Monday, December 5, 2011

What me a writer?!?!

I was chatting with Kerri tonight on facebook and mentioned that I'm not really sure if I should keep up with writing here. I will be the first to admit I'm not really much of a writer. I mean I can write a research paper like nobody's business. I have an analytical scientific mind, always have probably always will. This whole blogging thing... not so much my strong suit. As you can see senior year (take 2, yep I'm a 5th year) has been keeping me pretty busy and away from the computer.

However, there are weekends like this past weekend where I feel like I'm barely human. I do homework between naps and spend a lot of my time in bed with my laptop or propped up with pillows on the floor with books or my laptop around me trying to get studying done. By the time 8 or 9pm rolls around I'm so worn out that there just isn't anyway I'm going to get to have fun Friday night plans. I might stay up to watch something on Netflix but otherwise nothing wild is happening here. Just gonna take my evening meds, a dose of ventolin to keep my lungs open while I sleep and curl up in bed. The part of this that makes it so hard is that I *only* have a cold. It's isolating to have friends who don't get it. Yes, I'm not well, but no I'm not going to completely put my life on hold. Sometimes I just need to scream at the world.

I also don't need the sympathy good job from my friends when I finish yet another 5k in 40 some odd minutes. Guess what you all are healthy 20 year olds whose brains process motor skills instructions in a "normal" fashion. At the end of the race not only are my lungs yelling at me, my brain is too. It is just as fatigued as my muscles from the coordination efforts required. I realize that until you've walked a mile in my shoes(or intermittently fast forward motioned it) and I in yours neither of us will 'get it'. Life isn't perfect, I realize I've got it pretty good my future is bright but sometimes I just need to say how I feel without fear of judgement or sympathy or belittling of my achievement or current health situation.

One thing that has definitely always been a barrier to me really developing my writing that I didn't even really think about until recently is that handwriting is something I've struggled with. Keeping a journal is just never been my thing. I can't seem to keep and even keel to my writing in terms of spacing, pressure to the pen, and just general flow. Don't ask me why I excel at typing as a motor skill and suck so much at printing out my words. Perhaps some of the blame falls to the evolution of society as a whole. We have moved away from the handwritten word and towards electronic composition. Typing is a skill I need to survive. My slow sloppy inconsistent handwriting gets me by for the things that I need it to, like writing checks and short notes to people.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Turkey Trot 2011: A Race Report

Hey Y'all.
Clearly the whole National Blog Month thing didn't go very well for me. I did however do a 5k on November 20th. It was right above freezing. My lungs weren't very happy campers (read at least 6 puffs of ventolin was involved in this adventure). I didn't have a very good finish time: 45:37, official times TBA. I did jog quite a bit. I also felt like I was breathing shards-o-glass. I'm pretty sure I finished last. I was too busy balling my hands up in side my jacket to take pictures. The temperature didn't get me so much as the wind. It was an okay time. I think the fitness goals for the winter are going to shift more towards swimming or rowing or something indoorsy.
Nike Plus graph with a large number of peaks and valley's of the 5k run. Started at 10:01am, distance 5.31km Time 47:15As you can see quite a spikey intermittent forward motion fitness event. I know the distance and time are a bit off. I started it a little early and ended it a little late(the water cooler was mighty tempting). I did get to try out a new bra "shock absorber" quite nice, really keeps the girls from bouncing pretty well. The course was around St. Louis University's campus, which is decently pretty. The markings would've been better had the weather not been kind of a foggy/misty/dampness outside since they used sidewalk chalk. All on sidewalk which was nice. Quite a few decent hills which is where most of the slow downs in speed comes from. The track club which puts the event together was out at every turn to point you in the right direction. Maybe about 50-75 people did the event, which was a benefit for the canned food drive/campus food pantry in the holiday season. It was good to get back in the saddle even if it wasn't a PR by a long shot.

At present fitness is kind of on hold. I'm working on a nice cold thing that has gone down to my lungs. It was up in my head most of this week and then moved down into my chest over the last 24 hours or so. Which is fun or something. So far just a nasty cough and short of breath. Not much peakflow drop which is good I guess. Homework has got me pretty well buried. Finals are not this week but the next. I'll try to be more bloggy, as finals permit.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

NaBloPoMo #3

EasternWildTurkey
So today I took the jump and am signed up for the local Turkey Trot back home it's a 5k at Local Catholic University benefiting a food bank. Yes, I walked a 9k 2 weekends ago. No, I'm not feeling ready for this 5k. Hopefully, I can do something not embarassing at it. It could be anything from sunny and in the 50's(F) to snowing and single digits(f) I have some decent cold weather tops and I have ordered some legit cold weather pants from Title 9, which should be here along with some new bras (yay!) in the next few days. Since me and athletic in the winter don't exactly go together and I should really stop wearing the aweful cotton stretch pants I've worn the last few times I went out in the frigid. I need to for reals formulate a training plan and get my butt in gear, in hopes of not finishing last. Which would probably mean a p/r cause the looking at some old results the last finishers were at like 30 minutes... Maybe I should see if it's not too late to walk the 3k instead?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

NaBloPoMo take 2

So today has been a pretty lazy day, except not that lazy. I've gotten a decent amount of school stuff done, but I didn't get dressed for the day until like 2pm. I'm on the rag and for whatever reason, that makes me just want to jump out of my skin, along with attempt a diy hysterectomy. I have cramps now that I'm on the pill and have "real"-fake periods. It's an annoying occasional pulse of pain with a little bit of dull achyness in terms of cramps. However, part of the reason why I didn't put on real clothes until so late in the afternoon is because I just don't want to be touched by people or things when I'm on the rag. For whatever reason, in addition to my lungs being hypersensitive, my whole self is just hypersensitive to touch too. To add to the lung happy fun crazy times, we're also allegedly getting some snow tonight, although it's just been raining hardcore at this point. Regardless it's not supposed to be hardcore real snow, just some flurries, probably won't even stick much.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NaBloPoMo take 1

I think I got that acronym right. It's november, I'm on the rag, the lungs are cranky(oh hai 400 (66%), I didn't miss you!). I'm going to attempt this whole national blog posting month. I wouldn't be suprised if I fail at it. After all lately school has kind of eaten my life. I owe you a race report (or is it two), and a bunch of other catching up on life.I'm also woefully behind on updating my daily mile, and overall keeping up with much health related other than the taking of meds. Hopefully an attempt at a post a day will help me get back in the blogging swing of things, don't hold your breath though.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Drive By Postin

So I haven't fallen of the face of the earth I swearzors. School has been keeping me redonkulously busy. I'm doing the Title 9k(walking) tomorrow here in Chicago with 2 friends. The lungs have been pretty copasetic and Dr. B says if this keeps up he might try to ween me off symbicort. Fingers Crossed :). Anyway I've got a whole day of exploring the city to get out and do! Hope all is well with you all and I'll try to give you a proper post soon.

Monday, September 12, 2011

"Not Sick"

. I was just so worn out from work and class and everything. The last 36hrs or so I've been brewing a nice flare after having my period last week on top of some ?fall allergy? conguestion. The conguestion has apparently migrated down into the lungs and is not playing nice. It feels like I'm running a 5k.

I warn you now this is a bit of a rant. Continue at your own peril(okay it won't really be that perilous). So I was on facebook chatting with a friend, this evening. I mentioned that I kinda felt like curling in a ball. said friend is a mild intermittent(like really intermittent I think he's had about 3 asthma flares in the 5 years I've known him). He's like "asthma isn't sick". I really wanted to jump through my computer and just smack him. It's like look I feel like shit you don't need to tell me I'm not sick you can come over here and listen to me cough and watch me curl up in a little ball and take a nap. Yes I'm not contagious but I'm also not "well".

