Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Who Am I

Ok, there isn't anything to watch on television and I don't even have anything saved on the dvr worth watching so I decided to ramble for a while.

So who am I. I am 36 and a father of 3, a son 7, another son 5, and my little girl is 2. I've been married for 11 years to my college sweatheart. I live in Yorktown Virginia and have lived here all of my life except when I went out of state to college. I own a contracting business and it is a lot of work.

I started running in 7th grade and have always been pretty good at it. In 8th grade I was fast enough to go up to the high school and run cross country and track. Probably one of the worst things that I ever did. I was talented enough to hang in there and finish all of the workouts but I ended up spending more time in the trainers room than anywhere else. I had stress fractures in both feet, hip flexior problems, IT band issues, and even a broken arm that required surgery and a screw in my wrist. I was tripped while running the freshman mile and broke my wrist. Even then I ran the rest of the season with cast. By the end of my sophmore track season I was done. My coach had completely burned me out. He knew how to get us to peak each season, he just didn't know how to keep us healthly so that we could peak as seniors.

I went to Clemson University and studied Construction Science. I did my share of partying and trashing my aerobic systems. After college I went to work for an industrial construction company. We worked in the areas shipyards and coal plants. Breathing that mess all day on top of the 2 packs of ciggarettes that I smoked for 10 years and I was a walking time bomb. I always kept my weight in check. At my largest I weighed 185 lbs and I am 5'11.

My wife told me one day that she wasn't going to get pregnant if I was still smoking. And she really meant it. We went on a week long cruise that summer and during that week I went "cold turkey." A year later my lungs had cleared and I started running again. It was really tough. I would run 800yds and then walk 200 yards. Soon the miles increased and one cold February day I ran 24 miles in our local park. I was hooked again. I loved how I felt running long. I loved laying in bed a night and my legs felt spent. It's great.

That was three years ago. I ran my first Marathon in March 2007 and then ran 3 more last fall. This year I am going to really work on my training and see how my speed improves.

Got a Call from the Doc

So I have felt like I have been running on fumes for the last month. I mean tired. So tired I can't hardly even get out of bed in the mornings. So tired that I don't think I have the energy to keep my eyes open. Not sleepy muscles nut like I am completely running on empty.

Then I got the flu. I have 3 kids and they just bred disease and sickness. The little suckerbaits are like petri dishes that go to school and coleect every nasty disease culture that they can find nd bring them home. The flu this year was some evil stuff. I ran pretty good on Wednesday night but by Thursday morning I had a fever and a bad case of the chills. I went to work for a few hours and then came home to get in bed. I put on thick socks, sweat pants and a hooded sweat shirt and got under the covers. And shivered for hours.

Anyway, I stayed home Friday and didn't have anything to do so I started looking at my running journals. I track everything I eat, the weather, my runs, how I feel and other stupid stuff. I was trying to figure out why my performance was off and why I felt so bad. I noticed that I was eating a whole lot more during the summer. During the summer I drank a 32 oz Gatorade after every run. During the winter I drink water. I was eating smoothies with protein at night, now I was drinking a cup of hot tea before bed. I was eating a bagel, 2 scrambled eggs, cheese and 2 slices of ham or turkey for breakfast. Now I am eating one package of instant oatmeal. So I came to the grand conclusion that I need to up my calories.

Great News! Eat more! Yea it isn't that easy. I figured I am only eating about 2000 calories and I need between 3500 and 4000 calories a day. So I have started drinking Gatorade after workouts. I started eating big breakfasts again and trying to eat more during the day. After a week or two of this diet I would have thought that my energy levels would perk up. No such luck. In fact I feel even worse. My wife told me that I needed to get a physical and get a full blood work up. I actually listened to her and made an appointement.

So I went to the doc's office and he checked me out. My blood pressure was great. They weighed me with my clothes on and I got a lttle perturbed. I mean I'm a distance runner. Weight is a big deal for us. They just thought I was crazy. I looked at the nurse and told her that I run marathons, of course I'm crazy.

Then the masochist nurse stuck me with a bunch of needles and drew a bunch of blood and I was done. The doc was supposed to call me the next morning. He called and said that everything looked real good except for my hemoglobin count was 13. Ok Doc, what does that mean to me. Well he said that hemoglobin is how the blood carries oxygen to the muscles. If my hemoglobin is low then I can't get as much oxygen to my muscles. My performance will suffer and I would feel tired. I might look pale. Hey Doc that's me! I feel like that. He said that he was going to run a few more tests and call me later. He said not to worry because it is a fairly common occurance in distance runners.

Hopefully this at least explains some things. Now I just gotta fix it.