May 31, 2010

Whole Natural Foods

Besides exercise, the other important aspect in obtaining optimal health is nutrition. This is what we eat. It is important to eat whole natural food, the food our bodies were meant to eat.

The food we eat today is essentially dead. It is void of the nutrients that are needed to sustain life. Our food has changed a great deal since the introduction of farming and grains some 10,000 years ago. However, there have been no major changes in our DNA in more than that time. This means that our bodies have not yet adapted to eat this kind of diet. There are basically eight changes to our diet that detrimentally affect our health: (Colgan, Nutrition For Champions, 2007)

  1. Introduction of cereal grains and processed carbohydrates;
  2. Introduction of animal husbandry;
  3. Introduction of refined sugar;
  4. Introduction of salt;
  5. Introduction of processed vegetable oils;
  6. loss of fiber;
  7. loss of micronutrients;
  8. Increased Acidity

Early 20th century studies by Price and Pottinger has shown that the hunter gatherer diet to be the most beneficial in maintaining life and health. (Schmid, 1997) The food we eat needs to be whole and natural as nature intended it. We should avoid foods that come in packages. Instead we should make our own foods using natural organic and macrobiotic ingredients. These are grown locally when the season allows, and are free of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and other unnatural food additives. It makes no sense to buy organic apples in the USA that were grown in New Zealand. These may be free of pesticides, but nearly all the nutritional value has been lost during the time of cold storage required to ship it, and they were most likely picked to soon to achieve the maximum nutritional value. When possible eat food directly from the source.

Colgan, D. M. (2007). Nutrition For Champions. Vancouver BC: Science Books.

Schmid, R. N. (1997). Traditional Foods Are Your Best Medicine. Rochester: Healing Arts Press.

May 27, 2010

2010 early season summary

I haven’t been blogging much lately. I’ve been too busy training and racing but I thought I would share what’s happened thus far this season.
My first race of the year was the Adventures For the Cure Sugar Hill Cross Country MTB race in Elkridge, MD. It was held on March 20 and billed as a pre-series race for the Mid-Atlantic Super Series. So I treated it as such. Just rode it a race pace but didn’t care where I finished, just looking for signs of what kind of shape I was in. I ended up having a great race (no crashes, no injuries and had fun). Things were looking good.
My second race was the Tour of Walkerville, in Walkerville, MD a 50 mile road race on April 10. Things were going great on the first lap until I made a mistake that caused me to crash. I actually was anticipating and acceleration and was sitting in the middle of the pack. My anticipation caused me to get out of the saddle and start to accelerate as we hit a minor rise. Unfortunately, as I jumped, the folks in front of me hit the brakes and as I started flying into the middle of the bunch I bailed towards the edge of the road. When my front wheel hit the grass I endo’d and brought a couple of guys with me. I had some minor damage to my bike and got dropped from the bunch because of the wreck. Because I was dropped I got pulled after two laps.
My next event was the Ride to End Hunger in Calvert County on April 24. I did the Metric Century and skirted rain showers for the whole 3+ hours but made it back dry. It was a fun event!
I raced again on May 1, in the Michael P. Murad road race in Poolesville, MD. This race did not go well for me. I got dropped within four minutes of the start and spent the rest of the first lap solo. I caught a rider on the second lap and rode with him for most of the second and third laps and we were pulled on the third lap.
The fifth a last race so far was the Urban Assault MTB race in downtown Richmond, VA on May 15. I’ve done this race three years in a row and always had a good race. Well, the race was going well for me until about two thirds through when I crashed in a rocky area. My front wheel kind of got wedged into a crevice as I rode through and since I had been gripping the bars hard preparing to lift the front wheel I sort of pivoted over the bars and was looking down as I started over the top. It seemed like I hovered there for a second and thought to myself that it would not be good if I landed on my bike. So I semi-vaulted myself forward, twisted and ended up landing on my right side ahead of the bike. I popped back to my feet and went to grab the bike when I realized my left wrist was really hurting. Not wanting to fall/crash again and hurt myself further I pretty much dismounted and carried the bike over the rest of the obstacles on the course so I got passed by a lot of folks that last part of the race. I looked at my time and compared it to last year’s race and I was eleven minutes faster this year. So I think my fitness is getting there, I just need to find a way to stay upright.
I still have a lot of races on my schedule for this year. My next race will be the Church Creek TT in Church Creek, MD, a 40K flat TT on June 5. I’m hoping for a PR in this race. BTW, my left wrist was just bruised and feels much better now. Good luck and good riding to all!!!

