Sunday, August 16, 2015

50 mile bike ride! and what I learned


Hello All,

Happy Sunday morning, yesterday I decided to ride 50 miles on my bike as soon as the sun came up. In less than 29 days I will be joining some co-workers and hundreds of others on my first 100  mile (Century) bike ride so I needed to do some prep work.

I have been riding on average about 15 miles a day after work and maybe 20 miles on weekends. I have been reading a lot and watching youtube videos just to gather as much info as I can.

Talk around my office from guys who have done the Century to those of us that are novices started to have my head spinning with all the things that could go wrong. I needed some first hand experience so I chose to get up Saturday morning early and take off when the sun came up.

Breakfast: scrambled eggs and a bowl of Markie porridge (see earlier post for recipe) and two cups of coffee.

I knew right away that I did not prepare anything to take with me outside of water but I gambled my big breakfast would get me through. ( I know, I know)

I took off and it was cool and dark with mist floating off the grass on my much beloved Grant’s trail (see post I wrote about this wonderful trail).

A few words about my choice of bike: I ride a Trek 7.0 fitness hybrid which is somewhere between the toughness of a mountain bike and the speed of a road bike. This bike is on the low end price wise of Trek bikes but is well made and fits my budget. You can easily spend a small fortune on your ride and to me your the biggest factor on how well your ride will go.

So back to the actual ride, my bike computer flashes my speed, miles and average speed as well as top speed. This becomes your constant companion  and keeps you honest.

I brought along an MP3 player and decided to turn it on after the 25 mile mark to see if it made a difference.

The trail I ride is 8 miles long and I know every bit of it very well, heading in one direction is a slow climb (nearest my home) and the return trip starts off with a very happy down hill run.

The trail was all but empty with the exception of a few serious runners and hardcore road bike riders who would dart pass me like I was standing still. The miles start to click pass and I worked out little mental plans such as at the 5 mile mark I was now only on a 45 mile ride, now only 33 miles etc..The trail soon started to come to life with folks walking dogs, power walkers, tons of runners and fellow bike riders. People of every age where out there and lots of head nods and smiles from people along the way.

I reached the 25 mile mark and turned on my tunes, the next 10 miles flew by without much notice as I enjoyed my music (and I was on the return trip heading downhill) as I was heading back and the slow climb returned I found my first problem. My legs started to cramp and I knew I was sweating out my electrolytes and had nothing other than water to replace them. I managed to keep my pace over 13 mph but I was pumping my legs on just muscle memory.

On the start of the return trip I would stop for a bathroom break or to stretch my legs and dump water over my head. The temperature along with the Sun were also starting to add to my problems.

So now I only have about 15 miles to go and I have to go up hill and then return and at this point I would beg for a banana or an energy bar. I screwed up and my body was letting me know in a very big way.

The worst section of the hill reminded me of the desert scene in Lawrence of Arabia, and I really wanted to just quit. I was pissed off at myself for knowing better and not doing the basic right thing. I passed a man who was walking his dog and like a good dog owner he was holding a plastic bag with proof that he cleaned up after his pet. The site of it suddenly turned my stomach and I could not shake the image.

I looked at my pace and I riding 15 mph hour but I thought I was standing still, this blew me away I was riding on cruise control . I took the last of my water and took a gulp and then poured the rest over myself and headed home. I new I was in trouble so I rode past my exit just long enough so I would hit the 50 mile mark and turn around .

I got home snapped a picture of my bike computer and posted it to FaceBook, grabbed a quick shower and a smoothie with blueberries and then my bed to stretch out! 11755516_10204564387372238_2258904454620782465_n

So now its Sunday morning and what did I learn?

Pack for your ride: tools, spare tube.

Bring some type of fuel for your energy

The best thing was in spite of my poor decision to not take some fuel with me, I really had a great time, my body this morning feels amazing. I have the joy of accomplishment  along with the knowledge of what I will do with the Century ride coming up in a few weeks.

Peace and Love

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Doing Solitary -taking a swim in lake me

Hello All,

When I first chose to become healthy I was so overwhelmed by information I decided to start with going for a walk, so I grabbed my mp3 player and took off. I'm very happy to say within days of my little walks the first smart thing I did was to leave the tunes at home.

I soon discovered my mind was filled with all the conversations and bits of news of the day, a real cluster fuck of information pounding away at my mind. A funny thing happened though as I continued my walks, I found the sounds of nature to be very calming, and for the first time in a long time I started to hear my own TV pundits telling me what to think.

This was all very new to me and I was approaching the early stages of meditation and was aware it was having a very profound effect on me.

My early walks were very structured, I would walk out 20 minutes from my door and turn around there by getting in 30 minutes of walking plus ten minutes of fat burning. I was and continue to be a guinea pig trying new experiments every month. My walks now have no agenda other than quiet time to ponder and be as far away as I can from my desk at work.

I have also become a big fan of bike riding, I try and get in at least 10 miles a day and much more on the weekends. Bike riding has opened many doors to my peace of mind. My body is being pushed and my spirit as well. Each hill I climb is a question of do I have what it takes to make it and when I do succeed it carries me on to the next challenge.

A good example of this for me as I was riding an overcame some bastard hill and I was sucking air but still feeling proud of my achievement , I thought how close I was to giving up and yet dug deep and made it through. So I soon started to apply this thinking to every difficult problem.

