Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I'm just sayin'.....

Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study
Report adds to debate over the value of exercise as a protector for men

by Robert Preidt

Friday, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Regular exercise may help protect men from prostate cancer, says a new study.
U.S. researchers looked at 190 men who had a prostate biopsy and found that those who were moderately active -- anything equivalent to walking at a moderate pace for several hours a week -- were significantly less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.
The study also found that exercise was associated with less aggressive disease in men who did develop prostate cancer.
"As the amount of exercise increased, the risk of cancer decreased," lead author Dr. Jodi Antonelli, a urology resident at Duke University Medical Center, said in a news release.
The results, published Sept. 22 online in the Journal of Urology, contribute to the ongoing debate about how exercise affects prostate cancer risk, said study senior author Dr. Stephen Freedland, a urologist at Duke and the Durham Veterans Affairs Hospital.
"There have been dozens of studies about the value of exercise in lowering risk of prostate cancer, and some of them quite large, but the bottom line is that they've left us with mixed signals," Freedland said in the news release.
The majority (58 percent) of the men in this study were sedentary, which means they exercised less than the equivalent of one hour per week of easy walking.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The difference of a day

as you know, i ran the dreadmill monday before work. (this is NOT the gym at the VA. just sayin'.) i also ran on it yesterday. lungs didn't fare much better, but i did notice that i started to feel a little better after 1.5 miles. only had time to go 2 miles, so i only felt good for about 25% of the time i was on the dreaded dreadmill. drat. i ran at a 4% incline. ran slowly. maybe a 10 minute mile. maybe.
today, while driving to work, i said aloud, "i don't feel like running today." then the little, often irksome, voice in the back of my head reminded me of all of the reasons that i NEED to run, and of all the other people who i 'know' who are having a rough go of it and STILL i did.
and i ran hard, for 2 miles. at a 7:32 mile pace, which translates to around 8 mp.
the first half mile cruised by, and before i knew it, i had gone almost a mile. gone. that's funny to me, because i didn't actually go anywhere. i was very tempted to back off on the speed after a mile, but then remembered that i would feel better after another half mile. that half mile didn't tick by as quickly. i tried desperately not to stare at the clock, and instead concentrated on my reflection and the music pumping through my .mp3 player. (no, it isn't an iANYTHING. and i love it). so at 1.5 miles i bumped the speed up to 8.5 mph, and ran that for the last half mile, trying to keep an eye on my slowly disappearing reflection. my form is getting better.
so i think that i will try to continue these short morning runs, adding in outdoor runs when i can. on the dreadmill, i will concentrate on my form. ah, new goals.
but i DO MISS hanging out with T for a while before i come to work. once i get my form down, i will switch to every other day or so, not every day. see? another goal.

Monday, October 19, 2009

mirror, mirror

this morning before work, i ran on the dreadmill. tried to cram in a few miles in a short period of time. lemme tell you right now that my cardio status is in the toilet.
the change of seasons from summer to fall and from winter to spring have been very hard for me for the past 10-15 years. typically i get myself on some sort of medication (usually singulair) to bridge the gap, but this year I have chosen NOT to do this.
and it shows. when i ran this morning, i was quickly winded, and had a hard time getting in as much of a run (distance wise) as I wanted. i managed 2.75 miles before i had to stop and cool down. so i slowed for a while, and ended up with 3 miles. in about half an hour. i should be doing that in 20-24 mins, ESPECIALLY on the dreadmill (no wind/hills/etc.)
but i didn't. my legs feel like they did 'something' this morning, but not that they ran at all. which i guess is good, except that it isn't.
oh well.
so...mirror....the dreadmill was reflected in the gym's window this morning, and i could see myself run. wow. my form is AWFUL. so i tried to change it up a bit, so that it looked A LITTLE like i knew what i was doing. and my stride was different. didn't seem like i was working as hard. at least not my legs. just my lungs. but it was interesting to see myself run. my form needs work.

add it to the list.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

VERBOSE race report

If we were playing Zork, this is what you would read if you typed in "maximum verbosity" in the command line.

Had trouble sleeping Saturday night. Was expecting big rains overnight (like during the day Saturday), and i think i heard every little noise in the house. and the neighbor's houses.
woke up with the alarm, took nice shower, and started to eat. just a bagel with some peanut butter. methodically loaded the car, tried to stay quiet....

i've never seen or done a multistage race before, so i didn't (still don't) know what to pack for transition, etc. I wasn't sure of the weather, so i packed for the worst case scenario. i used a big rubbermaid tub to haul my stuff, and put dry clothes in my backpack.

i left the house around 730, after getting well wishes and good luck smooches from my favorite pit crew(!). the morning was dreary, misty, and unpredictable in terms of weather.

the ride to Newport was beautiful. I am so lucky to live in this part of the country at this time of year. Parked fine. No signs outside the school directing us into the nearest door, so i wandered around to the front, wound my way through the halls, and arrived at the check in station in the cafeteria. turns out the closest, most convenient way to get in was about 30 yards from the truck. need better signs in the parking lot.

it now became 'official'. i have a number.
just as importantly, i have my ticket for the post race bbq chicken feast. i am not sure how many times i walked back and forth to the transition area, but maybe that is why i was so fatigued on the mtn bike portion......ha.

