Monday, February 20, 2006

Reflux Friend

My friend Linda C-T was the first person I knew who had reflux. She participates in Ironman but has difficulty keeping food down because of the Reflux. Pretty difficult position to be in when you are burning 600 calories an hour for 13 hours. Linda and I speed walked the Marathon route of Ironman Canada together in 1999. All of my friends wondered who the "hot" woman was that I was walking with. (she was 46 at the time - at 51 she is still in amazing shape)
Linda is a complete hard body probably because she can't intake enough calories to put any fat on her.
Anyway, it was too cold at the 1/2 Marathon to be outside so we spent an hour and 45 minutes in the Roundhouse waiting for her husband Paul to come in. During that time she gave me the rundown on Reflux. Yikes. I'm now worried - so worried that I didn't even sleep last night.
First of all, apparently I have to give up coffee!
Then I have to go through these invasive tests where they shove a pH meter down my nose into my throat and I have to live with it for a day. So I'll be walking around work with this wire down my nose. Great.
Then I'm going to be scoped down the throat. Ugh.

There are some other things you can do to lessen the Reflux symptoms:
Linda was told to raise her bed at one end so her head is higher than her feet but she said that caused continual nightmares about falling off a cliff.
Quitting coffee??!!
I can quit alcohol far easier than quitting coffee.

Linda did have the operation to fix the valve and it worked for three years. She is now having some more problems but is still much better than she was.

Exercise Induced Asthma Test

Easy test today - just breathing into a tube. I know that I have Reflux, but I guess we want to rule out anything else that I may have as well, in this case Excrcise Induced Asthma. The test today was looking at volume of air inhaled/exhaled and the intensity under different conditions. They try to induce Asthma by exercising and making you breathe dry air which will constrict the lungs of those with EIA. If you do have EIA then your baseline breathing results will drop by at least 10%. If you do not have it a normal person will have dilated lungs through the exercise and will have an increase in breathing results. My breathing got better by 6% after a little bit of exercise. So I do not have Exercise Induced Asthma.
The bad part is these are the easy tests. Now I have to go for the Gastric Tests. Yikes.
My friend Linda C-T suffers from Reflux and she described, in detail, what gastric tests I will be going through. I'm not looking forward to it.

By the way, Donald commented that he hit 340 watts on the bike. Check out the enlarged screen shot from last thursday's tests (bottom left hand corner in green) - 340 WATTS Baby! in my dress clothes! Not than I'm counting or anything.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

First Half

I cheered on friends at the Pacific Road Runners First Half - Half Marathon today. Here are a coule of candid shots.

Keith Iwasaki; we ran together at the Victoria Marathon in 2001.

Dr. Brenda - yes I had some other photos, but this is the one to post.

Profession triathlete Christine Fletcher (she is sooo cute) and my buddy Brian MacDonald. Brian is a really good triathlon coach and is a friend of Roch Frey and Paul Huddle. He was pacing Christine and watching her pace and heart rate. I hope to do some ultra runs with Brian when I get my form back. He's planning a 330 km run across the Rockies next year with Paul and Roch. A couple of years ago they ran the Westcoast Trail in ONE DAY!! Wild, eh?

Brian and his wife Michelle, and his star athlete Michael Simpson. Simpson, shown here modelling his Costco Protege underwear, is probably the top triathlete in the province. He would not be there without Brian's coaching. I'm pretty sure Simpson will go to the Olympics.

Jordan's first half Marathon.

Paul Krochak and Katie. I met them at Squamish when I had Whistler and Katie had her dalmatian. I asked Paul how he had done in the race and he looked at me funny and said, "I won". Talk about high achievers - he's doing his Ph.D. in Engineering Physics. I always thought PhD's would be hard to get and you would spend all of your time working on it, but Paul is racing up a storm this year. He's off to California and I think he said Europe to race. Paul wins most of the races he is in but occasionally Dr. B's friend Scott Curry will cause an upset. There's always Darren Mealing and Paul Cross, but Krochak is the guy to beat at the moment. Interesting to see Michael Simpson and Krochak racing together.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Cardio Stress Test

So this is what you meant by cardio tests.

