Sunday, November 15, 2015

Extending My Rides: NiteRIder Lumina 550 and Light and Motion VIS 180

Last month as it was getting darker earlier and earlier, I often found myself racing the darkness home on my ElliptiGO. I decided I needed to be safer in those moments and see if I could extend my riding in the dark, so I broke down and bought some bike lights for my ElliptiGO.

After much research, I still wasn't sure which lights to buy, but I ended up with the NiteRider Lumina 550 Headlight. It is a a model between the two NiteRider models recommended on the ElliptiGO site. It is charged by USB and it can blink as well as have a steady beam of light at three different intensities. I was amazed by how much it lit up the the road and felt completely safe riding in the dark with this light. On the ElliptiGO you want to place it as close to you can to the midpoint of the handlebars so the beam isn't angled out to the side. The rubber band holding it to the bar is easy to set up and holds it securely. The on/off button glows blue when it is in use and red (as I found out today) when it needs recharging, but I still rode for 30 minutes more and got home without losing light. Riding at night opens up a whole nother world!

I would have been happy trying the NiteRider Solas 40 Taillight as well, but wasn't assured that it was easy to attach to my ElliptiGO. On a friends recommendation, I bought the Light and Motion VIS 180 Degree Micro Bike Light and quite easily attached it to the rear reflector. I secured it with some Cable Ties so that it didn't fall off unnoticed by me. This light works great and can also blink. It is also easy to recharge by its USB plug. I noticed cars going wide around me as I rode in the dark and I guess that is the desired outcome! I also bought a cheap clipon Nathan Strobe Light to put on the back of my shirt or jacket as I ride. It gives extra protection and it can also blink or give a steady light. Now I am in full nerd mode, but I am much safer and can ride longer while I add another dimension of fun and experiences to my riding!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Foam Rolling Tricks and Techniques

Here are three unique foam rolling techniques to enhance your running, recover faster and stay injury-free as presented by Fleet Feet Sports-Chicago. Don't get stuck just rolling back and forth on your foam roller (or use it as a pillow when you lie down on the floor to read or watch TV-my habit). The roller shown in the video is the Trigger Point Performance Grid but there other rollers could do some of these same tricks.

Three Century Rides on my ElliptiGO

September was the month for centuries. For three straight weeks, I rode a 100 miler on my ElliptiGO. I started with the Ride for Angels century which was held on September 13 and started in North Andover, MA. It would travel through Southern New Hampshire and Northeast Massachusetts. It was hillier than I had imagined and we had some wet roads in the morning and mild rain later in the ride. I had a brake pad that was rubbing and my chain dropped off twice. Not only that but I went off the course and up one of the bigger climbs of the day before turning around and getting back on course. I hit the 100 mile mark in 6:35 elapsed time. I try not to stop except to fix problems or to navigate.

A week later I rode the Charles River Wheelmen Fall Century. This one passed through some of my training routes. It was hillier than the previous week, but I felt real good except for the last three miles. My elapsed time for 100 miles was 5 minutes slower than the previous week, but this was a tougher course with all the climbing.

Six days later, I rode the Tri-State Seacoast Century. This was my third year doing this ride (2014 and 2013)  and this year the chilly wind was blowing in the opposite direction. The first half of the ride was riding into the brisk wind and the return trip was supposed to have more of a tailwind, but the course was more sheltered and this was my slowest of three tries at this century.  My elapsed time was 6:46 for the 100 mile mark. I guess this is not the year I go under 6 hours. Doing it the way I ride them, without stopping for rest stations, is a tough way to GO 100 miles. The effort is similar to running a marathon and you go through the same draining of energy near the end.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

How to "Conquer Your Uneven Hips: Simple Strategies to Regain Balance and Structure in Your Central Joint"

I don't know if it can always be done and I don't know if I can even correct my own pelvic tilt that I have had since before I was a runner and that goes back to about 45 years ago when I "failed" the junior high scoliosis test and was sent to Boston Children's Hospital to deal with what they called a "leg length discrepancy". Last month the doctor who has given me prolotherapy injections ordered an x-ray and I read the results and I still have a tilted pelvis.

Running in Kenya. The security guard didn't speak English, know how to use
my camera, or to move his finger off the lens!
I am happy riding my ElliptiGO these days, miss running, but not doing anything to hurt my body. Every once in awhile, I try out a run, but the next day my hip is imbalanced and sore. I did a few runs in June, culminating with my longest run in well over a year: 7 miles, but that was just to prove to myself that I could survive a run so that I could get a run in when I went to Kenya in July. I did get a two mile run while I was in Kenya which was pretty cool. I was out in the country at the Joska boarding school and had fun running on the dirt roads and all the Kenyans would wave and cheer me on! One guy riding by on a motorcycle shouted out, "Why in the world are you running?" I retorted, "I'm in Kenya!"

