Saturday, August 27, 2011

Running with asthma

Short heavy breathing followed by constant hacking and spitting up excess mucus building up in my lungs, the metallic taste of blood starts accumulating in my mouth, chest becomes even more tight, the feeling of pressure building up in my jaw, cheeks and ears and 5 minutes from the start I have my hands on my knees gasping for air and slowly walking home. You can probably guess that for the longest time I very much disliked running. My first experiences with it would be in 9th grade when I joined the high school wrestling team. Like any school sport there is always some amount of running during the practices and we ran about two miles per practice. Hated it. I always lagged behind most of my teammates and never really improved through the entire season. My mom eventually took me to see doctor and he diagnosed me with cold/exercise induced asthma and perscribed me an inhaler.
   After my freshman year I quit the wrestling team (unrelated to asthma) and never really used my inhaler. Through the next ten years or so I became pretty out of shape. I think I tried about 3 or 4 times to start running, but any sort of exercise, especially in the cold winter air would leave me gasping for air and spitting up a liter of flem leaving a taste of blood in my mouth (not sure what the blood taste is all about). Then finally at the turn around point when I started running again I went back to the doctors and had him prescribe me another inhaler, this time I used it. With help from the inhaler and learning to breath through my nose Lo and behold the flem spouting stopped, the wheezing stopped, and that messed up blood taste in my mouth stopped. I finally saw improvements in both cardiovascular and respiratory. I could actually do a slow run with out breathing heavy.
    I was running one of my normal routes today after class and I was short on time so Instead of using my inhaler and waiting 30 min I took a couple puffs and headed out. It started out alright, but 5 min into the run I could tell that I was breathing harder than I should be at the pace I was going, but also my legs started getting really heavy and my feet felt more like lead weights than usable extensions.  This went on for about a half an hour and then everything returned to normal. Asthma sucks...wind

   Anyways, I'd like to give a pat on the back to everyone who has dealt with this crappy disease and puff on my friends.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Best Running Companion Ever

You may laugh, but this girl has got some speed.
Daisy is our family dog. She isabout one and a half years old and is a pure bread miniature long-haired dachshund (Weiner Dog). About twice a month I take her down to the high school track to wear her out. WhenI run with her she can usually keep up at about a 8:30-9:00 pace for about 2 miles. After that she will hang back at the end of each lap at the starting line, wait about 60 seconds and then catch up with me by cutting across the field. It is pretty comical to watch her run in front of me and I usually don't do as well time wise when she's around, but she definitely breaks the monotony of running on a track. 
    I take her on the track because she isn't always the most polite to larger dogs. She could care less about the ones her size. I don't know if she gets the whole concept that if she pissed off a Lab (which has happened) she wouldn't last 2 seconds by herself, unless she got a hold of his jugular or something. On the track though there aren't usually many people around so she doesn't get distracted.
    When I have more time I will most likely get a dog of my own. I'm really interested in getting an Australian Shepard. They are really beautiful dogs and I hear they have a lots of energy, so at least I would have someone nudging me to go out and run on those lazy days. In my Opinion aside from running, dogs are just the best pets to have hands down. There just full of unconditional love and loyalty. 
    I posted a quick movie of our day at the track today along with some pics of another run we had. Sorry about the camera shaking around when I'm recording her running, but its really hard to take a steady shot whilst in motion.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Stompin Grounds

The grass is usually pretty green here, but I think there working on the sprinkler system the past couple weeks.

Huron lightship museum

The other side of the boardwalk

This is on the other side of the bridge. That is lake Huron entering the St. Clair river. On the other side of the river is Canada land

