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MS'ers Training in 2013

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  • MS'ers Training in 2013

    New Year Thoughts
    As I lay on the couch trying to stay awake to see in the New Year, I had this vision. The old year 2012, met the New Year 2013 passing through the lobby of my mind. As they passed, the New Year said “Hey Old Man, you look a little rough, had enough?”

    “Yeah, I’m done sonny, it’s all yours now. I think I’ve left you in pretty good shape, all things considered. I mean the MS thing didn’t get much worse, might even be a couple of areas of improvement. You’ll need to keep working on that. I managed to keep the rubber side on the road most of the time, only lost it once and didn’t end up with anything worse than a little road rash and a trashed helmet. Of course, there is that whole aging thing. You’re gonna have to watch out for that one.”

    “Did you accomplish anything Old Man?”

    “Well young fella, I guess I did almost everything I set out to do. The only thing I didn’t do so great on was the Triple Bypass. I got a lot further than my predecessor did though. It’s a tough one and I’m comfortable admitting defeat - for now. You might be well advised to look around for something that isn’t 2 miles up and 120 miles long, at least this year.”

    “Maybe third time’s a charm?”

    “Ha! Maybe back when you owned the world, but that was a long time ago kid. Nah, if I were you, I’d consider something else.”

    “So, what do you suggest Pops?”

    “Since you asked Sport, there’s a ride in Kentucky you might try to broaden your horizons with, and you might consider doing a week or two of a cross country ride that will be passing through. As for the rest, there’s nothing wrong with the usual fare, the Colorado MS 150 - including the second day century of course, maybe a mountain ride or two. New Mexico MS might give you a new hill to climb, which should be fun. Oh, also, I set a new goal for you on the Tour de Tucson, 7:15 or better. You might want to prepare with a little speed work. Anyway, I’m sure you’ll figure it all out, just don’t forget, it’s all about the training, always has been and always will be.”

    “Yeah, I know that, looks like you’ve got a pretty full plate lined up, I guess I’ll figure it out. Got anything else Old Guy?”

    “One more thing kid, and this is important! You’ve been married to the same woman for 40 years now and I happen to know she’s expecting something big this year. If I know her, you probably won’t have to worry too much about the ‘what’, she’ll let you know what the ‘what’ is. What you’ll have to worry about is making the ‘what’ happen – and, since I’m pretty sure it’ll have something to do with extended travel, you’ll need to figure out how to fit a little cycling in. I’m just saying, be ready. You’re a clever lad, I’m sure you can handle it.”

    “Sounds like a big one, thanks Pops. And don’t worry, I can’t wait to get started. The clock’s ticking old guy, I think we’re almost there, guess it’s time to say so long and take care.”

    “You too sonny, Happy New Year and Good Luck.”

    Happy New Year everyone. Take a minute if you can, and let us know what you accomplished last year and what form your plans are taking for the new year.


  • #2
    Hi AMF -- First let me say I loved your post.

    Last year, I started hiking. Unfortunately just as I was getting to the point where I was considering tackling the yearly 7 summit challenge, MS struck laying me up for quite some time.

    After completing my first hike (post MS diagnosis) today, I was considering it again. Granted it was an easy 3-miler, but it is a start. Then I read your post and made my decision. I am going to train to do the 7 summit challenge this coming November.

    Basically the challenge is 7 summits equalling approximately 23 miles (done in either one or two days) or you can do only 4 summits in one day (about 16.5 miles). I haven't decided which one I'm going to do, but I intend on doing one of the three (barring any major relapses).

    Thanks for the little push to make a physical goal for myself despite my MS.
    Last edited by AZgal; 01-01-2013, 09:51 PM.


    • #3
      Resolved not to resolve

      Kind of, but, it is the time of year to review last years training plan for what worked and what needs improvement and get going! For my part, I’m going to reduce the amount of time I spend on the bike in favor of higher intensity workouts. I’ve been hearing and reading a little on how the pro’s are reducing time on the bike for more intense workouts followed by adequate rest periods.

