Saturday, March 8, 2014
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Monday, March 3, 2014
With only 28 days, February is the shortest month of the year. However, this year it has felt like it has taken an eternity to pass. While most expect cold weather during February, few could honestly say they can remember a month like we just had. Words like Polar Vortex and Arctic Plunge were used with great regularity on the local news and weather broadcasts. Temperatures dropped so low for so long, that when it finally climbed back above the negative digits and into the low teens, I found myself walking around outside in short sleeves thinking that I was comfortable. And while I don’t normally mind riding in the cold, this year I have been hard pressed to venture outdoors with great regularity. As much as I hate my indoor trainer, more than once, I passed on the opportunity to ride outside, opting instead for another boring session in front of the television.
But it is now March and hopefully we are turning the corner on winter and looking spring straight in the eyes. If nothing else, I took great pleasure in flipping up a new page on my weigh in calendar. For whatever reason, I like seeing all the blank squares waiting for me to put my daily weight in the block. Recently, I have had a couple setbacks because I started doing Beachbody’s Focus T-25 and was literally unable to walk for a few days. But I am back to feeling good again and looking forward to more positive changes. I started by cooking and packaging all my lunches for the week today. I tried to come up with a menu that was based on the 90/10 nutrional program and I am excited to see what kind of progress I make this week in the weight loss department.
The first thing I did was put a big kettle of water on the stove to start it boiling. Just plain water in a big stock pot. I do this frequently when I am preparing large quantities of food because I can put the hot water into other pots and pans and not have to wait for the water to come to a boil to cook the veggies, rice, mashed potatoes, etc. Nothing takes longer to boil than a watched pot.
So once I got the water going, I turned the oven up to 400 and then set about preparing to make meatloaf. Since I am trying to eat healthier, I opted for ground turkey. I put it in a mixing bowl, added some whole wheat seasoned bread crumbs, 2 eggs, fresh ground sea salt, and fresh ground spicy garlic seasoning. I also through in about a half packet of brown gravy seasoning that was just sitting in the cabinet, leftover from a previous meal.
When I put the meatloaf into the oven, I also through in a marinated pork tenderloin I had bought from the grocery store. They are simple, tasty, and relatively inexpensive, and I really love pork, even if it isn’t on the green or yellow lists for 90/10.
The tenderloin took about 20 minutes and the meatloaf took about 35. I always use a meat thermometer to be safe… Pork cooked to an internal temperature of 140 and the turkey meatloaf to 165.
As those were cooking, I transferred some of the water out of the stock pot into a sauce pan and prepared to boil my sugar peas. I don’t know what it is about peas, but I love them.
One of the dangers of cooking meals in advance is that when you reheat them, you often over cook the foods or dry them out. To prevent this, I always cook my veggies so that they are just short of being done and then shock them in cold water to stop the cooking process. That way when they get microwaved, they are cooked to perfection!
More water out of the stock pot to make regular peas. (told you I like peas)
Next up was the fresh asparagus, my favorite veggie. I washed them off, cut a couple inches off the stalks, drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with sea salt, spicy garlic seasoning, and some parmesean cheese.
I threw those into the oven to bake for 12 minutes. You would not believe how good the meatloaf and pork tenderloin were smelling with the oven door open.
More of the hot water was transferred into the sauce pan and I put 2 packets of leftover chicken seasoning from Ramen Noodles that were long since eaten by Mackenzie, the Noodle Monster. I added the brown rice and let it simmer for 30 minutes until it was tender.
While the rice was cooking the pork loin finished so I pulled it out and sliced it into 1/2” thick pieces to help it cool off and not dry out as quickly.
I had some frozen salmon fillets so I through them on a sheet pan and baked them. Make sure you look for “wild caught” if you buy salmon. Farm raised salmon tends to be higher in a lot of chemicals that aren’t good for you.
Turkey Meatloaf’s internal temperature hit 160 and I set that aside to cool and then slice. Presumably because there is no fat in the turkey meat, it can be a bit difficult to serve without it breaking apart, so letting the meat cool and set up helps keep things looking pretty. The old adage that you “eat with your eyes” is very true.
In the leftover boiling water in the stock pot, I through in 2 pounds of whole wheat rotini. I cooked it to al dente, poured it into a colander, and put that in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Once cooled, I split the pasta in half, setting half aside (plain) for Mackdiddles to snack on) and thoroughly drained the water, opened a can of Italian diced tomatoes, added some parmesan cheese, and tossed everything together.
I grilled a few chicken breasts and cubed them once cooked. Then I sautéed some thick sliced zucchini, added the cooked chicken, and tossed that with some Asian Spicy Orange sauce. Then to make things a little different, grated some fresh ginger in and heated it through.
