THE ODDS (Debbie Does ALS)



Got a call from Dr Bayat's office today. My strategy worked and my lithium blood level is .63! That is some of the best news I've had in ages. I don't need to adjust the dosage, the level is what is considered to be "therapeutic" and so we are good to go, at least for the time being.

Never underestimate the power of a good beer in your diet.


Interesting info I received today via an ALS email I get daily:

I've completed the survey. Doing anything and everything I can!



Had another one of those sleepy rides home tonight. I don't know why it is I am FINE until about 2/3 of the way home and then fatigue settles over me like a blanket. It helps to have coffee and a full bottle of water but I wonder if it's the caffeine or the fact that, after all that liquid, I have to pee so much I can't possibly fall asleep! Regardless, I hate these drives because they are so stressful.

Anyway, I got home and plopped down into the ugly green chair (which I bought years ago because it was so ugly). I was going to rest my eyes for a few minutes, maybe even an hour, then make C Claire her dinner. This was about 5:30. My poor child did not get fed until after 9 because I didn't wake up until 8:40. Here it is almost 10 and I still feel groggy. After I hit "publish post" I'm off to bed.

Sweet dreams and restful sleep, my dears.

A little thought

There are times I'm busy and engaged and totally occupied with what I'm doing, and the limitations I experience with my hand and arm have become so much a part of me that I forget.

Interesting how one can adapt. Hope I don't have to adapt much more.



After yesterday's 2.5 hour run I was dubious about running today. But DAMN! I ran 1.5 hours for an aggregate of about 24 miles for the weekend. I am marathon ready! I feel good and strong and pumped and eager. Come on New York City!


A Rule

I apologize in advance if this post causes anyone any discomfort.

At the last clinic I talked to Dr Bayat about hysterectomies. She listened to me and nodded but then said it was a difficult surgery and maybe I should consider a pill or patch etc. etc. But I am not a pill taker and I take too many already and I am concerned about stroke and other bad things that can happen when you fuck with hormones.

I also know that lots of women PALS have had and swear by this surgical solution to a very real concern. Dignity is paramount with us, with me, and there are certain duties that just aren't going to fall to someone else. So I'm going to talk to my Gyn about a less invasive laparoscopic procedure.

Now my dear friend Tam (married to Mark, who did the door) had heard on a show about the risks involved with surgeries performed on people with irreversible medical issues. I'm paraphrasing an already paraphrased comment, but apparently these people come away from these surgeries having lost functionality and she is concerned the same fate would befall me. I told Tam that didn't bother me, and I wasn't worried about it. She then offered to be the person to perform the unpleasant duty hinted at above and I made a face. She asked if she'd upset me and I told her very frankly that she had. She then apologized and said she wouldn't talk about it again.

I want it understood by anyone and everyone that I do not under any circumstances want you not to talk about this disease with me. I have ALS. I hate that I have it but if you don't talk about it with me it's like not talking running with me or not talking about every other thing we talk about. It's here, Louise is here, and she's sticking her stupid ugly nose into all my business.

Tell me what you think about. If you are afraid of upsetting me, don't be. It's okay if we are upset together. I try not to dwell on it but I live every day, every second, with this. Please let me be upset in front of you, and help me get to the better place. Love me and talk to me about everything.

We all know I am a fabulously strong woman with a great attitude, and that's the side I want to show to you most of the time. But once in a while there's that other side...

I had forgotten

About that thing that is the transitional meltdown. As I write this, C Claire is having her third meltdown of the day. I guess it's really only been one meltdown, but it has lasted a good, long time. She's bored and impatient and restless and wants everyone--me in particular--to know of and feel her displeasure.


Meltdowns notwithstanding, I am glad she's home.


The new door is in! It's so nice--the glass ovals bring in so much light and that makes the foyer look like a different room. Mark and Tom slaved away in the nasty July heat but they are SO efficient and capable and WONDERFUL that it was done in short order. They, and their wives Tam and Cathy, are very dear, kind friends. I am incredibly lucky to have such fine people in my life.

This new door improves the curb appeal of the house. One more item checked off the list.

