Monday, December 27, 2010

Coming Back Into Focus

What I did over Christmas Vacation

I spent a lot of time with my wife and kids.
I had good times with friends.
I worked out a little (actually, very little).
I worshipped.
I drank some beer.
I ate way too many chocolate kisses.

I'm not into guilt, so I don't feel badly about my lack of progress on mileage or poor eating.  I enjoyed myself with family and friends and just relaxed. 

But now, it is time to focus.

I am ready to get back to my mileage and fitness goals. 

Over the past 10 days, I slacked off my training for the upcoming 10K, but I was already ahead of schedule in terms of mileage, so I think I'll be okay if I get back to it today. 

Many of you post pictures of running in the snow and rain, so I won't complain about the challenge of running in our cold desert temps of 58 degrees.  (But seriously, it feels like 52, so you's cold.).

I'll eat better this week, but still have some parties to go to and want to not focus on calories until Jan 1.  On Jan 1st, I'll get back to my old format of tracking my calories daily and posting my weight weekly.  I'll set some new goals for my weight.  As my running mileage ramps up, the pounds should fall (if I'm eating well).

I am coming back into focus and it feels good. 2011 will be a great year.

Big Clyde

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My 20th Wedding Anniversary !

The average daytime temperature in Tucson, Arizona in early December is 66 degrees Farenheit.  Sunny, gorgeous and warm.

But on December 22, 1990 it got down to 34 degrees and it snowed.  It snowed just enough to cover the cacti with a white blanket and for a bunch of friends to have an actual snowball the desert.

She insisted on riding her bike to the ceremony!
And later in the day, my girlfriend and I became husband and wife. 

Today, we are celebrating our 20th anniversary and I am going to use it as an excuse to brag about my wife.  She is kind, funny, wise, patient, confident, plays the guitar and sings beautifully and is surprising us all with a great talent for painting. 

I was first attracted to her when I saw her across a baseball field.  She was beautiful.  But when my friend, who had just flown into town and declared himself "3rd Base Coach", started barking orders at her, I got to see how she handled herself.  He declared that she needed to do what he said and she quickly put him in his place.  That night, he told me that she was "too strong-willed" to be "girlfriend-worthy".  I think I fell in love with her at that moment.

I am even more in love with her today and am so grateful to be married to this beautiful, wonderful woman.

This morning, we took an early morning ride to commemorate the day!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Again, The Best Christmas Video Ever!

Went for a run, after a morning coffee date with my wife.  3.2 miles in 34 minutes.  This is a 10:25 min/mile pace and would make for my fastest 5k time!  I'll run on a track on New Year's Eve to see if I can possibly get below 30 minutes for a 5k.  Could be close!   Off for a short bike ride now (will update mileage later in red).

IronMan Challenge Update:
Running:  3.2 miles done (Goal: 13.1 miles)
Cycling:  14.5 miles done (Goal: 56 miles)

And now...

I showed this video last year, but I love it so much I am re-posting it.  Enjoy.

Monday, December 20, 2010

George Bailey Returns (Grumpy ! - Part Two)

If you read my recent post titled Grumpy !, then PLEASE READ THIS.

That posted on Friday, mid-afternoon.  I wrote about how I felt like George Bailey from "It's A Wonderful Life", when he felt isolated and weary.  Almost instantly, some of you wrote in encouraging me...that was so wonderful and made me feel much better.

Here is what happened next:
  • On Friday at 4pm, our friend stopped by to take our daughter out for a special treat and invited my wife to a party on Sunday (with about 50 good friends).  Total surprise.
  • On Friday afternoon:  other friends called to invite us over on Christmas Day.
  • On Saturday afternoon:  some friends stopped by unexpectedly with cookies!  They invited us to dinner on Thursday night.
  • On Sunday afternoon:  another friend invited us to join their family on Christmas Eve.
  • On Sunday night: We recently started a bible-study group for college students to run until Christmas.  They just told us that they want to keep it going indefinitely!  Good times.
  • On Monday morning:  another friend called to check in and say hello.  Maybe a bike ride this week?
  • On Monday at lunchtime:  other friends invited us over to dinner tonight.
We accepted all invitations and feel blessed (again)! 

But I should add...virtually none of my close friends (the people above) even know I have this blog.  And realistically, the very few that know about the blog ever read it.  I think that no one above read my post. 

George Bailey with family...and friends!
Some of you suggested prayer. We believe in God and feel strongly about our faith. God knows what we need and yeah, He definitely answered some prayers (eventhough I wasn't specifically asking for any of this). I needed to quit obsessing about it and just trust that we would be okay. When I began to let go of my concerns and just "abide" in Him, He came through in a big way.

So, I thank all of you...
  • those of you who assured me that it would be fine.
  • those of you who said some mileage would do me good.
  • those of you who said that I should count and re-count my blessings.
  • all of you who came alongside me, like good friends do for each other.
I'll end here.  I just felt I had to bookend my grumpiness with a surprising post of gratitude.

Also, I rode 12.5 miles this afternoon and I rode another 2 miles to a friend's house tonight.  My goal is to ride 56 miles and run/walk 13.1 miles by Christmas Eve, midnight.    Only 41.5 miles left on the bike, but I'd better get on the running miles. 

Join me in this challenge, if it fits your schedule for this week.

Big Clyde

An IronMan Christmas Challenge (Accepted!)

I was crusing several sites this morning and saw Luke's site The Fatlete.  He is hosting a challenge that started at midnight today (12/20) and ends at midnight on 12/24.  It is a virtual IronMan challenge. 

The Rules:  Between these dates you must swim 1.2 miles, bike 56 miles, and run/walk 13.1 miles in any order and in as many segments as needed to make the distance.  

I won't be doing the swim portion and he is okay with that (I'm not getting in my un-heated pool!).  Please go to the link above and register if you are interested.

I needed a kick-in-the-tail challenge for this week.  After confessing my grumpiness on my previous post, I intended to get hardcore on some mileage.  Then, my back started feeling pretty sore and I wimped out this weekend.  With vacation all week, it's time to make up for lost miles.

56 cycling miles.  13.1 run/walk miles.  Five days.  These will be more miles than I have done before and I am grateful for the challenge.  Thanks, Luke!

Does anyone else have any pre-Christmas goals?

Big Clyde

Friday, December 17, 2010

Grumpy !

I'm frustrated and grumpy. 

