Monday, July 30, 2012

I need a routine

I realized over the weekend is that I've been missing having some sort of routine.  My grand experiment to be unstructured has not been a total success.  That said, I'm not sure that I had a choice!  Life has managed to once again get in the way of my training goals and desires.  The good news is that Lake Tahoe is 14 months off!

On friday I actually managed to run 4 miles, and my heel is holding up, just a little sore (enough to remind me to be cautious).  Saturday was a 1 hour bike ride with three 5 minute hill intervals up a 1/2 mile/11% hill in descending time (5:25, 4:55, 4:25) corresponding to what probably was around 210, 250 and 280 watts---love those bike calculators!).  Sunday was a 2 hour group ride which included the Rockstore climb (2.5 miles/6.5%), which I did on the wheel of someone better than me (who was nice enough to go easy), at tempo effort.  I couldn't wait to get to the top!  But it hurt so good!  Lots of hard efforts in the ride.

I manage to get into the pool for 15-25 minutes almost every day, so I'm keeping my form and some semblance of swim shape.

I wore my garmin of for my bikeride on Saturday.  Maybe I do need feedback to motivate me?  We'll see.  Today is a day of rest for my mind and body.  Even trying to avoid doing do much for the house!  Got in my short swim this morning, may do another one later on.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Trying to Train

It's been a tough month for training.  I've still been fighting some pain in my heel, and remarkably I've had more 15 hour workdays than I've had in a long time.  And I'm retired!  However, I actually feel pretty good about this past week.  Saturday started with a 3 1/2 mile run and was followed by a swim.  Sunday was a solid 2 hour group bike ride followed by a 21 minute transition run.  I even got in another swim later in the day.  Monday and Tuesday were 15 hour days with no training.  Wednesday started with a short swim and finished with 1 hour of hot yoga.  Today, I got in about a 30 minute bike ride with some intensity, and a short swim.  I feel like I'm at least keeping myself moving and getting some intensity in.  I actually feel like I'm finally starting to get back on track.

The last couple of months have really been a test.  I'm so used to a rigorous training schedule, I mentally and physically want to maintain one.  Unfortunately, my days are fraught with uncertainty.  I've certainly been taken "off my game".  This has made it hard to get workouts in.  Today, was a triumph.  I had a pretty full day and still managed to get myself on my bike and into the pool at the end of the day.  That said, I don't want training to be forced.  I continue to dream about the time in my future where my daily focus will be on my wife and my training.  In the meantime, I'll do what I can.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Week of Training

The week started with some swimming on monday and a cortisone shot in my left heel.  Tuesday and wednesday were limited to swimming only.  Thursday and friday were 3 1/2 mile run days and some more swimming.  Yesterday, I spent four hours on my feet preparing my house to be fumigated.  My foot/heel were starting to hurt again, and I was a little worried.  Today, was a 3 hour, 50 mile bike ride with climbing, hard intervals, and just a very solid ride.  It felt great!  I'm thinking of focusing this coming week on swimming and biking and giving my foot a little more rest and time for the cortisone to do it's job.  I'll be in San Diego on thursday, so I'm hoping that I'll have a chance to run some down there.  It continues to be remarkable how I can bounce back quickly based on my ironman fitness.  Overall, an encouraging week, but also a week that reminds me to show some caution.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Keep Talking About Healthcare

There are 124 days to the presidential election.  The republicans had wanted to keep the focus of discussion on the economy.  Remarkably, they are making sure that won't happen.  The focus of discussion will be on healthcare.  And, it should be!  For the next 124 days we should all keep our focus on healthcare.

Here's some reasons why healthcare should be the #1 topic of the presidential campaign:
Annual healthcare expenditures:  $2.6 trillion
Medicare:  $525 billion
Medicaid:  $401 billion

The population is getting older.  The baby boomers are starting to come of age.  Medicare will only get bigger.  A significant proportion of Medicaid dollars pays for the elderly to be in nursing homes.  In fact, Medicaid finances over 40% of all long term care services.

So, what does this all mean?  It means that our legislators have to stop ignoring the growing cost of the Medicare and Medicaid programs.  They are here to stay and they are only going to get bigger.

Why should people read my blog?  Because I am a geriatrician and a business person.  I have a unique vantage point to look at our health care situation.  For the past 12 years I have made multiple attempts to share my experience with legislators and bureaucrats, to no avail.  I cofounded a Medicare only primary care practice when other doctors were fleeing closing their doors to Medicare patients.  We were successful.

Those who can, do.  Those who can't, become politicians.  If we don't get our act together, we will bankrupt our country.  The politicians can't have it both ways.  As they talk about reducing Medicare expenditures, they can't blame the other side for "taking away your Medicare".  Besides, our legislators really don't know anything about Medicare.  But I do!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Princess and the Pea

I remember the story of the princess and the pea.  It is a reminder as to how little things can become bigger.  Life is a lot like that.  Yesterday, I was able to get in a nice 1 hour bike ride with a very solid 2 mile climb with an average gradient of 8%.  It was a great way to start the day, then got in some more swimming and then got my cortisone shot.  The cortisone shot caused the outside of my foot to become numb and my pain mostly went away.  My foot relaxed and some of the tight spots that I had in my foot went away almost immediately.  Later on, I would get a massage and find out that many of the tight spots and problems in my left leg had gone away.  So, on one hand, the plantar fasciitis itself leads to other problems up my leg.  Ironically, the "pea" was replaced by a numb foot.  I spent the next three hours on my feet dealing with contractors at my house and, while I wasn't having any pain, I didn't realize the impact of the numb foot.  Suddenly, I could hardly stand.  Walking around on a numb foot takes it's own toll.  I had no choice but to stay off my feet, got my massage, and then just rested.

I woke up early today, got in a short swim where I practiced my body position and kick.  Just read a good article reminding me that fish don't have arms or legs and focused on moving through the water without my arms.

I'm going to the office today to see how things are going with our business.  I'm hoping to start spending more time there in the coming months.  Fortunately, I get to have fun doing this.  Fun is a better "pea" as well!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Time for a cortisone shot

Went cycling with a friend on Saturday, put in some very solid climbing (about 2500 feet of vertical in less than 2 1/2 hours).  Spent time in the pool over the weekend, focuses on kicking drills and swimming with a band around my ankles.  My left heel still hurts and my friend, who is an orthopedic surgeon, offered to inject my heel with steroids today.  I was going to try to wait this out, but I'm tired of waiting.  If I get a steroid injection, I can jump back into training more aggressively than I have been.  This will be good for my state of mind and my fitness.  My friend is an athlete, and understands that you can't just say "rest for 6 weeks and see what happens".

Plumbers, roofers, painters and electricians at the house today.  Amazing.  I'm no longer stressed by all the stuff going on, it will run it's course.  Did I mention the termites?  Oh well, we'll figure it out.  I've discovered that fixing your house is a lot like fixing your body.  You'll get multiple different opinions, and you just have to decide which one to go with.  Everyone thinks that they're right, and most of them are sincere.  Sounds just like going to the doctor!