Monday, April 12, 2010

Bike Lust

Well, I have a bad case of bike lust.  There is nothing wrong with my Long Haul Trucker, but I find my self lately fixating on the beautiful lines of other, sleeker, sportier, steel rode bikes.  I am thinking about getting another one to ride.  Yes, my LHT is dependable, and always there for me, but our relationship lacks a little zip, a little excitement.  The proverbial new has worn off both her and our relationship.

I find my self visiting the Rivendell website several times a day and looking at the fine lines, lugs, and paint of both the Hilsen and the Hillborne.

I even find myself peeking now and then at the mixte, Gomez. 

I think my LHT is beginning to suspect something.  I still ride her every day, but our relationship has become routine.  We are in a rut.  I really love my LHT and I am afraid that if I get a 2nd, or even a 3rd bike that I will inevitably ride her less and less until it gets to the point where it is rare that I find myself riding her.  And that would be a shame, because she has never failed to be there for me.

What to do...

Monday, March 29, 2010

WW Points And Resting Metabolic Rate

Saturday marked the end of 3 weeks back on plan (Weight Watchers) with a loss of 9.6 pounds during that 3 week period.  The interesting thing for me is that this time I around I am not only eating all of my daily points but I am also eating all of my weekly points.  While doing WW in 2008 and the first half of 2009, I only ate my daily points, rarely eating any of my activity or weekly points.  Gradually I stopped losing weight even though at the time I was burning an average of 850 calories a day in activity.  I got discouraged when I stopped losing for more than 6 months.  Then, when I injured my knee in August last year, I rapidly gained weight, even though I was only eating around 1900 calories a day.  In reading about metabolism over the winter, what I came to realize is that for the 16 months I was "on plan" I was eating significantly less than my resting metabolic.  When I was 236 lbs, my daily points target was 31 points which is only around 1550 calories per day.  But at 236 my estimated resting metabolic rate is 1959.  I was significantly fueling below my resting metabolic rate, which I believe over the 16 months of doing so, slowed my metabolism. 

When my weight stabilized at 285 lbs in late January I had no idea how many calories a day I was consuming.   I had stopped counting calories in November since it seemed that no matter what I did I was going to gain weight.  Anyway, this time I am ensuring that I consume, at a minimum, enough calories to cover my resting metabolic rate.  By eating all of my daily points and all of my weekly points, my caloric intake over a week is equal to my estimated resting metabolic rate over a week.  By approaching my weight loss this way, this time, I understand that without exercise I will not lose weight.  But I hope that by keeping caloric input above my resting metabolic rate, my metabolism does not slow back down.

Last week, I blogged about TrainingPeaks.  One of the useful features of the program is that by my entering the calories I consume each day, the tool tracks whether or not I am meeting my estimated resting metabolic rate and then how may calories beyond that I am either burning through exercise or consuming through food.  Last week for example, I did a good job of balancing my calories consumed with my resting metabolic rate.  I only under ate about 400 calories for the week.   And, according to the caloric expenditures uploaded from my Garmin 305 into TraininPeaks during my workouts, I burned 10,192 calories my resting metabolic rate.  This means I should have lost approximately 2.912 lbs through my activities for the week.  My weight loss shown on the scale was 3.0 lbs.  This is pretty closed to what was predicted by tracking calories in and calories out based on the data in TrainingPeaks.  The small difference may be a combination of the 400 calories I under ate and slight difference in % water weight.

I am pretty pleased with how well I balanced my basic caloric demand last week.  Again, it is my hope, that by ensuring that I consume at least my resting metabolic rate each week, I am able to prevent my metabolism from slowing again over time.  The key is to make sure that I eat all of my weekly points and to accurately weigh and measure everything that I consume.