I feel like George Bailey from It's A Wonderful Life.  He stayed in one place to help others and eventually felt that he had denied himself and had nothing to show for it.  And in the first act of that movie, he is grumpy. 
He doesn't want to play with the kids.
He isn't sweet to his wife.
He has no energy and just wants to drink and complain. 
He thinks his friends have turned against him or taken him for granted.
He's negative and wants everyone around him to take notice.

I am George Bailey right now. 

2010 will go down as the year that our family gave and gave to others and ended with feelings of isolation and weariness.  It's tough for me as a 45-year-old man to face that.  I see that it is hard on my wife, but she is soldiering on.  But it kills me that my own kids are coming to that understanding as well.

Because of my frustration, I am not fun to be around.
I have now missed two workout days!
I am eating like I'm in a contest.

But (heavy sigh, then forced smile), looking on the bright side:

My marriage is in excellent shape.  In fact, my review our anniversary is next week.
We are all perfectly healthy.
We are all on vacation next week.
I lost 50 40 pounds this year.
I have not been this physically fit in 25 years.
My kids excel at school and are happy, well-mannered and playful.
The bills are paid and we still have money under the mattress.
God loves us and is getting us ready for something else in 2011.

So, I will shake off my grumpiness and have fun with my family. 
I will be like George Bailey in act three, when he realizes that he is blessed and that no one is promised an easy road in this life.  It is selfish for me to gripe when so many others have such difficult challenges.

How will I do this?  Sure, I'll flip the mental switch and just "act happier" until my emotions follow suit.  But I'll also punish (or treat) myself with physical workouts while on this holiday break.  I missed two workouts and I will make them up and get in even more mileage.

What's that saying?..."Living well is the best revenge!"    Add a dash of humility, gratitude and compassion for others and I just might become a decent human being someday.

Big Clyde

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

They'd Be So Surprised...

My co-workers and friends have noticed that I have lost weight over the past nine months.   Many of them even know that I have ridden in a few bike races...and that I was grateful to just simply, finish the race. 

And although I have been running a bit since May, I have  been very inconsistent.  Until recently...

I knew that I needed a new big challenge to motivate my fitness activity.  I could have gone for more distance on my bike, but that would just mean a lot more hours out on long rides.  So, I decided to run a 10K in January and a half-marathon in March.  I've told almost no one except my family.

I don't look like I friends and co-workers would be so surprised. 

I am starting to wonder:  how many miles per week does the average jogger/casual runner actually run? 

I've logged in 10 miles per week for the past two weeks and I'll do that again (or more) this week.  I am actually ahead of the training plan, but think that it is going well, so I'll keep pushing it.  

And as I begin Week 3 of my training routine for the 10K, I am amazed at the improvement I see with each run.  I still feel slow, but I know that I am getting faster.  I am still heavy, but I am actually becoming more...umm, athletic.

I guess I can officially claim it...I'm a runner!   It seems so unbelievable to me, but I am actually going to run a half-marathon soon and it will be another step in this Clydesdale Project to change my life forever.

Tonight's run:  2.5 miles at an 11 min/mile pace.  That is one minute faster than I was a week ago!  My thanks to so many of you for the great advice!

Big Clyde

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Longest, Runningest Day

I went out this morning (after hours of procrastination) for my "long Sunday run".  This is on my 10k training schedule.  Today's schedule called for a 3.5 mile run, but I chose to go further.

Last Sunday, I chose to go 5 miles because it's a convenient loop near my house and I wanted to do something big for my 45th birthday.  Having done it once, I felt I should keep it up.  This morning's 5-mile run felt harder somehow, but it was only 1 minute slower.  My legs have felt "heavy" since my Thursday night run, which was only 2 miles, but at a faster pace for me.  Yesterday, we walked a lot around Old Tucson Studios (I'll post some pics of that later).  So, maybe that is why this morning's run felt harder.  But I am also somewhat of a internal whiner on my runs.  Today's run was 5 miles in 1:03.  I just think it is a miracle that a guy like me is running 5 miles.

As for cycling, times have changed in the Clyde House because I am no longer the only one on the bike.  Samson, of course, rode his epic El Tour 40 mile race with me last month.  But my wife, daughter and Samson went out last weekend and my wife rode again a few days ago and had chain problems.  So, I am off the the local bike shop to get two bikes back from the service dept.  Feels awesome to know that we are all becoming so active.  I'm guessing we'll do a short, casual ride today.  More miles.

Then tonight, CuppaJoe (my 9-year-old son) and I will run the "WinterHaven 5K".   It should be casual and fun.  CJ and I have run together recently and I know that we will likely be walking more than running...fine with me after this morning's 5-miler...but we'll see.  If he is up for more running, I'll rally.

That should make 8 miles on foot today and some recovery miles on the bike.  What a great day!

Big Clyde

Friday, December 10, 2010

Update on Thursday's Run...and the EAP!

Just in case you hadn't seen it, I had a great short run on Thursday night and updated on that post.  I wrote:
I did it in 20:45!  That is a 10:22 pace per mile, which is much better than my recent 12:00.  I don't think I could have gone further, because I was breathing pretty hard during the last 1/2 mile (okay, the whole run).  My thanks to Patrick Mahoney for the special coaching for tonight and to the rest of you for the encouragement!  It made it more fun for me.

Patrick from The Road has been busy lately.  He re-launched his Endurance Athlete Project website, which is described as "a social network for athletes".  I don't Facebook, but I have signed on there and think it is cool.  Please go check it out.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tonight's Running Goal...

According the the 10k training plan, I will run 2 miles tonight.  Until tonight, my pace has been 12:00+ minute miles on each run.  But I felt great on Tuesday night's run...after eating horribly, including a warm-up walk, so...

Tonight, I will strive to get to an 11:00 mile pace per mile.  2 miles in 22 minutes.

I'll update tonight and let you know how it went!

UPDATE:  I did it in 20:45!  That is a 10:22 pace per mile, which is much better than my recent 12:00.  I don't think I could have gone further, because I was breathing pretty hard during the last 1/2 mile (okay, the whole run).  My thanks to Patrick Mahoney for the special coaching for tonight and to the rest of you for the encouragement!  It made it more fun for me.

Big Clyde

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Short Hill-Climb ride

35 minutes, most of it uphill, for my bike ride tonight.  This is my "cross-train" day for Week Two of my 8-Week training plan for the 10k race.   I like the plan and actually look forward to the next workout each day.

