Thursday, May 29, 2008

More on the Flutter

Reader "Dan" asked how I felt when I had flutter. One of the things I feel during flutter is a heavy beating in the heart area...mainly the center of my chest. Sometimes I get a real big thump in m chest area kind of like my heart is resetting (yeah...doesn't make, but I don't know how else to describe it). I don't have any other symptoms. He also asked if it affected any of my ventricles and I am not sure how I can tell (I have had a stress test and chest scan with no noted abnormalities). I don't always check my heart rate when I flutter except that if I wear my heart rate monitor (the running kind), it will show a rate well over 200 BPM (and my max HR is around 180). The only other symptom is that if I have flutter for an extended period (several hours), that my chest will be sore and I am worn out the next day.

I don't know what else to say about the subject.

BTW...I did not run today due to working through lunch and late. So I will give it go tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Does Exercise Help Flutter?

Reader "Dan" asked whether or not exercise helped with the flutter. For me the answer is no. Usually I have flutter after exercise, but not always. In fact, during some of my runs, I will have a twitch of flutter, but not always. My most recent long term daily bout of flutter I did not exercise. One reason was to recover from a slight head cold and to let the body recover in general. I had lots of flutter during that period. Once I got on some allergy medicine my flutter episodes diminished greatly.

My flutter seems to be related to illness. Not that I am chronic illness person. However, this is the first time in my life that I have been on allergy medicine. Never been an issue before. (what is up with that?) Maybe it is a phase in my life due to the aging process. And maybe not.

On a more cheerful note, I ran today. I did a 4.8 mile tempo run. I am kind of following the Hal Higdon high school cross country summer program. I need a little regulation in my exercise and I am still considering getting back on the bike. Maybe my legs won't ache so much. Getting older is a pain (everywhere).

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day 2008

As the month of May draws to a close, Memorial Day is another reminder of the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform. I just read a web article on Memorial Day where the the author (or editor) titled it "On vets holiday..." This is technically not a veterans holiday. To be remembered on this day requires the ultimate sacrifice of dying for your country. Check Wikepedia's write up on Memorial Day. I once chastised a person the operated a stock blog for stating "have a happy Memorial Day." I don't think this holiday is meant to be happy and I am certain there are many families today that are going through a normal holiday with a heavy heart. I will now get off my soapbox.

I am working with some other Oak Mountain cross country and track & field parents to start a running club. We are also encouraging local area runners to join our club in support of the schools. We even have a website If you are interested in supporting a local running club, please join us.

I have been running more this past couple of weeks. In fact, on Saturday, we ran at Oak Mountain State Park on one of the hiking trails. WOW. I have never done that kind of run and it was a killer. I look forward to more training runs at the park. I don't think we ran that far, but it was a heck of workout running over roots and rocks and up and down steep inclines. This morning, my daughter and I ran at Veterans Park. I managed to get in about 6 miles.

My heart issues have seemed to calm over the past few weeks. What was a daily event has slid into a very infrequent event. I wonder if being on some allergy medicine has helped. Who knows? I will be seeing Dr. Kay at the end of June to see what he suggests.

Well this weekend is almost over. I have to think about heading into work tomorrow. Next week I head to the sites for a few days.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bday - yesterday

Yesterday was the big 46! Ouch that hurts.

I ran Sunday - 9 miles and I felt great. Did not run yesterday. Ran 4.5 today and it was a chore to keep the legs churning. I have essentially lost all of my marathon training...well almost. It sure is painful to get back into shape especially as the hot weather starts becoming the norm. It was toasty today and took my quite a while to cool down.

Still have not sold my truck....any takers...err, buyers?

I am working with some other parents to start a running club of sorts. Its main function is to support the Oak Mountain High/Middle School track and CC athletes. If you want to join, we would love to have you.

Flutter has not been bad. I have a few episodes over the past 2-3 days. It seems to be associated with when I run. Solution would be...don't run! Not an option.

Tired and ready for the bed. See ya later bye.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


I ran 4.8 miles today after work. My is it getting hot or what? And it is just the low 80's :-(

I had a little flutter after my run this afternoon and now nothing. I am really interested to hear what Dr. Kay has to say.

Back to the run...legs felt heavy like I have not run frequently enough the past few weeks. It is so easy to get into a routine of relative inactivity. No wonder our nation is obese.

