Saturday, May 16, 2009

Rock n Roll Bike Run

Today was full of the 1st annual Rock n Roll Bike Run to benefit the CF Foundation, so needless to day, there wasn't much in terms of exercise. I did however manage to take Jezzy for a mile long dog walk.

Total Distance for Day: 1.0 mile

Here are some pics from the event for your viewing pleasure....

Here is the early crowd that got started at Cocomo Joes.

I then got them all "riled up" with a speech.

It was then on to The Hideaway.

We then moved on to Dirty Dogs Saloon.

There's Mandi, Mike, and my blogging Cysta Sara hanging out at Dirty's.

Me and Chris Parker. He put this great event together.

You've got to love it when people can come together, hangout, and have fun, all to benefit CF research.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Ever Heard of the Mucus Chipmunk?

6:00am: Besides waking up this morning at 4:30 with an upset stomach from who knows what, I had a pretty good night asleep. You could tell that I was often in a deep sleep due to the oxygen tube marks across my cheek bones. It looked like I pissed somebody off playing a game of dice and they decided to slash me across the face with a knife. Ok, maybe I saw that in a movie once, but you get my drift. It was however a little tough getting the engine going this morning. I was definitely moving at a snail's pace. I like that pace though and I try to live a non-rushed life. It's worked out so far. Anyway, I threw on my workout gear and headed out the door.

I started off on the elliptical for 15 minutes. It felt good the whole time and in the last 5 minutes I had sweat pouring off of my forehead down onto my shins as they flew by back and forth. That last 5 minutes I also did 1 minute on one minute off sprints. It really got me to take in some deep breaths and move some of that gunk around in my lungs. At the end of the 15 minutes I had gone 1.6 miles. Next, it was on to the stairstepper where I did 10 minutes. The sweat continued to rain down on me, but I felt really strong and not short of breath. After 31 floors, it was off to the treadmill for the final challenge.

I've really enjoyed being able to run on the treadmill this week. I haven't pushed it, doing only 5-7 minutes at a time, and my foot has held up. I've also been icing it when I get home. I think it is helping. I started running on the treadmill the second I got on. I didn't want to break the momentum that I had started on the elliptical and the stairstepper. I was only going to run for 5 minutes at a 5.0 pace, so I knew it was going to be tough but not impossible. The first 3 minutes went REALLY well. My legs felt fresh (with the exception of a slight shin splint in my right shin) and I had a good breathing pattern going. At about the 3 minute mark I started coughing a lot and bringing up quite a bit.

That's where the "mucus chipmunk" move comes in handy. See, I didn't want to stop and find somewhere to spit. I didn't want to swallow the garbage that I had coughed up. And I didn't want to spit it on the person next to me. So I really only had one choice: Store it in my cheek pouch for the next two minutes and keep running! I did just that! I actually ended up increasing the speed to 5.5 during the last minute. I ran just over .4 miles and was pretty wiped after completing it. Needless to say, I couldn't wait to walk outside and get rid of the nuts, I mean mucus, that I had stored in my cheek pouch. I'm not quite sure how I stored all of it in my mouth and continued to breath, but this chipmunk is glad that he kept running.

Total Distance: 2.0 miles Total Floors: 31 floors

12:30pm: Chest and back day went well today. I was able to add weight to many of my lifts and didn't get as fatigued as my last chest and back day. I did tweak my shoulder a little doing some bent over flys, but I iced it when I got home, so hopefully that will take care of it. I've had a little pain in my shoulders before from doing that lift, so I'm thinking that I'll change out that exercise next time I workout my back. Anybody have a killer back lift that they would like to suggest? Current Weight: 184.5 lbs

6:00pm: Mandi and I did a short one mile loop tonight to walk J Bell. One, because my foot hurt, and two, because we were pressed for time. We're taking off for a graduation party of a friend of mine. Tomorrow is going to be pretty busy as well for a CF Event that goes on from 10am-4pm plus an after party. Don't think I'll be making it to the after party. I'll have to get to the gym before the event and then probably head back after for some cardio. I do need to get some rest though this weekend, cause next week will be VERY busy.