I am now tracking both running AND cycling miles on    It is a pretty cool site and will help me track mileage more easily than the bar I have been manually inputting here.

Hope everyone is having a good week!

Big Clyde

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Feel-Good Run

4:10 am   Wake-up to alarm
5:05 am   Leave for Starbucks, then 2 hour drive to monthly meeting in Phoenix
7:05 am   Arrive in Phoenix, hit Starbucks for another round...then the office
7:30 - Noon   Long meeting
Noon  Devour the world's greasiest chinese food, which was horrible.  Look up from empty plate, wanting to punch myself in the face.
Noon - 5 pm   Meeting, part two.
5:00 - 7:00 pm   Drive home, stopped at Arby's (second mistake of the day).

7:00 - 8:00 pm  Good time with the family.  Change clothes. 

8:00 - 8:30 pm  Went for a cool 2.5 mile run!  I didn't hate this one.  I actually felt good on the run.  Amazing.  It's my 4th cardio day out of the last 5 days and my first run after my confidence-building 5-mile run on Sunday.  I ran the entire 2.5 miles tonight and realized after about 20 minutes in that I was pretty energized and began running faster. 

Next run is just 2 miles on Thursday.  I intend to push it and work on some speed.

Big Clyde

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The 5 Mile Run

A Running Clydesdale!
I did it!   Thanks to many of you for the advice and encouragement.  I used the Galloway "walk break" method and with a 5 minute warm-up, did a 4:1 run/walk interval.  I completed it in 62:30, which was actually faster than I thought I would do, especially with the walk breaks. 

My training plan is the Hal Higdon 10k Novice plan and I just completed week 1.  That only called for a 3 mile run for today's "long run".  But in honor of my 45th birthday yesterday, my wife suggested that I try some stretch goal.  5 miles is the longest I have ever gone for a run, so I guess it qualifies.  I will likely stick to the training plan from now on.

Again, thanks for the inspiration and advice, my friends.  I am very grateful to all of you.


Big Clyde

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Birthday Run

I turn 45 years old today!  I've had a great day with a short neighborhood bike ride, waffles and fruit for brunch and relaxed time with the family. 

Mrs. Clyde suggested that I commemorate my birthday with a long run this weekend.  I did my 2 miles today, as per my schedule, but tomorrow (Sunday) I will either do a 4.5 or 5 mile run (with likely a few walk breaks).  4.5 miles would have some nice symmetry with my 45 years, but the 5 mile loop would be a pretty convenient way to mark the distance.   

I wish I understood more about training.  Am I better off shuffling along at a very slow speed while trying to run the entire distance, or should I take 30-60 second walk-breaks, etc.?  I hate the thought that I am going with too far of a distance for my abilities right now and will end up walking much (most?) of it. 

I've never gone beyond 3.1 miles (other than casual walks), so I think I'll just try to run, walk, shuffle, whatever and try to get it done as fast as possible...just to get a benchmark for this distance.

Any advice? 

I'll let you know how it goes!

Big Clyde

Friday, December 3, 2010

Coming Back...

I just got back from a great 15 mile bike ride after work.  I've been sick for the last few days and am now feeling better.  A little extra sleep will really help too.  I only missed one running day, so I switched around some cardio days and will do two runs this weekend.  So, I'll be back on schedule by tomorrow night.

I'm looking forward to also catching up on your blogs.   Have a great weekend, everyone!

Big Clyde

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Training for 10K Begins

I am very excited about the training that I will be doing for the upcoming 10K in late January.  This will be the first time that I will run consistently.  I have had weeks over the summer and early Fall, when I would run 2-3 times per week (and cycling), but then would be off for a week or two.  What will happen when I actually train for five days a week?

Me and my boy!  Nice moustache, no?

Week 1 involves three runs, two cycling days, a rest day and a stretch/strengthen day.  Yesterday, was the stretch/strengthen day.  I had fun playing on the floor with my boys.  I'll get more disciplined with weights in future weeks, but last night, I lifted Cuppa Joe (my 9-year-old) above my head about 10 times.  Fun for both of us.

I ran with my daughter last week and I am going to get the whole family out this Saturday for a bike ride.  I have asked all of them to keep me accountable by crossing off my training from the schedule posted in our kitchen cabinet.  Is it still called "peer pressure" if it comes from family?

I'm headed out now for my first run of this week.  2.5 miles.

Big Clyde

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Next Chapter

Today was our final day at the church we have been attending for the past six years.  We have been VERY involved in leadership positions, yet it has been tremendously challenging (and time-intensive) for me and Mrs. Clyde for the past year.  We wanted to leave when the timing was right and it wouldn't cause anyone else to stumble in their faith, feelings about church, etc.  Today was that day.  Our faith remains extremely solid and we are looking forward to a break before we find a new church home. 

Given that this occurred a week after El Tour, I have found myself in a very contemplative mood lately.  The stresses of the past year (mostly for my wife) are now in the rear-view mirror, my son accomplished a major goal (riding in El Tour de Tucson) and we all have a very light schedule moving forward.

So, it feels that we are turning the page to a new chapter.  Our weekly schedule now has a lot more free hours in it and I think we will be happier.  I'll do another post soon on how my wife and kids are going to be involved in cycling goals and races in 2011, but I wanted to write a short post to mark this time as a change.  We'll see what results follow.

As for me personally, I feel that I am close to being a middle-distance cyclist.  Until just recently, I have still felt most comfortable sticking to the safe distances of 13 -18 mile rides, on relatively flat routes.  Now, I see that I am very comfortable with much longer distances and can tolerate any hills.  I'll ride with my kids, as they now have an interest in cycling, but I am beginning a period where running will be the bigger focus.

2011 should be a great year and I am getting excited about goals.  Are you thinking of some goals for 2011?

Big Clyde

Friday, November 26, 2010

Farewell, My Love

Scene:  Big Clyde and Mrs. Clyde are running errands on Friday afternoon.

Mrs. Clyde:  "So, how much weight have you lost?"

Big Clyde:  "Uhh, well you know, we just had that big lunch...and uh, I did drink a lot of water this morning, but you know, if I skip dinner tonight, maybe the scale might be okay tomorrow morning and...(mumbling)..."

