Sunday, January 31, 2010

Blah

Doctor's appt. tomorrow
w/new doctor
to discuss "abnormal"
sinus x-ray and begin
"therapy." I gotta run.

Anyone want to beer?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Captions



(No)Where to go?

The current business cycle must change.

What's wrong with this picture?

What are you forgetting?

Compartmentalize your life.

Rethink what drives you.

Drive what rethinks you.

I love my job.

Thankfully, I have a change of clothes.

Where did I park my promotion?

The Western model: no pain, no gain.
______________________________________

Send suggestions!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Diggin it

So this is a shout-out to the old school. I'm old school to a fault. I was born in 1968 and sorta never left. Old school is synonymous with retro and both beckon the beads and skinny boned sixties and seventies folk of that not forgotten era. Great imagery pops-up when we recall that time frame and those icons (Hendrix, Kennedy, Shorter, Pre, etc.) that came to represent that style.

My wife and I went to a 70's party this weekend. Of course, we had to wear the garb (I had no problem coming-up with something - 2 to 3 "costumes" ez), dance the vibe (there was a DJ) and even eat representative fare (Swedish meatballs, some killer tuna caserole with ruffles topping, an old school macaroni salad, some other "cheesy" appetizers and a bunch of jug red wine and domestic beer (not IPA)). Here is fairly grainy photo of us prior to party departure.




My lovely wife


Party people

The sweat suit is from my high school soccer daze. The glasses Serengetis I schnagged from my parents: things are legit. The dogs are the flats I ran a 1:30 half in back when I trained old school, before this damn blog updated my gig ;-)

Oh, the good ole daze. . .

Mid January

I think the clergyman is explaining to Norv Turner how unacceptable that was.

The calendar just ticks along and I have had a nice cold to open the year. I have to take some time off, will see another doctor and get out from under this. For sure. Meanwhile, the strength work is pretty eye-opening. I did notice on a couple of runs last week how good (strong) the body felt and I can only imagine that when I get back to a steady diet of running, especially trail running, that this strength work will come back in spades.

Basically, the work consists of lifting using gym equipment. I'm not hitting a specific circuit, but doing seated squats (leg press), regular squats, a core crunch using weights (from my knees pulling the weight as I bow to the god of fitness and health!), abdominal twists w/weights, seated upper-body press, and even a little contraption that allows me to work my tibialis and calf -- lower leg lifts.

My body feels great from all of this work and more. In addition to the lifting (and there are other lifts I do), a work-out will begin or end with 30 min on the bike or walking on the treadmill. Afterwards, I always feel sharp. Any soreness from lifting has diminished because of the consistency. In addition, I can really feel my body's enhanced ability to burn fat. I have never really done much lifting. But we all know that such "anaerobic" work enables the body to continue to burn fat later, while sleeping for instance. I love it. And this is all done while I am sick. Could be worse.

Otherwise, I have plenty to do. We will be moving sometime this late winter/early spring. On the work front, I got a little work from the university which was quite surprising since they told me how serious are the recent budget cuts and subsequent moves made by the university. This is good news. Fortunately, it's not enough work to keep me from the most important task of establishing a new path I can take with my professional endeavors. I am still very optimistic about the future.

In contrast to this optimism, the Chargers are pathetic. I watched the game with a big fan of the bolts and good beer. We had some very good beer. I am very pleased with the "game plan" I came-up with. The same can not be said of the bolts. I'm still in disbelief. If the Jets and Chargers played 10 times (IN SAN DIEGO) the bolts would win 9 of 10. Yesterday was the exception. How do you lose to a team that can't score, with a rookie QB and two relatively unknown running backs (one of which you've never heard of). In other words, how do you lose to a bunch of wild cards.

They didn't seem prepared. They made stupid penalties, couldn't execute on basic plays (Nate Kaeding is a joke or has a huge gambling debt.). The "game plan" was a disaster.

Oh, well. Pliny the Elder and the Chouffe Dobbelen IPA were epic, along with the Sculpin, Port High Tide, etc. The beer and good company made the game watchable. Otherwise, a terrible Sunday afternoon, with a storm rolling-in. We actually need the rain. And we need a new coach to take charge of the bolts. These losses are starting to pile-up.

Happy MLK, Jr. day!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Being Patient In the Waiting Room

I didn't have a panic attack. I messed myself in an effort to maintain/build fitness while being sick. The tightness in the chest is still hanging around. I went to the doctor, got checked-out, my chest x-rays. . .According to him, I have RAD. I think he had to come-up with something since his tests proved negative. My x-rays show nothing, and I'm getting plenty of 02. But something is wrong. I am awaiting referral (HMO) to a pulmonary specialist. I am feeling better and better each day, but I still can't run . . .since that fateful trail run last Tuesday where I ran up a 20% grade (easily) with a chest cold. I think I freaked-out my lower respiratory. I just hope everything is okay. Today I spun on the trainer and felt good despite the little tightness in the chest. Weird. Bummer.

Drinking a Leffe belgian blonde abbey ale. Really nice.

I can't wait to watch the Chargers this weekend put the Jets away.

I would like to see a little scare followed by a definitive win. 31-17.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

BOHICA

2010 has been tough so far. I had a little panic attack yesterday. I'm not kidding. The symptoms are similar to a heart attack. My biggest symptom was the tight chest, but I've been battling a respiratory problem for 3-4 weeks, so I thought this could be that. No wheezing, but very very tight chest. Breathe deep and get light-headed. WTF. I'll finish that story in a minute.

