Friday, May 27, 2011

Bike instead of work day

Sorry I haven't posted in a while, been working 8 to 5 this past week.

Anyway.

So last Friday my employers decided to give my department the day off. It was pretty awesome. I got to sleep in, and I decided to take my car in for some routine maintenance. Rather than take the courtesy shuttle home, I decided to take my bike and ride it home. I figured it would be a nice, easy, 5 mile ride from the dealer to my house. So I loaded my bike onto the trunk mount and left.

After checking my car in, I changed into my cycling gear and headed home.

I should probably also mention that this was only my second time using my cleated bike shoes. Making that comment, you can probably tell where this story is headed.

Anyway.

Things are going pretty well for me until I try to make a left turn. There I am, waiting for the light to turn green. And I wait. And wait. Wait.

Eventually I realize the light isn't going to change, so I walk over and press the cross walk button to change the light. Bam, problem solved. From there, it was pretty much a straight shot to my house. I was ok for a few stoplights, until, well, I had to stop.

Yup, clip stop fall.

I landed on my back, and fortunately I had my backpack with all my clothes, so the fall was nicely cushioned.

I fell again at a later stoplight. Ugh.

As I got to the hill to get home, I got into an easier gear, and started climbing.

Then an easier gear. And an easier one after that. Notice a pattern?

Eventually I ran out of easier gears, and I slowly rolled to a stall. I tried to get going again, but it wasn't happening. I put on my sandals, put my shoes away, and walked my bike home with my tail between my legs.

Getting home, I cleaned up my cuts and scrapes, and then got changed into some shorts and a shirt because I was going hiking with my family.

Yes, I am a glutton for punishment, why do you ask?

PS- Weight as of 5/21/11 is 255.8 lbs.
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Clip. Stop. Fall.

Part of being a cyclist is fitting the part, meaning you have to have the right clothes and equipment. So, to help me be a better cyclist, I purchased a pair of road shoes and clipless pedals. The road shoes have a special cleat that attaches to the pedal, allowing for a more efficient pedal stroke and cadence. The perks of wearing these special bike shoes is clear, but I was given a warning when I first started cycling: You will fall the first time you wear these shoes.

Lets talk about the first time I wore the shoes. Really, the real meat and potatoes of this story only occurred in the first 5 minutes of my ride time. Everything after that went swimmingly.

Monday I met up with a buddy of mine, let's call him Drummer. We met at Lake Balboa, bicycles in tow. I had warned him that his cycling partner that day would be a fat man wearing lycra, and fortunately for me, he didn't mind. As we were getting ready, I put on my new shoes, and decided to take them for a test ride in the parking lot, before we started on the 5 miles (nice, easy ride) we had planned to do. Drummer was on an old, tiny mountain bike, so I'm not really sure how easy it was for him. We talked about road bikes and proper fitting, and I sent him a link so he could do his own measurements and find out what size road bike he needs.

Real quick, I just wanna say that it feels really good saying that a 5 mile bike ride is now an "easy" ride. It wasn't like that when I first got her (Yes, I've given my bike a gender. Deal with it.)

Anyway, I started pedaling around the parking lot, taking my time and slowly making my way back to the car, when I start thinking about stopping.

OK. I was warned about falling. I am not going to fall. Dammit, I am not going to fall.

I unclip my left shoe early, and roll to a stop. I plant my left foot down, nice and easy.

Woohoo! I didn't fall!

Feeling easier about the whole "clipless pedal" thing, I relax and decide to put my right foot down.

Oh crap.

As I teeter to the right, and struggle to move my right foot, I realize I FORGOT TO UNCLIP MY RIGHT FOOT.

Monday, May 16th, 2011, at approximately 1:05 PM, I joined the "I forgot to un-clip and ate asphalt" club.

PS- Thanks to Manny for the title idea and name of the club.

PSS- My weight as of Saturday May 14, 2011 is 258.6 lbs.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Depression and Redemption

I wanted to write this post yesterday, but I didn't have the time.

Oh well.

Depression

So yesterday, I received some excellent news. One of my best friends, who is finishing his Master's degree this year, received word that he will be working for a university in Central California. I was excited and super happy for him, but once the rush of my best friend's good news ended, I started thinking about my own life.

My Checklist:
1) Been in college 7 years and I still haven't earned a degree.

2) Never completed a marathon (I had planned on doing one in 2008) and I'm still obese.

3) Don't have my private pilot's license (I started training in 2007)

4) I work at a job where I am fairly confident that I would not be considered for a promotion.

5) I am in debt.

I dwelled on my failings for a good while. I was not in a happy place. Unfortunately, this happens every now and then. It's like an evil epiphany. I suddenly realize, "WOW. I've let a lot of people down."

I then go through a list of the people I've let down. Once again, not in a happy place.

