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The Bike

Yesterday, when I got home from work, I was really excited to get out and ride my bike. Rain was in the forecast but at that time everything was clear and nice. I happily rode the bike down to FoodPride and picked up a few groceries, it felt so great to be able to use my bike for a purpose. After my trip to get groceries I still felt like I needed more ride time, the store is only a mile from my place. So I decided to head up to the cemetery and ride around there.

Riding around the cemetery, oddly enough, is really nice. There are some nice hills mixed with flat area and lots of nice pavement – some of which was recently added. The older area is well treed so it made for some nice shaded areas to bike. I felt like I was 10 years old again, zooming around the corners and flying down the hills. It was such an awesome feeling with the wind zipping through my helmet. I am currently in love with riding my bike. I hope to get out tomorrow and hit the trails, I really want to get downtown and figure out the best route into work. I really want to bike into work a couple times a week to start. Long term, I’d like to get ride of my parking permit and just walk, bike or ride the bus.

The Foot

I think I said this before, but I have plantar fasciitis in my left foot. Plantar fasciitis is when the plantar ligament in your foot, for various reasons, becomes stretched or damaged and causes pain in the heel (or calcaneus) and can present with or without heel spurs. In my case, I have a “moderate to large” spur on the plantar side and a “moderate” one on the Achilles side of the calcaneus. This information is coming from the MRI I had done in March. So far my treatments have been icing, trying to rest (ha), stretching, night splint and finally a cortisone injection.

MRI Heel Spurs

Heel Spurs on My MRI

The cortisone injection was done prior to the MRI in hopes that it would help – instead it seems to have made things worse. The going theory now is that the injection somehow further weakened the ligament causing it to tear. This tear then created a high amount of inflammation that so far is still present. (As a side note, my right foot had plantar fasciitis also but responded quite well to stretching and hasn’t been a real problem since, never had an injection or spurs)

So today I went to a new physical therapy place, this one is located in the same building as my foot doctor. Some of the things were did were the same as I have been doing but she did a few new things. We started with ultrasound followed by some pretty deep massage. This massage, while not downright painful, was certainly not pleasant. She has to really dig in at times but I survived just fine. After that we did some exercises and stretches and that was followed by icing and something called iontophoresis.

Iontophoresis is basically an electronically charged pad that has both a positive side and a negative side. Steroid medication is placed on one of the pads and is drawn into the tissues via the electrical charge. It’s apparently similar to getting an injection without the actual injection part. This one last 14 hours and so far has been interesting – I seem to get waves of relief followed by waves of pain. I’m hoping it will work with time so I’m doing my best to leave it alone. I’m not a big fan of things stuck on my foot. I go back and see her on Monday so hopefully there will be some improvement. Our goal is to keep me from having to have surgery. I do know that prior to any surgery options, I’m getting a second opinion – it’s just the smart move.

I will be upfront about one thing – I weigh in every morning and I would not recommend it. If you want to go down that road be prepared to see and accept a lot of fluctuations. I do it for stats reasons, I like to see a nice chart from the data points. So in keeping with a more healthy approach, for this website I am switching to only reporting a weekly weigh-in. For no real reason I decided to go with Thursdays.

So here is my first weigh-in information:

262.8 lbs

This makes a new total loss of 118.5 lbs since early April 2009 (I don’t have the exact date I started, oops!)

And now a fancy chart!

This is my current chart on DailyBurn.com:

Daily Burn Weight Chart (since start)

After work yesterday, I stopped at ye old Target and picked up a bike helmet and speedometer for the new bike. I have decided it’s time to accept safety in wearing the helmet versus worrying about how it looks. I wanted the speedometer so I could track my rides better, this one even has a calorie counter built in. I’m proud of myself, I was able to install the speedometer by myself. I opted for the wireless model because it sounded easier to install.

After I got everything put together it was time for my first real ride. I took it out around the neighborhood and into Woods Park. I don’t have any lights yet so I have to be pretty watchful of the sunlight so I turned back after about half an hour. I ended up having a moving time of around 18 minutes and rode 2.8 miles. Learning when to shift gears and what gear I want is going to take a little time but overall the ride went great. I’ve decided that riding a 2-3 times a week to start is probably best.