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for: news of the 2.5 hour run! It was so great! I did walk a couple hills--including Bubba--but the rest of the time it was steady and solid. Best of all, with only one exception, there was no cramping of the feet. The last time I ran this distance (approx 15 miles) my legs were so sore afterward I could hardly stand it. I think the restorative hydration and the tonic water helped, but also this: the last time I ran this distance I was still trying to run like I used to. I was unable or unwilling to cut myself a break and take the pace down and thumb my nose at the hills. Today was different. The last several long runs have been different. Ha ha, I finally decided it wasn't important to try to keep up with Lynne, and she's not staying back with me. As I mentioned in a previous post or two, she stays about 30 seconds or so in front of me, then comes back in time for the walk. It works wonderfully.

A very good day. Now I must go look out the glass ovals and smile.


Get a snack and a drink, this is a long one.

Where to begin...

Okay. Thursday was slumber party night. I left work and visited a friend in Arlington and her new baby girl--such a delicate little princess she is! I stayed a little over an hour and then headed to DC and Chez Adam.

What a night. Adam and Ricardo are such wonderful men. We drank champagne while they prepared the shrimp and rice and veggies. Neighbor Frank and "Miss" Gregory joined us and the next in a series of bottles of wine was opened. Up to the roof to grill, back to the house to eat, and drink, and talk, and laugh. Bless their hearts, Adam and Ricardo had quietly prepared my plate so that I didn't have to struggle with a knife or skewer. I can't tell you how it made me feel to see my shrimp sans skewer and sans tail--Adam and Ricardo are so thoughtful and kind.

Dinner conversation flowed as did the next several bottles of wine. We later wandered over to neighbor Frank's home and listened to some nice music and drank MORE wine. Before we knew it, it was 1AM. Back to Adam's place and to bed. A pillow has rarely felt so good!

Got up around 615AM with a raging headache--no surprise there! I inhaled a bottle of water but it was too little too late--I was in for the long haul with this hangover. I got showered and dressed before Adam got up (7AM). I had brought my innovative hairdryer hook along and it was a huge success! I love that the thing is so portable!

A worrisome thing happened as I was getting dressed. Both feet cramped at the same time. I would get one to stop but not the other. If they did stop cramping it wasn't for long and the pain was SO intense. Finally, after what seemed like a half hour or so, they subsided somewhat. It was awful, and I think it was related to being dehydrated and having had a bit too much (okay, way too much) wine. About an hour later, at work, my forearm spasmed worse than it has before. I drank water all day long--there is a wear mark in the carpet from all my trips to the loo--but even tonight, while picking up some groceries, my idiot feet cramped again.

I am drinking my second glass of tonic water. I'll show those dumb cramps who's boss.

A couple very happy events today:

Allison and the boys came for a Bananaman lunch. His mother said Beck was a tad crabby but he was perfectly delightful and even gave my shoulder a kiss! Ben has grown and is so animated and adorable! These lunches are such a treat. Allison, you mean the world to me.

Best of all, my C Claire came home today. Oh my gosh, two weeks gone and she looks SO different, so grown up. She had a fabulous time at camp, had a few ups and downs (but managed them well), made some new friends and caught up with some old friends. One of the new friends is a young man named Jordan. They even HUGGED goodbye.

Wow, it's 10PM. Meds and BED. Running LONG tomorrow morning.

Sweet dreams.


Les Updates

  1. Over the door hook worked pretty well. It's not perfect, but it's close enough. Hooray!
  2. Walked instead of ran this morning. No "bumping" so I think last night's two-fer at Target was super-duper hyper-vigilance.


Almost forgot

I know it's hypervigilant. But just for the record. I've been "bumping" when I walk--not a lot but once in a while. Bumping (my term) is not quite a stumble, it's like when you don't pick your foot up enough and it sort of catches on the floor. It happened twice at Target.


I love Target. I love that it is close to my house. I love that it is close to Paris Nails and that I can park in one spot to visit both. Which I did tonight.

I had to buy a birthday card and thought I would check to see if they had hairdryer stands (they do online).

I am looking for one because it is now impossible to hold the dryer with my right hand and, if I hold it with my left, I can't hold a brush at all. I drop drop drop drop the brush all the time. Maddening. A hairdryer stand would give me the ability to use both hands to hold the brush while the dryer just blows happily from its stationary position.

