Saturday, March 22, 2014

Pitfalls and Slippery Slopes

Years ago when our older kids were small, I think we had been running errands around Boulder and we got hungry, as a family might, and were near a Good Times drive-through. From that day on, it seemed like anytime we were near the place someone in the car would suggest we stop at Good Times and we often would. It then seemed that if we were even remotely near Good Times or just somewhere in Boulder someone would suggest we go there.

My wife and I had been doing fairly well on our efforts of controlling our calorie intake. A stressful workweek can evoke the same type of conditioned response that we experienced with Good Times. We often go out on a Friday evening for some kind of meal outside of the house as is so common with many people. It seems that anywhere we choose to go on a Friday evening is packed. When I suggested to Ruth that we go out for dinner she broached the issue of our diet. I responded that it could be our break from it for the week and that we didn't have to gorge ourselves.

We didn't gorge ourselves, although we did break from our usual vegetarian fare. Being St. Patrick's Day weekend, the restaurant had a couple of Irish specials and I decided I'd have the lamb shepherd's pie and Ruth chose a non-Irish plate of penne bolognese. We didn't overeat, but somehow it seems that outing led us onto the slippery slope. We allowed food to be an indulgence and we seemed to be in a state, at least for dinner, of wanting to indulge. One night I made falafel and we ate it with homemade coleslaw held in a whole wheat tortillas. Three was way too many. Another evening we decided to combine all the leftovers into one meal. The charge seemed to be to finish them and not waste any food. Leftovers of leftovers for lunch would have been a better idea. Yesterday was Friday and even before I left work Ruth had texted me suggesting dinner out. I responded with "ok", knowing the kitchen had remained rather a mess from the night before.And although she had cleaned up the kitchen and keeping it that way by going out was a good idea, the interest in going out had waned by the time I arrived home. Our oldest son was home so I figured I'd make pizza and use up some random items in the refrigerator that go well on pizza. I'd like to think we didn't do too much damage with a week of dinner digression; we were diet diligent for breakfast and lunch although nothing was recorded this week.

Fortunately we start our spring break this morning and it is easier to avoid eating pitfalls without the work routine. Mangoes and Mexican papaya are in season now, a reasonably-price granola cereal is on sale, and there are two tubs of non-fat yogurt in the refrigerator. A combination of those items will make a good pre-run breakfast. Getting myself out the door for ten miles on a blustery sub-freezing late March day is the next challenge.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Dodging the Work Week Food Traps

This is the third in a series on weight loss effort.

Today marks the third day of working to adjust downward my weight. The past two days were easy to come out ahead because it was the weekend and I was able to run 15 miles between the two days; I had plenty of room to spare and still be under my calorie target. The routine of the workday provides different challenges. To counter the main challenge of ending up hungry at noon and having to seek out the healthiest of nearby bad choices, I brought food from home. I brought a small plastic container of pinto beans and a falafel patty. I ate one pumpkin pancake at home before I left for work and augmented this with a mid-morning snack of nuts, raisins, pistachios, dried fruit, and chocolate morsels which total about 200 calories. The falafel was rather dry and a little hard to get down and I couldn't eat any more before even finishing the beans. I teach high school and I walked three laps on the track with another teacher after eating.

There is a cake shop across the street from the school and it was a bit of a challenge to break the routine of going for a large oatmeal raisin cookie after lunch. The walking helped. The school store is directly across from my room and I had to resist buying a 1 3/4 ounce bag of Ruffles Queso Potato Chips. They are quite addictive. I avoided the traps at work. At least it wasn't Friday when there are often trays of doughnuts for the taking.

Arriving home seems to trigger a desire to eat. My wife wouldn't be home from work until a little late so I decided to make something to eat that would count as dinner. The danger would be to eat twice. I made a chopped veggie-laden tuna salad and ate it as a sandwich and with some wheat thins. My wife just wanted a bowl of cereal when she got home, but I was hungry again so I opted for the vegetable soup that we still had from the weekend. Even with two Indian Pale Ales I was able to end the day at a net loss of 530 calories.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Eat Before You're Hungry

This is the second post in a series documenting weight loss.

It is the morning of day two of my weight loss effort. I don't like to use the word "diet"; it has acquired such a negative feel to it. Typically, it is a drastic action a person takes until he or she can go back to the behavior that led to the need to diet in the first place. Depending on what a person's eating behaviors were, a diet may or may not be drastic. I don't think it should be so drastic that it couldn't establish a pattern for a new sustainable behavior.