      So, the rough outline goes something like this;
      Recover from all of the holiday cheer to a good base level. I expect that to take 4 to 6 weeks by the end of which I should be able to spend 6 to 8 hours per week on the bike.

      Spend 2 to 3 hours per week at the gym mainly the elliptical machine and in the weight room, and keep this activity up until at least June.

      By the time the cold weather breaks, I’ll start doing 3 weekly bike rides. One set of high intensity drills working up to about 3 hours worth. One long climbing ride that will eventually approach 80 miles and 5,000 to 6,000ft. of ascent. And a weekly speed run of about 7 uninterrupted miles - to Starbucks for coffee and a snack, followed by the reverse run back home. And, of course, adequate rest, which I’m finding out can be as much as 48 hours for me after an intense workout (probably an old guy thing).

      The only resolution I’m making is to do all of my riding from home, as in no fair transporting the bike by car. A resolution I know I’ll break. But that’s what resolutions are for, right? The rest is planning and execution.


      AZgal, I like your goal. Part of the reason I want to spend more time in the gym this year is to improve my walking - on the off hand chance I get to do some hiking one day. Good luck.
      Last edited by AMFADVENTURES; 01-12-2013, 01:33 PM.


      • #4
        AMF and everyone, Happy New Year

        I love your posts too and to see someone crazier then I am!!

        I just sign up for the Houston to Austin MS 150 for April so in couples weeks I will start training again.Thanks to Texas weather.

        Last fall I explore a little the blue ridge parkway from Ashville, and it is a great bike trip to do!

        Good health and good luck with you training.



        • #5

          Alain, not sure who’s crazier. The Houston to Austin MS 150, the largest MS ride in the world, has got to be awfully exciting and I can’t even begin to imagine the logistics. I would really like to hear what that ride is like. Good luck with the training and the ride! Hope you’ll let us know how things are going.

          Got ambushed at the club on Monday. The trainers had stations set up for blood pressure, height, weight, and body mass. As the blood pressure machine displayed my BP, I heard someone shout out “call 911!”. I had to reassure them that it was just because of the staircase I had just climbed and everything was okay. But in my mind, I knew it had something to do with the salty snacks I’d consumed all weekend during the football playoffs.

          My height was spot on but my weight was up 3 lbs. from Saturday. Yup, definitely the weekend snacks. I mean, cream cheese! What was I thinking?

          BMI was pretty high too although I confess, I don’t really know what that means, but I am familiar with % body fat and that reading was 6% over where it had been in March of last year. I assume the goal of that demonstration was to put the fear of God into the club members. It worked, at least on me.

          I managed to get out for a ride on Tuesday. Can’t tell you how good it felt. Of course I rode way too hard so spent most of Wednesday recovering. But, it was So Worth It!

          It Has Begun,


          • #6
            Happy New Year to everyone.

            It's great to see what people have planned for 2013. For me, God-willing, it's more running, with the Boston Marathon coming up in April. Then I'll have to dust off my bike and get training for my second New Mexico MS150 Bike ride. I had the pleasure of meeting AMF last year and I look forward to seeing him and his lovely wife again this year. Completing the 150 miles was a highlight of 2012 for me, especially since I have never been much of a cyclist.

            I encourage anyone who is thinking about doing one of the bike rides to go for it. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life!


            • #7
              Cougars in the weight room

              I have been sticking to the plan, a little bit of spin class, more elliptical and a couple of days of weight training each week.

              I joined 5 elderly women in the weight room one day last week, already working on the machines. These girls were 75 if they were a day. A couple of them were on the other side of the room working leg and core, kind of hidden by intervening machines and pillars. I couldn’t see them very well, but I could hear their conversation, which went something like this:
              “How much you pushing on that”
              “50 lbs., how about you?”
              “80 lbs. but I’m going to start adding 5, you should do that too. What brought you in here anyway, Silver Sneakers?”
              “No, I tried Silver Sneakers but it was too slow for me so I got a personal trainer, he put me in here.”

