Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Modifying the Goal

First, a progress report.  Since getting serious about getting in shape in early December, I've lost 19 pounds. I've hit various discouraging plateaus, but I've also had some great weeks of 3 or 4 pounds.  I feel like I have more energy, I get winded less easily, and I'm noticing changes in my body.  All great stuff.  I'll write a bit more about both triumphs and challenges in future posts.

I It is pretty hard to say that isn't good progress, because it is.  At the same time I wonder if that rate will keep me on track to lose enough weight to make my goal.  Which brings me to toe the title of this post.  In the weeks since making a very serious personal commitment to not only get in shape, but enter and finish a 206 mile bike race, I've been doing a lot of research and talking to a lot of people.

The race is intimidating, no doubt about it.  At first I thrived on that fear and the challenge of it.  I feel that the process of conquering that fear will be an important part of my journey to better health.  Slowly, however, reality is setting in about the costs and sacrifices necessary for this race.  Everyone I asked about the race, who had done it before, would start out their advice with "First of all, you can do it, but...." and then comes the discussion of training, support, nutrition, equipment, etc.

There are the obvious monetary expenses like bike, bike accessories, race entry fee, hotel stays, specialized nutrition, training rides, and more.  Then there is the time commitment of daily training and long weekend rides.  I would also need someone for support during the race.  Initially my wife and kids were excited to be the "pit crew", but then we realized that the support ends up driving over 300 miles on backroads (to avoid creating traffic for the riders) to get in and out of the various support stops along the way.  There is no way I can expect my wife to do that with 3 kids at 1, 5, and 7 years old, and to find someone else to be support would mean ditching my family for a weekend.

I was committed to make the sacrifice personally, but I can't make the sacrifice of my family's summer and my time with them.   This has been a terribly difficult conclusion to accept.  My commitment to change is deep and sincere, and was very linked to this audacious goal.

Don't worry, I haven't retreated entirely.  I'm considering several possibilities for more manageable goals:


With the exception of the Moab Century, these options have family to stay with and are closer to home.  I'm also liking the goal of a century ride.  It is still huge, and scary, but a little more forgiving.  More on these options to come.