Monday, April 30, 2012

drifting on the tandem and kryptonite

First off - I apologize, this is a big one today. Not sure what happened, just turned out this way.

Yesterday my family and part of my bike team went and did the ColaVita Time Trial bike race in Bellbrook. We were met there by Alix, Aaron and Karey. A time trial is where they have a 10 mile road course, and you leave the starting line at a certain time (on your own) and race the course as fast as you can. Each person leaves at 30 second intervals. So if you are faster, or slower - you will pass or get passed during the race. You constantly see other riders on the course. Even get to roll out of the start house in the beginning. Freddy and I raced on our family tandem. It is a older Trek with fenders and a rack on the back. We looked funny wearing our aero helmets on a bike looking like we were going on a Anyway, Freddy and I had only ridden this so far this year while pulling Jenna in her trailer. This was the first attempt without, and it was a race. Freddy always has this thing that he does while riding it, he tells me if we need the turbo let him know and he pushes extra hard. I told him before we started the whole ride was a turbo We hustled into the start house and jumped on and got launched out... we were on our way.  We rolled down the road at 20-22 mph, I was impressed. The trailer really must slow us down, but it was early - so we shall see. About 1 1/2 miles in there was a left turn on to a new road. There were course marshalls out there for traffic control, and orange cones up to prevent the cutting of corners. Freddy and I were still rolling along really well here. A little too well. The left turn was slightly down hill, and with the crown in the road it almost felt like as we went through the corner we were going to over shoot it. I grabbed the rear brake and then it happened. The back wheel locked up. The rear end started sliding around, we were now drifting through the corner. I let go - but we had already slid almost 5-6 feet sideways. Freddy was freaked out. I had to act like it was no big thing to calm him. Just focus on pedaling. We kept going... he kept asking now about corners coming up. We were told at over 4 miles in there was a corner where a German Sheppard was chained up but still able to get out on the road, we had to look out for.... I got him focused on that for now. Next we are riding along and Aaron D came flying past us, told us to keep it up. Next thing I know I feel the pedals kicking harder... so I pedal harder too... we roll back up on Aaron on the next little hill and I yell at him... "hey why you slowing down, you need to go faster!" Ha... then we started to fade... hills on a tandem are not friendly. We settled in and kept going. Next we got to the dog... I saw the corner ahead of time and swung it out wide.. that dog did come out on the road pretty far but we cleared it fine. We were rolling along pretty well now. More than half way in and most of the climbing done - now mostly downhill. We passed I think about 4-5 riders. Freddy liked that. We also have a mirror on the bike, he was able to tell me when faster guys were coming. Freddy still a little freaked out warned me that we are not allowed to go over 30mph... now I wish I didn't put a speedometer back there for him. We came to the last big downhill. We coasted all the way down... still hit 33mph riding the brakes... I told him we were fine. We ended up rolling down the hill and to the finish. 29:33 was our time. Really good for a hilly course and our first time. I was so proud to share the top of the podium with him after the race.

Today I weigh 190 pounds... I have been hovering here for a bit. I hit 189 a while back then slacked off and went up to 193..... well I have been working again and I'm back on my way down. It is easy to get off course.  I have found that once I start eating junk food, it never satisfies me, I just want more and more. But I also have noticed if I eat more natural foods (less processed) - I am less hungry and they are better for me. Switching my snacks to baby carrots, celery, apples, grapes, etc.... I find I eat less and feel better and I am satisfied.  Crazy you know... who would have thought a vegetable or fruit would be better for you than chips, oatmeal cream pies, or ice It's not like I cannot eat them, just not as much. I have a problem with portion control and gluttony.  I like to eat a lot, and I will eat it until I am full.... to the point of I not eating anymore. 

I have a sweet tooth. I love candy candy, not chocolate. Sweet tarts, jelly beans, sour patch kids, zotz, Mike & Ikes, etc... I could go on but my mouth is watering. This is my kryptonite. Once I start it is so hard to stop.

