Saturday, April 25, 2009

Random Picture of the Day

Picture: That would be me spending my 29th birthday in the hospital. Little did I know that was only day 16 of a 50 day stay! Also pictured are my brothers Andrew (left, 19) and Grant (right, 16).

Great Strides 2009- Phoenix

7:00am: I got to sleep in a little bit this morning in preparation for the Great Strides walk in Phoenix. It's generally the biggest walk in Arizona so it always has a good buzz and is very exciting to attend. After I woke up, I immediately got on my treatments. I ended up saving my TOBI for after the walk, figuring that my lungs would be even more open to take it. I was certainly tired this morning, but the thing that was keeping me going was knowing that I was within an hour of getting some Dunkin Donuts. It's almost sad how much I look forward to consuming their products.

The walk itself was a big success. I wish I could show you with pictures, but being the moron that I am, I forgot to bring the camera. You'll just have to trust me that the turnout was great and I know for a fact that the money raised was better than expected. How do I know that? I have my sources and unfortunately can not share those with you or I would be taken out. They mean business at the CFF. But it was great to hear that this years expectations were exceeded, especially given the overall attitude about our economy. So a big THANK YOU to everyone who donated or gave their time to help out.

Mandi and I were put in charge of collecting all of the route markers on the path. We waited for everyone to take off on the walk and stayed behind a bit to give them a big head start. Unfortunately, we didn't give everyone a big enough lead and ended up having to walk VERY slow to stay behind everyone. Their was a family ahead of us that had 6 kids walking with them that needed potty, shade, and "looking at dead fish in the pond" breaks every couple of minutes it seemed. I didn't even start my watch timer to see how long it would take us cause I don't think it can count that high. It was great though to see whole families participating so I was more than happy to just take it easy and make sure to get all of the route markers. These walks are such a great way to get more exercise and meet other CF families. I really enjoy them and kind of sad that "walk season" is winding down.

Total Distance: 3.1 miles

5:00pm: Today's workout was just like any other, except Mandi and I REALLY didn't want to be there. I think all of the activity this past week plus being out in the sun today just zapped us of our energy. We knew that we were getting the day off of the gym tomorrow though so we pushed through it. As usual, it ended up being a great workout and I really blasted my arms. My left bicep and right tricep actually felt ripped during parts of the workout. For whatever reason, those two areas were really getting targeted. We sped up our workout to get our hearts beating and so we could get out of the gym faster. We still had a dog walk to get to. Current Weight: 188 lbs.

6:15pm: It was a perfect night for a walk. The sun was setting and there was a cool breeze blowing. I did have issues with my foot, but it was easy to ignore because of the weather. I was also coughing up really thick mucus during today's walk. I think the reason for that is two fold: One, I took a little cat nap this afternoon, and whenever I do that I seem to produce more mucus. Two, I had some chocolate milk followed by a protein shake. I think that can definitely have an affect on the thickness of the sputum. The whole walk I was spitting really thick chocolaty glue balls all over the sidewalk and street. I'm sure my fellow neighbors really appreciate every bit of it. I'm really glad we got in two walks today cause my lungs have felt a little tighter than normal and I need to step it up.

Total Distance: 2.1 miles Time: 39'23"

Total Distance Walked for Day: 5.2 miles

NY Times Article on CF

Good article. Check it out....

Friday, April 24, 2009

Strange Day

4:30pm: So as you see from the time of this entry, today was just a strange day. I slept in because of last night's event and knowing that I would have to get up early tomorrow for the Great Strides Phoenix walk. And before you even think it, no, I did not sleep in until 4pm! It would be nice though. I only slept in until 7am and got up immediately to eat some breakfast cause I was starving. I also had a bit of a headache so I needed to get my caffeine fix. After inhaling my breakfast (ham and turkey meat with egg and cheese on an english muffin), I was planning on doing my walk. The problem was, I couldn't shake the urge to throw up. I knew that if I walked J Bell, I would be being blowing chunks all over the place. I was talking to Mandi over IM and she suggested that I just take it easy and wait to walk until the sun went down; So that's what we did.

