flat tire

Married to My Workout

I remember reading something in a magazine about losing weight that really stuck with me for some reason. It said “Don’t get married to your workout.” Basically this means change things up as much as possible. Don’t do the same workout every day. Try new exercises, increase the weight and resistance, change the mileage, try a different activity–anything.

When I read that article I scoffed. What I was doing was working. It worked well. I lost weight, I kept it off, I was getting stronger and faster. I was definitely getting a fitness level that I was proud of. And I liked what I was doing: I loved swimming and wasn’t going to reduce it.

In the end, I did end up changing some things around. Previously my swim sessions were 3 days a week. I was finding that I didn’t have enough time for other activities and reduced that to 2 days a week. It’s been that way for years now and as summer has arrived and I need to increase my cycling miles, I’ve reduced it to 1 day a week. But that’s not all–my swimming sessions were the same. I was most definitely married to my routine. I had three different swim routines that I liked to do and rotated between them but there wasn’t much variation beyond that. Was I doing intervals? Not as often as I should have been. What does this lead to? Plateaus.

When I first started doing a serious weight lifting program when I had to stop running for awhile, I lost weight almost immediately. In that first month I lost 5 pounds and several inches. It had been years since I lost 5 pounds in one month. In the two years I’ve been weight lifting I haven’t seen a change like that since.

I’ve been in a rut lately with my workouts. All winter long I was focusing on my weight lifting, swimming 2 days a week and going to spin class once a week. Now that the weather is better my goal is to bike to work 3 days a week. So far I’ve only managed 2 days but that’s partly weather related. Doing 66 miles a week (3 commutes) would be a major shake up to my routine. I’m looking forward to it and I won’t lie–a little part of me is hoping this change will jump start some weight loss.

When Michael was consistently biking every day to work he lost a lot of weight. Granted, he’s a man and they seem to have it easier when it comes to melting the fat, but I REALLY hope I see some movement on the scale if I’m doing 66 miles a week!

I HATE changing my workout routine! It’s so comfortable. It feels familiar. I’ve been able to maintain my weight loss by sticking to my schedule. But it’s time. I MUST change things up!

So how did I change things up recently?

Mileage, baby, mileage. In one week I was able to get my biking miles up thanks to starting the week off with a nearly 40 mile ride. The 40 mile ride was pretty good, at least for most of it and only a struggle those last 10 miles. Happily, I had no soreness the next day. It was almost as if I had done nothing!


A few days later, I biked to work. I was running late that morning so I stepped it up and went faster than I normally do. I also changed up my routine a bit–I changed my route to avoid that intersection that makes me crazy every time. The new route was so much better–a tad longer, but so much better! Morning Stats: 547 calories burned.

It was a hot ride home. I was a bit sore from the previous day’s gym session but not cycling sore from my 40 miles. I had my eye on the prize: would I be able to do 80 miles this week??

I was doing well and then as soon as I hit the entrance of the Springwater trail near downtown, I heard a loud pop and then I fishtailed to the side of the trail. Yep. Tire exploded. Literally. It wasn’t quite as scary as the first time it happened, but it still sucked. Thankfully it didn’t happen downtown in traffic or somewhere I could have gotten hurt.

I pulled off into the shade and texted my Knight in Shining Armor. We are currently completely out of tubes so even if I had the savvy to change my bike tire, I didn’t have anything to change it to. Also lame.

I’d barely gone 2 miles when it happened. I was bummed. I stood in the shade and waited for Michael to pick me up. It was a disappointing ending to my day and cut my training short for the rest of the week.

Total mileage for the day cut short: 14.24

Total miles for this training week: 50.84

Total miles for the last 7 days: 73.44

Sigh! Here’s to next week being better.

QUESTION: Are you married to your workout and if so, how do you change it? Can you change a bike tire?

A Slow Start

The day began cool and overcast with the promise of 75 degrees and perhaps some sunshine. I took last week off from biking to work because of the rain (back to spin class) so I was looking forward to getting back outside. My morning began early and I felt groggy and tired–completely unmotivated to get out of bed. But I did. And I ate the last pancake from the weekend with one fried egg on top (super fast breakfast) and managed to get out the door on time.

Check out my bike makeover! Michael rewrapped my handlebars with new red tape that is very soft (and clean). I think it looks great.

My ride started slowly; my legs felt lethargic and tired. I was slow on the hills and felt fatigued but eventually it got better. I can’t say that my morning ride was fantastic. Several times a car just missed me. It was like I was wearing an invisible cape or something. I hate that!

I also got stuck at an intersection that I despise. It never senses bikes, so the light never changes. No cars were coming behind me to trigger the sensor and I just missed the light. I was really annoyed. I tried the crosswalk and the whole thing was a debacle. I should have just waited for a car to come and trigger it! I hate that intersection. It added at least 5 minutes to my commute. I need to find another route.

Another thing, my phone decided to restart on itself mid-ride so I don’t think the mileage is accurate. I think it’s really 11.47 miles.

I think that 34 mph was downhill. Hehehe I am definitely not that fast. Luckily, the wind was at my back on the Springwater Trail so I was able to make up some time. The one good thing about my ride was that I spotted a deer on the trail! He was beautiful, young and alert. I wish I’d gotten a better photo.

Morning Stats:
Time: 53:38
Calories Burned: 551
Mileage:  10.47?

My snacks for the day: apple in the morning, bagel thin sandwich with cream cheese and ham, crackers and cottage cheese for my afternoon snack.

Afternoon Commute

The day warmed up nicely and the sun came out. I don’t know what the temperature was but it was pleasant. Luckily I made it out of downtown quickly and crossed the Morrison Bridge in no time at all (I hate biking downtown, have I mentioned that?) and passed by the Rose Festival carnival that is in town. I felt okay other than my lower back being tight for the first few miles of my ride.

For the rest of the bike ride home, I played the game “Do I Have a Flat Tire Or Don’t I?”. I hate this game. My ride was bumpy, the tires felt like they weren’t quite right, but every time I stopped and checked, the tires were fine. Ride a few miles, “do I have a flat tire?”, check, nope it’s fine, ride a few miles, “it’s totally flat”, nope. I got through the annoying intersections that cause me anxiety without the same issues as I had that morning and made my way to the quiet road to my house.

Remember all that construction and detours on my new route? Well they are finally paving! The roads were shut down temporarily while they were laying the black top but the workers flagged me through as long as I stayed on the sidewalks. I thanked them and zipped on my way on the sidewalk. I am totally looking forward to biking on that nice, new road!

I wanted to get a picture of me in front of our beautiful blooming rose bush but my aim wasn’t that great. I had a good ride home and immediately had a small glass of chocolate milk when I got home.

Afternoon Stats:
Time: 52 minutes
Calories Burned: 473
Distance: 10.46 miles
Average Speed: 13.5 mph
Fastest Speed: 38 mph 

Dinner was a boneless pork chop, sauteed kale from our garden with shallots and cottage cheese for me. (Currently going through a “eat cottage cheese at every meal” phase.) And I had 1 glass of white wine with dinner while Michael and I got caught up on AGT. 🙂 Oh and vanilla pudding for dessert. And I still have nearly 400 calories left for the day!

QUESTION: Have you ever seen wildlife out on a bike ride, run or hike?