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MSers In Training, 2019

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  • #16
    Surely it's Summer Some Where!

    This has definitely been a slow start to the training season, at least for bikes. It's just now starting to warm up but we need to melt off 1/2 ft. of snow and ice before we can get out. And there's another storm coming this weekend. Still, I do believe things are looking up but it is going to be a shorter training season than recent years.

    I am religiously getting to the club for weights, elliptical and core work though and I do believe it's paying off. I guess I'll find out when I'm finally able to get out on the bike.

    Dave, now that I think about it, seems the Indonesians used to roast their coffee beans with rubber tree wood. I always wondered about that. Glad you've been able to get out a little at least.

    Alain, I actually like shoveling snow but we haven't had any very big storms that needed much shoveling yet. That could all change this coming weekend though.

    Veronica, you're probably out skiing as I write this. Can't wait to hear about it!

    Hoping for some warmer weather,



    • #17
      An Almost Perfect Ride

      Just returned from Las Vegas, trying to dodge an imminent cyclone bomb (say what???) But about 10 days before that we finally got a nice day. Temperatures shot up to 50 and enough of the ice and snow was melted off of my street that I could safely get to the bike path. The path itself was clear, although there was still plenty of snow beside it and a few large puddles of water.

      I decided to take a lap around my favorite piece of rural countryside, the reservoir near my house. There are some fairly short but pretty steep hills there and although this isn’t a ride I’d normally do this early in the season, I figured it might give me a chance to see how my indoor training program was progressing. I was pleasantly surprised at just how well I was able to spin up those hills and how in control my heart rate stayed doing it. There's obviously a lot to be gained with winter training.

      Coming around the far side of the reservoir, entering the only flat stretch, I ran into my old pal the wind. It greeted me gently at first but within 10 minutes it had increased to the fury of a freight train, complete with sound and I could see that it was hauling the next cold front down the mountains and across the foothills, heading straight for me. With the clouds moving in and the temperature dropping and the wind whistling that my ride was over, I rode out of the reservoir and headed back home. I got 25 pretty slow miles but what an almost perfect ride it was, just a little short!

      All in all, I was very happy with my 4th ride of the year but there is a long way to go to the MS 150 and a relatively short time to get there. Oh well, hopefully at least now it’s really started.



      • #18
        AMF, great to see you are able to get out on the bike now that the weather is warming. Rode three of the last four days as the weather has been so good I haven't been able to stay indoors. And the temps yesterday crested 70, so it was cooling vest time! Testing a revised vest from Coolture and will have a write-up ready soon.

        Just saw that the trail I ride ALL the time, the one blocks from my house, made Outside's 25 best running trails in the WORLD. Hope to ride another of the top 25 trails in June at the Grand Tetons. Have you guys been on any of the others?
        Dave Bexfield


        • #19
          Spring finally arriving here in Winterpeg (Winnipeg, Canada), the horse has started shedding out his winter coat, still too cool out for biking (too much ice/water puddles on the roads), but have got outside to do some laps of run/walk intervals in local park. Swimming this winter was great, really enjoying that, can get the intensity without the overheating like at the gym, will be continuing swim lessons until June.

          For a challenge this year I signed up for a novice triathlon - 300m swim, 10k bike, 2.5k run (or walk in my case lol) in June, then the MS Bike Tour in August.

          Callenge life before life challenges you - from inside collar of my "Bike Off More Than You Chew" bike jersey


          • #20
            Karen that is a great goal. I live about 225 miles south of you and have been to Winterpeg many times. I love your city. I’ve been out riding 3 times so far. Haven’t needed a cooling vest! If I was still riding a 2 wheeler there is no way I’d be out and about. I’ve continued to have problems since my hip replacement but being on the trike has already helped. Saw the ortho yesterday and he said everything looks solid so that was great news.


            • #21
              I am glad to see that everyone survived this cold winter and ready for spring.
              Grady, Yes the trike is great for the new hip therapy and I already use less E assist to go at the same speed. Actually I just signed for the MS Waves to Wine in September. I will do only the 40 miles each day.
              In a way all that bad weather as been OK for me because I am doing so much PT exercises, two hours the morning and one hour the evening for the last 5 months to relearn to walk with only one bad leg, the ms one and I am pleasantly surprised. I am using my cane more then the crutches and on a good day I can walk 50 feet hands free! That happened on April first and I hope it is not April fool’s joke.
              I will be going to see my 97 years old mother in France next week and I still won’t be able keep up with her!.
              Hope the best for each of you.


              • #22
                Well Hi all: Time to check in…. ski season is over, officially, as of today. Was supposed to be in New Hampshire right now to ski one more time , but the weather didn’t agree and it’ll be raining and 50 degrees tomorrow with the beginning of brown snow showing thru so we cancelled it. I am so so content with what the iSkiBike has given me. Can’t even say what it has given me “back”, since I never skied this well when I was able bodied. Happily, Blues ( intermediate trails) are now something that continue to challenge me, but they do not freak me out, and I am able to ski them in complete control. ( Whew...). I’ve been back on my local mountain three times this season, and this was the first time in three years. It was just so wonderful to feel that I can really just ski with my friends. I might need a push every once in awhile if going on a flat section, but apart from that, we just have fun together. So freeing… And to think that next season, I can be out on the slopes of my local mountain every single week.. Wow…

                Seriously, if any fellow ActiveMSers out there want to find a resort that has the iSkiBike through an adaptive program please message me. I just so believe in this piece of equipment, and really want to share the joy with the many who have given up skiing for physical reasons. Obviously, not for everyone, but there’s a whole bunch of people it could help to get them out enjoying winter sports.

