Transplant Athlete
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
  Now You See The Violence Inherent In The System

Help! Help! I'm being repressed.

I saw the footage of George Allen Staffers & Supporters kickin' Mike Stark's ass on Fox5 and I couldn't resist the Monty Python reference. Mike is a blogger and law student in Richmond. As a constituent and a blogger, he has as much right as a reporter to ask questions of Allen. Just one more reason to vote Jim Webb for Senate.


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Monday, October 30, 2006
  I Feel The Need For Speed

I'm building my plan for next year. I start by putting events on the Calendar. The Race Across America is June 10th, Bike Sebring is Feb. 17th, Various DC Randonneur Brevets, A PACTour Arizona camp I want to go to and a PACTour Brevet week that I am signed up for, and finally The Katie Ride For Life.

I then fit my recovery weeks into the schedule, approximately every 4th week. This year I've added strength training, so I've put Coach Friel's terms for the weight training periods on the Calendar. I am going to do another 3 weeks of Anatomical Adaptation phase, Coach Friel describes these as high rep, low weight to get the body ready for training. Then after a recovery week, I'll add two weeks of Maximum Transition, which uses a weight that only allow 15 reps. Another recovery week, then three weeks of Maximum Strength which uses a weight that only allows 3 to 6 reps per set.

I'll be moving into the Base Phase soon, which means lots of aerobic miles on the bike. My next step will be to put the cycling interval types (Cruise intervals below LT, Lactate Threshold Intervals, and VO2 Max intervals) on the calendar. I will be making a more concerted effort to complete specific intervals during the 2007 season. The intervals will build my speed, speed I desperately need to complete RAAM.

My goal for Sebring will be to cruise around at a cadence above 90 and heart rate just below my lactate threshold and to stay on the bike for the entire 24 hours. High mileage (400+) would be a bonus or side-effect, but not a requirement, I'm focused on RAAM.


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Friday, October 27, 2006
  Tip For Commuting With Kids In A Trailer

The temperature yesterday was 41 degrees when we left the house to take Q to her Preschool. I was a bit concerned that the trailer would start out really cold, so I nuked the hot pac from a Pyrex Portables container and put it in the trailer. I also brought along the insulated pack that comes with it so I could control the heat if it got to hot.

The trailer is really small and with the plastic front down it tends to retain body heat, so I'm pretty sure that I can keep them nice and toasty warm even on days when my water bottle freezes.


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Thursday, October 26, 2006
  Oh Duh Moment...Or Was It A V8 Moment?

This is roughly my 5th week of weight training (with a big break after the first two for my stint at the Reston Spa for Pneumonia) and it just occured to me that I haven't increased my protein intake at all. I don't think I've ever gotten my RDA of protein, for so many years I was on a low protein diet that I just don't know how to get huge amounts of protein into my system.

A couple years ago I tried Hammer Pro Soy. I would mix it up in a smoothie...YUM. So, realizing my protein deficient diet, I have started mixing up the smoothies again with extra doses of Protein (around 50g per smoothie). Honestly, how did I think I was going to get stronger without adding more Protein???

According to the U of MD Medicine site, I'm supposed to be getting 111 grams per day, The Cyclist's Training Bible by Coach Joe Friel suggests that I should be getting closer to 140 grams per day. Bring on the Steaks...


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Wednesday, October 25, 2006
  Ride Boldly Ride - Anyone...Anyone...

Our sports figures are doping, cheating, and getting rich doing it. Is it any wonder a parent draws a .357 Magnum at a football game to get his kid a bit more playing time? Now, I'm all for the right to bear arms, but I think there's a time and place for them; for instance, if three men kill the old man who raised you, you might want to be packin', although a knife will do in a pinch...If you have to chase three men down a dark alley into a church, you might want to be packin'...And finally, if you need to rescue a man who is being held until he gives up his water rights, you might want to be packin'. BUT, A pee-wee football game in Philly with 2 dozen kids under the age of 7 running around, you don't need to be packin' heat.

Its apparently not much safer in politics... As election day approaches, the negative ads are shocking and prolific. Here in Virginia, We've got a Republican Incumbent who used a racial slur at a rally and allegedly as a Senator used his official power to intervene on behalf of a company for which he had stock options. He also made money on stock options which he failed to disclose as part of his senate financial disclosure. Is there anybody to look up to anymore? Don't say "Captains of Industry", because Jeff Skilling got sentenced this week... My friend Richie puts the blame on the breakdown of family and community in America and a lack of accountability that pervades our society. I tend to agree with him.

As for election day, I, a registered Republican, will be voting for Jim Webb for the US Senate. Mostly I want to send a message to Bush that he screwed up the gulf coast by putting an incompetent poseur in charge of FEMA, but I also want to send a message that Bush should bring our boys home (My cousin Joe is in Iraq).

I don't know what the answer is, so I'll get off my soapbox and back on my bike and as Ghandi said, be the change I wish to see in the world.

P.S. Don't forget to check out my calendar to see how my training is progressing.


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Sunday, October 22, 2006
  Cool...Not Cool

I took the kids and the wife for a bike ride on Saturday. We meanderd around Reston and I wanted to eventually head down to the Cross County Trail (CCT). I had heard that the trail was complete from Occoquan to Great Falls, but its mostly singletrack just off the WOD. I'm giving a shout out to Vance who yelled out "Faster" as he passed us on our way to Performance Bike. Although its really hard to hear what people say when they scream out a window, that was cool. Adrienne was riding a bit wonky at the time, so I was worried about upsetting other drivers. Vance and I chatted a bit at Performance.

