Thursday, September 30, 2010

OktoberFast Challenge - Who's In?

There are several challenges out there.  If you are into one and it is working for you, then stick with it.  But if you aren't doing one right now, or want to add in a short-term goal, then this might be for you.

Here are the details, then an explanation:
  • Patrick from The Road and I came up with this one, based on last weekend's 50-Mile Challenge.
  • Starts October 1 through October 31.
  • Pick your goal:  mileage (walking/running/cycling) or pounds to lose (or a personal record?)
  • Weekly updates as to progress (I'll create a new post each week specifically for your comments).
  • Each week, try an "Oktoberfest-themed" thing and tell us about it.   Maybe you review a different beer each week, like a great Amber Lager...maybe you cook some brats and review them, or make a healthy apple strudel.   Just something that keeps us in the spirit of the good food and drink of the season.
The main goal is this:  use these 31 days to get disciplined toward one personal goal. 

Move Fast. 
Lose Fast. 

If this seems fun and we get people on board, we will create a prize (okay, maybe a "virtual prize") for all the participants.

You have 31 days.  Get busy.

Now, the explanation...

Challenges are useful to me.  Some of you don't need them.  That is fine, but many of us (including Patrick and I) thrive with challenges out in front of us.  When I am just doing the day-in, day-out status quo, I fall towards the comfortable and it's not as fun.  I have to have a carrot out in front of me, even if it is just a number to chase.  Also, I like it when I am surrounded by others who are striving. 

Why OktoberFast?  Well, the month gives it a short-term, which is pretty useful.  But I always get excited about the idea of "Oktoberfest", though I am not a big beer drinker and have never been to an Oktoberfest event.  But I like the idea of something pretty timeless:  red-cheeked people at a festival outdoors as the colors are changing with silly music and tons of rich, hearty food.  Not a lot of sadness at an Oktoberfest event.  At least, that's how I picture it.  The event seems to signify that change in the seasons between summer and fall, where things are changing and we get to revel in it.

Many of us are working on changing ourselves.  So, let's have some fun with it and do this together.

Please comment below and let us know what mileage or weight goal you will set for yourself for October.  We'll post it up in a few days and ask for updates as we go along.

Big Clyde and Patrick

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Big Clyde is (literally) on THE ROAD

...and you should join me.

This morning, I am honored to be doing a guest-post on The Road.  If you don't know, this is a great site about Patrick who has transformed himself from a pretty overweight, hard-living guy to a very disciplined and insightful triathlete, with great writing skills.

So, (I can't believe I'm saying this, but) leave here now and click this link to join me over there.  I also encourage you to look through his blog and check out a few excellent recent posts like this and this.

Oh, and by the way, tomorrow we'll announce a big challenge for the month of October.  It could be fun for us all to work together toward a goal for the month. 

Big Clyde

Tuesday, September 28, 2010 GiveAway

Hey everyone!

I am pleased to announce a giveaway thing from (no, Allan, Neil Young will not be participating this time). 

I had not heard of the site until a few months ago, but I have shopped it and now see that they basically sell everything.  Here is a link to a list of their different sites:  csn websites.

There will be two winners of a $25 gift card each.  I don't Facebook or Twitter, so I'll make this really simple.  Here's what I need you to do:
  1. Be a "follower" on my site.  If you already are one, leave a comment stating that you are interested in the giveaway.
  2. Write a mention of the giveaway on your blog and come back to comment here that it is on your site.
  3. If you feel good with it, encourage people to check out or follow my blog.  I love the comments and the good ideas, so I am always happy to see new people follow here.
That's it.  If you are in, you'll leave a minimum of two comments:  #1, then #2 after you've posted it on your site.  The deadline will be one week from today, October 5th!

Good luck!

Big Clyde

Sunday, September 26, 2010

50 Miles by Monday Challenge - The Re-Cap

It is Sunday night as I write this and I wanted to give you the re-cap of this challenge I did over the past weekend.  If you are just tuning in, I was recently admitting to all of you that I had become a bit lax about my exercise and my food choices.  That was this post.

So, within a minute, Patrick Mahoney challenged me to get in "50 miles" asap to basically get my tail in gear.   I accepted here.  I agreed to walk, run or cycle 50 miles from Friday morning to Sunday night.  No big deal to many of you cyclists out there, but it was a big challenge for me.

