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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Groundhog Day In Hell!

Well, today is the 18th day of my visit to Dante's 7 rings of hell. Like that Bill Murray groundhog day movie, I feel like I am reliving this same day of misery. Each morning, I awake in pain and prepare for the first hideous nauseating half hour of pain that comes when I get up and start to move. I get coffee going, get on the yoga mat, and start to try to do about 15 different exercises to stretch my back muscles and decompress my discs. Then I do my first walk of the day of my three twenty minute walks. I come back and eat, and then start to try different strengthening exercises back on the yoga mat. After another walk, I eat lunch and then head into the guest bedroom and lay in a fetal position to take the load off my spine. Another pre-dinner walk, dinner, then liquor and TV to numb myself, and then groundhogs day starts again. Today was the first day where there was a small amount of less sharp pain and spasms, so I guess we will call this progress. I have a doctors appointment on Wed july 8th for an annual physical, and I will ask the doc for a referral for an MRI. The end of July will mark 6 weeks from disc blowout day, and if there is not substantial improvement, I will have to begin the painful and expensive dance toward surgery.
With a 20% drop in the chinese stock market over the last two weeks, the chinese govt has lowered interest rates, and more frighteningly, lowered bank reserve requirements to try and stabilize their stock markets. Tomorrow the greek stock markets and banks will be closed, and the government has imposed capital limits of 800 euros a day for withdrawal thereafter. ATMs were drained over the weekend. If the greeks are removed from the euro and create their own currency again, folks will find that their $100,000 bank balance will now be worth $60,000 overnight. So will folks in Italy, Portegal, and Spain start to consider running on their banks? The chart above shows that a correction, a drop of 20% or more, is no one can predict what the catalyst will be for this correction, but this could be one of those reflection points.....might be a good week to buy the GLD gold ETF......

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Frankenspine Returns!

Well, it has been 11 agonizing days since I hurt my back. Not a lot of positive progress so far. The pain has moved to the right side  of my spine, and I have some paresthesia as well....tingling in the balls of both feet, and in my right calf. You all know that odd feeling you get when your foot or hand falls to sleep....kind of a random similar experience. This tells me a couple of things....The disc level is L5-S1, the lowest lumber level where I have twice previously had surgery. The herniation or disk leak is pushing out the rear to the right. Not a shitload of disc material exists for me at that level, so if in the next 4-6 weeks, the paresthesia doesn't fade or disappear,  will have to start with the MRI first (Catching$$$), and then probably to a surgical resolution that doctors wanted to do 20 years ago.....a fusion at that level. (Real Catching$$$ there!).

So, all I can do is the prescribed exercises, walk my skinny ass off, and ice 4 times a day and wait it out. Really really wanted to hold off on any medical crap for 18 months until I got to medicare so I could stick it to all those young working stiffs! So, it is what it is, and will end up like it will end up. Got a bit pissed at myself today cause I did something I rarely do.....felt sorry for myself and got into one of those "why me" places.....then I thought about sister Suzi who died 2 years ago today and was dealt about the shittiest health hand a person could ever not ask for. So I stopped being a whiny bitch and just got back on the yoga mat!
Was out watering the nice golden pine this evening and got this poor guy wet and pine covered. Good place to hang out in the 103 degree weather. The last week or so of June is always our hottest week of the year and most likely to exceed 100. looks like it will be that way again for the next 10 days. Keeping my walks to 20 minutes at a time so I don't die of heat stroke!!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

9 Month Healthy Streak Ends!

Well, my 9 month healthy streak came to an end on thursday. I went out to do a 10K run with a fast finish,  and my back felt oddly sore, and by a half hour, I could hardly walk. Back spasms hit and I have been couch bound ever since. The usual pattern is 3-5 days of general immobility, and then I can start to stretch and strengthen the area. Some times the situation can be resolved in a few weeks, other times it takes a few months. Either way, my planned race for the 4th of july weekend is off, and my thoughts will turn to the fall. What is particularly irritating, is that I have tried really hard to do every spine stabilization exercise in the know universe to keep this at bay. I know with the 4 back surgeries, that there are just some structural problems that I probably can't overcome, so that is why I keep my mileage down and my racing in the 5K to 10K range. So, I will try and rehab again, and hope and pray that it is not a disc problem, as I just can't do any surgeries for at least 18 months until that old medicare kicks in.
This is the award ceremony from last sunday. These women are either cancer survivors, or have lost someone recently to cancer. They made me feel like a giant! Anyway, they are tough little ladies....

Sunday, June 7, 2015

A Great Race Story!

