I Make Myself Sick

Have you ever eaten such a shitty day’s worth of food that you woke up in the middle of the night with acid reflux (also known as, “I threw up a little in my mouth”) which you then aspirated? This causing you to have a touch of pneumonia with fever for the next three days, making you worry about making it to your class the next week in Seattle.

Only you ended up getting slightly better with just a pneumonia-lung hangover, making you simultaneously short of breath and not question all the difficulty you are having breathing. Difficulty that is so extreme you have trouble sleeping because you are dreaming of having to wake up your FANTASTIC hosts – who put you up in Seattle for a week for free merely because you all belong to the same performance cult (we are not a cult! ComedySportz, but we kind of are) – and having to explain to them that they need to drive you to the emergency room at the VA because you don’t have insurance but are covered by the VA and that yes that’s a half hour away (or more) but you really need a breathing treatment. But, thank god that even though you didn’t really get much sleep you at least didn’t have to wake them up and go through that awful scenario.

Then you finally finish your week of rigorous study, get home half a day earlier than you’d expected only to wind up sleeping (sitting up because the breathing thing is so complicated) for most of a day and a half until you finally decide to go to ZoomCare (which, the fact you are seeking any treatment, in and of itself, shows how sick you are) and get diagnosed with a severe sinus infection which explains why every time you were coughing up what was left of your lungs your brain felt like it was trying to escape from your cranium?

But, you started on antibiotics and eventually felt well enough to go for a walk which was a good thing because your back muscles had atrophied from your inability to do anything but stay on a couch for three days. Oh, and thank goodness that company you had an interview with was willing to reschedule, because that wouldn’t have gone well?

Or is it just me?

Weighing In

I used to wake up worried, the prior day’s shot of whiskey or splurge on a fro-yo hanging over me. Did I really have a quad tall breve latte? That’s a lot of lactose. How much fruit did I put in that smoothie? Was it enough to put me over? I remember being hungry at dinner, but did I really need that second helping? Before I step on the scale I should pee – pee probably weighs a lot, at least 2 pounds. And come to think of it, I did drink a lot of water so, probably, I will be “up” today anyway, just in water. I will do better today. No sugar, no milk, only protein and vegetables. I will Crossfit and go for a run and then come home and do yoga. I will drink a ton of water. I will sleep most of the day – sleep burns a ton of calories.

This was BEFORE I EVEN GOT OUT OF BED.

For a lot of my life, I used to be fat. At my heaviest, about 10 years ago, I was 5’6″ and 207 pounds.

I remember when I was in 5th grade my mother having a conversation with my sister about not knowing what to do with me because I was so fat and she was worried. Great, I thought, I am so fat that this is now a family problem. Throughout my life, I yo-yo’d constantly. But, always, I was afraid of food and the scale.

Recently, and I mean really recently – like over the past two weeks – something shifted.

I am no longer afraid of food. Nor am I afraid to enjoy the foods I eat. Nor am I afraid to occasionally over-indulge. Nor am I afraid of the scale. I now get out of bed and will sometimes weigh myself and sometimes not. Sometimes I even weigh myself after breakfast! Also, I want to thank Target for making stretch fabric pants that are still professional (read: not only for downward dog).

My scale hasn’t lied to me. I lied to myself about what the numbers mean. Now, when I step on the scale it isn’t to shame myself into being afraid of my food or sad about my body or as some sort of false motivational tactic. It is for me to use one of the many tools at my disposal to track my physique, health and objectives.

I am still 5’6″. But, now I weigh 165 pounds. This may still sound fat to some of you; however, I comfortably wear a size 8 but look real fine in a size 6. Last time I weighed 165 pounds I wore a size 12 but looked better in a 14.

And what I’ve learned over the past couple of weeks is that I am a sexy beast.

As the beast, I must keep up my food intake and understand that to have a squatter’s booty (as in one who squats as part of a workout, not one who sits on a piece of land until the law considers them an owner of it) requires muscle and muscle is dense and weighs a lot and muscle eats a lot too. In fact, I know that people think Crossfit is expensive, but more expensive than the gym is the increased grocery bill.

I have a booty. And I have thick quads and hamstrings (again, thank you Target for pants that fit). I can deadlift over 250 pounds. I can do pushups. I can do weighted dips. I don’t have a gap and I don’t want one.

As the sexy, my clothes remain tastefully (most of the time) skimpy.

The One For Knee

KT Tape (not to be confused with KT Tunstall) is a stretchy physio tape used to help sore muscles or tendons to heal. A roll of it has 20 strips, which as it turns out is the precise amount of strips one needs to recreate a right leg from glute to ankle.

One issue I am finding that makes KT Tape a bit difficult to wear is that I keep feeling like I have something in the back pocket of my jeans.