I had weird moment this weekend - my niece's birthday party. Her cake... it had butter cream icing. Oh my gosh... heavenly. I could have just scrapped the cake clean of all the icing. I only eat the cake to have that buttery goodness it is decorated it.... I LOVE BUTTER ICING.  I had 2 small pieces instead of one piece plus ice cream. I ate it and it was just so good I wanted more. I lurked the kitchen, I lurked in the dining room, and even they hallway carrying my empty plate (I had to look like a deranged psycho stalking his prey) trying to justify in my mind that one more piece was ok.... yeah I know it is, it won't kill me, but the old Fred who weighed 230lbs would have done it. I don't want to be him again. Once I realized that, I threw away my plate. I felt better. Then I realized that Jenna hadn't finished hers yet... and I ended up lurking there and when she got up I threw her plate away for her, but first I finished her bite of Now I know that one piece isn't going to change me... but my problem is the justifying of it in my mind opens too many doors to the road of 230lb Fred again. I like being thinner. Besides the health benefits and being here for my family longer.... the feeling of clothes fitting better.... the feeling of not worrying about taking my shirt off.... the feeling of not looking like a peanut M&M in lycra bike clothes - they are all worth much more to me than the instant pleasure of that one extra piece of cake.  Besides who said you are supposed to eat more than one piece, one piece is plenty.  I know I am focusing on the cake, but it is more the icing.... the sweets. KRYPTONITE! I can see how peoples addictions get out of control. It is that powerful to me. 

Update on my warranty on the PrincetonTec light - the new one showed up in the mail on Saturday... they just replaced it. Took a phone call to check on it to get it moving - but they replaced it.

I want to thank everyone reading this. I may get off on tangents and rant about things, but please don't take me seriously. I think my blog is turning in to kind of a therapy for me. Food therapy. I know that indulgences in things are not bad, it is just when you cannot control them. Sweets are my problem. It's not a calorie thing... it is just a sweet, sugary, buttery heaven, and unfortunately it is one avenue that got me to the point I was at when I was bigger. This is my struggle. Thank you for all the SUPPORT from my friends. It does help to hear I am not alone, and everyone struggles. Thank you!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fast Laps, Returns, Weight and Mt Mitchell

So last time I had just completed the first of the Fast Laps at MoMBA. First time on the mountain bike in a WHILE.... a few days later I was able to get back out there before the next of the races. Went out there with George and Tony. Took our time and road the course slowly looking at all the corners... rocks.... roots.... etc. The next race came and I did better... not what I wanted but it is totally attainable. Got 2nd place this time - about 50 seconds behind first. The difference this week was it looked like the beginners some how got out on the course and in front of me. I had some that were difficult to pass. I told one guy when I rolled up on him at a base of climb I wanted to pass and he told me "you can pass me at the top if you can keep up"... umm yeah... that's why I caught you already... I couldn't keep up. Let us just say at the top of the climb I didn't care how anaerobic I got... I was leaving I could see the first place guy in my class in front of me... then we would run into traffic and he would be gone... So next time, I must stick closer to him. Overall I was happier - I knocked 2:15 off the last time. Hopefully next time I will do better yet.

Some other things that happened since then. I had a pair of Bellweather cycling tights that I got almost a year ago, that developed a hole in the seat of them. I called them and they said to send them back and they would check them out. A week later, new tights are at my house. Good deal. Another item I had trouble with was my PrincetonTec Swerve tail light. It would turn on and then just die. I called them and got a return number, and then sent it back. I heard nothing. A month goes by and I call them and they are like - oh yes, we were out of the replacements and it is going out today. A week later nothing still. So... I will keep you posted, but the customer support there is definitely lacking.

My weight - I am at 191 pounds as of today - about a week ago, I hit 189. I fell off the wagon food wise. I see that, I knew it, and I have been able to maintain even in my weakness. I am ready now to proceed. Hopefully next blog I will be closer to the 185 goal I have.

