Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ms. Nomer

(started 2/22, finished 2/24)
I am guilty of calling myself a "runner" when really I aspire to be a runner. I don't think slogging through a 10k once a week qualifies as an actual runner. I hereby apologize to the actual runners out there for calling myself something that I am not.
but i want to be. very much. i will try much harder over the coming weeks to earn the title.
as you may have guessed, i ran a 10k this morning along route 14 which runs along the White River. It was an out and back run, and I started the run headed upstream, which is also to say 'into the wind'. Good idea, as it turns out. i was listening to my audiofuel tracks and was in a pretty good spot mentally for the run. i punched the button on Teri (Garmin, p.b.t.n.) and off I went.
one of my downfalls while running is that i have become addicted to Teri's data. I find that i keep checking pace, distance, time of day WAAAAAAAAY more often than necessary. one of my goals for this run was to NOT look at my wrist for at least 20 minutes, or after I got to a certain point on the road. those of you who know me know that I have a tough time turning old patterns into new ones. after about 10 minutes of sucking wind and diesel exhaust running along the beautiful river, i couldn't take it any more and looked at my wrist.

WHAT THE (*(&^%^%*&*^ ^&&*%$#??????  
Teri had nothing to tell me. I was in such a state of disbelief that I actually stopped running to see if it could really be true. It was as if I was being mocked for trying to break free of my OCD-esque nature. Alas, it was true. I must have pushed some OTHER button that says Start/Stop. Anyway, I (re)pressed the button, double checked to see that it was indeed ticking away time, and ran off.

Into the wind, my efforts seemed labored. More so than I expected. I was able to keep tempo with the beat of the music, but I noticed (by nearly constantly checking Teri. I swear, i need a Heads Up Display for that thing) that my pace was s-l-o-w-i-n-g. Mebbe because I was taking smaller steps, trying to keep the beat ("feet on the beat. ok, 1,2,3,4"). I just put my head down and kept running. I did walk a few times, for about 30 yards each time, but then kicked it back into gear when shame and guilt took over as my coaches. They are generally good for that, and very readily available, able to step in at a moment's notice. Even without being asked.....
On the way back, i was having a tough time staying motivated. I had no choice, really, because I was a ways from home, and no one was there who could bail me out. Into the Valley of Death........
I made the loop and made sure that I had 6.2 on Teri. Later I went back and determined (with the truck, thank you) that I had gone .75 miles before I realized that I wasn't actually tracking ANYTHING. All in all it was a good run, good to be outside, and I am very thankful to Tracey for making it possible.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Monday, so good to me!