My wife is heading to Florida to see her mother for Mother's Day. She has not seen her mother on this holiday since we have been married (~19 years). Her mom does not know she is coming so I am sure it will be a big surprise.

Now I think I will cruise on the net and eat some Jelly Belly jellybeans. Yummy!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Cardio Doc

So what did I learn at the cardio doc today? Nuttin'! Absolutely nuttin'.

My visit was basically a waste of time and $50 (copay). He said that the other doc I will be seeing is a world re-known cardiologist. In fact, the other doc inserted a pacemaker in a gorilla at our local zoo. However, the gorilla later died due to congestive heart failure. I was making my appointment to see this guy when the gorilla died and my daughter questioned my judgement in seeing this guy!

I did manage to get a 30 minute run in yesterday. I had hoped to run today, but I was overcome by work and other obligations.

Well I am tired since I had a 0530 bible study. So I am off to bed...or something.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Back to the Subject

I did run a couple of times this week. I ran a hard run on Monday (4.5 miles). Due to work and family constraints, I did not run until Thursday and I felt bad. My legs were tired and I just did not feel up to running my planned 45 minutes. I ran about 30 minutes instead. I had a little flutter during the week and quite a bit on Thursday evening. In fact, I went to bed with the pitter patter in full force and woke up without it. I have not had any issues so far on yesterday or today. However, I did not run either day. I should have run today after the storms ended and the sun came out, but I did not. Maybe tomorrow I will get out on the road and get in 6 miles. More than likely I will have flutter later in the day.

I visit the cardio doc on Tuesday. I will be interested in hearing what he has to say.

Anyway, I have been hunched over the computer most of the day doing stuff. I had to fix my Ipod because it would not work with Itunes on my Mac (first sync). My Ipod kept clicking (aka the click of death). So I ended up charging it for a while and then smacked it few times with my hand (this is a noted remedy on several webplaints). I think the Ipod's battery was dead and Itunes doesn't like it. I reformatted it for a Mac since it was previously used on a Windows 'puter. I spent way too much time culling my Itunes music list (which accounts for the time spent today). The Ipod is restored. Now if I would spend a little more time listening to it.

And hey...not a single episode of flutter all day ;-)

Mac Time Machine

Well earlier this week I struggled with making the Mac's Time Machine work vice working some and then quitting. If you are a Windows user, then reading this is a waste of your time. Your time would be better spent dealing with Vista or solving world hunger (you have a better chance on the world hunger).

So what is Time Machine, click on it and find out. The problem I had was during the backup, it would quit. There are a number of webplaints (aka complaints documented on the web). They range from the external drive not functioning properly to software issues. After reviewing a number of blogs, webzines, FAQs, etc. I finally deduced the problem and now it works like a charm. So what did I do? Nothing original really. First I reformatted my external drive using Mac protocols. Then I just copied a short little program/script file that enable me to put this issue to rest. I used Systems Boy's writeup that got me most of the way (use the link for details). First I ran Time Machine after I unclicked Auto Logout in Systems Preferences/Security. It ran fine. I then loaded the System Boy's script file, clicked Auto Logout (set for 30 minutes) and then checked my backups after a couple of hours. Ba-da-bing, ba-da-bam, it worked.

It turns out, then if you enable Auto Logout, then when the designated inactivity period is reached (mine is 30 minutes), the system automatically un-mounts external drives. The script file prevents un-mounting external drives whenever the computer logs out. Neat!

Now you would have thunk that the Apple god's would have programmed Time Machine to work with various machine setups and not let an Auto Logout, drive shutdown, etc. stop the machine from backing up. I have a laptop and I do not routinely use it while it is connected to AC power and my external drive.

One other thing I did was download SuperDuper and run it. It will save a bootable backup for FREE. Yes FREE. For a few bucks you can register it and use its scheduling and Smart Update.

In setting up my external drive, I formatted it into 2 partitions. One is designated Backup1 and the other is Backup2. [Note - it turns out that your external drive must not have a space(s) or symbol in its name or Time Machine won't properly recognize it.] I use Backup1 as the Time Machine designated drive and Backup2 as the SuperDuper backup drive. When you use the base operation of SuperDuper, it will delete all files in the target folder so you don't want to have SuperDuper and Time Machine share a location.

This is the first real issue I have had since converting to the Mac. Now I wish I would have bought Apple stock when it was hovering around $7 a share a few years ago. I gave it a lot of thought, but no action. Right now it is trading as a 20-bagger at $175.