Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tuesday Night at the Park

Ate well today and now it is time for a quick workout.  Mrs. Clyde is working tonight at the church, leading our youth (including our daughter).   So, my boys and I will doing something new and head to the park.  They can do whatever and I will likely get in 45 minutes of a walk/run.   I'll update later to let you know how much of it was running vs. walking, but after last night's 7.25 mile walk, I'm guessing my body will feel like running!

Keep moving, everyone...or else we'll all look like our 16th President up there!  (Sorry, Abe).

Update:  We went to the park and the boys (12 and 9) played around and did a lap with me.  I just jogged (60%) and walked (40%) for about 40 minutes.   I realized that my legs were a bit tired after yesterday's long walk and that it was a lot easier to do this in Seattle (much cooler two weeks ago) than here in the 97 degree desert evening.  I could not sustain a running pace for longer than 3-4 minutes at a time!  Seems disappointing to me, but I will of course, stay at it.  We'll see how I do tomorrow, because I am doing it again! 

Big Clyde

The Long Monday Walk

In Tucson, there is a cool Monday night event, where approx 600 people gather downtown to walk/run 3-5 miles together.  I wrote about it here.   Well, tonight I wanted to do that again tonight as a fun way of getting back into walking/running after about a 10 day absence.  So, I called my friend Crazy Jim to see if he wanted to join me.  He is always up for anything, so he said yes.

But as I drove to his house, I started thinking that it is a long commute downtown for the event...and parking is a hassle...and Crazy Jim wouldn't be running, so it would be a short walk.

So, instead, we decided to walk my normal "short river loop" that we normally cycle (2-3 loops).  I always clocked it as 6.5 miles.  Tonight, we walked it (hoping it would rain on us, to give us some relief from the heat).   According to a closer check of the satellite/mileage app on CJ's phone, it clocked in as 7.24 miles!   For this Clyde, that is some burnage of about 1,500 calories.  Nice way to get back into it, right?

Yes, it took us awhile, because Crazy Jim can't really run (yet!)...and we stopped for a quick break to get some street tacos.  But we agreed to do this walk at least once a week (likely Monday nights).  Good times.
(Pics of Captain Morgan and his replacement, Crazy Jim...on the trail!)

Have a great week, everyone!  Keep Moving!

Big Clyde

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Geting Back on Plan - Your Ideas??

Over the past 4-5 weeks, exercise and healthy eating has not been a consistent focus in my life.  I have exercised really well during certain weeks and ate pretty well, most of the time.  However, nothing consistent or aggressive enough to lose weight.     The trick to weight loss is to eat healthy foods AND exercise consistently.
 I am refocusing today. 

Here are my steps to get back on plan:
  1. Make sure that the kitchen is well stocked with my go-to healthy stuff.  Strive to maintain a range between 1,700 - 1,900 calories each day.  My doc said that is a totally healthy range for me.
  2. Get back to tracking everything I eat on SparkPeople.com.  So very helpful to me.
  3. Move every day.  I will either walk (fast), ride, run or do steps.  If it is too hot or too late, I can do steps in front of the tv at home.  But I LOVE being outside when I am working out.  I don't even mind the extreme heat so much, except it is pretty tough for cycling or running.
  4. Drink tons of water.  I pretty much always have.  You know you're drinking enough water when your pee is clear.  What color is your pee?
  5. Move my weigh-in day to Fridays. 
If I have learned anything over the past few months (since March 1st), it is how to stay pretty close to a healthy plan for maintaining.   Basically, when I used to cheat on a diet (or exercise program), it would quickly lead to just giving up.

Maybe you have experienced this before.  A short period of inactivity and bad nutritional choices can lead us to slide into the mental losing game of apathy and negative self-talk.  I am getting fully back on plan today, before I slide down into that hole.

I would love to know how some of you climb out of the hole of bad choices when it comes to exercise and weight loss. 

P.S.  Mrs. Clyde's iTouch Challenge has a new target and a new date:  275 pounds by Labor Day.  I weighed 295 this morning.  Should be easy to do, if I stay on plan.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Hot Clyde in the City

Three things:

1.  Okay, now I'm a bit obsessed about how freaking hot it is here in the desert.  My second and last thermostat pic.  Yes, it reads 115 degrees Farenheit, today in PHX at about 3:30pm.  This is why we live in Tucson where it is a reasonable 111 degrees.  That is tolerable, but who can reasonably deal with 115 ?!?!  (I'll stop now)...

