Wind in My Face

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Excercise Has More Than Physical Benefits

For many years I’ve felt “off” if somehow my exercise drops off: general feeling of wellness, mood, etc—and the more intense the exercise the more long lasting the effects.

So I was intrigued to see new science emerging that backs up this idea. Science News in Mighty muscles may stave off depression reports:

A powerful body can protect the brain, a new study suggests. Toned muscles filter a toxin from the brain and keep depression at bay, researchers report in the Sept. 25 Cell.

“This paper really emphasizes ‘strong body, strong mind.’” ... Researchers have known that in response to a good workout, muscles produce a compound called PGC-1 alpha 1, which is a general do-gooder around the body. The compound prompts the body to make more blood vessels and mitochondria, for instance. The new study, which includes tests involving a small number of people, shows that PGC-1 alpha 1’s rejuvenating effects extend to the brain.

Winter Means Clothing that Works

Check out Warm Gear for Cold Weather Riding.

Moots MootoX YBB deep in the White Mountains, Nov 5, 2011 Leica M9 + 21mm f/3.4 Super-Elmar-M ASPH
Moots MootoX YBB deep in the White Mountains, Nov 5, 2011
Leica M9 + 21mm f/3.4 Super-Elmar-M ASPH

Bloating/Fatigue Issue from Last Spring: Apparently Infection After All (Dientamoeba)

I’m publishing this with the goal of perhaps helping someone else who runs into a similarly unsettling and baffling issue.

I had a terrible time starting several weeks after March 22 Solvang Spring Double; something hit me hard with bloating and fatigue, and the effects went on for at least 5 months, slowing getting better but not quite resolving.

Now it looks like the answer might be at hand: Dientamoebe Fragilis and possibly endolimax nana.

Dientamoeba fragilis is a single-celled parasite found in the gastrointestinal tract of some humans, pigs and gorillas. It causes gastrointestinal upset in some people, but not in others.[1] It is an important cause of travellers diarrhoea, chronic diarrhoea, fatigue and, in children, failure to thrive.

Endolimax is a genus of amoebozoa[1] that are found in the intestines of various animals, including the species E. nana found in humans. Originally thought to be non-pathogenic, studies suggest it can cause intermittent or chronic diarrhea.[2][3] Additionally, it is very significant in medicine because it can provide false positives for other tests, notably the similar species Entamoeba histolytica, the pathogen responsible for amoebic dysentery, and because its presence indicates the host has consumed fecal material.

DientAmeobe Fragilis is transmitted by stool (feces), according to the doctor. But aparently the transmission vectors are not well understood. Personally I suspect contamination of water during the Solvang Spring Double event, but that might be completely erroneous—no way to say.

Either way, I’m quite annoyed that the vector must have involved someone not washing their hands after pooping who prepared food or drink that I consumed. Bad luck, as I rarely (very rarely) eat out, though I did so once in Solvang after the double century. And I ate and drank at the rest stops with some dubious water supply pipes and hoses. And the onset of symptoms (~2 weeks after) is consistent with the timing of the Solvang trip.


The cure

Oh joy, a 2-week course of an antibiotic that gives 30-40% of patients nausea: metronidazole. Its chemical structure is similar to a drug for alcoholics, to make them vomit if even a little alcohol is consumed. So no wine for two weeks.

Metronidazole is an antibiotic. It fights bacteria in your body.

Metronidazole is used to treat bacterial infections of the vagina, stomach, skin, joints, and respiratory tract. This medication will not treat a vaginal yeast infection.

Do not drink alcohol while you are taking metronidazole and for at least 3 days after you stop taking it. You may have unpleasant side effects such as fast heartbeats, warmth or redness under your skin, tingly feeling, nausea, and vomiting.

Winter Almost Here, and Winter is the Ideal Time for a Bike Fit

Get a bike fit NOW so that winter training (lighter and easer) gives the body time to adjust to the new fit—before the muscles have grown “summer strong” and thus can exert more force on the joints. Even small changes cause different forces on joints, so adaptation over time is wise.

Ditto for anyone considering a custom bike frame.

I’m really happy with where I stand on my fit. Although my twisted hips took time to untwist (because of 12,000 miles with a skewed crank offset prior to the 3DBikeFit), things are working great now, and I’m really glad to have made the change. My skewed pre-fit condition was atypical, and at this point I can ride at any power level, any slope (climb) and not have any pain or back fatigue, etc—excellent results.

See also Saddle Position and Tilt for Power and Comfort and Strong Again. I’m really pleased with how well I can put out power now that I can rotate my pelvis: I can almost lie flat on the back when I wish (without arcing my back so the gluteus stays engaged), very helpful into the wind.


Riding Strong

I could have used this strength for the Everest Challenge. Go figure.

Shown below is an inflection day in my power (watts) 6 days ago (Oct 14)—a return to high strength and power that had gone missing for months. Most gratifying. Since them I’m riding very strong every day. So strong it’s ridiculous—I don’t even feel like I’m trying and yet power is 30-50 watts over what I was riding all summer long. Uncanny. It just shows that Weird Stuff can affect performance.

For me, 280 watts in 71 minutes is a very strong ride for this particular workout, my best being 309 watts at 66 minutes. But this ride was just a strong effort that felt great, not a time trial.

Click for larger graph.

Strong traing ride: power in watts, heart rate, speed, elevation (from SRM)
Strong traing ride: power in watts, heart rate, speed, elevation (from SRM)

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