Constant soreness


Last night, Brynne, Steffi and I met at the Foothill track to run in our own mini track workout. Our workout was short(ish):

  1. 2 x 400 m at quick, but not painful pace (which meant 1:40 laps)
  2. 4 x 200 m at accelerated pace (start striding, end sprinting)
  3. 2 x 100 m at fastest pace possible
  4. 5 x 5-10-5 shuttles, working on form, break down steps before turning
  5. plyo mixup: stars, rockets, tucks followed by 5-10-15 or 10-20-30 shuttles
  6. Abs

Having spent Tuesday morning in my pilates class, last night at the track was hard for me. This morning at Velocity Sports, however, wasn't so bad. I was actually able to sprint this morning, including pushing a weight sled. I had problems pulling the sled running backwards, but that happened at the end of the workout, in the last two minutes actually, so I was still pleased with the workout.

Usually soreness takes a couple days to settle into my muscles. With the continual workouts, I have constant soreness instead. When is my body going to adjust to these extra workouts? I'm ready already.

Don't try this at home


I am now in the workout-every-day phase of my season. My hamstring is still bothering me, but it seems to be okay when I consciously stretch it several times a day like I'm supposed to.

I may, however, be overdoing the workouts. I'm not sure yet, because Sunday's practice was so hard for me, with the heat and my hamstring bothering me. Sunday's practice was four hours long, followed by a fairly light Monday workout at Velocity Sports. It had to be light, I was able to finish it.

This morning, Heather and I returned to the Center of Balance, this time in the morning to try another instructor. I suspected that, well, since VS has the hard instructor in the morning, so maybe CoB also has the hard instructor in the morning: only the hard core people would get up early in the morning to work out, right? Right.

Heather and I both broke a sweat in the same place in the workout, about 3/4 of the way into the hour long Pilates/Yoga/Core progression, and near the beginning of the abs set. Once again, there were maybe two exercises I couldn't do, but, because of the much smaller class size in the morning (8 people vs about 30 in the lunch class last week), I received individualized alignment help.

After adjusting both Heather and I on a particularly difficult ab position, the instructor asked if we were both soccer players. Apparently our builds, strengths and weaknesses, all implied the movement of soccer players. When Heather said, no, ultimate frisbee, the instructors face lit up. Clearly, yes, he was close in his first guess, but yes, ultimate made sense.

He encouraged us to stick with the program for a month and see how much better our sense of balance is. I think that's a fine idea, since he teaches Tuesdays and Thursdays, offset from the VS MWF morning schedule.

Of course, this will make me a morning person.

In the evening, I went to track practice. The workout didn't seem too hard on paper: 1 mile warmup run, 2 sets of 200-300-400-300-200. Two steps into the warmup run, however, and I knew this was going to be a very hard workout for me. Not only were my legs total moosh, but my left achilles was shooting up flares of hot-white-poker pains.

I managed to make it through one set of 200-300-400-300-200 with careful running to minimize my achilles aggravation, before I gave up during the break and left early.

Since my legs were moosh, I decided an ice bath was in order, so filled the tub with cold water, skipping the ice. A few screeches later and a magazine later, and I was sitting in the bathtub, the really really cold bathtub. I kept moving slightly to prevent the thin layer of water next to my skin from warming up, which I'm sure made the whole process even colder. Lyndsay swears by these things, so cold water it is.

Three articles later, I was done with my 20 minutes in the water. As I stood up from the bath water, I realized I was about to dump all of this water down the drain, when all I did was sit in it. It may not have been clean enough to drink (or it might have been), but it was certainly clean enough to put on my plants.

After drying off, I wandered to the backyard for a hose. Guy had bought a potable water hose for me last week, as "potable" is the only type of hose I'll buy or use at this point, so I had one that would work for the syphoning I had planned.

After filling the hose with water, I kept trying to figure out how to get the other end out the window and onto the ground without letting air into the line. I gave up after about five minutes, threw the hose out the window, verified the one end was still submerged in the bathtub, and wandered outside.

My plan was to get the water out of the tub, onto my garden. The problem, however, was getting the water flow to start.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to use a 25' hose as a drinking straw for tub water?

It's hard. I bruised my lips in a circle trying to suck the water onto the garden. I mean, hello? How many people do you know have circle bruises on their lips? (Me? I know of only one.) Worse, done to save less than 2 cents of water?