The day started out pretty good. T was kind enough to let me go to bed early last night, so I was dead to the world by 9. That made a 38 hour stretch with only 1-2 hours of sleep sprinkled in. Weekend nights are TOUGH! I awoke this morning around 530, but stayed horizontal for a bit, just soaking in my life. I am a very lucky guy.
Fast forward to work. Kept the pt that I have had for the past several shifts. Nice. No new news, just status quo. Ohhhhh, but wait! Dressing change at the bedside. One that had been done in the OR three times last week. So some midazolam and morphine later, and I am staring at the inside of my patient's thigh. I don't mean just the inside where you rub Body Glide, but the INTERNAL insides. The incision runs from his groin to his ankle, on the inner aspect of his leg. Had some vein grafting done to restore blood flow to his leg, in an attemp to save the leg. So far, so good. Yea, i LOVE dressing changes. Don't judge.
Then the ICU phone rings, and it is the ER, requesting back up. not just any ol back up, but ME specifically. Nice. They are blatantly trying to recruit me, but they also know that I won't leave the ICU any time soon, so it is still fun to go down and work there every now and again. Spent the better part of 4 hours in the ER, which means that I missed breakfast AND lunch. WHAT???? I am supposed to RUN TODAY! Please, for the love of diprovan, PAHLEEEEZE let me eat. Luckily, around 230pm, I was able to eat. In hind sight, I shouldn't have eaten.
After work, I went to the fitness center and prepped to run. I wanted to run for an hour, so I tried to move the TV across the room so that i could watch something other than the clock whilst I ran. Nice, big tv, too, and there is a DVD player on top of the cart (picture high school AV cart)(yes, I was an AV nerd). Oh, SNAP. I don't have a dvd. Double snap, the thing is pretty much bolted in place. I guess the people who use the cardio machines at the other end of the room don't need disctraction as much as the fat ass personal trainer who steals our oxygen works there needs it. Back to the dreadmill, on with the tunes, and off i went. Clipped along ok, averaging around an 8:15 pace. right about at mile 2.8, my lunch decided that the digestive process was done, and i barely made it to 3.1 miles. Paused the DM, and ran to the latrine to take care of bidness. By the time I made it back, the DM had shut off. WHAT? are you flipping kidding me???
Yea, so, gone was the time for my 3.1 (somewhere around 26 something), and now i had to start over. So i did. And let me tell you, there were several times when i wanted to quit. hot, tired, BORED. thunk thunk thunk. but i thought about races this summer, and how i wanted a PR in the half, and my first full, and a looming traill 10k, and i kept on running. did the second 3.1 in 28:55. gathered things and headed home.
While i was doing all this foolishness, T had been dusting and cleaning the house, so i jumped in and vacuumed the upstairs, then did the dinner dishes. yea, i know. i rock. ahahahahaha...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Another contest..

I followed a link from another post, and there is a pretty sweet contest going on over at She's a runner and an architect living near the Windy City. She is giving away jewelry. Check it out!
More from me later. I am working days today, then coming back tonight to work 2330-0800 tomorrow. I might have time to blog, so.....that's the plan.
Go now. Check out the contest at You'll be glad you did!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Anniversary, Sweetie!!

24 years ago, when i was a senior in high school, i fell smitten to a really nice, smart, kind, caring 'girl' in the eleventh grade. she was seeing someone else, and i didn't think that i'd have a chance. but i did. and i took the chance. we were in a one act play together, and fell madly in Love. My senior year was a whirlwind of love letters, dates, flying back home just in time for curfew at speeds that would make Kimi Raikkonen proud (but not my Dad)  safe and respectable speeds.
I had been vice president of our school's chapter of the National Honor Society, but in my sr. year managed to fail off completely. I was in danger of not graduating. (This, too, did not make my Dad or Mom proud). But Tracey was there for me, and every morning before classes started she coached me and kept me working hard on my extra credit assignments as well as my regular assignments. If it weren't for her help, I doubt that I would have graduated with the kids I grew up with.
In August of that year (86), I went to Japan as an exchange student with Rotary International. The worst part of that trip was that I listened a 'friend' back home and broke things off with Tracey. Never checked with her about the claims, just trusted this BOZOThus began the downward spirals for both of us. I won't go into details on either of our lives here, but suffice to say both of us hit our perspective bottoms in the years that followed.
We both made attempts to find love again, with limited success.
Fast forward to the spring of 2003, when i got an email from Tracey through Classmates dot com. As it turns out, we were only living about 30 minutes from each other. It was amazing to me that we hadn't bumped into each other while grocery shopping! Come to find out, what is equally impressive is that one year, over the same 4th of July holiday, my (now) ex-wife and I were camping with friends on the SAME BEACH in MAINE that she, her kids, and boyfriend were staying at a hotel. (did that make sense?) We all have picutres of the same very, very red sun burns from those 4 days. I can't make this stuff up, folks.
Fast forward a few weeks after the initial email, and we decided that i would keep her company on a ride to Burlington, VT, where she was to pick up a friend at the airport. We had breakfast at the Parkway Diner, and the conversation flowed like the last 18 years had never happened.
We continued to meet again and again. And again.
Fast forward to 2005, and we got married in our living room, with her boys as Best Men. We planned and put together the ceremony in 2 weeks, and it was wonderful. A day I shall never forget.
The years since then have certainly seen their ups and downs, most of the downs caused by yours truely, while most of the ups are thanks to Tracey. She deserves all of the credit in the world for putting up with me and my moods and my bull$h!t.
So that, readers, is us in a nut shell. I could fill a book with fond memories and thankful thoughts of her from the past 7 years. She is my best friend, my muse, my Saviour, and my Soul Mate. Without her, I would be nothing.
I Love you, Tracey. Today, Tomorrow, Forever, and a Day. +1.