                Concerning my training in general, I have been increasing my sessions with handheld weights as I really need to work on my arms. Been doing exercises that fire up my deltoids more than my rotator cuffs, which are very painful when taxed. Just found a way to bypass them. I know this will take time but it feels good to be really addressing this. Been also bumping up the number of, and consistency of core work as my PT saw that my weak core is the culprit for my increased swaying back and forth when I walk without my trekking pole or cane. Been back on the trainer with the trike more consistently for the past almost two months, which also feels good. My focus there has been simply to work on getting better symmetrical pedaling. I’ve been focusing on the four sections of the pedal stroke , especially with my right, weaker leg. We’ll see if I feel this when I get outside…probably not until the end of the month as I have to get the motor put back on and once I do, the trike stays in the garage between rides. And the trainer is in the house.

                Two rides are planned this year, and they are the same as last year. Our local Roe Jan Ramble, and I probably will do the 18 miler again…it is a challenging, hilly ride and just beautiful countryside. And I will be doing NYC BikeMS again in October. Actually just looking forward to getting back outside around here for some good rides whatever the distance as it is just such a great place to bike safely on the roads…

                Happy to read that all you “hipsters” are getting back in action…. Congratulations Alain on your great progress and enjoy your time with your mom in France..... 97 years old, now that is an accomplishment! And Grady and Marina, kudos to you too! Karen, I like your goals for the year.. And Larry, as usual, loved your story of the “almost perfect” ride.
                Dave, very neat that you are on riding on such a renowned trail. It sure sounds like Heaven from the description.

                Happy Spring Everyone...
                Be thankful. Dream Big. Never Give Up.


                • #23
                  Great update, Veronica! Quickly, I have been putting in solid hours on my trike prior to HealtheVoices coming right up. Rode four out of the past six days since I'll be out of the saddle until Monday. But I'll still stretch and do light workouts at the hotel in Dallas. There are a few other fitness geeks going, so I'll be in my element.
                  Dave Bexfield


                  • #24
                    Ok, time to check in, actually well past time!

                    Well crap Dave, now I really regret not being able to ride the trail with you. But it's neat you've been able to get out so much.

                    And Cl3me and Veronica, you girls are so up beat, I always enjoy hearing what you're up to and about your plans.

                    Alain and Grady, wishing you continued improvement with those hips. I've kind of joined the injured reserves myself by way of a back injury I got last year and which hasn't really gone away yet. Alain, - the Waves to Wine - I always had it in mind to do that ride someday. It seems like a classic among MS rides!

                    I have been out on the bike, actually I got 4 rides for 110 miles the week before this but only one ride in this week - right before the snows came. I have had to forgo the weight training recently because the back injury I incurred last year came back probably from all of the walking I did in Las Vegas recently. I am trying to get ahead of it though. I've already had one PT session, and I have an appointment with a spinal specialist and possible steroid injection set up. I've also become a zealot about stretching. In fact I find the only way I can ride the bike is to take a day between rides and do deep stretching. I'm slowly adding back some core work and thanks to the PT, some hip flexor exercises. Remember those damn clam exercises? When I saw the PT, I found out I could hardly do them anymore, so guess what!!! Oh well, hopefully it'll all be better soon.

                    Keep it up all,



                    • #25
                      So long with no update, life has been rather hectic, sorry about that!

                      I have been doing great with walking and biking lately, I even ran my first jogging steps in PT yesterday.

                      I haven been rather inactive for the past few weeks before of life, but I plan to show visiting friends around DC (walking!) Saturday and will be getting some kind of ride in Sunday. I will follow this up with a week in Chicago for my works sales conference, so back to inactivity.

                      Glad to read about all of your adventures.


                      • #26
                        Just realized there have been ZERO May updates. I hope to goodness all of us weren't lounging on couches! Unless those couches had pedals and wheels and were road legal.

                        I've had a productive spring. The weather has been cool (we haven't had a 90-degree day yet) and not too windy or wet.

                        Managed 14 rides in the past month (not quite every other day) with as many HIIT sessions--some at the gym, most on my handcycle. Had to re-invest in a heart rate monitor so I could be spot on with my recent interval training guide. I have a good idea when I get into my cardio zone based on past experience with an HRM, but wanted to be sure.

                        Miss hearing from my buds!
                        Dave Bexfield


                        • #27
                          Yeah, I didn't realize it had been that long Dave. Congrats on getting out so much, wish I could say the same. BTW your HIIT article is very, very good, you need to get that published somewhere, NMSS, MSAA, American College of Sports Medicine, Men's Health, NYT, it's really that good.

