Bike MS: Central Ohio Challenge, 95 Miles, 2015

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IMG_0999  Most of you already know that I had been planning to ride in the Bike MS: Central Ohio Challenge (COC) again this year.  The COC isn’t just a challenge of endurance; it’s a challenge to fight the damaging effects of Multiple Sclerosis and end it forever. This was to raise funds to aid in the effort of the over 15,000 people living with MS, in Ohio alone.

This also supports 24 researchers currently working on 25 projects. These projects are conducted by the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Case Western Reserve University, Athersys Inc, Ohio State University, and Kent State University. Total funding for these efforts is $8,975,200! The funding covers projects from July 2012 through June 2019. As of the beginning of the ride, I had only raised $100, with a minimum of $150 needed to participate. I had paid my entry fee, made a $ 35 donation and raised $65. Any balance would be applied to my credit card, which I had to sign for prior to riding. My riding partner, who I also rode with last year, heard I was short of my goal, and put in $50 after the ride. He had already raised his funds. Donations are still accepted through August for those who considered donating or still wish too.

We had rain for the days leading up to the ride, with the possibility of a window of sunshine on ride day. Saturday morning was in the low sixties when I got up at 5 am, (yawn). Coffee, oatmeal, fudge PopTarts, (pure sugar carb), a shower and I was off for registration.

As my wife and I headed out, the sun began to rise, what a beautiful sight it was! We were blessed with perfect riding conditions for the day. As we pulled into the parking area, my wife and I were greeted by my friend Mike, whom I had finished the ride with, the year before. I went inside, picked up my packet, bib number, and T-shirt and headed back out.IMG_20150711_065356_967

Mike was anxious to get on the road, due partly to the fact that it would be hilly terrain and he had some medical issues since our ride last year. The course was open at 7 am and we were to be finished by 5 pm that same day. I had heard that there were 250 entrants, with courses that were 35, 50, and 95 miles in length. We would have rest stops with water, Gatorade, fruit, snacks and toilets, every 15-20 miles, a lunch stop at about 50, then two more stops before we would cross the finish line. IMG_20150711_091610_377    The stops were set-up well and always a welcome relief. A chance to grab a banana, a Special K brownie, (one of my favorites on this ride), chips, cookies, a drink, and look at the mapped route. Once refueled and stretched, we would mount back up.

IMG_20150711_085235_171    We went through rural towns, such as Woodstock, (Ohio remember), and past soybean and corn fields. We saw some beautiful country along our route.IMG_20150711_094545_084    One of our stops was setup next to a true farmers market.    IMG_20150711_105650_898    It doesn’t get anymore Americana than that. As we headed on towards Bellfontaine, home of the First Concrete Street in America, and highest elevation in the state, we began to hit the hills. IMG_20150711_095201_239    This looked like it was going to be a steady climb, and as we topped the first crest, we saw that there was more to this than met the eye. IMG_20150711_095244_338    We made it of course, but the elevation changes were taking a toll on my friend. We ended up in a group of four other riders, who had also committed to the 95 mile course. It was soon becoming apparent that the higher points were now upon us. IMG_20150711_110534_403     Some of these hills were now demanding that only the strongest of cyclists would pedal to the top. IMG_20150711_112212_283  The views were spectacular however. IMG_20150711_112033_921    At one point, on a stretch called The Corkscrew, I dropped into my easiest gear and the chain bound up between the frame and gears. Being clipped in to the pedals at this point is not a plus. Down I went. I unclipped, got up, brushed some gravel from my knee and got back on. A little pride bruising and some soreness, but I was okay. I was committed to own this hill, just as my friends were committed to finishing the course. I don’t know if you can imagine the amount of pride I had, to be a part of the group of riders that would finish this ride dead last. We all knew it, the motorcycle escort had been behind us for some time. We all knew inside of us that what we were going through was nothing compared to what those who suffer from MS or have lost a loved one because of it, go through everyday.

My friend kept telling me to ride on without him because he didn’t want to hold me back, but I had told him that I would cross that finish line with him. We both knew my average speed and his were different, our age span is twelve years, I work out daily and am at 13% body fat. Throw a pacemaker into the bag of tricks and you get the picture. It wasn’t happening.

