Monday, July 9, 2012

A Calm Week, Flat tire, and No Soda

OK...this was a MUCH more calm week than last week. My wife's iPhone was trying to die on her, so there was replacement cost for that, but that was the only financial "woe" so to speak. The running / cycling / walking during the week was a lot more "normal" as well. I'm continuing to mix cycling into the schedule in a more deliberate way, so that my knee has time to build back from the strength imbalance / over use injury I caused.

The only real fly in the ointment came on Saturday when I was scheduled to do a bike ride. I had run close to 8 the day prior, and the knee was a bit sore. As a part of my routine when riding, I go out to the garage and check / fill the tire pressure in both tires prior to every ride. I keep them at about 70 PSI to start, and as a consequence of the rides and just being in the rack for a day or so, I typically find them between 60 and 65 PSI in the morning.

On Saturday morning, I found that the back tire was completely flat. Since I hadn't had an issue of which I was aware on the last bike ride (Thursday morning), I thought I "might" just have a slow leak, so I aired up the back tire to 70 PSI and listened. Nothing. I aired the front tire to the same pressure, then checked the back again. All good. So I wheeled it out to the street, and started the ride. Right at 1.5 miles I noticed a wobble and it just didn't feel right, so I stopped. The back tire, was flat.

Now I carry tools, a spare tube, and a couple of those little air canisters with me to deal with flats, but it was 4:20 a.m., pitch black except for my head light, and I really didn't want to do that in the dark. Besides that, I haven't changed a flat on a bike in well over 30 years...perhaps longer than that. So I walked the bike back home, changed into my running shorts and shoes, and got a nice run in. The knee felt OK through the run, and although I could tell I had been on it for a couple of days in a row, it wasn't all that bad. However, I did realize that I would need to get the tire fixed before Sunday, since three days in a row wasn't going to be an option.

As it turned out, it was pretty easy to do. I unseated the tire and tube, then ran my fingers along the inside of the tire, locating the offending item which I believe was a good sized staple. I tried out one of the little air canisters, and it fills it up in a quick shot. However, I didn't have the tire and tube seated quite right, so I had to deflate a good bit and fix that. I just finished it off with my hand pump, reattached the back tire, and took it around the block for a test. All good, and only about 30 minutes of effort...certainly less than it would have taken me to even drive to the bike shop. It isn't a speed record by any stretch, but I wasn't in a hurry and I'm glad it wasn't a big ordeal. I did a normal ride the next day, and I believe I can call it a success.

I'm really quite amazed at how long the bike has worked without even a flat. I bought it new at the end of May, 2011, and it hasn't been back to the bike shop since. At the time of the flat, I had put 2,240 miles on bike, so I'm very pleased with how well it has worked thus far. Of course, I don't take it "off road", mainly ride on residential streets and country roads (occasionally), and have never crashed the bike (knock on wood). Unless you count the two times last year that I came to a full stop without unclipping at least one foot, and fell over to the side in what probably looked like a very comical manner.

Aside from that, I am making an effort to avoid all sodas (pop, carbonated beverages, etc.) for 100 days. I probably haven't done that in 30 years or more. It seems like I was forced into that during basic training for the military, but I more than made up for that as soon as I could. Prior to that, I'm not sure I've ever gone 100 days without it. Probably since I was six or less. I've read a lot about how people give it up, sure it is bad for them in some way. My goodness, New York seems like they are on a campaign to ban them completely. Personally, drinking soda is one vice I could easily keep for the rest of my life, but I thought I would give it a go anyway.

I often hear people say things like "I could give [fill in the blank] up if I wanted to", or something similar, and I know that every time I hear that I think "No, you probably couldn't....that just 'sounds' good to say". So, I thought I would just see if I could give it up for a non-trivial period of time and picked 100 days. I started on June 24th, and as of this writing I've completed 15 days. Since I'm really a diet soda fan, and REALLY dislike the taste of plain water, I've had to experiment with different options. I drank tea for a bit, but I think I prefer Crystal Lite at this point. I've even drank a bit of plain water (but I can't say I enjoyed it in any way). We'll see how it goes.

This is what last week looked like...

Day   Activity   Distance (in miles) Avg. Heart Rate Max Heart Rate
Sunday Running 7.13 146 210
Monday Cycling 20.65 --- ---
Tuesday Running 8.04 152 180
Walking 0.75 --- ---
Walking 0.79 --- ---
Wednesday Running 6.63 155 229
Thursday Cycling 25.51 --- ---
Friday Running 7.83 143 177
Saturday Cycling 1.59 110 123
Walking 0.83 106 128
Running 6.85 149 162

 These are my time and distance totals for last week:

Activity   Time Total   Distance Total (in miles)
Running 5:23:39 36.48
Walking 0:46:51 2.37
Cycling 3:12:40 47.75
-------------- -------------- --------------
Overall Total 9:23:10 86.60

Day   Activity   Sets Reps Recovery Interval Weight
Sunday Crunches & Knee Raises 1 10 --- ---
Pullups 12 10-9-8-7-6-5-10-9-8-6-5-5 5:00 ---
Monday Box Squats 1 10 --- 35
Tuesday DB Bench Press 3 20 2:00 25
Wednesday BB Squats 2 15 - 10 2:00 35 - 50
Pullups 6 8-8-7-7-5-5 3:00 10
Crunches & Knee Raises 5 10 ---
Thursday Rest Day --- --- --- ---
Friday Rest Day --- --- --- ---
Saturday BB Squats 3 10 2:00 50
Crunches & Knee Raises 1 10 --- ---

This week I've started introducing barbell squats, and some light weight lifting. I'm still trying to keep things mixed up, so it doesn't get to be a bore. I was pretty sort in the upper hamstring area the first couple of times I did squats, but by Saturday it didn't make me "waddle" for the rest of the day, and hopefully it will help me strengthen some of the support muscles around my knee and the posterior chain. I suspect this "may" be part of the issue (together with just too much of an increase in mileage during the April - Mid June time frame).

Happy Running Everyone !!!


  1. Howdy Michael,

    2000+ miles is pretty amazing. Took a staple to break the streak.

    I used to drink a *ton* of diet sodas. Now I drink zero. 8)

    I like ice tea and water now.

  2. Good think you got your tire fixed! I just started a "no pop for three months" challenge with my little brother. It sounded like a good idea but now I am questioning myself! Good luck on 100 days!