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MSers In Training, 2019

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  • #31
    Karen, nice find on the CTM band, interesting idea, hope it gets you through with less spasticity. Good luck, may the wind be your friend, hope to hear how your tri goes.

    This is my last hard training weekend, going to try to get 2 longish back to back rides in but the weather is looking dicey with severe storms in the forecast. I did a 60 mile ride on Wednesday and paid a heavy price Thursday but I was pushing harder than I plan to in the MS 150 next weekend. Temperatures this weekend in the 50's, next weekend in the 90's.




    • #32
      Thanks for holding down the fort, Larry! And great to hear the MS150 is on tap. Best of luck, my friend, and it was great to share a pint with you the other day.

      Just returned from a 2-week trip to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. Managed just a couple formal workouts, but exercised most days just exploring the two parks.

      Got in one memorable bike ride with the help of Teton Adaptive Sports. They had three handcyles for me to choose from: one I already own, another I'd tried but is uber slow (easy to get on and off of, however), and an off-road mountain tadpole trike with an electric assist called the Nuke.

      HOLY SMOKES it was epic. Details to come. And no, I didn't even take it off road. Check it out here:

      Dave Bexfield


      • #33
        So I am finally jumping back on here… First off, Larry, good luck with the MS150 this weekend, heat factor and all. I know you will do one Hell of a Ride both days, I am always impressed with the dedication you have to training...

        Dave, that off road trike is just jaw droppingly tempting! So glad you hooked up with the group on your trip…what a great idea.

        And Karen and Marina? I think you have updates for us??? Yeah, I’m not one who should call out anyone as I have been invisible for weeks on end here…

        I see others struggled thru May for all sorts of different reasons… In my case, the rain and then timing of sun and good conditions just did my riding in. When I had the time to ride, it was pouring, and when it wasn’t I was either working, or desperately needing to tend to a garden where weeds and plants were heavily competing for Top Dog in the garden!

        With the garden under better control, I am finally now in the groove of getting in some good rides around here. Have been able to increase my distance and elevation gain each time out, so this makes me happy. Back to pre- and post cooling…so far haven’t worn my vest while I ride….

        I think that my working to even out my cadence during the winter, in addition to work I was doing on my right hip to even out my walking stride is beginning to pay off. I realized just before I saw my PT last time in mid May, that I wasn’t moving my right hip forward as one should when walking. It was like I forgot to do this! Totally weird, but just another one of those strange MS things. Once we got me overexaggerating this movement both on my feet and lying on my side, this movement is beginning to come back and I see it in a more symmetrical walk and riding cadence. Also is helping motor fatigue when I walk, as I am back using more of my total body for the movement.

        The garden work I do involves going up and down my deck stairs… 5 on each side…. And at the end of last year, I found I was hiking up my right hip and leaning way over on my left to put a lot of weight on the bannister. Not happening now until I have been working in the garden and have gone up and down more than enough times to tire it out. Good feeling….

        That’s it for now…just wanted to get back into checking in!
        Be thankful. Dream Big. Never Give Up.


        • #34
          Welcome back Dave. The Nuke trike looks like fun! Can't wait to hear all about it.

          Yeah, the MS 150 is on! I am grossly undertrained. On the very first MS 150 I ever attempted, I went in with less than 400 miles under my belt. Needless to say, it didn't go so well! This year I'm 15 years older, have a little over 1,000 miles under my belt and know it's not enough to be able to do this in any kind of style. BUT, I'm not sick and I'm not hurt so failure is not an option! There are options though - go slow, take all of the shortcuts, avoid the Horse tooth hills, hang onto an e-bike, and sag for a few miles if I have to. If anybody gives me any crap about it, I will simply look them in the eye and say, The fact that some grossly undertrained old guy with MS for well over 20 years is even out here is Bloody Incredible!!!

          I'm taking Leggs to the pre-ride party tonight. Leggs sports a lot of tatoos, is 6 ft. tall in stockings, and will probably wear a revealing tight red dress and 3 inch stilettos. I'm 5'9 & 1/2 on a good day. I won't have to take my cane because Leggs will stay by my side and provide whatever support I might need. Leggs doesnt drink so she will probably drive us home. We are quite an item wherever we go. It will be sooooo much fun. Sadly, Leggs won't be doing the ride this year. I'll be out there on my own but that's okay since I think I've got the options figured out.

          I think I'll only wear my I Ride With MS jersey the second day since that's the most likely day I'll need to exercise some options. One more thing, it's predicted to be over 90 degrees both days.


