Project Meatsuit – Week ???

So this is week X of Project Meatsuit … which week is it exactly I’m not sure. I could go back and find the number, but it doesn’t matter at this point because I’m kinda in the same place I was back at the start, weight numbers wise that is.

The whole goal of Project Meatsuit was to get slimmed down with a by product of fitness. The thing is, the fitness is coming, but the weight not so much. It’s a several fold problem; a combination of work, stress, training (or lack there of) and diet that has stopped the progression. It has also been a busy summer for us here at The ChainStay. Between family coming to visit, some very successful Junior trips, house projects being completed and a trip to Eurobike. Needless to say, I’ve been busy and like most in my position, just wanting to find the time to get fit.

It’s not all been bad news though. Each week I’ve been putting in an bit more riding, carving out some more “Me” time to get in rides and have been able to string together an OK last month, each week putting in a bit more riding. The biggest change is that I’m focusing a lot of my riding on the Sunday and Wednesday night canal rides along the Schelde. These “old man rides” are far from being a gentile stroll along the canal. They are not quite as hard as a kermis, but not far from it in speed terms of speed. It’s mainly in duration and intensity that they differ. Still, they have proved themselves to be the perfect addition to my riding this past month and have helped me regain some lost fitness.

Each weeks Sunday ride, which powers along three long and steady Flemish Ardennes climbs, has brought about more and more progress. My first weeks ride was hampered by almost two weeks off the bike due to sickness and work. This lead to being shed on the first of the climbs quite quickly. The second week I made it over the first climb, just barely, and buried myself to make it the length of the second climb only to be dropped at the very top. The third week, feeling much stronger, I made it the entire way around the climbing loop and back to the canal. 5 years ago this type of ride would have been a recovery to light 3 hour affair. These days it is a full on “race pace” ride for me. Oh how the times have changed.

Heartrate date for climbing - Project Meatsuit
The first climb of the day on my second week of the Sunday Canal ride. 4 minutes 21 seconds and an average of 184 bpm for the climb. For me that is VERY high and for being fresh(ish) it was a sign of how hard the ride was.

The goal now is to bank in as many solid rides until the truly harsh Belgian winter sets in, then maintain my fitness while working on the weight over the winter. I’m adding in two to three ‘sober’ rides in each week on the trainer to help and target the weight. Each week is bringing better fitness and I’m much more focused on putting riding to the front of my agenda than I was before. I’m making the time I need to get the fitness I want. It’s not easy, but it is a road I’ve been down before and can travel.

It’s just a lot of time and effort that is needed; quite simple really.