Total Distance: 1.0 mile

Total Distance for Day: 3.0 miles Total Floors for Day: 31 floors

Random Picture of the Day

Picture: Mandi and I with my dad and step-mom in front of a chocolate store on San Antonio's River Walk.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Taking My Own Advice

6:00am: I thought for 10 seconds this morning about sleeping in and taking J Bell for a dog walk around 9 or so. I didn't get to bed until about midnight last night, so naturally, I was SUPER tired this morning. But why in the world would I go against my own advice? If I can get up this morning and get moving, imagine how much easier it will be when I feel energized and refreshed? With that, I was up! Now, I wasn't going to go to the gym, but it had nothing to do with my sleepiness. My inner thighs are still killing me! They are so tight that it feels like they could snap at any moment. I didn't want to keep pushing them and not let the muscles recover in there. Problem is, today is also leg day. I'll just have to steer clear of any exercise that targets that inner thigh area.

As far as my lung go, I felt great. I didn't do a whole lot of coughing this morning, but when I did cough, I brought up only clear stuff. I think that is due to the running that I've done the last couple of days. It really opened me up and allowed me to get out that gunk that was way down in there. Most of my flew this morning was either totally clear or a milky white. Either way, it's certainly better than yellow or green! I also felt nice and open when I woke up. I don't know about you, but I always judge my lung health on how I feel first thing in the morning. I was able to keep up a good pace during the walk and even break a little sweat! My legs loosened up a bit so I hope they stay that way throughout the day so I can push them just a little bit at the gym. I guess we'll have to see how it plays out.

Total Distance: 2.1 miles Time: 36'35"

6:00pm: Mandi and I took off for the gym after doing a little relaxing at my place after work. Today was leg and shoulders, but my legs are in no condition to be lifting on. We did shoulders as usual, but when it came to our trunks, we did more stretching types of exercises. I did squats with no weight on the bar, a lot of stretches, and a ballerina type of "spread your legs and squat" kind of move that really targeted my inner thighs. It still feels like I have metal rod inerts in my legs, but it's getting to the point to where I can actually walk comfortably now. Before, I kind of just hobbled from here to there.

After doing our shoulders and legs, we moved on to cardio. We decided to do 20 minutes on the elliptical. I worked up a huge sweat while doing it so it felt great. I actually was reading a magazine while doing it today. It definitely made the time go by a lot faster. Plus, I got to read about how Kristy Alley put on 85 lbs.! Can Jenny Craig get her money back? My lungs opened up nicely and I was able to work up some stuff when we got outside. Current Weight: 187 lbs.

Total Distance: 1.5 miles

Total Distance for Day: 3.6 miles

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mr. Cystic Fibrosis Told Me Not To Run

6:00am: I was definitely a lot more tired this morning than I have been the last couple of mornings. I slept well, but I got to bed a little later than normal. I think I stayed in bed a good 10 minutes past when my alarm went off. But when I finally got moving I was feeling pretty good. Only exception being my inner thighs. I blasted them a couple of days ago and now I'm paying for it. It feels like someone inserted two metal rods from the inside of my knee, running up the inside of my leg and then connecting to my hip flexors. And yes, they hurt to the touch. At least I know that something I am doing is working though!

When I got to the gym, I saw that the stair stepper was open so I jumped on it right away. I didn't get to it yesterday cause they were being used while I was there. I decided to do 20 minutes on it instead of 15 to make up for a little lost time. Starting on it was difficult because my legs were so tight, but they eventually loosened up thank goodness. I worked up a good sweat as usual and then it was on to the treadmill. And that's when I hit a wall.

When I started on the treadmill, I set it to an incline and began walking at a decent pace. I decided that I would walk for 4 minutes and then run for 6 minutes. Sounds good right? Well in my mind it did. When I actually started running, it was a different story. Let me run down the list of the things that went through my mind as I started running: My legs hurt. I can't breath. You're coughing too much. I think I'm going to throw up. You did a good job yesterday, don't push it. My foot is sore. There is no way you can make it 6 minutes today. Slow down, it will feel better. I think my heart just stopped. Ow! Sweat got in my eye, I should probably stop. Shoot, what happened to my music? I can't run without music. Why don't you just stop to get the music playing again? Maybe it will feel better to run later on today.

