Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Back from Shasta - wiser and really tired

I'm back from Mt. Shasta. Short answer is that I didn't summit and I learned much more than I planned on.

For reasons that it took me a day or two after the summit climb to figure out, I was moving slowly - even with a light pack. As we climbed, the fatigue in my legs increased and something clearly wasn't working and it was obviously not a summit pace, so at first offered opportunity, I opted to go back down (I got up to around 10,400' or 10,500'. Now I've been training for this for months, so it wasn't like I was out of shape. I had gone up 2 days early so I was acclimated and was not sick at all. I was convinced I had no excuse and no reason which is a little maddening.

After a day's reflection, it finally occurred to me that likely I had some residual leg weakness that only showed up under the very demanding conditions of Mt. Shasta (elevation, snow, climbing a steep slope in crampons), and didn't show up at sea level workouts or even ordinary hiking. It's 3 days later and my legs are still tired and have a bone deep fatigue.

Unfortunately, training for such a moving unknown target is really difficult and sanity suggests that perhaps I want to look for another obsession that's more suited to where I live. I love where I live and have absolutely no plans on moving to the mountains. I like visiting the mountains, I love the challenge of climbing, but I don't have any compulsion to live there and even spending the extra time to acclimate I kinda resent as it takes me away from Terri and the dogs.

So here I am wondering what to do.
I think summit dreams are now on a very lengthy hiatus, while I go pursue relatively easy goals like climbing Mt. Diablo on a bike (already have done it on foot multiple times), or day hiking Half Dome, and toy with getting more seriously into biking again. doing more rock climbing, and try to find a way to recreate this leg weakness issue so it won't interfere with skiing next season - I may have to start lifting more heavy weights or at least bench pressing them. (I'm not a weight lifting fan so it's going to take some attitude adjustment.) Shasta, for now, will be a ski and glissade destination - which is not a bad thing at all.

So I'm disappointed, but feel freed in a way as well.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

I grew up listening to Jim McKay

Jim McKay passed away today and what a legacy he leaves.

While I worked out on the stair climber with a light pack (probably last one I'm going to do before my climb), ESPN was on the TV right in front of me and they did a 1 hour tribute to him. A large part of my television life passed before my eyes. I was an ABC Wide World of Sports fanatic and I loved watching the Olympics.
And McKay was so much more than a sports announcer. They replayed him having to announce that the Munich Hostages had been killed and he did it with such dignity and respect and this is after he had been on the air for 16 hours.

I saw so many people and events for the first time through his eyes:
  • Olga Korbut
  • Ludmila Tourischeva (even ABC mispronouncing her name initially)
  • Kathy Rigsby
  • Mark Spitz
  • Bruce Jenner
  • Dwight Stone
  • Secretariat
  • A J Foyt
  • and the Chinese Olympic Gymnast who competed with a broken leg (and we all could feel his pain because of McKay's description.)
and on and on and on. What a great presenter and story teller he was. I remember him talking so well now even when I didn't realize it was him talking. It's such a shame he missed seeing the Belmont today and I miss that I didn't hear him talking about it.

The Belmont Stakes: What happened to Big Brown?

Like a lot of horse crazy girls I wanted to be a jockey. Ever since I've had a love/hate relationship with Horse Racing (I hate the injury and death rate of race horses). I simply can not help paying attention when the Triple Crown races come up.

And what an inspiration for Da'Tara a 38-1 longshot who led the whole way. Talk about don't listen to what everyone else is saying. Just go for it.

here is a so-so video of it.

Here's ESPN's

If you let the above video play it will also have interviews with the trainers of both horses, the track vet, and Big Brown's future. Speculation is that the heat may have been a factor. Other speculation is that he was on steroids before the Kentucky Derby came off of them for the Triple Crown races, and that he may no longer be getting any benefit from them. Or maybe that quarter crack injury in his hoof is bothering him.

This is Big Brown in the Preakness. Near the end of the video you can see what an incredible finishing kick this horse has, and that just wasn't there today.

Well we'll be hearing more in the next few days.

