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Merganser Learns to FLY!!!


Merganser

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Since spring has (finally!) arrived in Boston, and I'm signed up for two triathlons this summer, and I spent challenges #1 and #2 focusing on swimming and running, respectively, logically, it's time to...

 

Main Quest

 

...Learn how to ride my road bike!!!

 

I only learned how to ride a bike a year and a half ago (after a few half-hearted-to-false starts and falls when I was four) and have been trundling around town on a hybrid commuter-type bike since then and enjoying it enormously. (When you've never had a driver's license, even bicycle wheels are extremely liberating!)

 

Since I run and swim, it made sense that -- having added biking -- I would want to try a triathlon, which I did, last summer, on my doughty little hybrid bike. (And also on a flat front tire, but that's another saga altogether.)

 

Having done that, and really, really enjoying the liberating feeling of speeding along on my own schedule and steam, and bike-commuting and whatnot, the next logical thing to do -- particularly for me, who has never cultivated a new hobby or interest without finding a way to make it as expensive as possible :P -- was the next thing I did: i.e. buy a carbon fiber road bike!

 

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It was a sales tax holiday weekend in Massachusetts, and the bike was on sale, and it was pretty and green, so it made sense to buy it (well, for the first two reasons, anyway), but I definitely felt wobbly trying it out, and when I picked it up the next week and had it actually fitted, I felt way too high up off the ground and was too terrified to ride it.

 

So I ended up walking it about 7 miles home. (Yes, really. But it was a busy road, with minimal wobble room, on a Saturday afternoon.)

 

The next day, I walked it down to a reservoir/park near my home early in the morning and tried again, and...was too scared of falling to get both feet off the ground at once.

 

So I took out my trusty bike tool and ruthlessly lowered the seat and tried that, but although I went on a few short, shaky rides in my neighborhood on weekends over the next month or so, I never got comfortable on it.

 

So in September, I said: "I'll learn how to ride it next spring."

 

Well, guess what?! :)

 

Missions

 

1) Ride!

  • Go on at least one real ride on my road bike every weekend (so that I can eventually be as comfortable on a road bike as I am on a hybrid) (DEX 1, CON 1)
  • Bike commute (on my hybrid bike, which is properly outfitted for load-bearing :)(STA 1)
  • Get my road bike fitted (since I know the seat is too low -- since I did that on purpose -- but as I learned when I got my hybrid bike fitted, even on a higher seat, I feel much more balanced on a properly fitted bike) (WIS 1)
  • Get involved with local biking advocacy groups beyond just donating money (since the reason I feel relatively comfortable commuting and running errands and riding in general in and around Boston is because a lot of people have worked for many years to vastly improve the biking infrastructure in the city and raise awareness of cycling, and that requires hands-on work, not just donating money to support it! Also, I need to overcome my fear of people :P​(CHA 1)
  • Bonus: Start transitioning to clip-less pedals (I am particularly scared of being attached to my bike, so this is a bit of stretch goal for the short term) (DEX 1)

2) Run! Swim!

  • Continue to run at least one day a week, focusing on improving my speed over shorter distances by running with a plan (STA 1)
  • Continue to swim one or two days a week, ideally spending one day doing form and speed drills and one day focusing on distance (since I'll be doing a 1-mile swim in the Charles a week or two after this challenge ends, and need to start thinking about those triathlons!) (STA 1)
  • Try out (and ideally join) a local Master's swim club (since I didn't do this last challenge...) (CHA 1)
  • Bonus: Practice open-water swimming (e.g. bike out to Walden Pond and swim!) (STA 1)

3) Eat! Train! Rest!

  • I'm starting this challenge on day 7 of a Whole30, and I intend to finish that and develop an intelligent post-Whole30 plan and develop and implement mindful post-Whole30 eating practices...which I will continue to track in My Fitness Pal (CON 1, WIS 1)
  • Keep up with strength-training: reduce kettlebell bootcamp to 1 day per week (so that I have more control over what exercises I'm doing, so I can be mindful of my susceptible shoulder, etc. and also focus on strength-training that will serve my biking/swimming/running) (STR 1)
  • Continue scheduling 7 hours of sleep per night (thank god for DVR and OnDemand!) (CON 1)

 

Motivation

 

1) Lots of people ride road bikes, so my anxiety about is just an example of my general neurotic anxiety and needs to be overcome (plus, I've fallen off my bike before and been fine; I managed to damage myself far worse falling down stairs, for god's sake!)

 

2) I like doing races, and I like using them as incentives to push myself to improve my performance and pretend I'm cheating entropy and mortality, and I'm going to be a lot faster in triathlons on the appropriate sort of bike. (Not to mention less silly-looking, but I stopped caring about looking ridiculous 7 years ago, so that's less of a concern :))

 

3) I haven't gone on a proper vacation in a few years, and lately, my vacation fantasies have involved traveling long distances by bike. This will probably require a more efficient bike in general, and more to the point, I'd like to be able to ride any bike that is available to me (except a unicycle), and not being able to ride a road bike feels like not being able to drive a stick shift. (Or so I'm extrapolating, since, of course, I don't know how to drive stick, either :P)

 

Life Quest

 

Cast off ballast!

