14

I ran 14 miles yesterday, which was amazing considering I had no sleep.  I spent the weekend with the Boy Scouts up at West Mountain. They  went tubing and skiing, and I read a book.  I should have just done the drop off and slept in my own bed, but I stayed and slept on the floor.  Felt like crap.

The run really sucked at the beginning because I had a massive crap in my left shin.  It took about 5 miles to work it out.  Then I did ok.

But this morning I have a migraine.  So looking forward to going in to work.

Sick

I’m home sick today.  Apparently, the little sore throat I picked up in Vegas, bloomed into a full blown cold this week.  I tried to tough it out Monday and Tuesday.  But today was just too much.  I sent the boss a note and went back to bed.

I had fever and chills earlier in the week, but that all seemed to pass.  I got the usual stuffy sinuses (my eternal reward for years of scuba diving), and was incredibly tired.  It was so hard to concentrate at work.  I thought I was putting up a good show, but I was at work only a few minutes when someone told me I looked horrible.

This morning I felt like total crap and had a horrendous headache.  I took tylenol for the first time in quite a while.  I’ve got one nostril working, which allows me to still taste my food a little.  That sounds kinda odd, but its how your sense of taste works.

My right ear is plugged.  No real pain, maybe an occasional dull ache.   I’m hoping that it will clear out by tomorrow.  I don’t need another ear infection.  It will cost me $35 to get a scrip for that, plus whatever the scrip costs.  Gah.

Obviously, no running this week except for Sunday.  I’m supposed to run tomorrow.  I think I can, but I’m not sure if I am up to hill repeats.  We’ll see.

Back home again

I was in Las Vegas for a few days at  a conference.   Vegas was interesting in a game show kind of way.  Lots of lights and strange buildings, and people dressed like either hookers or movie stars.  Everything cost 5 times what it normally does (even in over-priced NY), and the everyone smokes.  Everyone.  The Luxor lobby had a horrendous stale smoke smell, and the fan in my bathroom had been disconnected to keep the smell from coming into the room.  Even though you could not smoke in the hotel lobby, the casino was fair game, and the smell just filled the hotel.

After three days, I was ready to come home.  On the fourth day, the nagging sore throat I developed on the first day there, had turned into a full blown cold.  I’m taking all the usual home remedies and OTC meds to make myself more comfortable.  Miserable aren’t I?  Sorry.

I did run three days while I was there.  On day 1 I ran from the Luxor down to The Wyn.  Running on the Las Vegas Strip at 6:30 am is an experience.  There’s tons of other fools out there running too, dodging in and out of the homeless people and drunks that are still walking around.  The bars seem to be closed but the music is continually blasting outside.  For once, I had theme music when I ran.  Of course, it was all stripper music.  I resisted the urge to rip off my clothes.

I had to continually cross over the main drag on walkways when the sidewalk ended.  Once I had to run through a hotel.  Another time I ended up running through this exterior alcove of the Venetian.  Very nice place, but the hotel guests seemed very cranky for some reason.

I caught my reflection several times in the windows of the casinos as I ran past, and decided that how you feel and how you look can be very different things.  Its disappointing to have gained so much weight.

I saw the Bodies exhibit at the Luxor.  No picture taking allowed.  Initially, it was very fascinating, but after an hour it suddenly turned to extremely disgusting.  I think it happened when I was standing next to the guy that was split in half and each half was facing the other.

The bodies are not in big glass cases, they are right there next to you on a small stand, and you could reach out and touch them if you were so inclined (and didn’t mind being kicked out of the exhibit).  Being within a foot of the face of a dead person who was preserved, skinless, and split in half, just sent me over the edge.  The faint smell of formalin didn’t help either.

All in all, I don’t think I need to go back to Vegas again.

I ran this morning with my RP at the park.  7 miles at about a 10:00 pace.  A very nice run.  It was a little chilly at first but warmed up by the end.  I’m having a strange pain in the arch of my right foot.  Deep inside, and it hurts when I try to curl my toes under.  It feel like a joint that wants to crack.  If I spend time working it around, it eventually feels better.  Yes, I do have concerns about another stress fracture, but given the limited mileage I’ve had, that doesn’t really seem to fit.  Arthritis?  Maybe.  Isn’t that for old people?

I did buy some chocolate while I was there.  Ethel’s Chocolate has a factory in Vegas.  You remember Ethel.  She was Forrest Mars’ mother (Forrest “invented” M&M’s) and he founded a chocolate company and named it after her.  Sadly, I had no car, and the chocolate factory was 7 miles away from where I was staying.  It would have cost me $30 in taxi fare just to get there and back.

Ok, that’s all I’ve got.  I need to go and have a sneezing fit and prepare for work tomorrow.  Yea.

psst, are you awake?

I am.  I couldn’t sleep tonight.  I’ve been up since 1 AM watching reruns of Bones on Hulu.

I wanted to do a Christmas post.  I wanted to talk about locally made truffles that I bought.  I wanted to talk about seeing an old friend this weekend.

