July 25, 2009

tough 5 miler

Yesterday's "easy 5" didn't happen - had to squeeze in a gym workout between job and going to see Fuerzabruta. The gym workout wasn't terrible, but I had no energy. 20 minutes bike, 18 minutes (1.5 miles) treadmill. Far short of my goal. See new sidebar widget. I have no idea how to share the run inline in the post. Whatever. Nike+ will be used for treadmill runs, RunKeeper for road runs.

Had no energy today, either, and struggled through the "easy 5" on the calendar. If you go see the full stats of the run below, you'll see a fairly uneven pace - lots of walking. I had oh so carefully mixed up a bottle of HEED - first time in months, as I'd been opting for water, Gatorade, or Sustained Energy. Yes, mixed up a full bottle of HEED for the hot run -- and promptly forgot it. Realized almost a mile into my run that I wasn't carrying it. :( It hurt me as much mentally as physically - degradation on both ends, for realz. In the map, you can see my trip out to the end of the pier - it's that short jut into the WATER. You can also see my walking sidetrip into Owl's Head Park itself in search of a water fountain. I found one! Now I know where it is, I'll take advantage of it more often.

Ended my run at DD for much-deserved iced coffee and muffin. They have never kicked me out for being shirtless, but it seems to help get me served faster. :)

I must do better tomorrow. I only hope I'll sleep better tonight than I did last night and that I can get up early enough to take advantage of the cool morning for my planned nine miles. I hope I don't forget my damn water bottle. I hope things just go better.

Also, I can't seem to get my motorcycle fixed. Lots of delays keep me from tearing into it, but that WILL happen before this weekend is over. Funny thing is, if I weren't running, if I weren't training for a marathon, this would be done already. Motorcycling has definitely taken a back seat to my other activities this year. It is partly a matter of money - subway is cheaper and so is running - but also just that my health maintenance must come first - that includes therapy, running, AND sleep. Log time for all that plus work and being a biker begins to fade.

And now, late at night, my gout is kicking in for the first time in several weeks. Well...kicking in hard. It's always present now to some degree, but usually it's just a dull ache. Right now, it's getting difficult to walk again. :(

July 22, 2009

Wednesday after-work hills

Training plan calls for 6 miles of hills today. I did 4 last week, so I went 5 this week and upped the hill ante - this was a central park run, where the only flat section was (thankfully) towards the end of my run. This workout kicked my ass. I could not have finished six. I was walking a lot, but then I wasn't in any hurry. I concentrated on running UP hills and DOWN hills and walking moderately flat sections. I mostly succeeded.

Seems like everyone is following Yasso's plan - many, many people out in the park jogging the loop.

Tuesday's run

Supposed to be four, but it took all I had just to change clothes after getting home and running at all. 3 is respectable.

July 19, 2009

July 18, 2009


So training run #4 was also not according to book. I woke up early enough for a cool-ish run, but knew instantly I'd not be doing 4 miles. Perhaps I pushed too hard yesterday at the gym, perhaps I still couldn't handle the humidity, which was about 60% when I ran. It has since dropped to a more comfortable 40%, though the day has gotten hotter.

Anyway, I determined to do 2 miles and not push it. I could not believe how hard these two miles felt - I'm a marathoner? It wasn't so much legs or lungs specifically, just a lack of energy all around. So either yesterday's workout was indeed too hard, or something else was off. I realized after I finished and was taking some Novolog so I could go have a coffee & muffin that I'd forgotten my Lantus last night. And, in fact, my blood sugars rose from 98 before my run (OK) to 165 after my run (still in normal range, but a little high for post-workout readings). So perhaps I was simply not equipped to use the glucose in my bloodstream this morning. Right, mistake noted.

I am re-testing the Nike+ system. My old sensor had bitten the dust - or at least once I found it, I couldn't get it to wake up and be read by either my nano or my iPhone, so while getting my iPhone replaced at the Apple Store on Monday, I picked up a new sensor. My old holster fits the new 3G form factor nicely and the new iPhones don't require a little dongle to pick up the accelerometer signal. Still with me? So I synced the new accelerometer to my iPhone and off I went. Out of the box, with a confusing mix of running and walking, my iPhone thought I did 2.25 miles. Not bad, since I did, I believe, exactly 2.0 -- so I set the calibration and we'll see how it goes next time.

