The Holidays and Good/Bad Timing

20 Dec

D38 team photo at the Chatfield Reservoir Lookout.

In anticipation of not writing much in the next two weeks or so (like I haven’t just done that too!), I will say merry Christmas and happy New Year!  That leads right into the “Good Timing” portion of this piece – all the December festivities are upon us!  I always enjoy Christmas time, seeing friends and family, and enjoying a few relaxing days.  I also look forward to all the opportunities to eat and drink with said friends and family, catching up, rehashing old tales, and making new memories.  I’m sure many would share similar sentiments, so I won’t pretend this is anything radical.  Here are some specific things I enjoy to eat/drink:  eggnog (I’m sure it’s contents are horrible, but it tastes so good!), any potato dish containing cheese, sugar cookies with the awesome frosting, all types of winter/Christmas ales, and, well, just about anything else that gets set out on the table!  And spending 8 days in the midwest means I’ll eat things with a high cheese to other ingredients ratio!

Last Saturday I was able to make it to the Denver 38 team tempo ride, an “easier” spin to put on some base miles as winter training gets underway.  Let’s talk about bad timing now.

You can barely see me because I'm at the back, desperately wondering why all that food and drink seemed like a previously good idea. The rest of the team looks pretty cool though!

My fitness level was exposed for what it currently is – stuffed and doughy!  While I exaggerate slightly, the recent holiday season has not helped me get ready to do this level of riding yet. And now I stand on the threshold of round two of the food-intensive December holidays!   Knowing how much I huffed and puffed on Saturday, suddenly that third helping (and maybe even second) of cheesy potatoes doesn’t look so good.  I face the age old dilemma – how to enjoy all the great food while not digging myself deeper into an out of shape hole that I’ll have to sweat my way out of in January?  I’m going to try, really, really try to not take seconds.  I also plan on trying to take my time eating so I’ll have a better sense of getting full before I overdo it.  This provides the opportunity to engage in good conversation anyway, so maybe if I focus on talking more while at the table I could benefit, though others may disagree about that!

Looking back through my ride data, my miles have dropped significantly since September, so I should actually not feel any surprise about my lack of fitness.  Another joke I have about myself is that my body is EXTREMELY efficient at converting food calories to stored energy; sometimes I even think it finds calories in water!  I will not beat myself up for a second cookie, but might have to do so around four or five.  I plan to enjoy what I eat, remembering to savor the whole experience of the season beyond just the food!  I had debated some about taking my bike and trainer with me as we travel to ride in my free time.  I realized that I would then put pressure on myself to use it, and end up feeling frustrated when I invariably don’t have enough time to do so.  While dragging the gear along would keep me more motivated to eat right, I would neglect spending time with others, which is what this season is really all about for me.  Nobody is paying me to ride my bike at this point, so I can afford a week or two off at the end of December and save all that energy up for January.  Let’s not get too serious here about this cycling thing!  (does blogging about cycling automatically take it over to the excessively serious side of things though??)

I had hoped to write some about 2011 reflections, future goals, etc., but will save that for when I write again in what I’m sure will be almost two weeks from now.  Anyone else have a favorite Christmas/New Year’s food that is oh so tempting?  Let’s laugh and struggle through this together!  Merry Christmas to all!

2 Responses to “The Holidays and Good/Bad Timing”

  1. Kevin December 20, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

    I’ll finally post a comment on your blog, Devo. I am partial to pretty much any kind of pie, pumpkin and apple are the best. I like your commentary on bike policy in your previous posts. Interesting to see from a urban planner POV.

  2. Ben Gerig December 22, 2011 at 10:55 am #


    I feel your pain my friend. After slogging through another semester of grad school, I looked up to find that running an easy 3 miles in no longer “easy.”

    I agree that the holidays are about quality time with loved ones, but sneaking away for a quick spin never hurt anybody either! Enjoy the midwest and see you back in the rockies…

    ride on,

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