I did it all on the bike:
Friday morning:  13 miles
Saturday afternoon:  13 miles
Sunday morning:  13 miles with Samson (my boy)
Sunday afternoon:  11.7 miles with Samson (again!)

We got some great video of me riding through the countryside.  Maybe I shouldn't have worn my suit?!?  Anyway, check it out (at least for the first 90 seconds)! 

Many of you joined in also!  Here's the list of people that committed to do this challenge with me:
  • Kovas agreed to do 40 miles.
  • Luke was in for 30 miles.
  • Raegun - 25 miles
  • Lucas - 15 miles
  • Caratunk Girl - 30 miles
  • Matty O - Matty does 50 miles all the time, but is lifting this weekend.
  • Happy Fun Pants - 15 miles
  • Lesley - doing a half-marathon today, but will do 50 miles over the next week.
  • TRI714 - joined in for 50 miles
  • KJ - 50 miles
  • Sarah (Big Mummy) - 15 miles
  • and Patrick Mahoney, yes the one who started all of this, committed to 100!  Way to throw down the challenge and back it up with a large challenge for yourself!
Please comment and let us know how you all did! 

Patrick, thanks for the challenge.  Look at that mileage!  How much work would we have done without the challenge?  This is just another reason why these blogs are so valuable to me.   

I am now inspired and am working on a challenge for any or all of us in the month of October.  It will be for pounds, mileage, or basically whatever you want,...oh, and beer.  I think it would be fun to have a logo or banner and I have an idea for the look, but don't have the graphics skills.  So, if any of you want to volunteer to help me with a logo, I would sure appreciate it.  Please e-mail me at and we can work on it. 

Regardless, I'll be doing an October Challenge and details will come soon.

Also, Samson will do a report soon also on his training for El Tour de Tucson.  Thanks for continuing to encourage him.  He is progressing well.

Keep moving everyone! 

Big Clyde

Saturday, September 25, 2010

New CSN Give-Away

The wonderful folks at have again asked this big Clydesdale to do a product review or give-away.  This time, it is all about you, my friends.  I am about to launch the easiest give-away you have ever entered.

Look for details soon, but for now, please browse the several different sites associated with  The two lucky winners will each get a $25 credit to be used for any of the csn products.  They have everything you could want:  sporting goods, cookware, and even furniture like dining room chairs.  In the past, I have used their athletic equipment, but you can buy whatever you want.

Look for a future post on this and we will get it rolling. 

Big Clyde

Friday, September 24, 2010

50 Miles by Monday - Patrick's Challenge

If you saw yesterday's post, I was confessing that I have been slipping backward on my workouts and weight loss, right after I hit a nice milestone.   What an idiot.  (But it was soooo easy!).

I asked for advice.  Within 60 seconds of posting, Patrick Mahoney challenged me to "Do a 50 mile Saturday (or Sunday, or weekend; whatever the right day/goal is). Any combination of biking running walking up to 50 miles." 

I called him a bad word that I wouldn't say in front of my kids, then accepted.

As any Hollywood exec would tell you, the "weekend" is Friday - Sunday.  So, from this minute (early Friday morning) until I lay my sweaty head on the pillow Sunday night, I will walk, run and cycle a total of 50 miles.

I have the bike.  I have the gear.  I have the "killer" attitude.

To give you some perspective, I have never ridden my bike longer than 35 miles.  And I didn't ride 15 miles the day before or after either.  So, this is a SCARY NUMBER for this Clydesdale.

This post hits Friday morning.  I'll post again Sunday night, letting you know that this got done.  Barring a car accident or a life/death tragedy, this WILL get done. 

Who's with me?   Pick a scary number of workout minutes or mileage, post it below and circle back on Sunday night to let us know how you did.

P.S.  If I am doing this, you'd better believe that Samson is going to get in some mileage this weekend too!  Saddle up, Son!

P.P.S.  Between now and Monday morning, let's use one of the ideas below for a short term challenge.  I see a lot of 100 Day chatter out there, which takes us to year-end.  I may jump on soon, but for now, I still need some near-term challenge to fire me up over the next two weeks. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Don't Cry Over Spilt Champagne

Ah yes...good times.  You might have read recently that I reached a huge milestone goal...that's right, I lost 50 pounds in about 6 months and my wife bought me an iPod Touch.  Many of you congratulated me at the virtual celebration party.  Much virtual champagne was spilled during the celebration festivities.  High-fives all around.

