Let’s begin this!

January 4th, 2016
by Kevin

(This is a continuation of the post listed here Part 1)

So, how are we going to start on this road of better health? For starters, we’re going to be learning a few things and a few terms that are thrown around all the time. Like anyone REALLY knows what those mean. I mean, come on… (OK, I’m kidding. I know what they mean. And you will too, IF you follow me through this.)

First word: As was mentioned in the prior blog post. Consistency. There are several definitions for this word, but the one I’m talking about is this: Doing something the same way, every time with very little to no deviations. –An example of this would be if you’re going to weigh yourself on the scale, do it at the same time of day, in the same manner. So, if you are in your PJs when you weigh the first time: Make sure you’re in your PJs from that point on. If you weigh yourself right before getting in the shower the first time, make sure you DON’T wait till after the shower the next. This is pretty important, as you (meaning I in this case) can see as much as 1 to 6 pounds difference throughout the course of the day.  (Tip: Pick a time, and weigh yourself EVERYDAY at that same time. For me, this is right after I wake up, and right before I take a shower. Start recording these numbers. Don’t skip. It’s VERY important. Over time, you’ll begin to notice that your weight will go up as much as it goes down. (There is a reason for this. Don’t panic. What we’re looking for here is just a series of numbers that we can look at over the course of your journey.)).

Next word: Calorie. What is it? Well, it’s the energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water through 1 °C. –Errrrr, what? Now we’re getting all sciencey and stuff… Really???? Who cares? Basically it’s this. It’s just a unit of measurement that has been standardized. Again, you look puzzled. What if I told you it was like an inch, or a foot? Those are both units of measurement that you understand right? If I told you something was 2 feet long, you’d be able to understand that. Or if your hands should be held 6 inches above the heater, you’d understand what I meant. A calorie is no different. Here is where a lot of diet and fitness sites will tell you wrong. You see things like “a calorie from candy is much worse than a calorie from lean protein”. This is simply NOT the case. It’s a calorie (Think inches, if something is an inch away from you, it’s an inch away. Doesn’t matter if it’s a doughnut, or a screwdriver. it’s still just an inch away.) Why is that important? Because a calorie is something that’s already been standardized. So again. No difference between a calorie of protein and one of ice cream. It’s already been broken down to a standard unit of measurement. Another way to state it is this: A calorie is a unit of measurement for energy whereas an inch is a unit of measurement for distance? Clear??? Please understand this as it’s going to become VERY important later on during this. (Sidenote: I’m not saying that candy is just as good for you as protein. My point here is that the term CALORIE is a unit of measurement only, and that we’re going to use it as just that. A measurement.)

Final word for today: Exercise This is a hard one! In the way I want you to think of it, exercise means this: A means to burn calories. Doesn’t matter what you’re doing. If you’re doing something other than normal day to day things. We’re going to call it exercise. See, told you that was a tough one!

OK, so we now have a few new words that we can use correctly when talking to each other. If you didn’t learn the words… Ummm, re-read the above. If this is your second or third time reading this, and you STILL don’t understand the words. Maybe we should talk. Seriously, call me.

That’s about all I’ve got time for tonight, but we’ll be moving much quicker after this: I promise. There is something you’re going to need to know though. Change is HARD. But when broken down into small bite sized chunks, it’s pretty easy to begin. Also, those tiny bite sized changes can make a HUGE difference. So, you may not realize your entire goal right away, but let’s say you setup 7 things to do to achieve your ultimate goal. If you only do 2 of them, you may not get where you want to go, but you WILL move in that direction. (Sometimes that’s all the motivation you’ll need to progress to do the next couple of items on your goal list!)

Until next time.

Kevin

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You mentioned changes?

January 3rd, 2016
by Kevin

So, as the title suggests: I’ve recently gotten back into fitness and cycling. (I know if you’re reading this blog, you already know that, but again – My blog, my rules. So, I’m going to write about it anyway 😉 )

“What kind of changes have you made Kevin?” Well, I’m glad you asked! For starters. I’ve dropped from 230lbs to 190lbs. Now, I WAS down at 185-186, but hey: We did just go through Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays! That being said, it’s time to put the focus back on getting leaner and lighter again.

