Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Recovery Milestone: I Rode 100k!

Just after getting a lecture from the spouse about how I shouldn't be asking anyone if they wanted to ride with me until I was back in condition so they wouldn't have to wait, there was a message from Susan - did I want to ride North Plains Banks Vernonia?  Um, YEAH.  However, I dutifully did the full disclosure thing, and she said she didn't care, even if we finished out of time.  (I cared.  Wasn't gonna happen.)

With the slight added complication of it being Passover, I prepared some ride food, and planned to supplement with french fries, if needed.

Preparations

Weather was 50% chance of rain, but not going to be cold.

So, at 9:00 am on Sunday morning, after coffee and a hash brown, off we went.  The weather was fairly decent until we were headed out of Banks, when it started to rain.  On with the rain gear.

What with it having been raining, the trail was covered with wet pine needles, which kept filling up our fenders, so we had to stop from time to time to knock them out.

Climbing was a bit slower than usual.  There may have been walking the last pitch at Tophill.

Just before the descent, we found that we had just missed a hailstorm.  An enthusiastic one.  The picture doesn't do justice to the depth of hail a bit further along.

The hail

And then downhill to Vernonia and off to the control at Lake Vernonia.  Sadly, the trail is still closed.  We elected to take the Adventure Detour.  There was a split in the trail, and we weren't sure which way to go, but it worked out.

All the waterlilies in the lake are blooming!

Water lilies in bloom, Lake Vernonia

Took the Road Detour back, and settled in for hot drinks at the Black Bear.  By now I had exceeded my longest ride since surgery, and we were only halfway.  Ok then.

Baby Sheep!

The climb back was uneventful, if a bit slower than usual, and I had to walk the last pitch going up the other side of Tophill.  At that point it was downhill/flat the entire way to the end.

We finished with time to spare.  And french fries.

First perm pop since early February

Friday, April 15, 2016

Recovery is Slow but there is Progress


I have gotten out on the bike a few times:

Lunch with Susan; 15+ mi
Bleriot and Wicked wait outside while we eat lunch

The heart rate was rather more spectacular than usual (red line)


Can I still climb?  Riding the Council Crest/Fairmount Loop, just shy of 15 miles.
Council Crest Summit, looking east.  That's Mt Hood.  Better camera on the new phone.
The next day, 25 miles on the flats with Kathryn on the Lemond (the fast bike).
I ride the Lemond so infrequently that I have to re-learn how to use the Flight Deck each time.
Today, heading west to meet the spouse at the Spanish language group he is doing with friends (I knit), 13.4 miles.  There were a few cameo appearances by the Big Ring(!!!)

I'm also doing some weight and core work.  The actual weights are embarrassingly low, but they'll go up.  I had given my lighter weights to my mom, years ago.  I borrowed them back - still in the original tote bag.  Guess they got a lot of use :-)  Well, they'll get used here.

A few weeks ago, I realized I felt just fine.  Didn't have to ask the sister-in-law to slow down on our neighborhood walks.  Nothing hurts.  Nothing feels weird, just out of shape.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Surfacing

Haven't posted anything lately, because, well, I haven't been riding.

So, it is 6 weeks out from surgery, and the doctor cleared me to do whatever I wanted, but not all at once.

I rode out to meet Susan O for lunch, day before yesterday.  I enjoy having lunch with Susan, and she is located in the relatively flat direction.  15.75 miles on the Bleriot.  Heart rate was way up there, although I didn't feel bad.  Pace was a couple mph below my usual for that route.  And I felt every single vertical foot on the return.  I have to start somewhere.

A picture


Bikes, to prove it happened (Susan's new Wicked built by Corey Thompson)


And some new handknit socks, made with yarn I had just laying around the house


Yesterday I dug up the baby hand weights (2 lbs!), and started on the lifting program which is safe for little old ladies in nursing homes.  It does progress from there, truly.  For some of the exercises, I started with the 2lb weight, decided that was ridiculous, and used the 5lb weight.  My arms are stronger than my core at the moment.

Baby steps.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Misleading Arithmetic

Like many of you, I often check out ebooks from our library.  The app is Overdrive, and I typically get the Kindle version of the book, because, well, I was given a Kindle, plus there are Kindle readers available for every electronic device I own.

It is rare that the book I'd like to read is immediately available.  So I wait.  This is what Overdrive tells me when I click to see what it means when I am "next in line for the book", or there are "3 people ahead of me for the book":


There are not 3 people ahead of me.  There are 90 people ahead of me.  Each copy does NOT have a separate line.  I will not get that book until the 90 people in front of me have finished reading their copy.  It might go faster, because there are 38 copies, but still, 90 people have to finish reading that book before it is my turn.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Exhaling...

The aforementioned surgery was a week ago; today I had my first post-op visit.

Now that it's going to be just fine, I'll spill.  I had cancer.  That is SUPER hard to tell people, because often they get all upset, and you feel that you need to be making them feel better, rather than the other way around.  So I didn't share much beforehand.

The doctor called a couple days after the Solstice Ride (pro tip: whenever the doctor calls YOU, in person, the news is not good).  I spent some time being stunned and stressed.  After the first visit, the surgeon assured me that it was early, and surgery would likely be all I'd need.

Given that I'd been working harder than I should have had to so as to finish rides in a reasonable time, I took this as a message that I did not have to keep fighting it for the time being.  Seriously, I'd ride 100k and nap for a couple of days (!)

