How needed are toenails?


So, how necessary are toenails?

There's the theory that nails exist to protect the tip of the toe/finger. However, this seems to be a circular argument: the tips are sensitive because we have nails - the nails make the area underneath them senisitive because they protect the area. After I lost a nail (pick the various times I lost one or more), after the nail fell off, the area under it wasn't sensitive.

There's another argument that they are just evolutionary leftovers: the equivalent of claws and hooves. Fingernails are a different issue: they are useful for picking up items, scratching, etc.: they are small, built-in tools.

Toenails? Well, they are just leftovers.

I'm considering having my big toenails removed. I'm pretty much stuck in the cycle of jam my toenails playing ultimate, lose said toenails, grow toenails back, jam them playing ultimate. The jamming part is incredibly painful. I've taken to keeping a safety pin in my ultimate bag so that I can break the blood blister under the nail that inevitably forms.

There are surgeries that will remove them permanently. I'm seriously considering them. I'm tired of jamming my toenails. I'm tired of having to stop playing ultimate in order to inflict horrible pain on myself. Too much bother. Bah.

And that's a baker's dozen.


Well, I managed to work an hour and a half before getting today's migraine. Now there's excitement for you.

Speculation at this moment: bad posture, CRT radiation, other radiation (cell tower, wi-fi, etc.), pregnancy, oversleep, insufficient air supply when sleeping, chocolate (yeah, I had some last night), tylenol withdrawal (is this possible?), reaction to supplements.

I'll be keeping a food / sleep / activity journal to track this down. This is definitely a crappy start to my exercise plan.

God f*$%ing d@^%it! AKA Number 11.


What the hell is going on here?

Okay, so I had food poisoning on Monday, the 11th, and slept from about 5:30 Monday evening until 8:30 Tuesday morning, but with a fever of 101° (my usual temperature is 97.6°) that seemed prudent. The fever broke at 1:30 or so, with the help of a couple tylenol. The cause was probably the airport chicken caesar salad.

Before that, however, I had been very, very careful to get enough sleep, but not too much. Sure I exercised hard, but slept well. And I ate very carefully. And as much as I could stomach during the tournament, which I almost rarely do. What is going on? I shouldn't be having a migraine when I'm taking care of myself.

Possible causes:

  • Monitors: I started using a CRT monitor again.
  • Poor posture: my posture at my desk is awful
  • Lack of Magnesium: I stopped taking the supplement before the tournament because of the adverse effect is has on my bowel movements (and anyone elses: think Milk of Magnesium)
  • Too much sleep: from the food poisoning
  • Lack of blood thinners: I had stopped taking them in Utah and hadn't resumed
  • Accidental ingestion of aspartame: I don't know where this would have come from, but I could have ingested some at some point over the last two days

At least it was a mild one. Two Tylenol plus a good night's sleep and I have only a lingering headache? I'll take it.

ASA MVP workout, last for September


ASA MVP workout Sept 29th

Kris and I started out warming up with ladders by ourselves. Originally, we were told that G wasn't going to be in today, but were later told he'd be in, but late. Turned out, a player of his at Cabrillo had broken his collar bone diving awkwardly for a ball at practice. He hadn't punctured the skin, but the bone was obviously broken, as it was protruding outward.

Tragically, the kid hadn't finished the paperwork for enrolling in the class, so Cabrillo's insurance wouldn't cover his injury (the trainer couldn't even look at him inside Cabrillo's facilities). G mentioned the kid was one of his better players, making the injury more tragic. He broken the collar bone of his throwing arm. G said his first question was, "Will I be able to play this year?"

The ladders were strung together, so we didn't have the usual 9 squares - break - 9 squares. Instead, we had 19 straight squares. We did the usual ladders to warm up. G arrived during our warmup, near the end, so we were good and warm. Today would be an upper body workout.