Many of you know that I used to be REALLY big into lifting. Because of that, it’s not an easy thing (physically, or mentally) for me to work at losing weight instead of putting more weight on. But, dealing with the constant reminders that I’m not a young pup anymore, has shown me that it’s time to trade in all extra bulk for a more targeted physique.  With that said, I’d like to take you through some of the things I’ve learned over the years (back when I was training, and more recently as well). A lot of these “things” may (or may not) contradict what you’ll read or see on a lot of the so called “diet” or fitness-e type sites. “Why?” you might ask. Mostly because the whole point of sites like that, or diets that are all over the web: Is to try to get you to buy something. That said, let me sell you a pencil that if you use it just 15 seconds a day, will make you wealthy, skinny, and immortal. No seriously. I have one around here someplace… NOT.

OK. So what should we talk about? How about for starters we talk about what works best. Is it weight training? Is it cycling? Is it running a half marathon a week? Is it dieting? Is it giving up food in exchange for some poor rabbits meal? The answer to all these (despite what you’ll read elsewhere is NO!) So what is the secret then? Well, it’s several things. The most important one though is this: Consistency! Honestly, that’s it. If you’re consistent in what you’re doing, it’s going to lead you someplace. If you’re not, there is no telling where you’ll end up. Now, what you’re consistent about is what’s going to make the difference.

Let’s say you eat like crud, and sit in front of the TV all day. If you do this constantly, guess what. You’re going to end up looking and feeling like… Well, crud. News flash though. Get up and move around once or twice, maybe even go to the gym, and guess what. You’re still going to look and feel like crud. Why? Because you can’t change something in a day, or week. This is one of the reasons diets don’t work. Sure you can fix your eating, but most people start to lose weight then because they’ve been starving themselves, they end up going back to bad habits. Next thing you know: Plop! Back in the chair, and back on the snacks.  There are other problems with diets that I’ll talk about later as well.

“So are you saying that you can’t change overnight?” Yes, and no. Can you change your actions overnight? Yes. Should you expect to see the result of that change overnight? No. Here’s the deal. You didn’t just wake up one day and find yourself out of shape. You weren’t just looking in the mirror at some trim young person when POOF a heavy weight took their place. No, the change took place over a period of time. So, expect it to be reversed over the course of time as well. Again, I KNOW this because I’ve lived it myself.

Over the next several blog posts, I’ll TRY to map out what works best for me, but also give YOU the tools you’ll need to make the same sort of transition yourself. Here’s the deal. As much as you hate to hear it, it’s all MATH. Does that mean I’m going to be asking you to find the value of X? No, but the nice thing about math is this: 1+1 is ALWAYS equaled to 2 –Unless it’s 11 😉 That being said, it’s a PROVEN fact that if you do certain things, you’ll ALWAYS get the same results. It CAN NOT be any other way.

Until next time,

Kevin

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Here I go again…

January 3rd, 2016
by Kevin

SO. I tried to write in this blog last time, and it didn’t work out so well. So, why do it again? Because. I just wanted to. My blog, my rules. See how that works 😉

What to write about. Well, in the past, I’ve always written about my cycling. I don’t really see a reason to change that, but I think I may expand upon it a little. You see, over the past 5-6 months now I’ve gone through some serious changes that I think could be used to help others out. What kind of changes? Well, for starters, getting back into shape after blowing up to a whopping 230 pounds. The journey isn’t an easy one, but it’s one that I definitely could help you on if you’re willing to listen.

So, that being said: Here’s to a great 2016!

 

Kevin

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I’m back in the Saddle again…

January 31st, 2012
by Kevin

Wow… It’s been over a year since I last “put pen to paper” and wrote in this silly little blog thingy (yes, that’s an engineering term…)

Well, a lot has happened since the last update back on October 10th of 2010. I’ve moved to a new house, left my old riding buddies (Lawrence Bike Club), and done countless other things that kept me away from riding. But, as the title of this message states. I’m back! Hopefully writing in this will keep me inspired, and motivated.

Before continuing though, I’d like to thank a few people. Reading your periodic updates, really keeps me motivated. One, Amanda Springer. You’re awesome. Keep training hard, and more selfishly for myself, keep posting about it.  Next, Brian Hardee. I love reading about your riding progress. It makes me really want to get out there and burn up some miles myself.

