Archive for March, 2008

  From the infamous Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  Today was my 37th birthday.  It was a great day.  I ran the Cincinnati Heart Mini-Marathon 15k race.  You can read the post below for a full report.  Many of my Team for Life friends set personal records for the course today, which is great.

  When I got home, I ate really high fat food.  Not the best recovery, but today I was ok with it.  My son (6) and daughter (3) couldn’t wait for me to finish dinner to eat my birthday cake.  So, they had cake while I ate lunch.  Then I laid around for a while while my daughter took a nap.

   When she woke up, we took the kids to the indoor pool at the YMCA.  There were very few swimmers there, so we kind of had the run of the place.  Katie had a blast.  I’m very proud of Michael, he actually started swimming on his own today.  He was swimming freestyle and underwater both.  Very impressive, since he wouldn’t even put his head under the water yesterday at swim lessons.

  I have now officially lived 21 years longer than I was supposed to.  Now, I didn’t have a brush with death or anything.  I just got lucky.  Back in 1971, when I was born, the average life expectancy of a Cystic Fibrosis patient was 16.  A child born today has an average life expectancy of 37.2 years.  I feel proud that I have more than doubled mine. 

  Sometime people look at CF as a curse, and to a degree it is.  But, I can tell you that from all of the CF patients I’ve known, I’ve learned that we are a rare breed.  We are strong, we typically have wisdom beyond our years, and have an insight into life that most don’t understand.  I guess growing up with a 400 pound gorilla on your back truly makes you strong.

  I know that I have lived this long because I take care of myself and because I’m very lucky.  But, I also believe in my heart that I’m here to show my little corner of the world that CF is not a death sentence.  And that a chronic illness can also be an inspiration.  I heard several times today that I am an inspiration or a “hero.”  I don’t know about the hero part, ’cause I’m just an overweight middle aged balding guy.  But, I hope I really am an inspiration.  Not to the average Joe, but to the CF kids and parents out there.  I really hope that some new parents see this, and get some value from it.


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I’m re-posting a race report that I gave over at runningahead.com.  The race went well, and my 68 year old coach won his age group by over 7 minutes.  That’s impressive.  Enjoy the post.

 Today I ran the Cincinnati Heart Mini-Marathon 15k race. My team uses this as a Tune Up for the Flying Pig. My goal today was to run 10:00 miles through the first half or so, then start picking up the pace.

The weather was fairly warm 45 F, but overcast and windy. The race started right at 10 AM, and I was running with two of my team members. It is a rolling course, with a good hill during the first mile, a very steep hill at about mile 6, and then another at about mile 8.

I felt very good during the entire race. My friend Amye, a much more experienced runner, was supposed to be holding me back if needed. Lets just say she didn’t do a great job, but that’s OK. The first few miles went by easily, and we were under 10’s.

At the turn, around 4.5 or so, we still felt good. We were having fun watching for and cheering on our teammates. The half mile before the turn is a slight downhill, so after the turn it’s another half mile back up hill. Then, we hit the downhill back to the most severe hill, Torrence. Torrence is a steep hill, about 90 feet of elevation (if I read it correctly) in .15 miles. My heart rate hit about 179 (max for the run) on that hill. It was tough, but I didn’t have to walk any of it, which I consider one little victory.

At the turn on Torrence, we of course got to run down that same hill. It was good for a quick recovery, and for me is the mental half way point. I had to take a quick bio-break during mile 6 and really pushed to catch up to my friends. My pace was down to an 8:17 to make it back to them. Let me tell you 8:17 is TOO fast for me.

I slowed a little on the last hill, to make sure that I had enough in me to make a good push to the end. From the top of the hill to the finish was a constant, but slow, acceleration. Down the hill was easy, the last .3 or .4 to the finish are flat. I made a conscientious effort to pick up the pace. I also made sure to run in front of our team sponsor’s (Fleet Feet of Cincinnati) tent. They like to see us. The final four tenths (my Garmin recorded 9.4 miles) was run in 3:11.05 Avg 8:01 Pace, with a speed range from 7.5 mph to 10.6 mph.

Overall, I am very happy with the performance. It was much easier than last year. Of course, last year at this point my training had only taken me to 8 miles. This year, I’ve run a 20. I think, following this performance, I am fully capable of a sub 4:30 first marathon.

My Avg pace, per my Garmin, was a 9:24. Average HR was 160 with a max of 179. I’ve posted my splits below. Oh, and BTW, I ended up with a negative split for the course.

Mile 1: 9:10 Avg HR: 158 Max HR: 170
Mile 2: 10:17 Avg HR: 159 Max HR: 172
Mile 3: 9:51 Avg HR: 154 Max HR: 164
Mile 4: 9:38 Avg HR: 161 Max HR: 170
Mile 5: 9:21 Avg HR: 161 Max HR: 168
Mile 6: 9:39 Avg HR: 160 Max HR: 172
Mile 7: 9:17 Avg HR: 166 Max HR: 179
Mile 8: 8:52 Avg HR: 160 Max HR: 176
Mile 9: 9:08 Avg HR: 162 Max HR: 172
Mile 10: 3:11 Avg HR: 168 Max HR: 175 (.4 Miles)

Garmin Time: 1:28:28
Official Time: 1:29:07 – An almost 3 minute PR over last year, on my 37th Birthday!

