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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in David Ashleydale's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007
3:30 pm
Sunday, May 19th, 2002
12:35 pm
Sad Day
I've recently learned that my bone marrow recipient has passed away. Here is an excerpt from the letter I received from the Blood Center:

"I am writing today with some very sad news. Your recipient recently passed away from Chronic GVHD... The family sends a message of thanks for your generous gift. The staff... would like to express our deepest sympathy on the death of your recipient, and our most heartfelt thanks for your efforts on behalf of this patient. It is natural to grieve, but we would like you to remember that you gave a desperately ill person hope and the chance to live. For that, the recipient's family will be forever grateful and comforted. They can rest assured that their loved one was able to take full advantage of the most advanced medical practice and given every possible opportunity for a cure.

Remember also that the knowledge gained from each and every transplant benefits future recipients. Your contribution will continue to give hope and help to critically ill patients for years to come."

This came as quite a shock to me because last I heard, she was doing well. But they told me from the beginning that because she was older, she would have less of a chance of surviving.

I looked up Chronic GVHD and it seems to occur because my white blood cells don't recognize the recipient's cells and so they attack them. There's more of a chance of this happening when the recipient is of an older age. It's something that happens fairly often, but sometimes it's mild and resolves itself eventually.

I just hope that she was able to enjoy the last year and a half somewhat. I don't know if her family will ever contact me personally.

I didn't know her at all, but I wish I could have done more. Once my little cells were in her body, I kind of felt like there was a part of me living on somewhere else in the world. My blood cells had gone on a little trip to devote their lives to saving someone else's body. I guess it was too much for them to handle, though.

I feel bad that there seems to have been some kind of misunderstanding between my blood cells and her body. Were their orders unclear? Did they wake up in a confusing, foreign land and just try to survive the best they could? I wish it could have worked out better.

I just hope that someday people won't have to suffer through leukemia anymore. Maybe some kind of artificial blood will be developed that understands what it's supposed to be doing. Or maybe a sort of chemical corporal that could have met up with my blood cells, shaken them by their shoulders, and said, "Look, I know you don't feel that you belong here and you're scared. But there's a bigger picture here. Someone's life is depending on you. This is your new home and you can be happy here if you just try."

To the friends and family of my recipient, I'm very sorry for your loss. I'm glad to have been associated with her in some way and I'm still happy that I tried to help.
Saturday, January 6th, 2001
11:12 am
I received a card from the recipient! Here's what she wrote:

"Dear Donor,
Thanks so much for your card. Please excuse my writing the medicine they have me on makes my hand a little shaky. So far I am day 40 post transplant. You weren't kidding about your stem cells. They came in with a vengeance on day 13 and my bone marrow biopsy on day 28 showed only your cells. Amazing! My family -- I have a son who turned 1 in September and a ten year old daughter plus my husband of course, can in no way express our gratitude to you. You have given me a second chance at life which is such an amazing gift. We look forward to meeting you someday so that we can thank you in person. Take care.
Your recipient. :-)"

That was so sweet! If there's such a thing as Heaven, I think all I need to do is present this card to get in.

It almost brought tears to my eyes to realize that I was helping save someone's mother's life. I didn't know she had children.

Also, I'm glad she wants to meet me. I'd love to see how she's doing in person. Of course, we have to wait until next Fall.

I think she gave me a little clue as to where she's from: the card had a picture of a California Poppy on it. Pretty sneaky! If that's true, then it'll be even easier for us to meet since we live in the same state.

It's so great to actually hear from her like this. She's a real person whose life I made a real difference in. I'm going to be in a good mood for several years.

Current Mood: happy
Friday, November 3rd, 2000
7:35 pm
Good news!
I found out a few days ago that my recipient is doing well! She has even checked out of the hospital.

I'm so glad. That means my stem cells are making new blood for her and her body is accepting it.

