Pedal your way to heart health.”…stronger now because of the bike riding.”

“For Joe Sontag of Kirkwood, it IS about the bike.”
“The bike has been a big part of his salvation and the ticket to his physical and mental well-being…”
“Last October, he rode his first Century — 100 miles, in one day.”
” My heart will never be totally repaired, but it is so much stronger now because of the bike riding.”
““Bicycling is better than anything I’ve ever done, or any prescription I’ve taken, to relax myself.”
Published Sunday, July 20, 2008

Good ride…

On Saturday I was able to ride 36.8mi with over 3790′ of climbing in just under 3 hours. Not that fast but I was happy as my ave heart rate of 142 for those 3 hours and I had a max hr of 165. No chest pain or discomfort. I started taking the smallest dose of Lisinopril(2.5mg) for my blood pressure but felt no issues from it. I’m planning on riding in the Tour De Poway in about a week. Not sure if I’ll do the full century or the metric century.

I Couldn’t Be More Happy.

I rode in the Amtrak Century yesterday, my first try at one. On my previous posts I forgot to mention that my real goal was not to ride 100 miles in the time allotted (8 hours), but to ride it only stopping when needed. That was the real challenge I wanted. Not more that 4-10 minutes per stop. Could I ride 100 miles basically non stop?

I made it to 75.46 miles in 5 hours 14 minutes or riding time, 2365′, 135ave bpm, 156 max bpm. Only stopping at the rest stops to refuel and use the bathroom. My first stop was 4min.30 sec., 2nd stop, 6min.20sec and my last stop was 8min.45sec. 

I was really surprised I had no pains at all, no numb hands, back pain, no sore butt or neck aches at all. It was actually quite easy. The only reason I stopped was my legs had no more life. From about mile 60-75 was a tail wind on mostly flat road which as you know means you can feel great and fly along thinking your strong as ever. Any hill though I encountered stopped me dead in granny gear. So being that at mile 81 was a 1.2 mile hill I stopped at the last train stop before the 100 mile mark and rode back to the start of the ride to return home (this century was one way). I could have rested at the last rest stop for 1/2-1 hour and gotten my strength back to finish but the competitor in me felt that was a bit of cheat to my goal. I was much more satisfied knowing I made it this far essentially non stop.

Considering I had never ridden more than 38 miles or over 3.5 hours in the last few years and got very little training in the last 2 weeks I am really happy with my results. This has given me so much more confidence in my hearts ability and strength, released a lot of mental blocks that come with being a heart attack survivor and hopefully will motivate any of you who have a goal in your recovery.

I want to thank Dr. Howard Elkin for being a great doctor, friend and teaching me that I can still have an active life, Dr. Elisabeth Kaback for her confidence and positive encouragement and the staff at Scripps Cardiac Rehab for helping me through some mental and physical blocks and of course my wife for being very nervous about me trying this but knowing I needed to.