Mrs. Clyde:  "You're stalling!  Are you still at that 50 pound weight loss milestone?"

Big Clyde:  "Well, uhh, I might have gained some weight back, but you know, muscle weighs more than fat, so...(looks away and mumbles)I'm really at about 43 pounds lost at this point."

Mrs. Clyde:  "But we engraved your iPod Touch with the phrase 'Big Clyde's First 50!'.  What's the plan now, Clyde?"

(end scene)

Bummer.  She's right.  I am pretty happy with my weight, but I really should weigh least where I was on September 6, 2010 when I had dropped to 275 (a 50-pound loss).

So, I decided on the spot that I will hand over my beloved iPod Touch to my wife until I get back to that 50-pound weight loss mark. 

See you soon, baby.  Don't miss me too much!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Thankful Healthy Blogger 5K

A Journey To Thin came up with the idea of encouraging people to run a local 5K race, (or to just do it in your own neighborhood) on Thanksgiving in honor of the many things we are thankful for.   I like it, so I'm in.

Please consider joining me in this, if you can fit it in to your schedule.  At some point over the weekend, run or walk 5K (3.1 miles).  A decent walk gets this done in an hour.

For cyclists, let's call it 12 miles.  Again, a leisurely pace would be just under an hour if rolling along with the kids.

One request?  If you choose to do this, please comment in below and post your time, just for fun.  This is not about who is fastest...but it is interesting for me to see our various levels.  Some of us are just starting out, some are tri-athletes and some are plodding along in the middle, like me.  Don't brag if you're fast and don't be bummed if your slow.  Let's just all be glad that we got out there.

Who's in?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The (next) Scary Milestone Event

Someone recently said that I have great motivation.  Thank you, but I really don't.  I am worse than all of you.  I really just want to eat nachos.  I want to eat pizza.  I'd like to steal the tv remote from my kids and see if we have channels other than the Disney channel.  I like...comfort. 

But that makes me fat.  And will someday make me un-healthy, taking meds, etc.  I turn 45 years old in a few days.  I don't exercise because I love it.  I exercise because I love food.  I am basically chasing candy and nachos. 

But I am starting to get used to the action...the adrenaline and even, the adventure of it all.

As I mentioned on a recent post, it is time for another scary milestone event. 

I have tried to challenge myself with aggressive weight loss goals, but everything I own fits loose on me now, and I feel great. I know I am still heavy, but I am also very tall and broad. I feel good. Weight loss is needed, but is not a huge motivator right now (except I should get back to my "50-pound loss" number pretty quick, or else I'll have to give back the iPod Touch!).

So, what goal would scare me now?

Short-term? RUN a 10K on 1/23/11. That is more than a 5K run (which I did often in the past several months).  I 've seen people do this distance in a "brisk 55-minute walk". For me to complete a 10K would surprise people who know me, yet many would still think that they "could totally do that, right now". After all, it is only about 90 minutes or less of run/walk.

Long-term? RUN a half-marathon on 3/27/11. I know only one person who has run a half-marathon. One. And he weighs about 170 pounds. I have about 17 weeks to prepare. How much weight might I lose if I am training to run a half-marathon?

So, there it is. I will do these two events. I feel like the half-marathon will be my biggest challenge since my first El Tour and yes, it really does scare me. I'm not certain I really believe I can do it. But, I will do it.
That's right...a half-marathon.  Who's with me!?!

I'll continue to ride my bike each week for fun, but will have greater emphasis toward running for the next few months. 

My thanks to all of you who continue to encourage this former couch-potato that I really can change my life and go just a bit further each week. You and my family are helping me change my life.

Specifically, thanks to The Traveler for leading the way with this idea.

Big Clyde

Monday, November 22, 2010

My Thoughts on El Tour - Year Two

Yesterday, I wrote up a few highlights of the El Tour de Tucson race last weekend.  Mostly, I focused on how my son did on the 40-mile route.  Today, I want to share some of my thoughts on the race.

When I did this race last year, it was a slightly shorter 34-mile cycling route.  Again, I know that this is a long distance for some of you out there who are just getting started, but for consistent cyclists, it is a typical Saturday ride...or a daily commute to and from the office.  At 325 pounds in November of 2009, I rode my commuter bike those 34 miles and it was a major accomplishment.  As I have said, it changed my life.

This year, the ride had stretched to 40 miles and it was a breeze.  It was that leisurely Saturday ride for me.  I weigh 50 43 pounds less this year and have logged many cycling miles, climbed many hills, have started running and am much healthier.  When we were done, I wasn't sore, I wasn't tired and I swear, I feel like I could have ridden my bike back home along the same route.

I was so grateful to have done this with my son.  I will finish the El Tour wrap-up in an upcoming post, when I talk about what is ahead for Samson and the rest of the Clyde Family (the cycling disease is spreading!).

But on a very personal level, these are my takeaway points from the race:
  • I was physically ready to enjoy the 66 mile route, could have endured the 79 mile route, and with a few more months of training, would have been able to finish the 109 mile route.  Again, Clydesdales aren't built for speed...they are built for strength.  I am much stronger than I thought.
  • At my pace, the 66 mile route would take me a little more than 4 hours, which would be a fun, speed-challenge.  The longer routes would add on more hours, which just does not seem too fun, despite the achievement of the greater distance.  I'd rather do a slow-40 with family or a faster-66 and be done in 4 hours, than "prove something" by doing a 6-10 hour route of 80 - 109 miles.  Note to self:  stick to the 40 (with family) or 66 (for speed).
  • Cycling simply requires more time away from home and the family than running.  Cycling training is probably double that of running-training (Runners:  please tell me if I have this right.).
  • That doesn't mean I'm done cycling, but...
I am in need of a scary milestone event. 

Stay tuned.

Big Clyde

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Quick El Tour de Tucson Re-Cap

He did it! 

My boy, Samson, who turned 12 years old about a month ago, rode the El Tour de Tucson ride with me on Saturday.  Our friend Crazy Jim joined us as well.  My younger son, my daughter and Mrs. Clyde were there alongside the race route cheering us on along with Luis, one of Samson's friends.
Me, Samson and Crazy Jim before the race.