Now, on to today’s topic. What’s it like to get back on the bike after taking more than a year off. (Sure, there were a few rides here and there last year, but nothing that I’d call frequent enough to count.) Well, truth be told, it’ kinda stunk; yet was also pretty nice. Let me explain.

About a month ago, I figured I’d go back the the gym and start a spin class. Those are always a great way to get into shape quickly. Well, turned out that I had to have some work done on the back, and could only afford to do one or the other. I chose the back. BUT, I didn’t want to quit the idea of the spinning, so I started to spin on my own. Was going good, but work got in the way, and it’s pretty hard to push when it’s just yourself. So, that was spotty.  Enter nice January weather. Some of the guys at work decided it was nice enough to ride, and asked me if I wanted to startup the lunchtime rides again. Of course I said SURE!!!!

First problem with this. I took the rack off my car expecting a winter that wouldn’t involve riding. Oh well, I can cram the bike in the back seat. So, I did. Managed to get it to work without any problems. Err, next problem. I hadn’t done a tuneup on the bike since before the Octogenta (100 mile ride with Keith, and the last update to the blog.) It needed a little work, but I figured I’d ride it anyway.

Now, the guy that convinced me to bring my bike in, failed to bring his in. There were a couple of others that did, but they’ve been riding/training all last summer and most of the winter to date. Oh well, how bad could it be. OUCH!!! That’s how bad!

The ride started out pretty normal, getting used to the balance of things, and trying to remember how to operate the bike’s computer. Then we hit the first hill… Now before the ride, I had noticed a slight headache coming on. I figured it would go away once I got out into the nice clean air. WRONG. BAMM!!!! FULL ON NUKE invasion in my head. The left side of my head was pounding and making my vision swim. That sucked! Needless to say, I turned off the jets and let the others ride on out front. After clearing the top of the hill, I began to feel a little better. I figured I’d go ahead and catch up and try to stay in the slipstream. That worked up until the next hill. BOOM BOOM BOOM… There goes my heart rate, and that stinking war in my head again. I knew this wasn’t going to be a fun ride.

I figured that there was no way I was going to be any good, so again, I turned off the jets. LONG downhill run ended at a stop light that I missed. (Meaning everyone else got it while it was green, I hit it at red.) Hmmm… Should I try to catch them? It’s all pretty flat for the next 3 miles or so. OK. I go to hammering again. BUT AGAIN, my stinking head was a pounding… At that point I said screw it and just hung back… Now I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it back up the big hill. Not to bore you with the details of the remainder of the ride, but I can say there was point when I started thinking it was time to just sell it and be done with it.

FAST FORWARD 24 Hours…

During the night, I found out that a good friend of mine found out he’s got pancreatic cancer, and may not live much longer. The outlook is pretty poor at this point. That got me thinking about how I used to dedicate all my rides.  Needless to say. Jeff, this rides for you!

Today, my headache was completely gone. SO, I decided I’d push where I couldn’t yesterday. MAN what a difference. Yes, my legs were tired, but without the pounding in my head it was much better.  Every time I started to slack off, I’d think of my friend and push the pedals just a little harder (or faster depending where I was.) So, total for today. 14 miles. I can safely say, today’s ride was as good, as yesterdays ride was bad.

No longer are there thoughts of quitting the cycling scene, but instead thoughts of the next ride are already filling my head.

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Octoginta BABY!

October 11th, 2010
by Kevin

Finally! I’ve been waiting all year for this ride. So, it’s the Friday before the ride and I’m sitting at work with all the guys. Everyone is joking, and making wise cracks about how the weather is going to turn to poo on Sunday (the day of the ride) No worries here though, I’ve done checked, and know it’s going to be good. Unfortunately, we have no idea what the planned route is going to be. So, of course, here come the wise cracks about getting lost… Ah the joys of having “FRIENDS”. My only response was this: “If I get lost and have to ride an extra 5-10 miles, well I’m going to say screw it and just do 100!”

Fast forward to Sunday.

The ride is supposed to start on Mass street in downtown Lawrence, so I show up about an hour early to get my ride packet and map. WOW! They changed the ride this year to make it one of the hardest Octogintas ever. (Basically, they searched out hills and added them.) Oh well. Keith from work met me at the start, as we had already planned on staying pretty close during the ride. We also ran into several of the Saturday morning Muffin riders.

