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Post-vacation report: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Monday, March 25, 2013 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


For more than ten years my morning ritual has been to throw back a couple cups of strong black coffee while my sleepy eyes are jolted awake by a blank, stark white blog editing screen. After two weeks away, it feels comforting to have that screen before me once again, hot coffee in hand.

Two weeks? Is that all it’s been? It feels like it’s been much longer to me. I guess that’s because so much happened while I was off. Where to start? I know, we’ll start with…

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The Good.
My mom and a close family friend came to stay with us the first week I was off. It was wonderful seeing them and spending some time with them! We went out to eat, played cards, watched some of our favorite cooking shows, took a few day trips, planned meals and cooked together, went shopping, sat out back and watched the birds, squirrels and other critters run and fly around, watched a couple movies… it was super fun and very relaxing.

I said before my vacation started that I was going to continue my cycling training while I was off, and I was true to my word. Over the past two weeks I’ve continued to follow my cycling training program on TrainerRoad, and have been making excellent progress. I also did a nice mix of road cycling and mountain biking. All told I rode 175 miles, and most of those rides were pretty intense. For example, the day after my mom left I went out to the Paisley Woods MTB Trails and did a 20 mile ride basically riding all-out for the entire 20 miles. The ride was 1h40m in length, and my average heart rate was 179 BPM over that period of time. My Strava Suffer Score on that ride was 158 (“Extreme”). That was one tough workout, but I really enjoyed it.

The first week of my vacation I rode more miles than I’ve ridden in a single week so far in 2013, and last week I rode even more miles than that. I’m still not putting in as many miles as I was late last year (last November I rode more than 550 miles), but I’m getting there.

The Bad.
I did not lift weights at all. I was about due for a week off from training, so the first week off from the iron was fine. I should have resumed weight training last week, though, and I did not. I’m not sure why, I guess it boiled down to “I’m on vacation and I don’t feel like it.” It’s not the end of the world, of course, but I should have forced myself to get in there and do a couple workouts.

More bad: my diet. Actually my diet was not all bad. The week that my mom was here we did a lot of eating out, and most of what I consumed was definitely in the “cheat meal” column. I also consumed considerably more alcohol than usual. Last week, however, I returned to my usual clean diet, but I did eat a couple of cheat meals this past weekend.

The Ugly.
My scale weight before my vacation was 172.6 pounds @ 6.4% body fat. My scale weight yesterday morning was 174.8 pounds @ 7% body fat. OK, so that’s not terribly ugly, but it’s a couple pounds that I didn’t need. All I can say is it’s a good thing I rode a lot–I imagine my scale weight would have been around 180 pounds if I hadn’t!

I don’t like dragging excess fat around with me when I ride. I want to get my scale weight down to 165 pounds or so, so I’ve got about 10 pounds to shed. Late last year when I was 167 pounds I could really feel the difference on my bike. I’m not going to do a formal cut or anything like that, I’m going to do the same thing I did late last year: eat clean and ride a bunch of miles.

I could sit here and type for another couple of hours, but I really need to put a sock in it and get to work. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

It’s great to be back! 🙂

John Stone Fitness Comments

6 Responses to “Post-vacation report: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly”
  1. Hi John!

    I agree, this two-week vacation seemed longer than any other two-weeker you’ve taken in the past. Strange.

    How did all your annuals make it through? It’s snowing here in PA today. 🙁

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    • Surprisingly almost all of the annuals made it. We’re not out of the woods yet, though: the lows over the next three nights are forecast to be 37°, 37° and 36°. We usually run a few degrees lower than what’s forecast where we are, and so we’ll be dangerously close to freezing for the next several nights. I’m not going to complain after seeing what you guys up north are going through this “spring”. Just crazy.

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