 

I have a lightweight bike and a (relatively) lightweight body, so it's time for a lighter-weight life:

 

I've been living in the same apartment since 1995. It's an extremely large apartment, in an extremely convenient place, with plenty of amenities (I have a porch attached to my bedroom! I have a laundry room in/off my kitchen! I have a fireplace!), and reasonable rent, but I definitely want to cut this tenancy short (or "short") at 19 years this September.

 

But I've accumulated a lot of stuff in that time, and it's time to start clearing things out (although I did get rid of 36 boxes of books a few years ago, so I'm not starting from ground zero :))

 

Over the next 6 weeks, I want to clear out all of storage closets/units in our office, as well as my gigantic file cabinet, and all of the drawers in the coffee table. So help me god! (WIS 1)

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Merganser: Level 4 Anatidae Scout

STR 4 | DEX 5 | STA 5 | CON 7 | WIS 6 | CHA 2

Intro | Current Challenge: Train for Spain!

 Challenge 6: Back on Track...and Then Off Again | Challenge 5b: First-World ProblemsChallenge 5a: Make a Map | 

Challenge 4: Fly! (On a Bike!) | Challenge 3: Run!..(At All!) | Challenge 2: Stretch! | Challenge 1: Swim Faster! |

My Fitness Pal

 

"She was a woman who had wandered almost by accident into a life she had not quite intended for herself..." --Lawrence Osborne

 

"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird 

of the family Anatidae on our hands." --Douglas Adams

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I love all of your goals! And I can fully relate to being fearful of the bike and, like yourself, have completed a triathlon on a laughable bicycle (slow, heavy, not designed for roads at all). :)

I can also relate to shaking off the clutter. I've lived in the same home for over 13 years and have raised (am still raising) three kids here. My natural inclination is toward minimalism, so I really dislike clutter (and belongings, in general). So recently I began (slowly) going through each room of the house "as if I were moving"-- getting rid of bags of stuff we don't need. Liberating!!

I look forward to following your progress this challenge!

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Great looking challenge! I feel like we have a decent bit in common - I finished my first Whole30 in February, and am still trying to find that balance.

 

I have not biked much since I was a kid, but am trying to ramp it up - I have a mountain bike, which isn't quite ideal for commuting, but it works for now. Road bikes are totally scary, I feel you there! But I'm sure you can get used to it with a little practice.

 

I love the decluttering goal - what's your motivation for moving? New location altogether, or just looking for a change of scenery?

 

Best of luck to you!

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Race: Wood Elf

Level 20

Class: Ranger

Strength: 45 | Dexterity: 15 | Stamina: 44 | Constitution: 29 | Wisdom: 35 | Charisma: 28

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It seems you've prepared a good challenge!

I like a lot the bike goal, because it envolves overcoming some fear, and that is always great.

 

And good luck with your appartment decluttering. We moved last summer after 10 years living in the same place, and even after throwing/giving many things there was a lot of stuff left, oufffffffff.

 

Have a nice challenge first day!!

The Wolverine - Level 5 // BER  6.5 // HEA  4 // STR  4.4 // STA  3 // DEX  4 // CON  4 // WIS  4.75 // CHA  1

He who conquers others is strong; he who conquers himself is mighty.

Adventures don't start until you get into the forest.

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I like the lighter life aspect a lot. Good for you recognizing you've got work to do before just trying to move and having too much crap. I'm in that same kind of place myself.

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Scout 30/Ranger 1 (3 skipped)

Spoiler

"I must not fear. / Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing......Only I will remain."
-Litany Against Fear

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I'm right here wavin' dem pom-poms and cheerin' you on as you learn to ride that bike.

Excellent goals all round - with the full Tri experience FTW

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Level 20 Ferret Demon Scout

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hey! there is NOTHING like spring in the northeast on a bicycle. this is a great mission!

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You must be so excited to use that new toy :) I have faith in your plan, it seems like you have spent ample time thinking on how to learn to do this (without super-scary busy road riding!!)

 

I am inspired by all the Clean Up goals I've seen this challenge. I guess it's time for some spring cleaning :)

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Level 7 DINOSAUR Scout
STR: 9 - CON: 12 - DEX: 6 - STA: 10 - WIS: 16 - CHA: 11
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I love all of your goals! And I can fully relate to being fearful of the bike and, like yourself, have completed a triathlon on a laughable bicycle (slow, heavy, not designed for roads at all). :)

I can also relate to shaking off the clutter. I've lived in the same home for over 13 years and have raised (am still raising) three kids here. My natural inclination is toward minimalism, so I really dislike clutter (and belongings, in general). So recently I began (slowly) going through each room of the house "as if I were moving"-- getting rid of bags of stuff we don't need. Liberating!!

I look forward to following your progress this challenge!

 

 

It seems you've prepared a good challenge!

I like a lot the bike goal, because it envolves overcoming some fear, and that is always great.

 

And good luck with your appartment decluttering. We moved last summer after 10 years living in the same place, and even after throwing/giving many things there was a lot of stuff left, oufffffffff.

 

Have a nice challenge first day!!

 

Yes, for the past year or so, we try to find some stuff to purge every month to put out when the Big Brothers/Big Sisters donation truck comes through our neighborhood, but I definitely need to be more aggressive with the purge-ing if I don't want to end up getting rid of stuff when unpacking after a move.

