My my, how the time do fly

So… no posts in over two months. Let’s hit the high points:

  • Still cancer-free – had my latest round of CT scans and X-rays this week, everything is looking good.
  • Still married and working on an addition to the family.
  • Another nephew is on the way (18 months ago I had none – now I have seven – almost. And a niece.)
  • My mom is officially retired.
  • My wife has a blog… or at least the start of one πŸ™‚
  • Thinking of buying a new car, but need to sell the Celica first (now that I finally got the “check engine” light to turn off)
  • Took a couple of trips up to Chicago to visit the in-laws and hang out at the lake.
  • Been trying to get back in the habit of running… it’s a struggle.
  • Pluto no longer a planet? What madness is this?
  • Desperately need to mow the yard.

Anything I missed Molly? πŸ™‚

Lactic acid is good?

Ran across this article in the NY Times – pretty interesting. I’ve always felt that keeping below the “anaerobic zone” when working out didn’t make any sense – looks like I was right πŸ™‚

Everyone who has even thought about exercising has heard the warnings about lactic acid. It builds up in your muscles. It is what makes your muscles burn. Its buildup is what makes your muscles tire and give out.

Coaches and personal trainers tell athletes and exercisers that they have to learn to work out at just below their “lactic threshold,” that point of diminishing returns when lactic acid starts to accumulate. Some athletes even have blood tests to find their personal lactic thresholds.

But that, it turns out, is all wrong. Lactic acid is actually a fuel, not a caustic waste product. Muscles make it deliberately, producing it from glucose, and they burn it to obtain energy. The reason trained athletes can perform so hard and so long is because their intense training causes their muscles to adapt so they more readily and efficiently absorb lactic acid.

The notion that lactic acid was bad took hold more than a century ago, said George A. Brooks, a professor in the department of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley. It stuck because it seemed to make so much sense.

“It’s one of the classic mistakes in the history of science,” Dr. Brooks said.

Full Article at NY Times (registration may be required)

More 5K Results

I ran not one, but two races last week (both 5Ks) – on Memorial Day my time was 32:35 (my best time so far), then on Saturday I didn’t do quite so well… 33:18. The first mile went really well – my pace at that point was under 9 minutes, but then I just lost steam around the 2.5 mile mark. Oh well – got another one coming up in three weeks, so my immediate goal is to work on short stretches of sprinting inbetween my normal pace. I’d love to get under the 30 minute mark for this next race, but it’ll be tough.

Race Results

This past Saturday I ran my first 5K since September. While I didn’t do as well as I hoped, I did much better than last year. My best time last year was around the 36 minute mark. On Saturday, my “gun time” was 33:50 (the time from when the gun sounds to when you cross the finish line). This race didn’t have chip time (the actual time from when you cross the starting line to the finish line), but it would have shaved another 30-45 seconds off my time.

Even more important than the time, I only stopped to walk at the water station – in the past I’ve always needed to stop a few times to walk. And I wasn’t nearly as tired at the end of the race as I have been in the past. So I know I can push myself harder next time and hopefully break the 30 minute mark.

Update: I finally found the official results online, and my official time was 33:39. More importantly, I finished 194th out of 372. Which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it puts me right in the middle of the pack – in the top 52%. In comparison, my best finish last year was 125th out of 156, which put me in the bottom 20%. So definitely an improvement πŸ™‚

Another 5K

On Labor Day I ran another 5K, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to beat my previous best… But, I placed higher overall, so that’s something. Even the overall winners in this race ran a good two minutes slower than the winners from the July 4th 5K, so I guess it was just a slower course overall.

I’m going to try to do at least one more before it gets too cold… Running outside in freezing weather isn’t my idea of fun.

Got my latest test results back, and everything’s looking better than ever… my AFP was 4.2, which puts it well in the “safe” area for the first time since this whole thing started.

Zoloft, Lexapro, Paxil and running

I started taking Lexapro (an anti-depressant) last April when I was dealing with fears of having cancer (little did I know I was *right*). Anyway, now that I’m a year out from my diagnosis and no longer worrying as much about having a recurrence, I’m trying to get off of it. I’m slowly tapering off, but even so it’s leaving me in a foul mood most of the time.

In some good news, I ran another 5K Saturday, and did a little better than last time. I’m still slow as Christmas, but at least I’m progressing:

April 3 – 37:16
May 23 – 36:34
July 3 – 35:01

These people who can run it in 15 minutes just amaze me. Maybe someday. My goal was to run in the Nashville Marathon next April, but I think I may have to settle for the half marathon, and push the full marathon back another 6 or 12 months.