Saturday, July 31, 2010

First long distance ride...

... was finally completed! 62 Miles!

I decided going up to Nyack, NY would be sufficient enough to break in my body.  One more of these and I'll attempt to complete my first century.

7AM:  Riding to and from 9W was probably the hardest part of the trip.  Apparently Garfield NJ is in the lowest part of NJ, going everywhere else is uphill! The first uphill going through all of Englewood is from -112ft to 462ft.  I was a little frustrated but I was wasting so much energy climbing JUST to get to the main route.  But all that effort wasn't for naught...

7:45AM:  Once I arrived at 9W around , there were a lot of cyclists already on the route.  It was a very smooth ride but like I said earlier it was chilly and there was a headwind that really added to the resistance.  After passing the CNBC building I realized I was one of the few that were riding solo.  Everyone else was apart of a group taking turns in the headwind to help conserve energy.  A couple riding buddies would've been helpful!

9:30AM:  I actually head onto the 9W/84 thruway Juction and get nervous because I feared I got lost.  I see a fellow rider with a Cervelo tri bike and ask if I had passed the Tappan Zee Bridge.  He only speaks Spanish!  So I asked in Spanish and he still didn't know... I decided to go with my gut and follow 9W farther north and I finally hit Main St. Nyack and recognize the area.

I reached my girlfriend's hairdresser's salon, a tri-athelete, she wasn't there yet.  Damn I really wanted to drop by and say hi.  Oh well, I head one block over to the marina to eat some solid food so I don't have another stomach ache like my first 30 mile ride.

Took this pic while chowing down on a trail mix bar.

I want a boat now...

I know this part of the leg.  I realized my mistake, I was supposed to make a right turn onto Piermont Ave.

I remember that I'm running low on fluids and I needed to fill myself up a little more.  I say hello to the fellow riders and take a 10 minute break still walking and stretching so my legs don't get cold.
Coming here again.  They carry all energy drinks/bars!
10AM:  Start heading back to Jersey, on the map you see that I'm not on 9W south.  I actually tried to find another route that didn't put me on the 9W narrow climb.  It was flat ride for several miles.  But I pay the piper again trying to get back onto 9W.  It was the same length climb as I first started.  I was really feeling it now, thank God there was two riders who reminded me of the Schleck brothers to draft from during the climb.

12PM:  I'm finally home!  I still have energy left, which is a very very good thing!  Next ride will be a 65-75 miler and then finally a century!

Thanks for listening.... on my way to fitness.

Thursday July 29th, 2010

Gym session:  Chest, Shoulders (mixed in for fun), Biceps, Abs

Wednesday July 28th, 2010

Jogged 4 miles on Garrett Mountain.  Feels good to run.  Totally different type of exertion.

Monday July 26th, 2010

Got off work early to train for Saturday.  I attacked Overmount Avenue with no stops!  I was more conscious of my energy management and was able to complete a whole 30 miles without any issues.  Unfortunately my cellphone had the issue of losing signal at Garrett Mt. therefore it didn't log the last 7 miles going home... fail.  Overall I was very happy with my performance, I'll do those 60 miles with more confidence now. 

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Friday, July 23, 2010

We beat the storm by seconds...

3:00 p.m - I'm at my desk in my office and says that by 8pm there's going to be a massive storm.  Damn, I wanted to get on the road bike for a little before my weekend soirée down in VA.  I'll get what I want, I inform my assistant about a made up emergency and head home.  

5:00 p.m - I'm geared up and ready to launch.  I'll do my normal route into Montclair and loop around a little to make 30 miles... or so i thought.

As I was heading down Upper Montclair Ave I see a fellow road biker... damn he's fast.  He heads onto Fransisco Drive towards Little Falls.. just so happened that's where I was headed also, he slows down on the climb and I say "hello, great weather right?"  He agree's quickly and I head on the downhill before he does.  He catches up to me at the next light and we speak.  He's riding an awesome Felt road bike with aero bars.
Looked sort of like this with yellow and black graphics and aero bars instead of the standard.  The bike is more than both my bikes and my car rack combine! AR series.
I knew immediately this guy was serious.  So I want to find out what this guy does.  "How long have you been doing Triathlons?" I ask. He replied," Btw my name is Frank (how rude of me) and I'm a road racer, I have a TT tomorrow and I'm just warming up." 

I ask him if I can tag along on his route, I could use a nice training route since recently I've just been riding around.  He sets off at his own pace, I yell to him feel free to drop me and I'll try my best to catch up.  For the first 4 miles I keep up with him.... so far so good... then he started pedaling.  LoL, man I'm out of my league.  This was truly a humbling moment and this is how a Semi-Pro's pace feels like.  To keep up with him I literally topped out at 40 miles an hour. 