              At that point, I met the eyes of another one, doing leg presses directly across from me, long enough for her to give me a big smile and a lascivious wink. Now, I admit, I admire strong women but as impressed as I was by those old girls, being faced with 5 of them in the weight room, all at least 10 years my senior, pushing about double the weight I do, was a bit daunting.

              I should be headed to the weight room right now but I just got a text from my BFN (Bike Fanatic Neighbor),
              ‘weather fab, going stir crazy, got to get out, can u go for a ride?’
              I know he’ll hurt me if I go with him, but would I be any better off with the cougars in the weight room? Decisions, decisions… Argh!

              My season and riding buddies are lining up nicely. Colorado and New Mexico MS rides are confirmed. The Horsey Hundred, Copper Triangle and Tour de Tucson are a sure thing. Looking at the Enchanted Circle in New Mexico too, anybody done that one?

              M&T, huge congrats on qualifying for Boston, and I love watching your progress. Looks like the New Mexico MS ride is going to include Truchas again, fantastic. DW and I are looking forward to seeing you there too. Oh, and M&T, "never been much of a cyclist"???, I beg to differ!

              Everybody out there getting their season in shape?
              Last edited by AMFADVENTURES; 01-25-2013, 12:02 AM.


              • #8
                Hello AMF

                You are right the logistics are scary, specially because the hotels to spend the night half way were all booked already. ( 12 000 riders for a 15 000 town population)
                But I got lucky to find a old friend with a small team (Escalente's Tex Mex cuisine that have a farm near by to spend the night). How bad that can be!
                I was not to crazy to have to camp !

                SO, after two months of too much food, too much laziness I started to ride my bike again, 3 sorties in the last 10 days for 100 miles total.
                I did better that I thought but needed the rest of the day to recuperate, big time.!!
                Glad I am retired or I could do-it!
                Riding is so great and feel so much better . Always happy that I went even if I have to force myself to go, specially if it is cold!

                Good luck to you and every one.



                • #9
                  Took me until yesterday to catch up with you, I finally got 3 rides in for 100 miles. Had to do 45 miles on the last ride to make it but I felt surprisingly good. Maybe conditioning will come back faster than I thought.

                  Glad to hear you found a place to stay on the MS ride. I'm not a big fan of camping out any more either. I suppose I'd consider it if I found someone to haul my pillow top mattress for me but that's probably a long shot.

                  The last 10 days of weather's been fabulous up here. Could be in for a change soon though.

                  It definately feels good to be back in the saddle.

                  Stay Safe,
                  Last edited by AMFADVENTURES; 01-27-2013, 01:17 PM.


                  • #10
                    I don't understand why it seems to take so long to get an exercise routine down at the beginning of every new year, but I think I finally have it for this year. It goes something like this:
                    Monday and Thursday, elliptical and weight training, 2 to 2 1/2 hrs.
                    Tuesday, high intensity cycling intervals, 1 - 3 hrs.
                    Wednesday, a free day to use as I see fit.
                    Friday, yoga, 1 1/2 hr.
                    Saturday, a long bike ride, 3 + hrs.
                    Sunday, sprint work on the bike, 1 - 2 hrs.

                    Now just because the routine is in place doesn't mean it always happens. This week I seriously OD'ed in the weight room on Thursday and although I did make it to yoga on Friday, by Saturday I could barely move. I wouldn't have gone out on Sunday at all, except that my BFN (Bike Fanatic Neighbor) goaded me into it. Fortunately, he was worn out too so we were each able to find a modicum of consolation in the other's struggles. I'm not sorry I OD'ed, I needed to know where I was with the weights, but it won't happen again, at least not in the weight room.

                    I do need to boast a little though. In spite of the weight room OD, I still managed to whip up a batch of sourdough baguettes and a pork tenderloin which, when converted into crostini and pork medallions, easily took top honors at the Super Bowl party snack table.

                    Anybody get any training accomplished last week?


