Thursday, February 16, 2012

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Tour de Felasco. A 50 mile mountain bike event that I always manage to get a few extra miles out of. This year may be a different story however. My son and I are riding together this year and I haven't been on my bike or even slipped my running shoes on in a month or so.

No matter how far we make it this year, fun will be had....along with a little suffering.

Monday, January 2, 2012

What Happened To My Motivation?

  Leading up to the Holidays this year (I guess it's last year now) I was probably in better shape physically then I've been in years. For several months I'd been either riding my bike or running everyday and getting up by 4:30am during the week for 1.5-2 hours of gym time before work. It can be hard to get yourself used to a routine like that, but after a few weeks or so you don't even think about getting up so early or going to run the football stadium after being on your feet for 9 hours at work. It just becomes a part of your day. Actually, most days I would look forward to it.
  It seems as though I've misplaced the motivation needed to continue this routine however. Maybe somewhere between the all of the delicious meals and holiday treats that I've shared with friends and family through December, I'm not sure. I'll find it again. Soon I hope.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Need to Ride

I don't know how it happened but lately I've been logging more miles running than I have riding a bike. In fact, I haven't even been on my bike in two weeks. Thank goodness it's not because of an injury, but still....TWO WEEKS!!
It's no wonder that for the last few days I've felt as though I'm losing my mind a little......I'm in need of some singletrack therapy.

I'll see you later, I'm going for a ride.
C'mon, get your bike skoryd!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

8 Hours of Labor Recap

8 weeks ago I started a training program to get myself ready for the 8 Hours of Labor mtb race. At the same time Andrea and I started a little weight loss competition with each other. So far, said competition has no clear winner because we have both surpassed our original goal....Wait a minute, I guess that makes us both winners, right? On the morning of the race, exactly 8 weeks from the start of this thing, I'm down by 20lbs and because of this post from Bendoeslife I can't help but think of what the next 8 weeks will bring if I can manage to keep this momentum going.

So I decided to ride the race on the same three person team as the last two years instead of trying to do it solo this time, maybe next year. Largely because when your doing a team race, hanging out with friends and fueling up with good food between laps is a major part of the fun. Plus once I found out that the course this year had 4 new grass covered, energy sucking climbs over previous years I was glad I was on a team.

This race always has a lemans style start, where the first lap is started with a run to your bike. Since I've been learning to enjoy running so much lately I was really looking forward to doing the first lap, plus I enjoy the competition of all the traffic on that first lap. When I made it to my bike I jumped on and quickly did a survey of who was around one I know, maybe I'll run into some friends out there. On the bike and hammering up the first grassy climb, that grass by the way will redline your heart rate in a hurry if your not careful, still I was passing a lot of people. Was I going to hard from the start? Still feeling ok so I don't think so. Before I knew it, a few miles into lap one, I seemed to be hanging on to a group of "the fast guys" and suddenly I realized there was no one behind me. Wow, "don't let yourself blow up", I kept telling myself, especially on the first lap. But it didn't happen. I finished that first 10 mile lap in 52.73min/11.27mph. Until recently I've barely been able to manage a 10mph average on those same trails, so I was pretty excited about the lap. But I was worried about being able to back it up on my next one.

I headed out on lap two with very little traffic, which had me a little concerned. Sometimes when I'm feeling slow it helps me with my pace if I can keep a faster rider or two within sight. Eventually I started coming up on riders and began easily passing them, trying to converse a little with each of them as I go around. No need to be rude to people out there, and a few nice words can go a long way to someone who is struggling to keep going. A little more than half way I started feeling kinda cooked and started easing up a little. Suddenly a couple of riders seemingly came out of nowhere and passed me on a climb, that got me working hard again the rest of the way back to camp. When I came in Andrea said she wasn't sure but she thought my time was close to 58min and I was immediately disappointed in myself, that's more like the times I've turned in past years on an easier course. Bummed, well at least I was able to do one fast lap....Then they posted a race update and my time was actually 52.78/11.26mph, .02 slower than my first lap. Oh yeah, feeling better now!

