. Until we crest that hill, my training is going to suffer a bit. The little ingrate will probably be dropping me and laughing as I’m spit off the back in two more years. Oh well, listening to him giggle as he almost runs into a tree is worth it.

I once again slipped a little over the weekend, this time on pizza, hotdogs, root beer and taquitos. Next weekend's challenge is a pig roast. For multiple reasons I haven’t weighed myself since my last post, chief among them was the fact I think I may be getting mental about this whole weight loss thing. What can I say, moderation, in anything, is not my cup of tea. I’ll be checking in tomorrow though. I’m guessing I’ll weigh in around 203ish, 205 at the most, spin the wheel, and place your bets.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I'm sure i will live to regret it...

Weight: 204.8
Delta M: -1.4
Miles: 0
August Miles: 300

There was no riding today, trainer or otherwise. Maybe it’s the diet, but lately I’ve just been feeling like crap the day after a hard ride. I did walk during lunch, but even that was difficult. I wasn’t exceptionally sore or anything, but I just felt like my tank was completely empty, and every little physical effort left me winded, and made my heart race.

Another thing I noticed is the day after a workout, I can’t get enough water. It’s not a gradual developing thirst either. I’ll be on the phone and mid sentence it hits me that I need water and I can’t wait, I’ll go pound a 20 oz water in one pull. I typically get up around 4AM, and by 9:00AM both yesterday and today, I had had over 2 liters of water, a 12 oz Low Sodium V8, and 16 oz of green tea. I usually have another V8 and 16 oz of tea, plus 60-80 oz of water over the afternoon before I ride. Are there any sport medicine/physiology types who have an explanation for this?

Chas comes back tomorrow, and last I checked she is bringing both boys back. Hopefully they will both be at least 18 years old and financially independent when they come through the door, but I’m guessing one will still be 6 months old and unable to go more than 8.3 seconds without screaming loud enough to shatter the glass of the neighbors bathroom mirror, or throwing up on something. The other will still be 6 years old and unable to go more than 17 seconds without asking me some insane question I have no idea how to answer.

As long as I can remember, if I am ever in a no win situation I just accept my lot in life and start looking for entertainment. On the submarine, you could give me the shittiest most demeaning job on the boat, and as long as I had somebody to crack jokes with, I was fine. Anytime Son#1 asks you why, it’s a no win situation. Any answer you give him just leads to 3 or more questions that just keep branching out to the edges of infinity. He is like a mini Robert Pirsig on steroids or something. On one hand I hate to stifle curiosity, on the other hand I need time to sleep and bathe on occasion. Sarcastic humor delivered with such a poker face and tone that it would scare a casino owner into a coma seems to be the only solution, or at least the only entertaining one

We were at the fireworks this past Independence Day, and happened to get seats on the ground right up front against the pennant saw horse barrier the city had put up. Things were going pretty smooth and then it started:

Son#1: Daddy, what’s that? (pointing to the improvised barrier)

Me: It’s a barrier.

Son#1: Why is it here, what’s it for?

Oh Crap! Cork it fast or you're going to be explaining how light moves as both a particle and a wave to a 6 year old for the next 7 hour!

Me: Fireworks are hot. The barrier keeps us far enough away too keep us from getting hurt. If you have a leg or hand sticking past that barrier when one of those fireworks goes off, it will scorch the muscle right off the bone. *

The key is always the delivery. Smooth and controlled. He who hesitates answers more questions. That comment earned some concerned looks from the other families sitting next us, one of the strongest came from Craig’s mom. Boy, my Mom was sure was proud of the man and father her own Son#1 had grown up to be though.

Can you tell I miss the little guys?