I followed along on your blogs and have been cycling with my son and yes, still celebrating the wonderful feeling of hitting the milestone goal.  Drinking the rest of the celebration champagne that was in the fridge.

Oh, and work has been know, some work travel too.  And Mrs. Clyde still has this huge stressful thing that she is struggling through, so that has been on our minds.  The "champagne" helps with that too.

And now, I am realizing that I have failed at my "make good choices every day" routine that enabled me to lose the 50 pounds.  I have been so busy "enjoying" my success, that I have begun to erode that success.

True, there has been no actual champagne consumed, but for the past week or so, I have eaten horribly and just settled in to my old sedentary habits.   I have played with the kids, we have gone out to eat, I have fiddled around with the iPod Touch...and did I mention the horrible eating??

So, it is time to get off the couch, put down the cereal bowl and quit the celebrating of the milestone goal and begin working toward my future goals. 

Speaking of goals, I think I need to get a new short-term challenge to jump start me...something intense over the next week or 10 days.  Anyone else out there notice that they have fallen and can't seem to get up?  Any ideas for something short-term?

UPDATE:  I'VE ACCEPTED PATRICK'S CHALLENGE:  50 MILES FROM FRIDAY MORNING THRU SUNDAY NIGHT.  PICK YOUR POISON AND JOIN US.  And over the weekend, let's think of something to do within the next two weeks or so.  See you out there this weekend, my friends.

Big Clyde

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

CuppaJoe, The Working Man

I have taken a few cool pictures of CuppaJoe  (my 9-year-old) recently, who is becoming quite a statesman in his fourth-grade class.  The pictures are fun, so I thought I'd share them here.

First of all, CuppaJoe is quite a handsome guy.  For whatever reason, he began to channel Frank Sinatra when he was about 6 and took to wearing a fedora hat almost everywhere he went.  It has become somewhat of a trademark for him at school, church, etc.   He recently spent some funds from his allowance on purchasing two new fedora-type hats.   He is shrewd with his money and has more in savings than his 11-year-old brother and his 14-year-old sister.

The other night, I went into his bedroom to kiss him goodnight when the Mrs. and I went to bed.  This is what we saw on the ground in his room:
He just decided that he wanted to lay everything out.  Cracked me up. 

Then, he told us about his job interview.  All the students in his classroom had to "apply" for different jobs.  CJ very much wanted to be the mail-carrier or what I used to call "the mailman".  After the resume was written, he was going to be interviewed by a teacher and a parent.  This is what he wore on the day of the interview:
Yes, if you look closely, you can see a necktie.  The kid wasn't messing around.

He learned late last week that he got the job.  He was also recently voted as Class Representative for the 4th Grade in Student Government.  He was the only boy who was nominated, so he got all of the boy votes.  There were two girls nominated, but the girls in the class split their votes between the two girls (and a few girls voted for my boy as well).   The same thing happened last year.   It's hard to beat an incumbent.

After my race on Saturday, he went to the pet store with Mrs.  Clyde and they adopted "Moe" a betta fish.  Good times.
I know he'll read this, so CuppaJoe, here is the best description I have ever heard about the challenges of your new job as "The Mailman", from the only mailman I have ever known.

Monday, September 20, 2010

El Tour de Tucson 5K - Race Report

After a long weekend, here is my race report for the El Tour de Tucson 5K.  Thanks for the encouragement.

I picked up my registration packet Friday and got my 2XL shirt.  It feels so weird that I can wear a 2XL, when I have worn 3XL for well over a decade.  At the last minute, I almost changed my mind and asked the lady for a 3XL, but decided to trust that I was indeed smaller now.  The 2XL fits awesome.  Someday, it will be loose.

The race started at 6:30 am and for a variety of reasons, this was my first race where my wife and kids would be there at the start and finish.  I was so glad to have my own cheering section.  It was another gorgeous day in Tucson, Arizona though a bit humid.

I felt good.  My first official 5K was last June when I walked it with my kids.  Good times, but now I am able to run the entire distance, so I was really looking forward to making the most of this one.
Waiting at the starting line. 

