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MSers Training in 2014

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  • #31
    A health coach has offered to help me figure out what diet and nutrition is best for me, and just like the research I continually came across, she's suggested that I go gluten-free. I've been gluten-free since Sunday and am beginning to feel a difference. I think I'm going to stick with it

    Oatmeal was a HUGE go-to for me too. Every morning I'd have oatmeal for breakfast, which would sustain me until lunch, but more importantly it created a foundation for energy for my long runs. For a snack I'd have something like peanut butter, peanut butter crackers or a homemade honey oat bar to give me the remaining energy I needed to run.

    I now have a gluten-free pancake and almond butter which alone can sustain me for a long run. I no longer need the peanut butter, crackers or honey oat bars.

    Let me know if you want any more information on going gluten-free, or if you'd like to contact my health coach! I'm happy to share anything I can!


    • #32
      I am settling into my old routine of alternating yoga and low impact exercise with 3 days of aerobics. I am running outdoors early in the morning in anticipation of summer. The weather has been wet but I rather like a run in light rain.

      So far so good aside from a bout of stomach flu. My knees are even cooperating.


      My Two Numb Feet - An MS Diary


      • #33
        Got another good week in, 3 rides outside, in between snow storms again but who can complain. I'm up to 8 hours per week on the bike, not a lot of miles but climbing longer steeper hills and it's going well, might even be getting a little faster.

        Also managed one session on the elliptical for an hour, turned out that was all I could manage. Definitely some different muscles required there. When I get to an hour and a half, I'll try walking outside again. Still a little light on the weights and stairs, need to try and pick that up a bit. The stairs really do help with the foot drag.

        Kristen, ask your health coach about beet root juice right before an endurance event. I tried it last year and actually did think it may have made a difference in my endurance, also seemed to give me more energy post ride. Not sure I'll ever be gluten free but I am listening to you, TM and Pell. I trust everything is on track.

        Nice job LivWell, how many days a week are you running? I also try to schedule my yoga no later than the day after my hardest/longest rides. I've noticed that I can loosen the spastic muscles when I ride but It takes almost no time for them to tighten up again when I finish. The yoga helps with that a lot.

        TM, hope things are starting to thaw up there, you guys have had a record winter. Everything OK?

        Pell, what's the scoop on Mt Lemmon and the AZ bike camp.

        And hey Dave, any progress on the trike yet?

        Later all,
        Last edited by AMFADVENTURES; 03-13-2014, 11:29 PM.


        • #34
          Hi all,

          Thanks for the outreach Larry-yes, it's been brutal our winter-but it sounds like everyone is having a difficult season. I keep saying I'm choosing to live here so it's up to me to deal with it.

          The swimming has been going well. I swim everyday although at this moment, I've had to move out because of a reno job. Interesting not to be in the pool. It has helped me realize how much good it's doing and how important it is to take a break. A recurring theme is how much, breaks, pushing, etc.

          The stairs remain the biggest challenge. Getting the right hip flexor to bend is hard-I tend to swing my leg out to the side to get it on the step, then hoist the left up being careful not to catch my foot because of the foot drop. It's work but getting a little easier. Then it's into the pool where I do squats,1 legged calf raises, arm circles, front crawl,kicks at the ladder,some standing yoga postures,etc. I really miss it right now.

          Take care all,

          Teena Marie


          • #35

            Larry, I've been thinking about your walking. (I think about my walking all the time.) I think you use hiking poles. If not, they might share the load with your legs. I have found forearm crutches to be even better. I use Sidestix-Dave has a review here on the site. It sounds like the neural drive slows down. Can you take little breaks that would allow the firing to recharge? When I feel the signaling is slowing, I try and visualize where it's coming from and work at sending messages from there.

            Good luck,

            Teena Marie


            • #36
              Reclaiming energy

              I seem to be all about waiting for that recharge you mention Teena-Marie. And I do something similar to encourage my brain to make my muscles do my bidding. When the energy isn't there though, I just have to, and give myself permission to, take a break.

              I miss swimming. I plan to get back to it this summer. Fortunately I have access to a pool at a gym near work.

              Larry, I have been targeting 2 to 3 days of running but it has to be in the morning now because it is starting to warm up here.

              I am feeling stronger and I believe I am better at listening to my body. Hoping to be more prepared for the summer heat this year than I was last year.

