Monthly Archives: August 2010

Monday Chatter – Long Walk Recovery

Yes, Monday is always about recovering from my long training walk on Sundays. Yesterday I did my first 20 miler. It was a tough one for me physically and mentally, but that is why I train at these distances. It is to get me prepared for the race.

After I finished, I thought I would check the peak flow meter to see where I was at, not pretty. I could hardly blow in the thing, with my chest hurting and feeling tight. Funny thing is, I really did not feel anything until I started blowing on the PF meter. I do not know if I am blocking it out in my walk or just in denial? I suspect that I have trained myself a little too well and I hope that I can still spot trouble during my exercise, so I can stop. Frankly, I am still baffled that I can do what I do at only 76% of average in my height and age group.

Anyway, I took my Meds and my PF scores improved, like they should. I guess I need to take Symbicort before I start, instead of after. I do take two puffs of Ventolin though the spacer before I start. Problem is, I start training so early that I am not comfortable taking it then. I guess, I will need to start.

Today, I am feeling great, but my lungs are a little beaten up. It has taken my lungs a few days to recover from these long training days. Good thing is, my PF score seemed norm this morning.

Have a great week everyone…Thanks for stopping by.

Walk Talk – Health or Perseverance!

I was talking to a friend today and we where talking about our health. She is actually a friend of the family and also a co-worker, small world. So, as we where talking, somehow we ended up on the whole athlete and asthma thing. She was under the impression that, just because I am so active, asthma was not affecting my training or racing. Sadly, that is not true. It is affecting me so much that I find it debilitating at times. Good thing is that I was in really good athletic shape before the first asthma symptoms crept up on me. In the endurance department, I have gained a lot of cardiovascular capability and I am able to, somewhat, operate on below normal lung function. Now, do not get me wrong, I will not choose a walking pace that starts taxing my lungs. They will complain when I do. As a result, there are days when I am disappointingly unable to train or race like I would want too. However, its like anything else, there are good days and bad days.

So just about the end of the conversation it hit me, in my future races, will I persevere too the finish or quite during the race if my health deteriorates? That is the big question. It would be great if we where talking about a blister or whatever. I have walked though some serious blisters with little problem and they healed. I have had leg cramps and with tested nutrition, that is not much of a problem either. I guess to answer the question is, yes, I will stop if my lungs go crazy. I would be disappointed because of all the training I put into the race, but it would be better than being in the ER. Plus, this stuff is for fun and not worth dying for. There are other races and other chances to finish. I pretty sure I will make the marathon, but if I feel bad before or during the race, I think it would be best to stop.

Friday Rambling

Been down this road a few times, literally.

Wow, did this week go fast. I had a few spotty days health wise, but other than that, I had a pretty good week.
 
If I do the math, I am 5 weeks out from my first marathon. I am still struggling with getting my mileage in, but I will just have to except the fact that I am going into this race under trained. Well, at least I have my nutrition and equipment nailed down so I do not have to worry about that. I am pretty sure I can get to the finish line as long as my lungs cooperate. I am looking forward to becoming a marathoner.

Well, I might have another race on my radar. I am thinking about signing up for the “GO! St. Louis Halloween 10K”. It seems like a nice race and after the Abe’s Amble, I kind of like this distance. I need to decide quickly because the race seems to be filling fast.

Anywho, Have a great weekend everyone! Shabbat Shalom!

Misc Talk – About this Blog

Yet again, I am struggling with the name of this blog. When I first started this blog, the name was kind of meant as a joke. Plus, the material I thought I was going to write did not pan out, because I changed as a person and so did the content of this blog.  As I matured (at least I gotten better) as a blogger, I have tried to distance myself from this particular blog, but I seemed to always gravitate back. I have thought of some great names in the past. Then again, here I am. Lately I have been searching out bloggers with asthma so I can learn from there experiences and maybe vice versa. Unfortunately, I find myself embarrassed of the name of this blog and I am afraid that they will stop over to get to know me and be intimidated be the first thing they see, the name. Nevertheless, this has been my blog for the last 2 years and like an old shoe, I am just not ready to move from this project. Am I religiously challenged? Yep, I sure am, so actually, the title does relate well with my never ending struggles with religion.