Then I started putting the meals into plastic containers to make “packing” our lunches simple and easy.
Here’s to a week of great lunches without the worry of spending too much or eating too many calories. I weighed in this morning at 227 pounds and I will try to remember to post an update on Saturday with my weight loss for the week.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
…… because it really is March. Like it or not the 2014 racing season is beginning.
Still out of shape? Yes!
Has your training been lacking? Yes!
Are you ready to race your bike anyways? HECK YEAH!!!!!!
Even with this crazy weather coming into March I am still enjoying it. We got training camp the first week of the month followed by the first race of the season and McDonalds is once again selling Shamrock Shakes. Yep, Life Is Good!
Although if I cut back on the shakes and got on the bike a little more I would probably be a little bit better prepared for the beginning of this season. However, I decided to make this season a “race yourself into shape season”.
My road bike has found itself collecting dust this winter. In fact, I am pretty sure it has not been ridden since August. No worries though because MTBing has brought a new found happiness into my life and into my family’s life as well. This past winter we have all been hitting the trails and when the weather got really bad we would take a road trip to Rays Indoor MTB Park. My daughter is very happy with her new Cannondale Trail 24er from Pathfinder. I am very happy with my new Cannondale Flash 29er from Pathfinder. And now my wife is asking me when she will be getting her new bike as well. After looking at many different bikes we our still unsure what to get her. So I am going to ask you all for help in this decision. Please leave a comment on what you think she should get. Arryn is 5’3” so even a small 29er could possibly be too big. However, she likes the fact that a 29er would roll over terrain much better than a 26er. So I then started to think maybe we could go with a happy medium in a 650B / 27.5”. And now she is starting to think that maybe even a Fat Bike would be fun. So what do you all think a 5’3” casual rider who wants to hit some easy to moderate trails strictly for fun should get?
Monday, February 10, 2014
I have never been one who disliked Ohio winters. However, in 2014 that seems to be changing. I have always enjoyed building snowmen, going sled riding and all the other fun activities that one can do in the snow. Including riding bikes! However, 2014 is proving to be very hard to enjoy the snow. For example, last week we get a nice snowfall of 6 inches which would be quite fun to go mountain biking in. However, on top of the 6 inches of snow we get rain which makes cycling in fun white powder turn into trying to cycle through something similar to wet cement. I actually drove 40 minutes to the nearest mountain bike trail, which is a 3.5 mile very flat single speed loop, only to find that nobody had been out on the trail. I decided since I made the drive I would give it a shot. I think I officially set the slowest lap time because it took me over an hour to do the 3.5 mile loop, which included a lot of “hike-a-bike” ing! I have resisted the “Fat Bike” craze thus far, however, I see a Charge Cooker Maxi from Pathfinder in my near future. The problem is that this winter has also been the coldest in a long time. I normally don’t mind cold temps, but under 5 degrees even makes going slow in the woods a very cold experience! I know, I know that Pathfinder also carries skis and snowboards, but I prefer to spend my money on bikes! Well, I could continue on complaining about how I also hate to ride the trainer, but since I have already done enough complaining with this blog I think I should just wrap it up, or suck it up, get off-line and get on the trainer!
Cheers to all and thanks for reading!
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
So the last time I checked in, I filled you in about my new rules I was planning on living my life around. And like any significant change, I have to be held accountable or its easy to fall back to my old, unproductive ways. So today, I am publicly updating the masses to hold myself accountable for the changes that have been implemented…
As for Rule #1, Ride the damned bike, I feel have done exceptionally well thus far. Since the start of the new year, I have only taken 6 rest days from the bike. I’ve logged over 20 hours in the saddle and about 270 miles. Unfortunately, most of the miles have been riding my trusty Cannondale R600 on the indoor trainer. Mack’s dad and grandmother have been less than dependable on taking her on the days that they are scheduled to, and with Amber going to school full time during the day and working nights and weekends, Baby sitting duty naturally falls on my shoulders. Mind you, I will never complain about getting to spend more time with her, it just proves to be very difficult to get outside on the bike. Lets just say I eagerly await 50 degree temps and pulling the baby trailer. But in the meantime, I am committed to this change and that means that I am on the trainer at least 60 % of the time.
|Hate this view, but its one of the necessary evils to be ready to go for the Morgantown RR|
Rule #2, Crosstrain. So far this is an area that is still slacking. But I have recently started doing upper body and core workouts . Because its been on such a limited basis, I personally consider this a failure thus far in my training season. And to this, I publicly make a promise to my teammates to step this area up. Crossfit anyone??