I rode back down the corkscrew and then back up it, coaching my fellow riders on. They of course said I was nuts and going the wrong way. All I could think of was Tom Petty, “I won’t back down”.

We made it up that hill and every smaller one after that. It wasn’t too long before the scenery became a little flatter and started to become more familiar. The scenery was truly remarkable. IMG_20150711_135702_328     One of our last stops was at a covered bridge, of which Ohio has many.

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To bring this to a close, We had conquered what we set out to do. My friend asked for some personal trainer advice and I gladly gave him some. I also told him that I hoped that we would conquer next years course together as well. It wasn’t a race, it was a ride. It was a time of sharing, camaraderie, some pain and some laughter.

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We crossed that finish line together, and I look forward to writing a similar story next year at about this same time.

This story goes out to my friend Mike and his pursuit to raise awareness towards MS, my friend Amanda who suffers from MS, and my newest supporter and sufferer of MS, Danny. I thank each one of you for what you do and endure.

In fitness, Bob

Breakfast and Bicycles

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IMG_20150710_105559_936      Today should be a rest day for me, since tomorrow I have my 95 mile ride for MS. However, being slightly hard headed, thanks Dad, I just had to get in a quick ride today.

It is overcast in Columbus, Ohio with storms moving through, hopefully tomorrow brings sunshine and, ahem, humidity. This morning I rode across the local reservoir, Hoover. From this lower level there are steps leading up to the top of the dam, so I ran up them with my bike in hand.

Now for the breakfast part of this post. Tomorrow’s breakfast has been pre-made, due to the fact that I will be getting up at 5 am to warm up, stretch, shower, dress, eat and head out to pick up my packet and be on the course between 7:00 & 8:00.

IMG_20150710_081213_984      My breakfast will be mostly carbohydrate to fuel for the ride. I prefer steel cut oats since you use only 1/4 cup for a serving and they are a long burning, low glycemic food. I pre-make this in a pint jar and can grab it whenever I’m ready.

IMG_20150710_080612_600      The first thing I did was to mix the dry ingredients together. They are; 1/4 c steel cut oats, 2 Tbsp Pb2 (powdered pnut butter), 2 Tbsp chia seeds, and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon.

Next I added 3/4 c Almond Milk and stirred well. Then I added 1/2 a banana and mixed it in. Then I put the lid on and put it in the refrigerator until morning.

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I have posted on refrigerator oats before, and the variations are limited only to your taste preferences. I did happen to find a package of fudge Pop Tarts in the pantry that I will devour for the pure delight of entitlement.

In fitness, Bob

Riding for Multiple Sclerosis

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There are only two weeks left until I ride to support Multiple Sclerosis. I am riding the 95 mile route this year and would appreciate any support you can give. Just click below where it says Donate To Me.
Thank you!

Progress: 23%

Goal $150.00Achieved $35.00

Fundraising Honor Roll

Robert Rice
$35

Four Great Lunge Variations

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This article was in my N.A.S.M., (National Academy of Sports Medicine), magazine this month. The Training Edge, as the magazine is called, has great information for trainers like myself, to pass on to clients.

These four lunge variations let you target the glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, and even strengthen knees inner thighs and hips.Lunges should be a part of your routine if you want to target the lower body.

In fitness, Bob

Four Great Lunge Variations
Build a powerful lower body with lunges.

PHOTOGRAPH BY PIXDELUXE/GETTY IMAGES | ILLUSTRATIONS BY MCKIBILLO

“The lunge is a great compound lower-body movement that utilizes several muscle groups at once,” says Kathy Benson Zetterberg, NASM-CPT, CES, PES, GFS, owner of Fitness At The Lake in Lake Sherwood, Calif. Each version here starts with kinetic chain checkpoints in alignment: feet straight ahead, knees straight, and the lumbo pelvic hip complex in a neutral position. Perform an equal number of reps on each side.

