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Archive for February, 2009

Last week was very interesting.  Not the running part, that was boring.  The interesting part was the two different pop quizes I had on CF.  First was for an article by Ryan Clark in the Enquirer.  Last week he wrote an article about my brother Matt’s new restaurant.  Now it’s my turn.  The second was during my long run.  Kevin, one of the TFL runners, wanted to ask me a few questions to get some better information for his fund raising letter.

  Most of the questions were pretty easy.  “Why are you running?”, “How did you get started running?”, “What makes you so healthy?”, etc.  Those I can answer without even thinking about it.  And, all the technical questions came along too.  “What’s the average life expectancy?”, “Does the CF Foundation support the un-insured or under-insured?”, etc.

  One question, however, throws me a little.  It’s an easy questions, with a not so easy answer.  “How does CF effect your daily life?”  As I sit here, doing my Albuterol and Pulmozyme, it’s almost impossible to answer.  I say that because it is my life.  Unless you have a chronic illness, it’s hard to understand.  And, I would venture to say that chronic isn’t enough.  It has to be from a very early age.  I know that I have to take 40 minutes of inhalation therapy every morning, five pills with each meal, every other month another 20 minutes of med at night, wrestle with the insurance companies, worry about paying the ever increasing co-pay costs, etc.  This is my life.  Not to say that CF is my entire life.  It’s not.  But, it is a part of my life that has always been there.  So, I can’t say how it effects me day to day.

  One other interesting question that came up.  Kevin asked me if, due to my illness, I am nicer, more sensitive, etc.  I told him “No, I’m a crotchity old man, that complains a lot” or something like that.  The oxygen debt while talking and running got to me.  I’ll admit it, I complain a lot.  I do, and I know it.  I’ve had several people tell me.  I’ve tried to change it, but I haven’t been able to so far.  But I also told him that I will help anyone I can.  And that’s a big reason for my running and being Kelby’s “Media Whore.” 

  This two marathon’s in three weeks is not going to be easy.  In fact, I’m worried I’m going to break at some point.  But, I really think that I’m healthy for more of a reason than having a beautiful wife and kids.  I think I’m meant to be an example to the CF community that you can do what you want, if you set your mind to it.  And, that CF is NOT a death sentence, it’s just another chronic illness that has to be managed as well as it can.  The rest is up to the genes, to your god, or to the fates.  Which ever you choose is up to you.

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  Over the past week, the Cincinnati area has been buried in snow and ice.  During that week, I did two sets of hill repeats.  All were walking up the hill in my back yard, immediately followed by riding down the hill on a sled.  My kids and I had a blast.  But 200 hill repeats is not equal to 20 miles of running.

  As the weekend approached, I knew I would need to get in my long run to stay on track for Boston and The Pig.  So, I emailed some of the team members to see what they were going to do for the run.   I had two options.  First, run at 2 PM  on Saturday in about 20 degree weather.  Second, run at 11 AM on Sunday in 40 degree weather.  I ran Sunday, of course.

  Remember that I hadn’t run at all?  Well, this is where I learned my lesson.  My plan was to run 15 miles.  My friend Erin was going to run 12 of those miles with me.  I went to Fleet Feet in Blue Ash a little early and did the first three alone.  It was HOT!!  It’s amazing the difference between a long run at 9 degrees and one at 40.

  I picked Erin up at about 11, and we went from there.  After about 3-4 more miles I new it was going to be ugly, I just didn’t know how bad.  I was having to take walk breaks by about 8.5.  By 11, I was almost dead.  I finished up at 14.64 completely dead.  I had hit the wall at about 12 miles.  In the last mile or so I started feeling a cramp in my left calf.  I really thought I had run a full marathon over 15 miles. There is no way I could have gone the additional 11.2 miles.

  So, I’ve learned that I can’t take a week off and still run 15 miles.  I’ve also learned that I have to get my milage up to at least 30 miles soon.  Weather in Cincinnati hasn’t been that good for running this year.  I can’t run on a treadmill, since I get shin splints in about 5 minutes.  Finally, I need to eat better and try to lose another 5-6 pounds before the training really ramps up.  I can certainly eat better, I need many more carbs.  But, I doubt I’ll lose any more weight this season.  I’m just way too hungry when my milage gets up there.

  And, in case you forgot, I’m still looking for donors for my marathons.  I’m at about $1600 of the $4000 I need to raise.  I’d appreciate a donation if you can.  Just click one of the donation buttons at the right of this post to donate.

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