Thursday, December 21, 2006

I'm so good about maintaining Yoshi's blog and so bad about doing this one even though I have stuff to add.

Tue Dec 19
Treadmill. Hill workout. 1 hour. Inclines went from 5 to 15 degrees.
2.5-3 mph. 70 min. Just over 3 miles. 500 cal burned.

Week before
I pulled a lat muscle when lifting my mother's wheelchair so I took it easier this week and only ran once on Wed to my regret.
Ran 1.25 mile
struggled through the last .25 mile and had to really hang on which made my side much worse.
Walked one more mile and stopped.

Dec 9-Dec 11
Up at Seattle visiting my parents
Did lots of wheelchair manuvering which was fine except the one time I got in a hurry at a restaurant and later discovered I pulled a muscle.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Treadmill Runs. Been experimenting with the incline.

ran 1 mile in 15 minutes (4.0 mph)
then set the include to 15 degrees
and walked another 1/2 mile at 3.0 mph
then ran and walked on various inclines and speeds for a total of 2.5 miles in 50 minutes.

As a test since I was tired I went to the store and only bought things that looked appetizing. Interesting thing is that most of the items are salty and not sugary though there are some sugary things like lifesavers. The trouble is how do you wrest any nutrition out of an oyster cracker or a goldfish cracker? Trader Joes has these delicious teriyake flavored rice crackers and last year when I was sick (as usual) on Whitney they're all I wanted to eat.

So winners are salty crackers, hard candy and gatorade. Unfortunately that doesn't sound like enough to climb a mountain like Shasta. Maybe I'll just have to eat a lot beforehand.

ran 1 mile in 15 minutes (4.0 mph)
leg started dragging at 0,8 miles and struggled through the last 0.2.
usually at this point in time I take a break and then run another mile.
This time I tried something different.
I set the incline to 15 degrees (the max) and walked at 2.0 mph for 30 minutes for another mile. At such an incline my leg doesn't drag and it's great hamstring exercise, and excellent prep for mountain climbing.

Did some trig (ok I had to look up how to do it as it's been a while) to figure out the vertical distance when you walk a mile on a 15 degree slope.

1 mile = 5280 feet

sin 15 = verticalelevation/5280'

verticalelevation = 5280*sin 15 = 5280*0.2588 = 1366'

1366' in half a hour is not bad at all. Cool.

ran 1 mile
leg dragged at .87

Saturday, November 25, 2006

I've missed a couple of posts mostly about treadmill running.
I tried interspersing biking with running and though that is great exercise it doesn't seem to help my hamstring strength issue and my foot starts dragging sooner now. Last couple of times it was at .8 and .87 miles, and I had been able to do 1.25 mile beforehand. So I think I'm going to have to stick with running and walking.

Today I'm up at Terri's mom's in Redding and I drove up to Mt. Shasta (a place I love), and snowshoed up to the Horse Camp cabin. I originally wanted to go up to Hidden Valley but I was tired and concerned about the weather so I just turned around at the cabin. Because I turned around earlier than I was planning on I took a more difficult way back spending most of my time on powder and unbroken trail. More tiring but certainly more satisfying. I'm very happy with the new MSR snowshoes (to the point of convincing a skier that he may want to consider them - he will).

I am concerned that I got tired on the climb as it was only 1000' climb, but I always seem to get tired on it. Maybe something about snow? Not sure.

I'm still puzzled how on earth I'm going to be able to summit Shasta. From Horse Camp it's a 6000' steep climb. One can certainly start from Helen Lake or 50/50 flat but it means carrying a pack that much higher and Chris from Shasta Guides says their success rate went up when they started climbing from Horse Camp.

Currently I'm not sure the best approach. For a while I was convinced that the best option is backpack to Horse Camp, then backpack to 50/50 and spend 1.5 days there before trying the climb. Now I'm vacillating again. I think accepting the "I climb slow" belief is sort of a cop out and I'm not sure I want to accept it. I climb slow because I have a leg weakness and I want to work on it.