/Rant

The lungs are touchy as of late I think it's a combo of coming off the rag and the allergies have my nose running like a faucet. Had a nice 70% today, they responded to ventolin though. School has been keeping me pretty busy as has my job in the IT department. So that's what's up here. :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A thought or two on 9/11

I was in 7th grade this day in 2001. An akward tortoise shell glasses wearing young girl, 12.5 years old, math nerd, and just about to get braces put on my teeth to correct an overbite. While that day I grew into a young woman it only partially had to do with the terrorism attack that occured that day. I was already a New York Times reading, NPR listening, investment making kind of kid. I've been going on 40 for quite some time now :P.

That day I was a scared young girl. Not only because the country was under attack and my Dad's office building was being evacuated and inside a national guard controlled area. However, menarche is a date I will never forget. I had the timing to start my very first period ever a few hours into the school day on 9/11/2001. I had been somewhat prepared by school or my mom or my peers for starting my period but it was none the less scary to have it for the very first time. I will never forget 9/11/2001.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Post #101

We'll it's been quite some time that i've been rambling along on here. I have just moved back to school for a final year of intellectual stimulation and degree completion and such. I've used way too many spoons in the last few days. I'm probably going to end up sleeping it off at some point this weekend. The lungs have been decent all and all, I've been SOB a bit. However, I'm pretty sure on the list of stuff your not supposed to do with allergic asthma includes heavy lifting moving oneself into a ResHall out of the Parent's Basement, on a yellow air quality day, that you got allergy shots on...oops. So shoot me. I apologize for the lack of creative title. This post is post 101 on this blog: pretty self explanatory.

On a tangentially related note I'm considering leaving blogger for something that doesn't make me want to tear out my hair when I try to deal with pictures. Which could have something to do with my utterlack of motorskills concerning a multi-touch trackpad. Yes, I've had a computer with one for 1.5 years and still can't do much other than pointing and clicking and two finger scroll with it. I haven't even mastered drag and drop without the physical mouse button hence my lack of OS X upgrade at present....motor skill fail. This has been kinda hard for me. I don't generally do new stuff much anymore so this whole learning motor behaviors has been kinda bringing me to tears of frustration.

A random thought: Went to the pharmacy today to pick up a symbicort refill which involved transferring it from LocalGroceryChain Store near Summer research to another store of the same chain in my college town. When the lady pulled it up in the computer the "refills were void". I know i still had refills left, I hand carried a freshly written paper copy of the script to the Pharmacy near Research this summer I had 4 refills left. Frantic call to Dr. B's office later, with the explanation that the pharmacy screwed up somehow and needed a new one called/faxed/escribed into oh-yeah my not-home-pharmacy-that-you-don't-have-on-file. Thankfully Dr. B was in and sent it in in relatively short order and I had all the relevant numbers/address/name of the pharmacy handy. Cause these things lower one's stress level on the first day of classes.

I've also been putting off a follow up with Dr. Z I'm like wwwaaayyy overdue for an annual check up cause I don't want to face the scale. I haven't really put on weight but it also hasn't disappeared. I did put in an electronic request for an appt this evening. So I should know by monday at the latest if I can sneak that in over fall break or not. I will probably have come to the end of my vials and need to make an appointment with Dr. B too over fall break.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sunday, August 7, 2011

EpiPens, Heat Waves, and such

I've been somewhat away from the internet for the last few weeks. I'm in the middle of a whirlwind of moving back to my parent's house for about 3 weeks and then it's back to my college town. My EpiPens just expired(unused!) so I got some new shiney ones that don't have a year's worth of scuffs on them and pocket lint worked into the protective tube.

The lungs have been pretty copasetic. I've got about half a dozen half written posts that I've been meaning to finish up about the lungs and the athletic endevors. I've done some open water swimming in the lake by the State University I did summer research at, but otherwise I've been in out of the humidity and heat which has not inspired much exercise.

Hopefully once school starts back up I will be back in the rhythm of blogging and working out and all the other things that just haven't fallen into place. My routine is off and there are so many little things to take care of between now and leaving to go back to school for the year. Plus I've been doing correspondence class to try to be done with Calculus II. I'm still trying to figure out my whole spiritual/church thing. We'll see where that goes...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pictures to Return Soon

Something I did when I modified settings on my google account seems to have broke the pictures on this blog. I shall endeavor to figure out how I broke my pictures and fix it. I apologize for the lack of graphics at the moment.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Fakin' it til I make it

I know it's been a while since I've posted on here and I do intend to properly catch you all up on what all has been going on with me. Summer has been a crazy time(not that the school year isn't too). I could really use a few more hours in they day (who couldn't!). My research assignment for the summer has been keeping me plenty busy and this whole working 9-5 really eats up a lot of the day! I've also been doing a lot of introspection as I am presently living without a roommate in a Residence Hall. In my research program there are only guys. Emotionally the lack of female interaction in my day has been kind of a tough adjustment. I can accept that I exist in a male dominated field. Spending 40+ hours a week with 9 guys is an interesting experience.

Perhaps the hardest part of this is that only one of the guys in my research lab knows most(all, I can't remember) of the laundry list of things that are part of my 'normal'. I didn't realise it until I had it pulled out from under me just how much having people who kind of sort of 'get it'. My friends from school are practically family and thus more or less get it all as well as you are going to without living through Latex Allergy or Asthma or just plain allergies.

The other half of what I've really been missing here at Big State University is my church 'family' while 99% of my church family doesn't know that I have a chronic illnesses, they still provide a lot of spiritual support and general encouragement. They can sense when I'm a little lower even if they don't know it's because an asthma or allergy flare has really taken it out of me. Having that spiritual community and the quiet space and prayer/meditation time each week really helps. I'm at a point of questioning what exactly I believe and how that fits into a Church structure. Right now all I can say for sure is I find peace in church services.

Work has also been my escape to pretend like it's all good. I have sedentary work which allows me to sit and catch my breath even when I'm short of breath. I've probably pretended like my asthma wasn't bothering me way more this summer than normal because I sit infront of a computer screen all day. Which is way easier on the lungs than lots of moving about. I've also been reading a lot and watching a lot of movies which are also low lung impact activities.  It helps that I'm a bit of a nerd, so computer and indoors things are just fine with me. I do enjoy spending some time with and in nature but that is a treat I save for days when I'm breathing well and the air quality is nice.

The lungs are acting up as of yesterday so you all should be hearing from me a bit more as I try to pass my time where I really just want to be a sloth or napping. In the mean time I'm gonna keep on faking like it's all good until I make it that way(while treating my flare out of sight).

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Advice for Parents

Last week I was reading Rick's Blog post about being an Asthma Dad, which linked to Kerri's Post about being an asthma parent. With Father's Day this all got me thinking about what advice I would give to parents. Raising a kid with allergies and other issues isn't exactly easy especially if you didn't grow up with it.

My asthma hasn't really been my parents concern hardly at all. I was diagnosed as a young adult... 19 to be exact. I was old enough to sign all my own paperwork, get myself to the doctors, and deal with my own pharmacy stuff. The only way it really relates to them is that I am on their insurance still since I'm a full time student. Occasionally my mom has bailed me out by going to pick up my allergy shot vial(for me to take back to the student health clinic) or running to the pharmacy for me when I have to work late. The majority of the burden falls to me to be an adult and deal with the stuff that needs to happen to keep me going.

Allergies were much my parent's problem growing up. My mom spent upteen nights having me take steamy shower to loosen up the mucus so I'd stop coughing. She also was the one who had to nudge me awake when the benadryl would knock me out during the day.  She also got it cause she's got much the same allergies as I do. She put up with going through pretty much every allergy med on the market with me and bouncing ideas around with the pediatrician(some how an allergist never came up).  Raising a kid with allergies takes quite a bit of patience, and empathy to understand just how hard it is to stay inside when everyone else gets to run around outside.

