OPTIMIST1948   26,840
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Bike/Elbow Update

Friday, July 13, 2012

Since hordes of Sparkers (ok, ONE) have been asking:

My elbow is ... ok. No more swelling and it only aches during exercise. I still do not have full use. I've lost some mobility; I cannot straighten or bend it fully. Since I dont have insurance right now, I did some online research and LiveStrong.com had a series of PT exercises precisely for elbows, so I have been doing them in odd moments. (Its actually a pretty good website for biking information, should you be seeking such.)

Bike is .... depressed but not defeated. I tried the pedals again yesterday for the first time in two weeks. Nothing elaborate, just around the front of the house, but I wasnt able to Enjoy The Motion because I was too busy having anxiety about falling. After about 20 min, I was so disheartened about my mental state that I went inside and spent 3 hours looking at cat videos. (Oh, Cheezburger Network - you timesuck monster!). Finally, I picked son up from school, stapled a spine on, and went to the Bike Store to have them change the pedals and talk about possibilities.

I was almost crying when I talked with him because I was feeling so sh!tty and a failure. Guy was sympathetic but suggested I keep the pedals and shoes for later. "We have to rebuild your confidence." And said they had a group road ride on Thursdays. I think about it and then decide to go. Its at 6. But when I showed up at 6, but they must have left early because NOBODY was there.

Now I really feel awful. Failure at clipless pedals and too late for the group ride?? (One is my fault and the other is his, but net result is craptastic.) Heading home, tears in my eyes, when I spot the entry road to Stewart...some of the paved roads. I ended up on some very easy flat sections, just going back and forth (6 miles in 30 minutes) rebuilding my confidence and feeling out my elbow for stress/pain.

Endorphins made me feel better. I'm off to my parent's today and will either do hills or a 11.7 mi loop that I have done multiple times before.

It's a bit Bionic Woman/ Ben Heck Project-ish "We can rebuild! Stronger! Faster! Lighter!"

I'm taking a step back, but its not worth the anxiety. Right???

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAINA413 7/15/2012 10:05PM

    I am so sorry you are feeling this way. You need to talk to Todd. He also has similar issues and I think you could both use the support right now. It was really nice of them to let you keep the pedals and shoes. I hope you can find out where that group ride is in your area. Sorry it got all screwed up that first time. That said, I am glad to hear the elbow is doing better. If you'd like, speak to my cousin MaddieMom27. She is a PT and she was a HUGE help with my knee. I can send you her email if you like...

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HEALTHYOTTER 7/15/2012 4:36PM

    Keep going, Jamie Summers aka Bionic Woman! Insert sound effects here. Glad the endorphins overcame the crap-tastic feeling. You're amazing, strong, tough, inspirational, no matter what's between your feet and your bike. Finished my sprint tri today! Thought about you many times today and especially last night: I took a quick spin around the neighborhood with bike number, pump, etc in place. Go home, unclipped my right foot, but not the left yet. For some reason, I leaned left and BOOM! gentle crash again. Even my husband said, "are you sure you want clip pedals?" Today at the tri, luckily plenty of room around me as I mounted and dismounted. No pedal issues, good ride. But, what if someone had crashed near me, would I have had the mindset to unclip? I don't know. It's not a step back to use pedals that increase your confidence and enjoyment. I chose clips b/c I think they keep my knees in better alignment. I do still HATE being attached to the bike. And the idea of putting the shoes on the bike, running barefoot through transition, hopping on then tightening my shoes seems as likely as me walking on the moon! Be proud of where you are, especially overcoming the surprise of your elbow! Are you able to swim yet? Wondering if the water resistance would help with your range of motion for your elbow? Take care of yourself, be proud of yourself!

