The Daily EO: May 25th, 2012

Today I signed up for a website called Run Hundred.   Every couple of days, I get an e-mail from them to tell me about new songs added to their site that are available for voting on.  40,000 people then listen to the songs and indicate whether they would work out to the songs.  There is a top ten of the month, top ten of all time, top ten work-out collections, etc.

To me, music is essential for working out.  My favorites right are Hello! (Martin Solveig featuring Dragonette) and We Speak No Americano (Yolanda Be Cool and DCup).  I hear those two songs, my feet want to start running.  I have about 55 songs on my workout mix now and I have probably heard each of then about 20+ times or so.  I am okay with that – because every time I hear one it signals to my brain that it is time to start exercising.  But honestly, sometimes I feel like I’m in Grade 9 listening to Richard Marx.  I’m hoping Run Hundred will help me keep my mix fresh.  I especially like running with my iPod as it focuses me on me – the running, the exercise.   It is not about anyone else but me.  Pass me, or I pass you, this is about and for me, not anyone else.

When I attended UVic in the mid 90s, I attended a seminar on how to use e-mail – because frankly I had never used e-mail before.  It was before spam, before blogs, before social networks, before the internet changed things.  I am approaching middle age, I guess – and there are children now don’t know what a World Book Encyclopedia Set is.  I still use the books – that my mom hasn’t recycled yet – to settle discussions when I return home.  But I wouldn’t suggest looking up cell phones, Russia, Geothermal Energy, American Idol, George Bernard Shaw or blogging.

I am not lamenting the old or the new.  Just amazing what we can do now, that just 20 years ago hadn’t even been conceived of.

Now, I can a summary of 40,000 people’s opinions on workout music delivered directly to my e-mail in-box.  If I like any of the songs, I can click (Amazon, iTunes, or Emusic) and have it delivered to my iPod and be running with it in 2 minutes.  My god.  Remember the Columbia House CD Club?  We thought that was pretty sophisticated.

May 25th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  A wish that the world’s children could experience both the convenience of the new and the romance of the old.

Maintenance May Day 25:
Made Beet Brownies.  Ate 6 Beet Brownies.  Beets or not, still pretty calorically dense.  (soul).

The Daily EO: May 8th, 2012

Oh my God.  If you have more oxygen moving around your body, you can run further.  This may seem elementary to you, and it is elementary to me.  But sometimes it just needs proving.  My body was like a busy Dim Sum restaurant’s conveyor belt – a bunch of empty plates and little food.

I told you about my iron issue a week or so ago.  And for over a week now I have taken 54 mg of iron* with Vitamin C and B12 a day in addition to my usual diet.  I hit the track today awaiting my old friend “the stitch” to return about the 1.0 km mark like it usually does.   Nope.   Not at 1.2.  Not at 1.4.  A twinge at 1.6.  And back again at 1.8.   Hmmmm.  This is strange.   Have I done anything different?  No, less sleep than I should have.  Less breakfast than I should have.  So, I was not set-up for a good run.  Yet, for the first time since the Chocolate Race, I was able to run 1.8 km without stopping.  I tried the same thing today and found the same result – 2.0 km without stopping.  And a little stitch at that point, but nothing too bothersome.

It’s a Miracle!  I’m cured!  Now if my stupid calves/shins would stop complaining all the time we’d be in business.

May 8th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Being able to start to the push to build my endurance to 5 km.  Hooray! . . . . . . . . Wait, if I am cured, I have no excuse to stop running.  Dammit.

*I will be dropping my intake once I get my levels to normal.


Maintenance May Day 8:

Visited the Trinity United Church to watch a movie about Dr. Burzynski and his fight for his seemingly effective cancer treatment to be accepted by the general medical community.  Definitely one side documentary.  Definitely where you hang out on Tuesday nights in Huntsville if you are a bit crazy.  Definitely one of those nights where you wish your youthful good looks didn’t stand out so much in the blue hair forest.  Definitely made us talk on the drive home.  Definitely going to the next movie next Tuesday night – after all the crazies are the most fun.  (knowledge)

Completed a personality test as a pre-screen for an interview.  Hopefully, I have a personality.  (career)

 

The Daily EO: May 4th, 2012

I received my exam results today.  I didn’t study much, although did a lot of cramming for it in April.  It was was kind of like an IQ test – a lot of it depended on my DNA and upbringing.  But as I listened to the exam results, I felt relief, then pride.  After all, didn’t I just do swimmingly?