The dyspraxia is perhaps the hardest for my parents to 'get'. It sounds simple enough on paper but it really does extend so much beyond what people who don't live with it would realise. I strongly rely on habits and routines to make it though the day. Messing with these can really make for some frustrating times on my part which when I was younger would cause a complete meltdown now I am a bit better although I do still lash out occasionally.

To Parents:
  • Especially in the teen years, let the kid take the lead but do be a safety net. Learning from mistakes before you are out on your own with no one to bail you out is important. However, don't play the shame game. There is enough on your child's plate to keep them responsible and force them into a bit more of adulthood they don't need a reason to resent their illness(more).
  • Routines are a great tool for kids with motor skill issues. Colors help too, as left/right are sometimes hard to differentiate(I'm 22 and I still have to use the thumb makes an L trick to tell my Left). Don't criticize slightly unorthodox approaches to accomplishing the same end result as long as they aren't harmful/dangerous. 
  • Build trust so that kids are willing to let you know what's going on and don't try to hide being sick(er than normal) from you. 
  • When possible let the kid set the pace whether it's with allergies or asthma about whether or not they are up to running around outside or with motor skill stuff about when it's time to loose the training wheels. 
  • Patience is key no matter how old they are. You haven't walked a mile in thier shoes(most likely) and so it's hard to know what they are dealing with.
These are what I would say from growing up with a father who didn't get it most of the time. And a mom who did or at least tried. I have a strange relationship with my father it's not that he didn't do good things for me in life but emotionally it's not a tight one.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Quick Allergist Update

So I had a visit with Dr. B over the time that I was in my hometown between the spring semester and the summer research project. Dr. B is happy with the level of ventolin that is keeping the lungs at bay and the fact that I'm not inhaling so much of it. As well as that the allergy shots seem to be helping. I've been released on time off for good behavior until I finish out this vial of extract which should be sometime in the mid to late fall since I'm up to having shots every 3 weeks. Overall he's happy with where I'm at and my compliance level. I walked out with a script for 6 more symbi's to hold me til I come back.
I also got bloodwork for Dr. Z while I was home. My numbers came back just fine. Cholesterol is still a bit high but that's nothing new. I was hoping for a little better on the cholesterol but I may have just hit the best it's gonna get numbers-wise. I'm free from Dr. Z until my annual check up.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Exhaustion

I don't mean to keep making excuses for why I'm not writing on here. I really do have intentions of getting back to writing on here. The transition to living away from home at State University has been slightly less than smooth. I've also had a bit of a hard time acclimating to the warmer weather. Between the stress of the new surroundings, recovering from the latex encounter over Memorial Day weekend, and all the day to day stuff that happens in the life of a busy college student I've not had the energy to write. The lungs have been atypically cranky spent a lot of time in the lime green which just zaps the energy. The fact of the matter is also that it is almost 5k of daily walking to get from my ResHall to the research lab and lunch and back. I have been doing a lot of napping in my free time outside my 40 hour work week. Not knowing people here who get that I don't look sick but some days dragging myself out of bed and staying upright really is an accomplishment. I mean I still have those friends who talk to online but they aren't around in person for a hug. Things are looking up, I'm getting settled and I intend to have some proper posts soon.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Camp NACURH

So I'm involved with the Residence Hall Association on my university's campus and we are affiliated with the National Association of College and University Residence Halls. Our school went to the national conference this past weekend in Macomb, IL at Western Illinois University. It was a fun weekend full of presenations about different events and issues related to ResHall living as well as legislation for the governing of the national association and regional affliates.

However, as part of the decoration there were many balloons, thankfully not in the ResHalls where we were staying. This did not do happy things to my body or lungs. I took lots of benadryl and the reactions waxed and waned. I was better when I was away from it but still pretty darn miserable. I did have a few good moments where I was up to taking the stairs to our floor(11th, with a super slow elevator). However, overall it was pretty well bendryl and ventolin every 4-6 hours.  I'm ready to be back to normal. My body is still pretty wore out but my lungs have started to bounce back today. Still have some congestion going on in my ears and sinuses. I'm glad to be feeling human again. I know I owe you a 12 of 12 from may as well as a race report from the 80's run in May and a doctor visit update.  Life has been hectic and now that I'm settled in at the state university for summer research I should have some time to do some more writing.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Blowin' Out Some Candles!

So I haven't disappeared into the abyss I swear. Just the library(darn finals/end of semester)! Alas the end has come and gone and I shall re-commence some proper blogging. Today I turned 22, I didn't really do anything special like at all. I worked, hung out with the family for mother's day and that's about it. No big deal. I didn't actually blow out candles today. We'll have cake and such some other day. Since I've been home for  a whole 24 hours I kind of wanted to just have a break before the festivities.  Plus I need to do some serious un/repacking since I've got a summer research fellowship at the State University about halfway between my parent's place and my college. The lungs/allergies have been freaking awesome. I haven't seen a number below 590(95%) other than right after the Tri and even then I was still in the green. I could definitely get used to this. Haven't been doing to much training for the 5k that is on Saturday :/. I've been moving things out of the reshall out to wahzzoo so hopefully that will keep me in shape enough. I did run up the big staircase by work this afternoon on my lunch break(without stopping or premedicating, somewhere around 90 steps in the staircase). Anywho just a quick drive-by birthday post.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tri for a Healthy Life: a Race Report

Official times have not been posted yet, but I finished last at somewhere around 1:15. Edit: Official Time: 1:11:32, splits: 2:44/5:05/38:19/1:21/24:03. The swim went well, no cap for me since the numbered ones were latex. The extra drag didn't really bother me. I wasn't trying to set any records. Swim went well... took it relatively slow, did manage to pass one person (we started individually with 20 second spacing between people). Just kept it long and good form, with flip-turns and lots of gliding under the water to conserve energy for later.
I dried off and put real underwear on/took my suit off to reveal the sports bra already on underneath. Tossed my running shorts on as well as a singlet and socks and shoes. I did manage to pin thru my singlet on one of the pins so I had to fix that right quick during Transition 1. Put my helmet, sunglasses, and camelbak on and grabbed my bike. The course was relatively flat, a couple big hills nothing too major. Had a nice tailwind on the way out, and a few people behind me/close to me. At some point I got overtaken by the other fat chick/non-atheletic non-size-2 person. Then it was just Ivy the bike repair dude behind me. He was great and cheering everybody on and such. Not having a road bike definitely made it hard to keep up with the folks on road bikes.  That and some killer wind coming off the nice rolling fields on either side of us for a good deal of the ride. It was a headwind that was also trying to blow us into the oncoming traffic(wasn't a closed course) on the way back. That wind really kicked my butt.
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I tossed my camelbak, helmet, jacket(which I had but didn't wear the whole bike ride), and bike in the transition area and was off to 'run'. I use the term run loosely. My legs were pretty tight/wobbly, after biking. I walked it out to the first hill we were headed out to. Jogged down the hill and part way up the next hill. Walked the rest of the way up the hill, jogged down. Pretty well jogged the flat  parts and downhills and walked the uphills. I was just plumb tuckered out by this point. However the watered down Gatorade I'd been sipping on all of the bike ride definitely hit me at this point and I got a bit of a second burst of energy. I was running next to the bike rider who was the "tail" for the race. Her name escapes me at the moment she was super nice and talked to me the whole way. The best thing that sticks out is "You know what they call the last person who finishes the race 'a triathalete' that's something less than 5% of the population can claim".
There wasn't a clock at the finish but looking at my phone I estimated the finish time. There was good post race munchies and I got my finisher's medal. The lungs behaved really nicely the whole time. I woke up in ultra mega double-plus green(read 102%), took 2 puffs of symbicort and 2 puffs of ventolin before heading out for the event. Didn't need anymore ventolin the whole course. Took 2 more puffs before I laid down for a post race nap which was after some delicious french toast with a friend who volunteered as a course guide person for the event.
The event was a lot of fun since it was women's only, lots of cheering(the other racers all cheered as I ran past as the last finisher) and good job-ing and high-fives. Not that that doesn't happen with co-ed races too but it was just a really fun environment. If I do it again I'd get my hands on a road bike for the event and do more training rather than going oh hey look that's in 2 weeks that could be fun. I'm really glad that road construction forced the bike portion to be cut short by 2 miles. I'm not sure how well I would've faired with a longer course. Oh and I got a confirmation email with some details(parking, race map etc) for my '80's themed 5k in 2 weeks that promises to be "totally boss". It's weird to think that I can lay claim to the title 'triathlete'. If you said that to me before I would've asked you what you were smoking. I apologize for the lack of action shots, I was busy trying to finish the race :P.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Let's Tri Something New

