Thursday, January 31, 2008

its a nerd!

i went to see a pneumologist and confirmed what i have long suspected. i have asthma. more specifically i have exercised induced asthma. ive had a few asthma attacks since last summer during really intense periods of my workouts. steady state efforts dont usually bother me if im running or biking at a descent pace but once i suddenly increase the effort then my body starts trying to turn itself out through my lungs. it never happens when i swim and the dr feels this is because of the higher humidity near the water.

the annoying thing is that my legs can always take me faster than my lungs will allow. i rarely have to slow down because my legs are tired or burn from lactic acid buildup. i can run 6 minute miles before my lungs start to give me problems but once i start dipping into the 5 minute range i can no longer breathe. but im hoping that will change now that i have some medical help.

my visit o the doctor was interesting. after all the usual conversations detailing history and bla bla bla we got started on some tests. first they measured my lung capacity. "wow thats really good" was what the nurse said. "you must be in good shape." (i guess my training is doing some good!) then i was subjected to a horrendous torture. the allergy scratch test. when it comes to pain im about the best there is at ignoring it. i once nearly cut off my thumb and didnt blink. but when it comes to being poked, my body just goes nuts. i dont know why but touching me with the tip of your finger or something small and i get furious! i know its irrational but it really is a physical and not mental reaction. so the nurse has me lay down so she can write on my back numbers 1-46. with the tip of a pen! oh the horror! it took all my super powers to let her do it without jumping up and freaking out on her. but she finally finished, and then had to go back and poke me some more! 46 more times! holy shit there has to be something in the geneva convention about this inhumane treatment! but i made it through still alive and even snapped an akward photo in the mirror while waiting for the results to develop.
turns out the only thing im allergic to is dust mites. number 3. that means i was unnecessarily poked 86 times!

but in the end we did learn that allergies werent to blame for the asthma. after more investigation it turns out that i have
bronchospasms brought on by exertional gastroesophageal acid reflux. basically i get heartburn and it triggers my asthma. i was given a prescription for two inhalers! advair, pro air and prilosec! im super excited to see how they work for me even if i do look like a nerd carrying around my cartload of medications. can i now run faster without leaving behind coughed up bits of my lungs? will i be able to run better than my 5:30 mile? can i run 5:00? i really hope this breathes new life into my fitness. ill keep you posted.

Monday, January 28, 2008

half marathon

this past weekend i ran the securian frozen half marathon in saint paul. my preparation started friday evening by making my feet look pretty. you see i had an ugly toenail. it was black and blue and unsightly so anastasia(my daughter) painted it purple for good luck. take a look at the photos.

making it pretty


much better!

on saturday morning the lovely carly got up a little early and made me oatmeal for breakfast! thats the best race support there is! after eating my fill we headed off to the race. i got my race number and we started hunting for a super secret indoor bathroom. we were given some information by an informant who works in the building but when we got there it was locked. damn we wold have to use the outdoor port a pottys with all the other racers. while waiting in line i saw steve of steve in a speedo fame and had a quick chat. we ended up lining up together at the start of the race but once we started he took off like we were running a 5k instead of a half marathon. my goal was to use this race as a training run and not try for a pr. i had a 1:45 goal which is a 8 min pace. once i hit the 2 mile mark in 15 minutes i realized i was running faster than i wanted to and slowed my pace. i made a point as i always do to high five the kids who come out to cheer and hold out their hands but im not sure who likes that more, them or me. shortly before the turnaround i saw steve on his way back and we shouted to eachother but due to his speed and the doppler effect all i heard was eeeewwwwooooowwww. after i hit the halfway point and started my way back it started snowing which was amazing. i love running in the snow. i wished it had snowed harder but i will take what i can get. the second half was harder than the first because it was more uphill. as i neared the finish line i heard my name being yelled from both sides of the course which made me feel like a rock star. as i neared the end of the race i saw my family and friends standing at the finish so i was able to high five my daughter as i crossed the line.
definitely the best way to end any race. i ended up crossing the line in 1:45:55 on the race clock but my chip time was 1:45:22. i was happy with the run and my knee didnt hurt at all afterwards. must have been because of my lucky toe.

later that night we attended a rockin party at steve and pharmies house. thanks guys!

here are the official results.