We went to the gym after Mandi got off of work. She got off a little early again because she went in at 5am a couple of days ago. You got to love strict 40 hour work weeks! We lifted chest and back at the gym and although I was pretty tired, and unmotivated, I was able to get in a good work out. That's the thing with this exercise plan, sometimes when I deviate from it, my body and mind just feel off. That's exactly how I felt all day today. Current Weight: 185 lbs

6:00pm: We were thinking about eating some dinner before the night's walk, but I didn't want what happened this morning to repeat itself. So we decided to just get it over with. Jezzabel was definitely excited that she was going to be walked and bolted out the door as soon as I opened it. The walk went well for the most part. I brought up some stuff, but not too much, and my lungs felt good and open. The only problem was my left foot and back. My foot started acting up again and I had to limp a little bit at times on my walk. My back has been hurting for about a week from doing overhead lifts at the gym. J Bell made matters worse today when she lunged after a cat that was hiding in the bushes while I held on to her leash. I wasn't expecting the sudden shift and I tweaked my back even more. Other than that, the weather was absolutely perfect to walk in and there was a nice cool breeze!

I veered off my "diet" a bit by eating at Taco Bell tonight, but when you have the craving there's nothing much you can do. Now when I say diet, I only mean that I try to eat smaller portions more frequently cause it helps my digestion. Also, I try to avoid fast food cause I rarely feel well after I'm done eating it. Last night wasn't too bad, but I could definitely tell that I had some Mexican food in my tummy. To cap off my night, I soaked my back in the bathtub. Ahhhhhhhh, just what I needed.

Total Distance: 2.1 miles Time: 38'26"

Total Distance Walked for Day: 2.1 miles

Buckin' Bonanza Pictures!!!

Pics from last night's Buckin' Bonanza!!!!
Mandi and I chillin out at the event
Josh (Mandi's brother) and his girlfriend Christine supporting the cause. Thanks guys!!

There was a great turnout for the event and everyone was having a good time.

That is, until they had to hear me speak. Who's that creepy guy behind me on the tv screen? Oh wait, that's me.

The crowd is absolutely "captivated" by my speech (*fart noise with mouth*).

Mandi and I with the band Metalhead which rocked out at the event!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

"Scratching" My Lung Itch

7:30am: I slept in a little bit today cause I know that tonight will be a later night than usual. It felt VERY good to do, believe me. J Bell wasn't too happy about it and had been panting at my door for about an hour. I felt well rested when I got out of bed and my lungs felt more clear than yesterday. I got a lot of gunk up initially but it then subsided until I was about half way through my walk. My lower lobe is a bit sore today but I think it may have to do with coughing a bit more than normal. I have had an "itchy" lung the last couple of days, so I've really been focusing on getting it out of there by "scratching" that itch, aka coughing. I have a powerful cough as it is, but it's REALLY strong when I'm forcing them out. I'm surprised I haven't broken a rib at this point.
My walk went well. It was definitely hotter than usual, but I kind of like that cause I break into a sweat sooner. Something about sweating really makes me feel like I'm working hard. I'll really feel like I'm working when the Arizona summer hits! My feet and legs felt great and I had a really good pace. By the time I got back home I felt wide open and was taking in some really deep breaths.

Total Distance: 2.1 miles Time: 35'16"

3:30pm: Mandi got off work early today (she went in at 5am) so we were able to go to the gym together earlier than normal. It was a good thing cause we have a CFF event tonight that I'll be saying a couple words at. I posted the event video a couple of days ago, definitely check it out if you haven't seen it. We still had to be on the ball at the gym and couldn't fiddle fart around though if we were going to be ready for the event in time. I still had to do my treatments and write this post.

We both did legs and shoulders today. Mandi had to back off a little cause her knee was bothering her, but she just lessened the weight and increased the reps on her lifts. My legs felt great on the other hand and I was able to increase the weight or reps on every lift. My shoulders hurt today while I was lifting, so I didn't get too aggressive with them. Overall though, I felt strong and got a great workout in.

