Arcade

Hit up the local arcade tonight. Played some solo X-Men before my buddies showed up. A little NBA Jam that I can see being a “thing” between Reed and I before we all discovered four player Pac-Man Battle Royale. It was an amazing night. This blog will cover the lost months between my last post and now soon but, for now this is it. Go do fun stuff with your pals. It’s worth it.

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It’s back, again

Or at least it will be. It’s time to reboot this. My weight was creeping back up. My sleeping habits have been terrible. Other things weren’t right. I’ve been working on correcting the course, food tracking again, using the HabitBull daily habit app. I’m not back to where I want to be just yet in all those areas and I realized the thing that fell by the wayside that hasn’t been reimplemented was this here little blog. So, I’m going to work on getting back to it. See you again soon with a “real” post. Until then, here’s a pic of a thing Andy pointed out to me on one of our many Holiday walks.

Time March-es on

So punny…

February is over and so is half of March. Turns out, Daylight Savings is great once you get past that whole losing an hour of sleep thing. I’ll take evening sun over morning every time, early bird people can just drink coffee and shut up. After a few very cold rides in the garage on the trainer I decided riding inside sucks and started getting back outside in spite of the cold.

Rode with Willy on fat bikes. It was basically snowshoeing without the snowshoes, while pushing 40lb bikes, up and downhill. Super fun! Seriously though, it was fun and far more entertaining than an hour on the trainer watching the Olympics…

PR’d US West, again. It’ll be fun to get on that and get after it once the weather is nice.

Tried for another vertical mile with Chad. We’d had enough after about half way. We were more prepared this time with hot tea and snacks in the car and an actual game plan but, that level of organization may have been what brought us down. In January, we just suffered through until we finished. This time, we knew how much better life would be sitting on the couch, warm, with a cold beer in hand.

And I got out with Mr. Mrkich for a very cold ride on Ewok. It was fun. I was glad that February was over.

March started out back on the trainers. I did about 2 1/2 hours while listening to Darude – Sandstorm as part of our Rattlesnake 1000 Camp Man-A-Dream Fundraiser. Somehow, a couple folks were in the back of Black Coffee Roasting for 12 hours, spinning and listening to that EDM classic on repeat… We’ve raised almost $6K so far. If you’d like to throw $1, $5, $10… our way, you can do so at this here link… <clicky clicky>

Since then it’s been dropbars outside. Trader Brothers at night, Stevi in the day, a couple Tour d’Rattlesnakes, and a Butler Creek boogie tonight. Been crushing the miles on the Rove but, that means my elevation is lacking. Somehow need to find time to rectify that problem. Won’t happen this weekend as we’re going to take a much needed family mini-vacation and the bike is staying home. And next week, Andy and I will be learning stuff from the folks at SRAM. Might end up just doing three vertical miles in April to make up for being behind…

I’m 142 miles ahead of pace on my mileage goal for the year. I’m about 9,000 ft behind my pace for elevation (yeesh…). My average weight for March 2017 was 231.12lbs, for 2018 I’m at 186.24. Pretty stoked on that. I’m also over a year since I started food tracking and working on my health. Probably mentioned in the last post, weight as fluctuated a fair bit this winter but, I’ve never gotten over 190 and it’s on a downward trend now that bike mileage is creeping back up. And lastly, numbers wise, I’ve raised about $240 for our Camp Mak-A-Dream fundraiser. I’d like to hit that $500 number again (I raised a bit over that my first time around at RATPOD) with a stretch goal of $1000.

There ya have it! Some pics, some words, and some numbers. I’m finding this a bit harder to keep on top of now that I don’t have a story like the weight loss to tell. I’d like to be better about doing these on a regular basis but, I’ll just be happy with the occasional one for the time being. Happy Spring, everybody. Hope ya get out there and enjoy it……….

Oh, and one last thing, this is the front runner for favorite cycling related moment of the year for me so far. It’s going to be hard to top.