But I also want to test a free iPhone App I found called RunKeeper. I tested it out on my walk from DD to Costco and back home and really like that it uses the GPS to keep track of where you are and can upload the run to the company website, where you can then log in and see times, distances, and maps.

So which one will I use tomorrow, when I get up at the butt-crack of dawn to go do 6.7 miles?? Tune in tomorrow and find out!

IN THE MEANTIME -- I haven't seen any threads or blog posts in a long while on running music - so let's get some lists going! I want to add to my collection. I'll tell you that yesterday, my entire workout at the gym was to a CD of Saturday morning cartoon covers by various bands. Most of them hi uptempo stuff. I'll post some specifics when I get back from Niketown, where I'm going to attempt to drop off non-Nike kicks for recycling.

July 17, 2009

Third workout

4 easy miles according to the schedule. But I've got this thing about air I can see: I don't breathe it well. With today's humidity in the 90% range, I took my workout indoors. At the gym, I substitued some of the miles for the bicycle of torture. 20 minutes bike, and almost that running. I did 1.5 miles on the treadmill at steadily increasing incline and pace, with a brief walk break for coughing. Stretches and foam roller afterwards. Though not 4 miles on roads, it was a quality workout for lungs, legs, and heart, so I'm pleased enough.

July 16, 2009

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July 15, 2009

One flag!

Second training run. Supposed to be six miles of hills - became 4 miles on a hilly route (one lap around the cemetary the "hard" direction). Not bad in the first mile with the big hills, but things got worse. Difficult to run after work. Was coughing a lot - a LOT. To the point that some fatass sitting in his van asked ME if I was all right! This could have been a lot better...

Training plan calls for 6-7 miles of hills every Wednesday for the first seven weeks, but I'm going to have to work up to that. Starting with 4 is reasonable, I think. Eventually, I'll go directly to Central Park from Spaeth and do a loop, for a very hilly 7-mile Wednesday run.

Well, I'm only two days into training - can't expect miracles at this point.

Here's dinner, though; looks good, yes?

July 14, 2009

First official training run

Distance: 4 miles
Result: not so great, actually
What went wrong: forgot albuterol! couldn't breathe!!

July 13, 2009

Blood, sweat, and beers

So I'm sitting here in the 14th street Apple Store, waiting for them to see me and fix my phone. Mic failure. *sigh* Shit happens.

Life is sure a long, strange, mystifying journey sometimes. Yesterday highlighted that for me. I woke up very late w/ zero energy. By the time I could force myself into running clothes, the temperature had climbed to 82. This should have been fine, since humidity was 33% and there was a light breeze, but I just couldn't do it. I decided, instead, to slip on running pants over my clothes, eat a late lunch (have I mentioned before how awesome my chili is? especially over rice?) and then go running later in the evening, once I got to Cunningham Studio.

Problem is, I got distracted by a phone call and forgot to dose for the carbs in my lunch. I checked my blood sugar two hours after lunch and it was over 300. *BIG FROWNY FACE* So, for the first time, I decided to "fix" it by dosing my insulin late. I took two units, knowing I'd be ingesting more carbs in the near future. I tracked my BG hourly and watched it fall. And fall. By the time I was at Cunningham and the lights were set up and we were just waiting for audience, it was reading 70 and I was beginning to feel hypo. *ANNOYED FROWNY FACE* (When I get home tonight, I'll post a scan of my tracking sheet, and you'll be able to see how things went.)

I'd made sure to bring some Sustained Energy, about 28g worth of carbs, with me for the "long" run, and I headed out for a run along the Hudson River ribbon, where I haven't run in many moons. The first two miles were surreal - I wasn't feeling 100%, but my lungs were doing well and I found that by running with my eyes gazing on the sky and keeping an eye on the road in my peripheral vision, I could really get some long segments in. Walking was often, but very short. By the time I was two miles down and crossing the pedestrian bridge to take a peak at the construction at Ground Zero, I was feeling much better.

