HILLSLUG98239   35,774
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Dodged a Bullet (figuratively)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Yesterday was just one of those days. I had this gnawing hunger. Eat-everything-in-sight hunger. Hunger that would not be distracted by drinking water or tea or by getting up and walking around. I ended up eating about 2700 calories, well beyond my allotted 2000. Shrugged my shoulders, gave myself a Leroy Jethro Gibbs-worthy slap to the back of the head and said, "I'll do better tomorrow."

On the plus side, it was a fairly healthy binge. Bacon, made-from-scratch sourdough pancakes with homemade (and low-sugar) blackberry jam for breakfast. Lunch was roast beef on homemade sourdough rye with cottage cheese, horseradish, and lettuce, a salad with real (as in only a handful of ingredients) blue cheese dressing. I'd had a banana as a snack earlier. At some point I ate my sample Quest bar (the only processed food I ate all day, and it's pretty healthy for precessed food), an apple, a half an ounce of raisins combined with a half an ounce of plain almonds. I ate my yogurt-agave syrup-flax seed blend with granola (ah - that's processed food, too). I've trained myself to only eat a half a cup of the yogurt at a time because although it's very nutrious, adding the flax seed makes it a little too calorie dense for a snack.

I also succumbed to little Butterfinger heart one of my more evil co-workers has left scattered around the office. (It's about half the size of a "fun size" candy bar.)

I was planning to go to the gym and alternate between the treadmill and the rowing machine. My ankle was really bothering me last Sunday (after the hike in the snow). It didn't feel all that great yesterday, so I finally gave up on going to the gym. emoticon But I ate my homemade Allen Lim rice cake anyway because I didn't want to be starving when I got home. (These rice cakes have bacon and egg in them, so they're not pure rice. Pretty nifty when you're need a boost.)

The premptive rice cake didn't stop me from having two cookies when I got home.

I let The Hubs make me dinner: a steak, homemade scalloped potatoes, broccoli. I had a small portion of the steak (about 3-4 ounces) and only a cup of the potatoes, so it wasn't horrible. And, other than a ridiculously high sodium intake for the day, it was a pretty healthy day. It was just TOO MUCH FOOD.

Tonight I will go to a Group Ride. I think the spin class will be good for my ankle. Yes, it will have to flex, but that will help loosen it and get some good blood flow. Even though I'll be standing on the pedals, it's not the kind of pounding stress running would be.

I did avoid the candy temptation all yesterday morning and again this morning. That's a victory. I didn't even bring yogurt with me today, so it's not calling my name. I have another rice cake, which I will eat in the late afternoon or after the Group Ride class.

But - the "dodging the bullet - I forgot about that. Despite the 2700 calories I ate yesterday, my weight was the same this morning as it was yesterday, and my body fat percentage went down. The body fat percentage is a decent gauge of how hydrated I am. If my weight goes down but my body fat percentage goes up, I know I've lost water. (I view both measurements with a jaded eye.) So I'm pretty happy about that. It's not something I should repeat, but it hasn't done any real damage.

And I will continue to do better today.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PROPMAN1 2/11/2014 3:41PM

  It's another day so...do your best.

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Back to Wallowing in Self-Pity

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

I was so happy last week that I'd finally kicked that cold. Went for a 6.5K run on Saturday. That may have been too much, and it probably didn't help that I ended up driving 500 miles this weekend instead of doing some easy activity to help my muscles relax.

Monday morning, as I got out of the car, I felt my lower back seize. It's not really painful; it's more like someone wrapped me up in duct tape. Everything feels tight. I have that weird old-person walk: it's uncomfortable to move forward by bringing my knees up (using my quads/flexors primarily), so I'm kind of shuffling along with these little baby steps. And my posture looks really stiff.

The weather has turned. We're having "unseasonably" cold weather. Heck, it's winter: what other season has single digit temps? And it's been windy. I could handle the cold if it was just the cold. I can't handle 15 and 25-mph winds.

I may try a Group Ride class tomorrow night, after my follow-up visit with the chiropractor. Monday, he said I was the tightest he'd ever seen me be. After another adjustment tomorrow, I'm hopeful the spin class will help my back relax. I'd love to be able to run this weekend, but I'm going to play that one by ear.

So I'm really being a crybaby about all this. I've been consoling myself with treats. It's not overboard - a "fun size" candy bar one day, half a cupcake another - but because I'm not working out I certainly don't need the extra sugar & fat. And I'm crabby, because I haven't been to the gym since Friday. (I was thinking about swimming, but the lap pool is kind of chilly. Not sure my back will enjoy exercising in that.)

