Transplant Athlete
Sunday, May 23, 2004

I skipped the 300K brevet in New Jersey for this weekend, I also avoided the RBC ride for sunday. I'm still feeling overtrained and I'll be putting in some huge miles on thursday and friday. I'm riding down to Charleston, South Carolina for my cousin's wedding. Mapquest says its around 550 miles by car, it will be longer by bike. I researched a route down Skyline Drive and then the Blue Ridge Parkway, but that would be about 700 miles (and a hilly 700 miles at that). The route I'm taking through Virginia is relatively flat and I should be able to make good time on the way down.
I used my heart rate monitor today during my recovery "ride"(on a trainer) and I noticed that all of my recovery rides this week were too easy. I need to wear my heart rate monitor more often. The body gets stronger during recovery.

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Friday, May 21, 2004
  Important Links

Here are some important links I want to keep track of:

Triathlon Wetsuit Article by Dan Empfield, Founder of QR and Slowtwitch.com

Article by Bikesport Michigan about Triathlon/Time Trial Bars

Interactive Topographic Maps Online

Time Savings by Swapping to Aero Gear

Brevets in the DC Region

USCF racing in the DC region

Potomac Pedalers Touring Club - rides for all ability levels in DC Area

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Thursday, May 20, 2004

I've been feeling a little over-trained lately. I've been riding hard on the weekends and haven't really been recovering well. I set out with the best of intentions during the week to ride easy and recover, but gradually my speed creeps up and I'm hammerin' along. Sometimes, I just don't leave myself enough time to get where I'm going.
Riding outside during the summer is great, but I have a hard time training at a specific intensity especially if I'm with other people. In order to train at a specific intensity or in my case, recover, I get on the trainer. I got some good recovery time in last night on my trainer.

Here's my recovery drink recipe:

  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Cup of Frozen strawberries
  • 1 Scoop of Hammer Pro Soy
  • 1 or 2 Cups of Orange Juice
  • A couple cubes of Ice

Shove it all in the blender and mix well. You can add Pineapple(juice or chunks), yogurt, or orange sherbert. Pineapple tends to give it a bit of a cherry taste. The best time to refuel is within the first 20 minutes after the workout. If you can't refuel within that 20 minutes, try to refuel within the first hour after the workout. Its during these windows that the body is most receptive to refueling.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2004
  Chain Of Hope

I drove up to New Jersey this weekend, picked up my mother, Aunt, and Grandfather and drove up to Massachusetts. I rode in Heidi's Chain of Hope, a fundraiser for the Cancer House of Hope - a support center for people with cancer. This fundraiser helps support the many wonderful programs at the center.

There were approximately 50 people who rode at the event, the course was well marked and the cue sheets were excellent.

Craig, a certified trainer for a local high school, started off in front, and I stayed with him, within a mile or so, we realized we'd left everyone behind. About 2 or 3 miles into the ride, I noticed a bike had caught up to us. It turned out to be a tandem. The tandem pulled out in front and Craig pulled into their draft. I rode alongside him to keep our conversation going. We were chatting away merrily as we pulled down a small hill, completely oblivious to the STOP sign at the bottom. I ended up locking up my rear tire, but I kept it upright. I'm not sure if the tandem thought we were sketchy after that, or they really were "slower on the hills coming up", but whatever the reason, they let us pass through. Craig and I continued on, I suffered on the climbs, Craig seemed to be handling them with ease. We made one wrong turn after the first sag stop. Craig saw an arrow and misinterpreted the direction, which took us straight up a hill. I pulled out my cue sheet to check the directions, but craig was hauling A&* up hill and he didn't hear me try to get his attention. I went slowly up the hill, hoping he would turn around, or at least check his cue sheet. He finally stopped at the top, checked his cue sheet and waited for me to reach him. We turned around and headed back down hill. We probably had a 10 minute gap on the rest of the riders, but by the time we got back on route, we very near the back of the group. However, we rapidly caught and passed most of the riders. I believe we got into the 25 mile sag stop(back at the Center of Hope) in the top 5. I had told him that I was going to be going off SAG to ride the 10 mile ride with my mom and Aunt, so he continued on.

And I waited. And Waited. We had gotten in nearly an hour before the 10 mile ride was to start. My Aunt had been complaining about how out of shape she was, but she ended up doing well on the ride. I was concerned about my mother. She was my kidney donor, so I want her to feel that she hasn't lost anything giving up a kidney. It was important to me to know that I wasn't any less of a person with just one "borrowed" kidney, that's why I rode across the country, why I race in USCF events, and why I'm trying to qualify for RAAM. I don't want her to feel like she's limited because of her sacrifice. If she felt restricted, or didn't trust her body, or felt like she was damaged in some way, then I would've been better off on dialysis or dead.