Monday, January 21, 2008

mapping your runs/swims

there is a great tool i use that is available on the usatf website. i use if before heading out for most of my runs. its a mapping program that allows you to plot exactly where you want to run and it will tell you your mileage and elevation changes as well. it takes the guesswork out of your workouts. no more driving your route to see how far you ran!

for instance if i want to go on one of my usual routes before work, i start from downtown st paul and merge onto 35e going south to kansas city then i turn up towards chicago before circling back home again. to save time i cut across countless fields and yards. but you can see from the map that i cover about 1080 miles. (im trying to build my base) i really love the days when i have a running parter because then we can use the carpool lanes when available.

it couldnt be easier to use. start by entering the zip code of the area where you want to run then zoom in on the map and start clicking points you want to run to. it will give you distances across fields, down trails, through yards and everywhere else you may want to go. there are options to view your route as a satellite image if you prefer to see landmarks or trails that arent visible on the map.

as a super bonus i use it to measure my open water swims. ploting distances between beaches lets me know exactly what i swam and its much better than counting laps at the y! here is an example of a workout i may do after work. its an out and back swim just shy of 850 miles. as you can see i swim from duluth up towards thunder bay and then along the us/canada border until i hit sault ste marie in nothern michigan. once i hit the shipping lanes i can usually find a cargo ship to draft off of. and as an added bonus there is a water fountain right near the shore where i can take a quick drink before heading back.

now if i was to do that at the pool that would be about 29,920 laps. i cant keep track of that. my brain gets tired just thinking about it!

if you dont have the time to do one of these proper workouts then you can just as easily use the usatf map to plot your run through your neighborhood and chart your swim at a local lake. i hope you will take advantage of this useful tool when planing your next workout.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Dear Jeremy:,

Congratulations! You are officially registered for the 32nd annual Grandma's Marathon on June 21, 2008. We are looking forward to welcoming you to Duluth, and providing you with a world-class race.

its official! i am running grandmas marathon this summer with my brother in law andy. first off i want to thank andy for staying up till midnight to sign us both up and letting me get my much needed beauty sleep. (on a side note he may need it more than i do but he has to forgo sleep to take care of my 6 month old niece. he can sleep in a few more months.) now i owe him 79 bucks!

it will be my second marathon and andys first. i am really excited to have someone to run with the entire race. i just hope we dont get separated like my friend jenn and i did at twin cities. we somehow got seperated at the first water stop and never saw each other again. i am also looking forward to hanging out in nudie bars a lot training together. its going to be a great start to the summer!


andys goal: break 4 hours
my goal: make andy run 3:30

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

i have a weak butt!

i went to see dr chicanowski an orthopedist at a sports medecine facility this morning because ive been experiencing some knee pain after my runs lately. noting too serious and it doesnt hurt while im running but after i stop and the next day. i smartly remembered to wear some underwear to my appointment because i knew i would be taking my pants off. turns out i didnt need to since they gave me some designer paper shorts to wear. i got all kinds of x rays and then waited around for the doctor. after i got bored snooping through the bandage drawer i laid down for some quality cell phone poker. i managed to win a few hundred thousand before dr chicanowski came in. (maybe i should quit my job and head to vegas) she made me point to where it hurts, stand in funny positions and squat awkwardly. then i laid face down on the table so she could "feel for muscle imbalances" and started pawing at my butt with both hands. at this point she officially became dr chica-wah-wah. when she finished she showed me my x rays and told me her diagnosis: my gluteus maximus muscles are weak and arent firing they way they should. now anyone who lives with me would tell you that my glutes fire all too often but who are they to argue with the good dr? she referred me to a physical therapist who specializes with runners to tell me how to work out my ass. hopefully it wont be too long before i will have sir mix a lot singing jeremy got back!

oh yeah this is my actual x-ray!

Monday, January 14, 2008

i can do this

welcome to my new blog. it will detail my athletic struggles leading up to my attempt to become an ironman in madison wi on 9/7/2008. the ironman has been one of my life goals since i first heard about it sometime in the 90's. funny that im only just getting around to it.

i cant wait!