MM 2006 1:1


In Indiana, visiting Dad before 37 Signals workshop on Friday: menstruation 1, migraine 1.

MM 2006 1:0


In Colorado for the UPA Board meeting: menstruation 1, migraine 0.

Something easy on the knees


This morning was my first deep water aerobics class. I've been looking for some form of exercise that might be easier on the knees that won't necessarily cost a couple grand (think, "elliptical trainer") or be too inconvenient (think, "the closest, best, most convenient two athletic facilities have closed in the last year"). Having looked at the local pool class listings off and on for the last few years, I figured until the new year fitness fervor ends at Powerbodies, I'd give it a go.

I covered the minor hurdles with the class (the foremost being, of course, buy a bathing suit), but had to cover the biggest one: be at the cold, cold pool at 8:00 am.

Did I mention the "cold" part?

I was so cold this morning, I had three winter layers on as I drove to the pool this morning. I wandered around the pool, figuring out the entrance location ("Hey, around the corner, hidden behind this outcropping seems like a brilliant place to put the gate, let's put it here!"), and stood looking quite lost at the poolside, arriving a miraculous five minutes early.

And, promptly froze my toes off.

One by one, the other ladies of the class wandered past me, into the locker room, then back out and into the pool. The look of confusion on my face clearly clued in the instructor, who introduced herself (Sharon) and let me know the gist of the class organization. Yes, it's cold. Yes, I want to bring a hat. Yes, I want to wear said hat in the pool. Yes, earmuffs are good, too. Yes, a synthetic shirt will also be good, not to keep me warm, but rather to keep the breeze off my shoulders.


And if I get too cold, move faster.

Into the water I went. Usually one to ease into the water, I pretty much splashed right in with the floatation belt secured tightly around my waist. I had the smallest one they had. It kept me afloat just fine.

After a few moments of perfecting my utterly-lost look, while I cavalierly squandering a part of my thermal budget, I met the first of the many class participants. Dori introduced herself and explained the general class outline: warmup, circle up for words, gradual build up of intensity in the workout as we exercized in one giant oval around and around and around the pool.

Nearly as futile as running around one giant quarter mile track: you don't really get anywhere.

As Sharon entered the water and started the warmups, most of the women (and, yes, they were all women, all older than I, and all either the previous generation or maybe 150% my size) gathered into small groups and started talking. Dori seemed most interested in exercising. She did the exercises with the highest intensity after Sharon. Dori and Sharon were also the fittest women in the pool as far as I could tell. I stuck with Dori and her explanations and intensity throughout most of the class, visiting briefly with other classmates as they welcomed me into the class. The previous newbie (Denise?) joined the class last September and has been trhilled with her increased flexibility. The class has been running for twelve years, I don't know if anyone has been attending that long.

After the hour was up, I hurried out of the pool and promptly froze my feet off. The cement is cold and that 80° water doesn't seem so cold when confronted with 45° air.

I have another class tomorrow morning, but I won't be making that one. I'm far too (pleasantly) tired from this first class, and will happily sleep well tonight after picking Heather up from the airport and dropping her off at home. Today will be a long, long day.

Sing with me, people, "I can smell clearly now, the rain is gone!"


On the way home today, I decided to stop at the bank and deposit my paycheck. Not a big paycheck, but the payroll services messed up my direct deposit, so I had to go to the bank. Oddly enough, the same company messed up both of Kris' automatic payroll deposits, giving me even less confidence in the company.

So, I dashed into the bank on the way home, check in hand. As I walked up to the center counter with all the deposit slips, I noticed an old woman standing there.

I noticed her about 12 feet away from the counter. With my nose.

She had let out the most amazing fart, managing to stink up a 12' radius around her with a normal but very strong fart smell. I originally walked up to stand next to her to fill out my deposit slip, but managed only about 2 seconds next to her, deciding to walk to the other counter quickly.

I left laughing at the whole experience. Apparently my sense of smell is coming back.

Been a while (4-4?)

Holy crap! It's been over six months since my last migraine. Given the number of times I've danced with my triggers (disrupted sleep patterns being the number one), I'm completely amazed.

I'm also completely wishing I could figure out what I was doing right, so that I can keep doing it.

Kris and I had just finished up throwing in the wind at Baylands this afternoon when I realized I couldn't see anything to the left. The lighting was really weird, so I wasn't sure if my vision issues were the lighting or a migraine. I kept thinking, 20 minutes. I have 20 minutes before I lose all of my sight.

