The Good & The Bad

Bad first ('cause it's nice to get it out of the way):
I'm tired as Hell of Winter. My gorgeous new bike is almost not new anymore. In a couple more weeks it will be 3 months old. Yet it still has not seen the light of day. Why?! Because we live in a land of endless freaking snow and ice! And even on days that are sunny and gorgeous and not bitterly cold we have to contend with many roads that are still littered with large swathes of slushy crap, salt, and sand. Still not conducive to moving a 17# road bike at speeds of 15+mph on the flats and 30+mph down hills.

Also...this birthday month has done a number on those 3.5#s I lost (that ticker rounds-up, which sorta irks me -- I'd rather round-down...less incentive to slack). 3 birthdays and my kid's Winter break, which equates to cake, food, wine, reduced training load, more food, more wine...meh. So I think I'm back up to only a half-pound down. Bah. I'm just going to leave my ticker where it is. To guilt me into actually getting back to that #.

The goods:
Last week we had a fun night at the Great Wolf Lodge up in Traverse City, MI. The 80+º indoor water park was a nice respite from the cold and snow. I'm still paying for all the eating we did over a mere 2 days, though...but buffalo burger and ice cream and breakfast buffet with unlimited bacon...mmm....

We recently discovered The Sufferfest indoor training videos. All are relatively inexpensive downloads that can be burned to DVD. So far we have Local Hero and Revolver. I think Angels will be next on our list.

The workouts are funny (note: I did NOT say FUN...they hurt. A LOT). The humor is snarky and actually humorous...unlike the lame, forced jokes that Coach Troy spouts during the boring (and relatively much more expensive) Spinervals workouts. I'd like to shove his stupid stopwatch up his ass.

New Balance WR905
Other good, I ordered new running shoes. For the past couple of years I have been sorta stuck in Nike Run Avant+s or Lunarfly+s. This is only because New Balance FUBARd the 900 series with the 904. The 902 was the best. shoe. ever (I'm not the only one who feels this way. There are quite a few runners who have been bemoaning the replacement of this shoe for several years). The 903 was acceptable. But the 904 was just terrible...the wides fit snugger than most medium-width shoes I'd tried. So I switched to the Nike Run Avant+s, which tended to run sorta wide and were very similar to the NB 900 series shoes (mild stability, lightweight, flexible). Then Nike replaced the Run Avant+ with the Lunarfly+ and I was less pleased. Same sole unit, but the uppers were cut snugger...bad news for my duck feet.

New Balance WR902
I read several favorable reviews of the 905s that compared them to the 902s...so I just had to try a pair. They feel wonderful out of the box and have that same awesome loop-lacing that I loved on the 902 and Nike Run Avant+. At first I thought maybe they were too big, but I think I've become so accustomed to too-narrow shoes (including my cycling shoes, which are definitely a snug fit, as cycling shoes are supposed to be) over the past couple of years that they actually feel right. I can't wait to take them for a 5 mile spin, tomorrow.

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Happy Overshadowed-by-my-Birthday-Holiday!

aka Valentine's Day.

Meh...V-Day has never really been on my radar...not even as a little kid. But even less so once I met my hubby. His birthday is 8 days after Valentine's Day, mine is 2 days before. Then we had our son -- 7 days before the holiday. So it's a day that is mostly lost in the birthday shuffle. Fine by us. Today we will "celebrate" with a short ride on the nowhere bikes, then I will head out to finish my "brick" workout with a 4 mile run. Getting my legs ready for a goal duathlon in less than 11 weeks.

2 days ago (my birthday) we rode 2 hours while watching Inception. That night we went to a party at the home of some friends an hour away...drank a lot of wine and ate too much for many hours. Got home after 2AM (hubby was my designated driver). I am STILL tired. At 38 I am apparently too old to party like that. But it was a blast. We played Just Dance 2 on the Wii. OMG, what a workout that "game" is! My abs still hurt from laughing SO hard (mostly at DH's complete lack of dance skillz). Who needs crunches?!

The 2 indoor hour bike ride was in preparation for the Ultimate Cycle Challenge - a fundraising event benefitting Livestrong® in 5 days. I am riding 4 hours...an hour for each of 4 badass cancer survivors in my life (including my own hubby, who was diagnosed with a terrifying melanoma about a year ago).  If you have a few available dollars, I'd love it if you could throw them towards my fundraising efforts.

Hopefully it won't be long before we can start doing 4 hour rides outdoors, too.  It's been relatively warm the last couple of days.  I'd love to get my bike outdoors at least once before March.  I've thus far logged 399 on my new bike...entirely on the trainer.  Blech.  All the birthday eating (and alcohol drinkin') has not been good, either.  Those 3-4#s I lost when I joined My Fitness Pal have come back, I think (I didn't even bother trying to log my food in the past few days).  Weight seems to come off so much easier when I am biking a ton of miles.  I can't do that indoors.  60 miles in a week is about my limit when I'm stuck on the trainer.  A long trainer ride is 30 miles...outside that is barely more than a warm-up.

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Snowpocalypse - We Live to Tell the Tale...

Actually...it wasn't nearly as bad as expected. A few days out we were predicted to get 16-18" based on one model. Then we were downgraded to 12ish, then downgraded again from Blizzard Warning to Winter Storm Warning (still with expected 12", but less brutal winds). Then upgraded back to Blizzard warning.

In the end we did get that foot of snow (I think once all was said and done we got ~13"). But the winds were not nearly as bad as we expected. Areas South and East of us reported 18". And Chicago is reporting 22".

The rugrat had no school yesterday, for obvious reasons. Hubby was able to get to work OK (about 25 miles away and just a mile or two from our son's school), but we also have killer snow tires on my car, so it can handle stuff that a lot of vehicles can't. We were surprised when school was cancelled again, today--especially since the sky is cerulean without a single hint of cloud...gorgeous. But a lot of folks are still digging-out.

I spent the last 2 evenings pedaling the nowhere bike. I'd wanted to run today, but with crazy baby home it's not likely to happen. Plus it is COLD outside. That sunshine is VERY deceptive. Sometimes those clouds act as an insulator and keep us a little bit "warmer."

In other news, a week ago yesterday I started a diet of sorts...nothing too structured, just trying to keep a better handle on what is going in my mouth and what is being burned through my workouts. I'm also trying to cut my carb intake back as much as reasonably possible without bonking during my workouts. So far I seem to be doing OK at around 100 net carbs/day (total carbs - fiber = net carbs). I believe the USRDA suggests 200-300 carbs/day, but this is starting to really be called into question. As someone who lost 60#s on a very low carb diet I've been convinced for the better part of a decade that the emphasis on carbs and vilification of fat during the 70s through the 1990s was aimed entirely in the wrong direction. Recently the medical community has started to rethink that stance, too. All anyone has to do is look at the increase in rates of type 2 diabetes diagnoses during these decades to see that conventional wisdom was off.

I dropped 3#s in the first 5 days...amazing how much water my body lets go of when it doesn't have high glycemic carbs to hold it in like a sponge. I have about 20 more #s that I'd like to lose...maybe another 5 after that, if I still feel like I've got more pudge than necessary. But given the muscle tone that I tend to develop on the bike and doing upper-body weight workouts, 130 may be perfect. I'm kinda a curvy girl to begin with. Years ago I wasn't particularly muscular and got down to 124. Any thinner than that and I would have started looking kinda awkward and bony.

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