See what happened? There wasn't a single part of me that wanted to run this morning. And guess what, that happens more times than my body actually WANTING to run. So what did I do? Well, if you read this blog at all, you know exactly what I did: I RAN. See, all those thoughts that ran through my mind, I know who is putting them there, it's my old friend Mr. Cystic Fibrosis. He doesn't want me to run. The more I run, the less he is who he is. The more I run, the less influence he has in my life. The more I run, the less important he feels. We all know Mr. Cystic Fibrosis loves to have a say in what we do and think, but I'm sick and tired of that. When he starts putting doubts in my mind, that just fuels me to push even harder. So thanks for the motivation Mr. Cystic Fibrosis! Keep it coming!!!!!

Total Distance: .7 miles Total Floors Climbed: 53 floors

1:30pm: Headed to the gym for arms after I took a quick little cat nap on my bed. Don't get me wrong, I didn't sleep, but I allowed myself to lay on my bed and listen to two full Damien Rice songs. Ahhhhh, it was very relaxing. It also gave my back a good rest from sitting up in a chair all morning. Arms went as planned and I was definitely stronger today than I was the last time that I lifted my arms. I'm starting to notice more and more veins on my arms when I'm lifting. I'm hoping that means they will be nice and primed for a PICC lines next time I go in. There is usually not a problem with placing them, but I have run into a few snags here and there. Most of it is due to scar tissue, which can happen after 30+ PICCs!

6:00pm: Mandi and I took J Bell for her walk as it started to cool down again. We just did a short one miler for a couple reasons: The inside of my thighs are killing me; I want to take it easy on my foot; and we were short on time. We were taking off for my cousin's house tonight to watch the season finale of LOST. Which, by the way, I just got done watching. If you watch the show, would you like to fill me in on who, what, and where all of it represents? I'd love to hear your theories. Anyway, time for bed. I'm thinking about sleeping in tomorrow since it has been such at late night. I guess I'll have to see how I feel in the morning.

Total Distance: 1.0 mile

Total Distance Walked for Day: 1.7 miles Total Floors Climbed: 53 floors

Beneficial Email Exchange with a Reader

I think that everybody can gain something from reading this email exchange. This is my correspondence with a reader of my blog. It is used with permission. Enjoy!


Hey Ronnie-
So you are not going to be too happy with my progress over the past week, well I guess I am just not too happy with myself. Last week was rough in terms of exercising. I had an extremely busy week getting ready for the Brooklyn Great Strides walk which was on Sunday. I also decided that it would be a good idea to have all my family/friends over to my house for a BBQ after the walk. Well it turns out that everyone was extremely enthusiastic about the walk this year…in terms of participating and donating, which was absolutely great!! But I also ended up with about 50 people coming over…and on top of that it rained… so the BBQ became an indoor event…and let’s just say I am a perfectionist who gets very easily stressed out!!! But all in all it was a really great day…we still walked ponchos, umbrellas and all! Everyone was a little drenched but had a lot of fun!

On top of that 2 days before the walk was my boyfriend’s birthday. He is a huge hockey fan, specifically Rangers fan so I decided that it would be a good idea to make him a Rangers birthday cake. The good news is that the cake turned out awesome! The bad news is that it took about
2 whole days of my life to make it…haha. Bottom line, I only got moving
2 days last week, a 3.2 mile bike ride one day, and a 3.5 mile walk another….boooo!

So I know that these are all poor excuses, which I am not buying from myself, and I hoping to make this week better. It has been raining in new York for 5 days straight now, and looks like it will continue for 5 more which is a bummer because that kind of knocks out the outdoor exercise…but there is still the gym. Also, I am having a PICC placed on Friday afternoon for another round of IVs….fun stuff! So, I was wondering if you have ever kept up an exercise routine while on IV? Usually I am pretty knocked out the first week of it, so I don’t know if I’d really be up for anything strenuous…but I’m thinking just slow-paced long walks might do the trick until I am feeling a little better.

