Wednesday, June 10, 2015

FODMAP Challenge Two (Glactants)

FODMAPS Challenge Two. (Glactants aka Beans and Soy) 

This is part of my FODMAP series. Check out these prior posts before reading this one.

The second FODMAP challenge that I decided to try was Glactants. These consist of ALL beans, and things made from beans such as SOY. In the past I had always assumed that I was lactose intolerant and had switched to soy milk. Well it was time to put all this to test. I was not a huge bean eater. I drank mostly soy milk and had beans in homemade Tacos, Chili and mostly Mexican food. 

When I started this challenge I was not worried a bit. I was pretty sure that it had nothing to do with my stomach issues. Boy was I wrong.... 

The first day I made some of my famous tacos. It is pretty much just ground meet, taco seasoning ( I was able to find a low fodmap one from Old El Paso) Then I added Pinto Beans to it. I started this challenge on a Friday night just in case I got sick. I felt a little bit of bloating, which is kinda normal even if you dont have IBS. I went to bed and when I woke up in the morning I still felt alright. 

On day two I had a bowl of cereal with soy milk, and for lunch I had left over tacos. This was going to be the ultimate challenge, as that amounted to 3 servings in a 24 hr period. Within an hour, I was sicker than a dog. EVERY IBS symptom that you can think of came back with a vengeance. I had not been sick at all since I had started this diet. I quickly realized that I malabosrbed Glactants and that they made me very very sick.  

After this challenge, I went back to a low FODMAP diet and felt much better in about 24-48 hrs. I was shocked and a little upset about it. I was glad that this was not my FAVORITE food group.. But still.. it was still one that I liked so I was not happy with the results. But the good thing was that now I would be able to control when I ate that food group and was a step closer in being able to control my symptoms. 

Stay turned for my next challenge 

Tell me, did you had any issues with Glactants? What did you try for your challenge? How many days did you try it for? Comment below to tell me all about it.

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If you're a cyclist, follow me on Strava to see where I've been riding.    

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Inside the dinning room of an avid cyclist.

The other day I was having a conversation with my wife about the state of our living room and it kind of made me laugh. I was watching a nutrition video the other day, and the nutritionist was an avid cyclist as well and made a comment about her living room being full of bikes.

So I thought that I would show you what MY living room/dinning room looks like. It is true... we don't have a dinning room table because BIKES ARE MORE IMPORTANT OF COURSE.  ha ha

My Dining Room (Hey we still have room for a bar :)!!)

 There is actually another bike behind me...

Those cubes are full of bike stuff as well. :)

That is a sneak peek of my dinning room. I guess it is true. Seems like a lot of avid cyclists dinning/living rooms look like this. We don't have a house yet, otherwise im sure i would have taken over the garage. So as you can see, we don't have room for a dinning room table. Just bikes and training gear. 

Are you an avid rider? Does your living room or dinning room look this this? Now im interested to know.

I have taken a break from riding the past week. So if you are look at my STRAVA that is why. Im rehabbing my knee right now so i can get back to my training plan. 

Follow me on STRAVA to see where Ive been riding lately.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Group Ride With My Salt 2 Saint Crew (Coast busters)

Hey Guys,

Sorry I haven't posted in like FOREVER. I have been super busy studying for my real estate exam which is today.. (I'm super nervous). I have also been training a ton for my Salt to Saint ride. time is starting to get tight and I am about 15 weeks away from the ride.

I made my first training plan for an endurance ride which I will be posting shortly in another post. This training plain would prepare you for a metric century (62 mile) and give you PLENTY of time to do it. I have to admit.. If your busy like I am, this plan is a little time consuming, but it is doable.

Last Sunday I went on a group ride with my team. We did it on the Legacy Parkway bike trail which is awesome for endurance training as it is really flat and goes for about 60 miles each direction, so you can really modify it for wherever you are at in your training plan. We decided to do 30 miles total.

The Coast Buster Crew

I had rode this trail the weekend before and it was AWESOME. I got through it without any knee pain and felt great after.. Unfortunately, that was not the case with the group ride. Im back to having minor tendonitis in my left knee, which is not what I need right now... That is one thing that I would recommend if you are new to riding or have been struggling with an injury. RIDE AT YOUR LEVEL.. Even on a group ride. Yes of course you wanna push yourself a little harder, because who wants to get dropped on their group ride? I for sure didn't and now im going to have at least a two week set back. I had been riding my 30's at around 14mph average speed, and on my group ride it was at about 17mph which was enough to over stress my tendon.

How can you avoid this on a group ride? Well my advice would be to have a member on your team that is either a super good friend or spouse that will stay back with you if you get dropped. I am lucky enough to have my Wifey on my team so she has always been nice about staying back with me. However by the time I decided to get dropped... The damage had already been done. YOUR EGO will ALWAYS put you in the red. Lose the ego and listen to your body.. At the end of the day.. Who cares if you get dropped.. At least you wont be sidelined.

I have chosen to try out A.R.T. again with a different practitioner that is closer to my area. I will update my training roadblocks series to let you all know how that goes and if I feel that it is better. I have also been reading a new book about keeping tendonitis at bay forever and how to build yourself some powerhouse knees. I have purchased something called a Flex Board that I will be talking about and reviewing in the near future. Eventually, I will be able to share with you what really works and look forward to sharing my success story with you all and hope to help anyone else that is struggling with this alignment.

Let me know if you have ever had patellar tendonitis and what you have done to rid yourself of it.
Have you ever tried A.R.T?

Follow me on STRAVA to see where ive been riding lately.
 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Cache Valley Grand Fondo 2015


The Cache Gran Fondo is an annual Italian-style ride in Cache Valley in Northern Utah. The ride is not officially timed. The ride occurs on the 2nd Saturday of every July and riders can ride either on a 50-mile or 100-mile route. Proceeds from the ride go toward funding breast cancer screenings for women who live in Cache Valley. The 2015 Cache Gran Fondo is scheduled for Saturday, July 11, 2015.

Now let me just say, This is awesome. I love rides that donate money for a cause! What better cause than to help people get cancer screenings that cant afford it. This may just be an event that can save someones life. I have always wanted to ride this event. I have a lot of family and friends in Cache valley and its such beautiful scenery.

