Monday, July 12, 2010

Heart Health Plus Some Odds and Some Ends

Keith and Tracee took Mom to the Michigan's UP last week and along the way or before they ever left Mom developed what was later diagnosed as an acute case of congestive heart failure. Lots of swelling in her legs and an inability to breath deeply or breath very well at all for that matter plus a lack of energy. She made an appointment with her doctor as soon as she got home and was put on Lasix to help rid her body of excess fluid. An EKG was also done and the results indicated that her heart is struggling and very much dependent on her pacemaker.

My older brother Bryan who lives in Portland and was just here last month is returning with his daughter, her husband and their one year old to spend some time with her. It's difficult to know if she's in her last weeks/months or if she'll rebound and return to her normal self for possibly years to come. They didn't admit her to the hospital so I would think that would be a good sign. She'll be 82 in November.

We took Manny and his friend to see Toy Story 3 a few nights ago; Rachel joined us too. It's an excellent movie. I don't know if I should admit this but I actually got a little choked up at one point. Go see it.

We spent a few hours experiencing Cruise Night in Lakeville Friday evening. It's a part of our city's weeklong Panorama-of-progress (Pan-o-prog) yearly celebration. The weather was perfect. My Flickr photos of the night.

I'm enjoying a week off from work. I've been looking forward to this time to do very little of anything other than some serious riding and relaxing. Last month during a week off I had so many projects to take care of that it was a relief to go back to work. I don't want that to be the case this time.

I spent a good part of Saturday on my bike. I woke up to sunny skies with a threat of thunderstorms but all indications outside our kitchen window were for good weather. You can almost always find a chance for thunderstorms in any summer's day forecast I figured so my only real concern was the direction of the wind and how much of it there was...southwest at 5-10...that would work.

My aim was at least Belle Plaine and possibly beyond. As I neared Shakopee the sky ahead of me was filling in with stratocumulus clouds. I pulled out my Droid to see what was beyond them but there was nothing...yet. I continued on with the realization that the chance for thunderstorms was more than just filler for the forecast.

I hit the first raindrops 50 miles in just north of Henderson where I hid inside a gas station to refuel and avoid the rain. I left Henderson intending to head for home not wanting to push it too far but when I reached highway 169 I had a strong urge to take it south to Le Sueur and reevaluate my options once there.

Pressing on further south the skies opened up just as I was getting into Le Seuer. I took cover under the overpass of highway 169 but hordes of mosquitoes had me on the run after less than a minute. The Holiday station proved more suitable so I ducked in there and took on a little more fuel while waiting for the storm to pass.

Ten minutes later my Droid showed that there was nothing behind the line of storms so I headed back out into what looked like a scene out of a movie where the road is wet and the sun is shining. The rain had cooled me and my legs were feeling stronger as I went. I could see another storm developing to the northeast and estimated it was maybe 20-25 miles away. I dialed up the radar image once again to learn that it was over south Minneapolis; 45 miles away.

I'm really not hooked on Facebook but I have to admit that I was Facebooking as I rode; uploading a couple pics and exchanging a few messages as well. I never would've imagined my biking morphing into this back in the mid '70s when I began this two wheel obsession.

One last stop in Montgomery for a pack of Hostess Cupcakes and to top off my water bottles before the final stretch home. The tailwind wasn't a lot but it helped as I worked my way north on highway 13. Rather than take the most direct route home when I got to New Prague I continued north to Jordan on highway 21 figuring I could add maybe another ten miles to my total.

Just east of Prior Lake I could feel the bonk coming on but I was so close to home that I decided I'd push through it all the while hoping that no kid on a Huffy and tennis shoes came up behind me because I'm not sure how much fight I had in me.

I brought it home with 124 miles behind me knowing I could've easily squeezed out more (with more food) but happy to be home. Heck, I've got a week off to scratch that long distance itch should I feel the need and I'm quite certain I will.


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