We started off with pushups. Kris did them from two aerobic steps. Because of the time I took off, I started back at clapping pushups (made funnier by the fact I had to do some from my knees). 3 sets of 10, I managed 2 or 3 from my feet, the rest from my knees.

Next came traversing hand walks. In a plank/pushup position, I walked just under 90° to the right, then back 90° to the left. Doing each hand 5 times, for a total of 10 walks. Tragically, my butt was in the air as I did my first three sets, so I had to do them over again, but with my butt down the second time.

Kris, in the meantime, was doing really cool explosive, balancing, single arm presses. Essentially, he lay on a bench so that one side is barely on the bench, with his leg tucked under the leg brace at the end of the bench for balance. His other side was hanging off the bench. With that side, he did 30 pound presses explosively. It'll take me a while to build up to that one.

Next, Kris did tricep pull downs while I learned a newly-invented exercise. G stood on a 12" box, I stood facing away from him on the ground, about a yard in front of him. Balancing on my left foot, I turned around and held my right hand up high behind me. G placed a 2# weighted ball in my hand. Continuing to balance, I touched the ground to the left of my left foot, then explosively tossed the ball up, behind me, over G and myself.

When I was done, I played around with the 0.5#, 1# and 2# balls, trying to throw them against the walk. It was very, very obvious when I threw that my timing was way off. I definitely have little transfer of momentum from my lower body to my upper body when I throw. We worked on it a little bit. We'll definitely do more after the season ends.

Next I did some bench presses. The weight wasn't so heavy, but I did need to use my feet on the last set. I did three sets of 12 at 50#, 60# and 50#. When I was done, I went to do the tricep pull downs.

I forgot the order of the rest of the exercises. I recall being unable to do a ball traversal, where in plank position, I "walk" over a ball, balancing briefly on the ball. I was unable to the exercise at all. I managed maybe, MAYBE two.

To complete the upper body, we did chin ups, with palms facing forward, to exhaustion. I couldn't do one chinup without help. I could get about 1/2 way up, but not all the way up. G had me "complete" 4 "chinups" for each of three sets, but he was pretty much lifting me for all of them.

G gave us the option of abs, or forearms and abs. I, of course, selected both. We did the plate grip, bus driving (holding the plate vertically, twist it 180° clockwise, then reverse).

We did abs last. The usual abs. I find it very difficult to push Kris down during partner push-downs. Ugh.

The last abs exercise was 6-12" leg holds. G said it was on me - 45 seconds, if I dropped, we'd do it all again (actually, I think Kris would do them all again, not me. Heh.). I said, "No problem." About 10 seconds into the exercise (actually, a count of 10 into the exercise, as my count to 30 took 45 seconds), G leans down and starts harrassing me, telling me it would be easier to just drop my legs, take a break, wouldn't it be so easy to just drop them, I didn't need to keep them up, just drop them, we'd get to rest, wouldn't that be nice. Inside, I was laughing so hard! I kept with my count. At 45 seconds, he said, okay, you're done, but did so in such a way that it sounded like a ploy to get me to drop my legs. I had to ask for confirmation, keeping them up longer. Felt good to be able to do that.

Return of the Special K Stinker


Continuing in my quest for reasonable fitness by Regionals, I ran a modified Special K workout.

In particular, I ran:

  1 stinker
  4 stinkettes
  3 suicides
I wanted to run more suicides, but, eh, I wimped out. The fields were getting overrun with kids (who all showed up at 5:30, oddly enough. And the MP3 player I was using messed up a little bit, so, eh, I just stopped.

I did have a mental lapse in the middle of the stinkettes. I was about half way through the run, and just stopped. Ick. I didn't count that one in my totals.

Second September ASA class for me.


Well, I have less than two weeks to get ready for Regionals. Though I'm pretty sure I'm not going to make it, I'm sure as hell going to give it my best shot.

I'm not supposed to play ultimate yet (the risk for a really serious injury instead of merely a serious injury is too great), I played yesterday. Kris said I looked pretty good, but every step was hard. I am out of shape.

