Saturday, March 21, 2009

Goobers From the Night Fairy

8:00am: Man am I junky this morning! I woke up coughing huge glops of dark yellow stuff into the bathroom sink. I looked completely disheveled due to my excellent night of sleep. With that excellent night of sleep came eye goobers a plenty along with lips caked full of some sort of gunk that the night fairy deposited on my mouth. It almost looked like she was feeding me powdered doughnuts all night while wetting my lips. The powder from the doughnuts and the water mixed to make an Elmer's glue type of substance on my mouth. I was also blowing a lot of snot out of my nose that was streaked with blood due to the o2 drying out my nostrils all night. Good morning to me! I can't complain though, everyday that God allows me to wake up and enjoy His wonderful creation is a day I'm thankful for.

I decided to do my treatments first this morning to be a little more open for my walk. I like to switch up my routine as much as possible to keep my body guessing. As long as my mind never communicates with my body, it will have no idea what's going on. My body is pretty dumb and generally falls for these silly little tricks.

For the walk we did the normal 2.1 mile loop with a picked up pace. Since I got a later start, it was definitely hotter out than normal. You could really tell it was hotter because Jezzabel's tongue dragged on the sidewalk for most of the second half of the walk. I felt good the whole time and my legs feel very well rested.

Side Note: We spotted a road bike for sale on our walk this morning that someone had chained up to their truck. The sellers were outside and said that it was good enough for races but a great starter bike. They were selling it for 50 bucks. I decided that I would think about while at the gym and Dunkin Donuts and if it were still available I would pounce on it. Well, after the gym we drove back by the house and the sellers were gone. I'm not sure if the bike had been sold or note. Mandi wrote up a nice little note for them and left it on their door. We'll have to see if they call.

Total Distance: 2.1 miles

11:00am: Mandi and I left for the gym to work out arms. She ended up doing shoulders and abs in between our arm sets, but that's because she is GI Jane and awesome like that. I get way too dog tired just doing the normal stuff and her she is doing some crazy kick dolphin side fin flip on the bench to work out her abs after just doing a set of curls. I'm standing there looking at my CF gut go in and out in the mirror as I'm sucking in air. One thing about having Mandi at the gym though is I think I'm even stronger when she's there. I'm not sure if it's because I'm trying to show her what I got or if it's because I'm trying not to embarrass myself, but I'm always at full strength we she's around. She also keeps me motivated because I barely lift more weight than her and that just doesn't seem right.

I was able to increase the weight or reps on every single lift today but one. I made some pretty big jumps today in terms of the amount of weight lifted. That however wasn't the biggest surprise. The biggest surprise came when I weighed in after the workout. I'm not sure if it was because I hadn't eaten anything or not consumed the normal amount of water, but I was the lightest I've been for a while. Hopefully I'm trimming some of this fat off of my buddha belly. Current Weight: 186 lbs.

Side Note: I'm going to have a lot of family time today so I may not get a run/walk in. I'll go ahead and post this now and add to it later if need be.

Total Distance Walk for Day: 2.1 miles

Friday, March 20, 2009

My Emotional Attachment

6:25am: I got a little later start this morning, due to me laying in bed longer and not wanting to get out of it. Because I couldn't get my butt in gear when I woke up, I knew that I was going to have to pick up the pace on my walk. Not that I have any pressing plans, but I have a routine and I like to stick to it. Get me off of my rhythm and all sorts of crazies can start to occur. This morning was very important that I stay on my routine because I was under the impression that my beloved Wildcats tipped off at 9:10am. In order to walk, start a load of laundry (not in the normal routine), eat breakfast (egg whites on an english muffin with cheese), and do my treatments in time for the game, I didn't have any time to waste this morning. Well, come to find out, the Cats aren't playing until 4pm, so I just needed to settle down a bit. Their 4pm tip off time does however change some plans that Mandi and I had for the afternoon though. We were going to go to the gym together after she got off of work, but now that's a big ain't going to happen.

