Transplant Athlete
Saturday, June 26, 2010
  Open Water Swimming

Island Beach State Park, NJ
It was about two hours before low tide when we got there so we had to go pretty far out to get to deep water. I did a little swimming parallel to the beach and found it pretty hard. In addition to my twisting side to side as I swam, the waves were rocking me side to side. It was disconcerting and I will need to do it a lot more to become comfortable.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

My son has spent the week at my parent's house up in New Jersey. I'm heading up today to pick him up. We'll spend the day at Island Beach State Park (open water swim), then Seaside Heights (dinner on the Boardwalk), then home. Back tonight.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010
  42 Lengths Approx. 2/3 Mile

Worked on "pressing the buoy", holding form, and coordinating my breathing.

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Sunday, June 13, 2010
  Pool Time

I went to the pool earlier today and swam 36 lengths, then after dinner I went back and did another 28 lengths. That's about a mile. My biggest problem is breathing. Earlier today, I just couldn't seem to integrate my breathing into my swimming, but later, It seemed to go better, so I still need to work on it. I also need to relax. But, I'm pretty sure I've got the form down.

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Saturday, June 12, 2010
  Outdoor Bike Ride

I ran some errands yesterday on the bike. Stopped at the post office, then rode in to Vienna to drop off some paperwork. Total 21.5 miles, I was away from home for 2 hours. I felt pretty good out there. I guess it's important to note this was my first outdoor ride post transplant.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010
  Total Immersion Part 2

I'm having trouble with the drills, BUT I think I've got the idea down from the rest of the book. The first couple times in the pool before TI, I felt like I had pretty good form and I was moving down the pool ok, but I really felt wasted afterwards, my arms were pinwheeling as I went down the lane. It was a lot of work and obviously wrong.

With TI, I feel more like I'm gliding across the pool; I'm definitely more relaxed. 18 lengths went by pretty effortlessly. I wasn't particularly fast (probably as fast as I was pre-TI), but my stroke count was way down.


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Tuesday, June 08, 2010
  Total Immersion

Got in to the pool today to do a few laps the "Total Immersion" way...I felt much more relaxed and I can see how it's going to make me a better swimmer.

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  Stent Removal

In a transplant operation, the ureter exiting the kidney is connected to the bladder. The surgeon places a stent inside the ureter to keep it open. It needs to stay in there for at least 6 weeks. I'll give you one guess how they get it out...

Urologists can remove it in an office visit, but not for me. Put me in a surgical center and knock my ass out.

Yeah, the memory of the catheter being removed is a bit too fresh in my mind. It hurt to urinate the first couple times and there is still a little pain this morning, but in the grand scheme of things it's much better than dialysis.

Speaking of dialysis, I can't tell you how good I feel these days. The way I felt on dialysis is a distant memory. When I was on dialysis, I obviously felt like "crap" and then going through the surgery, the change from that "crap" state to "all better" was apparent. I feel so good now, it's hard to imagine that "crap" state. I've tried hard with this blog to describe how bad I felt on dialysis, but unless you've experienced kidney failure firsthand, it may be difficult to take it all in.


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Thursday, June 03, 2010
  500 meters

Swam last night, got 500 meters in at the pool. My technique is horrible so I end up sucking down a lot of water when I go to breathe.

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Wednesday, June 02, 2010
  Vibram Five Fingers

I received my new Vibram Five Fingers yesterday. I used to read the Ultra Run Bike Vegan's blog (Deanna, the author, was in the first Race Across The West) all of her running was done barefoot. I'm not sure why she's not blogging anymore, but she was the inspiration for me to try the Five Fingers. She'd be appalled that I'm not actually running barefoot and that I spent money on the Five Fingers, but I wanted to ease into this.

I went for a short run yesterday, to try them out. I went 4/10's of a mile, but I could feel the difference immediately. Years of running in shoes has taught me to land on my heel, and that's painful.

Speaking of years of running in shoes...I ran track in high school, and that was the last serious running I've done. When I moved down to Alexandria, I went for a run around the block (it was a big block). Halfway around the block, I started feeling pain in my left leg, on the outside, from the knee up. Since then, any running has brought out that pain and it's even occurred on some long rides. I've gone to chiropractors and they've said, my body's out of alignment. I've talked to doctors about it and they say to stretch it. I've stretched it, and it still happens. Back in 2007, as I was traveling through Colorado in the Race Across America, a two person female team caught up with me and they loaned me their massage therapist for 10 minutes. That 10 minutes fixed the problem and it hasn't been back since.

After Deanna's posts about barefoot running, I thought if I ever ran again, I'd give it a try. That triathlon in September means I have to be able to run a 5K. I think my lifetime distance record on foot is 2 miles.


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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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Warning Signs for Kidney Disease:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Burning or Difficulty when Urinating
  • Frequent Urination at Night
  • Blood in your urine
  • Cola or tea colored urine
  • Swellig of the eyes, ankles, or feet
  • Lower back pain unrelated to physical activity

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