I stretched a bit, ran for about 30 seconds as a brief warm-up and quickly realized that I had no idea what I was doing.  How do you really warm-up?  No matter, I got there shortly before the race began and I just wanted to hear the countdown and go.

After we start, jockeying for position ahead of the walkers.
 We started and I wanted to get in front of the people with strollers and the people that seemed like they would be walking.  Lesley had suggested that I "push", so I wanted to start strong.

The race started at a school and the route quickly steered us to the soccer field.  We first ran the width, then turning and running the length.  I didn't expect this.  The grass was wet and really thick and it was slow, slogging through this cushy stuff.  I could hear some complaining around me, but I was just happy to be out there.  I was running at a pretty quick pace (but didn't have a Garmin or anything to give me details).

I may have been running too fast.  I had told myself that when I got to the last mile, I would increase my speed and then increase again near the very end.  But by the half-way mark, I was feeling pretty tired. 

Maybe it was my faster pace, maybe it was the early morning (I usually run at night), maybe ???, but I was breathing harder throughout this entire run than I normally do on my neighborhood runs. 

After the soccer field, the route was along the Rillito River.  We had to cross two bridges, which meant that we had two clover-leafs per bridge.  As I approached the 3rd mile mark, I found that I was breathing so hard (too fast of a pace), that I started to do some brief periods of walking (15 seconds at a time)...but I bet I did that 4-5 times.  I hated it.  I wanted to be running.  I was supposed to be almost sprinting at this point near the end. 

There was a teenage boy ahead of me.  He had it worse than me.  He would run fast, then I would catch up to him as he would be stopped, resting!   Then, slowly walking again and sprinting, then stopping.  Maybe he was doing drills, who knows.  But for the last half-mile, I was just jogging, but felt that I was working hard.

The final 100 yards!  The Fam is cheering me on!
 Here I am, off the soccer field in the home stretch...trying to pick up my pace and finish strong.
After the race, with mixed feelings at this point

I finished and the official clock read 35:54.  Un-officially, since we were not on ankle timers, I know that it took me maybe 10 seconds to get to the starting line after they said "go" and my name was not entered into the computer until they took the tag off my race number, so my real time might have been closer to 35:40, but I'm fine to just go with the official results.

On my neighborhood route (measured by, my PR is 34:13 and I was not close to beating that, so I initially was a bit disappointed. 

But there are a few things now that I will list out now, so that I'll remember how far I've come.
  • In May, I was struggling to even run for longer than a minute at a time.
  • In early June, I was doing this distance in about 45 minutes.
  • My wife heard the organizers announce that this was a slower course, compared to a different course last year.
  • The guy who won it this year (Brian Hall) did it in 20:05.  He won it last year as well and did it in 17:20.  When I compared other racers' times to last year, it seems that everyone's times were slower, so maybe it really was a slower course.
  • In my age/gender group, I came in third out of five.  A 72 year-old man did it in 29:00!  Oh, and Ellie (and 8-year-old girl) came in a minute earlier than me.
  • Out of all the 5K runners, I ranked 46 out of 147 total runners.  This huge clydesdale came in the top third!  That made me pretty happy.
So, after some initial disappointment with not beating my PR, I am now pretty happy with my results.  I am running now, I learned a bit about pacing myself, and it may have been a tougher course than my neighborhood run.

Now, I'll challenge myself for the next official run on 11/6 to see if I can beat 35:54!  I wonder what another 15 pounds lost will do to my time?!?  Hmm.

Big Clyde

Friday, September 17, 2010

El Tour de Tucson 5K is Tomorrow!

I actually wrote a post about how my over-celebration of my 50-pound weight loss milestone caused me to get lazy and cocky.  I am guessing that I have actually gained some weight since last Saturday.

But I have read some pretty inspiring blogs this morning, so I decided to look on the bright-side and focus on my upcoming race tomorrow.  I'll be doing the El Tour de Tucson 5K Run, which will be my 2nd official 5K race.  The first one was in early June, which I walked with my kids.  This time, I will run the entire race.

I am shooting for a personal record goal of anything under 34 minutes.  On my neighborhood route, my PR is 34: 13, achieved one week ago.  I am probably fatter now by a few pounds, but I ran last night and it felt good.  Maybe this route, the excitement of the crowd and a flat course (compared to my hills) will get me that PR.

