Saturday, April 18, 2015

Three Runs Today

More or less.  We did some exploring, walking on a grass loop near our home, where we watched a great blue heron for a while.  Then we enjoyed a little park near our home, for a total of about 2 miles.  There is water everywhere - a smallish lake with inlets and outlets plus ponds galore, all with abundant waterfowl.

After lunch we drove to the brand-new paved Zephyr Trail, where the girls ran on the trail itself and I opted for a set of nearby grass trails that are mowed for hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter.  The girls traveled 2.5 miles, and I ran / walked for the same amount of time, so I suppose I went about 4 miles.

Back home again, I felt like doing more and ran a 3.5-mile circuit around the lake, adding a newly-discovered grass trail section, in 42:53, for a pace of 12:15.

So that's 9.5 miles running and walking today, with plenty of energy and no pains of any kind. What a delightful day. Life is so good.

I built a picnic table yesterday, so we have a great place to sit in the shade and sip a beverage of choice.  I'll have a beer, thank you, then off to bed early with muscles that know what this day was about.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

No Arthritis After All

Monday, April 13, 2015:

Five miles, no problems.  I saw the doctor today and described the left hip problems.  He did some manipulations with my legs, trying to find positions where my hip would hurt, but didn't find one.  Then he did an x-ray of the hip joints and found no evidence of arthritis on that either.

He is sure that the hip pain does not come from a failing hip joint.  YAY!  That means the problem is in soft tissue and it will heal if I treat it right.  I'll see what I can do.

Thursday, April 16:

Busy day.  I mowed for a couple of hours at the old house (the one that's on the market) and then ran about four miles back at the new house.  I felt full of pep today (though I'm yawning now). My cancer treatment is changing - I've stopped the Pomalyst. The new treatment doesn't start until Tuesday, so I get nine days off, and I'm at day four.  Maybe that gives me more energy, or maybe just the idea of it gives me more energy - I can't tell yet.

For more about the new cancer treatment, see my last two posts on Myeloma Hope here and here.

This run included some exploring and a little chatting with new neighbors, so the distance is uncertain - somewhat over  four miles.  The time is exact, 52:09.  I ran more of the time than I usually do, so I'm sure I went faster than usual when I wasn't chatting.  No real pains, but a slight warning from the right hamstrings.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Great Eight Miles

So who knew?  After all my hand-wringing about hip troubles, the pain barely showed up today in an 8-mile run.  Okay, so maybe a little time off helped the hip after all.  The test isn't over though - I'll be really satisfied if sleep is painless tonight.

Splits: 48:03, 52:07, total 1:40:11, distance about 8:02, pace 12:30.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Arthritis

For a couple of months, since the last marathon and before, I have been bitching about the left hip flexors, but now I think the pain may actually be caused by osteoarthritis in the hip joint itself rather than any ligaments or muscles.  Since at least 2006 I have taken glucosamine and chondroitin supplement almost daily because of sporadic hip pain.

No one thinks that the supplement can prevent osteoarthritis, but many people believe that it can delay the onset, or at least relieve the symptoms somewhat.  In the past it has helped me - when I have forgotten to take the supplement the pain has reappeared, and when I have started taking it again it has gone away.  This time I didn't stop taking it, however, so that treatment may not be enough any more.

This is self-diagnosis, of course, but there is a basis for thinking that it might be osteoarthritis:  My mother had both a hip and a knee replaced, as has my sister, so it's in my family.  Further, the symptoms that I have been complaining about are typical of one of the ways that osteoarthritis presents itself.  For example, the pain may die down during a run, only to reappear that night if I try to sleep on the wrong side.

So what to do?

  • Pretty soon I'll take this to a doctor and find out what's really going on.  There are lots of things that can make a hip hurt. 
  • I hadn't run for a week, hoping to let the hip heal if it isn't arthritis, and then I ran, just three miles, to see what would happen.  There was a slight pain at the beginning, but that settled down and almost disappeared.  Afterward there is a slight ache in that hip, but no pain in bed that night.  A few days later the results from another run weren't that good.
  • I have taken glucosamine & chondroitin for years, and it seems to make a difference.  In the last two months, however, it hasn't controlled the pain, so I changed brands to one that is easy to swallow (capsules rather than hard caplets) and also contains MSM. 
  • Perhaps the doctor will recommend some physical therapy.
Meantime I have still been some running and even a little biking.  Since my 8-mile run on March 24 I have run a total of 20 miles and biked 25.  I do like to ride the bike, almost as well as I like to run, but it's harder to do in the winter and it does very little to train me for a marathon.

We do have a couple of marathons scheduled for next month, but now I'm somewhat doubtful that we will go, especially not the first one.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Dr Martha Q Lacy for Woman of the Year

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) combats all blood cancers, including myeloma, supporting research as well as the patients themselves.  Every year the LLS holds a Woman (and Man) Of The Year competition, to raise funds and to honor the nominees.  Dr Lacy is a nominee this year.

Martha Q Lacy, M.D.

Dr Lacy has been my doctor for the last seven of my 12 years with myeloma.  She introduced me to a trial of Pomalyst, the drug that has kept me up and literally running for all of those seven years.  More importantly, she is the Chair of the Division of Hematology at Mayo Clinic, a Professor of Medicine, a frequent speaker at conferences of the American Society of Hematology, and doctor for hundreds of other myeloma patients.  She's the real deal.

Recommended reading:  Here is a copy of a letter that we received from her a few days ago: lacyletter.html.

If you would like to honor Dr Lacy in the LLS competition, and help all of us blood cancer patients to boot, please go to her secure fundraising web page.

Thank you!

Don

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Great Eight Miles

Tuesday, March 24, 2015:

I ran for 25 minutes up to the Quick Trip, then 25 more back to home, and repeated that on a slightly different route.

Passing our home every 4 miles has the advantage of a bathroom when needed.  With a run/walk ratio of 1 to 2 most of the time, I expect that I went about 8 miles in the 1 hour and 40 minutes.  The only trouble was a slight complaint from my old friends the left hip flexors.  That settled down to a dull ache and there were no other issues.

I also started a cross-training regimen at Snap Fitness yesterday.  Adductors, abductors, abdominals, upper body, & more.  Their elliptical machines are more like skiing machines - no elliptical action for the feet, but I can go to Anytime Fitness if I need a real elliptical.  Meanwhile Snap Fitness is about a half mile from home and does have the resistance machines when need those.

Maybe ten miles next week?

Splits: 24:36, 24:25 (total 49:01 to here), 25:09, 25:31, total 1:39:41.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Good Five Miles

Friday I got lost trying to run a new five-mile route near our new home.  Today I ran that route with no problems - I'm starting to learn my way around the neighborhood.  Furthermore I didn't need to stop at the Kwik Trip, although I was plenty glad to get back to our bathroom after the run.

On Friday I complained about three issues, but today the right foot and the right-side back pain were silent.  The left hip flexors (or whatever it is that hurts) complained a little, but not enough to be a problem.

I did the 1 to 2 run/walk again, sometimes 2 to 3, and finished the 5.01-mile route in 59:56, for a pace of 11:58.  That'll do for today.  Maybe seven miles again Tuesday?  Or maybe eight - I did seven last week.  We'll see.