Fitness First is my monthly fitness update and the first post I publish each month. October 2018 was, in a way, the culmination of my work so far this year but also the most distracted that I have been throughout this process. In the middle of the month, I spent over two weeks in Scotland which allowed me to complete the Trotternish Trek (!) but also severely disrupted my fitness routine.
By the Numbers
Here is my summary of where I ended the past month in several key fitness-related measurements compared with where I ended the previous month.
Once again, the net weight loss is a little disappointing, but the minimal progress is more understandable than ever before. I had gotten as low as 270.4 pounds, but that was my weigh-in after returning from Scotland and was probably due to the 36-hour-long travel day with minimal food while in transit. Since then I have rebounded a bit – aided by the lack of exercise and an abundance of Halloween candy in the house (more on those later). I don’t know what to make of the individual measurements, especially the thigh measurement which seems to gain or lose 2 inches each month (somehow this is simply not being measured consistently).
And this time around the total cycling for the month is way down – more on that later too.
The fitness program was almost non-existent in October, despite several major fitness accomplishments. My excuse is that this is understandable because I spent 17 days out of the country and only had access to a bike for two of those days. Furthermore, after two weeks overseas with no cycling, I still haven’t gotten back to consistent cycling or even to the same pre-trip daily mileage when I do cycle. This is what explains a big chunk of the weight gain since returning from the trip.
I had set 4 goals for October – let’s see how I did:
Goal #1 – The Trotternish Trek. I completed the Trotternish Trek! Better yet, I did it with the additional run up to the Quirang ridgeline. This was tough ride, but it was great! I completed 57.31 miles in a little over 6 hours, making it my longest ride ever. Better yet, the ride included 2926 feet of climbing through the mountains and regardless of the grade, the most climbing I’ve ever done before has been 113 feet – so a major accomplishment in the area of this ride I was most worried about.
Goal #2 – Weights. My goal for a couple months is to formalize a weekly weight training plan and get it under way. I do have the concept for a plan but am not really doing anything yet.
Goal #3 – Nutrition. The goal had been to take several nutrition courses, which I have scheduled starting next week. This will hopefully allow for some more serious and more productive menu planning.
Goal #4 – Posting. I was hoping to step up the posting, but unsurprisingly just didn’t make time to post much during my trip. Most of what I did post was on Facebook rather than here on the blog. I was also unable to livestream during the ride itself because of a nearly complete lack of signal for vast portions of it and limitations on my phone’s battery life (yes I did remember to buy, charge, and bring a portable charger, however I left the cord to connect it to the phone back at the B&B so I was limited to the one charge and wasn’t even able to take many pictures during the latter half of the trip. Fortunately, I do still have a lot of material and plan to get it all up eventually.
Goals for November
Goal #1 – Cycling . Since my return my cycling activity has been sporadic at best and is only coming in at 10-11 miles per ride. By the end of the month, I need to get this back up to my standard of daily 20-mile rides. Then, moving into December I have to get back up to longer rides like 40-50 once a week or so.
Goal #2 – Weights. Even if there isn’t much of it, I have to get something regular going with some strength training.
Goal #3 – Nutrition. I’ve signed up for a couple of online nutrition courses, and I am making nutrition the focus for November! This upcoming corridor from Thanksgiving to Christmas has been one where I have traditionally gained 10-15 pound that never went away. This year it’s time to end it lighter than 270.
Goal #4 – Goals. I am now a strong believer that my consistent progress throughout the past 6 months has been because of having a challenging yet achievable short-term goal to train towards (the Trotternish Trek). I strongly believe this both because of the progress made leading up to the Trek and because of the lack of motivation to get back into my fitness routine and to continue that progress since returning from Scotland. Therefore, I need a new short-term goal by the end of the month.
I have some ideas, already. I had initially though about shooting for a cycling trip of the North Coast 500 in 2020 – that’s a nearly 500-mile run circling the north of Scotland from Inverness around the north coast to Ullapool and then back to Inverness. I worry that this may be too challenging as its basically committing to a 10 or more consecutive days of 50-milers. A more recent though is working to a Trek through the Western Isles of Lewis, Harris, North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist, Eriskay, maybe Barra and more. I have yet to map out this other route to get a distance but depending on how many islands I include it could easily hit 100 miles but would need to be carefully planned to make it in a day (probably impossible because of ferry schedules) or two (maybe achievable). I’ll have to do some mapping before I can commit.
More updates coming soon! And be sure to let me know if there is anything else specific you want to know about in these posts.