The end of summer was smokey. But seemingly overnight that went away and it was time for cyclocross. I raced the full season last year. It was super fun even though I took dead last every race. Being a lot lighter and in better shape in general, I was hopeful things would be a bit better this season.
The first race I rode pretty tentatively. Skinny tires and drop bars don’t instill the most confidence in me and riding in a pack is not something I’m used to. I was content to just knock the rust off near the back of the pack for a few laps before I kicked it up a notch and finished at the back of the mid-pack.
What a difference a year makes, hunh?
Next race was more of the same. I found some folks that were near my pace and started pushing myself a bit. Cross was always fun but, when you have people you are actually competing against it’s even better. While I was pushing myself, each week was also like a big group ride with people I like. That made the hard efforts a little bit easier when you’d have friends cheering you on and vice versa on the course. Plus, I had that awesome little cheerleader waiting for me at the end.
In between races I managed to continue to do some trail running and various random rides. I’d never explored Waterworks Hill but, quickly found that it makes a great place for some cross training.
Also, managed to get up Sentinel and enjoy the views.
I was not looking forward to the races at the Ranch Club, to be honest. Last year, they had some little “features” like riding skinnies over sand traps and a small drop. That on top of the energy sucking grass just made for an unusual race setting. This year, the grass was still a soul sicker but the features were a bit more in line with a traditional cross style setting. I was still satisfied to slow pedal the first few laps until another racer who I was starting to think of as my nemesis passed me up. I put the hammer down after that to make sure I finished ahead of them.
In between cross races, Dan, Chad, and I had the great idea to do a night time century ride down to Hamilton and back. The wind was pretty brutal at times but it was an awesome spin. Going to make it happen more than once next year for sure.
The occasional mountain bike ride and run with the kid were still happening. Bear spray season for the mtb rides!
One thing I haven’t really mentioned in any of these, at least from what I recall, is that I have been bike commuting throughout this entire weight loss journey. I obviously did a lot before but, I sold my truck back in February and we’ve been a one vehicle family since. Rain, wind, sun, and snow I’ve been on the bike. 5ish miles a day doesn’t sound like much but, it’s a big contributor to staying active on days when you’re otherwise feeling lazy. Plus, nice days like one pictured below more than make up for any cruddy days…
The cross season culminated with a Wednesday race at Big Sky Brewing and then Rolling Thunder. I didn’t have my best race of the season on Wednesday. I’d been a bit sick the week before and just wasn’t 100% but, the venue was awesome and it was still a fun race. I was feeling fine by Thunder though and left it all on the course in not only the CAT4 race but the Single Speed race thanks a strategic zip tie on the shifter.
And that pretty much brings us up to the present. I took a week off from riding and have been getting back into it, mostly on the fat bike.
I was surprised a few weeks bag with an invitation to pledge as a new member in the Rattlesnake 1000 group I’d mentioned awhile back. No, I wasn’t kissing ass when I wrote those thank yous. I genuinely was motivated by those folks and was super honored that they’d let me ride with them next year. I got out with one group ride with a couple of them last weekend and it was great. Minus me getting a flat that is…
We even found a runaway dog and got it returned to its owners.
I realize this turned into a bit more about biking than how I lost weight but, that’s how I lost weight! Be active, eat right. We all know how to take care of ourselves, it’s just not always easy to do the “right” thing. I switched my LoseIt! app over to “Maintain” for my calorie settings and actually lost another 4 pounds or so.
I’m pretty happy with where I’m at weight wise. I’d still like to get the body fat % down a bit by getting the muscle mass up a bit! That will require some further changes and a renewed dedication to “self care”. Being a part of the R1K will keep me motivated on the bike. But, I’ll be setting some personal goals so that when I do lapse, it’s not a setback but rather just a step along the way.
When I started writing these I really didn’t expect to get any sort of response. But, overwhelmingly people have been awesome. Both in public forums and in private messages and texts I’ve gotten. Thanks a ton to the folks who’ve said I’ve motivated or inspired them. That keeps me pushing to stay on track. And if I can help in anyway, feel free to contact me. How I can help, we’ll I guess we’d figure that out! But I know how hard making these changes can be and how helpful even some gentle encouragement can be.
To everyone that waited patiently for me to write these and the followed along, thanks! I am a vain creature and I’m sure the attention motivated me more than a little bit to keep after it.
And one last big thank you to Shannon. Love ya honey!
I’ve been asked by a couple people if I’m going to keep this blog up after finishing this series. Absolutely. I’m gonna take a little time to figure out how I want to do it. Covering this giant period of time was more than a bit challenging at times and I found it easy to procrastinate, especially towards the end here. I know I want to keep talking about biking and other stuff I’m interested in but, I also think people will mostly be interested in posts about how I’m keeping the weight off so, those will be the ones I share to the FB.
Thanks everyone. Hope you enjoyed this or found some motivation somewhere in there.
See you in the next one!