2,5 weeks ago I grabbed my bike for the first outdoor ride of the year. In those 2,5 weeks I’ve done 7 rides, every day I wake up and go to bed with cycling on my mind and in those 7 rides I have already broken all my personal records. Today I stayed home because I strained my back on Monday after an intense ride on my bike, it’s the same feeling which I had 11/13 years ago when I had a hernia surgery at the age of 17 and a second hernia (no surgery) at the age of 19. I’m motivated to get back on the bike but I’m worried as well.
Days left: 129
I don’t want to write to much about poker today. Fact is that I should avoid sitting as much as possible but I do feel the urge to write a small blog. I’m 32,4 hours behind schedule which is 4 full days of poker. I’m not happy about it but it’s also not as bad as it looks. I’ve worked 3 days extra at my job which makes up for 24hrs less poker and I will make up those 3 days somewhere in the coming months. Also I’ve worked yesterday which is normally my poker day but instead I’m off on Friday so those are the other 8 hours. This means that if I do what I have to do I’m actually on pace. The only worry is that I wanted to be ahead of pace because of upcoming holidays in the latter part of my challenge. I got to work a bit harder but I’m actually pretty happy with how things are going because the only reason I’m not ahead is because I’m cycling so much and that’s the only acceptable excuse to not be ahead of pace.
The results are okay so far. I think I’m so far break-even on the tables for the year after several ups and downs and at LHE this ain’t so bad because of the high percentage of rake we pay. The 95billion milestone hand promo created a lot of action on the cashgames and I tried to play as much as possible during the promo to try and hit a milestone bonus. This resulted in sometimes playing too much tables but overall these tables were way softer than normal. It’s definitely the greatest promo for cashgames and I can’t wait for the 100billion promo which will probably be even bigger than the previous milestone promo’s. The 7th anniversary Sunday Million promo was also really sick. A 7million guaranteed price pool and a 1million guaranteed first price is sick already but getting almost 50.000 entries, almost a 10million price pool and after a deal 3 players who won over $800.000 is just really really sick. My twitter timeline is full of people playing live events, there are many more online events already scheduled like the MicroMillions (14-24 March) and SCOOP (12-26 May) so poker ain’t dead for sure and I’m still very happy to sit down and play my beloved LHE cashgames 🙂
At this moment this is the most difficult part of my 180 day challenge. The first 4/5 weeks not drinking was fine but last Friday was the first evening I was really annoyed I couldn’t drink a beer with my buddies. We were in the pub and around 23:30 I was really done with it. I don’t always need alcohol to have fun but this was one of those evenings which would have been way more fun if I could have a drink. The next morning I went cycling and felt better than ever on the bike so I remembered again why I’m not drinking which was good to put things in perspective. I wasn’t really close to grab a beer but when I start feeling annoyed more often I’m not sure what’s going to happen. 129 days to come, 18 weekends and a lot of evenings to come which will tempt me to start drinking!
I was also getting pretty frustrated about my weight. On the 3rd of February I was 101.8kg but 15 days later I was still 101.3kg so not much happened while I’m not drinking and I was eating healthy. The 16th of February I started cycling outdoors and out of the blue I dropped to exactly 100kg so I was really happy. I couldn’t wait to see 99,5 – 99 – 98,5 but somehow this didn’t happen while most days I stayed below 2.000 calories and I definitely should burn more than that, especially on those days which I cycle. I’m still pretty clueless why I’m not losing more weight but after two weeks staying above the 100kg mark the last two days I’m again below 100kg and I hope that this time it stays this way. Not losing as much weight could indicate I’m gaining some muscle and losing fat is more important anyway then losing weight. However when cycling in the mountains the thing that counts the most are kilo’s and I really want to be < 95kg. There are 129 days left to lose more weight, I’ve reached the first milestone which was < 100kg and I can see that I’ve lost weight by looking at the mirror and looking at my clothes so I’m on the right path!