Times like this cause me to exagerate my self-described "can't win for losing" cycle. Often, I will get started on the right track, and then something derails it. Work blows up. I get sick. Saddle sores. Weather doesn't cooperate. Too many meetings. It doesn't happen everytime, but when I'm wallowing in self-pity, I don't view history with a clear lens. So I boo-hoo and whine about how the fates are out to get me.

The thing is, this - like every detour - is temporary. It's a detour, not a derailment. My wheels are not off the tracks, they're just a little off course. I don't get to control the road ahead; I can only control how I react to its twists and turns (and occasional detours). So while I'm complaining, truth be told, I kind of enjoy this wallow in self-pity. Sometimes the detour serves the purpose of giving me a break I didn't know I needed. I'm getting blown off course for a week, not months. DWI, Kim - deal with it.

But I'm still going to whine.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    We all are attracted to self-pity but don't admit to it. Thank you for your honesty. You are right you have had a little detour and honestly I don't think it's going to last.

Sometimes when I need to vent and ready to blow I start shouting things out in my car, in the shower, on my walk, at my cats (they go and hide), and I do feel better afterwards.

Life is a journey of detours.

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SPEEDYDOG 2/9/2014 1:19PM

    Hi Kim,

I know how frustrating a little pain in the back can be. You may need to take it a little easy until you feel better.

It is OK to be a crybaby and temporarily wallow in self pity.

Thanks, Bruce

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EBRAINK 2/6/2014 8:35AM

    This: "The thing is, this - like every detour - is temporary. It's a detour, not a derailment. My wheels are not off the tracks, they're just a little off course. I don't get to control the road ahead; I can only control how I react to its twists and turns (and occasional detours). "

Detours are part of the journey, too. It's only when you wallow around in them and forget truly where you're going that you can say that you're "lost" or that you "lost direction".

What did you get from this detour? Confirmation of something you already knew - take it slowly while bouncing back from having a bad cold that kept you away from exercising. Also, that whining is part of the process for getting out of a detour - because (I'm going to go out on a limb here) you don't seem to like being a whiner, much. So (I think) the unpleasant self image of being a whiner (even though you've got good humor about it and you certainly made me laugh) helps you get back on track. I suspect that even though you worry about getting completely derailed or knocked off course, you know you haven't been - instead of spiraling out of control into a pit of "never going to get out of this" despair, you're recognizing it, naming it, whining a little, joking about it...and getting back on track.

So. Keep plugging away. No one said it would be easy.

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    OUCH. Your body is telling you to take it easy. The weather is telling us to make a crock pot of something healthy and stay inside.

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MISSG180 2/5/2014 3:39PM

    I have so much sympathy for your "one step forward, two steps back" situation. It seems like every time I start to get some momentum, something comes along to knock me back down. It's frustrating, but we keep plowing forward.

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Goodbye, Old Friend

Friday, January 31, 2014

From the start, I want the reader to know I am mourning the loss of a trusted piece of equipment. No living creature has come to a tragic end.

I've had a Cateye Astrale 8 for what seems like forever. It replaced another Cateye cyclecomputer that, not surprisingly, I still have in a box of generic bike stuff. The old Cateye didn't have a cadence readout. The cadence readout really did improve my cycling, so I'm grateful I upgraded.

I bought a Garmin Edge 510 last year. I wanted to be able to track off-road rides without having to recreate my route after the fact. Actually, I started off with an Edge 205. I didn't realize that MapMyFitness' software cannot incorporate data about the same workout from two separate devices and read it as one workout. I really wanted to be able to track my HRM data and my courses, but since I'd just bought the 205, I couldn't justify buying another unit. And then, mysteriously, the 205 vanished. We think the last time we saw it, it was sitting on the back of the Hubs' car. So the most likely scenario is that we drove off with the car on the back, and the 205 ended up lying by the side of the road somewhere. Sorry, 205; you deserved better.

I like the 510, but I still kept the Cateye. The Cateye ALWAYS worked. It didn't drop satellite reception. It didn't randomly put me on the other side of the river for no apparent reason. Its automatic start/stop function was a LOT more sensitive than either the Garmin or Endomondo. Every ride, without fail, it knew exactly how far I'd ridden, and exactly how long it took me to cover the distance. It never yelled at me and told me my virtual partner was beating me. It never griped about my heart rate being too low just as I was pedalling out of the driveway. It never questioned my cadence being too low or my heart rate being too high as I was climbing a hill. I loved you, Cateye: you were a low-tech dream.

