Riding Ave of The Oaks Century after Heart Attack

This Saturday is the Ave of the Oaks metric century ride. I choose this one because while riding 63 miles is not that hard for me at this point, doing it and 6000′ plus of climbing is. I’d say that’s a pretty decent climb for someone without a heart attack so it would be a good goal for me. I try just to be happy that I can ride at all but it’s hard not to compare myself with someone who has no heart problems and I love riding up hills, always have, even though I’m not good at it I’m just persistent that way. Below is the elevation chart.

Ave of the Oaks Century elevation chart.

Ave of the Oaks Century elevation chart.

I’ll be riding it with my PT from my old cardiac rehab program and one of my cardiologist. Which makes my wife extremely happy, even though she wishes I didn’t do it at all. I think I’m ready. While I haven’t ridden that distance in a while I have been riding lots of hills and doing 3,000′ climbs in 28-30 miles rides and some hill repeats so I feel ready and the best riding shape since my heart attack.

I’ll do my best to keep track of my ride and bring you a crank by crank report.

Eric

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My best riding since my heart attack…

YTD Riding Total- 576.93 miles / 38,524′

  • Road – Geared: 440.55mi / 34,363′ 
  • Road – Fixie: 136.38mi / 4,161′ )    
  • Dirt: 0

Not that any workout I do is worthy of publishing, bragging about or keeping track of but, I think it might be of help to some. Plus, it helps motivate me. Those of you who have had heart surgery and want to know what someone else is doing who has had 7 stents and 2 heart attack (5 years ago+ as of this posting) is doing. 

So. I’ll post what workout. I do, riding or otherwise, with pertinent info; heart rates, blood oxygen etc…

February has me out more so far but it has been tough with our new baby to get more than 2 hours in.

Goals for the year:

1. Feb 14, Palm Springs Century, full length – bailed out due to rain interrupting training and new baby duties.

2. April 4, Avenue of the Oaks Century (metric)

3. Sept 12, Amtrak Century, full length

4. Ride a BMX race again…..TBD

5. Ride 100 miles on my fixed gear….TBD

6. Do 10,000′ climbing in 1 day….

7. End the year with 150,000′ feet.

Riding Log- As of 04.1.09

04.01.09:  Road Ride-Fixed

  • 1:35 min  
  • 19.52 miles 
  • 875′ climbing 
  • 129 ave BPM / 156 max BPM (ave)

03.30.09:  Road Ride-Fixed+ Rehab work out

Warm up/(5)x 2.15sec effort at 8 out of 10, 145bpm-155bpm  & 4min recovery inbetween/ recovery home/cardiac rehab leg and weight program

  • 51.20 min  
  • 10.59 miles 
  • 260′ climbing 
  • 120 ave BPM / 154 max BPM (ave)

03.29.09:  Road Ride-

Felt amazing. My best ride since my heart attack. Climbed ober 2000′ in first 18 miles. My highest ave heart rate to date.

  • 2:38 
  • 32.63 miles 
  • 3047′ climbing 
  • 141 ave BPM / 160 max BPM (ave)
  • Blood oxygen levels: Before ride 78/98%. After ride 109/98%
  • BP after stretch and cool down-111/74/86bpm

03.26.09:  Road Ride-

  • 2:22 
  • 39.50miles 
  • 3049′ climbing 
  • 139 ave BPM / 157 max BPM (ave)
  • BP after stretch and cool down-119/79/90bpm

03.23.09:  Road Ride-Fixed+ Rehab work out

Warm up/(5)x 2.30sec effort at 8 out of 10, 145bpm-155bpm  & 4min recovery inbetween/ recovery home/cardiac rehab leg and weight program

  • 55.42 min  
  • 11.57 miles 
  • 358′ climbing 
  • 126 ave BPM / 148 max BPM (ave)

03.21.09:  Road Ride-

  • 2:43 
  • 35.02 miles 
  • 2513′ climbing 
  • 134 ave BPM / 158 max BPM (ave)

03.20.09:  Road Ride

Hill repeats- 30 min warm up/(8) x 6.30min x0.7mi hill with 2.30-45min recover in between and recovery home.

