2015 Week 14 Weigh-In, Down 16lbs in 4 Weeks

After my Week 10 weigh in of 272.8lbs I’ve steadily shrunk away at the rate of about 4 lbs per week to this week’s weight of 256.8 lbs.

2015 Wallpaper 02 half - 2015

One big difference after week 10 was an uptick in my running mileage.  I finished out the month of March with 54 miles and the 2nd half of the month included 4 races which include a 5 mile run, two 5K’s and a 10K.  The intensity of races is usually a bit more than simply training so I believed that helped also.

Earlier this week, I decided to challenge myself a bit more and signed up for two 1-month diet bets that were already about 2 weeks in progress.  Those bets have me starting at ~260 and I’ll need to be down to 250 by April 15th.

I’ve got three things in mind to help me accomplish this feat – two half marathons and a Metric Half Century bike ride.  That was another thing, in addition to the running I’ve gotten in two bike rides so far, one 14k and one 22k (about 13miles)  50 km would be about 31 miles and I’m planning on doing that this coming Wednesday while my car is being worked on.

For the runs, I’ve got the Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon tomorrow in Springfield, IL and the GO! St Louis Half Marathon the following weekend.

Overall, I’m looking to have an average weight in the 250s for the month of April then I’ll be shooting for an average weight in the 240s in May and by the end of May I should have one of my beginning of the year goals met which is to weigh in the low 240s.

After my final weigh-ins around April 24th, I’ll get a bit of a reprieve with my diet bets because I only need a weigh in of 258.7 on the 21st and then a 252.8 weigh in on the 30th of the month which will help keep things in check.  That’s one thing I really love about these diet bets, the ability to rotate the intensity and discipline needed.

Getting down into the 240s is going to be a pretty big milestone for me.  Out of 52 weigh-ins last year, I only touched the 240s twice and never had a month with weight that averaged in the 240s.  So, I want to bust my butt in the next couple weeks and maybe get a sneak preview of the 240s – anything just below 250 for my April 14th weigh ins will be a treat – overall goal this month is average weight in the 250s then May should really rock with an entire month in the 240s 🙂

As far as diet is concerned, I can be pretty strict and – if I had to give a name to my diet – I would call it; The Feeling Diet.

The Feeling Diet
It’s a pretty simple concept.  If I’m feeling full, I gain weight and If I’m feeling hungry, I’ll lose weight.  And it usually works out that way.

VLCD – VLCD is a term commonly found in medical literature.  It stands for Very Low Calorie Diet.  It’s not uncommon to hear people quip to be careful and you’ll end up losing muscle mass and that’s the basis for your resting metabolic rate …yada, yada, yada

Well, the percentage of fat loss by an individual using a VLCD approach really varies depending upon the individual and probably the greatest factor is the amount of fat a person has to lose in the first place.  I wish I had this study readily bookmarked, I know I’ve mentioned it in an email before but, basically, this study from pubmed cited a 77% loss of fat in VLCD participants.  That’s kind of huge and noteworthy.  That number is an average.  A person with say, a BMI at 50 or above may easily be losing a rate of fat well in the 80% range while someone with a BMI in the low 20s is probably asking for trouble.

So, a huge calorie expenditure and very nutritionally dense eating and …not freaking out if I’m hungry.  Sometimes I’ll take the smokers approach about just putting off that next smoke – even if just for 10 or 20 minutes because sometimes that’s all you need to get past the craving.  It can work the same way with food – sometimes – not all the times.

If you use MyFitnessPal, you can break the days up into eight 4-hour time slots starting at midnight, then just log the food in the appropriate time slot.  I didn’t make up the notion of Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner nor did anybody reading this so why is it something we necessarily need to adhere to?  we don’t.  eat when you’re hungry – really hungry and not for any other reason.

Sometimes, you might just want to push off eating until the next 4 hour time slot.

