Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Self-delusion is pulling in your stomach when you step on the scales. (Paul Sweeney)

It is July. We are watching the Tour de France and remembering that in just a few months we'll be riding again in hilly places.

Bummer. I probably need to get ready for that kind of fun.

A couple of years ago we got power meters on our bikes. I used to think power meters were just for younger, talented, competitive types. Luckily, someone explained to me how a wimpy older rider could get her money's worth from using one. And he was really, really right. I love my power meter!

When I first started using a power meter, I was seriously humbled by the power numbers I could crank out. We are talking seriously tiny power numbers. Humiliatingly tiny power numbers. I spent a bunch of time figuring out how far I could push those numbers up without a melt-down. It was wonderful and useful. I learned how to track my average power numbers for rides. I also learned that because I was a fairly small rider, I didn't need big numbers. It was all about the power-to-weight ratio (PWR).

This year I was determined to use the power meter to get better at chasing Al up and down the hills. The thing I needed to do was to improve my power-to-weight ratio. I did intervals. And more intervals. And more intervals. And my average power output slowly got a bit better. (I loathe training, but I will admit it does help.) But my numbers were still humiliatingly tiny

This month I realized that getting stronger was just part of what I needed to work on. There is another way to make the PWR thingy better. Lose some weight. I'll admit that I've gained a few pounds in the past year. Less than 10 pounds, but I'm just 5'2". A few pounds is a big deal when you are just 5'2".

While there have been no changes to our nutrition plan for rides or for eating at home during the past year, we have been eating out a lot. And I have been over-indulging my love of ice cream cones. Losing a few pounds would be an easy-peasy way to make that PWR look sweeter for the hills. All I really need to do is rein in the total number of ice cream cones consumed and be a bit more sensible when eating out.

It may not make me charge up the hills. But at least I'll be able to slowly crank my way up climbs with a little dignity. (Even as I watch Al happily charge ahead, leaving me in his dust.)

Lose a few pounds. Easy-peasy. I'll miss the ice cream cones, but I'll smile as I pedal up the hills at Mt. Dora and the Horrible Hundred.