Riding my way to a new thinner me…

This past April, I took a few days off and flew up to Seattle to visit son Michael and daughter Kathleen. We took in Mariners opening day, played some disk-golf, and generally enjoyed some very nice weather.

Visits to Seattle have always involved a fair amount of walking, and this trip was no exception. That Friday, Michael and I logged about 10 miles between walking downtown to grab Kathleen for brunch, and then heading over to Safeco for the game. The downside to this was that it demonstrated in superb style how out of shape I was – dragging myself up the steeper hills was truly painful.

So, on my return to Sunnyvale, I vowed to start getting in shape. For most of May and part of June, I walked diligently – as much as 7-8 miles a day – and I felt great and lost that first easy-to-lose 10 pounds. Unfortunately, I stalled out at about 225 – and it sure seemed that no amount of walking was going to make any difference.

So, if walking wasn’t going to get me where I wanted (I’m trying to get under 180), and since I love to eat my wife’s incredible cooking, I decided to try running (again). Now, I ran cross-country and track in high school, and after college did some running for fitness, but that was all 20 years and 40 pounds ago. In any case, I started out mixing some ‘running’ (more of  a painfully slow jog) with my walking, and about 5 days into that my right knee started hurting (a lot). So after some rest and reflection, I decided to start riding my bike
again.

That was back at the start of July, and so far its been a fairly successful effort – I’m down under 220, I’m riding 4-5 times a week, I’m tackling some ‘starter’ hills in the area (Mount Eden and the locally famous Portola Valley loop), and I’m not the slowest guy out there any more.

Motivation has been, for me, hard to come by. It can be really challenging to get my rear out of bed on Saturday or Sunday. So I’d like to acknowledge a couple of people who’ve
really helped – first up: Eldon ‘Fatty’ Nelson (www.fatcyclist.com) who writes encouraging, humorous, engaging notes about biking – its good to know you’re not alone. Second, (and yes, this one scares me quite a bit), NBC for their Tour de France coverage – its amazing how watching a bunch of people who are way better at this then I’ll ever be can still motivate me to go out and get riding.

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