Sunday, March 25, 2012

March N2U CT Challenge - Barre Amped

This months challenge is courtesy of Pete's Deal.  How I love a good deal!  I purchased this deal back in February thinking it would be perfect for the March challenge.  The deal was 3 Barre Amped classes for $30.

I have gone to 2 classes so far.  Each with a different instructor.  The location is pretty cool.  Kind of an industrial / artsy part of town.  It is a loft space & they have remodeled pretty nice.

Both times I went to the Sunday 2:30 class after swimming.   The class size was reasonable at about 5 or 6 students.  The hour long class moves quickly through a set routine of movements hitting all the major muscles groups.

After a quick warmup they take you through a arm weight routine.  If think using 2 pound weights would be easy peasy think again.  Some of the movements are so small you don't even think it is possible they are doing anything but after a few reps you know they are.  By the end of the arm routine my muscles were crying for mercy.

After the arm weights routine, which lasts about 10 minutes, you grab a small ball & move to the barre.  The exercises are split between on your feet and on the floor.  A lot of the leg movements are done while you are up on your toes.  That is crazy hard.  It makes my calves scream & threaten major cramping.

After the leg routine, next up is a tough ab routine complete with planks, boats, a couple different types of  pushups among other things.  If you make it through this you are rewarded with some nice stretching.

This class is a great overall body workout.  For me it was very challenging & I left feeling like I worked hard.  I had mild soreness after the first class.

The only drawback is that they had the music so loud that you couldn't hear the instructors cues.  Both instructors talked the entire time so I think they want you to hear them.  The space is a loft & it echoes pretty bad.  I asked one of the other ladies if she could here what they were saying & she said no.   Makes me wonder if the instructors even realize it.  I just positioned myself where I could see the instructor & it worked out fine.

Overall, I would recommend taking this class.   You will get a great workout for sure!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Total Immersion Workshop - 4 Week Update

It has been close to 5 weeks since I took the 2 day Total Immersion workshop.  I have diligently been doing the drills as prescribed.  The first 4 weeks were spent doing 80% drills & 20% swim.  For the past 4 weeks I have not swam further than 50 yards without taking a break.  These 2 things were really difficult to adhere to but thankfully I am now into week 5.

According to Leah, the TI instructor, the next 3 months should be spent doing 50% drills & 50% swim.  Consecutive swimming should not exceed 200 yard before taking a break.  A break can be 10 seconds or longer.  Also, speed work is not suggested.  The focus is still on form & when tired form falls apart.  This is definitely true in my case.  I think this will be a much easier plan to follow.

Last Sunday I did the following workout:

WU - 800 yards
                   50 yd swim, 50 yd drill.  Drills including skate, shark fin & shark fin switch.
MS - 500 yards - 10 x 50 yards
                   2 x 50 yd swim, 1 x 50 yd drill, 2 x 50 yd swim, 1 x 50 yd drill, 2 x 50 yd swim, 1 x 50 yd
                   drill, 1 x 50 yd swim
CD - 200 yards
                  100 yd free, 100 yd back
Total - 1500 yards

I swam the 50 yard frees moderately hard.  Not a full out sprint.   I was able to swim all 50's in 1:03 - 1:07.    This is a solid 7 to 11 seconds faster than my pre-swim clinic 50 yard times.  My stroke rates were 21 -22 per lap.  I was pretty happy about that.

Honestly, this is a big relief.  I won't lie that there was a part of me that was concerned I was putting in all these hours in the pool & wouldn't be any faster.

The next 3 weeks I am going to loosely follow the swim workouts in the 6 week triathlon plan.   Heavy focus on drills & form.  Also, I want to reduce my stroke rate to be consistently under 20 while maintaining my 50 yard speed.

I will post another update after I go to the video analysis workshop on April 1st.

A few other fun things happened this week.

1) Karma is doing great.  She is peppy, eating good & just looks much, much better!  2) I received my Tough Chik kit!  I will post pictures of this soon.  3)  I was accepted to be a  2012 Clif Bar Ambassador.   I will get a team kit along with lots of Clif Bar samples to give out at training sessions this summer.  

I am looking forward to sporting both of my new kits!

This Saturday is Steve & my 5th year anniversary.  It is crazy how fast time flies!

Hope is well with y'all!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Karma Coaster

First off, thanks to you all for the kind words.  It is always amazing when something like this happens how there are always others who have gone through something similar and are willing to share their stories.  I really appreciate that. 

This week was quite the roller coaster with Karma.  We came home from work Monday night & she was peppy & playful.  By 9PM she was shivering & really lethargic.  She kept readjusting but couldn't get comfy in her bed.  Her breathing was really short & shallow.  At 10PM , for the 3rd time in her life I brought her into our bed & wrapped her in the blankets.

I really thought this was it.  Steve didn't think she would make it through the night.  He wanted to take her to the emergency vet but I didn't want her last night to be at the emergency vet.  I wanted to keep her home & take her to our vet in the morning.  Steve's argument was that maybe it is something they can treat & we should at least find out what is wrong.  I was convinced.

