Cycling

Ground Zero

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Finally, I’ve made it back to blogging. For the past seven months I’ve been struggling with horrendous pain that has kept me from being able to work out. I was making such good progress on the working out end of things and had made my goal of cycling 10 miles pretty quickly. Cycling is a passion of mine and I wanted to get back out there on the road and even participate once again in organized bike rides of 20 to 40 miles. Getting up to 10 miles was so important to getting there. But then one morning, I woke up in the worst pain I can remember in a really long time. My neck felt stiff and it was throbbing. If I turned my neck to the left I’d get strong piercing pains from the base of my neck to the top of my shoulder. Yep it felt like a really bad crick in the neck. Maybe it would go away. A week later it had only gotten worse.

My doctor asked if I had done anything to hurt my neck like an accident or something like that. I hadn’t done anything like that. I just woke up to it. I tried some exercises she had given me to do but this didn’t work. A week later I got a notice that she was moving to a different office that was too far for me to follow her, so now I was out a general doctor to help me. The things I tried over those months to get better…my goodness. I sought out a doctor who specializes in bones and the first thing he did was to send me for an MRI. That MRI is a story in itself and for another time. We found inflammation in my neck but no broken bones, slipped disks or anything that would keep causing lasting pain.  That was good news but why was I in so much pain? He told me he could send me to a pain management center and they could give me a shot in my neck. The world stopped moving, in a bad way for me, when he mentioned shot in my neck. I asked him if there was another way? I’m not good with shots. He said we could try physical therapy first if I wanted. I told him, “Yes, I wanted!”

Twelve sessions of physical therapy didn’t do much at all to help. I had already seen a chiropractor which just made it worse. A friend at work suggested I find a massage therapist that specializes in pain management. I thought hey why not and it was as if an angel was looking out for me because I had only skimmed google for a short time before I ran across Touched By an Angel. Brelinda is amazing. We had weekly appointments that helped a good deal but the pain was just too bad. At this point I had suffered with this pain for 5 months now. It was affecting my work, my home life and my weight was going up, up up. I was depressed. I couldn’t work out and so I ate things I shouldn’t. I had to do something, so I succumbed to meeting with the pain management doctor. Yes the man with the huge needle that was going to be put in my neck!

The doctor was great. They did put me to sleep for both times. The first time he called it a diagnostic shot that has a steroid and something that deadens the pain for a few hours afterwards. He does this to make sure we are working in the right area. The second time was to do what’s called aberration. They burn the nerves that are causing the pain. The nerves do grow back in about  9 to 12 months so they aren’t murdered forever. The doctor told me that I don’t have any lasting issues like slipped or bulging disks, it’s just that I’ve come across a rough patch and I shouldn’t need to be back in twelve months for another shot like others do. I was super worried about that. I have a fried who has had lots of shots and at some point the insurance insists you get surgery and you are cut off from the shots. This isn’t my case he assured me.

He did tell me that if I start working out again and building up those neck and shoulder muscles that this is the best things I can do for myself. I also need to keep my eyes out for other things that might irritate my neck like my posture at work, my bed and how I was sleeping. For me, after the last shot, the time clock started ticking. Some things happened prior to going to sleep for the last shot that traumatized me. It wasn’t the doctor’s fault. It was essentially my fault for being over weight. They couldn’t find a vein to put the IV into and I got stuck over and over again and… well right now the memory is too raw to talk about. Maybe another day.

With all that I’ve been through with this pain, I’ve sworn to make the most of this year. It’s not a game anymore. I can’t keep saying I’ll get back on track Monday and say this every week. I refuse to be back in that situation again. I’m back at ground zero but this has to work out. I’ve prepared some things to get going again that I’m excited to share with you in the next post. I tend to make these posts too long and don’t want to lose anyone is the length.

Until then… Eat Well and Prosper!

ElliptiGO

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What is an ElliptiGO? Is it some kind of food? Not this time. I’ve been on a foodie review kick lately so I understand if that’s the first thing that comes to mind. I’ll give you a couple of  hints. It’s a tool you use for exercise, it rides the streets (manned by a human) and it’s a cross between an Elliptical trainer like the ones you see in a gym and a bicycle.

This morning as I was taking out the trash, one of my new jobs since my hubby had knee surgery, and a man on an ElliptiGO stopped to ask me a question. He’s been riding in our neighborhood for years, and it seems like he’s ALWAYS out there. Not matter what time it is. I’ve never talked to him before, mostly because I know that once you are in your groove riding, you kind of want to keep going. He asked about a kid in our neighborhood that was giving him some trouble every time he passed by on that street, so I took the opportunity to ask him about the bike.

