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Thursday, October 14, 2010

The 12 days of cycling (Cycling is better than christmas)

My wife is out of town so instead of throwing a kegger or having the guys over for beer, cigars and poker. I thought I would bike every day instead of taking a car and blog about it. Check back every day for an update to this entry. My little ploy to get you coming back for more.
 I thought I would put the new ones upfront so y'all dont have to do so much scrolling. Hard work that it is.

 On the Twelfth day of Biking: Back to work. Some screw up with the Disability paper work and I was sent home at 11 am. Now I did call them last Friday is everything OK, "Yes you are all set", Now I cant get a hold of anyone at the disability company to tell me what the problem is. Also my internet connection did not work and it has so far taken me 4 phone calls/ talks with the admin to get someone to fix it and it still is not fixed after a day and a half. Much has led me to infinite frustration, which I took out on a 3 hour bike ride.

So here is the song: You know how it goes, last verse same as the first, you get the idea

On the twelfth day of biking my true love gave to me:

12 corporate cock ups
11 road rashes
10 days of resting
9 mountain bike meditations
8 Disability reps a calling
7 Cross bikes a blowin
6 Bubble persons bubbling
5 Ports a flushing
4 Pacers pushing
3 skin tight ski suits
2 much knee pain
And a pharmacist commenting on my bike shorts, ole!

 On the eleventh day of Biking: Mission accomplished! First race back since being diagnosed with cancer! It wasn't without incident, I crashed on the first lap. Going down a hill into turn onto a gravel section I washed out and hit the gravel.

As I lay on the ground in pain I had a choice, Quit (which I almost did) or continue. I decided if I could come this far I should finish what I started, if I nothing was broken. Nope nothing broken. I almost cried, but continued and passed a bunch of people before finishing. I crashed two more times trying to un-clip a sticky pedal but by that point it did not matter. Once your ego gets bruised and your emotions are shot it really does not matter what happens you just keep going.  Lots of people cheered for my super hero costume although they will never know the full story like you my readers do.

On the tenth day of Biking: I took a rest day to gear up for tomorrows Cyclo Race. You get to wear a costume since its near Halloween. I am going as Portman, I think I look like the character pretty well. Except for actual Portmans, round shape, I have a rather muscular psyche, I digress. It will be quite Muddy during the race so the costume may be quite sullied, so I thought I would show it to you in ts immaculate from.

On the ninth day of Biking: I am not mountain biking, but if I did, I would stay off the hard trails. If I was mountain biking I would notice how connected I feel to the bike through the pedals and the handle bar how mountain biking is a whole body exercise. You don't just sit and pedal, you balance, pull up on the bars, lean, look where you are going down the trail. It would be quite involved, if I was mountain biking of course. Mountain biking is like meditating. If meditation is supposed the keep all that mental chatter from going on in your head, then this (if I was doing it) will do that right now. Nothing like going down a trail, braking and trying to negotiate a tight turn to take everything off your mind except trying to keep your wheels upright. Go down a steep and you will be meditating like a zen master. It is like an adrenaline rush combined with the most calm feeling you ever experienced. Add in endorphins and exercise and you have the perfect activity, if I was doing it of course. 

On the eighth day of Biking: 33:05 would have placed me 5th in the overall bike times. Not bad for a guy 3 months out of chemo! Didn't beat Mr Skin suit he got 30:00. Got a call from my disability insurance company while riding at 175 beats per minute, guy must have wondered why I was panting so hard (gee this guy is worse than we thought he sounds really out of breath, and he wants to go back to work) Not kidding, he was calling about my long term disability, I almost hit a tree taking his call (kidding). I stopped to take the call and then almost hit the tree.

On the seventh day of biking: Quick ride home from B's school after dropping off the car. Wind was at my back and it felt fast fast fast and the cyclocross bike ridden be E in the summer. She lets me borrow it for races you see! I promise a legitimate run of the Black diamond course on the cyclocross bike tomorrow. See if I can come close to Mr skin suits time!

On the sixth day of biking: There is no biking on the sixth day of biking because (after reading this blog) my mom told me to take it easy and my daughter told me not to mountain bike. Dr says yes, wife says yes, daughter says no, because Portmantm might pop the port the Dr put in. My daughter created the Portmantm bubble person character ,

who will be making an appearance at the Halloween Cyclocross race on the 12th day of biking, my first race in over a year, stay tuned.
(Portmantm and the Portmantm  character are trademarks of, all rights are reserved, all patents legitimate, all reasons known to all persons who know it and believe in the bubble person heir-achy their heirs are apparent and thus insoluble and undeliverable to no one)

On the fifth day of biking: 32 miles round trip to the Oncologist to get my port flushed.I am exhausted and can hardly type due to my  neurapathy so this is the entire post.

