Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I gained two pounds last week.  Over a two-week period, I am still down 8 pounds, but need to get moving back in the right direction.

What changed?  I ran fewer miles, ate heavier foods and drank less water.  My family returned from a week-long trip and I know that I just chose to be more casual about it all.  I certainly know that there are ways to fit low-cal and exercise in with family time.  But I was not making those weight loss choices last week.

Back at it today, though I need to get back on my running schedule, after missing my long run on Sunday.  I will get it in tonight.

Have a great week everyone!

Big Clyde

Monday, July 25, 2011

Clyde, the Jury

If I had more time, I would write this in the style of a film-noir, private detective.  But I am busy so, here's a quick update...

Several weeks ago, I received a summons to report for jury duty today.  Faced with my civic duty and my desire to earn an income, I requested an exemption.  They were processing my request.

By this weekend, I was supposed to know if I was required to report for jury selection or working at my job all week.  Since I received no notice either way, I had to work most of the weekend to get my assignments done just in case. 

As of mid-morning, I am a free man and back at work.

Between my work schedule and my 10K training plan, I barely had time to fit in watching the first 7 Harry Potter movies in the last week.  This was the commitment that my wife and I made to our kids, so that we would be prepared to see the final movie sometime this week.

As for food, well...yeah.  I've been better.  See you at the weigh-in tomorrow.

Big Clyde

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Why Run?

"Obesity finds it hardest to catch up with those who are running."
I was out on my run early this morning.  Do you know who I saw?  Women, of various ages, that likely weighed between 120 and 160 pounds.  Occasionally, I will see some guys out there, but they are also well below 200 pounds.

There are not a lot of big guys out there running.  That either means that 1) the big runners become small runners very soon or 2) big guys simply do not run.

So why am I doing it?  I ask myself this quite a bit, especially given that most of my friends who workout, are just into cycling.
  • I like running because I get to stay close to home (within a few miles anyway).  I love my neighborhood and I love knowing that home is pretty close, even if I am running.
  • I like running because, unlike a weight machine, I can't quit if I am 2 miles away from home.  Yes, I can slow to a quick walk (like I recently did), but my runs are an "out-and-back" venture.  No quitting once the journey has begun.  I always have to finish the workout in order to get home.
  • I like to run because it keeps me away from diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, meds, etc.
  • I like running because it is primal.  Animals run.  Kids run.  People living in caves at the beginning of time had to run.  If there is an emergency, you run.  For decades, I couldn't do this very basic thing.  Now, I can.  I just want to do it faster and longer.
  • It burns a lot of calories...
  • ...at a cheap price.  No gym membership, no gear is required and no equipment failure.  You can get started by opening your front door.
Yes, running is tough.  But I feel tough because I am running.

If you run, why did you start and why do you like it?

Big Clyde

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Weigh-In Day and My Fantasy

I lost 10 pounds last week.

Here's what I did:
  • Ate approx 1,700 calories per day of very healthy stuff.  Veggies, egg whites, turkey pep, yogurt, fruit and tons of water (and my usual tremendous intake of coffee).
  • I rode my bike twice, low mileage.
  • I ran a total of 12.5 miles last week, in four separate outings. 
  • That makes 6 days of cardio in a week.
Some quick disclaimers:
  • I had eaten poorly the 6 months  weekend  before my initial weigh-in last Tuesday, so my starting point might have been a bit high. 
  • My running mileage was high for me...maybe too high.  This is tied for the highest mileage I have ever done in a 7 day period.  As I progressed through the week, I realized that I should have slowly built up to it to avoid injury, etc. 
  • I also ran at night and at mid-day.  Same with cycling.  It just doesn't work well in the desert.  Yes, I got it done, but my speed and energy suffered big-time, making me dread my next workout.  This is a dangerous thing for a heavy guy who is coming back into some good habits.
And while I am on the subject of weight...if you are just starting out and are 70-100+ pounds overweight (like I am), please know that changing your food and light exercise (even walking) is so much better than joining a gym, C25K, riding lots of miles on the bike, etc.  Moderate or heavy exercise is DIFFICULT at that weight level and can get discouraging.  Controlling your food can be challenging enough...focus on that and a consistent walking program and you will lose weight and not get discouraged.  As you progress, then add some intensity to the workouts.

