Tuesday, July 31, 2012

22.4 miles – got my zest back!

22.4 miles, 2:23 rolling, 3:50 overall.

It’s been two weeks since my last ride (Tues Jul 17) and I think the time off did me a world of good. I felt stronger today than at any time this year, both in my muscles and in my overall stamina. Toward the end, my leg muscles felt tired – as though they were getting a real workout – but somehow it was a healthier feeling than it has been so far this year.

On hills, I actually felt like putting out, aerobically and leg-wise. On the whole ride, instead of husbanding my energy, I felt like cutting loose, and getting some exercise.

Whatever the mechanism, I was clearly more rested. Maybe it was the week of being off the bike and making minimal physical effort. Perhaps it was simply the break from routine, getting out of my rut. Not that music camp wasn’t demanding. For the whole six days, I was “on duty” from the moment my alarm went off until I turned in at night. Not a moment for woolgathering, and plenty of times when anxiety was running so high that I could feel it in my veins.

But there were many good strokes and moments of joy, and I think these tended to unkink me in a way I hadn’t been able to manage here at home.

I did the normal protein loading during and after today’s ride, but haven’t stretched. (It’s 5pm) and I may not get around to it.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


I started the day with a half hour or more of gentle stretches of my legs, concentrating on the long muscles, especially the calves and hamstrings. I did it with the idea of limbering up my knees, which have been increasingly cranky. It seemed to help – and suggests I might benefit from doing a lot more of it.

It was hot and muggy when we left for Winco, and I felt extremely enervated. It didn’t get much better as we went -- and on the way back, we stopped to rest three or four times.

My energy picked up, some, during the day, but not much. Stretched some more, and took it very easy.

This will be the last entry for a week, while I’m at music camp.

Friday, July 20, 2012


Definitely a low-energy day.  Considered (briefly) walking to Winco, but decided agaist it.  Stayed as inactive as possible, cleaning up desk work and starting to pack for music camp.  Tried for a nap but couldn’t drop off.  Very glad I decided not to ride.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


So-so sleep, woke up feeling a little tired from yesterday’s carpentry, but not too stiff. Did a little painting and mowed lawn before going to Freddy’s to shop for stuff – where my legs got extremely tired. Almost shaky.

4:30pm – not much energy. Legs stiff and tired. Thinking I might not ride tomorrow. Especially since it calls for showers throughout the morning.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


9:00 AM: So far, so good. Good, restful sleep. Surprisingly little stiffness, now. Looking forward to doing some light carpentry.

Later – Spent almost three hours on my feet doing light carpentry this morning, without distress. Lots of bending and stretching. No nap.
Three hours in afternoon working with Travis, computer consultant. On my feet for brief intervals without stresss. Good energy.

Monday, July 16, 2012


During the night I was aware of how tired my legs were. I was tempted to take an ibuprofen, but decided against it.

Once up, I noted that the muscles in my legs and feet were stiff and felt tired. Yet when I went back upstairs and tried going up two stairs at a time, I realized my legs were actually stronger than I expected.

MAYBE A LITTLE STIFFNESS/SORENESS ISN’T A BAD THING? After all, I’m not having that overall heavy fatigue feeling, sleepiness and needing a nap. So I’m not getting OVERTRAINING SYMPTOMS. Following this thought, I might try a HARD RIDE TOMORROW, whether my muscles are still a little tight or not.

Late morning, PRONE STRETCHES: 15 min with legs up the wall followed by another 15 minutes on stomach and elbows, arching back. Beginning to wonder whether my leg problems have to do with compressed nerves?

6pm – Saw Dr McAninch this afternoon. I told him my thoughts on this, and he’s going to review the spinal imaging I had last year to rule out spinal stenosis, but otherwise he seems in agreement that my increased vitality is traceable to the reduction of lisinopril, and that hard training before all stiffness goes away is a valid approach. “As long as the stiffness has started going away,” is, I think, how he put it.

PLAN: MORE STRETCHING. I had sort of backed off of stretching, due to lack of energy. I’ve been generally more in favor of a nap than stretching. But with improved vitality, I probably can develop and maintain a decent stretching routine.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Super-tired legs from Lavender Fields

We went with Sean and Susan to the Helvetia Lavender Farm, gardens whose walkways were uneven turf, and I stayed on my feet long after my legs felt tired. An hour or two. My legs got very shaky. We had lunch and came home and sat around, and every time I got out of my chair I noticed how unsteady I was on my feet.

I wasn’t tired, woozy or sleepy. The fatigue was confined to my legs -- although when I walked down to New Seasons and back (four minutes each way) to pick up stuff for supper, I felt the chest discomfort that had first prompted my concern a couple of months ago, and had been noticeably absent for the past few weeks.

Later, going up and down stairs felt like the Supreme Effort – and got worse as the evening went on.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Two miles on foot equals tired legs

Awoke this morning feeling none the worse for wear from yesterday’s mini-workout. But on the way back from Winco my legs were quite tired.

