Heart Rate

Heart Rate Training…. is it necessary???  I would dare say no.  Now, before the community stops breathing because I have broken a cardinal rule of training, I want you to understand and know a couple things.

1.  I am old school.  I graduated high school in 1985… long before heart rate monitors were common place in training.  I was a sprinter (400m) who became a distance runner, and later a triathlete in grad school.  I ran cross-country in high school for something to do.

We measured intensity by our times.  You either were running fast or slow that day.  We knew practice ended at 5pm, and we needed to be back at the school from our long runs No Later Than 4.45pm.  We knew we were in trouble when we saw our coach on the road with his truck, coming to pick us up…. or when he was chasing us up a hill with a stick.

I ran fast without ever knowing what my heart rate was doing.  It went up when I ran and down when I wasn’t running.   In fact the first time I wore a monitor, I thought the beeping was because I wasn’t working hard enough, so I increased my tempo and effort, which I maintained for a 7-mile run.  Later, when I read the manual, I realized the truth.  *note to self:  read the manual before playing with the toy.*

BTW, I was fast.  And to this day, I can do a complete workout with a stop watch or timer and my sneakers.

2.  I completely respect the work of all the researchers who have developed and instructed and shared the zones for training.  It might important to know your zones.  It is not important to be dependent on them.

Sometimes, I observe newbies and oldies, so focused on all the technology and gadgets that they forget to just go RUN.  I mean by the time the programming and fixing and hooking and setting, I could have run already.  JUST GO RUN!  

A great book to learn the basics of heart rate training is Total Heart Rate Training, by Joe Friel.

3.  I have seen heart rate paralyze someone.  Heart rate should be empowering.  It should be used to monitor progress;  not to dictate it (unless you are overtraining).

I had an athlete so obsessed with the number on the screen that he missed out on a podium.  His heart rate paralyzed him.

Someone mentioned she didn’t like using it, because she didn’t like the bad results.

We associate a number with performance.

*did you know your competition heart rate is higher than your training heart rate?*

4.  The brain controls the body.  In Brain Training For Runners, Matt Fitzgerald, discusses science that is missed by many who rely soley on heart rate to manage their training.

5.  I firmly believe that endurance sports are supposed to be done fast.  We need to train to go fast.  We need to learn to step out of our comfort zone.  We need to practice this.  This means your heart rate may be higher than said training zone.

AND

6.  Use the other tools available to you.  Percieved exertion, Cadence, your stop watch.  Learn how to put these in your training.  Ask your coach to teach you how to utilize these appropriately.  And when you are recording your training details include these.

Heart rate is a single tool in the tool box.  Heart rate is influenced by SO many things, the reliability can be questioned.  It is something to use for observation.  It is not something that should dictate what you are doing!

The most important part of training, is the training.

This post was inspired by the FB chatter today.  Thank you again for your candor and your questions.  I truly appreciate these and your insights.  Please, please, please feel free to reach out for clarification and/or questions you may have.

Who’s Coaching You?

Who is your coach?  Who do you reach out to when you have questions regarding running, training, setting goals, new shoes, or anything else related to our sport?  Who writes your programs?  All in all…. who is coaching you?

I ask this question because I recently ran into a former client who has now started a running group — awesome! share the love of the sport– and he is serving as their coach, (and charging for it).  Again… awesome!  Share the love.

But….. I am not certain he has the ability to coach, yet.  He only recently stopped training with me, and still has a lot to learn about the sport and racing.  (I know I still have much to learn, and I have been competing since middle school).  This interaction caused me to reflect on the sources that we retrieve our information, our go to peoples for our coaching questions.

Who is your coach?

Who is your source of information when you have questions or concerns about your training?  These people and things are influences on us and tend to ‘coach us’.  Is it the magazine? Is it someone in your running group?  Is it the article posted on line?  All of these sources influence our decisions regarding our training.

While we can train independent of a coach, all of us do need a coach at some point in our training career/journey.  All of us need someone we can trust to sort through the mish-mosh of information and help decifer the details.  Someone who can guide us, remind us to rest, encourage us when we fall on our face…. Someone who can help us create or create for us the strategies necessary to compete.  We need a coach and a support group.

There are several governing bodies that oversee coaching and training and competing.  These include (domestically) USA track and field, USA swimming, USA cycling, USA triathlon, Road Runners Club of America, as well as a plethora of organizations that oversee personal training and strength coaches.  These bodies dictate how things should happen, which helps protect the coach and the coached.

