Friday, July 30, 2010


I went to the chiropractor this morning and she did a bunch of her voodoo on me.  She does some kind of strength testing on acupuncture points to diagnose certain ailments.  I have no idea how it works but it has been helpful to me over the years.  Anyway, I was telling her about the grumpiness and fatigue.  She did her thing and came up with two different clues.  One is that I was showing allergies.  That would explain the fatigue and sinus pain.  The other thing she found was hormones out of balance.  That would explain the crankiness.  There's not much I can do about the allergy.  There might be something I can do about the hormones.  I've been eating a lot of conventional  yogurt lately, like 25% of my daily calories.  And what do they give cows to make them make more milk?  Hormones.  Damn.  I love yogurt.  I guess I'll have to cut back on it and see what happens. 

Saturday Stats on Friday

Miles ridden this week: 68
Average calories per day: 1957
Pounds lost: 1.5
Current weight: 254 lbs (115.5 kg)
Total weight loss since 3/26/10: 37 lbs.
Weeks until next big ride (here to Cumberland, RI and back): 0

At 4am tomorrow, I'm taking my tired, cranky self and heading for RI for the weekend.  I'm hoping the trip will perk me up. 
 I'm taking the tandem with my friend MJ from the zen center.  I always feel funny riding the tandem with someone other than Stefanie, like I'm cheating on her with another stoker.  My goal, as always when doing a long ride on the tandem, is for us to be speaking to each other when we're done.  I think we'll be okay.  It's not that far and I found a better route than the one I used last year.  I didn't get much of a chance to scout it out but it goes through a lot of areas I'm familiar with and then picks up the old route in Dedham.  In fact, we'll be riding right by my grandmother's old house. 
The down side of bringing the tandem is that MJ doesn't think she's going to be up for riding back on Sunday.  I'm holding out hope that she'll have such a fabulous time riding down tomorrow and feel so good afterwards that she'll be dying to ride back.  The truth is that we'll probably be taking the train.  But hey, I like the train.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Grouchy McCrankypants

I'm having an interesting week.  I have been crabbier this week than pretty much any week since I started practicing zen.  I've also been very tired and there has been a major return of the afternoon sleepies.  Frankly, I'm not really sure what my problem is.  I have two theories.  One is that my weight loss is into 'old weight' by which I mean fat that's been on my body for years rather than months and that the toxins being released when it breaks down are that much more difficult for my system to handle.  My other theory is that I'm having a mid-life crisis.  I have several other friends who feel like they having mid-life crises as well.  We're thinking of having a party. 
The things keeping me going right now are biking, my shop and my practice.  If I didn't have those, there'd be trouble in River City.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday Stats

Miles ridden in last two weeks: 94
Average calories per day: 1941
Pounds lost: 2.5
Current weight: 255.5 lbs (116 kg)
Total weight loss since 3/26/10: 35.5 lbs.
Weeks until next big ride (here to Cumberland, RI and back): 1

My weight loss got a literal shot in the ass this week.  I saw the doctor on Tuesday and told him that I hadn't been losing weight as fast and so he started me on the next thing.  It is an injection of three things your body makes anyway that help the liver break down fat.  I'm not sure what they are but people have been asking me so I'll find out.  It seems to be helping because, not only had my weight loss slowed down, I was getting that funny stuck feeling in my body that signals my weight loss stalling out entirely.  Since the shot, things seem to have loosened up.  The stuck feeling is hard to explain.  It just feels like something stuck in my middle.  I get another shot next week so we'll continue to see how it goes.
I'm laying off running today because my knees are a little sore and I'm also just weary.  I want to be super careful of my joints while my weight is still so high.  So, I'm going to relax this morning, maybe do a few errands.  Tomorrow, Stef and I are planning to ride the tandem up to the Lowell Folk Festival.  It's only about 22 miles from her house.  The team car may or may not pick us up there.  It depends on how we feel, what the family's plans are and how hot it is.  I'm looking forward to it!