Mount Mitchell is less than 1 month away. 103 miles, over 11,000 feet of climbing. This last Sunday, I road 100 miles and had over 4000 of climbing. This MONTH I have 580 miles so far, that is 100 more that I had total LAST year to this date. I am ready for Mount Mitchell!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Oh how I have lost my mountain biking skills....

Well I did my first race on the Mountain bike in what seems like forever

If I remember correctly last fall during the Fast Laps was the last time. So it has be and easy 6 months since I was on the mountain bike. I looked up my off road miles from last year and I had less than 100 miles total for 2011 (and over 1/2 of that was in one shot at the 6 hour race at John Bryan). Last year I got a whopping 4 miles in at MoMBA with Freddy.

So going there yesterday was a little scary. What was I getting into... I knew from previous years I was able to ride the place. But it has been forever. I couldn't tell you what trails turn into other trails... and typically I have no idea where I am out there. Which adds to the stress. I usually have to know where I am.

Anyways - the Fast Laps series this year started differently. Each category was a group start with 2 minutes between each class. So this year I could not race my Clydesdale's class... first time ever. I chose to run Masters (40 years old and older). Finally - take advantage of my age.

I lined up with 5 other riders in Masters. We took off down a double track (kind of like a fire road) for about 3/4 of a mile. It spread the field out. One guy struggled to pass me at the last minute before going into the woods, and then once in the woods I had to pass him back. But with the new tires on my bike and brake pads... I should have pre-road the bike a little more before jumping into the first race. Anyways it took about 1/2 the race before I was feeling comfortable on the bike again, trusting its movement. I ran off course once where someone ripped the tape down in a corner, luckily I saw it and didn't loose too much time here. Then later, someone was yelling behind me, I thought they wanted to pass and as it turns out after the fact, they were yelling at their Dad - who was behind him and he was beating. But I turned to look to see if he was going to pass or keep yelling and I wrecked...... smooth.


Anyways I finished in 4th place. First place was about 3 minutes ahead of me. I totally think I can do this. I did notice at the end of the race - on the flats and hills I was closing gaps. I was having trouble on anything downhill (where I used to fly, but being off the bike too long has taken it away from me). So if I can ride one more time, stay on course, and not wreck... I think I am a contender. This is my new focus... and I am determined to do it.

So who wants to go ride?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Bellweather gear, Ride report, Mt Mitchell Goals and Parts for sale...

Okay, I have a few different things to talk about this time....

First Bellweather bike clothing. I bought a new pair of unpadded bike tights last year before Mount Mitchell. As I did the 97 miler a few weeks ago, when I got home and was laying in the yard with everyone playing outside, I was informed that they were thankful I had bike shorts on under the tights as I had a hole in my rear end. That is crazy. My new tights did not last a year and I have another pair that I have had for almost 8 years (and ridden them off road too). So I called Bellweather (Profile Design) and they basically told me to mail them back for inspection and they would see what they can do. So I mailed them back, Friday I get a box from FedEx and open it and it is a brand new pair of tights. They never called, emailed, or anything. They just replaced them with the newer current model. SO.... keep this in mind buying clothing. They do take care of their customers!

My ride report for this month so far... April 2012 - I have 620 miles, over 12,500 feet of climbing this month. My preparations for Mount Mitchell are looking very good this year. Last year this time I only had just over 400 miles for the YEAR! The weather so far this year has helped a ton!

My other preparation I am doing this year is my weight loss. I am now down to 190lbs. On the verge of breaking into the 180's. As far as Mount Mitchell is concerned... I would be 35 pounds lighter than last year if it was today. I had read somewhere about weight loss and biking that for every pound you lose, it is like gaining 3w of climbing power. So I am currently looking at adding over 100w of free power from last year, and never mind the better shape I am in. It is looking to be a good race season!

