Thursday, December 31, 2009

My wakeup heart rate today and yesterday was 59. I jogged/walked 2 miles on the Jordan River Parkway and took videos of the ducks and geese that I saw during my run. The shade temperature was about 33 (F), but the temperature in the sun was about 40. The path had been plowed to remove the lose snow, but a layer of packed snow and ice remained on the path. My ice shoes got a good workout.

Today was classified as a "yellow" day. Previous days this week have been "red" days. "Yellow" days have undesirable air, but they aren't as bad as "red" days. The Salt Lake valley is infamous for temperature inversions during the winter that hold air pollution in the air that builds up. The storm we had yesterday brought warmer air, which is helping to break down the inversion.

This video was created for the HPHC blog and is cross-posted to this blog.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Adding years to your life

The following is from a tweet by Jeff Galloway.
Milton Berle once said "My doctor told me jogging could add years to my life. I think he was right. I feel ten years older already."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ran 2 miles in my ice shoes

We had a snow storm overnight, and there was about 3-4 inches of light, fluffy snow on the ground. I drove to the Jordan River Parkway and ran/walked two miles. The shoes worked fine! The temperature was in the high 20s (F) and there was a light wind and light snow falling during the run. I wore three layers. This was Phase 2 of the testing of my ice shoes. This video was created for the HPHC site, and it is cross-posted to this blog.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ran 1.5 miles with a high wakeup heart rate

My wakeup heart rate was 65 this morning. It has been high for the past week, due to lack of sleep last week. I've slept well the past couple of days, but my heart rate hasn't started to drop. I ran the north-bound section of the Jordan River Parkway, just to limber up and get a bit of exercise. The temperature was in the low 40s (F) during my run. This video was created for the HPHC site, and it is cross-posted to this blog.

Monday, December 14, 2009

See how I built my ice shoes

On December 9, 2009 I described how I built a pair of ice shoes using hex-head screws. Here is a video showing exactly what I did. This video was created for the HPHC site, and it is cross-posted to this blog.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Wellsphere site

I haven't mentioned this before, but I'm also active on the Wellsphere site. All of my posts to this blog are mirrored on that site, and I answer a lot of questions asked by visitors to Wellsphere.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I'll be blogging on the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care site

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (HPHC) has invited me to blog on their Well, Then site.That site is a fitness site, and my posts will cover not only running topics but other activities that contribute to fitness. An example of a non-running post is the one about our attendance today at the Nutcracker and at the annual Christmas program of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square. A busy day but a satisfying day.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ran 1.5 miles on a plowed Parkway path

A couple of days ago we had about 5 inches of snow, and I was hoping the Parkway path would have some snow and ice on it so I could test my ice shoes. The path, however, was mostly bare, and I didn't use the ice shoes. The temperature during my run was in the low teens (F), but most of the path is in the sun and is warmer due to the sunlight shining on the path. I had a great winter run. I stopped at 1.5 miles, because my wakeup pulse rate is high, and I didn't want to put a lot of stress on my body.

I wore three layers (T-shirt, long sleeved T-shirt, and nylon windbreaker) my light cotton gloves, and a wool cap. I felt fine during the run except for my hands. I need to get some warmer gloves or mittens. When I was younger, the cotton gloves were fine, but I'm older now and probably don't have good circulation in my hands.

Lots of ducks in the cold, cold Jordan River

I saw lots of ducks in the river. The air temperature was in the low teens (F), and the water must have been cold, probably in the high 30s or low 40s. I don't know how the ducks can withstand that cold water. I think their down has a natural oil that keeps the water away from their bodies, but their legs have no insulation and are in the cold water. Brrrrrr...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My ice shoes passed the Phase 1 tests!

I didn't run today because I was busy all day doing some audio work on the computer for my 93-year-old mother-in-law.

We had about 5 inches of snow during the night, and because our daytime temperatures have been below freezing for several days, the snow is light, fluffy, and cold (right now the temperature outside is 5 (F), and it's only 8:30 pm). When I went outside to shovel my driveway and sidewalks, I wore my ice shoes, and they worked fine. The screw-heads dug into the snow and ice, and I didn't slip at all. I tried to slide my foot back and forth on a patch of ice, but the screw-heads dug into the ice and didn't move. The same thing happened with the commercial ice crampons that I used the past two winters. The cost of the screws ($1.98) and a few minutes of time are much less than the cost of the crampons. In fact, the screws should work better than the crampons in deeper, heaver snow, because they won't come out of the soles (the crampons came off in the snow). After I finished with my driveway and sidewalks, I jogged about a quarter mile in the street where ice had built up from the pressure of vehicular tires. I'm calling this Phase 1 of my testing of the ice shoes. Phase 2 will be when I run with them on ice and snow on the Jordan River Parkway.

I put 7 screws in each shoe (LOCO Perfecto), three in the heel, three in the mid sole, and one in the toe. I used 6-32 hex head one-inch screws in the heel and mid sole, and a 4-40 hex head 3/4 inch screw in the toe. I used those particular lengths of screws so the point of the screw would be about half-way through the sole. I used a nut-driver for the 6-32 screws and a screw driver for the 4-40 screw, and the installation only took a few minutes. Most of the time was with the two 4-40 screws; I had to drill a small hole to help each screw get started. I used a screw driver because I couldn't find my nut driver for those screws.