My run back was also good with much less walking and some strides, trying to keep up with some slow-moving bicyclists. By the time I returned to Cunningham, I was feeling 100% better than before I'd started, blood sugar as back in normal range, I was sweaty and stinky, and noticed I'd actually managed to bleed on my running shirt from one of my arm sticks. The run might not have been as long as I planned for the day, but it was of good quality, I think.

It was also faster than I supposed it should be. I entered the studio mid-way through the performance of the first piece and was shocked. I'd though the concert would be halfway done before I got back. After the show, the stage manager and I hurriedly struck the rental equipment and went out for a refresher. We went to a little sushi place that was about to close and had some light Japanese beers and some sushi. And yes, I remember to take the proper amount of insulin at the proper time!

July 11, 2009

I've been whacked, I've been hacked, but Eheb's got my back

Last week was hell. Working three jobs, 14 hour days.... feast or famine, you know? Well, one show opens tonight, closes tomorrow, and then that'll be off my plate. May have picked up a second Fringe show through referral - that one's still iffy. May end up doing a lot more shows at Cunningham Studio if what the TD says regarding rentals next year is true. Kind of a mixed blessing, if so.

So I'm whacked out - fully tired - and didn't run Thursday (intentional rest day) or Friday (unintentional), though I did walk 2.5 miles, part of it on the Highline, which is neater than shit - you should go check it out. I am about to go out for three or four miles, depending how I feel. I slept very late - I needed it badly. Tomorrow I can get up a couple hours earlier and do a long run, probably six to seven miles.

Thanks to Michelle for pointing out my blog got hacked; I certainly can't be alone in this. I found the offending code and removed it. For those of you who have experienced similar corruption, look in your template's html code for this line and remove it:

My new black running shoes are the most comfortable shoes I've got. I wore my old running shoes Wednesday and Thursday and was hurting by the end of the day. Why would they do that? I haven't had problems before...

Okay, back from my run. Very hard at first, but the weather is nice and the second half of my run was very successful. 3 miles. After reaching my usual stopping point, I walked back along the route a little, intent on an immediate coffee/muffin reward. I walked through the crappy little park by the new high school, where they have a mister turned on for the kiddies, and had a nice refreshing walk through the spray. I've been to my local DD enough that the manager (who is ALWAYS there) knows me by name as Mr. Cris and I know his - Eheb, even though his nametag says something different ("That's my American nickname," he says.) I walked in and even though there was a short line, Eheb saw me and immediately started assembling my usual order - medium coffee, cream and sugar, and a blueberry muffin. Gawd, these muffins are like crack. I imagine that the first thing I'll croak out after waking up from major surgery or a coma will be to ask for one of DD's blueberry muffins. And some coffee.

Chili is cooking right now, have to shower, get some email answered, then it's off to the studio for tonight's performance. I must remember to take my camera. I've got some... er- "interesting" looks.

July 8, 2009

Mid-week catchup

I've run 2 miles the last three mornings. I get to rest tomorrow. I know that's not great mileage, but I am swamped this week. Yesterday alone involved car rental, lighting pickup and dropoff, vet visit, and a running blogger meetup, which was a lot of fun. My work life.... feast or famine, flood or drought. I'm currently working on lighting designs for three shows and a proposal for a fourth lighting project that, if I get it, will have big visibility. Plus I'll soon be back at Spaeth drafting for Christmas windows.

The new black shoes still feel good, very very good. That might indicate they'll have a short lifespan, I don't know, but I hope they last.

My newest blog post, in which I introduce the marathon plan I've chosen to follow, can be found as a guest-post here:


July 3, 2009


Two thumbs up on the Adrenaline 9s. So far, so good.

Wait. Let's back up to yesterday, which I took as a rest day. It started with a doctor's appointment, then rolled into 10 hours of sorting and making sense of 18 months worth of hospital bills and insurance statements.