To finish up the workout we each did 15 minutes on the stair climber. We really wanted to finish our legs off and figured that would be a good way to do it. Let me tell you, the stair stepper did it's job. I was sweating like a pig and it was forcing me to take some big ol' breaths. I felt good all of the way through and kept the same pace throughout. By the end of our time I had done 40 floors and I felt great about it. That is, until Mandi yelled out from the machine next to me, "80 floors! Boom!". I hate her. Current Weight: 186 lbs.

Total Distance Walked for Day: 2.1 miles
Total Floors Climbed for Day: 40

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Random Picture of the Day

Picture: Me at the Great Wall this past January. Otherwise known as, "The trip that almost claimed my life".

Better than Expected

6:00am: I ended up getting to bed a lot later than usual last night after I got caught up doing some work on the computer. Surprisingly, I wasn't that tired this morning and my lungs felt much better than yesterday morning. I ended up pointing the stand alone fan towards the lower half of my body last night, so I think that helped. I didn't cough up nearly as much mucus this morning and my lungs didn't feel as tight. After the bleed yesterday, I had no idea how I would feel when I woke up. Thankfully, it was better than I expected.

J Bell was chomping at the bite this morning ready for her walk. It's funny, when my alarm goes off I'll always hit snooze at least once. It almost feels like I'm cheating the system somehow by getting 5 extra minutes. Anyway, when that first alarm goes off, you can instantly hear Jezzabel's collar clinking down the hall way as she sprints to my door. She then lays there whining until I let her in. Some people have wondered why she doesn't sleep in my room. The reason is because when she did sleep in my room in the past, she then thought that she could lay on my bed while I was gone. I would then end up with a big dark circle on my comforter in the spot she would lay. So I nipped that in the bud by banishing her from my room at night and making her sleep where dogs were created to sleep: On a big fluffy overpriced more comfortable than my bed "doggy pillow". Excuse me while I go barf.

Total Distance: 1.9 miles Time: 32'45"

6:00pm: We took off for our walk first today in the hope that the after-work crowd would thin out at the gym. The walk went well and I wasn't coughing all that much. There was a stretch when I did have a slight attack, but that was after we got a whiff of this strong scent of charcoal. It literally took my breath away and it felt like it caused my lungs to itch. It was a very strange sensation. Anyway, that was about it as far as the lungs went. My foot felt good as well and we were able to keep a pretty good pace. At the end of our walk I was breaking into a good sweat and my legs were tingling. It was a very good feeling! I'm hoping to run tomorrow even though it's leg day at the gym. My feet and legs are feeling good and I need to take advantage of that.

Total Distance: 3.0 miles Time: 51'30"

7:00pm: We left for the gym right when we were finished with our walk. You know that after-work crowd that we were trying to avoid? Yeah well, we didn't. It was hard to workout today because it was arm day and half the time there were no dumbells racked. Well at least the girly weight that I do. We were also on a bit of a time crunch cause we still needed to eat and get our American Idol fix. We really powered through the gym. We often did exercises back-to-back and even combined two tricep lifts into a super set. It absolutely kicked my butt. I definitely got a good workout in, and Mandi was enjoying the pain I was in. Current Weight: 185 lbs.

Total Distance Walked for Day: 4.9 miles

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Running So Hard That I Made My Lungs Bleed

6:00am: I ask this question because last night I not only had the ceiling fan going, but also a stand up fan by the side of my bed. This morning when I woke up, I coughed up more crap than normal and it was darker in color. It was pretty thinned out, but there was A LOT of it. So it got me to thinking, was the mucus already deep down in there and the fan helped to get it out? Or is the fan some kind of irritant that somehow creates more mucus that otherwise wouldn't be there? I would love to get some feedback on this and hear if anybody else has experienced this with fans directly blowing on them while they sleep.

The walk went well and my foot is starting to feel better. It may be tough to get a run/walk in later because of my Bible study, so I may have to run or walk a little at the gym. On my walk this morning I continued to bring up quite a bit of stuff and got into a couple of coughing fits. At one point I had to stop walking because a little bit of coffee started to come up and I didn't want to lose my "cookies". For me, I have to be very conscious of walking, running, or working out on an empty stomach. The problem is, if I start coughing to much, I will lose whatever is in there. I've heard other CFers complain about the same type of thing, so I know I'm not alone.

