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MSers in Training 2020

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  • #16
    Hi all: Larry, that article was a really great read! Yours and all the others.... and I agree with Teena Marie....great photo, and all that shoveling has got to count as excellent workouts.. I think the West got all the snow that the East did not this winter..... I certainly saved money on plowing, but it has made finding consistently good snow challenging.... Now, I am far from complaining as I am skiing more often and better than I have ever in my life.... we end our adaptive lessons tomorrow at my local mountain, and then I plan one more trip up to New Hampshire mid March. IF we still have skiable snow at my mountain I hope to get there at the end of the month for a final Just Fun ski.

    Teena Marie, happy to hear you are seeing results. I am too...and it is so self motivating for me to continue my rowing. I am getting seriously addicted to this.... and am finding 15-20 mins easily every other day to row on the bowflex. Works my core, arms and my gluts . I see it in rolling from side to side while on my back, in my posture, and in better engaging my weaker leg when walking. And when I walk I am finding that I don’t fatigue out quite as soon since I am using more of my total body and have more even strides.

    I just got into NYC to see my PT...first time since last May! I certainly have kept in email contact with him, but things just didn’t work out for any earlier “reunion”. Living where I do now, it is a full day event between traveling the almost 6 hrs round trip drive, then getting parked and shlepping over to his office. I have always dreaded the “shlepp” and the walk inside Hunter University where his office is, as it is quite a long walk once I get in the front door.

    Well, I felt the difference when I did the internal walk, and then when he assessed me he also saw the positive effects. His comment “ You are stronger” just made me so happy.... he saw that my heel strikes were more even, and very solid and my stride lengths were pretty much even which wasn’t the case before, and when I was standing up from a seated position on the exam table I found no need to put a hand down to help me do so. That was so startling, I asked if I could do that again! It was a “Eureka” moment for sure...

    Our plan now is for me to, of course, continue what I have been doing, but to now add exercises for my hip abductors...side leg raises that I have had before, hated doing and just didn’t do them ( being honest here.....) to increase the fast walks to 5-6 sets, twice weekly, and to practice pivot turns with and without walking a few times weekly. All this will help with my lateral balance issues. And I am back on track to see him in 3 months...

    No cycling at all for me this winter since I didn’t bring the trike into the house, and never got in a winter ride or two as I had hoped. but I’ve got all the cold weather gear, so updated plan is to get out on the trike earlier than I have ever.... with this weather, that shouldn’t be too hard...

    Karen, What came to mind when I read your last post was the “Exercise is medicine for MS”.... Yahoo for you that yoga and swimming is keep you from needing the baclofin. Good stuff, this exercise, huh?

    And Dave, this is crossing threads.... from your Dave’s SCT Journey about “Plan J.....”
    You know I totally vote for that e-assist.... I remember you tried one kind of recently. Fun, wasn’t it?
    Be thankful. Dream Big. Never Give Up.


    • #17
      Larry, loved the article, TM way to go, and Veronica you know I'm getting that bike! I'll post more about that once I order--it's pretty trick.

      Laura and I were off on holiday this past week and I did nothing. Jack squat. Those breaks are usually good, but I'm glad to be back to my exercise routine and on my bike. Unfortunately I sprained my left wrist (dunno how) and torqued my right thumb (probably compensating). So that's beyond frustrating! Going on several weeks now. I can still ride mostly pain free, but transferring and stretching often tweak one or both, which sets me back. Trying, trying to be careful.

      On a final note, I have been avoiding the gym, first for the flu, now for coronavirus. My home gym works fine, so it's not worth the added stress/risk IMO.
      Dave Bexfield


      • #18
        Checking In! Hope you'all are hanging in there. I'm managing to exercise daily, getting out for regular rides and working out in my home gym. I'm making some changes, and now it appears I may need to avoid the bike trail for the time being. The bike lane isn't as wide as I'd like. While it would be unlikely, an errant cough from a fellow rider could be catastrophic. So maybe I'll stick to wide streets to be extra safe. Especially because the trail is waaay more popular these days! Curious what you guys are doing about this problem.
        Dave Bexfield


        • #19
          Crazy times!
          I work in the Agri-Food Logistics business and our company was deemed essential by Canadian government so it is expected company remain operational and we continue to work.

          I have been granted ability to work from home given my higher risk of complications, today got the tech sorted out with laptop and logging in via VPN, my coworkers are continuing to go into office, but to mitigate risk there they are working shifts so no more than 50 people are on a given floor of office building. Social distancing to apply

          So day 1 of working from home and province wide state of emergency - pools closed, yoga studio is working on a online/virtual class. So how to stay active ?