Messages back and forth with T confirmed that she was on her way, and we figured that she would get there sometime while i was out on the road run. Quick little pre race meeting in the T-zone, and we crossed the road to line up for the start. Much milling around, newspaper interviewed a father-son team, chatted a bit with a biker who i had met on a training ride a few weeks ago...and BANG! we were off and running.

i stayed toward the back of the pack, but i don't think that i realized just HOW FAR BACK i was hanging. i paced with other runners, then let some go. was running behind a woman for about a mile, but her perfume or shampoo or something was giving me a headache. so, of course, because i am a ROOKIE....i let her go rather than pass her.
dumb. my pace slowed to something very comfortable, and there i stayed. as I was approaching the T-Zone, i could see T and B in the distance. very cool. i love that feeling. yay, team!
got to the transition after about 40 minutes of running. ok pace, but could have done it quicker. ANYWAY....i chatted with T/B while i changed into biking shoes, squeezed some clif shot gel into my mouth, chugged some water, and jogged off to get on the bike.
As i mounted the bike, i noticed a straaaaange feeling in my hands. Cold rubber. WHAT????!!! I FORGOT MY GLOVES!!!! I recalled that i had asked T to remind me of my glasses before i went out onto the road, so i'll just grab them at the next T-zone. Two riders were coming fast as we crossed the practice field, so i waved them by. easier to pass here than on the ski-jump stairs. i wouldn't see anyone for the next 20 minutes. and when i was that 12 year old kid from the father/son team. i could see him catching oh, what am i THINKING. yes, kid, go on by. why not. then suddenly, after he had only been by me for about 5 feet...CRASH! he went down in a heap. bike to the left, body to the right. I asked him if he was ok as I stepped around him, and i trundled on my way. i must have looked like a big oaf out there. i was riding with skinny tires on, which were NOT a good compliment to the snot-slick roots and rocks that are strewn about the woods here in VT/NH, not to mention the leaves that had fallen from the heavy rains sustained on saturday. boy-wonder passed me again on a long uphill, and i never saw him again. ffwd to near the end of the leg, and someone had changed the directional logs. seems as though a sweeper came through, took a shortcut, and didn't see anyone out on the course. decided that all were done.....HA! not ME!!! but it all worked out, and I rode the correct trails for the leg. turns out, T had overheard a conversation amoung some timekeepers that all riders were done. she stepped forward (ALWAYS my Heroine!) and told them that I was still out there. I emerged from the woods realizing that i was DEAD LAST.

quick stop for more water, goo, and hello/goodbye's, and off i ran through transition. a dude on a bike at the end said, "are you heading out on the road?" "yes", i replied. "on THAT???", he queried. "yep. its all I have!" "i'll stay with you, then", came his reply, and off we went.

no gloves.
no glasses.
no energy.
little desire.
no confidence.

and so we rode. i chomped down some clif gel blocks, water, and tried to keep my calves and back stretched out. after about 3 miles, my escort asked how i was doing. he commented that he noticed that my feet "looked pretty chewed up". my feet were actually fine. the biking seemed to have little to no impact on my blisters. yay! i asked if he had a phone, because if he did, i was going to call T and have her pick me up. he didn't.

on we rode. near mile 6 the course heads left up a cliff. T had driven by already, and had screamed words of kind encouragement at me as she drove by. i could tell by the look her eyes that she was concerned....she parked at the firestation, and as i turned to go up the hill, i told her that i didn't think i was going to make it up. it is .75 miles long, and very steep, with a nice steep kick at the top. it starts out very simple, though, until you go about 50 yards and round a corner. the top MOCKED ME with every pedal stroke. i could hear the course LAUGHING AT ME. but then, with about 200 yards to the top, i could hear T yelling to me. it was WONDERFUL.

when i passed her, i said that i was going to drop out after i made it back to the school, and that i wasn't going to do the trail run. uneventful ride back. i rode as hard as i could, which wasn't very fast, but i made it. with about half a mile to go, i stood up on the pedals to gain some speed and stretch, but my left quad yelled "SIT DOWN!" as it started to seize up. not a good sign, so i just sat down and plodded on, keeping my pace as best i could.

when i crossed the chip mat, i told the time keeper that i was done. i racked my bike, and layed down on the ground. i cried. i couldn't look at T or B. she was full of pride and encouraging words, and all i could do was dismiss them and stare off into the distance.

shame on me. but i had resigned myself to the fact that I QUIT. I am a Quitter.

"Hello. My name is Gene, and I am a QUITTER."

Friday, October 2, 2009

in search of lorazepam (not really!)

nerves, i got em. can't seem to shake them.
i am more nervous now than i was before the CHaD half marathon. i wonder if it is all related to my left foot (see below), but cannot be sure.

let's recap the event, and perhaps the real reasons will surface....

last time i raced my MTB = 1996 (wow. that's 13 YEARS)
last time i raced on road bike = NEVER
last time i raced trail run = NEVER. well, ok. i ran 1.8 miles up Ascutney in July.
last time i raced on pavement = CHaD (not so bad, really)

i have, at least, been on the course. this is a good thing. i have ridden both bike legs, and run both run legs. so...why am i nervous?

it is LONG. just over 27 miles total. we're looking at 3 hours. maybe. i am really shooting to finish by noon. that will be 2.5 hours. sounds do-able at this point, but i really can't tell.

looks (and feels) like my blister is infected, so I am going to toss some anti-biotics at it to see if it has any effect other than speeding up my digestive processes......must.get.immodium.