Also been doing a little better about my sleeping schedule. Getting to bed by 10 is really a challenge for me…but 11/11:30 is working out well right now. That’s actually where I am headed now…

Talk to you soon!

My Response:

It’s certainly most important that you recognize that you are not happy with your own effort. The great thing is that you are the only one who can control that effort so it is literally and completely up to you. I will be here as a support mechanism and do anything and everything I can do to give you tips and motivate you. Ultimately, it is up to you to get it done, whatever “it” may be.

So let’s look at the last week. Bottom Line: Sometimes life gets busy and we can’t always control that. We have obligations other than ourselves to attend to and that is ok. Don’t beat yourself up for being a good friend, girlfriend, daughter etc…Believe me, there has been days in my life these last couple of months that there was just going to be NO WAY of completing my full exercise routine. Here’s what I think the key is though: DO SOMETHING. It doesn’t matter if that something is walking or jogging half a mile or going to the gym and walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes. The battle is never doing it once we start, it’s the actual starting it part that is hard. There are times where me night just gets super busy and if that happens, instead of walking 3 miles, I’ll just do one. Or I’ll do the stair stepper for 15 minutes.

The key is just to get your body moving. You’re body will start to expect to do something and you will start to form a craving for it and actually feel weird if you miss a workout. We are creatures of habit. Make sure that your habit is doing SOMETHING everyday, no matter how short or small.

And let’s not forget, you did a 3.2 mile bike ride AND a 3.5 mile walk! You know what I call that in terms of comparing it to the week before: PROGRESS!!!! Now here is your challenge, for the next 7 days, do SOMETHING everyday. It doesn’t matter if that something is walking up 10 flights of stairs at a local building and it only takes you 5 minutes. You are letting your body AND mind know that you WILL train everyday no matter what. Exercising is just as much of a mentality as it is a physical thing. If you set aside a small amount of time everyday, eventually that will become a habit. And like I said before, you will start to crave that habit and you will see the benefits of having a GOOD habit in your life.

As far as a PICC line and exercise goes, for me, it has never been a problem. When I first start IV’s in the hospital, I too feel like doodoo, but I do focus on at least walking around the unit a couple of times a day. Usually by the second week I am able to do a fast paced walk outside of the hospital and by the third week, I am doing stairs or jogging. The doctors have never told me to back off because of a PICC. So again, I would try to do something everyday while you have your PICC and just play it by ear as to how strenuous it is.

I’m glad to hear you are getting to bed earlier. That is a HUGE part of this whole process. I promise that as you start to do more, you will be able to go to bed even earlier yet. Just make sure you’re not hitting your snooze button 100 times in the morning!

Good Luck!! I KNOW YOU CAN DO THIS! I’m excited to see what the next report will bring!


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Furthest Distance So Far!!!!!

6:00am: Another great night of sleep by me! I even dreamed. I know you're saying "big deal" to that, but I dream about 5 times a year, so it's a pretty big deal to me. Unfortunately, I dreamed about issues with my current project, so I obviously didn't do a great job turning my brain off last night. Oh well, still very thankful for good sleep! I rolled out of bed easily and immediately got my gym clothes on. While I'm thinking of it, I'm seriously impressed by how many people are at the gym at 6 in the morning. There are more people there at 6am then there are at any point in the day until about 5pm. I know, I know, people are there before work and then people are there after work. That makes total sense. But it's still 6 o'clock in the AM people! I just wanted to give credit where credit is due.

I started off on the elliptical machine again this morning. My legs where definitely more tired this morning than yesterday morning due to my leg workout yesterday afternoon. In fact, I was behind yesterdays pace with about 3 minutes left to go and I had to kick it into high gear. Kicking into high gear REALLY got my lungs going! I was coughing quite a bit, but my lungs were opening up as well. I started sweating like crazy (to the point that my sweat was dripping onto my shoes) but I got to my goal distance with about 30 seconds to spare.