          During my lunch hour at home, I took the dog for a long walk, got my sunshine and vitamin d, perfect break from work and a way to keep from being completely sedentary.

          Have face masks and hand sanitizer on ready if I can’t find anyone to go for grocery resupply but I’m well stocked.

          Time to hunker down, I suspect this is going to be a long haul. I’m an introvert so staying home not overly stressful and having work to do will keep me occupied.

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


          • #20
            Dave, I'm with you on the bike trails, there are so many folks using them now that they've become nearly impassable. Switching to roads here too.

            Karen, agri-logistics huh? I might need to talk to you about finding some bread quality rye flour, there seems to be a shortage around here. I bet you are in serious demand right now!

            The spring winds have arrived and they are already adding to the excitement of the ride! So it goes. I'm getting out two or three times a week, still weather permitting. Made it up lookout mountain already, only 10 miles but about 1300 ft of elevation gain! I have the weights and yoga props to be able to do it from home but there is that small matter of self dicipline that I'm not so great at always. It hasn't been a problem yet because it just snowed for two days and shoveling that heavy wet spring snow provided all the exercise I needed for a day or two. So, so far so good.

            Take care all,


            • #21
              Hi all, it is good to see your posts, and hear about all about your accomplishments before pandemic, and now how you all are adjusting, staying active and safe during this crazy surreal time. TM I spent one winter in college living in a farm house heated by wood I chopped and working at Loon so I could ski for free with a seasons pass. I've never felt more alive than when I skied on that mountain, and that you've been successful at adaptive skiing gives me hope I will get to experience that again one day... My skis and equipment got ditched long ago, not much use in Houston. But I so love NH area....Larry, nice article and I agree great picture too! My hubby was training for the MS 150 Houston to Austin, but now training and event indefinitely on hold. We discussed renting a recumbent or racing trike for me to do training with him, but there will be time for that later. Good idea to avoid busy trails Dave. There are a lot of great trails where I live, but got scared the other day when I told an approaching group that I was at risk but they didnt slow down to give me time to get out of the way before they passed. OUt of lack of understanding, I'm sure, but no less dangerous. My time has been occupied with cleaning, cleaning, and more, as cooking and being activity director for my kids. It resulted in more moments of complete MS type body and mind shutdown. So I started following a schedule with rest breaks, setting time to catch up with family and friends by phone and listening to music. That has been restorative. Reading about Larry and the other MSers highlighted in the article, also tells me I should be scheduling in some yoga or stationary biking each day too. My physiotherapist says I am weak because of core and extension exercises will help me get strong again. He seems to think it will be curative of my significant weakness. I can schedule PT when things normalize. Stay safe. Stay strong. Suebee.


              • #22
                The Plan is Coming Together

                This years plan is coming together if a bit serendipitously. One of my most consistent bike buddies lately is a 78 year old guy from the oil patch, nearly 10 years older and a stronger rider than me. He signed up for Ride the Rockies and asked me to help him train as well as be support during the ride. RTR is 418 miles and 28,484 ft. of ascent this year.

                The hot blond yoga chick got a wild hair and signed up for the Triple Bypass or at least a double bypass within the triple. They've added a lot of options to the Triple. She is crazy strong and fast this year and also wants to do some training together. The Double Bypass is 75 miles and 7,200 ft. of ascent.

                Fortunately the two dove-tail, allowing for the three of us to do at least one or two rides together each week. Although both Ride the Rockies and the Triple Bypass will likely be canceled due to Corvid-19, we will proceed with the training to the best of our abilities. After all, it really is all about the training, and since there's a good chance the Copper Triangle won't get cancelled and the three of us will be highly trained, well there we go!

                And my old high school buddy, who like me will turn 70 years old this year, has his sights set on winning his class and age group in the Senior Games. We consult regularly on his training methods and schedule. It's going to be a busy year with a lot of active involvement on the training front and I think I've got a good handle on how to manage it all, now we just need a little cooperation from the weather.

                For the year to date I have 300 miles in 25 hours with 9,900 ft of ascent and it's only just begun. We are using and will continue to use best practices with respect to Corvid-19.

                More as we get on with our program, stay active out there!



