It’s been a while

I stopped posting about my progress at the end of last year. It’s kind of difficult to pick up again after stopping for a while. At first it was “I’ll do it tomorrow”. Tomorrow became next week. Next week became next month and before I knew it SIX months had gone by.

Here’s a QUICK update about nothing specific just to get going again. 

The great news is that simply because I stopped writing about my progress I didn’t actually stop my activities. 

I’m glad I listened to suggestions about bundling up during the cold weather and go outside. I was running during snow storms and it was great 🙂

I’ve kept up with my jogging regimen until I twisted my ankle during a jog at night; not very smart. 

I’ve gone out on the bike every chance I get. I’ve been increasing my distance and speed. This year I’ve been out 33 times and have done over 800 miles. The most miles I’ve ridden in a single day alone was 80 miles. I’ve also gone out a few times in group rides which are a ton of fun. 

I’ve picked up a few other activities too. This year has been a year of many firsts. Things like yoga. Things like Zumba. Things like spinning class. 
All in all this year has been pretty  awesome. 

Until next time 🙂

Back to ‘normal’

I feel as if I’m getting back to my cadence from a month ago. As a matter of fact I think I might be doing better. I had my weekly goal of 4+ active days. I’ve increased it to 6 active days a week.

During the two weeks I was sick I was active only two days per week. Last week I started my new regimen of 6 active days a week. I didn’t do anything on Friday, every other day I was doing something; jogging, biking and walking.  

The weather is getting cold. Soon I won’t be able to do much outside. Typical this is the time when I hibernate and don’t come out until next spring erasing any progress made this year.

This year I’m determined to break this cycle. I have a gym membership and I believe I’ll be cancelling it. I’m thinking of joining a crossfit gym instead. Having different activity options will probably help me keep me going back. 

New goal: keep blog  entries short and frequent. 

Keep moving. Keep making progress. Keep going. You’re doing great. 

Weekly update #12

Health and wellness is the catalyst of my recent lifestyle change. At the end of last week I felt discouraged and deflated. The lack of active days, pain, and gaining 5 lbs overnight! Needless to say last week was really tough; but it helped me refocus and also reminded me why I started my lifestyle change. It’s not going to be easy, it’s not going to be quick, it’s not going to be fun. It’ll take hard work and it’ll take a long time. 

This week was the complete opposite of last week. I feel re-energized and super satisfied with my activity and overall results. I feel I’m back on track. I lost 6 lbs this week, 1 lb net lost since last week. My goal is to lose another 2 by the end of the month. I should be able to lose that in the next 4 days. 

I had been putting off jogging due to the pain from plantar fasciitis the day after the jog. I had been icing and rolling my affected foot without much improvement. It was suggested by my manager to ice and use the roller immediately after jogging. I don’t want to  jinx it but it seems to be doing the trick.

This coming week I will be on vacation, staycation. I’ll be playing host to my childhood friend visiting from California. I love playing tourist around Boston. I’m sure we’ll be doing a lot of that. I should also have some extra free time to explore new bike courses and jogging routes.

Weekly breakdown:

Monday & Wednesday & Saturday: Jogged the 3.7 mile course around my house and the beach. The time ranged from 50 min and 30 sec to 51 min and 30 sec. Not too fast and not too slow. I walk for the first 15 minutes to warm up. 

Friday: Biked 19.8 miles / 1 hour and 21 minutes / 689 ft of elevation / 14.6 mph average speed / average heart rate 152 bpm. I emphasized heart rate because it’s the primary way to know I’m actually doing work and burning fat. I’m still obese and speed will come as I lose weigh and get stronger. 

Friday Night: I went out dancing. I’m counting it as exercise because it was four hours of nonstop dancing (30 mins break for a drink). I think I sweated more than any of my jogs or rides.

Sunday: I’ll be repeating the same course as Friday, 19.8 miles. I’m expecting similar stats too. Although I want to break the 15 mph speed average.

Some noteworthy items throughout the week: 

Wednesday I had my first James Hook lobster roll. I’ve walked/driven by this iconic place in Bosyon for so many years and never went in.

Thursday night I went to the movies, watched the Mechanic. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Jessica Alba and Jason Statham are some of my favorite actors. Before the movie I treated myself to a Salvadoran delicacy: Minuta!

Saturday night I served as a judge of a beauty pageant. A friend has been running this pageant for about 9 years. It’s always a fun show. 

I’m really looking forward to this coming week.

Weekly Update #11

Last week was the slowest in months. Last Friday I woke up with pain between my back and chest. Felt as if I had pulled something. I had some trouble moving and breathing at times. 

Monday my friend and I went out for an easy walk at Deer Island, 2.7 miles. We jogged up some hills, but we walked most of the peninsula. 

