I'll be ready in 2010

After being diagnosed with atrial fibrillation in September and perscribed Metoprol Tar-25mg (beta blocker) -take as needed - in October, I entered the Nebraska State Championship CX race in November. Here are my numbers along with comments from my trainer:

    Duration:      39:06
    Work:          282 kJ
    TSS:           52.6 (intensity factor 0.901)
    Norm Power:    156
    VI:            1.29
    Pw:HR:          5.58%
    Pa:HR:          -3.32%
    Distance:      5.505 mi
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    673    121     watts
    Heart Rate:      88    146    130     bpm
    Cadence:         33    159    76     rpm
    Speed:           2.2    49.9    9.3     mph
    Pace             1:12    26:49    6:28     min/mi
    Crank Torque:    0    1025    136     lb-in

"Rpm's could be higher but that is the nature of cross. Lot's of coasting does that. Looks like your normalized power of 156 is very good and so is the avg heart rate of 130 with a max of 146. I would bet that your 10 min power is at 180 where we have it set right now. Next year you'll do even better. Just keep remaining consistent"

Probably the most important thing I learned about racing with beta blockes that are "take as needed", is to continue taking them for a couple of days after the race.  I seemed to have a bunch of adrenial floating around that kept attacking my heart until Tuesday night after Sunday's race.

So, with the encouraging words of my trainer - Marc Walter,
Rightway Personal Training
USACycling Level II Coach, CPT,
USACycling Certified Power Based Training Coach
ph: 402-210-3572
email: marc@trainingtherightway.com
url: www.trainingtherightway.com
, I am looking forward to 2010, by setting my goals and race dates.
Oh, yes, I did get second on Sunday.  Woman's 4 (beginner), Nebraska Championship. I may have to work on my "over the barriers" form. "LOL"


Back in the Game

Atrial fibrillation has sidelined me from ambitious workouts since the middle of August.  After only two doctors, my family doctor and an Electrophysiologist, I am back on my bike either outside on the gravel, in the basement on a trainer or on a spin bike at the gym. I now take a very small white pill thirty minutes before extreme cardio exercise.  It is 25MG of a beta blocker to fight off the adrenaline that was causing my heart to fire off under stress. This, I can live with and thank you all very much.  I will have to totally reasess my heart levels now.  At a perceived heart rate of 145, (difficult to talk, sucking air, sweating)  it now reads 121 on my heart monitor.  121HB used to be a recovery rate for me. So, nothing ever stays the same, there is always something to learn and numbers to "tweak".  How blessed I am to have the Saris Power Tap to help me in these endeavors. After my trainer and I get my "numbers" readjusted, I will be ready to go back to training "with Power".  I am still taking a handful of vitamins morning and night and a baby aspirin at night.  And that's that. It is all the medication I take and I'm very thankful for my good health. A special thanks to all the feed-back from readers I have received in the last few weeks.  May God greatly bless all of you.



The Saga Continues

I saw my G.P. last Friday and we discussed my stress test and ECHO test.  He really did not know the answer, except it seems to be an electrical problem.  Therefore, I have an appointment with an eletrophysiologist for October 20.  However, not wanting me to leave the office empty handed he gave me a prescription for Diltiazem CD 180mg. I dutifully filled the perscription and took one pill around noon of Friday.  By noon on Saturday I was experiencing 4 or 5 of the possible nasty side effects.  At spin class Saturday morning, it was as if my heart was totally confused. The red line was all over the place when I viewed it after uploading the information from my PowerTap. SO -----no more of those pills for me.  By Monday the medication had worm off and I felt much better again.  This mornings spin class saw my heart rate up to 140.  No spikes, just a steady climb up and back down, no irregular heart beats and non so far today.  I am going to continue to extend riding time, inside or out depending on the weather and start to work out on the weights where I teach spin class.  Also, I plan to take some pilates classes.  I will continue to monitor my heart rate and keep moving the top number up bit by bit.  Maybe by the time my appointment with the eletrophysiologist arrives, my heart will be well.  That is my prayer.  Thanks to all of you that have been sending the kind and encouraging words.  They are tremendously appreciated.  It is not that I do not want to get old,  I am not trying to stay young and foolish by riding my bike.  It is such a joy to me and I have been able to inspire a few others my age to "get out on their bikes" and ride.  I want to embrace it as long as I can!!! And actually competing is such a blast! But, I told God that I would be content if I could do only "Granny" rides from here on and that is probably a real possibility.  Most of you reading this know exactly what I mean.  Thanks again for your kindness, I will keep you posted on the progress.