One behavior that many people have, especially if they are feeling bad about their weight, is to weight until they are rather hungry to eat. I awoke not long ago and could probably make it most of the morning without eating, but then my hunger might push me to either eat more than I should or eat something I shouldn't or worse: both. Knowing this, I make having breakfast something I always do before starting my day. Yesterday I had an omelet, but I try not to eat too many eggs, so today I had berries, yogurt, and granola. Cereals portions and their associated calories are typically low. When trying to lose weight, it is important to measure your cereal portion. Granola has even more calories than regular cereal. I measured out 2/3 of a cup which gave me 230 calories. Frozen berries are rather low in calories and are high in antioxidants so you can be generous with them. I dumped close to a cup in my bowl and then microwaved them. Non-fat yogurt is not a low calorie food; sugar is the second ingredient listed on the label. It takes a lot of yogurt to moisten granola. I added close to a cup to the granola and berries.

Granola, Yogurt, and Berries Breakfast

2/3 cup granola             230
1 cup non-fat yogurt     170
1 cup berries                   70

Total                              470

The total is probably somewhat lower than 470 because neither the yogurt nor the berries were a full cup. Imagine though, if my estimates or measurements were low on every item; I could easily be off by three or four hundred calories by the end of the day. 440 calories is probably more accurate for this meal. I've been drinking coffee this morning as well; fortunately, I like black coffee; I don't even bother to count the 15 or so calories that are in black coffee. My wife drinks her coffee with 2% milk and sugar; that adds up. Each teaspoon of sugar has 15 calories and the milk may add close to 15 as well. For her, each cup of coffee is rounded to 50 calories.

I was rather pleased with my first day of weight loss effort yesterday. Because I ran 7.2 miles yesterday, I was able to add 860 calories to my base of 2245 for a total of 3105 calories that I could have eaten and not gained weight. To meet my daily goal, I would have to consume 445 calories less than that. I took in 750 calories less. That is about 1/5 of a pound. I somewhat regret having three beers over the course of the evening. I would have lost 1/3 of a pound without them.

I weigh myself daily when I am trying to lose a few pounds. The readings on the scale on a day to day basis should not be given much value from day to day. For example, Yesterday morning I weighed 183.4. This morning, I weighed 181.2. I did not lose over two pounds in 24 hours. There are many factors that can create significant variations in a person's weight over the course of the day. I may have been well-hydrated yesterday morning. I may have had to go to the bathroom. This morning I may have been slightly dehydrated from yesterday's exercise. I may have eliminated more waste yesterday. Oh, and I lost 0.2 pounds. So, 2.0 of the 2.2 pounds differences between yesterday and today had nothing to do with actual weight loss. Eventually the readings will even out. I will have a consistent pattern of eating, hydration, elimination, and exercise and by weighing myself at the same time each day relative to those variable I will begin to see more consistent readings; from day to day there may be very little drop, no drop, or the scale may read higher. If you find yourself anxious about the variations you'll want to weigh yourself less often.

I will probably run a few more miles this afternoon. I know that it takes energy to do that. It will take more than 100 calories for each mile that I run. Energy will already be stored in my muscles, but psychologically I will feel better about running for an hour or two if I don't have an empty stomach. I will also have fuel in the tank once the stores in my muscles are depleted. I will also not be so hungry when I'm done running. In fact, I find that if I run long enough my appetite seems suppressed for quite a while after the work out.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Weight Weight Don't Tell Me

Daylight Savings Time begins tomorrow and the residual cough from the persistent cold I've had for the past three weeks is waning. There is no better time to begin to tune up the body. People think I'm nuts when I express that I'd like to drop 10 or 15 pounds. Entering my weight into the Center for Disease Control's Body Mass Index calculator I am told that my BMI is 25.5 and hence I am "overweight". Normal body weight for my height is between 133 and 179 pounds. This morning, stepping on the scale for the first time in a while, I weighed 183.2.

