Sunday, May 30, 2010

6 years

Paul and I have officially been married for 6 years the date was May 29, 2004 :)

You know, I do love him more everyday.  I think back, he and I have been through some things and still ended up on top.  He is my rock, my heart and the love of my life!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Weekly Workout Update

Monday May 17 - Sunday May 23
  • Monday May 17 - 5 mi run
  • Tuesday May 18 - off
  • Wednesday May 19 -1 hr indoor rock climbing
  • Thursday May 20 - 3 mi run
  • Friday May 21 - 1 hr indoor rock climbing
  • Saturday May 22 - 6 mi run
  • Sunday May 23 -10 mi road bike, 2 mi run (training clinic for Twinsburg Duathlon
What can I say, my body is coming back (should I be scared to say that?).  But really, my body has decided to like me, at least for this past week.

First, my running has been on track.  I did 3 runs this week and two were a 'longer distance'.  I am very thankful for my HR monitor.  I noticed a huge difference from the cooler run on Monday to the humid warm run on Saturday morning.  My HR shot up and I was forced to a 1 minute/mi slower pace to maintain the same HR from my Monday run (in keeping with the HR training that I am doing). Why?
Heat or high humidity can make many people with MS experience a temporary worsening of their symptoms. Doctors believe that this occurs because heat causes nerves (whose myelin covering has been destroyed from MS) to conduct electrical signals even less efficiently. - WebMD
On Wed and Fri I dragged my butt into the rock gym.  I was reminded that I have not climbed much in two years - my body was definitely struggling more than I might have liked - but it felt really good to be out there though and I am going to try to keep it up for the entire summer.  My goal is to climb a mile (99 times up our 53.5 ft wall) in that time.

I also got out for the Twinsburg Duathlon training on Sunday morning in the dense fog.  It was a nice easy rolling course (10 mi) with a short 2 mi run after.  I felt good on the bike, but was definitely feeling some fatigue on the run - maybe because I worked out more than I have in a long time.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Weekly Workout Update

Monday May 10 - Sunday May 16
  • Monday May 10 - off
  • Tuesday May 11 - off
  • Wednesday May 12 -off
  • Thursday May 13 - 5 mi run
  • Friday May 14 - off
  • Saturday May 15 -8 mi Mountain Bike
  • Sunday May 16-1 hour Yoga for Athletes
I slacked a little this week, but the weather was rainy and cold and I was in the middle of a very physical 'maintenance week' at work - so this is what happens.  At least I did some things.  :) 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Weekly Workout Update

Monday May 3 - Sunday May 9
  • Monday May 3 - off
  • Tuesday May 4 - 5 mi run
  • Wednesday May 5 -8 mi mountain bike
  • Thursday May 6 - off
  • Friday May 7 - off
  • Saturday May 8 -Emerald Crossing 4 mi trail run
  • Sunday May 9-1 hour Yoga for Athletes
Good week!  Yep :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Race (err Run) Report - Emerald Crossing Trail Run

I finished my first race since last Oct, the Emerald Crossing 4 mi Trail run on Saturday May 8.  I have done this race since it started in 2008 and it has sentimental value to me.  All week I was nervous about racing; how would I feel, how will the weather be, will this cause another attack, etc.  I was smart and signed up quite a while ago so that I couldn't wimp out.

Saturday morning was brisk and windy; thunderstorms were a possibility.  I got dressed in anticipation, hoping that the weather would hold and that my body would hold and that I would feel good.  Running has become a family affair and my mother-in-law and dad both ran it as well.  Anyway, the race is a trail/road race near Cleveland airport and is a 3 lap/ 4mi distance.  As soon as we got the race director Mickey Ryzmek was letting everyone know that it was muddy, but at least the rain was holding.  I saw a lot of familiar faces from work, CTC and folks that I have met at races over the years.

At the start we were all ready to get going there were over 50 mph winds and it felt cold.  I knew I would only need a small layer if at all during the run but standing still was brutal. 

 The start of the run

I felt fairly good the first lap, running in 12:20 - unfortunately my heart rate was pushing higher than I would have liked (180 or 90% of MHR) and I had to remind myself to take it easy.  I finished the second and third laps at a much more reasonable rate of 15 min each at (160 or 70% of MHR).  I need to run these first few races and see how I felt before I try and 'push it'.  Anyway, the race was fun, the mud was thick enough in places to take a shoe off but that makes for an enjoyable race.  I finished in 42:44, not bad, not great, but I did it.

We had to take our shoes off to get into the awards...the mud :)

To top things off they had free chair massages and I was indulged to a nice backrub!

Most of all I was glad to finish my first race since my attack.  I am slower, more wobbly, my eyesight goes when my heart rate gets high - but at least my first hurdle is done on my journey to the marathon this year.  