2.  I will weigh in tomorrow, good or bad and re-set.  I haven't worked out since last weekend and am ready to get back to a walking, running, riding schedule this weekend.  If I haven't phrased it very well, I am excited about getting re-focused on some weight loss and activity goals.  My trip was great, I am no longer sick and I have no other issues that might derail me on the horizon.  The "challenge" resumes tomorrow, once I see where I am. 

3.   And just for a trip down memory lane (1978, the summer between my 6th and 7th grades), Enjoy.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Is It Hot In Here?...

...or is it just Arizona in the summertime?

Pardon the poor quality, but here is a pic I took in my truck at 5:06pm tonight, after I'd been driving for about 15 minutes. 
  • Yes, I was travelling North (N)
  • True, I have a lot of miles on my vehicle (103,540.6 miles)
  • Oh, and it was 111 degrees F outside!!!
Sooo, I am NOT going to run tonight.  The family is back together again and we are going to be in an air-conditioned theatre tonight, watching Toy Story 3!

Have a good night, everyone!

Big Clyde

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge - Someone's not happy.

Well, Mrs. Clyde (my lovely wife) just returned from a mission trip and we are once again all under one roof.  Since she is not a frequent reader of this blog (after all, she lives it), she was unaware that I had unilaterally postponed her challenge for me to get to 280 pounds (my reward for this would be an iTouch). 

Yes, she had agreed to give me an extension, but I was the one who decided to push it off to September.   I think she felt like the one getting pushed.

You see, she married a much smaller guy (me), almost 20 years ago.  As I have matured over these past 20 years, I have...um, grown (especially around the middle).  I think that she really wants to see me continue to hustle and not slow down my weight loss pace.  I am getting healthier and settling in at my current weight will NOT be the end of this story.  Time to get back in gear.

So, within the next few days, I will have a weigh-in and leave it to her to decide how much and by when we will complete this challenge.  Stay tuned, my friends.

Big Clyde

Monday, June 21, 2010

Bike The Bluff - Race Re-cap

I thought I would try a somewhat detailed breakdown of Saturday's bike race.  This may run a bit long, but I hope it is still interesting to you.

On Saturday morning, I lined up at the starting line with the others in Showlow, Arizona.  A nice guy started talking to me, asking how long I'd been riding.  Maybe he wondered why I was there, given that I was easily the heaviest person there by at least 70 pounds.  We talked a bit.  I never mention that this is all a part of my "clydesdale project"...to see if a big guy can get healthy, lose weight and really compete in a cycling race (and soon, running!).  Maybe I should get the blog name on a jersey or something, just for fun.

Anyway, the announcers told us that we would have headwinds for the first half of the race.  Bad news given that the 17.1 mile course starts with a 6 mile hill climb (that is the "bluff" in the name "Bike the Bluff").  I chose to start near the rear of the group.  When the race began, I held my position...most of the racers were ahead of me, but several were behind.  Soon, we all spread out.  I was alone.

But then, he came.  I'll call him Stucky, for reasons you'll soon understand.  Slowly, as we were working our way up the climb, I could see him coming up behind me.  This was a grueling, slow pace...climbing the hill on a long stretch with the wind coming straight at me.  Stucky came up along side me with a big friendly "Yee-haw!'  I wasn't really in a upbeat mood (because I was working hard to get up that hill), but I tried to be pleasant back to him.  Then, he was chatting a bit...I nodded, gave a few short responses, etc., but again, for a guy of my size, this was tough work and I wasn't really able to put on a big smiley face and talk conversationally.  We were working out, right?  No big deal, that is my problem, not his.  I envied his pleasant attitude.

Then, Stucky slowed down and tucked in right behind me.  In the business, they call this "drafting"...find another cyclist and "stick" to their back tire, so that they are breaking the wind in front and you get to pedal much more easily right behind them.  This is acceptable in amatuer races with the friendly agreement that you take turns.  Stucky never got that memo. 

(This is drafting.  It is not me and not Stucky)

So, Stucky slips in behind me, right on my back tire and stays there for the next 5 miles (not joking).  Since I was working (and a bit ticked off that this guy was breaking ettiquette), I didn't talk to him or say anything.  I certainly didn't want to slow down and force him to go around me (after all, I was racing!).  So, I "pulled" him up the hill, during the toughest part of the race.   (By the way, Stucky, "you're welcome".)

