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doug in co

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doug in co last won the day on August 4

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  1. doug in co

    exercise in moderation

    is what the cardiologist suggested. Usually in summer I like to do trail runs up to high mountain lakes and streams, fish a bit, then run back. My doc advised that climbing 2-3000ft up a mountain, with heart rate near max for several hours, does not qualify as moderate. Who knew ? Ran a couple of times, easy 3 miler around the park, which went fine except the bum left knee woke up from its slumbers and started paining again. Back on the bicycle it is, then. Instead of the trail runs, decided on a backpack in to the high country. I planned a moderately ambitious hike, just 13 miles and 2000ft. The HR stayed down but the legs quit on me.. after about 8 miles the bum knee was complaining, heel bursitis had flared up, and the muscles didn't want to lift anything anymore, never mind me plus a 30lb backpack. It's a sign ! But I'm not sure what it means.. this is about 7 miles in. The trail (on L of picture) was so faint I kept mistaking game trails for the route, winding up puzzled in the middle of a meadow full of deadfall. There was a fire some years ago, the trees died and have been falling steadily ever since. This produces lush meadows crisscrossed with fallen timber. The plan had me camping on a trout lake at about 6pm, with time for a few casts for trout. Camped instead on a fishless lake about 2 miles and 400ft of climbing short of goal. It was still a good camp. And there was evening, and there was morning, Legs felt oddly good this morning and knocked off the two miles over to trout in 45min. The fish were rising.. and the scenery couldn't be beat. Fished a bit, then six miles back down the hill. Dejected that I have become so weak, but happy I can still do this..
  2. doug in co

    And there went July

    kudos Dave ! just getting out there day by day is a sort of win, in these times.. been to church once (1 time) since all this started, stream it each Sunday but it's not the same. We did go to a wedding oddly enough, seating limited to 50, each couple/family at opposite ends of alternate pews and everyone masked, outdoor reception with masks..
  3. doug in co

    And there went July

    flyby ? clearly I'm technologically challenged, odd for a Comp Sci major 😉 just got a new phone where Strava actually works, instead of glitching out halfway through most runs.. will have to investigate this 'flyby' thing..
  4. doug in co

    Jumping July

    that's still a PR.. personally I just switched to triathlon when I couldn't PR a run anymore 😉 but that turned out not to be sustainable.. so, swimming ! ha.
  5. doug in co

    the new thing

    the short version is, don't worry too much, this seldom affects runners 😉 mostly what happens is old runners can't keep running due to injury etc so they switch to triathlon or cycling. The problem with these is you need much more time training, than for running. Especially with triathlon, you can train hard every day in a different sport. The upper body gets a rest when it's bike or run, the lower body gets a rest when it's swim day, biking uses muscles differently than running so even there the legs get a bit of a rest - but the heart never gets a rest.. It's a kind of overuse injury really. Cardiologist cleared me to start gentle exercise again. I've never tried gentle exercise before. Ha.
  6. here's another data point - in university I never ran slow, because I was the slowest guy on the team.. had to go hard while everyone else was running easy.. my long runs on my own were also hard, since I figured I needed the extra work.. Left that, went into the army where they wouldn't let me run enough (ha) and got even slower. Out of the army, by this time had run six marathons between 3:10 and 3:06 and thought that was it for me, maybe could get down under 3:05 one day.. started training with a bunch of ultramarathon guys who did long runs of 3-6 hours at easy jog pace. This seemed very odd but it was sort of nice just to lope along chatting, gas station breaks to get a Coke and candy bar. Four months into this ran a hilly hard 35 mile race, hit the marathon mark in 2:45 and held pace to the finish in 3:48.. now it's true I had to add in some 10k-specific training to get near 2:40 but always kept the easy long run..
  7. doug in co

    the new thing

    waking up again every morning is pretty good though 😉 rode my bike a mile or so to a pond down a trail, to go fishing. I thought of a radical idea - maybe I could ride my bike, and not go flat-out all the way ? Never tried that before.. ha
  8. doug in co