So. Visions of sleek and lovely hairstyles in my head I went to the hairdryer section at Target.

No luck with the stand. If you know me well you know I felt unfulfilled and wasn't ready to give up. What else might function as a hairdryer stand? A towel holder? Some bathroom fixture?

I wandered the aisles in the Home Improvement section with an open mind. I came upon something that looks very similar to this, but not so chunky ugly.

At only $2.99 I thought it was worth a shot--it'll get a test run tomorrow at the gym.

Oh, and the manicure is nice. She cut the nails a little shorter than I liked, but that's okay. I'd have probably broken one right away anyway.

Making lemonade

I find myself with a free night tonight--and I have been thinking how best to use my time. Part of me says "stay and work;" part of me says "go home and do NOTHING;" part of me says "treat yourself!" I'll give you three guesses which part of me won!

One of the advantages of having arm onset ALS is that my nails are growing better than they have since I was pregnant with my kids. Since I can't do much with the right and I am awkward and clumsily careful with the left, AND since I can't clip them myself anymore, the nails are long. I don't normally look this feminine--my longer-than-usual nails make me feel almost pretty, despite the witheriness of the ol' claw.

Where is this all going, you ask? It's going right to the newly opened Paris Nails near home. I will forgo the pedi since my last wasn't all that long ago, but tonight it's manicure night. I'm thinking a nice conservative RED polish.

If I can get a picture made, I will post. Since it's a one-handed operation at best I don't have much hope of success, but we shall see.

Off I go. Hugs and kisses, my darlings!


A baby step

I'm getting a new front door--part of the get-the-house-ready project. Tonight I was talking to Tam (whose husband is facilitating this project) about installation since the door is now in! I asked if it had a doorknob and was told, as expected, that it did not. Good, I told her, because I wanted to get one that was handicap-friendly, since it's hard to turn my existing knob. Handicap-friendly. Doesn't that sound strange?

An alternative to a new doorknob is this:

Totally bizarre. I think my right thumb, however, approves. Ever since I found this picture it's been spasming like mad!

I shall go to Home Depot, Lowe's, and the other specialty store this weekend and see what's available. Another step taken...


More on Kevin

The service was very nice. I got there about 10 minutes late (yep, got lost. Are you surprised?) but only missed the first readings. The minister spoke, followed by Kevin's twin brother. Kevin's brother spoke so eloquently and lovingly--it was evident they are a loving and supportive family.

During the service much was said about the insidiousness of ALS, how dreadful and horrible a disease it is. I'm pretty sure I was the only ALS patient in the room and I was grateful my progression is slow. I know insidious and dreadful and horrible are in my future, but not for a very very long time.

Afterward I sought out Kevin's wife and daughter, both incredibly lovely and poised women, amazing given the circumstances. I also met a sister (?)--Jane--who said Kevin had enjoyed our emails. I promised to share the correspondence since it seems Kevin didn't keep any.

Becky and I had had lunch together prior to my going, and we had a fabulous dinner after. It helped to ease the tension.

Now, bedtime pour moi. Sweet dreams to all my dears.

Fast v. Slow

Today I go to Kevin's memorial service. I was rereading some of the emails we'd exchanged and was newly struck by one comment he made, that he didn't let what he couldn't do stop him from doing the things he could. He was an amazing man and I am honored to have known him.

Here's to you, Kevin.
Since I didn't have to go in to work today, I met Lynne for a run. Oppressively hot and humid--thank goodness we were at the battlefield where it was a little shady. As we ran (Lynne 30 seconds + ahead of me, now our usual configuration!) I thought about Kevin, and Rusty, and the other PALS I hear about on PLM. I've said to some that, when I started running I joined a community where marathoning was not unusual. Now I belong to a community where death is not unusual. I told Lynne this morning that, while marathoners are always trying to finish faster and faster, PALS are trying to go as slowwwwwwwwwwwww as possible.

No wonder I am so conflicted, ha!

Putting Kevin's words into action, even though I CAN'T run like I used to, I CAN and WILL run NY.


Waiting for cooler weather

I hate the heat. I've said it before, and will say it over and over again. I. Hate. The. Heat. Oh, and I hate the course we ran today...Lynne's half marathon course that is total hell!

All that notwithstanding, however, it was a decent run. I walked the hills and didn't care.