I feel tired today, but who knows if that is the MS crap or just the fact that my aerobic capacity is not where it was last year...probably some combination.  I am listening to my body and taking it easy today, nothing like some yoga and a nap.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Good things

Paul did get the promotion, which means the Police Academy in Fall for him (he is sort of a ranger that runs a park) and my father's leukemia has not progressed too much (although the doc wants him to start chemo treatments on his enlarged spleen) and my energy levels are at a good place (I worked 78 hours last week without too much exhaustion).  

I just wanted to say that I am feeling happy lately and that is nice.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Marathon, here I come.

I have been going back and forth for weeks about this Marathon...looks like I am a go for AK Marathon in Sept.  Thanks to a study I just found!  I am good as long as I do not get an attack.

Public release date: 18-Feb-2010

Exercise helps protect brain of multiple sclerosis patients

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Highly fit multiple sclerosis patients perform significantly better on tests of cognitive function than similar less-fit patients, a new study shows.

In addition, MRI scans of the patients showed that the fitter MS patients showed less damage in parts of the brain that show deterioration as a result of MS, as well as a greater volume of vital gray matter.

"We found that aerobic fitness has a protective effect on parts of the brain that are most affected by multiple sclerosis," said Ruchika Shaurya Prakash, lead author of the study and assistant professor of psychology at Ohio State University.

"As a result, these fitter patients actually show better performance on tasks that measure processing speed."

The study, done with colleagues Robert Motl and Arthur Kramer of the University of Illinois and Erin Snook of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, appears online in the journal Brain Research and will be published in a future print edition.

The study involved 21 women diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS. They were compared with 15 age- and education-matched healthy female controls. The study assessed fitness, cognitive function, and structural changes in all participants.

In order to measure fitness levels, the participants underwent a VO2 max test, in which they rode a stationary bicycle until they felt exhausted. During the test, they breathed into a mask which measured their oxygen consumption.

All the women also took a variety of tests designed to evaluate cognitive functions, such as processing speed and selective attention. In one test, for example, participants had to write down in one minute as many words as they could think of that began with the letter "F." MS patients generally perform poorly on these tests compared to healthy people.

The third analysis involved MRIs of the participants, revealing any damage to their brains.

As expected, the MS patients did much worse than the healthy controls on the tests of brain functioning, and showed more deterioration in their brains as revealed through the MRIs.

But what was interesting, Prakash said, was the significant differences between the more aerobically fit MS patients and those who were less fit.

Take, for instance, lesions, which are the characteristic feature of MS. Lesions are areas of inflammation in the central nervous system in which neurons have been stripped of myelin, an insulating protein.

"Physically fit MS patients had fewer lesions compared to those who weren't as fit and the lesions they did have tended to be smaller," Prakash said. "This is significant and can help explain why the higher-fit patients did better on tests of brain functioning."

Aerobic fitness was also associated with less-damaged brain tissue in MS patients, both the gray matter and white matter.

Gray matter is the cell bodies in the brain tissue, while white matter is the fibers that connect the various gray matter areas.

The study found that fitness in MS patients was associated with larger volume of gray matter, accounting for about 20 percent of the volume in gray matter. That's important, Prakash said, because gray matter is linked to brain processing skills.

"Even in gray matter that appeared relatively healthy, we found a deterioration in the volume in MS patients," she said. "But for some of the highest fit MS patients, we found that their gray matter volume was nearly equivalent to that of healthy controls."

Another MRI analysis involved the integrity of the white matter in the brain. In MS patients, the white matter deteriorates as the myelin is stripped from neurons. Again, higher-fit MS patients showed less deterioration of white matter compared to those who were less fit.

Overall, the three MRI tests in this study showed that parts of the brain involved in processing speed are all negatively affected by MS – but less so in patients who are aerobically fit.

Prakash noted that other researchers have found that exercise promotes the production of nerve growth factors, proteins which are important for the growth and maintenance of neurons in the brain.

"Our hypothesis is that aerobic exercise enhances these nerve growth factors in MS patients, which increases the volume of the gray matter and increases the integrity of the white matter," she said.

"As a result there is an improvement in cognitive function."

Prakash and her colleagues plan to extend this research by studying whether exercise interventions with MS patients can actually improve their cognition and have positive physical effects on the brain.

"For a long time, MS patients were told not to exercise because there was a fear it could exacerbate their symptoms," she said.

"But we're finding that if MS patients exercise in a controlled setting, it can actually help them with their cognitive function."
Monday April 26 - Sunday May 2
  • Monday Apr 19 - off
  • Tuesday Apr 20 - off
  • Wednesday Apr 21 -off
  • Thursday Apr 22 - 12 hours of set-up for SpringFest
  • Friday Apr 9 -Hauled 100 tables 200 chairs and numerous other things for event
  • Saturday Apr 10 -off
  • Sunday Apr 11- off
One thing, 78.5.  Yep that is the number of hours I worked this week.  Makes it difficult to do anything.