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Archive for January, 2008

100.1

  For the first time ever, I’ve broken the 100 mile month barrier in my training.  I hit 100.1 miles tonight, and I’m proud of it.  Considering that I’ve been sick most of the week, and that I’ve been coughing like made all week, I’m glad I got anything in. 

   I’ve been concerned about my pace for my training runs and for the marathon lately.  I asked for some advice from the Low Heart Rate guru’s on RunningAhead.com.  They suggested that I just do a run above my HR and at my target HR for the marathon.  I did 3 miles in the 165 Avg HR area tonight.  They averaged around a 9:35, which I’d be thrilled with for the marathon.  There is no way I could keep that pace for 26.2 miles today, but I’m hoping with the additional 3 months of training, I’ll be able to get close. 

  My fund raising is going well.  So far, I’ve raised $250 toward my goal.  Thanks to everyone that has donated so far.  If you haven’t yet, but would like to, you can click the Donate Now!button on the left of my blog.  I’d love to get to my goal of $900 and well beyond early in the training.  I’d like to be able to focus on my training, and not worry about the fund raising. 

  Tomorrow is the first of February.  And, hopefully the start of a 120+ mile month.

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  It’s been almost two weeks since I’ve posted.  I apologize to my readers (all 3 of them), I’ve been very busy lately.  Let’s see, since my last update, I’ve had two good running weeks (26 and 28 miles), I’ve started my fund-raising, and I’ve gotten sick…again.

  So, first, the running.  My pace has dropped into the 11:30 minute per mile range officially.  I’m pretty happy with that, considering that I’m still keeping my heart rate under 144.  This past weekend, we did a 9 mile run.  It was supposed to be 11, but Victoria’s new shoes were causing her issues, so we cut it a little short.  After the run, I went out and picked out my new car (2008 Acura TSX – Black on Black, in case you’re interested).  The run was easy, and I could have completed the 11 without any issues.

  I started to get sick on Sunday morning, it’s a head cold with a fever.  I stayed home from work today to rest.  I slept until 11:00 AM.  I haven’t done that since High School.  Obviously, I needed the rest.  I feel a little better today, but still have a low grade fever.  I’m going to take tomorrow off also, just to make sure I can get better.  I could probably work, but I think my body is telling me to take it easy for another day.

  I’ve officially started my fund raising for Team for Life.  I need to raise $900, which is usually very easy.  I’ve sent out 25 emails so far.  Most are to family and friends.  I’ll send out more, plus some actual letters to people for whom I don’t have an email address.  I’ve also added a Donate Now! icon to the left side of my blog.  Feel free to stop buy there, see my fund raising progress, and maybe even give me a few bucks.  It would really mean a lot to me.

  As for the other stuff, I’m going to add the Victoria Snort Count to the right side of the blog.  My goal, during the Saturday training runs, is to get Victoria to laugh so hard she snorts at some point during the run.  So far, the count is at four.

   Also, my son’s room addition is officially complete.  Or at least complete to the point where it’s been inspected and passed.  I have a few cosmetic items to do still, but nothing major.  Now, I just need to finish up the window trim in the rest of the house.  Then, when funds are available, replace more windows.

  I promise to post more often.  Life will calm down, eventually.

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Last Man Running

Team for Life Logo  Yesterday was our second Team for Life long run.  The marathoners were scheduled to run either 7, 9, or 11.  I’m following the intermediate plan, so I ended up doing the 9 miles.  Note, I’m following the intermediate plan, but only for mileage.  I’m still doing everything via Low Heart Rate Training ala Maffetone.

  I know that the LHR training keeps me slow.  I’ve been running in the 12:20 range.  But, I’ve also been giving myself 5 extra heart beats on my long runs, so I can keep up with someone.  Turns out that I ran an average of 11:43 yesterday.  I’m happy with that at this point.  Note: I can run much faster, but choose not to do so. 

  Anyway, I ran the last two miles alone because Victoria only felt that she could do the 7 miles.  I saw most of the other nine milers at about mile 7.25, heading back home.  Turns out I was the last one on the course.  It took me 1:44:48 to do the nine miles.  I felt great afterwards, and could easily have gone another 2-4 miles.  I was pleasantly surprised by my time, because I haven’t been under 12:00/mile in a while.  Hopefully, that trend will continue.  It did feel a litle weird being the last on the course.  When I got back to Fleet Feet, the key box only had my set left in it.  Just a weird feeling.  But, once my slow twitch muscles finally start to kick in, I won’t be last at all.

  It was a good run, and I had a good conversation with Victoria.  We typically do have good conversations.  However, she did say I was “like her girlfriend” and she confides in me on these long runs.  Sorry, Vic,  but I’m no-body’s girlfriend.  We also saw either a coyote or very mean looking dog dead on the side of the road.  Victoria was trying to show it to me on Plainfield Road, but I thought she was trying to push me out into traffic.  I was thinking, ‘Why are you trying to push me into traffic?’  Then, she finally said ‘What is that, a coyote?’  I’m glad she wasn’t trying to kill me.  Next week is a cutback week on the long run, only six miles.  I wonder what will happen on that run??  I guess we’ll find out.