*Yes, I did actually say that to my son.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Getting There

Weight: 206.2
Delta M: -2.2
Mileage: 34 mile group ride/30 minute morning trainer ride
August Mileage: Let's just call it 300 and work from there…

We were about 15 miles into the group ride, and I was still feeling pretty good. I looked down at my computer and damn near swallowed my water bottle. We were rolling at about 24 mph, and my heart rate was bouncing around between 150 and 155 bpm. Two months ago that kind of effort would have caused my heart to collapse in on itself and then explode in a blue blooded supernova, or at least a just a plain old nova. Hell, a month ago I would been hydrating on my own vomit. Of course all good things must end and I was eventually dropped. I did a couple of pulls though, and even managed to bridge a good 20 yard gap when the pack split up. That one cost me though. Anyway, it was a great ride. We average 19.5 mph, and my average heart rate was 150, which is about 70% of my max, over about 1 hour and 40 minutes. Not too shabby for a fat dude.

I think I need to take a day off tomorrow. I'll do some recovery on the trainer in the basement before work, then walk during lunch, but I have to clean the kitchen before the Warden gets home Friday or I'll be spending a few nights in solitary confinement on the couch.

My single speed is in the shop getting a new bottom bracket. Thank God for warranties. All that power is hard on the hardware I guess, or at least that's what I am still telling myself. It helps me get over the hills, so just leave me be OK.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Not all that much going on...

Weight: 208.4
Delta M: 1.8
Mileage: More than it looks like, honest!
August Mileage: Your guess is as good as mine, 250 ish?

How many pockets on your run of the mill, standard issue road jersey? Three.
How many steak tacos do you get at Chipotle? Three.

Hmmmmmmm…Some may claim this is only a coincidence, random chance if you will. Others, may think they smell the beginnings of a conspiracy theory Special Agent Fox Mulder couldn’t come up with on a bad acid trip. I’ll tell you what though, the only thing I smell is grilled chicken, steak, or pork seasoned with absolute pure frick’n genius.

Chas and the kids are out for one last hurrah in Michigan before school starts again for Son#1. I've been tearing the house up looking in all my piles for my emergency stash of singles and fives for armature night this Thursday, but either Chas found it first in a preemptive strike before she left, or I used it on those new cranks and don't remember. They won’t be back till Friday and no matter how much I whine my mother refuses to come out and cook a meal for me, or even wash a load of clothes. Its getting ripe around here. I finished off the balance left on my Chipotle gift card so I won’t doing tacos for a third night in a row tomorrow. Given the ways and means, I think I could live off of strawberries, kiwis, and tacos. Tomorrow though, I have to cook. I fear another Parmesan cheese and spicy mustard sandwich or two may be in my near future

Between a round of spinervals (power intervals) yesterday morning, a good walk during lunch, and a pretty healthy 30 miler yesterday after work, if I had my bike lock on me yesterday evening I would have stopped on the way home, stinky sweaty lycra and all. All that and I tried to do it all over again today. More than one friend suggested I may be pushing it a little, and maybe it would be in my best interest to not let the Warden leave me to my own devices for more than 48 hours at a stretch. After the second warning I sat back and took stock, I felt like shit, water was passing through me like the bandaged man in Catch 22, and my heart was racing at a pretty good clip just sitting in my chair. I opted for a night at home with some tacos and popcorn, and hopefully some Olympic BMX action if I can stay awake that late.

Tomorrow I hope to get up early and do the easier spinerval work out, I think it’s one legged drills and other technique type stuff, just enough to hopefully get the heart rate up a tad for 30 minutes or so before work, then the Wednesday group ride.

So where have I been? I got some good miles in last week, then blew it over the weekend. There were brauts, there were burgers, there were good friends I haven’t hung with since high school, and open flame. There was also a crawl inducing amount of vodka I should never have attempted to drink, obese liver issues or not. Apparently loosing 56 lbs in 4 months drastically alters the amount of alcohol you can process without making a total ass of yourself. Oh well, we all survived.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I got nothing...

Weight: 206.6
Delta M: + .6 (It’s all the muscle that Spinerval workout gave me yesterday)
Mileage: 5 or 6 ish (single speed)
August Mileage: The truth is out there.

Not much going on today. I had a fairly brutal day at the office, violated a couple laws of physics getting home in time to change, hop on the single speed, then go meet the rest of the family to watch Son#1’s first soccer practice of the season.