          AMF Adventures


          • #35
            Sorry for the suspense, race did not go well....

            First it was pouring rain when I was loading up car at 5am for the 1 hour drive to triathlon race location. Was tempted to bail on the event, but they would only cancel if lightening, and none on radar and showing rain would taper off by race time. And all the other competitors are facing the same icky weather. So off we go.

            Get to site, check in, get my race chip, go to put my bike and gear in transition....I had been in contact with the executive director of triathlon Manitoba and the race director about accommodations (designated extra space for a chair, out of way of competitors, and a handler to help with gear which I had been assured would not be a problem. Was in contact with race director week prior to event, everything seemed to be on the up and up. Get to transition couldn't find my designated spot or chair...get assistance from race official - she was completely unaware and asking me what all was required...I try to say it was previously approved and off we go to find race director ....on the way she makes a comment about me getting "VIP treatment" I'm not just concerned theres a miscommunication now I'm pissed off...we find race director and she starts questioning me on all what is required, so basically I have to disclose on the spot to ignorant race official (blind left eye, left hand intention tremor, left leg abnormal reflexes, shall I go on darling? part of me wonders if she challenged me because I don't "look" disabled") and race director is like here use this we go back to transition and I set up in what I think is an appropriate location, we get hi vis vest for my BF/handler so that he is allowed in transition with me....

            then we notice that something was designated for me....but it was in the same rack as the returning champions for the sprint race (I was doing the novice try-a-tri) and it was in the most central spot with the most foot traffic (3 sides) so in other words the absolute worst possible spot and not in accord with their own race manual that says for para accommodations - own rack, against fence, with min 6 feet space with room for chair and handler, out of traffic flow.

            I went to the start line for the swim, water was colder than anything I had ever swam in at 18celsius, didn't have a wetsuit, got 100 m, was having trouble getting my breath, head not in game with all the frustration with race official, started to panic, called it off and withdrew.

            Was so disappointed and embarrassed, just grabbed my gear and went straight home, didn't stick around.

            Race director reached out afterwards, I lambasted them for their lack of communication/preparedness and not following their own race manual. Have a complaint in with Triathlon Canada as well, should be hearing from their 3rd party investigator again later this week....

            On a good note, at least with all the training I am fit....still doing lots of biking, kayaking and enjoying trail rides with my horse.

            I don't think I will be pursuing Triathlon anymore, not just because of the poor treatment by race officials, but I am finding the run training a pain, literally, and will focus on MS bike instead...

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


            • #36
              Karen, I got pissed off FOR you reading this. GRRRR.... Admirable attempt on your part to keep trying to get it right, but it sure sounds like you did the right thing to bag it before you got yourself into distress.

              And your good attitude of so quickly looking past this is a great attribute for anyone, and especially for us MSers. Gotta just bounce back from these things...and remember what positive you got out of it. Good for you for training hard for this, feeling ready and taking on the challenge of the event. As you have on your bike jersey, good for you for "Challenging Life".

              You are a winner in my book....
              Be thankful. Dream Big. Never Give Up.


              • #37
                Ms 150 2019

                Maybe it was more like the MS 134. I did the “Express Route” on the first day, which was advertised as 71 miles and did not include the Horse Tooth hills. And I even shortened that by 6 miles by bypassing the lunch stop. Still I got 65 miles in just under 5 hours and the ride worked out well. Surprisingly, most people chose this route this year, even many of the better riders. I guess everyone was suffering from the lousy training year we’ve had.

                The weather was pretty good, even though temperatures were forecast to reach 95 degrees. Fortunately I finished a couple of hours before they eventually did. Also I think we had a small tail wind most of the time, although I seemed to be the only one who thought so.

                There were a lot of “I Ride With MS” jerseys. Although I didn’t wear mine, I did ride along with several who did, discussing MS and how many rides we’d done and general chit chat. Usually interesting to hear someone else’s story. I even rode with one guy pedaling a trike with hand cranks. He had taken an even shorter short cut than I did but hey, more power to him for even trying to do it the hard way like that.

                The second day was a little different. Temperatures rose quickly such that it was already past 90 by late morning, which may have had something to do with the route being pushed further east and away from the foothills and much in the way of shade trees. But, there were plenty of rolling hills. Of course, the hotter it got, the slower I went and the slower I went, the hotter it got. And the lunch stop was 50 miles in, more than I thought and I was close to bonking by the time I got there. It was my own fault, I should have paid more attention to the pre-planning. I did finally finish the 69 miles in 5.5 hours though but I was a hurting puppy at the end.