 

(Which I could totally see happening with me :P)

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Merganser: Level 4 Anatidae Scout

STR 4 | DEX 5 | STA 5 | CON 7 | WIS 6 | CHA 2

Intro | Current Challenge: Train for Spain!

 Challenge 6: Back on Track...and Then Off Again | Challenge 5b: First-World ProblemsChallenge 5a: Make a Map | 

Challenge 4: Fly! (On a Bike!) | Challenge 3: Run!..(At All!) | Challenge 2: Stretch! | Challenge 1: Swim Faster! |

My Fitness Pal

 

"She was a woman who had wandered almost by accident into a life she had not quite intended for herself..." --Lawrence Osborne

 

"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird 

of the family Anatidae on our hands." --Douglas Adams

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Great looking challenge! I feel like we have a decent bit in common - I finished my first Whole30 in February, and am still trying to find that balance.

 

I have not biked much since I was a kid, but am trying to ramp it up - I have a mountain bike, which isn't quite ideal for commuting, but it works for now. Road bikes are totally scary, I feel you there! But I'm sure you can get used to it with a little practice.

 

I love the decluttering goal - what's your motivation for moving? New location altogether, or just looking for a change of scenery?

 

Best of luck to you!

 

Yeah, the Whole30 is kind of my penance for failing at finding balance through moderation  :rolleyes:

 

And my moving motivation is because my housemate of many years is ready to move on and I'm too old to get used to someone new and there are some other neighborhoods in the city I think I'd like to live in, and I want to try at least one out before I attempt to actually buy a place someday. (Assuming I am not so motivated by my inevitable success at learning how to ride a road bike that I don't just go really crazy and buy a place this year without 5 years worth of research, dithering, underpants-inventorying, etc. :))

Merganser: Level 4 Anatidae Scout

STR 4 | DEX 5 | STA 5 | CON 7 | WIS 6 | CHA 2

Intro | Current Challenge: Train for Spain!

 Challenge 6: Back on Track...and Then Off Again | Challenge 5b: First-World ProblemsChallenge 5a: Make a Map | 

Challenge 4: Fly! (On a Bike!) | Challenge 3: Run!..(At All!) | Challenge 2: Stretch! | Challenge 1: Swim Faster! |

My Fitness Pal

 

"She was a woman who had wandered almost by accident into a life she had not quite intended for herself..." --Lawrence Osborne

 

"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird 

of the family Anatidae on our hands." --Douglas Adams

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Day 1 went pretty well, starting with my first bike commute since...oh, sometime in December  :rolleyes:

 

I biked to the gym in perfect spring morning weather, did some stretching, and then did a particularly energetic kettlebell bootcamp, with plenty of burpees and hurdle hops and jump squats (our trainer admitted that she had put it together over the weekend after drinking three cups of coffee  :tongue:), which was an invigorating way to start a Monday.

 

After some post-workout stretching, I showered and biked to my office through rush-hour traffic in the center of Boston, which is a different kind of invigorating. (And also involves riding up Beacon Hill, which always makes me feel particularly virtuous and is followed by a steep downhill segment that is usually fun...except for that one time I underestimated my braking distance and bumped into a school bus. Oops.)

 

Since biking is much quicker than public transportation, I got to the office earlier than usual for a kettlebells day and therefore had plenty of time to enjoy my excellent Whole 30 breakfast of two hard-boiled eggs with a side of sweet potato, sausage and kale hash. (It was supposed to be home fries; next time I will do a better job of not overcooking the sweet potatoes.) Very yummy.

 

Since my breakfasts used to be either oatmeal with nuts and dried fruit, and a side of fresh berries (and maybe a hard-boiled egg) or Greek yogurt and nuts and dried fruit and fresh berries (and maybe a hard-boiled egg), breakfast has been the biggest adjustment for me. But in a great way, because it meant that this past weekend I made poached eggs for the first time in my life, as well as an omelet for the first time in my life. (In both cases with sauteed garlic and kale.) It was like eating at a brunch restaurant in my pajamas! I haven't felt so decadent since the day I realized that I could buy my own cocktail shaker and make craft cocktails at home! (And is it wrong that, as much as I'm enjoying this Whole 30 thing, and am not actually counting the days until the end of it -- yet -- I am also looking forward to the fact that the first weekend after the Whole 30 will probably also be a great weekend for enjoying a cocktail on the porch?)

 

Anyway...I had a productive work morning not letting the perpetually incomplete perfect be the enemy of the good enough and then had a lunch of Moroccan lamb meatballs and cauliflower couscous. (I also ordered those cookbooks.)