In seeking out a coach, there are things you need to consider?  Is your coach about your goals, or their goals imposed on you?  Do you feel comfortable with your coach?  Does he/she understand the demands of training and a job?  Does she understand your personal needs?  How much contact do you have with your coach?  Does your coach have a support group/network to whom she can reach out to?  Is your coach currently training?

It is perfectly acceptable to rely on articles or friends or your local training group to assist you in achieving your fitness and racing goals.  Acknowledge that these are serving in some capacity as a coach.   This group of people is important.  If you need more, you need a different coach.  You may need different motivation.  You may need someone who is more available than the weekly interaction on Thursday evening and Saturday morning.  Consider who is your coach, and what a coach means to you.  That will help you decide who is your coach?  or who your coach should be?

Focus On Run, Bike Technique, Too

Often-overlooked areas of focus for new triathletes are running and biking technique. Most of us, whether new or experienced, often put a large amount of emphasis on swimming technique and either don’t know or neglect to work on proper running and biking techniques.

Why focus on run and bike mechanics? Because proper form:

• is a critical part of running and biking performance and injury prevention.

• will improve your economy and efficiency.

• will allow you to cycle and run easier, faster and farther.

Where as poor form will slow you down, decrease your efficiency and can even be the cause of many injuries.

The article focuses on running mechanics. Next month I will discuss biking mechanics.

Some run low to the ground with little knee lift, while others run powerfully, with high knee lift and a strong kick. Some athletes run with a slight forward lean and some run very upright. Despite the large variety in specific running forms, there are a number of elements that are common to successful running styles, even among elite triathletes/runners.

After running for more than 20 years, I am still continually making small adjustments to my form. Like swim technique, running technique is a learned skill. The main areas of focus when you are running are footstrike, posture, rate, stride and arm swing.

Foot Strike

One of the most important phases of running mechanics is the position of your foot when it lands on the ground. When you foot strikes the ground, you can land in a variety of ways – toes first, ball of the foot first, flat footed or heel first.

 

Heel Strikers

Heel strikers often overstride when reaching out in front of their body. Landing heel first is like putting on the brakes with each step, as if you are trying to drive your car while pressing on both the gas and brake pedals at the same time. This wastes energy and makes your running harder than it should be.

In addition to being inefficient, heel striking can cause of a long list of injuries. When you land on your heel, your leg is straight and extended in front of your body. The combination of a straight leg and a hard heel landing transfers a lot of impact through your heel and up through your knee to your hip. The excessive stress that a heel strike places on your joints can cause pain and injury to your hips, knee, ankle and foot. Shin splints (pain of the front of your lower legs) is one example of a common running injury that can be caused by heel striking and over striding.

 

Toe Strikers

Toe first landings result in a lot of up and down motion in your stride and puts a lot of stress on the calf muscles. Toe running is more appropriate for sprinting than for distance running.

 

Mid-foot Strikers

The most-efficient footstrike is one in which your foot lands directly under your hips or your center of gravity. This is when you land on the ball of your foot or flat footed. Doing some barefoot walking and running will help strengthen the ankle and foot muscles that stabilize your lower leg. Doing exercises and drills on an unstable surface such as a wobble board or stabilization pads can also help with this problem. The Newton Running website is a great resource of information on running form. The offer video tips every Friday and run clinics Saturday mornings at their store in Boulder. I also can meet with you with a video camera and discuss more in person.

 

Posture

Within the last couple of years, I was told I run with a very upright and straight posture. I know the importance of a forward lean and had no idea I was still running upright. I attribute my posture to years of running with my dogs, who often pull me forward, which causes me to lean back to keep them closer to me. I often have my husband observe me run if I am struggling with injures or when running becomes more difficult and less enjoyable.

The most efficient posture is one that is upright and relaxed, with a slight forward lean. Your chest should be out and your shoulders back. A backward lean will cause you to over stride and land heavily on your heel, stressing your knees, hips and back.

Keep your hips pressed forward and your butt tucked in. Visualize standing face first against a wall. Press your hips forward so that the bones of your hip touches the wall. Running with your hips forward will help you lift your knee higher with less effort. Concentrate on keeping your shoulders, jaw, torso and legs nice and loose. Keep your head and chin up, don’t tuck your chin and look down. Keep your focus forward, toward the horizon.