ESPN did retrospective videos of previous Triple Crown winners.
Secretariat's is here:
There still hasn't been a horse like Secretariat since.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Healthnet Follies 2008

I have a high co-payment for my shots (30%). Af a result I meet my max copay for the year quite early and every year three years running it's a chore to get them to notice and pay me back.

To share the pain, I've started keeping a call log:

Health Net Call Log

Tracking the progress of the 2008 Maximum Copayment Liability Notification (Out of Pocket expenses)

2008 Payments to Caremark - submitted
1/21/08 547.75
2/20/08 547.75
3/17/08 547.75

Payments to Caremark after form submitted
4/19/08 547.75
5/19/08 547.75

Total 2738.75 (1238.75 after 1500)

Calling Healthnet
Talking to Rodney
Asked how I could fax in the 2008 claim
Claiming that I have to mail it it.
I explained that I faxed it last year and it got lost three times when I mailed it. He's checking again
Says the fax number is 818-676-5008 Attn Claims and it will get scanned it

[later that day]
Tried fax number - it answers but then hangs up (tried 3x)
Faxed to main number to "Claims"

Finally just sent it to the main fax number 800-204-3778 Attn Claims and that seemed to work and I didn't get a bounce fax soon after.

Calling Healthnet
Talking to Robert
Has OOP for been scanned in?
Yes, Received on 3/27/08 (that has to be it.)

Takes 45 business day (= 9wks, that would be 5/23/08)

Calling Healthnet
Talking to Betty
Checking Status
Currently being reviewed (they check all expenses)

Calling Healthnet
Talking to Deborah
On 3/28/08 send to claims by mistake (that was probably me though they told me to do that).
Form needs to go to specific person (Carmen), not claims, it got scanned in but there it will sit until someone actually does something with it
Deborah is sending all information to her.
Deborah says that if no name on the fax then it does get scanned in, but just sits there

Calling Healthnet
Talking to: Marie
Form sent back with 2007 information. (That's deliberately dense of them.)
Accumulator spreadsheet for 2008 empty and they need to update it.
Will resubmit and expedite
Says request does go to claims (but likely then gets shuttled off to Carmen)

6/4/08 11.40am
Calling Healthnet
Talking to: Brendisia

on hold - told her last person I spoke to was Marie and was a couple of weeks ago.
Everything updated on Accumulator spreadsheet [well that's good news]
Have met OOP for 2008
OOP status has date of 5/30/08 [slow slow slow]
back on hold while she checks on refund check
Asked that information be forwarded to pharmacy
Doesn't show overpayment
I will have to look up my own copy
She says that Marie is working today and that when I call back I can ask for her.

[Didn't have time to call back later that day]
Checked my copy of the Maximum Copayment Liability Notification
My total at the time was $1643.25 submitted 3/25/08.

6/4/08 12:07pm
Called Theresa at Caremark
866-833-3752 option 1 x4141

to see if there's a way to check if OOP processed
They have to put a claim through to be able to check.
I will call next week when I need more.

6/5/08 2:30pm
Calling Healthnet
Talking to Tara (Helpful - familiar with OOP Max)
Asked if Marie is working today (I don't think she was)
Tara sees the accumulator sheet and
not sure of status of overpayment
Will send email to Carmen (who handles these things) about the OOP overpayment reimbursement (told Tara 1238.75)
also asking how to let pharmacy know that OOP Max has been reached.
When she hears back tomorrow she will call me on the cell phone.


Geez, I should at least get a merit badge for this pain.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Finally it's over! We have a nominee

It's over! It's finally over. Well not quite yet but close enough dammit.

Obama is the democratic nominee, and I really hope that there is a great power position for Clinton to have. My original dream ticket was Obama/Clinton, but Clinton may be a real pain in the rear for a Vice President, but what power that administration would have.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Don't Mess with "Crush"

Gina Carano, who is also known as "Crush" on American Gladiators (which starts up again on June 9th), is in her other life is a very successful Muay Thai fighter, and CBS showed a fight of hers yesterday (Sat 9pm). I didn't watch it, but I found a link to it here. She is tough, even when allegedly out of shape (Ha - I am in good shape and she could run rings around me.)

It's interesting how much fascination a lot of us have for her. Right after the fight, suddenly there was a jump in the stats for my first Blog post about her so I'm not alone in this intrigue.