I think what I'd like to shoot for this season is two Mt. Shasta trips neither with the goal of summiting. The first one will be from Horse Camp with a day trip to Helen. The second will also be from Horse Camp but the day trip's goal will be the Red Banks (will have to have an earlier start time for this one.)

Still haven't given up on Whitney, but I think with all of our climbing practice we should go up the Mtneer's Route, but allow plenty of time to acclimate.

1st day drive down
1st night - portal
2nd day - hike to Lower Boy Scout Lake
2nd and 3rd night - Lower Boy Scout Lake
4th day hike to Iceberg lake
5th and maybe 6th day Summit attempt
4th and 5th night - Iceberg lake
6th day summit or hike out

If we want to go in August we need to call in the reservation in February.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I've been occupied with a corgi rescue this week but he is now at his foster home so I need to get back to running.

Last Friday was terrific as I did over 4 miles of running.

1.25 4.2 mph
pause brief
0.6 4.0 mph
pause brief
0.41 4.0 mph
pause 2 minutes
0.62 3.8 mph
pause brief

15 min break
0.65 4.0 mph
short pause
0.35 4.0 mph

4.3 miles total

1.25 4.4 mph 17:26 HR 150-160
pause 3 min
0.52 3.6-3.8 mph HR 150-158
pause 3 min
0.50 3.5 mph HR 150-156
break 20 min
1.05 3.6 mph 17:02 HR 150-159

3.32 miles total

My leg starts dragging at around HR=156
Slowing the pace way down helps some but eventually my HR climbs past 156.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

I've been contemplating getting Terri a new coffee grinder and now she's talking about it too. This could be problematic as she has more time than I do in the next few days since the corgi nationals start today.

I want to get her one that truly grinds the coffee instead of chopping it. (I had a friend give me a tutorial on the various ones.) Coffee places have them and I'm sure Sur la Table has them too. I just have to find time to get one.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Treadmill Run

stretch hamstrings, thighs, calfs 30 seconds each

R 1.0m 15:00 4.0 145
R 1.0m 15:00 3.8-4.0 150-155
short pause to walk with deliberate right leg flexing
R/W 1.25m 22:00 3.0-4.0 130-150

Total 3.25 miles

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Well I banged up both my knees, by hitting the ground while pulling Yoshi out of an altercation that he caused. My knees are pretty bruised, but I don't thing that anything horrible has happened to them. Though my climbing pants have a hole in the knee now (grrrr.)

So given that I rode a recumbent exercise bike for an hour instead of running. Did a hill course mostly at level 7 and dropped down to level 6 at the end. Pulse rate was around 115-120 but at times I could push is up to 130-135.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Treadmill Run
My hamstring appears to have strengthened over the weekend (didn't climb this past weekend).

R 1.6m 25:00 3.8-4.0mph 145-155bpm
5 min break
R 1.0 15:30 3.8-4.2mph 145-157bpm

I found that I could last longer if I made myself try to keep my heart rate at 150, hence the slow down to 3.8 after running 4.0 or 4.2 initially. If I slowed down ever so slightly I could keep my HR a bit lower.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Treadmill Run

Changing tactics. I'm here to learn to run so I really want to concentrate on running and not walking. I know how to walk, I know how to hike. I need to practice running. Though only running means that I go a shorter distance total; however, if I don't walk but just pause, then I can spend more time running.

If I start to get sore doing this then I'll go back to running/walking. For now, psychologically, I need to do this.

dist time mph ~HR
R 1.27 19:00 4.0 150
pause 5 min
R 0.76 11:25 4.0 155
pause 5 min
R 0.49 7:22 4.0 157
R 2.52 37:47

4.0 mph (15 min miles) is starting to feel a little slow which is encouraging. My foot started to drag the last .4 mile or so. My knee is a little sore, but likely will go away. I have gone back to taking Voltarin (an NSAID that I have no side effects from) so I've been almost entirely pain free and my hip has been giving me no trouble at all.

It's irksome that you only get a minute when you pause though you can hit enter and then immediately pause again. Since I'm writing the values down I should just hit stop and then I wouldn't feel pressured to start running again until I was really ready.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Running at the Gym
Trying something different. I'm having trouble keeping up with the specific details and it matters to me right now, so I'm writing it down on cards which is difficult, but has good info.

