Today was the next phase of testing in the ongoing lung saga. I was sort of excited about doing this test because I had done it prior in 2010 a month before Boston so I had some data to compare against. I hoped that some exciting discovery would come out of this test. Nothing has happened in tests at rest so what about while in action?
So that's my new shirt! Not. It was a strip of gauze stuff that he cut arms in to hold all my EKG leads in place and all the wires which were on my back. But it was pure sexy so I might start manufacturing them soon.
The test was basically a warm up then the treadmill up to about an 8 minute pace. With the mask on, it takes a bit of patience and calming to keep running steady. My mouth was cotton dry quickly and I was kind of bouncing around in between a moderate to hard effort. Every couple minutes they would increase the grade on the treadmill to give more load. I kept ramping up nicely I was told. You can't talk back to them with this headgear on.
They basically will keep going until you die. And I died. My legs were burning with lactic acid. I was feeling lightheaded. I stepped off. There is definitely a skill to taking that test and maximizing your score. You have to be able to suffer hard for a burst of time. Its not my thing.
We did a whole bunch of other breathing tests there before and after. They even sent me out the backdoor and told me to do four 2 minute intervals up Sanitas and then come back inside. I did all that and then ran in, sat in a chair, and they measured me again.
All in all, the tests today did not produce the effects that I see at home every day. Like taking your car to a mechanic and it won't do the "thing" you brought it in for. However, they were aware this could happen given a lab is different that say a dusty country road.
So how did I fare? VO2Max was at 55.2. We saw 57.2 in 2010. Still 143% of my age predicted value. So a few differences in that number for me. Sure, its lower but there are "buts". In 2010, I was a month out from Boston. That was marathon-shape. Quicker than today by far. I am doing a long slow progression to summer runs right now. So fitness is not the same. I also reported myself to be plus 10 pounds heavier today. However, there was another number that showed my volume of air that I intake. 2010 was 3.8 liters. Today was 4.0 liters. So I am sucking up more air. Likely caused by the 4 years of training in between tests. So based on these tests you could say I am relatively about the same - if you base fitness off of lungs.
Here are the rest of the results that I can't pretend to comprehend. A few numbers here or there that I am starting to understand.
My doctor's partner came in throughout the test and then did the final consult of the day. He pretty much said he didn't see anything shocking in the tests. A low to mild drop in functioning showing a bit of exercised induced asthma. But definitely nothing that would be cause for alarm.
We chatted a bit about exercise-induced versus allergy-induced. I pulled out Leadville 2013 as a big point of concern. "Everybody has a bad day now and then", he said. So my major data point might be an anomaly in his words. Kind of defeating news. We went back over my medications to ensure proper usage and what situations to apply which. And I was on my way.
I am supposed to follow-up with my doctor in a week or so.
Where does this leave me? I don't know. The good news that I need to be happy about is that I don't seem to have anything fundamentally wrong with my lungs.
Frankly, this allergy-induced route is making some sense. I have been taking Claritin-D on alternating frequencies after my last appointment. It does amazing things to cut down on drainage in my head during a run. I still have coughing spells but they are much drier than before. But is it enough? Will summer accelerate or decelerate the situation? I don't know. Only one way to find out I guess. Give it my best with a few new tools on hand.
Thanks again for your continued support, ideas, and general shit-giving as I try and sort this out.