MNCYCLIST's SparkPeople Blog MNCYCLIST's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Some Pics from India Here are just a few pics from my time in India. I was in a village called Ventrapragada which is near a city called Vijayawada. I was teaching pastors and others interested in Christian ministry how to teach and preach the Bible. <BR> <BR> Almost there (after a 14 hour flight from Newark)! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Sunrise in Hyderabad, India <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Our Clas... Tue, 20 May 2014 06:02:15 EST Back from India I had a great trip to India. It was hot, very hot, but the time was well spent and I'm very glad I went. It's good to be home, though I have some recovering to do. I took a "nap" at 4:00 p.m. yesterday and ended up sleeping for 8 hours. So now it's 4:00 a.m. the next day and I've been wide-awake for the last four hours. Oh well, my clock will turn around soon enough. <BR> <BR> Hope you all have a great day, looking forward to getting back into the SP swing! Mon, 19 May 2014 04:58:05 EST Heading to India Today Well the day has finally come, and in a few hours from now I will board a plane and begin my 50 hour journey to India. The itinerary is Minneapolis to Newark, Newark to Mumbai (19 hours), Mumbai to Hyderabad, Hyderabad to Vijayawada, and then a one-hour drive from Vijayawada to our final destination, Ventrapragada, where I will teach Pastors about teaching the Bible, and where I will learn from them about many things. Our team goes as servants, not superiors. <BR> <BR> The one hitch in the ... Mon, 5 May 2014 06:49:05 EST Beautiful Day It's been such a long winter, and wintry spring, that I sure am grateful for a gorgeous day in Minnesota! And I got to share it with my beautiful wife, and our daughter who turned 20 today! Sun, 4 May 2014 21:32:40 EST Sickness and Hope I'm up super-early this morning, sick as a dog yet again. As I sat here thinking about how often I've been sick this year, and my impending trip to India, one of my favorite passages from the Bible came to mind, John 15:1-11. I hope it blesses you as it has me this morning. <BR> <BR> Jesus said, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Alread... Sat, 3 May 2014 05:59:36 EST Three Days to India...And Sick Again I don't know how to describe my feelings this morning. I have been sick so many times this year, so unable to stay healthy...oh I'm so sick of being sick. Beyond words. <BR> <BR> And this time the stakes are higher as I'm heading to India in three days, and the medical system there is...well, it's not America. But what can I do? Drink lots, eat well, take some meds, pray and trust the Lord, and keep moving forward. Fri, 2 May 2014 08:04:18 EST National Day of Prayer Today is the National Day of Prayer, and so I thought I'd post some New Testament verses on prayer. <BR> <BR> "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened" (Matthew 7:7-8). <BR> <BR> "If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fr... Thu, 1 May 2014 01:10:14 EST So Long Team Huddles--And Blogs? Interesting to find the "huddle" feature missing today. I've said for years, that this was the "lamest" part of SP so it's not as though I'll miss this feature. After all, they're allowing you to earn six more points per day with message board posts now which are more fun, productive, and important. <BR> <BR> But one concern: I don't see the blog scroll that tells me who from my teams has written blogs. Perhaps I just missed it, but I hope this aspect remains because I did like focusing on ... Thu, 1 May 2014 00:58:25 EST Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow! It's April 29, and it's MinneSNOWta! To be fair, though, it's really nothing. Sleetish-snow that won't stick. Looks like I'll be heading to the gym again. I'd rather exercise outside, but in addition to the chilly temps and wet conditions, the wind is again blowing in the 20 mph range and that's a bit much for me. Hypothermia waiting to happen. <BR> <BR> So I'll be hitting the treadmill and some weight machines, and then call it a day. Can't wait! Tue, 29 Apr 2014 09:04:10 EST Getting Ready for India I'm set to travel to central India next week, so today, which is normally my one day off, is devoted to doing all kinds of stuff to get myself ready. I'm going there to teach Pastors in a Bible school for about ten days, and to learn from them as well, and generally I'm very excited to go. The one thing I'm concerned about is the 110 degree temps and high humidity! I really don't do well in that kind of heat, especially when I have to teach for six hours per day in the midst of it. But the L... Mon, 28 Apr 2014 15:05:43 