Loser on a Bike: Week 5

   This has been one of those weeks you kind of wish you could just erase and start over. It actually started on Sunday night after my last blog post. I was out in my garage taking the dog out and admiring my bike when I realized that I had a broken spoke on the rear wheel. I never did notice it on my ride Sunday as it seemed to be just fine. I called the nearest bike shop in Jonesboro, AR (a little over an hour away) on Monday and set up a plan to take my rear wheel in to them on Tuesday to get it fixed and also pick up some extra spokes for the future. This is where I must take back something I said in an earlier post. This particular bike shop was one of the ones I had said I had turned around and walked out of last year. When I went in this time, I went straight to the shop and they were extremely helpful. This visit completely changed my impression of this shop. I don’t know why I had the experience I had last year…it’s possible that I just ran across the wrong salesperson, or I guess it may have even just been my perception. At any rate, they were very helpful and I will never again hesitate to return. As a matter of fact, I will be a regular customer.


   I woke up on Monday really telling that I had worked my butt off on the 50 mile ride Sunday. I felt good, but could definitely tell. My Monday and Wednesday strength routines went off without a hitch except for the fact that I feel like I’m losing my focus and intensity in those workouts. It’s almost like I’m getting bored with them, so it may be time to introduce some new things and try to liven them up a little so they’re a little less routine. I can definitely tell I’m getting stronger, but the last thing I want these workouts to become is boring and routine.


   We have had hell here this week with storms. We had major thunderstorms and tornadoes move through on Tuesday. I wound up dragging out the trainer and getting in a little over 10 miles on the bike. I hate being on the trainer, but I must admit that it was probably a good thing. I stopped several times and made minor adjustments with my new Adamo Century saddle and bar position. By the time I was done I felt like I had finally found the “sweet spot”. We wound up spending about 2 hours in the storm cellar Tuesday night as the storms and tornadoes moved through. Straight line wind was pretty bad and I had some roof damage, but other than that, we made it through fine.


   On Thursday’s ride, I kept the ride fairly short by getting in a little over 16 miles. I felt really good on the bike and the seat position adjustments I had made were right on. I just tried to keep up the intensity for the hour I was out and feel like I did a good job at that. I really think I need to work more on increasing my cadence in a lighter gear than pushing bigger gears at a lower cadence.


   We had more major storms move in on Friday. Tornadoes everywhere. St Louis Lambert International Airport was hit and the video feeds were pretty amazing. We had an EF3 tornado cross within 3 miles of my house 3 years ago which was pretty mind blowing. It literally wiped out a big part of Caruthersville, MO, a town of about 8000, 10 miles from me. I watched the tornado as it passed south of us…looked like a huge “V”.


   The main problem with this front as it moved in was that it looks like we are going to have storms here all the way into next Wednesday or Thursday. Honestly, I really can’t remember a worse spring. I’m sure this is all normal and It just hasn’t seemed as bad in recent years because I wasn’t riding back then…back then I was just a couch potato.


   Another way in which this week has sucked is that in the first few days of it, I was absolutely starving. This time it wasn’t just Wednesday:) It was more like Monday through Wednesday. I think I was finally able to determine that it wasn’t so much hunger as it was the craving for tobacco. After I finally put 2 and 2 together on Wednesday, I looked for solutions. I had been chewing a lot of sugar-free gum to deal with the cravings, but I needed something else. I picked up a huge bag of sunflower seeds and found that they were exactly what I had needed. I still chew a lot of sugar free gum, but I started including moderate amounts of seeds. The cravings and hunger have since subsided and I seem to be back on the right track. It feels good to be tobacco free after 20+ years!


   On Saturday I had planned on getting in a long ride, but with the thunderstorms in the area, I decided to wait it out and see if I could get a shorter ride in late afternoon or evening. I don’t own any rain gear (yet) and even if I did, I wouldn’t want to get caught out in one of these thunderstorms we have been having. The weather finally broke and I was able to get out the door around 5pm. I wanted to try to get in at least 20 miles or so and try to keep my cadence up on this ride. I did a pretty good job in keeping my cadence up…my average was 79 for the whole trip, but I spent a lot of time in the 80-90 range. My heart rate jumped up quite a bit even though I was spinning in an easier gear, but I felt good.


   Didn’t get a ride in on Sunday because my wife and I were off to see the Cardinals spank Brandon Phillips and the Reds.


   The damage for the week? 1 lb. Well, actually 1.6 lb to be technical, but I generally drop tenths when I’m talking about my weight. I guess I could be discouraged with that, but I’m really not. After the hunger I had at the beginning of the week, (and believe me, I ate some things I shouldn’t have), I’m glad I lost any weight at all. At least I figured out a good way to deal with the hunger/cravings I have from time to time. I’ll be prepared to deal with it in the coming weeks. Better yet, I am now on my 12th day of being tobacco free. I followed Plochman’s plan to a tee with one exception…I didn’t keep the last can in my pocket in case of freak outs. I pitched it because I didn’t think I could trust myself with it.


   Stats so far:

     Total Days: 34

     Beginning weight: 332.2

     Current weight: 313.0

     Weight Loss: 19.2 lb

     Avg Loss: 3.9 lb per week

     Days tobacco free: 12


   That was my week in a nutshell. I’ll be back next week, hopefully with better results. Until then…