Redemption

Fortunately for me, the Mrs. knows when something is wrong. However, I, being the insecure schmuck that I am, denied everything.

Once again, fortunately for me, she knows when I am lying too.

Eventually, I told her. I wasn't depressed about my friend moving onto bigger/better things, I was depressed about my own indecisiveness and inability to do what I needed to get done.

She then proceeded to give me her checklist.

Her Checklist:
1) In the past 7 years, my personality has changed from that of mean jerk to that of someone she feels comfortable bringing to her friends and introducing to her co-workers. I've matured into someone she is proud to call her fiancee.

2) She pointed out that I've finally taken steps to ensure that when I lose the weight, it stays off. She is proud of me, and my weight loss encourages her to re-examine her own lifestyle choices so that she can enjoy successful weight loss and increased fitness.

3) I've passed the written test, and all I need to do is study for the practical exam and call my instructor to finish up. She is proud that I've passed the written test and knows that once I start seriously working on finishing up, I will do it.

4) I have a job. And it pays well. Very well. We have many friends who have college degrees, but don't have jobs.

5) I've made a plan so that everything will be paid off sooner rather than later.

She always knows how to make me feel better about myself.  Despite all my faults, she loves me anyway.

Another Form of Redemption

Since today I was going to go hiking again, I needed to get my clothes ready last night. Since it was recommended to me to wear long-sleeve shirts when ticks are out and about, I had decided to wear one. Problem was, the only long-sleeve shirts I had were thick and warm, intended for the colder months. Damn.

Then, it hit me: jerseys.

A few years ago, my parents had given me a XXL soccer jersey of the Ecuadorian national team. I tried it on then, and it didn't fit. Feeling defeated by a piece of cloth, it stayed in my closet ever since. Last night, I took it out, thought thin thoughts, and tried it on.

Jeebus, it actually fit. And it felt GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD.

Yeah, I was going to be okay.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The post in which Fatboy talks about the Gladiator Rock'n Run

Before I talk about the Gladiator Rock'n Run, I would like to offer my condolences to the family of Wouter Weylandt, who passed away today after a fatal crash suffered during Stage 3 of the Giro d'Italia. May he rest in peace.

If you checked the blog during the weekend, you noticed some odd pictures being published, like this one. On Saturday, armed with a very silly costume, I did the Gladiator Rock'n Run with the Mrs, her bestie, her bestie's hubby, and our friend Taun-Taun (using fake names to protect those who could really give a hoot whether I write a blog or not). Another of our friends came along to fill the ever important role of "Pack Mule."

So much fun. The costume was awkward, and afterwards my neck was killing me, but the roar of the crowd was unforgettable.

The Gladiator Rock'n Run is a 5k + muddy obstacle course. I ran it last year, when proceeds went to fight Epilepsy. This time around, the proceeds went to TACA, Talk About Curing Autism.

But anyway, back to the race report. As soon as we parked, I had to get into costume, so I stood still while the Mrs. and her bestie duct-taped my costume to me. C'mon, it was a cardboard cutout of the Rock when he did that tooth fairy movie, it was the best we could do. Walking to the registration desk and the starting line, people were complimenting my costume and even asking if they could take pictures with me. Being the attention-loving anonymous spectacle that I was, I happily obliged them. People also wanted pictures with bestie's hubby, since he was shirtless, wearing bows in his mohawk, a tiara, a speedo and a tutu.

At the start of the race, Nitro (from American Gladiators) was hitting on the bestie. I don't think her hubby was too happy about that.

During one of the obstacles, we had to climb a cargo net to reach the top of one of those cargo hold thingys you see on ships and on trains. That was not easy when you have cardboard strapped to every inch of the front of your body. Oh, and I was holding my giant toothbrush scepter wand while climbing. As I got to the top, the crowd erupted with cheers and applause. Hearing this, I turned to my captive audience, raised my toothbrush up high and let out a "YEAH!" to the crowd. The cheers and applause grew louder. I loved every minute of it.

In the end, we finished in a little more than 90 minutes. When I ran it last year, by myself, I did it in 45 minutes. I blame the cardboard. And my giant toothbrush scepter wand.

After crossing the finish line, I tore off the costume, rinsed off as much mud from my clothes as i could (they were kind enough to provide showers and and an area with lots of hoses, I just used the hoses), changed into a dry shirt, and we hung up for a bit, waiting for others who were rinsing off. When everyone was done, we headed home.

It was a great day; a great event put on for a great cause shared with great friends. Pack Mule decided to join us next time, and if you want to join our team next year, let me know! We would love to have you.

