Tuesday, August 5, 2014

5K to 10K: Week 1, Day 3

Five minute warm up walk (it's supposed to be a brisk walk), 30 minute steady run, five minute cool down walk. 

Time: 40 min,distance: 2.46 miles, pace: 16:15

Course: Today I chose a course with more elevations variations. When I got back to the house I found out it was 97% humidity on those mini-hills. Okay then.


I'm going to be writing up different health conditions I'm experiencing and logging my breakfast to see what's the best fuel for me. 

Breakfast: two eggs scrambled, with a couple of spoonfuls of homemade spaghetti sauce mixed in (it includes a little sausage and a lot of spinach), in a tortilla. Coffee, 1.5 mugs.

Pictured: Not me
credit: stockfreeimages.com
Health Conditions: I've solved a mysterious mystery!

But first...a disclaimer. I am not a nurse, physical therapist, or doctor. Nor do I play one on television. I am but a simple massage therapist graduate of Cortiva Institute (Home of the Fighting Growlbacks!) with three and a half years of experience in my field, one year of which was in a chiropractors' office. I am familiar with the general nature of the conditions discussed herein, but I make no diagnoses. 

Also not me.
My experience is mine alone. I am too stubborn and cheap to visit the doctor unless I actually can't walk. And I'm just stubborn in general, preferring to tough that shit out like an idiot, because I'm a hard-headed bitch even when I'm not in pain. Don't be a hard-headed bitch. If you are experiencing heel pain and have found this page in a search, get thee to a physician. I swear they don't care if you bother them. Well, not the good ones anyway. It's their job.

Nope. Still not me.
credit: stockfreeimages.com

I had been experiencing heel pain all through the reboot of the Couch to 5K program and it was very disconcerting to me because on my first attempt with the program I had almost no pain anywhere, during or after the runs. There was typical muscle fatigue soreness but nothing extreme. That was disconcerting too, in a different way, so much so that I made a post about it asking if this was normal with this program. When I'd tried running in the past I'd had all kinds of problems: ankle and knees, shin splints, stitches in my side. With the program, none o' dat malarkey.

Not me and WTH?
But this go around, heel pain. No, that doesn't quite make it clear: MUTHER FUQUING HEEL PAIN. Not so much during the run but after. Constantly after. Anytime I was standing, pain. When I was stretching, pain.  It was definitely not plantar fasciitis. I know the specifics of that condition and that was not it. I'm a massage therapist. I know what I'm talking about. Not heel spurs. But this pain wast not stopping ME. I will look pain in the eye and PAIN WILL BLINK, GODDAMNIT! I will get to the bottom of this! And then I will go under the bottom to the sub-sub-sub-basement's root cellar! And steal their potatoes!

Not me x 11.
photo credit: BBC America
I'm the one in front.
photo credit: BBC America

I got MS Paint and I know how to use it.

The pain is all around the edge of my heel and extends to...oh, here. I direct your attention to the super high tech photo on the right.  

The arrows show the generalized area of plantar fasciitis and heel spur. The pain I'm experiencing is the red area. And this shit hurt when I walked. Hurt enough that sometimes I wasn't sure if I could keep from crying. I didn't cry, but it was very nearly out of my control. 

I tried ice. I tried Epsom salt soaks. I tried Biofreeze. I tried ibuprofen. I tried extra stretching. I got new running shoes. I got gel heel cups for my new running shoes. Nothing seemed to be working. I was almost, almost, almost ready to break down and see the doctor.

I had mentioned it in passing to my physical therapist, who I'm seeing for an unrelated injury. He noticed me constantly dorsiflexing my feet because I was thinking I wasn't stretching enough. I told him how I was trying to change my heel strike because it was really hurting my heels and I knew I didn't have plantar fasciitis. He said try to shorten my stride and that I may have bruised the fat pad on my heel.

Fat pad? Gross. I, a massage therapist, did not know there was a fat pad there. I don't know what I thought was down there besides muscle and tendon...really thick skin maybe? I looked it up. Because I have Google and I know how to use it responsibly. It turns out "Fat Pad Syndrome" is a thing and it's happening to me. How do you bruise a fat pad? And why wasn't there surface evidence of the bruise? Whatever.

Why did I experience Fat Pad Syndrome this go round of the program? Perhaps because, "The fat pad can atrophy or waste away with age."

Ew. I refuse to believe that my heel fat pads have wasted away with age. Jeez, couldn't that happen to the fat pad on my thighs instead?

I think it was because, "An acute bruise of the fat pad can occur from a sudden increase in activity on hard surfaces." That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Eureka! The first time I tried the program I was still smoking. I hadn't done much physical exercise just prior to starting. My first runs (okay, all my runs) were done with the sexy zombie shuffle. Also, I was stretching the program out, doing each day's workout twice, one day for time and one day for mileage.