 

Stride Length and Rate

I covered the problem of overstriding earlier. When you reach out in front of your body with your foot and land heavily on your heel, you get the braking action that I mentioned earlier.

In a proper stride, your foot should land directly under your body with every step. You should run at a rate of about 180 footstrikes a minute before you focus on your lengthening your stride. Do not sacrifice quick rate for a longer stride. The quicker rate will allow you to land midfoot, underneath your center of mass.

Where toe strikers tend to leap or bound forward and push off vigorously, and heel strikers reach out and almost pull themselves forward, a midfoot strike with a high cadence and a forward lean propels you in a subtle, forward falling way. You land on your foot in the way it and your body were built to move, and efficiently use and conserve your energy and momentum.

 

Arm position

The main purpose of an arm swing is to provide balance and coordination with the legs. Arms should be loose and relaxed, close to the body. Relax your shoulders and down through your back – no shrugging! Your wrists and hands should be loose, not clenched. Keep your arm swing compact and your elbows at about a 90 degree angle. Drive your elbow backwards with each stride. Avoid “robot arms” where you drive your arms forward causing over striding. During the arm swing, your hands should not travel above your chest or behind the midline of your body. Avoid crossing your hand in front of your body, as any lateral movement across your body robs you of forward momentum.

 

Putting It All Together

So what does an efficient running stride look like? Just put all the pieces together.

Head up, your body is loose and relaxed from head to toe, with a slight forward lean. Shoulders are back, chest is out/forward. Arms are close in to your body, elbows are at about a 90-degree angle. Tuck your glutes underneath you and press your hips slightly forward. Drive your knees forward and up, and follow through with your foot/leg as you finish each stride. Land midfoot, and you heel will make contact with the ground. Keep your cadence high – about three strides a second.

Easier said than done, right?

Like any complex movement, it can be difficult to pay attention to everything at once. Through a proper warm up, some specific exercises to focus on specific parts of the movement, and staying focused as you run, you can put the pieces of a fast, efficient, comfortable running technique together.

The most common form flaw I observe in runners I’ve coached is over striding and running with a cadence less then 170 foot strikes a minute, so those are the first things I focus on when evaluating someone’s run technique.

Courage

Courage….. a simple little word that embraces so much.   This blog is a little off the normal beat, but as we are bidding adieu to 2011 and welcoming 2012, one needs to reflect on the accomplishments and lessons learned and look forward to the adventures that are waiting in the coming months, for those of us who have the courage to seize them.

Courage defined me in 2011.  I relocated to a state I had only visited once as an adult.  I moved and then sought work.  I found myself somewhat isolated geographically and adapting to a new lifestyle.  It took courage to do that…. and running kept me sane through the winter months.  Without a car, and the ugly snow of last winter, running was the one thing I could do.  And as I kept my spirits high, the courage to reach out and expand my horizons was rewarded.

And I now find myself looking ahead to 2012.  I am honored to be a coach here for the GOTRIbal community.  I am blessed to be able to share some of my perspective, and insights as an athlete and coach.  I thoroughly enjoy the interactions I have with you, as you respond and reach out.  I look forward to continuing to serve you in the days, weeks and months ahead.  I look forward to growing within the community.

And….. as I have courage to continue to pursue my athletic goals and share coaching tools with you, I trust some of that courage will rub off.  Some of you are seasoned athletes, some are newbies.  Regardless of where you are in the sport and in your journey as an endurance athlete, it takes some courage to get up in the morning and lace your shoes to go forth and conquer.

2012…. is only hours away.  2012 is going to bring all kinds of adventures.  Let’s step forward together and seize her…. 2012….. BRING IT ON!!! We all have the COURAGE!

How Saying The Words “I Am A Runner” Will Change Your Life

On Friday, a friend of mine shared one article from our local newspaper.  It was about a local woman who chased down a criminal while she waited for the police to arrive after he had broken into her car.  She said to him “You may as well stop. The police are coming. And if you are going to run, you better run fast and more than 3 miles because I’m a runner.”

Initially, I thought her response was quite ballsy coming from someone who’d run a few 5k races and taken up running just last year.  The more I thought about her statement though, I couldn’t help marveling at her commitment to her identity as a runner.  She didn’t say “you’d better stop, because I’ve run a 5k before” or “you’d better stop, because I run sometimes” or “you’d better stop, because I can run 3 miles.”  No, she said “I am a runner.”

