Day 53- Motivation

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Ever had one of those days(weeks) when the plan just seems to slip farther and farther away? I started the week with a raging case of DOMS and it has just gone downhill from there. When I could use my arms again I had done some yardwork and general cleaning in the garage and in the meantime collected what I suspect was a spider bite that has swollen a spot on my wrist to the size of a boiled egg.

I have hit a bit of a plateau in my weight control plan, 282 seems to be a sticking point. I am wondering if it is time to get serious about cardio and start doing 20-30 miles on the bike every day for a couple of weeks and see where that goes. I have read some things about carb cycling, predominately here and think that it may be worth a try in the future. It is pretty complex but I think with practice it may be doable. The important thing is to do something, and keep doing it.

my food
4 eggs(320 cal.)P28F21.2C0
1 Can tomatoes and chilies(50 cal.)P2.5F0C10
3 oz. bacon(459 cal.)P31.5F35.4C1.2
Total=829 cal. macros P62 F 56.6 C 11.2

my workout-
Lawn mowing=1055 cal.

Day 48- The Next Cycle




I am starting a new cycle this week and in addition I am adding some light accessory work to hit the spots that get missed a lot and can help with all around balance and mobility.  Today’s accessory exercise is the one arm dumbbell row which is great to get the muscles of the middle back firing like they need to.

No matter what sort of a program you are into, if your focus is strength you need to keep doing strength exercises even if your program is mostly cardio.  The type II muscles that you need for strength will atrophy in as little as two weeks time if not properly(heavily) stressed on a regular basis.  Remember, strength happens in the 4-6 rep range so that part of the work doesn’t have to take a long time, just 3-5 heavy sets with an appropriate warm up and you are good to go.  I would venture to guess that you can maintain a great deal of strength by doing this twice a week along with the rest of the work you are doing at the gym.

my food
4 eggs(320 cal.)P28F21.2C1.6
1 can tomatoes and chilies(50 cal.)P2.5F0C10
1 tsp. coconut oil(40 cal.)P0F5C0
total=410 cal. P 30.5 F 26.2 C 11.6

3 cans tuna(270 cal.)P60F3C0
4 tbsp. miracle whip(160 cal.)P0F14C8
10 corn tortillas(500 cal.)P10F5C105
total=930 cal. P 70 F 22 C 113

Day 45- Transition


264001.tif Yesterday while I was picking up my ride packet for the Hotter’n Hell 100 I was asked to participate in a study done by the good folks at UNT.  I’m game.  The pre-screen was easy enough, I have to do a 45 minute survey this afternoon and we will see.  I am kind of excited.

Got my new Gatorskin tires and new tubes for the ride tomorrow.  If things go as they have for the last few years, there will be no less than 20 flat tires in the first mile of tomorrow’s ride.  I cannot understand why people will come from all over the United States and 30 foreign countries around the world to ride 100 miles in 100 degree heat with raggedy tires.  There is a logic bomb there that has yet to go off.

One group of cyclists I would love to meet tomorrow is the transplant team from Houston that ride as the “Organ Grinders”, complete with really cool jerseys.  In any case, looking forward to a great day, meeting new people and making a few new friends along the way.  The blog tomorrow will be post ride so don’t look for it until, let’s see, finish line-3:30(Hopefully), 30 minutes to get to the car and get home, say hi to my lovely wife, shower and 2 hour nap, around 6:30pm, my time.  Until then, then.

my food

carbs, carbs, carbs

my workout-active recovery

Day 44- Healthy At Every Size?



Absolutely not.  This is a movement that could not be more wrong.  I have friends that battle type 2 diabetes every day and are way too big, they are not healthy.  I myself, could be in better shape, I am not at a healthy weight yet.  Diet and exercise are not the enemy, they are the answer.


No  food tracking today, I’ve been a bad boy


Workout-Active rest day

Day 42- Fiber, The Forgotten Macro


Just when you thought you were doing everything you could to eat right, there is this other thing. Fiber, dietary fiber, 35-40 grams a day. Since it does a great job of reducing the chances of hypertension and Type 2 diabetes, goes without saying that a minute of two a day is well worth it to make sure you are getting enough dietary fiber.

Oatmeal, lentils, nuts, beans, all good sources of fiber. Here is a great list from Today’s Dietitian. The one thing they do not break down is whether the fiber is soluble or insoluble, I am not entirely sure that the difference is that important as long as an acceptable amount of total fiber is taken in.