The Boys

Dinner tonight with Adam and Ricardo, the balm to my sadness today. As soon as I arrived my mood lifted and by the third VERY VERY good glass of wine I was practically my old self. By the time we went to dinner at Marvin (which I highly recommend) I was my old self and was transforming into something even better.

Adam is a very kind young man. I did not butter a single piece of bread, I did not extract a single mussel, I did not have to do anything that would have been awkward. His actions spoke volumes and I have a deeper affection for him--if that's possible.

We are planning a slumber party for next week--dinner out and a run the following morning, without the 2+ hours of commute in between. I hope Adam doesn't care that he'll be running slower than usual...bless his heart.

So things are better, the sadness has passed, and I am back on track. Whew.

This will pass, but...

I am unaccountably sad today. Not depressed, but just sad, almost to the point of tears.

Walking at lunchtime today I had some thoughts about sacrifice and bargaining and what I was thinking about made it hard for me to breathe.

I don't know what's come over me. I wish I could just go away by myself and be alone for a while.


The plastic bag

I carry my meds around in a plastic ziploc bag because they spill. They spill because I can't open the bottles easily so, once opened, I only close them a little. Many times I've had to collect all the little lithium or rilutek tablets and put them back in their little bottles.

I wish I didn't have ALS.

Very Very Quiet

So. Today is one of those days where I feel good, feel upbeat, but in a very quiet sort of way. A couple people have asked if everything is okay--which it is--I'm just not as noisy! It's the right sort of mood for a quiet night at home.

My right hand is a little less swollen today but I've noticed a hard swollen spot at the base of my thumb on the inside--it's really noticeable and sort of grosses me out. My whole thumb is really pretty awful these days, but this new thing is just YUCK. I'll give it a few day and will call the dr if it doesn't go away. Not that there's anything to be done, but just to check in.

Coming back from the lab today (yes, blood test day), I saw a man on a recumbent bike. The handles were positioned such that he could rest his hands on them while his arms rested by his sides. I stopped him and asked if there was any stress on the arms and hands and he said no!

He advised these bikes are fairly pricey which may put a period to any plans I was plotting (oh yes, she can alliterate), but it would be so nice to be able to bike again. We'll see.

Oh, and I've solved the mystery. I suspect the foreign visitors will begin to abate soon since the keywords which I think brought them here aren't being mentioned in these newer posts. Not that they aren't welcome--they are--but the sudden influx was such a surprise!


Very Very

I am very very slow, which is nice to hear.

Slow progression doesn't mean NO progression, and there is evidence of more weakness in my right upper arm, and there is now some weakness in a couple of the fingers on my left hand, but otherwise things are about the same. Hoffman's is still missing, and Babinski still hasn't shown up. I didn't see the shrink, the rest of the team zipped in and out, and Clinic was done by 10:30.

Blood level was .36 . Another blood test tomorrow. Trying to manipulate my diet to get the level up over .4, because (as I've said before) I don't want to increase the dosage again.

Lots of alien visitors to this site the last couple days. Where are you all coming from? And why? I'm curious to know, especially since there has been such a lot of activity just since yesterday.

Sigh. I'm beat. Goodnight everyone.


Gotta find Polly quick.

Not the most comfortable ride home, that's for sure. Imagine sitting in your car with the top of your dress falling off your shoulders. I think I'll plan better next time.

When I came in the house I dropped my keys. And my sunglasses. And it occurred to me I drop things all day long.

When I looked at the mail there were two statement thingies from Blue Cross/Blue Shield. They are a frequent and regular correspondent.

Checking the PLM forum, I found this:

Dear all,

You are receiving this message because you or your PALS are participating in or have participated in or requested information about the online worldwide ALS lithium study. We wanted to let you know that the preliminary three month study report is now available for download. Please go to and download the report from the latest "updates" link at the bottom of the page. Please note that this is a preliminary report which has not yet been edited or approved by PatientsLikeMe.

We will continue to collected data through the 6 month point after which we will write up a final report. All data collection and analysis after that point will be done by PatientsLikeMe.

