January 31, 2010

Not so good, actually.

Pitiful monthly total: 19.8 miles. Even for me, that's way below normal. At a minimum, I should be doing twice that. Had I not substituted several runs w/ workouts at the gym, perhaps my mileage would have been closer to 30. But it should be there anyway, including gym workouts.

Today, the shin splints hit hard. I did a little warmup around the block, stretched well, then got going on the run. I thought it was going well until the shin splints came on. Jeesus. It hurt even to walk. It means I need more stretching, more often. This is pitiful.

I have nobody and nothing to blame but myself. I've certainly had the time this month to make a meal of it, instead of a snack, but I shy from the cold and shirk my conscience. As I search for something to pin my lack of progress on, I begin to wonder if the last round of IVs - four weeks' worth of antibiotics - haven't made my tendons rather more brittle and less stretchy. It's a known problem, after all. But then I think I'm just using that as a scapegoat - no one can sit around all of January and do nothing more than 3 miles at a time and not detrain, not get tight, not have some kind of shin splints or IT band problems.

Speaking of which, I decided to double up my nebulizer meds so I did them before I ran and am doing them again now. I just spent ten minutes stretching while doing Pulmozyme and am now doing Aztreonam while I type. And now that that's done, I'm going to hit the foam roller for a few, then probably pop out to the grocery before showering.

Hope to work out tomorrow, but it looks like I'll be rushing to finish my syllabus before teaching begins tomorrow night. Yeah, it's true - I STILL haven't solidified this semester's syllabus; mostly because it isn't just a matter of changing dates, but updating the course content to match the new software, ditch some old exercises, invent new ones, etc. Some of that I can put off for later, but some of it has to be done now so it can be in the syllabus for tomorrow.

January 17, 2010

getting BG under control

My blood glucose readings have been consistently 50 points higher than I'd like to see. For a while I suspected my meter was off - but why would it suddently stop reading correctly? Now I suspect that the Lantus I'm taking is not really getting in. I'm prescribed 3u Lantus daily. Do you know how little that is? It's like one large drop of fluid. The plunger travels very, very little to produce this. But this fluid must be forced out against the pressure around the needle - and frankly I don't think enough pressure is made inside the insulin pen to force enough lantus out into the fat. Also, I've observed that the pen will weep after an injection for some time - more Lantus comes out of the needle. So if its coming out after, then its not coming out during. I suspect that I am not, in fact, getting 3U Lantus. So this morning I'm trying 5U Lantus under the assumption that at least 2u just aren't getting in. We'll see what this does to blood sugars.

The other thing I could do, admittedly, is cut out pudding at night before bed. But I had that accounted for and under control - and now its not. I guess I'll call my nutritionist Monday or Tuesday and check in with her about this.

January 16, 2010

Patrick Hayes memorial run

Back in 1998, I spent a good part of my summer in Las Vegas helping Grandpa take care of my newly-disabled Grandma, Harriet. I recall one conversation we had one night in which my grandmother grumped that life wasn't worth living anymore; she'd done everything she wanted to do and most of her friends were dead and the last few were dying. I vaguely understood her position, but didn't understand why she didn't take more joy in her husband, children, and grandchildren.

These days, I understand some of that much better. Since November 1st, I've lost four acquaintances, three of them from CF. Now, in the world of CF, very few of us actually know each other in person - contact is discouraged because of cross-contamination issues. So we make our communities online and in emails, newsletters, and pictures. We can become very close that way. So losing both Tom Hubin and Deron Arnold in November was quite a shock.

This morning I found that a fairly close internet friend, Patrick Hayes, passed away last night while waiting for a transplant. To be sure, the picture was grim, and the dry run earlier this week raised everybody's hopes for a moment. His passing isn't altogether unexpected, but a lot sooner than anybody thought. He was a great voice in the Great Conversation and I'll miss him.

So is this what life is? What getting older really means? That you make fewer and fewer new friends each year, but lose more and more old ones? This isn't getting any easier. I'm glad it's not! Because if it became easier, what would that make me?

I've been staring at this post for 15 minutes. I don't know what else to write. Things just feel a little useless right now.

After I read about Patrick and the responses to that news on the CF list, I went for a run. Great weather; just...perfect. Absolutely perfect running weather. This was a pretty good run, for me; though still full of walking and ultimately very slow. I'm never going to be happy with that. But for now, it's better than the alternative. I gotta keep it up so I don't end up like Patrick; and I know Patrick would be encouraging me to keep going out there and clearing out my lungs and invogorating my entire body. Maybe this is why I'm not racing right now - trying to find the real motivation, the actual reasons I should continue to run.

Patrick was younger than me. He was 36 years old.

January 15, 2010

elliptical again

Good 30 minutes workout: 5 minutes on the treadmill to warm up, 20 on the elliptical, 5 minutes on the treadmill cooldown. stretching, foam roller, pushups.

January 14, 2010


Much better run this time. Sunny, 38 degrees.

I did a gym workout yesterday. I tried the elliptical for the first time ever and did 15 minutes. Continuous! It was ...hm, well... a lot harder than I'd supposed. No wonder the women who are dedicated to that type of exercise are in such good shape. More importantly, a lot less impact. I didn't think it would make much difference, but it does. My shins didn't hurt, my joints didn't hurt; nothing. A little burn in the muscles, but that's to be expected. And my heartrate! I wasn't sure if I should believe the machine or not. 160 bpm didn't seem right; maybe next time I'll stop and jump on the stationary bike and see if it corroborates. iPhone needs a pulse ox/heart rate monitor plug-in thingy. Any inventors out there? Oh... I know one who has medical patents, maybe I'll drop him a line.

