Flying and inner peace

Over the years yoga has been in my life.  At my heaviest (200+ pounds) I did yoga. Granted I hid at the back of the class but I did yoga.  At the very beginning I remember how hard just going through Sun Salutation A was.  I huffed and I puffed.  Holding Downward Facing Dog was nearly impossible.  However, there was this feeling I had after every yoga class that I just couldn’t shake.  It’s magical.

Right before my divorce in 2005 I hit my first Sirsasana or headstand.  It was an early Sunday morning class in Annapolis.  We were given time to practice flying.  When I actually got up into it I squealed and then promptly hit the floor.  I remember it like it was yesterday that is how profound it was.   Balance and flying poses are always a tell.  The more out of emotional balance you are the more challenging (if not impossible) they are. I never hit another one.

Over the last year or so I found an organization called Vetoga.  They are an organization created by a former Marine who wanted to share yoga with the veteran community as a way  to deal with stress, PTSD, and other anxieties.   There is something profound about being in a room of people who regardless of service, age or gender are family even if you’ve never met them before.

IMG_3506Then this past summer during a WOD at CrossFit Park City they had us attempting headstands as a precursor to handstand pushups.  From the CrossFit perspective it’s simple: you use your core and you should be able to pop right up into a headstand.  Now as a practitioner of yoga I know better.  It is not as simple as core strength then pop up.  In order to obtain a headstand you have to have inner peace.  Sure, core strength is part of it, but without the inner peace, even momentarily, you will never fly.  Since 2005, I had tried headstand many times, often met with me slamming to the floor in the most ungraceful like thud.  With all of the mountains and clearing of my mind I had had over the summer I figured why not try a headstand.  This was as far as I got, but hey it was progress over the previous 12 years.  While it is not a true Sirsasana which is suppose to be done on forearms, it was still much closer.

A few days ago at Trident CrossFit I was feeling much less pressure.  My internship was over, the paper was almost complete, and a host of other things in my life had fallen into IMG_4218place.  There are still stressors, but I am mentally at peace with the major decisions I have made.  I decided to give it another try.  What’s the worst that could happen?  Sure, I could fall on my face, but I’ve done that plenty in my lifetime.  Then this happened.  Again, I’m not on my forearms, but I’m up and I held it.  This is the truest sign I can have that the path that I have chosen is the right path.

What path is that?  I have decided to go through the Vetoga teacher training.  I have wanted to go through teacher training for many years, but the time was just never right.  Despite being in grad school, despite the stresses from work, despite every reason in the world why I shouldn’t do this, this just feels like the right time.  I don’t handle change well (I know that this comes as a surprise) so the fact that I made this major decision and I am at peace with it means I am on the right path.

I’m very much looking forward to the learning process.  Most of all, though, I’m looking forward to helping others find their moment to fly.  It truly is glorious.

If you want to help me reach my goal, click here, and donate to my teacher training.

My 1st week at Elevation

I survived my first week at elevation granted with battle wounds, but the same could not necessarily be said for baby trail dog, Charlotte.  She and I rolled into Park City on Tuesday both of us thrilled to be out of the car.  She immediately got dropped off at dog day care for her temperament test.  What better way to see her true colors than after being cooped up in a car for a week?  I had a couple of days before I had to start work which was good.  I think after a week in the car and the constant go just sitting still for a little while was nice.  Oh wait, that’s right I don’t sit still very well.  While I was waiting for the apartment to open up I took the mountain bike off the back of the car and went for a short ride.  I thought my lungs were going to explode out of my chest.  Ah, yes, 6800′ in elevation…

Tuesday after I got everything unpacked and picked her up from doggie daycare I thought it would be good for us to go on a short (flat) walk.  Charlotte had other ideas in mind and shot straight up a trail.  Nearly 500′ in straight up later she had enough.  Note to self don’t let her pick the trails.