Our basic results so far are, in summary:

At the three month point: Lithium does not affect ALS progression rates, at least for most PALS
Taking riluzole with lithium does not make a difference
Reaching a blood level of 0.4 does not make a difference
The ALSFRS-R score when lithium was started doesn't make a difference
Lithium may relieve cramps and fascics and spasticity for some at low doses (0.2 mmol/l blood concentration)

Although not in the 3 month report, it seems that PALS who are taking an Omega 3 supplement are progressing a bit more slowly. There was also an interesting research report that came out yesterday that calcium supplements may be helpful (Medications and laboratory parameters as prognostic factors in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Qureshi M, Shui A, Dibernardo AB, Brown Jr RH, Schoenfeld DA, Cudkowicz ME.) The research abstract didn't give the dosage, but a quick search of PLM indicated that many PALS on calcium are taking ~1200 mg/day.

Thank you so, so much to everyone who has provided data for the lithium trial. So far our research results have been disappointing, but it is so much better to get results quickly so that we can move onto the next thing rather than to have to wait 2 to 3 years for the traditional research machinery to do its work. You have shown what a dedicated groups of PALS and CALS can do!

Best wishes to everyone -- I'll be in touch,

Hello again everyone --

I should have mentioned in my last email:

If you decide to stop lithium, please remember to do so *SLOWLY*. Some PALS are having trouble with withdrawal. Decreasing your dosage by 150 mg/day per week is recommended. If you experience problems (increased fascics, speech slurring, etc.) try increasing your dosage again for a little while and then slowly decreasing again.

Also, if you stop lithium please make sure to let me know!! Just send me a message with the stop date and I'll record it on the spreadsheet. If you stop lithium I'll stop asking you for monthly ALSFRS-R scores but I will still ask you for an ALSFRS-R score at the 6 month mark so that we can have a complete accounting at 6 months for how everyone is doing, and prevent selection bias in the data set.

So many thanks again to all -

Karen is one of the researchers associated with PLM (I think). I have to go to the store tonight so I will buy some omega 3 pills and some calcium. I'm not ready yet to discount the lithium, either. Those of you who know me have heard me say if I thought it would help, I'd eat worms from China. I. Will. Try. ANYTHING.

What do you think? I'd love to hear your opinion.

Trapped in my little black dress

This morning I decided to wear my black dress. The last time I wore it C Claire helped me zip the back the last little bit. Since she's at camp, I decided to ask someone at work to help me when I got in. Lucky for me Nicole was here!

Had a great day here at thejobIlove and everything was wonderful. At some point, though, it occurred to me that there wouldn't be anyone home when I got there. And I will not be able to unzip my dress by myself. I'd forgotten.

I won't be able to unzip my stupid dress. How did it come to this?

Amy--sweet, kind, caring Amy--came to my aid. Before she left she unzipped the dress halfway down. So when I get home I won't be trapped in my little black dress.

Tomorrow is clinic. Not seeing the pulmonologist (see earlier post) or the shrink so I'm hoping to get out a little earlier than usual. I'm going solo this time.

Must end this dreary blather. Time to face traffic.


The claw

I know the previous post is all happy and upbeat--and I still feel that way. But I just caught sight of the old withered claw in not so great light. It's really ugly. Bony and veiny and bent and curled and nasty as hell.

Luckily I am not bothered by it so much anymore.

A fine way to start the week

As I did for two weeks last year and am doing again this year, I cram into my life all the things I don't have the opportunity to do as much during the remaining 50 weeks. C Claire is at camp and, while I miss her so very much, I pretend during this time she is at college and less dependent on me, which gives me the freedom to catch up with my friends and do my "alone" things I love so much.

I had dinner tonight with two of my favorite people: Jeff and Patty. Jeff is my dentist and Patty is his lovely wife and able office administrator. I found them quite by accident the year I went to work for GT--I'd lost a filling and their office was around the corner. How serendipitous was our meeting; we've become great friends. Tonight they came into Arlington to have dinner with me. Three hours passed like five was so nice. Great way to end the day.

As I mentioned earlier, the day began with a refreshing rainy run. As we were doing our after-run stretch, Kendall and I tugged on the tree branches and brought down little sprinkles of "tree pee" which were cold and refreshing. Great way to start the day.

Between the run and dinner there was work. You've heard me say before how much I love my job. I do. It just fits so well.

