Sunday, August 26, 2012

year of the horsefly, again

Seems like I say it every year: this is the worst year for horseflies here in the Jefferson Memorial Forest. I went running this morning & despite being soaked in deet, I was bit 4 times. And they weren't the usual size horseflies of years past -- these were real small ones, 1/2" or less in size (the ones that you can hardly feel land on you & find out too late). The big ones of the previous 2 years were so thick around here that at one time they would literally cover my car & house -- I would go out & swat them till I got tired of it & saw that there was no end in sight. But not this year. Another thing different this year is that the horsefly season started late due to a cool early summer -- they really didn't come out till July this year (but made up for lost time). And, strangely, about a month ago, there was a mass die off for some reason. I must have had 200 dead horseflies on my deck in a 40 square foot area. I did put up a new clear glass fence/railing around the deck this year, but usually horseflies bounce off glass & keep going, so it makes me wonder.

This is a pic I took today of one of the big flies that will bug you here . . . it looks like a cross between a horsefly & a dragonfly, or perhaps it's just a 2 wing dragonfly. They're over an inch long & as noisy as the big horseflies. I've never been bit by one or know whether it even bites -- I just don't let it stay lit on me long enough to find out:

About my run: I had not run for a few days because of my gut, but feeling better this morning, I went out & tried to do a 4 hour run. It was not an enjoyable time as I have had recently. The 60's the last couple of weeks must have spoiled me. I started my run before sunrise, temp about 70 & dewpoint in the low to mid 60's (this would have been super last month). Anyway, I felt very hot & my shorts were soaked after 1 mile. I got thirsty as I had misjudged my fluid needs & had not carried & stashed enough drinks. The horseflies were driving me crazy. What I should have covered in 4 hrs, took about 5, all consisting of very slow running & walking. My fluids: 20 oz right at the start, 80 oz during the run/walk and 60+ oz right after I finished. Even after drinking the half gallon immediately after the run, I was still at a deficit: I weighed 5 1/2 pounds less than when I started!

I was so optimistic in my last post saying I wanted to run 2 ultras next month . . . . I'm having 2nd thoughts now. Even though I would have to stay at a motel the night before these 2 races, it would still have to be a race morning decision whether I can start or not.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

turning over a new leaf (to drink)

It's been a month since my last post, an improvement over the 6 month gap last time . . . .

my new Dr:

I had the first visit with my new Dr. specializing in integrative medicine at the end of last month. He seemed to have the belief that everything can be cured with the right herb, vitamin or other supplement! He sold all the supplements that he recommended right at the office -- the fact that he had direct financial interest made me suspicious of his true intent. However, as desperate as I am, I'm taking his supplements & attempting to wean myself off the foods he said I should avoid: wheat/gluten products, rice, sugar, dairy products & diet drinks. Keeping away from gluten is very difficult (most processed food has it in it) & I haven't found a replacement for ranch dressing & cheese on my salads yet.

I also had several vials of blood taken for food allergen testing even though I don't even know if the pain I'm having is food related. The results a few weeks later showed my blood reacted to dairy products as he suspected. What was unexpected was the very high reaction to certain NUTS. I always thought nuts were a healthy snack (almonds are my favorite). It turns out almonds were the most reactive food on the entire 200 item list. In fact, they were off the charts (a high reading is 414, mine was 2234). However, I've never experienced pain or a reaction after eating almonds so I'm having doubts with all the results. Next with high readings came cashews & pistachios, then the cheeses came in the moderate to high range.

a new leaf - tea:

Another thing which my new Dr. felt strongly about was for me to drink 1/2 gallon of green tea a day, with little or none (including any fluids) right at mealtime. However, as with everyone who I have ever met, he could not believe I did NOT like tea -- I drank a cup 40+ years ago & didn't like the taste & didn't drink any whatsoever since (except a few sips when a waiter brings the wrong drink). I told him I would be willing to try. Having never bought tea, I picked up the 1st half gallon I saw at the store & drank a quart when I got home. Although it said it was pomegranate flavored, it still tasted like tea & was really too sweet for me. I didn't realize tea had caffeine in it (duh!) till I couldn't sleep that night. Not till I went back to the store did I realize there was almost an entire aisle devoted to tea! I'm still experimenting & currently mixing it with apple juice. After 3 weeks, I do believe I'm acquiring a taste for tea now.

running, yes, this is a running blog:

The recent weather -- wow! We had the hottest July on record in Louisville, but the temps the last couple weeks have been unreal. I was finally able to get in a long run (6 hrs) when the temp dropped to 58 last week - albeit at a very slow pace, it felt great to be running long. Usually I'm limited to a couple, sometimes 3 hrs before it just gets too hot/humid for an effective workout. I really would like to do long runs more often, but the recovery time is longer & I want to squeeze in as many runs as I can when there's a cool stretch. So when the temps are reasonable I've been opting for intermediate runs (3-4 hrs) spaced closer. As of right now, I'm able to endure the pain when running, but still having big problems handling the pain at night.

I did not run in the Eagle Creek Marathon that I mentioned last time that I was wanting to run. I had my drop bag packed, but looked again at the forecast & realized I could not finish the race, even if I was in the best of health & condition. I've never finished a race when the temp reaches the mid 80's nor when the dew point has reached 70. At Eagle Creek, the actual afternoon temps reached 90 and the dew point was over 70 -- good decision, plus my gut was not feeling the best either that morning.

I'm planning on running a couple ultras next month, abdominal pains permitting. I won't say which ones as I think I jinxed my choice of Eagle Creek in my last post -- temps were very cool leading up to (and soon after) that race, but it was a scorcher the day of the race.