Saturday, July 27, 2013

Day 514-Weigh-in Day: 285lbs

Start Weight: 365.4lbs
Last Weight in: 271lbs
Current Weight: 285lbs
This Week’s Weight Loss: +14lbs
Total Weight Loss: 80.4lbs
To Go: 75lbs
Miles Biked this Week: 0

Total Miles Biked: 2737.09
Miles to Go: 4762.91

GEOGRAPHY (Where I'd be on the map having started at my house in Salt Lake City, Utah, heading for Tokyo):
Pacific Ocean (2000 miles off the west coast. I am heading for the Hawaiian Islands which is 2650 miles from San Diego)

Weekly Bike/Workout Totals
Monday: REST
Tuesday: REST
Wednesday: REST
Thursday: REST
Friday: REST
Saturday: REST

Well I am embarrassed to get to share with the world that I have gained 14lbs over the past 3 weeks. I’ve been traveling, and have just plain fallen off the bandwagon. Not a good thing to do a month before I ride Fuji.

It is what it is and it’s given me a chance to think about why this is happening. It’s almost like I’ve turned into self-destruct mode. I’m not going to get stuck and beat myself up. Monday morning I will be starting to work out at the gym again, and continue with the bike riding.

This is a chance for me to forget the past, and make the next 3.5 weeks count. I think in the documentary I’m putting together, this is a good part of the story to examine. To look at what has happened just before I go to Japan. I can honestly say that I have lost interest in riding because it’s so blasted hot outside, or I have such a busy schedule. Well, let’s see what I can carve out for myself over the next 3.5 weeks. I get to focus on me for a bit, and get ready for the ride.

I’m too embarrassed to write what’s on my mind. What I need to do is report what I have done…and so next Saturday I will. BTW, I am climbing to Box Elder, a mountain next to Alpine, Utah. I think it’s about 11,000ft high. We’re at 4500ft, so it will be a good challenge and be similar to Fuji is elevation. I am considering getting up at 4am, riding from Salt Lake to Alpine, and then do the hike. I know it will be a physical struggle, but I’ve got to push a little to prepare.

Anyway, I will have better news next Saturday for you.

I promise to do better!


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Day 504-Forty Days until the ride...I have lost motivation!

I have to admit. I am in a rut right now. I am feeling pretty overwhelmed by a lot of things going on in my life. And perhaps that has stressed me out enough that I don’t feel like eating right, and I am low on motivation to ride my bike.

This is not a good thing literally a month before I go to Japan. Over the past 6 weeks, it seems like I am on course, and then I fall of the wagon for a week. I get on course again for a week, and then fall off the wagon. So far this week, I have fallen off the wagon again. I have not eaten clean, and I have just rode my bike for the first time in about a week. It’s been hot, it’s been raining, it’s been busy---are all good excuses. But I could push through those walls if I wanted to.

I am not totally discouraged because I’ve been here before and I know that I can get out of the hole, but I am feeling discouraged over the fact that I may not even hit 100 pounds lost by the time I get to Japan. This is a big failure to me, and I have 6 weeks to turn it around.

This week I’m not feeling excited about riding to Mount Fuji. I feel like I’m heading to the dentist. You know how that feeling is. I want to feel excited, pumped up, and feeling like I will absolutely do this.

I think with a very busy schedule, traveling out of town, working hard at church, holidays with tempting food, etc., etc., all my motivation is gone at the end of the day. And at the beginning of the day, I’m already overwhelmed. I have 4-5 weekends left to really do some big rides. Japan has come too quick. Reality is facing me, and the goals and aspirations I envisioned, are not as easily obtainable as I thought. Sometimes making moment-to-moment decisions to not eat this, or to go ride my bike, can’t be sustained over the long haul.

Have I given up? No, but I need to find a big pocket of motivation to help me through this slump. I thought that the closer I would get to Mount Fuji, the easier it would be to stay motivated. I’m feeling the opposite right now.


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Day 493-Weigh-in Day: 271lbs

Start Weight: 365.4
Last Week’s Weight: 277.2
Current Weight: 271lbs
This Week’s Weight Loss: 6.2lbs
Total Weight Loss: 94.4lbs
To Go: 61lbs
Miles Biked this Week: 29.57

Total Miles Biked: 2737.09
Miles to Go: 4762.91

GEOGRAPHY (Where I'd be on the map having started at my house in Salt Lake City, Utah, heading for Tokyo):
Pacific Ocean (2000 miles off the west coast. I am heading for the Hawaiian Islands which is 2650 miles from San Diego)

Weekly Bike/Workout Totals
Monday: REST
Tuesday: REST
Wednesday: REST
Thursday: REST
Friday: REST
Saturday: 29.57

I spent most of this holiday week building a chicken coop for 5 beautiful hens and a beautiful, yet neurotic rooster. It’s been a busy week of hard work building this coop. So much so that I’ve been focused on the coop and not on riding. However, I did go on a good Saturday morning ride this morning up Emigration Canyon.