That’s about it – I might miss one weekend when I’m out of town on business but, I’ll be taking my bike and shoes along and …when I get back, I’ll be hitting it with a vengeance and am looking at 3 races in 24 hours for the 25th & 26th of April.  Two 5Ks on Saturday and my first duathlon on Sunday.  I’m not sure I would do all that on my own.  I like to sleep.  I like to sleep in.  I like to have my morning coffee and lounge 🙂

Currently, I’m registered for 3 more runs in May including another Half Marathon and pondering a biathlon.  I figure I’ll just keep this up until things are the way I want them 🙂

Also joined the St Louis Track Club and a neat thing about that organization is they have a fun little competition where you can earn points for every mile you race.  I’m starting a little late with that but, like the dietbets, anytime I can turn something into a game, it seems to help have fun with the whole process and also increases awareness.

ha! 🙂  just got an email reply from a race director and i’m able to get in a 3.5 mile race this Sunday 🙂

At this rate …I’ll be ready for my reprieve in two weeks!  🙂



10 Strategies to Empower Your Life

In this blog:

  • Day 14:  Say No – 10 Strategies to Empower Your Life
  • Week 39 Weigh-In
  • 5K – Karate Testing – Half Marathon
  • Future Plans & Death
  • Week 2 – After Action Review

Start Saying No.   The Day 14 Video is called Say No.  There is a pretty detailed 10 step list which can help a person empower their lives.

A short Yes List and a long No list.

10 Powering and Productive Strategies you can use to empower your personal & professional life.

  1. What strategies, initiatives and activities will you say “No” to?  List the activities that can slow down or prevent progress from happening.  Everything is fair game – nothing is sacred in this exercise.  Simply put, if an activity does not advance you forward, then say no immediately.
  2. What meetings will you decline or delegate?  List every meeting you have in the remainder of the challenge and determine which you will NOT be attending.  Meetings consume large chunks of productive time and most can be declined or delegated to someone else.
  3. What relationships will you not keep?  The way you manage your relationships has an enormous impact on your ability to perform at high levels.  Identify the top three energy draining relationships you are committed to saying No to then, focus on creating strategies to free yourself from each of them immediately.
  4. What competitors will you not follow?  Too much time is lost by following and focusing on too many competitors and so-called gurus.  Identify the top 3 and immediately remove yourself from all of their email distribution list, blogs and other related communications.
  5. What websites will you not visit?  Websites are like magnets & vampires they draw you in and suck away your productive time.  Pull up your list of favorites and delete most from your favorites and keep only the ones of greatest value.  You must institute a “No Surfing” policy and stick to it.
  6. What money will you not spend?  Put yourself on a fiscal diet – every dollar spent should be thought of as an investment towards greater operating income even petty cash.  With this in mind, what things or entire even budget categories will you not spend money on.
  7. What foods will you not eat?  We are all reservoirs of energy and everything we do requires that we use it wisely.  So, it’s imperative that you focus in on your nutritional intake and exercise.  Eliminate any food or drink that compromises your energy levels.
  8. What thoughts will you not entertain?  Remember, that which does not move you towards your goal, takes you away from it.  Therefore, remove those thoughts that are limiting, defeating or downright negative and consciously replace them with thoughts of abundance, optimism and positivity.
  9. What television shows will you not view?  If there was ever a time hog that needed to be slaughtered, television tops the list.  If you stop to think about it those tv hours don’t take long to add up.  Even in a moderately tv watching household, it’s amazing how many hours are spent in front of the box.  The solution — go cold turkey and focus on making huge performance gains.  Take control of those previously lost hours and put them to good use.
  10. What will you no longer tolerate from yourself or others?  Identify the standards you wish to measure your life by and reuse to lower or negotiate at any time or any reason.  No is a tool of liberation and empowerment so use it with absolute authority and conviction.

That’s one heck of a list!

Week 39 Weigh-In

While updating my weekly weigh-in wallpaper for my computer, I realized my weigh-in isn’t until tomorrow BUT …I’ve already done it and we’ll just say it’s close enough for this week.  For today I’m weighing in at 263 pounds which is a 2nd consecutive week of declining weight.  Overall, still maintaining +/- 3% of that 260 weight I started at from a week after my winning weight loss contest so – ….27 weeks of maintaining a weight loss is fine by me!  🙂

Week n - 2nd 12 Week Session Weeks 39-27 - Copy

…maintaining a 50+ lb weight loss for over 1/2 a year – 27 weeks 🙂

5K – Karate Testing – Half Marathon

This should be a really fun weekend….

