Monthly Archives: June 2011

…Tears of Joy?

It has been a long few weeks… ones in which I spent insane amounts of time and money trying to figure out A) what the hell is wrong with my back and B) how to fix it.  Midway through this arduous process, I went to my GP and pleaded for painkillers.

painkillers

This is notable because it is no big secret that I hate drugs.  I wouldn’t have done this just so that I should be able to run; but I couldn’t even roll over, and every time I did in my sleep the pain would wake me up.  (Not that these pills helped in the pain relief area, but they did knock me out.)

I went to an acupuncturist — not my own, because he’s only local once a week — who wasn’t exactly all there.  He also put these in my ear:


(Note the yellow nails.  Mid-life crisis.)  He told me that once I try them, the stress-relieving properties would be so great that I wouldn’t ever want to leave home without them.  Uh, yeah.  If they work, then I would have seriously killed someone without them, because the next day was pretty hellish!

An X-ray and MRI later, it has been confirmed that there really isn’t anything structurally wrong with my back.  Okay… so why does it hurt???  I was told to read Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection, which I did, even though I don’t think it really applies to me, since I (thankfully) don’t have chronic back pain.  And this method didn’t really work for me, either.

The only thing that did work was acupuncture.  (With my acupuncturist, not the crazy dude.)  I never thought that the mere act of rolling over would bring me such joy!  That was a week ago, and even though my back felt fine, I gave it a couple of days… and read that book over the weekend, and got all excited to run on Sunday.

I lasted 42 seconds.  It hurt to run.  This was, obviously, a pretty devastating discovery.  Not to mention that my thighs are less than thrilled with all the biking I’ve been doing lately.  (On the plus side, I can now ride uphill while standing on the pedals instead of sitting in the saddle, so yay.)

I tried again on Tuesday.  I lasted a quarter mile.

And on Wednesday, my chiropractor called me (huh?  I told her I wouldn’t be back) and agreed that it would be a good idea for me to go back to PT to “work on [my] core.”  Um, I don’t think I have a particularly weak core — I couldn’t hold a plank for three minutes if I did.  “Not weak, unbalanced.”  Okay.  Whatever that means.  So I went out to try running again before going to PT, since I needed to be able to localize the pain.

I lasted a mile.  And it’s not like the pain sticks around after I run, provided I ice it — it’s just during a run.  (This would be less of a problem if it didn’t slow me down.)  I really have no idea what to make of this.  But I went to see my acupuncturist this morning, so hopefully I can also run without pain now.  We shall see.

I received these at some point during the past few weeks… they were neglected until I was able to wriggle into them!

magic pants

I didn’t wear those today — it’s hot enough already, thanks very much, the shorter length will do.  I’d normally run to the park for a group workout, but I didn’t want to be stranded there if my back didn’t cooperate, so I rode my bike instead.  And then I found out that we were going to be doing a 5K time trial.  Well, ha ha, that’s a very funny joke.

Perfectly respectable pace, except that it’s not exactly a time trial, since the whole point of a time trial is to complete the distance as quickly as you can, and I know I can run faster than that.  Trying not to beat myself up over it, instead being happy that A) it definitely didn’t hurt as much as it did in the beginning of the week and B) perfect negative splits!!

So, yeah.  I’d cry tears of joy, but I’ll save those for when everything is 100%.

And now a glut of photos clogging up my memory card.

israeli VANILLA pudding!

bulgur, pumpkin, broccoli, nooch

like.

like.

loving overnight oats lately

unsweetened soy yogurt, yogi blueberry granola crisps, fresh blueberries

sort-of like. not love.

wrap: justin's chocolate hazelnut butter + strawberries

spicyyyy mustard...

...on steamfresh baby potato blend veggies

mixberry yogurt + oats + berries... like i said, loving overnight oats

ice cream cone. duh.

like; albeit a bit dry.

finally found a small jar of wildflower honey

wrap: banana + wildflower honey ... oh so sticky, oh so good

yay, fresh figs!!

loved these, which is weird since i don't like plantains

MORE overnight oats... with strawberry banana yogurt

That isn’t all of them, actually.  But I do believe that’s quite enough of me for now.

“Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.”
~Marcus Aurelius
(is that so.)

I Cry

I am not a crier. The last time I really cried was probably eight years ago. Well, until tonight, anyway.

My point is that I am not dealing very well with this. At all. It is causing me to feel horribly depressed, and I am without my one reasonably healthy coping mechanism.