Psyche! THIS is me.
I told you I don't play a doctor on television.
I play a pirate.

Second program go around. I had quit smoking so I could take a mixed martial arts class, something I'd wanted to do for a long time. I'd been walking and biking for a while. I had a new smartphone with the Couch to 5K app to keep tracking of time for me. So when I started this time I was hard outta the gate. Boom, boom, boom, baby! Okay, boom, boom, boom! 

I was working a lot harder is what I'm saying. I was pushing. I doubled down on that bet. Imma get me 21 and beat the house stone cold sober! And my feet were slamming the ground. I was trying to correct my foot strike (midstrike! not heel!) but it's hard to concentrate on that and back straight, head up, stomach in, plus all the mind wandering stuff my brain does.

My feet inside.
I swear they're actually mine.
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Christ this is a long story." I'm almost done. The treatment suggested is modifying activity to take the weight off the heel, cushioning the heel as much as possible with running or walking shoes (not kicky canvas sneakers, not sandals) and heel pads...

And no walking barefoot. Damn. Damn, damn. I love walking barefoot. I hate wearing shoes. I hate wearing shoes so much I bought an expensive pair of Vibram Five Fingers (does anyone else find that name kind of kinky?) But I will not stop running. Will not, will not.

Not John Hurt's feet.
My feet outside.
I take my old running shoes. I put heel pads in my old running shoes. I wear them almost every waking moment. This morning at 5:20 am I stood in the kitchen, bleary-eyed, in my "I don't do mornings," shortie nightgown, pouring coffee and wearing coral running shoes with heel pads inside. When I get out of the shower I dry off my feet and put those shoes on before I dry off the rest of my body.

I use the Epsom salt soaks, arnica cream, and I use ice packs after workouts. I wear my new running shoes with heel cups and padded socks. 

I'm not doing extra workouts, my 5K to 10K program ONLY. I might start taping extra padding to my heels. I'm not. Quitting.

Eye of the tiger. Look into my eye. The eyes are the window to the soul.

Yes, that's my eye.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Belated Friday Five - Octopi

I haven't done a Friday Five in a long time. It's an ocean related theme, and my Fanglyfish delights at that, so let's go!

What’s something you own at least eight of?
Hm...I was just thinking that this question seemed a little silly and easy because everyone owns multiples of things. Books, CDs, DVDs, shoes, panties, purses... But then I thought, do I own (at least) eight of anything that are exactly the same? And the answer is still yes. Paperclips, hairpins, rolls of toilet paper... Maybe I don't understand the question correctly. This seems to easy.  

This! Why do I not own eight of THIS!!! In multiple metals and gemstones?

How particular are you about the ink in the pens you write with?
Not much I guess. At work (I'm a massage therapist) we have to do our SOAP notes in black ink so now I when I'm writing with blue ink I notice right away. I don't like using different colored inks as much as I used to, unless I'm doing a specific editing project. But it doesn't bother me so much that if I could only find a purple or green ink pen I'd stop writing. It would bug me...but only enough to look for a different one. If I couldn't find one I'd keep writing anyway.

This guy came up when I Googled "octopus writing" images.
 I think he looks intense, but maybe he's just bored.
The MFA Octopus: Four Questions About Writing by Mark McGurl
Picture credit: Los Angeles Review of Books

What’s something interesting you know about octopi?
Their skin contains chromatophores! And that is just such an awesome word to say. It's how they change color and blend in with their surroundings. If you don't care to click the link here's a quote from the article, "These pigmented cells contain three sacs of color each, and tens of thousands of them cover the octopus's skin. Each chromatophore is surrounded by muscles that change how the pigment is displayed by relaxing or contracting."

Captain Jones doesn't care to employ his chromatophores.
He wants you to know he's coming.
Picture: Walt Disney

What seems to have a suction-cup-like grip on your attention lately?
That sounds kind of kinky. I don’t know if I can answer that in a semi-public forum. Sometimes people I know in real life read this.  I can’t have them thinking I’m some sort of WEIRDO.

I'm suctioned and I know it.
Picture credit: Photoshopdiva.com

These questions were inspired by a song in which one of the repeated lyrics is often playfully mis-sung as “How am I gonna be an octopus about this?” That was going to be my question #5 this week, but then I thought nobody would ever come back after a thing like that.
Hm. You may be right. I may be crazy.