While I was eating at Steve's Deli the other day (No, not this Steve who did awesome at Boston this week!) , a pink flier caught my eye. Some students at another university have put together a women-only beginner triathlon in about 10 days not too far away from where I go to school. I was intrigued to say the least. What I don't think I've written about on here is that I enjoy bicycling to commute as well as for leisure, and I'm a Red Cross Certified Lifeguard(I don't actively engage in it but I carry the certification). Swimming 150 meters, no big deal, bicycling 8 miles will be a bit of a challenge but in range, a 2 mile run to top it off should be right on schedule with my training for the 5k/10k and beyond. So I my crazy self has decided to tri something new. I'm registered for the Tri For a Healthy Life Triathlon on April 30. I've got some work to do there. At present I'm thinking my time will be somewhere around 2 hours which isn't too shabby I don't believe. I did a bike and run today. Did about half the distance for each of them in about 45 minutes total. The rubbery feeling of your legs after a hard bike ride is quite a unique sensation. I will definitely be plum tuckered out by Saturday afternoon. One of my friends is going to be volunteering  along the route so you might get some action shots.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

What does another year mean?

As I was writing my 1 year blogversary post I was contemplating whether this was a situation to celebrate or just more take note of but not really in a celebratory fashion. I can't really say I'm enthusiastic about any of my diagnoses. I mean asthma has definitely gotten my buns in shape which is a good thing. Well or umm encouraged me to get my buns off the couch. I definitely don't really celebrate the diagnosis it's not like it was really much of a mystery what was going on inside of me. On the other hand the PCOS finally gives a name to my crazy wonky hormones and cycles which is a little reassuring. It makes me feel more normal in an abnormal fashion. The allergies don't really have any significance in my life. They've almost always existed the only thing that might make it a red letter day is if the shots really work and I can count on lack of allergy symptoms being the norm not the exception. The one exception to my apathy about the years coming and going since diagnosis of things is my latex allergy. That one is something that will always be lurking in the corner ready to strike and possibly kill. Each year that I don't have a horrible reaction or use an epipen or end up in the ER is a little victory. I guess I don't make a big deal out of anniversaries of 3 of the 4 things cause they don't really scare me. They are something that has become part of my normal day to day life. They push me to grow to a better person but they don't strike fear into me anymore.  To summarize: another year with: Asthma, Allergies, and PCOS: Meh; Latex Allergy: Victory!

Run with Ryan

So I ended up doing a little impromptu exercise with my friend Ryan this evening. We decided to go for a jog. Which seemed like a good idea at the time, we had somewhere to be, and both of us are trying to get in shape. It is a little colder than it has been recently outside but still above freezing, between that an a lack of warm up and premedication I got to the last little stretch and was audibly wheezing, which never happens. Ryan was a little freaked out by this, also my inhaler and spacer seemingly came out of nowhere. I have forgotten that it is scary to other people when you can't breathe. I wasn't particularly worried yes I wasn't feeling great but I've def been worse. I took two hits and we went into our destination.

Later this evening he was asking me if I thought it was scary or if I was afraid to run because of it. And I was like no, I normally don't have problems and I carry my inhaler/epipens. It's no fun to live in fear, plus there is too much going on to let asthma get in the way. Now that he kind of understands what to expect and that I'm most likely not dying, he's a lot better about it. The lungs have perked up now. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Blogversary: 1 year of my life

Well it's been a year since I sat down one night and decided to try out this whole blogging thing. I've learned a lot, lived a lot, run a bit, coughed some, gotten off the couch, and made some great friends. It's certainly been an interesting year, I've gotten an "official" asthma diagnosis(not shocking), as well as a PCOS diagnosis(slightly more suprising), and allergies under the best control they've been in in years. Overall I'd say I'm in a lot better place now than I was this time last year. Yes, I still inhale more ventolin and symbicort than I'd like. This is a better control place than I've been in a long time. I like it but I know we/I can do better. I feel like the dose of maintenance meds I'm on is kind of overkill. Yes, I'm controlled but I feel like the dose might be able to be titrated lower. One thing I'd say for sure these days is that my asthma isn't "mild" as I said in my first post on here. Yes, I keep marching on but with some pretty hardcore ICS/LABA on board.

Credit: WikiMedia Commons
By the Numbers:
2 5k's
1460 puffs of Symbicort
358 Allegra Pills
1 5mi/8k Race
900ish puffs of Ventolin
83 blog posts
2252 hits on this blog
458+ km of forward motion
0 ER/Hospital Visits
0 Prednisone

Overall I like where this year in my life has gone and I look forward to a new chapter of awesomeness as I embark on year 2 of blogging. Goals for the year to come:
1. Get the weight under control.
2. Lower the dose of my maintainence meds.
3. Inhale less ventolin.
4. Complete at least a 1/2 marathon.
5. Run more, walk less when competing.
6. Finish Undergrad. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Training to Reclaim the 80's

All 236 days of that 80's I was around for that is. I'm training for an 80's themed 5k on May 14th. It's going alright. I've been trying to get running by my calves have been really tight. Need to stretch more which will hopefully help. Also probably should take yoga back up to see if that will help as well. I'm definitely feeling pretty confident about my training at this point. The legs are holding me back not the lungs :).  I'm also looking at a 10k June 11 and 3/4 Marathon October 1. Trying to keep the training up.

Overall I've been feeling pretty awesome this allergy season and I'm as close to asymptomatic as I've ever been. I've still got itchy eyes, the occasional sneeze and an annoying drip of mucus out of my nose.  Compared to last year when I was congested and feeling just plain nasty/miserable I'll take this. I'm gonna say knock on wood allergy shots are working :). Other than excercise stuff the asthma has been non-noteworthy. The lungs have been rocking it out. I definitely have needed to premedicate for exercise but they aren't cranky otherwise. 2 puffs keeps them happy campers.

I've been doing pretty decent at keeping up with towing the PCOS line. I've been eating good for me and exercising as instructed. I did have a blizzard from Dairy Queen last night as some sweet sweet victory. However I've logged 38 km this week and still had 300 extra leftover calories. I've lost about 3lbs nothing major but a step in the right direction. I've been drinking a lot more water than I used to and have all but banished refined/added sugars from my plate/glass. Hopefully, this will be enough to get me going in the right direction.