I've been drafting him for the 4 miles and then I got this familiar yet uncomfortable feeling.  Shit my calves are cramping up!  I immediately tone down the pace and I start downing some Gatorade and a Gu packet, all while focusing on my breathing and stretching out of the saddle.  We finish one lap on the loop and I tell him thanks for everything and wish him luck, my legs aren't fresh anymore and I want to use whatever's left to get back home!  (Total Drop Count:  Whenever he wanted.)

I head to Chavez's house, damn he's not home again.  No problem I head into a mini deli on Main St. in Little Falls and purchase the biggest bottle of water and Gatorade available.  As I'm heading out some kids come up to me and ask how long have I been riding for and how fast can I go.  I tell them around 2 hours so far and I let them know I came from Garfield while topping out at 40mph.  They give me the doe-eyed look and they say bike safely.  Cute little guys. 

I receive a text from the wife saying she's at Garrett Mountain.  I'll meet up with her, it's not too far so I let her know.  I head under 46 again and up through Woodland Park and travel the only route I know.  Big mistake.  Overmount Avenue is the steepest hill I've ever attacked.  According to my tracker it was a 300 ft climb over roughly under a mile.  Halfway up my legs popped.  I couldn't swing any more power because my legs started cramping.  Oh well next time I'll save some energy for this.  I walk to the next level area while re-hydrating and scarfing down some ShotBlocks - probably the best tasting energy supplement.

I hear some distant rumbling, crap here's that storm they were talking about.  I check the time and it's 7:45.  That storm is still some ways away so, I spend whatever energy I have left and hit the lap right way up to the top.  Thankfully the wife was right at the peak waiting for me.  As stated in previous posts, I love her.  The storm is getting closer and I can see the flashes now.  In my rush I forgot to stop the tracker so you'll see a max speed of 60mph.  I added a caption with all the corrections.

This where I really stopped, Total distance was 32miles. Max speed achieved before Little Falls is 40.2 mph.  Average moving speed was at 15mph.  

My goals have been exceeded for the day.  I finally got to taste 40mph, maintained an average moving speed of 15mph, and completed more than 30 miles for the day.  Great Success!

My stomach had turned over by the time I got home, I unloaded the bike then Missy brought it up.  From my throne I hear the skies open up just as Missy shuts the door and I hear the reassuring sound of the cassette  spinning.  The bike didn't get wet... more success...

... while on my way to fitness.  

Update:  Morning weigh in... right at 202lbs... Estimated weight after the weekend soirée - 207 LoL

Monday, July 19, 2010

A.W.U - After Weekend Update

It has been a hectic weekend.  Even though you want to stick to your fitness plans, priorities come first and schedules get moved around.

Friday was supposed to be a mileage day on the road bike.  I figured since Saturday was my girlfriend's parent's wedding ceremony (only legally married prior) I was planning to bang out around 50 miles so the next day I can relax and enjoy.  Well one bad timing decision after another lead to me sitting around for 4 hours.  On the bright side I found one end of the famous 9W bicycle route here in NJ.  Definitely have to ride that soon.  I decided Saturday morning 7 hours before the wedding I will lap around Lewis Morris to make use out of my fresh legs.

Saturday July 17th - Wedding Day

7:15 A.M I'm at Lewis Morris unloading my Rockhopper and dialing in the tires.  Breakfast was only 45 minutes prior and I'm starting to regret the bagel (wheat w/ butter).  I start climbing, the first leg of LM is about 1.1 to 1.25 miles of straight climb as depicted on my tracker.  

This is from a previous time, in my rush to mountain bike I forgot to enable the tracker.

I'm the only mountain biker on the trail except for two trail runners going against my path, no biggie it is important for all of us to respect the rules so I yield, comment on the weather, and wish them a safe run.  25-30 minutes later I'm back at the parking lot, legs feel like they JUST warmed up.  It's 8 AM and I run into a fellow my usual group met the previous Lewis Morris group ride.  We spend some time stretching and talking about related topics and then I go on for my 2nd lap after 10 minutes of rest.  I warned him that Lewis Morris was a little bit different today because of the rain 48 hours prior.  Also during that first climb the soil is extremely soft packed.  At some points on my first lap I found my rear tire sinking into the ground while I was wasting precious energy to keep myself moving.  Lesson has been learned.  Now I know the trouble spots.

2nd lap was a little faster than the first.  I had dropped the aforementioned fellow on the climbs and just continued on the trail only waiting at the forks, there were only two of those thank God.  By the end of my 2nd lap I was happy with my performance and the fact that I had completed my second lap without stopping.  It help's to feel like you have to set the pace.

