Thursday, November 27, 2008

Cardiovascular Assessment

Charlie and I went to the Heart Hospital on Tuesday morning for our appointments for a cardiovascular risk assessment. They call the program Planet Heart.

The assessment includes all of the following for only $50:
Calcium Score CT – a CT (computerized tomography) of your heart
Blood pressure
BMI (body mass index)
Cholesterol and blood sugar check

I expected my risk factors were low and I passed with flying colors. My calcium score was zero - that made me extremely happy and a little proud since the nurse made a bid deal of the score. She said in her line of work it's refreshing to see a perfect score! The CT scan was an interesting experience - ever see the movie Contact with Jodi Foster? I felt like I was about to take flight into a series of wormholes when the CT spun around me!

In the past my HDL (good cholesterol) has been a little low but I finally have it up to where it should be, most likely a result of exercising which is the most effective in raising your HDL.

Mainly I made the appointment to get Charlie to go. And although his overall assessment wasn't serious (he was relieved they didn't admit him!), it did indicate moderate risk of cardiovascular disease. His blood pressure and total cholesterol were a little elevated. A calcium score of 27 is still relatively low but it did bump him into the moderate risk category. WebMD explains the calcium score CT.

He is frustrated because getting 30 minutes of exercise that raises your heart rate several times a week was emphasized and he doesn't understand why this is so important, especially since he works long hours in a physically demanding job. I'll get back to cooking more healthy foods and try to have left overs he likes that he can eat for lunch rather than eating at the cafe (heart attack menu) every day.

He'll make an appointment to see an internist and get a check up to see what the doctor advises. With his dad dying of a stroke at age 68 and a brother who recently had a heart attack, this news is a little frightening. But I told him I'm going to take care of him to keep him around for a long time!

I don't dare tell him that he could reduce his risk factors substantially by riding bike with me (lets just say he doesn't share the love of biking) - but hopefully next summer we'll get back to riding our hybrid bikes together more often.

PS - If you're interested in a cardiovascular risk assessment, make sure to go to the Avera Heart Hospital. Not that other place in Sioux Falls. Like Forest Gump would say: "That's all I'm going to say about that."

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I'm drained.....

It's been a weekend of sitting vigil with my husband's dying aunt (age 92) who passed away peacefully around noon today - she was the last of the 7 sibilings on Charlie's dad's side of the family. With limited family left, Charlie was his aunt's power of attorney. Now we're in the midst of making funeral arrangements.

On a brighter note, I sure had a great time at the biker gathering held at the Pit on Saturday night; Lanehogs and FAB members together having good food and fellowship! And I discovered the Pit serves a few more choices in beer than I was aware of! We may have to make this a monthly event!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bicycling Blogger Convention

This is the location (the famous Pit in Wakonda) of the Bicycling Blogger Convention to be held this Saturday. The following bloggers are expected to be in attendance: Tez, Biking Brady, CDV, Hammer, Ed+Pat, and myself.

Come and join us! We'll be arriving around 5:15pm for a little happy hour before we enjoy our 'gourmet food on paper plates.' Need not be a blogger to attend. A few biking stories are sure to be told.

In case you need further enticement, I called chef Torey and got the run down on the specials for this weekend:
  1. Sirloin steak with a Gorgonzola cream sauce, dirty jack mashed potatoes, seafood salad.

  2. Black beans and rice with shrimp and toast and salad.

  3. Steak sandwich with a horseradish/mustard sauce and choice of potato or salad.

See you there!

Monday, November 17, 2008

My personal trainer

Today I made the pledge to ramp up my exercise for the next 4 weeks. It's too early to train for Tour deKota or any other summer bike rides, so to keep up my motivation to workout I'm going to take my winter training one month at a time.

My personal trainer is Little Cindy Lou Who. She really isn't a personal trainer but she could be, she's a great motivator. I rolled out of bed this morning at 5:30am, drove to Vermillion and was on the track of the Dome at 6:15am. I was still asleep with my hair sticking out like the Grinch, with an attitude to match the Grinch's. Luckily Cindy takes it all in stride and proceeded to lead me through our workout. We walked to warm up, walked the steps of the Dome, ran a few laps, went to the weight room and did some lunges, followed by the elliptical. Morning exercise is the way to go for me....roll out of bed and get started before having time to make any excuses!

