Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Not better. Just different.

The weekend took a toll on my body.

Friday evening: Husband and I went mountain biking. I only ran into one tree on Friday night, which is good (although resulted in a good deal of bruising on my left leg) but it was very very muddy. At one point, my tire slipped going down a hill and sort of fell off my bike. Half way. Kind of. Either way, I scratched my leg on something... Not a big deal. Until... I got back on my bike and after a couple of minutes I started to feel like bugs were biting me. I swatted - essentially at nothing - but it kept getting worse, like more and more bugs were biting me. After a minute, the feeling got so intense that I had to get off of my bike and I was scratching all over. It was as if bugs were biting me and some one was sticking needles all over my body. There were hardly any bugs out (even though we were in the woods) and there certainly was no one with needles. Then I looked down and where I had previously scratched my leg had swelled up an blistered from just below the medial aspect of my knee, up over to my medial thigh. Clearly, I was having some kind of allergic reaction. I didn't know what to do, so I tried pouring cold water from my water bottle on my legs and arms. That seemed to help, but we didn't have much water and I was starting to panic. The biting/needle feeling was only intensifying. So, Husband and I booked it out of the woods, back down the hill and to the car. He quickly got our bikes loaded up and drove me home where, not knowing what exactly to do, I turned the water in the shower on full blast cold and jumped in. It actually helped. It took probably about 20 minutes of standing in the shower for the feeling to subside enough for me to want to get out, but blistering/swelling in my leg went down and the biting feeling was down to a very mild itch that I could mostly ignore. Once I got out of the shower, the swelling started up a little bit in my leg, but I iced it for a bit and that kept it at bay. No idea what that was, but I'm seriously hoping it never happens again. 

Saturday morning: There was an annual seven mile race near where I live and I have never run it because it's always about 90-100 degrees in the morning this time of the year and I get heat exhaustion too easily, but I have wanted to run it ever since I moved to this area. Well, we have been having some strangely cold weather lately (which is AWESOME!) and the highs have only been in about the 70s, so a couple of nights before, I signed up to run the race. It turned out to be 56 degrees out that morning so it was actually pretty chilly and the race ended up being SO fun. People come from all over the world to run this race. Last year there was 18,000 people. This year there was only about 11,000 but it was definitely still a sea of people. Here are a couple of photos. The first is of people waiting to start the race. The second is the large hill that the race begins and ends on. The whole course is just a series of steep hills, which I love :)

I had fun with it too. I could have finished faster than I did. Took me a little over an hour. But I also stopped for a minute at a friend's house. He lives on the road the course takes so he throws a party every year for the race, so I stopped the for a minute. I also drank some beer while running. The spectators have fun with the race and they will set up things like weight-lifting challenges and stuff on the side of the course for the runners who are just running for fun. Many people offer free beer to the runners so I took a beer and drank that while I was running. Did it make my stomach hurt a little and slow my time a bit? Yes. Was it more fun for me and the spectators to see people drinking while running? You betcha. I didn't care about my time, so I had fun with it. 
The only down-side to Saturday was that I got a migraine in the afternoon which put a bit of a damper on the rest of the day. But the race was awesome. 

Sunday: My muscles were still pretty sore from running the day before (I don't live very close to hills so I don't run them very often) but Husband wanted to go mountain biking again. We went to a different location than on Friday and I wore long pants, just in case of another scratch from whatever that was. The ride was a good time for about the first hour or two, but then the fatigue from the cumulative 48 hours was catching up to me and I was practically walking my bike out of the woods that day. My whole body was shaking as I tried to keep pedaling/bracing/balancing/etc. over the last few obstacles and hills. I hit a couple of trees throughout the ride, but eventually we made it back to the car and headed home. I can't remember a time in my life I felt so physically exhausted. 
But exercise is my favorite, so I kept with it. I knew this week was going to be busy and I wouldn't have much time for it so I just went all out. 