On Saturday I have a 5K in downtown St Louis at 8 a.m. – and ….as soon as that is over I’ll need to get my butt to the dojo back over in Illinois because Karate testing starts at 10 a.m.  On Sunday, the St Louis Rock n Roll half marathon starts at 7 a.m.   Packet pickup for these events ….I’ll do that Friday – there is supposed to be a wrist bank in the 5k packet that I wear during the half marathon then when that run is finished there is supposed to be a tent where I can get my Spinning Guitar Pick medal for participating in back to back runs 🙂   …just remembered – since this will be my 2nd Rock n Roll half marathon of the year I’ll also be getting some kind of repeat performance medal… I think i have pics of these somewhere …. all told, I’ll net 4 medals from this weekend.

obtained for running back to back races in the same weekend

obtained for running back to back races in the same weekend

obtained for running two Rock n Roll runs in the same year

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HalfMarathonMedal Sat5k_Medal

Future Plans & Death

Running – Here I’m looking at repeating the 26/30 week program I was doing for my 3rd full marathon. It was originally a 26 week program and I added four blank weeks so it would end on the date of my 3rd marathon (November 1st) and, ironically enough, I pretty did exactly what was listed during those extra four weeks …nothing – pretty close to nothing anyway but, I did get in a good 1/2 year of training and made running progress.  When I started that 26 week program it was kicked off by a couple half marathons so I’m going to let this week’s half marathon be the kick off for my next 1/2 year of running.

I will be going back to Kansas City for a week long review for my part IV boards exam which is scheduled for May of 2015.  Part IV is interesting and once you pass you can never take it again and whatever score you get is what you live with for the rest of your life.  It determines which states you can practice in and even which insurance companies will pay you.  It is quite important so – KC review beats out my trip to Wynne Arkansas.

There is a nice half marathon on Sunday, November 2nd which I have run in before – maybe I’ll make that my 2nd kick off half.

Scrolling through media to find those upcoming medals reminded me of several events I want to do in 2015 – Macklind Mile, Tour de Belleville, Moonlight Ramble, Tour de Donut, Lincoln Presidential 1/2 mary, Go! St Louis 1/2, etc.

New Spreadsheet plan – shorter distances but maybe faster times.  I want a much higher percentage of running as opposed to walking … I almost forgot what the Future Plans referred to but I think I remember it mainly pertains to setting up a new program and creating a new spreadsheet.  I think I’ll start a new weigh-in wallpaper with that new spreadsheet.

Death – I’m still pondering this concept – this reality.  I went to another Masonic Funeral last week for a fellow Mason who had been a master mason for 61 years and 9 months.  I remembered during my first Masonic Funeral that one of the higher ranking members of the lodge tried explaining to me that one of the objectives of freemasonry was to overcome the fear of death.  What exactly does that mean, I’ve wondered.  I suppose ….well, I can’t speak for everyone but thinking about dying isn’t a constant thought in my head.  I suppose it’s just ignored but even my awareness level of an impending death but, at this point, I know one thing.  I know partly how my funeral is going to look.  I know there will be Masons present and I’ve heard what they are going to be saying a couple of times now.

I think part of this Masonic teaching kind of embodies that Carpe Diem notion which was briefly mentioned in a previous blog.  Some of the lines from the Dead Poet’s Society such as…. “did these boys wait until it was too late to take one iota from their life of what they were capable of?”  …just paraphrasing from memory there.   or that poem – To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time by Robert Herrick – “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old Time is still a-flying and this same flower that smiles today Tomorrow will be dying.”

I’ll keep learning.  On a kind of related note, it looks like I’m going to be an officer in the lodge come 2015 or maybe starting in December of this year so… still more to learn.

Week 2 – After Action Review (AAR) phone call – 

compare & contrast….  wow, what a difference a week can make.  week 1 of this 100 Day Challenge was fraught with poorly defined objectives and mainly only served to provide a greater awareness of what a loser I was in certain aspects of my life.  Week 2 AAR – huge difference – yesterday was a simple day consisting of work, karate and then coming home and kicking butt around the house with various endeavors but, at the end of it all, I could honestly say that I had lived that day about the best I possibly could.

