biking to work

First Bike Ride of the Year!

I’m trying to think back to the last time I biked to work. I am pretty sure it’s been almost 2 years. I was biking to work during my first trimester but then morning sickness hit and I wasn’t feeling well enough to do it. I did not bike to work last summer at all because I was hauling a giant breast pump to work every day.

I’ve been thinking about getting back into it lately, but was struggling with how to figure out the logistics of dropping off Logan at daycare, trying to bike to work, picking him up, etc. We only have one bike rack (on Michael’s car) so I was trying to figure out the easiest way to do everything.

Tuesday morning Michael took Logan to daycare and I took his car to Sellwood and biked from there.

It was a really nice ride! The weather was the right temperature, the sun was out. The Springwater trail wasn’t crowded. I realized I forgot my bike gloves at home, but of all the things you can forget that’s a minor one. The bike shoes (since I clip in) are the worst thing to forget!

I decided to skip the Hawthorne Bridge. I thought I was running late but I had enough time so I took the Eastside esplanade to the Steel Bridge and then crossed the river there.

It was nice and pretty easy. There were only a few times on the ride that my legs felt fatigued and the small hills were a little hard. But for a first ride after so long off? Not bad!

This was the first time I used my new Garmin on a bike ride. I wore my Polar to compare the calorie burn and it was really accurate!

I biked 6.09 miles and burned 284 calories.

It’s kind of cool seeing the break down of the stats in the Garmin Connect app:

Here’s my speed and heart rate:

I felt pretty good after the ride. My goal for June, weather permitting, is to bike to work once a week. I’m hoping by the end of June I will be physically ready to bike from home. We’ll see.

I felt good all day at work. I packed enough food to keep me going. For a snack I had Fage Total Greek Yogurt with strawberries. For lunch I added a Flat-Out Low Carb Wrap to my usual turkey and cheese wrap thing (I figured adding a little bit of carbs to my day would help) with a hardboiled egg and some pickles. My afternoon snack was a 100 calorie, low carb protein shake and some watermelon.

Then I got ready to bike home!

Afternoon Ride

It was a hot day! It got up to almost 85 degrees.

I got stuck in 5 o’clock traffic downtown so I ended up getting off the bike and walking three blocks on the sidewalk to get down to the Morrison Bridge. It was definitely faster! Then I biked across the bridge. The Rose Festival rides were set up on the waterfront.

Taking the Morrison out of downtown is definitely the quickest and easiest way to bike–especially if you hate taking the Hawthorne Bridge like I do! The only downside is that the Morrison is steep and hard so your heart is pounding immediately!

I was coasting down the other side of the Morrison Bridge when I heard a weird sound on my bike. I stopped to check and didn’t see anything obvious so I kept going. (Still not sure what happened–Michael is going to look at it this weekend.)

I biked by OMSI and then picked up the Springwater Trail back to Sellwood. And it was H.A.R.D. UGH! I was biking into a hot head-wind the ENTIRE ride back. I honestly felt like I was biking in slow-motion.

The ride home was shorter but harder — 4.78 miles with 290 calories burned. I compared it to my Polar and it was very close, again. Here’s the Polar:

I picked up Logan and when we got home Michael and I took Bella and Logan for a 1 mile walk in the neighborhood. Then it was bath time for the baby and bedtime. Michael and I had dinner outside on the deck and I hit the wall hard. Seriously. Like 7:45pm came around and I felt like I was melting into my patio chair and getting up to clean the dishes and get ready for bed sounded like a monumental task.

That biking was hard today!!

Totals:

Mileage: 10.87

Calories Burned: 584 (plus extra for the walks I did too)

No shame here, I was in bed and ready to pass out at 8:30!!

My Weight Loss Story – Part 1

My Weight Loss Story – Part 1

by Michael

 

Every year, I set personal fitness related goals for myself. In the past, my goals have been around cycling a certain amount of miles. I have a back injury that rears its ugly head from time to time and this has lead me to conclude that if I keep doing the same things, I’ll keep getting the same results. As a result, I’ve decided not to ride my bike everyday or do any of the same exercises on consecutive days.

