Update to Please Share Someone, you may know, with Younger-Onset Alzheimer
This update centers around exercise. I have mentioned previously about the benefits of exercise for those with Alzheimer, ALZ, but this update will take it a step further.
I continue to do research on the subject of ALZ and have found some very interesting articles and books on the subject. One book called Cured. It had an entire section on ALZ. I usually listen to books on tape but did manage to read this massive book while we were on our last adventure. You can read about that trip here.
It turns out that merely exercising several times a day is not enough. It is great to get your 10,000 steps a day but to reap the true benefits you need to participate in intensive exercise of at least 30 minutes at least 4 times a week. Some articles promoted 1 hour at least 6 days a week.
The science behind it is complicated but the bottom line is that you need to get your heart rate up, you need to sweat and it really needs to wear you out, when you are done. They say that it reduces the inflammation in the brain which they feel is the root of the problem.
Since I am with Catherine 24/7 and I am no longer able to run the pace needed for her to achieve these goals, our exercise routine needed to be modified. When we first started running all over the world I had but on a tentative schedule a half Ironman competition in New Orleans in 2018 or 19.
Back in the day, we had done several triathlons leading up to the Ironman event in Louisville Ky in 2011. We actually did the New Orleans half Ironman that year as a training event. However, back then, they had to cancel the swim portion due to the high seas. They could not even get the boats in the water to place the buoys.
We have two friends, Sarah and Elayne that live in ATL and have done several international races with them in the past. We met them in Istanbul and have also run races with them in Africa and New Zealand. Out of the blue about two months ago they asked if we would be interested in doing the half Iron Man in New Orleans this coming October.
I had talked to Catherine about it many times over the last 3 years and the answer has always been a question, which she likes to do. Try to answer a question with a question. This time she would ask if I was going to do it.
My triathlon days are behind me. I swim like I am trying not to drown. I hate being bent over on the bike, and I am getting pretty slow on the run so I know I would not make the 8-hour cutoff. I barely made the 17 hour cutoff 7 years ago on the Ironman in Louisville and I was in great shape then.
My answer was always no for me doing it so in turn, her answer was also no. I did not give up trying however when Sarah and Elayne asked her she quickly answered yes. I was dumbstruck but at the same time very happy for so many reasons.
I saw this as a way for Catherine to have some part of her independence back. This is something she could do without my help. It was going to give her the sense of satisfaction she needs. Endorphins will be in overdrive. Last but not least it gives her a way to get the intensive level of exercise I had been reading about.
The only thing left to be solved is how are we are going to do this training with all of our traveling. That is where I am at my best. Solving problems one day at a time. We have trained for many a race over the years and this is nothing different. You train when you can and rest when it is a travel day when you must.
I did not put a training plan together, however, Sarah did give me one to reference but my plan was to take each day at a time and get as much done while we continued to see the world. Cruise ships and hotels understand the need for their clients to exercise and Windstar Cruise and Marriott hotels have some of the best facilities.
As I tell Catherine all the time if she shows up at the start she will finish. I just need to get her to the start line confident that she has put in the work necessary to finish in the 8 hours allotted.
We needed a race somewhere around two months into the training to gauge how we are doing with the training. I also need to figure out a system so Catherine can handle the transition on her own.
We did find an Olympic distance race while we were going to be back in ATL and it was in nearby Pine Mountain Ga. The swim was 1000 meters which are about half the distance of the race in New Orleans. The bike was 19 miles which is about 1/3 the distance and the run was an 8K which was less than half the 13.1 miles for the run portion.
I was able to assist with the transition so that gave me some great insight on what we need to do for the actual race in October so she could do it entirely by herself. Keep it simple stupid, so today we are going to buy a triathlon suit. That is a suit you swim in, bike and run in. No changing required. All you have to do is put on and take off your helmet, bike shoes and replace them with running shoes.
The race in Ga went well and in many respects better than I had hoped. As a matter of fact, Catherine came in third in her age group. She is still beaming from ear to ear days later. I was able to follow her on my phone using find my phone for her phone which was in her hydration backpack.
So proud of her
We were able to find a great purple, pink and white two-piece triathlon suit. Purple is the color for ALZ. We are now at the Martin Luther King Recreation and Aquatic center here in ATL. After 30 minutes in the pool, she is now banging out 20 miles on a stationary bike.
I must admit I am enjoying the role of a coach. It brings back memories or coaching my kids when they played soccer as youths. I do participate in some of the training sessions but just not at the same intensity.
Another benefit of all this intense training is that she is so worn out so she, in turn, gets plenty of sleep. We leave for an overnight in LA on Saturday then on to Loreto, Mexico. The place we will be staying at has an outdoor pool and nearby stationary bikes and plenty of places to run.
From there we meet up with our find friends at RunningCruise.com. We will be doing a 5 Island cruise with them. Basically every time the ship stops a group of us will get off and run a course set up by the locals. Some of the distances will be 5 or 10K. We will be doing a half marathon in Kona on the Iron Man run course.
Our next race will be the end of September where Catherine will run at least a half marathon in all 50 states. This will be in Portland Maine. She will then be ready to tackle the Half Ironman less than a month later.
The only other thing we have been doing differently is that I have added Lions Mane Mushrooms to the protocol. You can read about the benefits of them, here.
I will update again after the race in October or before then if warranted. You can read about our entire journey with ALZ, here. If you have any questions, suggestions or concerns you can comment here or email me at Flyprkr@aol.com.