Sunday, February 26, 2006


Okay, so I haven't updated this blog in like, forever. My friends must think I'm dead. But no, although my first day's reaction to my meds made me wonder if I was going to die (I got so agitated that I had to be scraped off the ceiling with a spatula), my body, quite amazingly managed to adapt. I had a slightly less horrendous reaction on the second day and I've felt pretty normal ever since. Maybe the nurse knew this would happen, that my body would adjust, and that's why she refused to ask the doctor to change my meds.

At any rate, I've been feeling better in the sense that I can actually breathe, but my lungs still aren't 100% even on the prednisone and I'm worried what will happen after I take the last pill tomorrow. They're strictly palliative, not a cure, and all I can do is hope my lungs stay clear enough on their own that I can at least continue walking a little and maybe get back into my strength training a bit. Unless I find myself completely unable to breathe again, I refuse to put my body through another course of such dangerous medicine. It was only because I was desperate that I agreed in the first place.

I feel fat and lazy and soft. I can just feel my fitness ebbing away and if I let myself dwell on it I can get pretty upset. So I try not to think about what the last two weeks have done to my base. I hate, hate, hate building up my fitness, incrementally and painfully increasing mileage and stamina. I've got spring bike rides that I'm already embarrassed to even consider because I know I can't hang with the boys any more and I refuse to ever be the Slow Chick again. My long runs, if I can ever run again, will be laughably short. And speed? Don't make me laugh.

I've been trying not to think in absolutes here, but it's hard. The words always and never keep intruding into my thoughts. I'll never be fast again. I'll get lazy and stay that way forever. I'll always be slow. It'll never be like it was.

Ugh. How depressing. Of course it will get better. Once my lungs are clear enough that I can do more than walk, I'll start building back up again. I've been here before. It's not a fun place to be, but it happens to everyone from time to time, even Kona winners and Olympic champions. Maybe I'll hire a trainer once this is all over to help me get back up to speed quickly and to keep me from becoming discouraged.

But for now, I just need my lungs to clear up. It's not happening, and I'm praying that my body can at least get a bit of a handle on this before I take my last pill tomorrow. Because I'm not taking this poison again.

Recent (Lame) Workouts
Sunday: 30 minute walk, 30 minute slow elliptical

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Okay, this morning wasn't much better, so I went to see the doctor. We did the nebulizer thing, which didn't help much, so I'm very glad I didn't go to the minor emergency clinic last night. If I'm going to pay for a treatment that doesn't help, I'll take the $20 primary care co-pay over the $100 emergency co-pay every time. The doctor also x-rayed my lungs just to be sure there was no sign of pneumonia. By the time we did all that and I drove to the drugstore and got my prescriptions filled, it was kinda late to go back to the office. So I came home. I'm on prednisone and antibiotics for a few days and we'll see what that does for me.

I sure hope I'm breathing again soon. I don't mind scaling back my workouts when the situation warrants, but this has been bad enough that even walking or lifting weights has been out of the question. It really sucks. And the worst part? Since I'm not working out, I've had to cut back on calories. Man, food is the reason I got into running and triathlon in the first place! How else am I supposed to justify my cookie habit?

So yeah, I'm a little grumpy. Can't breathe. Can't eat. Can't go for a run to take away all the stress of not breathing and eating. Plus I feel stupid, very foggy-headed. I must not be getting enough oxygen to my brain.

If I ever find out who gave me this bug…

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Good News And Bad

The good news: I finished the draft of my novel. Yay! I'll be doing a lot of editing, but that's the sort of thing I can do on a schedule, as opposed to the actual writing, which tends to take over everything in its path.

So in terms of time availability, I'm ready to get back into serious training.

And that leads to the bad news: Although I felt much better on Monday, I've spent most of Tuesday fighting to get my lungs clear enough just to support normal breathing. At one point I was even considering driving myself to the minor emergency clinic for a nebulizer treatment. It was that bad. But then my lungs cleared a bit and I was breathing well enough to not see the point in handing over a $100 co-pay and hanging around a waiting room with people who might actually be contagious or something.