I'm keeping the ice shoes in the trunk of my car so I'll have them if I discover ice on the Parkway path when I start running.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ran/walked 4 miles again

My wakeup heart rate was 57, and I felt pretty good during the day. I left for my run just as the sun was going down; the sun had set before I reached the first half-mile marker. During the first and last mile, I ran and walked about equal amounts, but during the second and third miles I did more walking than running.

My hands got pretty cold during the run. I didn't have gloves on, so I tucked my hands in the sleeves of my wind breaker, but my hands still got cold, especially the right hand. In past years I could run in temperatures colder than today and my hands felt fine once my body had warmed up. But, today my hands stayed cold. This may be an indication that my blood circulation isn't as good as it used to be. The temperature was 31 (F) when I left home, and I knew it would be cold during my run. I thus wore long pants and an extra T-shirt (3 layers).

My hands were so cold when I finished the run that I had difficulty unzipping the pocket in my jacket to get my car key, and I had trouble punching the remote to open the car door and trouble putting the key in the ignition and starting the car. My fingers were still cold when I reached home and went into the house. In all my years of running, I've never had my hands be as cold as they were tonight. And, the temperature was only a few degrees below freezing.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A possible reason for my slow recovery since my blood clot attack in January

I received an interesting email from a pulmonary critical care physician (who is also a marathoner) who recently discovered this blog and has been reading about my recovery from my auto accident five years ago and from my blood clots in January. He hasn't seen my medical records or the x-ray of the vein filter that was put in my body five years ago and is still there. His only source of information is this blog. Thus, his remarks are speculation and concern the pattern of my recovery. Here are his remarks.
Ponder this hypothetical,

A person sustained multiple trauma in an automobile accident. Injuries included mild brain injury and other. At some point a deep vein thombosis is recognized and rather than immediately begin anticoagulation (i.e. because of recent trauma), an inferior vena cava (IVC) umbrella filter is placed to prevent pulmonary emboli. Later, possibly anticoagulation is given for six months or so and discontinued.

A few years later unknown to the patient, and forgotten by his medical providers the IVC filter slowly clots off. When the filter finally clots off and hence the IVC blood flow halts a sudden lower extremity venous pressure develops, with new leg clots developing. The patient also develops shortness of breath because of reduced venous return to the circulation. Quite significant bilateral lower extremity edema develops due to IVC flow interruption. In fact the edema and entire course are way out of proportion for simple lower extremity DVT but are the hallmark of IVC interruption.

Eventually, collateral veins develop to take on the lower torso blood return. But, the venous return is never what it was and exercise capacity remains reduced. Also, leg edema remains an issue and compression stalkings from time to time are required.

What is missing is imaging of the IVC to determine the presence or absence of occlusion of IVC and hence blood flow.

Story over,

The above hypothetical is not to be construed as medical advice, but is a story not dissimilar from what the blog would lead an imaginative person to consider.
Even though I'm not a medical person, his remarks make a lot of sense to me. The week before the blood clots, I ran about 20 miles, ending with a 7-miler on Saturday. I felt great during that week. On Monday I started my run, and after about 1/4 mile, I got a cramp in what I thought was my hams. I stopped three times to stretch it out, but the cramp came back as soon as I started running. I went home and took a two-hour nap. When I got up, I could only walk about 100 feet before I was so tired I had to sit down. If I climbed the stairs to my bedroom, I was sweating profusely and was out of breath. At first I thought the problem was that I had been pushing too hard in my running, but when the symptoms got worse, I checked myself into the hospital (my wife and son who lives a few miles away were in Florida).  A CAT scan of my body showed clots in both legs but none in my lungs, although the hospital doctor was suspicious that I might have had small clots in my lungs since I was out of breath when doing minor exertion.

During my 5 days in the hospital, I managed to get my walking up to 400 feet. What ever "hit" me certainly came on very quickly. Now, after 10 months, I can only run about 1/3 mile before I have to walk, and each leg of running gets shorter during the 4 miles that I'm currently doing. During the Spring and Summer I could only run about 1/10 mile before I had to walk. The 1/3 mile that I can run now is a big improvement. Mention in the email of brain damage was interesting to me, because I didn't have any injury to my head from the automobile accident. Brain damage must be a side effect of bad blood circulation in my legs.

I'll be discussing this with my doctor and will ask that the specialists in the Intermountain Health Care system review my case to determine if anything can be done to correct what may have been a mistake when they left the filter in my body. I had been in the ICU for three weeks with the filter, and the x-ray of the filter that was taken just before I left the ICU and went to another hospital for therapy showed that the filter was full of clots. On the x-ray, the filter showed up as a solid black rectangle. I was told at that time that they didn't want to remove the filter, because the walls of the vein had started to grow around the filter. I'm glad the filter was installed because it did catch a lot of clots, but in retrospect I wonder if it should have been removed even though it likely would have been "messy" surgery.