A blog for (semi) athletic middle-aged men (and women) holding on to (the last vestiges of) their youth
by training for and competing in running, cycling, swimming and triathlon events!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Cycle Oregon Training Update: I Got Legs (and I know how to use them!)

When I last checked in on my training for Cycle Oregon we did a "gut check" on my goal to lose 15 pounds (originally by May 15). Although that deadline has long since passed I am pleased to report that I have reached the goal! 

It feels great to lose the weight but more importantly I feel like I finally "got my legs" (and I know how to use them!).

There comes a time every training season when suddenly I feel like I can ride for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles.
It's a great feeling when I get to this point. It always happens when I ramp up my mileage and repetition. I definitely did that in the first two weeks of July. But then work happened. 

I started off the week strong with a 49-mile commute ride to/from work.
The Cattle Industry Summer Business Meeting took place this past week in downtown Denver, making it tough to get in the miles, and I have a business trip this week. 

As my brother Jonny Rocker said when he texted me an update on his progress, "Work is good reason." Did I mention he is retired?

So, hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go. Riding in this morning. Logging 24.5 miles on the way to work is a great way to start the week!

Ride on!


Saturday, July 2, 2016

Time for a Gut Check!

I got a text from my brother Jonny Rocker this week checking in on training for Cycle Oregon...

And then another...

And I thought, "Wow, he's kicking my butt." 

Time for a "gut check" on my training progress, literally and figuratively.

In my last post -- on March 5 (I know, I'm a terrible blogger) -- I talked about the need to lose my winter weight and set a goal to lose 15 pounds by May 15th. So how did I do? Terrible. I didn't lose a single pound! In fact, I think I gained a couple. I felt like a failure (which is probably why I didn't post an update then).

It's not that I didn't try. I did. I rode 255 miles in March, 188 in April and 260 in May. I used MyFitnessPal to track calories and based on the numbers I should have been losing weight. But I wasn't, until this past month. 

Patty's brother Tim Blach sports a
Patty's Pack 10th Anniversary jersey.
I logged 312 miles in June, including 150 miles on the Colorado Bike MS ride with Patty's Pack this past weekend, and finally feel and see my body returning to summer shape. As of this morning I've lost half of those 15 pounds I wanted to be gone by May 15.

As for mileage, I'm doing better than I thought. I've actually logged 1332 miles to date in 2016, not that far behind Rocker. I don't think I'll hit 3,000 by the end of August (the ride starts September 11) but 2,500 seems doable, given my travel schedule.

I hoped to get in a good long ride today but the weather is not cooperating. Rain and thunderstorms forecast all day. Bummer. But I'll never complain about rain, especially July 4th weekend. Helps keep the fire danger low. :)

Speaking of which, Happy Independence Day!

Ride on...


Saturday, March 5, 2016

Training for Cycle Oregon Begins (with losing that winter weight)!

I was talking with my brother the other day about training for Cycle Oregon. It will be his first multi-day ride and he wanted to know what king of training schedule he should put together. I hadn't given it much thought, yet, since the ride is still over six months away. I've been putting in some decent miles on the indoor trainer -- 180 in January, 140 in February and 30 to date in March -- 350 total. Turns out that's 350 more than he has logged so I suppose it is time he starts thinking about what he needs to do!

I'm used to training for Ride the Rockies in June so typically hit the indoor trainer pretty hard during winter in Colorado, building aerobic and endurance base. Once I can get outside I start logging some long slow distance rides on real hills (there's nothing like the real thing to prepare for climbing a Rocky Mountain pass!). My goal in 2013 and 2014 was to ride 2,000 miles from January 1 to the start of the ride in June but the most I recorded was 1,863 in 2013.

Last year I didn't set a goal, deciding to devote some time to building core strength and I think it paid off. I actually felt like my body (back, shoulder, hips) held up better during the ride, which is one of the keys to surviving a week-long ride, racking up back-to-back-to-back long mileage days. So I plan to stick with that approach, not set a mileage goal and just enjoy riding this summer, mixing in core workouts and getting my body ready for seven straight days of riding.

That begins with losing the weight I gained over the winter (why do old guys get fat in winter?). I put on a few more than in past years this winter so have about 15 pounds to lose to get to my ideal weight. So I'm setting a goal to lose 15 pounds by my birthday on May 15. That may be a little ambitious but I like setting stretch goals!

Today I opened the MyFitnessPal app on my phone for the first time since last summer and started tracking my calories in/calories out. I like using MyFitnessPal when I am in training mode to make sure I am getting enough protein and other nutrients to fuel my body. I enjoy banking calories when I work out in the morning then paying attention to how I spend them throughout the day.

I started off this morning with 20 miles on the indoor trainer, earning 1,766 calories to add to my daily 2,720 leaving me with a whopping 4,486 in the bank! At 5:00 p.m. I still have 2,638 left. Speaking of which, it's time to go to the store and pick up some food for dinner :)

Ride on!