Been Riding, Sort of…

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This past week I’ve been all over the map.  At least health-wise.  I haven’t connected all the dots, or actually figured it out much at all, what makes things better or worse.  One thing that I have figured out is that if I sleep more, I am less dizzy.  And if I ride the ergometer, I feel better in general.  Less dizzy, less headache, just all around better.

I got the go ahead to ride a little over a week ago at KU Med.  But not really train.  I have to keep my heart rate super low and thus the resistance is low.  The first couple times I rode, I could actually wear a winter hat and not get hot.  That isn’t my historic way that riding inside feels.

Initially, I was keeping my heart rate in the 90’s, so the wattage was under 200.  Yesterday I brought the heart rate up 10, so now it is in the lower 100’s.  It still isn’t much resistance, but it is a lot harder than before.  I am in pitiful shape, maybe not as bad as I think, but i feel generally out of sorts in nearly all aspects of my health, so it feels the same with my fitness.

I’ve spent a fair amount of time, over the years, on ergometers.  It all started back when I first turned senior, or elite, as they say now.  I spent 3 months of one winter up in a government lab in Grand Forks North Dakota, and I had to do VO2 tests twice a week.  The weather in Grand Forks is pretty harsh in December, so I rode inside a ton.  It is amazing how much better you can riding an ergometer when you spend 3 hours a day doing it.

My experience transferred to when I flew directly to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.  Eddie B. had all the national team guys ride tests to see how fit we were.  I had spent some much time on a Monarch ergometer, that I could kill that test.  My power to weight ratio was dramatically better than any other rider there, which was everyone.  That was only because I’ve been riding one for the past three months.  There is a big difference between training on an ergometer and using that power out of the road in a race.  At least a mass start race.

I have to admit, I am happy that riding makes me feel better.  I still have a headache, but not one that is killing me.  Of course, I am still dizzy, but not like I can’t stay on the trainer because I’m going to fall off.  I think my brain appreciates the small amount of endorphins that I’m giving it.  I think I am so used to them, that I am in withdrawals without them.

Yesterday, I only had 1/2 a Percocet.  I had a quarter one at 4am, then 1/4 at 9am.  Now cold turkey.  I can’t say that I feel that much worse without the opioids than while taking them, which is good.  In general, I’m not big on taking medicine.  Of course, there are times when medicine is critical, but I’ve been reading up on my issues as much as my eyes and head will allow, and I haven’t seen much on any particular medicine actually accelerates healing much, in this case. At least nothing that would bring this whole ordeal up to my speed.  But, as I know, my speed isn’t realistic.

I plan to ride a couple times a day from now on.  The feel good lasts a few hours and I think the riding actually induces more sleep.  I’m not sure which is more important.  I have slept as much as 6 hours straight.   And it is getting easier almost daily.  I think that and the riding as inter related.  I like them both, so even if it isn’t exactly true, I’m going to go with it.

I try to get at least an hour more sleep during the day. I can always count on Tucker, and at least, one cat joins me.

I try to get at least an hour more sleep during the day. I can always count on Tucker, and at least, one cat joins me.

Not the best riding selfie, but this was a few days ago. I'm way more conscience now when I'm riding.

Not the best riding selfie, but this was a few days ago. I’m way more conscience now when I’m riding.

 

 

19 thoughts on “Been Riding, Sort of…

  1. Carl Sundquist

    Legend has it that Jeff Boldt was the king of all the indoor training riders. He could come from Iowa to the Tour of Texas and crush people.

     
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    1. Emacdo

      Not to mention Lon Holdeman who would train on his Kreitlers in his basement with the lights off for 8 hours at night (allegedly, though high degree of probability) to ‘get used to’ night riding for RAAM.

       
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  2. Tilford fan

    Yes, yes, yes to this! There is much evidence that sub-threshold exercise actually helps the brain heal, reduces symptoms, and does all sorts of great things for the body after a tbi, (of course, after the initial trauma). Keep it up brother!

     
    Reply
  3. Mike

    Good morning Steve. I continue to pray for your healing and strength and encouragement for those around you and closest to you. I looked back at some previous posts and read some comments, oh my. I noticed I misspelt Mississippi. Funny, such an easy peasy fundamental word from way back. Anyhow, just wanting to lift you from afar; dunno know why but here we are.

    Something I read and heard the other day I’ve been hanging on to; talking about ‘being’.

    PHYSICAL=see, taste, smell, real, hear.
    SOUL=imaginations, conscience, memory, reasons, affections.
    SPIRIT=faith or doubt.

    Focus on faith and let not the destruction of doubt enter in.

    Just believe from the deepest part of within you shut away from the noise and clammer of the world.

    Peace, goodwill, and great tidings of joy for you my friend.

     
    Reply
  4. KrakatoaEastofJava

    Just curious as to what kind of, er, um, HEADGEAR you’ve been sporting. Shoei, Giro, Bell… cotton?

     
    Reply
  5. LD

    Having something to look forward to each day is a great motivator. Sp pleased to see you feeling better and getting some sleep.

     
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  6. farneybuster

    I know you said you met with a PT and they said you have BPPV already. but it may be good to be evaluated by a qualified and experienced vestibular PT at this point if you haven’t yet. sounds like your VOR (vestibular ocular reflex) is out of whack too, and there are exercises for that as well as BPPV.

     
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  7. numbnuts

    be curious to know if the pain goes away if you are on the trainer? using the bodies own “opiodes etc..” (such as adrenaline, dopamine etc…)

    I’d hate to get hooked on opiodes, they can be deadly if addicted to them…
    I fear them, if I ever get an injury or ill, I’d probably refuse them and live with the short term pain rather than the potential long term addiction… I have a very addictive personality trait

     
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  8. numbnuts

    be curious to know if the pain goes away if you are on the trainer? using the bodies own “opiodes etc..” (such as adrenaline, dopamine etc…)

    I’d hate to get hooked on opiodes, they can be deadly if addicted to them…
    I fear them, if I ever get an injury or ill, I’d probably refuse them and live with the short term pain rather than the potential long term addiction… I have a very addictive personality trait …

     
    Reply
  9. Joe Saling

    I have been a fan of both you and Mark Knoffler for years and, based on the picture of you taking a shit, those two idols may be one and the same! “Look at those bikies, that’s the way you do it, you ride the cross bike on the big run up!”

     
    Reply
  10. barb

    Sounds like you’re finally experiencing some progress in the healing area that is noticeable. More sleep, headaches not so bad etc…I’m so glad (for you) to hear it.

     
    Reply
  11. Paper Back Rider

    It does sound like you have healed some. Thanks for sharing your experience with this. It is slowly inspiring. Seriously, a diary of a tbi, and also any long term recovery. A journey of a thousand miles, step by step. Peace by peace. Get well, gods speed.

     
    Reply

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