I'll write more in a day or so, but here are a few highlights:
  • The two hills that were supposed to be very tough, weren't tough at all for my boy.  I could see the pride and determination on his face as we passed grown-ups who were walking their bikes uphill, as we pedalled.  He was the little engine that could, throughout the entire race.
  • We went at a relatively slow pace, largely due to the constant 17-22 mph headwinds that we fought.  It resulted in a lot of time in the saddle, but he never gave up.
  • Samson found a nemesis early on...a girl from his class that he says "is not very nice"...we saw her throughout the race, but he beat her by a clean ten minutes!  Sorry, Kelsey.  Train harder next year.
  • I asked him what was the most unusual thing he saw on the race?  He said "all of the people lying on the side of the road, crying", (likely the road warriors who were doing the 109-mile route!).
  • Best highlight?  I think it had to be the simple accomplishment of a big goal for him and a close second would be that one of his friends was there, cheering him on.  This was one of the buddies who told Samson that he would never finish this race a few months ago!
  • Finally, Crazy Jim also finished.  Remarkable given that he did NO training for it whatsoever and rode a total of 25 miles in the past 7 months.  We were there waiting with the family as he rolled in a few minutes behind us.  Lesson?  More training = less pain.
That might be the re-cap, but I'll post again to discuss plans for next year for El Tour (we are dreaming big) and my thoughts on how 40 miles felt for me in 2010 vs 2009...a world of difference.

Thank you all for the encouragement toward me and more importantly, Samson.  He rocked it and read every comment that you all wrote.  My life changed when I first entered this race in 2009 at age 43.  Samson's life changed by doing the same race at age 12.  This was an amazing weekend!

Big Clyde

Friday, November 19, 2010

El Tour de Tucson Race Tomorrow!

Samson, our friend Crazy Jim and I are ready for the big race tomorrow.  At least Samson and I are ready.  Crazy Jim has not ridden his bike since May 7th (I'm not kidding), but he is crazy after all and can do incredible things with very little effort.  We shall see, said the Zen Master.

Samson is not concerned at all, which is awesome.  He doesn't know that they are predicting 19 mph winds from the southwest, which is the direction we'll be heading.  Headwinds for a few hours.  Sounds like a bummer adventure. 

We'll do a write-up by Sunday night.   Thank you all for the encouragement toward Samson and myself.  We have already won the race, based on the hours spent together in preparation.  Good times.

Big Clyde

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I Like to Think I Like to Run

In my day job, I am basically a salesman (no haters, please).   It provides me a good living and allows me to provide food, shelter and cable tv for my family.  But my job is basically to persuade people.  I am pretty good at it.

Over the past week or so, I realized that I have become comfortable with my current workout routines.   I tend to be going the same distances (with a few recent exceptions).  So, I recently decided that I would challenge myself by committing to run a 10K race on January 23rd.    My longest distance has been exactly 5K in 34:15.  It was difficult, but did not kill me.

I went out last night for a quick run before I did the packet pick-up for Saturday's El Tour race.  I didn't have much time, so I thought I would have fun with a short 2 mile run.    After all, I've been blogging about running more over the past week and I've liked the excitement about my new challenge.  I persuaded myself that I am going to love the new running gig.  I told my wife that I may even do that half-marathon in late March.  She said nothing and raised one eyebrow.  Then, I went running.

But the running was kinda hard.  It was my first run in about 10 days.  I felt fat.  I felt lumpy, slowly plodding along.  Slow.  People might chuckle if they saw me from inside their nice houses.  This was not fun.  It sucked.  Slow.

But I did notice that my chest no longer seems to have a lot of fat on it.  Skin, a little muscle and bones...very different from six months ago.  And I was after all, activity that I would have thought I would never do just 18 months ago.

I hoped my mental image of me, running, would have carried over to my run last night.  I persuaded myself that running is awesome and that I would just glide.   Looks like I don't like running yet.  I guess I will have to log more miles before that feeling comes. 

Such a battle, but I am going to win.  As I have said before, hope is not found on the couch.

Big Clyde

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Beatles on Bicycles

Awesome news for people who love The Beatles and iTunes!  The entire Beatles catalog is finally available on iTunes.  I do love The Beatles and have been waiting for their music to be available on iTunes, since I quit buying cd's about 8 years ago.  Got to fill in some songs that have been missing from my collection.

And because it is too good to resist, here is a video clip from the movie HELP!

Do you have a favorite Beatles song?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

At Home At Starbucks

This will be my shortest post ever. 

On a quick trip to Phoenix today, I noticed the Starbucks sign.  Interesting, right?

Do you see it?

It's a bird's nest!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Weigh In November Throwdown Challenge

Weight Change:  Gained 2 pounds this past week (maybe I am hanging on to some water after my big ride on Saturday?).

Today, I'm feeling: Great. Glad that I am in this challenge with Alan from Pounds Off Playoff.

Highlight of the Week:  I actually have three highlights!  My boy, Samson, rode his bike 30 miles and I rode 40 miles...personal records for us both and we are ready for the El Tour de Tucson race this coming Saturday.  The third highlight was conquering yet another hill that has always seemed too difficult for me to do.  I rode it only once before, but had to stop half-way through in order to rest.  This time, I did it after I'd already ridden 30 miles and just kept going after the hill.  It is nice to slay these dragons and to realize, they weren't too tough after all.

Food: I travelled a bit this week and did not eat very well, but tried to do better near the end of the week and weekend.  Even when I am not counting calories, I still try to eat better, but I know that I am never as disciplined as I am when I count and log those calories!

Exercise: I did not run at all last week, but rode 40 bike miles last week. I'll do light riding this week until race day.  Once the race is done, I'll begin focusing more on running.  I have committed to a 10K at the end of January.  I have never run more than a 5k, but I know that I can train for this and do it.  It feels good to have a scary challenge out there for myself.

Good luck this week, Alan.  You'll need it.  I am bringing the heat.

Big Clyde

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A New Milestone (literally)

What an awesome day! 

We started early at the GABA Bike Swap.  It is a cross between a garage sale and a cyclists' cocktail party at 8am, held twice a year, but this is the big one.

I went with my family, but I split off quickly to meet John from One Speed: Go!  It was the first time for both of us to meet another blogger.  It was very cool.  John was nice enough to buy me a cup of coffee and we talked about the types of cycling we both do.  He takes great pictures along his rides and simply encourages people to "get up, go ride", regardless of your fitness level, type of bike or terrain.  Just get out there, get moving and see the world around you.  It is a beautifully simple idea and his pictures demonstrate it well.  Please check out his site at the link above.

