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  #21  
Old 04-03-2010, 03:43 PM
AMFADVENTURES AMFADVENTURES is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Colorado
Posts: 937
Default Spring Has Sprung!

4/3/10

Rode 5 days for a total of 12 hrs. this week, a little more than I needed which is not necessarily a good thing with 2 weeks to go before the next rest period. It included about 4 hours of high intensity intervals and hills. Then a 4 mi. long 1,200 ft. climb which took about an hr. and tested the integrity of a few old lesions.

Have you checked out the popular training rides in your area with MapMyRide. http://www.mapmyride.com/search Doesnít show wind info but everything else is there. Be sure to turn on the elevation profile.

Be Safe,
AMF
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  #22  
Old 04-03-2010, 09:35 PM
pawpaw pawpaw is offline
MS Sage
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 208
Default Sorry to be away so long

Hi all-
AMF- Sorry to be away so long. I fell off my bike (again) and bruised my tailbone and ribs. I could still ride, just had difficulty with walking. We just returned from a week at Hilton Head. We took our mountain bikes and did daily short (10-20 mile) easy rides.
Tomorrow is my first MS training ride. We have a team of 15-20 riders with our cycling club and we do have a training schedule with twice a week rides. This ride is billed as 26 miles with fairly easy terrain.
It sounds like you are really hitting the training. I worked with a cycling coach a bit in February and he set up a 4 week training program for me. It sounds similar to what you are doing with every 4th week a semi-rest week.
Unfortunately, I am not anywhere near the shape I was in last year. I have lost my confidence completely and with it, some of my drive. I have had one good ride this season. The others have felt like a struggle. We will see what tomorrow brings.
The high intensity intervals really helped me last year. I need to get back to them. Your hill climb sounds very intense. Hills are a problem for me. I have been trying to lose 10# to help with hills but no luck. My cycling coach, who is also a masters degree exercise physiologist, said that I might handle heat better if I am leaner.

Jenn, I had optic neuritis in 1999 and then the fatigue hit. In 2000 I was officially diagnosed and started treatment. In 2007 I started on my current health kick. I eat pretty clean, no alcohol, lots of exercise. I lost 30# in 2007. Last year I started cycling in late May and we covered over 2500 miles. I fell in October and had a significant concussion- long recovery. Anyway, I have pushed pretty hard in the past few years and haven't had any flairs. I hope you can get through this one. I had the steroids with my optic neuritis and would like to avoid that again too.

Keep up the good work
Pell
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  #23  
Old 04-05-2010, 12:40 PM
Happy1 Happy1 is offline
Optimistic Misfit
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 35
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Happy Monday to all! Pell- thanks for your story, bruised tailbone, ribs, OUCH! If I could get a # off I would be happy. I'm carrying around 60 to many and for some reason my body just loves, loves, loves them and won't give the up. I can only keep trying to eat right and exercise and hope. Anyway 2500 miles WOW, what an inspiration!

Had an OK ride this weekend. 50 miles on Saturday. We had some good size hills (for me) and my mentor actually had to reach out and help me up two of them. I was alittle disappointed but 50 miles was more than I've ever been able to do so -yeah!

Sunday was not great - we have a hill here "Windhaven hill". It's sort of spoken with reverence - oh we're doing Windhaven today oooooooohhhhhh. Well I can tell you I still haven't done it, I walked up it but I didn't ride it. I actually forgot to unclip and fell in the grass. As I told the people around me as they rushed towards me - no, no I'm fine, I landed exactly where I wanted. That'll take the wind out of your sails. My walking is worse than my biking so walking up the hill was difficult. I hated it, I hated everything about it. Here I am with kind people who are nothing but nice and generous and I wanted to go home immediately and shut the door. So then we did another 12 miles - 30 miles total for the day, not bad, but not the 90 I wanted.

I know I'm so fortunate to be able to do this but I'm disappointed. I know the hills I'm going up are nothing, hardly a hill compared to the rest of the country. Will it ever get better?

Any advice on hill training?

AMF, thanks for the info. I'll have to visit and check it out. I'm a little concerned about fixating on the elevation (see above, LOL)

Ya'll have a good day, take care and be safe!