I went my first ride in months last Sunday. I couldn't zero out the Cateye. A few days ago, despite all my efforts, it wouldn't zero out. I ended up doing a complete re-set. And *pouf*! just like that, 6800+ miles disappeared from my life. (That was the mileage on the odometer since the last time I changed the battery. I think I had about 10,000 miles on it prior to that battery change.)

I rode home last night. The unit simply will not zero out. I came to the painful conclusion that it's time to pull the Cateye off the bike. I could really use the space on my handlebar. I would lose the cadence readout, but I do a pretty good job of estimating my cadence.

The thing is, it may be months before I finally break down and do it. In the mean time, it will continue to rack up miles like Pac-Man eats dots. The little plastic catch that keeps it securely in its mount broke a year or two ago, so it occasionally falls off. I wish I knew how to quit you, Cateye.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSG180 2/1/2014 3:01PM

    I can't imagine not having the cyclometer, no matter what other measuring device I have.

I also keep track of my miles on an Excel spreadsheet so that no matter which bike I'm riding I still have a total at my fingertips.

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SPEEDYDOG 2/1/2014 11:26AM

    Dear Hillslayer,

I have a Garmin 910xt but I still have two wireless bicycling computer that I swap between bikes. The wireless computers are more accurate in terms of speed and distance traveled. The Garmin records the route and profile of the ride.

Too bad your "old friend" is shot. But you can by a new and better Cateye now.


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Back in the saddle

Monday, January 27, 2014

I went for a ride this afternoon. It's been months since I've ridden anything other than a spin bike. It was just below freezing, which was another reason not to over-do it.

A few weeks ago, I had my bike fit to me. It's been more than a decade since the last time I had a bike fit done. We raised my saddle more than an inch. (!!!) That meant the handlebar had to come up, too. We ended up replacing my quill stem (yeah, my bike is a relic) with an integrated headset, and replaced my handlebar. The old one put the brake hoods too far out front.

This ride was the first real test of my bike position. It felt great! This winter is also the first time I've ever taking spin classes, and I'm sure it's helped my legs stay ready for riding.

I only rode for about a half an hour. I stayed in the neighborhood to avoid losing elevation that I would have to regain. I never felt dizzy (I got a little light-headed during my last Group Ride class at the club). I kept my heart rate fairly low - I really just wanted to make sure my body was ready for a ride.

Now I'm wondering when I can start commuting again. I only rode five & a half miles today; my shortest commute option is about 7.5. My normal route is nine miles in and ten miles home. That might be too much. But I'm sure I'll be back within a week or two.

Commuting will require planning things. I figure I don't need to go to the gym for fitness classes if I'm commuting by bike, but I will continue with my planned strength training twice a week and swimming twice a week. One selling point of this club is that it is eight miles from work and eight miles from home; that makes it easy to ride there after work and then head home. But I need to know I'm going to do this, because I'll have to carry my gym stuff in my messenger bag and I'll need to bring along a bike lock (I don't carry one now because I keep my bike in my office).

Just thinking about scheduling this mess pleases me.

We still have an air stagnation advisory, but that means there's no wind. It's been chilly, but not so cold that I cannot ride (I'm good down to the mid-20's provided there's no wind and no precipitation). So restarting my commuting season is completely "do-able," and that makes me oh so happy!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EBRAINK 1/29/2014 7:57AM

    Glad to hear you're feeling better, and even more glad to hear about planning to get back on the bike commute. Isn't it funny how all the planning can be so pleasing? I love to noodle about the best path for success. (Even though I've had some hilarious goofs...)

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HILLSLUG98239 1/27/2014 3:48PM

    Thanks for the support, folks.

MissG - my shop didn't even charge me for the fitting! I was having some other work done, and we replaced parts (pedals, headset, handbar), but they only charged me for the parts. Given that the guy spent about an hour with me, I really expected to pay for the service.

Yet another reason to love locally-owned bike shops. emoticon

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MISSG180 1/27/2014 3:14PM

    This is awesome! I am thinking about getting a bike fitting. It sounds like it was worth the money.

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SEATTLESIMS 1/27/2014 2:46PM

    Great that your newly fitted bike turned out so well! Kudos to you for riding in such cold weather.. I'm iffy at best in freezing conditions even walking!