Change is the only Constant

After the National Senior Games in the Bay Area, I was ready and eager to start my CX training.  But, never take things for granted. Especially your family, your body and your health.  Coming home from an easy ride on the gravel roads around our acreage and then uploading the information from my Power Tap onto my account with TrainingPeaks, the heart "red line" on the graph was pretty astounding.  For 50+ min. of the 1.5 hour ride my heart was registered in the 189 - 225 range. Drastic up and down changes like a yo-yo. Whoa!!! What in the world was going on?  For a 67 year old lady on an easy ride, this was way off the charts. A quick search on the internet, gave me information on "exercise induced arrhythmia".  In the next few days, a talk with my doctor, 5 hours of testing at the hospital, more bike riding and recording keeping showed that any exercise that put my heart rate above 120-125 would cause my heart to become irregular and or go into arterial fibulation.  It did not hurt, I was not light headed and did not pass out.  There was just a butterfly in my chest trying to get out.  For those of you that love to ride and really love to compete, you will understand my devastation. It was several days, maybe even a couple of weeks worth of grief over the loss of this part of my life before I was ready to be "content" to spend the rest of my life just doing "granny" rides. I was unable to write about it, thus my absence from this blog.
However, always being one to try to fix things and make everything right and OK, I was thinking that all my heart really needed was a rest from training, good nutrition and some vitamins, minerals and herbs. So, a week ago I started a strict regimen of vitamins, minerals and herbs purchased from a multi-level marketing company based in Idaho.  I take a large handful in the morning and a large handful at night plus one full aspirin. I have an appointment with my doctor this coming Friday morning to discuss my stress test.  In the meantime I am putting the Saris Power Tape to excellent use.  I cannot thank Saris enough for the opportunity they gave me to have such a fantastic device to keep a record of my work outs.  Did y'all know that you can set the PT in such a way that you can use it at the gym to keep a record of your heart rate?  Now if I could just find a way to strap the CPU to my wrist, I would really be livin' high on the hog, so to speak.  In conclusion, I have been steadily increasing my time on the bike and my heart rate to see if my heart is getting better. Last night I reached a HR of 132.  I had a good long warm up and a long cool down.  My heart did not go "postal" on me later in the evening or in the night. I am thrilled this morning!!!, because just a few days before one of those two things would and did happen.  Even though my doctor says that my condition can not heal it self (it is really an "electrical" problem )I am praying that God will completely heal my heart and so far HE

IMG_0085 (1)

has been very gracious to me.  I am so blessed!  I will update my progress in later posts.  In the next few days I will be riding my bike and teaching my spin classes and keeping a very close eye on my HR and taking those supplements!!!  However, National CX at Bend is probably not going to happen for my this year.
Keep riding!!! (Yes, I do ride with my cell phone and a Road I.D. on my shoe. If someone finds me lying along the side of the road, they will know who to call! "LOL")


NSG09Young friend, Stella and me messin' around before the races on August 10, 2009

National Senior Games


I’m home from the adventure called, “National Senior Games”.  The Hard Case bike box worked great to take my bike on the plane and required only 30 min. to put it together upon arrival at our host house in San Francisco.  My daughter and her GPS unit and the rental car worked wondrously well to get us to the registration site on the Stanford University Campus and to the race site on Canada Road in Redwood City, CA. 

The Saris Power Tap was indispensable for the warm up and the races.  I am not good at evaluating “Perceived Exertion” yet.  My warm up for the 5K was:


20 min easy, endurance paced warm up spin in the small ring

10 min at tempo pace in the big ring building to LT in the final minute

3-5 min easy spin

5 min at LT pace

5 min easy

1 min at Vo2 pace with a high cadence

3-5 min easy


After the race, I felt I had really pushed myself.  It was so dry and hot and I kept coughing.  I should have found some cough drops or candy to suck on.

No matter how big and important the race, there can always be an electronic failure.  They had my time down as 40+ min.!!! Three of us in a row, the gal ahead of me, me and the gal behind, all had skewed times.  Diane, the gal ahead of me and myself spent 30 or 40 min. in a 120F trailer with the head guy trying to come up with an accurate time.  He finally asked if we thought we had placed, and of course we said yes, and I said Diane was really fast and I was right behind her.  Well, he finally came up with a guesstimate: 9:18. They gave Diane 6th and me 7th. When I got home and uploaded the power tap information, my trainer read the following information:

2.964 Miles

198    Watts Av.

157    HR Av.

88      RPM

20.5   MPH A.

And the kicker!!!!!!!!!! TIME 8:38:00 That time would have put me in 4th!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, I placed 7th in the 10K also, without any time clinches, so I am not complaining.  I did give an especially hard effort on the 5K, and surely may have been 4th.

