Excess exercise ‘hurts the heart’
I caught this online, as I am sure many of you already have, and found it interesting. This stood out to me:
Activities such as marathons, iron man distance triathlons, and very long distance bicycle races may cause structural changes to the heart and large arteries, leading to lasting injury.
Endurance sports such as ultramarathon running or professional cycling have been associated with as much as a five-fold increase in the prevalence of atrial fibrillation, or abnormal heart rhythms.
The only 3 distance events I have on my schedule for the rest of this year are the Silver Comet half-marathon, Rock N’ Roll Savannah full marathon, and Tough Mudder. Earlier this year I questioned whether or not I would pursue any distance events beyond this year and had said that I wouldn’t. Reading this article seems to back up that decision. Yea, I might not be in that small percentage of people that are affected, but I might be. Why risk it?
L to R: Carlos, Kim, me, and Robert
My buddy Robert found this on the Southern Crescent Cycling page and emailed it to me. I told him that I was thankful that this was taken before the race and not after. He said that we should have lied and said it was taken after, meaning we could have kept up with Kim (the lady to my right). Sadly, I may have to break one of her legs to keep up with her, and even then it would be a challenge.
The Century that almost was…
On Saturday headed over to Pike County for the 15th annual Tour de Pike. I believe that there were a little over 300 cyclists there, all doing the various course lengths, of 18, 33, 66, and 100. I knew that this would be a challenge for me and then some. Still a rookie on the bike with not many miles under my belt, taking on a century was something that would require a major gut check.
Details and photos behind the jump.
Tour de Pike, or what I like to call, my certain death
I have not blogged to terribly much about the biking lately and with good reason. I have not been doing an awful lot of it. Maybe I should say, not as much as I should in order to prepare for my first century ride. Which is tomorrow.
Taking on 100 miles is not something I would recommend doing the day after a WOD with 150 wall balls. Taking on 100 miles is not something I would recommend doing with the little biking that I have done to “prepare”. So I am nervous. Really nervous. I am actually more nervous about this event than I have been for any other event I have done to date. I feel horribly unprepared but yet not willing to back down from this fight. Despite many of my friends telling me “dude, you will kill it” I guess my confidence is still not that great here considering my longest ride to date has been a notch under 50 miles. That is the primary reason I am so nervous.
The ride starts tomorrow at 8:30 and will carry me through 100 miles of a nearby county. My plans are simple: survive. While I want to push myself, I also want to go at my pace. I want to stop when I need to, fuel adequately, and all of that other jazz. All I can do is my best. The great thing about tackling something like this for the first time is that I have no baseline or super strict expectation of myself other than to finish. Sure, I would love to keep a certain pace, but like my first marathon, I wanted to get it under my belt.
Guess we will find out tomorrow.
Post ride, I am pretty stoked about. My buddy Ben is tackling his first marathon on Sunday here in the A. Rob is swinging down as well and our plan, should I not die on the side of the road, is to meet up with them for dinner. My wife and I are planning on coming out to cheer on the runners at the marathon as well, so it should be a pretty awesome weekend all around.
My bike is in the shop getting a new tire and check up before next weeks century. Since I need to log some miles, I was at Gold’s around 4:30 this morning. After losing an hour I really did not want to get up.
Did a tad under 40 miles and then met up with some friends for an hour of core work. All in all, a great workout. I’m pretty tired but best of all, I get to spend the rest of the day with my girls!
Things not to do when there is a wind advisory: Bike 40 miles.
It was so windy in spots that I had to lean to the left, into it, to keep from being knocked over. Felt like pedaling backwards. Did about 20 with a local group of 26 riders and then 20 more after that. The last 20 were with Peto. I tried so hard to push and keep up but he is just faster than me.
Got home, showered, and promptly fell asleep on the couch. I’m freaking dead. LOL!
Wind: 2, Jason: 0
Another windy solo ride. My plan was to get in a much longer ride today, but realized I had no gels on hand so that plan got bumped to next weekend. In the meantime, I hit the road while my girls took a nap.
On a side note, I was happy about one part of the ride. Despite being a little tired today, I hit this one part of the ride that I love mainly because gravity becomes my friend instead of my enemy. I pedaled as hard as I could to see how fast I could go.
37.5 top speed isn’t too shabby given the wind, my size, and the fact that I was alone.
Had a nice ride this afternoon with some friends. Ben got to hit the road for the first time, and despite what he may tell you, I think he did great. We did a route that I have done before, but slightly modified it to get a few more miles in. I actually felt better on the hills than I have in the past. Got 37MPH on a good downhill run at one point, which felt amazing.
Things that you probably shouldn’t do after 200 wall balls: 41 mile bike.
Oh well. Punching life in the face this year. Took this at Hillview during my first loop. Hillview is a 3 mile road that’s a slow and steady climb and the hardest part of my ride. Did it twice today.
2nd Group Ride
Yesterday I went out on my second group ride. I was a little nervous because one of the guys I knew was an amazing biker. I figured he would totally slaughter me, which in certain areas he did. However, this guy was one of the nicest guys I have met. Instead of using the ride to blast me, he stayed with me a good bit, slowing down so I could keep up, and giving me great tips and pointers on riding. I have had so much fun biking but the people really make it even better. This guy was no exception to that.
This biking community is pretty cool, actually. When we got back to the bike store we started from, people stopped and talked. Everyone is so friendly and that makes a huge difference to a beginner like me. I hope to be able to do the same when I get more experience under my belt.
As for the results of the ride, I spent most of the time sucking wind behind bikers better than me. But I really wouldn’t want it any other way. Each time they pulled away I kept thinking to myself “keep going” and “catch up”. When they stopped to regroup my whole goal was for them to not have to wait very long for me at all.
Also, I got a little mod that lets me strap my 310XT on the bike as well as a cadence/speed sensor. Coupled with my heart rate monitor, I feel like I now have plenty of electronic monitoring devices strapped to me to classify me as a division of the FBI or CIA.
Here are the results of the ride:
The 3 guys I went with, I know that at least two of them averaged 18+ and they were taking it easy because they are doing a really hard ride today. I still have plenty of work to do. We also fought some really nasty winds which made it more difficult. I was told that given the weather and the fact that this was only my second group ride that I did pretty good. So I will take this a victory and keep on going. Loving this biking thing so far.
GPOY. Picked up a new bike jersey this weekend and thought I would try and take a decent photo. Instead of using the timer, my wife helped me. I think she got a kick out of it.
For you photogs out there, this was shot with a Nikon D700 and 24-70mm f/2.8. Lighting was a single AB1600 into an 86” PLM @ 1/32, triggered with PWII’s.
First real ride today and wow, what a great time. I was riding with Peto, who has a lot more saddle time than I do, and I knew it would be a challenge for me given how much more advanced he is than I am. He told me that I did good riding today, which was very motivating to me to hear, especially when you hear it during the ride.
Also tested out the 310XT and I love it. The mount for the bike comes Tuesday so I will be able to look down and see the info easier than having it on my wrist. I left the auto laps feature on, which I probably should have turned off. Still lots to learn but I am amped to see this kind of data. For those interested, here is the data from the ride.
I guess I have officially become “that guy”.
My wife’s folks were kind enough to come watch the girls for a few hours today. Instead of goofing off, renting movies, playing games, or anything of the sort, I used the time to take my bike out for the first time. I still have a lot to learn, however, the taste I got for biking today was sweet.
15 miles on the bike followed by a quick 1 mile run.