I am not really sure what is wrong with me or how it started, but potentially my hamstring or tendons in that area are over-worked and as such have started making me feel like I have runners knee. I know that running is not the cause of this runners knee feeling because one would have to actually run to have an injury caused by running.

I visited my chiropractor, Dr. Dave; he is amazing and made me feel much better with some focused and gentle (but intense) massage. He then told me to rest it for a few days. Having convinced myself that it was a torn meniscus from my initial visit to, and misdiagnosis by Dr. Google, I was overjoyed that I was not broken and, after Dave’s ministration, actually felt healed. I celebrated by heading to the gym and telling my coach that I needed to rest my hamstrings. Then I did a WOD that involved 2 miles of Airdyne (it may not look like much – but trust me it is brutish). Dave and I may have a different understanding of “rest”.

Not surprisingly, I sent a follow-up email to Dave saying that the healing he had given me was temporal (due to my interpretation of rest) and that I would need to come back – but after my Florida vacation. That’s when Dave sent me to the KT Tape site. He only had me do the hamstring one, but as I have been resting (read: working out lightly) other parts of my leg have been a little achy. 

My next appointment is Wednesday, by then I believe I will be in a full body cast made of KT Tape.

In unrelated news, I PR’ed my Romanian Deadlifts last night.

How Nice

I think when pressed for reality, as opposed to being funny, my friends would say that I am a nice person. I care for my friends and am compassionate towards acquaintances and strangers alike. When I go out I generally tend to entertain people with witty banter and jovial jibes.

But, Florida, I have met my match.

People here are aggressively friendly. They go out of their way to be nice to each other and it is unnerving.

Two days ago I went to the nearby Starbucks and somehow the lady at the window cajoled my life story out of me and then bonded with me over being from Oregon (she was from Salem, has been here for 5 months and seems to have forgotten that 60 degrees and sunny is shorts weather and not wrapped-up-in-3-layers-and-shivering-like-a-chihuahua-in-Alaska weather). Yesterday while out with my sister the same woman recognized me at the Drive Thru window and chatted both of us up until half our coffees were gone. I think she’s coming over for dinner next week.

Later that day, my sister, Tamar, started pulling out of a parking spot and didn’t look both ways. She immediately had to stop because someone was trying to pull into the open spot next to her. They both stopped moving and had a five minute wave off until Tamar finally pulled out of her spot and then waited for the other lady to park and get out of her car. Then the two of them had a 10 round apology-off. They were just shy of flagellation. No one was the winner.

Then we went to the grocery store. I had to use the restroom while Tamar continued shopping. When I got back we were already checking out and the woman in front of us saw me get behind Tamar in line. She then proceeded to ask me if I’d gotten over the culture shock of being in Florida and how my boyfriend and three cats were doing at home and if my appendix scar from when I was 8 had healed well.

I turned to Tamar and asked how she knew this lady.

“Oh we just met. But we shop at the same Publix!

My Greatest Weakness Is How Great I Think I Am

Can we change the way we hire?

I just filled out an online employment application asking me where I need to grow the most. I can tell you that where I need to grow the least is in the general area of my ego.

Sure, there are things I can do better, but often those things are situational and contextual. There is not, in my estimation, a personal characteristic flaw that I carry along with me from job to job. Unless having a great personality, a drive to accomplish things and being adaptable to difficult circumstances is a flaw.

Also, what are hiring managers gaining from this information? Most everyone I know answers this question with bullshit answers like “I am a perfectionist” or  “I am a workaholic”. No one ever says “I am confrontational and sometimes get a little stabby when my caffeine levels get low” or “I am sloppy with my work and prefer to shift blame from the back nine”. Yet, in many work environments I have met those people.

Here’s my response to this question – I personally need to grow my ability to have patience with an application process that requires me to answer this question.

A Running Joke

Oops.

I may have just accidentally applied to be a lotto entry in the New York City marathon in November of this year.

I have been wanting to run a marathon for a few years now. Never enough to actually sign up for one. Much less to train for one. To date the longest run I have done was 14 miles – when I paced the first half of the Portland Marathon in 2013. I didn’t train for that one either. And I bonked. Hard. But, not until after I completed my commitment.

So now I am sitting here half hoping to get selected, half hoping to not get selected and all wondering several things:

Marathon questions -

I keep hearing people who train talk about tapering. What is this about? When I trained for my half marathons I just got up to 13.1 and was able to do that all the time. Considering there are people who run ultras and such, shouldn’t I be able to, in theory, just get up to 26.2 and run it every weekend?

I run on New Balance Zeros. Since they are a minimalist shoe do I still need to worry about wear on them and replace them after a certain mileage?

I don’t really eat many carbs, do I need to change that? Are you sure? What kind of nutritional information/science are you basing that on? When am I supposed to eat what? Am I putting too much thought into my diet considering I haven’t even decided how to train for this?

What kind of crazy am I?

