Thursday, September 4, 2014

Short Term Goal: Complete the MS 150 City to Shore Ride

Last year we signed up for the MS ride and I pulled the plug after we finished the first leg of the trip: from Cherry Hill to Ocean City. An 80 mile ride for a forty-something, out of shape biker is something to be proud of. But - with a mounting pile of work from grad school, and complete exhaustion setting it, I knew I wouldn't be able to make the trip back.

This year, while I have a lighter class schedule, I am heavier - and in worse shape than last year. We've had one big(ish) ride this summer - a 39 mile trek around Burlington County. It sounds like a lot - but it isn't enough and I am beginning to feel woefully unprepared for the upcoming ride. I haven't put the time in at the gym like I'd planned and I haven't spent a lot of time on the trainer at home.

Last year I rode with a bum (right) shoulder that stiffened up and became incredibly painful the longer I was on a bike (or used a mouse, or wrote, or just it let hang there). Whether it was a  short 20 miler or the first day of the MS 150 the shoulder pain was almost unbearable.  I eventually had a cortisone shot (which wore off before the MS 150) and then a week after the ride I had a procedure to remove some scar tissue. With the exception of one major arthritis flare up the shoulder has been in good shape. Fast forward to this summer when I noticed a new shoulder problem: impingement in my left shoulder.  I have been going to PT for about two weeks, which includes some intense deep muscle massage - but so far I still have a limited range of motion with my left arm. Fortunately there is no real pain when I'm on the bike.

Needless to say these upper body problems have really limited my exercise regimen -- my doctor says no to all repetitive motion that would exacerbate the problem and free weights are out of the question. And that is the problem with allowing myself to become sedentary and overweight. Everything is now harder than it would have been had I gotten the weight off years ago. It often feels like a losing battle -- and giving up is so much easier than forging ahead. Quite honestly, the momentary joy from the Tastykake crunch donuts gives me more satisfaction than the 30 minutes on the bike. But I know I have to keep pushing ahead and forcing myself to do the work -- July 2015 will be here sooner than I think.

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