May 26, 2010

"You Don't Know What You've Got Till It's Gone"

Before yesterday, it had been over 2 months since I have ridden my bike in earnest. Winter training was going well until about late March, when my knee issue from 2009 flared back up again. The knee pain had been previously diagnosed as tendonitis and after 3 doctors, 2 Physical Therapists, 2 MRIs, xrays, ultrasounds, and host of other supplements, braces, and bike fit changes, I believe it may be identified and, at least for the time being, behind me.

Dr. Lynch from the West Bend Clinic, was able to identify an issue with the plica tissue behind the quad tendon, which was inflamed, and to make a long story short - causing the pain, which was thought to be tendonitis. I am so thankful for her expertise and assistance.

To fill my time for the last 2 months, I took up running and not just running, but barefoot running via the Vibram Five Fingers KSOs. This has been a great experience, which came to be after reading the book "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougal. This was an interesting process and has allowed me to expand my bucket list to include a Boston Qualifying barefoot marathon at some point before I am unable, and kept me in moderate shape. The barefoot running, especially trail running, was great until I encountered one of the major benefits of shoes: protection. The picture included was a thorn, which impaled my foot, behind the big toe last week. This was a minor hurdle and has not changed my belief in barefoot running. Running, in general, certainly forces you to maintain Anaerobic Threshold for long periods of time and, to this day, I am still convinced running helps biking fitness significantly more than biking helps running.

All that being said, Doctor's orders yesterday were to ride hard! The idea being to test the latest treatment, in an attempt to prove/disprove the latest diagnosis........ All indications are good at this point and for those of you that obsess over things like I do will appreciate the significant weight that seems to be lifter off my shoulders and the amount of freedom I know feel again. It is obviously too early to say all is good, and I am trying to temper my enthusiasm until I get further into the training, although, in the moment, this is the best news, related to cycling, I have had in 10 months.

Now time to make due on some promises and represent 53x11 to the extent possible and quit driving those in my life crazy with my knee rehab obsession! Here's to riding!!!
Joe Riesberg

May 22, 2010

New York Bike Tour

MJ and I are trying to get out a bit now that its getting warmer. That includes our annual trek to New York. Why I don't know, but its something we enjoy together. 32,000 people on bikes is alot. The tour starts at eight and the last of the riders don't pass through the start till hours later. They close the streets of the five boroughs of NY for the day. This event is the biggest of its kind in the US. Here's a few pics.

May 13, 2010

46 days ... Ironman Couer d'Alene ID. I always pretend to keep my cool when Katie reminds me how few day remain and woefully unprepared we are. While it is true that there are not many days until the race, we are not unprepared. I calmly remind her that we will not come in on race day with our usual depth of fitness, but with just enough, which is is all we need. I suppose that is my way of saying "We Are Forked" or something to that effect.

This weekend looks like it might be the first this year without either howling winds or temps in the low 40s. We have our first 100 miler brewing this Saturday sandwiched between 2 one hour runs on Friday and Sunday. Brew and sandwich....mmmmmmm we are always hungry. Yes, mates, triathletes are not only poor bike handlers, but boring too. Don't we all just love it when one of my brethren or sisteren show up in a skin suit for a group ride, commencing to get onto their aerobars in the middle of the pace line. A pox upon your house, numb nuts. For the record, no aerobars on my road bike, lil' scraps, and I never ever get into aero when in a group, primarily because I ride with fellow triathletes and don't trust them. You don't get to be a 55 year old cyclist without being ornery, mistrusting and very aware.