Anyway, each week at Noon (CST) there is an AAR phone call with Gary, the guy that made up this 100 Day Challenge and in that 40 minute phone call he mentioned a list of 12 things to help improve our lives so, I took notes in this blog to share with others who might be interested.  My list has 14 items but I wasn’t able to completely differentiate between all the items so …there is a two item bonus in my list.

Also – I mentioned previously that this was a $147 course but there was an offer extended for me to be able to add up to 3 people to the program for $47 each.  Not that I would pay that but, if anyone is interested I’ve still got two extra people I can add to the program.   Leave a message – paypal me $47 to my email address of dukowitz@gmail.com and we’ll set you up.  I’ll probably shoot out a mass email to the 300 or so Masonic brothers in my lodge, maybe one or two of them will be interested as well.

There are 77 days left in the 2014

  1. Elevate your conversations
    – High Achievers talk about Big, Bold, Better Ideas
    – Average People talk about common events
    – Little People talk about other people – gossip, etc
  2. Elevate your Beliefs –
  3. Elevate your Actions
  4. Elevate your Attitude – expose your mind to a better life.  expose yourself to excellence – surround yourself with it
  5. Elevate your expectations by demanding more from yourself and others.
  6. Elevate your discomfort by elevating & challenging your discomfort zone.  it’s inconvenient to workout when you’re tired – reality is it’s convenient and easy to make an excuse.  it’s inconvenient to make a good meal and convenient to buy fast food.  expose yourself to discomfort.
  7. Elevate your value by raising the bar and going the extra mile.  the difference – go the extra mile –
  8. Elevate your gratitude by elevating your consciousness.
  9. Elevate your future by focusing on key priorities.  What we think, know or believe is of little value compared to….
  10. Elevate your joyfulness – it’s perfectly fine to have fun in everything that you do.  joy is a virtue that hides in plain site
  11. Elevate your reputation by delivering exceptional results.
  12. Elevate your network
  13. Elevate your Focus by saying No and Setting Boundaries.  Have a short Yes list and long No list.
  14. Elevate your Fun by laughing more and worrying less.   outlook not determined by circumstances (reminds me of Victor Frankl)

Your thoughts your words and your actions & beliefs can help improve your situation.

77 days left in this year and Each One Counts

– Everything Matters –

Everything Counts

Your thoughts, words, action, beliefs are like an elevator that can either help bring you up or take you down.  Well said, Gary 🙂

Moonlight Ramble


Saturday was kind of a wacky day.  I had originally planned up getting up and hitting the road by 5:30 a.m. and *thought* I could knock out 14 miles and be back home by 9 a.m. and have an hour before karate.  Well …my car had been acting up and by Friday night had gotten my full attention so I needed to get it into the shop by 8 a.m. on Sat so …. I woke up a little before 3 a.m. and hit the road to knock out those 14 miles and still be home in time to get my car in the shop!

Originally Planned Route

Originally Planned Route

The reality is shown below….


Do you see that arrow?  That’s me walking up and down the street looking between houses to find one without a fence at 3:30 in the morning so I could cut across a field and get back home ASAP …

As you can tell from the Average Speed (3.3 mph) I was barely walking let alone jogging but, I initially figured it was a long route and I would eventually kick in with some running (never happened).  I was in bed by 10:30 the night before so I got 3 sleep cycles (a sleep cycle is about 90 minutes long) but, I’m thinking 5 sleep cycles would have been better plus, the last meal I had was around noon the previous day since I had to work after that and by the time I got home it was too late to eat.

I did get a nice scale shot the other day – my first dip into the 240’s since the last week of my contest back in April!  🙂

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If nothing else, I did prove to myself that I can get up early and head out the door.  3 a.m. is pretty ridiculous though.  It is what it is.  For the most part, I felt like a phone with a 3% charge left on it.