Now that I think about it, it seems really weird. There's a woman out there with blood flowing through her veins that was created from cells that I gave her. Isn't modern science wonderful?

Of course, in the future I'm sure people will look back at this technique as hopelessly antiquated. They'll say, "Why didn't they just make artificial blood for her -- it's just as good (even better, some say) as real blood. Honey, can you bring the hover car around?"

I should receive another update on her condition in a couple of months.

I'm just so happy everything's going well so far!

Current Mood: ecstatic
Thursday, October 26th, 2000
11:47 pm
More blood?
Last week I had to go in again to give more blood. It never ends, I tell ya.

Ms. Flemer called me at work and said apologetically, "I'm so sorry, but I accidentally ordered the wrong blood test for you last week. I sent in a blue tube and a green tube, but I should have sent a *red* tube and a green tube. So I just need one more little tube of blood from you. I'm really sorry, I hope that's okay."

I rolled my eyes silently to myself and went back for more sharp object poking. At least it was just one little tube.

At least they used my right arm this time.

I loaded up on orange juice, coffee and a muffin afterward, and headed in to work.

I still haven't heard anything about the welfare of the recipient. I wish they would just give me some indication of how she's doing.
Thursday, October 12th, 2000
11:34 pm
One Month Check In
It has now been around a month since the donation, so I had to go back in to the blood center today and give them a little more blood for testing. They want to make sure my blood has gone back to normal.

How can it go back to normal if they keep scaring it with the pointy, sharp things?

I was hoping that they would go for a vein in my right arm since there's actually still a little bruising on my left arm from the procedure.

But no, my right arm's veins still seem to be hiding. So, left arm it is (again).

It really didn't hurt though, and they only took one small vial. So I had a cup of orange juice and left.

They tell me that I should be finding out soon how the recipient is doing. I think about her a lot. I don't pray, because I don't do that sort of thing, but I do hope.

Current Mood: optimistic
Wednesday, September 13th, 2000
10:50 pm
Something fun for Halsted
This is for Halsted.

Once upon a time there was a baby squid that wanted to have a pet kitty. The baby squid (we'll call him babysquid for short) imagined all kinds of kitties -- black ones, white ones, calico ones and even purple ones.

"Whoever heard of a purple kitty?" asked his friend, babymantaray.

Babysquid replied, "You don't need to hear about them. They live in our hearts."


"Yeah, purple kitties live in our hearts. As a matter of fact, I can hear one meowing inside you right now."

Babymantaray didn't know whether to feel happy or deeply disturbed.

So the two friends swam up to the surface of the San Francisco Bay, scanning the beach for kitties.

"Is that a kitty?" asked babymantaray, pointing to a broken Heineken bottle.

"No, that's a salamander," said babysquid knowingly. "Now, that's a kitty," he said, indicating a rusted, burned out Volvo with no tires.

"How will we get it back home?" asked babymantaray.

"I don't think we can," said babysquid despairingly. "Oh well, at least we got to see a kitty today. Let's go home now -- I'm really hungry for some reason."

With that, the two ocean friends returned to the bottom of the bay and played a game of chess in which babymantaray moved only his knights during the entire game.
9:13 pm
Donation Day
My stem cells are on their way to live in someone else's body. How weird is that?

Yesterday morning I got up at an ungodly hour in order to get to Berkeley by 8:15am. It was still dark, and that's just wrong.

I knew I needed to eat a good breakfast before the procedure, so I went to Lee's on Market Street and bought a bagel with egg and tomato, and an orange juice. I must not have been used to eating that early and/or I was a little nervous so I couldn't eat the whole thing. I also had some coffee, but just a little. I know that coffee is a dehydrator and I needed to retain as much water as I could so that my veins would look good.

As I walked into the BART station, I was immediately accosted by a man asking if I could give him some money for the train. Because this happens to me many times a day, I react almost unconsciously to it now; I told him no, I only had enough for myself. He walked away, but then I thought I'm on my way to save one stranger's life and yet I can't be bothered to give another one a dollar.

