THE PICKLE – First-time MS 150 riders

This blog post is written for those first-time MS 150 riders who are taking on the challenge of riding 180 miles to Austin in April.  A few weeks ago, I was thinking about how hard it is to rest from doing a long ride in one day, and wondering if my body would recover for Day 2 of the MS 150.  As you may know, it’s less mileage on that day, but we gotta pedal through hills!  Ouch!
So this past weekend, I decided to do a back-to-back ride.  I rode in a 55-miler on Saturday with some gentle, rolling hills.  It was alot of fun! The weather was beautiful (after the fog lifted) and you could see all of the pretty wildflowers growing!  I know, I’m a girly girl.
Then on Sunday, Wayne and I rode 70 miles during the Tour de Houston.  It was mostly flat, but at least I got the time on my bike in.
Yes, I am sore.  But I don’t think I am nearly as sore as I thought I would be. I think the part of it all that makes me not hurt so much is the sense of accomplishment.  Never in a million years would I think that over 2 days, I would have ridden 125 miles!  That’s 2 hours by car! What I DO know, though, is that if I can do it, any able-bodied person can do it!
We have several rides coming up, most of them more challenging than this weekend.  But I do want to mention that if there is anyone out there who is new to cycling and wants to try riding in a bicycle rally (they’re ALOT of fun!), the Katy Ram Challenge is coming up on Saturday, April 11th.  It will offer several routes from 12 to over 75 miles in length.  As always, Sun & Ski Sports will be there to provide bike maintenance and last-minute cycling must-haves (gloves, helmets, etc.).  For more information, go to www.katyramchallenge.com

Rainy Weekends won’t screw up MY training!

For our training regimen, we have been riding one ride a weekend, usually one in the Conoco-Phillips Training Series.  This weekend, I was excited because I had registered for a 45-ish mile ride in Magnolia on Saturday, and a 50-ish mile one in Pearland on Sunday.  I felt it was important to start doing back-to-back ones in order to condition my mind… and rear… for the MS 150 in April.  I was also excited because for the first time, I had actually pre-registered for a ride.  This was going to save me so much time and anxiety, as I didn’t have to arrive particularly early for the rides (I am in the habit of being late all the time, and Anna doesn’t wait for me… she just starts without me!)

Long story short, I didn’t get to ride in the bike rallies this weekend, because it was cold and rainy, not to mention dangerous.  I still consider myself an amateur, and I have alot to learn in regards to bicycle handling in inclement conditions.

But my weekend was not a wash! Instead, I set my bike trainer up in my garage and pedalled like there was no tomorrow.  An hour on Saturday, and about 45 mins on Sunday.  It sure was difficult, as I had no one to pedal with, and I was just staring at some cobwebs in the upper corner of the garage.  I don’t think I will clean them up, because what will I stare at next time it rains??

Wayne’s Wardrobe Malfunctions

When we started the Cycling Slimdown, I had no idea how cumbersome the whole new clothes issue would be. In high school, I was a 36 inch waist until maybe Senior year, when I shot up to a 38. In college, with the cheap pizzas, and even cheaper trash can punch, I went up to a 40, and then slowly ascended to a 42, AKA Big and Tall Territory! So, when we started in January, I wore 42×30 pants. I had dunlap disease, where my belly dun lapped over my jeans. And that was fine for me, I guess. Anna always was frustrated because I never wore my pants at my natural waist line. Well, that was actually one of thousands of things that frustrated her about me, I guess. I can’t remember my suit size, but I know that they were measured so that I HAD to wear them at my natural waist line. When I put them on, I always felt that I looked like Danny DeVito as the Penguin in “Batman Returns”. Either that, or a poorly formed egg. In pre-school, I did play the part of “Humpty Dumpty”, so I guess that was my self-fulfilling prophecy…

As the weeks have gone by, I have slowly started pulling out my 10+ year old pants, and have in the past two weeks been able to wear size 38 pants at my natural waist line. That’s making a huge difference in people’s perception of my weight loss, as I no longer have saggy pants hanging off my rear. But my new problem is this: the length of my old pants are 30 inches, which was fine for wearing my pants below my waist, but I actually need 32 inch inseams, which I have never worn! I hate to buy new 38×32 pants, because I know in a month or 2, I’ll slim down even further…. So in the meantime, I will wear my ill-fitting Dockers to work, and have people whisper about how I am wearing high-waters while they can see my entire lower leg. I think it would be fun to wear those Christmas socks with a blinking Santa Claus on them. Now THAT would be something my co-workers can talk about! Hmm…. I wonder if Sun & Ski carries those??

TexBiker.net – Slim Down with Wayne & Anna

Originally posted by Rick Ankrum at www.texbiker.net.

Two Houstonians joining Team Sun & Ski for the MS 150’s 25th anniversary who are workout partners who began training Jan. 6, 2009 as a weight loss challenge and to raise awareness and funds for multiple sclerosis (MS.)

Wayne Dolezal (77077)  and Anna Rocha (77012), who each weighed in Tuesday, Jan. 6 at 270 pounds, are training for the MS150 as a way to both support MS and to start the New Year with healthy, physically fit lifestyles. They will have their March weigh-in today at 4:15 p.m.

Wayne says he personally averages cycling 50 to 70 miles a week, and he and Anna have logged about 1,000 miles together in the two-month training period, including one 90-minute spin class per week (Wednesday evenings at Sun & Ski Sports, 6100 Westheimer) and training rides in Katy every Saturday. Wayne’s blood pressure has radically decreased, along with his resting heart rate, He says he was able to purchase designer jeans in a specialty shop for the first time ever without going to a “Big Boys” wholesaler, “so that’s cool!”

