Okay so I finally made it back to the site and was kind of shocked that it took me so long to update things, one of the reasons is that I’m very easily distracted.
So although I posted my ride in Marathon back in March of 2016, I had done the ride to Marathon back in July of 2015. I know, I’m really, really easily distracted. However, there is one other reason why I had a delay in posting about where I was riding and that is for my safety because I ride by myself.
So shortly after that ride, I realized that I was experiencing a lot of problems with exhaustion and believed that along with the elevation were the reasons for my having a difficult ride. Little did I know that the main reason would later be revealed but not until after I had done several local city rides. There unfortunately were a lot of hills and some road construction which didn’t exactly help but drove home some of the problems which was how I was short of breath and having a difficult time climbing hills.
Yes I know that having a 40 pound trike is harder to get up the hills than say maybe a 3-5 pound bicycle but no matter what, I was having a hard time. My ride to my place of work was the hardest one and it actually made me rethink the idea of riding to work and for a while I was beginning to believe that I was having a heart attack only the symptoms were off from the typical heart attack so I didn’t think I was having a heart attack so I persisted in doing another ride, much smaller with less hills…or so I thought. I found myself gasping for breath as I climbed the hills and could feel my heart pounding but I didn’t feel any numbness or tingling in my body so it scared me and I backed off of riding. As of that time my total miles since I last checked in was 22.82 miles. See not a lot and I should have seen a doctor because the pain and strain I had while riding, but I didn’t.
I went on my geek vacation and when I was trying to give blood, I was rejected because my iron was too low. I figured it was because I had just been on a low iron eating diet because dummy me thought my blood had too strong of a copper smell when I accidentally cut myself and since a friend of mine had one time gotten too sick because he had too much iron in his system, thus why I backed off on eating iron rich foods. That was a mistake and so after the vacation I stopped taking iron supplements.
Because I had been feeling so weak, I didn’t do any riding for the next 6 months and when I did take out my trike, it was only to go to the store for supplies for my trike. Due to me riding through run-off water (very yucky) I knew I needed something to keep the water off of me so I ordered fenders and got a seat to cushion my ride since Serenity has no shocks.
So I rode to the store, a small local riding to a local high school and even took my trike out on the open country road just outside of my city, bring my mileage up to 30.03 miles. These are totals from 3 trike rides and the last ride was just barely 20 miles, I had to turn around because it was too straining on my body. I took one more brief ride and felt as if my heart was going to beat its way out of my chest so I ended my ride, only going 6.8 miles; bring my total for the year to 36.83 miles.
I finally decided to bite the bullet and go and see a doctor, scared that she would tell me that I was having a heart attack and that I would need to have surgery, thinking the ultimate worse case scenario. I initially went for blood pressure meds and she gave me some and I found that I was feeling very faint so I went back and asked her for a lower dosage and that was when she told me that I had to have more blood work done but since I was about to go on vacation, we decided to do it after I returned. She warned me that my iron count was low but she didn’t say much else and I of coursed asked her about giving blood and she told me no. I didn’t worry about it for my vacation.
So at my geek vacation, I was marching in a parade and found myself frequently out of breath and taking sips of water to regenerate my energy and then I ended up hurting my knee during the walk. This was the second year that I had a not so great time at the convention and with my knee injury I wasn’t prone to do anything much less walk around on it and damn it the pounding in my chest had returned.
After the con I went to see my doctor for the overdue blood work and a week later she advised me that I was not just anemic but very anemic and if I got much lower she was going to suggest a blood transfusion. NO!! I do not want blood from anyone else! Two blood tests later, my markers were very low and she tested me for things for people not of my heritage but she said she had to do all avenues.
Long story short I was to take iron supplements, approximately 200mg a day for the next 6 months. Then she set me up for more tests and you know what…I said stop I wasn’t doing any more tests. I now find out that my mother was very anemic when she was carrying her children and that I would probably have to watch out for this even though I’m past the years to have a kid.
So I’ve been doing a lot of smaller rides since that wonderful announcement and I could tell I wasn’t well enough to push very hard. During the time from my ride in May 2016 until January 2017 I only rode a total of 20.53 miles That is not a lot of miles and not a lot of time in the trike.
So for some unknown reason I decided that I was good enough to go on a ride sponsored by some group in the city where I live. Of course everyone wanted to look at my trike and try it out which I didn’t have a problem with and some of them even were asking about buying it. Normally I would have jumped at the chance because I had just ordered a new trike and would still owe about $3,500 on the trike, but just before the ride my brother said he might want to borrow it so he could have something dependable to get him back and forth to work. So the idea of selling my trike went out the window.
The ride was to be a casual ride of 8-10 miles with a top speed of about 10mph. Being the largest contraption, I rode near the rear of the pack to try to keep a few people up with the group. Unfortunately they didn’t know how to use their gears right and were expending too much energy to ride and would tire out and we got stopped at all of the lights which in turn wore me out.
Of course I had to work harder but it really was hard when we went up quite a few hills and I was still trying to keep the last two ladies together with the group and we had now dropped to 1/2 mile behind everyone else. The ladies dropped out and no longer wanted to ride so then I had to play catch up with the group and I was already exhausted. My problem was this was the first real test of my riding skills since I have been anemic. We rode 13.08 miles with my average speed being 9.5 mph which is slow for me and I usually was bringing up the rear of the group. Their average speed was 12mph and I just couldn’t keep up very well so this indicated to me about how out of shape I really was at the time. Okay not much has really changed but I will say this, I had quicker recovery time and I was very thankful that I didn’t drink any of the beer they all had on the ride.
So I’m out of shape and still fat and I’m still a little anemic but I think I’m getting better. I quit going to the NP because she kept setting me up for tests upon tests and I really didn’t need all of those tests. One of these days I’ll go see another doctor and see what they have to say.
This brings my total miles on my journey to 433.37 miles. This is not a lot of miles, partially because I’ve not been well and partially because I haven’t had a chance to get onto the open road where I would force myself to improve. With all of these miles, it brings to just around Quebec, TX which is along Hwy 90.
I’m still struggling to get my strength up but I’m also on a diet which does not promote strenuous exercising which is what riding my trike would consist of being. I’m also looking for a chance to get back out on the open road but every since I messed up my life with credit cards, I paid all of the cards off and vowed to not get another card. Well now all of the rental car companies are requiring a credit card so I’m going to have to see about getting a card so I can rent a vehicle and drive out past Marfa, TX to continue my ride.
If I ever get strong enough, I will probably take a train or a plane out to my next big city (El Paso) so I can start riding from there but I still have a long way to go and need to do more riding and build up my strength and make sure my iron is up so I won’t tucker out.
So I hope to start doing more riding but will probably have to go easy since I’m more focused on losing the weight than going for the long rides.
So that is my update and I think when some more of my weight starts coming off I might start up slowly riding. But I will go at my speed which is a relax, lay back and enjoy the scenery because I’m not in any kind of hurry.