Total Distance: 2.1 miles Time: 38'45"

3:00pm: Things have been absolutely crazy today with CFF stuff and so on so I knew I was going to have to really bust it out at the gym today. My Bible study doesn't start until 6:45pm, but because of traffic, I have to leave by 5:15pm. I know, stupid. Anyway, the gym was fantastic today and I really lifted hard and pushed myself to the max. I tried to really force myself to do more reps on every exercise than the previous week. And that is exactly what I did. I really need to start bringing a towel. There were a couple of times that I thought somebody shot me in the eye with a BB gun. I'd be sitting there doing upward rows and then all of the sudden I would have the urge to drop the bar and take the stick out of my eye that somebody so pleasantly shoved in there. Of course, I would discover after the set that it was only sweat, but nonetheless, it hurt.

I also knew that I would need to get my run/walk in at the gym because there wouldn't be time for it tonight. I started off walking .24 miles just to warm up. I then kicked it into high gear. I was determined to break my own personal treadmill record of .6 miles straight today. I was at .63 (.42 straight) when I let out a loud and deep cough. So much so that the dude next to me jerked his head around like I had just fired a gun. He would have been really shocked if he would have seen what came up with that cough. Yeah, you guessed it, blood. Good ol' B-L-O-O-D, blood. Now, it wasn't pure blood and was definitely streaked in with my mucus, but I thought it would be a good idea to back down a bit. I slowed down the treadmill to a walking pace and walked another .17. That put me at .8 total miles. Well, that wasn't good enough for me. I said that I would break my own record, which of course didn't happen, but told myself there was no reason to not run the full .6+. I sped the treadmill past the speed I was running at before and did another .2 miles followed by .1 of walking. Did you follow? Basically, I didn't break my record, but I ran a total of .62 miles and walked a total of .48. Stupid blood.

Total Distance: 1.1 miles

Total Distance Run/Walked for Day: 3.2 miles

"Before and After" Pics

It was brought to my attention by a "loyal reader" that I promised to post some before and after photos so that you can see the progress that was being made. Well, here they are:

I obviously still have a loooonnnnggggggg way to go (my modeling agent is going to kill me *me making fart noise with mouth*), but I guess what really matters is how my lungs are doing and they are getting better. The first pic was taken on March 9th, 2009 with the second one being taken on April 20th, 2009.

Monday, April 20, 2009

18.75 Miles for the Week of April 13th

Week of April 6th: 20.95 miles
Week of March 30th: 31.7 miles
Week of March 23rd: 24.48 miles
Week of March 16th: 34.85 miles
Week of March 9th: 23.6 miles

A Gentle Kick to the Ribs

6:00am: So I got to bed at a decent time last night and slept like a rock, yet when my alarm went off this morning I thought someone was playing a practical joke on me. I was SO tired. I don't know if it's because I need to work a nap into my schedule or what. I didn't have too crazy of a weekend I don't think, although it did involve a lot of sun and walking, so maybe that's it. By the way, it's really nice to be typing this at an actual desk this morning. Up until this point, I have been using a TV tray pulled up next to my bed. I got the desk off of and I would recommend that site to anybody that's looking to buy just about anything (if you don't mind it used).

I was coughing quite a bit of yellow crap up this morning and my lungs felt tight. I just made sure to force those coughs and get up as much of the garbage as possible. My first three coughs on the walk produced some thick yellow stuff but after that it cleared up. I've been meaning to ask a doctor why it always starts out yellow but then clears up shortly after I start my walk. If anybody out there has any clue, please, let me know. I kept up a good pace this morning, but my time would have been much better if J Bell didn't insist on 3 poops. She was also not the best walker this morning either. I had to remind her to focus on the walk a couple of times with a nice gentle reminder tap with my foot to her ribs. And again, don't alert PETA, it's literally a tap that wouldn't even break an egg.

Total Distance: 2.1 miles Time: 36'45"

1:00pm: I headed to the gym to do legs and shoulders. I was able to increase the weight or reps in almost every exercise. My shoulders felt better than normal and didn't have that usual sting that they have when I lift on them. My legs definitely increased in strength and all of the lifts felt much easier and more comfortable. Usually when I do squats I feel really unathletic and off balance, but today it went very smoothly. Current Weight: 188.5 lbs.