Samson and I will be pushing our mileage this weekend as well.  Thanks for your encouragement for him and me.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Big Clyde

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Saturday Morning Breakfast

Choices, choices, choices...

Last Saturday, I had a nice weigh-in, then I was ready to eat!  My two boys and I were bachelors because our women did a sleepover at a friends house where they watched "Steel Magnolias".  This is definitely a chick-flick (though I have seen it more times than I care to admit), so the boys and I opted out.

So, the boys decided they wanted breakfast out.  As usual, they chose McDonalds which is so cheap and I reluctantly must admit, very tasty.  The sausage egg mcmuffins are my favorite, but I also like those little sausage burritos and I believe that they put crack cocaine in their pancakes, because they call to me...maybe the best pancakes anywhere! 

But we had one stop to make first.  We drove to Subway, which is nearby.  They said "welcome back" because our family is in there a bit more often since I started The Clydesdale Project...the kids even prefer it to McDonalds for lunch or dinner! 

I ordered three "egg white melts".  Samson looked at me like I was crazy, for ordering three.  It was a little heavy for my normal breakfast, but at 160 calories each, it only totalled 480 calories.  Not bad for a Saturday breakfast, when I knew we'd be cycling at least 13 miles that day.  I added spinach and tomatoes.  Tasty.

Then, we went to McDonald's for the boys.  CuppaJoe ordered the pancakes and Samson ordered two Sausage McMuffin with Eggs.  He also got a deep-fried "hashbrowns" that came with it.  Each "muffin" was 450 calories and the hashbrowns were 150.  Total?  1,050. 

Samson (12 years old) couldn't believe it.  How can one restaurant make a egg/meat/english muffin for 160 calories vs. another one (McDonald's) at 450 calories?    Sure, it is ham vs. sausage and egg whites vs. eggs, but Subway wants to focus on lower-cal options and fresh veggies.  McDonald's doesn't.  The responsibility is ours to make the right choices.

This was just another eye-opening experience as I continue on this path toward better eating...and passing along those lessons to my family.

Big Clyde

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Clyde Is Happy!

P.S.  Since Ms. Happy Fun Pants asked, the machine was christened with The Fratellis (their "Costello Music" album) just makes me happy.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Samson's El Tour Training

Hello, this is Samson, filling you in on my quest to ride 40 miles in the El Tour de Tucson on 11/20.

On Thursday, we started our training with 6.5 miles…and one stop. It felt really easy because last time I rode it was about 4 months ago and we stopped for rest much more often. In this picture on the right, we had our first stop and only stop. I didn’t even eat the ‘Mini Oreos’ in my back pocket (although my brain said yes but my legs and bike said no.) When we came home, I was tired but that’s because the last stretch was up to our house and it’s really steep. But you know if you work out before you sleep, you sleep like a baby.  And I slept like a happy baby.

On Saturday we rode more than double that, 13.5 miles! We stopped three times for a rest for a minute or two and I realized it was probably because that morning we went to McDonald’s for breakfast. It’s not that I don’t like McDonald’s, every once in a while, I do. It’s just that you should NEVER EVER EVER eat Mickey D’s before you go for a long bike ride, never. Anyway, this time I ate all my cookies. We did our loop twice and drank most of my water and poured the rest on my face and drank some of my dad’s extra water. When we came home there was no one there. So we just sat there and drank green tea with mixed berry flavor and had lunch, then frozen fat-free pudding.

I am glad to be doing this and it will be my biggest challenge ever.  The rides are fun, but my legs got tired on the 13.5 mile ride and mostly, my rear-end got really sore...hope that gets better next week.

The plan this Sunday was to ride the 13.5 again but I had homework and I was tired. So I will try to ride once more during the week and two longer rides next weekend.  I’ll fill you in next Sunday.

My Dad and I set some goals for two longer rides: 
25 miles by 10/2
40 miles by 10/31

Thanks for the e-mails and the good wishes. 


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Weigh In - Week 28 New P.R. 5K = 34:13

Weight Change: Lost 0 pounds.

Total Loss since 3/1/10: 50 pounds!

Today, I'm feeling: great form.  Glad to be back on the bike and I feel so much better at my lower weight!  I had 3 pounds loss last week and 7 the week before, so I am fine with zero loss this week.

