For those of you who read my earlier blog (below) - at last count one of you- you'll know that I've set some resolutions for 2014. One of those is to ramp up my fitness level to get ready for the "Big Alaska" fishing trip this August. In that vein, I have been hitting the treadmill and trails 6 days a week with twice per week interval workouts and weekly mileage rates of 25-ish. My goal is to run a mile in 5:55 before I turn 55 next January. I believe I have a 55% chance of acheiving this goal.
Alaskan summer days can last 22 hours and I intend to be ready to take advantage of all that daylight. On my first trip to Alaska in 2008, I fished 18 hours per day, and subsequently devleopled rotator cuff problems in both arms. This time will be different.
The training has been going well, but this past week saw a slight setback: LPR. Laryngopharangeal reflux - an acid reflux issue that affected my well being and which manifested itself in my throat, making swallowing difficult by sending my upper GI tract into occasional spasms. Needless to say, I was a bit freaked out by the symptoms. A quick trip to an ENT specialist was in order. After sliding an impressive looking linear camera thingie down my nose and into my esophogus - I am sure this piece of doctor gear has some flyfishing applications - my diagnosis: lay off the coffee and alcohol and 2 Prilosecs a day for four weeks and I will be ok.
I lost a good friend, Stevie, ten years ago to colon cancer at the age of 43. 43! Stevie and I were teamates on the track and cross-county squads at the University of Massachusetts in the 1980's. Stevie was still running 10k road races in 32:30 at the age of 42. A year later he was gone, diagnosed in March at the Stage 4 level, taken from us by July. My doctor, a mutual friend, would later tell me that to be first diagnosed at stage 4 meant that Stevie had been ignoring symtoms for a long, long time.
Runners, like teenagers, tend to have an invincibility complex and Stevie was no exception. When I visited him in the hospital ten years ago while he was undergoing his chemo-therapy sessions, he was intent on getting in his daily runs in the hospital hallways, trailing his I V drip behind him. I miss him dearly and wish that he had been as compulsive about other aspects of his health.
Colon cancer is one of the most treatable forms of this horrendous disease if caught early. Be fit AND well: see your doctor.