Thursday, December 19, 2013

Vasectomies and Ultrarunning

As the title suggests, this is going to be a touchy topic. So feel free to leave now. If you continue to read, you'll be graced with graphic descriptions of my own penis and testicles and a few mentions of my sex life. Hopefully I can keep the dick jokes to a minimum though. I would like to keep this as clinical and objective as possible. On a positive note, I won't be showing any pictures. So, with that said, let's move one.

Okay so this is going to be very TMI and graphic and, by the very nature of things, sexual. In the past I have always hesitated to disclose any specifics about my sex life because as far as I'm concerned that is private between my wife and myself. However I have decided to disclose a wee little bit, no pun intended, specifically about how my recent surgery affects me.

Now for those of you that do not know what a vasectomy is, it's where the vasa deferentia is transected, removed, truncated, capped, whatever you wanna call it. It's separated therefore live, active sperm is not introduced into the ejaculate and therefore the man is no longer capable of impregnating the woman. I know that's a whole lot of science and medicine and biology and big fancy words but it's the only way I can do this with a straight face. So anyway, it's not like a dog or cat or something like that where they are neutered. I still have my testicles, they still work, it's just some of the plumbing is no longer connected.

So having said all of that I don't necessarily want to make a big deal out of why I did it or how it will impact my sex life. What I really want to do is get into more of the running-related impact of having a vasectomy and how it will impact my life in that manner. I am NOT comfortable disclosing all the details of my sex life so we'll just leave it at my wife and I do not want to have any more children. After researching all the different alternatives to birth control, this was the most viable option. But before I get to far ahead, let's break things down into three main categories of discussion. First, there's the psychological baggage, then the social stigma, and finally the physical impact.

Psychological Baggage
For some men, many men, I don't think it's a big deal. You go, you get it done, and that's it. But for me it's a whole lot more. I'm not a big fan of doctors, not in the sense that I don't like doctors as much as I don't like going to the doctors. Or hospitals for that matter. And I think part of it stems from my mother and when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. That really scared me away from hospitals. And I've always been afraid of death but for me to go to the doctor even when I'm sick is a big deal. It's just one of those mind sets that I have. So I tend to tell myself "let's give it another day another week and let's see if my body will heal itself." Not always the case obviously but that's kind of where my head is. So going for a vasectomy is a huge deal even though it's like 20 to 30 minutes of outpatient surgery. Along with that there's all the horror stories that I've read and seen pictures of and heard about where things went insanely wrong. That's not something I would suggest that you go out and look up beforehand but I know that there are risks just like driving down the road where anything can happen. Bad things do happen, can happen, will happen but statistically they're not that common so even though I know the numbers were on my side I still was not comfortable going. Along with that there's this philosophy that I have that I want my body to be whole. Almost like the Sikhs who don't believe in cutting their hair.  That's kind of how I feel. I mean, I'll obviously shave and cut my hair but that philosophy of being whole is more what I'm talking about.

Now I'm not saying that I'm not whole as a person but it's that mental aspect of wondering if I will be whole. Yes, there's a part of it that revolves around will I be a man and will I be able to function as a man but while I'm worried about the physical repercussions, I'm less worried about being a man than I am about being whole. Add to this mentality the question of what would happen if we ever did want another child. God forbid something bad happens to our two children, and there's no way having a third could ever replace one, but there's that thought in the back of your mind about how can we make another one if we go through with this? That's a lot of emotional weight to handle when your family lineage is something that's important. We're not exactly royal blood here and there's no lordship at stake, but there is still the family name and traditions to carry on. A big part of that, for me at least, is in the blood line of the family. Not that my adopted family members are any less a part of the family, they just aren't blood relatives. I don't know why that's important, but it is. And I do realize it makes me sound like some crazed Nazi when I say it.

Social Stigma
Very much like mental illness, there's a huge social stigma with vasectomies. HUGE. Part of it is the social stigma of sex and I think every country and culture has their own set of morals when it comes to things related to sex. I get that. But vasectomies seem to bear a bit more burden than other surgeries related to reproductive organs. For example, women who have a hysterectomy don't seem to have as many issues talking about it or dealing with it. At least not from my point of view. But when it comes to a mastectomy, that seems to draw some of the same stigma of a vasectomy. Maybe the social issues are related to more how people define themselves as male or female than anything else. I know it was some of my own problem with this surgery but I think it goes deeper for the culture we live in now.