When I run, I start finding it difficult around the 1 km mark.  I have often wondered, “Do other people have the same problems and they are mentally strong enough to will their bodies to carry on?”  Or is there something wrong with me?  Am I just not built for running?  Between pain in my calves and my lungs feeling like they are not getting enough oxygen, I then think that people who are endurance runners are completely crazy and the mentally strongest people on earth.  But maybe they have better bodies than me?

For those of you who have followed a Couch to 5K officially program, you know they usually start you out on something like walk 1 minute, run 5 minutes, walk 1 minute etc.   When I first saw these instructions, I thought “Who can run 5 minutes?”.  Really?  There are people who are sitting on the couch who can just get up and run 5 minutes?  Wow, I am quite unfit.

But back to acing my exam – except for 1 aspect.  Everything else – cholesterol, triglycerides, vitamins, platelets, White Blood Cell Count, Albumin, Creatinine, CK, Glucose Serum Fasting, you name it – exactly where it should be!  My blood pressure was 85/40.  Alas, the iron ruined my perfect result.  My ferritin levels are 12: “Iron Deficient”.  (the lowest category on the scale).  Interestingly, iron carries oxygen on the red blood cells to the muscles in the body – hmmm.

Did you know that Iron absorption in the body is hindered by some items?  Polyphenols in tea; Phytate in legumes, soybeans and whole grains; Oxalate in spinach, chard, kale, and sweet potatoes; vegetable proteins and calcium?  Um, is that not my diet right now?  I live on tea, I always eat whole grains, I eschew white rice for quinoa, I eat kale and spinach in smoothies, etc?  And these things – though required and good for me too – actually help to block iron absorption?  No wonder there are so many diet books out there – this stuff is complicated.

My calf pain also may have a cause – Chromic Exertional Compartment Syndrome (CECS).  Doesn’t that sound terrible?  It basically means that when your muscles expand during exercise they are trying to expand beyond the “muscle compartment”.  As you can imagine, this causes pain.  But we’ll see about that – I am going to get a referral to a sports doctor to confirm.

May 4th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  It’s not my fault!  I am mentally strong!  It’s the iron and the potential CECS!  I knew it!

Maintenance May Day 4:
Visit to the Nurse Practitioner (NPs in Canada can do anything a doctor can except prescribe narcotics) for a full review of my health.  And they actually spend time talking to you. And the appointments start on time. (body)
Consultation with a Registered Dietician with Emile to review our diets and fitness regimes. (body)
Updated my immunizations for Tetanus, Whooping Cough and Diphtheria. (body)
Visit to the spa to get a pedicure.  Hello beautiful blue toes! (body).

PS  Yes, I have already added a iron supplement to my vitamin intake.

The Daily EO: April 30th, 2012 (Fit April Results)

Any opportunity to catalogue my life, efforts and results is interesting to me.  To be able to take the chaos of life reduce it to a graph or chart makes me feel good – I have it under control.   So, this is bliss for me – I’ve been waiting to write this particular entry for weeks.

It was 5 weeks ago that I decided that I needed to deal with my Shrunken Shorts Syndrome and my husband needed to look at his Ski Jump Shirt diagnosis.  We committed ourselves to a month of exercise, healthy restricted calories and a 5K race at the end of it.  I’ll admit, we cheated a bit – we started in the last week of March.  We did consider having a binge instead, but we thought it would be too hard of a transition – and my pants were already too tight.  It became a common sight to see me in workout clothes and weighting out food on our scale.