So, four for the year. Damn, if I can have these once every six months, I would be very, very happy.

Tried vicodin for the headache. Not sure if it's as effective as I need it to be. I slept for four hours (through some of Bella's barking), but woke up with a nasty headache on the right side (following Dad's advice of leaving the headace on the one side). Had to follow up with Tylenol after four hours, though.


Puts a damper on my evening run tonight.

Painkiller aftermath

Ah, the aftermath of an ultimate tournament.

Especially a high level one, like this weekend's tournament.

I slept 10 hours last night. The first night I've sleep more than 6 hours since the night before BarCamp. I think my body needed the time to figure out exactly what the heck I just did to it, as I woke up sore.

Sore for the first time in the longest time.

The anti-inflammatories I take daily mean regular exercise won't faze my muscles at all. That muscle soreness and stiffness that sets in 1-2 days after exercising? The feeling that tells you, hell yeah, you've just done something great for your body? That feeling that I like so much, but most women think is icky?

Yeah, haven't felt that soreness since February. (Hmmm... I thought I had written about it, but I can't find it anywhere, so I must have been mistaken. So, how about now?)

I take anti-inflammatories daily. I have been since February, after a series of migraines late last year caused some subtle, but annoying, vision problems for me, and a doctor prescribed blood thinners that were causing me to bleed for hours with the smallest cut. I switched away from the blood thinners and onto the anti-inflammatories, and have been fine since.

Except I'm never sore after working out.

Which is unfortunate, because I like that feeling of soreness from a hard workout.

Taking a lot of painkillers in order to play ultimate is a double edged sword. On the one side, I'm able to play. I can run, jump, throw, pivot, fake, catch, fall, the works because I can move without pain. With enough ibuprofen, and the weakness in my left leg disappears, the pain in my hamstring lessens, and I can have fun again.

And, on the other side, I don't notice when I injure something more. I don't notice that maybe my achilles don't like this sprinting full tilt from our endzone to the opponents' endzone and back on the turn. I don't notice that, whoops, there goes that other toenail, didn't need that one either.

Though, at one point, I did realize that if I can feel where my marker's cleat stomped on my ankle when I pivoted to the forehand, and that I felt it through six Advil and half a Vicodin, that maybe, just maybe, an injury sub would be good to see just how much damage that cleat caused.

Not much yesterday, but I'm feeling it today.

That, and the delicious muscle soreness.


Two notes and a workout

Note to self: two Clif shots, each of 100 calories each, do not replace a full lunch on track workout days.

Second note to self: one should clue in that if said one tries to put her sports bra on backwards, perhaps a nap would be better than a track workout.

With that said, what was I thinking? "I'm happy my fitness is coming back." Must have been the Snack of Champions™.

Today's track workout kicked my ass. It consisted of:

ladders The usual 12 different ladders
5-10-5 Working mostly on form, start at a center cone, sprint 5 yards to the next cone, turn sprint back 10 yards, turn then sprint back 5 yards to the beginning cone
single leg bounding going for maximum distance, 5 with left leg then 5 with right leg
ice skaters x20 (as quick and explosively as you can)
sprints 50m, 100m, 200m, 400m, 400m, 200m, 100m, 50m (catch your breath after running a sprint, then do the next one, i.e. go at your own pace but run hard when you are running)
sideways shuffle x20
two leg bounding go for maximum distance, 10 jumps
rest 5 minutes 
repeat go back to the single leg bounding and do it all a second time
mile jog 
lunges 10 lunges, 10 lunge jumps, 10 lunges; repeat

I was nothing if not consistent in the 200s. I ran 45-46 second 200s every time. Which is such a blow to the confidence. I could run them in 26 in college. Sigh. My 400 times were 1:46, which also sucks big time. Of course, when I ran the 64 second 400, I had to do it only once.

My hamstring is hurting again, too. I really need to let that thing heal already.


My mouth meets Pavlov's dogs

The journey continued north today, as I ventured to the dentist's for a filling replacement. The filling being replaced was over 20 years old, so Mom got her money's worth on that one.

My last filling was ages ago. Heck, my last oral surgery dealing with my wisdom teeth and jaw bone reconstruction was ages ago, too. Jaw bone reconstruction? Don't ask.

All of it has been so long ago that, in fact, I needed a refresher on what to expect.

