Judgment Day

A Day in the Life11 Comments


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.

Internet Fax Job

Internet Fax Job

Internet Fax Job

Internet Fax Job

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.

  • JV

    Good news, glad to hear nothing is really wrong. My take? Running hard really effing hurts sometimes!!! ;)

  • http://thescenebegins.com/ Chris Boyack

    Interesting, yet frustrating. I remember you being in pretty killer shape before Boston. Hope you are able to get things sorted. The Claritin approach definitely sounds worthwhile.

  • footfeathers

    People’s allergies can start and change over time. I’d be pretty satisfied with the tests and assumption that you had “a bad day”. Remember my HR100 in 2011? I lost consciousness on my feet from lack of air more times than I cared to remember! I’d skip Bighorn and focus on Leadville if I were you and get that big buckle.

  • http://brandon.fuller.name/ Brandon Fuller

    A single 9 minute mile from my house and I am bent over coughing.

  • http://brandon.fuller.name/ Brandon Fuller

    Its the coughing right now. I can’t run consistently without stopping and coughing until I puke. Not a hard effort even.

    You know Bighorn is just a step to HR.

    And Leadville will happen someday (I keep telling myself). I just don’t know if its this year.

  • footfeathers

    Wish I could give you my HR100 entry; leaning towards pulling out of it. The coughing sucks. Get out on your mtb for a few rides. It’s a more mild bandwidth of exertion that I found easier to deal with when I had a lingering bad cough (shit in lungs) and couldn’t run for a while.

  • http://brandon.fuller.name/ Brandon Fuller

    I would take it…next year. ;) My chances are getting up there. So I go walk a Bighorn and stay alive in the lotto.

    Bike, hmmm. Maybe. Took my daughter to diving last night and saw the sign for open lap swim. Maybe I ought to give that a shot. Nothing like moist air?

  • http://brandon.fuller.name/ Brandon Fuller

    Or we could relive 2011 — I could come pace HR100 so I gain that course time. And you come pace LT100 so you have something to bitch about on the podcast. Win-win!

  • footfeathers

    That honestly sounds like a good idea. I’m considering walking every step of hardrock in 34 hours to prove the true nature of the “sport”. I’m free Leadville weekend.

  • http://brandon.fuller.name/ Brandon Fuller

    Who knows what we might be able to prove. But I am sure the write ups will be EPIC. We will see how my training & treatment go. But you can pencil it in for now. You may have to find a good article on being a pacer. Oh wait…

  • Glenn

    Good that there’s not yet a fundamental problem, bad that the roots are obscure. Keep going with the differential experiments looking for changes because you know its just not normal. Track hacking in your logs and look for patterns (Claritin, altitude, humidity, temperature, days off, easy/hard…), try shower/sauna air before runs…