Eventually I realized the suction was going to fail, and I ended up using a bucket and hauling the water from the tub to the garden the old fashioned way: by hand.

Pull, poof!


So, there's the bump on the back of my right leg. It's on the outside of the back of my knee, in the place where, to be perfectly honest, I've been sunburned a lot. Something about that particular location that just begs to have sunscreen just slide right past it, missing every bit.

I've been worried about this particular bump since I came across it about a month or so ago. I hadn't noticed it before, but it didn't seem to be growing particularly fast. It looked like it could be a wart, I've had those on the bottom of my feet. Worse, it looked very, very similar to the bump that was next to my eye last year, and we all know how that one turned out.

Because of the similarity in size, shape and texture to the bump near my eye, my worry level has been increasing and increasing. I worried and thought about this bump like a dog on a bone, never quite stopping the gnawing. I asked friends what they would do. I asked doctors-in-training what they thought of the spot. I asked Kris, who responded something like, "Eh, ask a doctor."

After gnawing on this bone too long, I did something you're really not supposed to do. I picked at it.

I know, I know, don't pick at your skin. Bad, bad, bad. But I did. I wanted to see if I made it small, would it come back? And, if so, how quickly? I had a spot on my right index finger when I was 14 that grew incredibly fast. It grew to about a 1/4" before I took an xacto knife to it and cut it off. Not the smartest thing to do, especially using my non-dominant hand on my dominant hand, but the spot, which turned out to be a wart, annoyed me so much that I had to remove it.

Turns out, warts form a kernel that doesn't quite attach fully to your body. If you peel along this edge, you can literally extract the wart from your body. The tricks are, of course, getting it all and dealing with the pain. I have no idea if Dad ever noticed the blood in the bathroom sink from that little bit of surgery.

So, yeah, the bump on the back of my leg. Tragically, I picked at it. It bled. This is not good, because that gives an entry point for cells to travel to other parts of my body. If this bump is cancerous, I just introduced another avenue for it to spread.

Can you believe I graduated in the top 0.1% of my graduating high school class? No? Me either.

Eventually, I told myself to stop it. Stop worrying about it. Stop playing with it. Deal with it the right way: make an appointment with a dermatologist and have it removed to be tested. Simple enough. Scary, sure. But I'd rather be 1 for 2 in finding my own skin cancer than having skin cancer again and dead.

Today, looking at it, I noticed the spot had changed. I wasn't sure what had happened, but it looked like a tag of skin had come off the top of it, probably from all of my scratching. Well, can't have that, can we? I pulled on it, as I'm wont to do with random pieces of flesh with neon signs pointing to them that read "Pull me! Pull me!"

I felt no resistance as something came out of the bump. It ended up being about 3 millimeters long and just under a millimeter wide. It was white, and I have absolutely no idea what it was. It was soft, and that's about all I could tell about it. When it was out, the bump was gone. There is now a small hole in my leg where the bump used to be.

After putting away my confusion with the bump extraction, I can honestly say that, for today, there are few things more enjoyable than discarding the worries of a cancer return in the trash.

And a hole in the leg is a small price to pay for that relief.



Well, bound to happen.

Better sooner than later.

As I reached with a double fisted claw catch for a disc thrown by Will, the wind jerked he disc just over my outstretched hands, and pushed it down after passing over my arms.


I stood still for a moment before I realized the sound I had just heard was about to be followed by the sound of my wailing. The disc had landed squarely on the bridge of my nose, and it hurt. A LOT.

I sat down, as Will rushed over. "Are you okay? Are you okay? Did that just hit you in the face?" he asked.

"I don't know. Let's see," I responded, clearly still in surprise. I took a deep breath and exhaled forcefully out my nose, my hands blocking my face.

The handful of blood immeduately showed me that, no, I was not okay.

I sat out during the first drill and waited until the blood stopped running from my nose. I was able to run a little bit, but not much, which was probably good, as my legs ached a bit from yesterday's workout.

I'm thinking now, sure, I should have pancaked that catch. It was windy, and I was standing directly in the path of the disc (a habit I've been trying to develop, actually). But this isn't the first time a disc has hit me in the face, where other people can go an entire career without any discs in the face.

I guess if I'm going to have injuries this season, better to get them out of the way early in the season, rather than late in the season.

No time for this!


I so way do not have time for this.

My weekend is completely full. As I looked over my list on Friday night for what I wanted/needed to accomplish this weekend, I thought, "there's no way I can get all of this done." There were about 25 items on that list, and writing about that list wasn't on it.