If you do decide to increase your daily fiber follow these two rules, do so slowly and increase your daily fluid intake with the additional fiber.

my food
6 eggs(480 cal.)P42F31.8C2.4
1 tsp.(40 cal.)P0F4.8C0
total=520 cal.P 42 F 36.6 C 2.4

20 oz. ground beef(1400 cal.)P95F110C0
4 tbsp. coconut flour(80 cal.)P4F4C16
total=1480 cal.P 99 F 114 C 16

bad snack
peanut butter(756 cal.)P29.4F67.2C25.2
crackers(490 cal.)P7F10.5C84
total=1246 cal. P 36.4 F 77.7 C 109.2
daily total 3246 cal. P 177.4 F 228.3 C 127.6

my workout-none, pre-event week

Day 41- Pre-Event Checklist


A bicycle century or 100-mile ride is not something to take lightly. The best of riders will be on their bikes for around five hours, some substantially more and to do that safely requires planning and forethought. Even though this weekend’s Hotter’n Hell 100 will have over 2500 volunteers to support it’s estimated 14,000 participants, that’s still 14,000 participants. To illustrate the size of this crowd very simply, if everyone was thirsty at once, to give them all an 8 oz. glass of water would require 875 gallons. It is imperative that each and every rider do as much as possible to take care of their own needs during the days ride.

This is my checklist:

1. Clean and test camelbak for leaks, bad tastes/smells.
2. Get Clif bars, fast energy between rest stops.
3. New tires for the bike. No excuse for a flat on a century just because I was too lazy to get tires at the consumer show.
4. Ride wear is clean and ready to rock! Gotta shine in the club colors.
5. Check and recheck the derailleur adjustments, during is no time to do pre- maintenance.
6. Double check setup, seat height, etc. while there is still time for some shake out rides. An eighth of an inch over 6-7 hours makes a big difference.
7. Register and sign-in early, Thursday at 4 pm.
8. Consumer show, make sure to see some friends and visit with the vendors, get new gear while the deals are on. Tubes are $3 here, $7 and up any other time.
9. Spaghetti feed, get that grub on and carb-lload the night before.
10. Friday night 7 pm. Bikin Mike has his survival seminar, do not miss.
11. Sleep!!! Remember, you are leaving the house at 5 am.
12. Get up!!! It’s 4 am. you have to leave at 5 to make sure you get a parking spot downtown. Don’t forget to bring camelbak, clif bars, helmet, sweat band, cool socks, cycliing shoes, club gear, tire pump, bike, $10 just in case, very cool sunglasses because you will need them and looking good is awesome.
14. Remember, you are not riding 100 miles, you are riding 10 miles, getting a drink, something to eat and getting back on the bike. Lather, rinse, repeat. When they hand you the medal at the finish line, you can go home.
15. Have fun!

my food

breakfast burrito(528 cal.)P29.3F30.2C33.2

16 oz.(1120 cal.)P76F88C0
1 can pinto beans(280 cal.)P21F0C56
total=1400 cal. P 97 F 88 C 56

My workout-active recovery


Day 39- Train Endurance Or Train Strength?


Can you train for endurance and strength at the same time? Yes. Can you achieve greatness in both modalities at once doing so? No. The novice effect, whereby a trainee will make seemingly phenomenal linear gains in strength sometimes for months at the beginning of a weight training regimen only lasts for so long before basic biomechanical laws take over and plateaus are reached. Very focused endurance training can also make remarkable gains for about 2 months before certain barriers are reached.

What happens then? What causes all of the gains to stop? Growth happens. Sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it? Maybe not. Let’s look at strength first. Resistance is applied to muscle groups using for example, free weights. The muscle groups affected are only groups that are exposed, arms don’t grow because you are training legs, etc. Strength is composed of two components, the amount of muscle tissue available and the amount of available tissue that you can recruit to make a single movement. Oone part is a physical quantity and the second is a trained neuromuscular response. During the initial phase of novice training, the neuromuscular recruitment is much more easily adapted and this is where the perceived gains are coming from, we are learning to use more of our muscle to lift heavier. Once we reach the limit of how much muscle we can recruit at a single moment the body then needs to grow more muscle for us to recruit before we can progress, it is as simple as that. Growing lean muscle mass is a very slow process, a life long process that can only go so far, there is no ‘easy button’ for biology.