The Power Tap made all the difference in the world.  I could not have done as well with out it.  I don’t think I could have raced at all. What a fabulous tool the Power Tap is.  I am recommending it to all I visit with.  Numbers for the 10K off the PT:

6.32    Miles

186   Watts

151   HR

84     RPM

18.9  MPH

20.22 Time

OK, enough with the TT bike. I am off of the LeMond and on to my Trek Cyclcross bike later today.  YEA!!!!


A Couple of Firsts


As a “woman with responsibilities” just as all of you women out there are, finding time to train on my bike is a constant challenge.  Take today for example.  I am to do a practice 3 mile at wide open speed and I am so tired (maybe even weary) that I am going to enjoy my granddaughter’s SECOND birthday party instead of ride.  There is also a heat index of 96F outside also.  That may have something to do with my attitude.

However, I have been training hard, at least for me, and have a couple of firsts to report. Number one has to do with my Watt and Heart Rate output.

9 min.

Watt av. 193

HR  av.  149

Cadence   81

Mph av.    21

This was a personal best for me. It was a hilly course with a stiff breeze.

Come Monday, August 10, I will be on a flat course on Canada Road in Redwood City, CA at the National Senior Games and hopefully up my speed a bit.  I will keep an eye on my Saris cpu and keep the watts and heart rate up. Hopefully my heart, lungs and legs will all work together.  My goal is to be in the top five in a field of 23 for the 5K and 20 for the 10K

The number two first was changing an unexpected flat 9 miles from my car last Saturday. I had my body down in “aero” position on my TT bike.  I saw the rubble on the road, but could not escape it in time.  My little CO2 cartridge worked just fine to pump up the new front inner tube and I was soon back doing intervals.

I am ready for the two Time Trials in CA to be over.  I am eager to get on my Cyclcross bike and “tear up some grass”!  Well, as much as an “older woman with responsibilities” can tear up grass!!

Ya’ll hang in there! Get up on your bike and peddle, peddle, peddle!!


USA Cycling Masters TT

I am home from Louisville, KY for a few hours before leaving for the Black Hills of SD to help lead a family camp on grounds just 3 miles from "The Faces"
I had a wonderful two days at USA Cycling Masters.  Results: 3rd for me in the TT (time trials) 65-59 age class.

Power     182av     557 max
HR         153av     166 max
Cadence   81av     131 max
Speed     18.6av    36.7 max
12.29 miles   time:  38:53.10 (I am so happy to be under 40 min.!!!!!!!!)

I could not have done this TT last year!! and I owe a huge thanks to Saris for the Power Tap.  What a wonderful training tool.   There was a hard climb at the beginning and then rolling hills. I kept a careful eye on my power numbers to keep from "blowing up" on the first climb.  I tried to divide the distance into 4 parts. Easy on the 1st, build to threshold during the 2nd, hold steady in the 3rd and then really pour it on during the 4th.  It is easy to say now, but I could have probably worked harder.  I recovered very quickly after the race and even felt I could have gone further.  Well, my first out of state TT is in the books.  In state, Senior Games, Sunday, July 12.  A flat course for all three: 5K, 10K and 20K.  I am going to try and "burn it up" a bit.
And by the way, my daughter, Sydney Brown, won her TT, and 2nd in her Crit race, 40-44 age bracket.  There is a photo finish of her crit finish on usacycling.org.

This is me just "hang'n" before my TT. And my daughter, Sydney in the upper right headed to the car to get something for her mom. A huge thanks to all who make my life so wonderful!!! Family, trainer, friends and God!!!!!IMG_0011



Ok, I know all about Southeastern Nebraska summers.  I have lived here over 30 years. I am also familiar with this verse:

“While the earth remains,

                                                Seedtime and harvest,

                                                And cold and heat,

                                                And summer and winter,

                                                And day and night

                                                Shall not cease.”

                                    Genesis 8:22

It’s just that it has been so cool this spring. My peas are in wonderful shape.  I wore a long sleeved jersey to church last Wednesday when I rode in for Praise Team practice ( 26miles round trip).  We have been sleeping with our windows open.  However, Summer showed up yesterday and I ignorantly dismissed it.


My trainer’s email talked about intervals for yesterday’s workout. 2-20minute intervals, 165-175 watts each with 10 minute rest between.  This is after a warm up of course. So yesterday in the middle of the afternoon, the hottest part, I rode to Hwy 2, a 3 mile ride with ¾ mile nasty gravel and started in. After warming up – it did not take long in the 91 degree heat with 85+% humidity- I eased into the first 20 minute interval.  It went pretty well and I was looking for a place to turn around on the 4 “laner” and head back. That is when my ignorance really hit me.  I wanted a drink.  I wanted to put some water on my head and arms to cool down and I in my “wisdom” had brought only one bottle of water and it was about gone.