How did I do compared to the professional mountain biker? Not even close? Sigh..

I'm still working on the Reflux problem and see my specialist Dr. Bai next week to determine the next step in the treatment. I hope that I have the operation to fix the faulty valve because I don't like taking the pills and the puffer.
I'm still coughing and have congestion and these symptoms are not helping my marathon training, but I can work through that.
Dr. Bai told me to go to St. Pauls for some tests, so I dutifully went down there yesterday morning. It didn't occur to me that the hospitals idea of cardio tests meant riding a bike for 12 minutes at 300 watts, otherwise I wouldn't have gone in my dress clothes.
The technician lubed and wired me up (fun) and put me on the bike. She then told me to keep my speed at around 60 for 12 minutes. I told her that only Lance could keep the speed at 60 km/hour for 12 minutes and she looked at me funny. I said "you mean keep my CADENCE at 60 for 12 minutes." She said "NO NO, the speed which is shown on the display screen here." I didn't argue, but she meant Cadence.
Off I went. She had been talking about a professional mountain biker who got the wattage up to 400 the week before, so I thought, hey, I wonder if I can get to 405?
Probably not a good plan in my wool pants and leather shoes, but I sure gave it a good try. I crashed and burned at 9 minutes and 45 seconds. I actually had a difficult time walking back to work with such a huge lactic acid build up. Don't even know why Dr. Bai gave me this test. I guess I'll find out next week.


My new project - The Oyu Tolgoi Copper Mine in Mongolia

The Camp at Oyu Tolgoi. Not too scenic in the Gobi Desert.

A shared room? Where do I put my bike?
However, it is better decorated than my apartment. Check out the crushed brown velour bedspread.
Hey, that's not a wood floor! That's a carpet that looks like wood on top of the dirt.

This is a fascinating project because of the impossible logistics of building such a project in the middle of nowhere. I have extricated myself from the accounting division and am now a planner/scheduler so I get to see what is really going on with the Engineering and Construction. I can, if I wish, go to site. Here are some of the photos of the living conditions in the Gobi Desert.
I would be sharing a room with at least two other people, and it doesn't look like there is television. I dunno about this.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Ego vs Common Sense

I couldn't let it go. My common sense said - who cares, so he's faster. My ego said - run him down.
There is no way I'm going to make it to the start of the Vancouver Marathon without getting injured. I have a great plan that my friend Alex created, I have new shoes (New Balance 766) and I have a bunch of friends who are also racing to keep me motivated (including my best friend Murray).
The problem is that at one time - a long time ago - I was a marginally fast runner. I was competitive and didn't like being beaten. I was the kind of runner that I don't like - the type that takes it too seriously.
But I put that behind me and now just run for fun and fitness with my friends. However, sometimes when I run by myself and somebody passes me I will pick it up and try to run them down. This happened today on my "easy long run" at my 19 kilometer mark as I was climbing the Burrard Bridge on my way home. The other guy was on the east side of the bridge and I was on the west side. We were both running north and hit the bridge at the same time. I surged first about half way through the climb and thought I had dropped him. As I neared the peak of the bridge I was shocked to see him 10 meters ahead of me and going full steam. I went after him but there was no way I could catch him and I was done at the top and heaving. I made one more surge on the down hill but he was watching for me. I had to stop at the bottom of the bridge and walk for half a block to catch my breath. So much for an easy long run. I should probably be stretching right now but instead I'm typing about my little adventure. I better run with someone else next weekend because I always seem to get myself into stupid races like that when I'm on my own. And I didn't even pass him!
By the way, don't tell the people that I coach that I have such a poor sport attitude.