                    • #11
                      Way behind on the exercise routine

                      AMF- as always, I enjoy your posts and admire your work ethic on the bike. You have really made amazing progress.
                      M&T- Congratulation on the Boston Marathon- no small accomplishment
                      AZgal- Glad you are going to attack those summits.
                      So, the first 2 weeks of January were really good for me in terms of exercise. I hit the gym 4-5 times a week and did some wogging as well. Then the 12 day cruise to Australia and NZ and a week in Melbourne intervened. I did do 4 spinning classes on the ship and a ton of walking on port calls and in Melbourne. During the entire trip I made a concerted effort to taste every dessert within reach. Last Saturday we did a 15 mile walking tour of Melbourne. I have been home for 3 days and no exercise. I am still trying to get my days and nights straight. I hope to hit the gym on Friday and ride - possibly outside- on Sunday.
                      Goals for the new year-
                      Ride part of Mt Vertoux in July.
                      Host AMF in May for the Horsey Hundred
                      Lose the 4# I picked up on the cruise
                      Increase my endurance and speed on the single bike- which should also help the tandem riding
                      Keep up some weight work even during riding season for upper body strength/core strength
                      Have fun on the bike


                      Tiramisu feast on board ship
                      Attached Files


                      • #12
                        Pell, welcome back from Down Under, can't believe you only gained 4 lbs. on a cruise. You must have been very very busy, undoubtedly needing as well as deserving every desert you could get your hands on.

                        It sounds like our goals are similar, weights, core, enjoying the ride - and climbing? Did I read that right? Vertoux? It would be interesting to see if our resident French expert, Alain, has anything to say about Vertoux. Sounds like a real adventure and a great reason to get your climbing legs on. (or am I wrong?)

                        Glad you're back,


                        • #13

                          Yes, we have the option of climbing Mt Vertoux- same route as the Tour. We will be in France, riding a tandem with 70 other couples, during the Tour. We will be in Paris on Sunday when they all ride in. This is the 100th Tour so it will be a big deal- fireworks, etc. I don't think I can bring myself to pay $500 for grandstand seats, so I doubt we will see much, but we will be there.

                          I am more concerned about the downhill part of any mountain climbing. I don't love exceeding 50mph on a bike.
                          Alain-any advice?



                          • #14
                            Whaaaa!! 70 tandems in France, I want to see that!
                            Let me know where you will be riding, I would like to go see you. My village is about 4 hours drive west from the Mont Ventoux (near Carcassonne)
                            Actually the Tour is passing about 12 miles from my village on the stage #8 from Castres to Axe.
                            If you want to take a break from the group come visit me and enjoy the real and quiet France.
                            For your question about going down hill, for me it really depends of the quality of the road but I'm not near your level and the total age of your tandem team is probably close to mine! I think my top speed down hill is 65 km/h more like gliding then speeding.
                            I have not been to Mont Ventoux and my experience in riding in France is only in the Black Mountains where I stay,
                            which are more like your Blue Ridge Mountains.
                            Excuse my French :-), but it is Mont Ventoux with a "n" and it's pronounced "von-too".
                            Have a great time and keep in touch.
                            A bientot.


                            • #15
                              South of France

                              Alain- forgive my ignorance. Mont Ventoux- got it.
                              The age of our tandem team is 125 so we are up there. We fly to Geneva and ride between 40-70 miles into France for our embarkation point of Tournus, Burgundy.
                              Towns on our route include Chalon Sur Saone and Beune at the start. We then navigate a section of the Saone and Rhone Rivers in France to the Mediterranean. Other stops include Lyon, Avignon, Arles, St Remy, Senanque Abbey, Glanum, Les Baux, and then transport back to Paris for the end of the Tour.
                              I have traveled extensively in Germany, Austria and Switzerland(I could speak German years ago), but this will be our first extended trip to France. We are somewhat apprehensive as we speak no French. The only other visit to France was with my sister who is fluent in French.

                              We are bringing extra pads for our disk brake. 47mph=75km/hour and I don't want to go any faster than that.

                              I hope we can make contact in France.