It’s enough that I am wasting so much space; I don’t need to fill it with negativity too. I am going on hiatus.

Adjustments

Please note: for the second day in a row, I am posting when I ought to be in a swimming pool.  I am angry.

Last night, for some reason, I went downstairs to my basement and sat down on my bike.  I expected pain to radiate up my spine, but… it actually hurt less to sit on the bike than to stand on my feet!

So this morning I woke up, stretched and foam rolled myself into oblivion, and rode to the park, where I found my coach waiting.  Oh, you made it! I knew he’d been planning to do some sort of time trial, and I informed him that I was not about to be timed; I mean, time me if you’d like, but I’m not going to hurry.  This was just meant to be a slow and easy ride, solely because I turn into a stark raving bitch from too much inactivity.  He told me that we’d be doing a ten-minute run after the ride.  Yeah, not me.

Can you tell that my cadence sensor conked out on me again?!  I actually only spent about half of that time riding; the rest was spent trying to figure out the stupid thing.  Which didn’t even happen until I got home — I think that if I stay idle for too long, it stops reading the magnets, which is why it only registered my ride to the park, and none of the riding in the park.

While I was fiddling with the sensor and people were running past, I told my coach that every time I see someone running these days, I kind of want to run them over.  Have you talked with somebody about these feelings? <<insert look of faux concern here>>  Seriously, though — the past few days have been perfect running weather!  So.  Not.  Fair.

Either way, it really was a slow and easy ride.  In fact, I didn’t even break a sweat… so I just wore the same shirt all day.

See, Jess?  It’s hot pink!

I know I’m crazy for even entertaining the thought, but I was wondering if this shirt would go up in flames were it to come in contact with the electric heating pad I took to work.  I love fire, and all; just not when it’s attached to me.  I opted to keep my hoodie on.

Although I should have been sticking to ice.  Whatever.  Yeah… I went back to the chiropractor this evening.  In addition to the fact that my left hip is a bit higher than my right, it seems that I probably have a slightly compressed disc.  I say “probably” because verifying that would require an MRI, not an X-ray; and I was always under the impression that a compressed disc was ridiculously, insanely painful.  …Oh, right.  I think I’ve got that part covered.  But it does make some sense, because it would explain why my knee / leg has been feeling so tingly and weird.

I did ask how far I can go in terms of physical activity, because even though walking makes me want to cry sometimes, I do know that just lying around is not the greatest idea.  Wouldn’t you know … in terms of tri training, swimming and biking are better for me than running (naturally, because running is the one thing I want to do more than anything else), but for now she wants me to rest.  With the exception of the exercises she was supposed to show me, which I just realized she never did show me.  Crap.

And for all this, I got a spinal adjustment.  It is extremely disconcerting to hear your neck snap like that, by the way.  Evidently, my neck was very tense.  While it’s nice to have my neck feeling better, I’d rather have my back feeling better, since I wasn’t previously aware that my neck even hurt!!

After this visit, I needed some cheering up.

Double chocolate chip muffin topper, microwaved with cashew butter.

For some reason, I am completely exhausted.  (Why?!  Sitting around all day should not be this tiring!!)  I should be a good little patient and sleep later tomorrow, but my body clock won’t let that happen… nor will my mind, because when I said that inactivity doesn’t sit well with me?  I meant it.  I am kind of really, really freaking out.

And I desperately need to go grocery shopping… there are no fresh vegetables in this house.

I’ve been reduced to eating sauerkraut.  (Why do I even have this?  I don’t like sauerkraut!)  And green beans, and chorizo style veggie protein sausage, and TJ’s eggplant garlic spread.  Plus a few shakes of Frank’s, because I apparently love it when food is so hot that I can’t even taste it.  *sarcasm*

So, yeah.  Supermarket trip on the agenda for tomorrow night, and if I can’t at least walk normally by then, I’m going to be really upset.  Thursday (acupuncture day) cannot come soon enough.

Happy Hump Day.

“I will not be as those who spend the day in complaining of headache, and the night in drinking the wine that gives it.” 
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Ow.

Right now, I should be at the tri stroke clinic.  Instead, I am sitting on my bedroom floor, leaning on a heating pad and typing this.  Obviously, I’ve had a very exciting day.