At Alta Bates I got to meet Lynn, the other donor that has been going through this procedure at the same time as me. She was really sweet and I hope to stay in touch with her.

Lynn and I got up onto neighboring hospital beds and got comfortable -- we would be there for quite a while.

I received one more Filgrastim injection and Paulette checked my arms to see if my veins were cooperating.

"Well, I see a couple of possibilities on your right arm, but they don't look all that great. Let me see your left arm," she said as she moved to the other side of the bed. "Oh, okay, this one's good. We'll go with this."

Whew. So I didn't need a central line after all. It wouldn't have been the end of the world, but this way is much easier.

My left arm was swabbed thoroughly with antiseptic and then I received a topical anesthetic injection because the needle was a little larger than those normally used to draw blood. The anesthetic stung as it went in, but then I couldn't feel the large needle going in at all.

On my right arm, they needed to put an ingoing line in, but the veins weren't that great. So they put it into the back of my hand. That also needed an anesthetic injection, which hurt even worse than the first one, but thankfully it didn't last long. Then Paulette inserted that line. The one in my left arm was a big steel needle, but the one in my right hand was a flexible plastic tube. Which was cool because it allowed a lot of flexibility -- I was hardly restricted in the use of my right hand at all.

So the hard part was over. Now all I had to do was lie still and filter.

Every once in a while at the beginning the apheresis machine would complain that it wasn't receiving enough blood, so I had to squeeze a little rubber ball in my left hand to get the blood flowing better. But after the first hour or so, it stopped complaining.

The only thing that gave me problems (and this was pretty minor) was lack of calcium. See, the anticoagulant that they put into the blood to keep it from clotting in the machine reacts with the calcium in my body and reduces its presence. The most common sign of insufficient calcium is a tingling sensation around one's lips. This happened to me a few times and Paulette had to inject a calcium supplement into my body. But it wasn't a big deal because she could just inject it into the tubing going into my right hand. Piece of cake. Except during the last time when she encountered a blood clot in the tubing. She had to take the needle out and a bunch of blood spurted out as she removed the clot. None of this caused me any pain at all, it was just kind of messy. And I felt bad for my sister, Jennie, because she showed up right as this was happening. It looked a lot worse than it was.

Jennie visited with me for my last hour or so, which was nice. I had been reading a Calvin and Hobbes compilation, but it was kind of difficult to hold up and turn the pages.

Actually, the most difficult part of the whole experience was going to the bathroom. The nurse brought me a plastic bottle to pee in and shut the curtains around my bed. However, I did not have the use of my left arm and I had to keep it completely straight. But necessity begets resourcefulness and I was able to do it -- twice. I was surprised that Lynn never had to go, but it's got to be a whole lot more difficult for women -- I mean like ten times worse. I'm sure that she just wanted to wait until it was over rather than to have to go through that.

So it took a little over six hours total. Right now it all seems like kind of a blur. When I got home, I was really tired but I didn't feel like laying down -- I had just been laying down all day. Regardless, I took a nap in front of the TV with Battlestar Galactica on.

I still have a little, purple bruise on my left arm where the needle went in and it looks kind of gross. But you can hardly even see where the needle went into my right hand. I'm still a little achey and tired from the Filgrastim, but I can feel it lessening.

So, it's finally over. But in a way, it's not. It's not nearly over for my recipient -- now comes the hard part for her. Engraftment of my stem cells and recovery. Hopefully, they will take and her body won't reject them. The hospital will keep me informed as to her condition and I'm going to send a little get well note to her.

But I have a good feeling. A feeling that her best years are in front of her. Recipient, my thoughts are with you.

Current Mood: drained
Monday, September 11th, 2000
9:21 pm
Injections every day
So, my physical was fine -- apparently I'm in great shape (or at least good enough). Susan called me when I got back from Boston to let me know that everything was great and they wanted to proceed. My first Filgrastim injection was scheduled for Friday morning. This was to be followed by one injection every day until Tuesday the 12th, they day of the apheresis.

