HILLSLUG98239   28,575
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Goodbye, Old Friend

Friday, January 31, 2014

From the start, I want the reader to know I am mourning the loss of a trusted piece of equipment. No living creature has come to a tragic end.

I've had a Cateye Astrale 8 for what seems like forever. It replaced another Cateye cyclecomputer that, not surprisingly, I still have in a box of generic bike stuff. The old Cateye didn't have a cadence readout. The cadence readout really did improve my cycling, so I'm grateful I upgraded.

I bought a Garmin Edge 510 last year. I wanted to be able to track off-road rides without having to recreate my route after the fact. Actually, I started off with an Edge 205. I didn't realize that MapMyFitness' software cannot incorporate data about the same workout from two separate devices and read it as one workout. I really wanted to be able to track my HRM data and my courses, but since I'd just bought the 205, I couldn't justify buying another unit. And then, mysteriously, the 205 vanished. We think the last time we saw it, it was sitting on the back of the Hubs' car. So the most likely scenario is that we drove off with the car on the back, and the 205 ended up lying by the side of the road somewhere. Sorry, 205; you deserved better.

I like the 510, but I still kept the Cateye. The Cateye ALWAYS worked. It didn't drop satellite reception. It didn't randomly put me on the other side of the river for no apparent reason. Its automatic start/stop function was a LOT more sensitive than either the Garmin or Endomondo. Every ride, without fail, it knew exactly how far I'd ridden, and exactly how long it took me to cover the distance. It never yelled at me and told me my virtual partner was beating me. It never griped about my heart rate being too low just as I was pedalling out of the driveway. It never questioned my cadence being too low or my heart rate being too high as I was climbing a hill. I loved you, Cateye: you were a low-tech dream.

I went my first ride in months last Sunday. I couldn't zero out the Cateye. A few days ago, despite all my efforts, it wouldn't zero out. I ended up doing a complete re-set. And *pouf*! just like that, 6800+ miles disappeared from my life. (That was the mileage on the odometer since the last time I changed the battery. I think I had about 10,000 miles on it prior to that battery change.)

I rode home last night. The unit simply will not zero out. I came to the painful conclusion that it's time to pull the Cateye off the bike. I could really use the space on my handlebar. I would lose the cadence readout, but I do a pretty good job of estimating my cadence.

The thing is, it may be months before I finally break down and do it. In the mean time, it will continue to rack up miles like Pac-Man eats dots. The little plastic catch that keeps it securely in its mount broke a year or two ago, so it occasionally falls off. I wish I knew how to quit you, Cateye.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSG180 2/1/2014 3:01PM

    I can't imagine not having the cyclometer, no matter what other measuring device I have.

I also keep track of my miles on an Excel spreadsheet so that no matter which bike I'm riding I still have a total at my fingertips.

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SPEEDYDOG 2/1/2014 11:26AM

    Dear Hillslayer,

I have a Garmin 910xt but I still have two wireless bicycling computer that I swap between bikes. The wireless computers are more accurate in terms of speed and distance traveled. The Garmin records the route and profile of the ride.

Too bad your "old friend" is shot. But you can by a new and better Cateye now.


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Back in the saddle

Monday, January 27, 2014

I went for a ride this afternoon. It's been months since I've ridden anything other than a spin bike. It was just below freezing, which was another reason not to over-do it.

A few weeks ago, I had my bike fit to me. It's been more than a decade since the last time I had a bike fit done. We raised my saddle more than an inch. (!!!) That meant the handlebar had to come up, too. We ended up replacing my quill stem (yeah, my bike is a relic) with an integrated headset, and replaced my handlebar. The old one put the brake hoods too far out front.

This ride was the first real test of my bike position. It felt great! This winter is also the first time I've ever taking spin classes, and I'm sure it's helped my legs stay ready for riding.

I only rode for about a half an hour. I stayed in the neighborhood to avoid losing elevation that I would have to regain. I never felt dizzy (I got a little light-headed during my last Group Ride class at the club). I kept my heart rate fairly low - I really just wanted to make sure my body was ready for a ride.

Now I'm wondering when I can start commuting again. I only rode five & a half miles today; my shortest commute option is about 7.5. My normal route is nine miles in and ten miles home. That might be too much. But I'm sure I'll be back within a week or two.

Commuting will require planning things. I figure I don't need to go to the gym for fitness classes if I'm commuting by bike, but I will continue with my planned strength training twice a week and swimming twice a week. One selling point of this club is that it is eight miles from work and eight miles from home; that makes it easy to ride there after work and then head home. But I need to know I'm going to do this, because I'll have to carry my gym stuff in my messenger bag and I'll need to bring along a bike lock (I don't carry one now because I keep my bike in my office).

Just thinking about scheduling this mess pleases me.

