Saturday, January 31, 2009


In truth, I'm really not that (as expressed in the title) excited about making goal. Pleased that the plan is working, yes, but more concerned in the training overall. That fell off for a few days. January is all over but the shouting, so we shall concentrate on February. The first half of January saw some great cycling days, the last half more like real winter. I ended with 379.8 outside miles, four inside rides, and four trips to the gym to work the legs. I only did the one tt practice.

An auxiliary goal is to learn which buttons to push on my three bike computers. I acutally have four, but ride the mountain bike so rarely, I only have that for the mileage. The function buttons are different for each, and I find myself pushing into a set-up when I wanted average HR, or something similar. One I keep repeating is turning on the chime on my heart rate. That is so annoying.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


As I stepped off the scales this morning I was tempted to post my end-of-month total a few days early. Sunday I was on goal and today I am, but Monday and Tuesday clocked in a pound heavier. Since the goal is 2 pounds per month, that is a 50% increase. However, I am not into making my weight loss merely look good. It needs to be real and permanent (at least, for the next 9 months. Remember, I am not really overweight, just getting down to a race weight). Conventional wisdom advises not to weigh daily. My modified wisdom is to weigh daily, but don't take it to heart. What I look for is a general downward trend and ignore spikes, either up or down.
Besides my end-of-month weight loss, I also will post my monthly bike mileage. Outside miles took a big hit with the trip to Maryland and then rain and freezing rain these last few days. Of course, that allowed plenty of time to go to the gym and do weights and to ride in the kitchen. The rest of my whine will come late Saturday.

Friday, January 23, 2009


I did a Meet the Author presentation at the Middletown, Md library this past Wednesday night. Rather than the usual polite but disinterested half dozen people, I was surprised and flabbergasted by an astounding 37 lively, engaged, friendly folks who braved the elements and wedged themselves into a small space to hear me speak. Almost all did not cycle, but I was equally impressed by the guys who cycled in (ok, they were doing their after-work spin and stopped by). We are talking pitch dark and lower 20's with a nasty wind. Obviously, they are too hard-core for me (unless they end their workout with great libations). Just like on some of my bike rides, the presentation went well, but when over, I knew I could have done better. On the plane ride home, I mapped out the changes needed for improvement and have already begun implementation. One of the things I know, but couldn't do this time because I flew in, is bike equipment is fascinating. I took my jersey and shorts, but next time will go by car and take the shoes, helmet, and the bike itself. Remember, the book is intended to inspire and encourage people to take cycling vacations.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Six months or so ago, I agreed to make an author appearance in Middletown, Maryland. My daughter and family live there and she is a member of a book club that meets at the library. We didn't give much thought to the date, they meet on Wednesdays. The time has come. Earlier in the week, dire predictions as to how cold it would be on Inauguration Day (oh yeah, we hadn't thought about that either) had me thinking about my warmest cold weather gear, but apparently the sub-zero weather will only be in the mid-west. As of today, the forecast is for lower 20's. I can handle that without digging into my once-every-ten-year clothes. If the forecast is correct, the snow will have already fallen, so the airlines should be operating (maybe even on time). This trip is also my early excuse for the low mileage I will be posting at the end of the month. If the weather cooperates in Texas for the last week, maybe I can get some long miles in to at least make a reasonable total.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


My readers know that I advocate waiting for perfect conditions (or minimally, good) to undertake large increases in exercise. Today the weather warmed up, the wind died down, and I had no traffic in the park to disturb me. Now was the time to drag out the time-trial bike and start practicing. Generally, this is a once-a-week exercise. But I stop after State competition, last year in September, so almost four months have gone by since I last rode it. If you have never ridden a tt bike, the first thing everyone tells you is: "It is built for speed, not comfort." In my case, it is a pain-in-the-neck, literally. Those few centimeters you bend lower than your regular bike, trying to cheat the wind drag, makes you bend your (or, neck) back just a tad more in order to see where you are riding. This hurts! Between now and mid-March I will do what I can to increase the range of neck bend, and increase the tolerance to pain. Don't even ask why I do this, especially since I could ride my road bike with aero-bars and be quite comfortable, albeit slower. For short time trials like we have in Senior Games, it is only a matter of seconds. Besides, it looks so cool! The old adage: "boys and their toys" seems to be applicable here.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


At least it did when I was working. The secret to success is to continue eating whatever it was that kept you at the same weight. However, on the weekend, skip a meal (like lunch) on Saturday and Sunday. Assume the skipped meal has a minimum of 750 calories so you skip 1500 calories per week, which is slightly less than half a pound. You can also substitute stuff for other stuff, and maybe save 100 calories a day to get you up to that half pound per week loss. That doesn't sound like a lot, and the only calories you count are what would have been in the skipped meal and the substitutions. It doesn't matter what you substitute, salad dressing is an easy choice. Or, if you drink sodas, just cut out one, or drink half as much. Drink a lot of water.
Now, I exercise a lot so I can't really increase it, but if you are sedentary, do something. The easiest is take a walk. Doesn't matter how fast or far (yet), but brisk is better than meandering, and stay gone for at least a half an hour. For those who can't walk because of physical limitations, try a stationary bicycle. Can't do that? OK, pick up a can of soup and start doing curls with it.
I thought I would have 10 pounds to lose, but it seems it creeped up to 12 while I wasn't looking. Check back at the end of the month to see if two of them have disappeared.