So no training for me, yet. I'm starting to get really antsy about this. Missing a whole weekend was bad enough, but based on how I felt Sunday and Monday I fully expected to be doing some light elliptical or spinning by today. So I'll just have to wait and see how I feel tomorrow. If my lungs are acting the same way, I guess I'm off to the doctor.

It's so frustrating to be totally sidelined. And the worst of it is that I don't even feel all that bad. If I were running a fever or had other symptoms, maybe I wouldn't feel like such a slacker. Instead, I just can't breathe.

It's all in the details, isn't it?

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Bunny Butt Posted by Picasa

On the Mend?

This morning was a bit of a disaster. It took two hours before I could breathe well enough to consider going to walk on the treadmill (too cold to walk outside), and by that time I'd totally lost my ganas for such an endeavor.

So I did nothing today. First time I skipped a Saturday morning workout in over five years.

But the good news is that I woke up from my afternoon nap breathing fairly well. When I bent over to pick something up off the floor I didn't feel like I was going to have a coughing fit. And I'm feeling a little perkier, too. So I might just be turning a corner, and in a good way.

I'm going to keep doing what I've been doing and hope for the best!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Status Quo - Respiratio

There is no change to my breathing, so I guess tomorrow's long run is off. I'll probably try to do a nice long walk, though. If it's too cold in the morning, I'll go to the gym and walk on the treadmill or do some slow elliptical. If it bothers my lungs, I'll stop.

I stayed home from work today, but didn't go to the doctor. There didn't seem to be much point since I had no other symptoms and I haven't gotten any worse. I've been hitting this thing with various meds and herbs and I've had a few episodes where my lungs have tried to clear themselves by bringing up some fluid. Sounds nasty, I know. But it's a good sign, I think. Last year when bronchitis kept me out of the marathon, I didn't have periods where my lungs would clear. Not significantly, at any rate. They would clear only enough to mock me. But this is better. Sometimes I feel almost normal.

A repeat of last year is precisely what I'm trying to avoid, even if it means I might be overreacting a bit by staying home. I certainly was capable of working today. But I was capable of working throughout my bronchitis last year too, and look what it got me. Nope, I'm taking things easy as much as I can this time. There's a lot of really nasty bugs going around, including one that's leading to pneumonia. My boss's doctor said there are people being hospitalized and even dying from it. Healthy people, not folks who were old and sick to begin with. It's odd, but for as many people who I've run into at work or out shopping who've mentioned this, there's nothing in the papers. If I were to judge by the anecdotal evidence alone, I'd think there was an epidemic.

Or maybe it's just my bad luck-- maybe I just keep meeting the sick and friends of the sick.

One good thing happened today. I went out for a little bit this morning and got new batteries put in my sport watches. I don't know how it happened, but somehow they all died at about the same time. So I got that little errand taken care of. Once I'm well and can run again, I'll be able to see how fast and how far I'm going, too!

I did my usual Friday night grocery run tonight, since I didn't feel really bad, just a little short of breath. Feeling like this makes me not want to talk, so as luck would have it I got the chatty cashiers tonight. Whole Foods was the worst. All Whole Foods cashiers seem to think you've come to pay them a personal visit when all you really want is to buy your organic whatchadoodles and be on your way. Tonight, I thought I'd picked out a sensible-looking girl, only to have her and the sacker gang up on me and try to talk me to death. First the cashier started reading the labels on my Amy's Organics and asking me questions about them. I do not want to talk about my groceries. Will you just scan them, please? Then the sacker pounced on my Breathe Easy tea (good stuff, btw) and asked more questions. I thought if I explained I was sick with what seemed to be bronchitis, they'd ease up on me a bit, but no, they then started asking questions about bronchitis, spinning off into a bizarre riff on lung diseases in general. Come on, kids-- I'm sick. I don't want to hear about pneumonia and tuberculosis. I've got enough problems, okay?