                Veronica, were your ski bike senses tingling? Steamboat got TWO FEET of snow the weekend before the MS ride! Denver was just cold and rainy but it sure didn’t leave much time to acclimate to the 95-degree days a week later! With all the gardening you’ve been doing I imagine you have a core of steel, never mind all of the up and down the patio steps. I hope you do manage to get some nice rides in.

                Karen, it’s taken years of suggestions to the MS ride organizers and a face to face talk with the chapter president at the time to get this ride in shape for a person with MS to be able to reasonably do. But by far, this year was the best it’s ever been. The rest areas were generally on paved ground suitable for cycling into and making the food and drink kiosks easily accessible. Also (my pet peeve) the porta potties were plentiful, accessible, clean and IN THE SHADE where possible. It definitely takes patience and perseverance to get people to understand some of the basic things. Good luck. And, Veronica is right, it's more about the training than the competitions we do or don't complete, but you know that.




                • #38
                  I've got no excuse for not updating today. I'm sitting in the infusion center waiting for a chair and I've got free wifi. So here we go.

                  Since the MS 150 I've been trying to establish an exercise schedule. I've settled on a 14 day period. 3 days one week and 4 days the next week for a total of 7 days out of every 14. I try to get at least one and if possible 2 days each week of high intensity intervals, 2 days back to back, at least one long ride and might take it pretty easy on the rest durine the period. It seems to be enough for a 69 yo MSer. On the non riding days I try to stretch and do various core exercises. I need to add a walking day each week but just haven't gotten there yet. It's a work in progress, always!

                  I should be riding today but I'm sitting in the infusion center instead and probably won't feel good tomorrow. So it goes. Just have to keep trying.



                  • #39
                    Larry, way to go with the 150, er 134! Great recap. With the heat rolling in ABQ (90s), I'm also trying to exercise smarter instead of crushing it every time. So far it seems to be working, but it is rather strange.

                    The other day it was in the upper 90s, and I "only" rode for 20 minutes. But I got in 5 HIIT sprints, hitting 156 BPM with my heart rate. Felt great, stayed cool (cooling vest, ice water, shade), then I stretched. Done in 30!
                    Dave Bexfield


                    • #40
                      This is coming to you from the steamy tropics of the NE….. wow, this is really wild here! Obviously NOT riding for the next few days…

                      I took Dave’s lead, and yesterday before the temps really started climbing I decided to get in a quick ride just to get out there. Did about half the miles and elevation gain of my usual rides…took a new route, and it was just wonderful. I am feeling confident enough with my abilities ( and the abilities of my e-assist!) to take some different roads around here…usually I drive them first just to make sure they work for the trike. I felt so happy when I got back to my house, and very proud of myself for not bailing out from being intimidated by the dew point ( which, for me, tells how much I will suffer).

                      So, I walked into my kitchen, and the Tour de France was on TV… and just at the point when the Yellow Jersey was in his time trial, and the crowds were yelling and screaming and cheering him on . No joke… I turned to the TV, took a bow, and threw my arms out to take in the cheers of the throngs! Yeah, I felt like a 10 year old and loved it!! And then put on my ice vest and downed lots of cold water to recover.

                      I have so moved into the “ Just gonna have fun when I ride” attitude this season. And it has served me well… Now that all my “roadblocks” of May and June are done, I am getting out there at a nice pace….. have a few different versions of routes that I can change up when I am feeling more or less ambitious. There are a lot of roads around here with little to no traffic that have serious rolling hills and climbs, but we also have a great stretch of a rail trail, so I can even combine climbing with just fun flat sections. I am learning to keep my ridiculous competitive nature in check by NOT focusing on the end result of a ride in terms of mileage, speed, elevation gain as I used to. I am on Strava, but keep it private. Sure, I look at the stats, and compare them to my other rides, but it’s just different for me. And some rides I am able to power more on my own, and others I heavily rely on the e-assist… the fact that it cost so much has gotten me easily into the “ I paid for it, so USE it!!” sentiment.

                      I’ve given myself a little challenge for when the temps break. A backstory to this first: I am on the planning committee for our local bike tour that we hold in September. Lots of options for rides…10, 18, 25, 35, 50 and a new metric century this year. I do the 18… Based on feedback we got last year, the 35 mile route needed an adjustment to replace a section on a state road with a bad curve so our Route gurus changed part of it to include a very local rural road that climbs up, then travels a ridge and then back down to the state road to bypass that curve. It has fantastic views of the valley, and I really want to ride it. Have driven it, and it will be quite a challenge for little ol’ triker me, even with the e-assist. Especially since I will just pull a “u” turn and come back up and over the other way since I don’t want to get on the state road.

