Friday, 24 January 2014

I hit more goals than Manchester United!

A good year.
Doing over 2000 miles in one year was hard work. I hadn't noticed I was getting close till the end of November. It was then I realised that I would have to do my second longest month to hit the target, not really what you want in December. Work and family commitments were against me as well.
I had to drive in to work for most days during the first two weeks, and then I had things to do for a couple of weekends.
So it came down to December 31st, with 21 miles to go. I checked the weather and it was due to clear up in the afternoon, so I waited, and actually fell asleep on the sofa, but managed to drag my butt out and get in the last few miles.
It wasn't the nicest rides of the year, a late down pour and then my pedal almost fell off, but I made it.
I got home and there were two posters from my wife and daughter congratulating me.

I have mentioned it before why it is so important to share your goals. If I hadn't told anyone, especially my family, I think I would have stayed asleep on the sofa. But every time I came back from a ride my daughter was helping me work out how many more miles I needed to do.

2013 Goals

Nowhere near, I'm still at 112kg, so hardly any loss, but I wasn't completely focused on the weight. I stopped going to the nurse every month and didn't have scales at home, so couldn't track it.
But I'm a lot fitter than last year.
I've got some scales now, and I'm back on track. I'm still using MyFitnessPal app, and through blogs I've got some fellow app users to lose weight together. So once again sharing goals, and successes is helping.

130 miles a month
I averaged 167 miles a month. A lot of this is down to the fact that I can cycle to work now, it is only a 10 mile round trip, but they all add up.
I also joined Fareham Wheelers and have been on their club rides 3 times, which are between 30 and 50 miles depending if I cycle out to Wickham or not.
My target this year is 155 miles. I've chosen this figure because Strava have monthly challenges, and if you do 155 miles or 250km you get a "badge".
I'm sure I will push it and go over 2000 miles again, but I want to focus more on my weight loss, and I think the cycling will take care of itself.

Meon Riser
The goal was to do this in 4:10 for the hilly 47 miles. I did it in 4:07, but it was very hard work.
This year I'm going to smash the 4 hour mark.

New Forest Rattler
The goal was to either get a Silver time for the shorter route or a Bronze time for the longer route. Unfortunately Haribo Joe had major surgery a few months before, and didn't have time to get back in shape, but you never leave your wing man. I owe a lot to Joe, he really encouraged me at the start and he had to wait at the top of the hills for me.
I don't think I'm going to be able to do this ride this year as I'm hoping to do the Ride London the week before, but we'll see.

Fort Nelson
This is the first ride I did with Joe. When I say "did", I should really say struggled with, it took nearly 2 hours.
My goal was to beat my best time of 58:34 and go under 55 minutes.
I did it in 54:45 minutes.

Sultan Bus Route
This is a route around Fareham and Gosport so quite flat and just over 15 miles.
The goal was to do it in under an hour, which I did, in a time of 57:35.

BHF Round the Harbours
I've done this ride 3 times, but never broke the 3 hour mark, so that was my goal.
I couldn't do the official ride,but knew the route and did it in 2 hours 48.

Cycle round the Isle of Wight
This just never happened, so is back on the list this year.
I think it will be great day out, and probably will be 100 miles in total.

I'm going to carry on going out with the Fareham Wheelers every few weeks. It's nice to go out with other people and learn new routes.
I've only got one sportive definitely planned, but would like to do the Mega Meon again, and beat my time. But I'm not sure if I can fit it in.

Losing weight is the main, focus and I will get down double digits by the start of next year.

Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment, your support is always welcome.

Happy New Year and good luck with whatever you a planning to do.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

A Little Help From Your Friends

I have posted about the power of sharing your goals before, here's the link.

Here are a couple of more examples.

2000 miles this year

I'm getting close to doing 2000 miles this year, last year I managed 1260, so it will be a massive achievement.
However with work and family commitments it is looking difficult to get out enough.
But I decided to give it a go and mentioned it to friends and family, who have all been veey supportive.
The extra support and the fact that it's not a secret any more meant I managed to do nearly 30 miles in the last couple of days.
At the time of posting I still have 135 miles go but I'm confident I will do it.