My goal for Mount Mitchell. Last year I finished the ride with George and Brian. We clawed the last 25 miles together to finish the 11,000 feet of climbing in 102 miles in over 11 hours total time. I think the official time was like 11:15. That is crazy long. Some of my friends who went last year finished it in under 6 hours total time. So they could have almost done it twice in the time it took me to do it once. This year I have been very focused on doing better. I made a bet last year with Paul (he was my highest placed friend from last year, finishing it in 19th place and 5hours, 20min). I bet him the entry fee that I would finish within 4 hours of him. The fastest racers that have ever show up have never broken the 5 hour barrier. I fully expect Paul to be very, VERY close to that 5 hour mark. He is in great shape this year. So I would have to beat 9 hours total time. When I pulled my Garmin info - my actual ride time last year was 8hours 20 min. So my 9 hour window seems totally do-able. with 40 minutes off the bike throughout the day. Which doesn't seem like much, but the more I ride this year I don't like to be off the bike long, you lose your groove. You have to re-warm up, settle in, etc... all which takes time. And knowing I don't have to stop at every stop. When I do stop grab water and food and get back on the bike, eat and drink there... moving slowly eating is way better than eating and standing around. I am going to go out on a limb here. I am going to announce I want to break the 8 hour total time mark. I want to complete the ride this year in less time than I actually road last year (not including stops). So I have said it. My personal goal for this year is to Break 8 hours total time. I think I can do it - and talking with friends they seem to think I can do it no problem. I'm not sure if they are just being supportive or really think I can do it, but anyways, I WILL DO IT.

Lastly. Anyone looking for some bike parts - I have a ton for sale.... all good used. Shoot me a message if you are looking for something. I have a Sram Rival Road crank, Sram Rival Time Trial Crank, Sram Rival TT Shifters, Sram Rival front and Rear Derailleurs, K-Edge Front Derailleur chain catcher, Profile Designs Triathlon saddle, Profile Aero Triathlon base bar, Profile T2 Aero bars, Salsa road stem, Speedplay Zero pedals in white... and I'm sure there is more I am forgetting. Most of the stuff is like new and should include original box if I still have it. If interested shoot me a email at fastfreddyfour at yahoo dot com.

Thanks for checking this out!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

It's been 10 days since my last blog

There has been a lot going on since my last blog. Pizza, beer, birthday cakes, trips out of state, and yes.... still weight loss.

I have been worried about not having pizza. I love pizza, who doesn't. Anyways for a temporary fix until I get my homemade dough reciepe figured out, I have been buying a premade pizza whole wheat crust. It works really good. I use that, a low calorie pizza sauce (adding basil, and italian seasoning), low fat skim milk cheese, and then a ton of veggie toppings. Green peppers, bannana peppers, mushrooms, onions, and sometimes some italian spicy turkey sausage. It's great. I think the crust we buy is like a 12 or 14 inch pizza, and I slice it into 6ths. Carisa has half and I have half too (3 pieces each) and if there is no sausage - it is typically under 500 calories for all 3 pieces. Good deal.

I have been hooked on eating salads. Those are crazy low calories... 3 ounces of lettuce is somewhere around 10 calories.... so if you double that and add a low fat dressing - you can get quite the food filler for less than 50 calories.

Birthday's are tough. I love cake. I love Schulers cake... but man is there calories in there. On a Kroger 1/4 sheet cake - the serving size is 1/20th. That is a piece approximately 2 inches by 2 inches... which is a SMALL piece. Normally cut pieces are closer to 3x3 in my experience. OK, for the correct serving size, the average frosted cake has 350 calories per piece (for about it if you ended up with a flower on your piece or it is larger than 2x2). I still have eaten it, loved it, wanted more... but an hour or so after I get the eaters remorse. Cake is not that good. I can tell you I like the feeling of loosing weight more than the cake (looking back I can say that). It is tough at the time because the smell of the icing on the cake... the sweetness is so gratifing. But stay strong. It is not worth it, atleast limit yourself to one small piece.

