8 Weeks. 8 Weeks? 8 Weeks!
There’s only 8 weeks left in the season of “Pfft, I can totally eat that”/”I’ve still got time to get in shape”, before the 2018 Race Season begins.
That means, in 8 short weeks it’ll be time to stuff my ever-largening body into a spandex kit, and race until long after it hurts.
So really, it’s now “Um, I really shouldn’t eat that”/”THERE”S NO MORE TIME” Season!
Honestly, 8 weeks?
Wait, what? No way. That’s less than 2 months.
No. Freakin’. Way.
The race season can’t begin. I won’t let it. It’s not really starting, is it? Aw, c’mon.
Forget it. I’m not racing this year.
Seriously, I get goosebumps just thinking about the upcoming season of racing.
And nausea. I get nausea too. Nausea for the pre-race worry and race-day anxiety. Nausea for the upcoming pain and suffering this season holds (so awesome and so very very daunting). Nausea for the fact that my side gut flaps are not in spandex worthy-form, and SHOULD NOT BE GAZED UPON BY HUMAN EYES.
Okay, so there is little chance that I WON’T race, and that means there’s no more time to lament those extra Christmas shortbread cookies, or that Costco-sized bag of Doritos that I opened (and ate) last week, or the second burrito I’ve been ordering lately (“Extra guac please!”).
Annnnnd, with the 12 steps of denial out of the way, and the 2018 race season about to start, there’s only one thing to do: Get ready to race.
It’s time to activate Team Colin.
Ska-Schwing!!! Okay, I’m a little embarrassed by my lame attempt to make an anime transformation sound, but not as embarrassed at the thought of what I’m going to look like, in 8 short weeks, sheathed in spandex, wheezing, panting, and gasping for air, looking more like a gorilla on a tricycle than the seasoned racer that I am (although I’m totally not even close to seasoned).
That image of me in spandex tho… How am I going to do it? I am literally shaking my head.
I’m even shaking my head in acronym form: SMH…
and emoji form…
and via meme…
So I’ve complied 4 lists here to outline my current predicament: The Complete Picture of My Current Condition; What I’m Doing Wrong; What I’m Doing Right; and What I Need to Change.
List 1: The Complete Picture of My Current Condition
- I weigh 251 pounds. It’s the heaviest since I started racing (but no heavier than last year at this time, or the year before at this time). I feel like my side gut flaps are bigger than ever. It’s a sore spot for me that I wrote almost the exact same blog two years ago. Here’s proof. That post was literally my second blog post.
- I tried to reconnect to my family last fall, and spent too much time AWAY from my bike.
- I raced a LOT last season, and spent too much time ON my bike (see above).
- I had the actual plague this winter, and slept for 7 consecutive days. No kidding. This means my legs are currently dead tree stumps and my lungs have the capacity of a teacup.
- Oh the plus side, aside from my week with the bube (the plague), I’ve been ripping at Joyride 150 an average of twice a week this winter, and I even set-up a basement gym (treadmill, spin bike, and Bowflex–with a wall mounted tv) that I visit once or twice a week. Also, I’ve been generally active (skating, tobogganing, and shovelling) this winter.
- But…the wheels have literally fallen off the bus regarding my diet. I have been hoovering pretty much every article of bad food in sight. Hey look, poutine!
- I still sort of rock my school clothes, but in truth, I feel mushy, muffin-toppy, and over-sized. Even my sport coats can’t hide the bulge. I hate this feeling. I. HATE. THIS. FEELING.
List 2: What I’m doing wrong
- A lot. Just so damn much. It mostly has to do with food. See above.
List 3: What I’m doing right
- I’m actually riding a fair bit (as often as I can).
- I have a great breakfast every morning: a smoothie with 2 cups of spinach, quarter cup of berries, 20 or 30 almonds, and water, along with an english muffin with peanut butter and jam.
- As per my doctor’s suggestion, I take vitamin C and D, and a shot of Omega every day, so my nutrient intake is pretty decent.