Now let’s look at endurance. The slow twitch muscles that we use for endurance movements like running, cycling and swimming work pretty much whenever we want them to, they ask only for oxygen and energy from fat stored in our bodies. The systems responsible for endurance are like any thing else, trainable. In a sedentary individual these systems are disorganized, they lack a leader. The energy storing/using bits don’t know day to day whether to store fat or burn it. By applying stress to the muscles in the form of endurance work on a regular basis at an appropriate level(level 2/3 if your counting) you impose a workload that requires your body to burn fat for energy at an optimum level while streamlining the uptake and delivery of oxygen to the muscles. Once everything is working, the correct enzymes are breaking down fat as fast as they can, the lungs are at capacity, the blood is flowing to the muscles as best it can, then endurance growth stops. Why? All things remaining equal you will eventually run out of fat, you will have to eat more to continue to progress. Your lung capacity can change a small amount but only very slowly. In order to pass more energy to the muscles the body has to grow additional blood vessels, capillaries, and this takes a great deal of time.

I am not saying that you cannot train for endurance and strength at the same time and make some gains in both directions, I am simply pointing out that the goals are different and the muscles involved and the way that they are trained are different. Think of fitness as climbing a very large hill, you won’t get to the top in a day, but the longer you keep at it, the better the view. Nothing is impossible unless you quit trying.

my food
6 eggs(480 cal.)P42F31.8C2.4
pork chorizo(570 cal.)P30F45C12
total=1050 cal.P 72 F 76.8 C 14.4
5.2 oz.peanut butter(936 cal.)P31.2F83.2C36.4
1 sleeve of crackers(490 cal.)P7F10.5C84
total=1426 cal. P 38.2 F 93.7 C 120.4
daily total=2476 cal. P 110.2 F 170.5 C 134.8

My workout

1 mile run
back squats
3 sets x 5 reps @195#

Day 38- Aerobic Activity: Burning Fat Or Burning Rubber

Aerobic activity burns fat, true or false? Yes and no. Without getting into a huge discussion about aerobic threshold and anaerobic threshold and VO2max, let’s just say that you don’t burn any fat by walking and you don’t burn any by sprinting. When you run at a speed that barely allows you to carry on a conversation, you are at an optimal fat burning intensity, keep it up.

When searching the ‘net for information on aerobic activity, be sure to vet your author!  Some sites cater specifically to performance athletes and make no disclaimer to warn people that may be new to a sport that what they refer to is for experienced athletes and they should scale down or look elsewhere.   I will call out a particularly popular HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) program here, although they have some of the smartest minds in the world contributing to their site, make no mistake, the subject matter that they tackle is for the SUPER ELITE athlete only.  If they speak of a certain method of running training, you can safely and happily ignore every word printed, UNLESS, you happen to run the mile in under 4:30 or have a series of unbroken 5k or 10k wins, this information cannot help you, it will only injure you.

I run for good health and I am never going to the Olympics, I don’t need the speed.  I need the sweat and the barking dogs at 4 am when the rest of the world is still sleeping, except for the people that own those damn dogs, I hope.  I want to wear smaller clothes, I want to eat smaller meals and I want to play with my grandkids for a long time to come.  But if you want to get technical you can, there is a guy named Joe Friel who probably wrote the book on aerobic training.

my food
4 eggs(320 cal.)P28F21.2C1.6
1 can tomatoes and chilies(50 cal.)P2.5F0C10
1 tsp. coconut oil(40 cal.)P0F5C0
total=410 cal. P 30.5 F 26.2 C 11.6

17 oz.chicken breast(521 cal.)P110.5F6C0
1 onion(64 cal.)P1.4F.1C15.5
2 jalapeños(8)P.2F0C2
4 tbsp. Hoisin sauce(200 cal.)P0F0C25
1 cup lentils(480 cal.)P40F0C80
total=1273 calories P 142.2 F 6.1 C 122.5(serves 2)

1 1/2 cups cottage cheese(240 cal.)P39 F4.5 C15
daily total=1913 cal. P 211.7 F 36.8 C 149.1

My workout- active recovery

Day 37- Finish Your Plate



Was that your first cognitive memory of eating at the table? Me, too. Must have heard that one a thousand times. I was a baby-boomer and you would have thought that I grew up in the Great Depression. Don’t let that go to waste, there are kids in China, over and over again. It was my first bad eating habit.

Musgo, there was another one. Everything in the refrigerator Must Go! Generally the night before the trash went out, all leftovers regardless of mark or pedigree got thrown on the stove and then on our plates. Very slimming for the frigidaire, for us, not so much.

Sammich! The Devil between slices of bread. Super processed, ultrarefined, bleached even, white bread with three of the most unnatural (food?) items ever conceived: bologna, american cheese and Miracle Whip. My favorite sandwich ever, the double decker with double cheese. Weighing in at a whopping 944 calories, over 600 from fat, Ronald McDonald would have been in awe. And I would eat 2 of these obscenities without batting an eye.

