Monday, October 30, 2006

October 2006 “The Spark”

October 2nd, 2006, A sales call in Phoenix Arizona; not unlike hundreds of other sales calls I have made throughout my career, but this particular sales call ended up being a spark. Jim and Dave Probst of Quality Temperature Maintenance were kind enough to include me while considering their 2007 marketing plan. It was a very productive meeting that, like most meetings eventually meandered into hobbies. I was quite excited to hear that Jim and Dave are very active cyclist. It was then they told me about their favorite annual ride, “The Iron Horse”; a 50 mile ride in Colorado from Durango to Silverton. Oh, and to make it fun, a coal fired, steam locomotive sets the pace to beat. Now, 50 miles, even in my somewhat “deteriorated” state was pretty manageable. The 5700 feet of climbing was a whole different animal. At the time I thought . . neat ride, but not for me.

October 5th, 2006 The Commitment
It was on the flight home that it really started to sink in. I could do this. . .if I just lost a few pounds. . . and put in a few training miles. . . I could do it, I could really do this! Ok, I even got carried away and graphed my weight loss and training schedule in Excel. So when I landed, the game was on. By race day, May 26, I would lose 35 pounds and ride over 2000 miles. It was a few days later the final part of the plan came together. It was one of those self improvement books. Loosely translated, “communicate your goals to as many people as possible to ensure your success.” Okay, why not tie this to our Luxaire partner Make-a-Wish. . . if I am doing this for a child, a child with a life threatening illness no less, I’ll surely be more committed. And so, a second, equally important goal: I will raise $10,000 for the Make-a-Wish Foundation to ensure that a least one more child will be granted a wish.

Progress Diary
Week ending October 9th, (the first week for diet & exercise)
40 miles, 225 pounds
- For those who are interested, diet for me means this: stick pretty close to Weight Watchers “Core” program with the exception of some type of ice cream every night. (I know it’s not the best, but it works for me).
As a plan, I want to ride 2000 miles between now and May 26th, the day of the ride. Given the season and my work schedule, I will use some compromise. I want to do most of my training on the bike if possible. When I can’t be outside, I will be in the garage on rollers. For better climbing training, I will intermix spin classes. When on the road, or just needing some cross training, I’ll use an elliptical trainer (or whatever is available in the hotel) As an equivalency, I use 50 calories as the equivalent of a mile of riding. I came to this from observing heart rate on the bike vs. machine.

Week ending October 16th,
65 miles, 221 pounds
- The diet was the hardest part this week. The workouts seem solid and progress is good. At this point, I need to work on some longer outdoor rides while the weather will allow.

Week ending October 23,
85 miles, 217 pounds

The shorter ride I did this week was good and led me to take on a more aggressive distance on Saturday. The Oklahoma wind fooled me yet again. 25 miles out went very well. I felt good, and it did not seem all that windy. . . Famous last words in Oklahoma. When I turned to come back home, the wind picked up, and the temperature dropped 20 degrees. It was still in the 40s, but I was dressed for the 60s. It has been years since I’ve been that cold! Overall, feeling very good, and the weight is coming off easier.

Week ending October 30th,
83.6 miles, 216 pounds
Two shorter outdoor rides this week, but the mileage is growing quickly. Unfortunately, the weight has slowed a bit, but still down. The direction is the important part.