I’m Still Alive

2017/08/07 at 9:33 pm | Posted in Cycling, Exercise, Health, Life, lifestyle change, Running, weight loss | Comments Off on I’m Still Alive
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Yes folks, I am in fact still kicking. Since reaching my goal there really hasn’t been much to report. But since I’m here, let’s hop right into it.

In my last post, I had mentioned that my weight had gone up to 231 but later 221 after dropping 10 pounds. Well, I’m back to 235 at the moment and I chalk some of the gain up to having a desk job again and, naturally, age. I’m currently 48 and it’s not as easy to lose weight as you get older (less testosterone and a slower metabolism definitely play a big part).

And if you average it out over 9 years, the time it’s been since I reached my goal, that 35-pound gain is a little under 4 pounds a year or .33 a month to make it look even more miniscule. 

And honestly, I think part of my gain is muscular. Sure my pants size and shirt size have gone up one but other than that, I’m still busy. Here are my stats from this year via Endomondo:

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As of yesterday, so far this year I’ve logged 886.29 miles of combined running, walking, and cycling. The numbers inside the circle represent how many workouts you did that month and as you can see, I’m easily hitting 20 or more each month with the exception of February (weather) and April (vacation).

The good thing about these numbers is that the office has a bikeshare program that allows us to check out bikes during lunch and go for a ride. I used them for a bit but have since taken one of my old bikes to the office since the bikeshare bikes aren’t all that great. (Besides, I want to add some personal touches to my bike.) I ride between 3 and 5 a day while at work and they definitely add up, as you can see.

And here I am after Mile 8 during my last Sunday ride, taking a break at the beach:

And this is why I say I think a lot of my gain is muscle. You don’t really see much of a difference in my face as you do in my Progress Photos (unless you count my looking much, much older — and longer hair plus facial hair). Here’s a full-body shot taken recently:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, maybe you can after all. And don’t mind my crazy new pseudo Dave Grohl look. But the point is I’m still active, still doing what I’ve been doing. Oh, and one big switch recently has been abandoning diet sodas once and for all (again). I grew addicted to them once again and decided to drop them cold turkey and replace them with water.

It’s been interesting. I definitely don’t crave them anymore and the times I have tried them, I couldn’t believe how incredibly horrible they tasted (except for Diet Dr. Pepper, which is the only one I’ll have on occasion as a treat). I now get water delivered at home and also drink sparkling water at work as a soda replacement.

So that’s it. I’ve gained some but I’m anything but lazy, especially at the office. As far as events go, I’ll be doing the Long Beach Marathon 5k and bike tour once again this year, my 9th bike tour and 3rd 5k.

Hope you all are doing well!

 

 

So I’m Still Alive

2015/02/04 at 10:01 pm | Posted in Cycling, Discipline, Exercise, Health, lifestyle change, Motivation, Running, weight loss, weight loss blog | 2 Comments
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If there are any readers of this blog left, I’d like to take a moment to let them all know that yes, I am still alive. I just got a little sidetracked with a lot of things.

First, unemployment. At the time of my last post, I was still not working which for all intents and purposes would mean I’d have time to post even more. True, but I didn’t feel the need to since there hasn’t been a lot going on. I’m happy to report that I’ve since been employed part-time and will be starting a second job very soon.

But because of my unemployment and part-time minimum-wage job, making ends meet has been difficult. As a result, I’ve decided that I will not participate in any events in 2015. Even though my second job will provide additional income, I just want to take a break from them and focus on getting in better shape.

Why better shape? Oh. That.

I made some really bad choices during the holidays last year and as a result, my weight soared to its highest level in a long time: 231 pounds. On average, I’ll add a few pounds during the holidays but never this much. I wasn’t happy with myself and decided to start over in January.

And I did. By participating in the 30 Day Plank Challenge, doing routine exercises, and logging my meals with MyFitnessPal, I’m pleased to report that I shed 10 pounds in January. I’m getting older and while running is still part of my routine, I’m also walking when I go out so as not to apply too much strain on my knees. Recovery takes longer but I’m still happy to get out and break a good sweat.

During my last outing, I decided to add another challenge: running up the inclined walls of the local river/channel. I did about 10 reps the first time and will add more as I see fit.

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This is a still captured from a video I shot of me sprinting up and down the walls. At this point I was at about 5 miles of combined waking and running so I figured that 10 reps would be my maximum. I was right — it was enough, but it felt great.

Speaking of events, here are some pictures from the ones I did last year. I only did a few because of my limited income so I had to choose wisely.

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February: Chinatown Firecracker 30-Mile Bike Ride. They changed the course and it killed me! But I finished and had a great time as usual. It’s a fantastic event.

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March: The Coaster Run. I only did the 5k but it was still a lot of fun, especially running in the rain. Yes, it rained! I can’t recall the last time I smiled so much while running.