R/W Dist Time MPH HR
R 1.07 16:00 4.0
W 1.22
R 1.33 4.0 154
R 1.69 26:30 4.0
W 1.89 30:50 3.0
R 2.22 35:24 4.0 136

5 minute break

W 0.1 2:00 3.0
R 1.0 17:06 3.6

Total 3.22 52:30

My left middle toe is a little sore and my knees might be sore tomorrow, but I'm of course feeling just fine right now. I haven't run (or mostly run) 3 miles in years so I'm quite thrilled.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Went running Monday at the gym.
Ran for a mile.
Walked for 0.2 mile
Ran for about 0.5 mile
then alternated running and walking
total mileage was around 3-3.5 miles
I need to figure out a better way to keep track of the running and walking segments as they all tend to run together in my mind after a while
While I'd rather not have to deal with a pencil and paper, but it's probably the simplest and cheapest rather than the equivalent of a blackberry.

Found out something cool completely by accident. My hearrate monitor shows up on the heart rate display of the treadmill. I was wearing the monitor occasionally looking at the wrist watch display of my HR just to check on it. I dropped my hands on the handle of the treadmill and noticed that the machine's HR was diplaying, which I found interesting as it seemed to appear much faster than it usually does and it seemed to stick on. It must have taken me 2 miles to realize that the display wasn't going away and that it was the same as what the wrist watch monitor said. The implications of this are really cool. It means that I don't have to spend time looking at the wristwatch display, in fact I don't even have to wear the wristwatch.

I showed it to Michael (the rep at the gym) and he noticed that the Life Fitness treadmill had the Polar logo on it, so they clearly have worked out some sort of compatibility deal. Cool.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Went climbing at Bladium yesterday. I swear that place is a giant playground.
Did the 5.8 route ("black pearl" taped black and green I think) that I've been struggling with by lifting up my right foot to a placement I knew I couldn't stand on right then, but it gave me just enough arm length to reach that large green/yellow left hand hold that had previously just been out of reach. Using mostly my arms (something you're not supposed to do much of but sometimes that's the only way to do it, I was able to lift myself high enough to get weight over my feet. Did this route twice.

Also did most of the black taped 5.9+ route that I've had a hard time with too. I was able to get all but the last two holds mostly because the rope was pulling me sideways. next time I'm going to use the rope to the left. It's tricky as that route is essentially inbetween two top ropes. Also did a sort of white/silver taped 5.10 route that was poorly taped so the middle part of it I was using most any hold. So it wasn't really a 5.10 route, though it did have a section that leaned back a little which was fun.

Going to run there today after work.

Friday, October 13, 2006

MS Presentation
Lastt night went to see Wendy Booker do a presentation. She's a mountaineer and marathon runner who has MS and she's on "Team Copaxone" which is where I first heard of her. I've traded email with her once when I was looking for a trainer who knew something about MS (she unfortunately didn't have time, fortunately Courtenay Schurman at Body Results (doesn't have MS but has worked with those who have it) did).

The talk first started off with Eric Collins MD who is the head of Neurology at Summit and he gave an excellent presentation on reading MRIs, and a simplified view of what happens in the body with MS, and how lesions are formed and how the various medications work.

Then Wendy talked about deciding to do the Boston Marathon after being diagnosed with MS and having never run a marathon before, and then how that inadvertantly got her started on her quest to be the first woman with MS to climb the 7 summits. She's already done 3 of them so she's well on her way.

While she stayed on her therapy during the climb, it was tough to keep the medication temperature controlled (it was hot and freezing on the same climb). I asked if she had to get the climbing team to do any compensating if she was having trouble and she said no - that she only goes if she's in top form and completely ready. Given that she's now doing this full time I'm not surprised.

Her message was simple. Push back against the limits that MS places on you in any realistic way you can. No we're not all mountain climbers but we all have goals that we can reach for.

I wore my K2 Aviation shirt and she instantly recognized it. "Oh, you must be Wendy." I said.

While she was mainly talking, at the end she did show some photos and the one's of the glaciers and tents covered with snow were highly familiar.

