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.