Six months ago I weighed 173 pounds; I was able to do training runs of up to 25 miles and I was content with that weight and conditioning level. After the deluge in Colorado last fall I spent several weekends putting new shingles on the house and my running dropped off. Also, many of my favorite trails were washed out and closed. I became rather careless about what I ate and have was given to having an extra beer quite regularly. I have found in the past that running helps me regulate my weight but doesn't do much for making me lose it because I typically eat more to fuel the running. I have had good success with limiting calories and documenting everything I eat on a spreadsheet.

To calculate how much I should eat to lose my target loss per week I entered my height, weight, and age in an online Basal Metabolic Rate calculator to find how many calories I burn just living and breathing. Mine was 1,727 calories. I multiplied this by a factor of 1.3 to adjust for a lightly active lifestyle, which results in 2,245 calories I can consume daily without gaining or losing weight. I have always heard that 3500 calories of fat was roughly equivalent to one pound. I just did a little online research to confirm this and although the figure is arguable, it close enough when taking into consideration that there will be some other imprecisions along the way. For example, I am active; my lifestyle isn't exactly sedentary so I could probably eat a bit more and not gain weight. I would like to lose about a pound a week, so to do that I need to eat about 500 calories less than the 2,245 given above. I see that it is typically recommended that men not consume less than 1800 calories per day. Certainly, there would be variations based on the man's weight and other considerations. I will set the 1800 calories as my target and make adjustments to eat more based on how much I run. I usually add between 100 and 130 calories per mile that I run. So if I run 5 miles later on I will be able to add 500 to 650 calories to my intake.

I plan to chronicle my efforts to lose about a dozen pounds here to share how I've done it before, to share some of what goes through my mind in the process, and to help keep myself accountable. I weighed myself, so I have a starting point. It is important to eat before getting hungry because once a person is hungry, judgement about eating tends to be impaired. Looking at what there is to eat in the house, I would be inclined to have some bread products, but I want to make my calorie intake as nutritious and satisfying as is practical. My wife and I try to eat a vegan, or at least vegetarian diet as much as possible, but we are not strict about it. I had eaten strictly vegan for about a year, but I allowed eggs and nonfat yogurt back into the mix. This past winter I even ate meat somewhat regularly and had some pizza a handful of times. For my current weight adjustment effort I will eliminate all the animal products except the eggs, yogurt, and occasionally some fish. This morning I think I will start with an omelet. For the cheese, I like Lisanatti Foods' almond-based jalapeño jack cheese alternative. Since I plan to run a little later I will need some carbohydrates so I will eat some toast with it.

Last night I knew my wife and I were going to begin this diet so I made a vegetable soup from the fresh vegetables that happened to be in the refrigerator. Soup is very easy to make; you put stuff in water and heat. I used some wilting celery, carrots, three mushrooms past their prime, onion, garlic, what was left of a red pepper, the chopped up trunks of two broccoli crowns, the last two leaves of some purple kale, and a big handful of Black Japonica rice for heartiness. When we had it last night I tossed in some fresh jalapeño rounds and chopped cilantro.

Breakfast ingredients and calories

2 large eggs                            140
1 tspn olive oil in pan                35
1 oz. almond cheeze                 50
1/4 avocado                             65
diced veggies                           30
2 slices dry wheat toast           160

Total                                       480

There are some general sensible guidelines that I follow to make it easier to stick to the plan. I eat before I am hungry. Vegetables of color can almost be eaten without accounting for their calories. Juices, soft drinks, and alcohol add on calories quickly. I limit these and measure them carefully. It is wise to avoid any kind of restaurant during weight loss efforts. I keep track of everything I consume. I look at the labels or look up the item on a website such as for calorie amounts. I allow myself rewards. I may allow one meal on Sunday in which I indulge within reason. If a person finds it difficult to put off a reward for an entire week, a small piece of dark chocolate, or in my case a beer, on a daily basis is within reason.

Before posting this I would like to note that I took the dog out for a sloppy early March trail run. We covered 7.2 miles after eating a couple of pumpkin pancakes for lunch that I had made for the little guy's breakfast. I should have somewhere between 720 and 940 calories to play with today, which makes dieting a lot easier. If you're not up for running, getting out for a walk of for a half hour to an hour could build in a cushion of 100 to 300 calories.