 

I made it for dinner on Saturday night (along with enough for all 4 workdays this week!) and it was fantastic! I hadn't made meatballs since I lived at home as a kid, so that was a terrific treat, and finding a viable couscous substitute was phenomenal. When I started the Whole 30, I figured I was kind of lucky because I didn't feel like I was giving up that much that I'd miss: alcohol, bread, cheese, chocolate. I was also giving up oatmeal and yogurt, but I don't crave those (although I'll miss Greek yogurt eventually, and will probably eat it in the future). I eat tofu, but I don't crave that either. The only pasta I generally eat is rice noodles (see: "tofu") and couscous, and both of those, like any grains I typically eat, are really just delivery systems for more interesting food. I cook with canola oil, but I'm happy to sub other fats, and I've been drinking my coffee black and unsweetened (and decaf) for years. But I had realized that although it wasn't on my immediate list of sacrificed foods, I was definitely going to miss couscous, since it's the "surface" food I use the most, so the fact that cauliflower is a perfectly reasonable facsimile is really great and something I'll continue to use, since I don't miss coucous as such: there is no "paleo" substitute for a good baguette, so I'm happy to cut out couscous long-term in favor of real bread when I indulge in grains :P

 

Aside aside, the afternoon was also pretty productive, and I was really looking forward to my bike ride home...until I actually started it! My journey home is into the west and there was an insane headwind the entire way, which would occasionally switch to whip in from the north as well in what was clearly an attempt to murder me by pushing me into rush-hour traffic. (Seriously, there are certain parts of the city center that are particularly wind-tunnel-y, and when I had to stop at a light at one intersection, I felt so in jeopardy of being blown over that I got off my bike and walked it across the intersection!) 

 

So that was an exhausting 45-minute ride home, but on the bright side, it meant I kind-of, sort-of earned my entirely ridiculous dinner.

 

As soon as I got home, I cooked several chicken breasts for dinners the rest of the week, but in the spirit of trying new things, I had picked up a non-inexpensive boneless steak from some cow that was grass-fed and otherwise perfectly pampered (until it was butchered, of course) while grocery shopping on Sunday, and I made that for dinner, in a skillet. It was only the second steak I've every cooked in my life (and the other was a weenie little fool-proof filet mignon), but I totally didn't ruin it! It came out medium rare and succulent and perfect! I used the au jus and some ghee and some garlic and dried herbs to saute some mushrooms left over my from omelet experience, and steamed some asparagus which I tossed with a little bit of olive oil and lemon zest and some salt and pepper.

 

It was a ridiculously good meal; and I didn't even miss a hearty red wine as I enjoyed it with my sparkling water! (Although I'd be lying if I claimed I didn't look forward to pairing a great steak with a great wine -- moderately consumed! -- in the future :))

 

I had some berries for dessert only because they were on the verge of becoming inedible, and was overall well-sated without feeling at all stuffed.

 

I went to sleep a little after 9:30 and only woke up coughing once during the night! (Which was great -- for the last week, it's been at least two times per night!) 

 

Today was just going to be a bike commuting day, since I have a doctor's appointment after work and needed to be at work early (ergo, no gym), but it was raining, so I took the T. (I'm on day 8 of my ears being stuffed and my left ear ringing, even though I don't have an infection, which is incredibly annoying; I've avoided swimming, but so help me god, even if it isn't cleared up by Thursday or Saturday, I will get in the pool one of those days! But I didn't think riding to work in the rain -- on a day when the forecast was for intermittent rain all day -- was wise, healthwise. Last year, I was a little bit of a masochist with the bike commute, but that was partly motivated by my less-than-optimal eating and drinking, and if I don't have anything to compensate for, I don't need to do extra cardio...Although that being said, after that immense steak, I'm also kind of glad it will be chicken for dinner for a few days :P)

 

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Merganser: Level 4 Anatidae Scout

STR 4 | DEX 5 | STA 5 | CON 7 | WIS 6 | CHA 2

Intro | Current Challenge: Train for Spain!

 Challenge 6: Back on Track...and Then Off Again | Challenge 5b: First-World ProblemsChallenge 5a: Make a Map | 

Challenge 4: Fly! (On a Bike!) | Challenge 3: Run!..(At All!) | Challenge 2: Stretch! | Challenge 1: Swim Faster! |

My Fitness Pal

 

"She was a woman who had wandered almost by accident into a life she had not quite intended for herself..." --Lawrence Osborne

 

"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird 

of the family Anatidae on our hands." --Douglas Adams

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Heh, it can definitely be difficult not to overcook those sweet potatoes, it's such a fine line. Good thing they taste good regardless, eh?

 

I can rarely justify the expense, but oh boy are those grass-fed steaks tasty! Your food sounds so wonderful altogether - Whole30 really is more about habit change than deprivation, isn't it?

Race: Wood Elf

Level 20

Class: Ranger

Strength: 45 | Dexterity: 15 | Stamina: 44 | Constitution: 29 | Wisdom: 35 | Charisma: 28

BATTLE LOG   EPIC QUEST  CHALLENGE

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Wow - impressive goals as always!!  Looking forward to watching you knock them all down!!

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We are better than we know, if we can be made to see it, [then] for the rest of our lives, we'll be unwilling to settle for less.  

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Oh, that meal looks really tasty! 

I...don't know much about bikes but I am terrified to ride one if it is too high - can you get your bike's saddle lower? I feel it really adds a sense of security if I coooould possibly put at least one foot securely down. 

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Great to see a biking challenge! And it involves a road bike too! I've been biking for a while now, but I've been using a mountain bike. I just recently got interested in road bikes! Good luck on your challenge, and always remember to ride safe! :D

 

Thanks! And the New England weather is (finally!) cooperating! Yay!