The cashier at Central Market was not only chatty, but stupid. And she looked so smart, too! But at least they had chicken tortilla soup tonight. Yum! Who can't get well after that? And I also found that Enzymatic Therapy makes a product called Air-Power, which is 200 mg of guaifenesin in tablet form. That's the same thing you get in OTC cough syrups, only this is double the good stuff and none of the sugar. So all you peeps with chest colds and worse this season, keep an eye out for it!

Off to go dose up. Stay healthy out there!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Heavy Breathing

Well, I've been keeping quiet for several days, trying not to admit it, but here goes…

I think I'm coming down with something.

What at first seemed like asthma has proven remarkably persistent. That's not typical for this time of year. Spring and early fall, sure. But February? I've also been a bit headachy-- sinuses, maybe? And I've been just plain tired, to where I don't even read before I go to sleep. Not normal at all.

But my meds were still working, clearing out my lungs as if it were just asthma until today. Now it's sticking. It's nothing major, I just have a constant awareness of my lungs and a small shortness of breath and occasional cough.

Nope, not asthma.

And since my boss was just out for two weeks with pneumonia, I'm more than a little worried.

So I'm taking care of myself this evening, see how things go. If my lungs feel the same way later tonight and/or in the morning, I'll call in sick to work and go see the doc, even if the rest of my body feels okay. There's something nasty going around and I want no part of it.

Recent Workouts
Monday: 20 minute core, 45 minute spin - Spinervals Suffer-O-Rama
Tuesday: Rest - I was really dragging
Wednesday: 30 minute elliptical

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Cold Run

Okay, you people up north won't think it was cold, but by the standards down here, overnight lows in the thirties with gusts of 15-20 mph is pretty darn cold.

It was in the 40s when I headed out this morning, bundled up a little more than was probably necessary because I like to be warm. A long run on a sweltering August morning makes me happy. If I'm not leaving a drippy trail of sweat, it's just not a proper run. So if adding a fleece vest and a cap for this morning's run was a bit of overkill, hey, it was just my way of trying to bring a little bit of August to February.

It was a very dull run. Not many people were out and there wasn't much to see. Now that my abductor exercises seem to be mitigating the ITB problem, I may have to start wandering a little farther afield so I can have something to report. I've stuck close to home doing permutations on the same little routes for a long time now.

After my run I had a pretty severe asthma attack. It was enough to scare me for a few minutes, which doesn't happen often. I had woken up with a little difficulty breathing, but I took a pill, hit the inhalor and was fine when I headed out the door. Of course the cold air did me no favors, but once the adrenaline kicked in I was okay. Then when I stopped running and there was no more adrenaline, my lungs decided to make up for lost time. When I got up from icing my legs and went into the other room for my inhalor I was getting so little air I actually felt dizzy. It scared me because Dan was at the LBS helping with packet pickup for a ride tomorrow and it was just me and the critters. I'm not quite sure what would've happened if I'd blacked out. I like to think my lungs would've called it a victory and gone on to find other sources of entertainment like, say, breathing. But one can't be too sure about these sorts of things. All was well once I got my albuterol, though.

As if to make up for a rather uneventful run, my drive to the Rice Village area to meet my husband for lunch was very interesting. It reminded me of the video from the driving simulators we used in high school driver's ed class-- just about every possible road hazard and weird driving situation that could be imagined happened. Yes folks, we had it all-- oblivious jaywalkers, people ignoring signals, emergency vehicles, work crews blocking lanes, a huge charter bus lost on a residential street, a parked moving van taking up an entire lane of a two-lane street, and a guy trying to kill his daughter by taking her for a bike ride on a busy street full of road humps, narrow lanes and parked cars. Oh, and did I mention he didn't stop for stop signs? Daddy must've taken out a new insurance policy on her.

In light of the even colder temps tonight, I'm probably going to skip tomorrow's bike ride. I had been looking forward to it, but I'm still a little spooked by this mornings's asthma attack. I would've been fine on the ride, of course. But not being able to breathe while attempting to drive home afterwards doesn't sound appealing at all. Now that spring ride season is here, there's a supported ride every weekend, so there's always next week. And it never stays cold in this town for very long. Not outside, at any rate. How we set our air conditioners is a tale for another time.

