Tuesday, October 9, 2012

         Well, I really feel like Im back at it again, again. There are always lulls and these last nine months are no exception. In February, I thought for acouple of months that its probably just overtraining or whatever. In April, it was,"maybe Im aenemic or deficient, its gotta be something related to whatever Im putting into my body or not putting into my body, overtraining wouldn't last this long". Then, in May I did the rational thing, finally and went to see a doctor. Atrial Fibrillation was the answer. Nobody knew from whence it came but, my heart was all over the graph and my sinus rhythm was outta wack. 25% of my blood was going nowhere!
          Warfarin is structurally like Rat Poison. It thins your blood so when they install electrodes around your chest and back to shock your heart back into a regular sinus rhythm, the blood that has pooled in your heart doesnt send a clot to your brain causing a stroke.
          As the Anaesthesiologist was explaining what he was doing I woke up and the Cardiologist was gone and it had worked. It  happened that fast. I slept the afternoon away, that night, and was pretty out of it for a day or two. Then, a funny thing started to happen. I had more energy.
          The first run on Wildwood was amazing and not frustrating at all. I enjoy the laborous steps through Forest Park more so than all those trial runs before. I did a quick out and back savoring the sun and wind through the trees every step of the way. About a quarter mile from the car I felt it, the new beginning.
          Fast forward two weeks and Im not exhausted and have just got off the Metropolol that keeps my heart rate from jumping into the 180's on occasion. My muscles are recovering! I decided to take a solo trip into the Gorge up to Dublin Lake for some quiet time over the weekend. It was an eight mile hike up to the lake and I was walking at a brisk pace with my overnight goods. Walking down from the lake, i had an incredible urge to run so, I ran. I leapt off on a couple 100 meter strides and everytime I walked I felt like running. Jumping off rocks and dodging roots back to the car I knew Id be sore the next couple of days but, it all reminded me why those that enjoy this do it. It is so damn fun running down and around varied terrain. Running is like being completely still and in motion at the sametime. If you are running and not completely happy, your are not doing it right. Plain and simple. If you feel exhausted and are not enjoying anything about moving your body and mind through space, stop and rest. You just have to listen to and heed your bodies warnings.
           An Athelete cannot run with money in his pockets, he must run with hope in his heart and dreams in his head.      -Emil Zatopek


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Atrial Fibrillation

          So alot has changed. Blood and Holter Monitor tests were being anticapated. Energy was down. Progression was on the up and up. We were waiting for answers. Well, now we have them.
An irregular heart rate called Atrial Fibrillation was cause to low energy levels. Atrial Fibrillation could be considered a down side to Adrenaline producing activities such as coffee and energy drinks, to that feeling you get before race day, among many, many others. Since the heart is pumping at an irregular rate, blood pools and doesn't get to where it needs to be, in the rest of the body.
          Well, I have been shocked. Literally. The moment we had been waiting and preparing for has come and gone. I have been taking Warfarin, a blood thinning pill used for many other uses that is similar to Rat poison, for the greater part of two months. Warfarin thins your blood so when the doctors set you up with an I.V. and the accompanying electrodes to convert you electrically, you dont release a clot to your brain and have a stroke. With a Cardioversion, the goal is for the cardiologist to find the regular Sinus rhythm within your heart beat and shock it into being your continuous rate.
          Conversion complete and sinus rhythm regular, all those things that have been swimming around in my head can finally get slowly released and I can begin to have a more intimate friendship with an old confidant that has brought me many past joys and shown me so many great things about my world. With all the past weeks of hoping this moment was around the corner it has brought to me the fragility of running. Once attained, the simple act of moving one foot consciously and soon, subconsciously in front of the other, can bring an amazing amount of joy.
          To leave you with a taste,

          These are some of the best reasons to get out there and devote my life to efficient bi-pedal movement.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Waiting for Levels

Just went in to get blood tests done and strap the halter monitor to my chest for recording my heart. Pretty excited to find out what is instore. Alot of the talk seems focused around my hyperthyroid controling the atrial fibrillation. Reading up on the Thyroid, its amazing how many systems are controlled by it, pretty much everything. It could be the reason my breathe becomes extremely labored at times as though the air is stopping in my throat and I eat as much as I do. The thyroid controls metabolism and having it inflamed would make my throat constricted and breathing difficult. The Interns looked very satisfied at the results saying that everything is pointing in the same direction. Its hard to wait until tuesday's results knowing that there is a chance all my energy and virility could return in the coming weeks. My mind yesterday was remembering all the periods of labored breathing throughout my life and to think I might feel better than when I felt good years ago and was running. That all of this could be a very transitional point. To be able to run with vitality again is a thought that is hard to wrap my head around. It will also be interesting to see how my liver is working and how all my Iron, Electrolyte, Vitamin, other blood levels are functioning. So Exciting!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Iron Deficiency

          Things have taken some turns this week. Legs/knees feel weak from all the downhill since I just started running again, just really haven't been recovery. Saturday I felt pretty out of it mentally. Cayly and I got on Wildwood and immediately I thought, Im pushing this. Just felt in another world. Really out of it and irritable all morning too which was very frustrating after having such a good two weeks of running.  After work on Sunday I was checking out some blogs stuff and came across this website about a guy dealing with anemia and iron deficiency in his running. I posted a response about when I was cycling a bunch and had anemia really bad and took a supplement called Floridax that helped out alot. Immediately I was like,"Duh!" A light came on finally. All this had to be related to the iron deficiency Ive dealt with several times in the past! I just completed two years of ridiculous mileage, while being vegan, ran my 100 miler, and have had all the symptoms of irritability, stress, frustrations, and fatigue that encompass all this.
           I was more excited about this possible solution to my energy woes than anything Ive yet to come across. So, I quickly walked down to Whole Foods and picked up a bottle. Other than sleeping kinda wierd last night, probably from taking two back to back doses before bed, I feel a bit more alert already. However, at this point it could be the extra Vitamin B complex that it has as well. Ill be able to tell more in the coming weeks with recovery and running energy. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Day's after the First