My trusty ole brother Dallin came back for another ride even after the crazy 65-miler we did last Saturday. He ordered some new “slicks” tires (non-knobby) for his mountain bike so he could have a better experience road biking this morning. Today was another “climbing” ride, which basically was a good hour-long climb of 2000 feet…then it’s a fun coast home. Dallin, my brother, was out front most of the time. I made the ride, however, I felt really tired and sluggish once we got in the canyon. Some how on the last 1.5 miles up the 17% grade, I didn’t need to stop and rest, but I needed to stop and rest along the initial part of the ride a few times.

As I think about it, I have been doing 12-16 hour work days out in the heat for the past 3 days. I didn’t eat too much yesterday, but did drink a ton. I didn’t eat  dinner…and then I probably only got 4 hours of sleep before the ride. So, if there’s anything to learn before a serious ride, it’s rest up and eat a good dinner. Oh well, I was still able to ride and plow through it, but I learned some good lessons.

You’ll notice I had a great weigh loss week! 6.2 pounds is a lot to lose for me. I can attribute it to a few things.

-I think I lost at least a couple of those pounds from last weekend’s ride.

-I ate pretty clean this week. I will admit I had about a half a bag of kettlecorn popcorn, some potato salad, yogurt. and some crystal light drinks. These are un-kosher in my weight loss eating regimen, but nothing too terrible. I have noticed that my portions are shrinking just a tad. I dish up exactly what I want to eat, and sometimes that’s not much.
-I worked outside and may have been slightly dehydrated, and thus lost some water weight.

I have 7 more weeks left before I go to Japan for the ride. There is a lot to do and I’m half panicking. I am hoping to continue to consistently lose 2-3 pounds each week before the ride. If I were to do so, there is the chance that I could be down in the 250’s for the ride. I think losing an additional 20 pounds would help for that ride!

I’m going to keep my entry today short, and wrap it up. Just know that I am working hard! Not just with biking, but with eating. Eating clean is hard work. It takes will-power! I would like to eat so many things, but it really is a cool thing to have a big goal that holds me accountable. There are some valuable principles I’m learning for myself through this experience…stuff that only one can personally understand by doing it.

The good thing is that change and progress is occurring, both inside and outside!

Happy Belated Independence Day!


2nd week in a row biking with my bro! We're 2000 feet higher than when we started 2 hours earlier.
The 2nd time to the top of Emigration Canyon in a month.

My cool Bro!

The reason I'm building this chicken coop...and losing weight ;)
Framing up the coop.
We're counting on getting a lot of eggs out of these nesting boxes.

Some of our crazy chickens. They're 2 months old.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Day 486-Weigh-in Day: 277.2lbs

Start Weight: 365.4

2 Week’s ago Weight: 278

Current Weight: 277.2lbs

This Week’s Weight Loss: .8lbs

Total Weight Loss: 88.2lbs

To Go: 67.2lbs

Miles Biked this Week: 103

Miles Biked last Week: 15

Total Miles Biked: 2707.52

Miles to Go: 4792.48

GEOGRAPHY (Where I'd be on the map having started at my house in Salt Lake City, Utah, heading for Tokyo):

Pacific Ocean (1971 miles off the west coast. I am heading for the Hawaiian Islands which is 2650 miles from San Diego)

Weekly Bike/Workout Totals

Monday: 13.76 miles

Tuesday: 12.72 miles

Wednesday: REST

Thursday: 7.28 miles

Friday: REST

Saturday: 69.33


Well, I am writing this on Monday after my Saturday weigh-in…

It’s actually been 2 weeks since I officially weighed in and a lot has happened. I will admit that I didn’t weigh in last week because I had a terrible week with eating. I would say I took a free week and it spiked my weight up to about 290lbs! I just ate a lot and ate what ever I wanted. Seems like that’s the 2nd time I’ve done this recently. I feel bad for the set back, but I didn’t really feel guilty. It’s just what I felt I needed to do.

