Sunday, April 28, 2013

Keep moving

"To me, if life boils down to one thing, it's movement. To live is to keep moving." Jerry Seinfeld
It has been awhile since I have provided anything like an update. Well, here we go! I am pleased to share that, overall, it was a banner week for 'into the thermosphere'.

Tuesday: The love of my life, Linds Sanders, accompanied me on my 50th summit of Mount Sentinel in 2013. This milestone marks the halfway point of the Mount Sentinel challenge.

Wednesday: I sought redemption on Mount Sentinel with my mountain bike. My goal is to bike without stopping to the summit via crooked trail/crazy canyon road. I have improved significantly since previous attempts, biking all but 20 feet without stopping (round trip from house-to-house 1 hour and 30 minutes). I can't wait to get back up there and muscle up those 20 feet!

Friday: Fueled by the adrenaline of a completed work week, Diet Coke and AWOLNATION, I had a go at my University Mountain/Mount Sentinel double-dip personal record (PR). This PR route follows the ridge route directly up Mount Sentinel, then heads down to the University/Sentinel saddle, then up to the summit of University Mountain. The route then reverses itself descending back to the saddle and back up Mount Sentinel and down the ridge route (~3,250 vertical feet total). My PR sat at 1 hour 35 minutes round trip (in January), but included running descents. The goal on Friday was to establish a new PR in which not a step was run. Equipped with trekking poles and a light pack, I power hiked the ascents and descents and established my new hiking PR on the route at 1 hour and 42 minutes. I am very pleased with this.

Saturday: I took my bike up the Main Trail in the Rattlesnake. I made it a solid 10 miles in before snow prevented further passage. Unfortunately, no wildlife sightings (save for a snake that I didn't see until my front wheel was on top of it - still feeling awful about that).

I wish I had better news regarding progress toward the magic '500,000 foot' line that I established as the goal of the 'Into the Thermosphere' project. It's not happening. Four months into the challenge, I am sitting at 141,775 feet, well off the pace to 500,000 feet for the year. At this stage my pace is honest and within the realm of what is reasonable. Any increase in intensity and I would be back where I was in February: injured. I have finally locked into a pace that includes adequate rest and cross-training and will remain there as long as I am able.

The upshot: the thermosphere technically begins at ~264,000 feet! Within reason for 2013! The 500,000 foot mark will come, but not until 2014 (perhaps on Denali?). 

All right, full disclosure, this blog post is a bad news sandwich (good news, bad news, good news). Highlights are 'good', falling short of a goal is presumably 'bad' and having my inflammation controlled for 5 months is better than 'good', it is extraordinarily encouraging!  

At my routine bi-monthly check-up - blood work and physical exam  - with the rhuematologist, we fell victim to collective surprise at the results of my most recent blood work. My current pharmaceutical regimen - beginning December 2012 - has effectively brought the level of active inflammation in my body into the normal range (after 3+ years 10x or more of normal). The doc alluded to a possible tapering of some of the medications if my labs remain stable through the next two months. This is the best sort of news you can get with RA!

The best part of all of this - the highlights, botched goals and promising labs - is the quality of life that I have been provided. Save for unrelated knee problems (which are steadily improving), I have been feeling like a million bucks. Keep moving!

Onward and upward!


1 comment:

  1. Hey Brian! I had no idea you'd been diagnosed with RA. Me, too. :( As for most, it came as a huge surprise, but I am so grateful to God and modern holistic health knowledge to not need meds anymore at this point! I am so excited to see you still pursuing your dreams in spite of challenges- keep it up!