The 2015 Cache Gran Fondo will be a time-chipped ride for all UCA racers.  All racers will need to be ready to ride by 5:30 a.m. and non-UCA riders need to be ready to ride by 6:25 a.m. on Saturday, July 11, from Logan Regional Hospital's southwest parking lot located at 500 East, 1400 North, in Logan, Utah. Riders can choose from either a 50- or 100-mile course through Cache Valley. Both rides' finish line is located in downtown Logan.

Entry Fee's

  • $85, $115 with jersey  | 1/25/15 - 4/30/15
  • $95, $125 with jersey | 5/1/15 - 6/13/15
  • $100, $130 with jersey | 6/14/15 - 7/10/15
The jerseys look pretty cool this year. They even have a nice sleeveless cut for women that look really nice. They say that there still could be some changes to the jersey.

 
They are selling these at cost for $30 extra with reregistration (prices above). That is a killer deal. If you have ever bought a cycling jersey you know that is a steal.

Start Times 
6:25 a.m. | 100 mile course riders
6:35 a.m. | 50 miles course riders

Free Breakfast!!
Prior to the 2015 Cache Gran Fondo on Saturday morning, riders will be offered a complimentary breakfast from 5:15 to 6:30 a.m. at the start line. Come a bit early and get fueled up for the big ride, there will also be items you can take with you.

Prizes
Riders are eligible to win many prizes. The 2015 grand prize is a $2500 ProForm® TDF Centennial bike, and the set of rider prizes is still being finalized but as an example, the 2014 prizes included a 2014 Raleigh Revenio 3.0, bike jerseys and kits and many different camping items from CampChef. Each rider will be given a race bib with a removable stub.

Those are some awesome prices. The good/bad thing about this ride is that it is early in the morning. I know.. Your saying.. how is that a good thing? Well since this ride is in the middle of July, its best to ride in the morning so you don't die from heat stroke.

Im not sure if im going to be able to attend this ride yet or not. Im getting ready to start a new job and im still saving for Salt to Saint. I hope that i can ride this event, but if i cant im for sure going to next year.

Are any of you riding the Cache Valley Grand Fondo? If you are, have you road it before? What do you do to train?

Follow me on STRAVA to see where Ive been riding and how my training is coming along.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sunday Ride With Surprise River Flood

Today I decided to go on a 20 mile ride since the sun came out. It has been raining heavily the past few days non stop. I was just about to hop on the trainer and then I seen the sun pop out.

I figured that I would take advandge of this and hit my favorite river trail in Ogden. This trail is only a mile from my house so its very convenient. It was so nice and had that fresh after the rain sent in the air. This trail is really nice as most of it is along the river and in wooded area's so you cant even tell that you are in the city.

Well, I got about 6 miles in and was coming down this little hill that drops in elevation a little bit as you go underneath a railroad bridge. As I was coming down the hill I seen that the river had overflown a little bit, but it just looked like it was maybe an inch to a foot deep, so i decided to ride through it.

I was quickly surprised, because in a matter of seconds the water was up to my knees and it slowed me down to a stop. I quickly tried to un-clip before I ate it. As I got off my bike I realized how bad the river had actually overflown. I pulled out my phone so i could get a quick clip of what I just rode threw. Check out the video and pics below.









Sorry about the footage being a little weird. I was recording at 90 degrees so I didn't drop my phone and forgot that youtube doesn't like that very much. I fixed it the best that I could.


Luckily, this didn't go on for to long and I was able to get back onto the trail. I was of course soaked and didn't want to ride with wet feet because I was planning on riding a 20 mile ride. I decided to call the wifey to see if she wanted to meet me down the trail and asked her if she would bring me some new socks lol. Im glad that I called her because she wanted to ride (I could tell that she was a little upset that I left without her anyways) But im kinda glad that I did because she is a little scarred of water and would not have liked to trek through the river like I did.

After I met up with the wifey we started to ride up our normal trail. About a mile in, I seen this litle nature park that I have always kinda wanted to check out. I asked the wifey if she wanted to check it out since we hadnt road as long as we usually do. She agreed and we happened to find a really cool fort that you can camp at. This was really awesome, you could rent a kayak on this little pond that they had and the camping prices were really cheap. We never even knew that this was here. This is so close to our house and is still in the city. Its the perfect place for a quick cheap camping trip. It was only 18 a night and was right by the river. We are going to go camping there soon take out mtn bikes. I was called Ft. Buenaventura.  Check it out if you're ever in the area even if it just for the day.

Here are a few of the pictures from our ride:










That was our Sunday Adventure. :) It was a fun and interesting ride.

Where have you rode lately?

Follow me on STRAVA to see where Ive been riding

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Training Roadblocks Part III (ART)

This is the 3nd installment of my "Training Roadblocks Series". If you have not read my "Beginning My Cycling Journey" I would recommend you start there as this story will make more sense. You can find my "Training Road Blocks Part I Here" And my "Training Roadblocks Part II Here".


If your like me, you are probably wondering what A.R.T. is. No its not an Art Class :P. ART is an acronym for Active Release Technique (ART). ART is a soft tissue mobilization technique that treats damaged soft tissues, such as muscles, ligaments, tendons, fascia and nerves. The goal of ART is to restore mobility of the soft tissue, which eliminates pain.


Often times, the mobility of soft tissue becomes restricted when an acute trauma (sprain or tear) or cumulative trauma (tendonitis, bursitis or carpal tunnel syndrome) occurs. Muscles are made up of tiny filaments of tissue that run parallel to each other. This allows the muscle to move freely. When the muscle is injured from trauma, the filaments tear. The body reacts by repairing the damaged tissue with fibrotic tissue (dense scar tissue). The fibrotic tissue causes the muscle to become shorter and this decreases strength. The tension on tendons causes tendonitis and eventually, leads to compensatory motion, which causes pain.

ART is the one of the first therapies designed specifically to treat these soft tissue problems. Trained professionals, such as physical therapists, use ART in conjunction with biomechanical analysis and other manual therapy to study the movement problem. ART has a success rate of over 90 percent.

To find a ART Professional near you click this link. You can type in your area code and it will give you all the providers in your area.

You are probably asking if it works, or if it is just another "Snake Oil". That is a really good question. I searched out an ART provider and attended two sessions. Keep in mind that most insurance companies do not cover ART so you will pay around $50 out of pocket each time. You will usually need to go once a week until the issue resolves. That is $200 a month.. OUCH!!! So does it work?