Breaking bad habits and replacing them with new, better habits will eventually lead to better health. It’s working for me.

my food
18 oz. cantaloupe(180 cal.)P3.6F0C45

4 eggs(320 cal.)P28F21.2C1.6
1 can tomatoes and chilies(50 cal.)P2.5F0C10
1 tbsp. coconut oil(120 cal.)P0F14.1C0
6 corn tortillas(300 cal.)P6F6C60
16 oz. 2% milk(260 cal.)P16F10C24
total=1050 cal.)P 52.5 F 51.3 C 95.6

16 oz. ground beef(1228 cal.)P122F78.4C
total= 2458cal. P 178.1 F 129.7 C 142.2
Todays workout- active recovery

Day 36- How Many Calories Do I Need?


The basic tenet of weight loss is eat less calories than your body uses in a day and you will lose weight.  Someone, a long time ago came up with the number 1800 as the number of calories you used each day.  This number did not take into consideration sex, age, height or general activity level, it was useless.  An online calculator like this one uses all of those inputs and gives you an approximation.  It says that I need between 3050 and 3250 calories a day to maintain my weight, I say ‘let’s find out.’

I decided to see exactly how many calories I need each day.  To do this I ate exactly the same number of calories every day for seven days and did the usual amount of activity that I normally do.  I carefully chose the foods I would eat each day to account for my personal tastes and to make sure that I would be getting adequate protein and fat to support the workout strategy I was pursuing.  If I skimped on protein, my strength work would be useless as the recovery process would be short-changed thus negating any gains in that area.

My weight this morning will be the ending weight for this experiment, and the formula below should give me a really good indication of how many calories I actually need each day, then I will know exactly how much I need to eat in order to lose the weight that I want to lose.  Water weight can often skew results such as the ones I am trying to get but I maintain an intake of at least 1 gallon of water every day, much more on endurance rides, typically 1/2 to 1 additional gallons, it sounds like a lot but a typical ride for me is in excess of 2 hours of continuous effort.

Part 1-  Beginning weight- ending weight= net pounds lost(we hope)

Part 2-  [calorie intake for one week+(net pounds lost x 3500)]/7=daily maintenance calories

P1: 288.4-282.8=5.6 lbs.   P2:[12,215+( 5.6×3500)]/7=4545 calories

If I further adjust this for the heavy endurance work I am doing this week, 4545-(6000/7)=3688 should hit the nail on the head.

This means that I can lose 1 pound a week by eating an average of 500 calories a day less than 3688  or  3188 calories.  I really look forward to eating something different tomorrow, as you might imagine.  As far as my choices for the ‘special diet’ went, I chose pork because of it’s excellent protein content and the fact that I could get a loin roast at an exceptional price and trim it and run it through my meat grinder and make exact portions.  Eggs and spinach, in my opinion, are perfect foods and I would not hesitate to eat them at any meal.  An onion a day was tough, so I mixed it up between the salad, the pork and the lentils.  2 jalapenos were no problem as I cooked them with the onions.  Tuna because it is simple and easy, Ro-Tel tomatoes because I like them.  Finally, lentils are a new favorite of mine, they go with anything and you can put anything in them to vary the flavor.  And they are easier to cook than dried beans, take that beans.

I would not suggest that anyone try this themselves, trust that I followed this diet as exactly as humanly possible, no cheating, not even once.  This was done for me, to prove a point and to find out something about myself.  Take what you will from the results, as much as I tried to remove all of the variables there is still room for error, it is expected to a certain degree, I just tried to make that error as small as I could.

My food
4 eggs(320 cal.)P28F21.2C0
1 tsp. coconut oil(40 cal.)P0F4.7C0
1 Can tomatoes and chilies(50 cal.)P2.5F0C10
total=410 cal. P 30.5 F 25.9 C 10

Protein shake
whey isolate(130 cal.)P20F3.5C6
16 oz. 2% milk(244 cal.)P16.2F9.6C24.6
Total=374 cal. P 36.2 F 13.1 C 30.6

1st lunch
2 cans tuna(180 cal.)P40F2C0

2nd lunch
5 oz. spinach(35 cal.)P4F.5C5
1/2 cup lentils(240 cal.)P20F0C40
2 tbsp. italian dressing(60 cal.)P0F6C3
total-335 cal. P 24 F 6.5 C 48

8 oz. pork loin(264 cal.)P50.6F5.2C0
1 onion(64 cal.)P1.4F.1C15.5
2 jalapeños(8)P.2F0C2
1 tbsp. coconut oil(120 cal.)P0F14C0
total=446 cal. P 52.2 F 19.3 C 17.5
daily total= 1745 P 182.9 F 66.8 C 106.1


My workout

cycling 29.09 mi. 3025 cal.  16.55 MET hrs.