Rule # 3 is to Drop a lot of weight. And it has been slow and steady progress. I weighed in at the start of my offseason at 241 pounds. This morning I stepped on the scale and I am down 13 pounds. I haven’t had to make a significant change to my diet yet, but I HAVE made a conscious effort to eat better foods and reduce my sugar intake. My pitfall is usually craving caffeine and since I can’t stand coffee, CocaCola has always been my go to beverage of choice. I’ve given black and/or green tea a try but it just doesn’t seem to satisfy my thirst. But giving up coke (well, for most mornings anyways) is working and each day I step on the scales about 3 pounds lighter than I was the week before. Call it baby steps I guess.
|Rays MTB Park on 1-1-14... 241 pounds|
Rule #4 is to Set Goals. While I have several significant goals (like reach 210 pounds again, average 20mph on solo training rides, take back my KOM on Ruff Creek Hill, and ride 5000 miles in this calendar year) its about setting smaller, attainable goals for the short term goals. Having a rear wheel sensor for my trainer bike helps me keep motivated because I have a series of mini goals I plan to achieve on it. Some of these short term goals are as follows:
Average 16mph for an hour
Average 17mph for an hour
Average 16mph for the week
Average 18mph for an hour
Average 17mph for the week
Average 19mph and hour
Average 18mph for the week
Average 20mph for an hour
Average 19mph for the week
Average 21mph for an hour
Average 20mph for the week
Average 20mph for a 2 hour trainer session
(bold goals are already accomplished J
Rule #5 is HTFU. With this artic cold wave we have going on, it is REALLY testing my commitment to this particular rule. But thanks to Nalini’s collection of Fleece Lined Tights, braving the sub zero temperatures has been easier than expected. However, there have been a few times that I have succumbed to the temptation to skip an outdoor ride opportunity.It doesn’t help that on one of the winter rides I did go on resulted in my finding a large patch of ice buried under a layer of snow and followed that up with a swift exit from the vertical position in exchange for the much less preferred horizontal position. Regardless of this mishap, I need to get passed this mental block and put the tire to the path, sSo again, I give myself a FAIL for this rule thus far as well.
My new rules have definitely helped with my training but there is still lots of room for improvement. I want to thank my teammates for doing their part to keep me on point. I need to thank the awesome folks at Pathfinder for putting together the care package that my trusty trainer steed needed to get her back into riding shape (its truly amazing what a new chain and cassette will do for a bike. And since I haven’t been able to make it down to the store, finding the beautiful green Pathfinder bag hanging on my door knob is always sets the tone for the rest of the night!) And I want to thank Kenda too, because the Nevegal tires I ordered for the mountain bike are perfect for the mostly snowy conditions I’ve been riding in this winter (although I have found out that they are not the best tire for riding on ice) Also special thanks to Shawn Geiger, Billy Slutz, Nikki Bee, and Stephanie Lamb for getting out there and riding with me this winter. I’m planning on practicing rule #5 this Tuesday for tacos at OTB, just so you know. I also want to thank former teammate Jerry Audet for the random emails and texts that offer valuable online training resources, or words of wisdom, or even a swift kick in the ass. I also thank Mack for finally learning to entertain herself for an hour while I ride the trainer in the corner. And a thank you to Amber for putting up with having a bike on a trainer and a repair stand with a box fan clamped in it, all left in the corner of the living room of our small apartment. While unsightly, it does eliminate the excuse of not wanting to set up the trainer every night. And finally, a thanks is offered to you the reader for staying tuned to the endeavors of a fat and lazy bike racer. Stop back later and check out my progress.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Thus far winter training has been a little more fun this year with the two trips we have made up to Rays Indoor Mountain Bike Park. Since my teammate JR turned me on to mountain biking last season I have had a difficult time getting off the mountain bike to get on a road bike. Then after visiting Rays with a few teammates my enthusiasm for mountain biking has increased even more.
Nate, myself, Addie, Veda & Jeff
When the weather outside is less than desirable for riding, having a place to ride inside makes for a lot of fun. That is unless the place you are riding inside is keeping you in the same place such as a trainer. Don’t get me wrong, you can get a great workout on the trainer. However, it comes with the price of extreme boredom.
The crew at Rays Indoor MTB Park
Now that the holidays are over I am really starting to get excited for the 2014 cycling season. I don't get to ride a lot in the off season with my teammates so for me our team training camp in March will not come soon enough.
Shawn at Rays
I am also excited to get back to Morgantown so I can check out our new sponsor in 2014, the Apothecary Ale House & Cafe. And of course you cannot make a trip to Morgantown without hitting up Morgantown Brewing Company while you are having your bike tuned up at Pathfinder of WV.
Addie and Mac
I cannot say enough how happy I am to be a returning teammate of the Dynamic Physical Therapy cycling team powered by Pathfinder for the 2014 cycling season. Thank you to all of our 2014 sponsors!