I've just finished a bowl of the above-mentioned vegetable soup and will probably have a multi-vegetable salad for dinner along with something more substantial and of protein content such as a bowl of pinto beans and a couple of heated soft corn tortillas.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Runners Wave

I bought a small Honda motorcycle about five years ago and I ride it regularly to run errands, take advantage of free motorcycle parking, commute, and to save money on gas. Shortly after I began riding I discovered that motorcyclists have a little wave they give each other as they pass. Their left hand comes of the handlebar and is held down for a second like a "low five". There are some variations; a couple of fingers might be pointed out toward the other rider or the hand might be held open and the degree to which the arm goes out may be anywhere from six o'clock to eight o'clock. The salutation seemed a bit on par with a secret handshake and wholly unnecessary, but I joined in the ritual as well.

I guess bikers (I don't think of myself as a biker) feel a certain kinship and consequently feel compelled to greet a like person. I'm not sure I'm like any of the people I encounter riding motorcycles but I'd grant that we are having a similar and rarer experience than driving a car; I suppose bonds us for a couple of seconds. I have noticed that scooter riders don't do the greeting. I infer that to mean that maybe motorcyclists don't give the low hand wave to scooters and so scooter riders don't wave because no one has ever initiated a wave to them. I've also noticed that riders of certain types of motorcycles are less inclined to wave. They tend to be the riders of bikes with large fairings that cover the whole front of the bike or sport bikes with low handlebars. I don't know if those riders see themselves differently or having a different experience than me and so don't wave, see me as different from themselves because of our bike choice and don't wave, or because of the design of the bike find it more difficult to wave. Sometimes a rider will give me the low hand wave and I'll be braking or about to change gears and not respond and I wonder if they'll feel slighted.

My experience is similar when I run. When I encounter other runners I will acknowledge them with a quick fingers up open hand greeting, sometimes a head nod, or even a spoken "hi" or "howdy". They will often do the same, but many runners will pass without even an expression change. I feel a greater kinship with someone whom I encounter on a trail on a mountain than a motorcyclist so when they pass indifferently it makes me wonder about the implications. Are they lost in the moment? Do they find it peculiar and unnecessary to greet a passing runner, person, fellow human being? Do they perceive me as significantly different from themselves; maybe what I'm doing doesn't seem like running to them, kind of like waving to a scooter driver. If I come across a runner in a relatively remote area where I have not seen another person for a long time, I may make a comment like "Oh, I guess I'm not the only sane/crazy person in the world".

I suppose a lot can depend on population density. A scene from Crocodile Dundee comes to mind. The character is from the Australian Outback and is a passenger in a car that stops for a red light on a New York City street. While at the intersection he greets a couple of people talking on the sidewalk and introduces himself, says he'll be in town for a while and that maybe they'll run into each other again. Presumably, in the remote Outback people greet any other humans they encounter, but a New Yorker would never think to greet everyone passing the other direction walking on 5th Avenue. I don't imagine all the motorcyclists at the yearly Sturgis, South Dakota rally cruising through the streets salute all the thousands of other bikers. Joggers in a city park may not feel compelled to nod to one another just like runners at the local 5K aren't going to all give a little wave to all the other participants.

Maybe motorcyclists and runners perceive themselves as vulnerable minorities. Motorcyclists and runners on the road experience significant vulnerability surrounded by big SUV's, trailer trucks, and distracted drivers in any four-wheeled vehicle and so maybe there is a "we've got to stick together" attitude among them. But then, I have notice other groups behave similarly. Truck drivers passing in opposite directions on a road may flash lights at each other and in my bus travel in Mexico I noticed the bus drivers always saluted and made peculiar gestures to each other as they passed on the narrow highways.

So I think I understand the bond that people feel to one another and that there may be a point when it's infeasible to express that bond; if everyone suddenly were driving motorcycles I'm sure the waving would stop. Maybe Harley riders would just salute other Harley riders and Vespa riders would just wave at other Vespa riders. I still wonder though, why the occasional runner that I encounter on a remote trail whom I gesture to or say "hi" to doesn't at least give a grunt or a nod of acknowledgement. Maybe he grew up in a big city like New York and does the opposite of Crocodile Dundee; he doesn't greet anyone he doesn't know just as he wouldn't on the streets of New York. Maybe he thinks it's a bit silly and unnecessary like I do with regard to the motorcyclists giving the low five to each other.

Many people prefer the anonymity that is found in a large city, but I would rather live in a community where I wasn't so overwhelmed by sheer numbers that saying "good morning" to a passing fellow human being would be an odd thing to do. It's not that I'm such a warm person, either, but it just feels like we'd be a healthier lot if more of us lived where the scale of community allowed for a nod of the head, a wave of the hand, a wink of an eye, a thumbs up, a flash of the lights, or even a "hi there" or "G'day mate".

