Thought for the Day

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sick of being sick

Thursday night I went for the longest run I've done in probably a month. I was the regular Thursday night group run from the local running store, Sole Sports. There were close to a dozen of us, and it seemed like almost everyone wanted to go on the long route, 8 miles.
Lately, if I've shown up at all, I only ran 4 or 5 miles. It's cold and wet out, and I've had this horrible bronchitis that is only now almost gone, after more than a month.
But I was feeling good and I was eager to start getting some more mileage in, so I decided to go the distance.
You know why men are way better sprinters than women? Testosterone.
You know why women fare better against men in longer distances? Testosterone.
If you go on informal group fun runs, you know how it is. The women know the purpose of these runs. They trot along, chatting and catching up on the news in each others' lives. The guys start out easy, but if one pulls ahead, the others will keep up. It can very easily become a competitive thing. In the last mile, they can all just become silly little boys trying to outsprint each other.
Well, a mile into our run on that night we were all still in a group, when suddenly a guy not in our group came running up from behind, said, "Excuse me." and went chugging by.
I don't know what got into me. I set off on his heels. I tucked in right behind him, running as silently as I could, controlling my breathing. He wasn't going much faster than we were, and he was already breathing hard. I knew he couldn't be going far.
Hey, if the guy who passed last Thursday is reading this, please don't take offense. You're a good runner.
So I kept with him to his turnaround point, about a mile up. He noticed me, and we talked a little. He was out for four miles. He does 10 on his longest runs. I felt a little ashamed at not being able to just let him pass.
But you know why I didn't? Testosterone.
So anyway, when I finally got back to the store, I was feeling a little cold and my nose was running. The next morning my throat was sore. This being sick is getting old.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Last week I finally went to see an eye doctor. I was a couple of years overdue, which is ill-advised for someone who has been diabetic as long as I have, about 35 years.
But I finally got in there, got my eyesight checked out, then had my pupils dilated and my retinas scanned for signs of diabetic retinopathy. This concern about retinopathy is why I should be seeing an eye doctor every six months or so.
However, the doctor, after using a machine that looked like a microscope to stare into my dilated pupils with bright light in a darkened room, from every angle, for what seemed like an hour, just said, "Amazing..." and turned and started to make notes in my chart.
He said my retinas aren't perfect, but he was expecting to see a lot more damage than he saw. He said it was really quite amazing.
He asked me if I kept tight control of my blood sugar, and when I hesitated, he added, "... or are you just lucky?"
Well, I'm lucky that I've had this hobby of running all of my life. That has probably helped. Many years ago I had an endo who prescribed an ACE inhibitor as a precaution. I took that for a couple of years, and it probably helped. I have also taken pycnogenol, and that may have something to do with it.
And I'm probably just lucky.
But the other part of the eye exam didn't go so well. For the first time in my life I'm wearing bifocals. I put off getting glasses for as long as I could. My wife suspects that it's taken me this long to see an eye doctor because I was afraid of getting glasses.
If that's true, then I'm sticking with a claim of ignorance. It was entirely subconscious.
My doctor tells me I could probably pass a driving test without glasses, but maybe not.
So the next time you see me, please don't call me four eyes.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Approaching 50

On March 13, 2009, I will be 50, half a century old. Purely by coincidence, I'm also approaching another milestone. I have run 47 marathons and ultramarathons. I could end up with 55 by my 50th birthday.
Here are some of the events that could get me there:

1/18/09 Rock 'N' Roll AZ Marathon - free because I run it as a pace group leader

1/24/09 Diamond Valley Lake Marathon
1/25/09 Carlsbad Marathon - raising money for Insulindependence

1/31/09 Desert Classic Marathon - $45

2/7/09 Sedona Marathon

2/14/09 Pemberton Trail 50K - $50
2/15/09 Lost Dutchman Marathon - $55

3/7/09 Old Pueblo 50 Mile

A couple of those events will probably drop off of my schedule. I'm not really committed to running the Diamond Valley Lake Marathon, for instance.
(You might notice my preference for events within driving distance and with low registration fees. I'm trying to maintain my serious endurance racing habit on a tight budget.)
Those are marathons AND ultras, though. However many of those events I run, I will make sure I still have only 49 total 26.2 mile marathons, because I want the Ironman Arizona finish in November to be my 50th marathon. That will not be a coincidence.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Beer Runs

As a Triabetes team captain, I would like to be able to wear Triabetes team gear at every athletic event I participate in. However, I'm contractually obligated to promote MGD 64 at athletic events. I agreed to do this in exchange for some cool MGD64 gear and free beer.
Picture Homer Simpson with a far away look in his eyes.
Mmmmm, free beer...
So if you're a diabetic athlete, and you see an MGD64 shirt out on a race course. Look again and see if it's me. I'd be glad to hear from you, and I'll probably give you coupons for discounts on MGD64.
Mmmmm, cheap beer...

Of course, I'd also like to wear my Marathon Maniac gear at some marathons, and my East Valley Runners shirts to promote my local running club, and my Team Diabetes singlet to promote a great local program raising money for the American Diabetes Association.
Maybe what I need is to stitch together something with all of these logos.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Picture of Success!

So I am a cover boy. A sex symbol, if you will. :-)
I'm on the cover of this month's issue of Diabetes Forecast Magazine. As if being the cover model wasn't enough, they have "SUCCESS!" plastered across my scrawny shoulders. How am I supposed to live up to that?
In truth, I've been somewhat successful in having a hobby, in staying alive and relatively free of diabetic complications. But there are so many things that I'm struggling with from day to day, that I hardly ever think of myself as successful.
But I'm happy. I'm still working at all of those things I don't feel I've succeeded at yet. Maybe being here to struggle, to put up a fight, is a success in itself.
If you're reading this, please let me know what you think.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Ironman Arizona 2009

Last week, just before Thanksgiving, I entered a new chapter in my life. I set out on a new adventure. With about a dozen other type 1 diabetics, my Triabetes teammates, I registered for Ironman Arizona 2009 next November.
This is an odd time for me to be starting out on this, as I've been sick with a cough and congestion for two weeks straight, but this was the time to register, and I'm in.
There's a lot I want to say about this, even before I start, but I don't have time right now. There will be lots of things to put into this blog later on.
Other projects continue. The Insulindepence team is still on track to compete in the Myomed Ragnar Relay Del Sol in February.
I will likely run the Rock 'N' Roll Arizona Marathon and a few other events in the next few months.
I'm going to schedule things so that my 50th lifetime marathon is at Ironman. It should provide some additional excitement and motivation.