Audio Fuel Review

A few weeks ago I won a music download from a company in the UK called Audio Fuel. See their site here. I tend to like to run with music, especially on the dreadmill (though this has been known to be disasterous). I also like Euro-Trance-Club Scene type music (are you following that hybridazation?), ever since I was exposed to it in Japan back in '93. When I listened to the free sample on their site, I became very anxious to get the download.
Clare in their customer service department was very helpful with the process, and I chose to download their "High Intensity Long Run, 120 minutes with voiceover coaching". the download process was VERY SIMPLE. I don't use an iPOD, but a sansa .mp3 player (more on that product later). I had NO TROUBLE transferring the file to my player, and was ready to go in no time.
It starts out with a good introduction that leaves you just enough time to set the dreamill if you need to, or to make sure you are already running before it kicks in. The tempo seemed a bit fast for me at first (it IS high intensity) at 160 beats per minute, but after about a minute i was able to settle in to a nice rhythm.
For about 20 minutes. Then I was cooked. I was able to adjust the speed on the 'mill and still maintain the tempo, but my stride was shorter and my turnover much quicker than i was used to.
I thouroughly enjoy the music, and the periodic coaching voice-overs are welcomed. There is even applause at some intervals (10 mins, 20 mins, etc.) Scattered along are some 2 minute rest periods where you are encouraged to run at your own pace.
Given that I am not quite a high intensity runner yet, this download fit me perfectly. It gives me a good goal, and I am not bored with the tempo or music. I am considering purchasing a download at the next slower  tempo, just to mix things up a bit.
Overall rating 5 out of 5.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

how the Dreadmill got it's name

As many stories start..... "There I was......"
in the early 90's I was single, and lived in a pretty cool studio apartment in Burlington, VT that was a corner unit in an old, converted hotel. It had 16 foot, pressed-tin covered ceilings, and the windows started about 18 inches off the floor and were 8 feet tall. My unit looked out over main street and Lake Champlain. Directly below me was a bagel bakery. My pad was always about 85 degrees or warmer (the floors were always toasty!), but often smelled of garlic. Can you see part of the reason why I was single?
So one day I decided to join the local YMCA to try to get into shape for the coming spring. I have always prefered to work out with my own music, and not some over-hyped Top-40's station blasting in the back ground or morning talk show hosts who laugh a bit too enthusiastically at their own lame jokes. I just can't stomach it. This particular day was a nice one, I recall, and I brough along my Walkman (or some k-mart version) to keep me company on the treadmill. There were 4 mills, set up in 2 groups of 2, in front of a big mirror. When I got there, two 'hotties' were running on the ones in the back row, so I had to run in front of them. Do you see where this is headed? I wish I had.
About ohhh, i dunno, 5 to 10 minutes some time into the run (does it REALLY matter?) I had this incredible need to see if i could run with my eyes closed. I mean, seriously, how hard COULD it be? No obstacles. Thunk, Thunk, Thunk. steady pace. no dogs to dodge, curbs to hop, ice to skate why not?
Let me tell you why not. Two words: YARD SALE. you know, as in your stuff spread all over for the world to see.
yea. in less time than it took Gary Coleman to say, "Whatchu talkin' 'bout, Willis?", I was flung off the back of that Dreadmill and into the middle of the floor. But not before bouncing off of the belt. Probably more than once. While trying to blend into the carpet, I heard the raucous laughter that can only be produced by two Hotties who have just witnessed a dork get spit off the treadmill. Know what I mean? No? Am I the only one? Dammit.
I got up, gathered my broken player, cassette (which i am sure the Hotties at this point thought was Bananarama or something), headphones, and shattered ego (which was in a ba-jillion pieces), and walked out. I can't even remember if I turned the Dreadmill off or not. It can run forever, for all i care. That's how i roll (off).
There you have it. The story of how i came to name the Dreadmill. To this day, I am still weary of being shot off the flippin thing. At our gym here in the hospital, the wall is right behind the machine, so i wouldn't get shot far. I would just get ground to little bits as the Rubber Band of Death had me pinned like a gigantic belt sander. Bob Villa would not be happy.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