Time flies

February is half over. I took some time off the bike after my big January. It felt like a much needed break. The only bad part is, the weather has decided to make getting back on the bike difficult. I managed a couple rides down to Lolo and back so, mileage was I’m still on track for my goals. But, between the warm temps then the bottom dropping out of the thermometer I haven’t been very motivated to get out and see what the trail conditions are like, meaning I’m falling behind on my elevation goals.

I had big plans to ride the trainer a bunch this month, so far, that has not happened.

I have managed to keep weight in check, floating around between 180-190, and that’s while indulging more than my fair share…

Commuting on the bike everyday certainly plays a key role in staying fit. Evie still seems to enjoy the rides to school, serenading me with made up songs or talking to whatever stuffed animal friend she’s decided needs to come with her that day.

I have hopes of getting things rolling on here (and YouTube) with some level of consistency. Until then, that’s a mini update for now. I’ll leave you with a pic of the updated set up on the Rove. It’s now going to pull duty as a gravel/road/commuter bike. Should be much more pleasant to commute than the 40lb fat bike! And that leaves the fat bike open to be converted to a single speed mtb for some serious pain cave rides.

See ya next time!

January

Typically, January seems to last for several months. January 2017, for example, was the longest, least pleasant I can think of for me. Evie spent the last few months of 2016 riding a rollercoaster of feeling fine and being sick. We were basically just waiting for her scheduled surgery at the end of January to have tubes put in her ears to hopefully eliminate the ear infections. I didn’t exactly do the best job taking care of myself so, I was very susceptible to catching colds and other little bugs that she brought home with her from daycare. While she was a trooper, I was a big baby who did nothing but complain, drive to work more often, eat more junk food, and drink more beer at the end of every work day to drown my sorrows.

 

 

At the end of January, Evie got her tubes put in and I contracted chicken pox. Hooray!

We all know the rest of the story of 2017, the tubes helped Evie a lot! I got over chicken pox then decided to lose weight and get healthy. And now we’re here at the end of January 2018. To say the month was different would be an understatement.

Evie has had a few little bouts with illness but, going to daycare that’s to be expected. I, on the other hand, have been feeling great and have managed to ride many miles and climbed the most I’ve ever done in a month to date. Before I go on, Shannon obviously deserves many thanks from me for making that possible. I’ve done my best to get riding in when I can, late at night, on lunch hours at work, etc. but, she’s made it so I can get out and put in a lot of time on the bike and for that, I’m super grateful. Special shoutout to my boss and coworkers as well for letting me sneak out more than a few times to get rides in during work hours.

So, just how much have I been riding? Well, here’s my 2017 January, February, March stat graph from Strava…

Screen Shot 2018-01-29 at 11.51.55 AM

That’s 57 miles, 3057ft of climbing, and about 6.5 hours of activity. In three months… 2018’s graph?

Screen Shot 2018-01-29 at 11.55.26 AM

188.7 miles, 16,991ft of climbing, and 27hrs and 17 minutes of activity. And that’s with having a ride or two left to go for the month. I’ve put on a couple pounds of winter weight and have spent a bit more time watching YouTube and Netflix instead of being as productive as I’d like but, it is winter and I have been getting after it!

February is going to be another challenging month. Winter is far from over. I’m planning to learn to love the bike trainer. I have no intention of stopping riding outside but, I can’t bank on the weather being as cooperative as it has been in January. And I’d like to do some actually training to see if I can’t get a bit quicker for coming events like the Montana Gravel Challenge. I’d also like to get out of the house with Evie and Shannon a bit more in February. Late night spin sessions after everyone has gone to bed should make that more possible.

I’m also hoping to get more consistent with this blog (sorry if this one’s a bit rambling, I’m just forcing myself to get something out into the world so it’s not planned out at all), resurrect my Simple Angler fishing blog, and get more active on YouTube. I’m not sure how any of that is going to pan out, I just know that I’m feeling motivated to do more than just consume what other folks put on the interwebs.