          After running Friday and Saturday and "enjoying" the sore and tight muscles that come with several months off I planned on taking Sunday off to walk around to facilitate blood flow. Walking down stairs became a chore. My body felt good otherwise and it was extremely nice to get the lungs opened up out on the trails. Especially for the first couple of weeks I think it will be good to not use the heart rate monitor. It's just frustrating when the numbers bounce from 125 to 190 at the drop of a hat while descending and sometimes reaching 222. I feel that most of these abstractions are interference and delayed readings anyway. I have noticed that I do have a bit of an irregular heart beat which I have been told is a bit normal, sometimes it just has to play catch up.
          With my plan being to take Sunday off, Monday was still up in the air. The basis for my continuity is recovery and especially while Im still getting started I feel it best to be very generous with my body. So, with my calves still being a tad on the sore side Monday, I took it off. As I write this Tuesday morning feeling quite better I feel good about my decision. Flexibility is key. Better to take an extra day of one week than a full week or more off down the road.
          As far as for Sunday's run with Cayly, man it was nice to get out. We did Wildwood from the Birch trail to about a half mile past Alder trail making it alittle over 5 miles. Weather was perfect, sunny and warm enough to take the shirt off. Legs felt pretty pooped and sore. Thought the run would be good for 'em and loosen some stuff up. It didn't but, all in all I think it was a good decision to run, especially without the heart rate monitor attached to my chest.

Friday, June 8, 2012

What happened?

          It has been awhile. I started this blog, like many do, as a journal. A time to sit down and observe all those little thoughts that rumble around in my mind causing interference with my day to day routine. Thoughts like,"Am I too tired to run" or noticing thoughts that keep recurring can give me a better idea that I might feel the way I do because I have doubled my mileage in a very limited amount of weeks along with moving and imbibing in late night activities. Things that when you look back it's like a loud DUH! in your head.
          The last couple of years I have spent my time running in a way that has been less than practical on an energy and recovery stand point. I tried building my mileage very slowly after taking several months off preparing my body to a state of homeostasis. As my mileage crept into the triple digits I started to feel really good, no hitches and things seemed to be moving along smoothly. Eventually my body started to wear down in the form of dead legs and catching a cold from time to time right when I wanted to start racing and I missed some fun 50k's in the late winter and early spring because I had run myself into the ground. Finally convinced I needed some time off from running my 15 to 30 miles a day seven days a week, I took a break. Having already signed up for the Tahoe 100 I knew I needed to get my butt in gear.
         I began hitting the hills while barely cutting my mileage down because I was overly concerned about doing 100+ miles a week. I felt good though and it was nice to be back on the trails having fun. Everything was going well getting prepared for Tahoe as I started to get tired again about the time I needed to taper. So, I ran very little a slow miles for a couple of weeks and ran Tahoe. I met some very cool people, saw some beautiful scenery, and sprained my ankle and limped it in from about mile 70.
          I wasn't as tired as I had thought I would be but, I also walked a large part of the course. Took a couple weeks off getting high and started doing some flat miles with minimal hills for three weeks to Waldo and decided I would go out there to have fun not knowing how my ankle would hold up on the downhills. At 4am Jace and I woke up and preparing for the epic day I brought Matcha powder and my marijuana tincture for fun. The first 20 miles weren't too bad, then, I started to get extremely tired. It was probably my decision to bring the tincture along that I ran out of water between aid stations and started to get very sleepy. I almost dropped at mile 30 for not keeping my eyes open and decided to drop at mile 40 while being an hour from the cut off at Twins #2 aid station. I was pretty okay with my decision to drop because I wanted to be fresh for Yosemite in 3 weeks.
          At the start of Labor Day weekend I ended up doing a big hill run with bike shop dudes on bikes, ran around Waldo, and did large hills everyday of Yosemite when I started to feel my ankle go south. With my ankle super weak and the rain and snow coming in from all directions, Jace and I called it a week.
          Getting back into town I took some days off and resumed my routine at a slow pace while trying to keep the miles on. The legs started to get sore doing even small miles with Lindsay. So, it was time to take another break of about three weeks while being unemployed and having no money, which blew. On my move to Portland I had just started to run again and felt good about it. I was waking up early to run before Joe Bike and commuting on the bike. Enjoying being out in the morning and my new change in scenery my miles started to creep into doing a couple hours a day and an hour on the bike. That's when my heart started to feel like it was gonna beat out of my chest sometime late February and early March.
          So here we are now. Several months later I have found my own place in NW and I have been living a very mellow life with work one block away and hanging out with a girl that lives a block away. I walk everywhere, which is awesome! I live about one mile from several trail heads that link over 80 miles of trails in Forest Park and the surrounding area and am just starting running again.
          My plan this go around is extremely different. Im not gonna focus on mileage at all. Recovery is the name of the game. Getting used to lower miles and building for strength and efficiency before adding more miles on. Starting out by taking more days off a week and building quality. Keeping my mind tuned into to how my body is doing. When Im tired, I rest more. Getting good quality sleep is key. No drinking or herb! Eat enough, don't leave the body feeling hangry in between meals and plan ahead.