I had an awesome trail run today. It was a perfect fall day. Low humidity, leaf foliage at their peak colors, sixty degrees temperature.
Fall is my favorite season. You get to experience all five senses with fall, it totally surrounds you.
Sight the changing leaf color is a cacophony explosion of color. Who cannot appreciate yellows, red, oranges of every tone? While I love the lushness of our green summer, the color palette of fall is top notch.
Sound-crunch crunch crunch. Who doesn’t love plowing through drying leaves and hearing that crunch, crackle, crunch about their feet? It’s the classic sound of fall.
Smell-the first smell is again from the leaves. It’s that dry dusty, maybe musty, earthy odor the leaves exude. Smoke is also another smell evoked by fall.
Touch-the drying out and dying out of the deciduous trees. Everything is a bit crisp and crunchy. Throw those leaves in the air! Or better yet, make a pile and jump into them! Then you get the sight, smell, touch, all at once!
Taste-the taste of fall is tart. Crisp apple flavors, some more tart than others. Ever try a crab apple? Sour, maybe a touch of sweetness, but tart!
I got to experience all five of these senses on my trail run today. It was one of those perfect days, moderate temperature, beautiful colors, a kiss of a breeze, dried out trails. I’m so glad I got out there again on the trails after a brief absence.
Today’s run is mostly pictures. I decided to do one of my usual loops around the neighborhood, but when I got to the ridge line I decided to run through Peoli and visit Cy Young’s grave, since I had not been by in a year or so.
I run off my hill down to the creek bottom. It’s pretty flat for about three miles through here.
This is the first sheep flock I encountered, across from the creek.
Then I run by our Grange Hall. Most rural communities across the United States eventually had a Grange chapter. Ohio had more than nine hundred chapters. Many chapters built their own meeting halls. These halls provided a place for the farmers to meet, but they also served as places for dances, quilting bees, and other social activities, helping alleviate the isolation of farm life
Since the two Great Danes were nowhere around to menace me, it was then just the usual 1/2 mile climb back up to the ridge line, to the now empty green house on the hill.
This will be the highest point around the area. Although I was pretty sweaty climbing, a good breeze cooled me down on the ridge.
Then it’s some nice downhill rollers.
Nice fall bucolic colors if I say so myself!
Sheep farm Number Two
The church below is where I am headed.
I turn onto the state route (my home is now about three miles away) and see that the blacksmith shop is closed today.
It doesn’t appear that anyone is living in Joe Miller’s house either.
There have been five fantastic female finishes in the endurance world in the both FKT (Fastest Known Times) and Firsts. I wanted to give a shout out to these fabulous ladies! (And I’m done with the alliteration)
Tahoe Rim Trail
On Wednesday Sept 30 2015, ultrarunner Krissy Moehl set a new fastest known time, or FKT, on the Tahoe Rim Trail. She finished the loop in 47 hours 29 minutes—a new women’s supported FKT, and nearly two hours faster than Amber Monforte’s 2014 record of 49 hours 17 minutes.
The 165 mile Tahoe Rim Trail winds through the Sierra Nevada and Carson Mountain ranges of California and Nevada. The highest point on the trail is Relay Peak at 10,338 feet and lowest point is 6,240 feet.
A supported run means just that; Krissy had support crew of people meeting her at trailheads, bringing her food, water, gear. People who are running or pacing her can also carry her gear if the runner wants.
Krissy Moehl is a sponsored athlete by Patagonia and this is not her first record. 2 outright wins, 55 wins as first female. She also has the FKT on the Wonderland Trail with Darcy Piceu of 22.22.
Krissy also has a book coming out in November! Running Your First Ultra:Customizable Trailing Plans for Your First 50K to 100 Mile Race. She is also the Race Director of the Chuckanut 50K
Heather Anderson set an amazing FKT on the Appalachian Trail-a new unsupported record on September 25, hiking from Maine to Georgia in 54 days, 7 hours, 48 minutes.
Unsupported means Heather, trail name “Anish” carried all her food, water and gear for the full 2189 miles. She took four days off the record previously held by Matthew Kirk. Just for perspective, Scott Jurek set the supported FKT in 43 days, supported. Anish, all by herself, just took eight more days.