Yesterday, I did the stair stepper after the elliptical. Today there was not a stair stepper available, so I decided to walk on the treadmill at an incline. I was going to do 15 minutes worth as I had on the elliptical. Everything felt good the whole time on the treadmill, in fact, it felt so good, that I decided to run the last 5 minutes! After jogging for 5 minutes straight, I still felt very good in terms of the lungs and my feet. So of course, I kept going! I ended up doing two more minutes for a total of 7 minutes straight and .65 miles! So far, that is the furthest I've run without taking a break. I was definitely winded, but not nearly as bad as I would get when this all started over two months ago. Progress baby!

Total Distance: 2.7 miles

2:30pm: Today was chest and back. Nothing crazy to report other than being able to increase the weight on many of my lifts. I wanted to sneak in a set of abs at the end of my workout, but I was pretty tuckered out. I worked up a good sweat while lifting though so some cardio got done as well as my chest/back. Like I've said before, no matter what you are doing, just keep moving. You'll always get the best workout that way. And I'm telling you, the more you sweat, the harder it feels you're working out...even if that's not the case. Current Weight: 186 lbs.

6:00pm: Mandi and I took J Bell for a walk as it started to cool down a bit. My lungs felt good throughout the day but my foot was bothering me a bit. I've been icing it though and it seems to be helping. Since my foot was a bit sore though, we decided to do a short walk. Jeezy for Sheezy didn't seem to mind. She still got to go to the bathroom 400 times and when we made our way back to my house her tongue was hanging about a foot out of her mouth. She can definitely tell that it's a bit hotter outside. I like this new routine and I'm going to keep it up. My doing cardio in the morning, I find myself coughing up stuff throughout the day from way deep down. I think working up a big sweat in the morning and forcing myself to breath real deep has lasting effects throughout the day.

Total Distance: 1.1 miles

Total Distance for Day: 3.8 miles

17.7 Total Miles for Week of March 4th

Week of April 27th: 15.7 miles
Week of April 20th: 22.9 miles
Week of April 13th: 18.75 miles
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

Monday, May 11, 2009

Can I Spit on the Gym Floor?

6:00am: I felt very well rested and ready to get up and tackle the day this morning. The only issue was a slight sore throat and very stuffy nose and a slight sinus headache, other than that though, I was ready to grab the bull by the horns. After a little bit of time in the bathroom getting a pound of snot out of my head and coughing up my obligatory mucus ball, I was ready for the gym. Today was the first day in my routine change. Since it's getting a little hot in the morning and I've been really dragging when it came to my nightly walk/run, I decided that I would do cardio in the morning cause the dog walk is much easier on me. Also, the sicker my lungs get, I know that it is imperative to do MORE cardio, not less. This assures that I get in a good 30-45 minutes of deep breathing and sweat every weekday morning.

The only hitch I thought of in this new plan was challenge that coughing and clearing my mucus while at the gym could present. Don't get me wrong, I'll cough my brains out in front of anybody and their stink eyes don't bother me in the least. If they continue the stares for longer than I deem necessary, I'll either blow them a kiss or give them a wink, this usually stops the stare right in it's track. The problem with cardio this early at the gym is I can't exactly spit my mucus on the gym floor. It's been well documented that my morning walk loop is littered with mucus that I spit anywhere and everywhere. Well, I can't do that at the gym obviously. The only alternative is to swallow what I bring up. Gross huh? In all actuality I've been doing that for years, so to me, it's not that big of a deal. The only thing that sucks about it is the usual stomach ache that comes along from swallowing all of that flem. As of right now, my stomach feels fine, I just hope that continues.

So this morning, I decided to do the elliptical and the stair stepper. I ended up doing 15 minutes of each. Let me tell you, when I first started on the elliptical, I was thinking, "This was a big mistake". My legs were still asleep, and waking them up in that manner was not fun. I pushed through it and about 7-8 minutes into the workout my legs were numb so it really didn't matter how hard I pushed cause I couldn't feel them. Perfect. Just what I wanted. Right after the elliptical, I got on the stair stepper and continued to sweat my butt off. The coughing definitely increased when I was climbing up those steps, but surprisingly I didn't get too many death stares. By the time I was done, I was very out of breath and my lungs felt pretty open. When I left the gym I was able to get some good stuff up and that continued with my treatments. This new workout may just be the switch I needed.