But I’m too tired and Christmas just killed me this year.  There’s way too much to the secular part of this “holiday”.  Its a nightmare.  Blaring holiday tunes that pound in my head from the moment I walk into the store.  Like some crazed mantra pushing me to buy as much as possible to lift the merchants out of their financial problems.

Why do people think that spending money we don’t have, to buy things made in other countries, is going be any kind of permanent fix?  Maybe they don’t.  Maybe they just want to get what they can, while they can.

Have you seen the commercials for China?  Oh yes.  China is marketing itself so people feel better about buying “made in China”.  Maybe its just pointing the finger at someone else.  “Don’t blame us.  We just make the stuff.  Someone else owns the company.”   Creepy.

I was supposed to go to lunch today with some friends (real world people that I know).  But I don’t know.  My head hurts.  I haven’t felt right since the Israeli woman poisoned me.  As I type this, I realized I didn’t get to tell the story.

In the mall, they are these kiosks in the hallways, where women are selling Dead Sea salt products.  Lotions.  Ointments.  Makeup. Stuff.  They are well known for their aggressive sales tactics.  And most of them are very beautiful.  Part of the plan.

So, I’m walking through the mall and one of these women stops me.

“Can I ask you a question?”

“Yes.”

“Are you married?”

“Yes.”

“How many wives do you have?”

“Seven.”

“Well, I have a gift for each of them.”

She never missed a beat.  She was a polished pro.  She said she was Israeli and that’s why she had such an outrageous accent.  She took my hand and led me over to her lair table.  She buffed one of my nails with a $5 buffing bar and showed me how shiny it was.  Then she tried to sell me the buffing bar for $60.  I decline with flirtatious banter and silliness.

She moved on to some type of almond oil/sea salt hand cleaner.  I washed my hands with it while she sprayed it with water from a spray bottle.  The entire time throughout these exchanges, she stood very close to me.  Right up against me in fact.  Being male, this was a terribly hard thing to resist.  But I did with all kinds of crazy excuses.  I must have spent 15-20 minutes with her by this point.

Then she said she had one more thing to show me because I was driving her crazy (can you imagine me being annoying?).  She took out some kind of defoliant (is that right word?  It removes dead skin), and she rubbed is on the back of my hand, explaining that this is normally used on your face.

As this point I was watching her rub the back of my hand in big circles, and felt a little funny.  Not unpleasant, but just a relaxing lightheadedness.   And then she took out some kind of special lotion that she said would close the pores in my skin.  And then it happened.

As she rubbed in the lotion, my vision began to rapidly narrow, my head was rushing with blood and sounds got muffled.  I saw the fuzzy colors you get when have headrush from standing up too fast.  I was dizzy and nautious, and I finally had to interrupt her talking to say I had to sit down.

There was a bench nearby and I sat down, trying to think if I should tell them anything before I passed out.  I was sweating like crazy and wondering if I was having a stroke or a heart attack.  Checked my pulse, felt like about 60.  one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand.  Seemed ok.

She brought me a bottle of water and asked if I was taking any medication or if there was someone there in the mall with me.  She was clearheaded for a slick saleswoman.

I must have sat there for about 10 minutes.  The dizziness subsided but the nausea was still there.  My face was cold from sweat.  She told me I looked very pale.

Eventually, I got up and left.  I walked upstairs and called my wife to let her know I was on the way home.  In case they needed to look for my body.

I still had all the goop on my hands, but I just wanted to get to the car and go home.  I drove with two fingers to keep the stuff off the steering wheel.  I stopped at Price Chopper to wash my hands.  I was feeling pretty good, but even as I went to wash the back of my hand, as soon as I touched it, the wave of nausea came over me again.

I washed me hands very thoroughly and went home.

I have no idea what was in the stuff she put on my hand.  I thought about going back and finding them and getting the ingredients, but just the thought of seeing that kiosk again, makes me ill.  A quick Google search for “dead sea women annoying” yields hundreds of complaints about these saleswomen.  Bad guaranties, aggressive tactics, but no mention of people getting sick.

Weird.

I hope your week has been better.

just briefly

I ate cookies for lunch yesterday, was poisoned by a beautiful Israeli woman, and the brakes on my car disintegrated on the way home.

Feel like I was run through an oatmeal machine.

Details to follow.

still here

Sorry for not responding to comments.  I’m just kinda busy and not so sociable.  Today was the first time I actually felt talking to others in a while, despite spending another 12 hours at work.

My stomach is still having issues but it has calmed down a bit.  Although, tonight I had to clear two driveways and now my throat and stomach are burning like crazy.  I’m not sure why its affected by physical activity.

I’m not eating very much lately.  For me anyway (most would say I eat alot).  I found that if I let myself get really hungry (delay lunch by a couple hours), my stomach ends of feeling better that day.  Its a little distracting to be hungry but I think about how hard it is running a marathon, and then it doesn’t seem so bad.

Some interesting things I found out with all this.