All you really need is a quiet spot to sit,I prefer to be on the move but whatever works for you. The main thing is to unplug from all the bombardment of information and give your self time to think and reflect. We live in a world of 24 hour news and every jackass feels the desire to spin every story to aid their cause or destroy anothers.

These results I cherish came about by finding some time to be alone with my thoughts. Its a wonderful feeling to not give a damn about what other people think of you, or what people would say if you were to try this project or that idea.

Be true to yourself, take a step away from work,family,friends and listen to your own beliefs and act on them.

I feel like a better man to my family and friends as well as my work because I have found doing a little solitary can be fine company.

Peace and Love

Sunday, July 12, 2015

breakfast-Markie Porridge

Hello All

Breakfast, whole lot of talk about this topic from most important meal of the day to I will throw up if I eat anything before noon.

My thoughts are I'm a busy guy and I need fuel in the morning and I might not have time to eat again until I get home. I think of my body like a car and I'm prepping for a long drive so I better have gas in the tank before I hit the road.

So here is my morning routine:

My alarm goes off at five and I find I am normally awake before it goes off so I tend to get up with little effort(I try maintain the same hours on weekends as well makes life easier)  I put on a pot of coffee and drink at least two tall glasses of water. I get myself ready for work and than I make what I like to call Markie Porridge:

I toss in about a half cup of instant oatmeal and water and heat  it up in the microwave for a minute, while its still hot I add a little maple syrup,cinnamon and a drop of almond butter and mix it up.

I make it a thick paste and it fills me up along with a cup of black coffee and I have a lot of energy to take on my morning.

This is very easy,fast   tastes great.

Simple enough routine I quickly fell into to start my day off right.

Peace and love

Monday, July 6, 2015

Goodbye Paleo!

Hello All,

About three years ago I read Mark Sisson's wonderful book the Primal Blueprint and I stand by my statement that  it saved my life. I was over 315lbs  and was headed to an early grave. He wrote in his book question everything including his findings . The main thing that paleo did for me was to get me off of sugar and over processed foods. I lost weight and I have not gained back more than 10 lbs in more than three why stop???

I started training for distance bike riding and I just did not have a lot of energy, any type of hill would knock me out. I started looking online for biking tips and these guys were eating lots of carbs and sugary fruits. What the hell??!!

I was shocked to find out that doctors want nothing to do with advising what we should actually eat!, its just too difficult to say.

Mark Sisson himself (his wife is a vegan) had this to say:

"If there were a right answer, everyone would be doing it. I guess the best any of us can do is to align the “receptivity filters” in our brains with our current belief systems and create habits that reinforce those beliefs – and that, hopefully, result in healthy bodies and minds. Ultimately, I have chosen to believe that we were programmed to eat primarily small portions of meat and vegetables, with a little fruit thrown in occasionally. It works for me (53 years old, 5’10” 165 lbs and 8% body fat)."

So I continue to question and experiment with what is the correct diet for a healthy lifestyle.

My thinking now is to cut way back on eating animals and switch over to a diet more based on plants and fruits. If I was a hunter and brought home fresh meat that would be one thing, but when you look at how we raise livestock I just don't feel safe eating drug induced animals.

So I am swapping out high protein and fat for plant based and fruits with a little fish here and there. I will continue to document my efforts and any recipes I enjoy I will share. I've been getting a lot of good advice from my friend Kevin Randsdell whose entire life is being a lab rat trying this and that.

So thats my big surprise in short I'm going 95% vegetarian and I will see where this takes me.

So long paleo you served me well and introduced me to healthy eating, I see this as a natural progression.

Peace and Love all

Thursday, June 18, 2015

I am an Empath

Hey all,

Always on the path to understanding why we do what we do I stumbled across (as I always  do in my clumsy manner) the term Empath, that is to say someone who has empathy for  others. So let me get out of  my lotus pose and stop hugging my tree for a few minutes and fill you in on what I discovered about Empaths.

If this sounds like something out of Star Trek than your not wrong, there was episode back in the 60's with Kirk and the boys about this empath stuff. Very strange Penny Lane but  here's what I already knew about myself.

1. Everything is intense with my feelings.

2. I can tell when someone is lying.

3. I feel  joy at the thought of some people just walking into a room and equally  repulsion of other people.

4. I worry about other people being OK more than myself.

5. I need to be alone to recharge myself after being in crowd for too long or with negative people.

6. I laugh and cry very easily.

7. Music, film , books are all very powerful and stay with me  for a long time.

8. I have people in my life I love with all I have no matter how long I have known them.

9. I want to help solve everyone's problems.

10. I see all life as important and with a reason for being.

The list goes on and on and I just never had a name for it.

I write this blog to not only share my insights but to figure myself out as well. So what have I learned in the past 50 years or so? I have learned that all along I knew I was different from a lot of people around me and I also now look at it as good thing. I may hurt more (airport goodbyes are like death for me) but the day to  day joys are so over the top I can't complain. The loss of a dog will stay with me my entire life,but so will the joy it brought.

I can't help thinking of that moment in Highlander when Connor feels the "Quickening" and is aware of everything. I no longer hide my emotions although I do try and curb them and not hug everyone I see, (no one needs that guy around).

My favorite complement I get is "your different"! I know there are a lot of you out there that will understand this right away and guess what, my hunch is your an empath, the folks that shake their heads or don't care please skip down to my basement gypsy video of Kubla Khan and I hope you enjoy the tune.

I am a very happy person who feels connected with everything around me, if you know me a little I'm thinking I know you a lot. Its just how it is with me..

Peace and Love