Wednesday morning I showed up at CrossFit.  Not only have I not been going to CF at home due to my school schedule, but sure let’s add on the elevation.  Nothing says pain like your first day back in the gym.  Wednesday night at Park City Running Company a running group met.  Charlotte and I showed up knowing full well we were going to struggle.  While the “big kids” threw down a 7+ mile run she and I did the truncated course of 4 miles.  Both of us huffing and puffing on the uphills.

Thursday was CF again.

Friday after work she and I headed out on a trail run.  We wound up missing a trail, had to bushwhack for a while, and then I wound up eating dirt.  My elbow and hand are black and blue while my leg looks like I got into a fight with a cheeseIMG_3361 grater.

Saturday she and I headed up the mountain.  I wanted to hike up until we couldn’t go up any more due to snow.  She had other ideas in mind.  3 miles into the up she laid down in the grass and said “I’m done.”  I’m going to have to get a cooling coat for her.  I wound up carrying her 1/2 mile downhill until she caught sight of a ground squirrel she couldn’t live without and promptly used me as a launching pad.  We found a patch of dirty snow on our way back down the mountain and the promptly threw herself in it.

IMG_3370Sunday we went out with the Sunday Run group from Park City Running.  My plan was to do the 10k route.  We were slow, but there was a sweeper behind us who had to keep her heartrate down so I didn’t feel awful about myself.  (I lie, I felt awful that she had to wait for me.)  When we got to one point in the course there were two chairs and what a view!  Wow.  A bit into that route the woman I was running with realized that she needed to get back so we truncated our course.  On our way down the mountain Charlotte decided to cut a switchback while I went around.  Yep, you guess it, I ate it again.  We wound up doing a little over 5 miles though.

Totals: 6 days

CrossFit: 2

Runs: 5

Total miles 15.2

Total up:  3,596 ft

 

2016: I survived, barely

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”- Hunter S. Thompson

I set about this year with a plan.  I wanted to push myself.  I wanted to see just how far I could go.  According to the statistics I did 247 workouts burning over 125k calories, and moving 883 miles.  Now, those aren’t 100% accurate because I regularly forget my watch, but those are still numbers I’m proud of.   While, granted, I have other friends that crossed well into the 2k miles for the year each one of those 883 miles, for me, were hard earned.

What those numbers don’t portray is the amazing experiences that this year has brought about.  This year I completed my first Spartan Trifecta.  While I IMG_9132may have started the journey because of He Who Shall Not Be Named I found some amazing people along the course who have become wonderful friends.  I root for them, they root for me, but most importantly they are phenomenal humans I’m thankful to call friends. While Spartan Racing isn’t necessarily at the top of my things to do again, with the right company I could probably be persuaded. Maybe.

This year has also been a year of firsts for others in my life.  Bella’s first 5k.  GardeningGirl’s first 10k and her first 15k!   CrossFit Runner and ShooterGirl also got into the action with CrossFit Runner doing her first trail 10k race and ShooterGirl doing her one (and only) run longer than 800m. Windchime and I got to share time on the ECSUT 50k course, her first, and all done without training. I was lucky enough to be there for all of these huge mile stones.  I’m lucky that I have these amazing people in my life.
IMG_89202016 will be forever the year that I started doing back to back races (challenges).  Starting with Florida (Glass Slipper Challenge), North Carolina (Double Dare), and Colorado (Elk Double).  Pushing myself and my distance is something that I’m still working on as witnessed by my first and second attempts at a 50k.

This is also the year, though, where I truly learned that I am not like the other kids on the playground.  My asthma really reared it’s ugly head and has started to let me know where my limits are.  I also truly learned the lesson that I have some amazing friends in my life who will absolutely be there no matter what.  To those friends, you know who you are, I love you for who you are.  We make up one badass family.

2017 is going to be a year of change and challenge.  I may not be able to run the number of races that I ran this year, but that’s ok because the locations of where I do run are going to be AMAZING. My plan is to work within the box that I have on any given day vice fight against it.  I’m going to focus on getting stronger to help me hold up longer on the trails.  Finally, I’m going to be incredibly lucky to be able to train in some gorgeous territory in 2017.