I hope your 2018 has started off well! Thanks for checking in and I’ll see ya in the next one.

 

2018 mini-update

It’s been a few weeks since I posted anything. Christmas, New Years, life, those things kept me a bit busy! Hope everyone had a nice holiday season, we sure did.

I’m going to keep this one brief. Let’s start with a weight update. On my last posting, December 23rd, I weighed 179.5. On December 26th, I was 187.8. WHOA! Turns out, four days of “cheating” can hit you pretty fast. By the 31st I was back down to 180.6 and I’ve spent the last several weeks fluctuating in that 180-186 range. Pretty happy with that. If the graph continued to trend upwards, I’d be pretty bummed but, knowing I could just cut loose for a few days and not really think about what I was eating was a real treat. And, when I got back to being a bit more conscious of the calories I was motivated to make those healthy choices again.

Until China Buffet happened the other day… but I digress.

Next on the update list, riding. If you follow me on Instagram or Strava you know, I’ve been riding a fair amount. Rattlesnake 1K kicked off on the 1st and January is Double Miles/Double Elevation so I’ve been trying to put in some work this month. Sadly, more than a few of my rides have been up MoZ which doesn’t count towards my 1K miles in the Rattlesnake but, they do count towards my overall goal of 2000 miles and 200,000ft of elevation gain on the year.

It’s actually been a ton of fun getting out and getting after it this early in the season. As of this posting I’ve got 91.5 miles and 8530ft of elevation. If I can come out of this month over 200 actual miles and over 17,000ft of actual elevation I’ll be stoked and feeling good about my goals for the year.

Lastly, I’m typing this post on a MacBook Pro. This is only worth mentioning because for the last few years I’ve been without a laptop. Every post, every video, every photo, has been done on either my iPhone or my iPad. Shannon upgraded her work laptop and I got a hand-me down. Hopefully, it’ll make some of those tasks a bit easier for me, which in turn will keep me from burning out on doing them! We’ll see if that means an uptick in quality or quantity. I’m shooting for quality uptick more than quantity to be clear.

I think that’s enough for a little update. If you’d like to read some inspiring words, check out my friend MJ’s blog <Clicky clicky>. She’s one of many badass ladies I know from the cycling community and she’s got two excellent posts up so far. I look forward to more from her and hope that her posts motivate me to get into a rhythm with this here thing and maybe inspire a person or two in 2018.

Thanks for checking in everyone, Happy New Year!

(Bare with me if any links are dead or photos don’t post correctly, I’m making some other changes behind the scenes on photo hosting and relearning the WordPress web editor)

Calories

”Twas the Friday before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even an IceHouse.

How many times have your heard (said), “I gained some weight over the Holidays!”?

Ok. Cool. Guess what? It had nothing to do with the Holidays. You stuffed your face with food and drinks. That’s ok! If you try to be a saint, you will fail. Hell, saints don’t try to be saints. Why should you?!

I’m quickly learning that what we WANT to eat presents itself to us. Do you want Popeyes Chicken? Do you want the $5 lunch special at the Orange Street Food Farm(chicken)? Do you want Double Front? (Man, I must really love chicken!). It’s easy not get what we WANT these days.

You always have options. If you want a couple beers, some sugar cookies, and a slice or two of cinnamon bread, you have to be ok with a pound or two heavier on the scale tomorrow. And speaking from experience, you SHOULD be ok with that. Life is too short to keep yourself from tasty treats. But, you need to learn moderation. I don’t know about you but, I’m still working on that one.

Happy Holidays, folks. I hope you come out the other side in a good place. If you need more specific advice, hit me up as we’re all in this together.

Moving Forward

It’s been a few weeks since I posted the final part of the weight loss journey. I know I said it many times but, thanks to everyone who followed along. It really got me to look back at what I’d done and see the big picture of it. Losing weight is not unlike gaining weight. From day to day, you don’t really see or feel the difference very often. Taken as a whole, it was pretty insane though.

