Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bike Racing and the Hibachi Grill

Well, a week later. I am doing good weight-wise. Weighing in every day, you see all the fluctuations. Only once this last week did I see 200lbs - the rest were 199 or lower... where as the week before it was all 200+ and one day with the 199. So it is still working when you look at the big picture. That is what I have to focus on - the daily glance at weight can drive you nuts.

After my first road race last week, I had my first Time Trial of the year Sunday. ColaVita Time Trial Series - #1 Casstown. The course was a flat to mildly rolling 9.1 mile course. My finish time was 22:46 - just missing the podium by 22 seconds.


Man if I would have known that on the course I am sure I could have found that time out there... pushing harder on a downhill, suffering a little more on a climb, rounding the corners a little faster (should have pedaled through them), etc... It was a good ride.

I took my entire family to this one. The kids running around made things a little hectic, but they were still fun to have there. Although I think Jenna would have prefered not to be there all day.. it had to be tough for a 3 year old..lol.


Anyways, Carisa brought her bike to try her first race too, only her 4th time on her road bike ever! I got back from my race, got the kids, got her on her bike, and she road around the parking lot a few times (what a warm up...lol) and she got in the start house and took off.


She came back with a 28:17 total time - 19.3 mph avg speed - very nice. She was pleasantly suprised. Turns out it was enough to win the female standard class. First time out, First place... she showed me! Great Job! We joked afterwards about how biking is so much better than running. You win great door prizes (forgot to mention she won a gift certificate to Rudy Project for free sun glasses too), you get the big ColaVita Olive Oil and your picture on the top of the podium, and you don't have any purple toes.... good stuff!


Food - at home the diet is easy. I know what I have around to eat, I know the calories, I have portion controls. Going out to eat is tough. We went out to eat last Friday with the Grandparents, and whole family. We went to the Habachi Grill Buffet there on Bechtle (where the old Duff's was - yeah how about that for dating myself). Anyways- the plan was get a salad and then go for fish.... get there and the salad was litterally a head of lettuce peeled... it was perfect for putting on the top of hamburger... but had to be cut up to eat as a salad. Interesting... so I do that and chop it up and had it. Part one down - now on to the fish and veggies. We went for the habachi grill. Got crab meat, shrimp, onions, mushrooms, green peppers, celerly, etc. The grilled it in front of me - adding some soy sauce, and I added some white rice. Man eating here is tough.. how do you figure the calories. I stopped after this because of the unknown. I know it had to be high in sodium, but only can guess on the calories. If you were to eat off the actual buffet cook tables - there are so many pitfalls. One egg roll can ruin your meal. Its crazy. Looking at the food- pizza, so much breaded food, fried food... baked food was a rarity. It's no wonder the US is in the place it is health-wise.

That's all for this week - sorry for the rambling and odd directions. I'll work on being more focused for next week.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

a bad day...

Today was a tough day.

My dog, Sweetie, a 13 year old Elkhound recently had a lump removed and we found out it was a grade 3 mast, and a seriously bad version of cancer. The day we had it removed she got home and was extremely happy. Well, a day after that with all the meds for pain and surgery she had to take she just didn't seem herself. We took her back to the vet and he said that the surgery went fine, and the incision area is healing great. He had thought maybe the stress from the surgeryhad gotten to her. So he had us stop that medicine and gave her some others to help her relax and eat better. Another few days went by and we struggled with finding food she wanted... even people food (she would always beg when we ate and now nothing.... she must not have felt good we figured, still recovering from the surgery). By this Friday she had not eaten any dog food at all and we looked around the house for anything that would intice her to eat. Carisa (my wife) had just gotten back from eating out with Bronwyn (her life long best friend) and she had brought a piece of steak )a filet no less) home in a doggie bag. What the heck, I sliced a thin piece of and showed her - boom she was up, 1/2 way into the kitchen wanting more.... so I cut up the rest - she loved it. But that is all she would eat the rest of the weekend. Saturday - nothing at all - no hot dogs, cheese - nothing. She ended up vomitting just water up and wasn't doing well again. She found her comfy spot by the front door and slept there. Sunday we got up and she would not move. It was time. I made the call to the Vet and he had us bring her in. He agreed.

