With this post…

…I officially declare myself back in the mix.

This almost feels like a confessional… Forgive me blogging runners, for I have slacked… It’s been 6 months since my last blog post…

So much has happened… and so little.  Essentially, I gained so much weight and achieved so few goals.  But that’s life.  And it got in the way last year.  I’m not going to feel  sad or guilty about it.  I did the best I could with what life handed me.  From this point all I can do is promise to get better.

I have always said family is first and that was tested this year.  Injuries and illness to my wonderful wife needed to be dealt with and yes, they took the whole year.  This isn’t anyone’s fault.  It just is what it is.  Something that had to be dealt with and other things had to be sacrificed.  I wouldn’t do it any different if I had to do it again.  Like I said, family comes first.

The net result was my fault.  I let myself go.  I ate poorly.  I turned to beer and wine to relax me from the stress.  Not to excess or abuse, but definitely more than I needed to.  It’s an easy way to relax… And put on lots of weight.  To say I had little to no self control would be an understatement.  Too many trips to Taco Bell.  Too many liquid painkillers from our friends at Boulevard Brewery… and others.  These misgivings added nearly 30 pounds to my body.  Even though I worked out fairly consistently, the wave of bad food and good beer overwhelmed my body and it couldn’t keep up.

But that’s enough of that.  Enough yesterday.

Today, my wonderful wife is better.  Not 100% yet, but back to life and doing the things she likes to do.  I have to say that there is a fair amount of guilt involved when you are both active and then one goes down.  It doesn’t make it any easier to leave for hours at a time when a sick spouse is left to try to rest and take care of two boisterous and active children.  We are now back to sharing workout time and she is even running again.  To say I am thrilled for her is an understatement.

My son and I started lifting weights fairly regularly at the gym in late summer, which has helped my spirits (but not necessarily my weight) quite a bit.  He is doing very well and helps motivate me, for which I am grateful.  I will be changing the way I work out with the new year, but definitely plan to keep it up.  The time spent with him is as valuable to me as the workout is… 😉

I have never felt right about the triathlon bike I bought.  A $5000 Ferrari of a bike that was light, extreme and just too damn much bike for what I was doing with it.  I never rode it more than 100 miles at a time and never averaged more than 250 miles a week on it.  I didn’t like the way it climbed and it had other issues with design that I grew to hate.

I’m going to be talking a lot about need versus want over then next few months and this is the first example of where what I wanted… wasn’t what I needed.  This was just too much bike.  Every time I rode it I felt like I needed to put another 100 miles on it in order to get my money’s worth.  So, in early December, I sold it.  Here is where my logic gets fuzzy.

A lot of things about road riding and training around CoMo turn me off.  Extremely narrow, poorly designed and maintained roads, drivers with really crappy, “we own the road” attitudes, and a contingent of bike enthusiasts, albeit small, with just as cocky and poor an attitude toward cars.  All of which just made me uncomfortable every time I rode.  So my road miles faded.  Many was the time I set up my trainer and bike on the deck on a beautiful evening instead of riding.  Just because it was less stressful.

But the one thing I did love very much was mountain biking.  I had a decent bike but I found I was riding it far more than my Ferrari bike.  So the logic went… if you love mountain biking, and it’s less stressful, and you get a great workout, AND you don’t get yelled at or dropped on a routine basis… why not get a GOOD mountain bike, do most of your training on it and then just get a decent road/tri bike for races and the occasional group ride…?  So that was what I did.  The selling didn’t go like I wanted to and some money issues came up that prevented me from buying both bikes at the same time, but in early December I bought a full suspension mountain bike and put my name on a decent tri bike that I will be selling a kidney to pay for later… 😉

But seriously, I have already ridden (or more importantly WANTED TO RIDE) my new bike more in the last 3 weeks than I road the Ferrari in 6 months.  The Ferrari has a new home in a warm state where it can be ridden all the time by a 6 time Ironman finisher.  It has even motivated me to ride more stationary at the gym.  Even though it may screw up my spring schedule because I don’t have a road bike to ride yet, I still think it was the right thing to do.  Again, what I WANT has to match what I NEED.

So what about tomorrow (and the rest of the year)?

I’ve gotta say, I feel so much better about this year than I did last year.  I loaded up my goals last year with things I didn’t think I could achieve in hopes it would motivate me.  Then when everything fell apart, I got depressed.  What I WANTED was too much.  What I needed was reality.  And I got it.

So this year, the goals are far more simple.

Lose 35 pounds (goal weight 175lb)

Yup… that’s it.

Now, getting there requires some things.  These are the objectives so far:

  • Stop drinking any kind of alcohol
  • Control portions
  • Avoid extra or “pre” eating
  • Eat better on the road (a HUGE challenge)
  • 2lb per week weight loss (average)

One simple challenge.  365 days without alcohol.  The extra calories are obvious.  But my body clearly holds on to calories from alcohol tighter than other types.  I can binge eat and not suffer nearly as much weight gain as I do from a few beers a night.

Portion control is obvious.  I am a horrible “pre” eater.  I come home hungry so while dinner is cooking I grab chips.  Not good.  The road is my enemy.  I travel a lot for work and when the town you are in only has one (greasy spoon) restaurant… you eat there.  Or if the hotel is across the street from Taco Bell… You get the picture.

I’m shooting for 2lb a week.  I think at first I will probably drop a bit more than that, but the last 5 may take a month so I have to look at the big picture.  With this target in mind, it will take 4 1/2 (let’s say 5) months to get to 175lb, which will put me at the end of May.  This gives me the summer to train at my target weight for whatever I want to do.

So what do I want to do?

Goal races make it easier for me to train because they give me a deadline so I will be looking for one or two big races of some sort.  Maybe one in the May/June time frame and one in the early fall.  I have to be careful about money so I won’t be able to do a ton of races so I need to pick some fun ones to do.  I have a friend who wants to team up for an offroad triathlon so that may be one race and I have another friend who wants to team up to train for a half ironman.  I’m very excited about this but more than a little intimidated.  If I do this, it may be early fall (like Branson or Redman) to give me time to a.) get a tri bike and b.) meet my weight goal.  Because I won’t do anything over a half marathon again unless I am 175lb or less.  It’s just not healthy.

I won’t be able to just drop everything and go to a race this year.  For the first few months all my race money needs to go into the bike fund.  I may only do one race between now and April.  Considering I did 5 last year, that’s a bit of a drop off, but hopefully the training and focus on weight loss will help fill the void.

The bottom line is… I feel like I’m back.  As a friend said… it’s time to make 2012 my bitch.  And I will be back in here on a regular basis to keep myself in line.  I am also going back to using this blog to keep track of my progress.  So with that:

Starting weight: 213lb.

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