In answer to Pegasus' question, I am currently in chiropractic school. Since most people don't know how much work is involved in becoming a chiropractor, I often send people this link which is a general breakdown of a chiropractic education vs a med school education. I don't intend it to be braggy like "oh, the chiropractors know soooo much more than MD's" because it's hard to compare the two. They are two healthcare professions which take a different approach to patient management so the education differs in some respects. I actually started chiropractic school around the same time as my cousin started med school and from communicating with her, have found the two to be more similar than dissimilar. But on here, I often talk of the stresses of being a doctor soon and many people think that, as a chiropractor, I am elevating myself beyond my knowledge or abilities, which is not the case. So that is the long answer to your question, what I am studying. 
Also, I have a Bachelor's degree in Neuroscience. In case you were interested. 
I'm a big nerd. 

And I like what I do. I often get exhausted. The days are long but I like the challenge so it's worth it. 
Speaking of which, I was going to post some more about my life as of late, but I have more studying to do so I can't spend all night on here. 

Be well :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

My mother is the organic Paula Deen

Well I am back from vacation and back to school.

I didn't hit my goal of losing five pounds over my three week break, BUT I knew it was a lofty goal when I set it. That being said, I am down one pound from the start of break.

One pound? That normally is not an amount that really means anything to me.

I explained earlier the nightmare that is food at my mother's house. So in reality, the fact that for the first time ever, I went to my mother's house for almost 5 days and didn't gain a single pound, is HUGE! (Pardon the pun).

I kept busy with visiting family and their in-ground pool was open so I went swimming at least twice a day, and my sister's husband likes to run so I went running with him three times. The running we did wasn't quite as productive as it would have been if I had run on my own because even though his sprint is faster than mine, he doesn't have my stamina (he's a soccer player) so there were periods of time we had to stop and walk when I would have kept going. And we only ran 3-5 miles each time to they weren't super long runs either. But better than nothing. Between all of the swimming and running and visiting, I managed to avoid most eating, and I guess the eating I did do I managed to cancel out with exercise. Woohoo! Stoked.

My mother is recovering from surgery so she didn't do as much cooking as usual. Just 3 dinners, which were self-serve and disorganized so again, easy to only eat what I wanted. Then, the day before I left, mom made me the usual giant breakfast: Three egg omelette, cooked in bacon grease, and "two slices" (about 3 times the normal thickness) of banana bread, slathered in butter.

So much food. It tasted good, but it was WAY too much food. Fortunately, after I had picked at the eggs for about 20 minutes and fed half of the bread to my niece, my brother was hungry and I asked if he wanted the rest of my breakfast. He said yes, and was happy to eat it. (Ugh, to be a 27 year old athletic male... he piles away sooo much food and is so skinny).

I sometimes wonder if my mother realizes how much she eats. I want to suggest to her a food diary or something but I know she would be offended. She's too emotional about food and ALWAYS thinks that her weight problems are "not her fault". Her food choices are very healthy (lots of local, organic fruits and veggies, organic soy protein drink mixes without added crap, etc.) but she eats constantly. Especially for what little activity she has been getting since she had surgery back in March. It was an intestinal problem that prompted the surgery and she has had trouble eating solid food since then but she still consumes a lot of juice and smoothie-type drinks and hasn't been able to get much physical activity yet so I think her calorie count is still too high. She renders her own lard from a pig that she was slaughtered and makes her own butter out of local cream from grass-fed cows so yes, her food choices are healthier than their mainstream alternatives, but I think she thinks she can eat as much of it as she wants and not gain weight because it's "healthy". But when it comes to calories, if you're consuming more than you're burning, you won't lose weight. But it's impossible to have a rational conversation with her about it so I just have to listen to her complain.

But anyway. I'm back to the grind at school. This term I am taking an elective, which I have wanted to do for a while but I haven't found a way to fit it into my schedule. This one fit into my schedule but it's going to be crazy. I'm currently taking 11 classes so if my posting becomes even less frequent, I apologize. My free-time is rapidly dwindling.
But hey, less time for eating, right?