Sunday, January 25, 2015

Some 2015 Events to consider

April 19 - Mini Mighty Man. Pool swim 400yards, Bike 6 miles, Run 2 miles.

May 9 - SBRA Montauk Century. No frills century.

June 6 Cedar Beach sprint. 0.5 OWS, 13.8m Bike, 5k.

You have to start somewhere.

Monday, January 12, 2015

What is your sound track?

Last Sunday morning I went to my now normal 7:15AM spin class. This week the class was a little different: the music for the spin class soundtrack was going to be only Bruce Springsteen. I was a little skeptical how it would be since most of the time they play technopop or Rihanna or Beyonce' or something like that at these classes. The most mainstream that they do seems to me to be some old Michael Jackson. I wondered how Bruce would turn out.

I had a great class, felt like I pushed it more than usual, and believed it to be mostly related to the sound track of the class. There were more old guys than normal and the class was close to sold out. The energy was good and the time flew by. All good.

On the way home I got to thinking (always dangerous). First, I realized I have never seen Springsteen in concert and need to fix that at my next opportunity. Second, I started thinking of the impact of music on training and these is where my brain keeps pondering. I normally train with music. I have a bunch of old iPods that I rotate through. There was a time where I even got one of those water proof iPod holder/headphones and it worked OK even for swimming until it broke (someone said I broke it but I won't admit guilt). Racing often outlaws music devices so I need to make up a soundtrack to keep me going. Even when they didn't I found out that iPods don't like when you dump water over your head to cool down and you sort of dump the water on the iPod. I learned that fairly quick though (these I did break).

I saw the studio is doing something similar to this next week where my Friday night semi regular classes will be a Taylor Swift class. I think this might an opportunity be time to break out the Computrainer on my road back to real training.

What do you listen to while training by yourself?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Defining weight loss weekly success.

This week I lost an additional 1.6 pounds for a total 2 week weight loss of 6.8 pounds. 9.8 pounds to my first goal.

My week wasn't a good week in terms of following my dietary goals. Even so, I lost some weight.

In the early part of the week I wasn't feeling great so took Monday off from work. Tuesday was a return to the rat race and then the deep freeze seem to hit everywhere.

Especially my water pipes, which froze on Thursday at 3am in the morning.

Because of that I was up all night and fell back into bad eating issues. Of course frigid temperatures made for an easy excuse. What's the correlation? I don't know but it sounded good.

I was surprised that I lost a little weight but was glad anyway. I asked the question to myself of what made a successful weight loss week. I decided that anything better than 1 pound in a week would be a success. Otherwise I need to figure out what happened.

For now, I'll ride my success for a while.

Monday, January 5, 2015

A sad story - the data of my getting fat.

After I wrote this I realized that some may think this a bit of a pity party. Let me be clear - it is not. I wrote it to come back to this post from time to time as a reminder of what happens when I lose focus. Because of this I turned off comments and I'm not putting this on Facebook. Don't feel offended. This is all about "me vs. me."
Thanks for your support.

Most of my physical and medical maladies are due to me carrying too much weight. I assume there was a seemingly magical threshold for my body that when I crossed it I triggered a whole bunch of bad things but have no idea what that threshold actually is or was.  It might have been a combination of weight and time (being fat for a too long) but again, that would be yet another mystery for me to fail to solve.

As the calendar flipped to 2015, I went back through my data (I'm a data hound and track way too much stuff) to figure out how much I actually gained this year. I have years of data points on what I weighed and when [there are some gaps but it is not material]). I was a bit surprised to find I only gained 11.4 pounds in 2014. While not great, I expected it to be more. Of course losing 5.2 pounds in the last week made this look better than it was.

I went back in time and found that in 2013 I gained 7.2 pounds. As a single data point, again not so bad. In fact, better than 2014.

So, I kept going back in time to find where it got bad. 2012 had me gain 34.6 pounds but this wasn't where my troubles began. I completed Ironman Florida in the first week of November 2011. I found in the year of 2011 I gained 21.2 pounds, most of it in the 2 months post Ironman.