My Fitness Pal

This the app I use to track my calories.
I've used it for over a year and it has helped. However I had slacked off a bit, and because I wasn't watching what I was eating, it was a bit out of control.

A couple of weeks ago I got a notification that Toby, who writes the blog about how he has lost an impressive amount of weight, was now following me.
Therefore I had to start using it again, and it has helped to me to improve my diet again.

If you are using the app feel free to follow me, user name DBuckney, and we'll get there together.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Rubbish week eating rubbish food

I don't claim to have the best diet in the world, I like a treat every now and then, but this week there have been too many treats.

According to the MyFitnessPal app that I use, I'm 2900 calories over my weekly target, which is shocking seeing as I was 1959 calories under the week before.

I haven't been able to cycle into work once this week, and only went to the gym once so really I should eat less. I don't know why but if I don't exercise I seem to just want to eat rubbish food all the time.

I did have fairly genuine excuses for not cycling into work, but I could have found more time to go to the gym at work more often. A lot of people go at lunch time, which would be perfect, apart from the fact that I do sweat a lot for a fat bloke, and it is uncomfortable for the next hour. So I prefer to go straight after work, but energy levels can be quite low at that time of day.

The main reason I didn't cycle into work a couple of times was that my batteries had run out on my torch, which meant that I couldn't even go out cycling in the evening.
I've got some nice new rechargeable ones now, so that's another excuse out the window.

This lack of cycling has also effected my chances of hitting 2000 miles for the year.
I'm currently on 1838, having done 68 miles this month. It should have been more as that is only 2 rides.
There are 3 more weekends this month, so it is still possible.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

200 miles in a month!

This is the second month that I've managed to do over 200 miles, which I'm really pleased with seeing as my target was only 132 miles a month.
I'm still gutted about only doing 81 miles in May, but I have made up for it by pushing my average up to 161 miles a month.

I did go out for my second ride with Fareham Wheelers at the start of the month. I was extra keen and cycled the 8 miles out to Wickham rather than drive. This, with the ride home took the total distance to 49.8 miles. My bike computer showed over 50, but when I checked Strava later it showed only 49.8. If I had known I would gone round the block to hit the 50 miles mark.

It was a nice ride out, I went with the "Social" group, but some of the hills weren't that social. But is was great to find some new routes and get the experience of cycling in a group. Drafting or sitting close behind someone makes a massive difference, you just get pulled along without much effort.

I've also managed to get Haribo Joe back out on his bike a couple of times this month, which was great. One of the rides was with two other friends, Chris and Paul who are also just getting back into cycling. The plan was to make it a regular ride, but it has only happened the once so far, wrong time of the year to be starting things like that.

I keep looking at my total figure of 1770 and wondering if hitting the 2000 mark will be possible this year. It would mean doing my second highest total for a month, in probably the worst month of the year, bad weather, going away for Christmas and any other excuse I can think of. 

It might be the wrong attitude but I often prefer not to set massive targets, because I prefer to hit my targets. This limiting belief, as they call it, is probably holding me back in a lot of areas, so it is something I need to think about.

As always please feel free to leave any comments or suggestions that you think might help me or other readers.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Still on track!

Its been a while since my last update, but I'm glad to report that I'm smashing last year figures.
There has only been one month, May, where I didn't hit my monthly goal of 132 miles but that was down to my dodgy knee keeping me off the bike for a few weeks.
But my monthly average is at 157 miles, which I'm pleased about.
A lot of the extra miles have been cycling to my new job, it's about 4 to 6 miles depending upon which route I take. During the summer I can't think of a better way to end a day at work than a nice bike ride with part of it along the coast.
It wasn't so nice last week when it was dark and I had a basic light. There are two types of lights, see and be seen.
I had a "be seen" light and I was confident other cars could see me, but it was a bit of guess work along some of the country lanes I go down.
Since then I have borrowed Haribo Joe's Hope Vision One light and it makes a massive difference, I could see where I was going.
I have been for a couple of rides with the local cycling club which was really good. Nice to find some new routes and get the experience of riding in a group, which is quite daunting. There are usually only about 12 people in a group, so you have to be careful about what other riders are doing but you do get dragged along at a good speed.
I used to go to the doctors to get weighed, but I haven't been for a few months, but I'm confident that I'm still losing weight, or maybe my clothes have just got that little bit bigger.
I've almost reached the worst part of losing weight where I need to go shopping for new clothes, can't think of anything worse.
It is getting harder to get out due to the weather but I just need to man up and deal with the rain, you can only get so wet.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