Our heart rate monitors are assisting us in tracking progress toward our attainable heart rate goals, while tracking calories burned at the same time. Last week during spin class at Sun & Ski, Wayne expunged 1,600 calories in one class. To put that into perspective, if he never changed anything about his diet, he could lose 50 pounds a year if he did spinning at that level twice a week… “Spin class is awesome!” Anna’s 44-mile ride in the “Spring Breakaway” (against the wind) burned 3,000 calories.  That was 3.5 hours of pure workout right there!

Their MS 150 cycling coach is Steve Moskowitz,  Conoco Phillips MS 150 Team Captain. Their fitness coach is Mark Leblanc, president of the WELLFIT Group.

Wayne will be riding the MS 150 in honor of a friend’s daughter, Steph, who has MS.  Wayne explained, ”I became aware of the disease from a friend’s daughter, who was diagnosed with MS four years ago at the age of 19.  Steph lives a healthy lifestyle, is a good person, and still she has the random disease of MS.  She began riding in the MS 150 3 years ago, and is a true champion for the cause.  Steph does everything she can with medication, exercise, and diet to fight the effects on a daily basis.  Her resilience is, and will always be, an inspiration to me.  I hope that, with the help of Sun and Ski, I can both lose weight as well as raise money for a great organization to help the tens of thousands of Americans living with MS.”

THE PICKLE- Spring Breakaway Pictures 03/01/09

Hello! I know It’s been a little while since I’ve posted. But I have somethings coming at yah. Here are pictures from our last ride on Sunday.

Wayne & Anna — Month 2 Recap and Results

Wow, it’s been a busy month for Anna and me!  We both plateaued a bit on our weight loss (we still lost plenty, trust me!), and we had craziness going on for the run of the reality show we were in called “The Great Raise Houston”.  If you watched, you would know we didn’t win… we’ll get to the reason why a bit later in this post (hint: It’s Anna’s Fault!)

Everyone knows there is essentially 2 components in any successful weight loss regimen: diet and exercise.  Sun & Ski has us covered for the tools necessary in both of these arenas.  Our primary exercise tool is our Portofino bicycles, as well as the accessories to go along with them.  Second, Mark LeBlanc from the Wellfit Group (www.thewellfitgroup.com) teaches us tips and tricks to live a healthy lifestyle in the realm of food choices.  And I want to reiterate (if it’s the first time I am talking about this, then I guess it’s simply “iterate”) that we are making a LIFESTYLE choice, not a wham, bam, thank you Sam “diet” or quick weight loss exercise program.  Our target has been about 3 pounds per 10 days.  It’s been 56 days, so one would expect a loss of 15-18 pounds each.  Alright, let’s examine the two components once again (I am just doing this because Anna HATES my long blog posts, so I want to make it as long as possible….)

#1) Diet — I have mastered the art of healthy choices.  I simply eat where I want (excluding MOST fast food restaurants), and choose the healthier of options.  When I crave chocolate cake, I eat a small piece.  It doesn’t seem too hard for me.  Anna, on the other hand, really likes food.  It is a struggle for her to overcome her cravings (but she really does seem to manage to overcome them after calling me in the middle of the night trying to rationalize the need for Aunt Rita’s famous cupcakes).  So, in this arena, I win.  I make the healthiest food choices with minimal effort.  And it’s not painfully hard for me to do so.

#2) Excercise — Anna wins this one hands down.  She rides 5-6 times a week, for long hauls at a time.  This past Saturday, we did not have an organized ride, so she decided to forge her own path and ride 60 miles!  I just can’t do that.  I am the world’s laziest person, and quite frankly, I would balloon up like the Goodyear blimp if I didn’t have her yelling at me.  But she does.  As a result, I ride about 3-4 times a week logging about 80 miles in that 7 day period.  Going back to the reason we lost the “Great Raise Houston”, it really is Anna’s fault.  She picked to compete in a racing challenge with me, the world’s laziest person.  I decided that I was too sore to row the kayak at her breakneck speed, so I was rowing while laying down for the majority of the 5 miles down Buffalo Bayou, and we thus lost our chance at the prize money.  I have been apologizing to her for the past 8 months, so why not continue: Anna, I am sorry.  I am lazy. I hope you print this blog out and file it for your records, because I will deny it from this point forward….

It’s interesting because of the two components of weight loss, we are each experts in exactly one area.  We learn from each other how to compensate for our deficiencies, and have thus far been extremely successful at realistically achieving our weight loss goals.  By working together, we are beginning to realize real results and conquer our fat demons head-on.  This has been an interesting and exhilarating period of both of our lives made possible by the folks at Sun & Ski Sports.  With their help, we are achieving our dreams of living a truly active and healthy lifestyle.

Alright, here’s the true numbers after 8 weeks (56 long days) of the Cycling Slimdown…

We both started out at 270 pounds in January….

Anna — 246 pounds, a loss of 24 pounds

Wayne — 245 pounds, a loss of 25 pounds

We recognize we may not achieve our goal weight by the MS 150 in April, but for once in our life we will be on the “chubby” side of “normal”.  Continuing our momentum, we hope to slim down to our target weights in time for me to run around in a Speedo in Galveston on Independence Day.  That is a joke, and I apologize to all for any mental image remaining in your head.