Reverse Lunge
Reverse Lunge
Good for beginners.  
A. Take a step backward with hands on hips, core engaged. Bend both knees until front thigh is parallel to floor and back knee dips but doesn’t touch the floor.
B. Press through front heel and push off with back foot. Finish with feet together, pressing hips forward to engage glutes.

Front Lunge

Front Lunge
Targets glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves.
A. Engage core and place hands on hips, then step forward. Don’t let back knee touch floor; continue to full range of motion if no compensation patterns are evident.
B. Push through front heel to return to standing; end with feet together, squeezing glutes.

Frontal Plane Lunge

Frontal Plane Lunge
Targets gluteus medius and gluteus maximus.
A. Step to the side with a wide stance, keeping kinetic chain checkpoints in alignment.
B. As you step sideways, the hips slide back and down (the bottom of the move looks like a squat with a kickstand). Keep opposite leg straight, feet and knees in alignment. Press through the heel to shift back to the starting position.

Transverse Lunge

Transverse Lunge
Added benefits for inner-thigh muscles and knee and hip extensors.
A. Pivot left foot while the right leg steps out 90 degrees to the side. As the right leg lands, the left knee drops and heel raises.
B. Push off with the right leg, pivot back to the starting position.

Burgers and Trolls

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Today I biked from Verona, Wisconsin to Mt Horeb. Mt. Horeb is called The Troll Capital of the World. We have all seen them in front yards, gardens, even on television commercials. Some people have gone as far as kidnapping them and sending pictures from different locations to the bewildered owners.   Crazy kids.

The bike ride over was beautiful! After about twenty minutes of pedaling, I was outside of town and into rural farmland.

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Country roads galore, farms, ponds and creeks.

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Yeah , you could say it was a sweet ride. Some of the route was on the Military Ridge Trail, partially paved and some dirt.

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As soon as I got into the heart of Mt Horeb, the trolls made their presence known.

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Trolls of all shapes and sizes adorned yards, businesses, and of course T shirts.

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It seems as if they have their own mayor holding the key to the city.

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One of the largest gatherings of trolls was inside Schubert’s diner. I was directed there when I asked about a good local spot to eat. I was not disappointed.

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It was a step back in time. Burgers, malts, pies, you name it. However they put a spin on it. Not your typical grilled cheese or hamburger here. I ordered the Schubert Burger.

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A beef patty served over Gorgonzola, hash browns and bacon, with a sunny side up egg over the top. Okay, I had found The Grail. This monster was a foodie masterpiece! I did second guess my choice about half way through, thinking about the bike ride back. But those thoughts diminished as I continued devouring this concoction of genius.
Probably the hardest decision was to pass on dessert. An old fashioned malt, A&W Root beer float, or a flaky, sugar sprinkled Rosette with a drizzle of chocolate syrup? Tough call to make.
So, I jumped on my bike and made my way back. This was an awesome trip, and I can honestly say that the Schubert Burger was incredible!

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So if you’re ever out biking around the country and happen to see a troll, and run across a burger topped with an egg, you may find yourself in good company.

In fitness, Bob

Glaciers and Food Trucks

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This week I am fortunate enough to be in Verona, Wisconsin with my wife while she is at EPIC’s Intergalactic Headquarters.
Since she had to come up for some certification schooling, I took the opportunity to bike some trails in the area.
The beautiful rolling hills that were left after the glaciers came through, make for some awesome country.
The area between our hotel and the compound at EPIC is very bike friendly, so I ventured over.

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The roads are for the most part lined with bike lanes and intersect with these paved trails.

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It was only 10 miles to EPIC and my wife was breaking for lunch when I got there, so she was able to show me around a little.
We came across a couple of food trucks so I decided to grab a bite before I headed back out to continue biking.  There was a Thai truck that caught my eye instead of the usual brats, potatoes, mac n cheese style offerings.

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This was an excellent choice! The Curry Tofu rice bowl had mango on top and was sprinkled with a chilie salt. The pork Bao had a cloud like texture, and it was all washed down with a Thai iced tea.