EST Enjoying the Rain It's a little chilly, and very windy--and a little gloomy--but I'm really enjoying this rainy day. Good thing, too, because we're supposed to get 3-4 more days of this. Hope you all are having a good one today! <BR> Sun, 27 Apr 2014 15:22:15 EST Oy--5 Days of Cold and Rain! It's not winter, that's true, but it doesn't feel a lot different! The forecast for the next five days in the Minneapolis area calls for clouds, relative cold, and rain. Oh 20-25 mph winds to boot! <BR> <BR> Oh well, in about eight days, I'll be heading to India and then I'll long for the days when I was cold! It's been like 110 degrees over there, with high humidity. So the moral of the story is this: be thankful in all circumstances! Sat, 26 Apr 2014 20:15:17 EST What Grace Long story short, our family has been having serious car problems for the last couple months. We've prayed and trusted the Lord, and waited for his answer rather than trying to manufacture our own. Fifteen minutes ago I got a text that said, "Can you drive a stick shift?" <BR> <BR> In about an hour I'm going to pick up a car that some kind soul just gave to our family. Grace is worth waiting for, because not only will this help our family, it will give glory to God and joy to all involved. ... Fri, 25 Apr 2014 10:37:09 EST Sick--But Found Out Why! As I shared yesterday, I got sick yet again this week. It was short-lived, I'm feeling better, and I found out why I got sick. Sunday afternoon my family went to another family's house for Easter dinner. One of their relatives came who had been quite sick the day before and earlier that day, and unfortunately nearly everyone else who was there got sick as well. I'll spare you the details, but it was a nasty kind of sickness and so the moral of the story is... <BR> <BR> If you get super sick,... Thu, 24 Apr 2014 16:50:43 EST Sick Again--Ughh! I can't believe it--my wife substitute taught at a local school on Monday and then ended up getting pretty sick that night. The works. The next morning I went to see how she was doing. I was in her presence for no more than 3 minutes and then said, "I better get out of here so I don't get sick," but just like that I got sick--again! <BR> <BR> It knocked me out yesterday, but I feel a bit better today so I'm trying to pace myself. Whew, I am so tired of being sick. Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:07:24 EST Back to the Gym Today I haven't been able to get to the gym for a while. I've been exercising but not in the gym, but today I'm going back! The one thing I'm not sure of is whether I will ride my bike to and from the gym, and in this way get my cardio in, or hop on the elliptical and treadmill instead. We shall see, weather will probably play a part in my decision. <BR> <BR> Hope you all have a great day! Tue, 22 Apr 2014 07:45:04 EST The Plan for the Week It's been a busy few weeks and thus I've gotten a little off track. Not that I've completely lost it, just that I haven't been able to follow through on my fitness plan. But that's behind me, this is a much more normal week, and therefore I look forward to getting back to it. So here's the plan: <BR> <BR> Monday: Day Off <BR> Tuesday: Gym (upper body) <BR> Wednesday: Cycling (workout depends on weather) <BR> Thursday: Gym (core) <BR> Friday: Cycling (workout depends on weather) <BR> Sa... Mon, 21 Apr 2014 08:02:46 EST Finally, a Day of Rest Just life--I haven't had a day off in three weeks, and I'm exhausted. But tomorrow I get to do nothing but rest and I'm so glad. I really need it, and the timing is great as I'm still glowing from the glory of celebrating the risen Jesus Christ. He is the dawn of light, he is the Lord of life, and because of his grace I love him so much! Can't wait to rest and enjoy him all day. Sun, 20 Apr 2014 21:57:37 EST High Stress = A Test I serve as the preaching Pastor of a church near Minneapolis. I can't go into details, but right now the stress of this role is exceedingly high. In addition to this, my family is going through some things that are fairly heavy as well. As I add up the pieces, I'm facing seven ministry related and four family related situations. Of these eleven things, only 2-3 are notably heavy in themselves, but it's the combo of all these things that's making the stress in my life palpable. <BR> <BR> But... Thu, 17 Apr 2014 08:07:04 EST Spring in Minnesota--Yah Sure, Check These Pics! Oh boy... <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 21:54:50 EST More Snow? Yeah, More Snow It is Minnesota, don't know why I'm surprised. I guess it's just been a long winter and that last week of bike riding really got me used to spring. But alas, starting tonight we're supposed to get another 2-4" of snow. But the good news is that it won't stick, and soon enough--like within 3-4 days--the warm temps will return! Tue, 15 Apr 2014 20:27:01 EST Pics from a Great Race, the Paris-Roubaix! Congrats to Niki Terpstra on winning the Paris-Roubaix! Niki races for Omega-Pharma-Quickstep out of the Netherlands. Here are some pics of my favorite race. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpe... Mon, 14 Apr 2014 09:16:21 EST Paris-Roubaix Rolling Today! If you'd like to know a little more about my favorite pro-cycling race, you can see my blog from a couple of days ago. For now, here's a picture of the cobbles upon which the peleton will ride at full-speed--shoulder to shoulder for 51.1 kilometers (36.7 miles)! Oh and of course there are those other 206 kilometers (128 miles) as well! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 13 Apr 2014 05:22:26 EST A Rest Day After riding my bike for six days in a row at a fairly brisk pace, I decided to take a day off today. The weather was descent in Minneapolis but I'm just so tired, and in fact, I didn't even want to ride today. That's good, because for the last day or two I knew I should have rested but I couldn't help myself. So it was good that I didn't have the drive today. I'll rest another day, probably, and then hit the road again early next week depending on the weather. <BR> <BR> Here's to rest days... Sat, 12 Apr 2014 21:35:03 EST Paris-Roubaix Rolls Out in Two Days The one-day pro cycling race from the north of Paris to the city of Roubaix is, with little doubt, the hardest and most dangerous pro-cycling race of the year. The route stretches out for 257 kilometers (160 miles), and includes 28 sections of cobblestone that date back to the times of Napoleon. The 51.1 kilometers (31.7 miles) of cobbles are treacherous, and when wet are treacherous beyond belief. In 1994, rain soaked the course so that only 14 of 151 riders even finished the race, and these... Fri, 11 Apr 2014 10:53:11 EST Oh, My Bike, Why Dost Thou Beckon Me? I'm tired. I exercise regularly but at this time of year, when the weather turns warm, I hit the road on my bike and, bottom line, the bike trainer and the gym are different than the road. Quite different. The road is harder. <BR> <BR> I've put in just shy of 80 miles over the last four days and I really should take a break to rest and recover, but alas, the temps are again in the high 50s, the sky is clear, and even though the wind is blowing I can hear my bike beckoning me from the garage... Thu, 10 Apr 2014 12:07:20 EST On the Bike Yesterday...and Today! Well, I decided to take a quick 11 mile bike ride yesterday. I was kind of tired from the previous two days since it's so early in the season, but with the temps high and sky so clear I just couldn't resist. It was a very nice ride and I'm glad I did it. <BR> <BR> And as for today, it's going to hit 70 in Minneapolis--I can't remember the last time I've felt temps that warm! So of course, I'm going to hit the road at some point, but I have a busy day and I'm sure how long of a ride I'll be ... Wed, 9 Apr 2014 07:11:23 EST Oh Decisions, Decisions I love this time of year! After it's been so cold for so long, every 45-50 degree day just seems like the middle of summer! So I'm sitting here facing a big decision: do I go outside and jog with my wife and dog, or do I go outside and ride my bike for a while? Oh decisions, decisions! What joy! <BR> <BR> I seriously don't know what I'm going to do, so tune in tomorrow for the big reveal! Tue, 8 Apr 2014 18:43:46 EST Great Day, Another Road Ride! Had a great 22-mile ride yesterday, and since today is my day off, I plan to take another ride today. I think I'll do a 25-mile route that I take from time to time. It's a little hilly, but not too much, and there's a coffee shop located at the half-way point. <BR> <BR> Since it's so early in the season, I plan to do a cadence workout on the way out and a mellow sprinting workout on the way back. Here are the descriptions of the workouts. <BR> <BR> 1. Cadence Intervals: Within an aerobic ... Mon, 7 Apr 2014 10:09:00 EST On the Road Again! it's nice and warm today, 52 degrees, the sun is peaking through the clouds, the wind is gently blowing, and I am about to hit the road for a great road ride. The plan today is to go for about 22 miles and do a cadence workout wherein I warm up at 90 rpm and then do 2.5 minute intervals at 100 rpm for the remainder of the ride. <BR> <BR> I cant wait to get out there, but I'm old and I first need to take a nap! Sun, 6 Apr 2014 15:02:40 EST Great Bike Trainer Workout Well, after snow-blowing and shoveling 6" or so of snow yesterday, I went about my