 

 

12 Days of Christmas: WOD

It’s all fun and games until they say 3,2,1, GO! 

Ah, CrossFit, you are a mean bitch aren’t you.  All week long I knew this workout was coming.  Yet, somehow, when I woke up this morning I was still looking forward to it.  Perhaps it is because I knew that, as with all chippers, it was going to wreck me.  Perhaps it was because I really do love a good chipper.  Or perhaps it was because this year, unlike last year, I was in a much better place mentally (and physically) to handle it; something about spending six hours out in the hills of Ohio.
fullsizeoutput_ee1What exactly is the 12 Days of Christmas?  Ah, just like the song you start with 1, then 2-1, then 3-2-1, etc.  Only unlike the traditional 12 days of Christmas where you wind up with an ass load of birds and people leaping and dancing in the CrossFit version you wind up with pain and death.  Ok, that may be a bit of exaggeration, or is it?

I had made plans ahead of time to do it with AntiRunner.  Hey, if I’m going to be suffering I want to be suffering with amazing friends.  When I saw what the movements were I had a mixed bag of emotions.  First, I was sad there were no double under, hey I’ve been practicing.  Second, I was terrified of all of the overhead work.  I already woke up extremely sore from yesterdays death by wall ball.  I had already decided when I saw folks running in the 39 degree rain that this little asthmatic would not be running.  Shocking I know.  Something about not having an asthma attack was first and foremost on my mind.   When I walked in and saw several of the coaches wrecked I knew this was going to be a doozy.

We went through a brief warm up with Mel and Alex  where they ever so graciously told us that it was 2 lunges with each leg (wait what???).  45 minute max time cap.  Oh boy.  The first few rounds went fairly quickly then I found myself at five and things start getting spicy.  By the time I hit rounds seven, eight, and nine I was absolutely convinced that the barbell is getting heavier and heavier every time.  The thought of;  are you sure that those coaches didn’t put extra weight on there when you were at the rig, ran through my mind.

img_1709Luckily, AntiRunner was facing me.  We were suffering together.  A random smattering of the thoughts that ran through my head;

-Good God this is a lot of overhead.

-Do I have to pick up the barbell again?

-Who the hell was the sick and twisted bastard that programmed wall balls AND thrusters?

-Fuck you, too, burpees.

To say that I was angry, pissed off, and motivated is an under statement.  I was GOING to finish this.  I was GOING to finish this under the time cap.  I was not going to have an asthma attack.

Grind, grind, grind.  Through each of the rounds.  12! Oh hello 12! I love and adore you 12. Okay, time for my big girl panties.  I sat on the rower and forced my mind to find a happy memory to focus on. I blew through the 550m row.  I made my way back down the ladder and was doing great until I hit 6.  Crap, this bar was getting heavy.   Ugh.  OK.  Finish this.

img_1718As I put the barbell down after the last deadlift I laid out on the floor.  My ass hurt.  My shruggers hurt.  Lifting my arms?  Yeah, not going to happen.  But I finished!  Take that you mean CrossFit bitch.  I’m going to go die now.  Merry Goddamn Christmas to you too CrossFit.

 

 

 

Weight Loss Update: Maintenance & Muscle

I, as with most women, live by a number on the scale.  My entire life I’ve been trained to focus on the number.  As I’ve made progress down the weight loss journey road Sainted Mary and I have also been monitoring my body fat percentage. Yet, I still focus on the number.  I’m trying to change. Really, I am.

This summer when I was inured and cut off from working out I immediately noticed a huge drop in the scale.  Sainted Mary reminded me that was from my muscles not retaining water from repairing themselves. She was right, the minute I was cleared to start working out again boom up the scale went again.  I know, I know, it’s just water, but I was SO focused on getting to a very specific number.  F&%*^&@

img_20160922_133305When I was out on the #ECSUT course I had a lot of time to think.  What was more important?  Was it the number on the scale?  Or was it the ability to go out and do all of the crazy things that I love to do?  It was out in the mountains of Park City that I realized that I wanted to be the strongest version of myself.  Because, dammit, I like being active with my friends! I like not being the weakest one.  I want to be able to push hard and not break!