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GODIVADSG 7/14/2012 9:51AM

    Hang in there with the pedals and shoes... it will all work out. And those pedals and shoes and bike for that matter do not and I repeat DO NOT define you or you cycling capabilities. I like the fact that you are picking yourself up and pushing through no matter what. emoticon That in itself deserves a blue ribbon. Get your old pedals back on.... have the bike people teach you how to change them out.. ( Not very difficult and you can do it) and that way you can put em back when you feel like it. emoticon

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    Oh, my dear. You are hard on yourself! I think it's amazing that you're already back on the bike after such a rough injury. That you were even willing to try the clips again so soon is impressive! As for the "lateness" for the group ride... are you sure you weren't early? I've found that 6:00 really means 6:05/6:10 to a lot of people. I'm glad you decided to ride anway so you could enjoy the endorphin rush!
emoticon emoticon

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LENLEN3 7/13/2012 11:46AM

    Yikes. I hope you're able to get that elbow looked at soon . Joint injuries are no joke :(

I join the chorus of others who say "screw anxiety causing fancy pedals". If it makes biking scary and/or not enjoyable then it's not worth it. Good for you to face your fears, get back on the bike, and take it slow.

Rooting for you!

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MISSG180 7/13/2012 10:56AM

    My computer ate my response! Grr!

You are not a failure! It's ridiculous that we can't just do these things for fun and fitness without the equipment-craze that dictates a "need" for the kind of equipment that is really suited to racers. I am staying out of clips, because the injury risk is not worth the extra mile in an hour. Ride the way that makes you happy and comfortable.

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MISSIFISH 7/13/2012 10:03AM

    I'm with Bigpaws - I just bike for fun too, and so I'm thinking "why add to the anxiety?" I do find it occasionally nerve-wracking to be on the road with giant motorized abominations, so that is enough stress for me, I wouldn't dream of adding to it.

I'm anxiety mamma, and I know all too well how a day of good intentions can turn into cheezburger network-esque laziness. I'm sending you hugs and thoughts of building you back. Can you make the "chh chh chh chh" slow motion sounds and movement yet?

Feel better - both shoulder and psyche. I'm pulling for you!

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LESLIELENORE 7/13/2012 10:03AM

    I'm glad the elbow is starting to feel better. I agree that you don't need this anxiety over the pedals. I definitely think you should do what feels right for you, not what someone else says you ought to do. Safety first!

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BIGPAWSUP 7/13/2012 9:12AM

    Ok, my biking is just for fun and fitness so take this for what it it worth. Doesn't seem worth the anxiety for PEDALS! I mean, I don't know why these new pedals are better and/or scary - but if they are causing you stress why use them? If you are happy with your old pedals why do you need to change? Is is because someone ELSE said so? I think you need to just take control and do what makes you happy and comfortable.

I'm sorry you're losing range of motion in your elbow. You need to be careful that this doesn't become serious. Have you had it check out at all?

Worried about you!


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How I came to stick a pencil in my @$$

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Recently I went to an event with my Mommy Group. SAHParents, you know the one I'm talking about: where the children play in one area and all the grownups dish and drink wine upstairs. (At least if you are lucky to not have a bunch of uptight overcontrolling TypeAs in your Mommy Group).

Since I have gotten to the point where I have VISIBLY lost weight, the topic naturally turns to exercise. One of the Moms became obsessed with the Brazilian Butt Lift Informercial currently making the rounds. Being a thrifty Mommy, she promptly ordered it off of eBay. We passed it around looking at the booklet that comes with it.

Among the directions, is a way to test if your butt *needs* a butt lift. The guide calls for you to gently put a pencil in the crease between your cheek and leg (horizontal, not inserted!) If you can hold the pencil with your excess flesh, you fail, or are in need of their product.

Great, now I'm obsessed with an idea about a body part I cant see and a test that my brain KNOWS has no meaning. So the other day, fresh from the shower, I see a pen sitting on the nighttable. (This is embarrassing.) So I tried it.

I'm pleased to report that the pen fell on the floor. So I do not need to spend $39.95 plus shipping and handling.

(Watch, you're going to think about this obsessively too. And then you are going to try it.)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAINA413 7/15/2012 10:06PM

    I just loved this!!! Congrats on passing the pencil test...goodness knows you certainly "studied" hard for it!!

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MISSIFISH 7/12/2012 8:49PM

    I won't even tell you what I can hold in my A$$ crease. It is all good though - I can cover my heiny with most clothes, and my arms look good naked. :)

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THE_NEW_MELISSA 7/11/2012 4:07PM

    LOL! Love it! You know I'm going to try it!

