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TexLaProgressive's Journal
TexLaProgressive's Journal
June 26, 2015

Busy day 6/25 so no ride- short one this morning

Yesterday I had a doctor's appointment at 7:40AM. Everything is good HA1C dropped .2 from 6.3 to 6.1, Cholesterol unchanged at 143 with HDL still a little low, Triglycerides dropped 47 pins to 91(they have been as high as 550!!!). The only thing that is worrisome to me the doc didn't go over, Hematocrit .3 below normal and Hemoglobin .6 below normal. Since my wife became severely anemic and required emergency transfusion.

While in town I bought feed, groceries etc.. When I got home I was tired out.

Wednesday I did some bike maintenance on all 3 bikes. I'm getting the Raleigh ready to put on Craigslist. I hope to recover the new tires and tubes. It had Ritchey SPD type pedals on it. I changed them out for platform pedals and put the Ritcheys on the mountain bike. By the time I got through I was boiling so I didn't get to test ride til this morning. All was OK but I had to readjust the left cleat again. I need to be slightly toe out or I get knee pain pretty quick.

June 24, 2015

Scorpion nights and low blood sugar

I think that I was in danger of over work, not injury at least, but I was awfully tired before, during and after my last ride Monday. The grass was in need of mowing again so the bikes stayed under cover. For supper I ate an omelet with one plain pancake for a few carbs. My sugar was at 105, I took me reduced dose of insulin and was in bed by 9PM.

11 I woke up knowing I needed to get some sugar. It was 55. I sat at the table watching Craig Ferguson's quiz show and ate a banana and a half with peanut butter. Just as I was going back to bed I felt a sting on my thigh. It was a small scorpion. I brushed it off and ground it into the rug with my slipper. My wife made up her sting cure all, a paste of baking soda. I think most venoms must be acid and the alkaline of baking soda, ammonia and even bleach (don't use!) help to neutralize the venom. In any case it works. This wasn't a severe sting as I brushed it off quickly.

Some info about Texas stangin' lizzardds, their reputation is more dangerous than their sting. Few ever have allergic reactions other than localized swelling and pain when stung by the stripped bark scorpion.

So with the miracle cure on my leg I went back to bed. Took awhile to fall back to sleep as I keep feeling them crawling on me. Morning sugar was at 105. I ate, did morning chores and was on the bike at 8AM. I made a commitment to pay attention to cadence and not speed. The ride was good and I stayed on the big chain wheel except during warm up and cool down. I even did a short uphill sprint that felt really good.

Maybe lawn work lowers blood sugar more than bike riding. Last week I rode in the morning and then cut grass in the afternoon and had the low blood sugar blues in the night. Since then I reduced my dose by five minutes. I thought I was safe by limiting the day to just lawn mowing.

Thanks for any who are reading this tripe.

June 22, 2015

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions!

Yesterday was supposed to be a rest day. But I took a little Sunday ride on the mountain bike. There is a dead end gravel road that breaks off of my road that I never tried. So I turned left. It is fairly smooth and went on for about 1/2 mile where it ends in 3 gates. My total ride was 30 minutes and ran about 4.5 miles. A couple of hours later we drove into town for the mandatory Father's day dinner. I chose Tex-Mex.

I had every intention of riding about 16 miles this morning. My morning sugar was OK after eating such a carb (and fat) rich diet at 105. I ate a light breakfast adjusted the cleat on my left shoe and rolled out the gate.

It was like lugging a great weight in my belly I managed 8.4 miles, averaging 12.3 MPH with a max speed of 24 MPH. That 24 was on a long down hill with a little wind on my left rear quarter. I did try for 25 but didn't have it in me, or was that it I had it in me, I can't believe I ate the whole thing!

After I put up my gear I usually do a blood pressure check. This morning was no different. WARNING for those with sensitive sensibilities stop here
Avoid passing gas when doing blood pressure
This really scared me
Systolic 145
Diastolic 128
Pulse 124

I waited a few minutes and did it again
Systolic 126
Diastolic 76
Pulse 90

So my advice is never fart while checking blood pressure. And don't eat a heavy dinner the night before a ride.

June 21, 2015

Interval day on the new bike

I got out on the road at 7:10 to do intervals. I did 5 sets and 2 for a total of 7- most yet. I road 6.5 miles for a "cool" down. I say that because I did a couple of sprints including one out of the saddle for the 1st time since back cycling..This new bike is so much fun that I'm in danger of over doing it. Last night I had some soreness in both hamstrings. And again today. I think that I am using those muscles more on this bike than on the old one.

