Thursday, August 12, 2010

Run, Thalassa, Run!

When last we left our intrepid Amazonian/wannabe triathlete, she was assuring you that it's not emphysema, it's just asthma, and that she was taking on a very non-intimidating triathlon at the end of her upcoming training class. And then she went away and never updated again. I'm one of those "no news is good news" types, it seems.

Yeah, sorry 'bout that. It drives me crazy when people do that to me. The intervening months have been really good to me, but full of mini events, none of which were big enough to blog about. Or, none of which inspired even slightly readable blog posts. I hate reading those "then I said this, and she said that, and then I had lemon chicken for dinner and watched Mythbusters. see you tomorrow" posts, so I don't write them.

So, to recap, that first round of meds the pulmonologist gave me helped ... a little bit. I always had to bail out of workouts a little early, or go a little easier than everyone else. But I was doing 90% of what my classmates were doing, and that beat hell out of the 60% I was doing before the pulmonologist.

Best news? I did that mini-sprint triathlon that I mentioned, and I finished the whole thing without crashing into the brick wall of asphyxiation! About two weeks later, I went down to Austin and did another short tri with my sister. The tri itself was pretty awful for me. I spent most of the run on the verge of an asthma attack; teetering on the edge of asphyxiation is only slightly more fun than crashing headlong into it.

Rose and our friend Bea and my sister and her friend Leah all met up and we did the tri together. I'm sure our soccer-mom-mobile looked like a clown car as we unloaded all five of our Amazon selves. When it was all over and we got back to our hotel, we were a good 2 hours later than we expected to be. I am nothing if I am not running late, however, the delay meant we were an hour late for lunch with my dad for Father's Day! So, with a haste that mocked our race performances, the five of us checked back into our room, each of us showered, dressed, primped and packed, and we were back out in our cars just 25 minutes later. It was a feat of logistics the likes of which have not been seen since at least the last Superbowl Halftime Show.

Since then, I've been back for another round with my pulmonologist. This time he didn't send me for any scary tests, he just gave me a couple of new meds to try, and it's been working AMAZINGLY well. I can now breathe like Mr. T can talk smack. It's epic Opening of the Alveoli up in here.

I did another tri just days after going on the new drugs, before they'd really had time to build up to efficacious levels. But that was my best one yet, and it was also the longest. I didn't spend ANY time on the verge of an asthma attack that day and I turned in personal bests in all three events!

And now, in the updatery department, I'm training for another tri. This is the same one that kicked my ass last year. But I'm confident I'll be able to tackle it this year and do well. How am I so confident? When we did our fitness test in the swim at the beginning of the class, I e-mailed my time to my coach so he could record it for comparison at the end of the class. He's the same coach I had for the previous two classes, so he's seen me struggle with this from the start. He wrote me back and asked if I'd been doping. Yup, it looks like this crazy concept of taking medication to treat your chronic illness is working for me. Why I had to be so stubborn about doing it in the first place is anyone's guess.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dinner before Dessert.

First, LOOK! A POST! Betcha'd almost forgotten I did that.

Second, I'm making myself do this before I go visit Facebook tonight, because if I go visit Facebook first, this blogger tab sits up at the top of my browser window all night, collecting electronic dust bunnies while I follow the infinite, pointless, endless trails through the intarwebs that are presented there. It's like eating dinner before dessert, to make sure that you actually get the brain-food you need before you fill up on junk calories that will only make you fat and hyper in the end. And intellectually LAAAAAAZY.

Third, this might be pretty short. I was in a wedding over the weekend for a straight friend of mine, and I found myself participating in a number of unaccustomed grooming See? French Manicure of Typing Doomrituals that lesbians are blessedly free from most of the time. Foremost is the French Manicure of Typing Doom. I keep clacking my acrylic-coated fingernail lengtheners into the keys I don't mean to press, and I'm spending a third of my time backing up an correcting typos that I wouldn't have made if I were typing this with my fingertips the way God intended.

Also, and really - STOP THE PRESSES! - but I shaved my legs for this. I haven't shaved my legs for anything other than funeral attendance and my sainted mother in about 12 years. It's surprising how little leg hair I accumulate. Dudes seriously have the hormonal upper hand on that one. Anyway, I've been doing triathlons for a year. This is a sport in which even big, burly dudes shave their arms and legs. Supposedly, it's to make the wetsuits come off easier and to prevent it getting caught in your bike chain. Which, OK, OW!!!!! But I'm not sure it's not just an aesthetic thing that carries over from other speed sports, either. In any case, I've been a hairy-legged, system-bucking triathlete for a year now, and I shaved for this wedding.

Also? Wore makeup. I had to buy makeup for my own wedding two years ago now because I threw out the very old bag I was toting around. I hadn't opened it in about a year, maybe two, and that stuff has a shelf life shorter than fresh peaches, really. I've worn my "wedding makeup" maybe 5 times in the two years since. A professional wedding makeup artist came and painted my face, though. This totally saved me from having to figure out whether my wedding makeup had gone dodgy. Another one foofed my hair. And I have to tell you, there's something silly about brushing my hair out straight and then curling it up again with a curling iron. Incidentally, I didn't know curling irons were still in vogue. I thought everyone was flat-ironing these days... But - whatever. I wasn't in charge of planning the efficiency curve, or I'd have done things differently. I hear it looked good, but all the foof was in the back, so I didn't really get to see it. You'll have to take my word for it, because I have no photos.

Anyway, all that to say that i really pulled out all the stops to make this a very special wedding day and very nice looking wedding pictures for my friend. And she's the sort of friend who deserves it. She has probably earned it all a thousand times over for looking after me on rugby trips over the years. I don't shave for just anyone, but you're worth it, Janna. Even the manicure.