I started my third and final lap of the day I was surprised at how well I was feeling and wishing that I would be able to get in another lap later, but there was no way that we would make the cut off time for three more team laps. This lap was pretty uneventful with the exception of a couple of slower riders creating a bit of a traffic jam during a section of singletrack that's pretty much impossible to pass on. I was fine slowing and recovering a little, knowing that I'd have that much more gas once the trail opened up a little. Eventually the complaints from some of the traffic behind me started getting louder and I saw a spot wide enough to get by on a corner so I floored it. I finished that lap in 53.69/11.08mph, I guess the time difference could have been from the traffic jam.

We just barely missed getting a rider out for one extra lap, because of a flat tire our last rider missed getting back in before the cutoff by 2 minutes. I had a great time visiting with friends and meeting a few new ones like Karlos who's team was, according to his post, here, was having a pretty close battle with my team (590). They edged us out for the win this time, but I'll be on the lookout next time!

I rested last week so for now it's back to training. I'm going to try to find some sort of event, either biking or running, around 8 weeks from now so I can keep this momentum going.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cycling Tip

Just a little tip......
If the grips on your ride look like this and have 230hrs/2000miles of off-road use like these do:

And the weather is near 100 degrees with all of the Florida humidity.

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT leave your gloves at home if you are planning on riding any kind of singletrack, double track, lime rock road.....heck, anything that isn't as smooth as your local sidewalk. It makes for a very slippery ride once the sweat starts, and I don't care how tight your Kung Fu grip is, in fact I think that makes it worse!

Just a little cycling tip from me to you.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My son and I were out at The Rock trails last weekend. He was having a blast on the dirt jump sections, while I was having fun snapping pictures of him.

He couldn't stop laughing at my facial expressions in some of the shots that he took of me.
It's been fun watching him ride my old Schwinn lately, since he has out grown his Jamis recently. I guess it's especially cool to him since he found out it's about as old as he is, I suppose it's kinda like driving dad's old hot rod.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Next Sunday is the 8 Hours of Labor race at San Felasco, I'm pretty excited about it. I feel like I'm in better shape for it right now than I was in the last two years that I've done this race. Eight weeks ago I sure wouldn't have said that, but that was 16.4 lbs ago. It's not just loosing the weight that's got me feeling good, but I put together a training plan for myself that worked without interfering with my family and work too much. Putting the plan together was the easy part though, I managed to stick to it for 8 weeks, that's the hard part. For me anyway. This week is an easy recovery week with one decent mtb ride planed, then the 8 hour race on Sunday.

I really need to find my next event so that I can keep this momentum going. I find it's so much easier to stick to a training plan if I have an event coming up.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

8 Weeks

I know, I'm terrible about updating this blog. I'll try and be better about it.....really, I will.

My weight loss plan has been working pretty well for me over the last 8 weeks, still, I could do better if I focused a little harder on the nutrition side of it though. In the first 3 weeks I focused a lot of my attention on nutrition and dropped 9 lbs right away. Over the next 2 weeks I managed to gain a pound of that back while eating more of what I wanted and stepping up my weight training at the gym a little. During the last 3 weeks I'm down another 8.4. I've been eating pretty well during the whole 8 weeks but it was only the first three that I was so into it that I was weighing all of my portion sizes (very important in my opinion). If I can continue to train like I've been doing and get a little more serious about my nutrition I don't see any reason I can't get rid of another 7 or 8 lbs over the next month.
So far that's 16.4 lbs down and feeling pretty good. Oh and the little competition my wife and I have been having, yeah, it's still on. We are running neck and neck, both of us are right at our goals for the moment. The deal is though that once the goal is met, you have to maintain it until the next weigh in.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Uh Oh!

The little competition that my wife and I have going just got my attention. During our weekly weigh in yesterday realized that she is within 1.5 lbs of her goal and I still have 7 lbs to go to get to our original deal. You know, the deal we had before I got all cocky and said I was gonna lose an extra 5 just to keep it fair.