day, had a good one, and then in the evening found some time to hop on the bike trainer. I completed a cadence interval workout that goes like this: <BR> <BR> After a five-minute warm-up at a cadence of 80-85 rpm, ramp it up to 100 rpm for 2.5 minutes and then take it down to 90 rpm for 2.5 minutes. Repeat this cycle seven times for a total of eight intervals (45 minutes). <BR> <BR> The workout is simple an... Sat, 5 Apr 2014 07:54:58 EST A Shoveling We Will Go (Snow that Is!) And a one, and a two, and a... <BR> <BR> A shoveling we will go, <BR> A shoveling we will go, <BR> Hi-ho the derry-o, <BR> A snow-shoveling we will go. <BR> <BR> Alright, enough singing for the morning, I'm off to shovel 6 inches of snow off my driveway so that my friend who's coming at 9 can make it up our driveway...and so that another inch or two can fall on it in the next three hours! <BR> <BR> Merry Easter, everyone! Fri, 4 Apr 2014 07:49:34 EST Piles of Snow are On Their Way--HELP!!! Winter just has no quit in it this year! You never know what will actually happen in Minnesota, but from what I can see the threat is pretty real. We are slated to get 6-8 inches of snow today, tonight, and tomorrow, and let's just say I've had enough of winter this year! <BR> <BR> But alas, this too shall pass, and there is much for which to be thankful! I must go now and convince myself that I believe what I just wrote! <em>30</em> Thu, 3 Apr 2014 07:04:37 EST One Thing in Common with a Pro Cyclist! Sometimes when you're really struggling with illness or injury, it's at least mildly comforting to know that you're not the only one! Here's a quote from a few days ago from one of my favorite cyclists, Mark Cavendish: <BR> <BR> “I am really disappointed. Sunday I felt better and I was able to train well, but Sunday night I was sick again and had diarrhea. I am in no shape to start [a three-day race that began yesterday], especially because I can’t eat or drink anything.” <BR> <BR> This h... Wed, 2 Apr 2014 06:37:24 EST Finding the Right Pace Not to be a broken record, but I've been quite sick over the last two or three weeks, and I've been struggling with various colds for months. Today I'm feeling better than I have in weeks, and so now the trick is to find the right pace forward. I so want to get into the gym, and on the bike trainer, and go full-gas but that will not serve me well. So if you think of me, please pray for me, that I will have wisdom to know how hard to push, how fast to go. Some activity will help at this point,... Tue, 1 Apr 2014 17:39:38 EST The Plan for Week 9 Well, last week didn't go as planned! I am still struggling with illness and so I was only able to put in two full workouts, and I'm not sure if I should have done that or not. Well, I guess I got in three workouts because Tuesday I went into the gym, Wednesday I was on the bike trainer, Thursday through Saturday I had to take off due to illness, and then yesterday it was in the 50s here in Minnesota and so I took a 13.5 mile bike ride which took me about 50 minutes since I'm not feeling well... Mon, 31 Mar 2014 10:20:57 EST Good Road Ride Today I've put in over 300 miles on the bike trainer this year, but today it was finally warm enough--and the roads were clear enough of ice--that I could ride outside. I took a 13.5 mile ride because that's all the time I had available to me. It's a good ride--eight climbs, eight descents, enough hard stuff to test my level of fitness, and enough easy stuff to make me feel like a kid again! <BR> <BR> In fact, at one point, I passed a teenager and he asked if I wanted to race. I said, "Let's go" ... Sun, 30 Mar 2014 21:41:45 EST A Brief Warm-up in Minnesota? The weather channel is saying that, here in balmy Minnesota, it's supposed to get up to 41 degrees today and then 58 and 48 for the next two days. I can only hope this is real, as I am SO TIRED of winter! Sat, 29 Mar 2014 08:31:48 EST Sickness Tests Resolve I was very sick last week, but then began feeling better on Monday and especially Tuesday. So i went back into the gym on Tuesday and then got on the bike the next day. Unfortunately, I woke up yesterday morning feeling as sick as I was ten days ago, and things got worse as the day went along. By around 5:00 p.m. I had to lay down because I was so dizzy and--well, I'll spare you the details. <BR> <BR> I feel horrible again this morning, but as I sat here thinking about my pursuit of health ... Fri, 28 Mar 2014 08:18:59 EST Sucking on Chocolate? Yeah, Sucking on Chocolate! I am an unapologetic chocoholic, so whenever I see an SP article on this fine food I read it! A few weeks ago I read an article that, among other things, suggested that we should suck chocolate