As you can see not a whole heck of a lot to report, and as the end of the semester approaches I will try to keep up to date on here but make no guarentees until May 7th when things will be a lot more open.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Passing on Patanase

So I'm not going to be requesting a Patanase presecription from Dr. B. I really haven't had any nasal allergy symptoms to speak of, a few sneezes fill half a klenex in a day tops. I can actaully breath through my nose for the first time since the 90's. I'm thinking I'm liking this whole allergy shot thing well other than the whole getting jabbed 2x month with stuff that itches that I'm not supposed to scratch... details.

I've also had a few riteous nose bleeds over the last week or two. I mean it's not the end of the world. However, with no cold/sinus infection I'm just not seeing the benefit to adding another drug into my lineup that makes me more drowsy and possibly is implicated in nose bleeds. Dr. B and I haven't had a heart to heart yet but I'm going to push for fewer meds. At this point I'm not miserable enough to warrant taking lots and lots of drugs the downsides aren't outweighing the benefits. I'm feeling pretty decent about how allergy season is going this year. The eyes and ears itch like crazy but the rest of the body doesn't and the nasal breathing is a nice addition. I'm halfway tempted to do a little experimentation with skipping some Allegra(probably a bad idea). Unlike last spring I'm actually you know getting back to working out (outdoors at that!).

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Number Crunching: Part 1

So I'm serious about this whole getting healthy/loosing weight thing. I've gotten to tipping the scale at 200lbs. I'm not okay with this. Thus here are the starting numbers of me:
  • Bust: 45"
  • Ribcage: 38" 
  • Weight: 200lbs(in T-Shirt & Jeans since that's how the doc measures) 
  • Height: 5'4" 
  • Waist: 39.5" 
  • Hips: 48.75"
  • Blood Pressure:130/80 
  • Pulse:90 
The goals are to loose some weight, replace my 38" Jeans with something smaller when they wear out(~1-2 months), and lower the blood pressure (pulse too hopefully). Today starts me back in the saddle of intermittent speed forward motion as well as healthy eating. I'm not good at behaving but I must make my best attempt. Unless there is ridiculous progress (like my pants which are currently pretty tight, falling off me) I intend to update this in a month or so.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Gettin' Off the Couch

Pictgram running manWell my sinuses have finally stopped torturing me (knock on wood). It's time that I think about getting myself off the couch and moving. It's gonna be pretty well starting over since it'll be a good 3.5 weeks that I've been sidelined and not feeling 100%. I did try to keep working out but that didn't work so well. I'm planning on forcing myself to take it good and slow. No rushing to get going with too much distance too soon.This time I've got my sights on a 10k in about 11 weeks. At this point not having pounded the pavement a single day yet; the goal is to run the whole thing. If I run the whole thing I should pace out to right around 75 minutes maybe a little more. Which would be awesome if I could beat my 8k time in a 10k.

I've found a plan which I'll make into a calendar in some free time, I should be able to go couch to 10k with minimal pain, and slow-ish. This will require 4 or 5 run days instead of 3 but I feel like I make runs happen better than I make cross training happen. I do need to get back to yoga to really get the flexibility and strength going again too. Not to mention I always feel so refreshed after yoga. The goal race is the Route 66 10k on June 11. I've also got a 5k with an 80's theme I might do in mid May as a pre-race Race :).We'll see how these next couple days go. Due to other commitments today and an allergy shot Thursday, Friday is the first possible option on starting to pound some pavement.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Time flies when you inhale steriods

Well it's been 2 years since the day I went to Student Health and they suspected allergic asthma and gave me a ProAir (albuterol) Inhaler. It's been a little under a year since the "official" diagnosis and a little under 2 years on symbicort. I've learned a lot, most importantly, sometimes if you don't laugh, you'll cry. hope some of these give you a chuckle.
You Know You have Asthma if:
1. You have ever slept with an inhaler (& spacer) under your pillow.
2. You are excited to have a backpack with a second water bottle pocket just the right size for a spacer, PFM, and your inhaler.
3. You have sent your inhaler through a washing machine cycle or two.
4. You can function on the jitters from albuterol and the craziness of oral steroids.
5. You are a regular at the pharmacy.
6. Exercise is a carefully planned for event.
7. One of your puffers is your favorite because it tastes better.
8. You have an obsession with doing walk/run events.
9. You know what 'evil candy' is and have a love/hate relationship with it.
10. You are on a first name basis with your doctor, and the nurses and receptionists in the office.
11. You find empty/expired inhalers in the strangest places.
12. You can't sleep for more than 12 hours without waking up to take your morning meds.
13. While being SOB isn't good, it has everything to do with your lungs and not your behavior.
14.  A complex set of spreadsheets charts the ups and downs of days and weeks.
15. Red/Yellow/Green are of two significances in your life and only one relates to traffic control.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Weighing in on Life

from Graphics Fairy
As a part of the PCOS game plan I'm supposed to be loosing weight in hopes of improving my high cholesterol and out of wack periods. Additionally my blood pressure was ever so slightly elevated this last visit which is not great but not the end of the world. Don't get me wrong I'm not exactly enthused to we tipping the scale around 200 lbs at 5'4" tall. I know my weight isn't the healthiest. However, at present it's just feeling like a loosing battle. I log 20-40 or more Kilometers/week. It's not like I'm sitting on the couch just eating Doritos. Even the doctor was at a little bit of a loss, I'm pretty active, I eat more or less good for me. I don't eat meat or drink soda. I eat 'good' carbs like whole grains and fruits and veggies aka fibrous things. I've been doing the low fat low cholesterol thing since I was 13. It's not like I'm not trying. The other end of things is that unfortunately there are months like this one where I literally don't have the lung capacity to get out there and work out. I've had some kind of cold nastyness going for almost 3 weeks on and off. This pretty well puts much physical activity out of the question. I'd love to loose the weight and I'm trying my darnest to do so. It's not easy carrying a full load of classes, working part-time, and trying to balance asthma, allergies, and hormones out of wack while getting sleep and having a bit of a social life. I don't know what more to do, I will not give up I'm a fighter. I just wish that my activity level and eating habits were enough to make the scale tip at a lower level and please Dr. Z.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St Pat's Run Recap

So I actually did the Run on March 12 not today. It was a good time, definitely a fun one to run. As you can see from some of the pictures in my 12 of 12. The course was pretty flat, some small inclines but nothing super intense. The t-shirts were awesome, green technical tee's heck yeah! People had really awesome costumes and were having a good time. I mean there were also people there to Run the race in like under 30 minutes. A good deal of the people were there to have a good time and for the free beer at the finish line.(I passed on having one of those.)
Requisite starting-line self portrait
Unfortunately due to the massive quanity of mucus in my head I didn't get to run much. I mostly kept a quick quip of a walk going. I'm sure I sounded wonderful. I'm kind of mad that I got sick at the last minute but I'm kind of also glad that I didn't give up and not go completely. I had been doing so well with my training and feel like I would've been ready to kick some serious tail had I been running not at about 70% of normal. The asthma wasn't really the issue so much as the nasty cold/sinus stuff I had/have going on. All in all I'm pretty proud of my 1:24:10 official time. Chip timing is pretty nifty since I usually end up starting towards the back of the pack. I was 421/428 for my age group and 8685/8910 overall.