It's all good though, she's loosing what she wanted to lose and so far I'm down by 8.5 lbs. So needless to say our competitive nature with each other is working out for the both of us.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Training for Labor Day

I must have known that I'd be getting way to comfortable and not doing any kind of structured training because sometime last year I set up this alert on my phone:

Eight weeks to go until the 8 Hours of Labor mtb race at San Felasco. I was thinking that I may try it solo this year instead of the three man team that I usually do. It would be the longest event I've ever done solo by a few hours so it's kind of intriguing to me.

Typically I would wait until two weeks before the race and start panicking because I haven't prepared myself at all. Then desperately start trying to squeeze in as much training as possible in the way of intervals and a couple of long rides. The problem is that I'm a least 15 lbs over what I like to call my race weight. I get the feeling that what I call "race weight" is higher than what most people consider race weight to be though. Most likely I would start a training program, stick to it for a week or two, stop training, and then panic in the week before the race.

Not this time though, you see the day before the calendar on my phone popped up with that friendly little reminder, my wonderful wife, Andrea decided to help me out.
She bet me that she could get to her goal weight before me. We are both certain that we can win this little contest, I'm so positive that I've got it in the bag that I think I'll lose an extra five just to make sure it's fair and all. No, we aren't competitive at all around here.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Road Bike Friday

  Decided to take the road bike out today and glad I did. I had a great time doing this solo ride. I left Gainesville on the GHT, turned around in Hawthorne and headed back to 234 and headed towards Micanopy, then back into Gainesville. I keep hearing about alligator sightings on the GHT but the only wildlife I saw today was a few dear, a fox (which was a treat to see) and of course an abundance of squirrels.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Plan

It's been a long time since I've followed any kind of structured training plan on a regular basis. Oh sure, over the last several months I've been riding my bike and lifting weights at the gym once in a while. I've gone on some really fun, all day long (some would say epic) MTB rides, and even took the road bike out and let all of the roadies whoop me in my first TT. In my defense though, I think that there's a learning curve associated with doing time trials, and I'm pretty sure I picked up a lesson or two on that first attempt.

In other words, I've been having a lot of fun riding my bike and playing at the gym on my lunch break during the week. But no real structure, no training regimen at all. Which is ok for a while or to just maintain your current state of fitness, but if you want to see real improvements than you have to have a plan.

The plan is set. The workouts are loaded on the Garmin and the bike will be back on the trainer tonight. I'm starting out using a 7 week plan designed by Chris Carmichael. I've done these workouts before with excellent results, so I'm sticking to what I know. Two reasons why I'm using the indoor trainer for this. First, I have much more control over my efforts on the trainer than I do out on the road. And second, probably the main reason, is the time of day. Most of these workouts will be done early in the morning before work and before I wake the kids up for school. The other side of the plan is a training circuit two to three times a week consisting of weights and machines at the gym.

I will also try and do a better job at keeping this blog updated with my (hopefully) progress.....we'll see how that goes!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tour De Felasco 2011

I found this video on youtube from the tour last weekend. As I was watching it I was thinking, hey, check out that guys tat on his calf....wait a minute....thats me! I believe this is on Conquistador. As you can see I  can hold my own pretty well on fast technical descents, but I quickly slow to a crawl when the trail goes up. Thats how it goes when your carrying around too much extra weight!
If I knew the guy behind me was recording a video I may have ignored the stick in my rear derailleur and kept going! Probably good that I stopped though...haha.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tour de Felasco 2011

  January 8th turned out to be a very nice day to be out on the mtb, with temperatures around 55-60 degrees and sunny all day. Probably a little cool and breezy for some of the volunteers that were posted at sag stops throughout the forest I'm sure, but it was just about perfect for riding.

  And in case I didn't tell you while I was out there riding, all of you volunteers deserve a huge thank you!! This event wouldn't be possible with out your help.

  I nearly sabotaged this perfect day right from the start however. In the past two years that I've done this ride I've been much better prepared. Usually in the two to three months leading up to the event nearly every ride has a specific training purpose and I pay much closer attention to my diet. Not this year!

