Tag Archives: pneumonia

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Warrior Mode Update

This was supposed to be the first part of a series of updates on the my training for the Pistol 50k (31 miles) which I am running on January 2nd 2016 in memory of my late Taekwondo instructor/mentor James Rich. However, some how time marched on (and on and on) and so it is now a single training recap.

I had wanted to start training a little earlier than I did, but sometimes life gets away from you. Or rather, it confuses you as it runs away FROM you. (The older you get the faster it seems to move.) Then when you stop to look around, you say “[expletive of choice]! Where did the time go?” That was me. I had wanted to “officially” start training on August 1st in anticipation that I would be representing my District in the blockbuster hit: Flying Monkey Marathon X, May the Hills Be Ever in Your Favor. Each year, the race has a different “theme” and the one for 2015 race was based on The Hunger Games series.

2015 Flying Monkey Marathon

The premise is that I would treat the Flying Monkey Marathon on 11/22/2015 as a training run. Ideally, I would run ANOTHER marathon maybe as another training run in early December. The Rocket City Marathon on Dec 12th was a great candidate because it was relatively close (Huntsville, AL) and it is a flat course. So after the undulating hills of the Flying Monkey (Nashville, TN) it would be a nice scenario to attempt a Sub-4hr marathon. However, there was a failure to launch for Rocket City and the elusive Sub-4hr attempt would have to wait.

Congratulations, it’s a Monkey!

The Flying Monkey marathon is very popular for those runners who like hills that hurt you. For the past couple of years they have used a weighted lottery to choose who be running. Apparently there are enough crazy people who want to run that they have to limit the number. While the actual weighing of criteria is an ancient Chinese secret, it is possible that someone who has run the Monkey multiple times (I had run Flying Monkey 5 times previous) could not get a spot. Fortunately for me, the lottery went in my favor and I was going to The Monkey Games.

Pneumonia Road Bump

In mid August, I started to feel sick, but it never lasted more than a day or two and the symptoms changed. There was overwhelming fatigue one time, a super sore throat another, neither of which was accompanied with a fever. Without having a fever or chest congestion, I thought it might be allergies. In early September, almost 2 weeks since my initial symptoms, when I still felt bad with new symptoms, I decided that I would go see the doctor. Turns out, whatever “it” was decided it would turn into pneumonia.

I have had pneumonia multiple times, and there are certain warning signs that throw up Red Flags that I am on my way to getting (or already have) pneumonia. However, none of the ailments presented themselves like they were supposed to, so only because they wouldn’t go away did I seek counsel on what was going on.

As a result of my diagnosis, I went on antibiotics and took a 9 day hiatus from both running and Taekwondo. Training suspended.

Damn the 10% Rule, Full Speed Ahead

By the last few weeks of September, I was healthy again and ready to “restart” my training. At this time, I was already 6 weeks behind on my training for Flying Monkey, but I still had enough time for The Pistol. I decided that I need to take some big leaps in training to try to “catch up” or rather “not be too far behind” in my training.

There is a Rule of Thumb in running called “The 10% Rule”. It suggests that you should increase the length of your workouts (overall mileage, long runs, speed workouts, etc.) by 10% from week to week. The premise is that this progression helps the body transition to the rigors of the longer runs (or faster workouts) better without exposing one to injury. It is also one reason a marathon training program lasts 16+ weeks or more. Build the mileage up step by step, mile by mile.

With 8 weeks before the Flying Monkey and my longest run of my training a whopping 10 miles, I had to push the limit a little. Disclaimer: As a seasoned runner, I have a good feel for what I can and cannot do when it comes to running. This won’t work for everyone.

I started with a 13.5 mile long run at 8 weeks out. This was followed with a 13.3 mile run the following week. Then at 6 weeks out I made the big jump with a 23.4 mile run. Normal training program has a “Recovery Week” after a very long run, so my run at 5 weeks out was supposed to be around 16 miles, but I only ran 2 because I had some problems and I didn’t want to be that far from home.  So I took 5 weeks out as basically a Rest Week.

4 weeks out was a 18.6 mile run. However, the next weekend, which was Halloween, I was just too busy for a long run and recorded 0.0 miles for my long run. This trend continued and I didn’t have anymore long runs before race day. I was able to get a handful of 4-5 mile runs in during the week. Also, I was going to Taekwondo class multiple times a week, so it’s not like I was sedentary.

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Flying Monkey Marathon (Nashville, TN)

Monkey, Monkey, Monkey!

On November 22nd, I ran Flying Monkey in just under 5 hours. As I mentioned above, this was a training run, so I wasn’t trying to run for a certain time. I haven’t written the Race Report for Flying Monkey yet, but I’ll go more into details there.