This disturbing looking procedure is called cupping.
Photo: Yue Wu, The Chronicle

 Ye gods, how big was this chicken?
Photo: Dian Thomas
So your real question is: When you travel, whether it’s to a completely different culture or just to a neighboring state, how adventurous is your approach to the cuisine?
Grilled squid? Yes, please.
Photo: Dian Thomas

Not terribly adventurous I guess. I like to try different cuisines but I have my limits. And if you’re asking if I’d eat octopus I’d tell you I already have.  I’d try snake or alligator if it was offered. But I don’t want to eat bugs or brains or large portions of innards or eyeballs. Plus, there’s sanitation to think about. And I have some food sensitivities that like to show up at very inopportune times. If I saved for a long time for a trip (especially to a foreign country) and spent three quarters of my time and lots more money puking into a bucket in a hospital (possibly one wherein no one speaks my language) because some asshole traveling companion ragged me about not being adventurous about food and I gave in? I think I’d be pretty pissed at myself.


  I'm old enough to remember when Wacky Wall Walkers first came out. 
Photo: Drfad.com

Also, I used to watch Iron Chef (the original, thank you) on Food Network and on the episode when the secret ingredient was octopus one of the doomed cephalopods climbed out of the tank and went crawling across the floor as Chairman Kaga was talking. I can't find a picture of that, so here's Chairman Takeshi Kaga biting the magical pepper that makes the sous-chefs appear.

He's a wizard.
I wish sous chefs would appear when I bit into vegetables.
Photo: Fuji Television

Friday, August 1, 2014

Couch to 5K: Week Four Recap

Again with the complexity. I'm sure glad I had my smartphone and could use the app this time around.

June 13, 2014
Day One: Brisk five min warm-up walk. Jog 3 min, walk 1.5 min, jog 5 min, walk 2.5 min, jog 3 min, walk 1.5 min, jog 5 min. Five min cool-down walk.

Stats: 31:30 min, 1.79 mi, 17:40 mpm

June 16, 2014
Day Two: Brisk five min warm-up walk. Jog 3 min, walk 1.5 min, jog 5 min, walk 2.5 min, jog 3 min, walk 1.5 min, jog 5 min. Five min cool-down walk.

Stats: 31:30 min, 1.8 mi, 17:30 mpm

June 18, 2014
Day Three: Brisk five min warm-up walk. Jog 3 min, walk 1.5 min, jog 5 min, walk 2.5 min, jog 3 min, walk 1.5 min, jog 5 min. Five min cool-down walk.

Stats: 31:30 min, 1.78 mi, 17:41 mpm

So apparently no commentary this week either. 

And no really interesting links. So I'll share some of the lolz.

Murder bears. Rawr.

Couch to 5K: Week Three Recap

Gets a little complicated this week. In more ways than one.

June 9, 2014
Day One: Brisk five minute warm-up walk. Two repititions of the following: Jog for 1.5 minutes, walk for 1.5 minutes, jog for 3 minutes, walk for 3 minutes. Five minute cool-down walk.

Stats: 28 min, 1.85 mi, 15:08 mpm

June 11, 2014
Day Two: Brisk five minute warm-up walk. Two repititions of the following: Jog for 1.5 minutes, walk for 1.5 minutes, jog for 3 minutes, walk for 3 minutes. Five minute cool-down walk.

Stats: 28 min, 1.8 mi, 15:33 mpm

July 29, 2014 (yes, that's right)
Day Three: Brisk five minute warm-up walk. Two repetitions of the following: Jog for 1.5 minutes, walk for 1.5 minutes, jog for 3 minutes, walk for 3 minutes. Five minute cool-down walk.

Or that's what it should have been...BUT...Way back in June, when I was doing this week, I accidentally skipped over day three and went right to Week Four, Day One for the next workout. But on the C25K application on my phone the program isn't finished until you have officially logged all the workouts. So I logged the damn workout. I did it after I'd finished the rest of the program so I didn't bother with the walk segments. I just jogged it straight through.

Stats:  28 min, 1.92 mi, 14:35 mpm

Weekly Interesting Links:

Why did humanity invent pants? Because horses. And these pants are stylin'.

Really old pants. No, like...REALLY old pants. Don't put those in the washer.
Yeah, one link. That's it. What a boring week.

Couch to 5K: Week Two Recap

Okay...sort of a boring week I guess.

June 2, 2014
Day one: Five min. warm-up walk. Alternate 1.5 minutes of jogging and 2 minutes of walking for a total of 21 minutes. Five minute cool-down.

Stats: 31 min, 1.84 mi, 16:50 mpm

No comments recorded.

June 5, 2014
Day two: Five min. warm-up walk. Alternate 1.5 minutes of jogging and 2 minutes of walking for a total of 21 minutes. Five minute cool-down.

Stats: 31 min, 1.84 mi, 16:50 mpm

No comments recorded.