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October: Long Beach Marathon Bike Tour and 5k. For the second year in a row, I rode 20 miles then transitioned over to running and ran the 5k. The difference last year from previous years was that you could enter both under the “combo” option and not have to pay for the ride and run separately; both events got official times; and as you can see, a third medal was awarded to all finishers. It’s a great incentive for those who want to do their first duathlon.

So that’s it. I’ll continue to focus on losing what I gained and then some, and work on my goal to be 200 pounds again — maybe less.

Thanks again for reading! Don’t lose sight of your goal and stay committed!

2013 Long Beach Marathon Weekend

2013/10/14 at 8:19 am | Posted in Cycling, Discipline, Exercise, Health, Inspiration, Life, Milestone, Motivation, Running, Victory, weight loss, weight loss blog | Comments Off on 2013 Long Beach Marathon Weekend
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First of all, my apologies if I have not posted here in a long time. I’ve just been sidetracked by other things and starting to catch up.

Secondly, before we get into this past weekend, I seem to have forgotten to mention that I did one more event in between then which was the OC Fair 5k in August. I had an overall time of 39:51 but this included the time I stopped to play a game and win a stuffed animal for Anthony, so you can probably deduct a good 5 minutes from that. In fact, my time was 33:47 on Endomondo with the time stopped.

At any rate, here I am with the stuffed animal, ready to throw it over to Anthony who was waiting for me.

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Shortly afterward I made it to the finish line.

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So that’s the one I forgot but the big news was what happened over the weekend.

Being that I’ve ridden in previous Long Beach Marathon events, I was part of a handful of participants who were eligible to register their child for the Aquarium of the Pacific Fun Run on Saturday for free. I asked Anthony if he wanted to do it and he said he was up to the task of running one solid mile around the aquarium and beyond, so I signed him up. In the meantime, he was proud of telling me about the “training” was was doing for the event while at school – running away from other kids. I told him sprinting is fine, but you’ve got to find your pace.

He did, and 11 minutes after the start, he crossed the finish line.

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He was sweaty, he was thirsty, he had his medal. He now knows the glorious feeling of crossing that finish line and having hundreds of strangers cheering him on. Yes, he is officially a runner! We’re so proud of him for what he did and he’s told me he wants to do it again, and I have no problem with that. Congratulations, Anthony. You did a fine job!

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Now onto Sunday. In this post I mention that this year I would tackle riding the VW Think Blue Bike Tour as well as running the 5k. I made the commitment and signed up for both without much hesitation and not knowing exactly what I had gotten myself into. With the bike tour starting at 6 am and the 5k at 8:30, I figured I had plenty of time to do both events.

But, as has been the case since 2010, the bike tour started about 20 minutes late. I would just have to step things up a notch to make it back in time to run the 5k. This would be easy since The Powers That Be decided to chop a whopping 10k from the bike tour route, much to the disappointment of myself and may other riders. Sadly, it was the most scenic part of the route but in order to accommodate the runners (as was the reason given), the tour was reduced to 20 miles.

The route also started in a different direction as well as through a smaller starting gate. This made for a traffic jam just as things got underway and many cyclists almost fell since they were clipped in and ready to roll. Not a wise choice by the organizers.

But with all of that out of the way, I crossed the finish line at 1:19:28 according to Endomondo (official times are not tracked).

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One down, one to go. I had just enough time to do some stretching and prepare for the 5k.

The 5k started at about 8:35 (or at least that’s when I started my time). I felt pretty good going into it but about 1/4 miles my legs started to cramp horribly. I walked a little bit then picked up the pace and again, more cramping.

This continued until about Mile 2.5 at which point I decided to not let it bother me anymore and jog all the way to the end. Once I saw that finish line ahead of me I turned it on and sprinted as fast as I could to cross it, proud of what I had just accomplished.

After waking up at 3:30 am, getting on the train to the event at 4:50, walking to the venue and arriving at 5:10, waiting for the bike tour to start then riding 20 miles at 6:20, then finishing up and running 5k at 8:35, I had set out what I planned to accomplish last year at this same time.

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Two events, two medals. Done and done.

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But more importantly, the joy of sharing the weekend’s accomplishments with my son.

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And before you ask, yes, I…well, WE plan to do this all over again next year! It was a great weekend and something the family would love to experience all over again.

Stay motivated, guys!

More pictures from this weekend can be seen on this Flickr set.

2013 Chinatown Firecracker Bike Ride

2013/02/25 at 9:46 pm | Posted in Blog Stuffs, Discipline, Life, lifestyle change, Motivation, Photos, weight loss, weight loss blog | Comments Off on 2013 Chinatown Firecracker Bike Ride
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So how did my Saturday go, you ask?