My Instagram “best” 9

We’re in the midst of the holidays and I’m finding that it’s easy to “slip”. I blame it more on the lack of daylight and blistering cold than I do the easy excuses of Thanksgiving Dinner and Christmas libations. I’m not really a big Thanksgiving dinner fan so keeping things in check there was relatively easy. I did eat far too many deviled eggs though. Christmas is more of the same really. While I do enjoy grazing and probably will over eat cookies or some other treat, it’s not that big a deal. Other areas of life though I can feel regressions that need to be nipped in the bud.

This years Christmas card

Our schedule at work flips in the fall from getting done at 4 to closing up at 6. Cracking a beer is relatively easy to resist at 3:30 on a beautiful sunny day. But, when the sun has been down seemingly for hours, it’s 24 degrees, and some awesome customer has tipped us a six pack? That’s a bit more of a challenge. I will say, I’ve mostly managed to keep it to single beers and it’s only been a few times but, I notice that it’s much easier to crack another when I get home and the desire for a dessert or larger/second helpings at dinner gets indulged more often.

Not a normal Friday...

Just your average evening in the bike shop?

*Don’t stop bringing the treats Dan, they are delicious and I can be good. I just needed a pic of a snack and this is what I had available 😉

Not the only beer consumed on this ride...

Some of the habits that got me here were shelved because I didn’t feel I needed them anymore, or rather the reminders for those habits I’d set on my phone were turned off. That’s changing today.

Brush after dinner. I never stopped this one but, I did miss a couple evenings in a row last week. I’m going to blame running out of Sonicare brushes and trying to switch back to a regular toothbrush. That shit sucks. More brushes were bought today and the notification is back on, front and center.

Read. I turned this one off back in July and I really wish I hadn’t. I read a bunch of great books early in the year. I think some of that directly motivated me to get back to writing these blogs and, I also think it helped me sleep better. I’ve been inching that bed time later and later for months. When I was getting more sleep, I felt better, I felt more productive, and I avoided late night snacking. Welcome back, Read Reminder.

I’ve stuck with my Lose It food tracking really well. 289 days straight actually. But, I’ve been lazy a few times lately and just listed “calorie bomb” even though I could remember what I’d consumed. Limiting myself to one “calorie bomb” per month now. The food scale has also come out a few times in the last several days. It feels like a good idea to refresh my brain on what normal servings look like and be more thoughtful in my snack choices.

Snacking. Even though it’s intensely cold out, I’ve been getting some good rides in on the bike. I will no longer use that as an excuse to indulge in excessive snacking. I don’t mean I won’t snack, or “fuel” properly on rides to avoid calories. I just mean a Snickers bar on a ride is fine. A snickers bar before, during and after a ride chased with some beers? Yeah, no.

Not call myself fat anymore. I was over weight and unhealthy. Those are facts. Saying I was fat is lazy and demeaning. I’m not going to put myself down like that anymore, even if it was a past self, and I won’t offend others with my careless vocabulary. This one really came about in a conversation with some folks at a party last week. Talking about calling things “retarded”, which I will admit I did on occasion, Shannon put it thusly, “You don’t want to be like that old Grandparent who still uses the N-word when they are 80 because ‘That was ok when I was younger.'” While I still argue the N-word and the word retarded are pretty far apart in terms of offensiveness, I will no longer be using that either. Ditching that one from the lexicon made me realize I should probably just try and get rid of anything that doesn’t belong, like fat. Disclaimer, I am not perfect and will probably slip up. If I do and you hear me, just gimme the “Come on, dude…” look.

I am trying to manage my time better. This one should be super fun to try and change in the winter! From little projects around the house, to bigger projects at work, to the simplest thing like hanging my coat on the rack instead of the back of a chair when I get home. Procrastination could very accurately have been my given name. It’s not a trait that has ever served me well and I guess my mid-30’s is as good a time as any to try and eliminate it.