I have been dealing with this cold for about a month. It came-on, I took a recovery week in the midst of my Boney Mt. build, but I could not shake it. After the "recovery" week when I was hoping to get back to some solid work, I was still having to negotiate. Okay, I'll do a couple of ez days, perhaps even nada, and then put-in something steady. And I did this. One day I did a 7 miler on a mountain, very steady. I did some pretty steep stuff on the treadmill very steady all to simulate Boney Mt., show-up over the cold and have fun. But the cold just didn't go away.

The kicker was a run on the Monday before Boney (5 days out). I went to a familiar trail, headed-out feeling pretty good (sure a little stuffy but not enough to go home and sleep), hit a climb, flew up that, and then my chest seized. No wheezing, just tightness. I walked back to the car and drove to the Urgent Care. The doc looked at me, said I sounded pretty clear (no wheezing) and said I could start some antibiotics since I'd had the cold for ~3 weeks, but simply using my inhaler, and taking some claritin was his recommendation. I did start a little Z-pac just to make sure if the virus had turned, that would get taken care of. So, more meds. I started hitting the claritin often, twice a day instead of once. The nasal congestion I think is the real culprit. My chest ends up with the drain-off, which then irritates that. The very very dry conditions we've been having tend to irritate the respiratory systems of many.

This Monday before the race where I end up at the doc clinched the scratch of Boney Mt. Really disappointed. It was my first trail race ever in '08. It is a beautiful area to run. Oh well, back to my health.

The rest of last week I really took it easy. I have been lifting a lot. Squats, upper-body, a little core work. Lifting a lot. For me. I feel great on that end. I did a few ez cardio exercises just to keep the blood flowing. Then late in the week I started to run.

I decided, inspired by an OC athlete Slater Fletcher, that I would run 30 days in a row. I know a few people that might think this is small change, but I just wanted to get moving, get very consistent and see what happens. Half of all of this training stuff is mental. How can you frame the work?

So, on Sunday 1/10, I started. 5 miles pretty ez at the gym. Felt okay. I'm on the mend. Monday 6 miles running on feel, quicker than ez, just enjoying the insane weather we had (really warm and clear). At about mile 4 I started dealing with some snot. Practically choked on some of the nasal shit. Glad I was outside. Tough 6 miles. Then on Tuesday (yesterday), we were in Palm Springs so my wife and I went for a little run on one of the "mountain" trails. I felt good. I'm over this thing. I started sauntering up the mountain (very steep) with a comfortable jog, no HRM, but definitely O2 debt material. At a about .25 of a mile my chest seizes up. I hike another mile (very steep), try to clear my pipes, end-up jogging some of the more rolling stuff, turn around at 2 miles, and jog back down. Feel pretty good.

4 miles, 1300 ft. of climbing.

After we shower and get dressed, a tightness in the chest just doesn't seem to go away. I take some meds. Still there.

I have a lot of stuff on my plate right now. I lost my job, we're moving, we're trying to sell some furniture online, besides all the other trials and tribulations life throws your way and I think this cold is the last straw. That's a little list of the stressors in my life right now but each one, given a chance to monologue, would fill a concert hall. Each resonates with a lot of emotion and problem solving. That's life. My work-outs give me a chance to burn-off some of that. A few cold ones give me a chance to kick it, and relax. The inability to exercise and "recover" has upset this significant balance.

I was having a panic attack. I think I did stress the chest a little on such a steep trail, running, dry air and all. But my body was suggesting that I was having other problems as well. My wife, a psychologist, finally suggested I might be worrying my way into this state. I generally do not worry that much. I can handle a lot of heat. But I think she was right. We actually thought about going to see a doctor. I was worried. Short of breath. Then she gave me a hug. And we talked about what I might be feeling. And then. . .

she gave me a beer. I sipped it. She gave me another. It tasted good. I was feeling better. She winked at me and said you just took the equivalent of Xanax. Don't ever underestimate the value of a beer.

Here's the verdict. I have a lot going on. A kind of perfect storm. The cold is probably a symptom of all the stress as well as part of the season. And I have been exercising off and on through out, which may not help. I have been exercising too hard most likely. It's been a very tough few month or so.

I am 343 on my 30 day goal. I will run ez today. I will run everyday, but I'm not quite out of the woods yet on this cold. Yesterday reminds me of that, and as I sit here I can feel that is the case. But I will run ez. Everyday. Until I can run harder.

I want nothing more (other than new working and living gigs) than to run on a steep trail under a blue sky and finish the day with a really cold beer. This is part of the maintenance of a delicate system.

As for the title of this post(I almost forgot). I guess I refer to this cold. This last year end of '08 to the end of '09 has not been with out me catching a few colds. BOHICA: Bend Over Here It Comes Again.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Trail Running Fo Reals!

Some good cross-training before some runnin'!

Goal: I'm doing that when I'm 60.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Tons of Nudity


Photo caption: I am forever grateful to John Doe, Lester the Molester, Jose Cuervo and Mor Trippel - people that I will forever consider part of my family (names changed to protect the guilty:)

This is a picture that just doesn't make sense to me. I got it from a guy's Badwater race report, but could pretty much represent the 100 mile + world, especially as it relates to your average joe.

AJW just posted his take on the DNFer. This here post was started (I found the pic and threw-up) on Dec. 30, so I am not writing this in response to AJW. I think the picture says it all. That is a kind of running I don't understand. So, yes I'm ignorant. But come on. I've hiked Mt. Whitney, hiked R2R 2-3 times, as well as other long treks. Operative word: Hiked. And Enjoyed the experiences with others working in the same capacity as I. They weren't carrying my supplies for me.

Once you enter the 100 mile mountain run, you run the risk of all kinds of trouble. I haven't done one. I never will. 50k: definitely. 50 mile: probably. 185 mile relay race: why not. But a 100 miler where I have a bunch of loved ones at the ready to wipe my ass and feed me a bottle like a little baby? No freakin way. That's just me.