Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanks Paul, for keeping the Vomiting on Thanking Giving Tradition Going...

I cannot remember a Thanksgiving dinner in recent years when someone wasn't throwing up before or right after dinner. Four years ago, I remember a very warm Julia sitting in my lap on the couch. Without warning, she threw up all over herself, my lap and the couch. Then my mom ran to the bathroom with her hand over her mouth just as my sister and her boyfriend walked through the door. It was the start of a flu that spread to 11 of 25 people we came into contact with that Thanksgiving.

Since then, passing the stomach flu has been a part of Thanksgiving gatherings.

This year, Paul was able to keep the vomiting at Thanksgiving tradition alive. At least this year, he was able to keep it to himself.

Paul ran the local Turkey Trott on the morning of Thanksgiving Day. He was fine and peppy when he came home and while we drove to Aunt Mary's house for a 1:00 dinner. After dinner, he sat on the couch, looking droopy and not talking to anyone. "I've had a headache since the race," he told me. I got him some Tylenol, but he continued to look droopy. After chatting in the kitchen, I went back to the couch to find Paul gone. The bathroom door was closed. A few minutes later, I found Paul lying on Mary's bed. He was sweaty and had his arm over his forehead. "Did you throw up?" I asked. "Yes, a lot. I think I have a migraine. I feel terrible. This happened one other time when I ran hard in the cold."

I brought him a warm wet towel for his head and asked Mary for her "magic migraine" pills.
"Tell him to take two of these with a Diet Pepsi," she instructed.

Paul stayed in bed the rest of the afternoon. Meanwhile, Mary was able to unload some of her unwanted garage sale goods on eager takers. Julia scored two decorative boxes. And I claimed a decorative lamp, a moon clock and two light-up deer for the front lawn.

Paul had the chills and moaned some, but at 5:30 p.m., he was able to stand up and go home.

When we finally did get home, I popped the trunk open and Paul's forehead scrunched up after viewing the contents. "You filled the trunk with decorative deer while I suffering from a migraine?"


Sunday, November 28, 2010

This blog is changing directions....

This blog is changing directions. I love to run and appreciate the love for running, but I am no longer running. I had some mild asthma attacks this past summer and fall after exercising outside. So, now I've moved my exercise regime indoors, where the air is filtered from mold spores and tree pollen-my two worst allergens. I am swimming laps at the Y regularly.

I am getting close to a one year anniversary of getting allergy shots. Since December of 2009, I've been injected weekly with the very stuff that makes me sick so my body no longer sees the stuff as a foreign invaders. After a full year of allergy shots, I should be seeing some resistance to the stuff that makes me sick.

I don't plan to write just about exercise and my allergies, but about whatever is happening. I'll try to make it interesting....

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Second Running Class

Owww!! My legs are aching. It is two hours after finishing my second running class. We did not jog much today. What I do is jog. We ran, on our toes, for short distances, fast, on a high school track.

I have to admit I get an ill feeling when I step out onto a high school track to run. Before I even begin running, I picture and feel myself back in junior high high, huffing and puffing after running as fast as I could, which is much slower than my cohorts.

We started out the class with some plyometrics. Plyometrics are explosive exercises that warm up your fast-twitich muscles; high knees, lunges, butt-kickers, figure eights, ballet-like jumping jacks. We did all of these exercises for 50 meters out, rested, and 50 meters back. As for the lunges, no one could do those for longer than 25 meters. I thought the plyometrics were fun and quickly warmed us up.

Then we moved to 100 meter and 200 meter strides. We did 4x100 meter strides, picking up speed for the first 30 meters, running at 80% intensity for the middle 40 meters, and running as fast as we could muster for the last 30 meters. Jessica told us to focus on form-run on your toes, look ahead, keep your arms at 90-degree angle and hold you hands loosely with thumbs pointed up.