Recent Workouts
Thursday: 20 minute core and strength training, 35 minute spin - Cyclerobx
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: 15 mile run

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Big Ears Posted by Picasa

Odds and Ends

It's another quiet week at the office. The boss is out with pneumonia. Other than needing his signature on a few things, this boss-free stuff is pretty cool. Very relaxing.

My week got off to a slow start on the No Limits front, though. My Monday meeting ran late and I got home tired and hungry to find my husband in the middle of bureaucratic phone hell with the bank and student loan people. And of course now that I was home, I became go-to gal for all his questions. Oh, man. Didn't I just put close to ten hours of this sort of thing? And get paid for it? I put in some earplugs around 7:00 pm and told him I was taking a nap just so I could get some peace from all the pestering. And you know what? By the time I woke up two hours later, he had figured it all out.

Imagine that. Big baby didn't need me after all. I knew it all along.

My sleep has been really messed up lately and the Monday nap wasn't the half of it. I'm doing so much writing, both in pixels and in my head that I can't seem to turn it off and rest. It's nice when it's all flowing so easily, but it can quickly become an obsession. But at the rate I'm going maybe I can have a completed draft by March and begin editing. It's easier to put editing on a time schedule and then I'll have more time for little things like sleep.

And swimming.

I know, I know, I know. I really need to hit the pool. I'm even thinking of reviving my membership at the university rec center just to increase my pool options. I could go right after work, before I have a chance to come up with excuses.

So maybe I'll get off my duff and do that this week. Boss is out, after all. Who's gonna know if I leave for half an hour?

Today's Workouts
20 minute core and strength training
30 minute elliptical

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Flats and Other Cycling Thoughts


I fixed my flat today!

I didn't want to mention it before, but due to a combination of luck and gender, I had never before found myself having to change my own tube. I knew how to do it, mind you, but it was only in theory. I had no field experience, as it were, so I am very proud to report that everything went without a hitch.

Okay, that's not quite true. There was one little problem. When I was checking the wheel for anything that might puncture my new tube, I found a nick on the rim. It didn't seem to be in a place where it would interfere with the tube, but I wasn't taking any chances. I brought out all my girly tools, filed down the sharp edges with my emery board and applied three layers of clear "Hard as Nails" nail polish. I dried it with my blow drier, went and did a few other things while I waited for it to set completely, then put my new tube on, got the tire on and voilĂ !!

(Come on guys, 'fess up. I bet you wish you'd thought of it!)

After that I did an hour spin, making sure to spend some time out of the saddle so I could be sure and put plenty of weight on the back wheel. If I'm going to get a pinch flat, or if the tube is old and is going to fail on me, I want it to be here at home, not out on the road, which is where I plan to be next weekend at the West U Warmup ride.

In other news, has anyone else heard the rumor that Lance and Sheryl have split up? I wonder what my chances are, now that Lance is a free man? It wouldn't have to be anything terribly important-- just enough that Dan can sue for alienation of affection and then we cash in and skip town for Lanzarote. Me, my hubby and the critters would then spend our days getting buff on the brutal but beautiful hills of the Canarias and Dan could cheer for me at IM Lanzarote every year.

Sound like a plan? No? Well, Lance likes blondes anyway. It's Tyler who likes brunettes and all his money is tied up in legal fees, so there's no point trying to get Dan to sue him for anything. Besides, I'm suspicious of a guy who has no concept of a normal human pain threshold. If he's into anything kinky in the bedroom... Okay, we don't have to go there, but let's just say I have the greatest admiration for his wife!

And thus conclude today's thoughts on cycling.

Today's Workouts
30 minute core and strength training
60 minute spin - Carmichael Training Systems Climbing video

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Really relaxed. Really. Posted by Picasa


I haven't got much to say about today's long run. It was a little chilly this morning, so it felt strange to be in tights and long sleeves after running in shorts and singlet just two days ago. But it was a pretty morning and even though I didn't see any friends or regulars on my route, it was a happy sort of run. I felt pretty strong throughout, even at the end. I guess taking my Hammer Gel at the halfway point helped. Sometimes I forget and take it too late to do much good.