May 11, 2010


Tonight was the 8th Pacific Raceways Tuesday night race of 2010, but only my 3rd. The first 2 had not gone so well, and my 3 sanctioned roadraces of the year also had not gone too great. My lack of training was clearly evident.
Tonight we raced the flat course, approximately a flat 2 mile course for 50 minutes. The weather was very nice-partly cloudy and cool. There was a good wind, meaning a head wind on the home stretch and a tail wind on the back stretch. We had about 55 riders in the 4/5s and my legs felt so fresh. The first time this year. I just had a fun time and wished the race went much longer. The harder we rode the better I felt. I attacked three different laps, every time at the same place, on the home stretch into the wind at the start/finish. I ended up finishing about 25th out of the 55 or so. I was so strong tonight and just giggled thru the whole thing.
Ty (aka Saddledancer)

May 8, 2010

Half N Half

I didn't know how to title this post. Several names came to mind during the Masters 35+ 4/5 race this morning in Ravensdale, WA-"The yo-yo string finally broke; Dangling; See How the Other Half Rides," but I opted for Half N Half.
My race was in the early grouping (Womens Pro 1/2/3, Men's 5, us, then Women's 4). The scheduling was reversed from last year and we raced one less lap. A bit disappointing but in the end I was quite happy to just do 4 laps. The course started relatively flat, then had a good short hill, more rolling that followed a clockwise loop and was about 9 miles. It had 2 good right hand turns.
We started at around 8:40 in gorgeous conditions-clear, calm, and a bit chilly. May started with a wet and windy and cold start for Washington, including some snow. Yesterday was a change for the better, and it is Bike Month here so I rode home from work on my single speed. I threw in a partial leg around Mercer Island to scope out a TT course that will be raced in June as part of the Masters Games. I plan on riding the single speed in that race which is very rolling and curvy. No real flat sections with one good climb.
Anyway, maybe that hurt my legs some but I knew the race today would be tough as I didn't feel like I had race legs. Not really flat, just "not there." We also had a large field. The max was 75 but it turns out we had 83 entrants. I was at the back of the group trying to find my legs when a crash occurred in front of me around the 3rd mile. I did not go down but got caught behind it and had to work like a dog by myself to get back on. I never recovered. I did hang on for the first 2 laps, even battling the follow race vehicle a couple of times when I fell off. Every time the car passed me I found another gear and fought tooth and nail to the back of the peloton. After 3 or 4 of these episodes, just into the 3rd lap, I gave up the ghost, dropped back and waived the follow car by. I had a quick laugh with the official about my efforts. I resigned myself to 2 solo and lonely and tired laps when what did I see ahead? A large group of riders riding very slow. There were lots of recreational riders out and they were way to the right so I thought this was a large group of them. But as I approached through following traffic I saw another race vehicle. I flew by it and saw they were women. Turns out they were the Pro 1/2/3s who started about 6 mins ahead of us. Due to the Center Line Rule and my legs I opted to ride with them. Quite nice as they were not so erratic with pace as us. I lost contact before the only hill (rather short) before the start/finish so resigned myself to one lap solo. I was dangling just behind the women and could not bridge, but did not lose much. But then they suddenly slowed in the same place I got them a lap before so I was able to get back on. I rode the last lap with them, once again dropping off on the hill and finishing by myself.
I was 68th out of 69. We had 13 DNFs.
We had the largest field by far. Since they separate 4 and 5s into separate races I wish they would do that with the Masters. The Masters 1/2/3 have their own race and usually only field about 20 max (today like 13 riders). Does not make sense.
But I did the race.
I even got out for a quick easy ride tonight on my single speed.
Side Note-I am reading the new book by Joe Parkin, called "Come & Gone,: the sequel to "A Dog In a Hat." It is very good.
All the best to my teammates,
Ty (aka Saddledancer)