Fast forward to 7pm, I finally had some food. The ceremony was brutally hot.  I was sweating more in that suit then on the mountain with my BPM at 170.  I know that suit wasn't meant for the summer.  On a positive note I was wearing my terramar boxer briefs. They keep your "you know whats" the same temp if it were 10 degrees or 110 degrees.

I consumed about two plates of all the best food anyone can want after a workout, but I wasn't truly relieved until I was home with the suit off... I'm pretty sure that material was meant to be rented in the winter.  I would've appreciated it more. :-D

Sunday July 18th

The whole day was spent basically doing the normal stuff.  Picked up some new Pearl Izumi Shorts, a Specialized Jersey, and some Gu/Shotblocks (on sale at REI in East Hanover) .  These items came in HANDY later.

Come 6 P.M I decide to put in those miles I never got to do on Friday.  

I completed around 30 miles until the sun set completely.  Sorry for the backtracking on the map.  At one point I wanted to surprise visit a friend to only find out he was in a location .10 miles away from my furthest leg.  I trekked all the way back to stock back up on fluids.  Then I spun as fast as possible back into Clifton.  Problem was I ran out of sunlight and without the proper gear I did not want to chance the ride home.    I was 15 minutes too late... Called the wifey to come rescue me.  God I love her.

I didn't have the rear light during the Sunday night ride...  Both the light and the helmet are extremely important when cycling.

Monday July 19th

We decided to stay in today.  We woke up to a huge thunderstorm and decided that was a sign to just relax since the past 2 months have been hectic with wedding planning and random adventures.

Just completed a 10 mile recovery ride on the road bike.  Just to get something in.  Mounted some tires with less rolling resistance on to the wife's mountain bike to help her keep pace.  She's faster than she lets on.

Back to work tomorrow guys.  I'm scheduled to do my back/triceps.

.... on my Journey to Fitness.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My strategy...

... consists of cross-training.

On a side note, I've always known what was healthy or not healthy to eat.  The worst thing about gaining weight is knowing that I could've just maintained a smart diet and none of this would've ever happened.  I'm not saying it was the end of the world but I kind of let myself down.

Well I'm done beating myself up and I'm taking action.  Hindsight is always 20/20 right?  Time to leave the sedentary life of sitting in front of a PC monitor and becoming more active.

During work today I realized that the day before I did not have enough calories.  I don't count my calories every day but I have to remember to eat and snack healthily in between meals.  Mental note: Go to Costco for some grocery shopping.  Fiber one and Trail Mix bars are great snacks.  They are high in fiber and low in calories so they fill you up!
You'll also notice the Stacey's Pita chips, AMAZING after work snack, and Honey Bunches of Oats for my breakfast!  All supplied by Costco!  All my other groceries are from Pathmark and other supermarkets.

So I made it to Costco before they closed tonight!  I was at the gym doing my chest/biceps/abs routine.  On the way home I caught some flak from the wifey because I didn't come home as early as she had hoped.  It's all good though, we accomplished our nightly responsibilities regardless!

Okay sorry about that little tangent.  Back to my plan.

I've always been a weight lifter.  I focus always on proper form and consistent training.  Those are the only two things that help develop a lean/healthy muscle.  Not the high intensity 3 sets of 2.  Always do 3 steady sets of 10 reps.  Every set raise the weight so you keep your muscles from plateauing.  I've done P90X, and his technique is amazing.  Keep your muscles guessing every day and your body will not adapt to the exercise which will cause you to hit a wall.  If you can't complete a steady set, reevaluate your weight choices and go lower next time so you can complete the exercise, note it and then hopefully the week after you'll be able to complete the next level.  This is the foundation of all my weight lifting exercises, form, consistency, and diversity.  The aim of my weight lifting is to keep the calories burning while I'm sitting all day in the office.

The cross training comes in from me doing running and cycling as my cardiovascular workouts.  Back in 2006-2007 my Bally's membership ran out and I decided just to run.  So for a whole year I focused on lapping our local park every other day.  That, mixed with my years as a technician, and eating properly kept my body in the best shape.  But like I said in my previous post 09 rolled around and so did my weight :-D.

Now I'm into snowboarding in the winter, but for spring/summer/fall I'm in to cycling so lets talk about that.  Whether it be on my mountain bike during the weekends or my road bike during the week.  My personal goal for the road bike is to be able to ride centuries (100+ miles) on the weekend.  The goal for my mountain biking is to take in the wilderness while working on my strength (climbing) and endurance (lapping trails).