Off to bed. Sweet dreams to my loved ones.


Last night I had some random and scattered dreams. I dreamt I could hold a pen properly and write my name legibly (if only!); that there was a big, friendly rat in a hotel room in Rome; that I kept getting on the wrong trains and ended up missing my train; that I forgot my passport; that I helped my wheelchair bound friend Isaac up the stairs (he is not wheelchair bound, btw). There must have been more, but I don't remember anything specific.

It's raining this morning and I'm meeting Kendall in two minutes. You know I love a rainy run!



I took C Claire, newly 15, to camp today. On the way we listened to the Regina Spektor CD she had me buy for myself for Mother's Day. One of the songs, "On the Radio," has these lyrics:

While we were on our knees
Praying that disease
Would leave the ones we love
And never come again

She made mention of it. I asked if she felt it would be worthwhile to see Kate again after camp; she said yes. Then she held my hand.

I miss her a ton.

He did it again

Majestik (from PLM) posted this while I was gone.



I checked an earlier post where I'd included information on what foods affect lithium levels and was delighted to discover that beer and wine and pastries and all the delicious things in life contribute to a higher lithium level. I'd cut back on my alcohol intake because I was afraid it would have an adverse effect but now think it isn't too terrible to have a glass of beer or wine during the week. All in favor of my having an extra glass or two during the week say "aye."

Excellent, motion passed.

We'll see if I can consume enough between now and my clinic next week to make a difference because, if the level is still low, I want to see if a change to my (liquid) diet will render a dosage change unnecessary.

There's been a lot of back and forth on PLM about the benefits of lithium. Several people have decided to stop taking it because they've either noticed no change or they've noticed increased progression. I'm still on the side that hopes it may be helpful. I haven't necessarily improved but it's still early days. Admittedly, my hand is somewhat worse. Again, it's early days. And the Italian study indicated improvement (or mimimized deterioration) occurred after nine months or so. I am a slow progresser, which may be aided by the lithium. Not having any idea where I'd be without it, though, this is all speculation.

A sobering moment this afternoon: When I left the office and was leaving the garage, I realized I'd forgotten to prepare a cup of coffee for the ride home. My eyes had been feeling tired since about 2 and I was determined to bring the coffee so as to avoid yet another sleepy ride home (which has happened a couple times this week). There is never a drive-through fast food place around when you need one, so I opted to go to the 7-11 on Lee Highway. I poured the cup and headed to the register and dug out a few dollars; the coffee came to a buck and change. I had three dollar bills in my hand so I tried, clumsily, to extract two to give to the cashier and the remaining bill just fell from my right hand. I picked it up and threw it into my bag, feeling awkward. Then the cashier gave me my change, but I forgot to use my left hand and held out my right. The change fell right through my idiot fingers which don't cup anymore. Once again I bent over to pick up the change. The cashier then gave me the rest of the change, but this time I was smart and switched hands.

When I got in the car and was all settled in I heaved a big sigh that the ordeal of getting the stupid coffee was finally over. It did made me think, however, about how frustrating the situation had been, and how much more frustrating it would have been if I was worse off. Which made me start thinking about being worse off. Which I am not, so I kicked myself in the butt and took a sip of the hot coffee.

My ride home was happily non-drowsy.



Oh my, what a red-letter day.

I cut open an avocado all by myself! Okay, I did it left-handed but I still did it! I tried with my right but the dumb knife (which I held lightly) would not penetrate the skin. And I opened the package of brats by myself, too (so what if I had to use my teeth to pull the resealable bag open). I was able to take the dishes out of the microwave with only a little tremble, no spills. The little container of pre-cut pineapple gave me some trouble, but I conquered it. I feel very satisfied.

It's amazing that I can be so gleeful about these simple things, but I am. And it's interesting how often I just naturally default to my left hand now. Not for everything, but the list is growing.

I had a great run this morning (you knew THIS was coming, right?). I ran the first part of it solo but met Kendall and Meghan at the halfway point so ran back with them. I was feeling so strong--I don't understand where all this energy is coming from but I'll take it. It's not making me faster but that's okay. I never was very fast anyway so speed isn't that important.

Including a couple pictures, courtesy of my first born. One is me, pre-flight.

The other needs no explanation.