              High-five to all! Keep moving and stay well!


              My Two Numb Feet - An MS Diary


              • #37
                TM, The Walking. Youíre right, I do use hiking poles, only one at this point but Iíll try two if my plans to improve my walking donít ultimately work. And I have tried taking short breaks as well as very deliberate steps. Interestingly, a short break, anywhere from 30 seconds to 20 minutes, on the bike, will, at times, provide almost complete recovery. With the walking however, I initially didnít recover until the next day. It did get a little better, but still itís a matter of at least hours if not overnight. A 5 - 10 minute break on my walks is only good for a minute at best after I start walking again. No doubt it is neural fatigue, but Iím at a total loss to explain why itís so different between walking and cycling, especially when you consider that after a long hard climb on the bike, the hot blond yoga chick might have to essentially carry me into a rest area, but after 20 minutes or so, I can get up and walk nearly normally back to the bike. The plan Iím working on now is to simulate the walking on the elliptical machine until I can do it continuously for an hour and a half, then try it outside with a pole for two miles again. I might be about a month away from doing that right now.

                It all involves the issue which both you and LivWell brought up, that of exercise and recovery. I havenít seen any studies on this in people with neural deficits but I think there may be some significant differences vs people without neural problems. For myself, Iíve identified 3 different recovery modes, short term, 30 seconds to 30 minutes, mid term, 1 to 2 days, and long term, 2 to 6 weeks.

                I think the short-term recovery is primarily cardiovascular, except for the instance described above which I canít explain.

                The mid-term recovery I think is primarily muscular with a neural component especially for PWMS. Intense muscular exertion takes a day or two or possibly more to recover from and there may be some neural inflammation to deal with too.

                The strangest one for me though is the long-term recovery. I generally take a 6 week break from the bike around the holidays. When I start back up I nearly always notice some fairly significant differences in the way my body works and those differences are nearly always positive. Itís lead me to believe that, in addition to healing muscle, bone and cartilage tissue with a long break, there is some form of neural repair or possibly even regeneration. I donít think itís just due to a reduction of neural inflammation because I seem to be able to build on the differences I notice through out the year.

                Anyway, the whole thing is really interesting and I think pertinent to us as PWMS. Iíd love to hear anyone elseís observations or opinions.



                • #38
                  I wonder if it is the long-term recovery aspect that you describe which makes exercise so therapeutic for people with MS (PWMS). After a period of regular, perhaps somewhat rigorous exercise (or not), then allowing the body to "recover" a certain amount of neural regeneration occurs. My neurologist thought that even with the evidence in an MRI pointing to demyelinating disease, the years I did triathlon were probably delaying onset of symptoms.

                  Exercise has been proven to be of great benefit to PWMS and I think what you are describing is a kind of re-wiring process. Granted, there is disease progression but investing in exercise has a positive return.

                  Thanks for posting this Larry! I will be paying more attention to my recovery modes.


                  My Two Numb Feet - An MS Diary


                  • #39
                    Hello every one and very sorry to have drop out for a while!!
                    My laptop was slowing down so I bought an I pad and got pass word issue to log in (may be in my brain too!)
                    Any way I have been busy and with this cold winter I havenít trained very much. I also just come back from Bay area visiting my two daughters there. The young one just moved two months ago, so we are now planning to move there to from TX! We are thinking about near of the Sierra, may be Placerville?
                    Any suggestions?
                    Today I wake up with a cold and feeling achy so I think the MS 150 Houston -Austin that is coming in 3 weeks will have to be cancelled. Too bad I really enjoyed the one last year.
                    Bravo Larry to stick to schedule. You are a great inspiration.
                    I will try to stay in touch.



                    • #40
                      LivWell, your neuro is probably right, pushing through those triathlons may well have kept you ahead of the MS. I feel exactly the same way about my cycling.

                      Alain, glad you're back. Sorry to hear you won't be doing the MS 150 down there this year, maybe you would consider the one in New Mexico in September? Is your trip down the California coast still on? If you happen to come out this way, be sure to drop me a note.

                      Kristen, good luck on your half-marathon this weekend. Looks like you've done the training. I'd be interested to know what your health coach recommends for recovery next week.