I really wanted to think so.. I was really excited for my first session. My provider happened to also be a Chiropractor but helped athletes train for Iron Man's and was a cyclist as well so I figured this was my guy. He was a little further out of my area, but the guy that was closer to me was booked out a month and I really wanted to get a handle on this so I could get a good season of training in.

I showed up and was put on a back roller while I was waiting, which I have always loved. When I got back to PT office the Dr. made sure that I did not have any joint damage by moving my knee in different area's to see if it caused pain. I don't have any joint damage so I was fine. He quickly agreed that I in fact had Tendinitis and thought that it was probably from overuse. I had been told this a lot of the last year, but didn't feel like I had overused it. But I am known for always trying to push things to fast. I want to be the best now.. Not tomorrow.. LOL

He started off by warming up my muscles in my knee by rubbing them. He then grabbed these things that looked like butter knifes and used them to push deep into my muscle to "Make my tendon longer". The belief is that the tendon shortens with all the micro tears and needs to be lengthened back out to relieve the pain and repair your tendon for the long term. It hurt like hell.. kind of like a deep tissue massage.

I happen to like deep tissue massages so it was not too bothersome. As he was digging the ART tool into my knee he would turn my knee into different positions to get to different places. After doing that for about 10 mins he asked me if I had ever had acupuncture. I said no, and he said that I was about to.. I'm not a huge needle fan (who is) so I was a little concerned of that. He put about 4 needles in my knee and one sent a shock down my leg. He then tapped up my knee with some tape called "Rock Tape". This has been really popular lately since it gives you more mobility than a brace would.
After that he did some chiropractic techniques such as popping my hips and things like that.

The next day my knee felt a lot better. It felt like a lot of the pressure had been relieved. So I was ok with making another appointment. The next appointment was kinda strange. He didn't do any acupuncture, or really use those ART tools. He just kinda rubbed my knee and then popped my hips, and tapped my knee. Fastest $50 I have spent. After that appointment I was not to stoked so I decided that I didn't have the money to waste on this.

Conclusion.. I think that Physical Therapy works far better than anything that I have ever tried. And the good thing about it... Its free.. Most of what you would learn from a PT is online from other PT's. That is what has kept my knee feeling strong. I think that I will try the ART provider that is closer to me once I have more money to do so. I kinda think that going to a Chiropractor may have been my issue. The guy that is closer to me is a Physical therapist. I don't feel like my ART provider stayed true to the techniques. So I hope that I am able to change my perception of this with a different provider.

Build your miles slowly and don't over do it or you will get sidelined. Make sure that you are just not putting in riding time. You need to be stretching and doing strength training to keep those muscles ready to put in those heavy climbs and long miles. You need to take care of the whole package. If you do that and put in time to those area's, you will grain strength that will be able endure what you want to do.

Tell me, Have you ever tried ART? What was your experience like?

Follow me on STRAVA to see where I've been riding

     

Friday, April 17, 2015

Salt to Saint Series Part I- Starting a Cycling Team/Club


Have you ever started a cycling team or club before? If you have... then you know all to well the amount of work that goes into being a Team Captain; And if you're like me, it sometimes feels like the work goes unnoticed.

This is the first time that I have started a cycling team. I am the captain of a team called "Coast Busters". We are going to ride a relay called "Salt to Saint" in September. It is a 423 mile relay that starts in Salt Lake City and ends in St. George. I have always kind of been a natural leader. I'm good at planning and keeping events organized. I guess that is where my OCD does me some good.. This is also where my OCD does me wrong as well... Go Figure..

 My team consists of some very talented riders and few of them are pure athletes. I would even go so far as to call them Machines. However.. They are also some of the most unresponsive people that I have ever had the privilege of working with, which as you could imagine makes planning very difficult. Lets take a look at some of the things that you will need to account for.

  • Picking your team
  • Picking a team name
  • Deciding if you want a sponsor
  • Deciding if you want custom jerseys made
  • Finding out what your teams strengths and weakness are. Since this is a 24hr straight race, seeing who is a night owl and who is the early riser will be of benefit.
  • Calculating your teams average speed
  • Assigning Race Legs
  • Making sure your team understands the rules of the race
  • Collecting Registration Fee's (every Captains favorite im sure)
  • Setting up team meetings to discuss support and vehicle options
  • Coming up with training plans for inexperienced riders or have expectations for seasoned riders
I'm sure that I am leaving things off that list, as the list seems to never end.. (LOL).. We will start off with that and add to it if needed in the future. That is pretty much the order that I did it in as well. Lets talk about each one in a little more detail, so those of you that are crazy enough to lead a team will have an idea on what I did.

So the first thing that I did was recruit my team. I was lucky and found a lot of my team at work as we learned that we all shared an interest of riding. I was looking for 8 riders and sent out an email to each of them in January (9 months before the race) to see if they were interested. After they had all stated that they were, I could now start working on the other aspects, such as team name, sponsors etc.. I sent a pretty detailed message stating what fee's were going to be incurred to make sure that my team was on board as a lot of races are $100 just for the entry alone.

In this email I asked for pretty much everything that I needed. I told them all the facts, included the course atlas, race bible and then asked them some questions, such as their strengths and weaknesses (Are they are climber, endurance rider, sprinter etc.) as well as what time of day they preferred, if they wanted to be sponsored, custom jerseys, rent an RV or Van, Team Name ideas, personal email addresses since I only had their work ones... Well this backfired on me quite a bit. What I received back was "Im in!", "Here is my email address", and "Im so excited". NONE of the questions that I had asked were answered by ANYONE... So I was back to square one.. Planning a race with little to go on. I could easily plan the race if it were just my wife and I. But I wanted to make sure that everyone would enjoy this race equally and have input.

That is when I came up with a genius idea.. Learn from make mistakes and do this first. If you have gmail.. you can create something called a "Google Form". What this does is makes a survey for you. I just typed in my questions and came up with multiple choice answers for them to choose from and made the questions that I really needed answered mandatory questions. You can then email everyone that form. The results of this was so much better. Here are the questions that I used.

  • What should our team name be?
  • What do we want to do for jerseys?
  • Should we try for sponsors?
  • What is your skill level
  • Preferred Riding Times?
  • Are you going to be able to have your money turned in by April 30th?
  • What is your average speed on a 20 mile ride with rolling hills?
  • Any Concerns?
You could of course cater it to whatever you needed to have answered. It puts the responses in a spreadsheet for your reference.

