Friday, August 31, 2012

9.0 mi to REI, Rock Creek Trail

Started day with left leg strengthening exercises and stretching.

RAISED SEAT back to what it was. REI passed on my seat position. My feet don’t touch ground because the axle of the pedal crank is built too high off the ground. 11” vs 10 5/8” for stock model. Can’t adjust that. Yet that doesn’t entirely explain it, because my feet are a couple of inches off the ground.

Aftrwards I PRACTICED CONTROL by following white lines on parking lots, and riding Rock Creek trail.

Muscles right around knees felt good – warm – as I rode. I tried to keep in low gears. The ride was broken up by shopping.

Walked to lunch right after riding. Legs very stiff. Got in my second stretch and felt much better. Fought off nap, played fiddle instead. It worked ok.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Poor sleep, good energy, 7.3 mi.

I awoke so often, and was sleeping so lightly, that I expected to be shot, today, but instead I had plenty of energy.

I LOWERED MY SEAT POST 2 or 3 inches, as an experiment. The idea was to be able to reach the ground with my toes while still on the seat, but with the seat all the way down, I could hardly reach the ground – certainly not enough to catch myself if I was falling over during a tight turn. I don’t like the feeling – not stretching my legs – but I think I’ll leave it there for a bit to see if I get used to it, and whether my leg muscles are affected (positively or negatively) by the change.

I rode to safeway and back – a couple of mild hills – and couldn’t tell too much difference.

On return, I exercized my left leg and stretched.

It’s 4:30, now, and I’m still not sleepy. Go figure. But I’m not complaining!

10:00 – Not even sleepy now!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Poor sleep. To Winco, but no cycling

Slept poorly, again, but managed to get a nap just before getting up at 8. Got about 5 minutes of stretching in, plus about 10 minutes exercizing of weak leg.

Back from Winco around noon, back from lunch about 1, played violin until about 3, nap until 4, e-mail and bookkeeping until 7, with break for news/sandwich and one stretching session.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Busy, busy -- no rest, little stretching

Slept poorly, up early to see Dr. McAninch (primary care) without breakfast (lipid blood draw) and back here in time for lunch and get ready for Travis (computer consultant) who was here from 2 to 4:30. I think I stretched once, but I can’t remember.

Quite a tiring day.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Rest day, and really dragging

I stretched once in the morning. Played duets with Erin, broke for lunch, and right after lunch I was exhausted, so took a nap. Hardly refreshed afterwards. Felt dead tired, too tired to breathe. But in late afternoon I started sightreading, and really got into it.

But every time I got on my feet, I felt like sitting down.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

8.1 mi. via Baseline, Brookwood (libe) , Evergreen

Stretched before breakfast. Rode at 10. Nap at 12:30, awoke only somewhat refreshed.

Anne thinks I’m exhausted from 6 hours of driving. But…

Saturday, August 25, 2012

To the Beach!

Spent five hours behind the wheel, three or four wandering around Depot Bay and Lincoln City. Very relaxing overall, but it left my legs ultra-stiff.

I can’t remember whether I stretched before I left, but I know I spent a couple of hours at my desk, reconciling Visa statement, etc.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Rest day, with much stretching

I slept well, but when I got up I was stiff as a board. I stretched twice before leaving to see Dr. Dave at 10, and it helped a lot.

I think yesterday’s workout was a good one, and I’m considering changing my training routes to take in more hills.

Right after lunch, I stretched again. I’m fighting taking a nap, because I’ve got so much to do, but I’m definitely tired/sleepy.

After supper: dragging. Probably will turn in early.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thirteen demanding miles, Seven with Kevin

Decent night’s sleep, not feeling nearly as washed out. Awoke unexpectedly stiff, but stretched twice before noon, and it helped a lot.

In afternoon, rode down to meet Kevin at Grass Valley – about six miles from here – and then followed him home, for another 7.1 miles. Very demanding, in terms of anxiety and stamina.

Anxiety in that Kevin rides on sidewalks, a lot, and crosses a lot of roads, and follows trails through parks that are often narrow with tight twists in them. Several times we passed pedestrians, whose safety I feared for because of my unsteadiness. I was constantly on guard lest I hit something or someone, or get caught in traffic as we crossed a road. He was very considerate, but there’s such a gap in our abilities…

Stamina in that we had half a dozen steep hills – steeper than what I’m used to. None of them were very long, and I got to the top of all but one, and would have gotten to the top of that one except that my gears unexpectedly jammed as I was down-shifting.