like candy rather than eat it like food. I decided to give this a try, but at first I didn't like it. I was too impatient and wanted my shot of dark-chocolate-joy sooner rather than later. <BR> <BR> But I hung in there and soon learned that this is a much better technique for (1) truly savoring choco... Thu, 27 Mar 2014 08:35:13 EST Love the New Gym! I finally got to go to the new Anytime Fitness in Elk River, Minnesota yesterday. They're still working on it and therefore it will only get better, but I love it! Same machines, which is great because I'm used to them and I like them, but a much better facility--better entrance area, 1,500 sq ft more space, new TVs and fans, great layout, a separate room in which to do ab work etc. There are other AFs in the area which I like better, but this is a great improvement on the former location, an... Wed, 26 Mar 2014 08:28:03 EST Feeling Better I'm feeling much better today and finally back to work. I just hope that I keep feeling better. I've been knocked down so many times this year that I'm afraid to declare, "I feel better," but alas I do! So it's a lot of catching up and then finally back into the gym today. Hope you all have a good one. Tue, 25 Mar 2014 14:07:57 EST The Plan for Week 8 Well, last week was not what I thought it would be. I came down with a sudden and severe cold or flu on Sunday evening, and I ended up spending most of the week in bed. Every time I tried to get up and "push through" I'd ended up just getting knocked back down on my butt! So, in some ways it's been a tough and disappointing week, but it is what it is and I'm putting my face forward. <BR> <BR> I'm still sick, but I think I'll be able to get back to it this week. The plan is to work the norma... Mon, 24 Mar 2014 08:49:52 EST At my wits end I have been knocked out, can't function sick for the last seven days. Nothing I've tried has worked, so I'm going to break down and go to the doctor on Monday or Tuesday. Perhaps I need antibiotics rather than normal cold medicine, I don't know. I'm so sick of being sick that I hardly know how to put it into words, but I simply must overcome because the temps are supposed to rise in Minnesota this week and I AM GOING TO RIDE MY BIKE OUTSIDE! <BR> <BR> Help me, Lord! Sun, 23 Mar 2014 13:58:26 EST SOS from Minnesota It's 7 degrees this morning--please send the troops to Minnesota to help us chase winter out of our state! Sat, 22 Mar 2014 07:37:45 EST Lost 11 Pounds so Far! Several years ago I worked very hard to lose 40 pounds but unfortunately I got undisciplined last fall and put about 30 of that back on. There were reasons for this that I've identified and addressed, and so it's face-forward for me! No regrets. <BR> <BR> The turning point was January 7 when my doctor gave me the kick in the butt I needed. On January 8 I got back on track and as of this morning...I'm down 11 pounds! This means that I'm about 1/3 of the way back to my normal weight, and more... Fri, 21 Mar 2014 10:54:22 EST Have to Push Through This week I've taken two days off of work to rest, replenish, and do everything I could to get well, but to no avail. I started feeling better yesterday afternoon, but am back to square one this morning. However, I can't take another day off, so I must push through, and now my prayer is that I won't get others sick along the way. <BR> <BR> Lord, thanks for the grace thus far, and help me push through this day! Thu, 20 Mar 2014 07:50:14 EST Still Resting I had hoped to start CP25K week 4 yesterday, but I just wasn't up to it. After I wrote the blog yesterday, I stood up to have breakfast and immediately knew that I would not be able to push myself. The same is true today. I don't want to rest, but it's what's best right now, and the time will soon come when I'll be back at it! Wed, 19 Mar 2014 09:19:46 EST CP25K, Week 4 Starts Today? I'm still feeling pretty wiped out, but I'm eager to start CP25K week 4 so I'm going to try to press through. Also, the new Elk River gym was supposed to have opened on March 15 but I've been out of town so I'm not sure if it did or not but I can't wait to find out! Tue, 18 Mar 2014 09:49:51 EST So sick of being sick I arrived home late Saturday night, about 12.30 a.m. actually, and then had a good day yesterday until the evening. Around 7 p.m. I was hit by another cold--sore throat, bad headache, very dizzy, etc--and wondering if I am going to be able to function tomorrow. I have so much to do, I can't afford to be sick, but beyond that I am just so sick of being sick! I have never been hit by so much sickness in one year in my life, and I'm so ready to be over it. <BR> <BR> But it is what it is, we'll... Mon, 17 Mar 2014 19:32:33 EST