I didn’t ride yesterday, which means I only finished the week with 4.5 hours of riding (I have a loose goal of 6 or more). I took last Sunday off because of Saturday’s race; put in a good ride Monday night; had a fun, but casual ride on Wednesday night; and then threw in a recovery pace ride on Thursday night. Not a real hard week.

In the end, I woke up yesterday, realized it was really cold out yet, and simply couldn’t motivate myself to put all the gear on again. I love riding in the winter. I don’t ever mind the cold (I’ve discussed this before). But I guess I’ve found my breaking point. Putting the winter gear on at the end of March is just not desirable. I had a shorter day to work with because we had some fun plans to meet up with friends for bowling and pizza in the afternoon so I decided to work on the yard instead.

Now, I haven’t really talked about it much in my blog, but I’m one of those overweight-american-finds-religion-though-endurance-sports-success-stories….in progress. I’ve dropped from 280ish to about 225 over the last 3-4 years through a combination of making smarter food choices (both quantity and quality); finding something that I really enjoy that challenges me physically; and lowering my cholesterol without medication in the process (which helped me lower my life insurance premiums as well). What started out as a desire to make sure I was able to walk both of my daughters down the aisle someday if they should ask turned out to be a passion for competition and striving for peak performance. But you don’t go through this process without some noticeable change.

When it comes to positive recognition for the change in my physical stature, I’m not good at showing gratitude for the supportive comments. In plain terms, I suck at saying thank you and accepting the accolades. I don’t know if it’s because I don’t like to think about where I’ve been or if I feel like it is recognition for work I should have been doing all along. I know for sure that I do appreciate friends who notice my weight loss, but I really don’t think of the ‘what I look like’ as the goal. Rather, I frame my body weight in terms of how much faster can I go if I drop another 5 lb’s.

So, when I don’t ride for a couple of days and then throw on a couple of doozy meal days like a huge burrito from my favorite local Mexican restaurant (The Fat Burrito) followed up with better than 1 lb of pork chops for dinner (Friday) or a ½ lb Mushroom Swiss burger with 3 lbs of fries (last night), I feel a bit defeated. Maybe guilty, even. But frustrated for sure because not only did I not get my miles/hours in for training, but I walked backwards with the horrible calories/nutrients and that all means one thing: slower.

Not to fear, though, my friends! Not only do I keep in mind that I’m going to enjoy some great food without guilt once in a while, but Sunday afternoon provides for a ride of health redemption. Since my riding week is from Sunday to Saturday, I always have the opportunity to kick off every week with a tone setting ride on Sunday afternoon. Today’s ride was one of my better ones: 44 miles, 2 hours 33 minutes, hill repeats scattered throughout, gravel pace riding, single track, and beautiful scenery through the northern Holland lakeshore and countryside. There’s no better remedy for a couple of days off than to wear yourself out for a couple of hours on your bike. And, today’s ride helps ensure that I’ll need to get better at saying thank you to my friends’ compliments.


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