At 11PM we headed to the ER vet.  The vet said she couldn't hear any sounds from her left side. She  wanted to do xrays & a full blood workup.  The blood work came back pretty close to where it was the other day.  The xrays showed she had fluid built up on the left side.  The vet didn't know what was causing it but mentioned CHF (congestive heart failure), tumor/cancer or some other unknown.  She attempted to drain the fluid but said that either there wasn't enough to drain or that the image on the xray was a solid.  She wanted to keep Karma overnight so they could monitor here.  She also wanted the internist to do a ultrasound in the morning to determine what the issue was.

I absolutely hated leaving her there.  It sucked royally.

Around 7AM the vet called & said Karma was stable.  I called my vet to discuss the options.  At 9AM I decided to transfer Karma there to have a radiologist take a look.  There was nothing wrong with the level of service at the ER vet - I just felt so much more comfortable having Karma at her own vet since they know her history & they all adore Karma. 

Around 3PM the vet called to let me know that Karma has pneumonia.  The vet almost sounded giddy when she gave me the news.  She said this was the best possible outcome.  We can treat this with antibiotics & she should be OK.  She also said her heart is just fine.

I had no idea dogs got pneumonia.  The vet said she probably aspirated when she was sick the week before.  Just crazy!

So after 5 days of antibiotics & her daily Sub-Q regime she is so much improved.  She wants to play, she runs to the door after potty, she is gobbling up all her food.  I am starting to believe that a dog can live a good quality of life while in renal failure.

Two of our friends drove up from KC for the day to visit Karma this weekend.  They have known Karma virtually since the first weekend I brought her home from U of W.   It was so great to see them even though it was a super short visit. 

Karma waiting for N & R to arrive on Saturday
Karma - Hoping R will share some of his Stinger Waffle!
Hopefully life with Karma will be uneventful for a while.  I should be back blogging about workouts & stuff shortly.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Karma - The Diagnosis

I am going to periodically deviate from my normal fitness crap & write some posts about Karma.  I want to document the journey that we have been on for the past 10 years since rescuing her from U of Wisconsin as well as what is ahead for us.

For those of you that don't know Karma is my beagle.  I found out last Tuesday (3/6/12) that she is in renal failure.  I immediately thought that we were going to have to say goodbye that night.  To my surprise the vet said there was still lots that we can do to help her live a good quality of life.  For how long, we don't know.

On Tuesday, her Bun level was 125, creatinine 5.0 & phosphorus was 15.6.   These numbers are borderline moderate / severe renal failure.  We kept her at the vet overnight where they hooked her up to IV fluids & gave her some medicine to help her naseau.

When we picked her up on Wednesday her Bun level was 108, creatinine 4.7 & phosphorus was 13.0.  Not great but at least the numbers were going in the right direction.

The vet showed us how to give subcutaneous fluids to help flush out the bad stuff as well as a couple new medicines.  One for her tummy & one that is a phosphorus binder.

Her first few days back home went like this:

Wednesday:  A lot of sleeping going on.  She eventually ate her dinner.  Not with her usual robusto.  In the middle of the night she did a lot of coughing.   No vomiting though.

Thursday:  She slowly ate breakfast over the hour before we went to work but we later found out that she threw it all up after we left.  Not good.  I did my run/walk on the treadmill thanks to the pouring rain.   I proceeded to have a good cry during the run/walk.  It was hitting me hard that she was not doing so well.  I so don't want her to suffer.

Once Steve came home we gave her the Sub-Q fluids.  She did seem to perk up after that.  She ate dinner with no problems.  I was feeling a bit better.  She slept through the night with no coughing or vomiting.  A good sign.

Friday:  We were up by 6AM so I could swim before work.  She ate all her breakfast before I left.  Including her medicine bread.  She wasn't taking the phosphorus binder well.  The vet suggested we soak some bread with it & see if she would eat it that way.  The first couple of days it took some time to get her to eat it but by the 3rd day she gobbled it all up.

Saturday:  She inhaled her breakfast up in less than 30 seconds.  That is the Karma I know!  We took her for a walk in the afternoon.  She did pretty well.  She even ran after Steve hiking up a hill to the rail road tracks in our neighborhood.  Karma is the best hiking dog.  She always positions herself between me & Steve.  She always followed Steve but would periodically look back to make sure I was behind her.  If I fall too far back she would turn around to come get me.!

We gave her fluids around 5:30. We met some friends for dinner & when we returned she was all ready to play.  Ducky is her very first toy that was given to her by friends.  She has had this toy for over 10 years.  It is still her favorite.  Below is a silly video we took of her playing with ducky on Saturday night.

Sunday:  Again she ate really well.  Steve took her for a walk to the park.   She is still sluggish but she is much improved since earlier in the week.

Patiently waiting for breakfast!
Karma's Symptoms: 

Excessive thirst She has always drank a lot of water.  Even when her values were normal so we didn't pay too much attention to this..  A few weeks before we took her to the vet she had some really stinky breath.  Much worse than normal.  She has always been a stinker so we didn't think too much about it.  Post diagnosis I found that can be one of the symptoms for renal failure. She was also super itchy.  We chalked it up to dry winter skin.  About a week before we took her to the vet she was not eating like she normally does.  A few days later she started vomiting.   She was getting pretty lethargic as well.

We just are not sure what to expect in the upcoming weeks / months.  A few folks have told me they had pets in renal failure that lived for 2-3 years.   We take her back to the vet on Wednesday.  I am pretty anxious to see how her values are.

Fingers crossed


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