"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible." TE Lawrence

Monday, January 25, 2010

Can you hear me now?

Many of my close friends already know I suffer from hearing loss. I have lost 90% of hearing in my left ear. I have a hearing aid that balances out the hearing

I now face loosing the right ear. I struggle to protect it through diet and exercise. I do know that if it was lost a hearing aid can assist with hearing.

As I venture out and expand my circle of friends I felt time to share. So when I seem to not listen or not pick up on the entire conversation. It not that I don't care its probably cause I didn't hear. Here is some research on the disease that effects the ear.

Meniere's Disease

Meniere's disease is a periodic illness (the attacks come in phases followed by a symptom-free period) that affects the inner ear.
The inner ear is composed of the organs of balance and hearing. Meniere's disease is a long term, progressive disease which damages both the balance (semicircular canals) and hearing (the cochlea) parts of the inner ear. These are some of the main symptoms of Meniere's disease:
Hearing loss
Initially it usually affects one ear, but 15% of people have both ears affected at the start of symptoms and as the disease progresses ± 50% will develop the disease in both ears.
Stress, overworked, emotional or physical, additional illnesses, pressure changes, certain foods and too much salt in the diet also seems to play a big role in speeding up the attacks.
The causes of Meniere's disease

The cause is unknown, but many factors are involved in the development of this disease. These are the factors that may be involved in causing Meniere's disease:
Increased pressure of the fluid in the inner ear (endolymphatic sac)
Allergies that damage the inner ear
Viral infections
Vascular factors
Autoimmune reaction
Unknown factors
Symptoms of Meniere's disease

A sensation of "fullness" or pressure in the ear
Loss of hearing
Pressure in the ear
Severe imbalance
Double vision
Lack of coordination
Disequilibrium ("brain fog")
The symptoms of Meniere's disease come in cycles; the patient suffers several episodes that last for several months at a time, then it generally subsides. Symptoms in some individuals seem to be more severe in spring, fall or when they are under extra stress.
VertigoThe most frightening and unpredictable symptom of Meniere's disease is vertigo. It is thought to result from the accumulation of excessive fluid in the inner ear, this stretches the membranes that divide the compartments of the inner ear. As the membranes stretches, hearing often diminishes and tinnitus worsens. If the membrane is severely stretched, the fluids in the inner ear may rupture these compartments. This will results in the mixing of fluids (one rich in sodium, the other rich in potassium) which is thought to bring on the vertigo. These membranes will eventually heal, but some hearing is usually lost.
Loss of hearingThe loss of hearing usually affects one ear, which typically looses sensitivity to low-frequency sounds the most. Loud sounds may cause more discomfort than normal. Hearing loss alters over time; hearing may be normal one day, but then the next days hearing may be difficult. The degree of hearing loss may get progressively worse over time, eventually leading to loss of hearing completely in the affected ear.
TinnitusTinnitus is constant loud "ringing" in the ears. The tinnitus experienced by Meniere's patients is continual and does not decrease with time, its intensity may vary. It may be heard more as a load roaring, squeal, whine, hissing, humming, buzzing sensation, rather than a whistling.
Fullness or pressure in the ear The feeling of "fullness" in the ear can be described as a barometric pressure changes (such ascending in an airplane or a car), this fullness cannot be cleared by swallowing, as in the case of pressure changes.
Dietary tips for Meniere's disease

Reduce the amount of salt intake (excess salt cause's pressure on the nerve endings of balance and hearing)
Stop smoking (it constricts and reduces blood flow to the tiny blood vessels which nourish the inner ear nerve endings)
Avoid caffeine in coffee, tea and colas, as well as chocolate (caffeine excessively stimulates nerve endings)
Exercise regularly

Causes of Meniere's Disease

Meniere's disease is a disorder of the inner ear. The cause of Meniere's disease is idiopathic-meaning that the cause is not known. However, the symptoms of Meniere's disease are associated with the disorder or infection of the fluids in the labyrinth (a bisected portion of the inner ear that contains certain fluids). Most audiologists (ear specialists) believe that the abnormality of fluids in the inner ear is responsible for most symptoms of Meniere's disease.
Abnormality of fluids in the inner ear