Then, we came home and Samson and I went for his longest ride ever.  He rode 30 miles!  In recent rides, he told me that he was questioning if he could complete the 40 mile ride on race day.  By completing 30 miles today, I think he now knows he's got this.  I am so proud of him!

Then, I wanted to also achieve a personal best.  I had ridden only 36 miles before on a ride (a year ago) and I have noticed lately that I keep holding myself back mentally, by being too cautious (I guess that's where Samson gets it).  So, after Samson and I finished the 30 miles, I continued on for another 10 miles, giving me a 40-mile-ride today!  Could I have gone another 20?  Yeah.  Another 30?  Yup.  The ride would take hours and hours, but I see now that I can do bigger mileage distances. 

And yet...though I really like riding my bike, I don't like doing almost anything for 4-6 hours.  Instead, I think that after El Tour, I'll start to put more focus on running for awhile.  I've done a 5K (and have a few more scheduled), but I'd really have to get in some conditioning to do a 10K, or a half-marathon.  Hmm...

Big Clyde

Thursday, November 11, 2010

El Tour is 9 Days Away

A year ago, I was so obsessed with El Tour de Tucson, my 35-mile first cycling race.  I would like awake at night wondering "would I finish?"  I realize now that I was far more prepared than I thought at the time.  I am generally confident in so many areas of my life, but I have never been confident in athletics.  Being overweight for most of my life and not too interested in sports can foster that lack of confidence. 

The El Tour 2010 race is 9 days away and I have exercised more in the past year than I have in 20 years.  In January of 2010, I set goals for the year and stated that I would do the 66-mile El Tour route, unless "one of my kids or my wife wants to do their first race on the 35 mile route. I'd love to do that with them".   I see now that I could have signed up for the 109-mile route this year and completed it.  I am so proud to be riding the race this year with my son, Samson.  He is nervous now about the 40-mile route, but he knows that he can do it.  I am guessing that this accomplishment will give him great confidence at this early age and show him that he can do difficult things in life.

Samson and I will get in one long ride this Saturday and then just do a few short rides around the neighborhood during the next week before the race on the 20th.

But first on Saturday morning, we will attend the Greater Arizona Bicycling Association's Bike Swap.  I am looking forward to looking for some old vintage stuff for my old Schwinn Collegiate.  I also am looking forward to meeing John from One Speed: Go!, a very cool blog about cycling in Arizona.  Coffee Cart at 8:30, John!  See you there.

P.S.  Since the beginning of this year, my wife and I have been involved in a pretty challenging project that has nothing to do with cycling, fitness, etc.  I have referred to it at times, but the details would be tedious to share at this point.  This "project" has required hours per week of meetings, long discussions and has robbed me of many hours of precious sleep.  It has been a bummer, but we have stuck with it to "close it up well".  It all ends on 11.28.10 and I am looking forward to both of us having more time for family, and yes, The Clydesdale Project.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Weigh In - November Throwdown Challenge!

Weight Change:  Lost 4 pounds this past week!

Today, I'm feeling:  Great.  Glad that I am in this challenge with Alan from The Pounds Off Playoff

Highlight of the Week:  I may write more about this later, but I chose to ride up this very steep hill, south of my neighborhood that many cyclists stay away from.  It just looks so intimidating.  I crushed it!  Not tough at all for me now.  Tackle your fears, my friends.

Food:  Floated around 1,700 daily calories of extremely healthy stuff. Egg whites, veggies, fruit, little dairy and turkey or ham for several days, but on others I just tried to eat sensibly.  Given my increase in exercise, I hoped it would off-set a slight rise in calories.  I guess it worked!

Exercise: I ran 4 miles and rode my bike 44 miles last week.  It was unique in that I did something almost every day last week and each workout (even if the mileage was short) was pretty aggressive in terms of cardio.

My Goals for this Week:
• Pursue new goal of 270 weight by December 4th. 55 pound loss by my 45th birthday!
• Short-term goal is to be at 279 by 11/15!
• 40 cycling miles this week and 8 running miles this week.
• Maintain about 1,500 - 1,700 daily calories of healthy food.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Make The Time to Ride/Run/Walk

Sadly, a friend of our family passed away recently and because of the funeral today, I did not run in the planned CatWalk 5K.  Rest in peace, Joe.   

But I did get in a 2-mile run this morning before the funeral and an 18-mile bike ride after the service.  The run was very short, but I was glad to get something in.  I'm going to try to do 4-5 runs per week.  Even if I am tired because of work or cycling.  Even if I eat badly throughout the day and don't feel up to it.  That is the plan and I will be tracking it, at least this month.  Let's see how it goes.  Please check out my mileage log on the right and comment if you see me slipping.

One thing that impresses me about many of you bloggers is your stamina (or time management) to be able to do extensive workout sessions.  To do a 40-mile bike ride, would require about a 3-hour time commitment for me.  With other commitments on the weekends, chores, time with my wife and three kids and some social stuff, it is challenging to get that in...but I will work toward it.

So, instead I find that I am looking for any opportunity to do a workout, even if it is brief.  Over the past week, I've ridden my bike the grocery store (3 miles round trip?) and to a small party with friends on Friday night.  My family is used to it, but it still seems a bit weird.  We left at the same time at a dark 6:30pm.   They drove and I rode.  They got there in 5 minutes.  I got there in 20 minutes.  A 20 minute bike ride barely seems like exercise to most people, but I suppose it's better than nothing. 

What steps have you taken to make sure you get a workout into your schedule?

Big Clyde

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Caveman Clydesdale Begins to Evolve

So, a group of us saw this movie last night.  These are close friends of mine, but hardcore cyclists.   These are people that casually try to decide if they really want to do the 109-mile route of El Tour de Tucson, or do they just "dog it" and do the 80-mile.   It's as if they are trying to decide what else they have going that day.  "Hmm, I do have to get to Costco later in the day...I guess I'll just do the 80-mile, so I can get on with the rest of my Saturday".  I admire them, but can't hang with them on the bicycle.

At the end of the movie, some people were making plans for a weekend ride.  They used to invite me and I almost always said "no".  Their rides always seemed to be at least 28 miles, sometimes 40 miles.  Given that I weighed almost twice what they weigh and am still a bit to new to cycling...I would always say no, but I'm grateful that they kept asking.  Good friends, great athletes...but out of my league.