I took the long way home and cut through downtown, it is already starting to feel like autumn around here. I’m not sure if this is strange, or the previous few years were strange, but I remember the 90’s hanging well into September the last few years. I’m not complaining, just curious. Fall is my favorite season. Of course, with fall comes Mountain Bike fever. So I get to spend the next few months lusting after another bike I cannot afford. Every year right around May I get the itch to go by a crotch rocket. I can never make up my mind which bike I will suffer the summer without, the CBR or the YZF?

Our niece is over watching the Olympics with me. Despite being a 13 year old female, she’s kind of fun to hang out with.

I think I need to slip some more protein in my diet. I have been hungry all frick’n day. I don’t mean pass the chips hungry, I mean I could go for a 16 oz ribeye with a side of sirloin hungry. Rice cakes and apricots just ain’t cutting it today.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Should I be wearing a helmet for this?

Weight: 206!
Delta M: -5.6 (But that spans just over a week)
Mileage: NA (Can I count trainer miles?)
August Mileage: Uhhhh…a few more than yesterday technically, I suppose?

I got rained on driving home, but I was determined to get some sort of exercise in, so I finally broke down and pulled the trainer out of the box it has been sitting in since early June. Of course once I got it out and set up, the rain cleared and the sun came out, but now I had a new toy to play with so down to the basement we went.

It’s a Kurt Kinetic fluid resisted trainer with the superwhamodyne fly wheel that weighs damn near as much as I do. I’ve never ridden a trainer before, so I can’t really compare it to other trainers, but it is quiet, and once you get that rear wheel going it does feel like you’re on the road. One thing I noticed is that any rapid/extreme power change makes the wheel skip a bit on the roller, no matter how tight I set the tension. It does kind of point out problems in your pedal stroke though, and kind of forces you to work on pedaling smooth circles instead of mashing squares like I am prone to. Otherwise it seems adequate.

I have it set up down in the basement next to the crotch butchering Aerodyne my first wife rides. All I need is about 7 or 8 feet of coax, than I can watch my football games in peace this year without all the rolling eyes, and get in a decent base this off season.

Oh yeah, it came with a Spinervals DVD. I did the “C” work out, for Sprints and Power. It’s rated at a 9.9 for intensity. I’m all set now. When my new found power leaves you crying in a ditch tomorrow, feebly clutching the quivering twitching jellied muscle mass that use to be your legs Aaron, Brian and Mike, try not to take it too personally. Blame it on the spinervals.

I’m not sure what happened with my weight, I took 3 days off the bike and consumed significant calories and salt, I figured for sure I would be floating around 210-212. I ain’t complaining mind you, just curious.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Attempted Manslaughter, In the Second degree

Weight: 210ish maybe?
Delta M: NA
Mileage: 42
August Mileage: A couple few hundred I think, so far?

Aaron tried to kill me tonight. OK, maybe not, because I’m sure he could if really felt like it. Well, more like he could on a whim, on a bad day, with a broken foot, but he at least had a little torture in mind for me. I mean look at these before and after pictures I just happened to take today:

While I’m OK in the sunscreen department, I obviously need to address my hydration strategy.

We did a fast (for me) forty down too, and then through Shabonna State park. It was a 40 mile ride and I averaged 19.5 mph. Aaron did some strange things, first off all he had me pull. Most of the guys on the group rides are faster than me, and get fed up and cut in lest I drop their average down a half a mile an hour, or three. Then he did something really bizarre. He pulled alongside me, and actually explained how it would go, 1 minute pulls, fade to the right. That’s never happened before. The group would rather just laugh at you when you screw something up, or just get pissed off and drop you.

I held on as long as I could, towards the end my pulls got slower and slower, and then shorter and shorter. When we got closer to town Aaron pulled up and asked me if I knew where I was, because I had gotten a little turned around in the park, and our normal route back, that I actually knew, had a closed road. When I said yeah, I expected him to take off, but he held back and talked for a bit. That’s 3 weird things!

All told that was by far the hardest ride I’ve been on this season. My average heart rate was 160bpm, so I basically held an 83% effort for 2 hours. My asthma actually flared a little bit on me going over the last hill, an overpass that takes you over 88. I know, that sounds lame, but that is what passes for a hill in these parts. That hasn't happened to me since April, so long in fact, that i haven't brought my inhaler on a ride since I rode that century. According to the little doohickey on Bicycling Magazine's web page I burned 2290 calories. Because he’s lighter than me, by about 50lbs I’m guessing, Aaron only burned like 1700. How weak!