    the new thing

    went for a bike ride last Monday, and came back feeling quite unwell, chest tight and short of breath. Thought it was just the asthma coming back and used the inhaler, but that made it even worse. My wife heard me panting in the basement and came to see what was happening. I have a pulse oximeter that I used before the asthma was under control, to check on oxygen levels. This also shows the pulse with a visual bar for the heart beat. Tried this and found I had no pulse. A couple of seconds later it showed a heart rate over 200, which I haven't been able to do since I were a young pup.. We went to the ER, wife insisted 😉 Atrial fibrillation and tachycardia, the drugs eventually got it under control. Took a week to get an echocardiogram and the tech wouldn't tell me anything, so now have to wait another week for a cardiologist appointment. In the meantime no caffeine, no alcohol, no strenuous exercise - maybe I won't live forever but it will feel like it .. ha. This is usually a disease of overindulgence, associated with obesity, diabetes, excessive alcohol, stress, etc. To my surprise I find overindulgence in strenuous exercise has similar effects on the heart. See, http://www.drjohnm.org/2014/05/exercise-over-indulgence-and-atrial-fibrillation-seeing-the-obvious/ Strenuous exercise has always been my drug of choice.. Other risk factors are being tall, and having sleep apnea. Check and check. If the echo shows a leaky heart valve, that would cause the afib, as well as explain some of the other lethargy of the last few years. The valve can be fixed in a number of ways including a valve transplant from a pig's heart. If it's not the valve but just the result of years of overindulging myself in running, there aren't many good options. Sometimes an ablation can be done - they go in and cauterize the spots of muscle in the heart that are causing the electrical storms. But this is an exhausting operation and not always successful. On the plus side, I don't have to take Warfarin (rat poison) yet, as a blood thinner, since all that overindulgence made me otherwise healthy and not at high risk for stroke. (When the heart goes bonkers like that, the blood can pool up and clot in the heart, from there the clots go direct to the brain). Also on the plus side, I have many triathlon friends and acquaintances who are already dealing with this. That Monday: - had three drinks the previous day (Father's) including two glasses of very nice Scotch - small breakfast and two cups of coffee instead of my usual one, to get through some work crises - work crises, so I wasn't able to eat lunch or get out for the ride until 3pm - a hot day in the 90s - worked from home, where my study is a lot hotter than the office I usually run or ride from - not enough sleep due to the apnea and various other stresses They tell me if I live clean and get enough sleep, eat and drink enough water, avoid the heat etc, this can go into remission. So once the cardiologist has a look I'll ask about restarting running.. Nothing I can do about work stress (I need the money) or the other stresses unfortunately. I'm already meditating a couple of hours a day, typically from 3am to 6am when I'm not sleeping, it helps but apparently not quite enough.
  9. doug in co

    Don't Drink and Blog

    can confirm this is theologically sound.. Father Thomas at church was discussing how the disciple Thomas was able to put his hands on the wounds. This apparently means our reincarnations will have bodies much like we have now. My wife was distressed to hear this too.. what, I still have to worry about my roots ?
  10. Just so. I always remember Van Morrison singing William Blake, It is an easy thing to triumph in the summer's sun And in the vintage and to sing on the wagon loaded with corn It is an easy thing to talk of patience to the afflicted To speak the laws of prudence to the homeless wanderer To listen to the hungry raven's cry in wintry season When the red blood is fill'd with wine and with the marrow of lambs But it is not so with me.. Congratulations on the run and squats, sounds horrible 😉 but makes you stronger no doubt..
  11. always wanted to live in Boulder 😉 my dream was to do postgrad mathematics at CU Boulder, didn't work out. 5k on the track is one of my standard tests - can be sure it's the same across the world, so a good metric.
  12. I'm finding it hard to get out the door these days, masked like a bandit and dodging from one sidewalk to another then on to the trails and running a sort of randomized cross-country for most of the way. It's just not appealing.. Sunday was my name day. Douglas isn't a Christian name so I had to find another for chrismation into the Orthodox church, picked Thomas for a number of reasons. The apostle Thomas gets a whole week of celebration beginning on St Thomas Sunday, the week after the resurrection when the doubter felt the wounds and believed. Name days are more important than birthdays in the church life. The Greeks wish one another 'many years' chronia polla ! So, after the church livestream, and paying the month's bills, I was fully ready to do something that wasn't sitting. The afternoon was cool and rainy, a good time to try for a run. I decided to go out to the middle school track and do a 5k. This track is not synthetic but made out of tarmac weirdly, can get the full impact of road running while enjoying the frequent curves of the track.. on the plus side, it's not very popular. Another trick I found is to run along the busy roads, some traffic but not many pedestrians. This will require music - usually I like to listen to whatever's happening in nature but on the roads all you hear is the cars hissing by like the waves upon the beach. About two miles out there to warm up, line up myself on the beginning of the curve, away we go. 2:02 for the first lap, 2:17 second, then a steady 2:14-15 the rest of the way. Lap 12 at 26:55, ok half a lap left, surely I can get under a minute for that ? nope, but made it in 27:55 for a big new PR (worst). Think I'll try to do this time trial regularly and whittle it down maybe. My standard 5-miler from the old house went out past this track, up to the rec center and back again. I hadn't run that loop since 2009 so added it as a warmdown which turned into a long run effort, could barely move the legs up the last hill. Total 90min running, about six miles plus the 5k. Miles.. plus kilometers.. equals.. aw call it 15k 😉 Strava gave up somewhere in the middle of the 5k and took the crow's route home..
  13. doug in co

    not running much..