I did make karate at 10 a.m. and sensei said something kind of interesting at the end of the workout.  He gave a lot of examples which all centered around the notion that if you had a fire that you wanted to put out then you wouldn’t pour gasoline on it, would you?  Of course not.  But, in the realm of human behavior, we generally don’t want to be mad or angry but often times when we are angry or upset – instead of working to put that fire out, we keep adding gasoline to the fire brewing in our mind instead of taking some control and doing something constructive to put it out.

This reminded me of some of the philosophy stuff I’d written about previously, the stuff from Nikolai Berdyaev who mentioned that living the good life is frequently dull, flat and commonplace.  I tend to think that is most true with people who don’t have many aspirations in life in which case I imagine any excitement would be welcome to at least add some texture to an otherwise drab existence.

Start of the Moonlight Ramble

Start of the Moonlight Ramble

Instead of starting a block or more behind the starting line, I did what I did at the Tour de Belleville and started a block ahead of the starting line and, once again, saved over an hour of my life by not having to wait to get started 🙂  The Moonlight Ramble is a ride and not a race so, there are no timing bibs.  The picture shows the very first riders (behind other people standing and waiting to jump in, same as me).  Those are the premier or elite riders and they pay a little extra to start at the very front.  I waited for all those speed demons to pass on by then jumped in myself.  🙂

I gotta admit, my legs were still pretty tired and, for the most part are perpetually sore from all the running so I did something I’ve never done before and that was to take the short route.  Something I noticed being in the first wave of riders is that there aren’t any fun or goofy riders.  The pics below should help explain what I mean by that.

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Every year is a little different route than the year before and this year’s route was very different.  We actually crossed over two highways and at the split between the long and short route was a big sign used in highway construction to indicate the split.  I was tempted to take the long route but the short route proved to be very, very interesting for me.  Most riders, especially in the first wave that I was riding in opted to take the long route but, I could see a dozen or so riders making the turn to take the shorter route.  I quickly passed most of the other riders until I came upon a couple and chatted with them a bit while we were grinding out an uphill incline.  Once that flattened out thought – I kicked it up into about 22nd gear and starting pumping those legs and easily pulled out ahead of them.  I never did see them again.  In fact, I didn’t see anybody, I was riding completely alone and there was nobody else ahead of me.  At one point when I think I was supposed to turn, a cop was yelling at some driver so I think I missed my turn there and then I was semi lost but figured I was only a couple blocks South of where I needed to be.  I took a guess on one of the roads and hoped it would take me back where I needed to be and it did.  I was actually the very first person to finish the short route of this years Moonlight Ramble 🙂

Short & Long Route

Short & Long Route

My Route

My Route

I had my earbuds tucked into my shirt while I was talking with the other riders but, once I was alone I put one back in and had Stevie Wonder was playing then and that helped me kick up the pace a bit.  I maintained a pace over 16 mph for the last 3 miles of the race.

Things are a lot different at the finish when you’re the first one there ….

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W14D4 – Tour de Donut!

2014-07-12 08.14.32 Front of shirt 🙂

The Tour de Donut held this past Saturday, July 12 in Staunton, Illinois was one of the funnest races I’ve ever participated in.  I was really excited about this race and felt like a kid on Christmas morning when the race first started out and we rode through the main street in Staunton where the ribfest was taking place that day and thousands of people lined the streets to cheer everyone on.

2014-07-12 08.15.10 Back of shirt

I think I passed out more smiles per mile in this race than any other I’ve been in.  The competitive racers led off the pack of about 1400 riders followed by us non-competitive riders 🙂  I watched the beginning of the race by the starting line and simply waited until the end of the pack caught up to me then fired up my Sports Tracker app and got some tunes playing in my ears and headed out 🙂  There was a gentleman at the end of the pack I took off with who was riding one of those recumbent bikes with three wheels and we chatted for a bit at the beginning and both liked the fact that nobody could pass us (because there was no one behind us) but we could still pass a lot of people 🙂

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2014-07-12 08.42.03 Official 2014 Racing Shirt for $85 🙂

Shortly after getting out of town we encountered a couple short, steep hills and the first minor accident I witnessed when a car was coming towards us and everyone had to slam on our brakes right after speeding down the hill.  One young lady lost it and fell off her bike.  I wasn’t able to pedal fast enough to downshift to an easier gear and had to gut it out to make it to the top.

