Sunday, April 12, 2015

Using Strava for the first time...

Earlier this week I dropped 3 lbs in 4 days. It was after a two day layoff during Easter weekend. It was the most bizarre and welcome thing to go from 196 lbs down to 193 lbs. The only time I had that type of weight loss was when I was juicing.

Turns out it was not here to stay.

As the week went on the weight started to creep up. I did nothing different with my diet. Perhaps I drank more water and that was about it. It actually started getting almost back to where it started, 196 lbs and my optimism of losing weight turned into negativism.

Reality is I knew something was wrong. The readings on my scale was off all week with regards to body fat, visceral fat, muscle, etc.

The other major problem is I know what my body looks like at 190 lbs and at that weight I basically have no gut. If I was to predict my weight I'd say it was around 195 lbs based solely on look.

I still have a gut and it looks like it's about 5 lbs worth of gut.

Now the mental seesaw is playing in my head. I've dropped 13 lbs in about 6 weeks and it was hard and I need to drop at least another 10 lbs to get into that awesome zone that I haven't been in for near 5 years.

It's now a battle. There is parts of me that are saying that I can loosen up a bit and enjoy and crack a beer or two and there is another part of me that is saying stay the course it's only another 4 - 5 weeks of sacrifice and you will be there and be happiest because of it.

So I'm at a crossroads and I know I need to make a change. Doing the same routine is getting old and I need a power boost.

What am I going to do?

I'm going to train more. I've been doing about 6 hours per week for the past 6 weeks and now that it's getting warmer out I'm going to try and up it to 12 plus hours. Even getting in the pool.

I've actually been somewhat inspired and motivated by seeing Simon Cross pound out his first week of training at about 17 hours. He's coming off an injury and needs to also peel off some pounds.

Just goes to show you, inside near every Ironman I know is a fat man trying to get out. I can't count on my fingers and toes how many Ironman I know that at one time were fats sh#ts, myself included. And not just fat, but yo yo fat. Myself included. They lose weight, they race, they gain weight and then they do it all over again.

For those that know Ironman it's not surprising. These are people that tend to be all or nothing and once they get a goal in their mind they go for it. A side from fat guys inside, there is also alcoholics and drug users. Ironman take things to the extreme. They are excellent and over achievers at anything they set there mind to.

The only type of person that doesn't become an Ironman is a rapist, or sex offender or pedophile. At least not to my recollection. You see, these types of people are weak. They have no self discipline or control and are liars.

That's the other type of person that can't become an Ironman. A liar. The reason is you can't lie yourself into finishing an Ironman. You can't lie about your finishing times. They are all public. You either put in the training and finished, or you didn't. I don't know any Ironman that are liars either.

I guess that's why Ironman is like a cult, it's a brotherhood of sorts. I don't know what it's like to be on Seal Team Six and the comrade, but if I was to guess it would be like being part of the Ironman community.

There is just something noble about being able to train incredible hours and sacrifice and maintain discipline and to finish what you started no matter how painful.

Like I've said before, and I mean every word of it, "Ironman have issues". I know I do and after 12 Ironman I believe I've worked through those issues. Or at least to the point that I don't need to do Ironman.

To me, doing Ironmans helped shape me into the person I've become. As an adolescent I would tell lies and never finish anything I started, rarely. It could be a sport, a class or whatever, I'd start strong and then eventually quit or give up.

My first Ironman was at 19 years old and it was my coming out party in that I shed that adolescent skin and transformed into someone that would from that point on finish everything they started and never lie.

I was talking to one of my partners who is a huge contributor to the Boy Scouts, contributing time and money and I asked him why he does so. He explained that as a young person the boy scouts helped shape his life and he had the best memories of him being his true self back then. It was a magical time back then.

You see also at things like the Barrett Jackson auctions or when rich people give to their colleges. With the car auctions these older guys with lots of money buy back the cars they remembered driving in their youth. I totally get that. If I could by a 74 Ventura 4 door I'd do it. I can't find one. It was the beater I drove as a kid and would gladly buy it.

Rich guys donate to schools because it was great times for them. Probably all the partying, drinking, girls and all the college life is something they look back on fondly and donate money to keep the party going.

Ironman is that to me. I guess that's why I have Ironman tattoos on my body. I did my first 3 by the time I was 24 years old and then took a 17 year break before coming back and doing another 9 in 7 years.

