Saturday, February 19, 2011

What a difference a breath makes ...

Does anybody mind if I start off with a rant?

Well, it's my blog and you can't really stop me ... but you don't have to read the next paragraph if you don't want to.

When did everything become an illness needing a diagnosis, a syndrome or other catastrophic condition?  And when did every condition have, or even need a support group?  Why do people need to be told they can still live their lives if they suffer from ... ??? ... whatever?  Recently Pam and I both had sleep studies to check for sleep apnea (no problem with that diagnosis) ... the video they have you watch prior to the study is HORRIBLE and included the typical statements of "I thought I was the only one" and "I learned I could still live a productive life..."  Oh brother.  So now we are going to the "class" to learn how to use our CPAP machine and it was HORRIBLER!!  And of course there is the sleep apnea support groups.

So why am I ranting now??  Yesterday I go to the doctor to get my DMV physical and to discuss a couple concerns, including the fact that I often wheeze (not gasp for air, not cough out a lung) when I am exercising.  No biggie, he doesn't seemed concerned and prescribes me an inhaler (which is what I was hoping for).  Because I didn't recognize the brand name I looked it up online.  I could not believe it ... "Over 30,000,000,000,000 people have learned to live productive lives with EIB..."  EIB??  Do I really need to be diagnosed with something to understand I wheeze a bit when I exercise?  Do people really need to know it's called Exercise Induced Bronchospasms before they decide to tell the doctor?  I've wheezed during exercise my entire life, some days worse than others.  I figured if I want to get the most out of my training I should ask the doctor for help ... I don't care if I'm the only one in the world ... I don't need a support group ... just give me my medicine and leave me alone!!

OK - rant over.  And I lied ... it was 2 paragraphs.

Training Stats:

I believe I said in an earlier post that I wasn't going to mention the little things I do virtually daily, but things do add up.  Virtually every day I do some core work (of course I'm feeling a bit guilty saying that today because I haven't done any for the last 3 days), virtually every day I do several minutes of stretching, pretty much every work day I do at least a 30 minute "sanity walk" and a pretty good pace - sometimes an hour or more depending on what my schedule is.  The miles add up and I just wanted to give myself a little credit for it.

Today:  12k - 1.5:1 for the first 5k - 1:1 for the second 5k and walk the last 2k.  Total distance covered 13.1k including warm up and cool down.  The inhaler made the running so much easier.  Andrea and I kept a pretty consistent 11 min / mile pace during the run sessions ,,, our fastest was 10:15 / mile pace for 2 early sessions.  Our walk sessions were pretty consistently 3.3 mph.  Of course all this changed on "The Hill"

"The Hill" is the enemy.  Someday I will defeat my nemesis ... until then we will do battle at least once per week - maybe more often if I am feeling like a glutton for punishment.  With my EIB under control I can wage productive battles against my steadfast foe ... I hope you noticed my tongue firmly implanted in my cheek and my rolling eyes as I was typing that last line ;-)

Non training:

My doctor is really happy with my blood pressure.  He is very happy about my training.  He is a little disturbed by my diet - but I was honest and told him I was pounding the empty calories lately.  He told me I wasn't alone, that many people suffer from Empty Calorie Syndrome and that they can lead productive lives after changing to a nutritious diet.  Then he suggested a support group ... Just kidding - I was chuckling out loud when I typed that, now Pam and the cats are staring at me like I'm nuts.  My doc does want me to eat better, but other than that has no complaints about how I'm doing.

And of course I'm still enjoying the new camera :-)  Today's pictures: A hawk in flight, our cat Smokey, our cute Little One, and out little Yetti kitty ... in reverse order because I'm too lazy to delete and re-upload the pics and I don't want to take the time to retype the sentence, although I just did more typing explaining that I didn't want to retype it than I would have if I had just typed it over again.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

So let me go down the list of excuses...

Long day at work ... Yep
Headache & sinus issues from the wind ... Yep
Long day at work and wallowing in the corporate BS ... Yep
I'm tired, didn't have the best night of sleep ... Yep
I'm supposed to take it easy because I'm pregnant ... Well, no - So I don't have all the excuses covered, just most of them.  The point is I really didn't want to go to spin class tonight and I had many reasons to justify not going ... but I did.

2 hours of spin - 1 hour pretty tough self directed and one hour from my favorite drill sergeant.


My personal little world of bus driver training took a turn toward the retarded today.  I was sent a mandatory updated training presentation that is absolutely hideous and looks like it was done by a 3 year old.  I'm going to take 4 minutes and put together a power-point presentation that will get the point across and doesn't insult the driver's intelligence ... maybe the area director of safety will appreciate it, but I'll still have to show the retarded one because it's mandatory.

We've had 2 of the last 3 trainees pass their drive tests.  I'm now in the unusual position of having too many drivers and not needing to do original classes for a while.  That means a lot of field observations ... with my new camera :-)

Did I mention that I got a new camera? ... Very cool.  I've been hawk hunting and got a few other goo pics ... I'm trying an experiment her to see if I can upload a photo ... if you see a couple of birds then it worked ... if not then I'm sulking and muttering by the time you're reading this.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The workout that tried not to be

Just popping in for a quick note - my Ambien is already kicking in, so if I start to sound all gibberishy you'll know why.