At this point, I was now gassed.  We had crested the bluff and it was flat-ish for awhile.  Stucky seemed to now have more energy than me, so he pulled around me and rode ahead at a good pace.  No happy words from him now, no "thanks", no "good luck"...nothing. 

It took me about two miles to catch him.  I wanted to give him a taste of his own medicine.  I tucked right in behind him and tried to "feel" the benefit of drafting behind someone, for once.  He knew I was there.  After about 1 minute, he pulled off the road onto a little side-road, a dead-end.  Like he is somehow giving up his pace, the race, whatever, just to get me off of his back tire...after only a minute.  So long, Stucky.  Enjoying the flatter terrain, I just settled in to riding my own race and quit thinking about Stucky.

Look, we all have our own stories/challenges and for all I know, Stucky just had heart surgery or something and somehow needed me to help him up that hill.  I realize that I shouldn't be so frustrated at what he did.  But at the time, I was so disappointed that another cyclist had done this thing that I had been told was very bad form.

Anyway, the rest of the race was amazing, except for two tough, short hills, right at the end.  On the second half of the race, I got up to regular speeds of 25-28 mph that I could hold for long amounts of time.  I also got to go 35 mph on a short downhill stretch (my fastest time!).  I cooked on the second half (I couldn't really feel a tailwind, but it must have been there, helping me)!  I was happy, aggressive, and felt awesome!  (Have I mentioned lately how good I am at going downhill?  It is the only situation in sports, where gravity can really help the heavier guys and gals!).

At the end, there were two short, but steep hills that really tired me out.  A friend later said that cyclists always talk about leaving "at least one bullet in the chamber", just in case they have to end in a sprint, or on a hill.  I think I was having so much fun by pushing my speed on the second half, that I hadn't "left one in the chamber".  I got passed by one person in that last stretch, but otherwise, held my place.

In the end, here are a few things from the race that made me feel great:

  • I was actually in another race!  By committing to these races (5 in the past 8 months), I tend to stay more active in my exercise and nutrition.  If not for the event, I likely wouldn't have ridden an aggressive 17 miles on Saturday.

  • I set a goal for 1:20 mins.  I did it in 1:21.  Still, with the wind and the hills, this was the most aggressive that I have ever ridden in a race (the last three were pretty flat).

  • I did not win the race.   But I beat several in my category for this race, yet I was the heaviest one.  (And Stucky came in about 17 minutes after me!).   

  • The speed times mentioned earlier...a big deal for me.

  • My cycling jersey continues to fit very comfortably...even roomy, compared to the "painted on" look with my heavier weight earlier in the year.  Hey, Rock...thanks again for the bib shorts.  They are great.

  • By the way, the event shirts only went up to 2XL.  I usually wear 3XL.  The 2XL shirt fits fine!

  • Finally, I just felt strong!  When I needed to just settle in and work, I could.  My recent running workouts have totally helped my breathing and cardio.  When I got past the climb, I could concentrate on speed and I felt stronger than ever before.
A good race, a few personal victories and just another benchmark for me to improve upon next year.  I am about one year into this Clydesdale Project and my life is forever changed!

Big Clyde

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Unpacking the Bags

I am back home now, after my trip to Seattle.   It has been a crazy, busy week for the Clydes!
  • My boys and I arrived home late last night, slept briefly, then we awoke early so I could take them to their other grandparents.  They all left early this morning for their cabin in the White Mountains.  I'll join them for my Bike The Bluff cycling race on Saturday morning.
  • My mom's surgery went very well and she was released to go home the same day (which never happens for her).  It was Dad's birthday (70!) and yesterday was their 49th anniversary!  So glad that all went well.  Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers.  Much appreciated.
  • It was great seeing my Dad, who has lost about 90 pounds in the last two years (by simply choosing smaller portions and no ice cream).  I have never seen him at this weight in my lifetime.  He weighs less now than he did when he was an athlete in high school.  Amazing.  On the downside, he recently was in a motorcycle accident and broke some ribs and punctured a lung.  He has recovered well, but is still in some pain.  For so many reasons, he is my hero!
  • I loved the time with family and my boys.  Mrs. Clyde and my daughter (Bookgirl95) are doing some mission work on the streets of Denver with some inner-city kids.  It sounds rewarding, but they are trying to "live in the culture", so no hotel accomodations, no creature comforts and no cell phones.  We haven't spoken and I won't see them for days.  Tough for us, but it will be fine.  God is with all of them, I know.
  •  I ate decently on vacation, but not within my 1700 calorie plan.  I worked out nearly every day, running further and faster than I have in decades (though still not breaking any land-speed records!).
  • This morning, I weighed in at 293.  Down 3 pounds from my last official weigh-in on 6/7, but above my recent low of 289.  Now is the time for me to punch through and get into the low 280's.
  • With my family gone, I could follow my old routine:  eat lots of pizza, watch action movies, etc.  It still seems tempting.  But I am going to go a different route:   back on my calorie plan, and I walked 5.1 miles tonight (too tired to run).  I'll do a light bike ride tomorrow in prep for Saturday's race.  
Finally, a few updates on some lingering topics:

Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge:  You may have seen that my wife challenged me to get to 280 by Father's Day.  Given that I have been sick, will not lose 13 pounds in the next four days and that she won't even be back by then, she gave me an extension.  I have decided that I am going to push this challenge back much further (to September) to drop even more weight.   I guess I want to impress her by choosing a more aggressive goal, given her willingness to allow me more time.  Any suggestions for a September goal?

The Fool on the Hill:  This is how I was going to lose some of those pounds for the above challenge, but I got into running in the meantime.  I like that I can sweat my tail off and still stay in the neighborhood...all within 45 minutes (even after dark).  A similar sweat-inducing bike ride would take over an hour, but would be much further from home (for the road miles) and is too dangerous after dark.  As the heat is brutal in the Arizona summertime, I may put this official challenge on hold, and just ride for fun and focus more on running.  Not sure yet.

Goals:  I have already lost almost all of my goal weight for 2010 and have done more races than I intended.  Good stuff.    Now, I am interested in running some more 5K's and even a 10K.  It is time for me to review my progress this year and set some goals for the rest of the year. 

Next up is the race this Saturday.  Should be fun!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Some Quick Notes from the Road

Still on a short vacation with my two boys, so I have not been checking on my friends' blogs.  I hope everyone is doing well.

The weather here has been great, but is turning bad today.  Likely rain and even lightening will appear by mid-afternoon.  I grew up here, but am now much more of a desert rat.  I admire those of you living in the Northwest for sticking to your exercise plans, regardless of the weather!   Somehow, I have changed and will always love the desert and consistent climate (though this is beautiful up here).

We are staying with my sister and her husband in Seattle (having left my parents' home yesterday).  They are taking great care of us and we are having a blast.  Today, we will see the Space Needle and catch a movie at my old Bay Theatre in Ballard.  Yesterday, we hit the Locks and ate at Totem Fish and Chips (you Seattleites know what I am talking about).

I went for a walk/run last night and it felt great.  Not as aggressive as my run a few days ago, but I can tell that it was a good workout.  I might even ride on a borrowed bike tonight if the weather holds up.
My nutrition has been mostly good this week, but I am not sweating it.  If I have greasy fish and chips on one day, then I am eating light the next.  I doubt I will see a loss, but I shouldn't gain either.  We are making stops to grab apples and carrots, etc. as snacks, rather than junk (this is a big change from my past).  Exercise this week has not been aggressive, but it has been consistent with something pretty much each day:  50 min walk, 2.5 hours at the beach, 3.37 miles in 43:30 minutes, 40 minute walk last night.
When I return, the boys and I will head up to the mountains and I will do a short cycling race called Bike the Bluff.  It will only be 17.5 miles (not a real challenge), but I will eat well this time and not bonk like I did on my last race.  My focus will be to improve my speed and push myself.   I have gotten into running a bit lately and have not been riding, so this will be my first time on the bike in weeks.   It will be good to get back.

A few more random thoughts...
I went to the doctor last week to get some meds for my sinus infection.  He noted that I had lost 30 pounds since my visit last October and my blood pressure was "perfect" (it had been creeping up before I started cycling).  That was good to hear.

Regarding my weight, I had been stalled for thee weeks, then finally broke free and lost some weight for two weeks.  Then, got sick and now travelling.  My commitment hasn't changed, but I am guessing that I won't lose this week again and will therefore not achieve Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge by Father's Day.  She has graciously given me an extension, so I am still chasing that number of 280 (by July 1st?).  Thanks, honey.

