Saturday, November 16, 2013

November 2013

Eventful month, between Marathon and the usual round of doctor, bloods & consultant.

I went to my G.P. early in October, so that I'd have the bloodwork results in time for my annual consultant's appointment, early in November.  Before I went to the G.P., I wrote a letter, outlining my "shopping list" of concerns, most of which were just little things.  He said that it was great getting the letter.....I wanted him to have time to think about the contents.

One of my problems, as outlined in my previous post, has been persistent muscle soreness and a lack of acceleration......I run away grand, but, when I want to put the foot down, there's little "oomph"...just more effort and energy expended, with little return.   Well the Doc didn't say what he thought my problem was, but said that we'd take a full battery of bloods.   Lovely!!  I *HATE* needles!!!  He took, I think, 5 different lots, and off I went.

Results came back just 10 days before my planned Dublin Marathon and I was diagnosed as hypothyroid - an underactive thyroid gland, with a TSH of 5.79.  I've been put on Eltroxin 50mg.  I asked "How long will I be on them?".  A: "For the rest of your life."  We had a bit of a discussion about it and I asked if I was ok to do the Marathon.....My better half was certain to ask me ...or even "suggest" that I shouldn't run.  "No problem", he said, "but I claim credit for your improved performance!". 

So here I am on these tablets at might be considered "performance enhancing", based on the conversation with the Doc.

Oh! and the other thing....."PSA level is fine, it's 0.06".  I said it's always been "0.02" or " less than 0.02".  He said that this is still considered as "zero", "it's within the tolerance of the test".  I wasn't convinced.  I'm an Engineer and, I know something out of the ordinary, when I see it. Nearly 6 years at basement reading, then a reading very slightly up.  ......Not good news.

Nothing I could do about it, so it was head down and off to Dublin for the Marathon.  Weather forecast for the day was awful, but we've been there before, and the weather has always turned out fine, at least in the years that I ran the event.  Woke up that morning and all was fine, if a bit breezy.

I'd planned on a finishing time of 3:32 - based on a Half Mar time (1:41) in September and thought that the Thyroid meds might give me a lift and, maybe, 3:25 might be feasible.  Off we set and I found I was doing around 8:30/8:40 pace, about 3:47 pace.  The first 6 or 7 miles in Dublin is, more or less, upslope, so i wasn't too bothered.  The only "downer" was that I'd hoped to stay ahead of the 3:30 pacers for as long as possible, maybe all the way.  ...They passed me before Mile 2!  That plan was "out the window!"  I ran away at my own pace, with loads of people passing me, but I wasn't particularly concerned.  Sure, I'd have preferred to be passing, rather than being passed, but it wasn't happening.

Around the 11 Mile mark, I felt a little more comfortable, and noticed that less people were passing me and, at the same time, I was starting to make headway.  I went through the HM mark in 1:47, more or less on target, and put in a good 7 or 8 miles until I got to the hill after "the 9 arches" bridge.  This had been my nemesis, three years earlier, when I tore my hamstring towards the top of the hill.  This time I was determined to make it up.  However, towards the very top, I started saying to myself:
"Don't walk! Don't walk!"
"You're not gonna walk"

....."Yerra, f*#k it!...I'll walk...just for a bit"

And so it began.  In truth, it was probably the tiredness and muscle soreness from the thyroid.   That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

The remaining 7 miles combined jogging and walking...mainly jogging.  I went through 20 in 2:04:04, and thought, "25 years ago, I was finished now!" [2:46:03 PB, Dublin 1988].  As time went on, the target time changed to finish under 3:50 and, eventually, "How much more can I walk, and still finish under 3:50!"

I finished in 3:49:43 (chip time).  Another one down!   Never, ever again.....until next time!!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Update - May 30th 2013

I figure anyone who might have been following my Blog must, in the absence of any update over the past two years or so, have thought that I'd fallen off the planet...or succumbed to PCa. The truth is that I'm flying...apart from my running ...which has been sh1te for quite some time [or at least I keep beating myself up over it]

On the Prostate Cancer front, I am, since last September, officially in remission. My PSA level remains at 0.02ng/l, where it's been since surgery (fingers crossed!), and I'm now on 12 monthly visits to my Urologist - it was 6 monthly, until September last. I can't complain ......but I do! LOL ...and that's a genuine belly laugh!!

I still do quite a bit of advocacy for Cancer and, in particular, Prostate Cancer. I'm not a bit happy with my running: Best times for 2013 are:
4 Miles: 28:20 (PB, 1993, 21:37
5 Miles: 37:40 (PB, 1987, 27:30)
10k: 47:54 (PB, 1990, 34:57)
10M: 75:36 (PB, 1988, 58:46)

When I bitch about my times, a lot of people say that they'd kill to do the times I'm doing now. It's all relative....and now history!

My main problems are a) calves and b) back. The root problem is the back. I injured it badly in 1999 and, as a result, my running took a quantum leap in the wrong direction. The back issue led, "helped" on by my failure to continue diligently with flexibility work, to tightness in my hamstrings and, eventually, my calves. I'm working on it now...and expecting overnight miracles . I also put on a stone or so over the past two years...doesn't help either - Rule of Thumb: 10lb = 2 mins in a 5 mile race. That knocks 3 mins off my 37:40 time of last week = 34:40. I'd be happy with that, if I could lay off the chocolate, cake & biscuits!! 

By now, I guess you've figured out that, healthwise, I'm fine & all my complaints are really trivia.