I haven't run since. I feel a creakiness in my hip joint, but it is mostly the the ligaments and muscles around my hip joint that pull everything out of place and leave my whole left leg out of whack the next day after a run and my hip feels jammed up. So I ride my ElliptiGO, which allows me to shift my body around, but I am never fully comfortable in the muscles around my hips. They are rarely feeling balanced.

The good news is that the day after running 7 miles, I returned to my prolotherapist doctor and only after two visits she said my si joint was good and tight. I had a great response to this therapy. Originally, she had said that it might take four visits to even know if it would work for me and she said it would probably take at least six visits in all. I was good after two, which would save me a bunch of money as insurance doesn't cover prolo. So my si joint had improved, but I still feel unbalanced and out of whack three or four days a week. I asked about prolo in the hip joint. She used to do that, but would recommend PRP therapy instead, but that is out of my price range. I was curious about prolo helping the muscles and ligaments surrounding the hip joint. She said it might, but seems cautious about doing anything further, beyond ordering the x-rays. My report says:

COMPARISON: AP pelvis from left hip series 4/25/2013, 9/5/2012.
1. Pelvic tilt with the left superior iliac crest approximately
26 mm more superior compared to the superior right iliac crest.
2. Mild bilateral hip joint space narrowing, acetabular
articular sclerosis and tiny lateral marginal osteophytes, not
significantly changed.
3. Mild bilateral sacroiliac joint. Symphysis degenerative
4. No visible fracture.

In the past, I have ordered many of  Sean Schniederjan's ebooks on the hip and lower back. I have found that he has some good information and alternative exercises which he tells about in a straightforward way. I have found some of his movements helpful at times, but it was hard to pinpoint exactly which or what movement was best for my conditions. I noticed that he recently put out a new ebook Conquer Your uneVEN Hips: Simple Strategies to Regain Balance and Structure In Your Central Joint and decided that would be another good one to try. Sean just doesn't repost the same exercises and movements that are sort of the "recipe" approach that everyone mimics and posts online, he explains things that may be a bit unusual, but that have worked for him. I have done a few of these exercises and they seem to really tire out the muscles around my hip that are always tight and I noticed my hips feeling a bit more stable since doing them. It will be interesting to see how these work over time.

Here is Sean demonstrating some of these exercises:

The beauty of the EllitpiGO is that not only can I move my body around to adjust for instability, but I am also using the handlebars to keep my body stable when not working in perfect posture (of course this can also be a bad thing). I have had a great summer riding. I hit a new PR for distance traveled in a week during August when I put in 350 miles. I led all ElliptiGOer on Strava around the world that week in mileage, just as I did last week although I only put in 215 miles. If you looked at last week's' leader board of over 200 riders, I also had the fastest average speed of all riders 16.2 mph except for one person who did 50 miles. Despite my inefficiencies and lack of stability over my hips, I can still do some great workouts on the ElliptiGO.

I get to test my summer training over the next three weekends when I do three separate centuries. Tomorrow I do my first 100 miler of the year at the Ride for Angels. The next Sunday, I will be doing the Charles River Wheelman's Fall Century Soughegan River Tour (and if the weather is great I might to another century the day before). In two weeks, I will be returning to the Seacoast Century.

One thing that I have found somewhat helpful over the past few months when my hip gets jammed and my leg goes out of whack is to use a band as a distraction for my hip doing exercises like these. My prolo doctor said these type of hip distractions were fine! The osteapath she has had me go to in the past, just pulls on my leg. I use the green Strong Assisted Pull-up & Resistance Power Stretch Band .

The accent is half the fun here!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

2015 Falmouth Road Race: Top Male Finisher Photos

Lead pack running together up Heights Hill: Sam Chelanga, Leonard Korir, Stephen Sambu, and Micah Kogo.
Stephan Sambu would pull away for the win.

6th place finisher Daniel Salel

7th place Aaron Braun
8th place Chris Derrick

10th place Meb Keflezighi

11th place George Alex
12th place Zachary Hine
13th place Chris Kwiatkowski
14th place  Christopher Stadler
15th place Bo Waggoner
16th place Eric Ashe
17th place Eric McDonald

18th place Sean Duncan

Here is a video of author Paul Clerici as he talks about the history of the Falmouth and his book History of the Falmouth Road Race.


Sunday, August 23, 2015

2015 Falmouth Road Race: Top Female Finisher Photos

#1 Diane Nukuri

#2 Sara Hall

#3Sentayehu Ejigu
#4 Neely Gracey

#5 Amy Cragg
#6 Monicah Ngige
#7 Alexi Pappas
#8 Laura Nagel
#9 Katie Matthews
#10 Liz Costello
#24 Kara Haas First Master
#25 Joan Samuelson First Senior