This morning, I woke up late, around 7:30 am, and wondered if I wanted to get up, or just lie there next to Kris longer. I decided to lie there, but continue reading Expendable, one of two books Andy had loaned us a couple weeks ago. I was about half way through it, zipping along when I had a few spare minutes here and there. It was the first fiction book I'd picked up to read in over a year, all the other books I've read being either technical books or non-fiction good for me books on gardening or mental toughness or PHP.

I blame Catch 22. It made it to the top of my pile, and I've tried to read it so many times. It's about some guy who's incredibly lazy in a screwed up world. Kris likes it. Mark loves it. Tyler thinks it's great. Why do all the boys like it, and I can't stand it.

It's still at the top of my book pile, which has continued to grow bigger.

So, I skipped it to read Expendable, since Andy specifically brought it over for Kris and I to read. And I was reading it.

I read for a couple hours, though how it took me a couple hours to read it, I don't know. I thought I read quickly, but I was on only page 225 when I noticed a bright light on the right side of the pages.

Now, I hadn't looked directly at a light source yet that morning. I was nicely lying next to Kris, inserted gently into the Doggie Matrix, casually reading a book quickly. There was no reason for that bright light in my vision.


I knew what that light was.

"F---!" I exclaimed, throwing back the covers, taking a small tan dog with it, waking Kris from the light sleep he'd been in while I had been snuggling him.

"What is it?"

"A migraine. Another migraine. Another f---ing migraine. Third one in less than a month. What's going on? Why is this starting?"

I marched into the bathroom, cranked the shower on as hot as I could stand the water, popped two Advil and climbed into the water. I may have drained the water heater standing in that water, as hot as I could stand it, as long as there was hot water.

See, for the last quarter century, when I have a migraine headache, I become immediately stressed. It's a learned response: I know what's coming, I panic, I down the painkillers and rush to bed as quickly as I can, praying I can be asleep or otherwise oblivious to the avalanche of pain and numbness and nausea and blindness that's going to hit me in the next twenty minutes.

This learned response has not helped me at all. I still have the pain. I still have the numbness. I still have the nausea.

I still go blind.

So, I jumped into the shower, water as hot as I could stand it. I read recently that increasing the blood flow to the extremities can alleviate the worst of a migraine. I can't stand the aura, I can't stand going blind, or realizing that no, I can't trust my own senses, I can't trust my own sight. The blindness is the worst part. I'm not sure if the suggestion to heat my hands was going to help, but I was going to try.

I'll approach this as scientifically as I can. I can't affect the blindness if I don't stay awake for them. I can't see the effectiveness of the different processes I try if I'm not awake to see the effects.

After I ran out of hot water, I dried off, went back into the bedroom and crawled into the bed to watch the lights. Must to my surprise, they disappeared after about 15 minutes, while I was still awake. I was thrilled, picked up Expendable again, and started reading. I managed to finish it, then fall asleep for the afternoon. I managed to miss practice, as well as time to finish a dozen things I wanted to do today.

Today is totally shot. Maybe I should just go to sleep again.

Fartlek, my foot!


Tonight's track workout was all of forty minutes of fartlek running: around the track for forty minutes sprinting the first forty yards of each straight and jogging the remaining 320 yards of the track. I managed fifteen minutes before my insides turned to intense jelly balls of pain. I stopped for a minute to let the balls disappate before running around the fields and finding a couple dogs to chase for my sprinting - much easier and far more fun to chase.

I'm not sure what's so special about the first fifteen minutes of a long distance run. I had a very similar problem last week, running the dish: bad cramps at the beginning of the run, only to have them disappear after a minute break, and a good run following. This has to get easier. I can't keep running like this and not have it get any easier.

Back to that again?


As I exited the shower this morning, Kris looked at me and asked, "Did I do that?" pointing to the quarter-dollar sized bruise on my back side where I couldn't really see it.

After some amazing acrobatic maneuvering, I finally saw what he was talking about. "Probably not, they're all over the place. Here, look here. And here." I showed him my slew of bruises.

"Back to that again, are we?"

"Yeah, I guess so."

I wish I knew why things like this happened. I have times when it seems I'm nearly covered in bruises, where touching something makes me bruise, and other periods when I can practically break ribs and not have a mark on me.

I wonder if it's diet related.