When we got to Kevin’s house I got a shower and then we sat around for two or three hours visiting and eating supper. I think this gave me time to stiffen up. Anyway, he put my bike on his car and brought me home, and when we got here I was quite stiff.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

To Winco, but stiff and tired.

Unaccountably, I was stiff and tired, today. Although we walked to Winco and back without stopping, it was an effort. I stretched once in the morning.

Guy came by to inspect water heater, and I had a real hard time standing around while he was talking. Had to go get a stool to perch on, legs were that bad. Knees, though, were more limber. So backing off of stretching intensity may have been the right thing to do.

Nap at 3:15. No energy on awakening. Stretched once more before bedtime.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Rest Day

Uneventful. Spent afternoon running errands in car.

Knees not very limber. In fact, I suspect some of my recent stretching may have been to extreme. I stretched couple of times today, but I limited the degree to which I stressed my knees.

General energy was good. No nap.

Monday, August 20, 2012

14.9 complicated miles

Today’s was an exploratory trip as much as a training ride. I needed to reconnoiter the location of Grass Valley, the company Kevin works for, because we’re planning to meet there when he gets out of work Thursday, and ride together back to his house. It’s in a corporate park at a busy intersection and I didn’t want to arrive and find myself negotiating strange territory in rush hour, and possibly getting antsy about keeping Kevin waiting.

I found it, okay, and I’m glad I took the trouble to do this scouting, because the traffic pattern wasn’t all that friendly. But now that I know where things are, I think I’ll be okay.

Anyway, when I left his office, at the corner of 158th and Walker, I headed south on 158th, which was okay until I crossed Jenkins – at which point there suddenly was no bike path. I ended walking the bike a lot, and also rather nervously riding it along narrow, twisting asphalt sidewalks, for maybe a mile. When I finally got to TV highway, I was almost a nervous wreck.

Once home, I had a nap, and awoke very stiff. I’ve stretched twice since then. Now, at bedtime, I’m much less stiff.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Resting -- and stretching -- comfortably

Two stretching sessions so far (4:40pm) and I plan at least one more. Meanwhile, I feel alert, adequately vital, and not too stiff.

Bedtime: stretched one more time. Feeling good!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Winco & back without stopping; then 9.6 mi on bike

I had planned for this to be a rest day, but we needed to go to Winco. I was delighted to discover, on the way back, that I didn’t feel the need to sit down for a rest, the way I’ve so often needed to do, recently.

Then I needed to have my bike’s gearshift cable adjusted, so I rode to REI, and while out, I decided to go by the library to pick up an interlibrary loan.

And I felt pretty good the whole way.

Had to have nap, late, almost 4 pm. And I got a couple of stretching sessions in, as I remember it. (Posting this on Sunday.)

Friday, August 17, 2012

19.3 miles with eager muscles!

I didn’t sleep too well, and I started off thinking that the ride might go poorly, especially since my optimum rest period seems to be three days, and I’d only had two. But once I got warmed up, I noticed my leg muscles really rising to the challenge. BRING IT ON!

I noticed it first when I was going up some hills, and then again – several times – as I was trying to catch lights before they turned orange or red. A week or two ago I would have felt at least a twinge of desperation or despair at the challenge. Today, I simply stepped on the throttle, gave it the old heave-ho!.

I feel STRETCHING for the past couple of days deserves a lot of credit, and so I’m keeping it up. Two (15-minute) sessions so far, today.

Later – one more sesson.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Rest day with Stretching, Stretching, Stretching.

First thing this morning, coming down stairs, I noticed my bad knee was in bad shape. So I made stretching a high priority, today. I set my timer for 15 minutes and stretched carefully and thoughtfully until the beeper went off. Then I did it again, two or three times, during the day.

Now, after supper, I feel as though it has helped. And I think I have to do a lot more of it. Not only did the knee improve; the leg muscles seemed to feel better. I may be over-enthusiastic, just now, but I’m thinking/hoping that stretching may be my path to the muscle tone I’ve been looking for – that allows me to stay on my feet longer, and get through the day with less fatigue. Not to mention less knee pain.