We still have an air stagnation advisory, but that means there's no wind. It's been chilly, but not so cold that I cannot ride (I'm good down to the mid-20's provided there's no wind and no precipitation). So restarting my commuting season is completely "do-able," and that makes me oh so happy!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EBRAINK 1/29/2014 7:57AM

    Glad to hear you're feeling better, and even more glad to hear about planning to get back on the bike commute. Isn't it funny how all the planning can be so pleasing? I love to noodle about the best path for success. (Even though I've had some hilarious goofs...)

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HILLSLUG98239 1/27/2014 3:48PM

    Thanks for the support, folks.

MissG - my shop didn't even charge me for the fitting! I was having some other work done, and we replaced parts (pedals, headset, handbar), but they only charged me for the parts. Given that the guy spent about an hour with me, I really expected to pay for the service.

Yet another reason to love locally-owned bike shops. emoticon

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MISSG180 1/27/2014 3:14PM

    This is awesome! I am thinking about getting a bike fitting. It sounds like it was worth the money.

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SEATTLESIMS 1/27/2014 2:46PM

    Great that your newly fitted bike turned out so well! Kudos to you for riding in such cold weather.. I'm iffy at best in freezing conditions even walking!

Have fun figuring out the commute.

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144AUTUMN 1/27/2014 1:48AM

  You can do it!!!

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I'm Less Crabby Now

Friday, January 24, 2014

I made it half-way through a Group Ride class last night. I started feeling light-headed, so I pedaled easily until my heart rate got back to normal and then called it a night. I'm glad I tried. I plan to go to the gym tonight for a swim, and I'm hopeful I can ride tomorrow (outside! on a real bike!). Running is still days away, though.

Just got back from the doctor. He explained why he had me quit taking supplements. His thinking is that my increased thirst and cramps are the result of my body processing the extra micronutrients and handling the stress of increased exercise. It makes sense to me. We compromised: I'm going to cut waaaay back on most of my supplements, and see how my body reacts.

He removed several things that were listed on my chart: Metabolic syndrome, high LDL, pre-diabetes, and obesity. Congratulations, he said. You just got rid of four medical conditions all because of exercise. So I guess I can forgive him for dissing my well-thought-out supplementation program.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EBRAINK 1/26/2014 2:11PM

    I think the tide is turning on supplements as people start to take seriously the idea that they are, in fact, drugs that have physiological effects just like other drugs produced by pharmaceutical companies. It seems that the message trend is to be more cautious - this is very different from the days when I was told that megadoses of various vitamins were perfectly safe because "our bodies just eliminate what we don't need" (which always struck me as a formula for making very expensive urine).

So, like everything, the messages change with new research findings. And yeah, my doctor and I keep debating the vitamin D recommendations, too. She's inclined to this a little supplementation is probably okay, I'd rather try to get sunshine. (Which is hard during the Freezepocolypse...)

Good for you for having good conversations with your doctor, and for being so vigilent about it! You're doing great!

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MISSG180 1/26/2014 12:22PM


Vitamin D is so controversial these days. Hubby is on loads of it, because his body does not absorb it well. His cardiologist checks his levels every time he's in, and with 10,000 iu once a week and 2000 iu daily, his levels are barely at the bottom of normal.

But for someone who processes vitamin D well, this amount of supplementation would be a real problem. So it's something that definitely needs to be monitored.

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HILLSLUG98239 1/25/2014 4:20PM

    Many of my supplements were recommended by doctors to begin with. And I didn't point out the irony to my doctor that he wants me to take 2000 iu of vitamin D a day: it wasn't that long ago that much vitamin D would have been considered toxic, and that it would cause permanent calcification of soft tissue in the body.

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EBRAINK 1/25/2014 2:53PM

    Well done, Hillslug! Beating back those conditions is no mean feat.

Whether or not to take supplements is a pretty serious question. Like JOYCRN above, I try to eat a well-rounded range of foods (and yeah, I eat meat and cook my veggies). I take a multivitamin when I get too busy/distracted/lazy to eat well and my diet gets crappy. Or when a bloodtest shows that I'm anemic. I make this choice mostly because in my case, I really don't think they do anything for me - no extra boosts of energy, no feeling like I'm stronger or better. (Except for the Iron supplements when I'm anemic. Hoo boy, I do feel that.)

What I worry about with supplements, and another reason I avoid them, is that those chemicals can interact with each other and with other medicines I may be taking - and they seldom warn you about what's safe and what's not. So, drinking cranberry juice for a UTI may be fine...but trying to boost the effect by taking a cranberry-based supplement AND then taking aspirin could muck up my liver. (And I prefer to muck up my liver with cabernet, thankyouverymuch.)

But as you say, you've thought about your supplements pretty carefully. And you've probably run them through the databases about drug interactions (like this one - http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/
druginformation.html ) Scaling back to find the balance between perceived benefits, and definite problems (thirst, cramps) is probably a good idea.

And yay, kicking four killers to the curb. YOU ROCK!!

