Get fit: the slow and arduous way!

A rare bit of sun on the trail this week

Bright thing in sky! What is it?

It has not been an easy two weeks to be persistent about cycling. Slushy rain, crazy wind, one day with gusts up to 40 mph. I gave up half way that day, and jumped on a bus. But I had second thoughts. The bus took twice as long.

This evening, with a steady freezing rain and hardly any wind, seemed like a relative walk in the park.

But I am training for the Seattle to Portland ride in July, and I’m never going to get there if I let a little windy rain stop me. I logged 72 miles of riding this week, eight short of my training schedule. Next week I need to hit 100.

Yes, I know I sound a little nuts. I get lots of “You’re crazy,” or, “You’re going to ride home? Today?” But I have gotten to insanity slowly, bit by bit. First I rode a few times a month. Then a few times a week, usually half of my commute by bike, half by bus. Now I’m riding every day, going the entire route from Redmond to Seattle about half the time. I’m adding miles every week.

During my gradual ramp-up, I’ve learned the routes, I’ve learned more about my bike, I’ve learned to match my clothes to the weather, and I’ve learned how to be safer (Blinkies, Wayne!). And I’m in much better condition. I still have a long way to go on the fitness front, but I know how I’m going to get there. And it’ll be slow going, just like it has been up to now.

I’m a reverse infomercial: Get fit slow! Take forever to lose weight! Let’s see where you are in two years! But I figure gradual change has a better chance of sticking. I take a very long term view, i.e., what’s important is reversing trends. I was probably gaining about two pounds a year. Not much, but add that up over five years, or 10. Not pretty. If I reversed that trend, I’d be back to college weight in 10 years. Not that I really want to be that skinny again, but you get the point.

It’s worked so far, about 9 months into the plan. I let you know if it really worked in about two more years. Maybe three. In the meantime, if you want to let me know what’s working for you, chime in…

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5 thoughts on “Get fit: the slow and arduous way!

  1. Waynkster says:

    I spent five or six years commuting to work by running (2.5 miles in; 2.5 miles out), skipping only days with lightning involved, and it had exactly the effect you describe.I only stopped when I fell out of a tree and broke my back. I eventually started back up and it worked again, until I moved closer to work. Since then I’ve shifted to a more recreational basis, if you can call it that: A stationary bicycle that I ride frantically for an hour every morning immediately after I get up. I don’t have the need to get to work driving me on, but when it’s sleeting outside I’m dry, or at least sleet-free.
    I gave blood Saturday. My pulse was 56 and I have the b.p. of a small child.
    The secret isn’t why or when you do it, just that you do.

  2. Waynkster says:

    Here’s an embarrassing motivator: Presidential Physical Fitness Awards.
    No kidding, like the old system they used to pimp during Saturday morning cartoons.
    Here’s a link:
    http://www.presidentschallenge.org/
    I earned a couple of awards (a certificate signed by a computer that signs the name of the president of the United States! and a shoulder patch) in the Clinton and Bush administrations, when they were based on specific accomplishments — Run 50 miles a week for eight weeks, get a running award; run 50 miles a week for eight weeks and complete a marathon, get a marathon award…. The biking awards were about as challenging, which is to say, pretty.
    In the Obama administration they’ve turned it into a more generic award based on some mysteriously evaluated rating of your daily work out — Ride a stationary bike vigorously for an hour, earn 600 points, Swim moderately for 15 minutes, earn 150 points. At certain points (every 20,000 points, I think) you qualify for progressively bigger awards — bronze, silver and gold medals. I’m within 10,000 points of my gold medal, which I recognize to be an essentially empty accomplishment, but I want another shoulder patch for that jacket that I have (but never wear) that has all my awards.

    • dougkimster says:

      Wow. You are bringing back childhood trauma, Wayne. I never got one of those because I couldn’t make it all the way to the top of the rope climb. And by the way, whose idea was it to make little kids climb a rope all the way to the ceiling of the gym?

  3. Waynkster says:

    No more rope climb requirement.

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