I took special pains to STRETCH MY GLUTES AND HIPS UP TO MY WAIST, and my feet, some, as well. Why? Because they felt stiff, and that suggests that they’ve been limiting my flexibility.

Stretching in 15-minute segments four times a day is my goal. I think I can do it as long as I remember to stick to restful (non-demanding) stretch poses and routines. So I can do it even when/if I’m tired.

I plan to PUSH THE ENVELOPE, tomorrow, and RIDE 20 MILES ON ONE DAY’S REST. It will be very hot, so I plan to leave early, and be back by 11, when it should be only about 80.

I may be overdoing it, but I feel it’s worth the gamble.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

19.99 miles

My strength was adequate but my energy was mediochre. I just didn’t feel like pushing myself.

My knee was protesting for the first 8 or 9 miles, as though I’d been over-using it, recently. This despite concerted stretching and icing yesterday. But towards the end of the ride it actually started feeling stronger – as though the muscles were supporting it – and it no longer felt sore.

9:30 pm – I went down for a nap around 3 pm, discouraged that my energy level was so low. But my knees are feeling noticeably better. Especially the bad one. Perhaps the stretching is already paying off.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Walked to Winco

My legs held out better than usual going and coming to Winco this morning, but since then (it’s now 3:30) I’ve been eager to sit down at every opportunity. Are my legs ever going to develop any stamina for standing around?

Today I spent 15 minutes with them elevated vertically against the wall – and about 10 minutes, total, stretching. Also iced my knee for 15 minutes. It’s been complaining more than I expected it to, recently. Not so bad up and down stairs, as just ambling around. (It’s the main reason I plan to increase my stretching routine.)

Tomorrow I plan to ride about 20 miles, and may not have much time for stretching when I get back before Travis is here to help with the computer, TV, etc.

7pm – I got another 10-15 minutes of stretching in.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

3.4 mi. to library

Just enough to limber up my knees. Which seemed to need it!

I’m beginning to think I need to stretch more.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


I spent an hour this morning watching a light show on the wall made by the early morning sun as it shone through the oak leaves waving in the breeze and making dancing shadows … very relaxing.

So is this why I’m so lazy, today? Or was it the 69.6 miles I rode in the last 7 days – definitely the high mark for this year so far. Both, I think -- and I’m content with it..

And my knees feel so great, today. I’ve been conscious of it every time I went up and down a stair.

Still, in the shower, tonight, I almost lost my balance, when I was rinsing the soap out of my hair. Suddenly I realized I was falling, and just got my hand on the ledge in time to steady myself. No warning! Not good! And I don’t know how much that’s going to improve as my legs get stronger… It may not be a question of muscle tone.

As for energy, today, it was never high, but on the other hand I was never sleepy … until now, and it’s bedtime.

Friday, August 10, 2012

22.7 miles

Great weather. Started at 7:45, ended at 11:45. Slowed by several construction sites and one accident. But mostly I was just going slow. I also spent an hour or so shopping in Wal-mart – where, by the way, my legs in no way cramped my style. They are definitely getting stronger.

So here’s another successful ride that follows only two “rest” days, both of which were fairly active.

Tonight we went to the movies – almost 3 hours of sitting – and at the end when I first stood up I was incredibly unsteady. After a minute or two I was “okay”, although anybody watching me would have seen a doddering old man, I’m sure.

Bottom line: my legs are tired, but I feel like it’s healthy fatigue, on the way to greater strength and reslience.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Household chores

No hike, no bike, but mowed the lawn, brought the big stepladder downstairs and used it in the garage to get down some of Anne’s paintings. I can remember when this would have felt like a major workout, but today I took it in stride – and got in a great couple of hours on the violin in the afternoon.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

To Winco and back

We made a brisk walk of it, because I had to get back and go to the dentist. We sat down for two brief breaks on the way back, but I’ve felt much worse in recent weeks…

…and the rest of the day was uneventful, except for a sense of well-being springing from my lack of lethargy. Legs felt tired and stiff, but strong.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

22.2 mi in 3 hrs overall, 2:16 rolling

A delightful ride on many counts. The weather was fantastic: overcast, mid-sixties, really refreshing. But the best part was how I felt. Everything felt good – my leg muscles, my general vitality, and my clear-headedness. At last, the cobwebs began dissipating! And this in spite of having taken only one complete rest day in the past week.