I think they’re more tired than they would have been if I hadn’t ridden yesterday. But I’m not sure it (the ride) was a mistake. Even though it has me walking like a very old man, today, it may end up building up my muscle tone more than if I’d not ridden yesterday – or walked, today.

The fatigue I feel currently is different from that which I felt a few weeks ago. Before Dr Phillips reduced my Lisinopril dose, I often felt that I couldn’t count on my leg muscles to function. They often seemed about ready to suddenly give out on me. In fact I had that feeling when I was skiing last winter. Kind of scary.

Not that my legs are super-reliable, now, but they no longer feel as though they are on the verge of cutting out on me.

Finished the day with good energy, and legs feeling stronger at the end. Up and down stairs has been a piece of cake, with knees very flexible.

Friday, July 13, 2012

5.7 miles in granny gear

To REI and back. I took it super easy on my muscles, going for the lowest gear possible. (This was in part in honor of McAninch’s advice that the first part of a training session is disproportionately stressful.} Now, an hour later, it’s too soon to tell whether I set back my recovery, but so far it doesn’t feel like it.

Before the ride I painted half the deck with Thompson’s water seal – which I felt a lot in my legs. It told me how stiff I was.

Went to an affair at the gallery from 5 to 7, where I had to be on my feet for an hour or so. Tiring, but again, not stressful.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


A good day, all told, with minimal stiffness, good alertness, no fatigue. On my feet a lot without a problem. I'm playing with the idea of riding up to REI tomorrow morning -- about 6.5 miles round trip -- to see if I can do it without messing up my recovery. While at REI I'll check out the quick-release feature of the Garmin 500 Edge.

In evening, an hour or so on my feet at party was unpleasant but not stressful.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

23.0 miles

Eight hours of decent sleep.

I’d planned to ride 25 miles, but felt a little tired and decided 23 would be enough. I actually got a kind of “second wind” toward the end.

Now, in mid-afternoon, I feel good, alert, no need of nap, and my legs feel limber and fairly strong … although I still don’t feel like being on my feet for long. But then, I seldom have!

Bedtime: Energy has held up, but legs are getting stiff.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

THIRD rest day. Feeling really great.

In spite of ONLY FIVE HOURS SLEEP I had an exceptionally good day, today. Energy, optimisim, alertness, all good. LEGS BETTER THAN EVER, and that means on stairs, standing around, twisting through tight spaces. On stairs, my knees felt great going both up and down, my muscles were never an issue, and I was never out of breath.

I wasn’t on my feet a lot, and it’s true that when standing around talking, I took every opportunity to sit down. But that’s “normal,” for me; I could have stayed on my feet longer than I did without distress.

I feel more than ready to ride 25 miles tomorrow. As long as my cut doesn’t become infected. Right now (9pm) there’s some redness around it I hadn’t noticed before.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Second rest day; could I have ridden?

Yes, I could have, but I'm guessing I'm better off for waiting.

Decent sleep, awoke early, minimally stiff. Stretched a little, spent 2 or 3 hours in garage, with just enough bending and stooping to loosen my legs up.

SUBJECTIVE READINGS ALL GOOD. No sign of breathlessness when I went out for mail; likewise climbing stairs. Legs are responsive, feel (relatively) strong, with no sign of letting me down.

I’ve been reading about “overreaching” and “overtraining,” and seen repeated warnings against increasing the volume of training too quickly, “such as a 10 to 20 percent increase in training volume over a three- to four-week period.” That, I think, must apply to athletes training at a far higher level than I. My ride on Saturday was a 25 percent increase over Wednesday’s. And towards the end of my training last summer I was adding 14 miles every week. I did that for four weeks, between August 27 and Sept 20, and not only survived it, but actually thrived on it. On August 27 I rode 33.5 miles; on September 16, 74. All the time maintaining my 10mph average. That’s more than doubling – 100-and-something percent increase – of my “volume” in less than four weeks.

I’m glad, now, that I hadn’t been reading about over-reaching and overtraining at the time!

10PM: cut my finger while putting away carving knife. To ER for 3 stitches, home and to bed by 1:30.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

FIRST REST DAY, and things are looking up

Last night was the hottest so far this year … not good sleeping weather. So when I got up I wasn’t surprised to feel a bit groggy. Then as the day wore off so did the grogginess. And I noticed I was hardly stiff at all. Then after breakfast I got started on some carpentry in the garage, lost track of time, and eventually realized I had been ON MY FEET FOR TWO HOURS or more and my legs were just beginning to get a little bit tired. That’s a REAL IMPROVEMENT.

I’m reminding myself that the first rest day is often deceptively comfortable. But I’m also hoping that this is real progress. And I’m thinking it might be due to the REDUCED BLOOD PRESSURE MEDICINE DOSAGE that Dr Phillips put me on about ten days ago.

The reduced medication doesn't seem to have hurt blood pressure, which (5pm) is 126/54, p67.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

20.1 miles, nice and easy

I took it real easy, staying in lowest gear comfortable the whole way.  Stopped at Safeway and Great Harvest, and -- at about 12 miles -- at Burger King for a sausage-egg-cheese biscuit.
Legs felt tired towards the end, but I wasn’t tired, and now, half an hour later, I’m not sleepy.