Yes, biologically, I am defined as a male because of my genitals but I'm also socially defined as a male because of them. And while I'm okay with that, I think there needs to be some responsibility that comes with the power of defining who people are. So just because a woman has her breasts or uterus removed, doesn't mean she's any less of a woman. Same goes for a man. I mean, nobody would think of Lance Armstrong as anything but a man and yet he only has one testicle. Of course he carries his own stigma with drug use, but that's not what we're talking about here.

So while the rich and famous and the news outlets find it okay to talk about a woman braving a double mastectomy to reduce her odds of getting cancer, there isn't a damn thing out there about a dude getting a vasectomy to prevent future pregnancies. And there's barely anything about getting a colonoscopy to prevent prostate cancer. Is it because we, as men, see this kind of stuff as a weakness? Are we so wrapped up in our own machismo that we can't ask for help? I don't know what the answer is but I do know nobody wants to talk about getting their testicular tubes tied.

Physical Impact
This is where we get into the graphic part of the procedure. Even more so than before. So the pre-op part was fairly uneventful. There's a consult that takes place beforehand where you and your spouse can sit down with the doctor and discuss all the ins and outs of what's going to happen. Pretty standard office visit with no real surprises. The doctor should do a basic inspection and give you a good once-over to make sure you're suitable for surgery. They'll also probably give you a sheet that says you agree to this and so does your spouse.

After that comes the surgery visit itself. My doctor gave me some pain meds and an anti-anxiety pill to take before the operation. It helped but I think two beers and two shots would have made me even more numb to the pending procedure. Numb both to the physical trauma and the emotional trauma. Since I was on meds, this meant that I needed a chauffeur to take me to and from the doctor. Thankfully my wife was nice enough to see to this. While she won't admit it, I think in the back of her head she had a bit of perverse delight in seeing me go through this. I guess it was only fair since she's mother to two children.

Okay, the procedure itself took 20 minutes, maybe 30. That's from leaving the waiting room to being done. Once in the room, you strip from the waist down and wait with a piece of paper over you. I say paper because that's what it was. They may have called it a blanket or something else but it was a piece of freaking paper that would have dissolved like cheap toilet paper if it got wet. My feet were cold and I closed my eyes because I had no desire to see what was on the little table of torture.

Finally the nurse comes in and preps the area with Betadine. It's a little cold but not bad. It does smell a little funny and, as I found out later, is a dark liquid that's easily mistaken for blood or iodine. From there, the doctor came in and the pain came. It felt a bit like having your testicles wrapped up in a rubber band while the doctor pricks you with a needle to give you a local anesthetic. I'm not sure if it was a rubber band or a medical clamp or a freaking vise, but it was uncomfortable. From there he begins his poking and prodding. I was grimacing more than he expected so he asked if I could feel pain. I said yes so he gave me more local. At least I'm pretty sure he did since I felt another pinch and then didn't feel much more than pressure and tugging. From that moment through later in the afternoon, I could still feel pain but it was very mild. Not a sharp pain like getting kicked between the legs as much as a steady, dull ache of having a small child stand on your testicles all day. Or like you got karate chopped between the legs yesterday and it still hurts today.

At some point he said something about moving to the other side and I just continued to lay there with my eyes closed. I'd wiggle my toes or clench my hands but I did my best not to jump or jerk. While I wanted to make jokes I was too focused on surviving to come up with anything good. The nurse and doctor did comment on my "I Love Coitus" shirt. I figured it was fitting to wear it on such an occasion because, well, just because. Anyway, I was bearing down as I gave birth to this vasectomy and the doctor eventually says he's just stitching up and then he'll be done.

After that, he said his good-byes and the nurse gave me a little washcloth to clean up some of the Betadine. That's when I realized it looked like iodine. Once I got cleaned up a little with the washcloth from hell that left more lint than it cleaned up, I inspected the damage and asked the nurse about the incision. It was much higher than I expected which I was happy for since it meant I could see it and clean it. I was thinking it would be much lower on the scrotum or even underneath but instead it was more at the intersection of the shaft of the penis and the scrotum. Side note, it was also more off to one side than I expected. At about, let's say, 1 o'clock on the dial (assuming 12 was my toes and 6 was my nose).