I had to go in to Alta Bates for the first injection so that they could monitor me and make sure that I didn't have any kind of adverse reaction. I had actually just started a new job at Wells Fargo the day before. They knew that I would be missing some of Friday and all of Tuesday before they hired me though.

Laurie at Alta Bates gave me the injection and also drew some more blood (of course).

"I've never seen a bad reaction to Filgrastim before," she said, "but we have to follow the protocol and make you stick around for at least fifteen minutes."

The shot was subcutaneous (just under the skin) and she gave it to me in the upper back of my left arm.

"I have to do this slowly so that it won't burn as much," she said as she stuck the needle in my arm. I could feel what she meant, but it really didn't hurt that badly. It just took longer than most shots.

It went fine and I didn't feel any different at all. So they let me go. Now I just had to wait for side effects.

On the BART ride back into the city, I tried to read but I remembered that nausea was a possible side effect. Just knowing that made me feel a little ill, so I just contented myself with people watching.

The rest of the work day went fine and I didn't feel anything but normal. Later that evening, I got a headache, but I couldn't tell if it was because of the hormone or just a normal headache.

The next morning, a nurse named Cindy came over to my house for the next injection. I thought that was very accomodating of the hospital. Cindy was very friendly and easy to talk to. She made me a little nervous when she mentioned that she had never done this before. But she immediately clarified that by saying that she had never been part of this program before -- she had given injections many times. Whew.

She was actually very good and neither of the shots were painful. Yes, she gave me two -- one in each arm. But I liked it better that way. They were shorter in duration than the one at Alta Bates.

"Your right arm doesn't bleed as much as your left arm."


"Your left arm was bleeding a little after I gave you the shot, but I can't even tell were I poked your right arm. I don't know where to put the band-aid."

We talked a little about Harry Potter and life in San Francisco, but she had to go to her next victim. A woman in Orinda named Lynn is going through the same procedure at the same time as me. In fact, we may get to sit next to each other for the procedure.

That was Saturday and it went fine until around 4:30 pm; that's when my back started to ache.

"Oh, this is what they mean by the whole achey bone thing...," I said to the people in my house. My lower back felt like it had a headache. That sounds strange, I know.

I took an ibuprofen and the pain became barely noticeable after a while.

On Sunday morning, when Cindy came over for my next shots, I told her about the acheyness. She wrote it down, took my temperature, checked my blood pressure and all that. "Happens to practically everyone," she stated.

She told me about her horrible drive to Orinda and the terrifying Caldecott Tunnel.

On her way out the door, I offered her half of my bagel, but she declined politely.

I was achey for pretty much the whole day, but it was low level and didn't really bother me. Mostly I just thought it was interesting to note how my body was reacting to the Filgrastim. Isn't it weird what we can make our bodies do? You need more stem cells in your blood? No problem, just trick it into thinking that you have a massive infection and it'll release buckets of them into your circulatory system.

Today, I went into the blood center on Bush St. before work for my last injection. Well, not really last because they're going to give me another one right before the procedure, for some strange reason. I don't see how that one will really have time to make any difference. Oh well.

They needed to take some more blood (of course) to see if the hormone was doing its job. I swear, I must have given them a whole body's worth of blood by now.

Cindy told me that she might try to make it to Alta Bates to see Lynn and me during the procedure.

At work, I started to feel achey again and I took an ibuprofen. The pain pretty much went away. I'm glad that the acheyness has been so mild and easily treatable.

So I've been working out my forearms every day and drinking tons of water in the hopes that they'll be able to use the veins in my arms. Cindy told me on Sunday that my veins actually look pretty good and she didn't think that I would have any problems. Cool.