A Few Of My Favourite Things

Last Monday I had a lovely day off work going for a bike ride with my daughter and then a pub lunch with my wife.
Just missing a few rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens.

The bike ride was along the Hayling Billy which is an old railway line down the side of Hayling Island.
It's pretty flat but not suitable for road tyres so I had to go on my brother in law's bike.

Most of the way you get lovely views of Langstone Harbour. It is possible to cycle all the way around the harbour, you need to get the ferry across to Eastney, and back up a cycle path along the Eastern Road. I think it is about 15 miles.

We've done it before where we've cycled all the way to the bottom of the Island, had lunch at a pub on the beach and cycled back, about 10 miles in total.

Unfortunately Mrs B's knee was playing up so she waited on the beach for us with our dog. So Lilly and I only went as far as the bmx track, where I had to have a go over a few of the jumps.
Heavy bloke on a heavy bike doesn't equal much air.

We then cycled back, found the wife and drove to The Royal Oak for fish and chips in the garden.

On the bike ride I said to Lilly "I love spending time with you and I love cycling, so I'm having a great day".

She replied "I love spending time with you and I don't mind cycling".

We're getting there!

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Blissford Hill Smashed!

I completed the The New Forest Rattler last weekend, which includes the 25% Blissford Hill aka The Wall!

Apparently registration starts at 7:00 with the first groups of riders setting off at 8:30. So when Haribo Joe and myself arrived just just after 8 we were surprised to be "stuck" behind a load of cyclist. So we're not sure when they set riders off.

Anyway we went through the simple registration process, deciding to miss out on the free porridge, instead opting for the festival experience of the dreaded portaloo. It wasn't to bad, but I should have just waited and used a bush.

So we lined up, hoping the slight drizzle was going to pass, planning on beating our time of 3:38 for the 47 miles.

I suddenly realised that my Strava wasn't working and stupidly crossed the start line, therefore starting my official time. I should have held back and gone with the next bunch, rather than setting off and wasting valuable minutes at the side of the road getting it sorted.

Eventually we got going.

The course is described as being fairly flat, which it is, once you get up to the flat bit. To start with there are a few little hills to wake up your legs.

It is a nice route, mostly on pretty quiet roads. But you need to watch out for the wildlife, horses, donkeys, cows and this year pigs.

Once again there was a well stocked feed station, where I tried to get my monies worth of jelly beans and flapjack.

We were setting a good pace, taking it in turns to lead, even passing other cyclists, which is always nice. You can see on my strava that it was PR's all the way for the first half.

Then things turned sour for Joe.

The major surgery earlier in the year and resulting lack of time in the saddle caught up with him and he started to struggle.
The course didn't help. It had been fairly sheltered, but then goes across the top of the New Forest, which is open, and there was an eternal head wind.
No cyclist likes a head wind, especially larger framed gentleman like Joe and myself. We're not the most aerodynamic shape on a bike.
A road, with a slight downwards gradient, that we should have cruised along, suddenly became soul destroying. And it just kept on going.

To make matters even worse, Joe's chain came off.

Eventually we made it out of the New Forest and got some shelter from the wind and started going down hill.

But what goes down must go up.

Blissford Hell!

It's only a very short hill, but at 25% and after 42 miles it is nasty.

But I made it up in one go this year.

After that it is quite an easy couple of miles to the finish, just dodging more wildlife.
We snuck in just under 4 hours.

At the end you get a certificate and a food voucher for the bbq, but there was a massive queue so we just grabbed a couple of bananas and drove home.

It is a great sportive, really well organised, just as good as the Wiggle events, but on a smaller more relaxed scale.