The fact is, I'm bad about keeping on top of medical billing. Every other bill in my life, fine, but I cringe from the flood of paper from TriCare, Columbia, NY Presbyterian, radiology labs, Coram, etc. It's not that the bills are even particularly high, it's just plain overwhelming. For instance, on April 8, 2009, I received 9 envelopes from Tri-Care and 5 from NY Presbyterian and Columbia. That's a peak, but gives you an idea of the steady flow of this paperwork onto my desk. And some of those bills had been sent to collections. :(

So I did what I had to. I opened every envelope, a process which took 90 minutes and left me bleeding and blistered. I shit you not. Then I sorted by agency, then sorted those by date, then started matching up insurance claim notices with medical bills item by item. I opened up an old spreadsheet I first started in 2003 to keep track of Coram bills and made new sheets and added all these endless dates of service....whew. It helps, because it forms a picture of what I am being billed, versus what I actually owe (which insurance will tell me). Sooner or later, those two tend to agree.

After all that, I sat down and wrote checks for what I could, totalling an obscene amount. I need to follow up on getting my specialists in-network, because out-of-network cost shares are killing me. I will also follow up on my remaining bills and see if I can get financial help from Columbia. They did once before, for my hospitalization, maybe they'll do so again and help me pay for the March PICC line.

So that was yesterday. Went out for a lengthy workout today, mixing running, weights, and sports therapy exercises, anticipating that I may not have time for an extensive workout tomorrow and may have to do my long run Sunday instead of Saturday. (I have two light plots I need to get done, plus of course a Fourth of July party.)

Today's run was about 2.5 miles. I walked somewhat more than I would have liked, but never for long. It was fairly humid, after all. But the shoes! Wow! I was surprised how great they feel right out of the box. There's definitely cushioning here, but stability, too. And they feel lighter than the Adrenaline 8s, somehow. Maybe it's just that black is faster. I don't know. But if they continue to feel this good, I've found my new favorite shoe ever.

The half-mile downhill run to the gym felt just great, and I entered the gym huffing and sweating and aiming for one thing: their water fountain! I pulled my shirt out of my waistband (rolled it up and stuck it there at the beginning of the run) and put it on. I reversed my routine and started with stitups, then did some free weights work on the arms, then moved to the machines floor and continued with work on the arms and legs, did pullups, progressed to pushups, then physical therapy type exercises (theraband finally!) and wound it up with extended stretching.

I felt GREAT! But it was a hard workout, totalling about 2 hours and maybe tomorrow should be a light running day. I'll have to look at the weather forecast.
OH! It occurs to me you may wish to know how the doctor's appointment WENT. Well, it took entirely too long, that's how it went. Not seeing the doc, but going for bloodwork afterward. NINETY MINUTES in the waiting room. Finally I get called - the phlebotomist is rushed and unhappy, but I try to make her smile. After all, she's about to stick a needle in me, I want a happy phlebotomist!

So I'm laying my arm out on the little table and notice the list of labels she has unrolled is about as long as my arm. "How many tubes??" I asked.

"One. Two. Three, four, five... six. Seven, eight.... nine. Nine!" she answers. She starts pulling out color-coded blood tubes - none of them the small ones. :( I am wondering if I will pass out when I stand up after this.

She readies her device - screwing a needle into the blood-tube-receiver-thingie (you know, the light green part that the tubes socket in to) - and I realize two things: one, this is a BIG needle! I've gotten used to Novofine needles - tiny little things. This one looks massive. It's about 4 inches long and about as big around as a water main. I also realise she's going to stick this in me and then jar it every time she changes the blood collection tube to the next one. Oh HELL no!

"Butterfly please!" I can't believe I have to prompt her for that. She complies and not only is the needle somewhat smaller, but now the jarring is isolated by the tubing connecting the butterfly needle to the green thing. Still, collection feels like it takes forever - but was maybe only three minutes. Still...now I'm up to 9 tubes for my twice-yearly bloodwork. Great. At least it included a test for A1C. I'll find out what that was in a few days and jot it down in my diabetes logs. The endo will want to know.

As for my PFTs, I forgot to ask for the actual numbers, but my doc was pleased saying that they are the best lung function numbers since I began seeing her.

July 1, 2009

Old and new

2 miles yesterday. 4 miles today. My new black running shoes were
waiting when I got home.