Total Distance: 1.5 miles Total Floors Climbed: 40 Floors

5:00pm: It was leg and shoulder day so I waited for Mandi to get off work so we could go to the gym together. We've got a good routine down that gets me sweating like crazy. We literally don't stop moving the whole time at the gym. While she is doing a set of shoulders, I'll be doing a set of legs, and then we'll switch. We keep this up until we are done with all of our sets. Right after legs and shoulders are done, we go straight to abs and that's where she really kicks my butt. She didn't punish me as bad today though cause she didn't want my ab soreness to suppress my cough like it did the other day. Nevertheless, I was extremely wet with sweat from head to toe and I've got to say, it felt great! Current Weight: 186 lbs.

7:30pm: Time for what J Bizzle has been waiting all day for: Her walk! She was very excited when I told her to get her leash and she couldn't stop smiling and wagging her tail. I don't think she minded waiting until tonight though cause it was definitely cooler than it is during the morning walk. We also walked a different neighbor hood than I usually walk, so she got to take in all new smells. The walk felt pretty good, but my foot did hurt a little bit. I ended up putting it on ice when I got home, so I hope it helps it. My lungs felt good throughout the whole day, so it looks like I'll be sticking with my new routine for awhile. I'll at least stick with it until I think my body is catching on to what I am doing. Remember, always keep your body guessing.

Total Distance: 1.5 miles Time: 25'34"

Total Distance Walked for Day: 3.6 miles Total Floors Climbed: 40 Floors

Random Picture of the Day

Picture: Left to right-Brother Andrew and cousin Steven showing off their graduation gifts from me. You know darn right I had to get them proper gear for the walks across campus.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Great Mother's Day...for Me.

7:30pm: I'll have to explain my title post to you first. See, I ended up having a great and relaxing Mother's Day today. The problem is, my mom did not. She was starting to feel a little sick on Friday and still has not been able to shake it. I had my day planned out with her and when she couldn't swing it, I was left with nothing but free time. So what did I do? I brought new meaning to the word chill. After church, I literally sat on the couch ALL day. As you see by my post time, I didn't do anything active until 7:30pm. It did feel weird and I did have to fight off the urge to go to the gym, but I was able to just relax all day. Words would not do the feeling justice that I had all day. I can't remember the last time I was able to just lounge and watch tv for hours on end (without being in the hospital of course).

Mandi and I discovered a whole new channel in the process that we ended up watching two full hour long shows on. Anybody out there ever watch the National Geographic channel? First we watched a documentary type show on the origination of the Crip and Blood gangs in L.A. and then a show that told the story of a man and three of his friends that were thrown in a Brazilian prison for smuggling drugs. Both shows were absolutely fascinating. I'll definitely be checking back in with that channel more often! We also watched Harper's Island, Lakers vs. Rockets, House, and some AI that I had saved. What a day it was!

We ended up taking J Bell for a walk around 7:30 when the sun started to go down. It was perfect walking weather outside. I will say though, sitting around all day certainly made it tougher to walk. Not only did my legs feel sluggish and my hip have a crink in it, but my lungs weren't moving air like they're used to. I did my three treatment sessions total throughout the day, but it just does not have the same affect on my lungs as exercise. I felt very full of mucus and it was hard to clear. It's so important for me to get moving first thing in the morning, if I don't, I feel the "side effects" all day. Tomorrow is going to be the first day I attempt the new routine of cardio at the gym in the morning with a dog walk at night. I think it's going to be a very good thing. I guess only time will tell.

Total Distance: 2.4 miles

Side Note: A huge thanks to my cousin Jason for my cool new blog header!!!! There's actually some interesting history behind that dude that is running across the top of my page. If you want some entertainment provided by a family raising 4 kids all under the age of 5, check out Jason's family blog. It will bring a smile to your face, I guarantee it.

Total Distance Walked for Day: 2.4 miles