The Flying Monkey was 6 weeks out (that Magical Week) from The Pistol. I didn’t come away from Flying Monkey unscathed and my chiropractor put me back on the right path the Monday after.  The next weekend I took as a Rest Week (5 weeks out). It was Thanksgiving and we were out of town. I almost decided to run a 10k but decided it would be better to rest than to race. Tough decision to make but never underestimate the power of a rest day.

It Beginning To Look Like Race Day

With it now being December, just 1 month left before Race Day, I took another Rest Week. Also at the beginning of December, I tested (and passed) for my Second Degree Black Belt and didn’t want to be distracted from what I needed I to do to earn it.

Me and Mr. Church at awards night with my brand new 2nd degree Black Belt
Me and Mr. Church at awards night with my brand new 2nd degree Black Belt

The next weekend, 3 weeks out – Dec 12 (when I had wanted to run another marathon), I ran 24.3 miles. I decided I would run from my house to Eddie’s Health Shoppe (about 8.3 miles away) where I would meet up with the Knoxville Marathon Training Group and run with them (6 miles) and then run home (around 10 miles based on the route). It ended up being kind of fun. I ran a little faster than normal going to the training group as I didn’t want to be late. Then ran closer to my 10k pace because I ran/talked with another running for 3 miles, but then was slower for the last half of the run.

Since the pattern of a 20+ mile run followed by a rest week seemed to work fairly well this training cycle, I decided that at the 2 week out point, I take another rest week.

So it is 1 week before the Pistol 50k. The rain that we have been having has moved on and I’ll get one more long run (about 12 miles or so) in before Race Day. I’m also going to try to get in 2 mid-week runs of about 4 miles. This helps with the nerves during Race Week when the looming race is only days away and the anxiety of the unknown envelopes me.

It’s time now to get into #WarriorMode !

Training, better late than never

This post was originally laying out, in general, my training regiment that I would use for the Fall Marathon season. That changed with my diagnosis of pneumonia earlier this month. I haven’t ran since 8/13, a week before the first signs of sickness manifested. I haven’t really worked out for 9 days, which was Taekwondo the night before I went to the doctor.

Now that I think the pneumonia is almost 100% gone, I am hoping to jump back into my normally scheduled life on the weekend of Sept 12/13 which will be 10 weeks before Flying Monkey. I’ve lost a good chunk of training time, but I will have to be diligent about training.

The basic skeleton of my training will follow something like this:
Mondays – Utility Day:  Tempo Pace, Taekwondo, and/or Soccer Coaching or Rest Day
Tuesdays – Speed Work
Wednesdays – Tempo Pace /Taekwondo or Rest Day
Thursdays – Hills, Hills, Hills
Fridays – Easy Pace/Taekwondo or Rest Day
Saturdays – Long Run or Tempo Pace depending on schedule
Sundays – Long Run or Tempo Pace depending on schedule

Long Run distances will fluctuate from week to week from 12 – 20 miles. I’ll miss one whole weekend as we will be gone on vacation. I would like to have one long run where I run 20+ miles which I was thinking would be in early October, but I might have to push it back to late October.

After Flying Monkey (11/22), I’ll continue the weekly schedule, with maybe one long run of 24+ in preparation for the Pistol 50k (1/2/16). December, of course, is tricky because of all holiday activities and food, especially the food.


Monkey Wrench

My nemesis, Pneumonia, decided to pay me a visit last week and throw a monkey wrench into my life.  Thankfully, this go around is of the lesser impact type and can be treated with medicine and patience.

I knew that it had been a while since pneumonia decided to show it’s ugly face. Using the search feature, I was able to find a few references to when I had it back in December 2010. I have had it a couple of times in the past and even have warning symptoms that throw up red flags. This particular time, there wasn’t the standard order of symptoms, they all seem to be unique and unrelated. My guess, is that I was experiencing several little things, that opened the door for it. However, since these little things kept me feeling ill for over a week, when the pneumonia finally set in, I was already at the doctor’s getting medicine. So, they helped catch it early on.

One of the biggest impact of my illness is to my running. Specifically, my training for 2 upcoming races: Flying Monkey Marathon (Nov) and The Pistol 50k (Jan).