Side Note: For those of you who know me, you know that I am a sportsaholic. I'm not as bad as I used to be, but if it involves competition, I'll watch it. I don't care what it is. Baseball, football, badminton, swimming, billiards, ice skating; I mean seriously, I don't care. But, one thing you may not know about me is the only team I have an emotional attachment to (when they lose I get super sad and angry inside) is the University of Arizona basketball team. I've been in and a part of Tucson my whole life. Almost all of my family lives here. Many of my family members and friends graduated from the U of A. I graduated from the U of A. I think they should have a national holiday for Lute Olsen. The best sports day of my life is when we won the 1997 national championship. The worst was when we lost in the national championship in 2001 to Puke, I mean Duke (followed closely by our meltdown against Illinois in the Elite Eight). I just thought you should be aware of my one addiction. It might be helpful to know should we lose in today's game.

I set off for the walk and as customary my lungs were pretty tight. Every morning seems to start off with me bringing up one or two huge globs of mucus that is a dark yellow or light green in color. It's literally the first thing that happens when I wake up in the morning. On my walk, the mucus generally clears up or gets light yellow. I can't explain the reasoning behind that, but if you're a doctor, let me know.

Jezzabel was extremely sniffy this morning which meant she got yanked a lot. The pace needed to be picked up, and there was no time to wait for Sniffy McSnifferson. My legs have felt the best that they have out of any morning so far. I found it surprising considering the pounding that they took yesterday. I really hope I can get my legs into good shape. They present about 35% of the problem when I run. The other 65% of course being my lungs (which includes the incredible dry mouth I get when I run from the heavy breathing). The only pain I felt this morning was in my upper left lung. It felt more like a "lung opening up" kind of pain, so I'm hoping it's a good thing.

Total Distance: 2.1 miles

1:30pm: Let me just start off this entry by saying that I had an excellent day at the gym. I felt stronger and had more endurance. It may all be because I switched up my routine just a little bit. First, let me give credit where credit is due; The new routine I did was Mandi's suggestion. She suggested that I run a little bit in between exercises. Well that's exactly what I did! I didn't run incredibly hard or fast but I still ran a full two minutes between each exercise. It felt awesome to have a sweat going the entire time that I was at the gym. I felt warmed up and ready to go the whole time. I think running had a lot to do with how strong I felt. I never allowed myself to cool down.

I was able to go up in weight on every exercise but one. My shoulder is still giving me problems when I lift my chest but I just work through it. My body is starting to reshape A LITTLE bit, but I have a super long way to go. My chest and shoulders are a little broader and my tummy is a little smaller. Don't get me wrong, I still look pregnant. I only look 5 months prego instead of 7. Baby steps. Current Weight: 191 lbs.

Total Distance: .75 miles

6:30pm: Tonight we decided to take a casual stroll throughout the neighborhood and just enjoy the weather. There is nothing new to report but one important thing: BEAR DOWN ARIZONA!!!!!!

Total Distance: 2.0 miles

Total Distance Run/Walk for Day: 4.85 miles

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Do CFers Dream?

5:45am: I woke up a little earlier today because I was able to get into bed a little earlier last night. My waking up process was rather painful though. I slept like an absolute rock last night. When I woke up my eyes were sealed shut with goober cement and my lips had some kind of drool glaze all over them. It is very rare that I dream, but last night it felt like I dreamt all night. Whenever there are nights that I dream, I always feel well rested. I have no idea if it has anything to do with CF or not. Do most CFers dream just like anyone else? Is it just me that doesn't normally dream at night? Inquiring minds want to know, well, at least I do.

This morning was back to the normal flat walk but I decided to lengthen it a bit. I only added .2 miles, but Mandi and I are going to run later, so I wanted to save my legs. And if I'm not mistaken today is legs and shoulders at the gym. Oh boy today is going to be a rough one. The beginning of the walk felt really good. I was trying to pick up my pace to get my pulse going a little bit and make myself breath a little harder. The increased pace wasn't doing much in the way of coughing, but not to worry, Jezzabel was there to save the day. While walking (and me looking the other direction), J Bell spotted a cat. Now it's not that Jezzabel hates cats, but she loves to chase them. When she was younger I would always ask her, "Where's the kitty?", to see how worked up I could get her. Well she spotted the cat and nearly ripped my arm off in the process. As I was tugging on her leash and verbally assaulting her, I got worked up into a coughing rage. I finally started to work some stuff up, and coffee back out, all thanks to that little mutt of mine. Thanks so much J Bell, way to look out for your daddy!