I asked what getting sponsorships was like and she said it was like doing college applications all over again. She's to the point that she has someone else do it. Her current sponsors are Teva (Copaxone), Brooks, Garmin and some others.

She's pretty dedicated. I mentioned that I was having issues with altitude and she said that she was moving to Boulder, CO for the altitude since some of the mountains she has left are really high.

Her web site is

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Running at the Gym
2 mile runs this week. Sticking to 4.0 mph for a while.
Ran 1 mile paused for just under 2 minutes
ran approx 0.5 mile
ran another 0.5 mile
walked 0.18 mile at 3.0 mph to try to cool down
but got bored and felt ok so ran for another 0.25 mile
2.43 miles total 2.25 of it running
Right hamstring is a little stronger though still weak. With work, it should continue to get stronger. I don't know whether pausing is better or not but if I feel I need to I should probably do it as I'll no doubt improve in either case. I do get the feeling that if I pause I can go longer.

I've been watching The Amazing Race and Sarah who runs Ironman's with a prosthetic leg is reminding me that I have it easy. I've watched her do two climbs in TAR which I would find challenging and not only do I climb, but I have 4 mostly working appendages.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Went running at the gym.
It was hopping with lots of league play going on. (Fortunately the fitness area wasn't very crowded).

Warm up. Walked 0.25 mile at 3.0 mph
Ran 1.75 miles at 4.0 mph
My right foot started dragging at 1.5 but I struggled through the last 0.25

Took a break and worked on doing stationary foot raises.

After about 5 minutes or less my leg felt strong enough to jog some more so I was able to jog another 0.25 at 3.7 mph.

My leg is very, very tired now and may be sore tomorrow but hopefully it will rebuild to be stronger in a couple of days.

Hopefully I will be able to do some climbing this weekend.

Afterwards went down to the roller hockey rink to watch for a while. I am envious. They skate so well. I want to get better at skating but I want to find a place I can work on skills without feeling self conscious. I suppose a really slow time at the gym is one option. The parking lots around work during the weekend is another.

I'd love to learn how to stop without a brake, but I don't know of a safe way to learn. I guess the way to start is to leave the brake on but stop using it. Easy to say - much tougher to do.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Ulysses is now getting truely kinky in a fascinating way given that we're talking about a 1922 work. Bloom is now in a bisexual S/M scene and being topped by a guy. My my. I had been thinking it was Victorian and was really amazed then. It being written in the experimental 20's makes more sense.

One good link I found is:

I just love this quote:
Ulysses has been labeled dirty, blasphemous, and unreadable. In a famous 1933 court decision, Judge John M. Woolsey declared it an emetic book--although he found it sufficiently unobscene to allow its importation into the United States--and Virginia Woolf was moved to decry James Joyce's "cloacal obsession."

cloaca is sewer or the common chamber into which the intestinal and urogenital tracts discharge according to

From the same site is the first paragraph of Joyce's biography
James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish novelist, noted for his experimental use of language in such works as Ulysses (1922) and Finneganns Wake (1939). Joyce's technical innovations in the art of the novel include an extensive use of interior monologue; he used a complex network of symbolic parallels drawn from the mythology, history, and literature, and created a unique language of invented words, puns, and allusions.

No wonder I'm lost most of the time. He makes trying to understand Camile Paglia's writing seem easy (though he's certainly more artistic that Paglia). (And I've long since decided that it wasn't worth the trouble to grasp what Paglia was writing about save as a checklist of things I should be more familiar with - like various works in Greek literature.)

Joyce is really base as I'm sure I've noted before. Though having sexuality addressed (sort of) as early as the 20's is refreshing, but you can find it also in Virgina Woolf's Orlando or works by E.M. Forster like Maurice or The Life to Come.

I'll stick it out till the end of Volume 2 and then I'm going to move on to other things as I think I've gotten what I wanted to learn about the book. (Mostly what's all the fuss about?) Since I like Dedalus I think I'll try Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (which I may have already read but it's been a while.)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Frustration with Ulysses.
I've gone from understanding only about 10% of Ulysses to hardly any at all. After looking at a SparkNotes analysis, Joyce apparently is experimenting with different narrative styles as the book progresses (starting around chapter 9). They're not kidding. I was seriously lost for many sections and only now that it's come back to a more usual style do I have any chance at all.