  I made sure I was up at 6am and had my credit card ready at the computer when registration opened back in October, the event sold out within hours so I was glad to get in, I told everyone that I got in and I was doing the metric century this year. Then I put it away, in the back of my mind. Didn't train for it, didn't eat right. Gained my traditional weight over the holidays. Then, with two weeks to go I decided I had better do something and started doing intervals on the trainer, actually got outside for one or two good rides and started eating a little better. On the day of the event I knew that I was going to need a plan if I wanted to finish the full distance.

  I knew that I wouldn't be able to remember where they were, so I found out the distance to each sag stop and wrote them down on a piece of paper along with the cut off time at sag 4 for the century. I also wrote down, a little something to think about when I wanted to give up.
"That pain is weakness leaving your body".
  My plan was to start the morning slowly, skip sag 1, brief stop at 2, then lunch. Hopefully after lunch I'd be able to pick up the pace a little, skip 3, stop at 4, then finish the metric century. Ha!! That plan was history when 7.5 miles into the ride I was redlining my heart rate. I knew that if I was even going to make it past lunch I needed to get myself under control, but I was in the middle of two of the hardest trails out there, Tung Nut and Conquistador. So I slowed down and allowed myself to get passed by a few other riders and tried to not get caught up in their pace. Once I made it to sag 1 I stopped just long enough to remove my jacket and take a few shots of water from a dixie cup. By the time sag 2 came up my heart rate was back to normal but my legs were so tired, from my zone 5 efforts earlier, that I was doubting that I'd make it past lunch.

   Lunch was great! Hot vegetarian chili and great company, I was able to sit back and rest for a little while with my family who were there volunteering. Once I was rested I said my goodbyes and got back on the trail, feeling good. I even did a wheelie while leaving, you know for the kids!

   I was feeling pretty good coming into sag 3 when I spotted some friends headed the opposite direction and suddenly when I tried to get off of the bike my legs cramped so bad I nearly hit the ground! Uh oh I thought, this can't be good. Thankfully they saved me with some electrolyte tabs, so after taking in some more calories in the way of a peanut butter & jelly sandwich and a few more shots from a dixie cup I was back on my way. I must not have been paying a lot of attention to the milage because sag 4 seemed to show up pretty quick. I had plenty if time before the cut off so I rested for a few minutes and took in some more PB&J while I was trying to decide if I was going to ride the last 6 miles back and complete the 50 mile tour or was I riding the 18.5 more miles to complete the metric century, which includes doing Tung Nut and Conquistador again. In the opposite direction. I got out my cell phone and called my wife to see if they were still at the lunch stop or back at the trail head waiting for me to come out of the woods. They were still at the lunch stop.....thats it then, I'm doing the century. That last section, which ended up being more like 21 miles, was hard. Those trails are hard enough when you haven't already been pedaling most of the day. But I did it, and I'm so glad that I didn't give into the pain and stop.
At the end of the day I completed over 5800 ft of climbing and 65 miles of single track and jeep roads in 7:40. Slow but completed!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Photo testing

Pay no attention to this, ha ha. I'm just learning how to post photos from my phone.


I was reminiscing through the last few years worth of my cycling journal and realized that I rode 508 less miles in 2010 than I did in 2009. I know what your thinking...cycling journal?

Yes, I get kind of caught up in all of the data that I collect on my rides and then I log all of it....for every ride. I track everything from distance and time to my weight and heart rate. Somewhere around 20 different things i said, for every ride.

Sort of a data geek I suppose. I can't help it, it motivates me, pushes me to do a little more than before, makes me want to do more.

It's fun to look back at the notes that you write after a ride and remember a crash that happened two years ago from going to fast on an unfamiliar trail. It can also be very motivating to go over the data and see how much you've improved. Or, in my case for 2010, it can also be helpful to look back and see how relaxed you've become with your training compared to other years, months, weeks, or even days.

I've kept a food journal before and been just as detailed about it. I collected all of the data on the nutrition label for everything I ate. I weighed and measured nearly every meal, every day. Extreme I know, but I learned a lot about what I was eating and it worked for me.