The walk went pretty fast this morning and all in all felt really good. I'm going to have to pick up the pace even more at some point. It's just tough with J B because she wants to sniff everything in sight. I might have to do the first half with her and the last half without her or something. I'm always most junky in the morning so I really like to give my lungs a good work out. I'll just play it by ear and see what happens.

Total Distance: 2.3 miles

2:45pm: It's that time of the day again to go get my swell on! When I got to the gym I was feeling pretty good although bloated. I've felt full around the clock the last couple of days. I'm not sure what's going on. I've been concentrating on small portions and more meals so my stomach has an easier time digesting, but maybe my portions aren't small enough. So today was legs and shoulders. It is always an interesting day, especially since I'll be running later. I worked them pretty hard as you could tell if you saw me walk out of the gym. By the looks of it I should have gotten back onto a HORSE and not into my truck. I increased the weight on every exercise and they all felt very good.

Now to the shoulders. First I've got to tell you that I have really bad shoulders (see side note). Whenever I work them out I try not to push them too hard and use it more as physical therapy. Even with really light weights though my shoulders really burn and pinch every day that I lift them. I'm hoping that if I grin and bear it through the pain that one day the hurt will just go away. I'm not counting on it though.After my shoulders were shot, I remembered that I had forgotten to work out forearms yesterday. A quick set of those was followed by pull-ups, which was then followed by abs. I really enjoyed the gym today and was in a good rhythm the whole time I was there. I kind of didn't want to leave. I haven't had that feeling in a long time. Current Weight: 191.5 lbs

Side Note: To spare you the long story I'll give you the short version. Summer before I was a senior in high school I was doing a power set on the bench press. While pressing the weight back up, both of my shoulders popped out. I got them back in quickly but it stretched out all of my rubber bands in there. The doctor who looked at them said that I could get surgery on my left shoulder and miss the football season or play through the pain and get shots and physical therapy. I opted for the latter and my shoulders still give me problems to this day.

5:00pm: So I wasn't sure how running would go today after working my legs at the gym, but I wanted to test them. Mandi and I set off for our 3 mile loop that we mapped out. We started with just a fast walk to warm up our legs, but Mandi didn't waste any time in challenging me. After about .2 miles she was picking out spots to run to. I surprised her when I started going past those spots and running through ones that I had picked out ahead. My lungs felt pretty good today. My legs held up for most of the walk/run although shin splints were giving me some trouble about half way through. I started to feel like I got into a certain running pocket that alleviated some of the pain. And remember that 1/10th of a mile stretch that I ran the other day that felt like an eternity? Well I did it again today, and although it felt like an eternity again, I will say that it felt better and I caught my breath faster. I'm really trying to step up the running part of our walk/runs and we definitely ran more today than we have on any other day. We actually extended our loop today by .2 miles. We could have gone longer but we have an Office watching party to attend. 2/10ths of a mile here we come!!!!

Total Distance: 3.2 miles

Total Distance Run/Walk for Day: 5.5 miles

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

An Intruder, a Bicycle Pump, and My Head

6:00am: Maybe I need to start taking a nap during the day? I was so tired this morning. To make matters worse the fan blew directly into my left nostril last night and it was completely plugged when I got up. I'm also pretty sure that someone broke into the house last night and stuck a bicycle tire pump directly into my ear and started getting crazy with it. I've been told that I'm full of hot air before, but this time I actually felt it. When I rolled out of bed I was battling my huge overweight head for balance and at one point grabbed onto a chair so I wouldn't float into the ceiling. I was hoping the walk would clear some things up.