On the fourth day of biking: Two of my friends came by for a 20 mile road ride. One friend said he had not been on his bike in 2 weeks and had been over eating and drinking so he would not be very fast. He buried me and my other friend up the first hill and never let up. I was hammering in a high gear and my friend was standing up mashing away at the pedals trying to keep up with this guy and he looked like he was just soft pedaling along coasting occasionally. How does he do it? He said it was carbo loading, I think he had secretly been at the gym on the trainer.

On the third day of biking: I rode about 8 miles, one way, to watch a run and bike race. Kind of wished I was competing but I cant run yet so I can wait. The competitors all looked like they were in a lot of pain. I thought this was fun? 

On the second day of biking: I got the clearance from my doctor and my wife to go Mountain biking. When I asked the doctor if it was dangerous for me to go mountain biking with my port(commonly known by my kids as as popping my port), He said its dangerous you can kill yourself mountain biking. I certainly know that. But no more dangerous with my port. So I went. Hit my knee cap on the handlebars and it hurt like hell. I really enjoy the endorphin rush when I am wreathing in pain :( I am not really sure if I like mountain biking now.

One the first day of biking: I went to the pharmacy to pick up a 30 day supply of my neurapathy medicine. It was raining, so it was a bit cold and wet, but I managed. The lady behind the counter asked me if I had seen some TV show on last night which featured an overweight man wearing bike shorts for the entire episode. I wondered what she meant by that, but she said I looked good in mine. Brings back memories of the line in caddy shack when Ted Knight is trying on an ugly hat and Rodney Dangerfeld says "But it looks good on you".

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Pant Load

Beware: The following is a graphic (and very funny) description of the events that happened on the 4th of this month. Hearty souls, read on. Other, you have been warned.

Getting your rectum rebuilt (Yes I was ripped a new one) is pretty disturbing to your bowel habits. Re-establishing healthy, satisfying, everything is right with the world poos (Credit to CS for this one) has been challenging. But I have just about done it. Except for one minor issue, that I have readily come to find is very important when adding any medicines or vitamins to your regimen.

I have had this problem where a shall we say, "Never Trust a Fart" pretty much describes it..or have your ever heard of a 'shart"....well you get the idea. The other day I am riding my bike in the pouring rain..pedaling along and I stand up on the pedals because I have this pressure which feels like I need to relieve and uh oh that was stupid I shouldn't have done that, I think I just gave myself a racing stripe in my bike shorts. I sit back down on the seat and yes confirmed major pant load in there. So I am soaked, 10 miles from home, its cold and I have shi.. myself.  Time for a major re-eavaluation of why this is happening.

After some research I have figured it out. I have been taking 250mg of magnesium for a nerve issue. This was part of a supplement regimen prescribed by my doctors. Turns out magnesium causes diarrhea. I guess they failed to mention it might make me poop my pants, but hey, you cant be expected to be warned of everything.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Why I make the face?

I almost forgot why this blog is titled make the face. Its because when I am racing (ski, bike run etc) my face contorts into all sorts of funny expressions as I strain to exert all my energy and concentration to go as fast as I possibly can.  Someone once pointed out, why race? your not getting paid for it. Although I won a bottle on wine once.  Why do this? To stay physically fit of course. But you can stay fit by just exercising with a group or by yourself. Why pay the entry fee, train your butt off and put yourself through all the agony and pain that comes when the gun goes off and your ego tells you that you need to get one step ahead of that son-of-a-b in front of you.

Why? To learn about yourself. To experience the physical discomfort that you would never ever get yourself into when exercising. Once you start to push yourself past what you thought were your limits you realize your limits are far above what you thought they were. Your pain threshold increases, you learn how to forget about the pain and redirect it elsewhere. A very important skill when dealing with the physical agony I just went through. You learn how to overcome obstacles. Things that once were hard are now possible. Hills dont look as steep, roads not as long and mountains not so high. You become mentally tougher, able to get through bad situations with more ease.

I have not entered a race in a year. Will I enter one again? You bet the funny expression on my face I will. Just not for a while, I need to heal some more. Then look out I have a new threshold and resolve to race with. My face will get contorted again!