 

(And, yeah: I resist the urge to wear elbow and knee pads, but otherwise, I'm ultimate Safety Girl on a bike -- I just ride as though everyone else on the road is simultaneously texting, talking on a phone and yelling at kids fighting in the back seat :P)

 

Oh, that meal looks really tasty! 

I...don't know much about bikes but I am terrified to ride one if it is too high - can you get your bike's saddle lower? I feel it really adds a sense of security if I coooould possibly put at least one foot securely down. 

 

Thanks, it was delicious, although it was ridiculously huge, especially for a weeknight meal! Although I lost weight last week, so apparently, even a big steak with asparagus is < baguette/cheese/wine. (Which is not actually a surprise :P)

 

And...yeah, I'm the same way about needing to have one foot on the ground when necessary.

 

When I first bought the bike, it was properly fitted, so the seat was way too high for my (psychological) comfort. So I lowered it ALL the way. I moved it up a bit yesterday -- which I think helps with the balance -- but I'm still close enough to the ground to anchor myself with my left foot at a moment's notice! (And definitely still a ways away from attaching my feet to the pedals!)

Merganser: Level 4 Anatidae Scout

STR 4 | DEX 5 | STA 5 | CON 7 | WIS 6 | CHA 2

Intro | Current Challenge: Train for Spain!

 Challenge 6: Back on Track...and Then Off Again | Challenge 5b: First-World ProblemsChallenge 5a: Make a Map | 

Challenge 4: Fly! (On a Bike!) | Challenge 3: Run!..(At All!) | Challenge 2: Stretch! | Challenge 1: Swim Faster! |

My Fitness Pal

 

"She was a woman who had wandered almost by accident into a life she had not quite intended for herself..." --Lawrence Osborne

 

"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird 

of the family Anatidae on our hands." --Douglas Adams

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Usually, not posting for, like, 5 days means I'm slacking, but in this case, it just means I've been busy and/or taking a break from the computer :P

 

So far, my challenge is going okay:

 

I bike commuted Monday and Friday, but not Tuesday (rain), Wednesday (snow!) or Thursday (eh, chilly!), and I think that's okay, since part of this challenge is "don't be a masochist!". Friday was a little bit chilly, but since I was only biking to the gym and back home -- since I took Good Friday as a floating holiday -- it felt good. And it warmed up enough so that I felt fine biking back to the gym in the afternoon for a massage, and stopping at a spa on the way home for a facial and...other girl stuff. (Because, yes, for me, "pampering" myself includes a 10-mile round-trip bike ride :P)

 

As for my road bike: yesterday morning after breakfast, before I let myself do anything remotely fun, I made myself change the damned tire! It was grubby and frustrating, but got a lot easier once I learned from Google about the locking system on Presta valves  :rolleyes:

 

I took it out for a quick ride around the neighborhood to make sure the chain was okay (it was!) and then came home for lunch, since there was a little more traffic than I wanted to ride in on that bike.

 

But this morning, as soon as I got up, I got the road bike out and rode around for about 30 minutes -- mostly because it was cold and I had been so eager/anxious to get out that I didn't have a conversation with myself about "Gloves?" -- and determined: a) I feel totally fine riding it, which is great, since I no longer feel wobbly or unbalanced; B) I'm getting the hang of the gears (although it feels like there aren't enough of them, but...whatever); c) I really hate braking on it! No matter where my hands are, they don't seem close enough, or responsive enough, and no matter how gently I do it, when I come to a stop, the whole bike bounces off the side (well, mostly the back tire), and when my foot hits the ground, I stagger for a step or two. Not fun.

 

But I'll ask my -- cycling aficionado -- kettlebell trainer about that when I go to the gym tomorrow.

 

Mostly, though, I'm happy that riding it feels good.

 

And speaking of the gym tomorrow...since tomorrow is another floating holiday -- legally "Patriots' Day", but really: Marathon Monday! -- I don't have to bring anything to the gym for my morning class, so I intend to ride my road bike to the gym tomorrow morning. I think getting there will be okay -- the real challenge will be the gigantic detour I'll have to take to get to my gym, since it's right in Copley Square and even in a non-heightened-security year all the roads around it are closed -- and although there will be more traffic coming home, I also have plenty of time, so I can take it easy and walk if I get freaked out :)

 

(See? I put that in writing to boost my chances of actually doing it!)

 

In other biking news, it was really nice out yesterday, so instead of going for a swim -- particularly since my ear are STILL stuffy and ringing! -- I went for a bike ride. It was only supposed to be for an hour or so, followed by a 5K run -- since I haven't run since last weekend -- but since I was riding out backwards along the Marathon route anyway (I live a block away from about the 22-mile mark) I decided to try to ride all the way out the starting line in Hopkinton...

 

...which did not happen. After 90 minutes, I was at, like the 7-mile mark, but the road was closed because of a bad accident, so I decided that was a good time to turn back, since it's not really the safest road in world, particularly on a Saturday afternoon :)

 

But that still made for 30+ miles -- since I had some errands when I got back -- and with the hills and the headwinds, I was seriously wiped out when I got home! (So, no run!)