So there I am starting the walk and let me just tell you, tired and sore aren't even the start of how I was feeling. My lung and knee had sharp pains (or maybe pangs would be more proper) that continued to shoot through them. My lungs felt like they had forgotten that they had to already start breathing and just kind of cashed it in for the day. And my nose was still plugged up after repeated attempts at a snot rocket. I pressed on. A little pain can't stand in my way. I've been through a ton of physical pain in my past and if I have to endure a little bit of pain in the present to avoid a ton of pain in the future, I'm on it (That should be on a bumper sticker, although the slogan is so long it would probably wrap around the car). The beginning of the walk was not easy, problem is, it just got harder.

The uphills were an absolute killer today. There were points that I really wanted to stop and rest my lungs and knee, but I figured that it was probably best to push through. I will say though, despite all of the pain and discomfort in the walk today, it seemed to go faster. I'm not quite sure why that is. I was also able to bring up a bunch of junk and my lungs finally started to open up at the end. Funny thing is, I probably could have gone another mile. By the end of the walk, my nose and head were clear, my lung and knee pain were gone, and I was getting big deep breaths in. It's amazing what can come out of a little bit of adversity in the morning dog walk.

Total Distance: 2.7 miles

5:30pm: There was quite a surprise as I headed to the gym today! My new nebulizer compressor arrived and I'm so excited. I'll make sure to give you updates on how the machine's performance is. Just in case you haven't read in a previous post, I ordered the Mobilaire 50 psi model from Invacare. It should deliver the treatments at a much higher volume and speed. Keep your fingers crossed that it's all that it's cracked up to be. Anyway, after that pleasant surprise, it was off to the gym.

We decided not to run today so we could give our legs and feet a rest. Instead we walked to the gym and planned to take a longer way back to the house. At the gym we lifted arms again which went really well. I felt stronger today than I have on any other day and it just may be that good rest that I was able to take. Without running or going to the gym during the day, I was able to lay around the house and get some stuff done. I don't want to make that a common occurrence, but I realize that I need rest once in a while too. I improved on all my lifts and in fact on some improved the weight by 33%. I hope to continue to be able to add weight every week until I get to a build that I'm happy with. I really need to shift the weight from my stomach to the rest of my body.

There was only one slight hitch that actually started at some point during the day today, I just don't know when. I have a pretty sharp pain in my stomach. It's actually to the right of my belly button about 4 inches and 2 inches down. Normally, I wouldn't worry about. The only problem is that I have had problems with hernias in the past. Years ago I got part of my intestine taken out due to a blockage and then had two subsequent hernia repairs as a result of the first surgery. The second hernia repair surgery had them put in a mesh plate to go over my stomach to try to prevent any more hernias. I really hope that plate is doing it's job. If you have a second to pray just send a quick one up to God that this is nothing more than gas. I'm only concerned because of my history and that it hurts when I cough and no other time. I'm hoping that I just worked my abs way too hard and strained something. Which makes sense also because getting rid of this one-pack is tough.

Anyway, we took the long way home and enjoyed the still crisp night air. If you haven't been able to walk around in Arizona while the sun is setting you're really missing out. The colors that reflect off of the dust in the sky is amazing. And when that sun is completely tucked away the temperature is perfect for a stroll around the block. I really suggest you give it a shot. In fact, I dare you.

Total Distance: 2.2 miles

Total Distance Walk for Day: 4.9 miles

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

One Step at a Time

6:00am: Oh my goodness...When that stupid alarm went off this morning both my body and my mind were saying no. It took me physically opening my eyes with my fingers before I could even see the day that I was facing. I won't bore you with the laundry list of body parts that are either exhausted or sore, but I would bet that if you named any part of my body it would be on the list. I had such a strong desire to come up with some different excuses not to get up this morning and go for the walk. I walked/hiked over 5 miles yesterday AND worked out my legs. That was enough right? Well, unfortunately that was yesterday and that day has absolutely no bearing on today. I wish it did, but it does not.