Friday I went out on the bike and completed 25 miles. My body was complaining for the last 10 miles. Saturday I was feeling pretty damn sored. I suppose it’s to be expected when I took a full week off from the bike. 

The good news is that my chest and back pain are gone.

Saturday my brother and I decided to take the boat on the water for a couple of hours. The sea was pretty damn choppy for some reason, but it was lots of fun. 

Lucas is home! Vero, Jose and Lucas left the hospital on Tuesday evening. 

That’s pretty much the week. 

Some of the issues that have risen can be discouraging but I have to make sure to remind myself why I’m trying to get healthy in the first place and push myself when I’m down to keep going.

Thanks for reading. 

Guilt Run

Sunday I decided to go out for a jog at 11:05 pm. Why did I do this? I felt guilty 😔 It was my jog of shame. I was procrastinating most of the day before I decided to jog last second.

Why guilt? Two reasons 1) my goals have  4+ active days out of the week. I had only gone out on the bike three times. 2) I went  out with my friend Oscar to celebrate him getting his GED. I stuffed my face with a 20 oz T-Bone steak. 

Saturday I rode 27 miles and I wanted to use Sunday as my rest/recovery day. But at the last second I jumped in my running shoes and shorts and headed out for a 3.7 mile jog from my house to the beach and back.

I thought to myself don’t make excuses. Check off the 4+ activities for the week in your goals. Also, I shouldn’t need too much recovery time after only 27 miles. 

The good news: I came back 48 minutes and 30 seconds later. When I started jogging back in April this same course took me 1 hour and 4 minutes to complete. I’m happy with the progress. 

The bad news: Monday I woke with a really bad case of plantar fasciitis. PF had all but gone away. I had gone out multiple times for longer jogs at Breakhart Reservation. The two differences 1) Breakheart has lots of hills and 2) I was moving faster on Sunday. I felt good; I didn’t feel pain; I wasn’t tired. I was really surprised when I almost fell to the ground when I got off my bed Monday morning!

My solution: Stop jogging/running for a couple of months until PF is completely gone. I will probably see a therapist about it. I’ll be going out on the bike on a regular basis to stay active. 

I’ll increase the distance of my rides every week. Last week I did 20 miles. A few days later I did 27. This week I intend to do a 46 mile course. I don’t care about speed for now. I’ll focus on distance first. Speed is next on the list, but I want to be comfortable on the saddle for 3-4 hours. 

I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks for reading. Keep moving. 

Weekly Update #9; 27 Miles and 1 Good Samaritan

This week I didn’t run, it was all about riding! Although I might go for a 4 mile jog tomorrow to achieve my goal of 4+ activities a week. 

I’m happy to report I haven’t fallen off the bike again. I was close to toppling down in two occasions but managed to stay mounted. And my scraped knee is healing well. All is good in my world. 

I’m also happy to report that I made it back to the hills of Breakheart Reservation and completed both loops without having to stop or walk the bike up the steepest hill. It’s a good training course. I’ll be heading back this coming week. I’m not going to be satisfied until I’m able to complete 5+ loops in session without feeling like I’m dying. 

I jumped into the deep end of the cycling world without training or life vest and I love it. It has definitely been a learn as you go experience. 

Today I rode for 27 miles which is the longest I’ve ridden in one session. I know it’s a warm up for a serious rider but I’m a baby rider. Next week I might try going for a 35 miler. 

Wednesday after work I wanted to try the 27 mile course but decided against it because I had to catch an early morning flight. I decided on the 19.7 mile course instead.

This week’s goals included a 25+ mile course. So, today was as good as  any other the day give it a go.

I got up at 8am and gathered my gear. It was overcast so I checked the weather, not looking forward to getting soaked, it didn’t mention any rain so I was in the clear. With my gear in hand I grabbed my bike and noticed the rear tire was flat, whomp whomp whomp whomp. But I was prepared for this! I reached for the replacement tube, tire levers, and compressed air gun; 20 minutes later I was ready to go, again!

The course is about a 25 minute drive from my house. I jump in the car and the gas light comes on! Damn it, quick detour. As I’m pumping gas, I catch a few people checking me out, I’m with my biking shorts, I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not. And I’m off, again!

I managed to start riding at 9:11am. Not too late, but not as early as I would have liked. I’m feeling good after two days of rest. The weather is pretty damn nice. The route is beautiful. I’m having a grand old time!

About 19 miles into the course, I feel my rear tire is losing pressure. Damn it! It’s a brand new tube, why o why? Now I’m stranded in this beautiful town without a spare tube or compressed air. Walking the last 8 miles was out of the question. 