Morning: took three steps after getting out of bed and determined that I would not be running today.  I.  Was.  Pissed.  I spent twenty minutes with my foam roller instead, but it didn’t seem to have much effect.  In fact, I was so out of it that I didn’t even change my earrings this morning.  Hello?!  Who am I?!

Applied mascara, made the mistake of taking a step while it was still wet; winced and wound up with mascara all over my cheeks.  Lovely.

Had the time anyway, so went to the gym to stretch, stretch, stretch (and do PT exercises).  Didn’t seem to make much difference, either.  Then I had to get a fasting blood draw for my endocrinologist appointment next week.

By coincidence, there happens to be a lab in my office building.  If I’d had to travel to get to one, I think I might have cried.

Blood supply sufficiently depleted, I ate an oh-so-balanced “breakfast.”

That’s the end of the chocolate and peanut butter Puffins, which, by the way, taste much better eaten out of hand like this than with milk or yogurt.

And then I decided that I am sick and tired of being an invalid, and called a chiropractor.  Imagine my glee when I was able to get an appointment for this afternoon!  It would have been awesome if I’d have gotten all straightened out and been able to get back to my life, but apparently that didn’t happen.  No, instead the chiropractor sent me to get an X-ray.  In another facility.  Half an hour away.  Where I had to wait for nearly an hour, even though they told me to hurry in before 5.00, which I did.

Admittedly, I don’t really know what it is I’m supposed to be seeing here, but it looks pretty normal to me!!  Nothing that tells me why my back hurts.  Quite frankly, I don’t care why it hurts, so long as it stops hurting.  I feel like a total wuss for always erring on the side of caution when it comes to such things, but because I have a high pain tolerance it feels like it’s probably necessary for me to do that in order to avoid something really serious.  Still.  I feel like a wuss.

By the time I finally made it back home (too late to make it to the tri stroke clinic), I not only had a backache, I also had a raging headache.  So much for weaning myself off the ibuprofen!

Rice, black bean and corn salsa, chorizo style veggie protein sausage.  Done and done.

I’m going back to the chiropractor tomorrow afternoon, when I guess I’ll find out if this is even something with which she can help me.  In the meantime, I’ve missed my run this morning, the tri stroke clinic tonight, and will very likely have to skip the group ride tomorrow morning unless I wake up miraculously rejuvenated.  Not.  Happy.

Okay, fine, in the interest of total honesty: I am having a really hard time with this.  It is making me feel very anxious to be eating “like an athlete” when I’m just sitting around like a fat lazy slug.  And I’ll shut up before I start to get all “woe is me,” though heaven knows why I care.

Happy Tuesday.

Sleeping is no mean art:  for its sake one must stay awake all day.” 
~Friedrich Nietzsche

Brick II + Busted Body

In true “me” fashion, my PT / coach sustained an incredibly… interesting injury, somehow scratching his cornea during an open water swim.  He was therefore out of commission for our scheduled brick workout, but instructed us to do it anyway.

I couldn’t decide whether to wear cycling shorts, and then add knee straps for the run; or to wear my magic pants and hope my butt didn’t hurt too badly from two hours on the bike.  This was my ridiculous-looking compromise:

Tri shorts layered over my magic pants.  You can’t really see that in the picture.  But it’s not like anyone could see how ridiculous it looked, either, so it’s all good.  And yes, the D-tag from last week is still attached to my shoe.  I’m too lazy to take it off.

I’m actually pretty pissed off.  Since my only objective is to finish the triathlon — I’m not trying to win or anything — I’m not going to kill myself trying to be faster than I am humanly capable of being.  If it takes me over two hours to ride 25 miles, so be it.

Like last time, I wandered off the road and onto trails for the run.  Which meant that I was spending a lot of time dodging mulchy puddles and piles of horse dung… um, lovely?  I got rather lost, which was actually sort of enjoyable, until I emerged onto a grassy field.  Filled with romping dogs.  Pardon me for being a bit paranoid about unleashed dogs, but being knocked down by one is not an experience I’d care to repeat, thanks very much!

Mile 1: trails.  Mile 2: fleeing the dogs.  Mile 3: what the hell is wrong with my back?!

Yep.  See, this is why my weekly mileage hardly ever increases.  When my back squawks Stop running! at me that loudly, I’m going to listen.  Except that I wanted to run six or seven miles, not three.  And even though I didn’t keep running, I am now left with this crazy back pain that literally came from the middle of nowhere, which means that unless it disappears overnight, I’m going to have to skip tomorrow’s scheduled seven miler, too.  And my knee hurts (because I landed on it during the aforementioned encounter with a dog).  I am not a happy camper.