This morning I stopped over at Cycleworks and picked up a basket for the front of the bike. Before heading back to work I was able to install it (another sense of pride!) but for some reason the back brake was locked up and the wheel wouldn’t turn. I didn’t get a chance to look at it until after work but it turned out the cable had come loose from the top so I was able to fix it myself pretty easily. I also took the water bottle of the old bike and installed it on the new one. I’m really loving this bike!

My plan for tomorrow, weather permitting, is to bike down to the grocery store and pick up a few things. This is one thing I’d really like to be able to do, along with eventually biking in to work. Having the basket is going to make this a bit easier. I’m excited and just hoping it doesn’t rain.

So I have been using walking as my main form of exercise over the last year and I do still love it but the problem is my body does not. More specifically my feet and more specific to that, my left foot. I have developed pretty serious plantar fasciitis in my left foot that so far has not been responding to treatment. Doing physical therapy, tried night splints, tried a cortisone injection (which went horribly bad) and I’ve been stretching and stretching like no tomorrow. The options are running low with surgery next on the docket. So in order to continue getting some fitness in and save my poor foot, I decided it was time to get a decent bike.

I’ve been trolling Craigslist for a long time now just waiting for the right bike to pop-up and this morning it looked golden. For sale, one bright blue Electra Townie for only $150! This was like my dream bike and a steal at that price, they retail for close to $400 new. So I emailed and she promised to not sell it until I had a chance to look at it. So I even went to the bank and pulled out cash – I was so excited all morning. I was picking out accessories and everything. At the same time I also had sent an email about a nice looking older Schwinn that was listed for $100. So at the end of the day, here’s my new bike:

Women's Schwinn Mesa Runner

My Schwinn Mesa Runner

Yep, I ended up buying the Schwinn and getting it for $80. See, the woman that said she would hold the Electra? Yea, she apparently got so many offers that she didn’t want to wait to sell it. So despite the fact that she told me she would hold it, she didn’t. This is pretty common on Craigslist but it’s still really tacky. In the end it was probably for the best. Before looking at the Schwinn I did go look at a lovely Trek that someone else had for sale. It was a really nice bike but the minute I got on this Schwinn I was sold.

It has a higher seat and feels so nice to ride. The wheels had been replaced and were basically brand new and the components worked well. It shifts very smoothly and overall the little I’ve ridden it so far has been wonderful. It’s also very lightweight so I am able to lift it up and down my front steps and can really see riding this bike to work. I just need to get some more accessories for it – like maybe a basket and/or a rack for the back. I really do love this bike.

Sadly the weather right now is straight out of November so I’m not able to really get a good ride in. Soon though! I love having something new to tackle.

I had signed up awhile ago, before I even knew I was going to have knee surgery, to walk in the 3 mile March of Dimes walk today. My recovery from surgery has gone so well that I was still able to walk!

I joined my friends Sheri and Tony and their daughter who was born prematurely but is now a bright and happy 2 year old. We were also joined by our friend Cindy. The walk was a lot of fun and the weather was great, no direct sun but no rain either. The walk was at Holmes Lake Park in Lincoln, Ne.

I mixed this up last night for a post-workout portein/carb boost and it really didn’t taste too bad.

Powersauce
Servings: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Natural Unsweetened Apple Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Whey Protein Concentrate (Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg

Directions:
Mix ingredients together in a bowl and eat.

Nutritional Information (from dailyburn.com recipe builder):
Calories: 147
Total Fat: 1.9 g
Cholesterol: 30 mg
Sodium: 50 mg
Potassium: 20 mg
Total Carbs: 17 g
Dietary Fiber: 4 g
Sugars: 10 g
Protein: 16.2

On Monday, April 12th I had arthroscopic surgery done on my left knee with a partial meniscetomy of the medial meniscus. Basically the doctor went in and removed/smoothed up part of the cartilage within my knee in order to fix problems I was having – pain and some range of motion problems. Today I had my first follow-up visit and things are going great. The stitches are gone and I met his requirements of being able to straighten and bend my knee. I have been doing physical therapy and he said to continue that and to start returning to activities as long as it’s not painful.

I’m glad that I had the surgery, it seems to have improved my knee to the extent that I don’t think I’ll have to worry about it going forward. It seems to work better now, more like my right one. This makes me happy.

Vital Stats

Name: Angela
Age: 36
Height: 5'8"
Total Weight Lost: 46lbs

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