In fitness, Bob

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5 Fitness Myths Busted – Infographic

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I saw this post from fellow blogger Tony and thought it is very worth while to pass on to you. Too many people have misconceptions about exercise and this explains some of them.
In fitness, Bob

One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

Since bad information is worse than no information, I thought I would pass this along.

Must say I was gratified to learn that running on a treadmill is not helpful. Something about those machines gives me the willies.

fitness-myths-busted

Tony

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Honor Ride

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In less than three weeks, I will be riding along side veterans and supporters to raise awareness for the Ride 2 Recovery program. This offers our veterans an opportunity to work hard through their own healing process instead of taking a handout.

Ride 2 Recovery started in 2008 with a telephone call from a recreational therapist with the VA to John Wordin. This therapist thought cycling would be an alternative therapy to PTSD and TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) as well as physical injury rehabilitation and thought John was the person to create the program they had in mind.

The first Ride 2 Recovery Challenge event was held with fourteen riders and no additional staff. By 2010, R2R held six Challenges across the US with an average of 170 participants per ride: the Texas Challenge – from San Antonio to Dallas; the Memorial Challenge – from Washington DC to Virginia Beach; the Rocky Mountain Challenge – from Cheyenne, Wyoming to Colorado Springs; The Great Lakes Challenge – from Minneapolis to Milwaukee; the Golden State Challenge – from San Francisco to Los Angeles; and the Florida Challenge – from Tampa to Jacksonville.

In 2011, R2R was up to seven Challenges per year (Texas, Memorial, Florida, Golden State, Great Lakes, and the 9/11 American Challenge which began in the shadows of Ground Zero on the tenth anniversary of 9/11 and rode through Shanksville, PA, finishing at the Pentagon). The seventh Challenge of 2011 introduced our first Challenge in Europe, The Normandy Challenge, which traced the steps of D-Day and subsequent battles.

In 2012, R2R took 147 riders through Belgium and Luxembourg to ride the Battle of the Bulge Challenge in addition to Texas, Memorial, and Golden State, added the new Gulf Coast Challenge – New Orleans to Tallahassee; the new Minuteman Challenge – Boston to New York; and the new Bluegrass Challenge – Cincinnati to Nashville. Challenges are limited to 200 participants. Now, each one sells out early and has a lengthy waiting list, attesting to the power of the Ride 2 Recovery program.

I enjoy bicycling, and I enjoy my freedom even more. Last year I had the opportunity to watch the cyclists ride by as I cheered them on. This year I will be riding the full 65 miles through the countryside of Ohio.

If you can, please donate to this cause. No amount is too small. Your contribution is tax deductible and it is never too early to get that head start on next years deductions. I understand we all have groups we support, but if you can contribute any amount, it will be put to good use.

Thank you for reading this and if you choose to contribute, thank you for your generosity. Click this link to contribute to my personal page for the ride.

https://honor-ride-ohio-2015.everydayhero.com/us/robert-2

Planks, or, How Long Can You Hold This?

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I want to share with you a story of mental strength over physical fitness. Most of you have heard that you have to overcome your physical barriers with the proper mindset. Whether or not you call this determination, willpower, dedication, perseverance, or just mind over matter is up to you. The result is the same.

This story involves something I never gave a lot of thought to, and an eight year old boy that never spends time in his thoughts of physical willpower because, well, he is eight years old and doesn’t really have too.

My wife had entered her third 5k run and asked if I could pick up her number and shirt for her. I told her no problem, since it would give me a chance to network the fitness exhibits at the Columbus Convention Center, downtown Columbus, Ohio.

The Cap City Marathon was sponsored in part by Ohio Health. They had a booth set up as did many other vendors. I had just finished listening to a speech by author and fitness advocate, Julie Wilkes. When she wrapped up she announced that there would be a planking competition. I wanted to watch that but got caught up chatting.

Just as I got to the Ohio Health booth, they were announcing the winner of the plank challenge. It had barely lasted three and a half minutes, with three contestants. I thought to myself, “I can do better than that”, but I missed out. I turned to the guy next to me and he was wearing a ‘Trainer’ shirt from a local gym. I told him I was surprised he wasn’t in it. He replied, “Yeah I should’ve, I can hold a four and a half minute plank”.

