Wednesday, May 11, 2011

High and Low Gears

Today my ruminations will be about gears. It is a fitting analogy to where I am in my healthy and weight loss journey, as you will soon see.

High gears:
My first ever road event on a bike will occur in just 10 days. I vacillate from feelings of excitement and fear! I am excited to push myself in something physical with endurance; something that illustrates just how far I have come in these past many months where I am required to have a certain level of fitness. But as you can imagine, I am also scared to death that I won’t finish or get my still large derriere up those hills or maybe be dead last. I chose the intermediate level course for the Tour de Cure (what was I thinking?) which will take me over 32 miles with some river valley hills and some nice flats. I must complete it in 4 hours. I have been on my bike almost everyday to “train.” Plus I am doing stretches and other toning exercises to help me strengthen other parts of my body. On Monday I rode my first ever-straight ride of 26 miles in 2.75 hours. If you do the math that is a little better than 10 miles per hour. So, I am definitely on track to be able to complete the 32 miles in 4 hours. Yesterday I did another 10 and hopefully will do another ten today, too, even though it is raining. I have planned two more long rides (25-27 miles) in the next ten days.

Today I indulged my evolving cycling affections by purchasing my first ever cycling shorts- you know the kind with the deep padding on your rear-end. I will try them out later today. Not splashy, just basic black. The other thing I would like to report is that I joined the Twin Cities Bicycling Club (TCBC). They sponsor rides nearly everyday at every possible level. I am starting at level C, which means that I can maintain an average speed of 10-12 miles per hour. There was a minimal fee to join. Each ride is an additional $2.00, which to me is well worth this nominal fee. Each ride will include a TCBC senior leader who will serve as a mentor. My first ride will be on Saturday and includes a session on bike safety and riding in groups. I know already that I am going to be moving toward a road bike and soon. I already started looking online at different possibilities.

Low gear: Even though my fitness level is increasing and in high gear, what I have come to realize is that my overall weight loss regime is in low gear. I have maintained my weight loss (still about 27-28 pounds off), for the past few months, but no loss. There are many reasons for this, but most of all it speaks to a general complacency that slowly crept into my life, again. Sure I did a lot of travel in the last few months, plus there was that fire, but, now time to move onward.

To be perfectly frank: I admit to all of you that I have not been tracking my food nor counting calories with the conviction that I did in the beginning. Today I read Mallwalker’s post on weight loss struggles. Her post reminded me that I, too, believe that this time is it!! Meaning that this weight loss and getting healthy journey is my last. I need to kick my weight loss efforts into higher gear to match my fitness efforts. For me that means something as simple as logging my food and calories. That begins again, today. Today. I can do this. I know I can. That begins again, today. Today. I can do this. I know I can. That begins again, today. Today. I can do this. I know I can.

Stay strong everyone and TTFN, Michele


  1. You are gonna rock this cycle thing. You are inspiring. You CAN do this. So get back on track by tracking your food. WE are in this together and it is for LIFE. Let us know how those shorts are.

  2. I know you can too:)

    I always wear padded shorts. Did you know you are supposed to wear them commando? I didn't.

  3. I struggle with the tracking thing too! Good Luck!

  4. I'm excited for you Michele, as you anticipate your bike race! You have come so far--imagine doing this before you started your weight loss program!

    I know what you mean about food tracking, etc. I certainly got off track after a very difficult winter, and I know that you have had major challenges too. Getting back on track is so worthwhile. I recently bought a Body Media Fit device, and that has helped me immensely. I can now visibly see and understand what I need to do and how my food intake is impacting my weight loss or weight gain. Take care...

  5. This was a great post, honest & insightful. You really inspire me with your biking experience. I don't think that I could do 26 miles, let alone 32.

    I love your last couple of sentences, you reminded me of the little red engine, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!" I know that this is your time . . . You WILL do this, I know you will!

  6. Well, of COURSE you can! I have no doubts. And let's make a date so I can help you celebrate your birthday AND your successful bike race.

  7. I'm just very jealous that you ad Karen have real cycling shorts. I need some too. I wear the most ridiculous outfits when I bike -- eventually I'm going to have to get myself some genuine cycling clothes.

    Congrats on your long ride. I'm not even back up to 10 mile rides yet -- another reason for me to be jealous. Do you have any problems with your legs swelling after you ride? I may blog about that later.

  8. I know you can do it Michele! Good luck on the ride.

  9. We seem to be in the same gears!
    Maybe we "cycle" together?

  10. Oh my have not had bike shorts all this time? You will love them!!! Also, you will be amazed when you get a road bike. Makes all the difference in the world. I always had a mountain bike and my hubby had a road bike and he would just smoke me on all of our rides. I finally got smart and got a road bike and on our first ride, I was just tooling along at 15 miles an hours and then some. And I turned around to look for my hubby and he was waaaay behind. So I stopped and waited for him. Asked him if he was having trouble with his bike and he said no, he could not keep up with me!! Ha ha ha! So the next week, he was at the bike shop and got a better road bike. He's so competetive!! Anyway you will love it!!

    Keep up the great work...Stay focused on those calories. It makes a difference!!

  11. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Good luck on your ride!!! make it a goal to track today :)