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SNOWANGELDIVA 7/11/2012 3:58PM

    Did the test, Need the product, have the product, and I refuse to use it cuz it's mean. I'm hoping clenching my tooshie while I walk will help, cuz I ain't watching the Go-go dancers and feeling like an epic fail again.

Comment edited on: 7/11/2012 3:58:36 PM

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HORSESX4 7/11/2012 1:04PM

    Oh My GOSH, I can not find the pencil !!!!!! Guess I need to spend the $39.95 plus shipping and handling. HA HA HA HA ......
Have a great day.. emoticon

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AMBROSIAHINO 7/11/2012 12:39PM

    sounds alot like the "pencil test" from back in middle/high school that was to determine if you needed to wear a bra or not

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IRONBLOSSOM 7/11/2012 12:16PM

    Oh my gosh, thanks for the morning laugh! I am so totally going to try that... emoticon emoticon

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PASKALINI 7/11/2012 11:55AM

    Bwahahahaha this was HILARIOUS!!!! Thanks now I'm going to have to try this!

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IGSBETH 7/11/2012 11:47AM


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XRSIZE18 7/11/2012 10:42AM

    Oh my gosh, I just choked on my Diet Dr. Pepper. This sounds like the dumbest test in the world!!!

Congrats on being recognized for the visible weight loss. It feels nice!

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CINERICIA 7/10/2012 9:09PM

    I'm scanning my desk for a pencil now. And wondering how disturbed my husband will be if he walks in the bathroom while I'm doing my "research."

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DRAGONCHILDE 7/10/2012 5:59PM

    I actually had a friend tell me about the pencil test. I passed with flying colors. I didn't need Butt lift, either... just a lot of lunges and squats. LOL. I'm lucky in that I lose weight in my butt and legs first.

If only I could lose it in my stomach. Alas, it is not to be! Damn you mom!

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SPIDERGIRL502 7/10/2012 5:51PM

    I'm totally going to have to try this... LOL

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BUBBLEJ1 7/10/2012 5:29PM

    Right, where is the closest pencil?


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    You crack me up! And you're right that I'll probably try it. And, just so you know, I think it's probably a good thing I'm not in your Mommy Group. emoticon

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YDAVIS23 7/10/2012 4:09PM

    Omg too funny. Ill probably end up trying it too!

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K-GETTING-FIT 7/10/2012 1:04PM

    Snorting LOL here! Saw this on a friends feed and HAD to check it out. Shucks now I have to test it:) Not sure I will pass. Know where I would fail though...I could probably hold an entire box of crayola crayons under my breasts! Sad, but true.

Thanks for the laugh:) emoticon

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BUTTERFLY-1976 7/10/2012 1:02PM

    emoticon Happy to hear the pen dropped!!!

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SHUFFMAN126 7/10/2012 12:57PM

    LOL! emoticon

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MISSG180 7/10/2012 11:29AM

    That cracks me up. I'm glad that you passed the test, but I hope you would recognize the uselessness of the silly thing and save your $39.95 anyway!

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HEALTHYOTTER 7/10/2012 11:21AM

    So happy your pen dropped!

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COLETTEISGREAT 7/10/2012 10:50AM

    ROTF LOL!!!

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LDRICHEL 7/10/2012 10:13AM


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LESLIELENORE 7/10/2012 9:42AM

    Now it is in my head! Agh! Too funny... emoticon

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BIGPAWSUP 7/10/2012 9:05AM

    That is too funny!!! I've heard people taking about it too but so far have avoided the conversation.

Never thought of trying to hold a pencil with my . . . - never mind! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BEAUTIFULBRIT50 7/10/2012 8:47AM

    emoticon emoticon

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DESSALENA 7/10/2012 8:39AM

    LOL.....that's a funny test, but you are right, makes you think too much about it. I really have heard great things about Brazilian butt lift, had thought about doing the exercise that supposedly come from it that I ran across on a magazine site ( can't remember which one) . Hope I don't see any pencils today....hahaha

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For All My Triathlete Friends (And Those That Just Like To Bike)

Monday, July 09, 2012

I have totally fallen in love with MapMyRide.com.