 

And seriously glad that dinner was leftovers from Friday and therefore only needed to be plated and -- in some cases -- heated up :)

 

gallery_25678_963_826540.jpg

 

And although that may look like couscous, it's really cauliflower, since the Whole 30 day is going great! :)

 

After my decadent steak dinner on Monday, I dialed it back for the rest of the week. Breakfasts and lunches at work were the same as Monday, and dinners for Tuesday through Thursday with chicken and vegetables, i.e. asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, plus carrots (roasted with cumin and cinnamon, as recommended in the Well Fed website) all three nights. Yum. 

 

(I'm definitely eating too much food based on the fact that I should be eating to satiety, so I have to work on not OVER-buying vegetables -- since I feel obliged to finish, for example, my Brussels sprouts, since I know I have broccoli already for the next day -- but it hasn't affected my weight in a bad way, so I'm not going to worry about. Although I might go with leaner proteins this week: that lamb was fatty!)

 

Since Friday was a not-work day, I came home for breakfast and had a mushroom and herb omelet with kale/sausage/garlic, which I also had Saturday, and this morning, and will have tomorrow morning as well :)

 

Then I prepped my lunch (mache, blueberry and hazelnut salad, with shallots and a Dijon and cayenne pepper vinaigrette) -- which I brought to the gym to eat before my massage -- and did the oven-prep for dinner: roasting an acorn squash and my cauliflower "couscous".

 

So when I got home from the spa around 7, all I needed to do was heat up the squash, mix the "couscous" with pomegranate seeds, pistachios, parsley and sauteed shallots and thyme, and put together a cucumber, tomato and mint salad. Yum. And I was looking forward to having it Saturday as well.

 

So, yeah, Whole 30 is going well. I admit I felt a little cranky when I was treating myself to "spa" time on Friday because my impulse was to also treat myself to chocolate cake. And I definitely would have liked wine and cheese and bread. But I got over that. And even though there was chocolate cake in the house for Easter weekend and a big bowl of peanut M&Ms -- one of my old binge foods! -- I didn't have to exercise very much willpower at all.

 

My little epiphany about that this morning was that nobody is making me do this. And nobody is going to care if I stop doing it -- and heck, I could cheat or stop and nobody would ever even have to know! But remembering that I don't have to do it reminds me why I am doing it: I'm doing it because it's good for me to be good to myself and take a break from food that is unhealthy or potentially unhealthy, and to be more mindful about food, and to be more diligent about planning. And it's great for me to be cooking so many new things!

 

So, yeah :)

 

Exercise has mostly been on target as well: kettlebells Monday and Friday (both of them killer classes, on account of our trainer consumed a lot of coffee last weekend prior to program planning!), and self-directed strength workout on Wednesday (evening instead of morning, but still counts!). Nothing on Tuesday OR Thursday (not planned: I'm still avoiding swimming because of my ear -- although that's going to end soon, because, seriously! -- but I did plan to run Thursday after work, but felt worn out, and also hoped to bike commute at least one of those days), and although I didn't run Saturday, I did spent a good 3 hours doing some serious biking. (Albeit on my less-serious bike)

 

Today I'm waffling about trying swimming -- really, I'm waffling about biking into the city on the day before the Marathon, since it's usually kind of nuts, and although my usual swim gym IS open for Easter, it is also only 2 blocks away from my girl gym and therefore ALSO right in the heart of Marathon madness -- and will probably end up running instead. (Although if I don't swim today, I WILL swim Tuesday morning! God as my witness!) Plus, recreational biking. (Nothing particularly epic! I was in bed by 9 PM each of the last two nights, which is terrific, but darn it, it's a holiday night! I want to stay away a little late!)

 

Oh, and I did some preliminary de-cluttering yesterday morning, after changing my tire.

 

And now, time to -- finally! -- try to catch up on other Scouts challenges and do some meal planning! (Including figuring out what my Easter feast is going to be...)  

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Merganser: Level 4 Anatidae Scout

STR 4 | DEX 5 | STA 5 | CON 7 | WIS 6 | CHA 2

Intro | Current Challenge: Train for Spain!

 Challenge 6: Back on Track...and Then Off Again | Challenge 5b: First-World ProblemsChallenge 5a: Make a Map | 

Challenge 4: Fly! (On a Bike!) | Challenge 3: Run!..(At All!) | Challenge 2: Stretch! | Challenge 1: Swim Faster! |

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"She was a woman who had wandered almost by accident into a life she had not quite intended for herself..." --Lawrence Osborne

 

"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird 

of the family Anatidae on our hands." --Douglas Adams

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I am so so so so thrilled that you are having such a great Whole30 experience! Your food looks amaaaaa.....

 

 

 

ZING!!

 

 

Seriously! The W30 look good on you, girl!

This is brilliant:

"My little epiphany about that this morning was that nobody is making me do this. And nobody is going to care if I stop doing it -- and heck, I could cheat or stop and nobody would ever even have to know! But remembering that I don't have to do it reminds me why I am doing it: I'm doing it because it's good for me to be good to myself and take a break from food that is unhealthy or potentially unhealthy, and to be more mindful about food, and to be more diligent about planning. And it's great for me to be cooking so many new things!"

 

I live alone so I went through that same exact thing. It's just awesome you are having both mental and bodily success.

 

Plus biking one million miles and defeating an illness? Way to destroy Week One!