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cicada Holes up in Runner's Ear

I haven't written a post for quite a while, mostly because running these days has been rather routine and uneventful, until yesterday evening. I had the opportunity to get in on two Boulder Trail Runner runs. I ended up doing the first run alone because I arrived five minutes late and tried to catch up to runners I discovered weren't actually there because I had the location for the run of the 5:30 for the following day. After that run I did a little work and then hurried to the trail head for the 8:30 run. I met up with about seven other runners and we headed out at dusk across the South Teller Farm Trail east of Boulder.

The evening had cooled off nicely as it does once the sun sets in Colorado. As we ran an easy conversational pace on the flat non-technical farm road the regulars made acquaintances with a couple of new runners answering questions they had about the different regular runs and typical routes, etc. On this particular run we usually go out about 3.2 miles and turn around at a bridge that crosses the Boulder Creek on the northern extension of the Teller Farm trail. We don't like to dawdle there because mosquitoes descend on us immediately over the water. We made a quick decision to continue on for another mile to add some hills to our run. The moment we started off in the twilight a large winged insect flew right into my ear as if aiming for a bulls eye and burrowed in as if there was only one way to go. I think I let out some sort of noise and thought I saw someone glance back, but they all disappeared into the growing darkness.

I stumbled around for a few seconds disoriented, being attacked at this point by mosquitoes as well. My motorcycle key was safety pinned to my t-shirt, so I released it and tried to get it in alongside whatever creature was in my ear. I thought I might be able to press it to one side and work it out or at least kill it. That wasn't successful; I mostly just irritated it and made it claw more frantically. I rubbed my arms and legs brushing off the mosquitoes and started to run after the group, thinking they'd be able to help, but I realized I might be better off seeking professional help than letting a pack of runners armed with a headlamp and motorcycle key poke around my ear drum so I turned around and headed back from where we had come. Running seemed to agitate it more than walking so I walked. At times it would be still and it was hardly noticeable, but frequently it would try burrowing more, or what to me felt like trying to extend its wings in vain.

I always run with my cell phone so tried to call my son so that he could come meet me at the nearest road, but he didn't answer. I texted my wife, explaining the situation and asked her to continue to try reaching Alex. She reached him and sent him my way, but I had a while to wait. The other runners came by on their return trip and I stopped them and asked if they could take a look with their headlamps; it was a little startling when they said they couldn't see anything, well, maybe something that looked like a leg. I let them continue on and waited, enduring its occasional stirrings.

A friend of Alex's was driving and my phone was almost out of power after having used the map-my-run app over the course of two runs during the day so I asked Alex to Google how to remove a bug from the ear canal. I thought maybe we could avoid going to the emergency room. According to the site he found, olive oil poured into the ear canal would not do harm to me and would kill the bug which would float out. It seemed reasonable, until I had the bottle of olive oil in my hand. I suddenly felt that I'd rather pay the $100 emergency room deductible and have the professionals take care of it. So Alex and his friend followed me to the emergency room.

Part of being able to deal with discomfort, pain, uncertainty, and creepiness of the situation up until the point of arriving at the emergency room was knowing how long each step toward relief would take; walking to the nearest road would be about fifteen minutes, Alex would be there to pick me up in another fifteen, the car ride to the house another ten, then another ten to the ER. But once I was in the ER the length of time I had to endure became an uncertainty. I wasn't unconscious, didn't have a broken bone, I wasn't in a room with everyone wearing masks, I wasn't having contractions too soon in my pregnancy; I was just pacing around the tiny ER room looking fairly normal from the outside. I was finally attended to about an hour and ten minutes after arriving at the hospital.