I have to get up early tomorrow for the trip out to Alta Bates in Berkeley. The apheresis is scheduled to begin at 8:15 am. Maybe I'll just sleep through it. Hopefully I'll be able to read, though.

They should really get a TV in there.

Anyway, I'm actually looking forward to it. It's kind of exciting and I'm glad that I'm able to help someone with leukemia.
Sunday, September 10th, 2000
4:49 pm
A complete physical
On August 21, I took BART to the Ashby station in Berkeley. There, a shuttle met me and took me to the Alta Bates hospital where the apheresis procedure will take place. They needed to take some more blood samples, take a look at the veins in my arms to determine their suitability, give me an EKG, give me chest x-ray, and a physical.

The doctor hadn't arrived yet so an assistant took the necessary blood samples from my left arm. I watched as she consulted a sheet of paper, preparing a small vial for each test. The number of vials grew rapidly.

"How many of those are there?" I asked, my eyes growing wide.

"Oh, looks like about sixteen to eighteen," she replied.


I had no idea they would need so much of my blood just for testing.

After a nice conversation with the assistant about her family in India, and much blood drawing, I went into the bathroom to pee into a small cup. It's not an easy task, but I'm sure it's much more difficult for women.

I always feel strange handing over a urine sample to someone. Here's a little cup with my piss in it. Thank you.

I drank some orange juice, then waited for the doctor. When she showed up she introduced herself as Suzanne and said, "Oh good, they haven't drawn your blood yet."

"Um, yes they have." I showed her the little cotton ball on my arm.

"Oh." She had a box in her hand with more vials in it. "Actually, we need to do these ones too. Do you mind?"

I hesitated slightly. "You need more?"

"Yes. Well, let me go check. Would it be all right with you if we have to take more?"

"Sure, that's fine," I said. As she walked away, I wondered about how much blood I could give them before there was a danger of passing out. I figured they must know what they're doing.

When she came back, she took me to the apheresis room and told me that they didn't need any more blood today. Suzanne introduced me to Marianne who would be taking a look at the veins in my arms.

I sat down with Marianne and rolled up my sleeves. She examined both arms thoroughly and said that my veins don't look too prominent. She said that there was probably only a thirty to forty percent chance that they would be able to do the apheresis using those veins. Most likely they would have to go through a central line -- either right under the clavicle or the femoral vein in the thigh.

They told me that using a central line is a little more risky and I would have to sign a separate consent form for that. But the risks are minimal and mostly it's just uncomfortable. Or I could opt to have them take bone marrow instead.

I told the doctor that it's probably easier to just go for the central line since I would be ready for the apheresis right then anyway. She agreed and mentioned that there are pros and cons for doing it either way.

One of the least common accidents that can occur with central line placement under the clavicle is a lung puncture. But it's a very rare occurence and easily treatable since I'll be right there in the hospital surrounded by trained professionals.

You know what? I think I would almost rather not hear about every little thing that could possibly go wrong. I realize that the hospital has to disclose everything for legal reasons, but I think it causes unnecessary worrying. And if a patient is worried or nervous it seems more likely that complications will occur.

So I may have to lay down with a catheter in my thigh for six hours. I jokingly asked Marianne if there were any vein exercises I could do. And she said actually there are. I could get one of those squeeze balls to workout my forearms. Also, I should be completely hydrated on the day of the procedure, warm, and relaxed. She asked if I had eaten lunch yet and I said no.

"That probably has a lot to do with it," she said. "If you haven't eaten and you're nervous, then your veins will hide."

So I'll try not to be nervous. But it's hard to be relaxed when you're telling yourself, if you're not relaxed they're going to stick a tube in your chest.

Next came the chest x-ray, the EKG, and then a brief physical exam from another doctor.

It all seemed to go well and the doctors were all nice and helpful. I was somewhat nervous throughout the visit and the doctors actually asked me a few times if I was all right or if I was nervous. I tried to just brush it off because I don't know why I was nervous. I should be able to put up with some discomfort in order to save someone's life. When I think of that or when I think of this woman's family and friends, then I calm down and I feel better.

