Finding My Groove

It amazes me how quickly I fell out of the habit of working out and eating to fuel my workouts.  I’m truly struggling to get back to a regular training schedule.

Last night, I had a 45 minute bike ride scheduled.  (On the trainer, not outside.  That would be crazy.  And also probably life threatening.)  I had been fighting a headache all day and by the time I got home, I just wanted to eat some comfort food and go to bed.

Now, in previous months, I would have given the workout a shot.  I could have just taken it easy and tried.  The good part about riding the bike in the trainer is that if I’m not feeling good after five minutes, I can quit.

But I didn’t even start.  No, instead I ate a bagel for dinner and went to bed early.  I don’t even want to think about how many calories I ate yesterday.  My diet’s not perfect, but if I’m going to splurge on calories, I should be doing it on cake and margaritas, not random junk I’m eating as comfort food.

Of course, I wasn’t feeling great, so resting is never a bad plan, but I don’t like how easily I gave up on the evening’s plans.

Tonight, I have swim practice.  This is always a struggle because it’s not til 8pm.  Last night, I was in bed before 8pm.  But I have to go.  No matter how much I do not want to put on a bathing suit, no matter how much I don’t want to go out in the cold.  I need to be there.  I just signed up for another triathlon for the summer.  I must swim.

What I Ate Wednesday… or not

1st & 2nd Course place settingSo it’s Wednesday (though in my brain, it’s Thursday, for no apparent reason).  And around the health and fitness blogosphere, that makes it What I Ate Wednesday.

I kind of hate WIAW.

Not because I mind pictures of food or because I don’t care about what a person ate.  If a subject of a blog post doesn’t interest me, I don’t have to read it.  Just because I don’t read every single post on the blogs I read doesn’t mean I don’t still like that writer in general.

No, what I hate about WIAW is the snobbishness that comes with it.  There was recently an article going around about how fitness blogging leads to disordered eating and I often feel like WIAW really promotes that.  It’s as if people feel the need to show off their restricted eating.  “See, look how little I ate.  I deserve praise for being so healthy.”

It’s pretty rare that WIAW features a giant piece of cake.

Obviously, healthy eating is good for you.  But there’s healthy eating and then there’s crazy restrictive eating with supplements and frankenfoods making up huge parts of your meals.

I’m not saying my diet is perfect.  Far from it.  But I feel like all WIAW does is help promote disordered eating.  I see a lot of meals on tiny plates.  Meals that can’t have more than 200 calories in them (and not from people who are eating a bunch of tiny meals).  Days of diets that appear to be nearly completely fat free.  None of this can be healthy.

And you start to see it in the bloggers.  You all know the type I’m talking about.  The bloggers who looked great two years ago.  Who maybe had a little belly, but their hair was gorgeous and their skin glowed.  Now, they’re smaller, showing off more muscle, but they don’t look healthy.  Sunken eyes, thinning hair… those aren’t signs of a healthy body.  But because they have a smaller waist, it’s considered good.  So others read this and think “Okay, if they can do it, so can I.”

Now I’m not saying WIAW necessarily leads to ill health – but if you post about it, maybe take a second glance at what you’re posting.  And then take a second glance at what you’re eating.

Product Review – HoMedics Rapid Relief

4/6/16 – See end of post for an update.

A few months ago, I was sent the HoMedics Rapid Relief Electronic Pain Relief Pads for review.  I received the set for Arms and Legs and the set for Lower Back.

What is an Electronic Pain Relief Pad?

It’s a TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) device for at home use.

Still confused?  I was too.  So I did some research.  TENS is essentially electrical nerve stimulation that can reduce pain.  The claims are that it blocks the pain signal from the nerves, though studies aren’t clear on whether or not it actually works.  Some studies have shown that it’s not better than placebo.  But hey, the placebo effect is a real thing, so I figured I would try it out!

homedics1

The devices came packaged in handy carrying cases to keep the sticky side clean.

homedics2(This is the sticky side)

So how does it work?  I stuck it to my calf and pressed the on button.  I heard the sound indicating that it was on, but couldn’t feel anything.  So I increased the intensity.  There are a total of 15 settings.