Thursday, July 22, 2010


When I ride a lot in the summer, I get so bored with the same old routes over and over again.  Finding new routes is time consuming.  Just going out and following the road can cause you to end up in the middle of a rotary muttering every filthy thing you can think of.  I end up cobbling together different routes from parts of other routes, a little bike path here, a little Mystic Valley Parkway there.  Sometimes, I just need some new scenery.
Here's some ways I like to find new routes:
~Cycling sites are never a bad place to start.  We've gotten some great routes that way this year.  Bike shops also sell maps but they can be expensive.
~When mapping, I like to use Google maps for directions and MapMyRide for mileage.  One of the really helpful things that Google maps does is it allows you to zoom in to street level live pictures.  This is excellent for getting a look at some of the crazy intersections they have around here.  It is also a good way to see if a route is shady or sunny.  MapMyRide is good for getting mileage on shorter routes and loops but tends to crap out if you are doing a ride longer than 50 miles.  I kind of have a love-hate thing going with that site.
~Getting across any major highway can be tricky.  Route 128 is about an even 10 miles from here in any direction so I'm going to have to deal with it on any longer ride I do.  I try to never, ever cross a highway using a road that has a highway exit on it.  People coming off the highway still have highway mind and it takes them a while to change back to "You're back on a regular road and LOOK OUT FOR THE BIKE!" mind.  Don't ask me how I know.
~Don't pick anything with too many twists and turns unless you have a printed cue sheet and sometimes not even then.  It can be easy to get lost.  Stef's iPhone has come in very handy this year.  We got real lost back in May sometime.  She texted her husband "We're lost."  He texted back "Use the phone, Luke."  We did and it has come in handy on many occasions.
~On the other hand, picking more main drag routes can be a problem because of traffic.  Numbered highways with three digit numbers tend to be direct, easy to follow and also much less busy than one or two digit highways.  Always double check them on the Google, though, so you don't end up in that traffic rotary.

Picking routes can be an adventure in itself but necessary to stave off boredom.  So, good luck out there and let me know if you have any favorite routes.

Monday, July 19, 2010

(no title, just the sound of Lucy sucking air)

Went for another run today and lasted a whole 90 seconds!  It isn't much but it was kind of exciting because I can feel my body getting the idea.  During my bike ride yesterday, I could feel a bit of difference when I stood up on my pedals to get up a hill.  I've just started doing that in the last few weeks.  When my weight is above a certain point, getting up out of the saddle isn't something I can do.  My friend Kit has always maintained that her running was better for her biking than actually biking and I'm really starting to see that. 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Holy New Sport, Batman!

So, I thought I was in pretty good shape, you know, for a fat chick.  Well, that little run put me in my place good and proper.  I was supposed to walk for 5 minutes, run for 2 and walk for 5 more.  I managed to run for 1 minute and that was really, really slowly.  Apparently, I need to start out with the remedial version of this  training progam.  But, hey, you gotta start where you're at.  I'll give it another shot on Monday.  My recovery is pretty quick so I might try a couple of runs broken up by walking.  We'll see what my feet and knees can handle.
BTW, the dog had a great time.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Saturday Stats-Two Weeks Worth

Miles ridden in last two weeks: 154 
Average calories per day: 2023 (not counting the four days I was in NY.  I have no idea how much I ate but I managed to stick to the diet)
Pounds lost in two weeks: 1.5
Current weight: 258 lbs (117) kg
Total weight loss since 3/26/10: 33 lbs.
Weeks until next big ride (here to Cumberland, RI and back): 2

I'm noticing that my weight loss is definitely slowing down.  I have also started weighing myself almost every day and I've got to stop doing that.  It is depressing watching my weight jig up and down.  In dieting, I not only have to work on having a correct relationship with food and exercise, I have to work on having a correct relationship with the scale.  And let me tell you, the scale is a rat bastard sometimes.  I weighed 256 yesterday and 258 today.  WTF?!  And since Saturday is official weigh in day, 258 is what I have to count.
I'm seeing the doctor on Tuesday and I'm going to talk to him about the slow down and see what else he has for me.  Meanwhile, I'm going to work very hard on not weighing myself at home until next Saturday.
In other news, I seem to have hurt my right wrist.  I noticed it was sore when I got back from riding on Wednesday.  Wednesday, it rained the whole time we were out, sometimes quite heavily.  The problem with this is that my gloves and the handlebars get slippery and my hands slide around a lot.  I actually took my gloves off part way through the ride because they were so uncomfortable and bought a new pair on the way home.  I'm starting to have a real love-hate relationship with bike gloves these days.  Anyway, I went out for a ride yesterday and my wrist was killing me.  I came back, put ice on it and am hoping it is better by tomorrow. 
The wrist thing has pushed up my plan to start teaching myself to run.  I printed out the Couch to 5K plan yesterday and I'm going out to give it a try this morning.  It isn't super challenging at first.  I think I'm supposed to walk 5 minutes, run 2 minutes and walk for 5 more minutes.  I'm going to run really, really slow and we'll see if I can do a whole 2 minutes.  Running is like standing up on my pedals when I bike.  It makes my heart rate just rocket up.  But, hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained and I really need an alternative form of exercise.  And I can take the dog!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I'm Going to Need New Pants Soon

I seem to have lost enough weight that I'm going to have to seriously consider buying some new clothes.  It was actually kind of funny the other day.  I was gardening and had stuck a pair of clippers in my pocket.  They were so heavy that they were pulling my pants down!  It took me a little while to figure out why my pants wouldn't stay up.  Fortunately, I was wearing a long shirt. 
On the one hand, YAY!  On the other, ugh, clothes shopping.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Shoes, Shoes and More Shoes