Since I hadn't eaten lunch, Suzanne recommended that I go to High Tech Burrito just a few blocks away. It actually was pretty good.

She said she would call me and let me know the results of the tests when I get back from Boston on the 31st. They're going to shoot for having the procedure either during the week of September 11 or September 18.
Saturday, September 9th, 2000
11:02 am
PBSC Donation
On June 5 I found out that I may be a match for a thirty-two year old woman with leukemia that needs bone marrow. The blood center asked me to come in for further testing if I still felt like donating. How could I possibly say no? True, I had been on the national bone marrow registry for around five years and I had almost forgotten about it. But if I could help save someone's life, I would certainly try.

I went in thinking that they would only need a small vial of blood (that's how much I gave them when I first got on the registry). When I sat down in the chair, the nurse took out a box with six empty vials and proceeded to extract blood from my arm. Six?? That seemed like a lot, especially since I hadn't eaten breakfast. But when those were done, the nurse took six more vials out of the box and filled those also.

I had some orange juice and a donut afterwards so that I wouldn't pass out.

About a month later, they called me and told me that I am indeed a match. They wanted me to come in for an informational session so that I could make an informed decision about whether or not to do it. Still, I thought to myself, I can't imagine declining. What if someone in my family or someone I love needed bone marrow? I would hope that the matching person would do it. Even today, when I start to get nervous about the procedure, I think about her family and how happy they must be that I'm giving her this chance. Then I feel much calmer.

I spoke to a doctor and the representative from the blood center that had been assigned to me (Susan Flemer). They were both extremely nice and sensitive. They informed me that they wanted to do a procedure called apheresis instead of collecting bone marrow from my hip bone. Apheresis is an easier procedure because it's not an operation and there's no anesthetic needed. Apheresis is also referred to as PBSC (peripheral blood stem cell) donation. See, what the recipient really needs is stem cells. Most of a person's stem cells are in their bone marrow, hence the reason for extracting bone marrow in order to get the required amount of stem cells. But there are actually a few stem cells just floating around in a person's circulatory system. Not many though.

So what they're going to do to me is give my injections of a natural hormone called Filgrastim that will increase the number of stem cells in my blood. Then they'll hook me up to a big filter that will take blood from my left arm, take out the stem cells, and then put the rest of the blood back into my right arm. Of course, there still won't be a whole lot of stem cells in my blood, so the whole procedure may take as long as six hours.

Also, they need to give me injections of Filgrastim every day during the five days before the procedure. And Filgrastim has some possible side effects -- achey bones, headaches, muscle aches, nausea, insomnia, etc. The most common side effect is achey bones, but they told me that Ibuprofen would take care of that. The other side effects are felt by only a very small percentage of patients.

I agreed to go through with the apheresis, but I told them that my company is sending me to Boston at the end of August for a week or so. They needed to give me a complete physical, so they scheduled it for the day before my flight. And if that went well, I could start the Filgrastim injections sometime after Labor Day.

I told most of the people I knew about the upcoming procedure and I was surprised at some of the reactions. One person told me it was the sweetest thing she had heard of in a long time and it almost brought tears to her eyes. Other people told me what a great thing it is that I'm doing and called me "heroic".

I don't know how to react to them. I think anyone would try to save someone's life if they could, wouldn't they? Plus, I have a hard time taking compliments, so I usually just kind of stammer and say thanks or something.

One of the issues that is most surprising to people is that this procedure is anonymous. People say, "You don't even know her?" Some day, we may get to meet, though. After one year, if we both want to meet each other, the hospital will let us exchange phone numbers and addresses. But as soon as the procedure is over, we can exchange anonymous notes through the hospital. I think I'll send her a little note when they're done collecting my stem cells, but I'll leave it up to her to decide whether or not she wants to meet me.