I promised myself that I would accomplish what I have set out to do and that includes walking every single morning. No matter what. I finally got off the couch and stood up. Wow, my legs felt like they were still asleep. I was not looking forward to this uphill battle that I had ahead of me. My lungs felt decent for the morning and I did my normal cough up a huge mucus ball routine. When we hit the road I must say that I got into a good rhythm rather quickly. My lungs opened up and my legs felt a sudden rush of energy. Sometimes when a task ahead seem impossible, you just need to pull up your boot straps (or shoe laces) and just go for it. That's what I did this morning and it felt great. Not only did the walk itself feel awesome but it was satisfying to know that I was able to push through all of the mental garbage that was going through my head.

We ended up walking at a faster pace than yesterday. My legs felt very very strong throughout the whole walk. On the way back I was worried about the uphill climb back (because of yesterday), but we were able to keep to the same speed. Towards the end of the long hill I started to really move up a lot of junk. Almost all of it was clear with the exception of a few yellow streaks here and there. What I think I love most about walking so early in the morning is bringing up all of the crap that was just sitting there idle in my lungs during the night. The coughing combined with my treatments when I get back is a real winning combination I think. I really hope that these walks become increasingly easier so I can push up the pace and mileage even more. I just have to keep on reminding myself that it is one step at a time.

Total Distance: 2.7 miles

Side Note: If you're like me and you are cutting down on your portion size but increasing the frequency of your meals, do your best to stick with it. Yesterday I was on the fly so I had a pretty sizable gap in which I didn't eat. When dinner finally came around I was starving. I absolutely inhaled a chicken burrito, rice and refried beans. When the meal was done, I looked pregnant. My stomach was so bloated and uncomfortable that I asked myself for the rest of the night "Why did you do that dummy?". And then came this morning, the first half of the walk was all about trying to keep down last night's dinner. I'm very lucky (and so are other pedestrians) that the combo #12 wasn't all over the sidewalk.

1:00pm: I headed to the gym today to work out my chest and back. I was able to increase the weight or the reps on every lift that I did. It's still tough lifting my chest because of my shoulders, but I'm trying to keep the weight low to strengthen all of the tendons and ligaments in my shoulders. I've fallen a long way from my peak as far as lifting goes, and I'll probably never get back there, but I've shifted my goals as well. I'm really trying to work on my deep breathing while I lift and of course I'm trying to reshape my body as well. I'm getting up there in age and my belly seems to get bigger and bigger every year. I'm trying to take that weight from my buddha belly and shift it to my arms, chest, back, and shoulders. After a week of working out I have seen some improvement but I got a loooooooooong way to go.

Just for Mandi I decided to work out my abs again. She absolutely destroyed them two days ago to the point that it hurt when I coughed, yawned, laughed, or sneezed. I knew that they were due today though so I went ahead and did them. Every single crunch hurt. It felt like my abs were torn. I'm not kidding, every one of the 200 crunches felt like I was getting shanked in the gut by a dull knife. I barely was able to do 5 good ones in a row, so I had to take a lot of breaks. The last 50 did feel the best, so I'm thinking that my brain kicked in some medicine at the end. Thank goodness I'm I can wipe up my tears and head for the locker room. Current Weight: 192 lbs. (dang you chicken burrito)

Side Note: While leaving the locker room, I heard a guy singing the theme song from the MTV show The Hills in a super high pitched tone. He was at least 38 years of age. I know what you're thinking, "How in the world do you know what the theme song to The Hills is?". I'm now wondering that too. Somebody please pull my man card.

6:30pm: Mandi was nice enough to escort me on my 3 mile run/walk AFTER she did her own 7 mile run. You could tell that her legs were tight and it wasn't the most enjoyable thing in the world. She is such a trooper. At the beginning of the walk my lungs felt pretty tight and I felt a piece of mucus that was stuck near the top of my airway. I coughed and coughed and nothing came out. Well, I shouldn't say that nothing came out. Plenty came out, just not the glob that I felt. My brother was also with us and he commented, "Man, you really could follow a trail of mucus home!".