I am definitely no stranger to back pain — I used to be tight with a chiropractor — but I’ve always had upper back issues.  This new lower back pain is a totally different animal, and one I absolutely abhor.  It’s kind of hard to describe where it is — somewhere between the glutes and the obliques, I guess — but it is even harder to get at it with a foam roller.  Not that I even know if it would help.

An attempt to make the Indigo Morning cereal more palatable:

I added fresh blackberries and blueberries.  Which, to be honest, were the best part of this bowl.  *sigh*

This rice bowl has been sitting neglected on my counter for far too long.

I plopped some roasted tofu, steamed cauliflower, and Madras simmer sauce over it.

Um, let’s pretend the focus is on the rice, okay?… It was actually really sticky.  Which is fine, if you like rice that way, but I think I prefer it… fluffier, I guess.

I am off to soak my aches and pains away in a hot bath… I hope.  If you have any miracle cures for me, please do enlighten me!!  (Unfortunately, having an on-call acupuncturist is not realistic.  Boo.)

Happy Monday.  (Oh, indeed.)

“Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain.” 
~Carl G. Jung

Three Shower Day

Today was supposed to be the day I either A) drowned or B) died of hypothermia.  Evidently, neither of these things happened.

Backing up… since today feels like it’s been a ridiculously long day!  One preceded by an interminable holiday, which I will not discuss because it is over and I don’t care to dwell on it.

The insanely hot temperatures abated somewhat today, so I took advantage of that and went for a run.

I suppose this looks pretty run-of-the-mill and uneventful, right?… I read way too many running books over the holiday, by the way, and my head was kind of spinning, so I decided that since this would be my longest run of the week, it would be a slow one too.  And since, for some reason, the pace I see on my Garmin in real time differs a bit from what I see when I upload the data, I was under the impression that I had finally, finally, finally achieved the perfect negative split.  Which is a lot easier to do when you start out s-l-o-w-l-y.

Yeah… two seconds.  I wanted to scream when I saw that.  But, actually, that wasn’t the most frustrating part of this run… it was quite lovely, in fact, until the last five minutes, when I was jumped by a dog.  You see that 183 “max HR”?  It had nothing to do with the fact that I was running; I was doing quite well in regulating my heart rate until I was attacked by a creature.

Seriously — if you are walking your dog, what the hell is the leash doing in your hand if it isn’t attached to the dog’s collar?!

Yeah.  I was not a happy camper.  So I took Shower #1 of the day.

 

pancakes: banana, whey protein powder, peanut flour, whole wheat pastry flour, egg white

 

But I did go get my cadence sensor fixed.  Again.

puffed millet, blackberries, almond milk

And then I did something oh-so-exciting… tested out my new superhero suit.

You do not even want to know how long it takes to wriggle into that thing.  Getting out of it isn’t much easier.  For someone who dislikes skintight clothing, I tend to gravitate toward activities that require them.  Anyway…

Open water swim time!

Obviously, open water doesn’t really freak me out.  I’m just not very fond of swimming in the ocean; I like to dive there.  And when 70° patches are the “warm spots”… not exactly pleasant.  But I do have to say that this wetsuit surprised me — aside from my hands, feet, and ears, I wasn’t even really cold!  I have no idea how far I swam, but I know that it definitely wasn’t a mile.  Aside from the fact that I am ridiculously, insanely slow, it just seems silly to me to practice open water swimming in the ocean when the triathlon swim isn’t in the ocean, and when I know that open water doesn’t make me panic per se.  Unless I veer off course and wind up swept out to sea, in which case, yeah, I’d probably panic.

I drove home in my wetsuit, because it was too much of a hassle to remove it, and took Shower #2.

Something I found mildly exciting:

Because sometimes I am too lazy / pressed for time to make my own muffins.  And I love citrus flavors that don’t cause me to be in agony from the acid.  Just like lemon yogurt, which I used to make a “parfait.”

Tastes like lemon!

Totally random, but I remember hearing somewhere that most triathletes panic when faced with open water.  Do you think you would?!

And now, if you will excuse me — I need to go take Shower #3.

Have a lovely weekend.

“Business is a combination of war and sport.” 
~André Maurois

Someone’s Feeling Snarky

It’s been quite a long while since I’ve had an eating disorder related verbal vomit… and that would be because I haven’t been obsessing over it, which, if you ask me, should be considered a good thing.  I’m not saying I don’t have my moments, but hard as it may be to believe, I don’t complain about everything on here.