Now that that is out of the way, its time to get everyone registered. Most races make the Captain pay up front, and then the Captain has to collect the fee's from the team. So expect that if you are the captain. Im lucky and have a credit card limit that allowed me to front the money. Now all I have to worry about is collecting. (I sent out an email saying I would be breaking ribs since I need their legs ;) )

Now that I had most of my answers in, it was time to calculate the data and pick and share the results. This allowed me to move to my next step which was designing a team jersey.

Stay tuned for the rest of my Salt to Saint Series. It will be a long series detailing how to set up your team, training and eventually, the race itself.

Follow me on Bloglovin or Google+ for updates.

Are you a cyclist? Follow me on STRAVA to see where ive been riding. :)





  

FODMAP Challenge One (Fructans)

This is part of my FODMAP series. Check out these prior posts before reading this one.


 The first challenge that I decided I was going to try, was Fructans. You can do them in whatever order you feel will be best for you; It really doesn't have to have a rhyme or reason. The reason that I choose Fructants, was because I simply cannot live without wheat.. Wheat has always been a staple for me. So I was a little nervous about trying it. I was a little concerned that I would have issues with this challenge and I would be devastated. We all have that one food group that we just cant live without right? Wheat is for sure mine...

Each challenge usually takes 2-3 days. I usually do two days, however, I did end up doing the Fructans challenge for 3 days. The first day you just test the selected FODMAP lightly. By lightly, I recommend only eating one of the foods that are listed under the Fructans category, and only one time. For my challenge, I choose to go to my favorite burger shop. I usually get all the sauces and fries etc.. But for my challenge I just got a double bacon cheese burger without the sauce and I decided to not get fries. I was so excited to eat this bacon burger, as it had been 3+ weeks since I had one and this is probably one of my favorite foods. I go to a local shop where it is not as greasy and they use good quality meats.

I got home, and grabbed a bag of baked ruffles (my favorite snack on this diet) to eat with my burger. NEVER has a bacon cheese burger tasted so good. That is another thing that I really like about this diet. It really makes you appreciate your favorite foods a little more.
 


So I bet that you are wondering how I felt in the morning... I felt great!!! I was excited that the first day did not effect me in a negative way. I was ready for day number two. On day number two I went all out. For breakfast I had two pancakes, eggs and some orange juice. (Pancakes were the only Fructans). For lunch I had a sandwich on a piece of french bread with some chips, and for dinner I had some chicken that was heavily seasoned with garlic and onion, If i was going to experience symptoms, this would for sure provoke them.

I woke up the next day feeling GREAT! this was good news as I had figured out that I did not have an intolerance with my favorite food. The bad news was that I would still have to cut them out of my diet for the next week to prepare for my next challenge, Galactants... 

Tell me, did you had any issues with Fructans? What did you try for your challenge? How many days did you try it for? Comment below to tell me all about it.

Follow me on Bloglovin and Google+  to receive updates.

If you're a cyclist, follow me on Strava to see where I've been riding.

 










Saturday, April 11, 2015

Job Security.... Is there a such thing?



Job Security... Is this a perception, or does it really exist? As I get older, I have come to realize that im not so sure that I buy into this anymore. Like most people my age and older, I was taught that it was best to stay with one company, be loyal, work hard and move up the corporate latter; In turn I would have a less stressful retirement and be taken care of in my elder years.

This now seems to be a dated concept. This may have been the case back in our parents generations, however that concept may not be a reality any longer. It is hard to get out of that mindset though. I have always held jobs for 5 years or longer until a better opportunity came along that would better myself and or skills. In 2007 I started working for the State Government and was able to promote 3 times in 4 years. I saw myself staying with the Division for my 30 years, gaining my pension and 401k and being able to retire when I was 52 "IF" I could afford too.

Well I have now been with the State for 7 years, approaching 8. About 2 years ago I read a book about real estate investing that changed the entire way I thought about money and investing. It was not a get rich quick or pyramid scheme, but rather a simple process of buying and holding income properties and investing in small business. I was really interested in the concept because it would show how you could accomplish these things even if you didn't have the privilege of having a large amount of capital. With that being said, I decided to jump right in and take action. My brother had a small landscaping company that he had been running for a season. I decided that I would approach him about this and see if we could become partners and I would help him get some new equipment and streamline our business through my marketing and business skills.

We did really well. We were paying all of our employees and cash flowing. The only issue was... I still had my 40hr a week job with an added 10hr a week commute on top of that. I would also put in a 10hr day with my company to help keep labor down and to be able to have an active hand in the business, which I felt was important. Well now I was working and commuting a total of 60hrs a week. I was young, so I figured that I could handle it just fine.

I got the business bug and in the back of my mind and was thinking about leaving the State to work full time with my company. I figured that I may not make as much money at the start, But if I had more time to spend with my company.. I would be able to streamline it faster and it would be more efficient. I was really nervous to quit my job as I had good medical benefits and decent pay. The other issue was that my landscaping company did not work during the winter and I could not afford to be out of work.. So I thought.. Well... I have a secure job.. I better not leave it, I need to just stick it out. When my business takes off THEN I will quit. So that is what I did.

That next year my Wife and I decided that it was time to purchase our first rental property. Of course I came into the same issue of not having capitol and found that if we were to buy a duplex, We could live in half of it, while renting out the other side. This would make it so we were not throwing away our money in rent and we would be able to start saving money. So now I was Co-Owner of a landscaping company, had a rental property, was a landlord and STILL had my 40hr a week day job.

For the first few years this worked out great.. Then I started to burn out. I had been working these 60/75 hour weeks for 2 years now. I was starting to resent my brother which was my partner, and really for a reason that was my own fault. It was not his fault that I had a fulltime job on top of our business endeavor. To make a long story short.. We sold our successful landscaping business because we were not seeing eye to eye and because I just didn't have to time to give to that venture fully.. I just couldn't part ways with my "Stable, Secure" job.. I literally gave up my passion for business to work at a job that was fulfilling, but did not make me happy or allow me to use the skill sets that I felt were my strong points. I thought that I had a career.. But the more that I thought about it.. the more that I started to realize that I still had a job.. I was getting closer to turning 30.. and I was in need of a career.