Mom is going in to the hospital today for a scheduled surgery.  It should be relatively simple, but surgery always brings concern to me.  I am praying for her.

Keep moving, everyone!

Big Clyde

Monday, June 14, 2010

Weigh In - Week 15

This won't actually be a weigh-in after all, because I am still in Seattle visiting family.  I have been pretty diligent about my nutrition, except for yesterday's big party at a great restaurant and a dinner last night with friends.  

My parents have a scale, but I'm not going to use it, because there is likely a slight variation and I'd rather not get distracted by a good or bad number.   I'm just going to keep doing my best to eat well and move while on vacation.  So, no results for today's non-weigh-in.
Also, I went for a long walk Saturday morning, then about 2 1/2 hours on the beach with my boys.  Finally, I finished the day with a great run:  3.37 miles in 43:33 minutes!  I followed my friend Cinci's advice, with a longer warm-up and then a slower running pace.  That allowed me to run much longer.  After a 7 minute walk warm-up, I ran the entire distance, with only three 1-minute walking breaks.  This is a big deal for me (and I am feeling a good kind of sore from it!).

Make it a good week everyone!

Big Clyde

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Flying Clydesdale

I am off to the Emerald City.  My two boys, Samson and CuppaJoe, are going with me to celebrate my dad's 70th birthday in Seattle.  The boys took one final picture of me at the airport before the flight.

It has been a busy week and I have been diligent about my exercise and nutrition.  I am confident that I will fare better on Monday's Weigh-In  than I did last week (although using a different bathroom scale might have some variation).

So, have a great weekend everybody.   I should get some good long walks and maybe some runs in (in a much cooler climate!).  Back to you on Monday!

Big Clyde

Friday, June 11, 2010

Top 5 Friday - Sports Movies

Well, it's Friday again and time for another Top 5 list.

So, let's all lace up and share our Top 5 Sports Movies.

Here's my list:
  1. Miracle - I'm not into hockey (although I once spent 4 days fishing with Olaf Kolzig, "Olie the Goalie"), but this was a great story about some regular guys who made good.
  2. Rudy - I love the underdog stories and this was a great movie about a guy who was all heart (although we had business dealings with him a few years ago in Vegas and he was an egotistical jerk)...but a great movie!
  3. Rocky - another classic underdog story (both the character and Sly's story of getting the movie made in the first place).
  4. Saint Ralph - yes, I just saw it, but it was great.  Beautifully shot, quirky with a nice spiritual message about a longshot kid running the Boston Marathon for the most noble cause of all.  The main character was loaded with heart (in the body of a "self-abusing", delinquent Catholic schoolboy).  Check it out.
  5. The Big Lebowski - True, not as many bowling scenes as some would like, but The Dude, Walter and Donny were "throwing rocks" in numerous scenes.  (And I believe that Smokey was over the line!!!).  This is absolutely my favorite movie of all time (eventhough there are some racy elements in it).
Now it is your turn for this big category.  I know that I've missed many great ones.

What are your Top 5 Sports Movies?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Cleaning Your Inner Clydesdale

If you are squeamish about today's topic, my apologies.  Instead, enjoy this fun video of kids getting dropped off at the pool!

And now for today's topic...recently, my friend GuinneMick encouraged me to do a colon clease.   Just like that.  Did I somehow look like my colon could use a good cleaning?  (I assure you, he would have no idea one way or the other).   Nonetheless, he is a very health-conscious guy and so, he thought he should enlighten a slob like me.

He talked about how all of us, regardless of the food that we eat, can have waste toxins that don't naturally exit the body.  Despite going #1, #2 and #14, there can still be traces of our waste inside us...for a long time.  No es bueno. 

GuinneMick is from New York, which means he thinks his opinions are facts.  He was adamant that I do the colon cleanse.  This is just an old wives' tale, I thought.   Just something that hippies and experimental-types somehow get into.  Like those people that have decided that they are never going to use deodorant ever again.  Sure, they enjoy a good morale victory for their soul, but it's not very pleasant in real-life (and pretty creepy for the rest of us).

But then I thought of my kitchen sink.  I see water and soap go into the sink and down the drain.  We even run the disposal.  Yet, at least once a week, I have to get the brush out and give the sink surface a good scrubbing.  Scum can build up.  And yes, we even have to use Drano on the pipes sometimes...again, the scum can build up.