5:15pm: We set out on our walk with the sun still at what seemed full strength. I am of course exaggerating, but the point is that it was HOT out, and certainly hotter than it's been. Mandi said that it was in the upper 90's today. Really? Come on, it's still April. When it starts to get unbearable out the routine will definitely have to change up a bit. I'm not sure exactly what it will look like, but I certainly won't be walking or running while it's triple digits outside.

In the beginning of our walk I was coughing quite a bit and bringing up some good stuff. It was light yellow for only the first couple coughs and then turned clear. My lungs felt pretty good overall and I was able to carry on a conversation for almost the whole walk. I remember when this all started I couldn't converse at all and just had to communicate with grunts and moans. I'm sure Mandi appreciates hearing some actual words thrown back at her now and again. We were thinking about doing 4 miles, but my foot starting acting up and we didn't want to push it. I really want to run a .5 mile this week, so I need my foot to be in tip top shape. Let's hope it stops giving me trouble in the next couple of days.

Total Distance: 3.0 miles Time: 49'04"

Total Distance Walked for Day: 5.1 miles

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Random Picture of the Day

Picture: Me after picking a butt load of apples in upstate New York.


The Sun Beat Me Up

7:30am: Whoops. I overslept my alarm so I had to do a shorter walk than normal this morning. I think the long day in the sun kind of beat me up and took a lot out of me. I slept like an absolute log last night and I can't really remember waking up even once. I did my normal "wake up at 6" thing, but I knew I could sleep in a little bit today. I just didn't plan on sleeping in as long as I did. My lungs felt a little tighter than normal when I first woke up and it was hard to bring anything up. I maybe got up two quarter sized globs before I left the house. I knew that I was going to have to push it to get the other crap in there up and out.

It was an absolute gorgeous morning out without a cloud in the sky. Jezzabel looked pretty fired up for her walk and was smiling from the get go. She probably remembered that she got done dumb yesterday and had to sit around in the house by herself. Unfortunately for her, today's walk was a short one, but I doubt she noticed.

I started getting a lot of stuff up on the walk. I was coughing so much that I had to back off the pace a little bit to make sure I wouldn't throw up. Most of the stuff was light yellow or clear. My lungs still feel a little tighter than normal, so I'm really going to have to concentrate when I do my nebs today.

Total Distance: 1.1 miles Time: 20'13"

3:00pm: We headed to the gym to do arms with the plan on doing a run/walk immediately after. Well that didn't happen because it is pretty darn hot outside and we'll have time to do one after the sun goes down. Today's workout was awesome, but it had nothing to do with what I did at the gym, but what I saw.

Mandi and I saw a younger man, and by younger I mean mid-20's, working out and replacing his weights after he was done with them. "Who cares?" you say, "What's the big deal in taking back weights that you have used?". Well I'll tell you. The dude had no right leg. And I mean, nothing. Nothing from the upper thigh down. I just sat there staring at him admiring his work ethic and dedication. You want to talk about no excuses and just doing life no matter what you're thrown. He's just one of many many reasons I can give as to why I don't complain about CF. I'm sorry if this offends you, but I'd rather have both legs and 50% of my lung, than 100% of my lung with 50% of my legs. Now maybe it's just me, but that dude inspires me. I mean, he literally hopped on one leg with a barbell in his hand to get to the bench he was working out at. I can honestly say that he motivated me to work out even harder today. And I know that he will never read this, but I just wanted to thank him for being so courageous and not letting a disability be his excuse to not just DO LIFE. Current Weight: 188 lbs.

9:45pm: So the night got away from me and I didn't end up getting a walk/run in. I did however get another cardio workout in. I moved a desk up 3 flights of stairs. I was literally dripping sweat like someone turned a faucet on that was attached to my forehead. The last time a sweat like that was when I ran on the treadmill at the gym a couple of days ago. Maybe I should work moving heavy objects up 3 flights of stairs into my workout?

Total Distance Walked for Day: 1.1 miles