Here's the hilly horror that was the Hunter Mountain Triathlon Bike Course

And here's West Point:

More stinkin' hills.

I could not find the Danskin Sandy Hook map.

Today I learned that if you really do keep your cadence above 80 RPM, you can go 12 miles on a stationary recumbant in 30 min. Sadly, this is not likely to happen for me in the real world, but its nice to imagine *someday*

And I think Kathy Lee and Hoda were drinking today. Why else did they both have glasses of wine in front of them while they babbled? In other news, I cant find my iPod.

Now, off to do some job apps.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOGLADY13 7/25/2012 8:59PM

    Sandy Hook is flat, flat, flat... At least I think it is since the park has absolutely no hills. If we leave the park and have to bike in the Highlands, well, we're (Insert pejorative slang phrase for "out of luck" here. I can think of several, but not are spark-friendly)

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SLEEPYDEAN 7/11/2012 1:28PM

    I use MapMyRun when my Garmin isn't cooperating. This is a good reminder that I should try MapMyRide now that I intend to do a lot of cycling on my new road bike!

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CINERICIA 7/9/2012 10:42PM

    I am firmly convinced that whenever I ride my bike, the route is in fact uphill both ways. I am not a good biker. The sad truth is that I can run at half the speed I can ride my bike at. And that's including those elusive downhill portions.

Good luck on the iPod hunt. I found mine in the fridge once.

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MISSIFISH 7/9/2012 5:24PM

    That looks like a cool tool! On my ride yesterday, I went up a hill in too high of a gear, then freaked, tried to switch to a lower gear and popped my chain off my gears. I'm a bike riding dork. I think I have a lot of practice before I can call myself a real bike rider, but I'll certainly try to map some less terrifying routes!

Sorry about the ipod, I hope you find it soon.

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RAINA413 7/9/2012 4:56PM

    You have totally inspired me to give the stationary bike a whirl!! I'm hoping my knee isn't too outraged by this attempt, but I am psyched to get out there and give it a try!!!

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LESLIELENORE 7/9/2012 11:53AM

    emoticonThey always babble. Hope you find your iPod soon!

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Water Jogging - The Hot Weather Alternative

Thursday, July 05, 2012

A lot of my traditional exercise outlets are closed to me right now due to elbow issues. Heat closes even more. Its so hot, all you want to do is lay in the pool, right?

I've been water jogging in the pool as a very low impact way to exercise. Sure you can go to the gym and use their flotation belts and form etc. Or you can do my "Cheaty-McCheatersons" method.

1) You need access to a shallow pool. Shallow end of in-ground is fine, but this is where above ground has an advantage.
2) Run/ walk as fast as you can around in circles.

After about 5 min, I find I'm starting to breath heavily, after 10 min, my legs start to protest. KEEP GOING. After 15 min, you can quit, especially if its your first time. Trust me, you'll feel it the next day! Ok, maybe not alot, but you will know you *Did Something*.

And something is better than nothing.

3) Add 5 minutes to your time every time you get in the pool.

1) This is a great way for those of us with Children to exercise, because they are right in the pool with you. Do it right and you'll set up a swirly current that they can ride with their floaties. They'll think you did it for their entertainment!
2) I also think this would be awesome if you have joint pain or have difficulty doing other types of exercise because you have a significant amount to loose - the water supports most of your weight.
3)This is also a good way to "sneak" in exercise when you are at a party. And for those of us who like that sort of thing, you can do it with a drink in your hand.

Last year, the hot weather threw my weight-loss program out the window and I stalled. I'm really working to overcome that hurdle this year.

I first heard about AquaJogging from Kara Goucher's "Book Running For Women." Since then, I've read a few more articles that say Aquajogging is a real training method used by serious athletes in lots of sports. Here's a few linkies for y'all to explore:

For Triathletes:

For Injured:

For the celebrity obsessed:

For those who need a video:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ARLENE_MOVES 7/8/2012 9:22PM

    I go to my Y - only access I have to pool and do three classes a week. Tomorrow is deep water jogging/aerobics. Love what you do - it sounds like a great workout!