Inuit Gallery Social

My friend Melanie owns the Inuit Gallery in Gastown and puts on this formal party every year for our triathlon club. It is a beautiful gallery in a very interesting part of the city and a wonderful place for this party. Melanie and Greg are expecting their first child this summer.

A pregnant Melanie

The pregnancy group - Melanie, Dave's wife Kelly, and Darcy.

My cycling Mentor - Rob Herron. Rob was also a bike director and past president of the PSTC. His Tux jacket has bullet holes in it. Long story.

Run director Keith and Swim Director Sophia. Keith is a gourmet chef and throws quite a party.

Bill, Dr. Jim, Carolyn,Dave and Melanie's husband Greg.

C2 and me.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Duncan Angus Shelley

Tracey's father Duncan passed away peacefully on January 25, 2006. He led an amazing life. He was an officer in the Royal Canadian Navy in the 1950's. In the 1960's he worked as a construction mason and while travelling to a project he had a car accident that left him a paraplegic. Duncan was determined not to let a wheelchair stop him from working. He was hired by A&A Plumbing and Heating and eventually became an owner of the company. Duncan and his business partner and friend Roy sold the company in the late 1980's in order to persue other interests.
Duncan had bought property in Whistler and he and I lived there for a year building his house in 1993. It was the most fun I ever had. Duncan treated me and his other son-in-law, Jim really well by taking us on fishing trips, and road trips to Vegas and L.A. He even helped pay for my Masters degree.
Duncan liked to spend winters in tropical climates, and invited his family members down to join him. Tracey and I spent a winter in La Jolla and a spring holiday in Hawaii with him. Tracey accompanied him on a wild car trip to Cabo San Lucas.
Duncan and I travelled to every Gulf Island and every inch of coast on Vancouver Island in search of a waterfront home. We finally found one on Gabriola Island and Duncan had an addition built onto it to make it more wheelchair friendly.
As Duncan's health became irregular he decided to move close to Tracey and relied on her for support. Tracey even brought the dals into the Delta Hospital to visit him. Plum was his favourite Dalmatian and I think she loved him more than anyone.
I'll miss you Duncan, you were a good friend.
Thanks to Dr. Craig Martin for looking after him so well.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Swim Coaching

I've always been a pretty good swimmer. My swim club had two of the best swim coaches in the Province - John Service and Carole Gair - and they taught me proper technique in all of the strokes. My first foray was being a substitute summer coach for my old Masters club the Winskill Otters. I was just terrible and I dreaded doing it! I didn't know how to create a practice and I certainly couldn't offer any stroke correction and I had no confidence. Basically all I did was write down the practice that the regular coach gave me on the white board and then repeat it to the nearsighted swimmers who couldn't read it.
Some friends and I created a triathlon club in Delta and decided we should take a coaching course. Once I was NCCP certified Triathlon Coach I had a piece of paper, but was still a bad swim coach, not a bad cycling coach though.
I quit the Otters and swam on my own at Watermania with my friend Paul and we created our own practices. The Watermania group grew into another big Triathlon club and Tracey and Joe were the coaches. I learned a lot about swim coaching from them, and from watching Craig McCord who coached the kids team in the other lanes.
Joe asked me to coach his beginners Masters club at the YWCA several years ago. The first couple of months Joe created the practices and email them to me. I bought the book Swim Coaches Bible and I learned all I could from Joe and my friend Martina M. Now I have a big book of practices and can even make them up in my head if required. It has been a steady improvement and I really enjoy it. I know we are doing a great job coaching this group because we have so many returning members. Almost too successful - there were 7 people per lane on Wednesday night and that's the limit. I look forward to the days that Joe is overwhelmed at work and calls me up in a panic with the word "Can you take the group tonight?"

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

A.J. and Plum

My friend Sara painted this picture of my Dalmatians looking through the fence at her. On the left is A.J. my first dalmatian, and of course the liver spotted one is Plum.