The reason I came back was because when I looked back at the time of my life that I felt the best and as my true self it was when I was doing Ironmans. I basically came back because I wanted my past to become my present once again. Rarely in anything in life can you time travel back in time and relieve your past.

In a way who knew that would happen in Ironman. The training was the same, the racing was the same and shockingly the people were the same. With the people all the faces were different but the enthusiasm and support was the exact same.

The one thing that was also the same was you can trust people. No one has anything to gain by lying or bullshitting and in fact if you are that type of person I can't imagine you even being able to fit in to Ironman. Ironman for the most part is a race with yourself and as much as this may be hard to believe, among other Ironman and ego less sport.

Of course you have an ego if you do them. And you can show that ego to normal people. But to fellow Ironman ego is not part of interaction. Support and fear is. There is not greater feeling than the morning bus ride down to the start line and talking with a random Ironman stranger about the race coming up and asking how your training went, your background and the trepidation and fear about how the day will unfold. It's magical.

And the strange part is you will have a real moment and know you will never see that person again and yet never forget them.

So here I am thinking up thoughts of Ironman. I'm entitled. After 12 Ironmans I have a lifetime membership to the club. I love when I talk to guys that say they have done 5 Ironmans and they are all proud and then I say I've done 12 and the pecking order changes. Even me as a fat guy.

With 12 Ironmans, I repeat, you have a lifetime membership.

The one thing I love about doing Ironmans is the training. The one thing I don't like about doing Ironmans is the racing.

I can train all day long. I love it. 100 mile plus bike rides, no problem. 3 hour runs, no problem. Day in and day out, no problem.

Racing, nope. Don't like it. Why? Because I have to get up early and they are painful. The Ironman starts at the 13 mile mark of the run and it doesn't matter what kind of shape you are in, it hurts and 100% of the time if you are having a bad race you are guaranteed to have a "come to Jesus talk" with yourself.

So that's why I decided to change it up and do more training this week as part of my weight loss program. It's a nice break and I want to feel like a bit of an athlete again. The other cool thing is I don't have to do it week in and week out. I have no race I'm working or fearing towards. I can just go hard and then not so hard again.

Today I started. I went for a bike ride and I did it with Strava. It's an app and website that tracks you and your workouts and you can view on a map. What is super cool about it is you can see how your time compares to others that have ridden the same course. It blew my mind, virtually all my course was broken into stretches with times. It was very cool.

I also like all the data that you get from it. It's an amazing amount of data. It's a far cry from the early days when I would do a run or bike ride and then drive the course in my car to get the distance so I could write it into my log. Boy have times changed.

Food wise for the first time I had a treat. Dairy Queen Skor ice cream cake. With total portion control and made sure my weight watchers daily points were in line. This is one thing I love about weight watchers in that it really isn't a diet. It's a portion control lifestyle.

I did make some other food changes today. I ate some Quaker Oats before my ride and brought a bun with me on the ride to eat if I needed it. I did. There is nothing better than eating some bread on a ride. First time I've done it. It beats a power bar and it was a piece of French bread which is even better.

It was so nice and warm out yesterday I thought a beer would be good and instead went for the ice cream cake. I think it was for a few reasons. I didn't want to dehydrate myself and have lower readings on my weekly Monday morning weigh in. I didn't want to have one because one leads to more and I need to have a fresh mind for work. I don't want to sabotage my hard work and I know in 5 weeks I'm be a happier person for it by getting down another 10 lbs.

The big challenge with going off your diet, somewhat with the cake, is there is this part of you that now thinks you can just pig out more for the day because you ate poorly already. It's like it's some pass that allows you to just go for it and start over tomorrow.

I came close.

On the way to bed I looked at the kids candy baskets from Easter and even picked up some of the chocolate eggs and skittles bag and something came over me that these were just empty calories and not tasty. As weird as it sounds the ice cream cake felt that way too. It really wasn't as satisfying as the real food I've been eating. Fruit and other foods are so much more richer to the pallet and feel so good as if they are doing something for you. Candy and cake just felt like wasted calories.

Tomorrow is a big day. I'm retaining lots of water from my two hour bike ride today. I had the ice cream cake and been drinking lots of water. My pre-bed weight was 197.2 lbs. Last week I was 196 lbs at weigh in. I need to drop at least 2.2 lbs sleeping. Possible.

Bike - 2:12 / 57 km
195.2 lbs

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