I drank the bottle empty and headed back to do the second interval.  13 minutes into the exercise I wussed out.  I was distracted by 1)the heat  2) my thirst  3)a side ache  4)my right foot was asleep  5) the sun burning my arms and face.

I did make it back home. I had lost 5.5 lbs. of liquid. Drank 6 glasses of grape Koolade (did you know that Koolade was invented in Nebraska?) and felt pretty recovered after a cold shower and dinner.



  1. Take 2 bottles of water on my bike and a bottle of sport drink in my jersey pocket next time.
  2. Go a little easier on the first interval.  Build on the second and finish strong.
  3. Sun Screen
  4. Move around; relax on my bike to prevent limbs from going to sleep. 
  5. Oh, yes, maybe I should start taking that baby aspirin my doctor recommends.

Hang in there.  Keep peddling.  There are better work outs ahead.

Here are my numbers from yesterday.


1st Interval  26 min                               2nd Interval   13 min.

170 Watts av.                                       171 Watts av.

147 HR av.                                          154 HR av.

82 rpm av.                                            82rpm. Av.



Here where I live in southeastern Nebraska, we do not have any mountains.  Some pretty good hills, but no mountains.  We do not have any oceans with beautiful soft sandy beaches. We have a few pretty good sized "ponds" made by dams, but no huge lakes, even.  BUT, what we DO have is Nebraska Cornhusker Football and WIND. 
Last Saturday I was to do three, 5 minute intervals at 190-203 watts (115-120%) of my threshold which is 173.  I started from the new bike shop, Joy Ride, and headed south on hwy 77.  I did notice a slight breeze, but did not give it much thought. After my 15 minute warm up, two 5 minute intervals and two 5 minute recovers, I crossed the 4 lane road and headed north.  Whoa!!!!!  What a head wind!  No wonder I was having such a good time going south. UGH!!! Did the 3rd interval and then tried to get back to town.  I truly thought I would never make it.  Finally, I just told myself to settle in, hit a stride and stay with it.  If I just keep peddling I will get back to my car.  I suppose this is a situation where a riding partner would have been some company and an encourager.  It just happens that I do not know of anyone that rides my speed.  The 20-50 year old are so much faster.  I do not know of any other female my age riding my speed here in Nebraska. Soooooooooooooo I just head out on my own.
By the way, intervals going with the wind, 26mph average. Interval into the wind, 14mph. Rest of the ride back to town, 10mph. But with the power tap, I just concentrate on the watts produced. Ah yes, Nebraska has wind.  It makes us strong!!!

Hang in there and keep pedaling.


Recent Comments

  • sydney on I'll be ready in 2010

    I think you did great! Remember your first cx race? Are we on for Masters Road Natz again this year? :D

  • Flo Leibowitz on Back in the Game

    I'd like to carry your picture un my jersey pocket during the Natz cross course, so you could be there again this year....in some form. I race in a different field , but I think they put all us old gals on the course together. If that'd be ok by you, please let me know. All good wishes, Flo

  • Veronica on The Saga Continues

    Hi Nancy,
    Ugh! Ugh! I would like to recommend a couple of things that I am doing that my help your body balance.
    1) See an accupunturist. Western medicine analyzes from the outside in and eastern medicine, like accupunture, analyzes from the inside out. I went there for my bad feet (as well you know) and a few other items. I found out my liver function was slow, my circulation was low, and had treatments as well as he told me I should only eat/drink room temperature foods, messages my calves, etc. My podistrist let me know that the improvements in my feet have improved enough that if I keep this up I won't have to have reconstructive surgery as my foot is relaxing. As well my blood pressure dropped 15 points, my menstrual cycle is regulating and my energy level is more consistant.
    2) I want to recommend something that has helped my stress more than Pilates. I have started doing Kundalini Yoga at home with a video to help circulation, breathing and other items my acupuncturist recommended. You can try it free online here http://www.kundaliniyoga.org/ or I ordered these videos http://www.raviana.com/ through amazon.com - please start with the beginner. These are not "balance on one leg with a hand behind your back and an arm in the air" yoga moves. These concentrate on stretching, breathing and getting your internal workings balanced.

    Take care of yourself.


  • Blue on The Saga Continues

    best of luck to ya! things tend to work out.... keep smiling!

  • Flo on Young friend, Stella and me

    It truly broke my heart to read about your heart condition. You have worked so hard! I hope the improvement you write about at the end of your report continue to happen. Your blog continues to be a real inspiration. I'm looking forward to the next installment. Holy smoke, Nancy, you are your own cliffhanger !

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