  • 1:39 min  
  • 15.66 miles 
  • 2,1111′ climbing 
  • 126 ave BPM / 159 max BPM (ave)
  • BP after stretching/cool down 110/77/86bpm

03.11.09-03.19.09

03.17.09:  Road Ride

  • 55.42 min  
  • 11.57 miles 
  • 890′ climbing 
  • 126 ave BPM / 148 max BPM (ave)

03.15.09:  Road Ride

  • 3:53 min  
  • 43.76 miles 
  • 2,212′ climbing 
  • 121 ave BPM / 158 max BPM (ave)

03.11.09:  Road Ride

  • 1:07 min  
  • 14.74 miles 
  • 1,113′ climbing 
  • 131 ave BPM / 147 max BPM (ave)

02.24.09 – 03.10.09

03.04.09:  Road Ride-fixie + Scripps weight program

  • 40.01 min  (5) x .75mi efforts at 145-155bpm with 4 1/2 – 5 min recover spin in between.
  • 9.29miles 
  • 278′ climbing 
  • 130 ave BPM / 155 max BPM (ave)

03.06.09:  Road Ride 

  • 1 hr 49 min. 
  • 23.24 miles 
  • 2125′ climbing 
  • 129 ave BPM / 151 max BPM

03.04.09:  Road Ride-fixie + Scripps weight program

  • 30.37 min 
  • 7.16 miles 
  • 214′ climbing 
  • 138 ave BPM / 155 max BPM

03.01.09:  Road Ride 

  • 2 hr 06 min. 
  • 24.88 miles 
  • 2,233′ climbing 
  • 138 ave BPM / 155 max BPM

02.25.09:  Road Ride 

  • 1 hr 16 min. 
  • 17.41 miles 
  • 867′ climbing 

02.6.09 – 02.23.09

02.23.09:  Road Ride -Fixie 

  • 56.53 min. 
  • 12.74 miles 
  • 400′ climbing 
  • 130 ave BPM / 148 max BPM
  • bp before ride 129/70 71bpm – bp after cool down 114/76 81bpm

02.21.09:  Road Ride 

  • 2:11 min. 
  • 27.47 miles 
  • 2251′ climbing 
  • 137 ave BPM / 150 max BPM

02.19.09:  Road Ride 

  • I felt good but my hr seemed to be 12-15 higher than normal so I cut my ride short.
  • 35.10 min. 
  • 6.90 miles 
  • 597′ climbing
  • 145 ave BPM / 169 max BPM

02.14.09:  Road Ride 

  • 2:09 min. 

  • 25.32 miles 

  • 2325′ climbing 

  • 137 ave BPM / 152 max BPM
  • bp before ride 127/76 75bpm 

02.11.09:  Road Ride 

I had just stared some hill repeats when I flatted and ran out of air and no pump, so I came home and did my Scripps Rehab workout.

  • 24.09 min. 

  • 5.57 miles 

  • 1397′ climbing 

  • 134 ave BPM / 153 max BPM

02.08.09:  Road Ride 

  • 1:13 min. 

  • 14.59 miles 

  • 1274′ climbing

  • 135 ave BPM / 152 max BPM

01.28.09 – 02.05.09

02.05.09:  Road Ride -Fixie (quick one before the rain)

  • 43.44 min. 

  • 9.93 miles 

  • 371′ climbing 

  • 131 ave BPM / 151 max BPM

02.03.09:  Road Ride -Fixie

  • I tired hard to make it 50 miles but my butt got sore and the winds tired out my legs.

  • 2:43 min. 

  • 36.33 miles 

  • 507′ climbing 

  • 125 ave BPM / 150 max BPM

01.28.09:  Road Ride 

  • 1:34 min. 

  • 18.77 miles 

  • 1431′ climbing / 1502′ decend

  •  

    142 ave BPM / 160 max BPM

     
     

01.05.09 – 01.25.09

01.25.09:  Road Ride – Fixie 

  • 1:39 min. 

  • 20.32 miles 

  • 957′ climbing / 962′ decend

  • 130 ave BPM / 141 max BPM

01.22.09:  Road Ride 

  • 1:41:00 min. 

  • 23.07 miles 

  • 1473′ climbing / 1362′ decend

  • 131 ave BPM / 151 max BPM

  • After cool down 115 BPM at 97% oxygen.

01.17.09:  Road Ride 

  • 1:35:00 min. 

  • 21.62 miles 

  • 1150′ climbing / 1267′ decend

  • 137 ave BPM / 154 max BPM

01.13.09:  Road Ride 

  • 1:14:00 min. 