Last year, I pedaled 2,100 miles over several commutes from my home to work and back. For all of my efforts, I lost zero pounds last year. Losing weight wasn’t the focus of riding all those miles but you’d think that I’d be able to shed weight without thinking about it due to the biking but that just wasn’t the case. I concluded that while I enjoyed exercising, the reason I hadn’t lost any weight was because of my diet.

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My goals this year are to be able to do 100 push-ups in one set and do 10 pull-ups in one set. When I say things like, “I’m going to do more push-ups this year” it holds no water because there’s nothing holding me accountable. I need an amount and a time frame in order to be successful. At the start of this year, I was able to do 15 push-ups and zero pull-ups. My goals seemed lofty for sure but I’m a numbers guy and measurables like this are what drive me to success. I just needed to figure out how I was going to be able to accomplish it.

My first goal was to work my way up to being able to do 100 push-ups in a day. On the day of the Super Bowl, I was able to do 100 push-ups in a single day for the first time in my life. I did them in 5 sets of 20 over about a half hour period. This was a major achievement for me and it was the first time I believed that I would be able to accomplish the push-up goal this year.

Then I was able to do them in 4 sets of 25 push-ups. Shortly after that, 30, 30, 30, 10. Last month, I was able to do them in just 3 sets – 35, 35, 30. The next step from this point is challenging and I’ve concluded that in order to be able to do 100 push-ups in just 2 sets, I will need to do 2 things. 1 – I will have to do more than 100 push-ups in a day and 2 – I will have to lose weight. For every 10 lbs I lose, that’s 1000 fewer pounds that I will have to push-up over the set of 100. Tipping the power to weight ratio in my favor was obviously going to be necessary in order to be successful.

Just like I said earlier about exercising, I need a weight loss goal. I cannot just say to myself that I want to lose weight and have it stick. I just don’t operate like that. At the start of every month, I assess my progress and set a new monthly goal for myself and I get on a scale weekly to monitor my progress. I don’t know how much weight in total I want to lose, I just assume that I’ll know it when I get there. I know that I’m looking for an optimal power-to-weight ratio that allows me to accomplish my push-up and pull-up goals.

What I don’t do is count my calories. I don’t do this because it constantly makes me feel bad. It makes me feel oppressed, like I’m doing something bad that needs constant monitoring when in reality, I’m eating food and I don’t want to beat myself up for doing that. I know what’s good for me to eat and what isn’t. I don’t need to quantify all of the calories I’m consuming.

The other piece to this is that I exercise. A lot. But this isn’t the reason why I’ve lost weight. I’ve lost weight because of the diet. My exercise looks like this – M/W/F, I bike about 21 miles to/from work. T/Th/Sa, I run in my neighborhood. I created a running goal for myself this year of being able to run 6 miles in under an hour. I’m currently up to 4.7 miles in about 45 minutes. All of this is in addition to my push-up and pull-up goals, which I’m working on each twice a week. I wear a heart rate monitor to track this data and on average, I’m burning 6000 calories a week while exercising. Unlike tracking the calories that I consume, tracking the calories that I burn is empowering. It’s proof that I’m working hard and that I’m getting better as I’m able to run further and my per-mile pace drops. This also allows me to not feel any guilt when I want to drink a glass of wine with dinner because I’ve earned it.

So where am I at now with my push-up goal? I’m up to doing 160 (8 x 20) or 150 (6 x 25) twice a week. For the pull-up goal, I’m just doing as many as I can with the assistance of resistance bands over a few sets. The best part about these goals is that I’m not concerned about failure at all. If I do fail, I will have done thousands of push-ups and pull-ups this year and that itself is a huge personal victory for me. I’ll post an update in January and will let you know if I was successful or not in achieving my goals.

Part 2 will be posted tomorrow and will detail the food part of how I lost the weight.