                      So that’s my challenge for sometime soon….Just more goofy fun!!

                      I have added more visibility to my gear/attire this season based on some feedback from a man who passed me one day on one of the back roads that is very hilly and curvy. Goes through farmland so it is also open. It was the one and only day that I forgot my flag. He passed me from the rear earlier, and then when he was driving towards me, he stopped to chat. ( Like I said…not much traffic around here!) Said his wife also rides a recumbent trike on these roads, and commented that he saw my front headlight ( a very bright blinking white light..) well enough coming toward me, but without the flag he saw me later than if I had the flag up. Also told me that my one bright red light in the rear wasn’t enough, so I now NEVER forget the flag…. Have added two more bright, blinking red lights on the rear ( so there are now three...), and always wear a yellow high visibility jersey ( even though I have a good dozen BikeMS jerseys….) and have a wide bright yellow visor for my helmet. I look quite the Geek, but am much more confident for having a safe ride. A friend who saw me on that state road after I added all this stuff said I was very visible, but since this trike is so low slung he didn’t know what he was looking at initially! As long as they see me……

                      Larry, your ride sounded like it was quite a challenge…Just glad that you made it work for you. Kudos to you for completing it! 134 miles for an old geezer like you ( we are just about the same age, so I feel I can say this…) is an accomplishment… oh yeah, and you have MS….. That makes it THREE thumbs up!!

                      Dave, I have to admit I also “followed in your footsteps” after my ride yesterday with a good few handfuls of Cheetos. Too early for the beer…..
                      Be thankful. Dream Big. Never Give Up.


                      • #41
                        The heat is still on around here too guys, of course Dave and I don't generally get the humidity you can Veronica and I agree, it makes a huge difference. Did you know, just being out in this kind of heat makes your heart beat faster? It's your heart's way of cooling your brain and nervous system by pumping more coolant (blood) to your brain after it's been run around the radiator of your sweaty body. When you can't cool your brain down, you are in trouble as can happen in extreme heat and humidity.

                        I am getting out on a regular basis here, just have to get out early and sometimes keep it short to the extent I wore myself out this week. A buddy and I climbed Lookout Mtn. last week, took the long route and got around 2,000 ft in something like 20 miles. I averaged a heart rate of 162 bpm for just over 50 minutes and although I was really slow, I still managed to cut 2 minutes off of my previous time. I was happy with that and we were home by 10, before things heated up too much. It did wear me out though, the next two rides I did were slow and slower, so now I'm taking a couple of days off.

                        In other news, one of my buddies asked me to help him train for the senior games. This particular buddy is very tuned into training methods and I am pretty well versed in sports physiology, thanks in part to a number of the articles Dave posts here, so it's really a good match. He already swept the senior games in cycling once, was forced to move up a category and now will have to cut about 10% off his times in order to podium again. So far we are in 100% agreement on his training, a rarity for us. We're never in 100% agreement on anything. The goal is to at least podium on three events, hill climb, road race and time trial. This should be a ton of fun and I won't have to do the work, I just need to make sure he's doing it!

                        Karen, speaking of accommodating persons with disabilities, I posted my MS 150 rides on Strava and damned if the AI in the program didn't have the audacity to complain about how slow I am getting!!! Granted, the program may not know about my MS but it does know how old I am. It occurs to me that artificial intelligence needs to be brought up to date on dealing with older people and persons with disabilities and we might as well get started on that too!!!

                        What's happening out there friends?



                        • #42
                          Larry. The typical max heart rate, 100% effort, for someone 69 is ... 151. And you averaged eleven beats ABOVE that? For nearly an HOUR?! Jesus, I knew you were a beast, but holy cow.

                          My last training ride had me in the mid 140s for short stretches, but mostly hovered in the 120s. I too notice that when it is hot, my HR stays elevated. Even after a water break I can get into the cardio zone in seconds, even if that wasn't my intention! For that reason I've tried adding more cooling breaks so I can go longer (and harder for HIIT).

                          Then I saw on FB the MS marathoner Cheryl, who on her San Fran race was in her 90%+ zone for 17 minutes, and THREE HOURS in her 80-90% zone, averaging in the 150s. My god, I'm glad I don't compare myself with MS friends.