I did get to meet up with my friend Kim who was doing the race as well. She finished in 55 minutes which was super awesome since she barely trained. She felt guilty for doing so much better than me when she knew I'd been training for about a month and a half and she threw hers together in 2-3 weeks. Such is life when you are a bit more physically fit and have less wonky lungs than I. We went for sandwiches afterward which was fun to catch up and enjoy some good food.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

12 of 12 St. Patrick's Run 2011

On the 12th of each month a bunch of people around the blogosphere take 12 pictures. 12 of 12 was created by Chad Darnell. These were all taken in/around/during the St. Patrick's Day 5 mile run. 
8:08, The Arch on the way to the start line.
,
8:13, Start Line
8:32, Just what everybody wants before they run 5 miles, a Kegger
9:18, See of green headed down Market Street
9:31, Parade Floats starting to be inflated.
9:39, These triathlon guys probably ran almost 1.5x as much as the actual distance of the run cause they would randomly circle around things including any race marshals or police officers they passed. I didn't get the last guy in the chain who had a blow up dinosaur on his back.
9:51, Turning at Highway 64/40
9:51, Muny Float headed to the parade.
10:36, Finish Line only 2 more blocks!
10:38, In the Plaza next to the finish line.
10:43, Finish line from the otherside
11:22, Jimmy John's with a friend who ran too, best sandwich in a good long while

Spring Breakin at the Doctor's

Okay so I did get some legit vacation over my spring break but after the fun was done it came time for extra fun!!! Doctors appointments rounded out the Friday of my week of spring break. I feel like both were pretty decent I've got some answers and some things to work on for sure.
From WikiMedia Commons
I'll start from the top first up Dr. Z for a fun follow up about the festive crazy menstrual cycles which are now whipped into clockwork regularity by the pill. She said it's official I've got Polycystic Ovary Syndrome(PCOS), oh yay! Basically apparently it means that my estrogen progesterone testosterone and insulin are out of wack or so Dr. Z explained. I've got a high pulse which didn't get  me approving marks from her either. I've earned myself admonishment to keep up the exercise and avoid starches and other such bad things for yah. I am to try my best to loose about 10 lbs in the next 3 months. I've also got a stack of lab orders for an assortment of fun fasting things like insulin, cholesterol, and thyroid stuff. Oh boy my life is riveting. Gotta love fasting bloodwork!(It looms on the horizon in late May/early June).
Lungs (animated)Grabbed a little lunch and headed down the outerbelt freeway to see the friendly neighborhood allergist, Dr. B. Where we discussed my mucus. He wants to get my allergies whipped into submission before he does anything to my asthma meds since from the winter months it's pretty clear that my lungs are happy campers when my allergies are milder. He wants me to try Patanase spray to see if it's helpful and more tolerable than Astelpro which put me to sleep but with nice clear nose. He took a listen to the lungs and pronounced them clear. Which was interesting after I described my various colors of mucus that were(and still are) coming forth from them. He did take lots of listens to them more so than normal, I'm guessing there was something semi-suspicious happening. He did kind of press down on the top part of my ribcage a bit like up by my clavicles and sternum while he was listening to the lower lobes of my lungs while exhaling. Not quite sure what that was about. I get to return in 3ish months for more fun mucus and asthma discussions. He was pleased by the positive effect birth control has had on the menstrual asthma.

Overall I feel like both of these appointments provided clear plans of action that I am comfortable with and should make things over all better. I've got my work cut out for me these next few months.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Quick Thoughts on the New York Trip

I'm on the last night in New York. It's been pretty awesome pictures will follow when I get home to my parents place. I've really enjoyed my time wandering the city. Our hotel has not been so great for the asthma front. The front entrance way smells extremely strongly of this orange perfume. Kind of like a giant plug in. Oh well you can't win at everything. Considering how much walking we've done the lungs have been pretty well behaved. I think the key to this was that I'm that nerd who brought my own dust mite cover with me. I've also been carrying symbicort with me so I don't miss doses. I'm pretty sure my symbicort has seen half the bathrooms in Manhattan I've been in. Lungs have been fairly copacetic. Walked about 15km that I remember the routes to and thus could map in the last day and a half. Had a hit or two of ventolin here or there. Nothing major. Knock on wood no problems with flying with all my asthma/allergy paraphernalia. Laters!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Pill and the Lungs

So I think I mentioned in the summary of my appointment with Dr. Z's officemate Dr. S that we are taking birth control for a spin to try to make my hormones play nice. So far it's been pretty decent. I'm taking a lot less ventolin during the estrogen drop of the month. I still need more than I normally would. However, we're down from 8-10 puffs/day to 2-4 puffs. So not bad at all. And I actually am not so short of breath that I'm not just barely scraping by, I actually feel up to doing things other than napping or forcing myself to be productive and do quiet seated work.
WikiMedia Commons

I don't know how well the hormones are actually doing at regulating my cycles. The first month was rather rough. There was lots of random bleeding. Which I know is somewhat normal. We're solidly through month two, without random spotting and bleeding. I have only had a 3 day short period. I did have pretty heavy bleeding and cramping during the short period that I did have. Which is much more normal than the periods I was having prior to the pill. I do like having a predictable cycle but I'd rather not be on these things forever and ever. I mean I really like what they do, but it's not without some probability of long term cardiac side effects. Hopefully, we'll get to the bottom of my crazy cycles sooner or later.

On a sick note, I'm still under the weather but feeling less bad than this weekend. I still have congestion and a sore throat. However, I'm not feeling too bad. I have been SOB quite a bit as I get back to moving around and doing stuff. Haven't had a peakflow crash really or too much asthma symptoms. However, my energy is still pretty well in the tank. We'll see how the week progresses. I'm hoping to avoid steroids, and getting sicker since I'd really like to still compete at the St. Patrick's Day Run.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Snowy with a Chance of Ventolin

This is how I did last night. Under the snow on my shoes there is  hopefully a still working Nike+ sensor. I really had quite a pleasant run in the snow with a few layers on. The lungs were quite happy campers, I kept them warm with fleece balaclava. It was also just a few degrees below freezing so pretty nice outside and made nice fluffy snow. Quite refreshing to have a different running experience. I really enjoyed the crunch of fresh unpacked snow under my feet. It also isn't slick really hardly at all too run on which is a nice plus. Overall I'm feeling fairly confident about my running abilities. I won't be able to run the whole race but I don't have delusions that high. Realistically I'm just looking to keep an average sub 15min mile. Which I'm hoping is doable. I won't win any medals but I probably won't have the honor of finishing dead last like the last race I was in. Ultimately, I'm excited to have the chance to get out there and go, cause if you'd told me last year that I'd run in 4 inches of snow while 2 more inches were coming down I'd have told you you're nuts! This early March 5 mile definitely has kept me going through the winter. The next training trajectory is a Couch to 5k to try to get my walk to run ratio tipping more towards running than it already does.

On the asthma front my almost complete ignoring of the lungs for 2-3 months seems to have proved just fine. I'm still hitting low to mid 600's actually a bit above my PB from a few months ago. It's been really nice to ignore things for more or less 12 hours at a time. And all but forget about my peakflow meter. Best idea in the world probably not, but sometimes I just need a break from being 'sick' and winter is the time for that for me. I am starting to get back towards the habit of obsessively charting my peakflows and inhaler usage. I've had one or two blips but I've been reminded just how crappy 70 something percent feels.

Now for the bad news, I felt fine yesterday, today I'm sneezing and mucused up to wazzoo... I think I'm getting a cold or something. Hopefully not the flu. I'm hoping to thwart it and escape the steroids. I've been behaving myself, inhaling copious quantities of ventolin, drinking fluids, not going out and partying/drinking, and sinus washing. All the stuff you're supposed to do. I've got nothing to do this weekend so I may crawl into bed with my laptop and just kind of lay there quite a bit. We'll see how things go.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Training 8k: halfway point

I've got three weeks under my belt of 8k training as of late we've been thawing pretty nicely. Gotta love shorts and a singlet to train in February. My number should be coming in the next week or two. I'm excited to race with chip timing and the longer distance.

The goal is under 90 minutes to finish. Which I proved today is pretty doable. I did 3.75 miles at 1:30:2 pace. Not too shabby. My lungs were definitely not happy campers. It was a bit humid for them and I'm also on the blank week of birth control. Thus two puffs before heading out two puffs during. Came home little sob but could tell if it was asthma or just workout. Oh Hai 450 pf (somewhere in the 70s didn't do the exact math). Bounced back to 635 a few hours and 6 total puffs of ventolin for the day.