Maybe my inner-clydesdale needed a good metaphorical scrubbing.

So, I donned a costume to mask my identity and went in to my nearest Whole Foods store.  I found a "natural" Super Colon Cleanse bottle with capsules.  It seemed a much better choice than the options on the bottom shelf that had (hard swallow)...nozzles.  I'm not ready for that.  I like to drink coffee.  Not take it medicinally.

Anyway, I have taken all of the pills (not at once) and have had a lot of free time for reading in a small, quiet room.  I suppose you could say I am "clean as a whistle". 

My question for you:  Do you cleanse?  Believe in it, or is it nonsense?  Please let us know.

And before you leave, here is a nice video of cars driving through the Lincoln Tunnel.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Yes, I Saved My Family...Again

Long before I started this blog, I could have told you about how I protected Mrs. Clyde from a charging animal. But I don't want to make a big deal about it...

Or when we lived in Las Vegas, you might have heard about the charging reptile that was heading right toward my two toddlers. Anyway, you know, I handled it (WITH A SHOVEL!).

But since my latest heroic episode occurred recently, I guess I don't mind sharing.

We had just finished some chocolate cake (what? I was sick and it comforted me) and Mrs. Clyde looked out on our patio and saw a huge snake about 1 foot from our door. I know, I know...everyone freaked out and called for me.

I was lounging in my La-Z-Boy DreamTime Reclina-Rocker, but knew that the family (or the entire neighborhood?) was in danger, so I put the footrest down and headed straight into the fight.

Mrs. Clyde handed me a pair of tongs that we had out for hot dogs. They were the small tongs. I admonished her and demanded the BBQ tongs. "The Longnecks!...and make it fast!"

I'll spare you the whole epic battle, but suffice to say that I captured the python and stuck it in our cooler. I then walked it through the house and carried it to the other side of ex-Neighbor Ted's house and set the monster free. I guess we may battle again some day.

Mrs. Clyde said it was a "king snake". Imagine, the King of All Snakes subdued by your's truly. I didn't even realize I had quick reflexes!

Here is a picture of the menacing intruder.

Just another day in the desert, folks.

By the way, I ate well today and walked/ran a 5K this evening in 41:33 (my best time so far).  Working hard to beat down my recently gained pounds.  Stay tuned.

Big Clyde

Monday, June 7, 2010

Weigh In - Week 14

Weight Change: Gained 6 pounds!

Total Loss since 3/1/10: 30 pounds

Today, I'm feeling: Still recovering from the sickness, but back at work and back on plan this morning.

Here's what happened last week:
Just a bad week.  I had a bad cold and slight fever.  I didn't workout more than twice.  I still have a sinus infection, which makes me not want to do much of anything and we have a stressful family-work situation.  Bottom line:  I didn't exercise and didn't control my food and I gained.

Food:   I ate just typical food, regardless of calories.  Not horrible, but not great.  Back on plan today, logging everything in to sparkpeople.com.

Liquids:  Didn't drink much water, compared to previous weeks.  Stayed well hydrated during the 5K though.

Exercise:   Lifted weights once and did one fast 3 mile walk this week and then the 5K on Saturday.

Confessional:   Didn't follow a plan.  See the results?  Good lesson for me.

My Goals for this Week:

• Drop the weight I just gained.
• Continue to pursue goal of 280 weight by June 20 for Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge!
• Cardio at least 5 times this week C25K (3x). Hill Climb (2x).
• Get back to 1700 daily calories of good healthy food.

Make it a good week everyone!

Big Clyde

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Middle-Aged Guy at the Crossroads

Tonight, my 14-year-old girl and 11-year-old boy will be joining me in our first 5K event called Meet Me Downtown 5K.  It will be a great opportunity for my kids and I to enjoy doing something physical together and for them to see that ANYONE can get in shape, become more healthy and have fun doing it.

Will I win?  I going to say "unlikely", but it could happen!   It would take a miracle, but...

After the race, they are going to show a movie at the historic Fox Theatre.   The movie is "Saint Ralph" and I think it should be fun.  I haven't seen it, but it sounds like it is about a kid who is a real longshot to win the Boston Marathon. 

Many of us feel like longshots when it comes to doing something new.  Too many bad habits, too much history working against us, too much comfort in our normal routines, and too long of a road ahead. 