                • #23
                  Larry, liking your plan! As for me and my quarantine, I've added another exercise routine... exercising patience.
                  Dave Bexfield


                  • #24
                    We've had an unusually snowy April so far still I've increased my total mileage to 525 and total ascent to 22,000 ft. Not bad considering we're only able to get out once or twice some weeks. Staying in good shape has gotten me through some tough periods and it will continue to be a factor in my risk/reward analysis in the current situation.

                    The "social distancing" rules of riding go something like this:
                    - I only ride in my own car and only with people who live under my roof.
                    - When we drive somewhere to bike we don't park close together nor do we socialize before or after the ride.
                    - Proximity during a ride isn't a problem since everyone I ride with is faster than me on the uphill and slower than me on the downhill.
                    - We've found that there is essentially NO crowd when temperatures are below 50 degrees even on the trails so we try to get going at about 45 and be finished by around 50. We stay off the trails as much as possible at temperatures above 50 degrees.
                    - There are no crowds on the longer, steeper climbs.

                    Also, having survived the SARS epidemic of '92 '93 while living in SE Asia, we try to live by those rules at home:
                    - Limit public exposure as much as possible.
                    - If one must go out, always wear a mask.
                    - Vegetables went straight from the store into the sink for washing.
                    - only eat food you can thoroughly wash, peal or cook under your own roof, lettuce is particularly high risk.
                    - No restaurants, take out or fast food PERIOD.
                    - While working, maximize distance from and limit exposure to others as much as possible.
                    - And one more, clean, clean, clean!!!

                    Hope everyone is doing well out there,

                    Last edited by AMFADVENTURES; 04-16-2020, 05:48 PM.


                    • #25
                      Great tips, Larry! (Personally, I get take-out and delivery with care.) We went on a local bike trail yesterday--cloudy, threat of rain, windy--and it was busy but not too busy. Felt great to get in a good climb and get the HR into the 150s, which is harder to do on the flats immediately around my house. Felt great!

                      Managing to get out and ride about every other day depending on weather. Right now the issue is mostly wind, ugh.
                      Dave Bexfield


                      • #26
                        It’s been a cold April here in Winterpeg but finally warm and snow/ice free this past week to finally get out on the bike.

                        City has restricted a bunch if streets to local traffic only to give right away to cyclists and pedestrians so there was good routes within the city so didn’t have to load up bikes and drive.

                        Getting used to working from home, my dog is loving daily walks.

                        Low infection rate here, so the anxiety level is coming down, and now that I can get outside more won’t feel so cooped up. Still taking precautions....

                        My Tysabri infusions are at a small private clinic, so I have been able to keep on schedule with that.

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


                        • #27
                          RTR secumbs to the Corona virus

                          Reported late last week, the 2020 Ride the Rockies cycling tour was officially declared dead from the Corona virus. All entry and other participation fees to be applied to the 2021Tour. Perhaps if my then to be 79 YO buddy and I survive that long, we might yet be able to test our strength and endurance against the Colorado Rocky Mountains in this epic event. (I will play a minor role in providing SAG and trying to do some of the the major climbs.)

                          Meanwhile, I've managed to completely exhaust myself with 138 miles last week in almost 13 hours for a total of 33,400 ft of ascent to date. Gotta admit, I was so exhausted that at first I thought the MS was acting up but when I looked at my log for the week, it all became crystal clear. So I'm taking it a little easy this week with only one long climb planned for Friday.

                          Dave, yep, the wind is definitely up, so is the rain and the heat. Had to peddle down most of a 10 mile hill in the rain the other day - pretty miserable! Temps expected to approach 90 this week.

                          Suebee, good to see you're hanging in there. I'm sure it's not easy with kids at home. We have an 18 y/o grandson living with us and it's driving us more than a little crazy trying to get him to finish the last month of high school under the current conditions.

                          Karen, glad to see its finally warmed up there in Winterpeg. I'll be checking in on strava. I just loaded my stuff for this year, hoping my friends will keep me honest.

                          Veronica, TM, Marina, you guys doing alright?

                          Hang in there guys, there will be a summer!



                          • #28
                            Thanks for the “Oh Yoo Hoo” Larry!

                            Holy Cr*#, Larry..... you are cranking out the climbing miles, aren’t you? Wow… so impressed… and I LOVE the talk of having to withstand rain and wind on a 10-mile section. I LOVE the adversity of some of our rides… A few of my most dreadful moments on a bike ( or trike!) have been remembered by me later very fondly. They make for such great stories, huh?? Envious, for sure..