Then it hit me.  That’s it!  That’s the secret sauce.  That’s the 1% shift that determines who feels entitled to reach for the stars after getting off the couch, rather than retreating to a life of lethargy with bragging rights.  It’s a switch inside your brain that you control by simply making a profession to yourself and to others.  Someone who says out loud, “I am a runner” or “I am an athlete” and believes it, makes it clear that they are committed to this identity.

It takes real courage to make that proclamation.  I mean after all, when you say you are a runner and you are a size 16, people may snicker behind your back right?  Yes, that is a good possibility.  By the way, I started calling myself a runner after I completed my first 5k.  I didn’t know any better.  Back then I thought of a 5k the way I currently think of an Ironman.  It was the end all, be all of athletic accomplishment.  So when I did one, I proudly took my place within the subset of people who call themselves runners, even though on the outside I resembled nothing of the sort.  Now, I’m suddenly convinced that this kind of ballsiness or in my case ignorance can propel people into the stratosphere of confidence.

After 5k, then what?  “Well I’m a runner.  I better do a 10k.  Serious runners do the 10k distance, right? Am I just a runner or am I a serious runner?  Oh I’m definitely a serious runner.”  Then what?  “Half Marathon…”  Then what?  “Anything…Anything-I-decide-to-do.”

Friends and family who’ve witnessed my own transformation from couch-spud to endurance junky have asked me how they can do the same.  I used to say “simply put one foot in front of the other”.  I thought that if they would just get started, they’d surely fall in love with running the way I did.  What’s not to love?  I realize now that my advice has been incomplete.  Now, I’ll say “just put one foot in front of the other and believe you are a runner!”

If You Don’t Have Your Health, You Don’t Have Anything

Her heart had never raced so quickly. She didn’t remember making it to her car or really anything the doctor said before hearing the words “detected” and “melanoma.” Head between her hands, she began to cry. She cried for herself and for all of the things before those two words she was: triathlete, mother, friend, daughter, sister and wife. Now she was “cancer patient” first and foremost and would never be what she’d worked so hard to define, if she didn’t fight this and WIN.  Suddenly the race was no longer to be the strongest self it was to negotiate time on this Earth just to be. She didn’t remember driving home or walking up to the house. As her reality swirled up and away from her in the gust of spring here’s what she didn’t know: She was going to need her people to rally around and give her strength now more than ever.

In case you forgot, this May is skin cancer awareness month. I can think of no better time than to invite your thoughts on how skin cancer has affected your life of the lives of your loved ones?

We work hard daily on maintaining a fitness level keeping us smiling from ear to ear and firmly giving our identity roots within our fit communities. So what happens when a usually preventable disease infiltrates your community? How does that community change or stay the same?

If you’re game enough to share, I’d like to highlight you on as a guest blogger with your personal stories of how skin cancer affects you and your community. Please email your submissions to info@gotribalnow.com subject line: Skin Cancer.

How to run a marathon – really fast!

Esther Lofgren emerged from inauspicious athletic beginnings as a basketball and volleyball benchwarmer to become a four-time World Champion and 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist in rowing. After the Olympics last year, she entered her first marathon on a bit of a whim, and ended up finishing third among women and winning her age group, as well as qualifying for the 2014 Boston Marathon. The Harvard graduate shares her training, racing, running, and life on her blog, Harder.Better.Faster.Stronger, which is also featured on The Huffington Post.
(All photos courtesy of Esther Lofgren)

My cousin, Byron Plapp, was diagnosed this past fall with T-Lymphoblastic Lymphoma, a highly aggressive blood cancer. I joined the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training to support Byron’s fight to recovery and to raise money and awareness for cancer cures!

GT: What are your best 3 tips for speed for a long distance event?

First, steady! My coach always says, “Breathe from the beginning the way you will want to be breathing when it is the toughest.” Second, little goals! I make it my goal to hold my target pace for the next mile, and when that’s daunting, for the next straight stretch or even to the next tree or lightpost. Third, mantras! Usually I have a song lyric or idea in my head that I repeat when I need to dig deep–anything from Lady Gaga’s “(I’m on the) Edge of Glory” to “Worth It” to “We’re in this Together”.

