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

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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

Weight Loss Specialist

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I just finished and passed my WLS exam, and am now a Certified Weight Loss Specialist through the N.A.S.M. This helps me deal with physiological and psychological issues that clients may experience, and are associated with weight loss.
A major part of keeping my certification current as a Certified Personal Trainer is continuing education. Personal trainers do NOT have to be certified in all states, and Ohio is one of them. I would not let just anyone teach me proper self defense, exercise, investing, or any number of skills simply because they can. My life, money, time, and body are valuable.

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In fitness, Bob

High Fat Diets

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The Truth About Fat-Heavy Diets

The Truth About Fat-Heavy Diets

PHOTOGRAPH BY STOCKFOOD/CLINTON HUSSEY

Headlines scream about fat-loading for endurance, butter-drenched “bulletproof coffee,” and how bacon is good for you, but here are four truths that you really need to know.

This article appeared in the June edition of; The Training Edge, a publication by N.A.S.M. This is neither for or against a fat heavy diet, but raises a rational awareness.

1. It’s easy to overdo it.
“A gram of fat has nine calories, while carbohydrates and protein have four calories per gram,” notes registered dietitian Courtney M. Sullivan, founder of Nutrition for Body and Mind (cwnutritionforbodyandmind.com) in Beverly Hills, Calif. “Healthy fats are important for a balanced diet, but moderation is key.”

2. Good fats can aid post-workout recovery.
In a University of Florida study, people who took a supplement that included an omega-3—found in fatty fish like salmon—had less inflammation after exercising. “Get some every day,” advises Sullivan.

3. Animal fats can raise the risk of heart disease.
In a recent case study from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, a 39-year-old man who worked out regularly saw his LDLs (“bad” cholesterol) rise 55 points after he began eating more meat and cheese on the Paleo diet and then added a daily cup of bulletproof coffee (coffee laced with a tablespoon of butter and a medium-chain triglyceride oil). Bottom line: Butter, bacon, and fatty red meat are high in saturated fat, which can increase your risk of heart disease.

4. “Fat loading” for ultra-endurance isn’t ready for prime time.
The theory that high-fat eating lets you “tap into your body fat” for energy, saving carb stores for later or slowing their use during exercise, has had mixed results in human studies.

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