A "dot here, shot there, redot here, shot there, numbness, tooth lock, dental dam, drill, putty, laser, putty, laser, and a sand" explanation later, and we ready to go.

My dentist tucked a numbing agent in the side of my mouth, and a few moments later, with a truly huge evil looking syringe, says, "Okay, I'll just inject this now. You'll feel a little prick."

I'm thinking, "A little prick? With that thing?!" and immediately close my eyes and conjure up every relaxation technique I have ever learned. Settling on the start with the toes and relax up, I relaxed into the shot. Okay, this isn't too bad.

When the dentist pulled away, he turned and said, "Okay, that wasn't too bad. You'll start feeling numb right ... about ... now."

And that's when the trouble began.

There are nominally three general classifications of migraines: common, complex and complicated. Most people who get migraines get the "common migraine," the intense, throbbing, one-sided pain that defines the migraine.

Some of the lucky migraine sufferers experience the complex migraine, which means they also have other symptoms accompanying the migraine. You know, joyful symptoms like dizziness, numbness, nausea and the headache.

The complicated migraine, on the other hand, is the headache with visual disturbances, or auras. Something weird happens with the eyes, and interesting effects happen in the sufferer's vision. (That "something weird" happens to be a blood vessel spasm that reduces blood flow to the brain, affecting brain functioning. For complicated migraine sufferers, blood flow to the vision portion of the brain or even the eyes themselves is affected.)

Yours truly is one of the truly blessed. I get complicated, complex migraines. Auras, numbness, nausea, light and sound sensitivity, all unwelcome friends.

And that's where today's appointment comes in.

When my mouth started to go numb, I looked around nearly frantically. Could I see? Was my vision fading, too? Oh, my stomach hurts.

Since the only time my mouth (and an entire side of my body) goes numb is during a migraine, my body (and admittedly my mind) responded to the chemical-induced numbness with my remaining migraine symptoms.

Eventually I was able to continue the relaxation techniques and quell the nausea. My dentist complimented me on handling the whole filling replacement well.

I guess nearly falling asleep in the chair helped.


I'm sick.

For the last two weeks, Kris was sick. He had some sort of cold/flu/lung congestion, coughing all day/night, with several days in bed, sick days at home. Through it all, I was able to take care of him, no problem. Well, as much as one needs to take care of someone who spends the whole day sleeping.

He managed to heal enough to restart his training for the Wildflower Triathalon, which he, Ben and Kyle are doing in two weeks. And then he overdid it, becoming ill again.

I stayed healthy through it all.

At least until I ran out of apples.

I've been eating a fuji apple a day, with peanut butter, as fujis are in season, they're sweet, crunchy and simply delicious. I'm convinced the nectar of the gods wasn't some mead or other drink, it was apples covered in tasty, tasty peanut butter. Mmmmmmm....

The organic ones are currently on sale for $1.99 a pound at Whole Foods, so I've been buying them by the armful, 20 at a time.

But I ran out last week.

Right about the time I came down with whatever Kris had. Or a reasonable facsimile there of. That was last Sunday. I felt bad on Sunday morning, but went to practice anyway. I managed to do the warmups, run the plyometric drills, play a few points, stand around for a while, then go home. I was tired, feverish and not feeling good at all.

Two days of trying desperately to recover, working slowly from home, and off to try the track workout tonight. Half a mile warmup, ladder drills and I feel like crap. What the fuck was I thinking? High intensity workout with a fever. Hello?

So now I'm back home and feeling horrible: feverish, achy sore, unable to breather, the works. What was I thinking?


(And, no, I don't really think running out of apples was why I got sick. Quite coincidental.)

Smile for the camera!

Today Kris and I spent just about the whole day working on stuff around the house. Usually when we work together (on weekends), we manage to work only on the front yard, because it's such a huge task. We're still working on it. I'd like to say the neighbors know we're working on the yard, but even Mike said just today, "You're working on your front yard? Good."


Mike was over this morning to move the rest of his compost from our driveway to his yard. When he showed up, I insisted he put on sunscreen. I had a sunburn a few weeks ago on the back of my neck, so I've been insistent with anyone I'm with. Kris got the spritz, too.

As careful as I was with my sunscreen, I didn't quite get all the areas that were sun-exposed. In fact, I missed my lower back.

So, at some insistence on my part, Kris helped me out and we made light of the situation.