Anyway, I then lifted weights for 45 minutes after the elliptical. So I got a good workout and really felt it today in my obliques. Hopefully I can find the willpower to keep this up and hit the gym twice a week or so.

So today's run was following that and it felt a little easier than Tuesday's run, which was an awful, miserable mess. The shin splints are still haunting me, but maybe getting a little better. I didn't go as far today, but will endeavor for a complete loop of the cemetary on Saturday. I need to get my distance up past three miles on a regular basis or I'm never getting out of the "warmup zone."

January 8, 2010


This is the winter of coffee. I have been introduced to the awesome Keurig machine and the lines of coffees available for it in K-cups. While not as cheap as standard drip coffee, it is perfect if you only want to make one cup. I could never get a decent one-cup brew out of regular coffeemakers - you have to do at least half a pot. The Keurig is nice and the cost ultimately is slightly less than bodega coffee - with a lot more selection. For the record, I am definitely a fan of the Newman's Own extra-bold. I don't usually like extra-bold coffees (i.e. Starbucks), but it works here.

Up to this point, I've been using instant coffee. Now before you all start wincing and gagging, I want to advance a couple ideas; namely that a) instant coffees have advanced a lot since the early days of Folgers Crystals. (Hell, even Folgers instant has gotten better.) b) Instant stays at its quality level damn near forever in the freezer; beans don't. and c) instant coffee now comes in many more options, flavors, and styles than before.

The kind of been using most is the Maxwell House singles. They appear to be a mix of instant coffee and real grounds in a teabag-like sack and if you follow the directions, they make a pretty good afternoon cup of coffee. Not too strong, not weak at all, and takes the lightener and sweetener like a real coffee will.

Now of course Starbucks - or Whorebucks as my inner monologue refers to the chain - has gotten into the act with their Via Ready Brew. I have not tried this, but I've asked people who have and they all shake their heads. Of course, these people are all addicted to the crap Whorebucks passes off as coffee and most of them are getting the five-dollar Diabetes Specials that are so full of sweeteners, flavorings, and milk that to call it coffee anymore is really kind of a joke - so it's not a surprise that Whorebucks fans don't actually like the instant coffee version - it's just too plain and they don't own the equipment or materials to tart it up like their favorite whoredrink.

There was a feature on the news where one of the reporters went onto the street and invited people to do a taste-test. Results similar to what I've outlined above. Only one guy like the instant more.

This leads me to think that giving Via might be worth it for ME to try. However, it is very expensive. I got to wondering how much more expensive, so I put all these options into a neat little list:
  • Via Ready Brew instant | $34.95 for 48 ct = .73/cup (equivalent of a Tall)
  • Whorebucks real | $1.40/cup (Tall)
  • Newman's Own Keurig | $10 for 24 (macys) = .42/cup (best at 8 oz)
  • Maxwell House Singles | $4.39 for 19 = .23/cup (best at 8 oz)
Clearly, MH Singles are the most economical, outside of brewing your own. Keurig makes a good choice if you don't have to have a giant cup of coffee every time and want something you can actually finish before it gets cold.

Still, nothing beats dollar-a-cup bodega coffee for comfort factor.

25 minutes stationary bike today, instead of running. Maybe run tomorrow.


Cold, clean winter air
instigates a coughing spell.
Green phlegm dots white snow.

January 2, 2010

torturous new year's run

Okay, not exactly on the New Year, as I was very busy Friday trying to get too much done before everybody went home for the weekend... but for the FIRST RuN of the NEW YEAR - certainly every run after this will be better. Have to be better.

This was one of those rare runs where I underestimated the weather and consequently underdressed. Since it was overcast, I thought it was warmer than it really was (26 degrees) and didn't notice the wind until I turned onto 4th ave. The windchill was easily in the single digits and I was dressed only in one layer, with thin gloves. Bad mistake.

I forged ahead, trying to keep going. I didn't expect the first mile to be anything great, but I was hoping for better than a 15:00 minute mile! Coming back was not much better, even though downhill: 13:00 mile. :( What the hell? Well, I was walking a lot more than usual, as the wind was so bad I was trying to hide behind vehicles between gusts and also losing time collecting what I was hocking up. The phlegm was the only productive part of this run!

Well, by the time I stumbled into my house, I had lost feeling in my fingers and most of my toes. The next hour was spent with hot tea in the tub trying to warm up again. The pain in my toes as feeling returned was tremendoius - been a LONG time since things got that bad. I've run races in single-digit weather, but not with wind, and didn't have the problems then that I had today.

Did make some progress on my hackintosh. I installed tiny7 - a version of Windows 7 and will play with that for awhile. It may be lacking some components that Vectorworks needs, though, so this might not work. I did get Leopard 10.5.8 running on the 10.1" netbook and that's a step forward. I'm not going to try for Snow Leopard yet - this netbook's getting sold soon so I can move on to the next model. Well. This is what winter and unemployment is for: learning new things. Considering taking a class in Flash or javascript programming at FIT. Need to inquire on Monday. In the meantime - Macy's stike!