Back on the trail we had to stop at McD's on Wiehle to feed the kids and Adrienne. Pulling the kids in the trailer is a great workout, but there are constant interruptions and you can't be out long or they get antsy...Then we headed over to the CCT to see what it was like. Northbound quickly became singletrack, so I eventually had to turn the bike around. I definitely need to get a mountain bike.

Southbound on the CCT was a bit better, the trail was hardpacked and wide enough for the trailer to get through without a problem. The bridge was out along the way, so we stayed on a smaller trail and it eventually caught up with Hunter Station Road. There's a pretty decent climb there, so I convinced Adrienne to go up it. We then made a bee-line for the trail, then we rolled into Herndon and got some Bread at Great Harvest Bread Co. The kids love stopping there.

On the last stretch of road before our development, some guy in a pickup truck yelled out "Road Kill" as he passed. Not cool, especially with our kids in tow.


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Wednesday, October 18, 2006
  Dr. Bob Breedlove

I just finished reading the November issue of OUTSIDE magazine. I bought the Mag after Cat Berge commented on the article on the Topica Listserv.

I was racing 4 person RAAM in 2005 when I heard that Dr. Bob Breedlove was killed in Colorado. We weren't given much information at first, just a mandate that the follow vehicle had to be behind the rider at all times (where previously, we could leapfrog during the day). Later, we were told that the rule change was prompted by Breedlove's death. I had never met Bob, but I knew of him. After the race, news came in drips and drabs. I was convinced then that the 15 year old unlicensed driver was to blame and after reading this article by Alan Prendergast, I'm even more convinced it was the 15 year old's fault.

Bob was an experienced rider, someone who knows how to handle a bike. Those types of riders don't make mistakes like crossing into a lane of oncoming traffic.

Then there's a 15 year old unlicensed driver. Growing up in New Jersey where the driving age was 17, but you could get a permit at 16ish, I've never actually met a 15 year old who drove on highways. Let's talk about the 17 year old drivers I knew. Several totaled cars, several totaled several cars, and none of them obeyed the speed limit voluntarily. I myself got warnings twice for speeding back then, no accidents though.

So, I find it easier to believe a 15 year old unlicensed driver on a downhill turn leading into a long straightaway would be exceeding the speed limit enough to cause him to cross the centerline. Also, I doubt a 15 year old would know how to take a turn properly, and I'm not talking about just getting around the turn, I'm talking about braking before the turn to center the vehicle, starting outside, hitting the Apex and accelerating out of the turn to the outside. A 15 year old would try to take the turn at high speed in the center of the lane, maybe drifting in to the Apex and then out as far as he needed to make the turn (a recipe for disaster). Alan Prendergast found out that seven months before the accident, the 15 year old had rolled a Hyundai off the highway not far from where Bob was killed, I'm guessing speed was a factor, BUT, the kid admitted to drinking a beer before he launched the Hyundai 60 feet into the rough.

Accident reconstruction experts hired by the Breedloves' and independently hired by Outside Magazine note numerous flaws in the Colorado State Police report. Without seeing more photos and a survey(physics has the answers) of the crash scene, I can't say for certain what happened, but the damage to the truck certainly looks like a head-on collision, which is inconsistent with the kid's story. Read the article for yourself and let me know what you think.

The kid paid $200 in fines and court fees and did 24 hours of community service for killing a cycling legend. I know in my heart that the kid was at fault and that his reckless driving had repercussions far beyond the Breedloves, It affected Bob's co-workers, his riding buddies, it affected all future RAAM riders and the race itself. I hope the Breedloves can find justice for Bob.

P.S. New Jersey is one of several states that implemented a staged licensing process that gradually increases driving privileges from the age of 17 to the age of 21.


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Thursday, October 12, 2006
  This Is Just Disturbing

I don't know if this is true or not, but RoadBikeRider is reporting that pro cyclists are using a common ingredient in Laundry detergent to clear their urine of EPO. The problem is that it gets rid of all the EPO in the sample (including the EPO that is produced by the body and is supposed to be there) and several riders including Jan Ulrich have been found to have urine devoid of any EPO. Obviously the only people who would need to clear their urine of EPO are those who are doping.

There is truly no joy in Mudville tonight.

My apologies to Ernest L. Thayer

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006
  Just A Reminder That My Original Kidneys Failed

Kidney 2.0

Kidney 2.0 was installed in '00 to replace defective hardware from the original install in '71. This OEM upgrade was the last NOS part available and future upgrades must be sourced from other manufacturers. Due to the age of this New Old Stock, there is some concern it will be able to continue processing under the extreme conditions I subject it to, so frequent monitoring is required. The original firewall is incompatible with current upgrades, so I install a software patch twice daily. Of course, the software patch is buggy and leaves my system vulnerable to viruses, bugs, and trojan horses (hence the recent bout with Pneumonia). The upgrade isn't perfect, but it's better than the alternatives.

Dialysis 1.x

Dialysis 1.0 - Hemodialysis
Dialysis 1.1 - Peritoneal Dialysis
I was lucky and didn't have to resort to Dialysis 1.x, they are a kludge. The limitations of the process would negate continuous system use such as in 24 hour races or cross country treks. In fact, the system might core dump after just 20 hours of continuous use, especially without strict I/O control.

Kidney 3.0

Kidney 3.0 involves tissue engineering to clone kidney 1.0. The promised product is feature-rich, an easy upgrade, and compatible with the original firewall software, but is currently vaporware. My guess is it'll be at least a decade before a release date is set.

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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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