Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Of injury, illness, and a birthday.

Sometimes, you just beat certain injuries and illnesses from happening. Case in point, an attack of a 3mm kidney stone that laid me out for three days, two spent in the hospital since the object of my desire got lodged in a rather nasty location. The following Friday I had to go back to the ER for a healthy dosing of Torredall (sic) and to find out that my Doctor forgot to tell me about the 2mm cousin of the surgically removed stone wanted out too. I do not wish kidney stones on anyone, not even people that I have grown fond of disliking.

As for prevention, I was advised to drink lots of water, and limit the amount of caffeine and chocolate that I intake. Right now, I usually drink close to 2 liters of H2O a day, and the other two items are also high on my list. However, with the pain of the occurence and the co-pays for the medical attention, I have been real good at cutting myself down to 2 cups of coffee a day and little to no chocolate, although I will eat it if I happen to see it. Personally, I was more inclined to go with the Finnish research that suggested that a couple beers a day keeps the kidneys clean for the most part.

Two days after the second attack, I decided to use a rather nice Sunday afternoon, and a rare Sunday that we were home, to put in a few miles around the college campus. It was there that I found out how painful cramps in the calves can be when it is both legs at the same time. Not as painful as the stones, but able to stand on its own merits on the pain index. I decided to go out again three days later, and even though I made it further, I still managed to get an alternating cramping in both calves. Ice and rest was considered prudent and for almost a month, I worked on a couple rides before the snow fell, and a whole lot of swimming. Runner's World suggested that dehydration, like that from a whole lot of drugs and hospitalization maybe, and lack of stretching, again guilty as charged, was probably the reason and what do you know, they were right.

Thanksgiving, which was also my 38th birthday, I decided to test the previous month of stretching and trugged over the snow covered roads for 4 miles, with nary a problem, save not running for the past month or so. To further test the legs, I went out again Saturday for the same now icy/slushy/snowy 4 miles and was only 20 seconds slower than the Birthday run. Not too shabby. This birthday is special for a few reasons. This would have been the year that I would've been able to retire from the Navy if I had stayed in, and it's also been almost 20 years since I graduated high school. More selfishly though, it'll be the year that I will complete my first Ironman event.

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