Morning exercise: Avg 3* week
1st at my own strava segment: Not yet
Scheveningen in 2h 40m: Done on 4-3-2013 in 2:39:02
Finish AGR 150km: Not yet
Alp d’Huez in 1,5h: Not yet
Finish Galibier: Not yet
So on the 16th I grabbed my bike for the first outdoor ride of the year together with Eric and Peter. 46,3km on the bike, cold and windy but happy and smiling. The 18th again, another 44km, the 22nd again, trying to break some Strava Segment records with Eric with a temperature of minus zero and a lot of wind. The 23rd a 58km ride while it was still windy and really freezing, a bit too cold actually. 3 days later again on the bike but when I got home I strained my back a little for the first time this year.
I felt fine again last weekend so went for a big ride together with Eric, Klaas and Jeffrey. Rondje Ringvaart, which is a 60km long dike with very few crossings and traffic. Two buddies went a day earlier and did it in 2:07:52 and we were challenged to break that record. While Klaas and Jeffrey hadn’t trained a lot yet, Eric and myself did and were feeling extremely fit. We took the lead for most of the ride and Jeffrey had to give up after roughly 70% of the ride. Klaas kept going but since Eric and I wanted to break the records after 85% we basically sprinted all the way to the finish together and clocked 2:03:14. I never expected that this early in the season I would already be this fit. So happy, so pleased, so fit and feeling so young!
Last Monday suddenly the weather changed and you could feel spring just started. The only thing I could think about was to get on the bike and ride in the sun for the first time this year. One of my 180 days goals was to go solo to Scheveningen and back in 2hr 40m and I wanted to see how far I was already. At the start of the ride I could feel I was still recovering from Saturday but somehow my pace wasn’t slower than normal. 3hr 07m 15s was my previous solo record and I expected to end up around 2hr 50m. Halfway I checked my time and saw roughly 1hr 20m on the clock, pretty good but normally the average goes down and not up so I didn’t think 2hr 40m would be possible, especially since I wasn’t really feeling fit at the start. I kept the pressure on the pedals, tried to do the best I could and was hoping for 2hr 45m. I crossed the finish line in 2hr 39m 2s, wowzers! I hoped to complete this goal somewhere at the end of the 180 days challenge but already completed it after 50. So happy, so pleased, so fit and feeling so young!
When I came home the 95billion milestone was only 4 million hands away so I had to sit down immediately to start play poker. I did jump into the shower first but 10minutes later I was playing 24 tables and played for roughly 1,5hrs. I didn’t play 24tables for a long time but I wanted to increase my chances to hit the big milestone hand, needless to say it was a pretty intense session. After the 95billion hand was dealt I wanted to get out of my office chair but hardly could, fuck! The same thing that happened a week earlier only this time a bit more pain. I tried to sit down as little as possible for the rest of the day but had planned to play some more poker during the evening which I did. The next day (yesterday) I had to work, which means sitting down a lot. The pain felt way worse than last week and when I felt that my leg hurt as well I got really worried since that is a typical hernia symptom. I stayed home today, stayed in bed till 13:00 and tried to sit as little as possible. I went for a walk which is a good idea since it’s important to keep moving as well but I was pretty tired after an hour, a big difference with how I felt after riding my bike, breaking records on Saturday and Monday. I hope that rest will take the pain away and that I can get back on the bike as soon as possible but I’m also afraid to push my body more and more since I know what 5 months stuck in bed feels like. I’m not sure how I should continue, no way that I’m giving up on my cycling goals for this year, especially since it’s going so great. I also know that when this feeling doesn’t go away or keeps coming back that I can’t continue to put more pressure on my body, since I don’t only need my back for cycling!
The weather forecast for this weekend looks pretty bad which might turn out to be a good thing. I’m going back to work tomorrow again unless the pain has gotten worse when I wake up. I was a little worried about injuries when I started this challenge and after the great start I really didn’t expect to hit one already this early. I know that when getting older it often takes more time to recover but I hope to be back on the bike as soon as possible. I’m definitely keeping a closer eye on what I’m doing after an intense ride, sitting for long is definitely a bad idea. The 24th of March I have a 120km tour planned, the 30rd a 150km one and the 13th of April it’s time for the 150km Amstel Gold Race, I can’t wait but I’ll have to be careful with my back as well 🙁