When I returned and shared my insights, gained in the mountains, with Sainted Mary and she laughed.  She laughed because she had already been there and was just waiting for me to get there.  “With all of the crazy hiking, running, etc that you love to do you need all the muscle you can get.”  Ah yet another reason why I love Sainted Mary.  Ah the old adage of you can lead a horse to water……smart woman.

We made some changes to my nutritional plan and then we discussed how over the winter I was going to focus on gaining strength in order to make me a better runner.  Then we had to have “the talk”:

“You do realize that as you put muscle on the scale is going to go up, right??”

(sighing) “Yes…..” I begrudgingly acknowledged.

“You also realize that muscle takes up less space than fat does so you will actually be getting smaller, right????”

(sighing and with a twinge of eye rolling) “Yes….”

1411638441200Why was this concept so hard for me to embrace?  Why did she have to keep reminding me of this?  Because, well, numbers are what we women have been trained from birth to go off of.  This is why continuing to work with Sainted Mary is so important.  She reminds me of all of the things that I know, but then I stand on the scale and all hell breaks loose.  This is why we do body fat readings in addition to the number on the scale.  Now instead of focusing on the number on the scale, we are trying to get my body fat numbers down.  I started out in 2015 at 36.4%.  Now I’m at 28.3% and dropping that number a safe clip.  Ok, ok, I’ll admit I still look at the scale.  I do.  I’m trying to change.  I promise.  Change is hard, but change is good.

Jingle All the Way 15k: Just keep swimming

“When life gets you down you know what you’ve got to do? Just keep swimming.” -Dory

I went into today’s Jingle All the Way 15k with a bit of trepidation. The temperatures were in the danger zone for my lungs, but I knew as long as I kept my mouth covered I ‘should’ be ok.  Little did I know it wasn’t going to be my lungs giving me the hard time, but rather my glutes and hamstrings.

A few weeks ago when GardeningGirl decided to register for the Asheville Half Marathon I told her about this race.  I thought it might be a good incentive to keep training for the half marathon.  She agreed it would be.  So she came up on Saturday and we got a couple of hours of bonding time before bed.  I’m always thrilled to spend time with her.  This time she brought her 12 year old sheltie, Buddy.  Charlotte was instantaneously infatuated with him.  “Will you be my friend??? Please, oh please, oh please be my friend.”  She was intrigued by this new dog who didn’t want to be her friend.  The more aloof he was, the more she tried to be submissive to him and bait him into interacting with her.  When he finally gave in, just a little, she was only encouraged that they would be best friends forever.  Oh Charlotte, you’re so stinking cute sometimes.

fullsizeoutput_e74We got up early, ate breakfast and headed into DC.  I knew that mentally this course was going to be a bit of a challenge since it looped back on itself a couple of times.  Ugh, loops. However, I had tunes so all would be well in the land.  I was also trying running in an InkNBurn skirt for the first time.  This summer I tried Eastern Mountain Sports skorts for hiking and really fell in love with them, so I wanted to see how these would do running.  I know most folks won’t try new things on race day, but I wasn’t there to race, I was there as moral support for GardeningGirl. I even lent her my green “Grinch” tutu for the day.

As we stood waiting for the go, everyone was shivering.  Many of us had even cracked into the mylar warming blankets early as they started us 10 minutes behind schedule.  Crossing the start line I knew it was going to take me a couple of miles to warm up.  It always does.  By the time I hit mile 2,  though, my glutes and hamstrings were a little pissy. I thought it was just from being cold.  By the time I hit mile 4 I realized, oh shit, this isn’t getting better it’s getting worse.  Around mile 5 I tried to stretch them out a little to see if I could make them better.  Nope.  Fail.  Actually made them worse.  Well f&%*#$*!!!

