Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I'm not in high school anymore...more ALS stuff.

Last night I did my weekly distance swim session. 4000 yards ( warm up 500 on 7:30 500 pull on 7:30, 3x 1000 on 14:30 main set.) Now in the middle of the main set I noticed that during the second 500 of the last two 1000's my head would start to ache in my left temple. Now assumed it was my goggles were too tight so I adjusted them accordingly but the ache still persisted in the second half, making me believe it might have been lack of electrolytes that was causing the throbbing sensation, so it now seems I will be toting Gatorade Endurance formula with me every where. Now this is sad, back in the day, I could crankout 5000 yard practice on 2 swigs of water, I could run 10 miles in 90 degree weather at 9 min/mile pace holding a conversation with my teammates and not need a drink during the duration.....I think I've gone soft in my "old" age. It seems my age and thirst or ability to sweat are both on the increase, granted so is my speed. If someone told me in High School I'd be holding sub-nine minute miles on a twenty mile training run I'd laugh in their face... as it was I was barely holding 8:30 miles on a four mile training run. I kept running in College ( or the two years I had a "normal" co-ed life.) my runs were rarely longer than 6 miles, and that includes a 6 mile tour of Central Park. The years of college Athletics and the 1 year of purgatory between Fordham and Central in which I held 3 jobs and had a particularly short yet miserable time as a gas station cashier working 50+ hours a week, have made me mentally hard. In high school I was almost ALWAYS guaranteed that I would be swum at least once per meet and in track, except for NVL and state Championships I was assured a spot on the starting line for the 2 mile. ( In my junior and senior years I was ranked 5th in the Waterbury City Track and field championships, weird thing was they counted the Catholic schools , who had a majority of students from the suburbs with the city public was sort of irony that the Waterbury City Champion in the 110 high hurdles was a native son of Naugatuck....our best two miler and City champ was from the dirty water so he really was the city's best, but I digress.) At Fordham I had to fight to get a slot on our "D" Relay, for home meets, If we were swimming any team that matched up well against us I was usually swimming exhibition, riding the bench, or swimming the D lay. This lack of competition time helped me grow harder. I appreciated the times I was actually swum in my "signature" events, so if I had a lousy time in the 1000 of the 500 Free, I didn't gripe as much about not doing well as I did in High School, afterall I was swimming my events maybe 3 to 4 times a season, so there wasn't the pressure to do better than last time, or your need to get points, or qualify for states, it was just swim as fast as possible because you may not get another shot. After sacrificing health and sanity working in a "gas-n-go" for two months when I left Fordham, I got back into running and biking. I still remembered being on the day of the Pat Griskus Sprint tri, watching some of the locals come in for Gatorade and power bars...I had done the race in high school and made it a point to do it the following season. The end of that summer I got my current job at the bank and left the 50+ hour hell-hole, where my days off where not guaranteed ( I remember constantly being called in on my days off and being called in hours early...I tried using the "my dad borrowed my car"excuse and the manager replied " Where you live, I pick you up.") By the end of that year I had started Master's swimming was up to full time at the bank and ditched my other part time gig. It was last summer that I did my first two olympic tris as well as about 4 sprints, this year I did my first two half irons, ( I notice I keep increasing by pairs so does that mean 2 IMs next year.) and more races I have ever done in my lifetime. Next year looks to be about a 10-12 race season with a possible marathon, and/or local road race tossed in for flavor.

Well tonight I had an hour run on tap but that will most likely be cut out. I have research on an ALS project due Tuesday. 12 pages about how it's been 70 years since The Iron Horse was struck down and we still don't know crap on this thing although they now think it may be related to over exposure to electromagnetic if I get these disease in the next 70 years I'm blaming it all on Dell and suing for mucho dinero...which I will not be able to enjoy. Also they believe there are two types of the disease, an acquired type ( Electromagnetically or environmentally caused)and a hereditary type in which a there's a deformed gene on a certain chromosome and it cause the nervous and muscular system to fall apart after x number of years. In either case they're just beginning to crack the surface on this stuff. Another thing I've found out in doing research on this is there are at least 6 major charities and several neurology programs linked to ALS research yet each one seems divided and almost in competition with one another. Example You have the MDA ( muscular dystrophy association...*Jerry's Kids), you have ALSA ( Als association, *Kurt's Pitch to Strike out ALS,) ALSTDF(ALS therapy development Fund now ALSTDI Therapy development institute which was getting proceeds from the sale of team Blazeman gear from TriSports) (*=main charity) TeamBlazeman, then you have the universities competing with one another for research grants, so you have guys at Yale and John Hopkins med duking it out to one up one another for the money to do research. each of the groups is giving money to different groups for research and in essence you end up with 20 different researchers doing research on the same disease in completely different parts of the country /world and not alot getting done to find a cure. The same can be said for other diseases not just ALS just look at cancers, AIDS, MS, Parkinson's, you have so many fragments that no major progress can get done. What needs to happen is there needs to be one giant database of info and research, and one pool for funds for each disease, this includes public and private donations, that way research teams can compare notes and there would be one large unbiased source of funding for any research that could lead to a major break through...but alas I am living in a perfect world with out CEO's Drug Company Contracts, Universities trying to attract more admissions, insurance company and government agendas, and the cogs of modern capitalism. Competition brings progress, yet at the same time it can hinder it. Well that's it for my rant on Western Medical research and treatment, and well political bull shit...(.Duguay '20... running on the Democratic ticket unless I;m hit with " you're too conservative"bullshit in which I will run Libertarian.)..Well I'm hitting theboolsand hitting them hard.peace. Also if you have not done so and would like to give a donation to the War on ALS please click on the link or visit the web sites of one of the other associations mentioned..also if your an American Express card holder looking for more points and a tax deduction you can donate through GivingExpress, and also also has links to donate. I encourage anybody reading this blog to give to the war on this disease, and as mentioned earlier it can be as little as $1 itwill help make a difference.

The ALS Warrior

1 comment:

Speed Racer said...

It may not be that you've gone soft since high school and may have more to do with increased training load. I bet you weren't doing 2-3 workouts a day that were at least an hour each in high school. Maybe a rec swimmer kicked you in the head and you just didn't notice because you were "in the zone".

What ALS needs is a central commission or foundation that these smaller researchers report to. I'm pretty sure AIDS and Cancer have this kind of set-up so what you described isn't happening. Have you gotten any word from the Blaze family?