Taken underneath the Bluewater Bridge
An Aerial photo of the route I've

    I took a couple shots on my run today of the Boardwalk in Port Huron Michigan which is a portion one of my running routes. I can't tell you how grateful I am to live in the Great Lakes state. When its about 85 degrees and up in summer it really nice to run by the water because it usually takes about 5-10 degrees off the temp around the area. Also the smell and the feel of the cool fresh air coming into your lungs can give you a bit of a boost during the run. I've seriously considered jumping in mid run shoes on and all. Especially the past 10 days or so with the temperature going  upwards of about 95 degrees. Some time this summer I think I actually will, even if only to freak some tourists out.( There always getting in the damn way)
    I live less than a mile north of where these shots were taken. I'm about 100ft or so down the road of the beach which I generally go to after my runs to cool off. Sometimes I'll even skip the bathing suit, tear off my shirt and shoes and dive right into the water with my running shorts on.
    I basically have two different routes that I take when I go running. One that goes South from my house, which is the one I have shown above, and the other goes North. I've been pretty much using these two routes  for the past couple of  years. When I to up my mileage I just simply just push the turn around point a bit further. I have land marks measured out so I know when I've run a 1 mile, 1.5 miles, 2.0 miles and so on which helps me keep an eye on my pace. Whats nice about doing turn around routes is that you can't really chicken out and cut back home unless you do it on the first half, but usually I'm pretty good energy wise up to and a little past the half. Its when you start hitting the 3/4 mark when I start doggin it, but since I have to get home I really don't have a choice in the matter and I half to tuff it out. Where as if you made a route that did kind of a loop you would leave opportunities to take short cuts and cut out early. Unless it was around an inland lake then I don't think it would be worth it. You would be retarded to try and take a short cut through a lake. Don't swim across the lake dumbass.
   I will also from time to time head out to the high school track just to get an accurate measurement of lap times and pace. Also if I'm doing intervals Its good to have measured out markers on the track  to know when to give it the gas and lay off it. The upside of running on a track is that its completely neutral when it comes to elevation, terrain, and scenery. The down side is its boring as hell. I've had to to stop running after 6 mile (24 laps) not because I was tired, but because I was so damn board of only looking at the same background every two minutes. Also, the whole time I'm running on the track I'm constantly thinking about times, distances and doing all kinds of math in my head figuring out my pace and how much I need to pick up in order to meet my goal. There is nothing really to distract you from the hell your putting your body through. And God forbid someone else gets on the track, well then you start sub-consciously raceing the asshole which you won't realize until you look at your watch. Now you might think that is a good thing, but when your trying to conserve energy to make it through the next 10 miles it really fucks you up. It become even worse when its a chick that hops on with you. So now not only do you have to not let her pass you, but even then it doesn't matter if shes running a 12:30(per mile) pace you have to be running at least an 8:00 because she might some how magically notice you because you've lapped her 3 times in the past half hour. Which then she'll end up leaving when your on the other side of the damn track and she'll leave wondering why you couldn't slow down and talk to her yada yada yada... Damn you cute girls in your sports bras and pony tails...But I digress.

Temptation come in many forms


Bad timing

A couple days ago I posted on about my experience of being caught walking by other runners.(I'll post a link below) Here was the post:
"I had my long run today of 16 miles. I still had some energy left at the end of my run and decided to tack on a couple extra miles. Well on my way back from my bonus round I had to stop due to pure exhaustion. Not 60 seconds later I see this gorgeous girl in the distance running towards me. It was to late. If I started running now I would look like I was trying hide my being walking. So I pretended to check my watch as she got closer like "yup only 30 more seconds till i have to start more running" did the Ol' wave and smile thing when she went by and after she went past I felt like an idiot and ran the rest of the way back. I'm not saying breaks are bad and your weak if you take breaks. Its just that in the moment that you see other runners you have this feeling that you need to have perfect form running the same speed if not faster than the other runner. I know in reality I'm sure she was thinking "What a sweaty sweaty man""
I got quite a few comments on it. Half agreed that getting caught sucks and I think about half the others said they didn't care. I think the people that said they didn't care are lying bastards and probably care the most  , but just can't admit it. Which is kind of stupid considering your mostly anonymous on Reddit unless you tell others who you are. At the time it was kind of awkward, but now I kind of laugh at myself. One guy commented "Lol I bet when she went by you wanted so badly to be able to tell her "just ran 16 miles okay!" I'm a actually a badass."" which I then replied "Pretty much. Then she would rip off her sports bra and make love to me on the spot."
    Anyways, I don't really care that much now, it wasn't the first time I had been caught and probably won't be the last. I'm hoping that it doesn't happen at the marathon, but if it does I'm sure I won't be the only one and I for sure wouldn't judge them as being weak. In fact I would probably try to encourage with 'come on buddy" although perhaps they don't want to hear after mile 19.
    I think it's humorous that runners feel insecure with other runners around, especially if that runner is obviously in better shape with his tight fit short shorts, super moisture wicking Under Armor shirt, Oakley sunglasses, iPhone armband, and some brightly colored shoe from a brand you never heard of. You know who you are. I guess I could point to myself since I'm guilty of four of those things. Still, when I was starting to develop my running ability I made routes that I knew there would be hardly anyone around. Like I said in my second post "In the beginning" my first route was through a cemetery where I would only see old people mostly. I did feel bad running by them when they were visiting there deceased loved ones. Imagine visiting your dead wife and your in the middle of remembering the good times and then this sweaty man comes stubling upon your spot all red in the face busting through the peace and quite that was there before my fat ass decided to break the moment. Oh well they'll live or possibly not if were talking about the other one. One time I was running my usual and there was a service for WWII vet going on. I didn't realize that there was a funeral taking place because of slight hill that was blocking my peripheral. All of a sudden they did the 21 gun salute and I about shit myself. Here I am in my own little world running down a dirt path avoiding the public eye trying to wipe out the sweat that is stinging his eyes and a bunch of geasers are firing off M1 Grands over my head. Its safe to say that I shit my pants and hit the dirt. This is why its nice to not have anyone around when your running. I assumed it would also prevent being shot at, but I guess not.
 Map of my grave yard run.