Back to my original thought at the beginning of this post. I've ridden my bike 508 miles less than last year. That's really not that much, less than 10 miles per week difference. But I'm also 9 lbs. heavier than I was this time last year. I know this because of my journal.


I can do something about that, I've got the data. I'll just go farther, and I'll push harder.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Get To It

Nope,I haven't forgotten about this blog. I have just done very little in the way of consuming and burning calories over the last month or so. Well, thats not entirely true really, I've been doing plenty of consuming holiday calories.

I have just two weeks until the Tour de Felasco and when I signed up for it back in October I planned on doing the metric century option. Last year I got a late start and didn't make the cutoff time so I could only do the fifty miler. I'll just have to see if my legs are going to cooperate since I have barely even ridden 62.5 miles in the entire month of December.

So I wonder, are two weeks worth of doing intervals on the trainer going to be enough to whip me back into good enough shape for a day in the woods on my bike? Without feeling completely wiped out afterwards?

We shall see.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Early Morning Ride

I was going crazy yesterday because two days into my four day weekend and I still hadn't been able to get out for a ride. I could see today was going to be more of the same so I needed to get out and back home early.

So by 5:20am I was loading my gear into the truck, it amazes me sometimes how long it takes to prepare to just go for a mtb ride. It would be great if I could just head out and pedal, but I just don't think it's possible. You have to prepare a drink for your camel back, depending how long your ride is going to be you have to prepare some food. In cooler weather you have to put more thought and time into clothing. Then there's the bike, at a minimum you've got to check air pressures and get it in or on your car, which may require some disassembly, and then reassembly at the trail. Then, finally, there's the drive to the trail, at least thirty minutes in my case...ugh...I could just ride the road bike I suppose...nah, it's still dark out and I guess I'm just not really into sharing the road with cars in the dark. At least not out on a two lane country road. So I headed for San Felasco and by 6:15am I was riding.

It was still dark so I did a few laps around Progress Park and warmed up a little before heading for the woods. As soon as I could see a little blue in the sky I was headed down the singletrack, of course it was still plenty dark under the cover of the forest.

Just as the sun was coming up and I could see a clearing in the trees ahead there stood a large cat. It caught me off guard and my first thought was what's someones cat doing way out here, then I was struck by it's size, probably close to knee high on me. When I noticed the short tail I knew what I was looking at. Certainly no house cat, it was a fairly large bobcat, a rare sight indeed, for me anyway! I am used to mainly seeing deer, armadillos, the occasional wild hog, and an abundance of kamikaze squirrels that are always trying to psych me out by running under my wheels!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Holiday Calories

Why is it when I let my training relax a little I tend to increase my calorie intake? Or maybe it's the quality of the calories that I let slip, or sometimes worse, both.

I don't really understand the logic. Maybe I just don't want to sabotage the time that I spend training with poor eating habits. But when I'm not training I eat whatever I want.

Now that the holiday season is here, and there will be plenty of tasty calories to be consumed, I suppose that I should step up the quality of my training. You know, to offset the calories that I plan on eating, or at least help me feel less guilty about them.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Didn't Put It Off

  Well I didn't get out for a run when planned, and before I knew it, it was dark out and getting late. But I didn't put it off. It would have been so easy, but instead I headed out and went for a run....a short one, but a run nonetheless. And I feel great about it!


I haven't done much riding (read: no riding), or any other activities for that matter, in the last two weeks and I feel like such a slacker because of it. Don't get me wrong, I've got a whole list of things that I could blame it on.

Like it's soccer season for my son and he has a lot of games and a busy practice schedule.
Or it's been crazy at work the last few weeks and after standing on my feet for 9 or 10 hours going out for a ride or a run hasn't sounded as inviting as sitting on the couch at home.
Or that pain that I get every couple of months that starts as a sore neck then travels into my arms, back, and chest. I was told that it is probably a bulging disc in my neck, and it seems that it touches a nerve that kicks off this pain that reminds me of a bad toothache in my whole upper body. No amount of massaging, laying still, or moving around seems to help much. So going for a ride may not be much worse than just sitting on the couch.

