Saturday, February 26, 2011

Taking a Mulligan...

Do you know this term, "taking a mulligan"?   Golfer's do.

Urban Dictionary defines it as:  A Mulligan, in a game, happens when a player gets a second chance to perform a certain move or action; usually due to lack of skill or bitter luck. A "Do-Over".

I am taking a mulligan on this week's weigh-in.  Not burying my head in the sand, I did actually step on the scale and saw how my week of sickness affected my weight.   A 4-pound gain, which maybe could have been expected after strong losses over the past two weeks.

I continue to have a hacking cough with no time to really rest up on this weekend.  My huge work project involves an unusual work day in the field today and major office time on Sunday-Monday.  Then, I have a quick business trip until Thursday, when I will steal a couple of days off.

The good news is that I am slowly starting to feel better, except for the cough and mild congestion.  It seems I am coming around.  My goal is still within reach, but will require even greater effort now.

I hope all is well with all of you.

Big Clyde
Big Clyde being nursed back to good health!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

iTouchallenge - The Sequel

I should be pretty embarrassed about today's topic, but so many of you already know that I struggle with my weight, etc. (and let's face, this blog is pretty much anonymous), so here goes.

When I started this blog, I weighed 325 pounds (or 23 stone, which sounds a lot better to me).  I am 6'4" (193 cm).  I really started to focus on weight loss on March 1st of last year.  By eating much better, I lost 30 pounds pretty rapidly.  Another 20 came off more slowly.  Finally, on September 6, 2010, I had lost a clean 50 pounds!  My reward (along with increased confidence, improved health, etc.) was an iPod Touch.  The pricetag was not too extreme, but let's face it, an iPod Touch is a luxury item.  Therefore, I was happy to "earn it" with the achievement of a 50 pound loss.

And then, I knowingly took my eye of the scale and gained some weight back, slowly and steadily through the holidays.  Though I was aware of the gains, I also knew that I was increasing my running mileage and wasn't too concerned about it.  On November 26, we struck a new deal...I would hand it over until I re-lost the extra pounds.    Read about it here.

How'd I do?  I defaulted on the plan within a week or two.  We re-negotiated a few times, but she never signed on to be my cop and I can be pitiful persuasive.

So, now we are back at it.  Call it a sequel to the original iTouch Challenge

The new plan is as follows:  I will lose a predetermined amount by each Saturday between now and the end of March.  If I happen to miss my Saturday goal, I forfeit the iTouch for a week.  Each week, the goal is readjusted.  This way, if I happen to crush it one week, I set a goal for a smaller loss for the next week.  On the other hand, if I fall behind in my loss, we re-calibrate and choose a new reasonable goal for the next week.   My goal is to get back down to 275 by the end of March.  I am confident that I will do it.

So far, I have not had to turn it over to her and our little game has caused me to be more disciplined.   Good stuff.  My goal is to lose two pounds this week.  We'll know how I did on Saturday morning.

I know that many of you don't need such hijinks to stay focused, eat healthy, etc.  I commend you and am envious.  But from childhood, I grew up making poor food choices.  I am now working on changing my head.

Secondly, I just wanted to show that our efforts toward increased health can be fun and involve others.  It is fun for me to be in this little challenge and I am grateful for all of you who are playing along with me.

I am still sick with a bad cold that has not let up.  I am concerned it will affect my weigh-in, but there's only so much I can control.  Keep a watch for Saturday's post to see how I do.

Big Clyde

Monday, February 21, 2011

I Sound Like Darth Vader

Guhhh...I am sick.  My chest is pretty congested, so I smear on VapoRub, take hot showers and am trying to pump the vitamin C and liquids.  No mileage this weekend.

I have a big project at work, which means I will be at my desk most of the week, so it should be low-key enough for me to heal up and get back to some running or cycling.

But for now, I have a congested chest, hacking cough and a voice like Darth Vader. 

Speaking of the Vader family, do you know about Darth's lesser-known brother, Chad?  Enjoy.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Weigh In - February 19, 2011

Weight Change:  Lost 3 pounds since last Saturday!  That means I'm down 9 pounds in the past two weeks. 

Today, I'm feeling:  Like The Dude after a good doctor appointment ! (minus the j) 

Here's what happened last week:
I ate very well (see below) and ran only twice.  I had a busy work week with an overnight trip and am looking forward to an easy week ahead.

Food: This week, I ate really well at approx 1,750 calories per day. Most of the food was proteins (egg whites, some cheese, cream for the coffee and non-fat milk), fruits and carrots. I did eat some fatty snacks a few times, but just backed off my calories during the rest of the day.  That's not a good healthy way to eat, but I think I am still getting past some sweet-tooth habits.

Liquids:  I drink mostly water and coffee, with a few green teas.

Exercise:  5.7 miles on two separate runs.  I fell far short of my goals here.  Need to step this up. 

My Goals for this Week:
• Drop 2 pounds.
• Continue to pursue goal of 275 weight by March 31st!
• 35 miles this week: 25 on the bike, 10 on my feet.
• Eat 1,750 daily calories of good healthy food, more green veggies.