I had a bike team trip to West Virginia this last Thursday and Friday. We go down to Jeff's Bike shop in Huntington, WV and he puts on a great Thursday night TNP Ride. That stands for Take No Prisinors ride. The 26 mile route is announced and then when it starts - game on! There is no waiting around for people falling of the back of the group. This ride is for all the marbles. You need to get to the finish line FIRST. There were 31 riders this year. We had 9 members from Champion City Cycling (my team) that showed up. I made it farther than last year in the main group. I was riding along and I heard this horrible screeching, grinding along the road and a bunch of people scrambleing for road space. As I slow to look to see what happened I no longer see 3 team mates. Turns out one of them and different rider were riding closely when the edge of the road dissappeared into a huge pot hole and tried to eat one rider. The scramble to stay up broke the pack up and luckily no one went down. Lots of shoes sliding, tires locked up, and people yelling look out. No one went down. Very fortunate with the speed of the pack (over 25 mph if I remember correctly at that time), everyone was lucky to not be beaten up. As I rounded up the missing riders, we got together and started to try to work back up to the main pack. We worked really well together and just never could close the gap to the main field. They stayed a good 100 feet in front of us. 13 miles, we hit the turn around. As we are rolling up there I notice all the riders after they have turned around are absolutely hammering to blow the pack up. Our group still needs to get to the turn around, slow down enough to turn around in the road (watching traffic) and get going again... needless to say this is where we got dropped. So we now decided to keep going and pick off the people getting spit out of the pack. We did that well. One rider was a pain to pass. He ended up forcing into the middle of our pack. Then couldn't handle the pace we road at, essentially splitting us up. Thanks dude. Anyways we get to the finish to hear that Champion City Cycling got 1st and 3rd over all. Sweet - Way to represent!!

Food on the trip was interesting. After the big ride, everyone goes out to dinner. So we have 30 riders show up at UNO Chicago Grill. The place is not busy at 8PM on a Thursday night during Spring break in a college town. We get seated all together (the place was defintely set up for big groups). So we get one waiter... not going to be quick. Anyways I had some veggie stuffed chicken with pasta, and water. I did get a whole wheat quesadilla with buffalo grilled chicken in it to split with everyone at the table. So over all with the riding and food for the day I was still in good shape.

Friday we headed out for another ride. We ended up going to Gallapolis, OH. 76 miles and over 2,000 feet of climbing. I felt really good. Could have kept going. We had a total of 19 riders for this ride. It wasn't a race, but we kept up a good pace (typical 20mph avg).

With 6 weeks to go until my main race for this year, Mount Mitchell. I feel like I am in better shape than last year. I am riding stronger than I did all last year, I have 30 pounds lighter, and more focused than ever on getting to the top of that mountain. I am going to put it out there right now. Last year I completed the 103 mile race, and over 11,000 feet of climbing in over 11 hours total time (I think it was around 11:20). That includes all the rest stops where you refill your water bottles, get food, and use the bathroom (all the time standing in lines with other riders). I'm just saying, this year it is on. I want to complete the entire thing in under 8 hours. That will be a challenge for me. I have put it out there to hold me accountable now.

Now for the weight loss info... I have been doing this for 74 days. Today marks the 30lb mark. I have 4 more pounds until I hit my 2nd goal of 190lbs. If I can get that done before May, I will re-adjust it down to 185. So we shall see.

Thank you to everyone who reads this. I have gotten many compliments, messages, and people telling me I have inspired them on their journey. I do appologize, I always hated English class in school, writing was never my thing. So if I ramble, that is why. I hope to entertain you, show you everybody deals with the difficultly of weight loss, and if you stick with it, through the ups and downs, just know that there will be more downs than ups. Thanks for all the support!