There are a kazillion run-training programs out there. Should I use one? Should I use three of them? Is there a training program that includes Crossfit in it, because I don’t want to have to give up one for the other?

How much procrastination is good? Like I know waiting until the last week to train is a bad idea, but somewhere between then and now, when should I start training?

Why do I keep typing marathong instead of marathon? It’s not like I type the word thong all the time. What’s wrong with my typings?

I had to guess my pace for the race. I used a pace calculator. I normally run a 10k at about a 10 minute pace (except when I was running regularly it was more like 9:15) I averaged my pace for the marathon at 12/mile. But that had me coming in at just over 5 hours which seems awfully fast to me. Did I underestimate?

I don’t find out if I got in until 3/3/15. Will I be able to keep my sanity (to the extent I have it) until then?

If I get in will I be able to train up for the marathon with all the above answered (i.e. shoes, food, taper) and be ready for the marathon without having injured myself to the extent of not being able to actually run the thing?

 

If you know any of the answers to these questions, please share them with me!

525,600 Minutes

How do you measure a year? Is the opening day/week/month the tone setter? If so, Andrew and I are very likely fucked.

It’s only day 3 and already we need a roofer, an arborist, a plumber, a sports medicine specialist, a masseuse, a fireplace person (do they have a trade name? if not, I propose chimcheree), and a cat-analyst.

Two minutes into the New Year and Andrew and I were on our First Run 5K in downtown Portland when he started feeling like he was going to cramp. He pushed through and we found a steady pace. On the last 50 yards, however, we basically had slowed to a walking speed while looking like we were still running. I was having visions of Andrew pulling a Sian Welch & Wendy Ingraham – impressive on an Iron Man finish, but maybe a little melodramatic for a 3 miler. He pulled through and we high fived, concerned that a lip lock in 25 degree weather might make getting back to the car inconvenient to say the least.

To be fair, both the arborist and roofer issues stem from the wind storm prior to the new year. We’ve attempted to get the roofer out here by calling and making an appointment for them to come out – one would think this would suffice in getting a roofer to come out – they were slated for December 26th. But, Legit Roofing never showed and didn’t call. Then they called the next week and said the reason they hadn’t shown was no one was working that day because of the holidays. This was a lie as I work ou right next door to them and had seen them in their offices on the day “no one was working” with the open sign lit up. But whatever, we needed roofers, they stated they would come by that same day but again never showed and never called.

This just goes to prove my theory that you need to beware of choosing a company with a suspicious name. For example, if they have to say they are legit in their name, it is likely they are not legit – and in fact are the opposite of legit. Same goes for selecting a restaurant – if the sign says authentic Mexican food avoid that at all costs, it’s not only not going to be authentically Mexican it probably won’t be food.

The problem we are having with getting an arborist out here is that they don’t know we want them. We (read: Andrew) have not called to make an appointment yet. And so, we have pieces of tree debris in our yard and the bottom half of a wind shorn tree still standing back there begging to become firewood.

Speaking of firewood… a friend of mine came over last night to knit. I started up a fire in our fireplace and about 20 minutes later the entire house (especially the bottom floor) was filled with smoke. unsure what to do I opened the flue for the bottom chimney (the fire was in the second floor fireplace) and that really helped – if by helped I mean added far more smoke into the house.

I was certain that we’d need a chimcheree to come and shake our hand and step in time, but it turns out after we (read: Andrew) did some Googling that it’s just that our house is too well sealed. The two flues go up through the same chimney. Because the fire needs to pull air to burn it pulls it from wherever there is less of a seal – that’s the second flue. But that flue air the house is pulling in is right next to the smokey air coming from the flue that has a fire burning in it. All we need to do is crack a window open when having a fire so that the fire can breathe. This seems a bit counter to having a fire, but Andrew says it’s fine and I have now had a physics lesson – so it can’t be that bad.

Because the cats seemed to be getting along a little better and Widget and Pixel even started playing together a bit, I moved Pixel’s cat litter downstairs near the other boxes. While down there I noticed a puddle of water in front of the washing machine. I got a little excited and called Andrew down for inspection.

I have been wanting a new washer and dryer ever since we replaced our stove, dishwasher and microwave last year. There was nothing wrong with what we have, but new appliances are kind of sexy. But now there seemed to be something wrong with the washing machine. I was giddy with the thought of a front loader when, after further inspection, Andrew broke the news to me that there is actually something blocking our piping system and the downstairs shower has four inches of water in it too. No new washer for us. But I have made certain that the landlord (read: Andrew) is aware that a plumber needs to be brought in.

Meanwhile the kitten was too dumb to remember where we’d put his litter box and peed on the bathmat which we couldn’t launder because of the plumbing issue. So the litter box moved back upstairs.

So, in the end, I’m not sure, is it better to get all the bad stuff out of the way at the top of the New Year, or is this a sign of more bad things to come? One thing’s for certain, whatever does come about, you’ll hear it here first.