After I cleaned up a little, I stood up and began to get dressed. That's when I noticed that the Betadine looked like blood. It took a second but I finally realized that if I had bled that much I would have been covered in it. Once I was dressed, I gingerly made my way back to the waiting room and my wife and we left. Since I skipped breakfast, we grabbed an early lunch and headed home.

The rest of the first day was spent wearing tight shorts, icing the impacted area, and watching Band of Brothers. Things hurt but not too bad. Well, just a tad too bad to just live with it. So I took pain meds on a regular basis and even managed a nap. The next day I made my first mistake. I continued to wear the tight shorts but felt restless and went to town to run errands and do Christmas shopping. Bad idea. I should have stayed on the couch. So by the third day I paid the price and stayed in bed a few extra hours. That seemed to help some but the dull ache is still there. I managed to live without meds until the weekend (about V+4 days) when I took some ibuprofen. That seemed to help with some of the swelling and pain but again, it's still there.

Now that I'm at V+6 days, I'm moving around much better, not icing, and only taking meds when I absolutely need it. My pain varies from 1 to 7 on the scale but it's mostly in direct relation to what I'm doing. Sitting, standing, and some walking is fine. I say some walking because I need to adjust myself for it to feel comfortable. Most of my pain comes from sitting or standing. That's when things move too much for comfort and I need move things around to get them settled. The tight shorts help some but not as much as I'd like. Loose pants help more than tight jeans.

There's also more bruising than I expected. I think if the doctor would have rummaged around anymore, I'd be as black as ebony. The stitches haven't fallen out yet and I've been periodically cleaning the incision with hydrogen peroxide. Those things are annoying because they catch on any sort of fabric in the area. Which means any sudden movements suddenly get your attention. And the swelling has continued to rise and fall for no apparent reason. Some days are better than others. They are incredibly tender and often get treated as if they were eggs being carried around for a high school home economics class. I've even shoved my kids away from my just to avoid any careless bumping.

Speaking of kids, I haven't really told either of them what happened. I had no idea how to broach the topic since neither are really at an age to understand all the reproductive parts of the body and what all the implications are. My daughter, age 9, knows some stuff and understands some stuff but is still very much a kid. My son, age 6, has no clue and, well, I'll just keep it that way for now.

While my recovery isn't complete, I would feel remiss for not at least touching on the topic. I am down to almost no pain after about ten days. I've been able to run with no issues beyond my stitches occasionally catch on the fabric of my shorts. They've been doing that since the beginning but I trimmed one of the longer ones and that greatly reduced the number of instances where I was suddenly struck with pain.

Speaking of stitches, the incision is healing quite nicely. It doesn't look super pretty but looks a lot better than it did after a few days. I've been cleaning it with hydrogen peroxide periodically and carefully cleaning it in the shower. I feel no major scaring underneath the skin and the first, gross scab has come off. The much less gross scab is still present but is much smaller.

My bruising has also healed almost completely. It went form a small, almost invisible bruise to a larger bruise to black and blue to black, blue, and red to deep black. I also saw other bruises come and go in other areas that I didn't expect to bruise. Aside from the appearance of an old bruise, there's not nearly as much tenderness as before. I'm not shoving defending the area like Fort Knox any more.

Which brings me to my final point, tenderness in general. From the moment the doctor started, things were pretty sore and tender down there. I didn't want to touch anything. Moving my underwear hurt. Pants hurt. Everything hurt. I would have walked around naked if I thought it would have helped but I knew I'd eventually bump into my thigh and just set off another chain reaction of pain. While I still have moments where there's some residual pain, I'm happy to say that it's mostly gone know. Most of the pain comes from sudden movements, usually involved with standing or sitting. Running doesn't seem to count as I've been able to go short and long distances without any big issues. Maybe a minor readjustment here or there but that's it. It's the smash that usually gets me. Any pressure beyond moderate will make me recoil. That's fairly normal I think but things are more sensitive to touch than before. I guess what I'm saying is, before the vasectomy, I could handle moderate to strong pressure but now have a lower threshold for pain.