They started talking about their planned ride for tomorrow (not asking me, which is fine).  I started realizing that Samson (my boy) and I are going to do a longer ride tomorrow too.  Maybe 30 miles...maybe more.  And I slowly began to smile deep inside as I realized the following:

Maybe I'm not out of their league too much anymore 

My ride with Samson might be as long as their planned ride.  Interesting.

I am not as heavy as I used to be.

My legs are much stronger than they used to be.

I may even be doing more cardio workouts per week than some of them (though I am still not at their fitness levels).

Even a simple 25-mile ride is beginning to feel like a fun, casual ride right now (with Samson).  When we finish, I always know that I am feeling like I am just warming up and ready to really get a lot more miles in. 

I guess I am beginning to realize that I have the strength and stamina to go much further on the bike than I have been going.  This means that I need to build in time (2-3 times per month?) for much longer rides to see how far I can go at this point.

Just another lesson that some of us really hold ourselves back.  It makes me wonder about all of you and your stories. 

What was your "a-ha" moment where you realized that you were capable of more than you had previously thought? 

What was that moment when your eyes clicked open and you focused more on what you could become, rather than what you had been?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November Throwdown Challenge

Rae from Diminshing Returns and her friend Katie from Finding The Thin Within came up with a great idea!  They are promoting a one-on-one challenge.  They are battling each other for the month of November and encouraged others to find a worthy adversary to pair up for a challenge. 

If you read my recent post about my "food vacation", it is time for me to get back to healthy eating and focusing on some weight loss.   This challenge seems perfect for me right now.

I am happy to announce that I issued my Throwdown Challenge to Alan from Pounds Off Playoff.  Alan is awesome and always has very insightful and interesting posts.  He has lost a good amount of weight already this year and we have a lot of similarities.  I like him alot, respect him and fully intend to make him work for this!  We are going to battle for weight loss percentage. 

Who can lose the greatest percentage of weight in the month of November? 

My battle plan is pretty simple: 
  • Count calories and eat well.
  • Ride my bike (in training for El Tour de Tucson on 11/20).
  • Run when I can during the week.  I haven't run more than 2-3 times per week.  We'll see how this goes.
There, you now see my strategy, Alan.  Game on!

And because Alan is such a sport and has always been so great to me, please go check out the Pounds Off Playoff (see link above) and encourage him throughout the month as well!

Big Clyde

Monday, November 1, 2010

Returning from my Food Vacation!

Mr. and Mrs. Clyde, on vacation in 1990
Oh, hey!  I'm just getting back see, I (somewhat) intentionally took a "food vacation" for the past 7 weeks.  It was more like a "stay-cation" know, one of those vacations where you don't really travel too far from home, but you basically just do whatever you stress, no responsibilites, no real limitations.

Yeah, so I was on a "food vacation" like that since September 6th.  Prior to that, I was very disciplined about what I ate since March 1st of this year.  I counted calories and averaged about 1,700 per day.   I had some off weeks, but was pretty consistent and lost a lot of weight.  I got to my lowest weight in about 12 years on September 5th. 

Good times. 

Then, I chose to throw it on autopilot and focus on other things.  I increased my exercise, but quit counting calories and allowed myself to eat more moderately.  I had nachos and pizza.  I drank a few beers.  I had some chocolate and (weirdly) a lot of gummi bears.  I even had a few donuts.  Before you wag your finger at me, please...don't.  I'm not interested in a lecture and I'm not ashamed.  I ate some higher-calorie food, it was tasty and I gained a few pounds back.  No big deal.

It is no big deal, because I've learned this year that I will always enjoy some nachos, some chocolate and some beer in my life and I am learning to do it in rare moments and some moderation.  Most importantly, I have learned that if I am going to indulge now and then, I also have to buckle down and work it off.  All of us get away for awhile while we focus on other things...then, we come home and get back to it..

This is that time for me.   I feel like I am returning back "home" to some disciplined healthy eating habits and leaving my "food vacation" days behind.  By the way, the food vacation was fun and I did not travel too far from my healthy habits.  You know what they say about vacation spots:  "nice place to visit, but you wouldn't want to live there".

I'm back home now, where I reside at 1,700 daily calories.  Time to lose those recently added pounds, keep my cycling miles up and continue onward with The Clydesdale Project. 

Big Clyde

Sunday, October 31, 2010

OktoberFast Challenge: UPDATE Week 5/5

How was YOUR October? Did you lose some weight? Increase your workouts? Eat anything made with pumpkin? Drink any good Oktoberfest-type beers?

The point of our OktoberFast event this month was to try to use the month to push ourselves to go further in our efforts than we have gone before.  Patrick from The Road designed our banner, but more importantly, had an AWESOME month with some big races and an awesome first place finish.  Click the link above and check out his great month!

I definitely will have ridden more miles than in any previous month, but did not meet my specific goals.  I intended to lose weight, but really did not work at it much at all.  I also intended to run 30 miles, but did not do that much either (only 7 miles).  Instead, I guess I focused my efforts on cycling.  My goal was 200 miles and I have ridden 132 miles as of this morning.  I will ride again today, after church.  I'll update later in the day.   But this means that I will have ridden more miles this month than I ever have before in a month, so I'm happy about that.  And eager to do even more going forward.  I'll hit 200 cycling miles in November.

UPDATE:  Samson and I went out this afternoon and got 26.5 miles in!  Add to that some neighborhood miles to Tig's house for a quick wheel adjustment and I did 29 miles today.  That makes for a month-long total of all-time high for me and I am pleased with it.

How did you do in OKTOBERFAST?

Okay...maybe this isn't the scariest video ever, but it is gets super freaky at 1:15.  Play with the sound on.  Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Scary Mary Wants to Kill You

It's different than I remembered it as a kid...

A very light day is planned around our house.  Some reading, some cycling and a lot of time to reconnect as a family.  I've got two days left to get in miles for OktoberFast and if I don't hit my cycling goal, I'll at least get close.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

P.S.  Tomorrow, I'll show a VERY SCARY video!  You have been warned!

Big Clyde

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Looking Back...Looking Ahead

Not me and my daughter, but pretty close.
Today is my daughter's birthday.  She is 15 years old today and becoming a wonderful young woman.  She is smart, kind, funny, humble and very intelligent.  I am totally in love with my girl and we are extremely proud of her. 

