Thursday, January 22, 2015

There is one in every city

Perhaps there is more than one....

Up here in Portland there are several weekday rides for training to hit.  I go to one of them on Wednesday nights.  Just to get some miles in, 2 hours is 2 hours toward base or whatever. 

For the first time this year this other group was out on this course that I had been meeting people on.  They were big bad ass racers and all of that.  Of course there had to be one with a big mouth.  Acted like he owned the place.  

I guess there is one in every city.  I have traveled around a bit, hit a few races here and there.  I am by no means the big time bike racer anymore.  Maybe big bike racer, but I am losing weight.  

The reality that I see is that there are quite a few egos on full display for people that really should just be quiet and train.  When people like this get into real competition, against people that know what is up, they get shelled in a big way.  

I have maybe 3 weeks of training.  I am severely overweight.  I did not get training in during November or December.  When a loudmouth can barely drop me in my deteriorated, couch potato state, there is a lesson to be learned somehow.  I doubt he will.  I sure did.

Just ride your bike.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Bad week = Good week?

You know how you try not to stare at the scale or even weigh yourself often because you are afraid of the bad news?  I thought I was having a bad week.  I tried not to pay attention to the scale, I just expected to gain weight.

The weather was hit an miss this week also.  A couple of outdoor rides, but mostly everything was indoor.  I just didn't have high expectations because of what I thought were set backs.

Previously, if I went through a week like this, I would have gained weight.  My meds just wouldnt support me correctly to maintain a weight loss strategy.  I am happy though, I have found that it is possible for me to lose weight- even when things are not perfect.

I have my training plan drawn out.  So far I am reasonably on schedule.  My fitness is moving forward, and I am able to do more work without trashing myself.  I wish I were able to get a few long rides in this weekend, but it rained way to hard to be out on the road either day and get something out of it.  It was safer to stay inside.

This past week has truly taught me something.  With proper diet, and activities, I am capable of weight loss without lingering side effects.  That makes me quite happy.

I think I am going to stick to my schedule to the end of the month, and not get all crazy about massive amounts of training.  The reality is there are no events of interest until April.  That is plenty of time to build fitness, endurance and drop weight.  Besides, the building of good habits needs to start.  Eating well, and being active every day is my key right now.

So another week of hitting LA Fitness and laughing at the people there.  It is so comical seeing some people attempt to work out.  Good for them that they are there though and trying, even if a bit misguided.  I just never could understand how some women would use specific weight machines, at the absolute lightest settings.  Going through the motions is not beneficial.

I also hope in the next month to better balance the strength in my legs.  My hamstrings are a bit weak, so I am concentrating on building there to better compliment my quad strength.  I realize in the past that the closer the strength happens to be, the better my pedaling motion, and my ability to climb well.

I hope the weather improves, but I will try to hit the road on Monday evening and get some miles in even though it will be dark.  52 degrees sounds pretty decent to ride in as opposed to just a few days ago where it was 10 degrees cooler.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Getting focused

A ton has happened since I last posted.  This past summer did not go so well for me health-wise. I also moved from Arizona to Oregon at the end of the summer.  Trying to survive on my own is a challenge as well.

As the title suggests, I aim to be more focused in 2015. I realized in the last few weeks that I spread my efforts to so many things, that I would either finish something, and leave something unattended, or was not able to spend the time to do something well.  I also realize that the most important thing to me is getting back into shape so I can enjoy my life through cycling.

Last spring I made the decision to change the medication I was on.  I am not sure if it was a mistake, or that my doctor didn't approach the change properly.  Looking back, this killed my 2014 completely.  Come December, and I am still trying to get my act back together.

At the start of 2014 I was taking Synthroid, and when I increased my dose to better support my physical effort, my body didn't like it and made things worse.  I got frustrated with my current doctor at that time.  I had called the office and wanted to switch back to my slightly lower dose as I was pretty miserable at that point.  They were more than difficult, and wouldn't even notify my doctor of what was going on.  I had to do a blood test, and then an appointment over a month later. Living a month in this state is just plain stupid.