                          Do what you can, folks. I'd love to hear about heart rates below the stratosphere....
                          Dave Bexfield


                          • #43
                            The heat here has been keeping me from riding in the evenings after work, but still getting out on the kayak, bike, and horse early mornings on weekends to beat the heat.

                            Larry, Strava algorithms are set on type A ultra competitive types LOL no wonder. My garmin watch is currently set up to auto share my rides with strava but I don't like how it is always "pushing" to beat others on segments and always pushing to get improvements. I am liking Training Peaks as a means to record rides and Heart Rate data, so that I can match my perceived effort against HR actuals to make sure I am not overdoing it and knowing when to take some extra recover or tone it down a notch on next ride. I have been able to show an improvement in my 60min avg heart rate (my age is 46 btw), has gone from 154bpm in May to 164 bpm on my last ride, and I recovered well with no soreness just fatigue (cured with a 3 hr nap lol) from the last so I know my fitness it improving. I also like Training Peaks for their "fatigue score" which is a way to track overall training volume.

                            For the Tri I was focusing on short higher intensity rides, and now I am working on adding distance with a little less intensity, Saturday was a 40km bike with several rest stops (although the mosquitoes were ferocious so had to get going again quick), getting ready for MS Bike weekend of Aug 24th need to be able to do 50k each day, so I am well on my way.

                            Interestingly my heart rate pattern when I am horse back riding and kayaking averages around 125 bpm so while both don't get the ticker going as much they are great core/balance workouts on the horse, and upper body workout on the kayak. bonus being on the water with the kayak makes hot temperatures more bearable.

                            sorry Dave not sure this counts as the heart rates below the stratosphere you were looking for?

                            Keep on keeping on....or paddling on....
                            Last edited by cl3me; 07-30-2019, 03:08 PM.
                            Callenge life before life challenges you - from inside collar of my "Bike Off More Than You Chew" bike jersey


                            • #44
                              A little update before I take off for the "Dark Continent". All is well although it took a couple of weeks to get back to normal after my last Rituxan infusion. I'm sure I only notice it because I really do try to keep my exercise intensity up. I'll have to ask my docs why the Rituxan would do that to a system that is already substantialy B-cell depleted.

                              At any rate I'm still getting between 5 and 7 rides in every two weeks and getting good Hitt sessions on at least three of those. I've also been walking more, in fact my last walk was a little over 2 miles but I couldn't have done it without the AFO and a cane. Also still doing yoga and stretching sessions. All in all, I don't think I could be any more ready for a trip to Africa!

                              Dave, I do have a considerably higher than average max heart rate but my resting heart rate, an important marker, is in the mid 50's. It's just another one of those things that is different for each individual. My docs don't seem to be concerned about it but they do keep me current on testing to assure that I don't blow a gasket. Actually I have slowed down a bit these last few years, pushing too hard can be hazardous, particularly as we age.

                              Karen, my buddy and I are using Training Peaks. We're both big Joel Friel fans. My buddy's efforts are phenomenal, makes me look like a piker! He is proving that an almost 70 yo can increase strength through intensity although it requires a little more recovery time. It's encouraging for an equally as old MSer. Since I might not get back early enough, good luck on the MS ride later this month!

                              Veronica, hope you've been able to get out. I love the idea of concentrating on riding for fun. And it sounds like getting involved with your ride planning committee could be a super constructive way to do that! BTW, I'm getting clobbered by e-bikes around here. Got passed by a chick on a comfort bike the other day. Gave her a couple minutes then tried to pull her back but every time I got to within about 25 feet of her she took off until I finally gave up. Got passed by about 6 other bikes that day. I could see and/or hear the e-motors on at least some of them.

                              One last thing, I've been keeping my rides pretty close to home recently because of the heat. While cruising down the trail one day, a large peregrine falcon flew past me and landed in a tree near by. I almost crashed into someone watching her! The following day I saw her smaller mate but he didn't stop. They seem to be hanging out around a golf course that borders the two trails I ride most frequently and they are providing a little more incentive to get out. I hope they hang around.

                              Back in a couple of weeks, stay with it guys,

                              Last edited by AMFADVENTURES; 08-06-2019, 03:08 PM.


                              • #45
                                Hope everyone is enjoying summer.

                                Since I have stopped triathlon training and particularly running, the spasticity in my calf is much improved - no more Charlie horse intense knot and no more hobbling around in the morning while it loosens up.

                                Been kayaking and horseback riding instead. Attached some pics
                                Attached Files
                                Callenge life before life challenges you - from inside collar of my "Bike Off More Than You Chew" bike jersey