I started this blog just over one year ago.  In my post a year ago, I wrote about how my workouts were two "river loops" in about an hour.  That is about 13 miles.  Not a fast pace and I confess that I am really not much faster now, but I tend to ride more often with other, newer cyclists now, so who knows how fast I would be on my own.  On my post a year ago, I only see comments from my daughter.  Very sweet and encouraging.

These reminded me of where I was a year ago and how far I feel I've come.  A year ago, I weighed about 50 pounds more and had yet to ride in my first race, El Tour de Tucson.  My goal was simply to finish.  Could a guy who weighed 325 pounds ride 35 miles before the street lights came on and the race was closed down?  I did about 2 and 1/2 hours and it remains one of the biggest highlights of my life. 

Since then, I gained confidence and lost a lot of weight.  I raced my bike in 3 other races.  I got in good enough shape where I could run for 90 seconds at a time, then 5 minutes, then 7, then 11 minutes...until my friend RockStar Tri just told me to keep going and I ran a 5k distance (3.1 miles).    My 5k time dropped from 52 minutes to 34 minutes!  I have a certificate that shows that I was third in my age group on the last run! 

People comment a lot about my weight loss and I know that I go through periods where I am focused on either exercise (like this month) OR weight loss (last summer)...rarely both at the same time.  Yet, I'm still very pleased with it all.

Looking ahead, I will be so proud to ride in this year's El Tour de Tucson with my son and my good friend Crazy Jim.  Both started cycling this year, in large part, due to my cycling.   When this race is behind me, I know that my focus will be on choosing a longer riding distance for myself at some point in 2011 and to start training for a 10k in Q1 of 2011 and I'm even cautiously considering a half-marathon or sprint tri later in 2011. 

In January of 2010, I wrote out a list of goals for 2010.  Here's the link.  I achieved every goal, except my cycling mileage goal, which was very aggressive.  The walking/running miles became more convenient and required less time from home.  Other than that, all goals achieved.  Remarkable for this former couch potato.

I realize that this post seems a bit self-congratulatory and I don't want to seem as if I am seeking some atta-boys from anyone reading this.  I just wanted to pause and document how grateful I am for what I've experienced this year.   Perhaps if I should stumble in the future (or if anyone out there is wondering if they too can make subtle lifestyle changes and get dramatic results)...this post can remind me/us that change is always  possible.  You don't have to be a former jock, or massively obsessive-compulsive about a new healthy addiction.  Reasonable changes, when steadily applied, can bring dramatic results.  Consider the river running through the Grand Canyon.

I'll end this with some words that I wrote at the end of that original post about my goals:
I have been blessed with these positive things in my life and I believe that God is calling me to finally get serious about improving my health. I will not waste this time.

My thanks to all of you, anyone who has ever commented on this blog or reached out to me via e-mail to encourage or challenge me along the way.  I am grateful to you beyond words.  
Finally, you may have noticed that I am not commenting as much as I used to on some blogs.  I feel guilty about this, but my wife and I have been heavily burdened with a challenge (outside of our family) that continues to require a lot of time.  My schedule is pretty tight right now and my computer time is limited, but it will free up soon and I look forward to being more encouraging of all of your great progress. 
Big Clyde

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Samson's El Tour Training - The Mountain Goat

Hi, everyone!  I want to let you know how my training is going.  Dad and I ride together at least once a week, sometimes more.  I think I have really improved and am feeling much more comfortable on the bike.

One goal I had was to ride 25 miles by my 12-year birthday in early October.  I did it!  Man, it was hard! We did many hills and Big Clyde said I pounced up those hills and he said I’m a mountain goat, which explains today's picture.   We went on this long road for a while, and it felt like it was uphill the whole time. Big Clyde said it will be down hill when we come back this way, but it didn’t feel that way at all, it felt no easier the 2nd time.  It was my longest ride beating the previous record of 15 miles. 

When we got up to the top of the hill, my dad took me to this cool area where they built a tunnel into the mountain and we rode into that tunnel.  That was kind of my reward for doing such a long ride!

Dad took this picture whil he was riding next to me.  I thought he was crazy for riding one-handed, but he can do it.

When I started my training, I was not very comfortable on my bike.  I couldn't stand up while riding and I didn't want to go very fast.  Now, I feel I can do almost everything.  I change gears without thinking of it to help me get up hills.  My friends didn't believe that I could do this, but now, they know I can.

Last weekend, we did a 19 mile ride and I knew I could keep going (but was glad to stop).  My next goal is to do 31 miles by 10/31.  This means that I'll be riding my longest 31 mile ride this coming weekend.  The mountain goat will be out there, climbing hills.  Wish me luck!

The Mountain Goat

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Want To See It?

I know, I know...I've been very self-indulgent in my blogging about the vintage bike thing.  But, this post is different...I purchased!

First, a little music to take you back to a simpler time about 35 years ago:

On Saturday morning, my daughter and I took a road trip to check out this vintage bike.  It is sad that a bike from 1975 is considered vintage.  I was 10-years-old then.  Here's the Schwinn catalog cover from 1975.  It even has people riding in Arizona...must be a sign.

The bike is a Schwinn Collegiate 1975 model (built in October, 1974).  It has original paint, gears, everything, except a replacement seat and new tires.  Here it is:

I love it because, unlike the more common Schwinn cruisers of the 50's and 60's (which are very common collector bikes now), this bike was built for an adult.  Before the early 1970's, most bikes were really built for kids.  I'm 6'4", so I needed a taller bike.  This works for me.  I also love the chrome and the original chain guard, etc.  . 

I will add an authentic Schwinn chrome light to it and a rack to the back, so that I can use it to go the grocery store and for local errands.    Given that I am only riding it on the bike paths and sidewalks of my very quiet neighborhood, I am not going to wear a helmet and definitely, I will wear no stretchy pants on this bike.  In fact, I should only wear tie-dye when I ride this.

I still know that my HUCC-B bike fits me better, rides more efficiently, etc., but this one definitely has got some cool vintage style to it that I could not pass up for the price.  It would have been fun at Tour de Fat and I will seek out more bike-fun events with it!

As for the week, Samson and I rode about 18 miles on Sunday and I rode 14 miles yesterday with my wife, then ran 2 miles last night.  I will try to get in more mileage tonight, because I have 68 miles to go before Sunday night.  Should be fine.

Rock on with your bad self.

Big Clyde