We did short runs in between longer walks. Remember, when I say short, I mean it. We're talking 30 to 40 yards. Everything was starting to feel pretty good with about a mile to go and Mandi decided to challenge me. She picked a spot far off in the distance to run to. We started out and I was on fire, no problem I thought. About half way through, my breathing started to labor a little bit. About 3/4 of the way through I thought that I may pass out from lack of oxygen. I was REALLY hurting. It felt like I could only get in about a half of a breath at a time. I was pulling for air like crazy. When we stopped I was wobbling and I had a sharp pain in my chest. I think I may have blacked out for a millisecond there. On the bright side though, I finally coughed up that plug in my upper airway. That was quite a stretch, my legs were fine but my lungs were really struggling. My pulse shot up to 160bpm. That had to be a mile right?

Mandi estimates that we ran about 1/10th of a mile straight...maybe I bit off more than I could chew.

Total Distance: 3.0 miles

Total Distance Run/Walk for Day: 5.7 miles

Monday, March 16, 2009

An Uphill Battle

6:00am: Well, I made it to week two without going into respiratory arrest. Not bad Ron, not bad. When the alarm went off this morning I was extremely sleepy. I don't think one single body part wanted to get off of the couch. I accidentally fell asleep on the couch last night and forgot to put on my oxygen. So when I woke up this morning I was super discombobulated. There could be three possible reasons for this...1) I was able to sleep in both weekend mornings so 6 felt really early 2) Without my O2 I didn't get a great night of sleep 3) I went to bed a little later than normal cause I was catching up on my ESPN, or most likely 4) A little bit of 1, 2, and 3.

The loop that we were walking this morning was a different one than usual. I want to gradually increase the mileage each week so we mapped out a longer route. This route was definitely going to be tougher. It starts out going mostly downhill or level which was nice to build up my momentum and it gave me time to cough my brains out. I was moving a ton of stuff up this morning and almost lost my cookies at one point (Is it tossed my cookies or lost my cookies?).

Anyway, we concentrated on moving at a good pace and that really hit home on the way back. As you remember (or probably not), the first part of the walk was more downhill. That can only mean one thing, most of the way back was uphill! By the time we got back to the fort, I was huffing and puffing. I'm still hacking up a good amount of crap as I type this and sit on my vest. Overall though, things only got better as the morning progressed and I'm really looking forward to the week ahead.

Total Distance: 2.7 miles

11:30am: My brother and I decided to do a hiking trail today. The one we chose was called Sunset Trail and it started at 1926' and the look out that we ended at was 2480'. It was a little toasty out for a high noon hike but we both filled up our Camelbacks and were on our way. I also packed an apple and some granola bars (plus enzymes of course). The trail was a lot busier than I thought it would be on a Monday day. When we pulled into the parking lot there were at least 10 other cars. Oh, I forgot to mention that J Bell was with us also (which came in very handy). So we took off for the look out point which was 1.2 miles away on dirt trails that go up (mostly up) and down while swerving through the desert. As usual the first 200 yards or so I thought I was going to be in trouble. I don't know what it is. Every time I start one of these hikes, I'm thinking that it's going to be impossible.

We kept up a pretty good pace and lucky for us Jezzabel didn't seem too into sniffing everything in her path. A couple of dogs passed us on the way up and we would always stop for a second and let them meet each other. The second half of the hike up got a lot tougher. There were many steep uphills that took all my energy to get up. When I would get to the top of one I would always take a break and give J Bell some water and take a swig myself. Towards the end I have to admit that Jezzabel ended up dragging me to the top of those hills. I had her leash clipped to my waist and she would kind of act as my sled dog to pull me up the slope.

When we arrived at the lookout point we rested for a bit, ate an apple, and poured cold water all over J Bell's neck and body to cool her down. We picked up the pace as we made our way back to the trail head and I think that I only stopped from being out of breath twice (as opposed to about 5 or 6 times on the way up). The total hike took us about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Although it was hot, it felt really good to work up a big sweat...even if sunscreen kept running down into my eyes.