2014-07-12 08.44.55 I never saw showers at a race before.

Around mile 25 I came upon an ambulance which had one of our riders in a stretcher, there was a sharp right hand turn in the road and some guy crashed pretty badly and had to be taken to the hospital.  Towards the end of the race, around mile 30, there was another ambulance that I saw pulling away from the scene of another crash.

I have a Trek 4500 Mountain bike I used for this race with big knobby tires but the serious riders had tires no wider than my thumb.  Even with my clunky type bike I managed to hit top speeds of 41 mph so I’m guessing the serious riders were going even faster.

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I saw the cyclery van a few times along the route and they helped out riders with flat tires and other mechanical issues.

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After the race was over, riders tore off the bottom part of their bibs which contained hash marks for every donut that was eaten and this data was used to help determine our Tour de Donut winners since 5 minutes was taken off our final time for every donut eaten.  🙂

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The first donut stop was in Mt Olive, Illinois and, at the time, I was thinking 8 miles is a pretty good distance for a race 🙂  I was feeling a little bit intimidated that there was another 16 miles to ride after that stop before the next donut stop.  I ate 6 donuts at that stop and washed it down with a bottle of water.

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There was a very nice straight, stretch of road right after the first donut stop a little over 5 miles long.  That was my fastest section in terms of average speed which was in the 18 mph range.

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The second donut stop was in the vicinity of Gilespie and Bneld Illinois.  I had 3 donuts at the second stop and 6 bottles of water 🙂  I think any time I may have saved from eating the donuts was easily offset by how long I stopped.  I probably spent a good 20 or 30 minutes at the second stop and I was much, much hotter than I was at my first stop.

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There were a total of 6,500 donuts available to be eaten at this race and a little over 2,000 bottles of water.  The time adjusted winner of the Tour de Donut ate 26 donuts for a time adjusted race duration of 36 seconds!  The winner for the most donuts eaten was 36!  OMG!  The ladies didn’t eat as much as the men and there was a tie for the most donuts eaten by a lady which was 12.

I remember I was excited at the beginning of the race and a little more stoic between the first and second donut stops but, I got excited again during the last 2 or 3 miles of the race.  I thought about my brother who loaned me a cushioned bike seat to put over my stock bike seat.  Without that cushion rides of 10-15 miles end up impairing nerves in the groin region and there’s a lot of tingling & numbness down in areas where there simply should not be numbness!  But, that extra seat cushion worked out great and totally alleviated that problem.

As I got closer to the end, I thought about my parents and the fact that they came up to the Ozarks last weekend to surprise me for my birthday.  I was feeling grateful.  There are times during my races, this bike race as well as others, when I feel a bit like Forest Gump when he takes off and runs across the country for a few years.  The points in the movie when he’s passing gorgeous scenery.  There was some very nice scenery along this route and some very picturesque moments.

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According to my Sports Tracker I finished the race in 2 hours 45 minutes and I think the tracker paused when I was at my donut stops so that would have been actual riding time.  I crossed the finish line at about 3h38min after the start of the race.

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I spent most of my time in Staunton at the Rib Festival.

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I got myself a beer at one end of the festival and slowly worked my way to the other end.

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I learned the eating portion of the festival didn’t start until 5 p.m. so I had some time to kill.

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In the middle of the festival were a couple live bands which were pretty darned good.  During sets there were a lot of people dancing in the middle of the street.

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2014-07-12 15.02.57To the left of the stage was a place where I bought 10 tickets for a chance to be an honorary rib judge 🙂

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There were a couple young pageant winners who were kept busy throughout the day.  They were present at the awards ceremony for the Tour de Donut and again, pictured below, they did the drawing to become a judge.  Unfortunately, my name wasn’t drawn 🙂

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At the opposite end of the festival I came across a bunch of bikers that had ridden in from Panama, Florida!  That’s a heck of a long ride.  The bike pictured below has a 500 cubic inch V-8 engine!