I’ve never seen one an organized bike ride out in the flats or the hills, but after looking this one up on the web on the ElliptiGO website, I found out that the Long-Stride is made so that it can go up hills. He said the price is kind of steep. This model is $2,500.00.  Well maybe not too shocked. My road bike cost me $1,000.00 but I’ve had that bike for 10 years and this guy has had his for at least that long. I believe if you are going to use it, then invest in something that will last. He even told me that the next time he sees me, go ahead and flag him down and he’ll let me try it out. Whhhattt?? OMG that would be awesome! When I get to test drive it I’ll write up a review.

Another interesting thing he said to me was that it doesn’t matter how much you exercise, or in his case ride, nothing helps you lose weight if you have a bad diet. Hmmm….this sounds like something my boss told me a few blog posts back. My boss is a runner and he said something to the effect of, “You can’t outrun a bad diet.” I have to admit that over the years I wondered…how does he keep the weight on when he rides all freakin day? He said years ago he was riding 25 miles and still weighed 300 pounds. He still had some powerful great looking legs i must say. Today he just rides 14 miles a day. Again   JUST 14 miles you say?? But he looks much healthier now that’s he’s also watching his diet. I’m so glad he stopped by and we talked after all these years of passing each other by on our bikes and merely waving.

Hopefully, crossing my fingers, I will be posting a review on the EllptiGO from the driver’s seat soon.

Ride Well and Prosper!

Organized Bicycle Rides

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While in search of the date for my favorite organized bicycle ride of all time I found this link that has the dates for bicycle rides in 2017. Sadly, I didn’t find the Bike for Sight ride listed. 😦 I wanted to add a date to this blog to be used as a goal for me to work towards. I’ve ridden in the Katy Flatland Century before. There’s a reason why they use a Buzzard for the picture. It’s all flatlands (means you don’t get a rest like you would going down a hill) and its HOT. But it’s doable. July should be enough time to work up to 32 miles in the flats. They have multiple lengths thank goodness. I remember way back when I rode in this ride that they had a strange set up. It was something like 8 miles to the first rest stop, and then 15 miles to the next, in a headwind. Maybe it’s different now. It has been a long time. Even though it may be the same, I can stop whenever I need to.

Here’s the link to the site that has all the dates for the rides in 2017 Wheel Brothers Texas Bike Rides

This is the link for the Katy Flatland Century Ride http://www.wheelbrothers.com/katy-flatland-century/

When I decide to commit to the ride I’ll add a calendar with it on here.

Spinning Love

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People who love spinning are insane. I remember thinking that, watching from the safety of my elliptical, as my fellow gym members walked into the spinning room dry, and came out drenched, like they had gone to a swimming class instead. What was even stranger was they always had smiles on their faces. After taking a beating like that? What gives?

Of course I had to solve the mystery so I tried it out and fell into spinning love. I was training for the MS150 at the time and figured the extra training would help, and it really did. The trainer was so upbeat, had us cheering, laughing and sweating rivers. When it was over I felt like I had really accomplished something, and after a few classes, I was stronger. My butt wasn’t happy with me though. It’s true the seats are butt killers, but with some padded cycling shorts, some time out of the saddle during class, and experience it’s not so bad.

Recently I’ve decided to give home workouts a try. I haven’t been going to the gym, and it’s largely due to lack of time, but if I’m being honest with myself I just don’t like the atmosphere of public gyms. If I’m there with a trainer or a gym buddy it’s a little bit better, but I’m just not being consistent so I’m giving this a try.

With that little bee buried in my bonnet I decided to get myself an affordable spinning bike for home and follow some online classes. Years ago I had purchased one from amazon but it came with a warped flywheel. It came with a one year warranty so I called the support number and they said we could ship the bike back and get a replacement. Sounded nice at first, but when I realized I had to pay for shipping, and that price was almost as much as the bike cost me, I decided to stash it away in the house. I tried to use it, and you still can it’s just very loud and feels wobbly as you ride it, but it’s not going to work if I’m serious about this.

After some searching I found the Bladez Fitness Stratum GS II from Sears. After taxes it came out to a little bit over $300. It was important for me to get it locally so if it breaks I don’t have to ship it back. I wish I could give it a review but it’s still in the box. It arrived at my local sears and I picked it up, but then got really sick and have been sick with bronchitis for two weeks. I’m starting to feel a bit better so I hope to assemble it this weekend and give it a brief little spin. Once I do, I’ll be back with a review. I’m super excited about trying this baby out!