I just bought a pair of sneakers at the New Balance factory store in Boston.  I rode my bike over (holy crap, it's hot out!) and tried on about six pairs.  I finally found the pair that felt the best and, of course, they're ugly as hell.  That's just my shoe karma, I guess.  Either shoes fit or they're cute.  Never, ever both.  Hopefully, between my new orthodics and the new shoes, my feet will start to feel better.  I still need to get new cycling shoes (which are both ugly and expensive) but that's $260 I'm not ready to spend until the shop is open again and I have some actual income.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Riding in the Heat

Today was a pretty hot day to be riding but I did okay.  Ever since we got heat exhaustion last week, Stef has been searching the interwebs for ways to keep cool while riding.  Here are some of the things she found as well as some other ideas:

~Soak a bandana and wear it under your helmet.  Re-wet it periodically.
~Put ice in a bandana and wear it around your neck.  Keep re-wetting after the ice melts.
~Put your water in the freezer.
~Wet your clothes when you can.
~Use lots of sunscreen.  Getting burned dehydrates you.
~Drink until you can feel the water sloshing around in your tummy.  Drink more when the feeling goes away.
~Drink enough so that you have to pee at least once an hour.
~Choose a shady route.
~If you stop, be sure to be in the shade.

These are just a few ideas.  Please post any other ideas you know of in the comments.  We're always looking for new ones.

In other news, I saw the podiatrist today.  She set me up with an over the counter orthodic and recommended I get road shoes for my bike.  She gave me a whole lot of stretching to do, said I should replace the shoes I wear in the shop every six months and said when I'm ready to start running, it should be no problem.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

My Poor Feets

First of all, Stef and I had an amazing ride yesterday.  We broke 14 mph average speed over a 30 mile ride which just seems amazing to me.  I rode an additional 15 miles on my own bike.  I picked it up from Quad yesterday.  They put new handlebars on it for me so that the reach is just a bit shorter.  So far, I'm really pleased with the result.  I still have to go for a longer ride but I can get my hands onto the hoods without stretching my back out of position.
So, my feet.  My blankity, blank, double E Fred Flintstone feet have been giving me a lot of trouble this season.  Now that I'm riding so much with clipless pedals, I've been having a lot of trouble with my toes falling asleep when I ride.  I tried getting new shoes and having the cleats moved but that only improved things a little.  It can get very uncomfortable and sometimes I actually have to stop and get off the bike for a few minutes to let the blood run back into my toes.  I have a podiatrist appointment on Monday and, meanwhile, have been looking into getting road cycling shoes.  Ben (my favorite Quad Cycle guy) recommended them because the sole is stiffer and the cleat bigger than the mountain bike shoes I've been using up to this point.  The problem is that the tongue and straps of road shoes come up too high and dig me in my giant ankles.  I went over to Belmont Wheelworks (I felt so disloyal but they have an entire cycling shoe department) and talked to their shoe expert Elena.  We tried on all kinds of shoes and found one that might actually work.  She also recommended that I look into having custom shoes made.  If you think this is starting to sound expensive, it is.  This little venture may end up costing $300 just for the shoes, never mind the new pedals and cleats.  Oh, well, I learned a long time ago that with these feet, if the shoe fits, buy it.
I'm going to see what the podiatrist says before I do anything but if having the right shoes means I can pedal pain free, I'm going to do it.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Saturday Stats

Miles ridden this week: 140
Average calories per day: 1926 (not counting the weekend because I was busy riding)
Pounds lost this week: 2.5
Current weight: 259.5 lbs (118) kg
Total weight loss since 3/26/10: 31.5 lbs.
Weeks until next big ride (here to Cumberland, RI and back): 4

Phew!  The 260 mark is a big one for me.  That is the weight that I tried to get below for three months last spring and just couldn't.  I was fully expecting to be stuck there until my next doctors appointment on July 20.  I'm really relieved!  That said, we'll see what happens next week.  If I've actually cleared this plateau, the next one is at around 230.  I haven't been under that one since my sister got married (almost nine years now).
My next planned ride isn't a big one, just under 40 miles each way but I'm riding it on my own bike, not on the tandem.  I've done almost all my riding on the tandem this spring and have gotten a little spoiled.  My goal now is to get myself up to the kind of mileage singly that I we were doing on the tandem.  I'm still planning to do a bunch of tandem riding.  Stef and I are talking about riding up to Old Orchard Beach for a weekend sometime in August.  That's a Century Ride and would be a huge milestone for us, but it will be nice to spend some time on my single bike as well.