May 27, 2011

I've become a lab rat!

Today I had my V02 Max test at Oakland University in preparation for a study I'll be participating in as a runner. The proposed title for this study is:

Revisiting the Human Sweat Gland - Does arginine vasopressin modulate sweat sodium concentration via the V2 receptor?

I realize that is mumbo-jumbo to many, but most runners have probably heard of hyponatremia. Dr Tamara Hew-Butler's continuing research could go a long way toward understanding this condition and helping runners prevent it.

I was allowed to warm up at my leisure, so I ran on the treadmill in the lab for a little over 10 minutes at about 6.5 mph, then stepped off the treadmill and had the scary mask from hell put on my head. It was a mask that collected and measured all the gases I exhaled. As big and bizarre and heavy as it was, it actually did not bother me too much during the test.

The test had me start at 5.5 mph and then the speed was increased by 0.5 mph every minute until I could not go any longer. Since I couldn't talk with the mask on, it was a thumbs up or thumbs down to signal if I wanted to keep going. I made it 11 minutes, the final minute at 10.5 mph before I had to stop. My VO2 max was 57.6. They were hoping to get my HR too, but the HR monitor didn't work. Bummer.

The best part about it was that the longer I went, the more the five people there helping cheered me on. During the last 3-4 minutes, they were shouting their lungs out for me! It was great!! I bet that doesn't happen during most VO2 max tests!!

I'll be back in the lab on three more occasions. These three runs will be entirely different. No more VO2 max testing. Instead they'll be measuring my urine, sweat, blood and saliva after making me run for an hour and then undergoing a "performance trial". All this is after being given a diuretic, anti-diuretic or plecebo pill along with an ingestible core temperature sensor. I won't know which pill I'll be taking and neither will the researcher. Very cool. I'm very excited about this study and getting the chance to participate!

May 22, 2011

Back the the Beach Half Marathon

Shitty race. No, wait. The race was great. I just performed horribly.

Here are a few things NOT to do before and during a half marathon:
  1. Don't run a marathon 3 weeks previous, hike 34.5 miles 2 weeks previous, then do a 26.4 mile training run 1 week previous.
  2. Don't do 2 tough bike rides in the 2 days before the race especially when you haven't been biking regularly for a while.
  3. Don't do your first mile in 6:46 when you intended to go out at 7:05 (granted, I had no idea I was doing a 6:46 pace), then fail to correct yourself and do mile 3 in 6:40.

Temps and humidity that I hadn't acclimated to yet due to our wonderful spring weather also played a part, I'm sure.

Hit the wall around mile 9.5ish. Had to walk/run from there. Never thought I'd hit the wall during a half!!  I was in the lead for 9.5 miles and ended up finishing 6th. That says it all.

Joe and his amazing team of organizers and volunteers did an incredible job. This race will grow. It has to. It is great. I have not a single complaint. I'm just filled with praise for what they accomplished.
"Cats are like greatness: Some people are born into cat-loving families, some achieve cats, and some have cats thrust upon them." -William H. A. Carr

red's 2011 race schedule