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 I nearly puke from exhaustion. Other times they’ll have me do easier things like, doing as many arm lifts as I can in one minute, while holding a broom stick in my hands….that sort of thing .

Another exercise test I have to do at every follow up visit, is called a “6 minute walking test”. (I don’t think they knew I was a marathon walker)
Anyway ,this is kind of a standard test they administer to people with lung disease , to see how short of breath they become when they exert themselves. Basically , you walk as far as you can in 6 minutes , and then they check your vital signs, your oxygen level and then ask you to rate how short of breath you felt during and after the walk ( known as the BORG scale)

Well , having just been discharged from the hospital 5 days prior to this research visit and being all jacked up on the roids , I thought it might be fun to racewalk the test… so that’s exactly what I did ….. and I caught a small snipit on video!

BTW…To complete the 6 minutes of walking , I had to walk up and down that hallway 30 times ! I would have done even better if didn’t have to stop and turn around 30 times..

PS.. If you’re reading this post after Aug 2008, it turns out that among those tested who had similar lung function, I ended up walking farther than anyone on record at UCSF. On average I walked 2400 feet ( almost a half mile) in six minutes. Not too shabby for a person with an FEV1 of 39% :-)

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4 Comments

  1. Ms. Lizzy says:

    This is AMAZING! I think it is so cool that you were able to bring me/us into your test. You’re bringing home what you’re doing and I’m hoping that it can help hundreds of others. Gotta walk! Hugs and Health!

  2. rick says:

    Showing off them skills huh. Nice one. Well I’m glad you’re feeling better, had to read the back issues to see how it all worked out. Did any of the doctors express concern about your marathon training?

    About your question. I smile a lot so it looks like I’m always having a good time. Also when you smile your body relaxes; jaw, neck, shoulders. I read that somewhere a long time ago and it works for me. Releases tension and that’s why I look relaxed after long races. From the waist down is a whole nother matter completely.

  3. moonstone says:

    I love the fact that you are doing all that for research. Through you the doc’s will learn how to better fight lung problems. Thanks for sharing this with all of us!

    moon

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