Coming off the heels of my February Challenge with mixed results, I am struggling to find another challenge. I have to say, my diet seems to be a bigger hurdle in my fitness rather than getting the workouts in. But then, focusing on diet seems rather boring compared to cycling miles, especially when it comes to data visualization.
The Ultimate Challenge
Then, this evening I stumbled upon Outside magazine’s online site. A headline in particular caught my attention for a couple of reasons. First, it included a drive I have on my bucket list, a drive I would love to do in a 67 Hurst equipped Pontiac GTO, dark blue. Second, I have been reading a touching book by Bruce Weber called Life is a Wheel. And, third, I am desperate to do something insanely huge with my life to solve this midlife crisis I seem to be in. You can see where this is going??
The headline was simple, profound, and eye catching. Whoever wrote it knew what they were doing. The headline was a simple question: “Why Drive Route 66 When You Can Bike It?”
OMG! Its perfect! The article was announcing the latest adventure documented and mapped by the Adventure Cycling Association. The 2,493 mile route cover Los Angeles (well, Santa Monica) to Chicago. I never knew there was a AAA-like Trip Tik for cyclists!! Sell everything and let’s hit the road!
After spending a fair amount of time looking at the remarkable cross country routes, I am jazzed. The TransAmerica Trail is very similar to the route Weber covers in his book. It was his story of life, the open road, and the spontaneous experiences combined with the pain of an insane challenge which intrigued me. To do something similar is a personal accomplishment, something which I can only experience in my own way and own in my own way. The only question is, which do I do first, Route 66 or TransAmerica?
Coming Back to Reality
With my longest ride in over a year being 16.5 miles, suddenly 4,228 miles seems a bit of a stretch. Even the 400 mile average daily ride might push me farther than expected, even if it was all flat.
Coming back to reality and a challenge appropriate for the next two weeks (3.15), the diet challenge is more realistic. In researching potential products for TrainingMetrix, I came across an article which discusses how to measure food quality. They do this by assigning a weighting to each of the macro-nutrients, such as fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, etc. The product is a food score, positive for good, negative is bad. The staff at TrainingMetrix modified this theory and improved upon it in a product we call the
Yum Score. You can test the food you eat by visiting the Yum Score Calculator (TMX has closed) at the corporate website.
But, this post isn’t about shameless self promotion of my company’s products. Rather it is about my own journey of life, fitness, triathlon and everything in between. Back to the challenge. Using the Yum Score, I would like to challenge myself to eating better by maintaining a Yum Score of 4 or greater from 3/3 to 3/15. This means low saturated, low sugar, and lots of fiber.
Well, I better go eat the last of that chocolate cake tonight. The challenge begins tomorrow.