    Thought I'd be able to get a bit of running in the time of virus, didn’t expect working out to be such a challenge. The pools are closed and I miss swimming badly – at my age a workout that escapes gravity is a great help. The trails are insanely busy and it’s not possible to keep physical distancing on bike rides, I’m not willing to ride on the roads due to injury risks at a time when going to the hospital is so fraught. It’s a beautiful spring day and I’m sitting on a bike trainer in the back yard.. Running is sort of possible but have to run way off trail to keep distance. Every mile gets an added quarter mile or so of running off and back again. Tried the roads but everyone's sitting in their driveway with kids running around, or out walking, so it's still a zigzag.. CO state governor suggested that maybe we could all run just twice a week instead of three or four times, to help with social distancing. This may be the most CO thing ever. So I'm running once or twice a week at best, very very slowly.. all my routes have changed, at each fork in the road I take the one less traveled by, and hope it makes a difference. Bodyweight exercises replace the gym. Again I hadn’t realized how much easier it was to go lift weights around other people, as compared to going down into the cold basement and jumping around alone. Luckily I have coach Artie supervising from the couch, that is when he's not licking my ear as I try to do a pushup.. We’re under stay-at-home order but it’s not being enforced by cops, as it seems to be in South Africa, India, etc. Outdoor activity gets an exemption since it’s CO. I’ve been sneaking out to go fishing in the ponds close to home. The pond was stocked with thousands of trout. The local raptors are no fools, and they show up too. On Sat morning early there were two ospreys, two juvenile and one adult bald eagle on the pond. The ospreys did well though the eagles weren’t great fishermen, came up empty most of the time. One of the juveniles dropped his fish as he flew over me, circled for a bit in frustration. The fish either sank or swam away. The sound of a big raptor hitting the water is surprisingly loud, WHAP!!! made my head turn every time. It was Orthodox Easter this last weekend. Usually we have a lamb on the spit and a hundred people over to help eat it. This year it was a sad little leg of lamb and the three of us, bit lonely. Friends from church drove by and dropped off the flowers and wine, so our church family is still looking after us 😉 Church now looks like this, livestream from two priests, a deacon and a chanter, all keeping their social distance.. At work as usual, hunkered down behind a wall of computer monitors, two work and one home. As an IT support monkey nearly everything I do is online anyway, a headset and VPN to talk to customers and get their error logs etc and we’re good. No slowdown in this job. My wife works on the mainframes, most of the US states (and banks) run mainframes with either Cobol or our software, so that’s been busier than usual. I keep wanting to go do some volunteer thing to help, then remember I'm 60 and have severe asthma and a history of lung problems.. donating blood is about as much as I've managed to do. Son #2 was on a gap year, hasn’t been able to do any of the volunteer or training he’d planned. At least he’s getting a good rest. Son #1 is final year of chemistry/biochem and not finding any jobs.. had an interview at Mayo Clinic which got cancelled, spent a couple months working up for the MCAT (med school entrance exam) and that got cancelled. He’s a bit adrift, won’t get a formal graduation ceremony either. His best friend made NCAA swim championships in his senior year, and those didn't happen either. At some point in May or June we’ll have to drive out to MN to fetch him home. But so far all still healthy and that’s a blessing, still getting our paychecks ditto.
  14. ps I'd looked for your name at CIM and not found it, now I know why.. may Mark's memory be eternal God bless..
  15. ugh bronchitis. My son tried to swim at a college conference meet with bronchitis, to help his team score, but looked grim doing it.. and that was just in sprints, can't imagine trying in a marathon.. Bravo ! anyway. We are proud of you and your journey. in a previous life, I needed 2:39 to qualify for national championships in South Africa, ran 2:41:26 on an uphill course (it was changed from all previous years, so the last mile climbed 250ft) and an 80 degree day (low 60s all previous years).. that's still my PR, what with one thing and another. A friend did qualify with a 2:38, said the championships were terrible 😉 running all alone at the back of the field, getting the sympathy cheers. So them's the sour grapes ;_)
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