Racewalking for Science

As part of the Shortness of breath self-Management research study that I’m involved in over at UCSF, every 3 months I have to go into the lab where they check my PFTs and then have me do a series of physical fitness exercises. Sometimes they have me get on the treadmill and walk uphill until […]


Felt pretty good for a few days , even racewalked during a research follow up visit ( more about that later), but now I’m starting to slide back . I don’t know if it’s the steroid taper ( I’m still at 40mg) , or if I’m rebounding, or if I starting exercising too soon, but […]

New Reseach study

Next week I’ll be taking part in yet another clinical research project at UCSF. This time it’s a study about “dyspnea” ( perceived shortness of breath), related to chronic lung disease , and the efficacy of various self -management techniques , including exercise. They want to find out whether it’s better to teach patients these […]

The Yellow zone …in detail.

On Saturday I was supposed to do a 10 mile walk along the SF waterfront (one that I’ve done countless times before) , but was too short of breath and was only able to complete 7.5 miles. I probably shouldn’t have even attempted the walk in the first place , as I’d been having problems […]

Latest Pulmonary Function Test results

Last weeks PFT results….hot off the press.The numbers indicate that my overall lung function has declined another 10% since last checked back in September of 2005 . I’m now base-lining at around 35- 40% of normal. And while the results indicate pretty severe fixed airway disease (non-reversible asthma) , you sure wouldn’t know it by […]

Asthma Update

OK .. I admit it, I’m getting a little discouraged. Not so much about my ability as an endurance walker, but more so about the way I’ve been feeling when I’m NOT walking. Since the middle of September, I’ve had a tough time climbing out of my yellow zone and I don’t really know why. […]

I’m Normal ………Since when?

I’m Normal ………Since when? My beta receptor genotype finally came back from Boston. The results: Heterozygous ( Gly/Arg) , a normal genotype. Hello! Did they say Hetero ?? Anyway , all this genetic googly gob simply means that I should have a “normal” response to beta agonist medications. In other words… Albuterol is reacting on […]

Test Results Encouraging?

Most recent Spirometry and skin tests: My FEV1 increased to 1.48 liters ( 44% normal , up from 38% just two months ago) Only a slight improvement , but this is the highest my FEV1 has been in five years. I don’t know what to attribute this gain in expiratory flow rates to. Maybe the […]

They Don’t want me

Today, I spoke with one of the Bronchial Thermoplasty researchers at the University of Southern California , he was kind enough to explain this new and potentially revolutionary treatment for severe asthma. The theory, is that if you reduce the amount of smooth muscle ( one of the culprits that causes airway narrowing… which in […]

Bronchial Thermoplasty Research Trials Debut in USA

Bronchial thermoplasty is a novel experimental treatment for severe asthma. A heated catheter is used to reduce the smooth muscle tissue in the airways of the lungs, so there is less airway constriction during an asthma attack. The Asthma Interventional Research 2 (AIR2) study will be conducted at 30 centers worldwide, including the University of […]

Breath perception…out of Wack..

Today will make the 3rd walk since my hospital stint. I was only going to walk 3 miles but , for some reason I kept walking. I did 5.2 miles, the farthest I’ve gone in 3 weeks. Yeah..it was tough.. I was short of breath the entire walk and wheezing up a storm but, I […]

I think a break is in order.

Yesterday, I took my first walk since the race on Sunday. A total of 1.5 miles to and from the local grocery store . It was awful! Wasn’t so much the aches and pains as it was my lungs and my overall energy level. By the time I reached the half way point, I was […]

The Pace factor

So much for walking long distances, the real challenge for me, even at short distances, is increasing my pace.. This has been the most frustrating aspect of my training. Not only do I want to walk far, I want to walk fast. I also like to incorporate certain elements of racewalking , which in itself […]