Jenn
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  #24  
Old 04-05-2010, 05:57 PM
pawpaw pawpaw is offline
MS Sage
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 208
Default Training and rain

Jenn- 50 miles is awesome!! I have difficulty with hills as well. I am really trying to lose 10 more # to help with hills. I have also decided that as long as I am still moving, I am ok. There is a woman in our cycling club who will occassionally "help" you up a hill. The first time the "hand of Bena" is applied to your rear, you wonder what is happening. I think the trick to hills is to keep doing them- lots of them.
Our MS training ride was 25 miles yesterday, but we missed a turn and turned it into 29 miles. I did it, but I didn't feel strong. We only went 15.9mph and I was tired. Our ride tonight was just cancelled due to rain, so my DH has put my bike on the trainer for some single leg drills. I am working on the SLDs so that my pedal stroke is "round". I have found that I am much stronger as I develop the upstroke in my pedaling. Apparently my hip flexors were non-existent.
I am also working on the trainer to learn to stand up and pedal. With my balance, I am scared to stand, but I am getting better on the trainer.
Everyone is doing great with the training. Keep plugging. I truely believe that exercise is one key to keeping our MS at bay.
Pell
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  #25  
Old 04-06-2010, 12:29 AM
AMFADVENTURES AMFADVENTURES is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Colorado
Posts: 937
Default You guys are all incredible!

You guys are all incredible! You know, there are only a handful of MSers that ever even consider doing one of these rides, in fact, when itís all said and done, you might find out youíre in better shape than many non MSers who attempt this ride. Iím sure all of you know people or have friends, non MSers, who wouldnít ever consider what you are doing. Give yourselves the credit you deserve for even thinking about trying. Most importantly, remember that the real objective of all of this is fighting the MS, making ourselves as strong and as healthy as we can. The bike events are just a little fun, some incentive toward that end. Itís taken me seven years to get where I am today and I assure you, I went through a lot of pain and disappointment, I still do, that part is not unique to MSers. And Iím still working on my hill climbing which continues to be pretty dismal.


Iíve tried to put together couple of things, other than the obvious, eat, drink, soak yourself, rest, etc., that could help us stay safe and more confident during our respective MS 150ís. Hereís what Iíve come up with so far.

- Call your local NMSS Bike chapter and ask them for the cell phone numbers of at least some of the SAG vehicle drivers. You may need to explain your situation but if it gets too hot to continue or for whatever reason, youíll have a safety valve. If youíre concerned about confidentiality all I can say is that NMSS has always honored mine. Iím not foolish enough to think Iíll even come close to finishing 27,000 feet of climbing on my Ride the Rockies event under my own power.

- Accept a little help from your friends, learn to draft. Drafting saves as much as 30% of your energy. A GATEKEEPERĒ is typically the last person in a draft line who, to conserve energy, does not want to move up the line to take his turn at the lead. When that person calls out ďGATEKEEPERĒ it signals the person who is falling off the lead to pull in ahead to resume his rotational place in the draft line. This allows the gatekeeper to remain in the most energy efficient position. The gatekeeper should also give way and yell ďCLEARĒ when the space is big enough for the returning rider to rejoin the line. You can have multiple gatekeepers where the gatekeeper furthest up the line would be the one to call out. If your riding group is not familiar with this, you may want to explain it and practice it before the event.

- Be familiar with weather patterns in your area. For Instance, I know that in my area winds tend to be lightest early in the morning, so I generally start as early as possible. On the other hand, if predictions are for sustained tailwinds later in the morning, I might take a chance and wait a bit. At the Santa Fe Century, the winds generally pick up out of the southwest in the late morning. If you plan your ride to arrive at the midway point by mid morning, you stand a good chance of getting a hand from Mother Nature on the ride home, just donít be late.

Iím sure there are many more good ideas out there perhaps others will share.

Pell, an exercise physiologist, I am absolutely green with envy.