  • 17.39 miles 

  • 824′ climbing / 898′ decend

  • 142 ave BPM / 161 max BPM

01.12.09:  Random at home workout 

12×16 stairs / Medicine Ball 200 ( did most of it) / 3×8 8# chest flys / 3×8 8# standing flys / 1×12 stationary lunge per leg
no hr monitor on

01.08.09:  Road Ride 

  • 49.37 min.

  • 10.49 miles  

  • 854′ climbing

  • 138 ave BPM / 161 max BPM 

01.06.09:  Walking / Hill Repeats

  • 50 min. 

  • 5 hills with park bench work out in between-3x 10 steps ups / 3x 10 push ups / 3x 10 tricep dips

  • 50 crunches on a stability ball.

01.01.09 – 01.04.09

01.03.09:  Road Ride 

  •  8.41 miles 

  •  34.47 min. 

  • 630′ climbing

  • 139 ave BPM / 161 max BPM 

  • (2x) 45sec with 60sec rest between -full body plank,  back plank ( I forget what it is called but pretend your Superman), (2x) 15  slow girlie pushups , 10 minutes of strecthing.

Cholesterol question from cyclingnews.com

Below is a question and answer reprint from cyclingnews.com fitness section.

Cholesterol level

I have a question about cholesterol levels, diet and exercise. Background is this: I’m 59, 5’11”, 155 lbs. I ride around 150 miles a week- a lot of it packed in on weekends, plus I run every day for a weekly total of 30-35 miles. I’m a strict vegetarian on a very low fat diet (no added oil apart from what I get in tofu and soy milk, plus 3g of flax oil per day).

I do eat non-fat milk products in the form of yoghurt and take a full suite of vitamin supplements including several grams of Vitamin C daily (I haven’t had a cold in 20 years). I recently had a fasting blood test where my HDL was low at 34 against a total cholesterol of 125. My doctor without any discussion apart from the fact he knew I exercised and had a healthy diet, prescribed Pravastatin to change my HDL/LDL levels.

I have several questions regarding what I can do about raising my HDL without resorting to a statin drug with known side affects including muscle pain and soreness (the last thing I need). I’ve also read that statin drugs don’t actually raise HDL so I’m puzzled by the prescription. I was surprised by the bloodwork results since I haven’t ever had a bad ratio like this before and my parents had no history of high cholesterol or heart disease. My exercise, diet, and weight have been pretty constant for a number of years.

Since I already have a decent volume of moderate intensity aerobic training, would changing this affect HDL? More miles higher intensity? Would weight loss have any affect on these blood values. I used to marathon at 10 lbs less but I was always courting illness and injury.

Could my diet be too low in healthy oils? Everything I eat is non fat or has very low natural oils. I eat no transfats or saturated fats. I did read that flax oil and Vitamin C supplements can suppress HDL readings so I don’t know if either of those might be an issue.

Are there other dietary supplements that I might try rather than taking a statin drug for these cholesterol values?

Since I don’t have any risk factors other than the low HDL, I’m interested in pursuing alternative solutions before resorting to drugs like this. Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Bob Bolin
Boulder, Colorado 

Kelby Bethards replies:

 

You bring up an interesting point. We live in a sedentary society. Thus, your doctor’s inclination to give you pravastatin. We tend to see people that unfortunately wouldn’t run to catch a pay cheque. That being said, onwards.

 

An HDL of 34 is a bit low. A bit low for what? Cardioprotective effects. You said your total cholesterol is 125, or is that your LDL? The reason I ask is if your LDL is 125, that is a different story than if your total is 125. If your total cholesterol is only 125, then your ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL) would be low. We, as physicians, are trying to lower bad and raise good cholesterol. HOWEVER, you are doing some of this on your own by exercising.

You are correct in how to lower your LDL and raise HDL… exercise. You have a genetic predisposition if your HDL is low. Niacin, vitamin B3, can raise HDL levels and lower cholesterol; however, it can give people a hot flushing feeling after taking it for about half an hour. Any treatment can have side effects, and those need to be considered.

If the risk of the medicine does not justify the benefit, then it isn’t too useful. For most, pravastatin is useful. But you have pointed out that your only risk factor is a bad HDL (not a diabetic, not a smoker, no prior heart disease, no high blood pressure, no family history – assumptions I’ve made). So, you need to re-visit your practitioner and press it again… do you need pravastatin? Or why do you need it?

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