                            I am “maintaining” well here. I am about 100 miles north of NYC, and so we will be in the holding pattern for several weeks more… Our county hasn’t peaked yet…. Probably close to doing so, but not yet. It has been significantly less than NYC or even Westchester but still …………….

                            Before all this hit, I had established quite a nice rowing on- the- Bowflex routine, averaging 3 times weekly. There are YouTube videos on inside rowing, and I have particularly gotten hooked on the Go Row Indoor workouts by British Rowing. She mixes it up with other cardio and strength training to really give good workouts. I of course have to adapt and modify a lot of the planks, leg and core work she is doing, but I know I am still getting a good workout. If she weren’t there gently saying “It’s just one minute of your life…you’ve got this” as we are in a plank, or Full out on a row, I would have given up! And the rowing routine incorporate a lot of HIIT. Totally love it.

                            So, with being housebound, this became a great way for me to get some good workouts in. I continue to do these about 3x weekly but now have finally been able to get back out on the trike. My first ride was in early April. Earliest I have been cycling in years. ( one of the very few good things I can say about this pandemic…) Was gonna do a short ride, but one that incorporates some good hill climbing and I was ready to start the season with a challenging climb. Well, I was cruising along there, it was a gloriously pretty day…not too cold, no wind, just lovely. Then I heard a clunk and metal bouncing along the road. I first thought it was my cell phone that fell out of the seat pocket that is under the trike seat, but when I reached under the seat to feel for it, I realized that the BATTERY fell off the trike! I was so startled with this development that I just pulled over, and kind of sat there and probably said “ Huh….” And then stared off into space. No way I could ride back home without it, and I wasn’t gonna leave it wherever it was… I clambered off the trike, and was able to walk without any device back down the road a bit to try to find it, and found it lying at the base of a small embankment within a foot of the shore of a pond I was riding alongside. Without my trekking pole or cane there was no way I could get down there to get it.

                            I was fortunate enough to get a good friend on the phone who drove right over. He does a lot of handyman work in our community, and his car is like his workshop…full of all sorts of useful things. So, after putting on his mask, he got out, climbed down the embankment and got the battery and secured it on the trike with two Zip Ties. And then he followed me the rest of the way home just to make sure I got home ok. We laughed…. Looked like a little strange parade going down the country road!! He suggested he flash his lights and wave, but there was noone around to wave to...!! So, my short ride was even further shortened, but it still counted as the earliest in years!

                            The battery issue was caused by ME in the fall when I was trying to remove it ( when I didn’t quite know what the extra cold that we get would do to it in the unheated garage), unlocked it with the key, but couldn’t remove it from the holder. Well, obviously I loosened it from the holder…. and it just took a couple of bumps on the road to dislodge it.

                            It is now extremely secure….locked back into place and some Zip Ties attaching it to the frame for good measure…

                            I’ve only been out once since then, just over this weekend. Everything is tightened up, and staying put, and it was a great ride as I got to do the hills I never got to the other day. Makes me very hopeful for a good season this year. Since I work in Westchester and it involves going into private homes, I am fully expecting to be home based, doing remote sessions for at least the next six weeks. Good news with that is that I will have more riding time… gotta look at the positives with this, don’t we??

                            Starting to work on cleaning up the garden, so I will get stair climbing in as I go up and down my deck to the garden beds.

                            Just gotta find a way to keep truckin’ and getting through all this, right? Glad you are back out there too, Karen. And Dave? Ignore my battery story…..get your e-assist….
                            Be thankful. Dream Big. Never Give Up.


                            • #29
                              Veronica, I'm about to put in my order! I'm gulping as a type this because the price isn't for the faint of heart, but I figure this e-trike is critical for a) for my health and well-being, b) for my happiness and c) for continuing exploring. Most of my other toys have been used and purchased at a discount on Craig's List. This is a splurge, admittedly, but one that I can justify. Sort of.

                              I've been getting on my bike every other day or so, but the weather is starting to get toasty. Urg. Don't go away too quickly, spring! And Larry, you are the man!
                              Dave Bexfield


                              • #30
                                " Oh, the places you'll go", Dave with that e-assist! Gotta give Dr. Seuss credit for that quote..

                                I am so happy for you... yup, wicked expensive... don't want to think of the total cost of my trike and motor....and don't care what it cost because it DID completely change my cycling, and upped my Happiness several notches. Woohoo... Can't wait for the first report. Please include a photo. I want to see the grin...
                                Be thankful. Dream Big. Never Give Up.