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ONEKIDSMOM 7/8/2012 12:54PM

    What a great way to exercise in "recovery" mode. And it helps with the heat, too. emoticon emoticon

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    You're emoticon You make things sound so fun! I'd give this a try, but our pool is about 2 feet deep, and the entire perimeter is only about 15-20 feet. I think I'd puke from dizziness before I could get the 15 minutes in! emoticon

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BLUE_KARMA 7/5/2012 11:44PM

    That makes work sound like fun! The heat wilts me, too!
Hope your elbow is better soon!

emoticon emoticon

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KALANTHA 7/5/2012 9:14PM

    Water exercise is FANTASTIC! My friends and I have been doing water aerobics (including jogging) since this silly heat wave started. Talk about a fitness life-saver!

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MJ7DM33 7/5/2012 7:01PM

  emoticon idea!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

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MISSIFISH 7/5/2012 1:21PM

    Man, I wish I'd read this yesterday! We had a pool party and I mostly felt like a lazy loafer because there were so many kids in the pool that I couldn't be really "active". I should have given this a try! I sometimes practice my kickboxing in the water, but I've never done this. Sounds like a great plan!

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ZANNBEE 7/5/2012 1:13PM

    This is awesome! We are going to be swimming today and I dying in this heat. Wondering how to incorporate. I tried swimming laps but I have serious motion sickness issues that make it just impossible to do for more than a few minutes. So excited to try this this afternoon. Thankyou!

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    Great workout idea! Keeps you cool while giving you some low impact exercise! And it's fun to do too!!!

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LDRICHEL 7/5/2012 11:06AM

    This made me laugh...but was also very helpful. We have YMCA memberships that I NEVER use...but the kids love to go to the pool there and swim. Grandma always takes them...but maybe next time I'll go along. :)

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BUTTERFLY-1976 7/5/2012 11:02AM

    Love your new workout idea. It's a great way to keep moving during an injury & the heat.

Thank you for posting great links. It's just what I needed to read.

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NINJA_SMOO 7/5/2012 10:14AM

  Fun! Thanks for the tip :)

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BIGPAWSUP 7/5/2012 10:12AM

    Sounds great! I'm so glad you've found an outlet for exercise and some fun. Great Job.


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LESLIELENORE 7/5/2012 9:21AM

    emoticon I think you will be better able to stay on track this summer, even with the elbow issues and the heat. I hope the elbow is starting to heal. Stay cool!

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I broke my elbow

Saturday, June 30, 2012

But only a little bit. (Insert joke about a little bit pregnant here)

"Oh, get clipless pedals" everyone said. "You'll be so much happier. More power, easier on legs...."

So thursday I bicycled 11 miles out to a local shop and bought shoes and pedals. Guy had me try them in parking lot and I fell over on my first try. I jammed my elbow. But I am stubborn so I just kept trying until I achieved some measure of comfort. Then I set out for home.

At first I thought it was just a bruise, but on the way home, I started feeling worse and worse. Ended up having to walk the last mile. Who knew elbows were so important to bicycling?

Under ordinary circumstances I would have just iced and waited it out, but DH just started a new job and we have insurance from the last until the end of the month, then a 30 day waiting until the new kicks in.

So, XRays late Thurs. Friday I called the dr for results 5 times! 9, 11,2,& 4:45. Finally at 6pm, I ended up going through the after hrs service to have dr paged. She ends up making good the only way she could, calling in a favor from a local orthopedist. Swelling and a teeny weeny fracture on the head of my radius. RICE and ibuprophin treatment. Should be better (full range of motion) in 2 weeks, if not go to ER. Fracture should be healed in 4-6 weeks. I am cleared to continue training as comfort allows, provided (duh) I use the stationary bike at the gym. Swimming is going to have to wait too.

So yeah, I am officially in Crazytown. I break my elbow and I still ask the Dr if I can train for a triathlon.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

-POLEDANCEGIRL- 7/31/2012 9:47AM

    Dang it!! Those clipless pedals got me too. I understand more power, but you have to get in/out of them too!! Glad you will heal soon :)

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SPEEDYDOG 7/31/2012 9:28AM

    Ouch! I don't know what type of clipless pedals you have but your experience is pretty common. Clipless pedals have many advantages. And one huge disadvantage. There are times on my mountain bike when the g-forces glue my feet to the pedals. Sometimes, based on the angle and forces involved the pedals don't release. On my road bike I anticipate when I have to stop and click-out early.