Highlight of the Week:  My first "training ride" with Samson.  See tomorrow's post from him.  He'll write each Sunday as to his progress, but I could not have been more proud of how well he did.   Biking season has begun!

Food:  Floated around 1,500 daily calories of extremely healthy stuff.  Egg whites, veggies, fruit, little dairy and turkey or ham.  Snacks are fruit, light yogurt, peanut butter and fat-free pudding.

Sunday - Tuesday:  Sick
Wednesday:  5K in 36: 48.
Thursday:  Biked with Samson 6.5 miles
Friday:  Virtual 5K Race (make-up from missed Labor Day Race) in 34: 13!!  P.R.
Weekly bike miles: 6.5 miles
Weekly run miles: 6.2 miles

My Goals for this Week:
• Continue to pursue goal of 250 weight by December 4th.  75 pound loss by my 45th birthday!
• Short-term goal is to be at 272 by 9/18!
• 32 cycling miles with Samson and 9.3 running miles this week.  My most aggressive week ever!
• Maintain about 1,500 - 1,700 daily calories of healthy food.

And now, just for fun, I wanted to share a video that my daughter found, in honor of her first semester of Spanish at high school.  Enjoy.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My Autopilot Switch is Broken

At my age of 44, I know certain facts about my physical body that will not change for the rest of my life.
  • I've had my gall bladder and appendix removed.
  • I have a bald spot and thinning hair on top (so I shave the rest of my head to complete the look).
  • I am tall and have a large frame.
  • I am now starting to grow hair on my ears like I am slowly becoming a hobbit. 
  • And despite all of that, I am still better looking than most men (sorry, with it).
I think that I have just discovered something else that I will have to accept and deal with for the rest of my life.

My autopilot switch is broken.

You know how most airplanes have that switch the the pilot flips that just allows the plane to fly on its own.  The pilot inputs the end destination, flips the switch and the plane should be able to just maintain course.

With my recent weight loss, I kept hoping that I have that switch.  My plan would be to stick to reasonable portions, a reasonable amount of exercise to maintain this flight path, flip the switch and then, focus on other things.

...but, my autopilot switch is broken. 

I couldn't tell at first.  I don't feel an immediate jerk and see the plane speeding straight downward to earth.  Instead, my plane just slowly veers off-course with an eventual downward trend toward the nearest mountain.

When I have a great weigh-in, I obviously feel good about myself.  I know what choices to make at lunch that day.  And yet, I may choose to skip exercise...just on that weigh-in day.  (Do you see where this is going?)

While the ink is still wet on my little weight loss journal with the newest low weight, I begin to mentally take my eyes off the horizon, assuming that the computer can fly this plane for awhile.

Three days later, I find myself wondering how I have drifted off course.  Again, for me, I don't binge and I'm not doing loop-de-loops in the plane...just a gentle slow path away from my desired flight plan.

So, that's okay.  It appears that at this point in my life, I can't rely on my autopilot switch.  I don't mind flying the plane (sticking to counting calories and logging in exercise).  But it would have been nice if somehow, I had a plane with a perfect autopilot switch, where I didn't really have to worry about falling off my flight plan.  I have buddies that fly around in first class, without ever having to look at the controls.  They live their lives on autopilot when it comes to diet and exercise, but I can't do that.

Maybe someday, my switch will work.  For now, I have to stay focused at the controls.

How's your autopilot switch doing for you?

Big Clyde

Quick Check-In

Thanks to all of you who left comments about Samson's upcoming race.  The race will be the 40-mile route of El Tour de Tucson.  (Yes, Patrick M., it has a strong charitable component to it...the main beneficiary is Tu Nidito, an organization that benefits children whose families have been impacted by serious illness or death).  Samson appreciates it very much and will post from time to time, as to his progress, questions, concerns and successes.  We'll likely do a ride tonight (it's tough when homework and darkness get in the way).

I have eaten well over the last few days and did another non-stop 5K run last night, although slower than I did last week.  I was sick for a few days so I haven't been running and I felt it in the legs.  I'll go out again tomorrow for the virtual 5K .

I can't believe that my weight is in the mid 270's.  I floated between 295 and 288 for about two months, so this feels really different.  I am looking forward to getting down into the 260's.