1.  Initially, when I delayed lunch, I got the rumbling stomach syndrome as it got later in the day.

2. Lately, it has switched to more of a generally tired feeling, like the low blood sugar feeling.

3.  I haven’t been eating any sweets or cake or junk food and I found its easier to eat less when I don’t eat that stuff.

4.  My energy is actually picking up.  I find myself almost hyper during the day now.  Even when I’m hungry.  I used to get really sluggish when I was feeling hungry (back when I ate more).

5.  One time, I did try a small taste of the raspberry ganache I was making for someone at work, just to see that the experimental recipe wasn’t a nightmare.  It may have been about half a teaspoon or so.   Oddly, for hours afterwards I was just a total slug.  I wonder if sugar does dreadful things to me.  Maybe just some sugars.  Maybe its not the sugar.  Allergy?

6.  I’ve lost just a little weight, so I don’t think its doing anything bad to me.  Trust me.  The 30 pounds I gained this year (no joke! 30 f-ing pounds!) is my personal protection against starvation.  I eat a spinach salad with lots of veggies with my lunch every day.  50 grams of fiber from real food sources spread through out the day.  Protein.  Water.  I’m pretty much covered.  And if my stomach would just calm down, I’ll be golden.

feel the burn

I am not well.

For about four days now I have had this funny burning/cold feeling down inside. Its hard to describe where it is coming from. I can feel it in my chest, or more like behind my sternum, but deeper inside. Almost like its waaaaay down my throat, near my stomach. Its like a burning itch, but feels cold. I know, that’s odd.

I Googled it ofcourse, and found other people with similar symptoms and possible diagnoses, like heart attack, GERD, and ulcers. But the symptoms don’t seem to fit any one of those in particular.

Antacids don’t help at all.
It isn’t irritated by any foods in particular.
Hurts when I’m empty, but gets worse when I’m full, but only sometimes. Right now its really killing me after eating some cereal and a banana.
The irritation (can’t really describe it as pain) doesn’t radiate outward to my back or arms.
Exercise doesn’t make it worse or better.
Here’s an odd one, if I cough deeply, it stops momentarily, maybe for 5 seconds and then starts again.
No other symptoms like nasty burping or other grosser bathroom-related things.

Its kinda like what I had once before when I was working in Canuckdia. I would wake up about 2 am with a horrible burning sensation just like this only 10 times worse. One time I drove around town in the middle of the night looking for Tums, which ofcourse didn’t help in the end. When I stopped eating a giant fat-filled meal at 9 o’clock at night, that seemed to fix things there. But I’m not doing that now. And this isn’t just at night, its all day long, from the moment I get up to the moment I fall asleep.

I guess I need to go see the MD. Naturally, deadlines are all hanging over me right now and missing 2 hours of work can mean the difference between making my deadlines and forfeiting a client’s intellectual property rights. Which leads to immediate firing. :(

my teeth hurt

I’m up at 3 am because my teeth hurt from my sinuses being full.  I caught a cold from someone at work.  Why do people come to work sick when they get paid for sick days?  I  lose money when I can’t work, they get paid.

I missed alot of mid-week runs last week.  My Dad was in the hospital and I spent evenings there.  He’s out now and ok.  But now I’m sick and skipped last night’s run, hoping it would help me get well faster.  It hasn’t.  I feel like crap.  The Tylenol I took 2 hours ago is not easing the pain.   I may take ibuprofin now too.  And vicodin.

An athlete’s heart?

I had an EKG test done at the doctor’s office during my physical. Here’s what she said.

ecg2.jpg

Accompanied by the offending reading. If you look at the set of peaks on the right, see that sharp tall one? It should come down to baseline before starting up again for the lower rounder peak.  Now take a look at this page that talks about early repolarization. Does it look familiar? This is what a normal ECG looks like (look at the spot marked “V6” to compare).

ecg1.jpg

As I drove back to work, my first thought was total panic, even though she said it might be nothing and I might always have had that. But she said still wanted to be certain. I kept thinking about the editor from Men’s Health who found out he had heart disease. The whole thought process changed how I felt about running and exercise and everything. If I couldn’t run because there was a problem, what would I do then? It really panicked me. I mean, what would you do to stay in shape? It was hard to imagine going for a run and not worrying about dropping dead while I ran.

I looked up “early repolarization” on the web when I got to work and found pages like this that talked about heart disease and stuff that I know nothing about. Yikes.

Then I found this. Apparently, “Athlete’s Heart” is a known condition, where people who do endurance training develop different heart muscle behavior which is visible in your ECG, and apparently, early repolarization is one of the visible signs.

When you search Google under “Athlete’s heart” you will pull up a million articles on it. Its not a bad thing, it just may make the ECG look funny. My hope is that this is what I have going on in my heart.

So in a few weeks I go for a stress test and they will check it all out to make sure its nothing bad. Sure makes for an exciting morning.

Dizzy

I feel dizzy today. When I walk down the hall, it feels all swimmy. And my eyes hurt like someone punched me in them.

I ran this week. On the dreadmill. Not much else to say about that.

And I’m hungry. What else is new?