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JOYCRN 1/25/2014 9:59AM

    I personally try to eat FOOD, not supplements, because I don't believe that we know everything that is in food or how it is balanced so we can't make a perfect pill ( this has been shown to be the case with calcium supplements, fish oil supplements, and I believe will be shown to be the case with other supplements. Some of the least healthy people I know (I am a nurse) rely on supplements ( though their unhealthy state may have led them to the supplements rather than the supplements to the unhealthy state, I admit). Vegetables, fruits and whole grains are the key, I believe. emoticon

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BILL60 1/25/2014 7:50AM

    You're just becoming a "Tiger". Keep it up and enjoy the ride.

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Extended Whine

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I'm so tired. My coughing kicks in when I lie down. I'm a side sleeper, and I'm resorting to sleeping on my back with my head propped up on pillows. It's not the same.

I keep having this delusion I'm going to work out. I even put my gym bag in the trunk. But this morning, I had to park in the far lot, and the walk to my office exhausted me. And you think you're going to work out? Silly wabbit.

I'm really tired of this. I'm down to just having a cough, but it's been almost two weeks. And I'm not optimistic, because others I know are well past two weeks and they're still coughing.

I don't know what to blame. Stress? The fact that my immune system is not the bulwark it was twenty years ago? Too much exercise? Not enough? The fact I've been off all my supplements for a week (doctor's orders) so I'm not getting the energy boost I usually get from my quercetin/B-vitamin cocktail? I know putting blame on something other than bad luck and natural processes doesn't solve anything, but I still want to do it.

And I know I'm just being whiny. My mom is done with chemo now, but she's still really sick. She's still got some challenges ahead of her. I imagine my dad is exhausted from caring for her and worry. So yeah, the fact that I have a cough ten days after coming down with some virus is insignificant. I'm still going to whine, though.

I miss the gym. I miss my morning ritual of laying out the breakfast and lunch supplements. I miss the peppy feeling I usually have after my lunchtime walk or run. I miss laying out the week's workouts on my calendar. I miss logging my workouts on Garmin. I miss admiring the jagged peaks in my heart-rate graph. And don't get me started on how much I miss my bike.

I have a dentist appointment this afternoon. I haven't flossed my teeth in weeks. (I've been too busy feeling sorry for myself.) Fortunately I have fairly strong - but less than pretty - teeth. My 6-month cleaning & check up doesn't take that long. So maybe I will make it to the gym tonight. Let's hope climbing the stairs to the fitness center doesn't wear me out.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HILLSLUG98239 1/22/2014 4:03PM

    I started taking quercetin with B-vitamins after I tried a free sample of FRS. It's quercetin, catechins, B-vitamins, and a little caffeine. The stuff tastes awful, but I noticed a general mood & energy boost after taking them. I can't find a catechin supplement, but the rest I can replicate much cheaper than buying their nasty-tasting products.

I'm grateful the leg cramps haven't returned. (That's been a problem in the past after a week without calcium supplements.) That might be a benefit of my recent sloth. I also made a concerted effort to drink more soy milk (I don't like the taste of cow's milk), which is a back-door way of getting supplemental calcium. emoticon I'm also curious about what my blood pressure is going to be off all the supplements.

Comment edited on: 1/22/2014 4:04:48 PM

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  Not taking the Quercetin could contribute to how your feeling. Quercetin does help your immune system and also helps with congestion. emoticon

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Rumors of My Recovery Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Sunday, January 19, 2014

I felt great Thursday evening. But when I went to bed, I started coughing. I couldn't sleep, and that really derailed my recovery. I thought I'd be going for a walk on Saturday. I did some work in the garage, did some laundry, and then spent the evening on the couch. Our trip to the grocery store exhausted me.

Today is already full: church in a bit, baking, watching the Seahawks game, more work in the garage. Thank goodness tomorrow is a holiday for me. I'd love to get some sleep.

I've come to realize that I just need to wait this thing out, and start slow when I'm ready to work out again. I'm not exactly sure how that's going to work, but I recognize that I just need to deal with my frustration. This is a temporary setback; working out too hard, too soon, will only set me back again. Any gains I made would quickly be wiped out. So relax, kiddo, and just deal.

Not that I enjoy any of this. And I'm sure I'm miserable to live with right now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSG180 1/20/2014 3:36PM

    Wrap yourself up and stay hydrated. it's a beastly one.

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BILL60 1/20/2014 8:51AM

    Hang in there!!

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APONI_KB 1/19/2014 6:16PM

    I was really sick last week so I know what you're talking about. Thankfully, (I guess) it really hit on Friday so I spent most of the weekend on the couch watching football. Then I dragged into work because there were things going on I couldn't miss and pretty much just made it through the day and hit the couch. A week this went on.

I'm ok now but the house is a wreck and I didn't get caught up this weekend. I figure trying to much too soon would have been a setback though.

Hang in there.

The Seahawks are probably going to the Super Bowl. Everyone is Charlotte is pulling for you guys to take out the 49ers for us. ;-)

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