Pneumonia (double damn!)

(note: the xray image isn’t mine)

So my cough hasn’t been getting better.  Had another doctor visit today only to learn that the infection hasn’t gone away.  In fact it’s spread from one lung to both now!  Poop!  So the verdict looks like it’s gonna be pneumonia.  Got sent straight from my doctors office straight to the hospital for an xray.  2 hour wait for a one minute procedure.  Now it’s straight to the heavy meds (one for infection and one for inflammation) and another puffer.

I’m having a hard time relaxing and waiting to get better.  All I can think about is the trails and how I’m not on them.  Doesn’t help that I’m on Youtube watching trail running videos.  Just making me itchy.  By the way, just watched a Netflix movie called The Barkley Marathons.  I highly recommend it.  This race has been going on for years even though there are only a handful of finishers.  It’s a race that isn’t advertised, you have to basically know someone who raced it to apply, and the entry fee is $1.69 US!!  It’s a crazy race run by a couple of crazy old hippies.  Those that get entry have to bring a license plate from where they live and an requested item.  One year it was a white shirt, one was socks, the one in the movie was a plaid shirt!  Apparently the organizer figures out what he needs and requests that item!  I told you they were crazy.  The race consists of five 20-ish mile loops with a combined elevation of 60,000 feet (two Mt. Everest’s!)  Great movie.

So that’s it, probably another couple weeks at least before I can run.  I have nothing that I can do other than take my meds and rest.  I guess it’s a good lesson again but will I learn this time!!

Okay, back to Netflix!

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Lung infection

Dammit.

I had been coughing for a couple weeks.  Took some time off running to clear up what I thought was a minor cough.  After a week and a half it was still getting worse.  People around me told me it was the “100 day cough” and everyone was getting it.  Just had to let it run it’s course.  Okay I thought, give it a couple more days then I’ll start some light running again and sure, I’d cough still, but I thought it probably won’t get worse.

Wrong!

After a night of coughing so hard that I could hardly get a breath in, my wife (the smart one in the family) called my doctor and made an appointment.  Sure enough, I get in there, he tells me to jump up on his examination table, takes out his stethoscope and there it was, an infection in my right lung!  Damn!  Okay now I knew it was gonna take some time before I could hit the trails again.  So he send me off with a prescription and an hour later I’m going home with antibiotics and a puffer.  To say the last few days have been hell would be an understatement.  For 4 days I’ve only managed a few hours sleep a night and I’m coughing so hard that I thought my head would split in two!  Not sure how long it’s gonna take to clear this up but I won’t be hitting the trails and roads like I was for awhile.  Two weeks turned into 3 and it’ll be at least another week and a bit before this is cleared up.  After that it’s gonna be trial and error to see if my lungs can handle any kind of run.  Might be a slow path back to where I was but it doesn’t matter.  The first time I’m on the trails, out amongst the trees, all this will be behind me and it will be nothing but a bad memory and a learning lesson.

I think we all know deep down when something is minor or could be major.  I think I knew it was a bit worse than a normal cold cough and if I would have been proactive I probably would be over the treatment by now and back out there.  It just isn’t worth it not to get checked out when you get that “feeling”.  The worst that can happen is the doctor tells you you’re fine and need a couple days off.  Big deal.

Let’s hope I learned my lesson.

New shoes!

2016-05-08 11.57.04Well it was finally time to bite the bullet and go shoe shopping.  There was a time where I was up on the new trends for running/trail shoes.  Back when I was into doing marathons, half marathons, 10K’s, 8K’s, etc I would do my research.  I’d walk into the nearest running store and the sales person would say “You have to try the new ‘Sukiyaki 4000 XL2’s’.  They’re the newest shoe that will make you a super runner”.  I’d say okay, spend the equivalent of a months mortgage payment,  and I would wear them out in the same amount of mileage as any other running shoe I bought in the past.  And when trying to replace them I’d find out they weren’t made anymore and I would have to get the newest “Sukiyaki 4000 XL3’s”.  Only now I’d have to spend only a month and a half’s mortgage payment on the newest model!

