Review: 50% longer with SportLegs….sort of

[Editor’s Note: For a full review and discussion of SportLegs, please read SportLegs: Ride Further More Comfortably.]

My brother, Matt, passed me a baggie yesterday with some pills in it. He told me that they are completely legal, called “SportLegs” (What is Sport Legs?) and will keep the lactic acid from building up in my legs, as quickly as normal, if I take them one hour before exercising.

I figured that I would give them a try this morning, because I would be pushing myself with a six-mile run. Six miles is the most that I’ve run so far – I’m working up to 13 miles for the Miami Half-IronMan this November. (For those keeping track, it took me just under 60 minutes to complete the run.)

I missed the one-hour mark, but I did pop three of the SportLegs pills about 20 minutes before going to the gym. When he handed them to me last night, he also mentioned that I should take ONE pill for every 50lbs and to not take too many at once, because there was the potential for getting ‘the runs’.

It had been three weeks since I had done any type of physical activity, because of a busy work schedule and a vacation mixed in there, too. So, I was surprised that I managed to get my 5K distance done two minutes faster that normal and still felt really good. When the clock ticked past 45 minutes, I was 4.5 miles into my run – a solid 10 minute mile pace. About this time, my legs felt a little fatigued, but I ran through it and started to feel much better with about 10 minutes to go to hit my goal of six miles.

I’m pretty sure that’s when the SportLegs kicked in. I was actually able to raise the pace from 6 mph to 7 mph. I think my legs could have taken more, but my heart rate was getting very close to my max. About 5 minutes before the 60 minute mark, my stomach started to feel ‘strange’.

I slowed the treadmill down to about 6.5 mph and had a ‘come to Jesus’ moment. I decided that I would power through it and get to my goal of a sub-60 minute 6-miler. I finished, did a quick cool down, practically ran to my car where I had a pretty good stomach cramp. Needless to say that I rushed home as quickly as possible. I’m glad that I was on the treadmill at my local gym and not running in the middle of nowhere.

So…. Can I go further with SportLegs with less pain and a quicker recovery?

While my legs felt GREAT comparatively to what they normally feel like for that distance at that pace, my stomach wouldn’t have let me go any further. After the ride, my legs feel very little pain. I think that I’ll try it again with two pills instead of three. At this point, the jury is out on SportLegs.


West Palm Beach Tour de Bar

(June 25, 2009: Update — Read about the Tour de Bar Palm Beach 2009 Bike Ride.)

Saturday June 21st 2008 is the West Palm Beach Tour de Bar (aka ‘Tour de Beer’). Previous years have had as many as 300 participants and ten pub stops.

If you would like to join the festivities, be at the Brass Ring Pub at 12:00pm. The address is:

200 US Highway 1, Lake Park, FL 33408

If you arrive late, head South on US 1 to connect with the group. If you are really late, head East on Blue Heron and cross the bridge towards the ocean.

Please be safe, wear your helmet and follow proper biking etiquette by signaling and obeying all traffic laws.

We will have reports throughout the day and will follow up with pictures as they are submitted. If you attended the event and have pictures or comments, please leave them in the comments section of this post.

Kudos to the Local Palm Beach Bike Shops

I’ve been borrowing my dad’s Trek Hybrid for nearly two years, and my wife has been borrowing my mom’s Trek Hybrid for about six months. Friends and family members have been getting together nearly every weekend to do a 30 mile or so ride. My wife and I decided that it was time to look into our own bikes.

So, the search started. I checked the Internet for bikes. First thing to decide was whether I needed a road bike or a triathlon bike. Then, did I need a new bike or could I get away with a used bike? Next, was the difference between a $600 and a $900 bike really worth it? Shimano 105 or Ultegra? Wow, was my head spinning!

My dad talked me into seeing Phil Elliott at the local bicycle shop (Palm Beach Bicycle Trail Shop / 561-659-4583). A friend of my dad’s recently “got a hell of a deal on a used full carbon Trek” there.

“Geez…. One more decision to make: regular or full carbon”, I thought. So, I decided to head over to see Phil so that I could get myself straightened out.

Phil started to ask questions about how often I rode, how far we usually went and what I wanted to spend. I told him that I rode about twice a week, 50 miles total (soon to be more) and that I wanted to spend about $600. He suggested that I take a look at a new Trek 1.2 or a used Trek 2.1. The Trek 2.1 was a little more expensive than what I wanted to spend, but the components and the fact that it has a carbon seat stay would make it stand out. Also, since it was used, it could be had at a fraction of the retail price.

He told me to come back the next day and he would have it checked out and ready for me to demo. He let me demo the bike for a week. Wow! What a difference from what I was riding! I returned it and began to wonder if I could find a better deal somewhere else. Although, I did feel bad checking the prices when Phil had invested his time, I just wanted to make sure.

I went home and began to search the Internet for used Trek 2.1s and found a couple. But, my dad pointed out that I should buy it locally so that I would get the perks that come along with doing business with a local shop. The next day, I decided to visit another Trek dealer to compare. I headed over to see Mike Ellner from Cycle Science (561-627-2354) and explained the deal that I was about to do with Phil from Palm Beach Bicycle Trail Shop.

He looked through his inventory and found a used Trek 5200 full carbon. It was a 2001 model and had obviously been ridden, but did look solid and came with Durace and Ultegra components. I lifted it up and man was it light! I told him to give me his best deal, because I was just about to go back and see Phil. He gave me a number that put it in-line with the 2.1 I had already been demoing, and told me to come back the following day and he would have it checked out and ready for me to ride.

The first thing I noticed when I jumped on the bike for the first ride was the ease at which it shifted. The upgrade in components, even with them being years old, really made a difference. I really didn’t notice a big difference in the ride other than the components, though.

I took the 5200 from Cycle Science to Palm Beach Bicycle Trail Shop the following Saturday. I knew that there was a fine line between asking for Phil’s opinion and rubbing a sweet deal in his face, so I tactfully approached him. I told Phil about the price, what Mike was willing to offer and how much difference I noticed in the components. He looked at me and said “buy it.”

Carly checks out Trek 1.2 WSD from Palm Beach Bicycle Trail Shop

I really feel bad that I didn’t get to give Phil the business, but I do have to say that I can trust nearly anything that he tells me from this point on.

I did end up giving him business, though. My wife purchased a brand new, Trek 1.2 WSD from him. And, I’ve told anyone who will listen what a great shop he runs. If you are in Palm Beach County and want an honest deal, go see him.

Palm Beach Bicycle Trail Shop

233 Sunrise Avenue ~ Palm Beach, Florida 33480
561.659.4583 ~ Fax 561.659.0445