It was time for a new look, yes? I decided, since there were so many posts about running it would be uber-appropriate to use a related photo. The feet you see are racers waiting at the start line at the 10K my co-workers put on. What's fun is I can identify all the feet. So silly!

I know it's odd, but that's in keeping with the blog name so it totally fits.

Hope everyone doing well. I'm in fabulous spirits!


So the aggregate mileage for the weekend was 25 miles, this after yesterday's eight. I was surprised how strong I felt yesterday after the previous day's 12. No doubt about it, I was tired, but not so tired I couldn't run. Very encouraging, especially with the heat and humidity. The rain was a huge factor, of course. I don't know if I could have managed so well in glaring sun.

As Lynne and I ran in the battlefield she calculated it took her eight minutes to get 30 seconds ahead of me. We'd walk together, start running, then when there were 30 or so seconds to go until the walk she'd turn around and get back to me just as the watch went off. I told her I would record that fact here so we could measure it when I start catching up to her again.

Anyway, given this solid base, I'm confident that NY will be doable. I don't intend to attack it like I have before, this time I'm going to run gently and conservatively, walk whenever I want, even switch up the walk breaks to something much more Louise-friendly.

I feel so good. What a gift.



Oh my heavens. I am still riding the high of the endorphins from this AM's run. When I left the house at 615 it was humid and gray. Apprehension set in but I was determined to keep a conservative pace and stick it out for the whole two hours.

Arriving at Pratt Park near the one hour mark we heard a rumble of thunder. No lightning, so we continued on. When Lynne came back for me during a walk break we commented on the thunder and she said she'd had a moment of concern but that it seemed to have been fleeting. Thunder is very arrogant and doesn't like to be called fleeting so, in response to Lynne's remark the thunder decided to give us a long rumble, after which came a downpour. I was elated; I reached my arms up and greeted each drop with pleasure. It rained for about 30 minutes and left me with a light heart, a light step, and a joy I haven't felt in a long time.

I pushed through the two hours (approx 12 miles) and could have kept going. I felt the way I described in a recent post: I could have run forever. Thank you, rain, for the gift you gave me this morning.


Sub 10 and Kettle Corn

I managed to pull out a sub 10 pace in today's race. Imagine my surprise when, at each mile mark, the marshal announced the time and it was under 10 at mile 1; just over 20 at 2; under 30 at 3, etc. I finished with a 49 and change. The nicest part was feeling good the whole time. No mistake, it was hot, but I ran an easy pace and pushed it when I felt strong and took it down when I felt tired. I even walked through two water stops, so I'm really delighted!

Lynne did a 42 and change--she's SO strong.

We rewarded ourselves after with our favorite Magic Hat #9, then walked around the Heritage Festival in search of Kettle Corn. Two bags of this wonderful treat came home with me.

Happy Fourth of July to everyone!


Remembering when

I decided to run tomorrow's five-miler here at home. It's an awful race: late start (7:45), in the heat, not my favorite distance. Whatever. It's a run and I'm determined to run while the old legs will still carry me. That said, my head was still all negative and oh-I-hate-this-start-time and yadda yadda.

While C Claire and I were driving home from dinner with Lynne tonight I got to thinking about a time, not so long ago, when if the day was fine (translated: cold) I felt like I could run forever. Running came to me late (42) but changed my whole world. So I decided to stop being so gloomy about the five-miler and, the heat and late start notwithstanding, will run this race with a fabulous smile and carry in my head, with each footfall, the recollection of how much I love this sport.

I am a runner. I'm not a great runner, but I am a runner.


Huffin' and puffin'

The FVC reading was 90%. It was 80% but I got another go and improved. Dr Hasselquist says it's still in the good range but it's down from 100%. Point to remember: I caught a cold and some of it lodged in my chest. So I won't worry.

I ran Monday night and again this morning. Not quite sure how I feel about things just now. Granted, I had a 10 day break AND I've had this cold but the running just doesn't feel right. Maybe the heat? Eh, it'll be fine. Just in a funk.

My idiot legs cramped like crazy the last two nights. Back to regular doses of tonic water, which also seems to help any hoarseness (which returned as soon as I got home). Dr H says the hoarseness is NOT Louise-related.

Update complete. Love to all.

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