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Connections

  It’s very interesting to me the connections that are established in life.  Specifically connections that we share due to who we are and what we do.  I run most of my mileage in the mornings, 5:30 or so.  It’s amazing to me how many people I “know” from those runs.  There are several walkers, one gentleman in particular I see every morning I run.  I know that he’s trying to make himself healthier, because people don’t just go for a walk at 5:30 AM in 18 degree F weather.  I talk to him every morning, not long since I’m running past him, but there is a connection there.  I know that I look for him, and wonder why he’s not there if I don’t see him.

  There are also runners out there.  Most are flying compared to me, but that’s OK, I’ll stick to my heart rate training.  I “know” most of them also, and usually joke that they are making me look bad by flying by me.  I can usually tell by their cadence and foot strike who they are.  Again, they are usually gaining on me fast, so I can hear them coming.  There’s one runner that runs with her dog and her iPod.  She never hears me say ‘Good Morning.’  There are two ladies, maybe a little younger than I am.  They always say hi, but are always in the middle of a fairly serious conversation.  Lately, there have been new faces, most probably working towards New Years resolutions.  I hope they make it long enough to establish that connection.

  Finally, there is my connection to the members of Team for Life.  When I first started, I had no connection to them.  Now, I consider many of them friends, yet I hardly know them.  I know little about Amie, Juan, Wayne, Trish, Scott, etc.  But, would trust them with my life or more, with my kids.  One of my running partners is my CF Doc, so I know her better because I know the professional side and the personal side.

  There are 50+ people running and raising money basically for me.  Trying, in many ways, to change the outcome of  my life.  And, even without raising a dollar, or finding a new treatment, they have.  They make me see the good in people.  Sure, they have their own goal for the marathon, or half, or relay.  And we all have an ego that will push us to a certain extent.  But, at this point, I like to think that they share one thing in common, which is helping me.  Of course, I’m helping myself in many ways, but we can do so much more together. 

  I really appreciate my team, which is also a group of friends, working to make me a better person, in all the ways they do.

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Team for Life Logo  Team for Life: 2008 has officially begun training and fundraising.  We had our first team run on Saturday 1/5/2008.  The assignments for the marathoners (me, btw) were 6, 8, or 10 miles.  Victoria and I ended up getting a little lost, and only ran 5 miles.  But, that’s OK.  We’ll be back on track the rest of the week and run 9 next Saturday.

  We have about 50 team members this year, and 25 are running the full marathon.  Our coach, Wayne, is still in great shape for both running and leading.  We had a conversation on Saturday, and it’s really interesting our concerned he is not only for our running but our lives in general.  He asked me if my job situation at Fidelity had been resolved yet.  I told him that I don’t have an exemption from moving yet, but think that once it is submitted I’ll be fine. 

  Wayne’s daughter and son-in-law are running with us this year.  Their last name is Krebs, which is my mother’s maiden name.  I really wonder if there is a relation.  She seems to be a strong runner, although this is her first full marathon. 

  I had several people ask me about CF and what it’s like to run with a lung disease, etc.  I didn’t really talk about it too much on Saturday.  I just don’t want everyone to focus on it too early.  But, I guess that could have come off as me being closed to discussing it.  I guess I’ll have to find the team members next week and answer their questions.  I really have no issues discussing my illness.

  So, since fund raising has officially begun, if you are interested in donating in support of my goal, feel free to drop me a comment on this site.  I’ll contact you directly to give you any information you might need.  Remember, your donation to the CF Foundation is tax deductible. 

   More to come as my first training week continues.

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  As I have reported here before, my wife has been concerned about my heart and lungs when it comes to me running the Flying Pig.  So, I have been cleared by my pulmonologist, with a few reservations.  Those are fairly minor, hydration and sodium levels.  Both of which are fairly easy to control, and I’ve already been practicing them. 

  My pulmonologist referred me to a local cardiologist at the University of Cincinnati Hospital.  At first glance he did not see any issues with me running the Pig.  However, just to make sure, he ordered an exercise stress test with an echo-cardiogram.  This test was performed today, and allowed them to not only see how I reacted to the stress of exercise, but also actually visualize my heart while it was stressed.

  It was a bicycle exercise stress test, which was a little weird.  First, you lay down and pedal the bike.  They also can rotate you left or right up to 45 degrees.  I was rotated at 15 degrees.  This makes pedaling difficult, because you not only need to pedal but also hold yourself up a little.  The resistance is measured in watts, in 25 watt increments.  There are three lights on the top of the pedals, you must stay in the green.  There is a yellow on the left for too slow, and on the right for too fast.   Let me tell you, they are very sensitive and get more so as the test progresses.

  Anyway, I made it to 150 watts over 18 minutes.  They say that is a long time for the test, and judging by the ultrasound tech’s arm pain, I would agree.  My oxygen saturation’s didn’t drop below 94%, and my heart rate hit 163.  The only real issue I had was the fatigue in my quads. 

  The head of echo-cardiology said that he didn’t see anything that would tell me not to exercise.  But he still has to review all 107 pictures he took before he can tell me there are no issues. But, he said that he feels the risk is low.  So, I feel pretty good, but again my quads are really tired.  In fact, I didn’t run tonight because of it.

  I will end up running tomorrow morning, probably 5 miles.  We start official training for the Flying Pig on Saturday morning.  I really can’t wait.

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