But my weight gain did not start post Ironman. It actually began between my bike accident in 2010 and the start of my actual Ironman training. The lowest I've weighed in the last decade was 245. I hit 250 in September 2010 and gained more weight while training for an Ironman. Yes, I've proven that one can gain weight, and a lot of it, while training for an Ironman. I've also proven I can gain a lot of weight after Ironman too. I don't have much more to prove in this area.

There is a concept called nutrition periodization where you match your nutrition (intake) plan with your  training (consumption) plan. In summary, during periods of high training you need a higher caloric diet. As you lower your training volume, you need to lower your calories in. I failed in that not only did I, post ironman, keep my calories high, but I reduced the quality of the food I consumed. I replaced salad with french fries, breakfast at home became fast food breakfast sandwiches on the go, first one then two (hey, they were on sale, 2 for $3), and the spiral kept spinning in the wrong direction.

The last time I lost weight (before prepping for Ironman and at the beginning of what I call adult onset exercise) I started at 328.4 and ended at 245 for a loss of 83.4 pounds. So it can be done and I can do it.

This time I'm starting at 351.2. 250 would be great as a long term goal. 101.2 pounds. While that will be a great long term goal, I think it is too big a goal for me to grasp so I need to go after smaller chucks. I think it might be novel to track my lost weight against when I gained it. So my first goal is to lose the weight I gained in 2014. So 11.4 pounds to my first goal.

I have a plan and just need to execute against it.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Wasn't pretty.

Last Friday I signed up for Weight Watchers. I figured I had to start somewhere. The number on the scale, while not a surprise, wasn't pretty.

Later that day I went to Soul Cycle and knocked out a 45 minute spin class. That too wasn't pretty but I got it done.

Last Saturday I "ran" a little more than 2.5 miles. My ankles complained a lot afterwards about it not being pretty.

Last Sunday I got up early and completed a 7:15am Soul Cycle 45 minute spin class. There was a heat malfunction in the studio so it was stupid hot. HOW HOT WAS IT? It was so hot the instructor joked it was a Bikram cycle class. I though about leaving midway through the class but stuck it out. Again not pretty.

Monday I was supposed to swim but I got distracted by a basketball game on TV. Duke was pretty, me sitting on the couch wearing my bathing suit watching them till the game was over, less so. I could have headed towards the pool but for some reason I headed towards the bed instead.

Tuesday I took an opportunity to walk during lunch. Cold, windy, a break for a salad in the middle, only 1.4 miles in approx. 27 minutes. It counts but still wasn't pretty.

Wednesday was New Years Eve. 715am spin class. Woke up not wanting to go, went anyway (it beat going to work), they fixed the heat (yeah!), but my body was yipping for all this "exercise."  It wasn't pretty.

I celebrated New Year's day by doing close to nothing. I did take two naps since I was up way past my bedtime the night before waiting for the kids to get home. Then to the outlaws house for a dinner where I ate way too much. Still not so attractive.

Today I weighed in for Weight Watchers. I lost 5.2 pounds this week.

It is a start. Perhaps there is hope for a prettier week next week.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Feeling old.

The other night at spin class, it seemed like the denizens of the studio were noticeably younger than usual. I normally suck at guesstimating peoples ages but it seemed a bunch of little girls crashed the class. The leader asked how old they were. They giggled an answer of thirteen all at the same time. Then they giggled about answering at the same time.

The leader said that she was twenty two and she remembered how it was to be thirteen. She was proud of them for trying a spin class. I don't remember what it was like being thirteen. I know, though,  that I would not have been in a spin class (I would have been "outside"). In contrast,  I can remember fifty three like it was today. Maybe because I'm currently fifty three. And I was in a spin class with thirteen year olds.

Sometimes I get the mind set to do an exercise class just to get it done. This class was one of those classes for me. To motivate the "kids" the instructor kept telling them they were doing great and encouraging them to keep it up. This encouragement seemed to be mostly at the time where the class would veer into the land of suck for me (most often high cadence standing up stuff).

At the end of these spin classes, the instructor leads an optional 3 minute or so stretching session. They don't like when people leave in the middle of the stretch since opening the door changes the lighting and ruins the stretching mood. I wasn't feeling the need to stretch that day so I followed the stretch-optional folks leaving out the open door. As I approached the door to leave, the instructor yelled "Sir, can you close the door behind you?"

Sir? She called me Sir?