    Here is the link to my post on Some of the comments are pretty funny.

Monday, July 25, 2011

In the begining

     I've come a long ways as far as my physical strength and mental strength. I have gone from weighing 230lbs (I'm 6'0 tall) to weighing 185lb (still 6'0 tall). I've gone from only being able to run one mile around a track to being able to run a 12 miles route that goes from the North side of Port Huron to the Downtown area. Come mid October I hope to complete my first marathon at the Detroit Free Press Marathon which I think is going to be a huge milestone in my running career.
    If you told me 3 years ago that I would be physically fit enough to run an entire marathon I would probably bitch slap you across the face for speaking so falsely. I probably never would even thought about starting running if it had not been for a job opportunity that presented itself. Back in March of 2009 There was a mass hiring of Border Patrol agents going on for both the Northern and the Southern Border of the United States. A friend of mine had signed up and for it due to the fact that, like many of us in this economy, he couldn't find a job in Michigan. He encouraged me to do the same seeing how I was in a very similar situation. So I applied, I got called up and thus started my one year application process and after being accepted another year of waiting to be sent to the Border Patrol Academy. Long story short I ended up not making it after I failed a poly-graph test (which I did not lie by the way) that they started doing because they were having some questionable people making it through the background investigations. I may have not gotten the job , but I did however gain something in those two years that basically turned a lot of my life around. I developed a passion for running.
    See in order to pass the Border Patrol Academy you had to be able to run 1.5 miles in under 13:00. Which now I could do even if I was hungover, sleep deprived, dehydrated, and stricken with pneumonia, but at that time you could have said I had to do it in 5:00. There was just no way I could reach that time. Well with a little help from my buddy and the opportunity to finally find a career that had decent pay it was enough primer to get the old legs pumping again. Mind you I hadn't really done any sort of serious exercise since my freshman year of high school when I was on the wrestling team. I was 24 years old, over weight ( not obese but getting there), drinking a 12 pack of beer once or twice a week, smoking about a pack or more a week, eating 2/3 of a Little Ceaser's Pizza for lunch and just not really living a very healthy life style in general.
   I started running through with my best friend Tom through the city cemetery. He had made a route about 2 miles long through it. The nice part about the cemetery route was that there was hardly anyone ever around. The only time people would see me run is when I had to cross the bridge on Gratiot Ave. over this canal that divided the cemetery in half. It sucked. I didn't want to do this
    After only a month of running with Tom he had to leave because he got called up to start the academy in New Mexico. So there I was, by myself  running this route that Tom had left me with to work on getting in shape. He would call me from time to time and tell me about all the PT (physical training) that was involved with the academy and how much it was kicking his ass. These phone calls and the promise of a new job were the only thing keeping me out there running every day, but soon probably 5-6 months later I started to not dread these runs. I moved on from that 2 mile route Tom had made through the cemetery and added on to it making it roughly 4 miles. I started to shed a few pounds, I could see that my calves were getting more defined and the muscles in my feet were really starting to bulge out. I also stopped drinking and smoking and started to eat smaller portions of healthier foods. This running thing
    I would have to say about a year from when I first started running is when I think I got the runners bug. I didn't know anything about proper form or about long runs and rest days, but I knew that I had become a runner because if I missed a day of running I felt disappointed. It was similar to the feeling if you hadn't brushed your teeth the night before and your teeth are all fuzzy, or you missed an episode of your favorite show that you were waiting all week to watch. Just an emptiness I suppose. Of course I would make up for it the next day by beating the crap out of my legs, but still I think that emptiness is when I began to understand the importance that running had become in my life.

First Thought

   First off I am in no way shape or form any kind of expert on running. I've been running for almost 2 1/2 years and have slowly been developing my knowledge base in running from talking to fellow runners, reading books and articles, and of course the Internets. I decided to start a blog to kind of keep a record of what I learn and my experiences that are involved with running. For now its just for myself, but If others happen to stumble upon my ramblings and feel like they want to comment or just say hello then have at it. Also I would like to say that my grammar is not the best. If you see misplaced commas and run on sentences its because I didn't really pay that much attention in English 101, but I will try to be as grammatically correct as I can. With that being said I will now begin the blabbering.