What a perfect day for a race. The race was at 7:00. Temp was low 70's, very light breeze, and somewhat overcast. About 200 people showed up. I know that because they only guaranteed shirts to the first 200, and I didn't get one from my early race day registration. While I was warming up, another geezer came up and started warming up with me. He asked me if I was from Las Cruces, and when I told him Deming, he said he was there in the Vinyards mobile park in his camper for the next three months while he was driving his truck for a local mining company. Over the next few minutes, he told me that he made $250,000 a year doing that, had a $400,000 home in Phoenix with an indoor pool and hot tub where his wife and dog were, and began bragging about his running prowess. He told me how in his last race in Phoenix he had run a 5K where he went a half mile off course and still won his age group. He told me that he was an age group ace in Phoenix. When the race began, he quickly moved to a quarter mile lead in the first mile. In the mean time, a guy who I have raced a dozen times and always seem to catch and pass at around the 2K mark, performed as he usually does, allowing me to put him out of my thoughts. Around two miles into the race, I realized King Phoenix was now only about 20 yards ahead of me and looking a bit ragged. I started to press, and caught him at the 4.5K mark, and leaned over to him and said, "hey, we have around 300 meters to go, so lets push it home". I then went into my puke sprint......this is where I just go as hard as I can and either beat the other guy, or, if I have to puke,  try and puke on him. He tried to go with me, but I ended up coming in at 27:47, with him coming in as the next finisher at 28:04, just 17 seconds behind me. I then went for a kilometer cooldown, and when I got back they were posting the early results on a board. Found out he was 58. He ended up 4th in the 50-59 age group while I won the 60 to not dead age group. I was again tied for the oldest guy or gal in the race. So I beat the King of Phoenix! After doing the race, I began to doubt his prowess in Phoenix.....between a probable much larger runner base with all those folks in those sun city communities, as well as a thriving triathlete community, it just doesn't add up. I doubt that I would be the King of anything in Phoenix.....

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Risk Vs. Reward!

Whenever I buy stuff, I do a lot of research to find the product at a discount price. I may spend an hour trying to save $20 on a pair of running shoes. I look for clearance prices on older models, as well as coupon codes for further discounts. Whenever I buy something on running wearhouse, I also get another 10% off using RUNBLOG10 from a blog I follow. I will often wait on a new product until there is a substantial discount available. I would like to buy a new garmin fenix 3, but not at the list price of $499......I will wait it out. As the chart above indicates, we are now in a place where the price earnings ratio  for stocks is at the highest level in 135 years with the exception of two periods....... 1929, which was followed by the great depression, and the year 2000, where the dow dropped approximately 50% over the subsequent three years. So we appear to be at one of those points again. Now no one can pick tops and bottoms in markets, but the market is spectacularly expensive. The bond market is also struggling as interest rates have begun to rise sharply. So I am currently 90% in cash, with just a few value stocks that are all currently around their 52 week lows. You have to ask that tough risk question......will the odds favor being up another 5% by years end, or down 20%?  Although I am at a place where I have a pretty solid emergency savings account that would cover any automotive, medical expense (for me for the next 18 months while I await reaching medicare age!), or household appliance or home maintenance cost, I remain very skeptical  of all the bullishness on both the world and U.S. economies. So my current paranoia makes me want to protect my meager estate as opposed to trying to increase it substantially.....

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Altitude Acclimitazation!

  Ran 10K yesterday and 8K today. At the same pace I was running before I headed to Philly, my heart rate was averaging around 10 beats per minute higher. I also felt generally sluggish. I think that I have lost my altitude acclimitazation. Probably take three weeks or so to get it back. June is our hottest month here in Deming, so I will also begin the process of running around 7 p.m. each night. Received an email that the electric 5K will again be held on the evening before the 4th of July. Had a pretty poor experience last year with all the smoke from the grills setting off my asthma, as well as all the kids scrambling onto the course to get at the vendors selling crap, but I told Chris that if he defended his title, I would run it again. He is struggling with about three months of tendonitis in his knee and wants to take a few weeks off and swim, but will tell me later if he chooses to run it.
Took this picture at the philly art museum. Got yelled at because I didn't realize that my camera was on auto flash. Ended up with a nice picture all the same.....

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

First Good Run On The Kill!

Had my first good run on the Kill was 70 degrees with 40 percent humidity with a cool breeze off the river. Warmed up for 3 kilometers, then did 8 brisk repeats of the 460 foot ramp up to south street with recoveries being returning to the ramp base. Then I went easy for five minutes. After that I did a 2 kilometer tempo effort, and finally recovered until I reached 8 kilometers. I have also been sight seeing by taking many different northbound streets from the Kill back to the Webers. Tomorrow is an off day and I am going to make Zinfandel beef stew.....