Have fun figuring out the commute.

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144AUTUMN 1/27/2014 1:48AM

  You can do it!!!

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I'm Less Crabby Now

Friday, January 24, 2014

I made it half-way through a Group Ride class last night. I started feeling light-headed, so I pedaled easily until my heart rate got back to normal and then called it a night. I'm glad I tried. I plan to go to the gym tonight for a swim, and I'm hopeful I can ride tomorrow (outside! on a real bike!). Running is still days away, though.

Just got back from the doctor. He explained why he had me quit taking supplements. His thinking is that my increased thirst and cramps are the result of my body processing the extra micronutrients and handling the stress of increased exercise. It makes sense to me. We compromised: I'm going to cut waaaay back on most of my supplements, and see how my body reacts.

He removed several things that were listed on my chart: Metabolic syndrome, high LDL, pre-diabetes, and obesity. Congratulations, he said. You just got rid of four medical conditions all because of exercise. So I guess I can forgive him for dissing my well-thought-out supplementation program.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EBRAINK 1/26/2014 2:11PM

    I think the tide is turning on supplements as people start to take seriously the idea that they are, in fact, drugs that have physiological effects just like other drugs produced by pharmaceutical companies. It seems that the message trend is to be more cautious - this is very different from the days when I was told that megadoses of various vitamins were perfectly safe because "our bodies just eliminate what we don't need" (which always struck me as a formula for making very expensive urine).

So, like everything, the messages change with new research findings. And yeah, my doctor and I keep debating the vitamin D recommendations, too. She's inclined to this a little supplementation is probably okay, I'd rather try to get sunshine. (Which is hard during the Freezepocolypse...)

Good for you for having good conversations with your doctor, and for being so vigilent about it! You're doing great!

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MISSG180 1/26/2014 12:22PM


Vitamin D is so controversial these days. Hubby is on loads of it, because his body does not absorb it well. His cardiologist checks his levels every time he's in, and with 10,000 iu once a week and 2000 iu daily, his levels are barely at the bottom of normal.

But for someone who processes vitamin D well, this amount of supplementation would be a real problem. So it's something that definitely needs to be monitored.

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HILLSLUG98239 1/25/2014 4:20PM

    Many of my supplements were recommended by doctors to begin with. And I didn't point out the irony to my doctor that he wants me to take 2000 iu of vitamin D a day: it wasn't that long ago that much vitamin D would have been considered toxic, and that it would cause permanent calcification of soft tissue in the body.

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EBRAINK 1/25/2014 2:53PM

    Well done, Hillslug! Beating back those conditions is no mean feat.

Whether or not to take supplements is a pretty serious question. Like JOYCRN above, I try to eat a well-rounded range of foods (and yeah, I eat meat and cook my veggies). I take a multivitamin when I get too busy/distracted/lazy to eat well and my diet gets crappy. Or when a bloodtest shows that I'm anemic. I make this choice mostly because in my case, I really don't think they do anything for me - no extra boosts of energy, no feeling like I'm stronger or better. (Except for the Iron supplements when I'm anemic. Hoo boy, I do feel that.)

What I worry about with supplements, and another reason I avoid them, is that those chemicals can interact with each other and with other medicines I may be taking - and they seldom warn you about what's safe and what's not. So, drinking cranberry juice for a UTI may be fine...but trying to boost the effect by taking a cranberry-based supplement AND then taking aspirin could muck up my liver. (And I prefer to muck up my liver with cabernet, thankyouverymuch.)

But as you say, you've thought about your supplements pretty carefully. And you've probably run them through the databases about drug interactions (like this one - http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/
druginformation.html ) Scaling back to find the balance between perceived benefits, and definite problems (thirst, cramps) is probably a good idea.

And yay, kicking four killers to the curb. YOU ROCK!!

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JOYCRN 1/25/2014 9:59AM

    I personally try to eat FOOD, not supplements, because I don't believe that we know everything that is in food or how it is balanced so we can't make a perfect pill ( this has been shown to be the case with calcium supplements, fish oil supplements, and I believe will be shown to be the case with other supplements. Some of the least healthy people I know (I am a nurse) rely on supplements ( though their unhealthy state may have led them to the supplements rather than the supplements to the unhealthy state, I admit). Vegetables, fruits and whole grains are the key, I believe. emoticon

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BILL60 1/25/2014 7:50AM

    You're just becoming a "Tiger". Keep it up and enjoy the ride.

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