The doctor said she would put some drops of Lidocaine in the ear which would numb things and also kill the bug. Evidently there is a pain medication addict working at that ER because there was no numbing sensation and bug seemed just as content and maybe even a little more comfortable scratching around with a little lubrication. She left for a bit to look for a "scraping tool" and was consulting with someone on a cell phone at the same time. She injected more of the mysterious Lidocaine replacement liquid and then tried working the tool in along side it and flicking the bug out to no avail. She said she needed a smaller catheter and a larger syringe. Another fifteen minute eternity passed for the bug and I before a nurse came in with a liter of saline solution and a 60 ml syringe. She had me lay down on the cot bug side up. She proceeded to cover my head and neck with towels and fed the catheter down to what seemed like my eardrum. I'm sure she was just squeezing gently on the syringe plunger but it felt like she had the nozzle switched to "power wash" at the car wash. About five long power blasts ant my eardrum and she floated it out intact. She said, "most people say they have a big bug in their ear because in their ear it feels big; you did have a big bug in your ear."

She received it on a gauze pad and set it on the stainless steel work tray. It was still alive and clawed its way around the gauze in a circle as if taking a victory lap. The doctor came back to check on me and take a look at the culprit. She said she could not believe how calm I had been; she said she would have been scratching her face off freaking out if it were her. I would have too, if I thought it would have done any good. It wasn't causing great pain, and it didn't seem like it was making forward progress, so relatively speaking the stalemate was tolerable. The doctor offered me drugs speculating that I might not be able to sleep from the trauma, but knowing it was out was good enough, although a couple of beers didn't hurt. I arrived home after midnight to a house full of miller moths that had found their way it through a window left open without a screen. I spent about an hour swigging beer and swatting the cousins of my evening's nemesis.

This morning, describing the bug to my daughter, she thought it sounded like a cicada. I hope it didn't think it had found a comfy place to hole up for the next 17 years. The top picture from Google Images looks very much like what they flushed out. It did not appear to have red eyes, but it was rather rumpled by that point. My advice, if a big hardy bug decides it likes the cramped quarters of your ear canal, don't mess around with oils better left for salads; stay calm and get it flushed out by the professionals.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Running and Pain and my Comfort Zone

This month's edition of Runner's World has an article entitled "Hurts So Good" in which the author talks about the runner's relationship with pain, his own dance with pain as a runner, and weaves in his son's bouts with pain and extreme discomfort as a high school cross country runner. I'm OK with perpetuating the mystique of the runner. Non-runners have at some point in their lives experienced some distress from running, whether from a slog through a concourse to catch the next flight, to cut off the ice cream truck before it leaves the neighborhood, or their many attempts to get into shape that were abandoned after the first half-mile jog; as a result they conclude runners must experience pain and discomfort routinely.

I was recently talking with a fellow teacher who used to run marathons but had to switch to bicycling and swimming after rheumatoid arthritis ravaged her joints. She assumed I had a high tolerance for discomfort because I am able to run for several hours at a time. I responded that this wasn't the case at all; I've built up to it. I've just extended my comfort zone. I don't like to be out of it. Granted, I have to push myself on occasion to go beyond where I've been before, but I take very small bites of discomfort.

I've learned to recognize discomforts; a pain or discomfort only bothers me if I don't understand it or am worried that I won't be able to handle it. One of the things I truly like about running is the lack of pain. Something could be hurting on a run, but I either forget about it or natural painkillers kick in and mute it. I can't recall having sore leg muscles from running in the past twenty years. Some might say, "no pain, no gain," but obviously there has been gain; I could easily go for a four hour run this afternoon in which I run a couple of 12% grades gaining two thousand feet in elevation with a liter bottle of water in one hand and a Cliff Bar in my pocket. If the temperature were to unexpectedly be such that I dehydrate and I can't think straight and I have an hour yet to get back, I'm going to leave my happy place. If I survive though, and I find myself in a similar predicament, I will be a little less uncomfortable because I'm no longer facing an unknown.

I actually don't deal well with pain when I'm running if it persists. Most pains don't persist; a couple of times I've had an IT band act up. That was pain that grew and persisted, telling me to stop what I was doing. If I have pains due to running when I'm not running, I don't worry about them. Sometimes after a long run I can hardly get off the motorcycle and hobble to the door when I get home, but I know I'll be good to go the next day. I've had plantar faciitis and Achilles tendonitis that has lasted for months, but I knew that I'd feel better after a run. Of course, that's why the symptoms would last for months.

I know there are runners who go to the pain zone all the time, some embrace it, for some it's a pain that at least they have control of, not like other pains they may suffer in life. I'm not about the pain; I'm about the not pain. I'm about the 50K all above 9,000 feet above sea level with 9,000 feet of elevation gain being within my comfort zone because I'll want to go out for a run the following day.