Only then I felt old. I closed the door. And felt old for the rest of the night.


Friday, December 26, 2014

I resolve to be a Resolutionista

I saw a sign in the spin studio the other day, "December is the new January." I think it was a little bit of snark towards those who will show up in January after stating their new year's resolutions.  The irony is that the Resolutionistas are not there in December yet to see this sign. I wondered what the sign will say in January.

The good news was that I was in the spin studio to see it at 7AM on a Wednesday. My daughter, who is home from college, had a brief thought to get up early and join me, but her resolve around those plans disappeared as soon as she saw that the class was full with only the waitlist left. She slept in. I got up and completed the class anyway.

This is traditionally the time of the year to look back at what you accomplished and to look forward to what you will accomplished.  Were you naughty or were you nice? What are you going to do next year to be either nicer (or perhaps naughtier?) I'm normally very good at this in my professional life but I've found that in parts of my personal life I've been a mess for a while.

I found that if I make audacious statements of that I am going to do this or going to do that, I don't. in the past I did. So something needs to change.

I decided to be a type of resolutionista.  I resolve to do something about my weight/body composition and to stop finding excuses to not get back into shape. The difference is that this resolution can't go away for me or there will be grave consequences.

Most Resolutionistas disappear by February. I need to not disappear. The first step is that I've reserved a spot in a spin class on Friday. The resolution begins.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Complex in its simplicity.

First of all, thank you to all those who encouraged me. It helped.

Second, I came up with a plan I want to try. It has two parts:

1) Do something physical for 30 minutes each day beyond my normal activity. Doesn't matter what but it needs to be at least 30 minutes. Bias Monday and Thursday for swimming, Tuesday and Friday for biking or spin class, Wednesday and Saturday for sneaker stuff, and Sunday as a wild card.

2) Score on a scale from 0-10 the quality of my diet. Track everything I eat.

I'll post the results daily on twitter along side my normal stream of sarcasm. I don't want to overthink it but I want to see how long I can keep it up. My goal is do this until Christmas.

It will be my present to myself.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

My best blog post ever!

Last weekend I wrote what in retrospect must have been my best blog post ever. I hadn't posted anything for a while but was happy that I decided to actually sign up for a race: the 4 miler in Central Park on Superbowl Sunday morning before the game.

I confessed how fat I've gotten in the 3 years since my Ironman finish (it was basically my ironversary) and how while I've got some training challenges in front of me, bigger problems for me are my diet, body composition and general health. I dreamed about where this race could lead, perhaps even another Iron journey as kid#2 will be in college in fall of 2016.

I posted that blog entry. And nothing happened.

Later that night, I checked my site to see what was up. The post was gone, In its place was a draft list of the races to lead up to another ironman that I jotted down for a future post but the original epic post vanished.

Blogger ate it, the best blog entry ever.

I guess I need to post more to try to capture lightening in a bottle again. Do some training, watch my diet, and get back in the game, Be the athletic muse for the writer that I can be. Accomplish something that could lead to something epic. Look forward, not backward.

Game on.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Stephen Siller Tunnel to Tower 5k Run/Walk

On Sunday, Mrs. Rockstar and I did the Stephen Siller's Foundation Tunnel to Tower 5k Run/Walk. My friend Tony belongs to a "Secret society" club whose mandate is to do good for the community. They coordinated this event a to get some folks to donate some money, get breakfast and a bus ride into Brooklyn, do the event, and get a bus home to have some lunch. Last year they had about 80 people. This year they had 430. It was a great experience.

I signed us up a while ago, mostly as a charity type of deal, figuring doing an event like this couldn't hurt. There were a reported 35,000 participants and it mostly a walk for us. It was very emotional. Many military and first responders were doing it and were vocal about it. Many firemen donned full gear, like Stephen Siller did on 9/11, to emulate his historic run.

I hope to do it again next year. I took some pictures this year so here they are:

The flag line entering the tunnel.

The folks running/walking in the tunnel. Everyone with the group wore yellow (except me). There was  patriotic music blasted for the whole length.

A sign on the wall to make you hope you are halfway. It meant that the uphill was about to begin.

What you see when you exit the tunnel, the Freedom Tower.

There are some other pictures I already posted on Instagram. Take a look!