I had already gone the school route.. and it was just not for me. I graduated and didn't even end up doing what I went to school for. The more I thought about entrepreneurship and real estate as a whole.. The more that I felt like that was something I enjoyed and had passion about. I was never a big reader.. But found myself spending hours reading about real estate, investing and small business. I knew that was something that I needed to do. So I started looking at getting my real estate license. I started talking to my agent to ask her how she liked it. She had no complaints.. She LOVED being a REALTOR.

There was just one thing that keep holding me back... Real Estate is commission based.. I have never worked on commission before and the thought of it terrified me. I didn't want to become a burden to anyone and I for sure didn't want to have to start all over at another job if it didn't work out. I had Job Security and a Stable Job right?

Is there a such thing as Job Security or a Stable Job? Each year my benefits were getting cut, yes everyone's were, however that was the main justification that I had for staying.. "The benefits are nice, so I will take my average pay" I would keep telling myself. One day I came to work at my "stable job" and I had an epiphany..  I started thinking about all my passions, goals and dreams that I was missing out on because of my job security. I kept seeing all these young people grabbing what they loved and making money and a living off of it. I started thinking "At the rate my benefits are being cut.. will I even have a pension after 30 years?". If that is the main reason that I'm staying.. Wouldn't it make more sense to be a trailblazer and make sure that I take care of my own retirement through long term income property holds?

The moral of this story is that everyone defines job security in their own way. As I get older.. I have realized that to me.. it doesn't exist. I feel like you should be living each day like its your last, and working wherever you passion is. If you do that.. all your goals and dreams will just fall into place. You will be much more happier and in turn, I'm sure you will be much more financially free.

I'm not saying to go out and quit your job. But don't let false pretenses control your destiny. Everyone has goals and aspirations. Don't let ANYTHING take that away from you.

I'm happy to say that I will finally be pursuing my real estate career this summer and yes.. im still a little nervous that im leaving my comfortable job. But in the end I feel that I will hit the ground running and never look back.

Tell me.. Do you believe in Job Security? Have you ever quit that comfort job to pursue your passions? If so what are some of the roadblocks you've encountered? Was the grass greener on the other side? Any regrets?

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

What are FODMAPS!?

This is part of a series. If you have not read "My IBS Story" please read that first, as this will make a lot more sense.

So What Exactly are FODMAPS you ask? The word "FODMAP" is an acronym deriving from "Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-Sacchrides And Polyols". These are all short chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine. These include short chain carbs such as (Oligo-) saccharide polymers of fructose (Fructans) and Glactose (Glactans), Disaccharides (Lactose), Monosaccharides (Fructose), and sugar alcohols (Polyols) Such as Sorbitol, Mannitol, Xylitol and Maltitol.

All of these short chain carbs are commonly found in the modern western diet. The  elimination/restriction of these FODMAPS from the diet has been found to have a beneficial effect on symptom control in people suffering from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and many other Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (FGID). This diet was founded by the Monash University in Australia.

Poor absorption of these 5 short chain carbs are common, even in healthy individuals. However most individuals that do not have an FGID will not suffer any significant symptoms. Here is how it takes place. Your small intestine is where just about all of your digestive enzymes are located. Any FODMAPS that are not absorbed in the small intestine will then pass into the large intestine, where bacteria ferments them, causing gas, bloating, diarrhea and cramping. The main reason for this is due to the osmotic effect, which draws water into your stomach to push out the remaining FODMAPS as your large intestine cant digest or break the short chain carbs down. This effect results in all the symptoms above.

The reason that I like this diet is for 1- it actually works, and for 2- its not a fad or a one size fits all diet. Everyone will be intolerant to different FODMAPS and to different levels. This is where the classic IBS question comes from. "I don't understand what is going on. How come I can eat this sometimes without any symptoms, and other times while eating the same foods I get so sick?".


Remember, FODMAPS are cumulative. What that means is that they often build up due to lack of absorption. Think of your stomach as a bucket. If you put a little bit of water in it, your totally fine. Once it is filled to the brim it will leak over. That is pretty much what is happening with FODMAPS. You may be able to tolerate one serving of something a few times a day, but if you were to eat each FODMAP at the same time or for days in a row, you will overflow your bucket, hence causing you symptoms.

Above, I gave you some pretty big words to digest (No pun intended LOL). If you are like me, after reading about the short chain carbs, you were probably still pretty confused as to what that means, as well as what foods you should be avoiding and or eating, how to start this diet and for how long. Don't worry.. I will break all that down for you below.

First thing I want to make you aware of is.. THIS IS NOT A LONG TERM DIET! If you end up needing this diet for a long period of time or have other health conditions, I would consult your doctor and or nutritionist. This diet over a long period of time could in fact cause some malnutrition. A lot of people do contact a nutritionist either way, as this diet has a lot of dynamics. If you have a lot of will power and are mostly healthy other than IBS or FGID, you will probably be ok trying this yourself.

The first part is the elimination of ALL FODMAPS. If you search this diet on the internet you will find VERY conflicting information regarding the time limits as well as the foods that are allowed. Usually the elimination diet portion will last anywhere from 2-6 weeks. Rule of thumb is that you will want all of your symptoms under control before you start adding any FODMAPS back into your diet. I personally choose to do this part for 3 weeks. It seemed like a middle ground. I started to feel better in just 48hrs of eliminating FODMAPS from my diet. That gave me a lot of hope and convinced me not to cheat. The first three weeks were really hard for me, because I am a very picky eater and don't like eating the same few things all the time.

Lets talk about what kind of foods are considered high FODMAPS.

Fructans:
Sources of fructans include wheat, rye, barley, onion, garlic, artichoke, asparagus, beetroot, chicory, dandelion leafs, leeks, radicchio, the white part of spring onions, brussel sprouts, cabbage, fennel, chocolate, and prebiotics such as fructooligosaccharides (FOS), Oligofructose and inulin.

Galactans:
Sources of galactans are mainly beans and Pulses. This includes ALL beans and products made from Soy Bean. (Soy bean oil, and Soy protein are okay)

Polyols:
 Sources of Polyols are found naturally in some fruits (particularly stone fruits). They are also used as bulk sweeteners and include isomalt, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol. Pretty much anything ending in "ITOL" stay away from.

