Thursday, June 30, 2016

Halftime 2016

Last year as I was on my way to a personal record 6,236 miles, one of my cycling buddies observed that my pace was at least partially aided by the fact that I was out of work. I could ride whenever I wanted. Fair enough, but unless I misinterpreted the comment there also was an implied addendum that went something like, “and you’ll never put up numbers like that again.” As we head into the second half of 2016, I am behind last year but not by as much as you might expect.

In 2015 I racked up 2,855 miles by the end of June, my highest total ever. This year’s total isn’t that far off, and it’s very high historically:

2016: 2425
2015: 2855
2014: 2159
2013: 2059
2012: 2474
2011: 1961
2010: 2290
2009: 2205
2008: 1950
2007: 1772
2006: 1243
2005: 1160
2004:  441

And things should have been even closer, but this week I lost Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to cold symptoms that were just bad enough to keep me off the bike. (You can thank my new coworkers for that, if you like irony. It’s a marvel they didn’t infect me sooner and more severely.) Things look good for another 5,000-mile season, but I’m not chasing 6,237. In fact, I have no mileage goals at all this year.

I leave June at a reasonably lean 190 pounds. That’s 6 pounds lighter than I was on this date last year. In 2015 I didn’t get down to 190 until September. How do fewer miles and fewer rides (79 so far this year, compared to 99 in the first 6 months of 2015) add up to greater weight loss? The difference, I think, is a quite unintentional change in my eating habits. My wife and my son are now so busy with work that big family meals are rare, and being too lazy to cook I have become a grazer. I eat a little here, a little there … just enough to refuel. My body—designed by nature to be a hunter/gatherer, an opportunistic omnivore capable of extracting energy even from things you couldn’t get a maggot to touch—was already starting to respond before my high blood pressure diagnosis. Now that I’m consciously consuming less sodium, I’m moving in a very positive direction. Last year I bottomed out at 185 pounds. That was late October through mid-November: cyclocross season. My 2016 has been characterized so far by lots of endurance work and few high-intensity intervals. As the intensity ramps up in July and August, more pounds should fall away. Perhaps more than anything else I could do, losing weight will help me to have a more successful racing season.

No comments:

Post a Comment