Normal body temperature is 98.6° The problem with "normal" however, is that normal is a guideline, and very, very few people are truly normal. I never truly wanted to be normal except for a couple of seriously misguided, adolescent years, when "normal" meant having friends. Being extraordinary means you have a life worth living.

There are, however, expections to the desire not to be normal. Body temperature may or may not be one, I haven't quite decided.

My normal body temperature is 97.6°, where "normal" in this case is defined as the temperature I get most often if I check my temperature when I'm not sick, not exercising, not just waking up and not eating. Having done this measurement a half dozen times, all with the same result, I feel comfortable in saying my normal body temperature is 97.6°

So, when I had my second migraine of the month today, I thought about raising my body temperature to see if that would help speed the thing away.

I arrived home from class around 3:30, and noticed the light in the living room was a little odd. I didn't think much past that thought about it, which cracks me up in retrospect. How many times have I gone blind with these things, each one starting the same way? How many times have I thought, "Huh? The light looks odd?" or "Everything is in really sharp focus?" or "WTF? The door is f***ing open!" Oh, wait, that last one was just one time.

At 3:45 I was half blind, sending a note to Kris that I wouldn't make practice that evening, and stumbing to the bed, dragging Bella with me. If I was going to sleep, I damn well sure was going to have a warm dog in the bed with me.

I woke up two hours later, and tried to do something, anything productive, only to have spots reform at 6:45. My first thought was, go to sleep, avoid what's coming. My second thought was, stop, this is a learned response. The shivering, the chills, the shudders, all of these I've learned over the years suffering through migraines. How about trying a proactive approach?

One of the beliefs around migraines is that the headache is caused a constriction of blood vessels which causes blood to leave the extremities, only to rush back into the head when the blood vessels later dialate. If I can heat my hands and feet and head, the theory goes, the blood won't rush back, and the pounding headache won't trigger.

Of course, lots of pain killers can do the same trick.

I took a bath as hot as I could stand the water, then turned it up higher. I started with a shower and a closed drain, sitting down and switching the water once I was standing in 4" of water. After staying in the water, only half of which I could see at this point, for about fifteen minutes, I stood up, toweled off, and left. The visual symptoms didn't disappear quickly, but I had successfully stayed awake through an entire aura.

I'll take the small victory.

When I checked my body temperature again, I was feeling feverish. Clearly I had succeeded in raising my body temperature, but by how much? Did I manage 100°? How about 99°? Even 99° would be good, I thought.

My temperature?


I was finally normal.

Of course, a lower body temperature has been linked to a longer life span, so maybe I should stop worrying and accept my body is helping me in my quest to live to 120.

I really wish, however, we could figure out the true cause of the aura. Those are what I hate. I can't trust my eyes. Seeing is not believing for me. If it were, then I have front row seats into regular rifts of the space time continuum.

And people, they're pretty for only so long.

Starting over


Continuing in last night's conversation with Tyler, Kris and I talked a lot about ultimate and Mischief, me and my injuries. I commented how frustrated I was practice, and how I hadn't played well. I must have been particularly whiny, because he turned to me and commented, "Look, you've been injured for the last two years. You essentially haven't played ultimate for two years."

Yeah, put that way, I should give myself some slack.

In my effort to start over, I went for a run today. Even off days can be days of improvement. I went the Bernardo route, which is a fairly easy route, in 23 minutes. Last year, I ran it consistenty under 18, I think, so this is definitely a long road ahead of me.

Yeargh! Finger crushing!


I smashed my left middle finger today and broke it.

Not a clean break like my ribs, but squished like my collar bone back in 1998, a few months before Kris and I started dating. Kris and I were cleaning the front yard, as we have been doing every spare minute for the last, what, five years? I moved from the blueberry patch to the front rocks, ripping weeds out and avoiding the one or two flowers that somehow survived.

Why I thought I could move a twenty pound rock, pull the weeds out, and put it back without difficulty, is beyond me. Yet, strangely enough, a belief not really foreign to my mind.

I dropped the rock the last centimeter, the point of the rock landing straight across the top of the second joint on my left middle finger, crushing it. Of course, like all truly great crushings, it didn't hurt until I couldn't get my hand out from under the rock.

And then it hurt like hell.

I managed to melt two ice cubes icing the joint before I could move my finger again.

The smooshing made me think about the other bones I've broken: four ribs two years ago, another rib back in '94, another rib broken sneezing back in '90, my collar bone in '98 and maybe a toe when I was in the sixth grade.

At least it was my left hand, and I can still throw.