AND I also went to yoga at noon - I'm on a roll, at least for this first day of my 4-week program!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Weekend Recap

The fun part of the weekend:

  • Get together with co-workers Friday after work.
  • Saturday trip to Sioux Falls with five friends. Main purpose of the trip was to visit our favorite kitchen store; Maxwell's Supply. Lunch at Spezia's followed by shopping. Then supper at the Tea Steakhouse where our husbands met us. A great day!

The NOT so fun part of the weekend:

  • Sunday afternoon I continued to work on refinishing a door, along with the door frame and trim. To make a long story short, have you ever had a home improvement project that just seemed destined to suck up your money, time, and energy? It's just a door, but we found out how expensive a solid wood door is, especially when it is an odd size. The joys of living in an 80+ year old house. After a special order we finally got the door in July. My husband stained and applied 3 layers of polyurethane and had the carpenter install the new door only to discover the stain did not match the rest of our woodwork at all. I can't complain or blame him, he was working hard on the project while I was gone having fun on RAGBRAI. Finally last weekend I started on refinishing the door. All was going as well as can be expected when your dealing with a stinky mess of zip strip, stain, etc., until I went to put the third coat of polyurethane on the door today and a piece "chipped" off and I decided to start all over again. UUUGGHHHH! I think the problem was I had picked up a water based polyurethane instead of the oil based. The worst part is over, I got everything stripped, sanded, and stained. Now to get some good polyurethane and put this never ending project behind me!
  • PS - Reason for replacing the door? It is the door between our entry way and kitchen and it was badly scratched up from our beagle Molly who is now in doggy heaven chasing rabbits.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Other hobbies besides biking……

One of my winter hobbies includes reading. I started a local book club, we get together once a month to discuss a book and try a new bottle of wine. Last month the book was the Glass Castle and the wine was the White Nun. Both were excellent! This month we’re reading “Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven” by Fannie Flagg – a very upbeat, fun novel.

Some members of our reading group are reading an extra novel to discuss this month as part of the One Book South Dakota. The book is “The Master Butchers Singing Club” by Louise Erdrich. I would highly recommend it. I just finished it today and can hardly wait for the book discussion we’ll have at the Irene Library on Nov. 17th with an English prof from Mount Mary.

I’ve read a few novels about immigrants to the US but I think this book is one that will really stick with me. Although it is fiction it is set in historical fact. I was very much into genealogy after my father had his stroke in 1991 and spurred by the opportunity to visit the Czech Republic in 1994 when I had the opportunity to see the villages that my grandmother (Marie Vitek from Tlumocov) and grandfather (Josef Vitek from Veprikov) had immigrated from in 1910 and 1913 respectively. My sister and I spent time with my father’s first cousins and their families in both villages. It was so amazing, an experience that will stay with me for a life time.
The “The Master Butchers Singing Club” gave me more insight/perspective on what it might have been like for my grandfather, who emigrated from Czechoslovakia prior to WWI to avoid inscription (or to avoid becoming cannon fodder), who then sent a son to fight in WWII.

Sunday Blues

Its been a great weekend. Fine dining at the "Pit" on Friday night with friends. Last night we celebrated my husband's birthday at the Black Steer with our daughters, son-in-law, and the boyfriend. Went to church this morning, coffee afterwards where we get to catch up with everyone, and a great roast beef church dinner followed. I haven't cooked a meal all weekend - I'm loving it!

But I still have the Sunday blues. My husband took the bike rack off my car and is now changing out the back tire on my bike, replacing my gator skin with a cheap tire I use on the trainer. So like CDV my road bike is going on the trainer. It is so darn depressing! Winter has arrived.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thursday Night TV

Went to spin class after work - hard to believe last week I was riding outside at this time! Got home just as it was starting to snow. A good night to curl up with a blanket and watch some TV. The hard thing is finding anything worth watching on TV. I'm fed up with Grey's Anatomy so I was flipping through the stations and was glad to see there was a new Dakota Life on public TV. And Hammer was the producer of one of the segments - great job Melissa! Tonight's segment isn't archived yet but you can check out her segment on geocaching here.