So I switched doctors.  I had been seen a naturopath that does endocrinology previously, but he wasnt on my insurance, and I had to do radioiodine scans at 5 years to make sure I was cancer free.  So it was a must to switch doctors, but here I was switching back.  At this point we took a look at switching to a bio-identical form of thyroid medications.

I am not sure if he had an old chart, or if it was inaccurate, or if he didn't calculate the dose based on my needs, but we made a switch. At first it seemed ok.  About two or three weeks in and I felt some decent effects on it.  The reality was that I had so much Synthroid built up, that I was in an optimal state of saturation.  Things would start to go downhill from there.

I saw my doctor again, and we added a small amount of Synthroid.  I had to pay for blood tests out of pocket since my insurance in Arizona wouldn't cover tests when ordered from a Naturopath.  We couldn't fully test me, but did the best possible with what I could afford.  This only helped slightly, and it seemed something else was going on.  I was gaining weight again, and massively bloated, even in my hands. The best I could figure is that from the start of the year my adrenals were overtaxed.  The adrenals help break down and build the thyroid molecule to usable compounds.

At the end of the summer I moved up to Portland for a new job.  I was up here by myself, and I resolved to try and change some things.  I got up here when the weather was pretty awesome, so I was able to get out on my bike, and was gaining some fitness.  Then I got sick with a pretty bad sinus infection.  My nasal polyps swelled up to the point they fully blocked my nose off and were bleeding.

When I went into urgent care, I found out that I was really heavy. But I had to go on Prednisone to shrink my sinuses down.  Eventually I would get over 235 pounds and I wasn't happy about it.

I knew I needed to find an Endocrinologist up here since I needed new prescriptions and a fresh approach to improving my health.  I tried to find a MD type Endo, and I am still waiting for that appointment which happens in February.  Apparently there is a massive shortage of Endocrinologists up here, and I had to wait for 5 months for an open appointment.

I was able to find a Naturopathic Endo here that specializes in Endo.  Previously, my doctor in Phoenix didn't specialize.  Now I realize that mistake.  In December my new Dr ordered full labs for me, and I mean full labs.  I had never had all of these labs done by any previous Dr.  That made me quite mad as it created a new picture for me.  Also, in Oregon, labs can be ordered by Naturopath Dr's and still covered on insurance.  AZ is so messed up!

So, just before Christmas, I had my doses increased, my diet radically changed, and a number of other things to help better support what was truly happening.  My adrenals were messed up, so I was not converting my Thyroid meds correctly, so we are trying to heal those.  I was severely inflamed as well.  That is starting to go down.  I also am insulin resistant at the moment.  Way to much sugar in my diet.  I am now on a strict Paleo diet to help reverse the insulin issues, and to cut my inflammation and bloating down.

Since I am living by myself, I have had time to reflect and try to organize myself better.  I started writing again.  I tried to organize the many writing projects I had started by dedicating walls of my apartment to a post it note type of outlining.  I then realized that I had way to many projects, and that I couldn't event pull out a half an hour of solid work on any of them.  I changed then.  I put up only one writing project, and fully focused on it.  I was able to write around 50,000 words on it in 10 days.
It was while working on that project that I knew that I had to be more focused.  I need to cut the other nonsense out, and apply my energy where it could be best used.  So I will add another 15,000 words to my first draft, and then do a rewrite to add in character and the like.  I will have a better product and look to shop for an editor and publisher.

I am able to also align my time to getting in shape.  I am not going crazy at first, a slow methodical process.  If I went at 100% right now, I would wear myself down fast.  I am just trying to do something physical every day.  So around an hour at the gym.  Time on the indoor trainer, and then get outside on the bike when the weather allows.

On January 3rd I went outside to ride.  Wearing 4 layers up top and thermal everything I was out in freezing to 38 degree weather.  There were ponds that were frozen over and ice in other places.  In a way I felt like I was back at the Olympic Training Center riding in the snow.

When you are at the OTC you are focused on riding and recovering.  I could modify that, I could work, ride and recover.  And that wont spread me too thin. So with much more focus, I hope that 2015 will be the first year that I can get back to being healthy.