Sunday, May 6, 2012

Pictures and update on week 6 RFS!

We enjoyed a live broadcast of Prairie Home Companion on Saturday as a birthday gift for our nine-year-old granddaughter and her cousin. The nine year old actually ASKED to go. We our regular listeners (this is Minnesota, don’t you know?!?!?) almost every Saturday evening. Both the girls listen when they are with us and laugh along. So, it was a special treat to go on Saturday. Garrison Keillor is a national treasure, IMO.
He can sing and spin a yarn on just about any thing. This show featured a number of tid bits about Minneapolis and some terrific music by the Steele sisters. Have a listen if you like.

It was our second sewing weekend for the women in my family. My daughter and two daughters-in-law are starting to get the hang of sewing simple things like skirts and elastic pajama pants. The young maidens are part of the fun, too. Here is a picture of nine-year-old Nani helping me make some pajamas for her cousin.
Biking shoes and moving to a clipless pedal" have been on my "purchase" to do list for quite some time. Frankly, I put it off because I am so afraid of falling. You see with a clipless system your shoe is clipped on the pedal. You unclip by twisting your ankle just "so." My fear is that I would not be able declip my shoe in time to stop. However, I do know that this clipless system may improve biking performance which is also important to me. So I set my fears aside, did a great deal of online research and some shopping around. Here are the pedals, the cleats under my shoes that hook into the pedals and my new shoes!
The new pedals are entry level and easier (or supposed to be) to clip in and out of. My news shoes are a hybrid type that will allow me to walk comfortably. I tried them out today on a slow 11 mile ride. I was very cautious and found out that I can pedal with just one shoe clipped in. I did not do this very long, but it did help build my confidence.

Week Six of the Ready For Summer Challenge is now behind me. Here is my update.

1. Weight loss: My weight loss goal is to lose 7 pounds. I will not weigh in until June 3; so anything yet to report here.

 2. NSV (Non-Scale Victory): For me my NSV for this challenge is in moving forward in my health and fitness so that I am able to ride the 62-mile bike event that I am registered for on June 2. I didn’t really have any extraordinary NSVs last week to write about. Two minor ones are eating out after PHC and staying on plan, including not partaking in the icecream dessert enjoyed by the rest of my family.

3. Exercise: As far as my three targets for this goal:
a.  Improving my strength and stamina. This week I rode 93 miles over 5/6 days! I continue to incorporate a little hill work in every ride, to.

b. My second target is to work on my cycling distance. Yesterday I rode my longest ride so far of 35 miles. I still have not figured out the right amount of calories to ingest before and during these long rides, but I am working on it. I took along two Cliff bars and ate them both.

c. Increasing my speed: My average speed is getting closer to 13MPH. I know that my new shoes and pedals will help here, too.

4. Cross training: I did all of my core exercises 5/7 days, including a series of squats.  

5. Nutrition: I stayed under 1500 calories on 5/7 days. One of my over days was the 35 mile bike ride.

One of my goals for week six was to cook some beans and eat these for breakfast (thanks, Karen for this idea). I did just that several times last week. This week I plan to eat beans before I head out on my bike. Great protein source. I met my exercise goals, too.

For week seven my goals are to:

1. Get comfortable riding with my new clipless pedals and shoes

2. If I accomplish # 1 then ride for 40 miles….

3. Keep working on figuring about the right number of calories for my rides.

Enjoy a few pictures of my long ride on Saturday via roaring Minnehaha Falls...
Along lovely bike paths
Past Fort Snelling
And across the Mississippi River (in three different places!)

How about you: are you finding more time for outdoor exercise now that temperatures have warmed up?

Thanks for stopping by to check in with me.

Have a great week.

Stay strong! TTFN, Michele


  1. I think those clips would scare me too. Good luck on learning to work with them. You are continuing to do so awesome. I hope I find the path back soon too.
    Thanks for the great pictures. I love it when you share them.
    Keep up the great work Michele. Blessings my friend!

  2. I remember feeling the same way with the old cages on the peddles when I used to mountain bike but after just a few times there was no going back. I bet you'll feel the same here soon.

    Beans for breakfast and bike riding leave the door wide open, but I won't take the bait! :)

    Great numbers for the week and I really like the pictures.

  3. I'm so impressed with your bike rides! I hope the clips do make the rides easier. You already seem to be making great strides with your stamina.
    Good luck for week 7 :)

  4. Love the shoes, but haven't made that transition yet and really don't plan to. My biking will always be more for the pleasure than the exercise so just haven't developed the interest in getting that technical about it. I stop too often to gawk at something or take pictures.

    Love the picture of the sewing lesson. I honestly don't see how you do everything that you do and work full-time in an academic setting. Speaking of....are you done? Mr. B finished his final performance yesterday evening and is now officially, DONE! Yippee!!

  5. I love my clipless riding:) Practice really helps.

  6. I haven't ever used clipped shoes... but I'm sure that they'd be intimidating at first.

    I love that you are setting out very clear goals. This will help keep you focused and going. And the goals are very realistic. Also very important.

    Here's hoping the rides go well. Also, regarding distance biking and nutrition, maybe check out He usually has a lot of great advice on stuff like that.

  7. p.s. also a huge fan of Prairie Home Companion. We always listened to it on long drives to grandma's house. Lovely memories.

  8. Michele - I love reading your blog! Your bike riding and constant striving to achieve your goals is nothing short of inspiring. I hope you feel comfortable with your new pedals soon - especially if you think they will be that much more instrumental in getting you to your next mileage goal.
    Best of luck!

  9. Sounds like you had a good week. The pedals and shoes are so neat. I'd be scared to try them as well, though. I'm always falling, even on flat ground, so I'd plow it up I'm sure. The photos you share are so pretty! Looks like it was a lovely ride. I hope you have a great week.

  10. I didn't even know they made shoes to clip into bike petals... much better than the old school strap pedals. =)

    Good luck with week 7!

  11. Lovely photos! I dream of shoes that will clip into petals, one day. :D Also, I think it's so great that you're teaching them to sew, I wish I could have learned too!

  12. I love Prairie Home Companion! How fun! You are AMAZING! 93 miles! Woot! Don't worry about the shoes. You'll get it. You ARE A REAL CYCLIST NOW!!!

  13. We love going to see PHC! You're doing great. Thanks for commenting on my blog. I am also a slow loser, due in part to taking a beta blocker. Really slows down the metabolism. Have a great weekend!

  14. Wow you have come a long way!! Clip shoes that is awesome. will fall!! It happens. I do it almost every year!! Especially when we first start out. I forget to prepare myself for stops and can't get my foot out fast enough. Oh well. It does help with performance. YOU WILL LOVE THEM!!

    Keep up the great work and stay focused!