The labyrinth consists of two semi-circular canals; the bony and membranous canals. The bony portion of the labyrinth contains certain fluids called endolymph and it is responsible for balance and hearing. Whenever you move your head, the fluids inside the bony labyrinth (endolymph) also move and transmit a message to the brain via the nerves so that the brain interprets the orientation of your body.
There's a little space between the bony and membranous labyrinth that contain some fluids called perilymph. If the perilymph and endolymph mix due to excess endolymph (endolymphatic hydrops) or other causes, wrong messages are transmitted to the brain. The brain misinterprets these messages and transmits a wrong message about your body orientation.
The cause of increased endolymph is not known, but several conditions are believed to be role players in causing endolymphatic hydrops.
According to Moore, K.L (1985:975), an abnormal increase in the amount of endolymph is called hydrops of the internal ear or Meniere's disease. These excess fluids produce recurrent vertigo (dizziness) that is accompanied in later stages by tinnitus or noises in the ear and deafness.
Here are factors that may cause the abnormality of fluids in the inner ear, producing Meniere's disease:

Environmental causes
Viral and Bacterial causes
Biological factors such as:
Middle ear infections (otitis media)
Head, neck or ear injuries (or surgery)
Autoimmune reaction (allergies)
Alcohol or smoking
Symptoms of Meniere's disease may also have a lot to do with the

Joining a running group has been a big step for me. I know when I run alone I can focus on the road. But what fun is running alone.

Gotta Run.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Resolution 1 check

Went for a run today with University City Road Runners. This group is awesome. They trot at a good pace, They all start together but split in different directions based on training goals. Then they meet back for coffee and social time.

They made a newbie feel welcome. I decided to stick it out and go for the long run. I quickly fell behind the pace. That hill was huge. They waited out the next intersection for me. One even stayed back with me to keep me on pace. It was good to hear his running experience.

I think I'm signing up.

New years resolution 1, check.

Monday, January 11, 2010

In the beginning. Everyone needs a starting point. A moment in their life to say " Hey you fat bastard, you cant live like this." Here was my final moment. How does a grown Man bottom out a trampoline. This pic and having a 5 yr old say to my daughter your dads FAT. 240lbs

My wife has tried for years to give me enough of a hard time to thin down. Finally at the start of 2007 they opened a YMCA in our town. I started off gung ho. I slipped the lbs off by mid summer. doing cardio and weights. Went to spin classes and yoga. I was able to slim down and keep physically active.

In the spring of 2008 my wife decides to start running 5k's with her friend. I would go run with her choking out a mile or two. Went with her to keep he company and support her new habit. I still hated running.
Spring of 2009 I decided to try and train for a 5k. The big goal here was to run fast enough and beat my wife's time by at least 5 min. This was all it took. I ran the race in 28 min. I felt great exactly where I wanted to be. i got the bug. 3 miles was no longer enough. I read some running books, Runners world mag. I started running greater distance. I made up my mind if i could run 6-8 miles I should try for a half marathon. By the beginning of May I posted 2 goals on Face book. 1 was to run a half marathon by October and then do a full before next October when I turn 40.
I then read a article on Half vs. Full marathons. " Who trains for half of anything." Next I ran a 13.5 mile run with out killing myself. Goals just changed. Thunder road marathon was being held in my town in December. This was the new goal.
I started picking up more and more miles. I could only concentrate on running. When, where, how far. By July I hit 40 miles a week. I had my weight down to 174 lighter than i had been in years. I then was introduced to TED.com and found the most amazing stories of inspiration. Running to the South Pole, and trekking solo to the North Pole. I read the book Planet walker, where John Francis walked for 20+ years. I read Kano's book 50/50. All this positive you can do it. Hit me all at once. It was information overload but my mind was soaking it up. I had all these incredible stories rolling in my head keeping me going. Mile after mile.
I shunned the running Gods and put down Jeff Galloway's run walk method. I stopped walking at mile 3 like I had all along. I started doing tempo runs.
OUCH!!! What the hell was that pain in my left calf. I over did it. How long was this going to sideline me. I slowed down re thought the over training. 3 weeks and I was back full strength.

Careful not to hurt myself again I cut back to 3 runs a week making sure each gave me a quality work out.

By October i was running 20 miles then working a 14 hour day at work. I had this in the bag.

December 11, 2009 I had taken 3 days before the race off. I was so rested and wired I could not sleep the night before the race. My thought on the way to the race was. Wait I paid $85.00 to get up at 5 am go out in freezing temps and I'm going to run up and down hills for the next 4.5 hours. What the hell is wrong in your head?