That was tough.. I know this is a lot of information, especially to people I may or may not know. But I have to talk about it, it is the healing process.

Sweetie was so much more that a family pet. She was part of her family. We drove to detroit to get her... she was the best dog I have ever hadm she had a loving desposition. It's crazy. She loved being around us. She used to go to work with me at the lock shop. She hated tiled floors, but even though that was all the shop had - she wanted to go. She would sit in the front windows and watch the cars go by all day. She loved riding in the work van with me too then. I would roll her window down and she would sometimes hang out as we drove down the highway (I remember looking at her and her eyelids would pop up and her cheeks pop out wide from all the wind) and other times she would sit facing me and paw at me to pet her as we drove. She was a great dog. Everyone worried that when we had kids she would bit at them. But they didn't understand her. She loved her family, would protect it it to her death. When Freddy was little she would stand next to him as he got up - letting him grab handfulls of her hair to pull himself up. And not even flinch. If she did something bad, and you told her 'bad' she would hang her head as to say she was sorry. For a dog she was very emotional, and you could see it.

Miss you Sweetie.
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After all of this today - I got home and had time to still make my first road race of the season. I had the truck already packed up from the night before. So I changed my clothes and headed out. I got there just in time. No warm up. A 43 mile Cat 4/5 race. Well it was time to see if the training and the weight loss was going to work. I am pleased to announce it was my best race ever, even with the conditions I was under. I stayed in the front pack up until I saw my team mate Dan attack the front with 1/2 lap to go. At this point the speed went up and it strung everyone out. I was hanging on to the end of the front pack. I made it to the 2nd to last hill and boom it hit me... not enough gas in the tank... they started to drift away... first a few feet I couldn't close, then a few yards... slowly growing. It was painfull. I would stand up to sprint to try to close the gap and there just was not enough to do it. I just put my head down and went to work. The road wiggled around with a nasty head to side wind, depending on the road. The we turned right... I could still see them, but they were WAY out there. There was a ton of odd people out there in between. So I just went to work. Picking them off one by one. I went by a couple of people and started to close in on 2 guys working together (from the same team). When I caught them I jumped in the back and let them both take the pulls qiving me a break. Then when it was my turn I realize that they were helping me so I had to help them. I pulled for more than my fair share - probably about 3 times longer than either one of them by themselves, but I wanted to be fair since we would be going placed quicker working together. I went left to pull off to let them pull again and they followed me - sticking me in the front. Nice. So I went back to work. Head down keeping the pace the same. I had a small downhill section I could keep the pace up and get a quick drink and I did. Bottle back and with the sun behind me I saw the guy right behind me getting his bottle out. Staying seated I jumped the cadence up 20 rpm and saw a gap - down 2 gears and stand up sprint. Boom. See ya... gapped them and they didn't try to catch me. The adrenaline was pumping from that I just put my head down and got busy. With about 2 miles left I never saw them again. If you want to play that game and let me work alone, I will work alone. Anyways I made the last turn to the right back into the nasty side wind and hill to the finish. I could still see the leaders cresting the hill. Sweet! I busted my rear to finish (within 5 minutes of the leaders) but still behind the main pack. I know there was 100 riders in the Cat 4/5 race I and I bet I was in the top 40. Felt great!

My day went from all time lows to a nice finish. I know Sweetie helped me out there. She made the rain stop, and I gave her some tears along the way.

Oh yeah, I have broken the 200lb weight now too. I hope to have lost another 10 lbs in the next month. Looking for a all time low for Mount Mitchell.

Sorry for the LONG post - so much today... the therapy of typing this helped. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

18 ounces.....

I am literally 18 ounces away from breaking out of the 200lb range. I have lost 23.6 lbs in 7 weeks and 1 day now. I have steadily declined the entire way. It has been a frustrating, educational, emotional but yet healthy journey. I have learned that the better fit of clothes and better performance when exercising totally out weigh the snacks and bad food decisions I made before.