She's also had knee surgery, so I felt cycling would be a good low impact exercise for her. Unfortunately, there are a lot of steps to get up to her condo, so its difficult to get a bike in and out to practice. She ended up doing well on the 10 mile ride. I'm proud of her, she did have to walk the bike up a couple of hills, but she did the distance. I ended up tipping over about 7 miles into the ride, which is really embarrassing when you're mom thinks you're an expert cyclist.

After we completed the 10 mile ride, I hit the porta-potty and then jumped back onto the 64 mile ride. I had told a couple of the organizers that I was going off SAG, and I didn't fill up on food or water before jumping back onto the course, so I ended up bonking badly around mile 47(about an hour after I left the center). The sag stops had been closed up and there were no convenience stores on the route, so I had to limp into the ice cream store where the 53 mile stop had been set up.

Home made ice cream...yyuuummmm! Root Beer float...Potato chips...chocolate chip cookies...water...I refueled and spent nearly 20 minutes waiting for my body to absorb enough to complete the last 11 miles. I can usually tolerate a little bit of ice cream, but this was too much and I knew I would be paying for it later, but it was really good. For those wondering, I could've gotten a hot dog, but I don't think that was any more nutritious, I suppose I could have asked them to make up something special for me, but this was primarily an ice cream stand and it didn't look like they were set up for much else. They certainly didn't have gatorade or powerbars. By the time I completed the ride, all of the other participants and most of the volunteers had packed up and gone home. They had raffled off the Cycling Fitness Results DVDs I donated. I did have my own little cheering section though when I got back (Mom, 2 Aunts, Uncle, 2 Cousins, Grandfather, and Margerite).

I guess I should have mentioned, for a charity ride, there was a helluva lot of climbing. My Avocet watch said that there was 3700' in 64 miles, that's about the same ratio as the Brevets in New Jersey, which are considered hilly.

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Friday, May 14, 2004

I've owned a set of Powercranks for about two years now. I rode them extensively in early 2002, but I switched over to regular cranks for the racing season and didn't put them back on that year. I started using them again in early 2003 and I was doing rides of 30 - 40 miles on them. Again, an early collegiate race season found me back on regular cranks. I did notice a difference in my hip flexors in 2003. I had gotten a parking pass for the lot on the North end of Maryland's campus and the R.H.Smith School was housed in Van Munching Hall on the South end of Campus.

Due to traffic and other concerns, I often found my self running across campus to get to class. I don't usually run, I don't jog, I cycle. BUT I felt amazingly well running across campus. My hip flexors seemed to be doing all the work. I think if triathletes trained with these, they would definitely see faster run times.

How have the Powercranks affected my cycling? That's much harder to quantify. I know that they've helped. Early on, when I was using the Powercranks, I'd try to get in an aero position and I would have extreme difficulty getting the pedal back up over the top. Nowadays, I can stay in an aero position longer using Powercranks. I think that technically that makes me more efficient, but not faster. I'm probably putting out a few more watts this way(because my ascending foot isn't being pushed up by my descending foot) , but my pedaling economy is the real benefit. Powercranks claims on their website that the average cyclist can gain 40% in power by training with Powercranks. I had a VO2 Max test done in 2001 before my trip across the country and then again in 2003. The improvement was about a 50% gain in power(see my posts from January for the actual numbers). Was this all due to the Powercranks? No. Was some of it due to the Powercranks? Yes.

In the 2001-2002 offseason, I was in the weight room at the Campus Rec Center at MD and again in 2002 - 2003 I was back in the weight room. Also, for the 2003 race season, I was coached by Joe Althoff. So as you can see, it's difficult to tell how much of the improvement in power was due to Powercranks and how much was other factors(coaching, weight training, etc).

I only bring this up today, because I've had the PC on my beater bike, I have a baby trailer attached to the beater to pull Q around. Today, I took the trailer sans Q into Evolution Health and Fitness to pick up a box(driving would have taken the same amount of time, but cost me 50 cents in tolls and nearly 4 dollars in gas). Its a good 30 minute ride without the PC or the trailer, on the way back as I was passing through Reston, I noticed my left cleat felt wiggly. I checked the cleat and it looked worn, so I just figured I'd limp the last 4 miles home with the bad cleat. As I was passing the Reston Town Center, I realized that the crank was loose. I pulled over and went looking for my multi-tool, but I seem to have misplaced it. I ended up one legged pedaling into Herndon, where I found a group of cyclists at the Great Harvest Bread Company and tried to borrow a multi-tool, but none of them had an Allen wrench large enough for my crank. I then pedaled home with my right leg and about a mile from home, my crank fell off. I hope that this one legged pedaling balances out the one legged pedaling I did at the 300K Brevet a couple of weeks back.