Keep moving everyone!

Big Clyde

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Samson, The Clydesdale Colt

(Thanks to all of you who shared your upcoming goals and challenges in my previous post.  I am again inspired and will enjoy following along.)

Samson, The Clydesdale Colt
Great news! Samson, my middle child, recently agreed to do the 35-mile El Tour de Tucson with me in late November (except the organizers have just stretched it out to be 40 miles!).

Samson is a not an experienced cyclist (how could he be at 11-years-old?). He only has really been riding for about the past two years, but we rode the 12-mile route of the Tour de Cure this year, so he's got one race under his belt.

One benefit that he has going for him is his determination. When he chooses to go after something, he is disciplined and focused. He has also seen how I was horribly out of shape last year and through a lot of training, completed my first cycling race, the 2009 El Tour.

His friends recently heard about his decision to do this and like many 6th grade boys, they were not encouraging.  They teased, telling him that he couldn't do it, that he's not even an athlete, that he doesn't have the stamina, etc.  These are statements that he wrestles with internally as well.  But he knows that I felt the same way a year ago and he has seen my progress.

We will do this together and it will be a life-changing event for him. 

From time to time, I will ask Samson to share his progress on training, thoughts on the upcoming race, etc. Please give him the same encouragement (or more!) that you have given me.  His e-mail is

Big Clyde

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What is YOUR Next Challenge?

I just wrapped up a challenge that really started in May.  I'm feeling good and enjoying the confidence that comes from achieving a goal. 

Now, I have some other things that I am working toward, but I'd like to turn the spotlight on you.

What is your next milestone? 

What big goal are you working toward? 

What is the next big challenge that lies ahead of you?

I'd love to hear it and cheer you on!

Big Clyde

Monday, September 6, 2010

Weigh In - Week 27 Big Clyde's First 50!

Well, it happened.  I'll confess now that on Saturday morning, I was surprised to see my exact target on the scale:  275!  This was my target weight to hit by Labor Day (Monday) and I am so pleased to be here. 

My family took me to our local Apple store to get the much-desired iPod Touch. Unfortunately, they were not in stock, so I ordered one online. The engraving will read "Big Clyde's First 50!" and "The Clydesdale Project".

Here's a picture of me and Mrs. Clyde outside the Apple store.  Did I smudge your lipstick, babe?
I have never been one to lose, then re-gain weight in big swings (my previous talent was strictly in slowly GAINING weight).   So, this 50 pound loss in 6 months is the largest weight loss I have ever experienced.  Many of you have done more than this and I am inspired by others' success as well, regardless of the number.  For a former skeptic like me, however, this just happens to be a shocking and wonderful result.  Thanks for following along. 

What's next?
The Happy Clydesdale
Today, tomorrow, etc. - make sure that I don't gain it back as I battle a nasty little cold.  Hopefully, I'll do my virtual 5K later today, but maybe not.  Trust me, it will be in the next few days.  I want to honor the commitment of running it, leaving all the effort on the road.

Races - I have several 5K races and two cycling races this fall.  The grand-daddy of them all will be El Tour de Tucson with my boy and my good friend.  It will be a challenge for both of them, but a great opportunity to show my son that, like his father, he can do "hard things" with slow and steady effort.  As for me, I have to run a 5K in under 30 minutes by 1/1/11.

Weight - I have started to think of a goal weight and I would guess it is about 235 or 230.  But the new goal number on the wall is 250.  My goal is to hit that by my birthday in early December.  Approx two pounds per week.  Seems attainable, but only if I keep working steadily.  It's good to have goals.

I confess that I have felt a bit selfish over the past two months.  I accepted this big challenge from my wife and have written about it often, yet so many of you are doing fantastic things (with even greater results) every week.  My focus for the next several weeks will be to blog about myself a bit less and instead, follow your's more and work toward the races and goals that I have in my near future.   I guess I just want to thank you for all of the cheering and encouragement on Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge. 

Finally, I also want to thank my wonderful wife and kids for constantly encouraging me and never letting obstacles get in my way when it comes to these changes in my life.  I know that the concerns over calories, the weird workout hours and even the expense can be tedious at times, but you are always supportive and I am very grateful.

