Sunday, June 22, 2008

Treadmill workout(s)

People ask me where the heck I come up with time to train. For starters, we should all be exercising more. What are we supposed to be doing in the way of daily exercise? An hour? Who gets that and is gainfully employed with two kids, I want to know.

I went to my son's swim meet on Saturday. On a lark, I brought along my running kit. I'm glad I did, because I went inside the Y and ran my workout (10 miles, easy) on the treadmill there. For those of you unfamiliar with "swim meet timing," let me just say you get there very early, the kids hop in the pool real quick to "warm up" and then sit around for an hour or so for things to get going. You actually just watch your child for perhaps 15 minutes over the five hours you are there.

It's just dead time - unless your wife hangs out waiting and calls you when it's his turn. So, I just put my cell phone on the treadmill and waited for her to call. I'd jog out (thanks honey!), watch the race, and then keep going. It was like free time.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

2 mile time trial - 14:04

I did my TT over lunch -- 2 miles in 14:04. It might have been short.

Lost 2 lbs water - did I mention I've been weighing myself to determine my rate of sweat loss?
96 degrees
49% humidity

I'm pretty encouraged - I didn't run negative splits, but the second half effort was much harder. I did go through 1 mile in 6:52 and 1.5 miles in 10:27. The 10:27 is significant, because even if the path is short, I went through the same 6 loops in 10:48 before I started "Beat the Heat." -- so on the same course I've improved perhaps 15 secs/mile (and this run was definitely hotter).

Oh - now this is interesting. I just pulled out my post-Celiac-diagnosis PR/goal list. And right under the 2 miles is a 14:20 I ran in May of 2006. I think that was a treadmill run, so I'm not sure it's a fair compare. Still, I'm running near my best times - whoo hoo!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Gene-Testing measure becomes law

OK, so this is a post on something that happened a while back, but remember, Oprah preempted it. There's been a fairly steady march of legislation that prohibits discrimination on a variety of fronts (racism, etc). One of those fronts, and perhaps the newest one, happens to be genetic testing. The latest version of the law prohibits employers and insurance companies from discrimination when a genetic test reveals susceptibility to a costly disease. It passed overwhelmingly.

This whole area leads to some interesting personal behaviors. Some people I've talked to pay cash and use fake names when they do genetic testing, and others don't do it at all (although honestly that's mostly because of the expense). Also, there's the question that genetic testing for Celiacs is more about ruling the condition out right now than confirming the diagnosis. While the law was likely targeted at conditions that are super-costly, it applies to everyone.

I'm unclear on whether this law will help or hurt the cause of awareness, but on balance, I think it will help. While most people don't like discussing medical conditions, this legislation likely makes it less personally costly to do so. One thing that would help awareness would be a lawsuit brought by a Celiac under this statute, but I honestly don't wish that on either the employer or the employed -- there's better ways to raise awareness. Only time will tell. Stay tuned.

101 degrees...

I've been doing steady workouts with my Kenyan Way running group. Last night - I was thinking that I'd run a little hard on Saturday and would run with the evening group instead of the morning group. Now I know why 1) more people show up for the morning workout and 2) why the program is called "Beat the Heat". As part of my pre and post weighing, I look at the ambient temperature. Imagine my surprise when it registered 101 degrees Fahrenheit! Oh my! Well - I was sore and stiff, but I warmed up pretty quickly as you can imagine. We ran 25 minutes of hills, did the always difficult core workout and then called it a day. It had cooled down to 96 degrees. I lost 2.8 pounds of water over the space of a sixty minute workout - and I'd had 16 oz during!

Happily drinking Gatorade now and looking forward to an off day tomorrow...

Monday, June 9, 2008

GIG conference ROCKS!

The GIG conference was held this past weekend in Dallas. I went up Friday night after work for the Saturday session and drove home Saturday, but the long drive, expense, time away from my family, $4 gas and short sleep was all worth it.

The day started at 5:15, when my wake up call came for my 10 mile long distance run. Unlike other conferences, my running buddy was a fellow race director and we talked as only two GF long-distance runners can. Most of it was about the distance, training plans, etc. But a lot of it was about how we were going to meet our respective "next challenges" and in some part, how Celiac plays a role in that. So the miles "flew by" (Literally - she's fast, so I'd agreed to run harder than normal, and my legs are still somewhat sore). But it was an awesome run - and slightly less humid than Houston.

And then there was check-in and breakfast. Food vendors were all around with various dishes on offer, and there was the regular buffet line. I went for a corn tortilla, bacon, and eggs, but I stopped cold after the scrambled eggs. I went into what I call "cross contamination mode" as an entire tower of various breads sat next to the eggs. I told myself, "It's all gluten-free." It took saying it about three times, but I finally started to believe it. And that's when the security settled in - that calm feeling you have when you are "safe." It drives into your core and you say, "this day, I'm not worrying about food, period." A few weeks back, I talked about the "desperate hunger" of a diagnosis and the uncertainty around food. This conference was the antidote - where the food world revolved around me (like it used to, pre-diagnosis).

There was a "buzz" here, too. You wouldn't hear talk of poor business prospects here. Vendors all had smiles and talked about going from success to success in a market growing at 30% a year. Lots of individuals were taking on lots of initiatives -- new races, new newsletters, new research, new findings. There was more opportunity than people, and you could feel that in the air.

The MBA in me also noticed that people were wearing fewer hats as things have become big enough to specialize and divide responsibilities into what people are 'good at." People were in their element, researchers, nutritionists, vendors and participants didn't have to be all things to all people. There's a part of me that wonders if that will be a conference effect, or if people will carry that home, thinking, "THAT part of the community need is something I don't have to do anymore..."

I went to a few sessions. None were boring, so I may blog about them in the future. Time for bed now.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Oprah goes gluten free?

I was telling my sister how I was going to do a blog on some important legislation that passed recently, when she told me that Oprah is going gluten free. Say what? Well, after some research it turns out that she's just doing it as part of her 21 day cleanse, but there's a big part of me that really doesn't care if she's in it for the short term. Oprah is a monster-juggernaut commercial phenomenon - just look at what she did for the books in her book club. She's done some recent stories on links to autism and Celiac as well.

And for roughly 1% of the Americans that do the cleanse, there will be one Celiac that will probably note a remarkable difference and perhaps seek help. Go Oprah!