I added a little out-and-back from Memorial Park to the 610 loop today. I wanted to see if there were any wildflowers yet and it was a nice way to add a little mileage. I saw a few red clovers starting to bloom, but no sign of bluebonnets yet, thank goodness. I read in the local paper this week that some places that participate in the annual Azalea Trail festivities in March are putting ice on their azaleas to delay blooming.

Yes, our winter has been that warm that we need to ice our flowers so they don't bloom too early.

On the way back from 610 to the park I stopped to watch a train go by. I waved at the engineer. One of my many cousins is a train engineer and I thought about him. Then since the train was on a bridge, I walked underneath to the other side so I could continue my run. I had never been underneath a moving train before. It was kind of cool to stand underneath the tracks, listening to the rumbling up above.

Back on the trail I stopped and turned around to watch the rest of the train go by and got kind of mesmerized. I got to thinking about the train tracks that cut through my family's property in New Mexico, and how me and my cousins used to sneak out at night to go watch the trains pass. My cousins were more experienced in this than I was and weren't at all bothered by the way the boxcars would sway and the iron rails would bounce under the wheels. As a child I found it unnerving. But time changes everything and today it only made me smile at the memories.

Today's Workout
15 mile run

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Unintended Brick

This morning I received the joyous news that:

  • my boss's flu has become pneumonia
  • my assistant would be out with car trouble
  • they would be turning off the water to our building immediately, no word on restoration

  • Another day without the boss? Okay, that's cool. But no assistant and no running water, either?

    Not. Cool. At. All.

    Water line breakages around our building are a fact of life. We get them several times a year. When we're lucky, someone bothers to give us a few minutes' notice and at least tell us what's going on. So it was nice they said something, but I hadn't even had my first cup of coffee yet, so this was going to be serious.

    Because I was the only person in the business office, I stuck it out as long as I could. The university made some inquiries and got another building opened to us at the far end of the complex where we rent, so that helped. The restrooms were small, smelly and without paper towels, but they at least looked clean. I've seen worse. I held out until 3:00 and then went home.

    I was pretty happy to find myself at home early, so I set up the trainer, queued up some music and hopped on my bike. After about twenty minutes, I started noticing that my rear wheel was slipping where the tire meets the resistance bar. Odd. It felt fine when I started. Maybe I just didn't notice because my quads were stiff and I needed to warm up.

    Nope. Something was definitely amiss. I paused Coach Troy and felt the back tire. A bit low. Okay, no big deal, right? I got out the pump and immediately all heck broke loose, so to speak. My slow leak suddenly became a very fast leak and in seconds my rear wheel was useless.


    My mind ran through my options. I didn't feel like changing a tube. Especially not on the rear wheel. Cogs, grease, just the general hassle of it. I could finish up on the elliptical machine. I could run on the treadmill. I could go run the trails. Or I just take a shower, have dinner and call it a day.

    No, my muscles were warm and I had only done twenty minutes. That's not a workout. Gotta do something. Pretty day outside. Might be fun to run the small loop on the bayou. That's about two miles, counting from where I start and finish in the little park on Jackson Hill. But my quads-- if I wanted to torture them with hills, I wouldn't have set up the bike in the first place. Maybe…

    I looked at the bike again. I so did not want to change a tire. And it was such a pretty day out.

    Screw the quads.

    So I did a quick change and enjoyed the last bit of sunshine before the sun went down. The banks of the bayou were green with early clover and the sun was warm on my bare shoulders. I took it at a nice quick pace and was back home, cooldown included, in twenty minues.

    It wasn't the workout I had planned, but it was a good one.

    I hope my office has water tomorrow.

    Recent Workouts
    Today: 20 minute bike, 2 mile run
    Wednesday: Rest. Felt lazy and cranky
    Tuesday: 30 minute elliptical, 30 minute core and strength training