So, in an effort to get back into shape quickly, I joined Kris at ASA today for the MVP class. This is the second to last one for me before Regionals.

We were joined today by Scottie and Mitch. Mitch was pretty loud and obnoxious, though somewhat entertaining. Scottie was a little more serious. G tried to instill a strong sense of work ethic in the two of them ("Be the player the coach can turn his back on."), but they weren't really self-motivated. Still they were entertaining. Both play on the Vikings (some local, possibly travelling, baseball team).

Started off with ladders. Because Scottie and Mitch were also doing the ladders, we did two sets of 1/2 ladders (nine squares instead of 2x9 squares) for warm up. We did the usual, nothing new.

Note to Self: I should get up and do ladders hourly. See if that helps my aerobic capacity.

Next, we did the eye of pain (read: shuttle run at 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25, forward and backward (i.e. no turning around like in a suicide)). We did 4 sets.

Next, we did did frog hops to one legged balances, to explode into a sprint. G set up cones every 6 feet or so. We started at one end, and did two legged jumps to the next cone, bounding up as soon as we landed. At the last cone (there were about 25 yards of bounding), we landed on one foot, and settled into a one-legged squat. After holding that squat for two seconds, we exploded into a sprint.

We did two sets of these landing on the right foot, two landing on the left foot, then 4 more landing on the foot G called out just before we landed.

Next, we went back inside (those were all in the back parking lot), and did a 5 station lower body workout. The stations were:

  • Hop onto a single lift aerobics step, hop onto the other side, that's one. Hop back onto the step, then off the other side. That's two. Do 20 (10 each leg).
  • Hop over the step. As soon as you land, jump back over to the other side. I stuggled with this one. The longest streak I had was only 8 jumps.
  • Next was jumps off a 1' box, land and spring up to a 2' box. Do 12.
  • Next was the shuffle over a 1' box. Essentially, put a foot on the box, the other on the ground. Spring up, and switch which foot is up, and which is on the ground.
  • Last was toe touches for 30 seconds (Kris had 45 seconds).

We did this set of five exercises three times. Ugh.

Next was leg presses and squat jumps. We did 2 or three sets of these, I don't recall.

Abs came next. Once again, I wasn't able to complete all of them. In particular, I couldn't do the partner leg throw downs. Too much torsional exertion.

My shins here. My ribs hurt. But I feel good. I'm exercising again! After 4 weeks off, it feels good.



Migraines: 10
Menstruations: 4

Emergency rooms: 0

Each of us has a burden.


Number nine yesterday. Number god-damned fucking nine yesterday day. I'm fucking 35 years old. I should be done with these horrible things. I run. I exercise. I eat all the good stuff I'm supposed to eat. I don't smoke. I don't drug up. I don't toke. I have problems consuming bubbly drinks or even caffeinated ones. Why the hell do I have these totally fuck-up-your-life throw-you-down-and-step-on-you stupid mi-fucking-graine headaches. I'm tired of them! TIRED.

My grandfather had them. My father had them. How did I become so lucky as to inherit them from the male side of my family? My grandfather outgrew them. My dad lost the pain of his. Of course, if we go back another generation, the migraines come from my great grandmother, my dad's dad's mother. Argh.

I guess we all have our burden. We all have that one quirk that makes us who we are, that one burden that shapes our lives. I have my migraines. Kris has his Crohn's. Chris has diabetes. Everyone has something. If we don't, we probably make it up.

My friend Robin Saxen (who I've sadly fallen out of touch with) and I were once comparing childhoods. I thought mine was bad, then heard hers. I consider hers much worse and said as much. She replied, "We all have our burdens. Who's to say which burden is heavier than the next? We have them, we carry them. Your load is never more than you can handle."

Yeah, I miss Robin.

I'd like to think I chose this burden. That, before I was born I was given a menu of fantastic features I could have, with the associated burdens that go with them. That I chose all my good qualities, and thought to myself, "These headaches? I can manage them. I can bear them, because I know the gifts I have in compensation."