Thank you public TV for saving me from Grey's Anatomy!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

2008 Biking Miles

Road Bike Miles
April - 81
May - 427
June - 427 (2 days of TDK)
July - 767 (7 days of RAGBRAI)
August - 491
September - 224
October - 116
November - 75

Total 2008 = 2,608
Total 2007 = 2,724

Centrury Rides 2008 = 3
Centrury Rides 2007 = 4

Commuting Miles 2008 = 269
Commuting Miles 2007 = 220

Mountain Bike Miles Total 2008 = about 15?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

November 2nd Ride

My mileage for this past week:

Wed., Oct. 29, 10 miles
Thur., Oct. 30, 32 miles
Sat., Nov. 1, 50 miles
Sun., Nov. 2, 25 miles

The great weather has allowed me to ride more than I normally would be this time of year. I can tell I'm out of biking shape, I didn't have much zip today. I should have taken advantage of the 70+ degree temps and went for a longer ride but my legs said 25 miles was enough!

My route today was along the Bluff Road to Volin and back to Wakonda via the County Line road, hitting all the hills I avoided on yesterday's ride!

November 1st Ride

I certainly do appreciate the extra hour we gained this weekend - it's been hectic as usual! Friday night oldest daughter came to visit bringing along our grand-dog, Maggie. Ashley's husband is on a hunting trip with his Dad so she came to spend some time with us. We ordered food to go from our local establishment (The Pit) and had supper at home to be around to hand out candy for the trick or treaters. After eating I left my husband in charge of the trick or treaters and I talked Ashley into going to Vermillion with me where I helped judge the med student Halloween party. As usual, there were many creative costumes making our job very difficult!

Ashley stayed overnight and Saturday morning we went to an "Uppercase Living" party - basically its "word-art" for your walls. These parties are an excuse to get together and get caught up with friends over coffee.

Around noon Ashley left to go meet up Emily to go shopping. I got ready to go on a bike ride. I knew Ann and Little Cindy Lou Who might want to go on a Saturday afternoon ride but I didn't really want to make another trip to Vermillion in the car. So I decided to go out on my own and ride to Meckling and maybe I would connect with the Yankton, Sioux City, and Sioux Falls riders who were riding from Sioux City to Yankton.

I started out sometime around 12:45pm. Upon arriving in Meckling I made some calls to Biking Brady and then Rick (the organizer of the ride) and found out Biking Brady & CDV had gone ahead to get back for a volleyball game and the rest of the group was taking a break at Whimps in Burbank. We decided to meet at Pros. I pressed on to Vermillion where I met up with the group just a couple of minutes behind them.

We had lunch at Pros (along with a few adult beverages as CDV & Biking Brady would say). I tried to call Little Cindy Lou Who and CDV to see if they wanted to join me so I wouldn't be the only LaneHog on this leg of the ride but no answers from either of them at the time. Later when I completed my ride, CDV called to check in and to make sure this LaneHog didn't go missing - they're always watching out for me and I appreciate it!

After quite a long break (full of biking stories, including how Rick rode 26 miles with Lance Armstrong on RAGBRAI 2006!) we rolled out around 4:00pm. We took Timber Road to Highway 50 to Gayville. Wow - I haven't pushed myself that hard for a long while, nor ridden in that big of a group (9 riders total). I dug in and kept up with 21 mph pace of the group most of the way to Gayville and then the other two women riders and myself eased up a bit and let the men go ahead and try to kill each other with their pace!

We parted ways at Gayville and I headed for home (Wakonda) but realized my legs were feeling fried. As I approached Volin I thought of 2 things: 1.) how much I was dreading the last 8 hilly miles home; 2.) how good a beer at Mac's Pub would taste. I called my dear, sweet husband and offered to buy him supper at Mac's if he would meet me there and bring my car so I could load the bike on th bike rack. He accepted the offer and I rode around Volin to top my mileage off at 50 just as he arrived. The beer and good food was the perfect way to top off a great ride on a beautiful November day!