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  Just a quick update.  I’ll be running the Cincinnati Heart Mini-Marathon this morning, which is a 15k.  My plan is to run even marathon pace (10:00/mile) for the first 5.5 miles, and then start picking up the pace if I feel good. 

   My right knee is bothering me a little still.  My physical therapist thinks it’s tendonitis at the insertion point of my hamstring.  It’s not that bad, and typically goes away after I warm up.  Hopefully it won’t be too bad.

  I’ll report back later today with a full race report.

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  I did my longest run ever on Saturday, 20.1 miles.  I ran the first 16 with my friend Erin, which was nice.  It’s always good to run with someone, and to run with someone that you don’t run with that much.  I turned off my heart rate monitor within the first mile.  I didn’t really want to run fast, but as it turned out, I averaged only 5 beats per minute above MAF. 

  The first 8 went by fairly quickly.  In fact, I don’t remember too much about them.  I remember a bit more about 8-16, but again not much.  I do remember running on Creek Road in Blue Ash.  It’s no fun because it’s an industrial park with no median and no sidewalk.  We did help out a pair of runners that were lost.  One was from Dayton, OH and one from Canada.  They got separated from their group in the fog, which was really thick.  Of course, we hate them, because they got lost doing 7:30 minute miles.  Anyway, we got them home without having to run an extra 6-8 miles.

  I do remember the last four miles well.  After Erin left me at 16, I decided to run the last 4 at Marathon Pace.  So, I did four 10:00 minute miles to finish up.  That felt comfortably hard, but I did enjoy it.  I ended up finishing the run in just under 3:39.  I’ll take that.

  Now, what about the aftermath you say.  Well, I felt tired the rest of the day on Saturday.  But, I was ok to go to dinner on Saturday night.  On Sunday I was more sore.  My right soleus hurt, but stretching and ice massage have helped alot.  No running on Sunday, I couldn’t even if I had wanted to anyway.

  I did run three miles tonight.  My god, it felt horrible.  My knees ached, my legs felt dead, I couldn’t control my breathing or my heart rate.  It was just yuck.  But, from what I understand, it’s supposed to feel that way.  Tomorrow is supposed to be a 4 mile tempo run, we’ll have to see how I feel.

   I’m proud to be able to say that I finished my first 20.  I’ll be doing two more before the pig.  I’m hoping that they will only get better.

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What a week!

  Tonight is the end of a very long week.  First, I’ve been on-call for work.  We had many issues at work, and I basically worked 12 – 14 hour days all week.  I had planned this as a my cut back week, so I only ran two days, Wednesday and Friday.  Then, on Friday the Cincinnati area ended up with blizzard conditions.  From Friday to Saturday afternoon almost 13 inches of snow fell.  So, we had to cancel the long run on Saturday.

  So, today, Sunday, we did our long run here in Ft. Thomas.  We mapped out a seven mile course that was clear on the main streets.  Maureen and Victoria were scheduled to run 15 miles, I was scheduled for 18.  We started out at about 8:10 AM.  It was 10 degrees F, and was a little tough to get out there.  The back of my left knee was bothering me until about mile 3.  It was just tight, but it did bother me.  I took a minute or two to stretch it out and it was much better.

  Fast forward to 5.7 miles, I went to get a salt capsule and some gatorade.  The salt was fine, the gatorade was frozen.  It was like drinking an icee, of course it was tough to get it out of the bottle.  Anyway, I did manage to get a drink without too much trouble. 

  At this point, Maureen was complaining of her right foot hurting.  She said that it felt like her sock was bunched up.  But, it was getting worse.  She took off the shoe and “fixed” her sock.  Fast forward to mile 9 or so.  Maureen started to walk because her foot was hurting much more.  From my own personal experience, it’s probably a Morton’s Neuroma.  She’s going to go to my podiatrist and have it examined.  She ended up walking home, while Victoria and I continued. 

  We continued without any issue, other than stupid drivers.  We were on the side of the road, with very little traffic.  But, several drivers wouldn’t move over for us, even though there were no other cars.  Jerks!  I stopped by my house at about mile 11.5 for a Bio-Break.  Victoria continued, so I worked to catch up to her.  I ran well over my MAF to catch up, or at least it felt like I did.  I ended up doing a 10:20 mile at an average HR of only 150.  I was happy about that.

  Victoria really started to stiffen up and slow down around mile 13.  But, she made it to 15 and survived.  I went on without her from about mile 14.25.  Miles 14, 15, and 16 were ok.  17 and 18 were just tough, I was just tired and tired of dodging cars and snow drifts.  But, I made it and it what I felt was good time.  I completed the 18 in 3:31:02, a 11:43 average.