Make it a good week everyone!

Big Clyde

Friday, February 18, 2011


Me:  "Are you kids doing your homework?"

Daughter:  "Don't you mean home-fun, Dad?"

Me:  "What??"

Daughter:  (with a sarcastic smile on her face) "It's not home-WORK, if it's fun, Dad!"


She used the same line against me recently when I was heading out for a "workout". 

Daughter:  "Remember,'s not a WORK-OUT, if it's fun!!!!

It got me thinking about my workouts.  Are they fun?   Well, usually yes.  But I do know that I often get pretty consumed with my pace or time, especially when I run.  So much so, that when I haven't run for awhile, I dread the workout because I know that I will be faced with a likely slower pace. 

See?  Even weight-lifting can be fun!

Instead, I need to remember that in its purest sense, cycling is fun!  Running is fun!  Seriously.  If I just work on getting my miles in, I am guessing that the speed will improve in good time.

Do you enjoy your workouts? 

Or do you just endure them so that you can enjoy the results?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cycling Mileage 2010

Weekly mileage update
Bike: 7 miles done, 33 miles to go.
Run: 5.7 miles done, 4.3 to go.
Goal: 50 total miles by Saturday night

I am going to be making a few changes soon on the blog's layout, so I wanted to get rid of my cycling mileage sidebar.  I'll just post the totals on a monthly basis this year.   Therefore, I'll use this posting to consolidate the mileage for that year.  

A quick summary:  For 2010, I intended to ride 40 miles per week or 175 miles per month or 2,100 miles.  I did basically a third of this, but achieved most other goals and became interested in running as well, so I have no regrets.

January: 136 miles
February: 44 miles
March: 25 miles
April: 41 miles
May 42 miles
June: 20 miles
July: 21 miles
August: 32 miles
September: 57 miles
October: 161 miles
November: 127 miles
December: 38 miles

2010 Actual: 753 miles

2009 Actual: 656 miles

What should I do in 2011?  I am wondering if I should set a big cycling goal, or a running goal or both?  I know that I have become more interested in goals that will promote better lifestyle choices, rather than epic distances.  For example, I think I will be healthier for years to come, if I get into a habit of daily or weekly mileage, rather than training for a marathon or century (then drifting away after that goal is achieved). 

Any suggestions?

Big Clyde

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Vintage Bike for Sale

Weekly mileage update
Bike:  7 miles done, 33 miles to go.
Run:  2 miles done, 8 to go.
Goal:  50 total miles by Saturday night

It is with regret that I am selling my vintage Schwinn Collegiate.  I only purchased it a few months ago, with thoughts of riding it regularly to my local grocery store, the pub and around the neighborhood with my family.  I wrote about my intentions here

Though the Shwinn is in excellent condition, I have taken steps to convert my other bike (the HUCC-B) into more of a commuter style (with some lights for riding at night and a rack in the back).  I really do love my HUCC-B bike now.  It is nearly bullet-proof, can go long distances comfortably, carry my heavy frame, can handle some rough roads and has no trouble riding off some curbs on occasion.  It is basically, the star football player on campus.  Good-looking, super-strong and yes, as tough as one can be on the mean city streets (and bike paths).

My Schwinn on the other hand, is the star cheerleader on campus.  Sure, she is athletic (with 5-speeds), a great frame, and is in excellent shape, etc., but she is also drop-dead GORGEOUS and wants to be admired.  She shines when we are out and definitely turns heads. 

Okay, I get that this has gotten a bit weird, especially since this is the part where I am saying that I would rather be with the football player than the cheerleader.  Let me get back on track...

Bottom line:  I have many miles to ride in 2011 and many hills to climb.  Those miles will be better achieved on my newer bike and so it is time to get the Schwinn into the hands of someone who will appreciate her style and beauty.

So, I have it listed on craigslist in Tucson, but thought that I would throw out the announcement here as well.  Here is the link and some pics:

Big Clyde

P.S.  My apologies if I have offended anyone with the sterotypical examples of the football player and the cheerleader.  I was neither, nor was anyone else in my immediate family.  Somehow, the thought of my 1975 Schwinn just kept playing old Brady Bunch episodes in my head, involving cheerleaders and BMOC's!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day has taken on a broader meaning to me as I have grown older.  In the past 2-3 years, I've attended a few weddings and five funerals.  The funerals crush me.  They cause me to consider how grateful I am for the loved ones in my life.  I am so sorry to experience the loss of these friends/family and I grieve for their families as well.

So, on Valentine's Day, I am now grateful for my loved ones.  On the top of my list, I am grateful for my wife of 20 years and my three wonderful kids.  And I am also grateful the rest of my family as well, both local and those that live far away.

But I am also grateful for my friends, including so many of you.  It is a vulnerable thing, writing a blog about my weight and weaknesses.  There have been times when I have temporarily felt like giving have propped me up.  I have lamented on how far I have to have celebrated how far I have come.  Although we haven't met, those supportive and encouraging actions are true signs of friendship.  Thank you very much for that friendship.