I realized I was a little reckless going for 20 miles (rather than cutting for home after about 15) but thought, what the hell, it’s what I feel like doing, and if I get away with it, it will be a shot in the arm.

Not at all sleepy until right after lunch, when I went down for a nap. Afterwards I was alert but pleasantly tired and stiff – not at all like the “overtraining” feeling I’ve had during recent weeks. I took an ibuprofen or two and didn’t bother to stretch.

Bedtime: feeling very comfortable and optimistic – as though I’ve somehow turned a corner.

Friday, July 6, 2012


9 HRS SLEEP, BUT NOT RESTED. Makes me wonder about other issues such as sleep apnea. I’m tired, but hardly stiff at all. Maybe I just need to move around. 147/78, 68bpm. Skin bothered me during night, still worst its been 3 months.  Maybe that's why I didn't get restful sleep?

TO WINCO at 9:30, feeling quite tired. Came back with fairly heavy backpack, stopping to rest three times. Now, at 11:20, heading for a nap, I feel more sleepy than tired, and not very stiff.

I wonder if my low energy comes from not eating very much yesterday.

BEDTIME: Two lie-downs (without going to sleep) revived me somewhat. My legs are still a little stiff and sore, but I’m considering throwing caution to the winds and riding tomorrow.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Very good 10 hrs sleep. Lazed around until noon without stretching. Feeling good, not too stiff. Kind of vacation-lazy. No demands, and taking advantage of it.
Meanwhile, my legs feel quite uncomplaining, and going upstairs is nothing.

Breathing a little heavily when I came back from mail… not bad, but worse than I would have expected. I’m thinking it’s just that I’ve never “warmed up” today. Not worrisome.

6:30pm – comfortably sleepy. Feel like I’m still unwinding.

Bedtime: still comfortable.  Planning to hike to Winco tomorrow, maybe ride on Saturday.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

15.6 miles on 7 hrs sleep.

Woke up at 5:30 and couldn't get back to sleep.  Started riding at 9:20 after breakfast of fruit and millet but no eggs.

Legs started to feel it around 9 miles out.

Stopped for sausage egg and cheese sandwich around 10 miles out.

Had planned a loop of about 20 miles but cut it short because my legs felt like they were going to get too sore, and I was a bit tired from being short on sleep.

Back home, I tried to sleep right after Restorite drink but couldn’t drift off. Pretty well dragged myself through the rest of the day. Felt too tired to stretch.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


10:30am – Woke at 8 after 10 hrs heavy sleep. I found it hard to get moving, reminiscent of times past when I’d slept very heavily. It feels like the right thing .. that I’m finally letting go. It also feels like a good thing that I’m not riding today … as though this is some sort of deep repair stage, one that might be disrupted and set back by activity. The message I’m getting from my body is to TAKE ADVANTAGE of the fact that NO DEMANDS ARE BEING MADE on me today. Do as little as possible. Let the reservoir fill up as much as possible.

CLIMBING STAIRS leaves me hardly breathing hard, and feeling 95% RECOVERED.

IDEA: Climb stairs and immediately count pulse might be a measure of my recovery.

Bedtime: a good day, energy-wise.  Even spent some time on my feet with less discomfort/strain than I could have a couple of weeks ago, I think.  Perhaps this has more to do with my five days of rest than my conditioning.

Monday, July 2, 2012


9:50am -- I would definitely be tempted to ride, today, if other considerations hadn’t prohibited it. I feel 90 percent repaired and recuperated, and have energy to spare – at least it feels like it, sitting here at the computer. I think I’m at the “conditioning baseline” that McAninch mentioned.

Still, it may be just as well that I have to wait until Wednesday to ride, since that might put me into the “supercompensation” phase which would let me maximize my gains with my next workout.

9:30pm -- Climbed stairs 2 steps at a time 3/4 way to the top, as a test. Legs gave no sign of giving out, and I was only mildly winded. Definitely a gain on yesterday.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


9:30am -- Awoke with a general sense that I'm recovering in comparison to yesterday. But -- and I don't know how much of this is simply anxiety about my possibly waning powers of recuperation -- I'm relieved that I decided not to ride, today.

I find it difficult to describe some of the symptoms. "Fatigue," and "stiffness" are too vague. Then there is the question of degree. How fatigued, how stiff?

Both my system and my legs seem to be more recovered than yesterday, but not quite up to "normal" (whatever that means in my case).

2:45pm: My legs -- the leg muscles --are definitely more responsive and reliable than yesterday.

4:30: 10-min walk to New Seasons and back confirms I'm DEFINITELY ON THE UPSWING.

RECOVERY MEASUREMENT: CLIMBING STAIRS: Two days ago, my heart was pounding when I got upstairs. Today, I hardly notice it. Other stair-specific parameters might be muscle strain/tiredness and joints, especially left knee. Maybe I can assign a number. 0-5, 0 being no discomfort, 5 being really bad.

At bedtime, I still feel like I'm very near complete recovery, and plan to hike tomorrow.