I just hope that she does well and that her body doesn't reject my stem cells. She has to go through chemotherapy which will destroy all of her bone marrow and stem cells, so her body will be relying on my stem cells. They're good little guys though, so I think she'll get along with them.

Good luck, recipient!
Thursday, August 10th, 2000
7:11 pm
Sprained Ankle
So my ankle was sprained for two or three weeks. It didn't hurt so much that I couldn't walk on it, but any more pressure than that and it would feel painful. It feels better now, but I haven't been anxious to test it in the park.

I always end up hurting myself when I run regularly. I must be doing something wrong. Or maybe running is just too hard on my body.

It probably wasn't the greatest idea to train for a marathon by reading a book. It was a good, thorough book, but I did have unanswered questions from time to time. If the authors had been standing in front of me, giving me tips, training with me, I probably wouldn't have hurt my ankle.

I think I'll try to join a running club or get private instruction. However, no marathon in October. Not only did I miss precious training time because of my injury, but I'll be missing more in September when I donate stem cells to a woman dying of leukemia. I won't be able to run for a week or more.

So I've kind of destroyed the theme of this journal, haven't I? I've always been interested in dreams, so I'll likely turn it into a dream journal. Or maybe I should write about the whole stem cell donation procedure.

We'll see...

Current Mood: okay
Monday, July 3rd, 2000
8:00 pm

p r e v i o u s | r a n d o m l i f e | n e x t

30 Minute Run

I ran on a Monday because I was still at Jennie and Sam's for most of Sunday.

Someone has been dumping tons of bread into Spreckles Lake. Long French rolls, maybe two dozen a day. I think it's even too much for all of the lake's residents to eat. Maybe not.

As I began my run I noticed two women start running with their dogs. One of the women got far ahead of the other because the other one seemed to be having some kind of technical problems with her Walkman or something. The Walkman woman and her dog eventually just walked back toward her car. After a couple of minutes I caught up with the first woman who was just standing by the path with a confused look on her face. As I ran by I told her that her friend had turned around and gone back the other way.

Do people help each other out in the park? People do.

The run felt good, but it felt long. My left hamstring started to feel tight toward the end. But it turned out fine. Sometimes I try to focus on relaxing various muscles as I run. It's difficult to isolate them, but it's a good exercise.

It occurred to me that Mrs. Frisby was actually not that much less intelligent than the rats of NIMH. Sure, she probably couldn't reroute electrical wiring systems, but I would say she was definitely sentient.
Friday, June 30th, 2000
2:36 pm
Hills, Hills, Hills

p r e v i o u s | r a n d o m l i f e | n e x t

30 Minute Run

I went to Jennie and Sam's house for the weekend right after work, so I ran in their neighborhood in South San Francisco.

It kicked my ass.

I did the run without stopping, but there were more hills than in Golden Gate Park. It was quite challenging, but an interesting change of pace. I ran in the middle of the street for the most part, kids and dogs staring at me.
Thursday, June 29th, 2000
8:00 pm
No Pertinent Comments

p r e v i o u s | r a n d o m l i f e | n e x t

30 Minute Run

It went fine. I'm actually writing this on the Fourth of July because I haven't had time to update this thing at my new job. So I don't remember any details of this run.

Tuesday, June 27th, 2000
8:00 pm
First of Eight Half Hour Runs

p r e v i o u s | r a n d o m l i f e | n e x t

30 Minute Run

This run didn't really feel that different from the 25 minute runs.

I heard a woodpecker.
Sunday, June 25th, 2000
2:24 pm
A Squirrel

p r e v i o u s | r a n d o m l i f e | n e x t

25 Minute Run

I don't know why I don't see many squirrels in the park, but I saw one at the beginning of my run and it was still there when I got back.
Friday, June 23rd, 2000
8:00 pm
Film Crews and Dead Fish

p r e v i o u s | r a n d o m l i f e | n e x t

25 Minute Run

Another good run, although my right quads started to tense up as I neared the end of the run. But I just ran through it and it was fine.

