Thursday, January 31, 2008


It looks like Mars (one of our Rottweilers) has Cushing's disease (aka hyperadrenocorticism). What's that, you might ask... It's either a pituitary tumor causing the adrenals to produce too much cortisone or a tumor on the adrenals causing the overproduction. Not good on the body and can eventually cause serious problems. We think we caught it early, as he's not showing the typical initial symptoms of drinking a lot of water/excessive urination. His alkaline phosphatase enzyme was elevated in a liver panel they did before he got his teeth cleaned a few months ago. When he gotsome additional blood work done before his root canal work the enzyme was still high. The vet suggested that peridontal disease could have caused the elevated values (normal is ~150, he was 800) so we had him tested again Tuesday, about a month after the root canal. It was even higher than before, over 1000 (not sure of the units).
Sooooo...the vet did the test for Cushings and his values were in the "consistent-with-Cushing's" zone. But other liver function values were normal, which is good. Since Mars is also somewhat arthritic, treating Cushings to reduce cortisone levels may make the arthritis worse. So for now we'll probably have Mars get an ultrasound to determine if it is pituitary or adrenal and get him on rimadyl for the arthritis. We'll probably waiton the Cushings treatment since it is pretty harsh - the drug is relatedto DDT and basically kills the adrenal cells. Kill too many and you get Addison's disease, not really good either. Now we know what to watch for and can keep an eye on him. So a bummer, but we're hoping it can stay under control for now. Mars will be 8 years old on Valentine's day so he's no young'un.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Signed up for a Bike Camp

Now that triathlon will be my primary sport, I'm hoping to make as many improvements as possible to my "game." Colorado Springs happens to be a sports mecca, I'm guessing partly due to the presence of the Olympic Training Center. But that gives us mortal athletes some great opportunities. Also here is Carmichael Training Systems, a sports training company run by Lance Armstrong's coach, Chris Carmichael. At the end of April they are having a Beginner Road Skills camp here in town and I'm shelling out the $650 to attend. It really is a birthday present from Tim...does it matter that it will take place 6 months after my birtday? At least I don't have to travel and can sleep in my own bed! I'm pretty excited - I think I have some potential to be a strong cyclist and would like to learn as much as I can. I'm sure the camp will give me some new places to ride in town and also help me to be a better TNT coach.

Pretty soon I need to put together my race schedule and training plan for the year. I hope to have my 'A' race triathlon be the Loveland Lake to Lake Olympic on June 28th and I will also be participating in the Hood to Coast Relay at the end of August. I'll fill in the May-June-July with some sprint races, 5ks and 10ks.

Today's training:
65 minutes on the trainer. The spinning class at BV went out on the road (too chilly for me still) so I put in my own effort in the basement. Since I'm pretty much in the prep phase, just getting in some easy aerobic work is all I need. After a 10 minute warm-up I did a few 10 minute sets alternating cadences (90rpm, then 100rpm) keeping HR ~150bpm so adjusting gears as needed. Finished off with a single leg drill then 10 minute cool-down.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Farewell to Taekwondo for now

A bit of a sad night but when something must end, something else must begin. In order to keep my sanity (and probably my marriage!) I had to make a compromise. I just don't think I can manage both taekwondo and triathlon training if I am going to be an assistant coach for the Colorado Springs Team in Training triathlon team. So tonight I dropped by the dojang to let Master Kunkel and some of the black belts know I have to take a break for this great opportunity. It's been a fantastic 3 years training at the US Taekwondo Academy, and how many people say they have trained with an olympian? I've made a lot of great friends and the dojang has been a wonderful social outlet for me (not to mention a physical outlet!) I hope I do stay in touch with the people there. I suppose things like this have double sided emotions. I've been doing it for so long that I am sad to go, but on the other hand, I'm leaving for an exciting opportunity. There's got to be a good metaphor for these situations...

Time to get ready for bed, as tomorrow is another morning of swimming! (The sun was out today so my bathing suit didn't freeze!)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Frozen Bathing Suits - The real post for today

When it doesn't get above 25 degrees or so, wet bathing suits will freeze in your car. I swim most weekday mornings and will usually open my bag and pull out the towel and suit to drape them over the back seat so as not to be in a closed environment while I am at work. I suppose this is more useful in the summer, because as I learned today, the bathing suit will freeze in the winter. It's safe and in the house now, all thawed out.

The snow never really let up until tonight, but it didn't really accumulate, either. Just plain cold, though. My poor mom...she's here from Florida visiting my brother, his wife and her first grandchild. We told her not to worry, it gets cold for a few days and warms back up. She's been here a week and I think we've had only one day above freezing. Doesn't look much better for the rest of the week. Sorry, mom!

Banana Death is Here!

OK - this is a test - it is only a test! But don't go far, I'll be back very, very soon!