Despite what this post may sound like, I do recommend the Powercranks.


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Thursday, May 13, 2004
  RAAM Video Footage

I just received this email from the UltraCycling Mailing List. Check out the Video footage through the links in this post. It looks like fun, does that mean there's something wrong with me?


----- Original Message -----
From: jpitre@raceacrossamerica.org
To: Ultracycling
Sent: Thursday, May 13, 2004 1:57 AM
Subject: [UC] Jim Lampley's Race Across America promo tape

Hi everyone.
Jim Lampley who was the key individual involved with ABC Wide World of Sports doing the original RAAM network broadcasts back in the 80s and is now HBO’s key boxing personality has a TV production company that is doing some work with us. The following link takes you to our website and will play some outstanding RAAM video – check it out – I think you’ll like it.


Any criticism or comment will be appreciated.



Jim Pitre, Race Director
Insight Race Across America
550 W Baseline Rd. Ste 102-349
Mesa AZ 85210
480-380-7219 direct
480-231-0202 cel
602-325-9169 voice/fax

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Monday, May 10, 2004


I had a great weekend. I had to be in DC on Saturday, 5335 Wisconsin Ave NW. There was a meeting at the NKF office about the Transplant Games. I rode in using the W&OD Trail, then the Custis trail, crossed over the Potomac, rode through Georgetown and then up Wisconsin. When I left in the morning, I thought it was supposed to be overcast all day, but the weather picked up after the meeting. My computer is on the fritz, so I'm guessing it was somewhere around 25 - 30 miles each way. I stopped into Bonzai on the way home to pick up a store key. Walter S. was there picking up his Softride Qualifier, so I waited around for Gordon to complete the fitting and finish the paperwork and then I rode with Walter back towards Herndon. I was on my Softride Rocket, so Walter was asking questions about my trip across the country (I had purchased the Softride for the trip). I think he'll be happy with the bike. I was feeling great when I got home, so I loaded up 19 month old Q in her trailer and pulled her into the center of Herndon.

We got some bread at the Great Harvest Bread Company. Q loves going for rides in her trailer and even tries to pull her bike out of the garage whenever the garage door is open, but I'm not taking any chances breaking her in early; after bread, we went to Dairy Queen and got some ice cream. Let's hope Pavlov was right. Bicycle = bread + Ice Cream.

Sunday was a beautiful day for a ride and I took my time riding into Bonzai Sports, I had to open the shop. Its really tough riding 20 miles, standing around for 5 hours and then riding another 20 miles. The legs need a lot of time to warm up again.


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Friday, May 07, 2004

I rebuilt my pedals today...The ones that came apart on the 300K Brevet. I'm not a very good mechanic, so I know I'll have to check them frequently. The right pedal had come apart, but the manufacturer recommended that the screws on both be replaced and sealed with Red Loctite. I ended up getting the Loctite everywhere, which is probably a bad thing, and I tried to tighten the screws to 2.6 Nm, but realized that my torque wrench goes in increments of 5 Nm...The screw heads themselves aren't very deep, so I stripped out the left one as I was removing it. I probably should have left it alone, but if it had come apart during a ride, it would've been my fault.

I signed up yesterday for the National 24 Hour Challenge in Michigan. I'll probably end up doing it unsupported. I'm going to post a message on the Transplant message board asking if there are any athletes up there who might help me. What kind of training have I been doing for these events? Not much during the week. After the 200K brevet, I didn't get to ride all week. This past Sunday, I got a 61 mile ride in with the Reston Bike Club from Reston out to Waterford, through rolling terrain. I didn't get a chance to ride at all this week, but I should be able to get out on the bike saturday and sunday.

Why haven't I gotten a chance to ride during the week? I've been spending my mornings applying for marketing jobs. I'm trying to find an assistant brand manager position or even just a marketing assistant position, something that will allow me to advance my marketing knowledge past what I learned at Maryland. Then in the afternoon, I have been working on Optimum Fitness business, contacting bike shops and distributors, filling out paperwork, learning Quickbooks, mailing DVDs to customers, etc. In a start-up business, there is always more work to be done.

I have another 300K planned for May 22. Stay tuned for more training news.


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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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Warning Signs for Kidney Disease:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Burning or Difficulty when Urinating
  • Frequent Urination at Night
  • Blood in your urine
  • Cola or tea colored urine
  • Swellig of the eyes, ankles, or feet
  • Lower back pain unrelated to physical activity

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