I'm sure that I could come up with more if I tried but the fact is that if I really wanted to I would have found a way.
Got on the scale yesterday and guess what?
Motivation is back. Situps and pushups earlier and now I must go for a run.

Signed, King Slacker

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Just a photo of one of my favorite local trails.

Week One

  Well at the end of week one I'm down to 201.4 from 205.5, not to bad considering the only change that I've made so far is ramping up the exercise a little. I managed to get my hands on some great tasting BBQ ribs and beans a couple of times last week, so yeah, thats what I'll use as my excuse for not changing my diet just yet. I know that some changes are in store though if I plan on bettering that number this week however.

  As far as exercise goes, well I've made a few changes there. I tried to do something every day, and I've gone outside of my comfort zone, things that I otherwise wouldn't do. In fact I may avoid these exercises all together. My comfort zone is pretty much just cycling. I'll usually ride on the indoor trainer (so I can be home with my family) at least twice a week, and I'll get out for a ride maybe 1-2 (sometimes 3) times with at least one of those being a good hard ride. This week I have also been doing some core strengthening workouts, you may have heard of these, push ups and sit ups. I don't really enjoy doing them, and I have always avoided them, so I thought that would be a good thing to work on. Running is something else that I seem to always avoid so this week I went out running twice, and along with running I thought it might be good to run stadiums since we have a great football stadium here in Gainesville. Who new that those would be so hard! My legs have been pretty sore from that for several days now but I won't give up on them, in fact I think I kind of like them!

Thursday, September 30, 2010


   I tried something new after work yesterday; instead of going for a bike ride I headed over to Florida Field and ran stadiums. If you’ve never done that before you may think that it’s no big deal, but it is. It is very hard! We were running up the section in the upper right area of this picture from the field level all the way to the top. I believe I counted 147 steps up. I went up and back down four times (that’s 588 steps by the way) and my legs were like rubber afterwards. I’m told that if I keep doing it I’ll be doing it 40 times by winter…..we’ll see.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Rain Day

 I skipped my usual mountain bike ride this morning due to our bipolar weather here in Florida today. Even though it's beautiful outside now, this morning it was not. It was pouring rain and according to the weather map it didn't appear to be going away anytime soon. Now I'm not entirely against riding in the rain, I just have a hard time starting a ride in the rain. So instead of going out in the mud I stayed in and worked out on this, which happens to be where my road bike seems to stay parked most of the time lately.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Time to Obsess

  Four short years ago I was in pretty bad shape, funny thing is I don't think that I even realized it. I was always exhausted, my body always ached even though other than standing the entire day, my job wasn't any more physical than my current job. In fact I rarely had a day where I felt good. I was working a lot of hours in a job that seemed to keep me in a constant state of stress. I was eating drive-thru crap everyday, sometimes mutiple times a day, and always the largest size available. Usally with an extra cheese burger or burrito from the value menu. It's only another 99 cents so why not?

  Who knows how heavy I actually got. I just know that one day I got on the scale and it said 250lbs. I couldn't believe it.  Something had to be done. I dusted off my old mountain bike and started riding some after work, my wife got me a gym membership and I somehow came up with the time to use it, nearly every day of the week. She also set me up with a nutrition expert to teach me about the food that I was eating. I had a meeting with this expert once a week to talk about what I had been eating and what type of exercises I had been doing. Oh yeah....and to weigh in on the dreaded scale. And I think it was because of these weekly meetings that I became almost obsessed with the food I was taking in and the amount of calories I was burning. It was amazing how much better I was feeling once I started to get back into shape. Not just physically, but mentally as well. I don't remember how long it took exactly, somewhere around six months, but I got rid of 58lbs. of extra mass that I was carrying around on my feet everyday. And I gained quite a bit of muscle while I was at it.

 192lbs. was my weight and I was able to keep it between that and 195 pretty much for 3 years. This year however seems to be slipping away from me though. I remember telling myself that I would never let myself get back over 200, and I've been there for at least the last 6 months. At one point recently I saw 212 come up on the scale. Must be time to obsess again.