I think anymore, this blog has turned full circle and basically it is now an expression of who I am with a hint of anonymity. This is a safe place for me to have conversation with people I relate with but hidden from my family who could possible find me by googling. Most of my family is on Facebook, so I always show restraint in that social community. Heck, my mother and father are avid conservative Christians and I am not so much. Not without saying, most of my family also. There are two things I avoid talking about with them, politics and religion. However, that is where this blog comes in, I still want to talk about it and this blog lets me.

As much as I find the name embarrassing at times, I am going to continue on with it.

As always, thank you so much for stopping by!

Race Report – 2010 Abe’s Amble 10K

This year I decided that I would walk the Abe’s Amble. Last year, I was just getting started with walking regularly to improve my fitness. I would never have dreamed at the time that I would have been competing in the Abe’s Amble the very next year. I am not for sure but I think Abe’s Amble is the signature race of the Springfield Road Racers Club. There was a little under a thousand people that attended the race and the club actually had formal training also, they called it Abe’s Army. I thought about joining the Abe’s Army but decided that I would have a hard time attending the weekly training on Monday night.

The race started at 7:30am at the grandstands of the Illinois State Fair. All the participants were warned about parking and should come early, so I showed up an hour early. I did not know actually were to park when arrived, so I parked in parking lot next to the gate we were told to enter the fair at. Actually, the Illinois State Fair was in full swing and it costs to get into the fair. I guess the club made arrangements for the racers to use this gate to get into the fair for free. After parking, it was a little ways to the starting line which was kind of a decent warm up.

I met up with some friends and we did some catching up. Then, ten minutes before the start, I took some electrolytes, gel, and two puffs of Ventolin. This is the same starting practice that I use in training and it seems to work for me. I guess there were some opening comments on loud speaker, but I could not hear a thing where I was standing. The start was pretty much a silent one for me, everyone started running at the front and I just followed the person in front of me. This being my 4th race, I am still unsure what to think about or what to do at the start. This start was good practice.

I know starting with my friends in the middle of the pack was a bad idea. Sure enough, I was pacing a tad high at the start and was being passed by a lot of people. Yeah, being passed like I was is not good on my confidence level. Anyway, realizing that I was not in a good spot, I remained on the pace until everyone who was going to pass me did. I just did not want to slow down and have someone run into me because they did not expect me too do so. After the mad rush of people all around me subsided, I slowed my pace and started my normal race.

However, I have been having problems with shin pain and a stiff set of calves. So, mile one was all about pain. I am use to this, often times I need to change the way I walk until the pain subsides. When I do change the way my foot touches the ground it does slow me down about 30 – 45 seconds a mile. I guess my normal gait is highly refine and efficient.

After the first mile, I started to feel the pain easing. The race had started to bunch up into its respected groups and I was able to maintain pace with some pretty good race walkers, who I stayed with most of the way.

Mile 2 – 4 was pretty uneventful. I remained with my group and we maintained a pretty comfortable pace for this leg of the race. We entered Oak Ridge Cemetery, which is home to Abraham Lincoln’s Tome, about the 2 ¼ mark. I would say that it is pretty hilly in this part of the course. I was on a strategic pace and I think it was a good call through this section. At this point, I have a feeling that I was a pacer for the group because I was pretty much walking at my pace for the race and my small group was still with me.

Mile 5 was the dreaded climb. I have climbed this hill a few times so I have a good idea what I need to do too climb it. We reached the hill about the 4 ½ mile mark and I attacked the hill as planned. I actually climbed the hill at pace and was not willing to give up time because of this climb. Plus, I found it to be fun. I loved to climb hills when I was a cyclist and it seems nothing is new. I felt like a yellow jersey rider in the Tour de France. When everyone slows down in the mountains, this is when a rider makes the move to distance themselves from everyone else and become overall winner. I passed quite a few people on the way to the top.

Mile 6, this section of course is reasonable flat. After the climb in mile 5, I had only one person left with me out of the group. So, she said she was doing really good and would stay with me all the way in. It was nice having some one to walk with. We maintained a little faster pace this time and I was kind of enjoying the feeling of some speedy legs.