List 4: What I need to change
- I need to ride more
- I need to eat less
- I need to add some more cardio and general conditioning to my basement workouts
Back to activating Team Colin.
Activating Team Colin means that it’s time for me to up my game. Make no mistake, I ride for fun and I race for fun, but it’s not fun to claw my way to a finish line, and it’s really not fun to be seen as the rider who limps at the end of a race.
Hey, here’s a funny story. All of this started with my friend, Brendan Arnold, via another friend, Leslie Summers (of Joyride 150). Leslie told me she was talking to Brendan about my performance at the Epic 8 Hour. She told me he saw me at the race, and he said I was in “really rough shape”. Of course, when he saw me I was literally limping along during my last two laps. I asked him about the conversation, and he said “Oh yeah man”, because BMXers talk like this, “You were delusional man. Ripper of a day though”. By the way, Brendan is Australian. Reread his quote with an Aussie accent. I’m not going to say he sounds like Steve Irwin, but he doesn’t NOT sound like Steve Irwin.
So I made a decision. Because there is nothing like abject embarrassment for inspiration, and since this is a web log, I’m going to out myself and keep an online record of my physical and gastronomic progress over the next few weeks.
I’m going to start a new menu on my blog called “8 Weeks”, and list what I eat and do each day for the world (or at least my three regular readers–hi mom) to see. I’m not sure if I can manage daily posts, but weekly updates for sure.
Here are my “8 Weeks” goals:
- 16 proper rips at Joyride 150 (and I’ll only count doing 20+ laps as a proper rip)
- No more crap food. Yup, a Cycling Lenten season (is that sacreligious?): No chocolate; no french fries; no pop or juice; no sweet treats; and 1 less burrito.
- Smaller meal portions.
- 3 minutes of nightly core exercises.
Yup, on my new 8 Weeks menu, I’m going to shame myself. I’m going to give myself a sticker for each day I succeed in not succumbing to the alluring pull of poutine, BBQ chips, and my neighbour’s desserts. There’s no sliding scale here (“I ate really well, but I had 6 cookies after school, so I only get 4/5 today”). I’m going to give myself a sticker or not.
I’m not a total lost cause (although close), so this likely won’t call for life-changing modifications to my habits (because honestly, the food situation is about will power). However, adding more riding and workouts will require some shuffling of my day-to-day routine. I have to find a way to still get the laundry done, make sure the kids get to school on time, contribute to my share of the household chores and duties, and keep up with school work (marking, prep, play rehearsals, and such), AND add an hour or two on average most days for bike stuff. Lofty goal.
My benchmark is to eat a bit less than 3,500 calories a day (which is what I’m allowed at my weight), cut out the empty (but oh so delicious) calories, ride lots, and live as actively as possible.
I don’t have a racers body…or mentality…or discipline, I don’t train like my competitors, I lack the impulse control of my contemporaries, I like to eat, and it’s sometimes hard to find the time to ride, but I’m Team Colin, and my blog by-line says it all. “I’m a working father who trains for XC mountain bike races…”. It’s not just a by-line, it’s who I am.
So I figure it’s time to do something, and it can’t just be a wish. I’ve done it before: I did it when I started racing, and lost 15 pounds; I did it in my second year of racing when transformed my body into a sort-of/almost/not-quite-there racing machine; I did it when I committed to 100 rides in a year, and had to ride 20 times in the last month in order to achieve it; I did it when I did my first race on a single speed, and I did it when I aimed for a marathon MTB race (70+k) and did it (6 times last year). This weight loss thing has been dogging me throughout my riding career (and for the past two + decades) and it’s time to break the cycle (see what I did there).
It starts with me, a bike, a bit of will power, and a great…
wait for it…
Aw dang it. I started writing this last Sunday. Now there’s only 7 weeks. Shit. On the plus side, despite the horror of the spandex and side gut flap situation, there’s only 7 weeks until the absolute joy and thrill of the 2018 Race Season. Boom.