Not only were the lungs kind of tight the legs were too. Clearly I need to do some more stretching or something. Oddly my right foot fell asleep for a good .5 mile. Which slowed me down for fear of misstepping or it giving out on me.

I'm Orange Now on Nike+ :)
All in all my runs have done good for the mental health just being able to get out there and get going. I am definitely feeling slow and not running as much as I'd like but I don't want to push too hard and get hurt/sick.
PS I'll add some pictures later when I'm not doing this from my phone. Pictures added 2/25

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Thoughts on Travel

So the topic came up a few nights ago when I was chit chatting with a friend if I would ever want to study abroad. The answer of course being yes I'd love to study abroad!! I have taken many years of french and would love the chance to get to actually try out my french skills in a francophone area. However, there are just so many things to figure out and work out in order to study abroad.

First of all, there is the issue of allergy shots. At present traveling far from home for more than about a two weeks is a non-option because I have biweekly injections. I do have some leeway with these missing a week or two isn't the end of the world but an extended trip is pretty much a non-option.

Second, there is the issue of doubting being healthy enough to really travel significant distances (by myself), possibly to a place where I don't really know anybody. I get nervous even to drive the 200 miles (one way) to school or back by myself. I have never had a problem while driving nor do I anticipate issues. However, I drive some pretty deserted country highways with spotty cell coverage to get to school. This is more a problem in my head. Objectively, I am most likely healthy enough to be able to pick up and leave and do what I want to do. However, there is always the lingering fear/thought in the back of my head, what happens if I have a bad asthma attack, or a latex allergy reaction. Will I be able to get to the ER? Will it be a latex-safe facility? If they admit me, will my parents be able to come see me? Legitimate worries but not the typical 21-year old travel worries.

However, there is a slight possibility that I'll be spending the summer in either Rhode Island or another Missouri town in the central part of the state. I'm a long shot to get into the summer research programs at either of the sponsoring universities but I'm tossing my hat in the ring and seeing what comes of it. Nothing ventured nothing lost right?

On the other hand I am definitely spending part of my spring break visiting family in Manhattan and Long Island. First family vacation in a long time. I'm so excited to get to go through airport security with a whole pile of meds including injectables(epipens), should be interesting.  Last time I flew I had a bottle of Allegra and a single ProAir inhaler.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

12 of 12 February 2011

On the 12th of each month a bunch of people around the blogosphere take 12 pictures. 12 of 12 was created by Chad Darnell. I'll be posting some other visual aids in the next few days to recap my runs. :)


0:35, Room, Starting to work on a nice bruise from giving blood the day before

11:32, Room, Eggs are defrosting nicely, going to make brownies later (see p365 for evidence)

12:41, LaPlata, Little bit of Northern Missouri adventures with a friend. We stopped for ice cream

13:24, South Gifford, On a side note population 72 and due West of Gifford,  Ol' Rake Salloon, We did not stop for a drink. Only active business as far as we could tell in town

13:25, South Gifford, Assumably now defunct Farmers' Exchange Grocer/Produce

13:26, State Highway 156, About to turn onto state hwy 156

14:20, WalMart Lot, Left hand side you can see the cart corral thingy, starting to melt out of the pile of plowed snow. Also cool clouds

20:28, Connie's Place, Birthday Girls just blew out the candles.

20:29, Connie's, Syncronized cutting of the cake, side note, delicious grain-free cake, pretty much pure cocoa. 

21:47, Rachelle's, Side of a friend's Jack & cola bottle, Says "ok+" under the "21+" which is kind of lost in the glare.

23:24, the Porch, We got warm inside cause the steam works too well in Rachelle's place so we came outside to watch the walks of shame back to campus, and cool off. 

23:40, Porch swing, View from porch swing, you can kind of see campus. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

What was I thinking?!: Dumb moves in AsthmaLand Part II

This has not been a weekend of particularly smart asthma moves. Part of it is that I haven't really had to deal with too much of anything asthma-wise in about 3.5 months. I've been on autopilot, wake up 2 puffs of symbicort and an allegra down the hatch. Ignore asthma/allergies for the next ~12 hours 2 more puffs symbicort. Lather Rinse Repeat. It's been quite nice to not have to sneak much Ventolin, and I've also gotten lazy and quit taking peakflows at any regular interval. With the lungs behaving I haven't really felt the need to chart their progress obsessively.  Minor asthmaland rule infraction there. I will work on it.

So dumb move of the weekend #1: on Friday night I was out at the far away parking lot which is about .5 km from my ResHall. It was 14F/-10C outside, and about 9 minutes to Midnight. The doors to the ResHall except the front door lock at midnight thus making me have to go around the entire building twice if I didn't make it in by midnight. With no pre-medication and not having had my evening Symbicort dose, I made the run for it. Got there in about 4:30 which was good. However, I got to my room and was feeling pretty crappy. Hit up the Peakflow, oh hai 67% long time no see. Couple puffs of Ventolin, 2 of Symbicort, and a nights' sleep and I was feeling better. Yes, I know my bad, asthmaland prohibits the quick footwork in the cold weather without placating the lungs with some Ventolin.

Second rule violation of asthmaland this weekend: Alcohol during the super-bowl. I tend to have asthma troubles from consuming alcohol the next day. I don't get "hungover" in the traditional sense. I get what I term to a friend or two an 'asthma-hangover'. It's the joyous experience of waking up with an elephant on your chest, shallowly breathing  shards of glass. I had some vodka while I was watching the Super-bowl at my friend's place. I had about 2 shots worth of it over the course of the entire Superbowl. At most I was slightly buzzed. I did not really cross into any heavy level of intoxication. However, I assure you I paid for it this morning. I've learned my lesson and will repent from my bad habits this weekend.

In other news, I've also been trying to break my caffeinated soda-pop habit. I'm on day 7. I still consume caffeine in the forms of tea and dark chocolate.  I also got a new Nike + sensor to replace my dead/lost one. Not really sure where it got off to but it's MIA and will probably resurface now that I've got a replacement.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Indoor training... again!

So the weather has improved a bit as has the general snowcoveredness of the sidewalks on campus. However, we've replaced a lot of the snow with ice. One of the watermains through the center of campus broke and gushed out water which then froze. Seeing as how I like staying up right. Looks like this weeks' Distance Run will be in an indoor venue. I know, I know you are thinking but why not run on the roads/sidewalks off campus... You see there are very few clear sidewalks off campus. And the roads just aren't safe to run on in this weather.

On  a completely different note, the lungs are behaving themselves pretty darn nicely. Little blips with exercise and such. I would say in general I feel pretty decent. However, I've been a naughty asthmatic. I've been letting measuring peakflows slip like pretty much all the time. With spring allergy season approaching I really need to get back in the habit of checking peakflows. Also possibly causing some minor lung blips is the fact that I've been trying to decaffeinate myself a bit. I'm trying to swear off caffeinated soda-pop entirely. Ideally eventually soda more or less entirely. Although I do enjoy "real" root beer fresh on tap, not something that comes around everyday so a nice little treat.  Anyway I'm gonna kick back and enjoy some more wintery goodness. (Remind me why I moved north again... oh yeah!... lower mold count).