Tomorrow is a rest day because I'll be busy in the morning. If the weather cooperates I might do a fun slow ride.

June 18, 2015

No ride today

My morning pulse was good at 54 but blood pressure was running a bit high so I opted for a rest day. I had a lot of errands to run in town, garbage, groceries etc. On the list was getting a new pair of SPD shoes. My old ones self destructed yesterday- actually just the left one. I could unclick because the sole came away. To get loose I had to reach down and pull the rest of the shoe away. The sole remained attached to the pedal and made a fine flapping sound as I returned home.

I lucked out and got a pair of SH-M065L mountain bike shoes. They are 46 my old ones were 45 and the fit great. My toes were a little cramped in the 45s. I went to 2 bike shops looking at endurance road bikes in my size. At one I got to test ride a Trek 1.1 around the parking lot, but it started to rain so it was short. The other store sells Jamis and Cannodale. We looked at a Jamis Ventura Sport and a Cannodale Synapse 8 Claris. It was pouring down rain by this time so no test ride at this time. Even without riding I'm leaning to the Cannondale.

When I got home there was a new helmet waiting for me. That makes me feel better. My old lid is really old.

June 17, 2015

Windy ride courtesy of T.S. Bill

Looking at the radar it was looking like the rain was past us for now. The winds are gusting pretty hard almost directly out of the south. I decided to take the mountain bike so at to have some lower gearing.That was smart thinking. The one real hill in the ride was accompanied by a hard wind quartering to the right side of my face. Not quite a headwind but pretty stiff. I ended up in the small chain wheel and the lowest gear on the cassette.

The ride was fairly slow but the longest in distance and time yet. It was 10 miles and 1 hour. This includes warm up and cool down. This is the first real ride on the mountain bike since I learned about keeping pressure off the median nerve. I still had some tingling in the fingers. I think it might be from vibration. I'll have to pay attention to that on the road bike.

I think I have been riding to large a frame. My old road bike is 59/60 cm. I think it should be in the range of 54,56 max 58. I'll stop by one of the local bike shops and see what they think and if they have a bike in my range (price and size) that is also a bit lighter. Well one can wish, can't one?

June 16, 2015

Gloves designed to prevent numbness

When I was searching about numbness cures one glove was highly recomended- Spenco Ironman Elite. Well it doesn't seem that Spenco has them anymore. I countinued looking around and found out that they were invented by Dr. A. Robert Spitzer. I guess it would take a cyclist neurologist to come up with a real working solution. What he did beside gel padding in the palm is to put a channel in the middle of the heal which protects the median nerve from vibration and pressure. It looks like they are available from Shock-Tek which has a line of gloves for industry, sports, motorcycle and wheelchair users.

Dr. A. Robert Spitzer, MD
Clinical Neurophysiologist, Neurologist, Psychiatrist

Robert Spitzer, MD is a renowned neurologist and recognized expert in electro diagnosis and electrophysiology. He is a specialist in the diagnosis of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Occupational Neurological Injuries. Suffering tingling in his own hands as a cyclist inspired and fueled Dr. Spitzer’s invention and development of the patented technology used in Shock-Tek™ Gloves.

I'm thinking of getting a pair of these at $34.00:


June 16, 2015

Going no where fast

Today is an interval day, the 2nd actually. Because we are expecting a blow I found my old "Travel Trac 3" Magnetic trainer. Now if intervals are a pain, it should be a double pain on a trainer, for me at least. I hate stationary. It is BOOOORRRRRRINNNG! But I was thinking that doing the intervals on the trainer makes sense and I don't have to worry about getting caught in a tropical squall generated by the approaching Bill.

It was surprisingly OK. The parts that I found onerous were the warm up and cool downs. The sprints and recoveries keep my mind busy. One thing I had a little trouble with is setting the resistance and gears for a proper workout. This workout has a 6 min warm up, then 1 min sprint, 1 min recovery with 5 2 min reps with a 6 min cool down. I was a min and 1/2 in the second sprint when I had to stop. I was out of breath, sweating like a race horse and I had forgotten 2 important things; a towel to cover the top tube and my water bottle. So I retrieved those did 30 seconds recovery and did 4 reps with a bit less resistance. After the 6 minute cool down I felt good so I did one more rep and another 6 min cool down. I had a total of 40 minutes on the bike. The routine calls 10 reps total with a cool down in between. Maybe I will get there next week.