I’m not going to bore you with 100 miles of recaps, but I will say it was a good ride. The first SAG stop had a good breakfast of eggs and waffles. Leaving there though, we did miss our turn so we ended up back tracking about 4.5 miles (so 9 extra miles). Then, shortly after that, I had a flat. No big deal, just took about 15 minutes to get it all changed out, and back on the road again. From there, it was rather uneventful. We stopped at all but one of the SAG stops and refilled our water bottles.  About 70 miles in, we pulled into the lunch time SAG and had a good bowl of soup. (Kinda craving that now as a matter of fact.)

Up until this point, we’d been making pretty good time, with an average speed just under 19 mph, but Keith was starting to burn out, so we slowed it down. Those hills were really wearing on both of us. I got to thinking and remembering my work time jests at this point and figured I’d bring up the topic. So, I mentioned to Keith that we were going to end up closer to 90 miles than 80. I told him that I thought I was going to go ahead and ride on past the finish to get an extra 10 more miles. That way, I could call it a century! After much prodding, he agreed to ride it with me.

So, to make the long story short. We finished off the Octoginta, then added some extra miles to make it an even 100. All in all, a great day!

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Recent rides…

October 3rd, 2010
by Kevin

I’ve been riding a lot lately. But, I’m not really much on writing, so I’ve been letting this blog kinda fall apart. So, I’ll sum it all up like this. During the week, I’ve been putting in 15-16 mile rides at lunch, but finishing off the week with 60 milers. This week, I actually stepped it up a bit and put in 70 on Saturday.

It was so windy, that it wasn’t even funny! 20 mph winds can really take a lot out of you. But, I had a friend from work come out to Lawrence, so we pushed through it for a good ride. We started by doing the Muffin with the group, only we were much slower than the guys I normally ride with. On the way back, one of the newer riders was bonking at the barn. So, I turned back and picked him up. Basically, I stayed in front of him the whole way back so he didn’t have to face the full force of the wind.

After we got back to the park, Keith and I headed north out of town. Was a good ride. We turned off at the Perry exit and headed south. From there, we turned west and headed around Clinton lake. Was a very good time, and a nice prep ride for next week. Next week is the Octoginta, so it should be fun!

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9/18/10 Muffin Ride plus MORE!

September 18th, 2010
by Kevin

WOW!!!! Today I set a new record!  To the lake and back with an avg of 25 mph! Let me tell you no-riding folks. That’s MOVING!

I left the house this morning with the mindset that I was going to step up the miles in prep for the 80 mile Octagenta ride coming up next month. So, off I went hoping to run into a few of the other riders on the way to the park, but thinking I was running late. Needless to say, I was pushing pretty hard, and figured I’d end up burning myself out before I even started the ride. Turns out, that I wasn’t late after all, so I had a few minutes to rest up before the ride began. (None of the guys I normally ride with were there today.)

We started out at a pretty good clip, and I somehow managed to get stuck up front again. That’s ok, I was thinking I’d find a good place to retreat and see how long I could hang on. Turned out not to be that bad though. I did get stuck doing a pull at the worst possible place (up the hill by the dam), but I was determined that I wasn’t going to let them get away from me this time. Shocker, no racers sprinted past me at this point. So I held on for another half mile or so, then decided that I’d pulled long enough. Moving to the side, about 15 people passed by me and I realized that I was at the back already. Wow, we had already fractured the group. I moved in behind the last rider and sucked up to his wheel.

Before too long, there were several people coming back from the front and falling in behind me. We were cruising along at a pretty good pace. Ok, here it comes, the barn where everyone starts to sprint. I hear several people call out that the coast is clear to cross the street, so I glance back and make my way over to the other side of the street. Make the turn, and stand up and sprint hard! YES! I’m good. Still in the pack. Repeating the process in the town of Lonestar, I figured: I might just make it after all. Sure enough, several people even mentioned that I was riding stronger than normal.