Last week I got back on course and was perfect in all my eating. I set a new record this week for this season’s riding, logging in 103 miles this week! Most of the mileage came from a 65-mile ride that my brother Dallin and I went on this last Saturday. It was one of the rides I’ve wanted to. It was basically riding from my house in Salt Lake City, across the valley, around South Mountain, and into the next valley to Alpine, the town I grew up in, and where my mother still lives.

I was talking to my brother a few days before the ride and he wanted to come along. I was going to ride it solo, but was happy that he wanted to come do it. Friday night he came over, we went to the store and stocked up on Gatorade and energy bars, and got ready to ride. I wanted to get some good sleep, but we didn’t get in bed until 11:30pm.

Well, our 4:15am wake up time came quick and we were out the door and pedaling an hour later. The ride was actually very nice, and pretty flat, but with some spurts of good hill climbing throughout. Some of the biggest hills were climbing to 1300 East on 9400 South, and also the South Mountain area. Dallin was doing this ride on his Mountain Bike complete with knobby tires. It was also his first ride of the year! He’s a younger whiper snapper, about 13 years younger than me. It reminded me of my first year or so doing all my training on a mountain bike…it can be brutal. I recalled how I would pedal so hard, yet road-bikers could pass me easily. I could tell there was a lot of resistance for him riding this bike on the road, but he was doing a good job plowing through.

South Mountain takes you from the original old city of Draper up an ascent to the South bench of the valley. All the houses are built on sand, and the mountain, though small, is doted with houses up it’s side and on top. There is a South Mountain hill climb ride that probably a constant 20% grade for miles. No thanks, that’s for the insane types. So instead of over the mountain, we rode west along the bench, around the mountain.

We discovered some developed biking/walking paved trails that took us around the mountain, and dropped us down onto the frontage road that follows around the base of the mountain and lets out at Timpanogos Highway. You cross the highway and there is a nice bike path that takes you into highland. At that point it veers off to the South which would take us away from Alpine, so we hoped back on the road and continued for 20 more minutes until we arrived at my mom’s home.

I might add at this point that the temperature the day before had been around 102 degrees! And it was forecast to be a 104-degree the day of this ride! So we knew at some point we were going to be riding in some extreme heat.

It felt good to have gotten this first half of the ride done. Dallin was not sure about continuing on to the second half of the ride, but with a little rest, taking off the 2000 pound backpack and making a quick wardrobe change, he was ready for part 2!

I wanted to surprise my mother by knocking on her door with bicycle at side, but of course, she was gone on some errands. I left and empty Gatorade bottle and Power Bar wrapper hanging above her front door as evidence that “We Were Here!” We also bumped into our friend Bonn who is quite the serious rider. He was just heading out to go ride American Fork Canyon which I think includes the Alpine Loop. That's a big ride! Bonn is in a different league than me. He’s a nice young, skinny Specialized S-Works bike rider! He’s in this serious. However it made me feel good he was impressed to see us 30+ miles away from Salt Lake.

We parted quickly because now the sun was out and we had a good 3-4 hours of riding in the sun and climbing some more hills in front of us.

As we took a different route out of Alpine, heading back towards Salt Lake, I hit a bump and my seat post slide all the way down! This bike post and the post tightening mechanism on the bike has failed me three times now! It really ticked me off. I got off the bike and took my two 5mm Allen wrenches and gave it a good tweak…and guess what? The bolts broke!

So there my brother and I are, standing in the sun, bike saddle slid all the way down with no way to secure the saddle from rotating. I’m not familiar with this area, but fortunately my brother said we were saved because straight down the hill from where we were was a bike shop! Whew. The ride almost had to be cancelled due to the seat problem.

We got there at 9:48am and the shop opened at 10am, so we anxiously waited. Finally the shop owners at Infinite Cycles in Highland, Utah, came to my rescue. They were so friendly and had my seat back in business. I think the original bolt and nut that secure the post are made out of aluminum, so to get that thing solid, they replaced it with a steel nut and bolt!  For a mere $4.27 investment, I was back on the road! I would have gladly paid $20!

Whew (again)!

Well, we continued pedaling, backtracking the way we came. The sun was getting hot and I would say by 11am it was 90 degrees! I could tell that Dallin was having an easier time on the ride back then when he came. Along with reducing the weight of his pack, he also brought along some tunes. I think that has a way of distracting the mind. I think I will look into something like that!