                      All is well here, I've started climbing the real hills, the ones that aren't snowed in anyway and have been very surprised at how well it's going. And I've been keeping everything else, except stair climbing, on track too.

                      Look forward to hearing from everyone,


                      • #41
                        Thanks, Larry! It's so kind of you to remember my half marathon! I'm very excited! I'm also enjoying the life of carb-loading right now, gluten free carbs of course

                        I asked my health coach about beet root juice and she said she hasn't heard of taking it before an endurance event but that it's "fabulous to take." My guess is that since it's so nutrient-rich that it it did make your endurance event easier. My health coach also said that L-glutamine is great to take every day, but especially after a hard workout or race. Normally I recover by taking a couple rest days, eating lots of protein and get a massage to help my muscles recover.

                        Best of luck in all your activities!


                        • #42
                          Tucson cycling camp report

                          Sorry for the very delayed report.
                          It turns out that the cycling camp I chose was very intense. I was the only female "camper" and was significantly older and MUCH slower than any other campers. I was a special needs cyclist and had an aide (coach) assigned to me all of the time. BUT, I did learn a lot, rode much harder that I thought I could and gained a bunch of confidence on a single bike. I have completely challenged my beliefs about how hard I can push and what heart rate I can maintain. I have certainly redefined hills. All of the climbs in Kentucky now seem pretty short. I don't know that I am much faster but I am willing to push harder.
                          I did have one visit from the MS on a very hot ride in Madera Canyon. The first 10 miles of the climb were in the desert with no shade anywhere. Just past mile 10 my vision went bonkers- black was white and colors were very distorted. We finally found some shade and after about 15 minutes everything returned to normal and I rode the last 3 miles to the top.
                          I did some pace line riding at speeds I don't ride. They accomplished this by having a coach ride next to me and push me up hills.
                          I don't think I would have gone if I had know that I wasn't any where near the level of the other riders. Since I did go, I think it was beneficial. I have ridden several rides over 16 mph since returning. I am killing myself to do this, but that's okay.
                          Larry- I rode Mt Lemmon in 2 stages- Rode to 7000' the first try- about 16 miles. The next time I rode from 14 miles to the top and descended the entire way alone. I am sure I could ride the whole thing but it would take a while. I may go back to Tucson next February (not to camp) and try again.
                          Attached Files
                          Last edited by pawpaw; 03-22-2014, 10:32 PM.


                          • #43
                            Wow ... Pell. That is so awesome!

                            "I have completely challenged my beliefs about how hard I can push and what heart rate I can maintain."

                            I went on a short hike yesterday and afterwards I had similar thoughts. The benefits of pushing a bit are significant and not just from a physical fitness point of view. Living with MS is, or should be, just that.... living your best life with MS.

                            Thanks for sharing your experience!


                            My Two Numb Feet - An MS Diary


                            • #44
                              Got to love strong women

                              Thanks for the report on the bike camp Pell, it does sound intense. I'm sure you could do Mt. Lemmon in a single stage, like you say, it just takes time. I'd love to come down and do it with you but I'm not so sure I could do it in February so soon after the holidays, maybe by April or May though. I hope they fed you well at camp or were you on your own for that? With Mt. Lemmon under your belt now, might you be interested in the Truchas hill at Pedal los Pueblos?

                              I got sidetracked this week tearing out an old wood deck to make room for my tomato plants so only got 3 rides in and no elliptical. Not to worry though. Although tearing out the deck wasn't much of an aerobic exercise, it has done a number on everything else in my body. I'll be back on the bike for a hard ride this weekend then taper down a bit for the Tour de Mesa on April 5th. Heat and wind are my biggest concerns there.

                              Hey Kristen, how did your run go?

                              Last edited by AMFADVENTURES; 03-27-2014, 06:47 PM.


                              • #45
                                Hi Larry,

                                Thank you so much for remembering! You're too kind My half went well! My dad ran with me. It was his first half and my third. It made for even better memories

                                My dad was the one with me when I was diagnosed, and on that day I remember him telling the doctor, "we have a half marathon coming up in March and we're going to run that half marathon." and we did

                                I'm now thinking about what my next goal will be. A sub 2-hour half, a marathon, focusing more on strength training are all options. There's a slight possibility I could run the New York City Marathon as part of the National MS Society's team. I should hear by early April, so I'll keep you updated!

                                Thanks again for asking!