Sunday, July 14, 2013

I have seen the future...

In 1974 Jon Landau famously wrote of Bruce Springsteen, "I've seen rock 'n' roll's future, and its name is Bruce Springsteen." Well, I have seen the future of endurance sport exercise and it's name is ElliptiGO. I can't tell you how much fun I am having on this machine. In three weeks time, I have gone from just laying around and trying to find a suitable way to get back into shape on my sore hip to thoroughly enjoying each day I get to ride my ElliptiGO. I feel stronger after each ride, suffer no joint pain at all, and get the endorphin rush each time I get out and 'Go. Running wasn't working for me any more post hip surgery. Biking was too uncomfortable (and has always been). And everything else I tried just didn't replace the sport I love (running). I have done 40 years of running (50 marathons) and I have raced triathlons (5 Ironman distance races in the 1980's) as well as  bicycles so I know what those sports are about and I have never had as much pain-free fun getting a good workout in as when I am ElliptiGOing. The best thing is when I am done, I feel great, yes, I am tired, but not sore at all. I can't remember feeling this consistently good after working out in about 30 years (when my body first got very cranky doing triathlons). Literally, instead of constantly feeling torn apart like I have for years whenever I run, I am feeling like I am building up after each workout!

I think that ElliptiGOs have a bright future (particularly if they can bring the price down). My Facebook feed is full of running friends my age who are constantly dealing with injuries and trying to make running work. They are pool running, cycling, working on elliptical machines and other exercise equipment trying to stay in shape. The ElliptiGO is the ideal tool for the injured or overworked runner. It looks like you are cycling, but if feels like you are running. You get a sense of speed, but it is not as fast as a bicycle. You can go farther and longer than you can on your runs and believe me, you are certainly visible to vehicles. This week I found the biggest hills in the area and I was able to ElliptiGO right up them with no problem (even passed a cyclist). Speed is reduced on the downhills due to wind resistance and the ElliptiGO is very stable. I have yet to feel out of control on it. I also get to see more of my world then when cycling (head down) or running (concentrate!). Standing up, in good posture, while riding allows you to view the landscape around you as you ride. I am seeing so many new things riding around on routes I use to run, race, and cycle on.

I haven't tried running since the Fast Downhill 5K one month ago. I told myself not to run until I felt ready. Thursday I finally gave it a go. The first thing I noticed was that my stride has improved a bit in the past month. At first I could feel that deep tightness at the top/back of my femur or hip socket. That went away after 1/2 mile (but I am sure something is still amiss there). I did feel slow and sluggish (this was the day after my 60 mile ride). I really wasn't enjoying the run. It was hot and humid. I felt OK except when going left around a corner, I could feel muscle tightness and weakness then. I only ran one and 1/2 miles. I would hardly consider that a run in year's' past. I didn't really enjoy it at all, but I couldn't wait to get going on my ElliptiGO right after the run. That night, my muscles were fighting a bit to calm down.That short run hurt more than the 58 miles I ElliptiGOed the previous day. It was more of imbalances and not the glute pain I had previously, but I realized that I am not ready to start running again. I have the Falmouth Road Race next month and I am not sure if I will even be ready to attempt it. I am no longer interested in pushing my body when it is not ready to handle being pushed. Fortunately, I have this ElliptiGO to keep me active and excited to exercise. When I got it, it was with the thought that it may take a year to get my body back to running. I would like a miracle, but I will be happy just riding the ElliptiGO to my hearts content and see if consistent riding over time will allow me back into running. If so, I won't ever run as much as I used to. I will intersperse quality running sessions with ElliptiGO riding. It just makes sense. I think that a lot of aging runners will figure out this some day themselves in the next few years. If not, they will be relegated to the couch and that is not a fun place to be. I am so much happier being able to do hard exercise in a healthy manner for the first time in three years.

I think of all the long time runners whose bodies cannot run anymore and I wish they would give the ElliptiGO a shot. It is a heavy duty and fun exercise machine and it gives you back the fresh energy you had when you were young and never worried about your body breaking down someday. You can sprint and push the uphills and soar down the downhills like you are kid riding a bike. It definitely brings back that joyous feeling of exercising your body that we all long for and try to recapture. I never wanted to be that former runner hobbling around the neighborhood and now I don't have to be! I am the fast guy on the cool bike.

Here are my ElliptiGO miles for the past week. I have already gone 500 miles!

7/8 Monday: 20 miles-got dumped on by heavy rain halfway through
7/9 Tuesday: 0 miles-rain
7/10 Wednesday: 0 miles-more rain
7/11Thursday: 32 miles-more rain halfway through
7/12 Friday: 58 miles
7/13 Saturday 1.5 mile run /10 miles
7/14 Sunday: 30 miles

Total weekly miles: 150 miles
Total ElliptiGO miles: 498 miles (23 days)

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