I woke up at 4:30 am, took a shower, got dressed, had a little breakfast, put the bike on the bike rack, hopped on the train, got to Chinatown, rode my bike almost 30 miles…and by the time I got home, it was nearly 3 pm. I was exhausted.

Anyway, here’s the day in pictures since I’m pooped. I am having trouble uploading the video of me lighting the firecrackers but when I can do it, I will post it. I had a great time doing that and riding today.

UPDATE: The video is up! Scroll to bottom of post.

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Union Station is incredibly awesome. So many movies, shows and commercials were filmed here.

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Waiting for the event. I got there way early.

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My bike.

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Firefighter giving us tips on lighting. We had to wear helmets and goggles and when the firecrackers went off, even where we were standing, the debris was hitting us. We also had an option to wear earplugs which I did.

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Near the top of one of the many hills we had to climb. Believe me, this was just the beginning!

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Dodger Stadium, still looking as great as ever (even under construction).

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Pit Stops were set up every 10 miles with goodies like this.

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Warner Bros. Studios Gate 2. I worked here when I was on The Whole Truth.

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Roy E. Disney Animation Building.

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Walt Disney Studios. I worked there when I was on No Ordinary Family.

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River sans bike trail. We rode along another river.

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With my medal. It was pretty small. Here’s a better view.

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I don’t drink beer but I thought I’d try. And to this day, I don’t know what compels people to drink that garbage. It’s awful stuff (but was free to all riders after the tour).

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Even got a free meal afterward. And Chinese food in Chinatown? Nothing compares.

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All in all, it was a beautiful day and a great event with awesome volunteers. Thanks to all of them, the organizers, and to the LAPD for keeping traffic in check while we rode along.

And seeing Los Angeles and its surrounding areas by bike? It’s just amazing as the pictures show. Being on a bike gave me a better idea of how big Griffith Park really is since we rode through and around it at times. The first 5 miles of this course were uphill and hearing into Griffith Park — and they were killers! That’s why I was happy to see the two rest stops at Mile 10 and Mile 20. They provided much needed nourishment for the ride, a very demanding ride at that. Riders were treated to peanut butter, energy gels, trail mix, Gatorade, fruit, etc. and it was all we could consume.

The Chinatown Firecracker Bike Ride was one of the most fun, well-run events I’ve done. It’s very close to Long Beach in terms of organization, helpful volunteers, etc. And even with few street closures, I was amazed at how well-behaved L.A. drivers were that day. It just made the day that much more brighter.

If you’re interested in my stats, then here they are via Sports Tracker app.

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UPDATE: Here’s the video!

Like It’s Dynamite

2013/02/22 at 9:09 pm | Posted in Exercise, Health, Life, weight loss | Comments Off on Like It’s Dynamite
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267947_10151465053925042_1930891769_nTomorrow morning I will be getting my first medal of the year when I cross the finish line of the Los Angeles Chinatown Firecracker Run’s 30-Mile Bike Ride. It’s my first time riding in this event so I’m pretty excited yet somewhat freaked out about it since I’m roaming into unknown territory.

I mean, I know L.A. but this is nothing like riding in Long Beach like I have for the past 3 years (and again this year): no street closures, a lot more hills, etc. But regardless, I’m committed to it and I can’t wait to see what challenges lie in store for me.

But what’s going to be great about Saturday’s event is what will take place before it: the lighting of 100,000 firecrackers right in the center of Chinatown. It’s a pyromaniac’s dream and something that can only be done legally in Los Angeles during events in Chinatown since fireworks are banned within the city.

What makes that so great? Well, who doesn’t like firecrackers?

And it just so happens that the organizers of the event held a contest on their Facebook page a few days ago that would give 3 randomly selected riders a chance to help light the 100,000 firecrackers before the event starts. All interested parties had to do was change their profile picture to this to qualify for the contest:

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Oh, you know what the heck it’s implying and what it actually means. Don’t act like you don’t.

I figured I had nothing to lose so I went ahead and changed my profile picture. So imagine my surprise this morning when I read one of their Wall posts that was congratulating the winners of the contest, one of whom was me.

Yes, that’s right, people. I was one of the lucky 3 riders who was selected to help light the 100,000 firecrackers and I can’t tell you how happy my inner childhood pyromaniac is. This is without a doubt a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I’m completely honored and stoked to have been chosen.

This is taking tomorrow’s ride to a whole new level. I mean, come on. It’s called the Firecracker Run because the lighting of the firecrackers is a BIG part of the event, and I’m going to be a part of that opening ceremony.

This is nuts. How did I get to be so lucky?

Meh, I don’t care. All I know is that I’ll be 1 of the 3 lighting up those suckers tomorrow morning then hopping on the saddle to tackle almost 30 miles around Los Angeles.

Videos and pictures will be posted Saturday. Stay tuned!

(Posting this video to avoid the painfully obvious correlation between Katy Perry and the lighting of pyrotechnics)

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