Fast forward to today.  I have a store in town I go to (Kintec) and shop as local as I can.  I have no problem walking in there every time and asking to see what the cheapest types of shoes they have on sale (there’s always a sale).  Last time it was Brook’s 7 and Montrail somethings.  Both worked great, both wore out about the same as any other shoe.  So this time it was a pair of New Balance Trail shoes with the Leadville 100 logo on them (my new favourite race to read about) and a pair of Mizuno Wave Rider’s for road running.  I put them on, they felt great and I’m sure I’ll love both.

I’m not a competitor, no plans on being one except the odd race for the fun of it.  As important as shoes are, it’s no longer important to get the best, newest, shoes out there.  At my age and skill level a shoe won’t make much difference.  I love being out there and shoes probably won’t make me love it more.  The only exception is having different shoes for trail and road.  They really are quite different.  Trail shoes on roads are pretty stiff and road shoes on trails don’t last long.  Other than that, don’t break the bank, make sure they fit, and most importantly just get out there and enjoy running wherever you are.

Now if I can only get rid of this chest infection or whatever the heck it is and get out there and put some miles on!

Running vest

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 1.20.06 PMI finally made the jump and bought a running vest.  I’ve been trying to stuff so much into a waist pack and it was getting a little crazy.  Plus I hated how it bounced around while I ran no matter how much I cinched it up.  Not to mention I never carried water with me unless it was over 12-14km.  Not a good idea.

I have been researching these things for some time now.  I loved that I would be able carry water without a big bladder tied to me (although you can add that to this pack).  Also I wanted a pocket in the back big enough for a jacket, extra clothing, snacks, etc.  Everything I wanted kept pointing to this vest, the Ultimate Direction PB 2.0.  The only problem was the price.  It’s a lot of dough to lay down just to be able to carry extra stuff on longer runs.  So I put it into my “maybe some day” file and continued to run with my bouncing waist pack.

I was gigging in Calgary one day and decided I had time to run from my hotel down to where my Mom lives for a short visit.  On the way back I noticed a Mountain Equipment Coop and decided to pop in.  Nothing.  On a whim I decided to ask a clerk if they had anything that I may have missed. Well it turns out they had 5 of these in the back but they were the small/medium size.  I thought well I’m here, I might as well try one.  It just fit, which is a good thing.  I means I can’t gain any weight or it won’t fit!!  So I decided to make the plunge and the icing on the cake is that it was on sale because the new version is coming out soon.  Couldn’t resist.

So now on my runs I can take a camera, water, jacket, etc and it all fits into this pack nicely.  Haven’t even used half of the pockets yet.  There’s places for keys, ID, gels, you name it.  This thing hugs me perfectly and doesn’t move an inch while I’m running.  Feels great.  A bit of a back sweat on hotter days but it’s a back pack, what do you expect.

I’m now ready for any trail run or longer road runs.  No excuse!!!

Overtraining!

Okay, I’m not technically training for anything but sometimes I get a little obsessive when it comes to running.  For some reason the trails have been calling me every day and I’ve been loving running all the trails close to home.  I found some new trails that some mountain bikers have made and they are awesome.  One is really tough on the uphill side and the one I run down is slow and meandering.  In short I became so obsessed with this route that I ran it hard 4 days in a row.

Cold season has been going through our house like a freight train and it started with my 3 year old daughter.  Of course 3 year olds pick up every cold and flu out there and bring it home.  She had it pretty bad, then my wife got it pretty bad.  I was starting to feel a cough come on and a bit of congestion but it was at the start of my new found trails.  So instead of doing the smart thing and taking a day or two off, I hit it as hard as I could.  The last day I was really congested and it was 27C out there as well.  Needless to say I was having trouble on my uphill run.  I was running out of breath because of the congestion and the heat was kicking me hard.  Usually I can run through heat no problem but not that day.  Anyway to make a long story short, because I wouldn’t slow down I ended up giving myself a major cold/flu and knocking me out of running probably for at least a week.

Thats the thing, it’s really hard to admit to yourself that if you’re feeling rough that you should stop.  Especially us guys tend to think “I’ll just run it off, it’ll be fine”.  I never learn and always get knocked on my ass.  I’m sure the next time it happens I’ll probably do the exact same thing.  I’ll sacrifice a whole week of sick time instead of taking a day or two off to get back on my feet.

Maybe I’ll learn my lesson!