My limited observations:
  • Joyce loves to pun and play with the language a lot especially through the voice of Stephen Dedalus. This is why I think of him as a Robin Williams of sorts.
  • Ulysses is apallingly crude - mostly through the actions, obsessions, and interactions of Leopold Bloom. I don't mind explcitness, but this is just so coarse in places. Of course those would be the parts I understand. :)
It's funny I was looking at the SparkNotes analysis and they seem to think that Bloom is the more well rounded and sympathetic character, but he seems to me to just be sex obsessed. Dedalus, on the other hand, is funny though I'm sure he holds people at a distance with that humor also.

I'm on Volume 2 of 3 and am nearly finished with Vol 2 and Vol 3 isn't nearly that big, but I don't think I'm going to continue. I love Joyce (I liked Dubliners), but I think I'd get more out of his other works.

Went running today at Bladium with much trepidation as my hip was sore this morning. Fortunately it was fine for the run though I did take it easier.

Ran 0.85 or so mile
ran another .35 mile
walked briskly/jogged on for another 0.66

Just under 2 miles of mostly jogging.
Speed 3.3-4.3 mph

4.0 mph is getting a little slow now at times.

When my hip is feeling better should go back to trying to run 1.75 miles continuously, then pause and run/walk for another 0.5.

My foot did start dragging after about a mile+ despite my concentrating on not dragging it but it may be getting better. Time will tell.

I spoke to Mark about other good exercises for the inner quads besides the machines or the exercises I was doing when training for Shasta, and he suggested skating and said that I could skate at Bladium if nothing else was going on in the ring. I asked about this at Bladium and it's true and different from what we thought you don't have to have indoor only wheels though if you have a brake (I do) then you have to put tape on it to keep it from marking the floor. I'll have to search around and see if there exists a non-marking brake.
I'm not the best of skaters at all so I'm pretty dependent on my brake,

The only thing is that it means skating with an audience, but I just should get used to that. I climb with an audience and that doesn't bother me. Wonder if I should get a hockey stick just to fit in, or just to have something in my hands as a Dumbo's magic feather of sorts (it might help some with balance - or maybe not.)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I've been having some balance issues and while they're minor and I can compensate for them, now that I'm a member of a guy I can address them directly.

It's mostly when I get up from lying down or sitting my legs aren't as stable and wobble some. I spent some time recreating it and it seems like perhaps my inner quads need to be strengthened. This is all kinda new as I'm usually biking which is a good quad exercise. It's always been more of a hamstring issue with me as I haven't been running that much, but now that I'm running more and spent last year doing a lot of hiking it shouldn't be too much of a suprise. Solutions would be to bike more and/or work those muscles out in the gym. Today I'll work them some at the gym and see if I can pinpoint the weakness better.

Friday, September 29, 2006

So I'm back to obsessing on Shasta. This is actually good as I used to obsess on Whitney and that's 8 hours away where Shasta is just over 4. (Ok I'm really not done obsessing on Whitney as I haven't climbed the last 800 feet or so but I've done the hard part more than once.)

I haven't written it here but I've been struggling with altitude sickness once I get over 8000 feet. The real bummer about this is that altitude sickness has nothing to do with what kind of shape you're in which irks me no end. There's no way to train for it really, and I've discovered that even Diamox can only get me so far. If I want to go to altitude I have to go the slow way. The really slow way. I can only ascend about 1500' before getting ill.

My last time on Whitney I stayed over night at portal (8800 feet), then overnight at Outpost (10k') and was ill. Then was well enough to continue the next day to Trail Camp (12k') and was ill then to and didn't feel better in the morning (even on Diamox) so I decended as I was missing Terri who had already descended. If I had stopped at 11,500 I would have probably been ok.

When I'm ill I wonder why on earth I'm doing this as it's not fun anymore. And then I get back down and start wondering if there's a way to make it work.