Weight as of Sunday, 5/8/11 - 261.0 lbs.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Finisher's Medal

Good times.
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Ready to rock

In the parking lot at the Gladiator Rock'n Run. There is no after picture because the costume was destroyed.
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Gladiator Rock'n Run

Preparations. We are on the freeway making haste to Irvine for the Gladiator Rock'n Run. This pic was taken last night while getting our costumes ready. More pics later during the day.
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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The post in which Fatboy rests

Ah man. So tired. Lots of riding over the weekend. Lots of walking recently too.

My calves are killing me.

I was supposed to take yesterday as a rest day. Unfortunately, I decided to listen to what my body wanted and I ate.

And ate.

And ate some more.

I was a bad panda. But my calorie deficit was still within reach.

And so, ignoring my calves' request to not do anything, I did something.

Another 3 miles of something. My cycling mantra of "shut up legs" certainly came in handy during the 3 mile walk.

Afterwards the Mrs. took a water bottle to my legs and rolled the hell out of them.

Today they are still sore. And with my appetite under control and my calorie deficit achieved, I deemed today a rest day.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna veg and watch some tv.
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Monday, May 2, 2011

The post in which Fatboy talks about the weekend and today

Saturday morning came along and I groggily hit the snooze. Then the Mrs. reminded me I had planned on riding with the San Fernando Valley Bicycle Club today, and I'd better wake up if I wanted to make it. I got up, weighed myself (weight will be at the bottom of the post, SPOILERS: its good), and started gearing up and loading the car with my bike.

I made it to the meeting point (parking lot B1 at CSUN) and got there just as the groups were splitting up. I had planned on riding with the 25 mi group, and I wasn't sure who was in it, so I just blindly followed the person in front of me. This was clearly a mistake.

Jeff was a really nice guy. And when I realized that he was way out of my league I knew I had joined the wrong group. They were doing 65 miles. I was not prepared.

I was able to stay with the group for the first 3 miles, but eventually Jeff (nice guy) slowed down to talk to me and said me riding with the group "wasn't working out" and that the group was going to take off at their usual pace. I told him not to worry and to go about their usual ways, and they sped off.

I kept going, telling myself I would do 25 miles before I went home. Unfortunately, in keeping up with the 65 mile group, my legs were almost done. Around the 5 mile mark, I realized I needed to head home.

After a grand total of 8 miles, I made it to my car, where I had a brief discussion with a homeless man about bikes and cars, and then headed home. Once home I changed, and then loaded up my other bike (a mountain bike with road tires on it so the Mrs could ride too) and headed to the Mrs' house.

Then we went shopping and did a bunch of stuff.

Sunday morning comes along and the three of us (the Mrs, her mother, and myself) go for a bike ride. At .5 miles her mother goes home. The Mrs and I go on to do about 3 miles, but she has to walk the hills while I practice climbing by using the mantra, "Shut up, Legs." Works like a charm.

Today really kicked my ass though. It wasn't because my legs didn't have sufficient time to replenish their glycogen stores, or that I didn't get much sleep. It was because my buddy (gonna call him Ninja, because he's training for Ninja Warrior) and I went hiking.

Met up with him at his place after work, and then we drove to the bottom of the trail. The trail went into the Santa Monica mountains.As we walked further up and into the trail a mountain biker rode downhill with a greeting and a warning about ticks. Duly noted. We stopped occasionally for a sip of water and to check for ticks (found a few, too) and at the 45 minute mark I thought I was done. Ninja encouraged me to at least get to the top of the hill and then we'd go back. At the top of the hill, I had more water and thought, "meh, I can keep going." So we did.

At the hour mark I had a Clif Bar, and a took in a beautiful view of the San Fernando Valley. We made it all the way to Mullholland Dr., which was pretty impressive considering we had no real idea of where we were.

At the 90 minute mark we ran out of water. Later we also ran into an old lady who was hiking too, and she was super friendly.

At the 90 minute mark we ran out of water. We actually did get lost a few times, too.

Eventually we made it back to the park, and we made a beeline for the nearest water fountain. After 2 hours and 17 minutes of hiking, we were pretty thirsty. After drinking our fill, we sat in the park, and while I enjoyed another Clif Bar we talked about possibly setting up a tournament for something completely unrelated to Ninja Warrior or triathlon. I'd write about the idea, but its not mine.

I plugged the activity (hiking) and the time (137 minutes) into the MyFitnessPal app on my phone, and it calculated that I burned 1800 calories. Jesus. 

Finally I made it home, and after downing a rice krispy treat and some strawberry soda (my body needed the calories, dammit) I made some muscle recovery food: chocolate milk and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Both an 8 oz. glass of chocolate milk and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich have a 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio, which helps with muscle recovery.

I then promptly went to watch tv.

And then the Mrs came home.

And then we walked 3 miles.

My legs and feet hate me.

Oh yeah, my weight as of Saturday: 262.8 lbs.