I say this because some of us bloggers start to compare ourselves with others regarding mileage, workout intensity, etc. and it can be discouraging.  I know it may sound silly, but I fantasize about arriving at a 5k race starting line where everyone had the same bmi or height/weight ratios as me...now, that would be a race!  How about showing up at your local bike shop for the Saturday ride and asking everyone to load up their backpacks with extra pounds to equal yours?  Let's hit those hills and grind out 40 miles! 

The good news is that 99% of the people out there are really just trying to encourage us heavier people to keep going and never give up.  At race events or my bike shop, I don't feel judged because of my weight...I know that we are all part of the same club:  "people who are working to improve ourselves".  (But I will still bring an extra backpack and some bricks with me if anyone wants to start smack-talking!)

My Goals for this Week:
  • Drop another 5 pounds.
  • Diligently follow the Hal Higdon 10K training plan, Week 1.
  • Exercise in the early morning, before it gets too hot outside.
  • Maintain 1700 daily calories of good healthy food.

 Make it a good week everyone!

Big Clyde

Saturday, July 16, 2011

El Tour de Tucson 10K Race Planning

This has been a great week for me, except my wife and kids were away on a trip visiting distant relatives.  Maybe their absence gave me some time to focus on the Clydesdale Project.  So, last Monday, I started eating better, weighing myself and doing cardio pretty much each night.

Tomorrow, I'll do a long run of 5 miles.  I haven't run that distance in four months, so I'll be curious to see how it goes.   I know that my low-calories (and low-carbs) have likely made me weaker on my runs/rides.  I will have to play with a good target of daily calories for my current activity and weight loss goals.  My guess is that it will be around 1,800 - 1,900.  This week, it has been less per day.

UPDATE:  My run this morning did not go well at all.  I intended to do 5 miles, but only got 4.4 miles done and I walked most of the second half.   What happened?  I am guessing, but I think I was too hot (about 90 degrees), I had too few calories in me the last few days, and maybe I went a bit too hard on my first week back at running after a few months away.  I'll rest today and tomorrow and do a 2.5 mile run on Tuesday.

I also was reviewing some upcoming races and saw the El Tour de Tucson 5K that I did last year.  I actually got 3rd in my age group, which was remarkable.  Mrs. Clyde suggested that I do the 10K route instead this year, so that's what I'll do.  I ran a 10K in January with 8 weeks of training.   There are 9 weeks prior to the 10K and I will go back to my Hal Higdon training plan to get me ready.  Here is my report from last year's 5K race.

What is your next big race or event?

Friday, July 15, 2011


Fat Daddy is back in the blogging world and once again, I am inspired.  When I started blogging, I came upon his very funny site and was amazed at his steady weight loss through exercise and better eating.  If he could do it, so could I. 

And I did, until I slacked off. 

But I feel like I am back in the groove again!  Though it has only be four days, I have eaten very well and exercised consistently.   I am even starting to feel like an athlete again.

I am seeing it on the scale.  I will likely do my weigh-ins on Tuesday, which should show a good number.

Thanks for the feedback on my blogs.  I will be combining the two blogs into one.   It is fun for me to write some non-exercise-related posts, so I'll put them here and hope that you enjoy them when you get time.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Clyde

Short post today, but I could use your advice please.

Some of you know that I started up a second blog awhile back.  It is called "Clyde Explains" and is located at http://www.notangryjustsaying.blogspot.com/.   The intent was to have a (hopefully) humorous blog that wouldn't be tied to running, cycling or weight loss.  I like writing, so I thought it would be fun but maybe not of interest to people who are strictly focused on exercise and nutrition.

But now I find myself wondering if it is more complicated for readers to follow two blogs.  If you are a follower of this blog (Clydesdale Project), which would you prefer?
  1. Keep the two blogs separate, so that they can each have their own focus.
  2. Combine the two blogs into this one, to make it easier for people who might want to follow both.
What do you think?

Monday, July 11, 2011

We're Getting the Band Back Together!

When The Beatles broke up, people had to have wondered "but why??"  "Why would they mess up such a good thing?"  But others might have speculated that "change is good", "they are all maturing and will go on to do great things", "they've earned some time off", etc.

I contend that The Beatles needed a break and they had earned it.  But once they began separating from each other, they never again re-captured the magic.  I do not want to be The Beatles.

In September of last year, I quit doing all of the things that had helped me to lose 50 pounds.  Here is what I STOPPED doing in a consistent manner:
  • drinking tons of water each day (to help curb my appetite)
  • logging my 1,750 daily calories into Sparkpeople.com
  • having a mileage goal or race in front of me to keep me motivated
  • getting on the scale
  • blogging (reading and writing)
I thought I deserved a vacation from all of those steps. 
I thought I might have "fixed myself", so that I would never again fall into bad habits.
I thought that I could "maintain", just by "wanting to maintain".