Training for Flying Monkey was supposed to have started 4 weeks ago in mid-August. Since August 1st, I was in a “base” mode, where I didn’t really worry about workouts/distance, just get some mileage under my belt. With not feeling well, since around August 20th or so, I hadn’t ran hardly anything. In fact, my log book says 0.0. At best, I’ll be able start running again during the weekend, but that’ll be bare-bones type of mileage, with only 10 weeks until race day. Thankfully, this isn’t my first time toeing the line for a marathon. I’m just going to have to be very creative. I won’t have any miracle workout that will get me a personal record or even a course record on Race Day. I’ll get from the Start Line to the Finish Line without killing myself (much).

The 2nd race, The Pistol 50k which I am running in memory of James Rich #WarriorMode, is still okay in terms of time to train. The Flying Monkey is one training component for The Pistol, and I am hoping for a good run at Flying Monkey to help bridge the 6-7 week gap between the 2 races.

As of writing of this post, I’m finished with the antibiotic protocol but still have an inhaler to keep the lungs open and drive everything out. I’ve also been resting when I can, but still have a few days before I start getting back into moderate exercise.

Xray Vision

I went to the doctor today and he said that I am free and clear and can go back to working out 100%. However, I have a stuffy nose which may be allergy related. I am now on Clarinex for a couple of days to see if the clog goes away. I sure hope so!

Yesterday, Eric was using his foot to push things where he would normally use his fingers. He has such a good control of his body and how to use them to his advantage. Now if we can get him to talk in complete sentences or eat his food, we will be all right. I have been working on some photo albums of Eric and will have some to post by the weekend.

I am running in the Spring Sprint on Saturday, it is the first in the Ruby Tuesday's Triple Crown of running. The Triple Crown is three races, Spring Sprint (April), Scholar's run (August) and Reindeer Run (December). If you run in at least the Spring Sprint or Scholar's Run plus the Reindeer Run, then you are entered into the Triple Crown Drawing where the door prizes are all valued over $100. And, if you run all three then you receive a commemorative gift, which in past years have been very nice. I'll probably finish somewhere around 25:00 or so, I can't imagine that I will be that fast since I haven't run any and maybe not get a chance to run until Saturday.

I have been working on jen's Mary Kay website www.jenhiggins.com as I try to be the Web guru for her. I have a bunch of pictures that I need to make albums for her and will try to do that this week.

Tuesday Ramblings

I saw the doctor today on a non pneumonia cause, but we talked more about the pneumonia and its effect. Although I won't be able to run the marathon, I will be able to volunteer for it without any problems. So I sent in my volunteer form in tonight but I don't know the capacity in which I shall be working.

I will be able to start walking soon, as my only form of exercise. I'll be going back to the docs for a chest xray in the first part of April for my “Free and Clear” checkup. I won't be doing any hardcore running until then, but there is a 5k that weekend, so i can gage where my conditioning lies. I would really like to start swimming again, but that is a no-go.

Pete is coming to Knoxville this weekend under the guise of taking a class at UT next week. Well, he is taking the class, so I should be able to meet up with him for lunch, at least one of the days. It'll be interesting to see if he thinks that Eric has grown any since Christmas! (haha)

Today was another weird weather day. We had snow in the morning and sunshine in the afternoon. No accumulation, but no real rise in temperature. We should be having the same cool weather for the rest of the week… blah.

My Foe: Streptococcus pneumoniae; My Weapon: Levaquin750

The germs brought in some heavy guns, Streptococcus pneumoniae, which proceeded to lay waste to my lungs. Thanks to my keen statistical ability to collect data and analyze, I was able to discern, with some statistical probability that I was not only sick, but getting sicker!

After dosey-doing with the nurse on the phone, I had an appointment 8:30pm on Thursday at the Urgent Care. Well, if was really really urgent, I would have used the ER, but I could use a couple hours sleep. To make all this convenient, it happened to be on the night that we have a babysitter, whom I finally met. Jen took me to the doctor's where I started sneezing for some unknown reason. Very sudden and often violent sneezes that sent snot rockers galore into the tissue.

The doc came in, listened to my story about the past week and I knew that we were on the same page… he probably has pneumonia. Well, she knew sooner than I did. I was just scared to handle the truth that I would have pneumonia and what it might do to my illustrious runner career this spring. She said I sounded horrible, that my Xray wasn't all that bad, but that, yes, I did have “cloudiness” in my lungs. She prescribed some Levaquin 750, which I have had before, plus some high powered decongestant.

So, I am all drugged up with no where to run. I am out of total commission for a week. I'm on meds for 10 days, then I can start thinking about working out again. No marathon this March…

Oh well. And this was all on Thursday.