 

GT: You’re an Olympic Gold Medalist rower, not the ‘typical’ runner type (small and lean). What do you attribute your awesome speed at the marathon distance to?

You’re right–I’m a big woman (6’2″, 170), but the advantage of rowing is that, as a strength-endurance sport, I have great aerobic capacity–rowers have the biggest recorded lung capacities and VO2Max-es of any sport–as well as the strength to move my own body weight. More than that, though, rowing builds mental toughness like nothing else, and has taught me that if I can push through the urge to slow down or quit–that’s usually when amazing things happen!

 

GT: Who’d you love to have dinner with and learn from (person can be dead or alive)?

As a runner? Emil Zátopek, the innovative and incredibly tough triple-gold-medalist from the 1952 Olympics. Of all time? Abraham Lincoln would be way up there. I would listen the whole time, except to make sure to work into the conversation that he would probably be an excellent runner and rower and should give both a try.

 

GT: What magazine do you love to read on vacation (or for on-the-airplane reading)?

I actually love to read Men’s Fitness and Men’s Health. They have all these cool gadgets, great recipes, and interesting running and lifting workouts to try. Bonus: it’s also filled with smoking hot guys! 🙂

 

GT: What is your favorite post-run and pre-run snack/meal?

Post-run: if it’s fall, winter, or spring, chocolate milk. If it’s summer, a nice, cool smoothie with berries, banana, kale, and wheat grass!

Pre-run: I like small, simple things that sit well, like a bar or banana. One of my favorites is the Just Great Stuff Organic Fruit & Veggie Bar from Betty Lou’s. It is 100% high-quality fruit, veggie and nut ingredients, yet manages to both sit well and taste amazing. Oh, and a nice big glass of water!

 

GT: What is your next big personal athletic challenge?

I’m gearing up for selection to try to make the 2013 World Championship team for rowing (we have a World Championship every year, and then the Olympics every four years). I’ve won four of my five World Championship and Olympic golds in the eight-person boat, and this year I’m trying a new challenge: going for gold in a four-person boat, the women’s quadruple sculls!

 

GT: What would you tell your younger (16-year-old) self if you could?

 

You’re tougher than you think. Dare to dream big! …And stand up straight!

Reflection Run

I don’t run much this time of year. Instead I enjoy my time off from triathlon sports and focus on functional strength training, hip and shoulder mobility and stability exercises with my TRX, Insanity and P90X.

I am currently part of a challenge group in which I complete a P90X and Insanity workout every day, often doing P90X on my TRX. This “offseason” challenge ends Christmas day.

The week between Christmas and News Years will be unstructured. I will start to prioritize my running along with P90X2.  January 1st  I will run  the New Year’s day 5k as my baseline fitness test. This will determine what 8 weeks off running along with my strength training has done for my fitness.

Today, thanks to GOTRIbal and “Shirts off to Troops 5k” I  ran my longest run since October, 3 miles, with my dogs. While running I was reflecting (best part of running) on my GOTRIbal affiliation.  The commitment Tanya has with GOTRIbal’s mission, to “empower and connect women though the journey of endurance sport”.

I joined GOTRIbal in the fall of 2009. A women I met once, Cheryl, from Wyoming, sent me an invitation. I joined and was almost immediatley contacted by Tanya to be a contributing writer, an “expert coach.”  Tanya helped me overcame my biggest fear, writing. Since then, I have now created my own blog and submitted artibles to LAVA magazine.

I have wittnessed GOTRIbal’s growth across the world. I have developed new friendships along the way.   I am truly proud to be a part of this movement.  There are so many women that share my same desire to help others overcome their fears and insecurities and empower them though the journey of endurance sports.

I just want to say thank you to all of you and keep up the good work…WE ARE MAKING A CHANGE….one body at a time!

Montana Lovin’ And St. Patrick’s Day Fun Run!

Hello GO TRIbal!

This weekend has been a blast! I am preparing for the Chuckanut 50k in Bellingham, WA. My roommate and friend Molly are going to run it with a couple of friends. I am really excited to run on beautiful Washington trails. But lately, I have been LOVING Montana weather…it was 60 degrees yesterday!

So, to celebrate the warm weather, my darling friend Carli and I ran the “Run For the Luck of It” 5k. It started at Sean Kelly’s (the pseudo-Irish bar in town) and went around a couple Missoula neighborhoods. Carli and I decked ourselves out in green tube socks, green sports bras, tights, green eyeshadow, red lipstick…you get the point. It ended up being a fun day spent with people I love!