Other Reading
- The Effects of Various Types of Birth Control on Runners via Runners Connect - This article is focused mostly on the options of birth control available for women although condoms are mentioned. There are way more options out there than those listed in the article but it's a good place to start with the basics.
- Vasectomy via Jason Lytle's message board - This is more of a very short discussion on vasectomies and their potential impact on prostate cancer. Not really much information here.
- Bizarre Facts About Ultramarathoning via Men's Fitness - One brief mention of famed ultrarunner Marshall Ulrich getting a vasectomy. The comment felt a bit tongue and cheek so I'm not sure if it's true but if it is, he's the only elite ultrarunner that can be confirmed with having one. And then of course there's the questionable source itself.
- A Vasectomy and Riding a Bike...FUN!!! via Running Man Dave's blog - One of the better first-hand accounts of a vasectomy from an ultra runner I've read. Not a lot of details but enough to whet your appetite for more. If you're into that kind of thing.
- Facebook post via UltraRunner Podcast - Not sure if it's visible to everyone but it has a nice long list of fellow ultrarunners with a vasectomy. Best of all, the URP folks are a solid source of information about ultras.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Black Ice

Just a short run before my upper body workout today. Turns out I should have read my plan a little more closely. Damn. It was my first run since last week's sinus infection and surgery. It felt horrible and wonderful all at the same time. It was so nice to get outside and actually propel myself down the road but at the same time I was gasping and wheezing more than I wanted to.

The big news though was that I was able to run without pain. Well, without any major pain. Things are still sore from surgery but I was able to handle a couple of miles. I'm hoping I can bump back up to more "normal" mileage tomorrow without any issues. Today went well, not great, but well enough that I can hope for another good day tomorrow.

The next biggest news for today's run was the black ice. Damn stuff snuck up on me and I nearly lost it barely 10 steps down the road. Just as soon as the camber kicked in I took a step that was a bit too far and knew I was lucky to not lose it. From there on, things were sketchy here and there but I could pick out the good spots easily enough.



Temps were about 32F. Sky was clear and sunny but there was some fog and fine mist from the cold air and ground meeting the sunrise. No wind.

Fluids and Fuel:
Before the run I had half a coffee and a serving of Plain GenUCAN. Stuff tasted like ass but was bearable with some chocolate ZICO mixed in. During the run I had a half bottle of plain water. Recovery was an iced latte and then a veggie sub a couple hours later.

Aches and Pains:
The area impacted by the surgery hurt but I could stomach the pain well enough. Aside from that, things felt fine.

Wore shorts, pants, and another pair of shorts to stay warm. Wore thermal shirt, long sleeve shirt, and winter hat and gloves. Also wore my Santa hat and neck gaiter. Wore sunglasses for a little bit but they fogged up too much so I put them in my pocket.

Heart Rate:
Started out okay but peaked way faster than I wanted. Guess sitting on my ass for a week will do that. But, I got back into the habit of checking my watch every few minutes to make sure I wasn't going too high. By the end of the run I was holding fairly steady at Zone 2.

Mile 1 - 12:35 (AVG HR 147)
Mile 2 - 12:39 (AVG HR 146)
Finish - 25:15
MIN HR - 101
AVG HR - 146
MAX HR - 165
RHR - 65

Podcast - Mile 76 - Black Friday

Coming down off the high of having my first interview, I delve a bit into a man-crush on Ashland Dave. Oops. Don't tell his wife. Or mine. Anyway, from there I meander into the holidays with thoughts on shopping and allude to some big news. Too bad it isn't a major award.

Anyway, as usual, you can find the show on SoundCloud for a limited time. Only 20 percent off!

Monday, December 16, 2013

10 New Christmas Movies

In years past*, I've covered Christmas movies. My favorites; those I think are under-appreciated; even some really bizarre ones. So this year I thought I'd try something a little different: new movies. Not new as in "in the theater new," but new as in "this is the first time I've seen them new." I've also tossed in a movie I'm actively looking for but haven't found yet.

Yet To Be Watched:

The Man In The Santa Suit
Why this one? Because it had Gary Burghoff in it! That's all I need to know.

The Ten New Movies:

#10 - A Christmas Story 2
Oh dear God, please don't watch this movie. If you like the original, don't waste your time on this one. It's not worth it. If you're a fanatic of the original, then okay, go ahead and watch it. but be prepared, it's kind of the like Star Wars Holiday Special. You really only need to watch it once every decade or so.

#9 - Fred Claus
Only slightly better than the Christmas Story sequel, this is another movie that you can feel free to skip. The premise sounds interesting, the brother of Santa Claus, but the acting, plot, and the special effects just suck. There are a few stand-out scenes but they are sadly lost in the mire of everything else. And it's pretty rare when special effects take me out of a movie, but these were below even the SyFy Channel's requirements.