i think it's an omen

This was the temp outside on friday, i think.
I have this habit (practice) of trying to make a connection between the digits on the thermometers. like it could be 71.4 inside (as above) and 6.6 outside. both add up to 12. i used to keep this sort of thing to myself, but in the spirit of opening up more, I have started 'sharing' these with Tracey. I'll walk up to her with the device and smile. she'll try to get it, and she usually does. the one above, though, stumped her. oh well.....she'll come around! ahahahahahaahah.........

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

let the fun begin!

Some of you know that I am part of Tall Mom on the Run's 1000+++++ mile club. We are all endeavoring to run 1000 miles in 2010. that breaks down to around 2.75 miles per day, which, when you look at it that way, shouldn't be all that tough. Let's just say that I am behind schedule. Moving along now...
She had mentioned in a post a while back that she wanted to read more about running in Oregon, and since I had recently finished "Bowerman and the men of Oregon", I thought that this would be a good chance for me to pay it forward, so i contacted Melanie and sent the book out west. I hope that the book is able to make its way around the country (world?), spreading it's good cheer and wonderful insight into the world of running that took the country by storm in the 60's and 70's, a part of that era that is too often overlooked.
Yesterday I woke up not feeling well, but decided to go to work because I knew that we were at a skeleton crew until 1130 when our 4th would come in. What I didn't know was that we were at capacity and expecting another patient, which would make us full. On an ordinary day, this would have been just fine, but since I was under the weather, it just made me feel worse. Here is what the law will allow me to show you of my 'office':
Cozy, eh? Anyway, I was also scheduled to have some routine labs drawn yesterday, and the results included my WBC count, which is a measure of the number of white blood cells in the sample of blood. if the number is higher than the 'reference range', it is an indication of infection or illness. I got a phone call from the Nurse Practitioner who manages Employee Health, and she said, "are you feeling ok today"?
"actually no, why"? I replied.
"well, your WBC's are 19,000, and if you were feeling well, i would be concerned. but since you say you aren't well, it just makes sense."
"ah, yes. 19. thanks for the update."
and i set about making plans to go home early. Mary came in at 1130, and i was on the road home by 1215.
and i slept. as it turns out, B has bilateral pink eye, and a left side ear infection. yay, us! he fell asleep on my lap around 430, and then was kind enough to wake only me up at 1 this morning. we crashed on the couch, and slept off and on until 630. i put him to bed, and he slept for another hour or so. i took his spot in bed, and  did some marathon training. yes, that's right. marathon training while sick. I am awesome!
ok, ok, so the marathon training was in the form of a Jason Bourne Marathon. I watched them and dozed off and on during the day, making for a nice back to back to back to sleep day. B started some antibiotics, and after 2 doses is a totally different kid.  Thank you, Tracey, for managing so well that i could sleep. you are Awesome!
I doubt that I'll get back to running tomorrow, but I am shooting for a Friday return to the dreadmill. I am off that day, and will be watching the kiddos for a while so that T can go to Z's honor roll breakfast. Yep, he did it AGAIN. So did Mike. Congrats, boys!
Now if I can just stop walking around the house like I am stalking someone, Tracey will be much happier!