Here are some men in kilts…you gotta celebrate St. Patrick’s day right in Missoula–and you have to do it a week early too!

I love running! I love Montana! And I LOVE GO TRIbal!

Keep rockin’ it, girls! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Karen Tamson – Member Highlight

In this interview, Member Karen Tamson shares some golden nuggets on how to stay active and healthy in endurance sports like running, cycling, swimming or triathlon, even as we approach our 50’s.

Please share how you got the ‘bug’ to start playing endurance sports like triathlon or running?

As I was reaching the big 40, I felt the need to run a marathon, just to prove to myself that I was not getting old. I was determined not to let age get the best of me.  I ran my first marathon at age 39 at the Houston Marathon and I finished in 4:25.  I learned many things that day and since then have run 8 marathons and many more half marathons.  It gave me such a sense of empowerment and feeling of accomplishment when I crossed that finish line. It did not matter what my time was, it was the feeling that I got from it.  At age 44, I was ready for a new challenge.  I decided to do my first triathlon.  I bought my first road bike at that time and had about 6 weeks to get used to the bike.  I had a swimming background in high school and college and with my running background , I thought as long as I can keep myself upright on the bike, I should be fine.  It was a Sprint Triathlon on South Padre Island, Texas and even though we lived right there on the bay, it had been years since I had swam in open water.  Surprisingly, it felt very natural to me and I really enjoyed it.  I finished the swim while passing many others and hopped on the bike.  At the turn-around I heard something drop off my bike, and realized that it was my bike pump.  I thought for 2 seconds “Should I stop and pick it up?”  The answer was an emphatic “NO”!!  I was in the groove and there was nothing stopping me at that point.  The run was difficult, but I knew I only had 3.1 miles to go to the finish line.  I realized when I started running, that I still had my bike gloves on.  Oh well, at least I didn’t leave my helmet on like someone else I saw. I could see the finish chute within eye’s distance.  I sprinted to the finish line with all my might, leaving nothing behind. When I crossed that finish line, I knew that I was hooked on this new sport of triathlon.  I checked the results and I actually WON the Masters division.  It was a great feeling!!  Since that day, I have learned a lot, but the feeling of crossing that finish line is always the same…FABULOUS!!!

 

What things made you nervous, fearful or anxious in the beginning?  (C’mon! be honest with us!)

I thought I would be nervous swimming in the open water, but after doing it a few times it felt very natural.  I think from my college swim team days and also playing Water Polo on the Men’s Team (They didn’t have a women’s team), it had given me a great experience on how to be comfortable even in rough water.  I think that the whole bike mechanics thing scared me the most.  I felt very comfortable riding the bike, but I was scared to death that I would get a flat far from home with no rescue services and have to fix it on my own.  After watching many videos and trial and error, I now feel confident that if and when I do get a flat, I can fix it.  I do still carry my phone with me for those times when 1 extra tire is not enough or something else breaks that I cannot fix. I also carry my I.D. with me along with emergency numbers and I always let my husband know where I am going.

 

What are 3 specific things you’ve experienced (funny or otherwise) that are great about doing endurance sports as a 40+ age athlete?

I have always thought that it was really cool to have our age stamped on the back of our calves for racing and our race numbers stamped on our arms.  It’s is a great way to know more about the people around us while we are racing.  I have to say that it feels pretty good when I pass someone on the bike or run, that’s half my age (not that I’m competitive or anything).  It’s also a great way to give a ‘shout out’ to those racing in their 60’s and 70’s.  It is a guaranteed way to bring smiles to everyone!  Other funny things that I am experiencing, goes along with the aging process.  Now that I am nearing 50, my body is changing and I am feeling some of the symptoms of menopause.  My cycles are irregular, my temperature control is way off and my eyesight is getting bad.  Luckily nothing has stopped me from training and racing the way I want to.  My husband has learned when to give me a wide berth and he is tolerant of me opening all windows for the cool breeze and then minutes later covering myself with a blanket for warmth.  We laugh together about how his eye sight has gotten better with age and I need glasses just to find my glasses. I am very lucky to have such a supportive husband.  I can honestly say that my symptoms are very minimal and I attribute that to staying active and positive.