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I popped into Mr T’s Tavern to get out of the sun, have a couple beers and chat it up with the locals.  I finally did get my plate of ribs but the battery on my phone was shot by then so no pics of some really awesome ribs 🙂

This was a really fun ride.  A few years back, when I was still in school, I did some riding and learned my maximum riding limit was about 30 miles but, I ended up putting in a little sprint towards the end of this 35 mile race and could have easily kept going so I was pretty excited about that and feel much more confident about the 50 mile Half Century ride I have coming up in September.

Tour de Belleville!


The Tour de Belleville is a fun, family friendly bike ride throughout the streets of Belleville, IL.  I had some work out in St Louis today and was surprised by the number of cars on the highway heading towards Belleville with bicycles attached to their cars.  This event usually pulls in around 2,000 riders each year but, this year seemed a bit bigger than usual.


I liked the 2011 Theme of Belle Vegas and think that would be a pretty smart way to promote the city.

I saw four other Masonic brothers at the race and as many fellow karate people.  Thanks to one of my Mason brothers I did not have to wait an hour (or more) to get started.  The race starts at the back of a church parking lot, you go out of the parking lot, turn right, then turn right again at which point you are in front of the church.  So, if you can live without making the first two right turns in the route, then you can start out in front of the church and have an extra hour of life to do something else with, like blog, for instance 🙂

I did manage to take a couple really nice, blurry pictures of the lower parking lot full of people waiting to start.

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There were about as many riders behind me as were in these pictures.  It was a bit different just doing the 5 mile route instead of the 15 mile option but still a lot of fun.  I got to talk to a couple guys at the front of the church and they told me about the Tour de Corn which was a few weeks ago, Century Rides (bike rides of 100 miles) and Half Century Rides (50 miles).  They also told me about a Metric Century which is 100 kilometers or about 62 Miles.  🙂

And, wouldn’t you know it, when I got back to my car after the race there was a flyer on my car for an upcoming bike ride which included all those distances!  Soooo….. I signed up for my first Half Century Bike ride scheduled for Saturday, September 6th called the D.A.R.E to Ride To The Lake! which is a bike ride from Trenton, Illinois to Carlyle Lake Illinois and Back.

DARE to ride to the lake!

I’ve also noticed that bike rides are a lot cheaper than running type races.  The Tour de Belleville is only $16 bucks a rider and they even have special price breaks for families so it’s even cheaper.  I don’t recall how much the Tour de Donut is tomorrow – and NOW I’m REALLY Looking forward to that race!  For this race on Sept 6th – any distance is only $20 and they have 5 distances to choose from; in miles they have an 11, 25, 50, 62 and 100.

One nice thing about the Tour de Belleville is that all the money they raise stays in town.  I think last year about $5,000 went to help maintain and improve bike paths and running trails in the area so that’s pretty cool 🙂

hmmmm…..  I checked my stats on Sports Tracker comparing last years bike ride to this one.  Last year I did the 15 mile route and averages 12.3 mph.  This year I did the 5 mile route and averaged 12.4 mph…..

One cool thing about starting at the South end of the parking lot instead of the East end is that I actually finished my ride so quickly that when I got back, there were still a couple hundred people waiting to start!  I’m pretty certain I’ll do this run again (can’t beat the price & fun combo) but, I don’t think I’ll be taking those first two right turns – only miss out on about 1/8th of a mile but easily save an hour of time.

I AM looking forward to eating some donuts tomorrow!  🙂  There’s supposed to be a Rib Fest in Staunton tomorrow after the race and I’m looking forward to eating some ribs as well 🙂  Which reminds me – I weighed 262 this past Thursday but haven’t gotten that blog in yet.  For those of you keeping score, that’s a 10 pound gain since the week before …yawn & ho-hum.  No biggie.  yikes – just realized I’m sitting out here in my garage with the door open and I’m wearing a biking helmet – my new neighbor that just moved in is going to think I’m a kook.

I’ve never actually been to Staunton, Illinois …Looks like it’s 42 miles away from me.  This is cool – they actually allow you to camp at the city park where the race begins the night before the race for free.

Staunton Illinois