For Shasta it's pretty much the same dilemma.
Bunny Flat is at 7900', and Helen is at 10,300'. I could stop at 50/50 Flat whose elevation is around 9500' which would work and it's nicer than Helen anyway, and plan to stay an extra 24 hours there.

Horse Camp 1 night
Back pack to 50/50.
stay there for 2 nights
the middle of the 2nd night get up and try a summit attempt
after the summit attempt stay another night at 50/50
pack out the next day

Day 1) Horse Camp
Day 2) 50/50
Day 3) 50/50 (sleep only 1/2 the night)
Day 4) 50/50
Day 5) Pack out and head for Redding

The extra time at 50/50 might help me acclimate, though I don't know how that will help me on a 4000+' summit climb. though Diamox should help with that as I've been able to climb comfortably above 13,000' on it when starting out at 10,000'. I think with Whitney the problem was that I was carrying 45 pounds which is really too much and over exerting which is why I was unwell. Unfortunately it's hard in snow to go light as there are some things that you simply must carry: insulated boots, crampons, ice axe, down jacket, extra fuel, more burly snow stakes. I suppose I could hire someone to carry the bag but that takes such organization but if I was staying put somewhere that wouldn't be so bad (and I may be able to carry it down since there would be less food and hence lighter.)

I also want to do some skiing too though the above trip would most likely be on snow shoes unless a miracle happened and I got really good at skiing this winter. (I'm planning on doing a fair bit of skiing this winter in hopes of improving.)

I think with next year's REI dividend I'm going to put it towards some skis (though REI is not the best place for Randonee skis), or more likely get some Denali Evo Ascent snowshoes. I discovered that I really had a use for the heel lifters and my old pair didn't have them and I've since sold them to Patricia.
Ran further than I thought I would.
Ran 1.5 miles as planned (brief pause to retie a shoe lace) and then paused to help someone with a different treadmill and then went back to do a .5 mile cool down, but was walking for only a few seconds before I got bored and bumped it back up to 4.0 mph and ran the rest of the half mile. That's really encouraging.

The treadmill also let me watch myself walk and see how my right foot drags. I can hold on to the handholds and look down (I slow it down to a fast walk) I keep going back and forth between whether it's my right hamstring or tibialis anterior that needs strengthening. My right hamstring is clearly weak but improving. The tibialis anterior however seems to be what actually creates the dragging (or a combination) as if the tibialis is not holding my foot up it's going to drag no matter how high the hamstring pulls it up. What's strange is that while I definitely can feel the weak hamstring the tibialis seems easier for me to control. Well that's a good thing anyway no matter how mysterious.

I also went back to an old cycling thing i used to do a lot is drink slightly watered down orange juice. I like Gatorade but this is much more satisfying. I even put it in one of those fancy Gatorade "sports" bottles which made drinking from it while running much easier that pouring liquid all over myself from a Nalgene bottle.

So next week I'd like to run 1.75 miles continuously take a brief break and then run/walk for another .5-.75 mile or so.

More training notes

I found a train for a 5K suggested training guide at

There's also one here but it's assuming I run faster than I actually do:

This one is interesting too and stresses using interspersing walking as a way to avoid injury:

I like the first one as it's basically what I was going to do anyway.
My goal is to be comfortable running at 10k distances at whatever speed, so 5k seemed to be a good intermediate goal. Right now I'm at 1.5 run (3.8-4.0 mph) and then .5 walk/run (3.2-4.0 mph).

Even though it's a 12k (7.46 miles) I think having the May '07 Bay to Breakers run as an eventual goal would be something to shoot for. Mark tells me that there's an Alameda 5k later this year which would be perfect too.

I also got certified for the rock wall so I can use it anything the gym is open. They have a new manager of the rock wall who wants to redo it and put in some easier routes (which they really need since most of their users are beginners.) Terri will do the same and then we're all set.
I found a train for a 5K suggested training guide at

There's also one here but it's assuming I run faster than I actually do:

This one is interesting too and stresses using interspesing walking as a way to avoid injury:

I like the first one as it's basically what I was going to do anyway.
My goal is to be comfortable running at 10k distances at whatever speed, so 5k seemed to be a good intermediate goal. Right now I'm at 1.5 run (3.8-4.0 mph) and then .5 walk/run (3.2-4.0 mph).