I had challenges – a bag of marshmallows disappeared quickly at a campfire one night (and even the raw ones on subsequent days).  The Kitchener Food Show dessert samples slowed things.  Emile faced and won numerous food challenges at work – functions with chef made cookies, pizza and butter tarts.  There were days I just wanted to eat macaroni and cheese and be done with it.  And sometimes we indulged, other times we held out.  And we’re feeling pretty proud of ourselves.

So, if you want to a month of fitness (that will hopefully lead to another), here is my advice:

1.  Be obsessive about it – every calorie gets logged, every minute of exercise, and every day you weight yourself (with a digital scale).  Plan your days around food and exercise
2.  Brag about it – tell everyone you know this is what you are doing, so you have to deal with social shame if you don’t follow through
3. Create an outside force  – sign up for a class, a race, or target a wedding, or something to keep you focused for the short-term until your results are motivation enough.
4.  Find someone more committed than you are to share the challenge – my husband fit the bill perfectly
5.  Compete only with yourself.  You’ll always find someone healthy, fitter, eating more wheatgrass, but who cares about them.  This is about you!

And here is what we did in Fit April:

Susan Emile
Calories Consumed 31995 24516
Calories Burned 9008 9572
Distance Moved (km) 93.8 112.2
Fitness Minutes 1012 888

 

 April 30th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:

Susan Loss: 10.2 lbs (Goal!)       Emile Loss: 21.2 lbs (What the hell?)

Susan's Results

 

Emile Results

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Daily EO: April 13th, 2012

Today I binged.  No, I didn’t bing.  I binge-d.

I was at the grocery store and I noticed that Cadbury Mini Eggs were on sale for $.49.  I love Cadbury Mini Eggs.  I picked up the package of the eggs and noted that each package (which are getting smaller and smaller) had 180 calories.  Considering now I can eat only 793 calories a day (if I don’t exercise), that is a significant portion of my daily intake.

I had a couple of choices:  I could skip on by without buying, smugly noting my extraordinary willpower.  I could buy one package and share it with Emile when he got home from work (thinking the divvying up would have been a little lopsided).  I could buy a package, take a run, then eat them all.  I could buy two packages, take a loooong run, then eat them all.

In November 2007, I contracted tonsilitis.  It started Monday am while I was at work.  I just didn’t feel good, and I knew in my bones that I was really sick.  Not a flu, not a cold, but sick.  Emile was not a supportive as he could be at first – while at least that is how my illness addled mind remembers it.  It wasn’t until I went to the emergency room on Tuesday at 2 am because I thought my throat was going to close up, that he understood how sick I was.  The doctor on duty immediately diagnosed tonsilitis and prescribed medication.  He told me to stay away from people, sleep, eat and drink when I could, and avoid caffeine.  At that point I was addicted to both caffeine and diet coke.  I couldn’t get rolling in the morning without the hit and I would drink up to 4 or 5 cans of diet cola a day.  As I couldn’t possibly imagine feeling any worse than I did, I decided to stop caffeine and diet coke right then and there.  The headaches and irritability were nothing compared to the tonsilitis.

And since then, I have not drank a Diet Coke and generally I drink decaf tea.  (although while I write this, Emile is making me Earl Grey full-bore tea).  There is two exceptions to this:  When we were in Europe, I wanted to try Coke Light and see how that differed from Diet Coke.  (I had a sip of Emile’s)  And once someone complained about the Diet Coke when I was serving, so I took a sip to try to figure out what the problem was.  In its place, I drink tea, soda water, water, or sometimes other diet drinks.

So, faced with the flaming desire to eat Mini Eggs until I was sick, I instead headed to the pop aisle.  I bought a 2 litre of A&W Diet Root Beer.  And I drank it all in 4 hours.  Yes, 2 litres of Diet Root Beer.  (Well, that is a lie for a better story.  There is in fact 1 glass remaining).  Sugary sweetness.  Carbonated goodness.  As I lay there bloated, burping and well . ..  honestly a little out the other end too . .*blush*,  I felt pretty good.

April 13th 2012 Extra-Ordinary:   Afterall, I didn’t buy those damn Cadbury Mini Eggs.