Germ Wars

Our battle rages on… us vs the germs. We are still sick, although Eric is out in the clear now. He only has some drainage now, mainly due to our temperature changes. I am getting there. My fever broke Monday night and I felt better on Tuesday. Today, the congestion is starting to dry up. I can't cough up as much phlegm but I can still feel it moving around in my chest. I think I am going to take hit of Xopenex from the nebulizer tonight, that should do the trick. Jen, the late bloomer, is on medication right now that she was prescribed yesterday.

Yesterday, we went to the doctor's place
to see our preborn's baby face
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

Suddenly, Jen P became sickie,
Dr. Fields prescibed some meddie.
Oh, yesterday came suddenly.

Walgreens wouldn't tell us how long to wait.
And we had errands to run for yesterday.

Yesterday, our sicknesses started to go away.
That have no place to hide away.
Oh, I believe it was yesterday.

Take one pill, twice a day.
for seven days, starting yesterday.

Yesterday, germs had such an easy game to play.
Now they just need to go away.
Oh, I believe in yesterday.
Mm mm mm mm mm mm mm.

Jen is on a six/seven day regiment of medication. She doesn't seem to get the same “bugs” that Eric and I get. I almost get what Eric has shortly after he has it. Jen may or may not get that, or get something complete different. All I can say it that I am glad I do not have the sore throat!

I think I will be well enough to run tomorrow. I chose not to swim today, again it is cold here and I didn't want to walk back to the office with damp hair. So, it will have been 7 whole days since the last time I ran. I know that it will have some effect on my performance at the marathon, however, I am glad that I did Myrtle Beach. Speaking of Myrtle Beach, I have pictures from the marathon. If you are in my website, click the running link at the top of screen and then to Myrtle Beach, if you are accessing this directly from LiveJournal, click the My Website link and follow the rest of the instruction.

We have a few pictures of Baby Incognito and I will post them when I get them scanned. We had a quick appointment yesterday, but everything looked good. The baby looked big!


We had an eventful weekend, lots of ups and downs and craziness.

For a while now, we have been contemplating getting a new vehicle. Not that we don't like our 2000 Xterra, but that it is very high for Jen to climb in and out of, plus getting Eric in and out of the vehicle is so much more difficult for her with it so high. So a minivan was in our queue to check out and see what was available. We liked the Quest, Sienna and Odyssey and those were our main vehicles to check out. Earlier in the week, we received a letter from Toyota of Knoxville talking about a Sales Challenge they are having and that we have been invited to receive special pricing on a Toyota. So we figured that we'd go by Honda (next door) and check out Toyota. We'd already seen, and liked the Quest, but hadn't played in the new Sienna or Odyssey although we have driven/ridden in later model versions.

We decided to go to Honda first to see what they had and then go to Toyota. We went inside of Honda to find a sales person, and met a nice gentleman named GP. We found out that they just had gotten a 2004 Odyssey the previous night and if detailing and servicing were done with it, we could take it for a test drive. It was a silver odyssey EX (top of the line) with an additional DVD player already installed. Although, we didn't need a DVD player, it was a nice feature. Also, BOTH sliding doors were powered. So you could either open the door by hitting a button on the console or using the remote, a very nice feature. We also looked at a 2002 model that had some of the features but not all. We told GP that we'd like to see the vehicle in the daytime and that we'd be back the next morning. We only had a little while to get over to Toyota before they closed. So we went over to Toyota and the sales guy that we got was high on life. He was high energy and was veyr much like Troy from the first apprentice in his sales technique. We saw a couple of Siennas that were really nice but the price tag on them were quite steep.

We went home and did homework. We figured that we'd go back to Honda and see what we could get for the Xterra. So we researched online a number of places on trade in values for Odyssey and prices for what they should sell for from a dealer. One problem, our babysitter, over booked herself and was not going to be able to make it in the morning. So our dilemma was to either 1) one of us go alone or 2) bring Eric. Since Jen and I work better as a team, we decided to go together and that Eric would just have to deal with it.

After about 4 hours of deliberation, we came home with a Silver 2004 Honda Odyssey. So that makes us a Honda Family! I will post pictures of it when I get them.

Oh, Eric's picture albums for 2004 are up and running. I now have to see what 2005 pictures we have to albumize. As for the boppy pictures, they are officially closed as of Month 16. We haven't been up to taking his picture every tuesday. We will do a Baby Incognito Boppy picture, so don't worry. Speaking of BI, we go in for another ultrasound tomorrow.

I was deathly ill on Sunday, so there was no running this week. This is not a good thing since I needed to get 10 miles in for my training. I hope to run tomorrow afternoon, but with the current forecast it might be on the dreadmill… yuck!

Miles for February = 76.4
Miles for 2005 = 126.4
Days until the Marathon = 19