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.
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.