First I attempted to call an Ubex XL so I could throw the bike on the back. For some unknown reason there were no Uber XL available in the area, damn it! 

Bike rack is not a standard offering when calling a taxi or a regular Uber. I texted my brother to see if he was available to go pick me up on his truck. As I’m texting him the directions another rider pulls up and asked if I was okay or if I need help. 

I explained the situation and he offered me HIS replacement tube! His name is Matt; an older gentleman and an avid rider. 

We removed the tire, replaced the tube with the new one. Matt got frustrated as we attempted to inflate the tire with a minimalist hand pump. He offered to take the tire to his house where he had a proper pump. He happened to live less than 5 minutes from where I was stranded. Within 10 minutes he was back in his car with a fully inflated tire.

It’s hard to express my gratitude to Matt. His generosity and willingness to go above and beyond to help a complete stranger is admirable. I offered to pay for his trouble but he simply said to pay it forward. Needless to say that I intend to do so in the future. 

One hour and a new tube donated by a good samaritan and I was on the bike again for the last 8 miles of the course.

When I get to the car it’s 12:15 and I still haven’t had breakfast! Time to head to my parents’ house. By the time I get to their house my mum had already made soup for lunch! It was delicious.

Sooo, critical lessons learned: don’t go out on a ride without a replacement tube and a way to properly inflate it. Also, there are good people who will go out of their way to help others in need. Today I was fortunate to come across Matt. 

Weekly breakdown:

Monday: 7 miles at Breakheart reservation. Nice and hilly course. My cousin Jesus joined me. 

Wednesday: 19.7 miles starting at north reading. It was a beautiful scenic course through quiet suburban roads and the Harold Parker State Forest. It almost makes you forget that your body is in pain, almost.

Saturday: 27 miles, with an hour intermission to replace a tube. It’s a variation of Wednesday’s course. It takes you through more state forest roads which adds about 8 more miles.

I’m looking forward to the day when I can ride more than 50 miles in one session, but for now I’m happy with my 54 miles a week. 

Thanks for reading! 

  • Keep moving
  • Keep pushing
  • Keep active
  • Get healthy, stay healthy

I’m Not Ready for Hills

On my last entry I mentioned that my buddy Mike wanted to test out the bike during my hunt yesterday. What I didn’t mention is that he was dead by the time he was done. We thought it was due the heat, humidity and perhaps the bike was the wrong size for him. 

Today I decided to go out on the bike for what I thought would be a few laps around the Breakheart Reservation. There’s nothing wrong with being ambitious! The place is comprised of an inner loop with modest inclines and an outer loop with a lot more steep inclines. Both loops converge as one once you get close to the parking lot.

I figured I’d do the inner loop to get warmed up. Boy was I wrong! Right out of the gate the modest inclines got me winded! I knew I was going to have a hard time.

Earlier this week I was reading an article by Jim from Fit Recovery where he defines the Baby Ring. I was reading and thinking ‘I should stay away from the baby ring!’ Nope!!! I was on the baby ring for about three quarters of today’s 5 mile ride.

Today was my third time on the bike. 

  1. 10 miles to test the bike from Swampscott to Nahant
  2. 16 miles along Revere beach to Deer Island in Winthrop
  3. 5 miles at Breakheart Reservation in Saugus

This means I’ve ridden 30 miles this week. My buddy Jose rides 30 miles in one afternoon for fun! His last entry on Strava this weekend was 55 miles! 

I’ll stay away from Breakheart Reservation for a while. I need to get some endurance under my belt before trying it again. 

Why is the bike by the bushes? Because I couldn’t finish climbing one of the more steep inclines. I got off and walked to the top. My legs were burning! I had to stretch and take a couple of minutes before continuing. 

Why was I on the baby ring for most of it? Because I needed it for the inclines and didn’t pedal on the way down. 

Needless to say that I didn’t go around multiple times. I only went around each loop once! Now I have a new challenge. 

Motivation which pushes you past your perceived limits

I have to preface this entry with a disclaimer – I’m a huge procrastinator! Why do it now when I can do it next week?

I hope the title of the entry isn’t too misleading. 

Last night, Monday, I decided to go out for my first-ish bike ride. And as previously mentioned why go right after work when I can go waaaay later at night, smh!

Around 8:30pm I load the bike on the car rack; drive to one end of Revere Beach; park my car; unload the bike and got going on my Monday night ride. 

I ended up riding for 16.2 miles in 1 hour and 15 minutes. Not bad for my first ride. I’m getting used to gears and the breaks. 

As I’m making my way back to the car, a couple miles away in the distance I see flashing lights, I was able to make out police and tow trucks. I realized that there are different parking rules for the end of the beach where I parked this time. I typically park on the OTHER end of the beach when I run. And of course I didn’t bother to read the signs!