Ride Safe
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  #26  
Old 04-06-2010, 12:59 PM
AMFADVENTURES AMFADVENTURES is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Colorado
Posts: 937
Default Hill Climbing

Jenn,

Hill climbing is by far my biggest problem too. I ride a 10 speed with a triple crank. The standard small chain ring on the crank is a 30 tooth, it's the lowest front gear. My largest rear sprocket is a 27 tooth, the lowest rear gear. Since I know I've got some big hill climbing coming up this year, I looked for ways to lower the gear ratios on my bike even more. What I found and tried just two weeks ago, was a 26 tooth front chain ring. I wasn't sure it was actually helping until yesterday's climb. Although I still had to stop several times to get my breath back, I was able to hold a higher cadence, use less brute strength, and do the climb just a little more comfortably (a relative term) but the ride home was a LOT more comfortable because of it. I don't know exactly why this helps, something to do with fast twitch vs slow twitch muscles. Maybe Pell's sports physiologist can explain it.

My cycling buddy (not an MSer) actually went so far as to put a mountain bike rear cassette on his 9 speed (not an option on my 10 speed). It's a lot more expensive, requiring a completely different cassette, a mountain bike derailuer and a new chain. But it allows him a much higher cadence with which he literally rides circles around me going uphill.

The bike manufacturers will tell you this can't be done but Sheldon Brown will tell you how to do it. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/
And here's where you can get the parts:
http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/chainrings/74.html

And Jenn, about those elevation scales on MapMyRide, look at them after you finish your climbs, you'll start to see your progress but don't expect big increments, that just doesn't happen for most people, MS or not.

Safe Riding,
AMF

Last edited by AMFADVENTURES; 04-06-2010 at 01:35 PM.
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  #27  
Old 04-06-2010, 01:00 PM
pawpaw pawpaw is offline
MS Sage
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 208
Default

AMF, Good tips for riding. I am sampling a cooling vest for Polar on the ride and I will need my cold packs replenished mid-day. I hope to get a cooler to one of the rest stops. My DH was going to be my SAG but maybe I can get the MS folks to handle that so he can ride with me. He is very tall and a great wind blocker.
We did learn to draft last year. In fact, my group pulled me through the century. They put me in
3rd position in the draft line and then positioned someone next to me to block the side wind. This year, since my balance is worse, folks are nervous to ride behind me. I hope I can reassure everyone in the next couple of months.
I see that you rode El Tour de Tucson. Congratulations on finishing that ride and it is very cool that you did it with your daughter. The cycling coach that I worked with in Tucson won that event in the late 1990s.
The photo is me on a hill early in the Old Kentucky Home Century. At that point I was only planning to do the 53 mile route.
Pell
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File Type: jpg Pell cycling smaller.jpg (56.9 KB, 4 views)
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  #28  
Old 04-07-2010, 05:49 PM
Happy1 Happy1 is offline
Optimistic Misfit
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 35
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WOW, all great advice! Pell - ONLY 15.9 mph - seriously - I'm jealous - I'm was starting to be pretty proud of my 13mph. LOL. Great photo too!

Great info on hills. I have to admit I was in a pretty negative head space when I posted last. I just couldn't see getting better at hills but that mood has passed, thanks to you guys. It's a lot to think about and try and do.

I get to go to my very first packet pick-up for the MS 150. I'm practically giddy. I feel so strong and healthy.

Thanks for all the wonderful info.

Have a wonderful day!

Jenn
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  #29  
Old 04-07-2010, 05:50 PM
Happy1 Happy1 is offline
Optimistic Misfit
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 35
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And if I could just add one more wonderful ... this is a wonderful site

Jenn
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  #30  
Old 04-07-2010, 10:55 PM
Tanya Tanya is offline
Optimistic Misfit
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 11
Default

I havent been posting because its a pain to do on my phone, but I have been reading about your entries.
Jenn, I'm riding in the Sams Club ride as well! This will be my first time to ride and Im excited and nervous.
As far as hills go, I can't escape them in my area. I laughed at training plans that said to add hill intervals as the weeks progress. I am getting somewhat better at going up the hills...one day my friend won't be able to ride circles around me. ;-)
Last week my long ride is my record length--52.5 miles. My average speed was 11 mph. (You can still be proud of your 13 mph.) I went 20 miles the next day. There is an organized ride this Saturday that I will be participating in. My goal is to complete the 75 mile route.
Thanks so much for your posts. They encourage and challenge me to keep riding.
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