This week I have had a renewed dedication to the weight loss - riding last weekend around Gatlinburg and to the 2nd highest point this side of the Mississippi (only second to Mt Mitchell by a few feet), realizing that I made it up the 6500 climb in 26 miles quicker than I did the last 25 miles of Mt Mitchell last year (which the climbs are very similar) has motivated me to take advantage of the next 2 months before Mt Mitchell this year.

I want to arrive at Mt Mitchell lighter and stronger. I want to crush the ride this year compared to last. I do not want to be the anchor on my cycling team... I am so excited to go this year.

I also want to Thank everyone for the compliments and encouragement, it helps tremendously to fuel me to keep going. The weirdest compliment (I think it was) I got this week was - "Wow, you've lost some weight, at least in your head." Umm, thanks, I think...lol

Also this week I got some sad news about Sweetie, my 13 year old Elkhound. She has cancer. They removed a lump earlier last week and sent it to be tested and it wasn't good. The extent of the cancer is currently unknown but she is starting to act different. She has lost her appetite (eating about the 1/4 of food as before), she wanted to sleep in our bedroom last night (which she never really has done before unless it was storming outside and she was scared). It is so hard to tell if animals are in pain. She is such a trooper, so loving. It is hard to believe this is her fate... all I can think of is way back when she was little - I would take her to work with me at the lock shop every day. She would ride in the seat next to me and even if I had the window down for her to hang out - she would prefer to get my attention and try to rub her head on my hand, or paw at me. She loved the attention. It's so funny - so many people are scared of her due to her bark and people say she looks like a wolf (I don't see it) - but the truth is she is one of the most loving and loyal dogs out there. She loves her family and will protect it. But at the same time I remember as Freddy grew up, everyone was like we had to keep her away from baby Freddy - she couldn't be trusted. But Carisa and I knew that it would be fine - it just wasn't in her. And people were shocked as Freddy, not knowing better, would try to stand up and basically grab a handful of her hair and pull himself up off the floor. Sweetie would freeze and turn to watch to make sure he was ok. It was funny, she didn't even care what Freddy would do - she loved him unconditionally and knew he was family. We have another Elkhound, Lucy, and she knows something is different. She has been Sweetie's helper lately. She will go and lay with her no matter where she is, jump up and scare the birds away in the back yard for her, even help Sweetie finish her food (lol). I hope that Lucy is giving Sweetie a comfort that she knows her family will still be taken care of.... this is hard...

Monday, March 5, 2012

My March Madness

OK- it has been almost 2 weeks since my last post. I would like to say that I have lost a ton more weight, but sadly I have been stuck at the 16-19 lb weight loss.

I have been eating the same foods, the same calories. But for some reason I have hit a plateau. Or at least that is the excuse I am using... yes a crutch on my weight loss. It is all the plateau. Sitting here and looking at myself, at what I have done, what I have eaten.... I realize that I use excuses when I want to justify my weight, when the simple truth is if I end up in a Calorie deficit everyday I would lose weight... anyone would. It is a simple fact of calories burned versus the calories consumed. The excuses are what have caused me to be in this situation.

I look at Carisa over the last month (she has been doing this with me and sticking to it wonderfully). She now has lost 11 pounds in the same time frame as my journey. That is so Great! She is now as light as she was in high school. I am beyond words proud of her. Seeing her progress has re-motivated me to do better.

My Gatlinburg trip this weekend. I have to Thank everyone who was there with me. Everyone was super supportive and didn't judge me when I was trying to figure out calories, or what to order. All the riding made a calorie deficit easier than I thought. Looking at the trip there now - I have no idea how anyone could go there just for vacation and not gain weight (choices are everything). All those restaurants are loaded with calories... eating out is just bad. Thank you Champion City Cycling - I made the trip with no weight gain. I am within a pound of where I left.

I have to say that I need to be strong when making my food choices. It is easy to splurge on one meal... but that one meal will take more than one day to offset it. Over my last 2 weeks little times of weakness have turned into a 2 week long period of no weight loss. Basically nullifying all the work I have done. It is not worth it. The thing I will tell myself is now... is that doughnut worth it... IF, that is a BIG IF, that doughnut is only 450 calories (and if it is a Schuler's it is going to be WAY higher than that) - the 3 minutes that it takes to eat it - it will take 45 minutes of running to burn off that one doughnut.... just to break even.