True, my bad knee was protesting a bit, but that may have been because I was pumping extra hard on that leg. Anyway, it’s been worse than this several times in the past, and I think a bit of icing will probably put it to rights.

The sore spot in my bad knee aside, my knees felt extra good, today, right from the start of the ride. For that, I credit the short ride I took yesterday. I’m thinking a 20-minute low-stress ride every day would be ideal for my knees. And since I’m finally in good enough shape – or nearly so – to do that, I’m going to try to make it part of my routine.

In general, today, when getting on and off my bike, and moving around, I was conscious that I’ve gotten stronger. My muscles are more responsive, more reliable. This leaves me more confident, more optimistic.

I skipped the “recoverite” protein drink afterwards, because I still felt full from the breakfast sandwich I’d had an hour or so earlier. And I didn’t bother stretching much, either. It’s a calculated risk, but if I can do without it, I can save that much more time. I cooled down by straghtening out the garage for 15 minutes.

Now, mid-afternoon, my legs are a bit stiff and tired, but I’m far from crippled.

Bedtime: feeling quite good, hardly stiff.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mini-ride of 3.4 miles

Just feeling a little lazy today, so we decided not to walk to Winco. After lunch, rode over to library and back, just to oil up the knee joints. Left me a little stiff later on but not crippled.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Rest day

It was hot, today, so I wasn’t surprised to find myself a little lethargic. My legs were a little stiff, but really not too bad.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

21.3 easy miles

I took it slow and easy, with frequent stops in stores along the way, because I was pushing it a little bit in terms of recovery time, but although I started out feeling tired, I got a bit fresher as the ride went on, despite soaring temperatures.  I went by a church that said it was 96 degrees.
Now at 4:30 pm, I'm tired but not wiped out.  We're heading out to the movies for a matinee.
CLIMBING STAIRS: Four elements were remarkably improved. (1) Knee joints felt good. (2) Leg muscles did not feel tired and stiff. (3) Leg muscles felt stronger. (4) I did not feel winded or any distress when I reached the top of the stairs.  Given my relatively “intense” training schedule this week, this is terrific

Friday, August 3, 2012

9.0 mi -- to REI & Rock Creek Trail

Started day with left leg strengthening exercises and stretching.

RAISED SEAT back to what it was. REI passed on my seat position. My feet don’t touch ground because the axle of the pedal crank is built too high off the ground. 11” vs 10 5/8” for stock model. Can’t adjust that. Yet that doesn’t entirely explain it, because my feet are a couple of inches off the ground.

Aftrwards I PRACTICED CONTROL by following white lines on parking lots, and riding Rock Creek trail.

Muscles right around knees felt good – warm – as I rode. I tried to keep in low gears. The ride was broken up by shopping.

Walked to lunch right after riding. Legs very stiff. Got in my second stretch and felt much better. Fought off nap, played fiddle instead. It worked ok.

To Winco on foot

Walking a couple of miles for groceries felt like no big deal, although I sat down a couple of times on the way back.

On my feet a little bit during the afternoon, shopping, helping Anne bring some paintings back from the gallery.  All told, I held up pretty well.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

6.9 miles, exuberantly

Okay, maybe it’s premature to exult, but I felt really good this morning, out to REI and Safeway.  The fun was back in it, at last!

The knee-stabilizers are the only muscles I felt – except for my calves, and them only slightly. Quads seemed to be making no effort at all. I was careful to stay in low gears and spare my large (relatively) muscles, since I don’t want to mess up my recovery, what with planning to walk tomorrow

7:30 pm: Legs feeling only a tiny bit stiff, and are working great going up and down stairs. And my knees feel like they are in really great shape. I have the feeling that it would be good for my knees if I rode at least every other day. What I call the “stabilizers” don’t seem to need as much recovery time as the larger muscles … and seem to benefit from motion – flexion – as much as or more than from exertion. So a short ride in between long ones seems like a good formula, if and when I’m in shape for it. And I’m beginning to think that maybe I am, already!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Resting optimistically

2pm – Feeling extra good. Muscles not sore, good energy, no hankering for nap.

Considering riding out to REI and Safeway tomorrow – about 6 miles -- to do some errands. Then hiking to Winco on Friday … and another ride of 20 miles or so on Saturday (early, before it gets hot!)