It got so bad around mile 7 that I had to resort to run/walking.  I was using the walking as an opportunity to take really big strides (well what felt like it, but in reality they were probably just normal strides) in an effort to stretch out my glutes.  Perhaps doing CrossFit on Friday and Saturday wasn’t the best idea in the world…..Oops.

img_1496I crossed the finish line 10 minutes slower than I was hoping to finish.  Oh well.  Life happens.  On the plus side there was not a single asthma attack, so I call this a win! While yes wearing something over my face makes me look like a dork, when you’re asthmatic you do what you need to to keep from having your lungs completely seize up.  GardeningGirl crossed not too terribly long after me.  She was elated with her performance.  Just goes to show you how different a single race can be,

The only other upside (you know other than walking away breathing)  I can say about this race is that it demonstrated to me that I really do love running in skorts. I’m going to have to get way more of these.  This particular skirt (last year’s Christmas fullsizeoutput_e73design) didn’t ride up, didn’t bunch up….which means I didn’t spend the whole race fighting with it.  Now granted, I just need to remember to start sizing up my long sleeve shirts (since I wear my Techwick under them).  Now to just get my glutes and hamstrings to stop being angry at me….

CrossFit: 1 year later..and I didn’t die

One year ago I walked into Trident CrossFit terrified.  The 6am class was, well, intense. To be blunt they scared the shit out of me.  This morning as my alarm went off at 5am to get my ass TO the 6am class it hit me that today was my one year CrossFit anniversary.  As I waited for the 5am class to finish up I saw a girl standing there who seemed terrified.  Before I could walk up to her and say hello one of the trainers who does the baseline assessment said, “Ready?” and walked off with her.  I smiled.  Ah, yes, baseline.

The past year has given me a whole new vocabulary.  I have gained a respect for myself.  Respect to take the rest days. Respect to take it glacially slow when returning from injury to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.  Respect of the things that ARE within my capabilities even if I have to modify the movement a bit.  I’ve learned what movement combinations trigger my asthma and how to deal with that.  However, this year has also given me a few new friends who I adore tremendously.  I can’t imagine my life without them now.  Regardless of where they are in the world we still keep in touch.

I’ve also been pushed WAY outside of my comfort zone.   Every workout there is still that uncomfortable moment where I still say “can I do this?”  Then I have a moment like I did on Saturday where there was a new girl at the workout and she was struggling.  I was able to give her a couple of small tips.  Wait, me?? Wait.  I know how to do the movement?  When did that happen?

“I wish it were easier.”  She said on the 400m run.  We all laughed.  “Oh it never gets easier because just when it gets easy you add more weight or more reps or something….” we told her.  She smiled.  “So this sucks for you guys too?”  “Um, YEAH!” She was relieved.  “You’re doing amazing.”

While I may still be a runner who does CrossFit there is a realization that I had recently. I truly am a CrossFitter now.  Why?  Despite having those two months off when I finally got cleared to go back that is exactly what I did: I went back and I didn’t die.

Acupuncture vs the angry NY cabbie

***Long and wordy, sorry***

Eight weeks ago my entire back seized up. I have been living in various levels of pain since then.  I’ve seen Doc.  I’ve seen the magical Rowena who does myofascial release therapy.  I’ve even had a cortisone shot.  Every day was a new adventure in pain. I had to get creative to put my underpants on.   CrossFit?  Oh that was an adventure!  The last WOD I went to was box jumps and on a scale of 1-10 the pain was somewhere near a 9.  This is coming from the girl who had 37 stitches in her eye 4 with no numbing agent because it wore off before they were done.  The only time I haven’t been in pain?  When I am running. Sigh.

I saw Doc yesterday and as he was checking out my spine I asked him what I could do about pain.  He said that maybe an acupuncturist might help.  Basically, the ligaments in my spine down near my tailbone are all stretched out and they need to heal.  Doc said, “Until they heal and your nerves stop reacting and being angry and inflamed you are going to be in pain.”  Super just super.