I don’t have an after picture as it’s still in progress but, projects like organizing my garage may finally happen…

Lastly, (not really but, for these purposes…) I’m working on being more forthright and direct. Some who know me might not think I, and my big mouth, need more of this in my life and maybe I should just shut up more often. Those folks are absolutely right in many settings. But, there are folks who know me a little better and can see how passive aggressive and petty I can be. Much like being a procrastinator, these are qualities that have never benefited me in any way so they need to be minimized. For the first group of folks, I’ll do my best to shut up now and the. but, I’d rather people know what I think and not like it than have to deal with my childish bullshit keeping it bottled up and letting it out in other ways.

I’m not sure what you can expect from this blog moving forward to be honest. I hope it is a place I can keep myself motivated to stay healthy. Seems like maybe that health could go beyond just weight(I seriously didn’t plan this out before I started…). As mentioned in a past post, I’m a pledge in a bike club so, you can expect many a post about riding. The club also,has a volunteerism aspect to it so I can see that getting inserted from time to time. Really, I think what this is going to be is just, the digital long form version of me. Facebook just depresses me. Twitter is the worst. Instagram is your “perfect” life. Maybe this will just be where I’m more myself. If you want to follow along with that, I appreciate it. As I’ve said before, all you people who’ve read these motivate and inspire me in your own ways. So, you sticking around here and maybe interacting from time to time or telling me when you see me why this sucks/is awesome will continue to impact my life. And maybe I’ve said something that will motivate or inspire some of you. Either way, I’m going to keep at this and I won’t be offended if you pass.

See ya in the next one.

GLF: Cross is coming – Finale

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!

Quick Bonus Thank Yous

I went back and hacked my other story thinking I’d already thanked one last group of people but, turns out I didn’t so, sorry here is one more set of thank yous real quick.

Who could forget about The Cycling House? They put on excellent events, they lead beautiful rides, and then they post amazing photos of said rides. Often ones in places much warmer than where I am when lookin at them. Two people in particular pushed me on the bike through kind words and just being examples of genuinely nice people.

I started to get to know Shaun a bit better during the 2016 cyclocross season. I took dead last in almost every race but, whether it was while he was passing me on course or when he saw me in the shop, he had words of encouragement to keep after it.

When I was in the running club I found that fast fit people can be as demotivating as they can inspiring. It’s all in how they approach and encourage people. Shaun is one of the good ones. Just happy to see me out there giving it my best, complementing improvements be noticed, noticing improvements in the first place! And, he’s got kids and still finds time to ride. As a new parent seeing other parents still able to do the things they love was extremely important to my mental well being. Congrats on a great season, Shaun. And thanks for the words of encouragement and leading by example!

Now we get to last but certainly not least ( I’m sure I’ll realize I’ve “forgotten” someone else and have to do another one of these but I digress)

Cory is probably one of if not the nicest person in the Missoula cycling scene. I got to know Cory mostly through coming in to the shop. We tell new hires, if we aren’t making fun of you we probably don’t like you that much. Well, we constantly joked with Cory and poked fun and he took it all in stride. Out on the race course he’s just gotten faster and faster and he’s done it through tremendous effort. He’s also managed to do it while working (thanks Competitive Timing!) as the timing crew for seemingly every event in Montana. Always quick to encourage and like Shaun, he notices improvement and takes the time to compliment. During this years season when he complimented my improved times over last year, that gave a little boost to the ego that someone had looked at the data to back up that I’d been working hard. And when the nicest guy I know complimented my positive attitude on the race course one week? Well, being complimented on losing weight is one thing, having someone notice my attempts to be a nicer human being? That meant a lot, especially coming from someone as nice as this guy.

#WhoIsCoryKaufman? He’s a damn nice guy and an inspiration to a person trying to be a little more fit and a lot less cranky. Thanks Cory.

Ok, that’s it for thank yous (for now). Thanks for reading, again!

Photos belong to them, I again stole them through screen shots. Hope that’s ok!