We will see how well the theory holds this week...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Useful Online Tool

I discovered an online tool last night which I think is going to be very useful to me. It is a website called TrainingPeaks. I was on the Spinervals website looking for a couple new DVDs to use while on the trainer and I came across just what I was looking for, an 8 week aerobic base building training plan using Spinervals DVDs.  But to get the training plan for the DVDs I needed to go through TrainingPeaks.   At first I was irritated that for the cost of the DVDs the training plan was not simply included.  After going to the TrainingPeaks website, I was not longer annoyed.  TrainingPeaks has just the tools I was looking for to track all of the information related to my workouts.   I can even upload my workout data directly from my Garmin 305 to the TrainingPeaks website.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Aerobic Base Building

After being off my bike since last August, I began working on building my aerobic base back this morning. I rode 18.6 miles at 70% max HR. I have heard that it comes back more quickly than it took to build the first time. I hope this is true. I am hoping to be able to get back in good enough shape to ride the Horsey Hundred again this year on Memorial Day weekend. If you are looking for a great century ride, I recommend the Horsey Hundred. The Bluegrass Cycling Club does a great job putting this event on.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Does clothing make a difference?

I had not really thought much about what clothing to wear when going for a ride. During my commutes to work and while running errands around town, I just wear what I am wearing, normal cloths and shoes. When I am going for a long ride where I am going to push it and sweat a lot, I wear bike shorts, clipless bike shoes, and a jersey to be more comfortable.

While speaking with a couple of cyclists from the club this week at the bike shop, the topic of clothing came up and they both commented that they don't really ride their bikes "around town" to run errands and such because let's face it, who wants to "clip-clop" around Wal-Mart in bike shorts, a jersey, and bike shoes. It seemed to me that they thought that as "real" cyclists they always need to wear "real" cycling clothes while riding. But I think they are missing out on so much enjoyment from their bikes. I know that if I only rode my bike when I am wearing "bike" clothing, then I would only ride my bike about a third of the time that I actually do. Fully 2/3rds of the time/miles I spend on my bike are commuting, running errands, or just riding around town on a beautiful day.

Maybe the difference is that they have "real" bikes and I do not. Both of theirs were high end carbon fiber racing bikes and my bike is a touring bike; a heavy steel bike with a rack and fenders; a bike designed to ride all day and haul stuff on. I take it to Wal-Mart, to the library, to Starbucks with my laptop to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee early on a Saturday morning. It may not be fast, and it may not be fancy, but I think maybe I get more enjoyment out of it then they might get out of their bikes simply because I use it more. That is at least now that my knee is fully recovered and I am back on it again!

What do you think? Do you run errands on your bike? What kind of clothes do you wear while riding?

Friday, March 12, 2010

I love my bike!

This morning at 5:30, while I was riding though my neighborhood in the dark, I was again reminded just how how much I love riding my bike, how much I love the simplicity of riding a bike. The streets were dark and peaceful. It was just me, my bike, and the singing birds. It was not a long ride, or a hard ride. It was just an easy 45 minutes around a large, quiet neighborhood starting to awaken. But for me it was the perfect way to start the day!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

11 Months Already!

It is hard for me to believe that it has been almost 11 months since I last posted on this blog. It has been an eventful year.

Last spring and summer I really ramped up the miles in the bike and running. This is until I injured my right knee 10.5 miles into a half marathon last August. I was off the bike and unable to run from then until a little over a week ago when the doctor cleared me to get active again.

Needless to say, during that time I gained back some of the weight I had lost in 2008. One of the "dangers" of relying on exercise to lose weight and then to maintain the loss is that if for some reason the activity stops, it is hard to maintain. At least it was for me. Anyway, I am back on plan (WW) and easing back into the exercise. For now I am just walking, taking some easy rides on the bike, and playing a little volleyball at my church. So far the knee feels great!

I don't know if it is because I am back on plan (eating right again), or because of the daily exercise, or both, but my energy level has been much higher and I feel so much better.

I plan to keep up with the blog better from now on. Maybe if I had been blogging about my experiences last fall and winter, I would have done a better job maintaining my weight.