Because my gifts are many. And my blessings are more.

Migraines: 9
Menstruations: 4

What the?


Much to my surprise, I had a date with number 8 yesterday. For those paying attention, that's two in two days. Two less than 30 hours apart. Two moments of blindness so close together.

I went to practice yesterday evening. I didn't play particularly hard. I couldn't: my ribs hurt, my left shin hurt, my head hurt, and I'm woefully out of shape.

Still, I played as hard as I could. My defense was sorely lacking. I was able to anticipate fairly well, but couldn't quite turn sharply enough to keep up.

After practice, we came home and I started doing a little work on the UPA site, catching up a bit on the problems.

After a bit, I noticed I couldn't see very well. So, I went out to talk to Kris, asked him to look at a site bug for me, popped another codeine (did I mention I'm almost out?), and went to sleep.

I woke at about 1 am and worked again on the UPA site, until 3 or so.

Sigh. Migraines winning 8 to 4.

Fast track to fitness


Lisa is so awesome. She knows I need to get back into shape for Regionals, and so has designed a workout to help me as best as possible. I'm so lucky to have friends like Lisa.

Date:    Thu, 16 Sep 2004 10:21:52 -0700
From:  	 Lisa Timmins
To:  	 Kitt Hodsden
Subject: massage & intervals

Hi Kitt,

Couple of things:

I have some time during the day tomorrow (Friday) -- if
you're available for massage, let me know.  I'd love to
promote the healing of your ribs!

And, along those lines, I thought I'd share with you some
ideas for jump-start-you-into-uber-ultimate-shape track 
workouts.  As I mentioned the other night at dinner, I'd 
focus on mid-length intervals (400's and 200's) for now.
That way you can focus more on maintaining a faster pace 
than you would in going out for a 2-3 mile run.  By giving 
yourself minimal rest in between intervals (i.e. not allowing
yourself to recover fully), you are actually boosting your
cardiorespiratory capacity as much as you would by doing
longer endurance runs.  Not to mention that you're doing
so at a race pace that's much more similar to ultimate 
(i.e. fast!) AND increasing your recovery capacity as well.

All workouts begin with 2-3 warm-up laps, light stretching, 
high knees & butt kicks, etc., and a couple 50m accelerators 
(get to a sprint by the end).  They end with 2-3 cool-down 
laps and light stretching.

Stay healthy!  Monitor your injuries and don't put yourself 
over the edge.

Aim for a 90-second pace on the 400s, a 65-second pace on
the 300s, and a 35-40-second pace on the 200s.  Run the
100s as fast as you can move your legs.

I'm listing 3 progressive workouts here, with the idea that
you can squeeze them all in before Regionals (every 5-7 
days) and still have time to "taper."  You can do alternate 
fitness stuff (Gino, easy run, etc.) on the other days.

Warm up.
4x400, rest 75 seconds between each 400.
Break for 2:30.
4x400, rest 75 seconds between each 400 .
Break for 2:30.
4x400, rest 75 seconds between each 400 
  (third set only if you feel like you can handle it).
Cool down.

Warm up.
4x400, rest 75 seconds between each 400.
Break for 3:00.
4x300, rest 55 seconds between each 300.
Break for 3:00.
6x200, rest 45 seconds between each 200.
Cool down.
Warm up.
4x300, rest 55 seconds between each 300.
Break for 2:30.
4x200, rest 45 seconds between each 200.
Break for 2:30.
4x200, rest 45 seconds between each 200.
Break for 2:30.
4x100, rest 30 seconds between each 100.
Cool down.

Remember that these are pretty tough workouts, so if you're 
feeling like they're not that challenging, either a) you're 
not running hard enough, or b) you're already in good enough 
shape!  I'm not going to say "no pain, no gain," but do 
realize that you have to push your body outside of its usual 
comfort zone in order to achieve results.  Give 'em a try 
and see what you think.