Fructose
Fruits (particularly stone fruits) including apples, apricots, avocados, blackberries, cherries, lychees, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, prunes, watermelon and some vegetables, including cauliflower, mushrooms, and mange-tout peas. It is also found in honey some breads, and just about ALL junk food and soda contain Fructose or High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). HFCS is a good thing to stay away from FOREVER if possible. It does nothing good for the body and will keep you away from junk food.

Lactose
Milk, yogurt, soft cheeses, sour cream, milk chocolate, ice cream, and really anything that has dairy in it.
 
These are of course just a small amount of these foods. I would get all of your information from Monash as they are always actively testing new foods and adding them as acceptable or non-acceptable foods. After you have finished your elimination diet, you will start to put one of these sort chain carbs back in at a time. Done get to excited... Once you test it, you have to take it back out, eliminate for about 3 days again, and then you can put the next one in. This diet will take about 2 months to complete.

Don't get discouraged by the list of things that you CANT eat. Just remember.. This is only temporary, and if you are like me and have had enough of your of your symptoms, this diet will be well worth it. Stay tuned to my "FODMAP" Series to follow my challenges.

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Comment below and let me know if you have ever tried FODMAPS or if you decide to try it let me know how its going.

How did your challenges go? What did you find out you had intolerances too?

 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

My IBS Story

If you are like me and you have IBS or stomach issues, you will want to become familiar with what FODMAPS are. If you are a cyclist with IBS like myself you will especially want to get this into check.

Before I get into what FODMAPS are, let me give you a little bit of a background story about my IBS journey. Like 70% of us suffering from IBS, I also have Anxiety (which we will talk about at a later time as IBS and Anxiety are VERY related). I started to notice what a lot of people would just classify as a "Weak Stomach" when I was 15 years old. It was not a bad case, started out with heartburn, morning nausea, and diarrhea when I ate a lot of spicy or fatty foods, drank to much pop or just had a poor diet all around, as most teenage boys do.

Well around the same time I developed some Anxiety related issues and started having random panic attacks, which I noticed made my IBS symptoms worse. The mind and the gut are connected via the vegus nerve (again, I will go into detail about this in a later post). For about 2 years, most of what I ate made me kind of sick. I was a super skinny guy at the time and was living in St. George which was really HOT and that did not help. It was not until I was about 19 and decided to move back to SLC that my symptoms would disappear. For whatever reason, the constant diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramping had went away. I of course would still have flare ups from time to time and just figured that I had IBS as I have about 5 family members that have it as well including my Mother.

To make a long story short, I had it mostly under control for about 7 years, then all of a sudden 18 months ago when I was 29ish, I started to have debilitating symptoms. It was not just sometimes.. it was almost every night.. I would wake up at 3 or 4 in the morning, throw up, have diarrhea, severe stomach cramping, night sweats, you name it. EVERY stomach symptom you can think of. I  also had my Anxiety under control for about 5 years at this point too... So what was going on with my stomach..? these are not the same off and on IBS symptoms that I had become use to coping with. After about 5-6 months of feeling like this I became very concerned. It was effecting my Job, my personal life and my hobbies.. As you can all imagine, its hard to train as a cyclist with stomach alignments of any sort, let alone severe ones. I was not even able to enjoy a movie at the theater with my wifey without having to make a bathroom trip. These IBS symptoms were also bringing back my old friend "Anxiety" and this was compounding my IBS symptoms even more. IBS & ANXIETY WERE RUINING MY LIFE!!

I made an appointment to a specialist (GI DR) to have my first colonoscopy.. At Age 29 I was not happy about this.. I hoped that I would make it into my 50's before having to do anything like this. However I had been very sick and needed answers. So I set up and appointment. If you have Anxiety.. You know that waiting for the appointment was the worst part. My mind was wondering and I was terrified of this procedure. After fasting (A medical term for starving yourself LOL), I was ready to go in for my testing.

 I woke up in the waiting room saying random funny things.. (my wife thought this was hilarious BTW) I was surprised that it was actually not that bad.. The fasting and test prep was the worst part of it just like everyone had said. The Dr. comes in with the results and says "Well, you dont have Crones, UC or anything that is ruining your stomach.. Must be IBS". I thought to myself.. Ok.. thats nice.. im not going to die.. but why am I so sick? From what I know, there were not really any treatments for IBS in the United States.. Well I was right.. I was pretty much sent away with just that.. "You have IBS".. So now what?

Well surprising enough, I made a few diet changes and for the next 6 months I felt pretty good. All of a sudden after my 30th bday I started getting really sick again.. I didnt go to the doctor because I didnt want to feel like a hypochondriac any further, plus I knew that they couldn't help me.. However.. I was starting to miss a lot of work due to this awesome disorder no one seems to know much about. I had no choice but to made another appointment with a different GI that promised to find what other Doctors had missed. I figured that it was worth a shot. They put me through a battery of tests to make sure that it was not SIBO or Celiac's as well as about 15 other diseases. All tests came back negative and I was scheduled for an upper endoscopy to make sure I didn't have ulcers or anything else going on.

Well after this test, I once again talked to the Dr.. He said "Well it all looks good.. Must be IBS". I was relieved.. But then instantly frustrated.. Well if its just IBS and there is no treatment.. What do I do now? I cant live like this forever. I went to my follow up appointment where they put me on another acid blocker, which did help all the acid issues, however I was still pretty sick. Not good enough to be ok with my symptoms. Then I heard this magic word... my doctor asks me.. "Have you ever tried FODMAPS?"... FODMAPS? I replied... She says "YES... FODMAPS.. its a diet that was made by some Australian Dietitians and Doctors.". She then game me a print out that had some info regarding FODMAPS.

So what exactly are FODMAPS? That is a complex question, but one that will change your life if you have IBS or stomach issues. Stay tuned for my next post "What are FODMAPS" to learn about FODMAPS and to see if this diet can help you.

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Comment below, Do you have IBS or stomach issues? what have to tried to relieve them? Have you ever heard of FODMAPS?           

   

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Training Roadblocks Part II (Phycial Therapy Techniques)

This is the 2nd installment of my "Training Roadblocks Series". If you have not read my "Beginning my cycling journey" I would recommend you start there as this story will make more sense. You can find my Training Roadblocks Part I here


About a month after I had been fitted with the Sports Science Doctor, I started training pretty hard again. My knee had been feeling better and I felt that I was on my way to recovery. I started increasing my distance, as well as commuting to work again. My knee still felt a little weird, but it was manageable. I woke up one morning and decided that I was going to go on a 10 mile ride that had some pretty big hills..... This may have not of been one of my best ideas.