Those last couple of miles I was pedaling so hard I don’t know where the energy was coming from. I was very tired but I had the proper motivation to go beyond what I thought I could do. In this case the motivation was very self serving. I didn’t want to spend several hundreds of dollars to get my car out of the tow yard or pay any other police fines. I simply wanted to avoid  all the hassle of this process. 

What I’m trying to get to is that motivation comes in all shapes and sizes. For me, at the end of my ride my motivation was avoiding getting towed. Earlier in the ride I had a different motivations. I imagined myself fitting in 34″ waist pants. I imagined myself cycling for 100 miles in a day and completing one of those weekend cycling challenges. I imagined myself holding my grand children and playing with them. I saw myself happy and healthy. 

I feel motivation doesn’t have to be something grandiose. It just needs to be enough to get you through today and just enough to try again next time. I’m a terrible golfer, but I enjoy the game. When I’m out in the course I just need to hit one great drive. That is enough motivation me to bring me back. 

My first ride was pretty interesting. Lots of learnings, such as … 1) I need to get a front and rear light, especially if I’m riding at night. 2) I shouldn’t ride on sidewalks, I went over bike to avoid a pedestrian who jump in front of me. I landed as gracefully as a walrus. Thankfully I didn’t get hurt and the bike didn’t get damaged (I think).

I didn’t mean to create a cliff hanger. I did get to my car just as the tow truck was  backing up to lift it. I rode up to the state trooper, out of breath, told the that it was my car. He stopped the tow from continuing and now I have this great story to tell!

November Project

Today I had to be at work early or rather earlier than usual. I intended to be there by 7:15 am but traffic was light and train arrived right away, so I got to work at 6:45 am!

Just around the corner from work I see this group of people working out in the sidewalk. It peaked my interest and since I was a whole half hour early to work I decided to take a quick detour.

I was able to talk to one of the organizers and he told me all about the November Project. I never heard of them before. Now that I know a bit more about them, I think it’s a pretty cool idea and I’ll see if it’s something I can join. To join simply follow their blog and show up at the designated location. I think I can do that!

November Project™ is a FREE fitness movement that was born in Boston as a way to stay in shape during cold New England months. Now present in multiple cities in across four time zones in North America, the movement is using a simple sense of accountability (verbal) to motivate and encourage people of all ages, shapes, sizes and fitness levels to get out of their beds and get moving.

Weekly Update 3

Time flies when you’re running 🙂 This has been a fabulous week for me! It’s the first time I write down weekly goals and  better yet I’ve achieved pretty much everything on my on it!

I’m going to be mentioning Mike a lot in this entry and the reason is that he was participating in a step challenge at his job and I walked with him to help him get at least 20 thousand steps a day to help him place top 10. 

Highlights from the week:

  1. I’ve achieved all the goals in my list for the week. 
  2. I lost 7 lbs this week which brings my weight loss to a grand total of 20 lbs since I got active 3 months ago. 
  3. Pena 5K – I reduced my time by two minutes since last week, finished it in 28 minutes and 23 seconds. This is my personal best at Deer Island  ever. 
  4. Ran Deer Island without stopping. One of my main goals was to run the this course without stopping. I can check that one off the list now.

Breakdown of the week:

Monday – Mike and I walked 8.5 miles in the evening. We walked from work to the train station where I leave my car. 

Tuesday – I ran 4.11 miles at ungodly hours in morning, ungodly for me! In the evening Mike and I walked 5.75 miles at the lovely heart break reservation in Saugus. It’s a beautifully scenic and hilly course. 

Wednesday – I ran 2.5 miles in the morning and walked 7.5 miles in the evening with Mike. We went from Downtown Boston to Cambridge, then to Somerville, then to Everett. 

Thursday – Pena 5K @ Deer Island. I walked around the course once to warm up before running it. 

Friday – Ran 3.75 miles in the morning and 9+ miles in the evening with Mike. I didn’t start the tracking app on time, so I missed he first 30ish minutes of walking. 

I have only one goal for the weekend: DON’T GAIN ANY WEIGHT. 

I usually gain a few pounds during the weekend. I spend a lot of time at my parents’ house. There’s always so much deliciousness everywhere!

This week I was telling Mike about it during one of our long walks and because he’s a numbers guy he simply commented that I was ‘losing one third’ of my weight lost. That somehow set things to a different perspective. I don’t want to lose 33% of anything! And that’s what I had been doing for ever. Some weekends I would gain all the weight back during the weekend.

I’m extremely pleased with the progress this week and intend to keep it going next week and into the foreseeable future.

Thanks for reading.