Finishing line, I was walking pretty fast the last 2/10th of a mile. My friend wanted to catch a race walker in front of use and we did get close but he kept speeding up as we got closer to the finish. She ended up telling me too try to catch him, because I think she thought she was slowing me down. Well, I thought about staying with her but I said what the heck, could I catch this guy? So, I went on an all out sprint and actually caught the guy and we finished together. According to my GPS watch, I was actually in the 10 minute mile range at that short distance. Frankly, I did not think I could ever walk that fast, I amazed myself.

After I had my timing chip removed, I left the finish line and cheered on my race walking group as they crossed line. Most of the race walkers where new to the sport and this was their first race. I though they did great.

Personal thoughts – I thought I did pretty well in my first 10K race. Even though I did not finish in the fastest time at that distance, I would say that I managed a pretty smart race. I am pleased with my performance. I did have some lung troubles about the 4 and 5 mile mark, actually had a micro flare-up after the big climb. I was able to control my breathing and did not need to hit the Ventolin, thank goodness.

All in all, I had a blast and learned a few things that will help me in the future.

This photo was taken about 1 ½ miles into the race. I am a little cut off but that is me in the white shirt and hat.

Monday Chatter – Mostly Asthma Talk

Good Monday too ya, my faithful readers and friends!

It was a big weekend for me. I did my first 10K race. I had so much fun and I am glad that I did it. A race report is in the works.

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I had another run in with a person that does not understand my asthma. Today, I thought it would be nice to take a leisurely stroll in the park for lunch. Before I set out, I took a precautionary two puffs of Ventolin before heading out. I have known this for a little while that I get exercised induced fare ups that last me a few days, but usually only from the big training days. Anyway, I set out on my walk in the park and started to flare in the last decent climb out of the park. I had my Ventolin on me but I was able to keep my breathing under control. I was a little light-headed when I made it back to the office, but I am no worse for wear.

After that, I decided to post the status on Facebook. My wife saw the status update and questioned me about it. It seems that she does not understand what is going on with me. I guess what is throwing her off, is my marathon aspirations. I mean, if I am so bad, how can I go out and walk 20 miles in 5 hours? Well, I am not sure I understand that myself. All I know is that I have good days and bad days. Heck, there are days that I can hardly walk across the house, let alone walk 20 miles.

At any rate, I think it is hard to make someone understand my asthma, especially a loved one. She asked me how I am going to do the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge in January when I have rough days after the race. The Goofy Challenge, as I like to call it, is a two day race consisting of a half marathon the first day and a full marathon the second. Unfortunately, I signed up for this very expensive non-refundable race a few months before my first asthma symptoms arrived. So, I told her that I will just go out there and do my best. I sure wouldn’t hurt to try. Hopefully by them, I will have my asthma I little more under control. I might even rely heavily on breathing treatments if need be. I am steadily learning more and more about what I can and can’t do. Frankly, there should be no reason why I couldn’t attempt the Goofy Challenge as long as I keep a watchful eye on my health.

Unfortunately, I do not know what to say. I am not interested in letting my asthma win. As a matter of fact, I think this walking I do does wonders for me and I might possibly be even worse if I didn’t. There is a lot that goes into my wife’s questioning that goes past the scope of this blog. I can understand her concerns and I am trying.

Anywho, thanks for reading and have a great week!

Friday Ramblings

Well, another work week has slipped by. And I have to admit, I have been a little busy at work, which is good.

Boy, the start of the week was rough. I guess I had a asthma flare up early Sunday morning and it took a few days to recover (BTW, I am still new to all this and I sometimes don’t have a clue what I am feeling or supposed to feel). All I know is I hate how it feels and I wish my Meds did a better job keeping it away.

Anyway, I am not doing to bad today. I was feeling a little rough this morning and breathing a little hard in the car on my way to work. Other than that, I am doing pretty well. If anything, I am in good spirit and happy.

As for training, I tried to get some miles into my legs with some walks in the park on my lunch hour, but really no formal training walks this week. I have a race on Sunday, Abe’s Amble 10k. I now wish I wouldn’t have signed up for it, but I will be there and just have fun. I am not going to push the pace, just a nice training pace. Basically, I am just focused on my marathon training and the race seems insignificant. Then again, this is the premier race here, so it would by nice to say that I competed in it.

I was hoping for more posts this week, but it was not meant to be. I have plenty I could write about but I seem to be lacking the motivation. Maybe next week I might be able to step it up.

Until then, have a great weekend, Shabbat Shalom!