About a mile out from the lake, the Velotek race team were all positioned up front, so they tried to crack the pack.  Up to 32-34 mph! Here comes the first hill into the lake, and I’m sitting about fifth in line. Now, as many of you know, I’m NOT a hill climber. Hitting this stupid thing at 34 mph, I’m pretty worn out. But, I stood up and hit it with everything I had left.  Pretty much got passed by 90% of the riders that were left at that point. Hey, you can’t win them all! I managed to keep on the tail end of the group all the way around to the camp grounds though.

A small rest, and a pack of much needed energy gu, and I’m ready to roll again. A few of the riders started clipping into their bikes, so I too made the move. We moseyed around the lake watching the slower riders pulling in.

Next thing I knew, we’re heading back down that first hill with the whole group of fasties on our tails.  OK, this is where it all becomes a blur.  27+ the entire way back. There were times when we were single file, times when we were yo-yoing, and times when it was just an all out, stand up, sprint. I actually hit 37 mph at one point (with no hills). It was a crazy ride.

Coming back into town, I rode with the president of the club and one of the other board members. Both said they couldn’t believe how much I’ve improved in the last few weeks. Woo Hoo! They asked if I was going to Panara, so I figured I’d swing in. (Had me a power breakfast sandwich -YUM!).  Then the three of us hooked up to ride back to their houses. Dropping them off, I decided that I wasn’t done. So, I took off north of town and headed towards Perry.

The ride get’s pretty boring from here (it’s just me pedaling so…), so I’m just going to write that I rode out a ways, then turned back towards Lawrence. All in all, I finished 58 miles. Would have tried to push out the last two to make 60, but I was pretty much beat up by that time.

Till next time! Livestrong!

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9/14/2010 Lunch time Ride

September 14th, 2010
by Kevin

Hmmmm… Today sucked. It started out well, but then turned bad.

Let’s see, from the beginning. I brought my old bike into work today (Fuji). Not that I was going to ride it, but I figured I’d let people see it -in case they were interested in buying it. So, lunch time comes around and I figure I’ll take if for a spin. Na, sticking with good old Felt.

Off we go (it’s just Me, John, and Keith), over the tracks and up the first hill. John and Keith must be REALLY worn out, because neither of them put forth very much effort. At the first light, I called them on this. So now, it’s kind of a mad dash to make it to the first turn first. I let the boys play, knowing full well, that I could pass them on the first hill (Triplets in reverse.)

I made the turn, and it looks like John is set to sprint the hill. Keith is trying, but you can tell he’s worn out for some reason. I pass on by Keith with John in my crosshairs. (Now’s when it turns bad…) Pulling along side of him, I start to mention something about Keith to him, when all of a sudden WACK! My pedals completely freeze up and won’t move. Of course this causes me to launch skyward, as I was pedaling REALLY hard. Needless to say, I’m clipped onto the bike, so I don’t fly off, but instead smash right into the handlebars with my kneecap. OUCH, but no time to think about it yet. Hitting the bars with my knee does the same thing as if you ran up and kicked the front tire. The bike starts to go down. Because I was on a pretty steep hill, I had no forward momentum any more. This helped me, as I was able to sort of bunny hop the bike back upright before it fell all the way to the ground, but I still wasn’t able to pedal. Five or so seconds go by while I try and free the stuck chain that is binding the cranks. Out of time. I bail off the bike, keeping it from hitting the ground.

Upon investigation, I discovered that I’ve snapped a pin in the chain, causing it to bind up. This sucks! (Keith and John both come up to help, but none of us brought a chain tool.) Needless to say, I bent and pried at the stupid link till I was able to get it so that it would at least rotate with the chain. From here, I was able to limp the bike back to work.

NOW, not being one to miss out on a ride, I went ahead and grabbed the Fuji and headed out for a quick recovery ride. (Was unable to log it though, as I don’t have a computer on this bike.)

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9/11/10 Muffin Ride

September 11th, 2010
by Kevin

Today was a good ride. Out and back to the lake with an average speed of 21mph.

Today I rode for Gabriel Goshorn. Gabriel was a 14-15 month old boy that was killed this week. His daddy is currently serving our country in Iraq, but is being flown home. Without going into any detail, the man that is responsible has been arrested, and will be charged with capital murder.

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8/30/2010 Lunch Ride

August 30th, 2010
by Kevin

Not much to say about today’s ride. I felt like poo, so it was just a straight out and back trip. 16.16 miles, with no major hills except the triplets. Keith rode with me.

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