#8 -  Rise of the Guardians
Not necessarily a Christmas movie but it does star Santa Claus. And Jack Frost. And, line the Santa Claus series, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. It's billed as a kid's movie but there are a few scary parts in here. Not scary to me but I can see how a smaller kid would be afraid. As for the plot, meh, it's okay.

#7 - A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas
I don't know what possessed these people to make this movie but it is Christmas related and it is funny. Not the best in the series but funny enough to keep you occupied. And the waffle robot is pretty cool. Maybe if I watched it in 3D I'd like it better. But probably not.

#6 - Home Alone: The Holiday Heist
While it doesn't come anywhere near touching the humor in Home Alone 1 or 2, it does a fair job of giving 3 and 4 a run for their money. The kids hated it but I kind of liked the old house and the actors. Even though it was yet again another new cast, they seemed to do a better job of handling the acting part of the movie.

#5 - Good Luck Jessie
Technically not a movie, this TV special is a cross-over between Good Luck Charlie and Jessie. Both are on the Disney Channel and both are shows that my daughter likes. Which is pretty much the only reason I watched the special. The best way I can describe the special (and the shows) is to call it generic. Yes, the jokes are funny, there's some drama, and even a little romance. But it's Disney. So you know what's going to happen. There are no big surprises or sad endings, it just is.

#4 - Trading Christmas
I stumbled onto this one when I thought I had recorded Pete's Christmas. I kept watching and watching waiting for it to repeat itself. Finally, after I was nearly halfway through, I realized it wasn't the right movie. A check of IMDB revealed it was something else. But I was invested enough into the thing that I couldn't delete it. Instead I finished watching it and was mildly surprised at how good it was. Sure, it was some sappy Hallmark movie, but at least it had a decent plot, decent acting, and a good ending. Better yet, my wife and daughter enjoyed it well enough to want to finish it too.

#3 - Good Luck Charlie, It's Christmas
While based on the TV show Good Luck Charlie, this is actually much better than the crossover show. And it's more of a full-length movie. Certainly entertaining and as usual, lots of Disney values forced down your throat.

#2 - Pete's Christmas
Why this one? Because I didn't get to watch it. And I'm pissed about it. It sounded like a great cross between Groundhog Day and Christmas Day. But the stupid Hallmark Channel decided to not show it and instead it's on a blocked channel. Humbug! Thankfully I have a great wife and daughter looking out for me and they picked it up on DVD. Turns out, it was pretty good. Not as good as Groundhog Day but still enjoyable enough to keep me glued to my seat.

#1 - Surviving Christmas
This movie was so bad it was good. A rich guy basically rents a family to impress a girl. But this damn thing was so sloppy, so badly done, that it snuck up on you. It was almost like a car accident that you just had to watch to see what happened in the end. Now the actors are pretty good with James Gandolfini, Christina Applegate, and Ben Affleck, but the mom from Home Alone, Catherine O'Hara, is also in it. And be warned. You may never watch Home Alone the same way again. Let's just say there's a few scenes that show how well she hasn't aged.

*If you want to step back in time, here are some of my older posts on Christmas movies:

Friday, December 06, 2013

Jingle Jangle Jumble

Woke up this morning with a mild sinus infection. I thought I could feel that tickle yesterday when I woke up but it was hard to know for sure. Now I know for sure. Did my best to give my sinuses an enema in the shower when I was done with my run but it only worked a little bit.

Anyway, the first mile of my run was more like a warm up. I did a mile in one section of the trail and just wasn't feeling it. So I got in my car and drove to a different section of the trail and went back to my run. I got to the halfway point and the wind started to blow, then the rain, then more wind, then more rain. So glad I had my T-Star Running headband and arm sleeves. From when I started to when I finished, the temps dropped a good 15 degrees and that's without factoring in the rain and wind chill.

Anyway, as I cruised back to my car, I realized I was probably being a complete idiot running with a sinus infection. So I'll be sitting out my second run of the day. I figure I put in a decent effort this morning and a nap will likely be needed later today.