Anyway, we rounded back around South Mountain and began climbing some of the hills that we’d glided down on the approach. These hills were harder in the sun. It was ride, climb, recover, ride, climb, recover. Finally, just before we ascended our final big hill that would take us to a Chevron for a break, it was all I could muster to get up that hill (17% grade!) I think I know what “bonking” now feels like. I had hydrated well, eaten a Clif Bar, Power Bar and a package of Pop Tarts during our ride thus far, but something was missing. In front of the Chevron, we laid down under a tree in some shade and rested. Ahhh, it felt so good. I could barely walk and move! Then I noticed that I started seeing stars. I was getting light headed. Something wasn’t right. So we just rested. Dallin didn’t want to eat anything, but I felt like I needed something more than energy bars in my stomach. I walked into the gas station after I gained my composure and bought me a jumbo beef dog, a couple of sugar cookies, and refills of water and Gatorade.

I offered a cookie to Dallin, but he didn’t want one. Strange. I just gobbled my food down and within a few minutes the rest and food made me feel like continuing on.

The other psychological boost at that point of the ride was beginning down the route with a nice descent down the hill from 1300 East to 700 East via 12300 South. Then it was pedaling with traffic for another hour or so. As we counted down the blocks from 12300, to 2600 where my house is, it was a long pedal. It was scorching hot, and every tree we’d pass into the shadows of for even a second was a treat. Again, it was a long pedal counting down those 100 blocks!

There were a few ascents, that you’d see and just mumble under your breath because you’re so hot and tired, but you’d just “do ‘em.” Finally around the 4500 South area we called and let my wife know that we’d be home soon. We took another quick break in the shade, and then took off on the last lap.

As we rounded the corner coming back down my street, the same street we’d left 8 hours earlier, there was cheering, as my wife, daughter and neighbor kids welcomed us home! It was great to arrive home..finally! My first request was A/C! The temperature when we arrived home was 99 degrees!

I sat, sipped lemonade, and enjoyed the A/C. Dallin sat out on the front porch, both of us just spinning down. I was proud of my self for doing this ride, but I was very proud of Dallin for not only doing the ride, but doing it all on a knobby-tired mountain bike, and first ride of the year! Total distance: 65 miles!

Dallin and I were initially going to go celebrate with lunch somewhere, but we were tired and so he packed up and went home and took a nap. I tried to nap, but soon got up and my family went off to Olive Garden and ate lunch.

Then we returned home and I crashed.

Sunday morning, I felt fantastic!

I think a few things I learned from this ride are:

-Pace yourself, no need to try and be Superman and push hard. For a long ride, finishing is what counts.

-Man cannot live by Power Bars alone. I seemed to need real food at some point, and the advice I hear about eating every hour is correct. But I think one should have a little more substance.

-The Body is able to do more than you think! On some of the hills I considered giving up, but would look ahead, find a marker, and make it to that marker. Once there, I’d find another and keep doing that until I made it. That was only on a few hills, one being a 17% grade coming up to 1300 East on 9400 South.

It was a fun ride, yet taxing ride. But from my perspective a few days later, I’d easily do it again and probably start at 2am so I could completely avoid the heat.

Fuji is less than 2 month away. I so want to lose as much weight as possible, and train as much as I can. But life is so busy with other important things. Somehow I’ve got to balance it and make Fuji happen. I’m not going to be 210 Again when I arrive at Fuji, however, I will be at least 100 pounds lighter that I was last year!

My in-laws called last night and I guess Fuji has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site, and this has caused a big influx of people wanting to hike the mountain. Usually there are over 300,000 people each year that climb, but Japan expects that to rise significantly! Great! Just want I need…ha ha. So it’s going to be crowded!

My father in-law also feels he should not climb the mountain. He’s been taking care of a sick relative and hasn’t had time to “train.” Also my in-laws are very worried about me being able to do the climb, etc. I was a little bummed last night to hear all this not so great news. Oh, well, we’re still going to do this. I honor my father-in-law for keeping his priorities right!

One last item…

Dallin and I have a hike planned on August 3rd up to Box Elder, about a 11,000 foot mountain in my mothers “backyard” in Alpine. I have not climbed a mountain in about 25 years! This will be an interesting challenge literally a few weeks before I head to Japan. I’ve got to do, what I’ve got to do!

I hope all is well in your world!

5am: Heading from SLC to Alpine and back. My good brother does the ride with me!
Water and Pop Tart break!
Half-way point My mother's front door.
That's not fat around my waist, just a spare inner-tube in case I get a flat!
My brother trades out his 2000 pound back pack for a 10-pounder!

Broken saddle post tightener! :(