Conveniently, a friend of mine has just sent me a text with a contact.  “Go see him.” That was all she said.  The he in question is an acupuncturist.  Specifically he is a guy who specializes in sports medicine! I’ve heard from multiple people regarding the magic of acupuncture.  At this point I was willing to try just about anything.  When I called him up and explained that I was a trail runner he said, “Ah! You are one of those long haul girls.”  Not yet, but trying, if I can get the pain under control…..

So, last night at 1800 I found myself explaining the last 8 weeks: what has been done, where I am pain wise, etc.  He explained to me how acupuncture works and how some of the pins may hurt more than others when we find a hot spot.  As I lay face down on the table and he started figuring out where he was going to put his pins in the words, “Girl you are extremely inflamed and have some very very angry spots.”  Suddenly the vision of an angry New York cabbie dropping the f-bomb every other word popped into my head.  I chuckled a bit.  Yeah, angry that would be a good word for it.  More like livid.

As promised some of the needles he put into me I didn’t feel.  Then there were some spots that I could definitely feel.  He wanted me to mention those to him.  “Uh-huh, that’s because you are a hot mess, girl.  We need to get this fixed ASAP.  Especially with your race coming up in September.”

I flipped over and he started working on my abs.  “Jesus, you are a train wreck.  No wonder why your hips are moving all around.  Your abs are a hot mess.”  Sigh.  Well that would explain why when I am doing certain movements and people say engage my abs I don’t feel what they are talking about.  What he doesn’t realizes is that I’ve been working with Rowena on the very same issue and that they were WORSE before.

“Do you feel that?”

“Yes….”

“It’s not supposed to feel like that. Don’t you know that?”

“Look, I’ve lost 60 pounds in the last year.  I only knew what my collarbones looked like starting in July of last year, there are LOTS of things I have no idea how they are supposed to look or feel like because I’ve never seen them before.”

He laughed so hard I think he snorted.  Hey, it’s the truth.

For the next month on the off-limits list; yoga, swimming, CrossFit, pilates, elliptical machines with the arms.  The only thing I AM allowed to do?  Hiking, walking, and short distance running.  Sigh.  At least I didn’t loose that.  Then I think I really would really go nuts.

When I called Trident and told them what is going on they said, “You know, I’m proud of you for getting to the bottom of it. It is so easy to push through the pain masking it with Motrin or other pain relievers.  Short term hiatus for long term gains.”  Sigh.  I know, I know…but, but, but, but……She chuckled, “I know, for you NOT doing things is harder than doing things.”  Oh if she only new that my inner sloth was sticking his tongue out and saying, “See I told you that working out was hazardous to your health.”

0000-Lit-Big-Girl-PantiesSigh.  Sometimes you have to put your big girl panties on and deal with it.  At least as of this morning I can put them on like a normal human!  Progress!  The things we do to be able to run 50k, do CrossFit or yoga or anything else.

 

Weight Loss the long and winding road

“Many times I’ve been alone. And many times I’ve cried. Anyway, you’ll never know the many ways I’ve tried But still they lead me back to the long and winding road.”-Paul McCartney & Wings

No offense to Sir Paul who was talking about a lover I find this song to be a battle cry for my weight loss journey.  I realized this morning that it has been nearly two years since I said img_0962enough was enough and I started (on my own) to get my sh!t together.  Sainted Mary has been in my life for 18 months.  When you are in the day to day fight to not put something yummy into the hole under your nose or trying to motivate yourself to go workout when it’s 100+ degrees with 80%+ humidity it’s hard to see the bigger picture.  Until, that is you actually sit back and look at pictures.  The picture on the right was taken in Fall 2013 at my brothers wedding.  That dress has long ago made its way to someone else’s closet.

I wish I could say that after two years everything was easy.  Ha! Um, no.  There is no magic pill.  There are days that I’m literally dragging my inner monologue kicking and screaming into my workout much like a petulant elementary school child who doesn’t want to go to school. BUT I DON’T WANNA GO…..  Then there are days where I’m actually excited and looking forward to my workouts. Ok, if I were to be 100% honest those are my running or cycling days I still haven’t gotten to the point where I say “YAY! CrossFit!!!” (I’m working on it. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it’s good for me and good for my running.  It’s like vegetables, gotta eat ’em.)