Big Clyde

Saturday, September 4, 2010

1 Day Left in Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge!

I'm very excited.  I've been very careful about my food, but I have started to catch the sore throat / cold that my kids recently brought home from school.  Laying low for now, with no exercise, but I should be out doing something by Sunday afternoon and the run on Monday.

I'm told the new version of the iPod Touch has a camera.  Does it look like this?

Stages of Change - Garrett's Passing

I recently learned about the death of a fellow blogger, Garrett from Stages of Change blog.  I didn't know him (even his actual name), but I followed his blog for many months and I always cared for him and admired his openness in sharing his struggles.   I don't know how he died, but please know that his recent posts were very positive and even exciting.  He wrote that he used to reflect on hopelessness and denial.  But his new attitude as about light and truth.  His last lines of his last post were these words:

"I strive now to be about success, self-accountability, and moderation."

He was there.  I also will work to be there. 

I commented a few times that he was a much better writer than me, so I would like to share something that he wrote that really inspired me. 

"It's about what you believe, and more importantly, it's about the actions you take to create, or to change, what you believe that matters.

Actions lead sometimes.

Actions lead sometimes and then our beliefs follow.

And then it's all synergy baby.


And it's up to us whether those actions, beliefs, and momentum are positive or negative.

It's up to me.

Should I, in the long-term, succeed or fail, I will always know, and be absolutely correct, that the fact is... it's only ever been up to me.

I choose to acknowledge the truth that this is a process.

A process that can take a massive amount of effort and time and tenacity and commitment.

But a "hard" process?


Only if I let it be."

Friday, September 3, 2010

3 Days Left in Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge!

I walked to Subway for dinner last night with the kids, where we later met up with Mrs. Clyde, who had a late meeting.  Then, they drove home and I walked back.  Not long, but about two miles overall with a dinner of an apple and a 6" Sub for about 550 calories.

Today is Friday, which means that I will do another run tonight (and maybe a bike ride late this afternoon, depending on when I finish work).

3 Days left to get to 275 and I am avoiding the scale for now...just eating my low-cal food and exercising nearly every day.  If I get there, I am buying the new iPod Touch, which seems to be getting cooler every day.  It will basically combine my ipod nano with a computer.  Here's a picture of the latest iPod Touch model.

We have a surprise little trip for the kids this weekend and I've decided that I won't do the Monday morning race.  It takes place about 45 minutes away.  Packet pick-up begins at 5:15, so I'd be leaving the house around 4:30am.  It would be too early for all of them (and there are many other races ahead for me this fall).  So, instead I'll just do a virtual race on Labor Day morning and go for my fastest 5K time. 

Have a good weekend everyone!

Big Clyde

Thursday, September 2, 2010

4 Days Left in The iTouchallenge! - See Clyde Run!

There are 4 days left in Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge!  I have not weighed myself since Saturday morning, but I am not feeling lighter.  We'll see.

By the way, Apple made a big announcement today about improvements to their iPod Touch.  I want it.  Here's their latest ad.

I had a good night tonight.  My friend, Rock Star Tri, always gives me great advice.  Simple and straightforward.  In May, I was writing about how I am not really used to pushing myself, when it comes to exercise (having never been an athlete). 

RockStar Tri's simple advice at that time was very motivational to me.  He wrote "Let's just say that it would be great if all should do a little more than they think would be easy and then enjoy the results."

I wrote to him today about my running, which was something that I couldn't even do in May.  I wrote that I have been improving my 5K time lately, but cannot seem to run past the first two miles.  At the 2-mile mark, I am so exhausted that I end up walking much of the last mile.    I asked for his advice.  He said at this point, it was just a mental game.   His answer, as usual, was simple.  JUST.  DO.  IT.

Lesley from Racing It Off also had commented that I likely could improve my third mile time, if I slowed the first mile time a bit.

So, tonight after dinner, I started my run and actually RAN 3.1 MILES!  No stopping, no pain.  I even felt I could have gone further.   

This was another reminder that my biggest obstacle often is one that I create.  I sell myself short.  I tell myself that I'm not able.  But I am doing that less and less.  I know that many of my friends might not be able to run three miles at a time.  The Clydesdale Project is working and I am improving my mental game, as well as my body.  Good times.

And yes, this is just another reason why I am grateful to all of you for the encouragement!

Big Clyde