Despite nearly 3 months of taking nasty stuff for my mild bone marrow cancer, my cycling really hasn’t suffered. Today’s solo ride (Kevin turned out to have a slight fracture after Tuesday-morning’s crash so he’s off the bike for a couple more weeks) didn’t go badly at all. My heart rate still responds appropriately with effort, my legs can still push the pedals on a climb, and the nasty, really nasty itching the medication causes? It’s simply non-existent when I’m riding. There’s no question that I lose a bit of alertness at the end of the day (bed-time is shortly after 11pm now, while it used to be midnight), but right now, I don’t have too much to complain about.
Old LaHonda was just under 23 minutes, with the most-important metric being that I stayed over the 1000 VAM target (meaning a climb rate of 1000 meters/hour). Pretty much the same VAM on Haskins, followed by pretty much the same VAM yet again on Stage Road. I can live with that!
Of course, by the time I got to Tunitas, I was beginning to feel it and was happy to finish in 49 minutes. No, that’s really not true; I was hoping for 47-something, but there’s only so much in the tank and doing it solo, no wheel to draft on the lower flanks, means you’re putting in a bit more work earlier.
Tomorrow’s going to be an interesting day; first follow-up visit with the Hematologist/Oncologist following my late-May diagnosis. I’m hoping she’ll be OK with the current results (blood test lab data, not cycling!) and not add a new med that is known to cause heart issues. My condition is something that wouldn’t be taken seriously at all if I were under 60, but since I’m on the wrong side of that arbitrary number, they treat me as if I’m going to have a heart attack or stroke if my platelets are high. We’ll see how it goes. –MikeJ
My newfound appreciation for medical care does entail one significant and constant annoyance. That series of questions concerning exercise, which beings easily enough, do you smoke, do you drink.. no to both… and then they try to quantify something they just do not understand. How many times a week do you exercise? For how long? Well, the easy thing to tell them would be that I commute by bike each day to work, so 25 minutes/day. That they could relate to. But just try and explain that for “exercise” what you do are two 30 mile 2-hour rides with 30 minutes at 90% of your V02Max, and a third ride of 60 miles at a bit lower intensity.
It doesn’t translate. It would sound a bit arrogant to just tell them to write that I’m “off the chart” but, for their charts, I am. I could give them total watt hours, average power, weighted power, or Strava Suffer Score. I could give them watts/kg for a general view of my shape. But below are the guidelines they use, and for the life of me, I just can’t translate them very well-
Guidelines for Adults
The guidelines advise that:
Some physical activity is better than none. Inactive adults should gradually increase their level of activity. People gain health benefits from as little as 60 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week.
For major health benefits, do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week. Another option is to do a combination of both. A general rule is that 2 minutes of moderate-intensity activity counts the same as 1 minute of vigorous-intensity activity.
For even more health benefits, do 300 minutes (5 hours) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of vigorous-intensity activity each week (or a combination of both). The more active you are, the more you will benefit.
When doing aerobic activity, do it for at least 10 minutes at a time. Spread the activity throughout the week. Muscle-strengthening activities that are moderate or vigorous intensity should be included 2 or more days a week. These activities should work all of the major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders, and arms). Examples include lifting weights, working with resistance bands, and doing situps and pushups, yoga, and heavy gardening.
Maybe they should just use a Strava Suffer Score! Seriously, how should I answer their question, which demands a quantitative answer? Can’t they just look at my treadmill V02 data and write a waiver for me?