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Monday, May 9, 2011

Lost Weekend

I knew something wasn't quite right on Friday afternoon when I started getting stomach cramps half-way through a 22 mile ride. I sometimes get mild stomach cramps after rides or on those hot summer rides immediately after replenishing electrolytes, but this was something different. The cramps eased up after the ride and I had my usual ravenous appetite, but something still did not feel right with my body. I went to bed figuring I'd feel much better in the morning. Wrong!
Morning brought the revelation that I had a stomach virus...a nasty one. I'll skip the gory details suffice it to say that by Sunday morning I had lost 8-9 pounds. I'm definitely trying to lose weight but not like that!
So much for my weekend plans. Missed my cousin's wedding...couldn't go out on Mother's yard work got done...and goose egg entries in the training log! Truly a lost weekend.
Weekly riding stats are updated in the right side-bar. The weight entry is not a typo...that was my weight on Sunday morning. As I write this, I have thankfully gained 2.5 lbs back.

Monday, May 2, 2011

April Stats

Finished off the month of April with three days of riding...well, the last of those was actually May 1st. Given my dismal early season track record, I never would have guessed that my first month of riding after 8 months off the bike would be so successful. Here are the stats:

Total distance - 213.7 miles
Number of riding days - 14 out of 17 planned.
Average # rides per week - 3.25
Average ride length - 15.26 miles
Average distance per week - 49.7 miles
Weight loss - 7 lb. (I'm currently at 215 down from 222 lb.)

To many of you these are very modest stats, but to me these numbers are huge. My early season track record is pretty spotty, so what I accomplished this April is indicative of some better cycling ahead. The 3 missed days were due to a combination of rain and Sunday family commitments, which crimped my already tight schedule. Beyond May, the holidays and family commitments ease up a bit.

Last year I devised a training schedule that was meant to increase the average distance of my rides, lower the number of riding days per week and overall to allow me more recovery time between rides. My reasons for this are chronicled in a couple of 2010 posts (here and here). Of course, I was never able to implement that plan last year.

This year, when I went out on my first few rides, the objective was just to get out and ride. Having not been on a bike for 8 months I was very aware of the potential for overuse injuries, so I wanted to keep the rides short and ease into the season. That plan so far has been successful, but while I'm slowly increasing the miles, I'm still fiddling with a training schedule and intensity level that works for me. Some people may chuckle when I refer to a training schedule, but that's simply my formula for motivation...and it has always worked in the past. Training of course suggests goals and I have two. The first and most important is to lose weight. I'd like to shed the 2 handle once and for all this year. The second is to be able to ride some fast and comfortable century rides later in the season.

If April is any indication, I'm well on my way to achieving those two goals this year. Wish me luck!