My road bike has developed a worrisome click, I think in the bottom bracket. It happens when the left crank is even with the chain stay. Ironically it is when the magnet passes the cadence sensor, but they are not touching.

June 15, 2015

Longest ride yet and no numb hands!

When I was riding a lot in the past I would get some numbness in my hands. Since I started riding again it has returned with a vengeance. I ran across some advice that is 10 years old but it really works. This may not be news to you readers but here it is, scroll down to post 30:

2. HAND-POSITION & GRIP probably makes a significant contribution as well. Don't grip the bars so tight! Gripping the hoods/bars tight is compensation for unbalanced positioning. The weight-bearing spot on your hand should be on the heel of the palm:
(The image won't post)
To really find this spot, do some push-ups and hold yourself up. Notice where the weight is... note that you do not have to grip the carpet to prevent yourself from falling over. Note that you can wiggle all your fingers. The weight-bearing spot is on an imaginary point directly where the forearm bones would extend through your palm.

Now on the bike, place your palm on the bars/hoods so that this spot is directly centered inline with the forearm bones. This spot is not directly over the bars, but rather 45-degrees behind it so that from the perspective of your shoulders looking through your arm-bones, the bars are inline with the bones.

About my morning ride, all went well. I found that I was able to spin comfortably at a 105 rpm. This is new. Last week the fastest I could spin with out losing power was <90 rpm. I did 3 uphill sprints. I'm going to have to make use of what hills we have here if I will be able to do the Outlaw ride. It has some real hills. When the wind comes up I will do into the wind sprints. I hear that worked will for Le Tour cyclists that came from the low countries like Belgium and Holland.

I had a new pain, it was in my left tricep. It's Hell getting old, but it sure beats the alternative!

Edit: I forgot to mention that this is the first ride since I glued my old Shimano shoes. I used Elmer's Stix-All. It is supposed to remain flexible. Anyway when I finished they were still together.
June 14, 2015

Sunday-a day of rest

I woke up this morning with a training schedule running through my head. Monday, Wednesday and Friday will be for distance, increasing length weekly. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday will be fun days sprint intervals. Sundays I will do some resistance and stretches.

Being diabetic It is a real balancing act maintaining good sugar levels and energy. Yesterday evening I was so carb hungry and ate a bit of pasta. The result was in slightly high sugar level this morning 112. I enjoy cycling again and am hoping that it will help control the diabetes and lower the amount of drugs I am currently taking.

Since I started cycling again I have been monitoring my weight as well. I was 195-6 and am the same now, but it feels like this belly fat I have accumulated is fluffier as if it is being consumed. So perhaps I am building more dense muscle which is compensating for the loss of fat (one can hope, can't they?). In any case I am feeling so much better than I have in years. I have less pain in my arthritic knees and just have more energy to do my regular chores.

I rode in several group rides back in the day. One was a lot of fun and that is the carrot dangling in front of the bike; The Outlaw Trail Cycling Tour that starts at Old Settler's Park in Roundrock, TX. This ride was very well supported and meandered through the Texas hill country. I always rode a half century and that is what I am aiming to do again.

If anyone is interested in a great ride through RRRREEEDDDD Williamson county, Texas (I bet most of the riders will be from Blue Austin) here's a link to the web site. Look for an old bald headed white guy on and antique blue bike.

Each year, the Round Rock Parks and Recreation Department hosts the Outlaw Trail 100 bike tour featuring 10 mile, 25 mile, 40 mile, 50 mile, 63 mile, and 100 mile loop courses on county roads through historic Williamson County.

Outlaw Trail isn’t competitive; it is an opportunity to join cyclists from across Texas for a ride across Williamson County. There are rest stops set up along the trail for cyclists to grab some snacks or a drink. Riders can ride at their own pace and rely on support from sag wagons and rest stops throughout their ride. The tour closes at 5 p.m. so cyclists should select a course they can finish within that time period.

This event is Saturday, Oct. 10, with 100 mile riders taking off at 8 a.m. with a staggered start. No rider will start after 8:30 a.m. The course will close at 5 p.m. Parking is available in the Dell Diamond parking lot (at park entrance).

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