But changes happen every day.  New habits can be formed.  Resolve can kick in differently as we age.  We have more experience now, compared to last week, last month, last year.   Age can bring a new toughness...more fight in our soul, not weakness and frailty.

Pardon the introspection here, but I am a guy at the crossroads.   I'm 44 years old.  I have never been athletic and have always been overweight.  In May of 2009, I made one decision.  I committed to ride 35 miles in El Tour de Tucson in November of 2009, with a vague idea that it might change my life.  When I started cycling, I wasn't able to ride 2 miles without stopping for a break.  Six months later, I rode those 35 miles and came in 555th place out of 1,111 cyclists (exactly in the middle!).  Since then, I have ridden in 3 other races and I have another one in two weeks.  Tonight will be my first footrace (as the Brits used to call them). 

I am still figuring it out and getting stronger and more healthy each month.  Certainly, I've got a ways to go on this new journey.  But, my life has changed and I KNOW that I'm not going to play the 2nd half of my life with tons of "lifestyle" medicines and an ever-growing pattern of a sedentary lifestyle. 

I have friends who are starting (in their mid-40's) to settle in to "old-guy" status.  They are drinking cocktails after work every night.  Their most strenuous outdoor activity is becoming a "Master of the Grill" in the backyard (again with cocktails) or spending countless hours on the couch watching tv.  It's a comfortable and social life, but one that doesn't require burning any calories.  The cocktails are to relieve stress, due to our stressful jobs, etc., but could it also just be a more comfortable choice than getting on a bike or doing a slow nightly jog for a few miles around the neighborhood. 

I apologize if I seem judgemental toward anyone.  I am really directing that paragraph above to myself...I was getting comfortable with the idea of becoming that guy.  There is definitely is a line that middle-aged guys cross at some point, where they just know that no one will ever ask them to do a push-up, or sprint toward an actual finish line.   No more mandatory P.E. classes for the rest of your life.  I was happy about that, until I realized that I was just going to keep getting bigger and weaker and soon, would need a bunch of medicine to keep the machine running decently.  I guess I think of them now as "lifestyle" medicines, because a positive change in nutrition and exercise could replace those pills.

So, this Clydesdale Project?  This is my process of reversing the middle-aged guy's typical path.  Sure, I'll stumble and the progress may seem slow, but it will be steady!

I'm going to pull  a "Benjamin Button" by committing to big events, training for them and enjoying the results that follow.  Just like tonight's 5K.  That's the simple strategy: 


Thanks for encouraging me along the way, everyone.   I am extremely grateful.

Big Clyde

Friday, June 4, 2010

Lost the Week

This week has been horrible in terms of my goals.  I had been sick for several days (and still stuffed up and not sleeping well).  Being sick meant that I didn't eat much and definitely didn't get in cycling or running.  Over the past few days, I have been catching up on work and travelling a bit, so I haven't been eating well.  This is only a short period, but I am very much off my plan that I have followed diligently for the past few weeks.   At least the fall-off was brief and not too extreme.

So, I'll re-focus now and get back on plan.  

Big Clyde

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Quitting Couch-to-5K Program (for now)

(I'm feeling better, after several sick days.  Thanks for your comments.)

I've written a bit lately about doing the c25k.com program, a 9-week program that leads you through a 3x/week schedule that gets you running a full 5k in the end.  I have started twice and ended this time on Week 2.2. 

I am going to quit the program for now, but not stop the training.  I welcome your feedback.

The program seems fine to me, with a slow ramp-up in the first and second weeks for a guy like me (not a runner!), but I feel I am failing if I miss a few days...this causes my "week two" to last three weeks, not one.  Also, I am listening to a podcast that leads you through the walking vs. running intervals, but I hate the mindless techno-trance music that I hear on the podcast.  Fine for others, just not my taste.

Instead, I went out last week (before I got sick) and just plugged in my regular playlist and walked for awhile, then ran for awhile, etc. trying to push myself to improve my time.  By this method, I am trying to beat my personal best, rather than running at the prescribed times.  I think I will stick to this format, as I continue to increase my running program.

Have any of you stuck with the entire c25k program and loved/hated it?   What say you?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Still Sick, but the Clock is Ticking

Headcold.  Hacking cough.  Sore throat.  Slight fever.  No energy. 

But the clock is ticking.  I have a 5K this weekend and need to get in more training.

Hopefully, I'll feel better soon.

Have a great week everyone.