Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mid Winter Inspiration

I went for a short trail run today slogging through the deep snow on trails. It was a beautiful day-not too cold, a bit of sunshine then a bit of snow, pretty trails, and good friends. There is a season for everything and I know that under the snow is the trail that I love so much.  It will be there soon enough. The wild flowers will start to bloom, the days will get longer, and the runs will start to feel better and better.

Don't rush things is the mantra for February. Everything in it's time.  The distances will lengthen like the days, the uphills will get easier, and there will be less pain as spring comes.

After getting home this afternoon I found a great link on Trail Running Soul, a great web site with videos and stories. I'm planning to run my first 100 miler this year in October at the Grindstone 100. On Trail Running Soul there is a fantastic series of six, ten minute videos, which together make up a documentary called A Race For The Soul. If you wonder why people attempt extreme things (like running 100 miles) watch this incredibly inspirational film.

Can I run 100 miles?  I don't know.  I know that I have to try.  I need to do something epic in my life and running 100 miles is certainly pushing the limits of what is possible for me.  (Especially at 51 years)

The question is.....How bad do I want it?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The joy of Running

The best part of finishing up an illness is the real joy that you get when you lace up your shoes for the first time. I ran yesterday for the first time in three weeks-pneumonia and fluid in the lungs-and although I wasn't fast, and I was tired, it was a great run. An hour on roads (which normally I dislike) was a great reintroduction to the real joy of running. I felt the pulse rate climb a little bit, a trickle of sweat appeared, and the breathing became deeper and a touch faster as we pushed up the tiny hills. 

Happy to be back in the world of the living. I'm sad that I missed Holiday Lakes. But there are lots of races out there, and the Beast Series will be there next year. It will give me even more time to train and prepare mentally and physically.

Next up is Terrapin Mountain 50K, a wonderful, epic race in the hill of Virginia. It will be good to see old friends and run on familiar trails in the spring. Yipee!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mini update...and last "medical post!"

Status update: Approximately 3/4 of a liter of piss looking fluid in lungs drained by pulmonologist last night allowing me to really get a breath for the first time in several days. Prognosis is good, and I should be back on the trail in a week or so.  However what really saved me was the strong lungs and breathing built up by running. The doctor was shocked yesterday when he did my pulse oxygen rate before the Thorocentesis process. It was totally "normal."

So legs feel strong, mind is clear, snow will stop sometime???  (12-18 more today and tomorrow), and lungs are generally healing.  Life is good.

Finally good luck to all the Holiday Lake runners this weekend.  The snow will make it tough to earn your shirt, but will really be a beautiful run.  Enjoy!

Friday, February 5, 2010


Thanks to all who posted to the blog-even the anonymous folks.  Hey free speech right? As of Friday night-when I now can sit upright!-I thought I would spend this snowy night talking a little common sense about Pneumonia (yes), heart attacks (definitely no), Pleurisy (nope), and why I run (it definitely isn't about the beast series.)

I went to the ER about 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday evening when the tightness and stabbing became too tough to "suck it up."  I'm no stranger to the "pain cave" and I can tell you that around 50 miles into a race you have to be pretty tough mentally. And after tougher race years than 2010 on my calendar (except for Hellgate 100K) I can also tell you that I have a pretty good idea about what my limitations are.  I'm also not going to be stupid about my running (short or long term.) My friend Sophie says sometimes DNS means "did nothing stupid." That's the correct thing to do when the the diagnosis is Bacterial Pneumonia. Believe me I didn't order up this particular disease.  In fact this is the first time I've been sick in 20 plus years.Pneumonia is nothing to be cavalier about, and I'd like to think that in running nearly 30 ultras and marathons in the past five years has given me the wisdom and patience to work through what ever ails me and come out on the other side happy and stronger.

So maybe I won't get the beast this year.  So what? In the big picture I run to spend time with friends, my wife, and seeing new trails. For now -today that's enough

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Injury! Help!

About a week ago, I noticed a sharp pain in my left side centered in the rib cage area. I had been running a bit so didn't think much of it. I brushed it off...running produces aches and pains right??
Except this pain didn't go away. It got more severe as the weekend started. I did a solid 20 with Steve on Saturday, and then another 16 with LRRC folks on Sunday. The pain was there, manageable, but still there. It didn't hurt while I was running but when I finished on Sunday afternoon I had-what I can only describe as a full on attack that left me gasping for air and writhing in pain on the floor. It was very severe and localized in my left rib cage area. The pain wrapped around from the back to the front of the ribs and lasted 20-25 minutes. After a half hour the pain eased somewhat and two hours after the attack it was totally gone! As if I'd never had any pain. Hmmm.
Yesterday same story except not quite as severe. I couldn't drive however, and was basically incapacitated for almost two hours. The difference with the second attack is that there is a fair amount of residual pain.Ibuprofen doesn't seem to do a thing, and I'm at a loss here. As I write there is difficulty in breathing, a bit of upsetness in the gut, and a pain radiating into my left shoulder. Peg called our insurance company, I spoke to a RN who determined that 1. it was not a life threatening issue, and 2. yes, I should see someone. Brilliant!
Tomorrow I have an appointment with a GP and am hoping for the best. Not running is NOT AN OPTION...... At least for race #1 in the Beast series on February 13th.
I bagged running yesterday and today. we'll see about tomorrow, but I'm hoping that I'm alright to do a final long run on Sunday.

Only time will tell.......

So suggestions, comments, sarcastic remarks? Bring it on.

My mom-who knows everything about medicine (not)-is positive that it is Pleurisy-a disease that does have many symptoms in common with me.