Now it gets a little interesting, I’ll get to the eight year old in a minute. One of the Ohio Health people asked if we would like to do a head to head, and I said I was in. Well, they ended up recruiting nine participants for the challenge. The best time by the way was from the day before at six minutes, fifty seconds.

We all got into position on our forearms and toes and when the time keeper counted us down to zero we were up in a horizontal plank position. (For those of you not familiar with a plank, it is an a show of core, or abdominal strength. You tighten your muscles so that you are straight as a board. Most people would be happy with a three minute hold. No sagging or butt in the air.) And for the record, the world record is four hours, twenty six minutes, set by a Chinese Swat policeman from Beijing.

We were counted off at each fifteen second interval and it wasn’t long before participants started dropping . Every muscle in your body begins to tighten up, you start to shake uncontrollably, and you succumb. Most of the plankers dropped before the six minute mark, and it wasn’t long before it was just myself and a young lady next to me. I cheered her up when I said the trainer on the end had dropped.

As we approached eight minutes, she said she couldn’t keep up, I told to make it to nine. Honestly, I couldn’t believe we were both still in this thing. At nine minutes, she dropped. I had won the challenge and beaten the best time from the day before. I had found a renewed strength.

I could hear the time keeper saying I had won and could stop, but I wasn’t done. This was now a test of my mind telling my body what it would do. I was beginning to tire and could feel my legs trembling. I concentrated on my breathing to make sure my muscles had some oxygen. As the time keeper hit twelve minutes, I dropped. I was finished. This is where the best part is though, read on.

As I was given a tee shirt for my effort, this boy in the audience was telling his mom that one of the plankers was on her knees and should’ve been out. His mom told him to do it better. So this kid challenges his mom. We start cheering them on and they begin.

The time keeper started counting them through and at about a minute and a half, mom drops. At that point I got down on the floor to cheer the boy on. The same boy that had cheered me on. I told him he could do it. I said “You are capable of doing anything you put your mind to.” I told him I knew what his body felt like at that moment, that he wanted to quit but that he wanted to beat the earlier record of almost seven minutes. As he hit six minutes, the count was every ten seconds, at six and a half minutes he looked at me and asked how much more. I told him only twenty seconds, to push through and fight it. He passed the six minute, fifty second mark and stopped at seven minutes.

IMG_20150502_190112     The pride in that boys eyes meant more to me than any accomplishment I did. He performed a feat of mental strength that he didn’t even have the muscular endurance for. When he finished, his mom wanted a picture of us together. I gladly obliged and asked for one myself.

Don’t ever let yourself succumb to the self talk of being denied an opportunity to at least attempt to overcome whatever your obstacle is. The mind is very powerful, harness it and use it.

In fitness, Bob

Happy Easter Wishes – Try Biking – Infographics

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I enjoy biking and reaping the benefits of a good cardio burn and the nice leg workout it provides. What better way to explore a new area than to rent or bring your bike and pedal around. As a kid, it was a means of transportation, bragging rights on scars, and many other fond memories.
Check out these statistics and fun facts that you may not know about bicycling. Tony has done his homework assembling these infographics.

In fitness, Bob

One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

Easter comes at a time when the weather is mellowing and more folks think about getting outside and enjoying the air. Maybe slimming down. The whole idea of Easter is rejuvenation, right? Spring; new life. Well, biking is the coolest way I know to get outside and feel reborn.

I hope you will enjoy these images and ideas as much as I do.

benefits-of-a-bicycleI just love that little poster. The Earth sends a lil extra luv to those on bicycles… It says so right there.

8478b233cb320070783ded4e51998d43What’s not to like?

WebMost  years I ride my bike farther than I drive my car. That’s something you might be able to do …

twin-cities-biking-walkingIsn’t it interesting that Minneapolis is one of the top cities for biking in the country?

c6e9f77152707d384b96d3d757e6cc3fIt’s a good day for a ride …

Happy Easter, bunny!

Tony

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