So, on this Valentine's Day, who are you most grateful for in your life?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Weigh In - February 12, 2011

A clydesdale at rest.
 Weight Change:  Lost 6 pounds since last Saturday!

Today, I'm feeling:  Great!  Ready to get back to running and cycling, after a two week absence.  I have been a clydesdale at rest.

Here's what happened over the past two weeks:
After running my first 10K, I found myself catching up on time with family, a busy work schedule and letting a dull pain in my knee heal up with some rest.  I weighed in last week for the first time last Saturday to set a new baseline.

Food:  This week, I ate really well at approx 1,750 calories per day.  Most of the food was proteins (egg whites, some cheese, cream for the coffee and non-fat milk), fruits and carrots.  I also had some cereal, which I have to get rid of from my diet.  It is not healthy for me and I tend to overeat it.

Liquids:  I drank tons of water, no soda, and a beer or two.

Exercise:  Nothing this past week.  A light run the week before.  Terrible.

Confessional:  After the last few months of steady running or cycling mileage, I also ate more fatty foods, which included more sugar.  That sugar is addictive and I see that I still need to work on reducing those cravings.  Another week or so of healthy food and those cravings should go away.

My Goals for this Week:
• Drop another 3 pounds.
• Continue to pursue goal of 275 weight by March 31st!
• 50 miles this week:  40 on the bike, 10 on my feet.
• Eat 1,700 daily calories of good healthy food, more green veggies.

Make it a good week everyone!

Big Clyde

Friday, February 4, 2011

This Is Going To Hurt

It is time to re-focus on my weight and get down to 275 by March 31st.   What's my starting point?

Even I don't know today, but I'll hit the scales tomorrow morning and it will be bad.  Just the thought of seeing the number seems painful to me now. 
My running definitely strengthened my legs and likely moved around some muscle, fat, etc., but my increased appetite and lax food choices have kept the pounds on and likely added some.

So, tomorrow, I'll lumber onto the scales, set some weekly goals and get after it.  I have no concerns about hitting my goal on March 31st. 

And yet, I fear that you will be disappointed in my gains and I fully understand.  After 44 years of poor eating habits, I see that when I take my eye off the ball, I fall back into old eating habits quickly.

You may recall when I wrote about this stating that my autopilot switch is broken.  Time to put my hands on the controls again and fly the plane on a steady course.

Thanks for your comments about my friend's family.  Death is tragic, but this father-son story has just left me a bit numb and caused me to just want to focus on family (when not busy with work).

My two boys have been running together (on a challenge) every day this week, just a half-mile.  Sunday, we will likely jump it up to a two-mile run with several walk-breaks for them.  They seem to like the running, but are treating their small loop like a sprint.  I want them to get used to longer distances, so that we can do some upcoming 5k's together, where they can not only keep up with me, but even challenge me!

Hug your loved ones, my friends.

Big Clyde

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Sad Week

I have not focused on training for much of the past week and I figured that I should drop a note to explain what's up.

About 10 days ago, the son of one of my friends passed away in his sleep.  He was 20 years old.   His father (my friend Jim) died in the summer of 2009 of a brain tumor and his son struggled with the loss of his dad ever since.   Zack was a great young man, who profoundly loved his father, mother and three brothers.  At the funeral, we all questioned why this happened.  Why a wonderful family had to endure the loss of first the father, and now the eldest son.  I don't have the answers and it is painful for so many of us.  Though it sounds trite, I firmly believe that Zack and Jim are together in Heaven and his family finds comfort in that belief as well.  He is survived by his three brothers and his mother.

In addition, I am aware of some other college-age friends of our family that are going through some serious challenges right now.  It is all very sad, but I am hopeful that God, their families and friends will carry them through some tough times. 

These tragic events have just made me want to stay close to my family and enjoy our time together.  Maybe I am also coming down off of the achievement of my 10K race (and some resulting knee soreness).  I've run twice, but nothing further than a few miles.  I even ran with my two boys who are now very determined to run regularly with me!  In fact, they are doing daily 1/2 mile runs together this week, while I am away on a short business trip.   I have also been helping my daughter study as she endures finals at her smarty-pants high school.  I now know just a little about cellular respiration!

I have also been looking ahead to some upcoming races that I will be doing in the next few months.  A 5K, a mid-distance cycling race and yes, a short duathalon.  (Are you happy now, Patrick?)

So, that is why I have been missing-in-action lately.  It has been nice to relax and be very present with the family.  I will return (to the blogs and to my training) in a few days. 

I hope all is well with all of you.  And I encourage you, to hold your loved ones is very precious and our time together is nothing short of a gift.  Don't waste it.

Big Clyde

P.S.  (In answer to Kovas's comment from my previous post), this is definitely not turning into a "mommy-blog"!  (Not that there's anything wrong with that.).   I just figured Mrs. Clyde should finally get something tangible out of this clydesdale project, so she gets the "product review" waffle-maker.  Sue me.