Anish holds the unsupported record on the Pacific Crest Trail. What she had to do for that? Rise at 5am, and hike, day after day, until 10 or 11pm at night. Then repeat that, for 2650 miles, beating the previous record by four days.
New Course Record at the Spartathlon
There was a new course record set at the Spartathlon, a 153 mile race from Athens to Sparta Greece. The Spartathlon aims to trace the footsteps of Pheidippides, an Athenian messenger sent to Sparta in 490 BC to seek help against the Persians in the Battle of Marathon.
Not only did an American female set the record on the course, the 2nd female finisher, also American, went under the old course record.
Katalin Nagy won the race in 25:03, beating the old course record by almost two hours, which was 26.53 This was an improvement from her race last year by nearly three hours! This win came one month after winning the Burning River 100 Race in 18:30 on July 25.
Alyson Venti was second in 26:50. Alyson has won the Keys 100 twice, winning the race outright in 2014. She was overall winner in the Long Haul 100 in 2014. She won the Badwater 135 in 2014.
New Masters Record at Chicago Marathon
In the shortest distance on my shout out list, the 26.2 marathon, Deena Kastor has broken another US record, running 2:27:47 for a new U.S. masters record by almost one minute. For the fast marathon, that’s a lot of time to shave off! She finished seventh woman overall at age 42 and was the top American.
Kastor is a three-time Olympian, I hope going for another Trials, and she was the 2004 bronze medalist, running an awesome paced race in Greece, moving through the pack to end up third overall. She holds the American record for the marathon, a 2:19:36, which she ran in London in 2006.
Do you have any great female performances to give a shout out to? Let me know!
I finally had my doctor visit to the Cleveland Clinic. They took the blood test for alpha-one deficiency, and sent away for the results.
Then we discussed my asthma and the lack of results I have gotten with my medicine.
I was a bit frustrated with Doctor #1, as I don’t think she “got” the whole ultra running thing. She kept asking me why I had stopped the meds, I told her, because I don’t have a long (like over 60 miles) run anytime soon. She left to go discuss with Doctor #2.
Doctor #2 actually knew an ultra runner, someone that worked at the hospital, so that was bit more helpful. He proposed another somewhat diagnosis-vocal cord irritation.
Did I ever get GERD while running? Why, doctor, yes I do. Would vomiting during a run also irritate the vocal cords? Hmm, that would also. Doctor #2 said it would be hard to diagnose this, as I can’t exactly produce cold weather and running for sixty miles and have an ENT specialist ready to stick a tube down my throat.
Dr #2 mentioned vocal cord dysfunction, it was trouble inhaling..like breathing thru a straw. I sat right up at that one. Yes!
Apparently asthma is usually more of a problem on exhalation, unlike my symptoms, which is on inhaling. I always thought asthma was a problem with breathing in.
The symptoms are just similiar to asthma: difficulty breathing, coughing, wheezing, throat tightness, hoarse voice, voice changes
Triggers? Breathing in lung irritants, excercising, GERD, may trigger symptoms of VCD.
There can also be some pyschological aspects of VCD as I googled along the internet.
In one study, 75% of asthmatics were found to also have VCD.2 Female athletes have been found to be especially prone to episodes.3 Stress and anxiety are both strong contributing factors in triggering episodes. A study comparing teens with VCD and asthma found higher levels of stress and anxiety in the VCD group. Anecdotal observations have also revealed that athletes who suffer undiagnosed VCD will, over time, have a decrease in exercise tolerance precipitating an episode.8
It’s the vestibular folds that cause the problem. These are thick mucous membranes that protect and sit above the vocal folds and below the epiglottis. During inspiration the folds will abduct, or open, to allow the flow of air in. Problems with vocal cord dysfunction, these folds close, causing the breathing problem!
Pic from http://www.vocalcorddysfunctions.com/
Also on my internet googling, I found that vocal folds have been found to be especially sensitive to hormonal influences, particularly androgen, estrogen and progesterone where specific receptors can be found in the epithelial and granular cells and fibroblasts. I haven’t had time to research this further, but I’ve gone through the five or so stages of menopause in the last five years, meaning my estrogen levels have gone wacky.
I have to schedule another appointment at the hospital, a methacholine challenge test, that can rule out whether I have asthma or not. But on the surface, on a bunch of articles that I have quickly read (and will elaborate on another post) it seems my symptoms match more of vocal cord dysfunction.