There was a large film crew at Spreckles Lake with several trailers and even a caterer. I couldn't tell what they were filming even though I walked right behind the set, among the crew. It may have been a car commercial—there was a new car right next to the lake with a blue screen behind it and people all around.

Why would someone want to film a car commercial at Spreckles Lake?

I saw a dead fish laying near the lake on my way home. Its eyes were gone, of course. Apparently, the eyes are a delicacy and they are usually the first things devoured upon death. Maybe that's why dead fish are always drawn with X's in place of their eyes.

I'm starting to see how it may be possible to run very long distances—after the initial couple of miles (which are pretty hard), you kind of get into a rhythm where you're warmed up and you can just continue. Of course, I have yet to try this for more than a couple of miles, but we'll see.

My pedometer told me I went a little further today . Something like 2.3 miles.
Thursday, June 22nd, 2000
8:00 pm
Ibuprofen is a Miracle Drug

p r e v i o u s | r a n d o m l i f e | n e x t

25 Minute Run

I felt really good before my run, but I decided to try taking an ibuprofen in anticipation of the arthritic feelings from two days ago.

Oh my god!

I felt great! There were no aches at the beginning of the run or anytime during. I was able to run faster and further than I did on Tuesday. However, my pedometer indicated that I had run almost exactly the same distance. I was puzzled by this until I realized that on Tuesday I probably wasn't running at full stride. The pedometer figures distance by counting the number of steps I've taken. So I probably took the same number of steps today, but my stride was longer.

I still have to measure my stride accurately—especially once I start training for mileage rather than time. Tim loaned me his tape measure, but I think I need to get his help. I'm supposed to measure out 25 feet and then count how many steps I take within that distance in order to calculate my stride.

Usually, if I start feeling tired when I'm running, I just think to myself, Just keep going. Each step, when looked at by itself, is easy. So I just keep going one step at a time. Easy, easy, easy,... No problem.

Either that or I picture myself as a cyborg. Cyborgs don't get tired. Plus, they're cool.
Tuesday, June 20th, 2000
8:00 pm
No More Walking

p r e v i o u s | r a n d o m l i f e | n e x t

25 minute run

There will be no more "scheduled" walking in my training runs. It's running all the time now, baby.

On the way to the park, I could hear the transformers at the top of the telephone poles issuing staticky electro-bursts due to the heavy fog. I haven't heard that sound in a long time.

It was so foggy that I couldn't even see all the way across Spreckles Lake. Someone inexplicably put buoys in the lake.

A different someone (presumably) was playing a trumpet from an RV parked near the lake. The sound travelled nicely over the water. A man that looked like Santa Claus sat on a bench listening to the trumpet.

As I began my run, I remembered that scene from Wuthering Heights where Heathcliff trained for a marathon along the moors.

My knees were really aching at first and I felt like an old arthritic man. But after I got warmed up, the run went fine and quickly. Twelve and a half minutes out, twelve and a half minutes back.

Unfortunately, I feel like I run very slowly and it's frustrating. My training book tells me not to worry about how quickly I can run the marathon, but to just focus on finishing. In the back of my mind though, I secretly want to finish it in four hours or less.

I have to be sure not to over-train, though. That's how injuries occur. So I'm trying to find some middle ground where I'm pushing myself harder every day, but holding back somewhat.

Stretching after a run is getting to be one of my favorite parts of the process. It relieves all that tension and really makes me aware of my muscles. It's amazing how much heat I can feel emanating from them through my skin. Tonight I watched Buffy as I stretched. That episode where Willow casts a spell on everyone and Buffy and Spike fall in love is classic. It features some of the best dialogue ever written for that show—I laughed out loud practically non-stop throughout. It's difficult to hold a stretch while laughing.
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