Misadventures with wine, weights, and running shoes.

Image Slider

Asthma Sucks

Monday, September 28, 2015

Asthma sucks. I spent my childhood watching my grandmother and mother suffer and die young from COPD. I cared for many asthmatic patients as an ICU Nurse.  I witnessed one my closest friends have issues and even attacks in front of me.  I could appreciate the sentiment, “Asthma sucks” - or so I thought.
Eighteen months ago spring allergy issues made my normal running routine challenging. After an allergy consultation ended in normal test results, I was sent off with some “as needed” medications that included a rescue inhaler and my breathing problems resolved quickly.

Six months ago, a cough landed me back to see the allergist.  Once again, tests were negative, but this time I was given steroids, antibiotics and more “as needed” drugs to get me healthy for the Blue Ridge Marathon. Within a week I was, once again, right as rain. Problem solved.

Tuesday July 21st:  I am up at o’dark thirty, to run Yasso 800’s on the treadmill before my CX works class.  Yassos are a type of speed drill I was using to gauge my goal pace for MCM.  Complete ten training rounds and you have a good chance to make your goal.  I was on round five and feeling encouraged that I could reach my target Boston Qualifying Pace.

A half mile into my warm up I felt off and sluggish. “I need more PlowOn and coffee” was my initial thought, but pushed through thinking once I warm up, the energy will come.  I began my first Yasso round, and started sputtering and coughing like I had inhaled a glass of water and nearly fell off the treadmill after about two minutes.  I collected myself, and tried again. Same result.  So I gave up and taught my class thinking I was having an off day and would try again tomorrow.
The coughing continued with little relief for a week, and at this point, I am taking ALL THE DRUGS and none seem to be helping.  I schedule my appointment with the allergist and when I see them a couple days later, I am a veritable hot mess.

“See this? This result is definitive. You have asthma”, said my doctor in a matter of fact way pointing at numbers on a test sheet.  The statement hit me like a 2x4 across the face.  The nurse in me gets it and understands. The athlete thinks all my healthy activities and still my family history bites me in the butt. The fact that Asthma NEVER goes away sunk in. I’m given steroids, antibiotics and various other drugs with the hopes I will be good to go in a week.
Cough, sputter, wheeze, and cough.  Sleepless nights and fatigue drag on for weeks.  No relief, no let up, so much that even my friends were grabbing me by the shoulders and saying, rest, heal, and go back to docs.  I cannot remember being so miserable, ever.  Forget about breathless exercising; I was breathless sitting.  I could barely do basic living necessities for my family and I can tell you, my family had way more than our share of take out.  It wasn’t until a repeat visit to my primary care physician and a change in medication that I finally started to find relief.

It’s been more than two months now since the start of my initial flare up. I don’t cough nearly as much, and more extensive tests this week show improvement, but not in the time frame I had hoped for. Fatigue is still there, and cannot physically push myself like I had been used to. Pulmonary consults and comprehensive asthma treatment plan and knowledge is helping me understand my asthma and how to manage it.
In less than a month from the time I am writing this, I will have completed my 10th Marathon as part of the 40th anniversary of the Marine Corps Marathon and gearing up for my second Rosaryville 50k.  I wish I could look into my crystal ball and know what happens, but this story is still playing out and I will take each day and moment as it comes. No matter what the result, I will toe the line with my inhaler and give my best effort on that day.  This is not the end of my journey. My path may have had a detour, but the best paths are the ones less traveled. 

No matter how badly Asthma sucks, it will not define me or limit my possibilities.

Love, Cindy

The Weekly Ramble #2

Thursday, September 24, 2015

What's New:

I have another 18 miles in the books and ten weeks until I hit the trail for a 50k. Crazy - I know. I also can't believe that I'm actually following a 50k training plan that does, in fact, include a 26 mile run which happens to fall right in line with the Marine Corps Marathon.

I also took a much needed break from everything; a little sand and salt water is good for the soul.

Training: Took it easy this week in an effort to get my mind and my body on the same page. It is funny how your body can be ready to go but mental exhaustion can crush your progress.

What I'm Loving: My Alex and Ani Saint Anthony Bracelet.

What I'm Listening to: Morphine - Cure for the Pain

Ridiculous Comment of the Week: "With all that running, I'm surprised you're not smaller." A Verizon Tech

Best Comment of the Week: "Turn off your phone during your work break...the world will continue turning." This was from my co-worker in Utrecht. She was right; the world did keep turning.

My question of the week for you guys: What's the best thing someone has told you this week?


Running Into God

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The other day I logged into facebook and a July 15, 2015 post from Dean Karnazes showed up in my feed. The caption read, 
"If you want to run, run a mile. If you want to experience a different life, run a marathon. If you want to talk to God, run an ultra."
While I don't disagree with the statement - I can not say that I agree with it either. Running and God are relative.

A little over two and a half years ago, when I literally put my foot on the path of my running journey, I did so with excitement as well as apprehension. I did not see myself as a runner. I have never saw myself as a runner. In fact, the image embedded in my minds eye is that of my 14 year old self who is both overweight and lacks all forms of cardiovascular fitness.

So it can go without saying, I spoke to God the moment I dropped my 5k training application in the mail to the Annapolis Striders. I think the dialog went something like this:
Dear God - What in the hell am I doing?
I repeated those exact same words on the first day of training and many subsequent days there after. Again - it is relative.

On the frigid February morning that marked my first 5k race, I stood shivering at the starting line and muttered those exact same words, yet again. However, at the half way point the conversation changed:
Dear God - please get me through this.
and upon reaching the finish line:
Dear God - Thank You for the strength to persevere.
At that point in my life and given my past experience, a 5k seemed much like an ultra to me; unfeasible. Even as I reach for longer distances, the conversations continue:
Dear God, why am I doing this again.
Dear God, I can't believe I'm only at mile ...
Dear God, please let there be a spot-a-pot at the next aid station.
and always
Dear God, Thank You for the strength to persevere.
I have ran many 5ks, a number of 10ks, a lot of half marathons, and two full marathons. This November I am shooting to complete my first Ultra. Maybe then, the conversation will change.

Much Love,

The Weekly Ramble #1

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

If you had the faintest impression that I did this for a living, allow me this moment to set the record straight - I don't.

Sure, it would be great to make my living writing a blog, lifting weights, and running but that is not the case. I do, in fact, have a day job; one that is at times demanding and calls for some crazy hours. It is all good though. For the most part, I love my job and the people I work with. I get to do cool things and they don't bat much of an eye when I come to work with another tattoo or say, "I want to run a 50k."

So that should give you a bit of a clue as to what I've been up to the last number of weeks; I've been working my butt off. It's a shame it doesn't actually trim my waistline.

In an effort to try and get back to my writing, I'm trying to get back on a weekly post campaign. We'll see how that goes. In the mean time, allow me to share the following.

A.) Training - not going as well as I'd like it but it is going. I using this year as a learning experience and looking to next year as being "quality over quantity." More on that later.

B.) What I'm Loving - Quest Banana Cream Protein Powder. I'm not sure what the hell they are putting in this stuff but I can not get enough of it. I've got a pack of peanut butter but haven't had the heart to try it because I just love the banana that much.

C.) What I'm Listening to - Nickelback. Trying to come up with some new playlists for running and cross training.

D.) My question of the week for you guys: What is your dig deep song? That song that pumps you up and gets you over the finish line or through those last few reps?