About 5 miles in, I started to feel the burn in my knee. I have always been taught to push through the burn as that means its working... So I did.. Finally I made it up the entire hill without getting off my bike!! YES! I thought to myself... This bike fit has really made a difference. I felt like I had so much more power, and that my knees were stronger. I rode the rest of the way home, which included going down that nice descend that I had just climbed. I reached speeds over 30 miles an hour and was excited about the ride that I had just put down UNTIL.... I woke up the next morning with the worst case of tendonitis I have ever had. My wife and I live in a one bedroom loft. Climbing up and down the stairs was EXTREMELY painful. It was only June and I had already been sidelined...

I of course like most people started "googling" how to get rid of knee pain and quickly realized that I had Patellar Tendinitis aka Jumpers Knee. The two most common causes for cyclists were due to not being fitted, or from increasing miles or climbing to quickly. Well, I had just been fitted by a doctor, so I knew that it couldn't be the bike fit, so I assumed that it was because I had been being to aggressive with my training.

A friend of mine had blown out her Patella as well as her IT Band while riding a century a few years back. She opted out of surgery and started doing physical therapy aggressively. She is now able to ride even stronger than she did before and is one of the strongest athletes that I know, so I went to her for advise. She of course told me that the key was to build miles slowly and to start building all of the muscles around my knee, so that the stress would be taken off my patella. She showed me a few of the exercises that she does. I was able to find some YOUTUBE video's of those to share with you. Let me tell you. These steps really work and helped relieve my Patellar Tendinitis very quickly (3-4 weeks).

The most important step is to STOP RIDING YOUR BIKE! Since this is what is causing your issue in the first place, it makes perfect sense to cease the activity. I know.. I know... that is not what you want to hear.. I didnt either.. I didnt stop riding completely.. I would ride a mile or less each night after these work outs. Only around the block with a 0 ft climb to keep my muscles moving. This helped relieve the stiffness. The exercises are as follows:



The first set of exercises are from a chiropractor. These REALLY helped me overcome my tendinitis. You will need an exercise ball for one of them, the others are just with your body weight, which is why I love these ones so much. You can do them anywhere you have some floor space. There is a total of 4 exercises. I usually do 3 reps of 10 of these every other day so your knee has time to recover.





This is the 2nd video that I like to watch. It is done by a Physical Therapist. Most of these can by done with little to no equipment as well. I usually do this video after the one above. I dedicate one whole day to PT. I also include a little bit of PT each day either before or after my workout. Before has worked best for me.  Those are the two PT videos that I have found the most relief from.






 I also have loved the HASFIT video's. They are great for coming right off an injury, or if you're just new to working out. It helps you ease back into it. The good think about the HASFIT channel. is that they have so many videos that you can progress into as you get stronger. The video above is the one that I liked the most for strengthening the knee.

 This video does require some light dumbbells. You cant get some for cheap at Wal-Mart or you're local sporting goods store from $5-$12 each, You will need two 5-8lb dumbbells.






 STRETCHING- Is probably one of the most important things. I do this EVERY day. It helps keep you limber and is a really good stretching video. 

 I do all three of these videos on my "Leg Day". These videos are great if you're too busy to make it to the gym or are tight on money. I work really long hours so these worked great for me. 

Comment Below to let me know if any of these video's help you out, or if you have been able to overcome Pattellar Tendinitis another way.

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Training Roadblocks Part I (Bike Fitting with a Sports Science DR.)

This is going to be the starting of my "Training Roadblocks Series". If you have not read my "Beginning my cycling journey" yet, start there, it will make more sense if you have read that story prior to reading my training roadblock series.

Bike Fitting with a Sports Science DR.

I had been riding for a little under a year and was starting to develop some knee pain in my left knee. It was time to get fitted to see if I could curb this obnoxious knee pain.

I was disappointed that my local bike shop did not include a fitting with the purchase of my new bike. However I was excited that I was about to get fitted by a Sports Science Doctor that was a part of a Tour de France team. I had found out that my insurance company would cover the bike fitting and appointment, but I was going to have to pay $100 dollars out of pocket for the Lactic Acid Test. I was totally fine with this as a fitting at the local bike shop would run anywhere from $80-$200 dollars depending on what I wanted included. I made an appointment for the wifey and I and we got started.



First off, let's talk about what is all included in this fitting. The Cycling Lab would include the following skills below and claimed to help you become a better cyclist in less time with less injuries (something I was for sure interested in). In just a few hours in the cycling lab, they would show you how you can:

  • Get faster
  • Improve power
  • Prevent injuries
  • Train more efficiently
  • Be properly fit to your bike
  • Enjoy cycling more

 

 What you get at the Cycling Lab:

Musculoskeletal Functional Analysis- an in-depth physical exam of your body’s strength and joint flexibility. They look at leg length differences, muscle imbalances, joint condition and other physical conditions to assess your injuries and possible risk for future injuries.

 

This part was pretty cool. The Doctor, weighted me and took me back into an exam room. I laid down on the exam bed, and the Dr. began to stretch my legs and knees around in different positions to see if it would trigger pain. He checked my knee for damage and water on the knee. There was not any, however he said that i had minor tendonitis. He checked my balance and the length of my legs. My left leg was slightly longer than my right. 

 

Bike Fitting  

They specialize in medical bike fitting that not only puts you in a comfortable, ergonomic position, but one that will help with your specific injury or medical condition.  They also conduct a dynamic bike fitting using video analysis. They examine joint angles and body position during the peddle stroke to optimize efficiency and power output. Based on your measurements and biomechanics They adjust:

  • Saddle height and set back
  • Handlebar height and reach
  • Cleat position and alignment

 So i have to say, this is kind of where I started to become a little disappointed in the appointment. Above it says that they conduct a "Dynamic bike fitting using video analysis". This never happened. Since my insurance was paying for this, it was still an easy pill to swallow.

If you ride a bike longer than just a stroll through the park, or down to the gas station for a treat.. You will want to be fitted. A properly fit bike will help you avoid low back pain and neck pain from being in the wrong position. It also helps prevents injuries that may develop in the hips and the knees. Hand and Feet numbness that many cyclists complain about can also be corrected with a properly fit bike.