Well, it is time to get the band back together.  I dusted off some items today and felt like I was gathering up my bandmates for a great reunion tour. 

  • Huge jug for ice water
  • bananas and apples
  • diet green tea
  • low-cal yogurt (no ice cream)
  • oatmeal (low-cal breakfast)
  • mushrooms, egg whites and hot sauce for breakfast scramble eggs
  • turkey pepperoni (for breakfast, or anytime)
  • asparagus (not pictured)
  • baby carrots (not pictured)
  • Subway - ham and tons of veggies, no cheese, no dressings other than vinagrette
These foods were filling, quick to fix, cheap and tasty.  I am sure improvements can be made, but this is pretty balanced and kept me pretty happy at about 1,750 calories per day. 

I will re-capture the magic.  Some bands are even better when they reunite.

Hello Cleveland!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Workout Goals for this Week

I have a new story that is posted over on my other blog, involving Baskin Robbins, cheerleaders and my first part-time job.  Jump over and take a look if you have time.  Here's the link

It's time to get back in gear.  My belly has increased, just as my exercise has decreased.  And I miss being out there.  Cycling's fun, right?
In Arizona, there are virtually no races during the summer, but I will be looking ahead to see if there are some goals and races that I need to set for the fall season.  To get ready for that, I need to get moving now.

Here's the very short term plan:
Monday:  3-mile run (which will likely involve some walk breaks).
Tuesday:  At least 30 minutes on the bike.
Wednesday:  Run/walk - mileage will depend on time.
Thursday:  Bike
Friday:  rest
Saturday:  Bike
Sunday:  5 mile run

It should be 12 miles on foot and 30 on the bike.

I'll report in daily as I get it done. 

Big Clyde

Monday, July 4, 2011

Big Clyde Abides

This was a great long weekend for me and my family.  We were away for several days at a resort, just floating in the pool, visiting with friends and playing together.    Here is the picture I took of our car dashboard panel at 1pm on Saturday.     See it?  "Exterior Temp:  119 degrees"
The official temperature in Phoenix got up to 118 degrees, but our dash reported 119 degrees in Scottsdale.  Nonetheless, the heat was brutal and a definite record for the area!   Floating in the pool and an afternoon nap felt great.
Looks like I missed a spot with the sunscreen lotion.
We realized that it was a coincidence that we were at the exact same resort a year ago. The resort was great...very luxurious at a great low price because it is so hot here in the desert in the summertime. Few vacation here in the summer, so the resorts drop their rates and it gives us locals a great quick getaway.

Feeling a bit nostalgic, I looked back at my blog from a year ago.  We had just returned from staying at the same resort and I wrote about the gratitude I was feeling for my family, my health and the recent health changes in my life.    Here is the link if you want to see it.

I also wrote about my close friends who had just lost their father.  We had recently attended his funeral.  It made me so sad to think of their loss and how we would all miss this very sweet and happy guy.  They have to be missing him terribly right now.  Their loss made me value my time with my family and how I want to focus on gratitude.

It's ironic that my focus then was pretty much the same as it is now.  My attitude recently has been to simply...ABIDE.  For various reasons, I did not set any specific goals this year (as I had done in previous years), nor had I signed up for epic races, etc.   And I have no regrets.

I am not on contract to anyone to ride a certain amount of miles,
lose a specific amount of weight,
or prove anything to anyone. 

My highest priority is be faithful to God and then to be a great husband and father.   If things are cool with them, then I am happy to go for a bike ride or a run, etc.  If we are struggling with one thing or another, then I'm less motivated.  It's as simple as that.

Sometimes I read posts where people feel badly about their lack of activity or progress.  Some wallow in it, some use tough talk to get out of it and some sign up foolishly and boldly for a huge event!  I guess I do all of those at different times, but I try to keep it upbeat.

I hope that you will pardon me for several introspective posts lately.  If I got into such horrible shape by years decades of lethargy and some emotional eating, it will likely take some tinkering to gain new SUSTAINABLE habits.  I am in that zone now.  Abiding.

The Clyde Abides.

P.S.   Check out my other blog Clyde Explains where I detail "The Baskin-Robbins Cheerleader Incident".   I may ruin peanut-butter-and-chocolate ice cream for you forever.