I did abandon my current R-12 run, because I'll probably not be 200k recovered by the end of March.  The P-12 is still a "maybe".  I'll see.  The surgeon thinks not ("how long would it take you?" About 6 hours.  "No").  The PA and I were trying to decide if she meant no you may not do it, or if she just didn't think it was one of the best ideas I've ever had.

During surgery, the surgeon harvested a bunch of lymph nodes, so we've been waiting for the pathology report.

All good.  No more cancer.  No subsequent treatment.

Now I need to work my way through recovery - it was robot surgery, but there was a lot of internal rummaging around!

I'm walking - distance record is 1.6 miles, 90 vertical feet.  Also staying within the neighborhood, because going anywhere useful and interesting is a steep downhill/uphill with no pedestrian accommodations.

I'll probably stick to that for a few more weeks, until my core recovers somewhat, then take the bike out for a short spin in the neighborhood.

Monday, February 8, 2016

That's a Wrap

So, I have this surgery thing coming up, and I'll be off the bike for however long it takes to recover.  The doctor said 4-6 weeks, but I am betting she didn't mean I'd be able to crank out a 200k by then.  Given that, I deliberately abandoned my current R-12 run, because otherwise I'd be stressing myself into attempting a 200k before the end of March, which would probably be a bad idea.  I did think I might be able to keep the P-12 going.

With that in mind, I rounded up a group of friends to ride Ray's North Plains Banks Vernonia 100k, my very favorite local 100k.

Ray, Susan O, Michal, Graham, and Steve all turned up.  The day was cloudy, but not rainy.

I like ice cream.  Even if it is 40 degrees.

As is often the case when I ride with more than one person, the group fragmented.  Michal stuck with me the whole stretch to Vernonia.  Overall, this was a faster pace than the last outing, as Susan was back on an upright bike.

Blueberries, Harrington Rd

Michal and the birches.  Or alders.

There was a 5k run in progress, fortunately not too many participants!

Vernonia Lake, old mill building

We didn't see the others at the lake - when we met up at the Black Bear, they said they'd all taken the Adventure Detour.  We took the Road Detour.

We ALL had the sticky bun, heated, with butter

Susan told me my sticky bun with frosting, heated, with butter was already ordered. :-)  For that matter EVERYONE ordered one.

Eventually I figured we should head back.

We regrouped at the Banks Trailhead.  I was starting to feel done, but we had only 9 more miles to go.

All, back on Wilkesboro Rd

Spring is coming.  Wilkesboro Rd

Fitz had been hitting a bucket of balls close by, and joined us at the finish.

Thanks everyone for joining me!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

You Go On Ahead, I'll Catch Up

said Lynne before, never.

Susan is still recovering from her wrist surgery, and borrowed a friend's Catrike so she could keep riding.  She recruited me to ride the North Plains Banks Vernonia 100k, and after some waffling, we settled on Monday, because the weather was going to be perfect.  She'd checked with Ray to see if the trail was open; it had been closed with landslides, trees down, and washouts.

We met up at the North Plains McDonalds, and she was on a mission.  "I think I'll need the entire time to finish this.  Might not even finish in time!"  And, fortified by second breakfast, we were off at our 9:30 start time.  Susan said riding the trike was like doing leg presses over and over and over and over and over...

Fresh gravel on Vadis Rd by the lumber mill.

The weather was perfect.  Clear.  Sunny.  Bright.  Freshly washed!


More clean and shiny landscape

Got to Banks, where I needed to stop for a bit.  Susan was twitchy.  "You go on ahead, I'll catch up."  Did those words just come out of my mouth?

Shortly thereafter, I did catch up.  Said hi to Callie and Romulus/Remus (the dogs).  Eventually we started climbing.  It was the most relaxing pace for me ever.  Usually I am working hard trying to stay not too far behind everyone else!

There was some silt on the trail near the summit; made riding tricky for me.  The trike has no stability issues.

Susan did really well; she even made it up Tophill without having to walk the trike.  I paused to pull on a jacket for the descent; thought Susan would too, but she took off.  I caught up again.

We passed McDonald Rd, where I'd turned back last time.  Eventually we found many large cut up trees, which had probably been lying across the trail.

The Vernonia Lake detour is still in effect, so we had to ride on Hwy 47 up the hill and then down to the lake, rather than take the flat, log truck free trail.

Vernonia Lake

Back to the convenience store - someone thought we'd not have enough time for a stop at Black Bear.  We would have; I've left Vernonia later than this and finished in time :-)  So cheesy crackers and Gatorade, plus my pbj sandwich from home.

By now it was warming up.  The air had that "hint of Spring".

Some stops on the way up to document the big logs and downhill trail-side landslide.  There is also an embryonic sinkhole, but I didn't get a picture.  Safety cones and hazard tape mark all the caution spots.

Landslide, almost undermining the trail

Perhaps this is why the trail was closed north of McDonald Rd

The trip down from the summit (once past that slippery silt) was as fun as ever, but as we got closer in, we found a horse, more cyclists, and many pedestrians.

Given that we had plenty of time once we returned to Banks, we stopped for a few pictures of Mt Hood over the last 9 miles.

Mt Hood

Susan in her barcalounger

Mt Hood and the barn on Gordon Rd

Mt Hood

Finished with almost a half hour to spare :-)