  I also joined two new clubs this weekend.  First, the more miles than degrees club.  18 miles in 10 degree weather.  Second, I joined the more miles than inches of snow club.  Again, 18 miles in almost 13 inches of snow.  The group long run next week is my first 20 miler.  With my experience today, it shouldn’t be that bad.

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  No, not Sgt. Pepper’s.  Today is the 20th anniversary of my sisters death.  She was 30 years old, and finally gave up the battle with CF.  So, I’ll tell you as much of the story as I know.

  My sister, Judy Buschle, was born in 1957 and diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis.  When she was diagnosed, my parents were told that they may not want to take her home, as she wouldn’t live that long.  Well, my parents, being the good parents that they were, took her home anyway.  Judy did live, and lived to almost 31.  She was very healthy until her early 20’s.  She also had a great outlook on life.  She really lived life to it’s fullest, even though some of her choices probably shortened her life.

  I remember Judy going into the hospital every 3-4 months for tw0 or three weeks at a time.  We called it a cleanout, and she would get IV Antibiotics, etc.  After that, she would be in good shape until her next cleanout.  It was a routine.  I was fairly young, so I didn’t understand it all.  But, I’d go see her every time.  As I got older, I didn’t go see her as much, because I was a stupid teenager. 

  Anyway, Judy was a fighter.  Not only did she fight CF for 30+ years, but she also made others fight too.  The doc (Dr. Frank Kellogg) would put her in a room with kids that were non-compliant.  She would brow beat them into compliance, teach them how to cough, and generally abuse them into better health.  Judy had a great wit, and was very quick with her sarcastic comments.  In fact, I remember many times that she and my father would just get on a roll, and the entire house would be cracking up.

  So, fast forward a few years.  Judy was on permanent oxygen, and had a 75 ft long cannula that she could drag through my parents house.  (She was married for a time, but ended up divorced, as she got sicker she moved back home)  She also had a portable oxygen container, but it wasn’t very portable.  I remember that she was going into the hospital more often.  It was the weekend before my friend Brian’s birthday, a Saturday.  We went out to get some food and went to a movie.  Judy had been in the hospital for a few weeks, and had asked every day for me to come see her.  That night, when we got home, both of the cars were in the driveway.  I knew this couldn’t be good, and mom and dad told me that Judy was gone.  I was in shock, I never expected her to not come home.  Stupid me, I never went to see her.  I still kick myself about that. 

  I said that Judy gave up, and she did, but in her own way.  Judy was offered a Lung Transplant, but she said no.  They really don’t have the best track record now, and were worse 20 years ago.  But, she did fight until the end.  On that Saturday, her favorite nurses were on.  She fought to stay alive until after their shift ended.  She didn’t want them to feel bad that she died on their shift.  That’s fighting.

  My favorite memory of Judy was watching her walk to the fridge at Children’s Hospital and get a beer.  Yes, Dr. Kellogg let her have beer in the hospital.  She liked it and it put weight on her.  It was just hilarious to see her walking the halls with a Miller in her hand.

  Team for Life runners have been encouraged to run for a Hero.  A kid with CF that is having a tough time, and would never be able to do it.  I already have my hero, or at least one of three.  My sister.  People ask me why I run.  I tell them it’s good for me, keeps me healthy, and I’m raising money to help myself.  But, the real reason, it’s for the memories.  That is why I run.

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  Yesterday was the half way point of my marathon training.  So far this year I’ve run 261.1 miles.  February was my highest mileage yet, 151 miles. Yesterday was a cutback week for the long run.  I only had to run 10 miles.  It’s funny, at the beginning of this I thought 10 was a good distance.  Now, I’m using only right along with 10 miles.  Kinda cool.

   I ran my long run with Amye yesterday.  It was a good run, and good company.  We discussed many topics.  Religion (don’t get me started), politics (again, don’t get my started), and dealing with loss.  We ran close to her grand-mothers old house.  We discussed how she felt when she died.  We discussed that I never went to see my sister Judy the last time she was in the hospital.  We both know that dealing with loss is difficult, and a never ending process.  But, it was good to have that conversation again.  It’s just another of those connections I wrote about here on the blog.

  I also had a difficult conversation with my son this weekend.  He’s only six, but we really thought it was time he knew that I have CF.  I talked to him about it while we were driving to Lowes.  I obviously didn’t tell him about the life expectancy, but I did tell him that I can get sick easily, and when I do it’s tough to breathe.  I also told him that sometime (4 times in my life), I’ve had to have IV antibiotics.  His friends have been asking questions about why I have all of the machines, and take all the meds, etc.  He took it well, and asked me a few questions.  I told him that he could always ask me questions or his mother.  He did tell her last night that he was a little worried about me.  But, he appears to be ok with it.

  I guess I need to comment on my running also.  Yesterday we averaged a 10:34 mile.  I decided to do a speed test on the last mile.  I ended up running a 8:57 mile at a HR of 162 avg.  Wow, it really felt good.  I’m going to use this week as a cutback week, and start speed work next week.  I can’t wait to see how it goes.

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