Around level ten, I really started to feel it.  It was an interesting pattern of about ten seconds of “buzzing” and then ten seconds of “blips.”  For fun, I increased the intensity even more and could see my calf muscle start to twitch.  Definitely an electrical current going on there.  It automatically shuts off after 20 minutes.

So, did it work?

I… think so?  My calf seemed less sore afterwards, though I didn’t have any “good” injuries to test it on. The back version had a different pattern of electrical pulses and I really wanted to try it out on a pulled lower back, but oh darn, I have yet to pull my back.  I guess I’ve gotten good about proper lifting and movement.  (Typically, I pull it while putting up or taking down holiday decorations, but not this holiday!)

So for an athlete’s normal muscle soreness, I’m not sure this helps all that much.  It was fun to watch my leg twitch, so if nothing else, it was distracting.  If you’ve got some severe post race soreness or a pulled muscle, however, it’s worth a shot.  Especially for someone who has thrown out their back.  When that happens, you’re willing to try anything, and this is a great non-medical remedy to add to the mix.

4/6/16 Update

Okay guys, this thing is officially awesome.  I end up with tightness in my shoulders and my lower back and popping the HoMedics Rapid Relief Electronic Pain Relief Pad onto my back definitely helped.  It’s now a very valued piece of my health kit. I’m still a fan of heat, but I’ve added this into the mix and am very pleased with the results.  Definitely worth it if you tend towards muscle strains.

Weekend Workout Recap

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Sunday’s run wasn’t quite what I wanted, but better than nothing!

I got my stitches out on Friday.  It was way more painful than I thought it would be and I nearly passed out.  Possibly because I am a wuss and possibly because I was standing for it.  But man, those suckers hurt when they come out.

Apparently, this is normal.

But the good news is that the wound is healing as it should and that the biopsy came back confirming that it was just a weird mole (atypical nevus), and that’s that.  I’ll go back in six months for another check, but hey, that’s easy enough.  Better safe than sorry.

Now that I no longer have stitches, I can return to workouts!  Which is good, since I have some races coming up and technically, should start triathlon training this week.  I will be easing into said training, however.

Saturday, I got on my bike for the first time in I don’t know how long.  I do know that it was while the weather was still nice, since the bike hasn’t been in the trainer all winter.  So I wrestled the trainer tire on last week and now Ethel is happily perched in the trainer.  Did an easy hour long ride.  Went fine, except that I can tell I haven’t been in the saddle for a while.  Ow.

Sunday, I set off for an 8 mile treadmill run.  It was tough.  My body just wasn’t into it.  As you can see from the picture, I didn’t quite get in 8 miles.  My piriformis started shouting at me around mile 7, and rather than tough it out, I decided that 7 miles was enough.

Tomorrow, I’m supposed to return to the pool, but I’m 50/50 on whether or not I will go.  I should go, but 1) it’s going to be a high of 19 degrees and that pool gets cold and 2) I still have steri strips on my wound and should probably wait a few days.  We’ll see what happens though.

And in other training news, once again, I’m fundraising for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults through Team Fight this year.  While I’m officially fundraising for the Army Ten Miler, I will be doing a number of races in Team Fight gear this year, and can’t wait to be part of the group at the Iron Girl Columbia triathlon again.  I decided that I wanted to try to raise more than I did last year, so my goal is $1200.  Every dollar helps this awesome organization.  Thanks!

Search Terms, Take Two

Keyboard

Every so often, I go through the search terms for this site.  What words and phrases are people typing in to find me?

Most are pretty logical, then there are some outliers.  Or in some cases, I get why the search term led them to me, but I can’t figure out why they’re searching that.

For example, glittery elbows.

Really?  Why?  Or how about girly elbow.  I have never thought about whether or not my elbows are girly.  What constitutes a girly elbow and what constitutes a manly elbow?

Some other interesting ones:

just naked marathon c–k – Yes, I censored that one, because I don’t need people finding my site while searching for porn.

i missed all the fun in snow – Well, you probably won’t find it on the internet, friend.  Sorry.

women room shower towel nude – No!  I said no porn!

happy birthday to my mom – Tell her, fool.  Don’t just type it into Google.

im a teriblle packer – And a terrible speller.