Yesterday - nothing specific to training, but my legs felt great and I had energy enough to get a couple of small projects completed around the house.

Today I had no intentions on running hills in the wind - my back up plan was to ride my spin bike.  I got to the garage and find that everything that could be adjusted on the bike had been adjusted ... kind of got it straightened out and discovered that the pedals were filled with the debris so my shoes wouldn't clip in ... but that was an easy fix and before you know it I was riding.  A little ABBA, some Neil Diamond, a little George Harrison and I was really starting to feel good.  I took a drink of water and my apparently super long finger snagged the wire to the mp3 player and it shot across the garage.

The garage ate my mp3 player!!

I won't bore you with elaborated, dragged out descriptions of me and Pam crawling on the floor looking under and around any logical place the device could have reasonably landed.  Well, it turns out that it flew back and smacked a tripod leg which was behind and to the right of the bike.  From there it ricocheted and made virtually a 180 turn and landed between a box and a table on its side, after it passed over a small bag of stuff.  I probably couldn't slide the stupid thing such a tight area from 6 inches away but I managed to fling a bank shot perfectly into place.

I've also learned that hummus is dangerous.  If you eat too much after eating curry chicken or a salad with lots of jalapenos you will find out exactly how much your intestines are capable of holding.  I personally think they should call the stuff Hummers because it just seems to plow through your intestines despite what you may have eaten earlier.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

If you can't say something nice ...

...write a blog entry

Training stats:

Pretty much every day was some form of modified, substandard, less than adequate  ... insert appropriate expletive ... due to a solid week of Santa Ana winds.  These lovely winds ran me through the entire range of emotions from horrible headaches to nausea to insane brain fog.

OK, I know those weren't emotions, but I also felt disappointment, frustration and irritation both with the weather and myself.  And for the record, I did do some training, but not enough to warrant mentioning in a training blog.

Today was Long Slow Distance day - 10k 1.5:1 (mostly ... although we reverted back to 1:1 uphill and toward the end).  Total distance was over 10k, but the actual "running" distance is a difficult to estimate because of either a gps glitch or my pudgy fingers hitting a wrong button or me possibly having a blond moment ... don't know.  According to a couple different mapping sites with the warm up and cool down we covered about 10.6k.  Because of a sinus malfunction caused by the afore mention winds stirring up again, we cut the run aspect of the trip short by about .5k and we had about .5k warm up which means we should have registered 9.6k ... but my gps said 9.4 on one screen and 9.2 on another ... whatever - it was the best run yet - the most consistent pace even uphills.  Best guess is we averaged just under 12 min miles, but I won know for sure until until I transmit the info from my gps to my computer.


Ummm ... Not much.  The wid really saps all my energy so both work and home life were more lethargic than usual.  Friday I was in a horrible brain fog all day.  I left work early, did a little shopping for necessities (jalapeno string cheese) and went home to take a 2+hour nap.

Today Pam and I went to Tri Running (my new favorite store in the whole world which opened in town a month ago and we just happened to stumble across it last week) to buy some socks (my new favorite socks in the whole world ... both moisture wicking and very comfortable) and some orange flavored Sport Beans (my new favorite snack in the whole world for running).  Then we both got pedicures (at my new favorite nail spa in the whole world) - the massage portion of the pedi felt soooo good. 

So in the end I guess I did have something nice to say - today was pretty good.  And it was very nice to go to 2 different businesses where they remembered my name, asked how I was and made me feel welcome - I think they used to call it customer service, but I'll have to check the history books to make sure. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Showing improvement ...

Whether I deserve it or not ...

Training Stats:

Nothing major during the week :-\

Today - 10k 1:1 ... actually 9.25k 1:1 with .75 walk home.  Several 2 minute walk breaks and one extended 5 min run (it was downhill, but it was 5 min run).  Once again I need to thank Andrea for helping to set a good pace and putting up with my old age ailments.  Today my legs felt great for the entire run until the last .75k but my heart rate peaked at 170+ several times and did not want to come down ... maybe I just overheated or maybe including the steeper hill took its toll ... or maybe the fact that I forgot to take my blood pressure medicine last night have had something to do with it ... oh well.  I still did better than last week.

Non training:

My personal stress has dropped over the last couple of weeks (stressing personal stress, work stress is still up and up and up and level with a slight dip then up some more).  I had a follow up to the follow up optometrist appointment - a vision density test I think they call it.  So I've found out that my vision is actually better than it was 6 months ago - My peripheral vision and visual acuity is at least average - maybe slightly better than average except one small area in my left eye which isn't bad.  So because I did so good on the tests (and because I'm seeing a shadow in my right eye) he dilated my pupils ... again!!  And after searing my retina with the exceedingly bright light he told me there is absolutely nothing wrong with my eyes ... in fact they look better than they did a few years ago ... when I wasn't seeing a shadow.  In fact there is nothing to explain or indicate that I'm even seeing a shadow. 

So does this mean I'm just going nuts??

Never mind - don't answer that.

I haven't done any writing (other than blogging) lately and my imagination is getting a little itchy.  How do you scratch your imagination?  O.o  I just haven't felt motivated by the recent Faith Writers topics, but my excess verbiage pressure is building and the emergency release valve is eventually cause me to spew bountiful bits of bloviation on unsuspecting readers ... I just hope it doesn't cause any permanent damage when it eventually blows.