Thanks Aaron

I had a slow weekend on the bike, and Chas and I had our second night out together since February, so I’m kind of scared to step on the scale at this point, I will tomorrow morning, I promise.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Kind of boring night on the bike tonight, the usual group ride situation, but I think everybody was dragging a little, because I only felt like I was going to exhale an entire lung two or three times. I think I need a rest day. Although some of them were relatively easy rides where I was babying my knee, I haven’t taken a day off the bike in over a week. My legs have been sore to the point where walking is difficult since the race on Sunday. I tried doing some recovery rides, but couldn’t resist trying to keep up with Aaron Monday, and ended up sprinting about 2 miles yesterday trying to catch Smegma and Hershey Squirt yesterday. OK, maybe more like 1 mile, but it felt like 50 miles when I was trying to carry my bike up the porch steps into the house. I had a fun ride last Saturday, and even took some pictures; I’ll get those up some time.
I’m drop dead tired; I’ll get all caught up on the mileage and weight stuff tomorrow. Later taters.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Do I want the black chrome or the nickel plated model?

Had a great little recovery spin today, till I got about 2 miles from home, and some drip of smegma and his Hershey squirt buddy decided it would be cool to launch a full bottle of Gatorade or something out their window. It impacted just below my helmet and behind my ear. I’m guessing they were doing around 35mph, and I was doing 7 or 8mph. Either way it was enough to daze me and force me to stop my bike. I almost caught them at Taylor and 4rth, but they saw me coming and ducked down a side street when they realized they would be caught at the light. They then blew a stop sign crossing fourth, after that there was no traffic and straight roads and they were able to pull away. I can’t ride with my glasses so I wasn’t able to get a license number. I suppose I am lucky I didn’t catch them because I would have either gotten my ass beat, or I would be in jail for some sort of assault charge or something. Either way I'm guessing I wouldn't be making the group ride tomorrow.

Oh yeah, for the three cars behind me that saw everything, thanks for stopping to make sure I was OK and offering help. Oh wait, you didn’t. I would like to think I’ll get the opportunity to repay the favor some day, but unfortunately I am a fairly nice person, if I see somebody who looks like they could use a hand, I generally offer it. I imagine that kind of self absorption sure does come in handy sometimes though.

I guess it’s time to start really working on my sprints, and carrying one of these in my jersey pocket.

Sorry, too pissed to try to be entertaining right now, I’ll try to be back to my old self tomorrow. Oh yeah, I weighed in at 211.6 this morning.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Occluded Front

So there you are, 3 miles from home, dreading tomorrow, because going off the fact that you were so sore from yesterday’s Muddy Buddy race that you could barely walk to the water cooler today, you maybe, make that definitely, should have done a nice easy 2 hour spin in a really low gear. Instead you decide to try to keep up with Aaron, heading into the wind in 96% humidity. You are done; burned sizzled and fried. All the Gatorade, Cytomax, Sport beans or Shotblocks couldn’t get you to turn the crank over one more time. Some might argue for a better rest/ training schedule, better nutrition, or maybe even in the extreme, questionable supplements that are legal over the counter in Tijuana, and they may be right. But do you know what tops of your tank better than any of that? Tornado sirens. Not the first Tuesday of the month at 11:00 AM kind either, they have to be the real kind, the ones that come when the trees lean way over and start dropping limbs.

So I went from praying for a quick painless end to flying through downtown at 37 mph wishing I had a taller gear.

Lessons learned:

1) Don’t go sprinting through a tornado warning ignoring offers of shelter trying to get to your wife and kids because they are not there. They are at the store.

2) Fear of death sweat smells a lot worse than regular old riding too hard in the humidity sweat. Even the dog almost threw up a little in his mouth, and he licks his own ass out of boredom.

More tomorrow folks, sorry, I’m shot. It has been a crazy busy week, I am done for.