Monday, November 30, 2009

A Thankful Recap

I should have written this post a couple days ago, but better late than here it is...a short summary of the things I am thankful for.

I am thankful for:

  • Noel.  My wife Noel has and continues to be a fun, lovely, supportive and wonderful friend.  She makes every day more manageable.   Without her with me over the last year, things wouldn't have been manageable.  
  • My parents.  My mother and father have given me the skills to be a productive and happy person.   They're responsible for the person I am today.  
  • The Kids.  The munchkins are wonderful.  Jacob, Bekah and Sophie are wonderfully smart, caring and loving little people who are almost always a joy to be around. ;-)   They make every day an adventure and are a joy to parent.  I look forward to getting to watch them grown into good and happy adults.
  • My dad getting sick in San Diego.  As some of you may know on the Thursday of the week we were in San Diego for our wedding (we got married on Monday) my dad called me at 5 am saying he was sick and needed me to come down to his room.  Without going in to too much detail, Dad's gall bladder had called it a day.  As part of the diagnosis of Dad's troubles the hospital ran a bevy of diagnostics.  One of those was an MRI of his abdomen.  This discovered a spot on his kidney.  Turned out it was probably stage 2  or 3 cancer.  Had Dad not gotten sick there would have been no reason to MRI his abdomen and the cancer would still be on his kidney doing the nasty things it does.  Additionally while he was in the hospital in San Diego they discovered that his prostate wasn't exactly looking right.  Turns out there was cancer there too.  By the end of the year Dad will have all the cancer out and will be back to full working order.
  • Doctors and Geeks.   See above.  Without thousands of people I've never met there wouldn't be MRIs and biopsies.  There were scores of doctors and nurses we've dealt with who have diagnosed and treated my dad effectively.  These folks have spent tons of years in school learning a profession that saves their neighbors.  Thanks.
  • Cross and running.   I'm not saying I am thankful for Sven Nys, but I am thankful that I am blessed with good health and have the good fortune to be able to go out on the weekend and enjoy myself on a bike or on the road.  I'm healthier than most (although not as fit as I'd like to be) and even though it requires work, I'm joyous than my body continues to work well.   
  • My Job.   I've got the good fortune to work for a Senator I believe in and work on issues I really care about.  I get to put my meager skills to the service of my nation in a way I really enjoy.  If you like what I do, getting to work in the US Senate is like playing third base for the Orioles (in the years before Angelos bought the team.) 

That's not the complete list, but it's a list that I needed to start.   To all of you who have had a part in the above, Thank You.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

MABRA State Cross

I'm not up for writing too long of a report on today's race, but I will say that I enjoyed the race and did ok.   I didn't race super well and didn't race super poorly.  I'm going to have to spend sometime in the woods next years working a little more on my bike handling so that when I get to muddy sloppy courses like today's I won't be loosing so much time making stupid mistakes in the corners and the mud.

The course was much wetter and muddy than folks expected.  It had been windy and dry for at least 4 days, but we got what might have been the muddiest course of the season that than Granogue.

For those of you who are interested here are some photos:

Friday, November 20, 2009

Stress Management

So I headed back up to Hopkins today for a stress test. As some of you might remember, I've got less than a 100% functional heart. A couple years ago I was diagnosed with some heart problems. Turns out I have AFib and my doctors prescribed a couple drugs to keep it under control.

These drugs keep my heart from getting itself caught up in run away beats. This is good.

These drugs also suppress my heart rate. Which normally isn't an issue.  On them I have a resting heart rate of ~43 beats per minute. This is the type of heart rate that an elite athlete has. While I am in good shape - I am not by any means an elite athlete. What's more troubling about the drugs is that they shave a whole bunch of beats of my max heart rate. In fact my normal heart rate max should be somewhere around 184 bps. Unfortunately when I maxed out on the treadmill and had to bail off during the stress test today, I was only chugging along at 150 beats per minute. Normally this isn't an issue, but when I am trying to keep myself moving during a race, shaving 30 to 40 beats per minute off my heart rate means that there is less blood going to my legs and less oxygen being delivered to my muscles and therefore my muscles fatigue more rapidly. At least that's the theory (which my cardiologist seemed to agree with).

So the doc has shaved the dose of my prescriptions down a bit in hopes that we'll be able to find a dose keeps the a-fib in check but also lets me crank my heart rate up to where it needs to be when I am exercising. I'll let you know how it works out.  'Cross your fingers!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

More to come

I've been a bit behind on the blogging, but I'll be doing a bit more in the next couple days. I've got Taccinno tomorrow morning out at Rosaryville, and I did All Hallows last week. I'll also be blogging on some of the training tips in The Complete Book of Cyclocross.

Until then, some slightly old photos from DCCX. Tag yourself if you're in one of the photos.