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Level 7 DINOSAUR Scout
STR: 9 - CON: 12 - DEX: 6 - STA: 10 - WIS: 16 - CHA: 11
Current Challenge
Scouts Base Camp
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Okay, I haven't been on the computer in a couple of days again -- I just spent a couple of hours catching up with 4 days' worth of work e-mail which I was able to watch appear occasionally on my phone but allow other people to deal with, and am now taking a [decaf] coffee break :) -- but, boy, have I been in the kitchen!

 

Yesterday was a floating holiday -- Marathon Monday! -- and while I spent some time watching the runners, I also probably washed and used my gigantic skillet more times in one day than I have in some entire years that I've lived in my apartment! (That sounds hyperbolic; my long-time roommate will confirm that it is absolutely true.) But in addition to an excellent steak dinner, I have pretty much all of my food prepared through Friday, with the exception of a couple of vegetables I'll roast/steam/whatever as I need for dinners/lunches.

 

I definitely need to work on efficiency, but I think I deserve full marks for industriousness

 

However, I'm not being graded on that during this challenge, so... 

 

1 Week (+) Review

 

​1) Ride!

 

I didn't go on a "real" ride on my road bike within week 1, but I did change the back tire unassisted for the first time and took it out for successful test/anxiety diagnosis rides Saturday and Sunday, and more importantly, I really did ride my road bike to my gym on Monday morning! See?!

 

gallery_25678_963_405299.jpg

 

And I successfully rode it home afterwards. To and from the gym is, basically, the last 4 miles of the Boston Marathon, plus a little bit, so there wasn't much traffic most of the way even when I was going home a little after 8, but there was plenty of traffic in the streets around the gym at that time, and I navigated it fine. I'm even getting the hang of braking. And I observed that even though I bumped up the seat a little on Saturday, I can still put it a few inches higher while still having comfortable toe access to the ground when I'm stopped, so I'll take care of that for next weekend.

 

And I also feel comfortable making that appointment for a fitting (including getting fitted for bike shoes and scary pedals!) so I have a reminder on my Google calendar to take care of making that appointment next weekend, if not before.

 

And it was a good thing I did ride my road bike, otherwise, I would have had to take the T, which would have been lame, because I would have missed the view :)

 

gallery_25678_963_110328.jpg

 

gallery_25678_963_296713.jpg

 

I would have had to take the T because -- as I learned when I left the house to pick up some groceries -- the back tire on my commuter bike was completely flat.

 

And although I was able to change that as well -- I got lots of practice with changing back flats this weekend! -- I wouldn't have been able to do it in time to ride to the gym Monday morning for my class :P

 

And speaking of my commuter bike...I bike commuted the two pleasant days last week, and although I didn't go to work yesterday, I bike commuted to the gym, obviously, and rode to the office this morning as well. And the weather for the rest of the week looks great, too, so I'm really looking forward to that. Since my annoying ear/head stuffiness continues, and is particularly bad in the mornings -- seriously, I stagger so badly that I actually bump into bookcases and things! above and beyond my native clumsiness! -- that fresh air in the mornings is immensely helpful.

 

And since I am back to regularly appreciating all of the biking infrastructure in Boston, I looked up the next MassBike volunteer night and determined that I have no conflicts on May 13. And I am perfectly capable of doing administrative tasks. (In fact, that's generally the only volunteer-y sort of thing I'm good for, except maybe cleaning up branches and whatnot.) So I'll plan to do that to get my feet wet in the biking commuting.

 

2) Run! Swim!

 

I did squeak in a 5K (i.e. two times around the nearby reservoir) on Sunday afternoon, and I suppose you could call it a "run", even though my legs were definitely still feeling the previous day's sort of epic bike ride :) (Sometimes, when I run, I feel like I'm trudging very slowly, but my GPS application pleasantly surprises me with a better than expected time; this was not one of those times.)

 

But I haven't been in a pool in...3 weeks, I think? The Sunday after I got my staples out, and before I got this COLD! (Which I'm beginning to suspect is actually a new strain of pneuomic plague...but don't worry, I don't think it's transmitted via a computer virus.)

 

And it looks like I took the name of the Lord in vain on Easter because although God was my witness, I did not go to the pool this morning. I do, however, have my swim stuff with me, so I'll try to go for a quick swim on the way home to start getting my feet wet there again, and be a little more aggressive about getting back into a swimming regimen this week.

 

3) Eat! Train! Rest!

 

Today is Day 15 of my Whole 30 challenge, and that, at least, is going pretty swimmingly. (Although I think I may have sleep-eaten a Tums on Sunday night, since I woke up in the middle night with an opened roll of Tums in my bed, from my bedside table drawer. I might have just sleep-grabbed them instead of earplugs in the middle of the night and not consumed one, but, yes, I might have have some added sugar...but I'm not going to make myself start over because of it :P)

 

I'm continuing to do lots of planning, prepping, eating and particularly planning, prepping, and eating new and interesting things and a variety of foods. Heck, just yesterday, I cooked 4 kinds of meat (plus shrimp!). 

 

In related news, my grocery bills are not small :P (But I'm sure that if I put together the appropriate graph using my detailed spending records, I would see that the extra food I'm buying now is probably cost-equivalent to the bread, fancy cheeses and wine that I'm not buying now...in fact, I should totally do that at some point.)