There are days that I forget just how far I’ve come.  Especially when I’m playing with the IMG_9134“big kids”.  See, the “big kids” run faster/further, lift more, etc. I want to be a big kid.  I want to run faster, run further, lift more.  Then, every once in a while, a friend says something poignant that makes me realize that I am playing with the big kids. Recently that came in the form of GardnerGirl saying, “You are a beast.” I certainly don’t feel like a beast, especially when I have friends that are out running 50+ mile races or are competing (and winning) CrossFit competitions.  That’s when I realize that I have these friends.  Three years ago those people did not exist in my life.  Heck, two years ago those people didn’t exist in my life (well, except TheSaraD and that’s because we rode horses together).  These people have become my new role models.   I’m thankful and grateful that these people have allowed me into their inner circle, encourage me, and don’t let me beat myself up when I’m barely keeping up, if I’m keeping up at all.  My inner sloth whimpers.

Most days I don’t realize just how much my body has changed.  I am still me.  I’m still the goofy, snarky, girl that I’ve always been.  Then I do something like turn down a food that I love because I don’t have any of the exchanges for it; put on a size that never in my wildest dreams I’d ever fit into and my head hurts; or I’ll see a picture of myself and I’m stunned.  Who is this person???  I’m still a work in progress, but this long and winding road has led me here.   I still have a few more pounds I want to loose.  I still have a lot of muscle that I’d like to put on.  I still have goals. This long and winding road will be the rest of my life, but I’m very curious to see what’s around the next corner.   Just please don’t be a bear……

 

 

 

 

 

ISO: An asthmatic mentor

“You are quite literally doing everything you can do INDUCE an attack.”–Doc

Ah, summer in the mid-Atlantic.  Nothing says glorious days like 81 degree temperatures at 0430 with a humidity percentage hovering some where between wet sponge and steam room.  It is days like these that make training for #ECSUT, hell, walking to the mailbox next to impossible.  I’ve had to switch to a 0500 CrossFit class just to hope that I can maybe breathe at that hour.  Running?  Unless I drive two hours out to the mountains and start at 0600, or worse run on the dreadmill, running is off the table.  

Bear with me for a moment to describe to you what it’s like to be me (without the science speak).  I want you to stick a straw in your mouth.  Now breathe through it.  Now I want you to go running with the straw in your mouth and attempt to breathe.  Welcome to being an asthmatic on any given day. Oh wait, but there’s more.  Now, find some peas and stick them in the straw and try to run.  That is what an asthma attack feels like.  Now for the science-y stuff.  (See diagram on the left) airway

This is the reason why many asthmatics just say they can’t.  I, however, do not have the word ‘can’t’ in my vocabulary.  Yes, on occasion this has gotten me into a bit of trouble.  I am not about to let this control my life.  I want to live my life. 

After nearly two years of this journey I am now at a place where I am starting to run into (no pun intended) issues that are beyond the scope and capacity of my asthma doc.  Why?  Well, my asthma doc doesn’t have any patients like me. If you aren’t new to this blog you are probably nodding your head right now in agreement.  If you are new to this blog I highly encourage you to go back and read some of my stupid learning moments.  

I recently had a discussion with my pulmonary doc and my osteopath asking this basic question; “How long is my fast acting inhaler good for?”  What prompted this question was that as my runs have started to surpass the four hour mark (because yes, I’m slow) I’m finding that my chest and lungs are NOT happy.  My pulmonary doc answered very wryly with, “Why are you doing that to yourself?”  Where as my osteopath answered frankly, “You are quite literally doing everything you can to INDUCE an attack.” Both then proceeded to answer my question.

IMG_9125What I really need is to find a long distance, ultra runner who is asthmatic.  Not a little asthmatic, but someone who is a HUGE asthmatic like myself.  Someone who has already been down this road and learned the lessons so that I don’t have to learn them on my own.    In this great big world of ours there has to be another crazy pants like myself.  Right???