Sunday, July 18, 2010

Salvaging my riding year...

After a few posts on Operation Losing Lance, it's time for a post about cycling. For a cycling fan,  July is a  three week Superbowl. It's Tour de France time. Although Lance Armstrong has spent more time than ever asphalt body surfing, July is about a lot more than Lance.  I'm always impressed by how these pro riders get up day after day and ride around the French countryside. Over 2,200 miles up and over the Alps, the Pyrenees and on to the Champs Elysee in Paris. It's truly inspiring.

This year, July has been simultaneously inspiring and frustrating. Not only have I been watching the Tour de France every day, but in June I was able to watch the start of the Race Across America, (RAAM) in which riders race from Oceanside, CA to Annapolis, MD. Oh, and by the way, no stages, you have 10 days to complete the mission. And as if that weren't enough, Molly's colleague, Rocco,  has used his summer break from Palomar College to ride alone across the country. All of this just makes me want to jump on "The Girl" and ride.

The frustration comes from how little I've ridden this year, especially when compared to the last three years.  By this time in each of the last two years I had ridden close to 1,000 miles. Last year, not only had I ridden that many miles, but I had participated in the Tour de Palm Springs, Spring Ensenada-Rosarito, Solvang Half-Century, San Diego Metric Century and the Los Angeles River Ride Century. This year, I've only ridden in the Tour de Palm Springs.

Milagae comparison.jpg

While being involved in union leadership and logging lots of miles on the saddle don't mix well at all, it's time to do something about it. I'm obviously not going to stop teaching. Given the challenges on public education, this is not the time to sit on the sidelines either. So, training needs to be less about accumulating a large number of miles, and more about making every ride count. I can probably ride three maybe 4 times a week. Every ride needs to be either about improving technique, increasing hill-climbing strength, or developing endurance for long rides. The work I'm doing with the personal trainer has really improved my core strength, which has improved to more comfort and strength on the bike. the next few months will be about fewer miles, but more purposeful miles.

I also want to salvage the last part of the riding calendar. I'm committing to riding the September Rosarito-Ensenada ride, the Solvang Prelude in early November as well as my favorite ride of the year, the Tour de Tucson. Having these rides as goals helps me stay on track with training. I will be away next week, in Asilomar, CA for some CTA work. However I will take my bike. I'm hoping to carve out some time and ride the 17 mile Drive. I'll post pics on facebook.

Ride On!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Losing Lance Update #2

As Lance's chances of winning his final Tour de France have disappeared in the Alps, his chances of staying on me are also not looking good. Last update, I talked about creating the required calorie deficit necessary for losing weight. I mentioned the need to create a calorie deficit in order to achieve my goal of losing 2-3 pounds per week. I'm happy to say that since that update, where my weight was 329, I'm now down to 323. It's a modest loss, but you know, "a journey of a 1000 miles..." and all that. And while I still have a couple more days before reaching the end of week 4, we've got company coming so I wanted to post early.

So what has happened the last 3 weeks?

Time flies when you're losing weight. I can't believe I started Operation Losing Lance four weeks ago. After a week of struggling and a week in New Orleans, things are looking up! The combination of taking in roughly 2,250 calories and burning between 400 to 1000 calories at least 5 days a week has worked. What this creates is a net calorie range of between 1,500 and 2,000 calories. The graph below shows pretty consistently that when I stay in that range, weight loss happens. (Don't pay too close attention to June 30 - July 7, I was in New Orleans, where bad food doesn't exist)

Remember, 1,500 net calories does not mean that that's all I eat. I think my body would rebel like hungry peasants on Bastille Day. I always eat around 2,250, but if I exercise and burn say, 750 calories, that creates a net calorie intake of about 1500 calories. If I go on a long bike ride, say I burn 1,500 calories, I will eat additional calories to get to around 1,500 net calories for the day. It's important that the body have enough energy to recover. In the last 3 weeks, I have never felt starved. As a matter of fact, there have been days, especially when I work with the personal trainer and we do a lot of core and weight work, that I actually feel a lot more hungry. On those days, if net calories are around 2,250, I'm ok. (You'll notice those high peaks on July 10 and 13)

The graph below shows the relationship of net calories and weight loss.

Losing Lance Update 2.jpg

As I mentioned above, June 30 to July 7 happened in New Orleans. I was actually pretty happy that I only came back with 2 extra pounds. Even in NOLA I was pretty careful exercising and watching what I ate, without really denying myself of anything. I even enjoyed a great dinner at Emeril's NOLA and a very good dinner at a restaurant called The Pelican Club. But as you can see, as soon as I got back in town, I got back down to handling business.

Coming up...

The next few weeks will be interesting. Next week I will be in Monterey, for the CTA ABC Committee Summer Meeting. It also marks the beginning of the school year. (I'll be missing the first 3 days of school). Going back to school means old and very ingrained eating routines. I'll have to strategize as to how to deal with them.

A couple of people have asked me what I'm using to track all of this. I will put together a post with all the tools I'm using and some quick reviews soon. For now...

Ride on!