Good Luck.


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MISSG180 7/9/2012 8:46AM

    I'm impressed that you are doing as much as you are, under the circumstances!

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MISSIFISH 7/2/2012 9:52PM

    I'm so sorry about your elbow! Sounds like you've been up to a lot while I was gone, it was good to catch up.

I need to follow your lead on several things - closet clean out and notes to myself would be at the top of that list.

I hope your arm feels better very soon, and please don't make any more posts about what a person needs to do a triathalon. You make it not sound terrifying and I really am serious about this "I'm never going to be a runner" thing. You can't just go around making me think that sort of thing is possible for me, it isn't nice to tear down these walls I've built so well.

I've missed you, and I'm glad to be back!

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BUBBLEJ1 7/2/2012 8:05PM

    Ouch! Hope you are back in the saddle soon!

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    Oh no!! But I sorta love that you broke your elbow because I don't know anyone else who's ever broken their elbow other than ME!! I broke my left elbow when I young, and didn't even get a cast because they could only tell it had been broken by comparing the xrays at injury time with xrays a few weeks later... Best of luck healing up!!

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DOGLADY13 7/1/2012 12:29PM

    Holy smokes! I'm so sorry about your elbow. What a beast of a problem. Not just with training, but the whole Life thing. The Child, DH, work, laundry... Not Very Convenient.


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GODIVADSG 7/1/2012 8:33AM

    That sounds painful.... so sorry to hear about that. How about running? The way you hold your arms.... does that also hurt? Here is to a speedy recovery. emoticon

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    Ouch!! I'm sorry for the fall and for the pain and for the fact that you have to alter your training. I know you'll find a way to make it work, but still, I know it must be frustrating. I'm glad you don't have to deal with a cast, though. And, I'm totally impressed that you were able to ride 10 miles in that condition. Talk about perseverance!

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AROCHFORD 6/30/2012 8:53PM

    Sorry that you got hurt. I rode with those in my triathlon and fell when I stopped to get water;). It did help a lot on hills. The problem is when you stop!

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HEALTHYOTTER 6/30/2012 7:06PM

    I'm so sorry! And I suggested you try the clipless! Ah! You' are amazing, figuring out how to train with the injury. If / when you try the clips again: you can adjust how "tight" it holds you to the pedals. I've got mine set to really loose (and fallen twice now when I forget to down stroke, then swing out). Taking your advice, I got yanks laces for my bike shoes, ya know, the ones that fit the clipless pedals. They've worked out really well. Take care!! emoticon Also glad you went to get it xrayed: knowledge is power.

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BIGPAWSUP 6/30/2012 5:30PM

    I had to laugh at the last line! I remember being like that when I was younger. I played through fractures and dislocations.

Just take it easy. Don't push it too hard. You can make it worse and/or keep it from healing. That is the last thing you want.


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KALANTHA 6/30/2012 2:25PM


So sorry about your injury and hope you heal quickly. I know if I couldn't ride my bike for a few weeks, I'd go crazy.

Take care of that elbow!

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DEBPRE16 6/30/2012 10:57AM

    So sorry for the broken elbow - I hope it heals fast for you. Good for you not giving up your exercises!



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ZANNBEE 6/30/2012 9:16AM

    Oh so sorry that you got hurt. Pretend I'm sending you a huge icepack goodie. Feel better soon!

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SNOWANGELDIVA 6/30/2012 8:09AM

    Passionate is a resident of CrazyTown? Giiiiiiiiiiirl, we live in the same nieghbourhood!
First, "OW!!!!!!!!!!!"
Second, you timed this injury perfect. Hubby should hug you to make you feel better and thank you for a most considerate mishap. Seriously, awesome timing if you're gonna do your elbow in.
Third, "OW!!!!!!!!!!!"
Fourth, Triathlon woman - you *R*O*C*K*!



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LESLIELENORE 6/30/2012 7:30AM

    Sorry you got hurt. You still made me smirk when you talk about still training, because it sounds like something I would do. Hope your elbow heals well.

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