Total Distance: 2.4 miles

5:00pm: I waited for Mandi to get off work to go to the gym, instead of running with her, since I hiked today. It was also leg day at the gym and I knew that I would be in trouble if I tried to do it all. My legs are holding up for the most part but they definitely got beat up today. The uphill walk in the morning, with the uphill hike, and the squats at the gym just about did me in. I was able to increase the weight or the reps with every exercise, so I was happy about that. I'm just hoping that when I wake up tomorrow I'm able to stand on two feet.

Mandi and I are planning on getting a good run in tomorrow after she gets off of work. Until then, I'm just looking forward to spending some more time with my brother. It was very nice of him to spend his time hiking with me on his spring break. Current weight: 189 lbs.

Total Distance Walk/Hike: 5.1 miles

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Can You Teach an Old Dog New Tricks?

8:00am: When I woke up this morning I couldn't wait to hit up the dog walk. I hopped on my albuterol/atro and vest first so I could do my Pulmozyme after the walk. The last couple days I have felt junkier than normal. I'm not sure what's going on but I'm going to work like heck to get all of this mucus out of me. I set out on the same loop that I have been doing the whole week. My goal for next week is to increase the distance in the loop. I would love to say that I would just increase the pace, but with Jezzabel that's kind of hard. This morning she must have wanted to stop every 10 yards to sniff something for what seemed like an eternity. I may have to stop by Petsmart and get a dog-walking tool of some sort. Maybe a spear, taser, or branding iron would do the trick? She's a very smart dog, but she often tries to control the walks. I am constantly yelling "Come On!" and tugging on her leash. I'll have to find a way to teach that old dog some new tricks.

At the beginning of the walk I was barely coughing at all. Since I did my treatments first, I think that relaxed my lungs a bit. To tell you the truth, I don't know if I like that. I hardly ever cough with the vest and generally exercise is the only thing that gets my coughing. As the walk continued and J Bell started to settle down, I was able to increase my pace. The last .2 miles I was coughing pretty good and getting up a decent amount of stuff. It was clear for the most part and came up fairly easily. I seem to be coughing up thicker and darker stuff when I first roll out of bed that seems to clear up by the walk. Anyone know what that means?

This morning has felt better than most as far as the ease of the walk and it being pain free. I'm looking forward to running later cause I actually missed not running yesterday. What's happening to me?

Total Distance: 2.1 miles

4:00pm: Today was an exciting day at the gym. Mandi and I were able to work out together for the first time! L.A. Fitness had a special promotion that waived all of the initial fees and just pay the monthly dues. She warned me that she gets pretty intense in the gym, but I figured I could handle anything she would throw my way. I just know that it is always nice to have a partner for your workouts rather than going solo. With Mandi a member now, we decided that we would work out together 3 times a week and run together 3 times a week. All other times we would have to fight the elements on our own.

Today was arm and ab day. I was glad to have Mandi there for abs cause she has a killer stomach. I hate working on abs but I knew she would push me. We started with arms though, specifically biceps. I was feeling good. I was at the gym. My girl was there. The Wildcats made the Tournament. The church service was great. That's were the fun ended. When we set up to do hammer curls I noticed that Mandi grabbed the same exact weight as me. I figured that she was going to do less reps. Nope, same amount of reps. Seriously? No seriously, seriously? She weighs 115 lbs with her purse on her shoulder. I weigh 189 with no purse. Maybe working out with Shera, goddess of all warriors, wasn't such a good idea.

Things changed when she ended up not doing as many reps and I saw her struggling with the weight. What's up now Ms. Strongy McBufferpants? After I received my manhood card back everything sailed smoothly. We really enjoy working out together and are good coaches for each other. As expected, she killed my abs, but I returned the favor on her arms. Overall, it was a really wonderful day. I felt good and the weather was great. I couldn't ask for a more perfecting ending to a fabulous week. Let's just hope that this hot streak continues. Current Weight: 189 lbs.

Total Distance Run/Walk for Day: 2.1 miles