Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Mystery Illness

Well I'm still sick. I have had bloodwork and urine sampling done twice including during a trip to the ER on Friday when the pain in my stomach became unbearable. After being there for 3 hours and being told it would be at least an hour before the blood results would be ready and longer to see a doctor, we left. The pain had dissipated and we live a few blocks from the hospital so I felt that if it got worse, it would be easy to go back. Plus my mom is a doctor so I wanted to call her and get her opinion. I followed up with an appointment at the clinic on Saturday for an abdominal exam to make sure that it wasn't necssary to go back to the hospital. Then I had an appointment at my own doctors on Monday.

Anyway, the results on the blood and urine from the ER visit have come back normal. I am still tired, lightheaded, and my lower back/kidney area is still sore. Both my mom and my own doctor think it could possibly be/have been a kidney stone. I'm not sure that the normal blood/urine means that it wasn't, but I will be calling my mom.

So, yes, no training. And while I really really want to get back to it, I actually do not feel guilty about not having done anything. I just know that I have not and am not physically able to do anything. Hopefully I will be able to soon though. Spring is definitely on its way and I want to be out there.

Friday, February 20, 2009

A productive week

Was not what I had. My total sum of working out for the last week? Zero. Yes, that's right, nothing. I have the sickness. It's a strange one too. It seems like everyone in Vancouver has been sick the last few weeks. Though thankfully it is on its last stages and I think there may be a workout today.

I have tried a couple times but with no success. I put on my running clothes (including my new Lululemon running jacket) and headed out on Sunday morning. 5 minutes in and I knew it wasn't happening. So I turned around and walked home, hoping I didn't fall over before I got there. I did manage 2 short walks that day. I had to get outside. The weather has of course been beautiful all week. Sunny skies and highs of 10-12 (low 50s). The rest of the week I have had stomach pain (still not 100% there), a cough, weakness, and just general blahs. A coworker did say I looked a lot peppier yesterday, and I felt it too. Still not up to trying anything, but I will try today.

I am hoping the week off has at least meant some healing time for my calves and hamstring. Something positive out of it would be great.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Muscle cramping

It seems that a lot of the issues I have been having lately pertain to muscle cramping. My calves being the obvious one, but my right hamstring went into full cramp during last Saturday night. And has been threathening to cramp pretty muc every night since. As well every time I swim my feet start to cramp about 1200m in.

At my chiro appointment on Monday, my chiro asked if we had already talked about magnesium when I last had calf issues. We had not. He said that magnesium is essential to muscle relaxation and recommended that I start taking it. He then said that if I was having any tension headaches, magesium helps with them too. And I have been having a lot more tension headaches then normal recently.

So I looked up the symptoms of magnesium deficiency, and along with muscle cramping and headaches they talk about jaw soreness/tightness. This is something I experience off and on but lately I have been grinding my teeth a lot more at night.

So I am now on day 3 of taking a magnesium supplement. I do not take any other vitamins so we will see how this goes.

Monday, February 9, 2009

In spite of my calves

It wasn't a bad workout week. I didn't run as much as I would have liked of course, but the week shaped up pretty well.

M - 40 min swim
T - 45 min trainer am, 45 min trainer pm
W - Off
Th - 50 min run, 45 min swim
F - 65 min run on a sunny Friday evening
S - 1:40 outdoor ride. 30 min swim
S - 43 min run

My calves were sore after Thursday and Friday's run's, but not too bad. My legs died on yesterday's run though. It was one of those runs where you try to slow down to make it feel better, but it doesn't and then you speed back up to try and get home faster. Needless to say there will be no running today. I do however have an ART appointment and I am looking forward to it. Both my calves and my left hamstring need some work.

That will be followed up by a swim lesson. Graeme is sick so I will be taking his spot.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

First real ride of the year

Saturday afternoon. Out to Horseshoe Bay and back. About 1:40 and 48km. Of course my bike computer stopped working a few minutes in, so I don't have exact numbers. But I know how long this ride is, as I've done it more then any other.

I haven't been outside on my bike in way too long to mention. My new pedals felt awesome and I really felt like I had more power transfer. I also felt like I had more power period. I didn't use all my gears until the hill back up to home, and all last year I would be using them all on the entire ride. It was only 7*C and I thought I would be freezing, but I ended up wearing the perfect amount of clothes - tights with shorts over, 2 long sleeve shirts and my cycling jacket, winter cycling gloves and toe warmers. I have enough hair that with the helmet I don't need an extra hat.

I have passed men going uphill before, but yesterday was better. Generally I can pass older men on hills, but I passed younger guys who looked like they were working. And I passed Graeme a number of times too which always feels good as he is a much stronger rider then me. The best part of the ride was passing a guy going downhill which I have never done before.

I forgot just how much fun riding outside was. It's only going to make the trainer harder until I get another opportunity to ride outside. But at the same time, I now know for sure that the trainer riding is making me stronger.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Self help tools

Having had numerous injuries over the years, we have accumulated a number of items to help us through and help us prevent injuries.

The foam roller - especially for my quads and hamstrings. I probably don't use this as much as I should, but it's good for those days when my quads are tired and I still have a workout to do.

I tend to get a lot of knots/points in my legs, mainly in my calves. The tp massage ball and all its related accessories work for this. I have to be careful how hard I push though. I have a pretty high pain tolerance and I have gone at trigger points to the point of making it worse. On more then one occasion.

And the most loved piece of equipment in our house. The stick. This is pretty much a daily thing for both Graeme and I. It has helped me through calf issues before and the combination of the stick and self massage has my legs back to almost 100%.

We bought the stick from the Canadian distributor, who's warehouse happens to be in a location close to where we often ride. He swore the stick had saved his life and guaranteed me that I would be back to running if I used is religiously. He had been in a water skiing accident in his 20s and his hip (I believe) had come out of its joint and had never been the same. Then, in his 40s he developed fibromyalgia. He said the pain was just unbearable and he had made a decision that if he was still in the same pain at 65, he would end his life. In his 50s he was introduced to the stick. He said he was now able to jump up and down (which he proudly showed us) and was looking forward to celebrating his 65th birthday the next week.

I can't say the impact has been that great for me, but I do think the stick is a huge part of me being able to continue running (mostly) pain free. And I am a much better and nicer person when I can run.

Monday, February 2, 2009


Well I'm not sure what I did but my calves are sore. Like really sore. To the point that I am worried they are injured again. And I'm not even sure what caused it. But I have a feeling this is the culprit.

The picture doesn't show the full staircase. I came across this on my run and it was one of four wooden staircases that made up part of my run (in either direction). This was the biggest and I did my best to sprint to the top. I didn't make it. My quads were screaming and I had to walk the last bit. I ran the few miles home though and felt fine. 6.5 miles total with most of it being on trail.

View from the top of the stairs.

After a 50 min swim we headed out to meet a bunch of friends to watch the UFC fights. My quads were sore but I didn't feel too bad. When I got home and got into bed I knew I had a problem, but it wasn't my quads that were the issue, it was my calves.

Sunday morning I could barely walk, but luckily I had a massage booked for that afternoon. I managed 40 mins on the trainer which was fine for my legs but which made me feel queasy from what may have been one beer to many on Saturday night (and I didn't drink that much). The massage did help, but not enough. My calves barely feel any better today.

And top of that I seem to have twisted something inmy lower leg which I know was a result of my funny walking style. I just tried the trainer and that is now not happening either. I guess there will be some swimming in the next few days, including this evening.

I have a happy husband. This was his purchase today. 2008 Specialized Tarmac.