Along the run I nearly ran up on a deer. It was stopping for a bite to eat but didn't hear me in the rain. Guess I was running "tall and silent" like a good boy. Also spotted a cat way off in the distance but he moved on fast enough. Outside of that, no real animal sightings worth mentioning. Although I did see some horse tracks.



Temps were 67F at the start and 53F at the end. Sky was overcast. Light to moderate rain for the last 3 miles. Light to moderate winds for the last 3 miles. Humidity was high at the start but didn't notice it once the rain started.

Fluids and Fuel:
Before the run I had a yogurt and half a coffee. I also tried one serving of chocolate GenUCAN. During the run I had just water. Recovery was a hot latte (I was cold) and a veggie sub (I was hungry).

Aches and Pains:
Stepped on a sharp rock with the ball of my right foot. Three times. In a row. In the same spot. My foot was not happy. Neither was I. Outside of that, things were just fuzzy and bleary from being sick.

Wore two pair of shorts, short sleeve shirt, and my Nathan hydration pack. For the last 4 or 5 miles I put my arm sleeves and gloves on. Wore my headband the entire time but put it over my ears for the last few miles. Carried my knife and cell phone.

Heart Rate:
Heart rate seemed to be way low after I started to run. Felt like a struggle to get it above 130. In fact, I'd feel like I was above my zone and stop to walk only to look down and see I was well below my zone. Got into a groove with a few miles left to go and kept it in high gear around 155 until the end.

Mile 1 - 15:29 (AVG HR 130) (includes pee break)
Mile 0.8 - 11:12 (AVG HR 132) (includes pee break)
Mile 3 - 13:54 (AVG HR 138)
Mile 4 - 15:31 (AVG HR 143) (include pee break)
Mile 5 - 12:42 (AVG HR 147)
Mile 6 - 16:23 (AVG HR 145)
Mile 7 - 12:34 (AVG HR 147)
Mile 0.8 - 9:47 (AVG HR 146)
Finish - 1:47:37
MIN HR - 91
AVG HR - 141
MAX HR - 167
RHR - 65

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Revving the Engine Topless

Today was not a good day. But it turned out better than I expected. As the pile of things that needed to be done overwhelmed me, I knew I wouldn't be able to get my run in. So instead of the usual four hour block of free time I have before starting work late, I had two hours since I was opening and closing. But that two hours was reduced even more by parenting needs and technical issues. So I had just enough time to eat a lousy breakfast and start work in a lousy mood. As the morning wore on, things began a downward spiral. But I tried to keep a positive outlook and tried not to feel guilty about not meeting my plan for today. I had a short break for lunch and then was back at the grinder. Thankfully, late in the afternoon, I got a break long enough to squeeze in my run. So I ran.

I had 1:45 to kill which meant I would need to add some distance to my usual 8 mile route. I knew with that route I would finish in 1:30 so I did a short dog-leg down another road adding a good 10 to 20 minutes.

From there I got hot and stripped off my shirt. Thankfully the school bus full of kids had already passed me. Sadly a different bus would pass me two times without my shirt. I feel sorry for the kids. I didn't feel sorry for running shirtless. It was warm enough and I was sweaty. I was pale enough that I'm sure no hunter would confuse me for a deer but I still had my blaze orange shirt around my waist just in case. Little did I know that when I knotted the shirt around my waist that I'd promptly piss on the sleeves when I stopped for a bathroom break. Dumbass.

The good news I didn't have anybody steal my bottle. Guess hiding it a bit further from the road worked.On the way back, I noticed I met my time goal so I shifted gears, and began my recovery run. It lasted a mile and sucked more than my run. I mean, how on earth can anyone run with their heart rate that low?

In my recovery run mode, I spotted 10 deer across the road. They ran away which was probably good for the hunters since I heard plenty of shooting in the area the deer were headed.

A few more notes about today since it was not a normal day by any means. First, my breakfast was admittedly horrible. Tons of fat, grease, and all that good stuff. I'd easily say it was 1,500 to 2,000 calories. I had a small snack around noon. Not because I was hungry but because my brain said it was lunch time and I needed to put food in my mouth. I wasn't hungry. At all. In fact, I wasn't hungry until after my run which was around 4:30 or 5. In other words, I ate way too much for breakfast, skipped lunch, and had a healthy dinner.



Temps were about 55F to 60F at the start but cooled a bit to maybe 50F by the end. Sky was mostly cloudy with a few rays of sun peaking through. Light wind that picked up a bit towards the end.