The 200 meter strides were very challenging. We did 4-200 meter strides with 200 meters to rest between.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Week I: First Run-Post Running Class

Monday - Running Class
Tuesday - jogged/ran 2.5 miles at Heritage Trail (flat, crushed limestone surface)
Wednesday - swam 20 minutes
Thursday - 45 minute spin class
Friday - OFF
Saturday - ran down Windsor Ave. (slight downhill with tailwind) for 10 minutes, ran back (slight uphill with headwind) in 10:30, ran up a hill and walked down three times, strides on way home
Sunday - biked 12 miles at Heritage Trail

Sunday, April 18, 2010

First Running Class

I hadn't seen Jessica for several months and when I spotted her at the parking lot we met for our first running class-I was impressed by the great shape she is in.

There was only one other person who came to the first class (the class meets alternatively on Saturday mornings and I've chosen to attend the Monday evening classes). Jessica thought there would be 9-10 women in the class total. We would see more women in later Monday classes.

We introduced ourselves, discussed our backgrounds, and individual health. Jessica has been a runner all her life and is now training for the Green Bay Marathon.

I told Jessica that I run twice per week, once on flat terrain and once on hilly terrain. And I also swim and/or spin one or two days per week. My goal is to get faster, be able to run 10-minute miles and to avoid injury. I explained that I prefer to run on nature trails rather than sidewalks and roads, but my outdoor allergies have kept me away from the woods lately.

Katheryn is Jessica's other pupil for this Monday's class. She has never run before but has been active in tennis and swimming. Kathryn is allergic to "everything green and under the sun," she explained. She's pale, has light blue eyes and naturally blonde hair. I recently read somewhere that people with a lot of allergies tend to have these same outward features.

Before we headed out on an "easy" 2-mile run, Jessica gave us some tips on running form:

1. Hold your elbows at your sides in about a 90 degree angle. Don't let your arms cross your body; it's less efficient.
2. Point your thumbs up and hold your hands as if you were carrying eggs; clenching your hands too tightly tightens your should and upper back muscles.

The run...we had cool, brisk weather with sunshine peaking through the southern clouds and dark grey clouds to the north. About a half mile into our run Kathryn was breathing heavy and asking why her lungs felt like they were on fire. I felt pretty good. I had some nervous energy running through my body because this was the first class. After we got warmed up, we took a walking break and Jessica gave us some tips on conquering hills:

3. Run on the front of your foot when you want to move faster or are going uphill.
4. Look to the top of the hill when you are running uphill, not at the ground.
5. When running downhill, lean forward.

We tried out these techniques and I could definately feel my body moving faster than I expected and with less effort.

After our run, we practiced strides. We lined up and were told to estimate 100 meters in front of us on the grass. Slowly, we build up speed on the first 30 meters, ran at 80% speed for the middle 40 meters and gradually slowed down for the last 30 meters. Strides should not make you huff and puff and you should take breaks between each one. They train your muscles to feel what its like to move faster than your normal running pace.

We wrapped up the class by stretching and talking about what we should do for running until we meet next Monday. Our assignment was to:

1. Practice what we learned in the first class.
2. Follow the same routine we did in the first class.

This sounded like a pretty easy assignment. I was expecting to be told to run five days a week and do a lot of track work. But, Jessica told us that the class and training is about achieving our personal running goals. She suggested I work more strides into my running routine to meet my goal of running faster.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pollen Alert!

I was hoping to go for a bike ride today but after spending 15 minutes weeding my strawberry patch, my sinuses are telling me I wouldn't be doing myself any favors by spending an hour on a woodsy trail. I checked the pollen level on; there was a red outlined scroll that read, "Pollen Alert!"

When my sinuses swell it feels like there's a puffer fish in my nasal tissue. When the air gets overloaded with allergens, it puffs up. If the allergens are really concentrated in the air, then the little puffer pushes his spines into the surrounding nerve tissue.

Still trying to think positive, I'm heading to the Y for a swim and to sit in the sauna. The increased humidity tends to relieve some of my sinus pain.

Tomorrow, running class at 5:30 p.m.!