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.
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?
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?"
Bummer. She's right. I am pretty happy with my weight, but I really should weigh less...at 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 precious...my belovediPod Touch to my wife until I get back to that 50-pound weight loss mark.
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.
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.
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.).
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!
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.
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, running...an 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.
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!
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.
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...
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.
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.
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?
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?
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!
Oh, hey! I'm just getting back home...you see, I (somewhat) intentionally took a "food vacation" for the past 7 weeks. It was more like a "stay-cation"...you know, one of those vacations where you don't really travel too far from home, but you basically just do whatever you want...no 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.
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.