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mother Nature is No Match for a Tractor with a Snow Blade

Waist Deep, No Joke
So I know that I said on Tuesday, yesterday was going to have to be a rest day due to snow drifts way too deep to run through and the campus rec center being closed. Well the snow drifts are still way too deep to run though. However the campus rec center did open up yesterday afternoon. We got plowed out on campus by a tractor(I assume from the University farm) with a snow blade, a Bobcat with a snowbrush, and Bulldoser moving some of the snow. There are still many sidewalks on campus that need to be cleared, but we have enough north/south and east/west pathways that we can get around. Thus I went to the Rec center and ran my 20 laps around the track(super boring way to get to 2 miles). I split 12:53.6 and 14:54.7 on the two miles which isn't too horrible. I was doing run 2 laps walk 1 lap, pretty consistently. The lungs definitely liked the nice climate controlled temperature. The legs enjoyed some nice flat terrain. However, I did manage to get a blister right along the arch of my foot.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Blizzard Day!

So my university doesn't really give snow days. We do however, about once every 30-40 years get a blizzard bad enough to cancel classes for the day. Today they closed the university at 10:30am and it will remain closed tomorrow as well. Everything is locked up and everyone is hunkered down for the long haul. Save the residence halls, and dining halls there is nothing open on campus. Most of the businesses are closed down til at least Thursday. Needless to say, this would fall under Act of G-d in the excuses as to why I'm not going to be able to train tomorrow. The snow is most of the way to my knees with drifts even deeper.

My lungs have been more or less behaving. I've seen some little blips the last few days I'm thinking mostly from picking up the workout pace/humidity change from the storm. We'll see though, I've definitely been seeing more of the little blue puffer than I've gotten accustomed to. I hit the treadmill Monday night, and did some cross training today. Unfortunately the weather just isn't behaving very nicely for this whole training thing.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

5.2k on a Beautiful Winter Day


So today I went for a run(ish), where I encountered questionably slick patches/uncleared walks/shoulders I did some powerwalking cause falling on my buns while running down the main drag in town sounded like a bad idea. It was a nice 37F/3C outside, with not too much wind. Enough to keep me cool but not so much that I was under dressed in a long sleeve technical tee with a longsleeve 'cold morning' running top over and gym shorts. Yes, I wore shorts outside today.

Overall the run went decent, I felt rather slow I came in at right around 57 minutes which isn't bad but definitely needs to be improved since I'm hoping to do somewhere around 1:15-1:20 for the 8k I have coming up. My legs didn't really complain, got a little tight here or there but loosened right back out with a quick stretch. The lungs where kind of SOB quite a bit but not really tight or cough-y. I lost count of how many puff's of ventolin have been into me today. I kind of crashed after the run. Probably not the smartest idea to run in the midst of my period. However, I did it already. I just went out there to run, no real planned route, just me my iPod, my phone, keys, inhaler, driver's license and camelbak. The camelbak is a blessing and a curse on the one hand I stay very well hydrated. However, consuming 1.5 liters of water in under an hour with no easy restroom access in cooler temperatures does present a slight problem.

My nike plus is acting up the sensor is being dumb. So I either need to beat it into submission(cause all electronics work better after a few love taps) or get a new one. Which is how I ended up going the extra 200 meters not that 5.2k is is a bad distance. Although had I not ended my jog at the far-away parking lot of school(to pick up my car) I would've gone closer to 6km. I'm definitely feeling like I can get there for the 8k. Whether I'll be walking or jogging has yet to be seen. If I could do a like Run 8 minutes Walk 2 minutes or something that would be a happy point. However, a lot depends on what the weather looks like come that part of March, not only temperatures for the asthma, pollen counts/how well allergy shots are working for the congestion factor.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

5 mile Training fo'reals yo

So as I mentioned earlier this week I seriously need to get out there and get my buns going forward at an intermittently quick pace. I have 6 weeks to get out there and go for it. I need to get serious. Yes, it can be down right bitter out there here in the Missouri Winter. However, unless there is a frostbite warning or dangerously icy I  am here and now committing infront of the whole blog-o-sphere to get my buns out of the warm and start jog/run/walking.


The plan is:
Monday/Wednesday: Short runs (Taper up from 2miles to 3mi/5k)
Tuesday/Friday: Aerobic Crosstrain (Taper up from 30 minutes to 60 minutes) possibly some Yoga
Thursday: Rest, Possibly Some Yoga on weeks I don't have allergy shots.
Saturday: Long Run (Taper from 2ish Miles to 5ish miles)
Sunday: Yoga and/or Strength and flexibility
If you want to see my exact training calendar let me know and I'll give you access to my google training calendar. Edit: See Training Calendar above/to right.

Keeping my fingers crossed that the lungs will behave better for me this winter. It's probably rather silly to schedule a race for March 12 when that is normally my worst season. However, I'm hopeful that the allergy shots are working and I'll be free breathing for the race. Since that time last year I was enjoying a fun course of Medrol (predisone's equally evil cousin).

Monday, January 24, 2011

Row Row Row your erm... Ergometer gently down the stream...

So the winter months bring me indoors towards the gym. Cause I don't know about you but I'm not very skilled at fitness walking/jogging when there is 3-6+ inches of snow on the ground. I tend to try to avoid trudging out in it in this kind of weather. My usual thing to do at the gym is hit up the indoor rower [aka erg(ometer)]. I'm slowly but surely rowing my way to a million meters. Yesterday was my first 5k in 2011 I rowed a 35:47 which is kinda slow for me, but baby steps.

Water break during my rowing last night
The lungs have been rocking it out. I like that part of winter. They will let me sleep through a Symbicort dose :). Ventolin has only really been happening when I work out which is pretty epic. 2-3 rescue uses in as many months... I could really get used to this :). Maybe I will escape to Inhaled Steroid only someday. I'm not holding out too hard but hope does spring eternal.

The semester is off to a decent start I'm only in 4 classes one of which is online [medical terminology... interesting class]. It has been keeping me mighty busy. However, hopefully I'll get into the rythym of class and get back into better blogging habits.

Spring will bring with it a fun break during which I get to see Dr. Z for a what the crap is up with my hormones appointment, and Dr. B for a check up in the peak of spring allergy season. I know you are jealous of my spring break plans don't lie! Also during the second weekend of break I'm registered for a 5 mile/8k run. It's a St. Patrick's Day run with beers at the finish line so I'm not sure how seriously people will be taking it. I'm excited for it though[not for the beer, just vigorously went 5 miles a brewski isn't on the top of list of stuff to ingest] cause it's chip timed. Should be interesting since I'm looking at my calendar it's 47 days away! Somebody better get on her training. I'm in decent cardio shape since I've been rowing and such but I need to get my buns back out on the track/treadmill/road. Should be interesting to try out cold weather training. It will be a necessary evil since if I can run/rapidly walk 5 miles in Northern Missouri Winter it should be easier to do in Central Missouri early spring. The average for early March in St. Louis is in the 40's (F) which isn't too bad.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

12 of 12 January 2011

On the 12th of each month a bunch of people around the blogosphere take 12 pictures. 12 of 12 was created by Chad Darnell. These are a bit late cause the beginning of the semester is gotten the better of me.
 
0:03  Room, So I was a little behind on posting my project 365 picture. Oops

10:39 Room, Oh yay mail from home. If only it hadn't been car insurance and bank forms it would've been a little more exciting.

12:56 Campus, Same garden as October, just under 7 inches of snow if not more since it's a low spot on campus (woo snow drifts!)

13:11 Student Union,  Yummy rasberry hot chocolate nice midafternoon warm up

18:04 Room, Putting the edging on the baby blanket

18:35 Lounge's Patio, Who doesn't want to dine al fresco tonight? 

19:07 Cafeteria, Just finishing up dinner and reading my book

19:17 Lounge, It bothers me that these chairs are not stacked correctly

20:07 Room, Time to clean!

21:03 Room, Definitely looking better

22:40 Room, Edging completed; still need to weave in the yarn ends

22:42 Room, Date bars best Christmas baking tradition ever!