However, I am going to do that now.

Shavuot begins on Tuesday night.  As with most Jewish holidays, it revolves around food… and food… and oh, yeah, if you get tired of that, there’s some more food!  Much of the time, said food is consumed late at night.  (And I don’t mean “late” by my standards — I mean legitimately late, as in, 11.00 PM or later.)  I am a lot better than I was at dealing with the whole “eating at night” thing, but I’m sorry, that’s pushing it.

And another thing… I had a phone session with my nutritionist in which we were supposed to decide what I was going to eat over the holiday.  Seriously?  I am so. tired. of having to plan out every single thing I put in my mouth.  It’s easier to do that when I’m just cooking for myself, which is usually the case; but holidays are entirely different, and it’s just a big fat royal pain.  Apparently, my wanting to just wing it makes me “entrenched.”  If that’s true, I guess it’s really true, because I fail to see how this logically connects.  For the record, being told that this is true despite the fact that I have managed to maintain a higher weight = you are a fat anorectic in my mind.  Isn’t that great — I get the worst of both worlds.

Clearly, this phone call really pissed me off.

Another phone call that I found rather irritating was the one I received from my therapist yesterday.  I usually see her on Tuesdays, but I won’t be able to do that this week, obviously.  She offered to do a phone session, which I probably can’t do since I’m at work today and don’t even get a lunch break, but it’s just the principle that people seem to expect me to freak out about holidays.  I mean, yes, I’m feeling a bit anxious about it.  But that’s not unusual; I can deal with that.  Having people expect me to not be able to deal with it just makes me think that I really can’t.


Before all of that excitement (har, har, har), I went for a run yesterday morning… just because I felt like it.  And because I’m so excited that my feet feel so much better that I can actually run for two days in a row without wanting to chop them off afterward!

I have developed a Fartlek Theory: if my Garmin doesn’t beep high cadence during a sprint, it means I’m not going fast enough.  (I don’t actually know what constitutes “high cadence” … I think it’s automatically set to something like 7:15.  I ought to look into that.)  Those sprints were interspersed throughout miles 2 to 5; and the tail end of mile 4 included my Hill of Doom.  And I’d like to point out that my maximum heart rate did not exceed 178!  (This might still seem pretty high, but considering that I’ve made it into the 190s before, it actually isn’t.)

I don’t think I could have come up with a more “old man” breakfast if I’d tried.  Well, maybe adding some prune juice on the side…


What?  I just really, really like bran flakes!  These are Trader Joe’s, but if I do say so myself, my own are better.  😉

And I’m partial to this as well…

One of my favorite combinations — apple yogurt, Cinnamon Burst Cheerios, chopped Fuji apple, and roasted Saigon cinnamon.  (Yes, there actually is yogurt buried underneath.)

That was consumed in a big hurry because I was trying to get into the shower before my brother did.  Unfortunately, I didn’t make it — and I have no idea what the hell he does to make his showers last so long, but there is really no point in my waiting for him to get out, because I’d just end up being late for work.  It is so. frustrating.

Oh, but I was frustrated already anyway… because my cadence sensor is acting up again.  I made it to the park and met up with the group; and when we started riding again, the sensor wasn’t working.  I tried to adjust it, but apparently I’m an idiot and will just have to go back to the bike shop.  So, since according to my Garmin I traveled 1.16 miles in 1:23, this just proves my point: I am really freaking slow on the bike.  Ha, ha, ha.  (I mean, I am slow on the bike.  Just not that slow… I’d fall over.)

I woke up with a major case of DOMS this morning, too, courtesy of the tri stroke clinic last night.  I never realized how much I relied on my legs to swim, since I don’t have a very pronounced kick — but when swimming with a buoy forces me to use my shoulder muscles, it’s kind of obvious that the latter muscle set has been feeling neglected.  Not that I’m complaining about being sore — I love being sore.  Just not when I have to get onto my bike, is all.

And I didn’t even get to sleep until insanely late, because I was waiting for my dad to come home with my package.


My Vibrams have arrived!  Quite possibly the ugliest, most stupid-looking shoes I have ever owned, but if they will help me learn to run without bashing in my poor heels, I don’t think I even care.

Have a lovely Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday…

Just living is not enough.  One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”
~Hans Christian Anderson