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Daily Archives: June 30, 2012

And So Begins Another Saturday…

It’s been a beautiful weekend already and it hasn’t really even started yet!  Starting with yesterday’s events, I went over to Assenmancher’s and installed my 30 t chain ring with a helpful watch-over from Matt himself (and he did the tuneup afterwards – holy smokes, what takes me 5 minutes he did in about 45 seconds).  I’ve never seen a person move with such fluidity…  I learned a lot about my bike today, self extracting crank (oh yeah, no special tools), how to line up the chain rings properly (and that mine was not lined up properly to begin with, but is now)…  It was awesome, and a really fun experience.

That wasn’t the best part of the day though…  Mrs. BgddyJim asked if she had time to ride before I left to get my ride wrenched on (are you kidding me?  I’ll make time work for that), and if I could change her clip-less pedals over from her road bike to her mountain bike.  Well folks, I can tell you, that is going to get old really fast.  Worse yet, I don’t have a slim wrench so I have to break those suckers free with a regular Allen wrench – it wasn’t happening without the proper leverage (I was a couple of grams of effort from bending the wrench).  So Mrs. BDJ asked if it would just be easier to get another set of pedals…  The problem here is that I know my lovely wife is going to want to ride in normal shoes from time to time so a new set of dual use pedals is just shy of $100 – on the other hand, I don’t ever use the cage side of the dualies that I have on my mtb – so I swapped out my pedals onto her bike and got a new set for my bike (which obviously went onto the road bike and the old pedals went onto my mtb).  So instead of the Hundie, I blew a fifty and got a shiny new pair of pedals for my road bike, the wife got exactly what she wants and we’re all happy – and to beat that, on her ride, she averaged almost 14 mph on her dirt roads!  She’s getting fast folks, and I’m absolutely digging it.  The smile on her face when she got back was priceless.

Unfortunately, it was downhill from there for the rest of Friday.  I’d planned on getting some work done after getting my bike fixed (it’s perfect – I can shift through  all 27 gears in a matter of a couple of seconds) and maybe cutting some grass in the evening.  Instead I got a call from my dad’s nursing home that he was getting sick and he needed a trip to the Emergency Room.  I dropped everything and headed to the home to take him in.  Four hours, two chest x-rays and some blood work later and we found out what I’d suspected from the beginning – no big deal.  A little bronchitis.  Some penicillin and rest.  I’m telling you folks, getting old doesn’t suck – I’ve seen scores of people do it gracefully – getting old out of shape is what sucks.  My dad, while never fat, was minimally overweight but in terrible physical condition.  His rapid decline is completely attributable to a lack of fitness through his adult life.

After the ER, I took him out to Arby’s (his absolute favorite) for dinner and then back to the nursing home.  Please don’t get me going on the Arby’s – the man needs to eat so we let him stuff his face with what he likes a couple of times a week.  As far as a balanced meal goes, it’s too late for all of that now, the Alzheimer’s has taken too much of him for it to matter and it would be like making a five year old eat his steamed broccoli.  I arrived back at the abode around 6 o’clock to a house full of girls, my daughters are having one of their famous sleepovers.  With the girls in and out of the house and all about the yard, it was impossible to safely cut the grass.  I grabbed a couple of movies and headed into our bedroom where I watched, relaxed and unwound.

So, getting to this morning…  I’ve got another Olympic Tri training day on the books, complete with the swim today.  It’s going to be 91 degrees so I’ll have to watch the heat on the way back, but I’m heading down early to get the run out of the way.  I know it’s not exactly wise to swim after running and riding but I’ll be OK, and I’ll probably cut it down from 1,800 meters (we do 1,800 instead of the normal 1,500) to 1,200.

It’ll be a new record month for me when I’m done, with 598 miles in already, I should smash last month’s record by more than 20 miles.


Running – And The Average Meniscus…

My buddy English Pete tore the meniscus in his right knee doing dead lifts at his cross-fit club a few months ago.  After figuring it was something minor and trying to give it time to heal, he finally went in for an MRI.  Sure enough…

He had it fixed yesterday, surgically.  It turns out, not only did he tear it, it folded over on itself.  If you remember from previous posts, English Pete is an ultra-marathon runner.  The meniscus is the knee cartilage:  “It usually refers to either of two specific parts of cartilage of the knee:  The lateral and medial menisci. Both are cartilaginous tissues that provide structural integrity to the knee when it undergoes tension and torsion. The menisci are also known as ‘semi-lunar’ cartilages — referring to their half-moon “C” shape — a term which has been largely dropped by the medical profession, but which led to the menisci being called knee ‘cartilages’ by the lay public.”

When the doctors went in to cut out the tear, much to their surprise (not mine), he had more cartilage than the average person – I’ve written about this before, many, many times – running signals the brain, and the responsive 1% of cells present in the cartilage itself, to create more.  Thus, when the doctors removed the tear, he now only has as much knee cartilage as the normal person…

Folks, running isn’t bad for your joints – if your body hasn’t been injured in a manner that makes running impossible or you’re too overweight, the shock from running is good for you.  Now, the injury issue may be cause to keep from running, but the weight issue absolutely is not – one just has to start out a little slower and work up to it.

So far I’ve had one friend that got a better hip for a replacement because he ran (denser bones – and the replacement was required because of two accidents, not running) and a friend that has more knee cartilage because he runs – exactly as studies say.