26 deg at the start. Wow that's cold. I found out the cool air helped. So did the Pace teams.Hat off to these hero's that gave me motivation to keep going. ( Except the one who told me at mile 23.5" its all down hill from here.") One runner told me at mile 23 This will be the longest 5k of your life. My goal was 4:15 I finished @ 4:25 how AWESOME was that.

If I can run a full marathon 26.2 miles in one year. Anybody can do it!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Cleaning House

A freind shared this with me and I felt the will to pass it on. Enjoy.

Last Week I threw out worrying, it was getting old and in the way.
It kept me from being me; I couldn't do things God's way.
I threw out a book on MY PAST
(Didn't have time to read it anyway).
Replaced it with NEW GOALS, started reading it today.
I threw out hate and bad memories,
(Remember how I treasured them so)?
Got me a NEW PHILOSOPHY too, threw out the one from long ago.
Brought in some new books too, called I CAN, I WILL, and I MUST.
Threw out I might, I think and I ought.
WOW, you should've seen the dust.
I ran across an OLD FRIEND, I hadn't talked to in a while.
His name is GOD the Father, and I really like His style.
He helped me to do some cleaning and added some things Himself.
Yes... I placed them right on the shelf..
I picked up this special thing and placed it at the front door.
I FOUND IT- it's called PEACE.. Nothing gets me down anymore.
Yes, I've got my house looking nice.
Looks good around the place.
For things like Worry and Trouble there just isn't any space.
It's good to do a little house cleaning,
Get rid of the things on the shelf.
It sure makes things brighter; maybe you should TRY IT YOURSELF.
May the Lord open the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing that
You will not have room enough to receive it all.

May the Lord bless you exceedingly abundantly above all you could ever
Hope for.

Keep the Faith!!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

3:16 Athletic Wear ...Your Race Number for Life.

3:16 Athletic Wear ...Your Race Number for Life. Build a shirt with a message for life.
Choose him, Love him, Become like him.

Life throws you a curve.

This curve is one of my favorite runs. Its only a half mile from the start. Every time I run it I see the sign and it reminds me that a curve is an opportunity to change direction.

We never know when life will throw us a curve. We can't map out our direction in a line.

When you see the curve coming slow down just enough to reflect on life for a moment. As you hit the apex of the curve speed up and face what lies beyond with full speed ahead.

My curve I'm going through is the toughest one I have ever had. The hearing loss I'm going through has presented me with a challenge.

I find it hard to explain to people how my hearing is. I have had to fake allot of conversations lately or run ahead of the crowd. Its something you cant explain to people. Just hope they notice the hearing aid and get the message. I have never tried to be the whoa is me type. (unless it with my wife)

One more try this week with a dose of prednizone if that is no help its off to get a new aids in both ears. Unfortunately that will cost almost as much as a used car.

I'm kind of in the apex of that turn, once I start hearing again I'm sure I will take off running.

Gotta run.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Foolish thing.

Please read before signing: I have been warned that the Strolling Jim is a grueling, grim, and hazardous
event. I am fully aware that I could be injured attempting such a run. It is a foolish thing that I am
doing, but I am going to do it anyway. Knowing all these things, I accept full responsibility for my
attempt to run the Strolling Jim 40. And for all results of that attempt, absolving any and all sponsors,
organizers, and supporters of the Strolling Jim from any and all liability related to my attempt to run
the Strolling Jim 40.
Signed: ____________________________________________________________ Date

This is the best waiver I have ever seen. " Its a foolish thing I am doing, but I am going to do it anyway."

I wish this race was later in the year. It would fit well into my 40-B4-40 plan.

Check it out www.tynesweb.com/sj40/

Friday, January 1, 2010

10 questions for 2010

These questions were presented to me in 2009. I wrote them in a Journal and have yet to answer them all.

1. Whose life do you wish you had?

2. Whats your biggest regret?

3. What did you dream of as a kid?

4. What makes you go WOW!?

5. What do you want on your gravestone?

6. What do you think people will say about you?

7. Do you feel your age?

8. What are the top 5 Experiences in your life?

9. What holds you back from going for it and achieving your dreams?

10. What is the toughest question?

"We had done this thing we had set out to do, and instead of becominglarger because of the experience, we became smaller, more humble moreaware of how little we know: about the world in general, about ourselves specifically."
- Richard Benyo in "The Death Valley 300."