                          Hey, Karen, when is your triathalon? BTW, Winter peg doesn't have anything on Denver, at least this year!

                          Denver was in full winter mode until about 2 weeks ago when we got 2 days of Spring before it turned to full on summer. Consequently I'm grossly undertrained for the MS 150 at the end of this month. Hopefully I can find a plan B option that might work.

                          I have been doing some climbing, I'm up to 45 miles and about 1500 ft or 30 miles and 3000 ft. Just starting to put together back to back days though and of course that is the real test since the MS ride is 2 days long. All in all I am satisfied with with where I'm at this year given the shortened training season, but I'm certainly no where near where I've been in previous years and will have to adjust accordingly.

                          I came across an old pro rider at one of my favorite watering holes a while ago and we kind of hit it off. He's almost 80 YO but still in great shape. He rides a 1980 Eddy Mercks bike that he got from Eddy Mercks because he used to train with him in Belgium. He hasn't been riding for the last couple of years but wants to start again so me and one of my buddies are going to try to go out with him. I know he'll blow me away going up hill but I'm hoping I can get a lesson or two on the descents. I'm a good descender, it's the only time I pass anybody, but I'm hoping that with a lesson or two from a pro, I could get even better.

                          Also got my back problems under control. Threw everything my HMO had to offer at it, back specialists, steroid shots and PT. Hopefully it's fixed now and I can resume enjoying life on the bike.

                          What's happening out there gang,



                          • #28

                            May was frustrating, fighting sinus infection and needed antibiotics so fell a bit behind in my training for my first novice triathlon coming up fast on Saturday June 22. Swimming I know I can do the 300 m swim as long as I do a medley, my front crawl is coming along but I can’t sustain it for the full distance, luckily I have a strong breaststroke and don’t get discombobulated like I do in front crawl. The bike portion is only 10k which is a piece of cake, the course I’d absolutely flat so not worried at all about the bike portion. The big frustration is the 2.5 k run....I am still stuck in jog/walk (been following Galloway Method and doing 1min run/30 second walk intervals) beacuase I have discovered that I have calf spasticity that gets worse with the exertion of running, how I haven’t ended up flat on my face yet no idea, And there is no way I will be able run the whole thing....especially after the swim and bike. I may end up walking the whole thing....ugh, so be it. I have already self declared disability and the race organizers have been super accommodating, I will be allowed a chair in transition as well as a handler to help with gear. Backing out has crossed my mind because of the run, but I’m going to give it a go....
                            Callenge life before life challenges you - from inside collar of my "Bike Off More Than You Chew" bike jersey


                            • #29
                              Looks like I'll be trying 2 back to back 60 mile days on this year's MS 150. It's an option that only cropped up in the last couple of years, neither day includes going up the Horsetooth hills. I just haven't had the time to train for the hills this year in fact, 60 miles back to back will be slow and chalenging enough.

                              Karen, I'm a big believer in additional support for MS affected parts. I've got tape, braces or AFO's for just about every part of my body and I use them based on the length and intensity of my rides. I use the AFO for climbing hills or for rides I expect to last over about 4 hours. I use an elastic wrist brace for multiple day rides. I tape my toes for rides of 5 hours or more and for multiple day rides. I have an elastic knee brace in case one of my knees starts acting up and I sometimes use an elastic ankle brace after a long ride in lieu of the AFO because the AFO can get pretty uncomfortable after 4 or 5 hours but I still need some support. Most of this stuff doesn't take up much space in a bag or back pack and the elastic braces are not particularly noticeable so don't usually generate a lot of questions.

                              I wonder if some form of compression sleeve might help your spastic calf? At the least it would probably feel pretty good!

                              Just from looking at where you're at on strava right now, I'd say you're looking pretty good for the tri.

                              Good luck,

                              Last edited by AMFADVENTURES; 06-13-2019, 01:11 PM.


                              • #30
                                CTM Band for calf spacticity

                                Larry, as it happens I stumbled across a compression therapy band on instagram called "CTM Band" a month ago, and have been using pre and post exercise and it is helping calm the worst of the spasm. It's a wide stretchy therapy band that has knobs attached at one end, wrap it tight over the area like a tensor, the knobs act as trigger point, and leave it on for 2 min while doing active stretching of the area. It has taken a bit of trial and error to find the right spots on my calf and get the right tension on the band (I wasn't getting it tight enough at first), and wow when I take the time to do the therapy before bed I notice I am much more limber when I first get up in the morning, usually I hobble around for the first half hour, and my walk to the bus to get to work in the morning isn't as stiff. Not a cure, there is still stiffness, but certainly helping. It was developed by a chiro who is also an avid runner, he has marketed mainly to runners but was very helpful when I inquired about whether it would be helpful for MS spasticity, and even gave a discount to try it.


                                Countdown to the race on Saturday is on, rain is in the forecast....

                                Last edited by cl3me; 06-19-2019, 01:57 PM. Reason: added link for CTM Band
                                Callenge life before life challenges you - from inside collar of my "Bike Off More Than You Chew" bike jersey