 

But it's great: I'm using cookbooks I've had but not previously used, lots of good resources on the Internet, and just received my Well Fed books in the mail, yesterday, so I'm already looking forward to planning for next week :)

 

And now that I'm halfway through, I'm starting to think about planning beyond this 30-day period. My new issue of Imbibe magazine also arrived yesterday, and, yeah, I really miss cocktails. And I'm really looking forward to porch cocktails, in particular. But I might try keeping all wine consumption outside the house, as well as bread and cheese. (Since it is hard -- for me -- to buy just enough cheese for a modest at-home cheese plate; it's a heck of a lot easier to do that at a restaurant.) And possibly just try to stay as compliant as possible with my home meals (including the breakfasts and lunches I take to work, of course). Except, possibly, for occasional chocolate. I don't know, but I won't go into Day 31 without a plan, that's for sure.

 

And even though it's definitely kind of a pain, I'm faithfully recording the massive amount of food I eat every day in My Fitness Pal!

 

Strength-training is still continuing according to plan: I did my kettlebell classes last Monday and Friday, and my own workout on Wednesday, which I'll adjust for Wednesday this week. Yesterday was my last scheduled Monday kettlebell class, after which, for cost and program control reasons, I'll need to be responsible for my own Monday strength workout. (But this also gives me some more flexibility, since I just need to do it 3 days as week, on non-sequential days, and going forward, my only scheduled day will be Friday.)

 

And although last night was a crappy sleep night -- I got up several times, for annoying durations -- that was I think mostly due to work-related anxiety. Partly from going back after 4 days off, and partly because of 3 specific things that I could have taken care of last week, and didn't, and are therefore going to be more stressful this week because of it. Which I totally deserve. (Coincidentally, one of this weekend's Whole 30 daily newsletters was about stress and stress management...)

 

Otherwise, I'm sleeping well and at length, mainly by going to bed really, really early. This may be partly because of my stubbornly persisting illness/ailment/whatever -- and I sent an e-mail to a acupuncturist friend-of-a-friend about scheduling a consultation! -- but if it means I'm getting more rest, I'll take it.

 

4) Life Quest: Ballast Casting!

 

Took care of surface ballast this weekend, in preparation for more intense work next weekend.

 

But I think I definitely need to make a physical list of all of the areas that need to be addressed, and a schedule for doing it. That will be task #1 going into next weekend -- and heck, maybe I'll do it before next weekend, using some of the evening time I should have available from all my massive advance food prep! -- and I may even consult with my roommate about her priorities, since some of my stuff is in shared spaces. (Including the home office she uses way more than I do :)

 

So, week #1 went pretty well, week #2 feels like it's gotten underway in a positive way, and I feel pretty well positioned for success in the challenge as a whole. The thing I'm most likely to be slothful about is the life quest, and, really, that should be the easy part, for gods' sake!

 

And now, my visual reminder to myself that bread and cheese and chocolate are not the only foods :)

 

Indian-spiced shrimp taco/fajita thingies!

 

gallery_25678_963_767234.jpg

 

Steak and mushrooms (@Kailer) and Brussels sprouts and chorizo! 

 

gallery_25678_963_244689.jpg

 

Monster eggs for breakfast!

 

gallery_25678_963_223451.jpg

  • Like 1

Merganser: Level 4 Anatidae Scout

STR 4 | DEX 5 | STA 5 | CON 7 | WIS 6 | CHA 2

Intro | Current Challenge: Train for Spain!

 Challenge 6: Back on Track...and Then Off Again | Challenge 5b: First-World ProblemsChallenge 5a: Make a Map | 

Challenge 4: Fly! (On a Bike!) | Challenge 3: Run!..(At All!) | Challenge 2: Stretch! | Challenge 1: Swim Faster! |

My Fitness Pal

 

"She was a woman who had wandered almost by accident into a life she had not quite intended for herself..." --Lawrence Osborne

 

"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird 

of the family Anatidae on our hands." --Douglas Adams

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Hehe those eggs are adorable! And I love the brussels with chorizo idea! I always use bacon, but I just happen to have some chorizo in my freezer, I am going to have to give that one a try.

 

Awesome job with the commuting! Sounds like you had a great first week, and are poised for more success :) Cheers!

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Class: Ranger

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Quite an update - That food looks delicious, and it's always good to see people commuting properly.

Level 20 Ferret Demon Scout

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Great update - you're inspiring!  Those Whole30s look really intimidating.  And I'd have to take a month away from hubby and go to a spa or something .... hum ......

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We are better than we know, if we can be made to see it, [then] for the rest of our lives, we'll be unwilling to settle for less.  

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Your food looks incredible!!

1. I am SO PROUD OF YOU for riding the tall bike. Seriously, great job!

2. Porch cocktails were the exact thing I missed the most during my W30. It sounds like you are really slamming it though, with lots of new books and recipes!

3. Don't stress on the tums unless you actually felt ill effects. On my Day 20 I discovered a heavily-used spice blend contained sugar way down on the list. I didn't start over - I was feeling great so I figured I hadn't messed up the process too much. Lesson learned, on to the next one!

Keep up your awesomeness!

Level 7 DINOSAUR Scout
STR: 9 - CON: 12 - DEX: 6 - STA: 10 - WIS: 16 - CHA: 11
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