Performance Testing

The next part was the Performance testing. This is the part that the insurance did not cover and would cost $100 dollars out of pocket. You got to pick between a Lactate Assessment or a VO2 Max test.

                                              

The VO2 Max tests an athletes maximal oxygen consumption. A VO2max test can determine the endurance and cardiovascular fitness of an athlete during exercise. The results of a VO2max test helps to determine an athlete’s target training zones, which will help to guide your training and improve athletic performance. Find out more about VO2 Max here.

                                               

The second option is the Lactate Threshold Test. As you advance in your training it is important to periodically monitor your body’s fitness level.  Determining an athlete’s lactate threshold is one of the best methods for monitoring fitness changes due to training.

A lactate threshold test helps you:
  • Estimate your fitness level
  • Establish your training zone
  • Adjust your training schedule
  • Train your body to clear lactate more effectively
  • Improve your endurance and overall performance. 

A lactate threshold test is performed by taking a small sample of blood at various stages of a work out. This is usually preformed by taking small blood samples from your ear at various stages of your workout. They measure the lactate levels in your blood and compare them to your power output and heart rate. Lean more about Lactate Thresholds here.

I chose to do the Lactate Threshold Test....This is where I become even more frustrated with this process. This was the part that my insurance didn't cover and the part that I had to pay $100 dollars out of pocked for.. They never preformed this testing...Some might ask why I didn't say anything? Well im not the type that likes to make a scene in public. Looking back... I wish that I would have made a bigger deal about it so I could have received my money back.. This whole test would have been free to me if I would have done that... Should've, Could've, Would've...Right?

The Performance tests also included:

  • Optimize training zones for more efficient training
  • Get faster
  • Improve power
  • Improve endurance

This part was probably my favorite part of the test. They hook your bike up to a trainer and have you ride on it (also how the bike fit is done). This takes place after you have been fitted. You start to ride at a fast paced cadence on a low gear. They ask you to keep a level 3 of effort (Lvl 1 being sitting on the couch and lvl 10 being your about to black out and cant hold a conversation).

They keep increasing the levels and resistance. This is how they come up with your heart rate training zones which to me is very important and other than the fitting, was the most important thing that I took away from the Cycling Lab.

So in the end was it worth it? I'm still pondering that question myself and I'm still a little biter about the Lactate Threshold testing. All and all it was a good test and the main reason that I went was to get my bike fit and that had been accomplished. I was now one again with my bike. I started to train hard working on my heart rates, climbing and just over all millage.

I would love to say that this solved my problem... However it did not. Within a month I would Develop the worst case of Patella Tendonitis I have ever had..

Comment below and tell me about your bike fit. Have you had any training setbacks?

Stay tuned to my "Training Roadblock Series" to find out what I try next. Follow me on Bloglovin or Google +. The quick clicks can be located on right side.

Follow me on Strava to see where I've been riding.

References/pictures:http://intermountainhealthcare.org/services/medicalgroup/clinics/physicianclinics/live-well-salt-lake/Pages/home.aspx   


Friday, March 20, 2015

5th Annual FRONT RUNNER® Century Ride


From time to time I will be posting races/rides that are in my area. My goal is to of course ride in the rides that I post, so I can give you guys a play by play on what it takes to train for these kind of rides and what I do to get prepared. Of course I wont be able to participate in all of these rides due to training, time and financial constraints. However I would still like to share up and coming rides and hear about how you all trained for this ride or rides with similar distance.

The 5th Annual Front Runner® Century will be held on April 25th 2015. This is a 100km (62 mile) bicycle ride from Salt Lake City to Ogden Utah. It is a fully supported ride with aid stations every 20 miles and they will provide a catered meal at the finish line (YUM).

This ride starts downtown Salt Lake City and will end in Ogden's Historic railroad depot. The ride varies on prices depending on when you sign up for the race as well as if you pick other options such as the jersey and/or meal options. Of course the earlier you sign up, the cheaper it is. The frustrating thing that I have found when registering for rides, is that they don't tell you how much anything is besides the race price until you get to the end.  I think that the reason they do this is so they have your email address in case you don't finish the registration process, then they can still email you asking if you need assistance (HA HA).

So to ease your frustration, I will give you all the info that you need to know here.
Prices and Dates:

  • $35 - 12/25/14-12/25/14 - First 100 registrations only
  • $45 - 12/25/2014 - 2/15/2015
  • $55 - 2/16/2015 - 3/31/2015
  • $ 65- 4/1/2015 - 4/22/2015
  • ONLINE REGISTRATION CLOSES APR 22nd.
  • $75 at packet pickup and day of event - 4/24/2015 - 4/25/2015*
  • *Sign-up closes 7:30 am 4/25/2015


  • Currently at the time that this post was written (3/19/2015), the fee is $55.

     

    Once you get a little more than half way through the process you can add a meal option. They are catering through "Jason's Deli" and have the following options.



    Garden Wrap - Front Runner Century

    Organic wheat wrap with organic field greens, guacamole, red and yellow bell peppers, asiago, served with balsamic vinaigrette, baked chips, pickle, and a piece of season whole fruit. $6.55
     

    Turkey Sandwich - Front Runner Century


    Oven roasted turkey breast big sandwich on whole grain wheat bread with leafy lettuce and tomatoes, chips, pickle, and chocolate chip cookie. $6.55

     
     Front Runner Jersey

     The Front Runner Jersey is pretty sweet looking. They are $55 each in advance or $65 dollars at the time of packet pick-up, but don't guarantee that they will have any available at that time. As you can tell, as with every race... the sooner you register, the cheaper it will be.

    They have a special going on right now. If you go to their Facebook Page there post that was sent out on March 12th that has a button that says "Get Offer" it will give you a promo code for 20% off the registration fee.

    The really cool thing that I like about this race/ride as well as most cycling rides, is that a portion of the ride seems to always to towards a charity. So I can feel good about spending these sometimes "High Prices". I get to ride, train and do some charity work... What's better than that?
     

    This year a portion of the proceeds benefits the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.

    I'm not sure that I will be able to attend this ride, as I have had some training setbacks. Follow my Training Roadblocks series to learn more about my set backs as well as some of your own, and what you did to overcome or tolerate your issue.

    Are you riding this ride? If so, let me know how you prepared for this ride, and any obstacles you came into. If you're not planning on riding this ride, please share an experience that you have had with a similar distance.