We’ve crossed the halfway point in my journey to better health and it’s all downhill from here.
Yeah right. It only gets harder from here to continue the momentum and reach my goal. Here’s my latest update:
This weekend belonged to me and my bicycle.
As I mentioned last week, I was going to be joining three of my colleagues to compete in the corporate challenge at the annual Pottstown Bike Race. The race was scheduled for Sunday afternoon so I figured I should get a warm-up ride in on Saturday.
On Saturday morning, I towed my bike to Hamburg for the 12-mile trip along the Schuylkill River Trail. It was my second visit of the summer, and I definitely felt better this time, completing the ride in 56 minutes.
That’s worth 519 calories, according to Lose It.
Sunday was the real adventure.
Attending the Pottstown Bike Race for the first time, I was blown away by the skill of the competitors in the actual races. In races that were 20-, 30- or 40-laps, they were turning lap times of less than 3:00 around the one-mile course. My average from the previous day was 4:40.
Of course, this was just the corporate challenge so no big deal, right?
Wrong. The other teams were serious about this race with some of the riders actually competing in the pro races throughout the day. In a four-lap relay, we were lapped. It would have been twice if not for the race director sending us early.
As the closer for our team, I was still waiting at the start line when the top two finishers crossed the line. Out of six teams, we were sixth, though I’m pretty sure there were a few spectators who walked the course faster than us.
But we had a good time, and I was motivated for riding at a more leisurely pace so after the race, I drove east to Graterford, just a few miles north of Collegeville, for a ride on the Perkiomen Trail.
The trail follows the Perkiomen Creek as it flows from Green Lane in the north to Valley Forge in the south, a 22-mile ride one-way. I was content with a shorter loop from Graterford north to Schwenksville.
Officially, it’s a rail trail that traces the path of the old Philadelphia and Reading Railroad. But in practice, it’s more complicated than that as the trail takes several detours – around homes and buildings. Sometimes it doubles as a sidewalk.
But it’s a fun ride nonetheless. In the five miles that I rode (10-mile round trip), the trail crosses over the Creek three times and alternates between crushed gravel and pavement more than I could count.
The town of Schwenksville is a little oasis for riders along the trail. It’s about three miles north of the halfway point of the ride, a community that offers both a small restaurant and a bike shop abutting the trail.
A few miles farther south is the Central Perkiomen Valley Park. It’s your typical community park, but it also has a few perks for trail riders, including a repair station and restrooms.
One of the coolest sites on the trail though is right at the Graterford Trailhead. The parking lot connects with that of the Pennsylvania Live Steamers – a club for miniature steam engineers that operate in various scales. The trains weren’t running, but the site of the replica station and full-size caboose harkened back to the days when locomotives traversed this same route.
Thursday and Friday were not good days for me. There were bagels from Panera in our breakroom at work so my snack was heavier than usual, leading to me finishing the day 116 calories over my budget.
Friday was worse. I had a large lunch at the new True Food Kitchen in King of Prussia. While the foods served there were developed by a nutritionist, it was a lot of food (more than I would normally order because it was free as part of their preview days).
If you’d like to read about my meal, you can check it out on the Crave Montco website.
And on Sunday, after a weekend of pedaling away the calories, I treated myself to a waffle cone sundae from Sonic. I’m still not sure how I ate it without making a mess in the car, but I was proud of myself for not.
Current Weight: 169.8
Weekly Weight Loss: -0.0
Total Weight Loss: -19.6
Well, it seems like my old pattern is back. One week on, one week off. Two weeks ago, I recorded no weight loss. Last week it was close to two pounds. Now it’s back to another wash.
I’m confident that next week will show the fruits of my labors.
The Week Ahead
It’s hot outside. Very hot. But work doesn’t stop because of the heat. Julie is away in New York City for a few days and I am tasked with weeding our vegetable garden so I’ll record some exercise in the evenings.
Then on Saturday, I will be again taking my bicycle for a spin, this time with my friends the Heffelfinger family as we head to Jim Thorpe a ride on the Lehigh Gorge trail.
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