Mountain Biking Weapon of Choice: Specialized Rockhopper Comp Disc

                     Road Biking Weapon of Choice (borrowed from my older brother): 2007 Trek 1500

It's a work in progress but wish me luck.  Anything of worth (at least to me) will be tracked right here for you guys.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A little background information...

I was always a chubby guy, well at least I thought so.  People say I was never big but around 210lbs at 5'8" my junior year in high school I beg to differ.  End of junior year I had a wake up call and decided to limit my fluid intake only to water and to become physically active instead of active on the internet.  Three months later, some D.D.R mastery, and some weight lifting I became lean at 165lbs.  Senior year I was voted most changed since freshman year... great success!

Now let’s fast forward to '05.  I was working as a B-Level Technician at Nissan.  For nine hours a day I was lifting tires, engines, transmission, and suspension components for a living.  I ate whatever was in front of me during any meal and my weight never changed.  At that point I was a solid 180lbs.  I had gained 15lbs in muscle to adjust to the amount of labor I did every day.  Four years this went on without a second thought, I was in the best shape of my life.

2009 rolls in, I've been unemployed for a month.  Being a technician had it's drawbacks.  There was no salary or hourly, pay was based on the amount of work you produced/completed.  The thing is when someone hinders me from making the money I was capable of making, you start to hate your job.  November 2009 I decided to leave my life as a technician and pursue a job in an office.  I spent one month unemployed playing video games all day waiting for the job position in January to open up at a small business located in Bergen county.  The weight gain starts.

I basically went from burning 1200+ calories a day to eating that amount in one sitting WHILE sitting in a chair staring at a monitor all day.  I wasn't too concerned with my weight and just focused on working in this new career.  Summer of '09 I hit the 200lb milestone again... scary... but no big deal I've lost more weight before... I'll get around to it.  Wrong.

December 2009, I'm at 210lbs.  Okay i'll start working out now, but all these holiday meals are so great.  As long as I do my normal weight lifting I'll be fine.  Wrong.

2010 New Years Resolution - Get out of the house and the resorts where you inhale massive amounts of alcohol and food, and experience what the world has to offer.

March 2010.  I've been working out for 3 months maintained a weight of 210lbs with snowboarding as a weekend hobby.  Full body workout all weekend helped keep the weight at bay.

May 2010.  Shit I'm at 220lbs.  I have to do something about this.  MDW I ate so much food and drank till I was sick.  The gym is just getting payments from my bank account.  I've lost all motivation.  I need to do some soul searching I need to find that motivation.  I got it!

June 2010.  Cycling, whether it be mountain biking or road biking.  I used to ride my bike everywhere and anywhere everyday when I was a little teen, but once the world wide web became the source of all entertainment, information, and all I ever needed was just to drive to work.  That's changed now.


The first time I went mountain biking on a trail.  June 12, 2010.  I was at 220lbs easy.  I've been road biking for a week to raise my endurance and get my breathing down pat.  That week of training paid off that day, otherwise I would've been throwing up.

**All workout sessions include warm-ups and stretching to help elevate heart rate and loosen targeted muscle groups**

July 1st -   I realize I need more than just every other day cycling to help me out.  I decided on my leg recovery days I'll dedicate myself to the gym to keep my calories burning while I'm still in the office.

July 5th - Lewis Morris trail ride in the heat with Chavez -

July 6th - Chest - Incline Press (Free-weights), Incline Fly's (Free-Weights), Bench Press (Free Weights), Chest Fly's (Free-Weights), Biceps - Concentration Curls (Free Weight), Standing Curls (60lb Curl Bar), Abs - Whatever I can do. 3 sets of 20 reps of 3 different exercises. Bicycle Crunch, Reverse Crunch, Vertical Leg Crunch

July 7th
Road Biking at Garrett Mountain -

July 8th - Mountain Biking at Garrett Mountain with Missy.  An easy ride, didn't push too hard due to the previous day's workout.

July 9th - Back Workout - Pull-ups, Lat Pull-downs, Lat Pulls (Free-weight), Stiff Leg Dead-lifts (lower back), Lower Back Extensions, Tricep Workout

July 11th - Jungle Habitat in West Milford NJ.  Around 6 miles of technical trails were completed

July 12th - Morning Weigh in... 205lbs!!! I've lost 15lbs!!!

Warm up - 1 mile run on treadmill, then stretches

Leg Workout - Squates, Lunge Walks, Calf Raises, Hamstring Extensions

Cool Down - 1 Mile run, stretches

July 13th - 2 Laps, 4 miles at a steady jogging pace at Garrett Mountain.  1 lap of walking for cool down, then stretching.