June 7, 2014
Day three: Five min. warm-up walk. Alternate 1.5 minutes of jogging and 2 minutes of walking for a total of 21 minutes. Five minute cool-down.

Stats: 31 min, 1.75 mi, 17:42 mpm

No comments recorded.

Weekly interesting links:

Lifespan Fitness Stretching Machine - I want one! I used to use them at the Lifetime Fitness center. I love them.

Image credit: The Oatmeal
Beat the Blerch 10K/Half/Full Marathon -The Oatmeal is...well, he's The Oatmeal. He's wonderful and funny and he runs and he wrote a comic about the terrible and wonderful reasons he runs long distances.

Image credit: Shutterstock

Hunt for Source of All Matter Continues- Neutrinos! Total Annihilation!...Or not.

Couch to 5K: Week One Recap

May 27, 2014
Day One: 5 min warm-up walk. Alternate 1 min jogging and 1.5 minutes walking for a total of 20 minutes. 5 minute cool-down walk.

Stats: 30 min, 1.59 miles, 18:52 mpm

I don't like Constance. Not at all. She's too effing perky. I'm using Sarge on Thursday.

May 29, 2014
Day Two: Five min warmup. Alternate 1 min jogging and 1.5 minutes walking for a total of 20 minutes. Five min cooldown

Stats: 30 min, 1.75 mi, 17:08 mpm

No comments recorded.

May 31, 2014
Day Three:  Five min warmup. Alternate 1 min jogging and 1.5 minutes walking for a total of 20 minutes. Five min cooldown

Stats: 30 min, 1.75 mi, 17:08 mpm
Myself: "I've had it with these motherfucking bugs on this motherfucking run! Dammit, they are all up in my face!"
Self: "There's a solution to that, Dave."
Myself: "My name isn't Dave, it's Jessica. Which you know. And that's the wrong movie. And you can't be Self and Hal at the same time. Stop with the Hal."
Self: "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that. I think you know what the solution is just as well as I do."

Myself: "Yes, yes, yes. Drag my ass out of bed at four a.m. and run before sunup. I hate you!"

Self: "Look Dave, I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to stretch, drink some water, and think things over."

I'll need a reflective vest at the least and maybe a headlamp. And some pepper spray. More worried about wild animals than people though.

Weekly interesting links:

Picture property of Holy Clothing.
Go to www.holyclothing.com to buy this gown
 and lots of other beautiful clothes.

Romeo and Juliet Gown

Interactive Star Chart for Chicago Time Zone
Find out what stars will be above you tonight!

Hello, where the hell have you been?

I've been out. Well...I was here. I just wasn't writing. So...this and that has happened. I've been away from my blog long enough to forget how the everything works.

I restarted and subsequently finished my Couch to 5K plan. Go me! I wasn't blogging during that time, but I did recount some of the journey on Facebook, which I will transcribe to this format.

Let's see...what else has happened?

I quit smoking. I still want a cigarette every single day. But I keep not smoking. I want one right now. I'm not smoking. Smoking is expensive and very, very bad for my lungs and I'll never gain true speed and endurance in my running if I smoke.

I still want a cigarette.

I was able to start taking the martial arts class in June. We got through close quarters combat which consisted of wrist breaks (meaning someone grabs you by the wrist and you break their hold), two leg sweeps, and several submission holds. I passed the cycle check for that.

This is NOT an example of close quarters fighting.
It's just amusing.
The next (and current) cycle is ground fighting. Yes, where you learn how to roll around on the ground and try to get the upper hand. I promptly hurt myself...not rolling around on the ground trying to throw off my opponent, that would feel far too awesomely badass. Nope, I hurt myself trying to practice a shoulder roll. Because I'm apparently just that clumsy. Torn deltoid tendon, crunched ligaments on top of glenohumeral joint, and strained supraspinatus. I was off work for a week, recommended eight weeks of PT (but I'm healing fast and may be done in four) and six weeks no martial arts class. At least not my combatives class. I can still take the Saturday Family Karate class, it's mostly forms which the doctor said was okay to do. I still take my step-daughter in for her class and I watch what her class is learning and take notes. She's in the 10-13 class, they learn almost the same thing the adult class goes over.

I still miss class. Sometimes I don't want to go in and watch my daughter's class, because I know I can't stay for my class and I really want to be out there.

I've been trying to find some pictures of the ground fighting holds they've been learning, the guillotine choke and the kimura. Well, there's plenty of pictures but most of them just look like a tangle of limbs and you can't really tell what's going on. A great many of the pictures fall into two subcategories: horrifyingly painful and/or gory or tediously near-porn.

So instead I will leave you with this.

Credit: Unknown
If this is your picture and you want me to take it down, you have but to ask and it shall be done.

Iranian female ninjitsu trainers. Boom!