Even though it's a 12k (7.46 miles) I think having the May '07 Bay to Breakers run as an eventual goal would be something to shoot for. Mark tells me that there's an Alameda 5k later this year which would be perfect too.

I also got certified for the rock wall so I can use it anything the gym is open. They have a new manager of the rock wall who wants to redo it and put in some easier routes (which they really need since most of their users are beginners.) Terri will do the same and then we're all set.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Struggling with Ulysses

I listen to audio books. Mostly as a way to catch up with classics that I'd never get time to read as I'm so far behind on my reading and it's mostly dog training/psychology books, and my eyes get tired more easily now. Using I've been able to get through a plethera of classics and I honestly don't drive that much, but it adds up. I need to make a reading list but haven't done so yet.

So for months off and on, I've been struggling with Ulysses by James Joyce. I understand maybe a tenth of it but what I do is really, really funny at times. I found myself wishing that James Joyce were alive today as trying to follow his line of thought may well be similar to trying to follow Robin Williams when he's really on a roll.
On the web you can find plot synopsises of the book. Why, oh why, oh why??? Essentially there is no plot to Ulysses. It's about the inner/exterior experiences of several characters one one single day. What they actually end up doing that day is so totally beside the point.
I'm a big fan of The Amazing Race. It's just a race. A complicated one mind you, but in essence a race. No voting off someone, no silly backstabbing (well sometimes they'll try, but usually don't succeed) and great scenery. My favorite site about it is Television Without Pity. But what folks forget is that the race was run months ago. Sprint is trying to take advantage of this by having a way that folks can follow the race on their phone. Say what? There is no race.

Monday, September 25, 2006

I've been keeping Yoshi the corgi's training diary for about 2 and a half years but I don't seem to actively keep up with other entries at all. I was missing a place to just put random observations so here we are.

For a while I was keeping a training diary which helped a lot when I was working with a trainer doing some mountaineering training for Shasta. I'll put that here also.

Recently I joined Bladium (that's a gym) to use their treadmills to learn to run again and to use their rock wall. I've always struggled with being able to run very far and it's never stopped bugging me. One of my remaining MS symptoms is that my right foot will drag after running about a mile so I have a big incentive to work on it (right hamstring is weak). MS research is growing by leaps and bounds so I need to stay healthy as if they find a way to put it in permanent remission then the more healthy I am, the less recovery I have to go through.

The rockwall is decent though the routes are relatively hard for a gym that has it just as a supplemental thing, but I can always modify the routes (by including some of the off route hand/foot holds) in my climb.

Anyway a couple of weeks ago I started treadmill running and then I could run a mile and then my foot would start dragging and I would then walk another quarter or so. I was setting the treadmill to go 4.0 mph but that seems a little fast for me. Fortunately with the treadmill you can set the speed very preciously, so last week I set it for 3.7 (which is for most people a fast walk but I can jog at that speed.) That seemed to do it! I was able to run 1.25 miles and my heart rate stayed in the 145-150 bpm range. Any faster and it would go up to 160 and I would hit muscle failure and have to walk a little. This has always been a problem for me when running outside. I wasn't able to go slow enough to maintain a steady pace. With the treadmill I can enforce the speed I go and today I was able to make it 1.5 miles (and then walked another 1/2 mile. HR was still 145-150. Hooray. I started at 3.7 mph and then bumped it to 3.8 (3.7 was too slow this time) and then much later took it to 4.0.

This week I'll stick with 1.5 miles of running and see how well I do. Maybe next week I can move up to 1.75 and the next week 2.0. The cool thing is that I seemed to have found a pace I can maintain, the limiting factor now is my hamstring strength so on non-running days I should do some strengthening exercises for it.

The other major advantage of the treadmill is that there is something to hang on to if your balance gets iffy. This is a huge confidence builder for me as when outside I often feel like I'm just about to take a header so as a result I get less exercise as I walk more if I'm worried about my footing.