Fluids and Fuel:
As mentioned above, breakfast was bad. Two hash browns, two breakfast sandwiches, a latte, and a coffee. A snack around noon. During the run I had two apple sauces, one near the start and one at the midway point. Recovery was a beef, bean, and veggie stew. And a Coke because damn did it look too sexy to leave in my fridge.

Aches and Pains:
Noticed some very mild cramping in my left hamstring about 3 miles in. Pushed an extra gulp of fluids and it went away.

Wore new underwear, shorts, long sleeve shirt, Buff, and gloves. The shirt was off for a good 60 to 90 minutes but went back on with about 2 miles to go. Took along my knife which worked great at cutting off a loose thread.

Heart Rate:
Resting heart rate was low this morning and started low during the run. Got into a rhythm of "revving" my pace. At first I aimed for 150 but kept hitting 160. So I decided to change things up and aim for 150 but slowly creep towards 160. Once I hit 160, I'd walk until I hit 140, then start all over again. It seemed to work fairly well and altered my pace outside of my normal pattern. Towards the end I was able to hold it at 150 much easier and it would take less time to drop to 140. On the recovery portion of things, I struggled to keep it below 130. I'd shuffle along as slow as I could imagine and within a few steps go from 125 to 135 to 145. So most of the last mile was walking. Not slow walking or speed walking, just walking with a purpose.

Outbound - 1:07:05 (AVG HR 146) (about a mile longer than normal)
Inbound - 37:10 (AVG HR 151) (about a mile shorter than normal)
Recovery - 14:57 (AVG HR 131) (about a mile)
Finish - 1:59:13
MIN HR - 86
AVG HR - 146
MAX HR - 172
RHR - 59

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

I'm Not Alone

Alright this is going to be a test of the speech to text capability my phone to see how well it actually translates what I'm saying. So today's run was 7 miles and was an hour and a half. It was on the usual Rails to Trails. I saw two runners which is quite odd. Just as I was starting my second leg a guy pulled into the parking lot and he eventually caught up to me passed me. But he only did three miles on the section that I was doing 4 miles on so I felt pretty good in the end. The start of my run started pretty lousy and after I was ready to quit because I was cold, I was under dressed, and I was sweaty even though I was cold. So even though I was ready to quit, I somehow managed to push on. I finished up my four mile second leg and I was still short on time so I went out a half mile and came back which gave me the 10-15 minutes I need to meet my hour and a half time goal. Just as I turned around for my half mile out half mile back another runner came and she parked. She didn't quite catch up to me but I know she would have if we would have gone any further. She's a lot faster than I am just like everybody else.

Basking in the sun after freezing the first two miles.


Temps were about 30 at the start and about 45 at the end. Sun was out in full. No humidity. No wind.

Fluids and Fuel:
Before the run I had a little bit of coffee. During the run I had a bottle of plain water and a bottle of Hammer Fizz. And I had my applesauce. Recovery was Hammer Recoverite mixed with some coffee.

Aches and Pains:
The arch of my right foot hurt a little bit towards the end. Outside of that everything was fine.

Wore two pairs of shorts, short sleeve shirt, long sleeve shirt, gloves, and hat. Also took my knife.

Mile 1 - 12:15 (AVG HR 136)
Mile 2 - 14:30 (AVG HR 140) (includes trail cam maintenance)
Mile 3 - 12:18 (AVG HR 144)
Mile 4 - 14:07 (AVG HR 143) (includes bathroom break)
Mile 5 - 12:45 (AVG HR 145)
Mile 6 - 12:33 (AVG HR 147)
Mile 7 - 11:46 (AVG HR 153)
Finish - 1:30:17
MIN HR - 72
AVG HR - 144
MAX HR - 166
RHR - 62

Monday, December 02, 2013

Podcast - Mile 75 - Interview Virgin

An extra special thanks to Ashland Dave of the Running in the Center of the Universe podcast for being my first ever interviewee. I could go on and on with virgin jokes but I'll let you use your imagination. In the meantime, sit back while we sit on our asses and talk running for a few minutes.

And we eat breakfast too. Which means there's some background noise. A lot of it actually so apologies in advance for the poor audio quality. After all, it was my first time.

So there you have it. I'm now a professional interviewer. You can listen to the high-quality podcast on SoundCloud. Beware!