clevermynnie: (see us waving)
So, heh, I am not going to run that 50 mile race in the Mourne Mountains this weekend.

My shins are still bruised but okay for walking, so I tried a short run! It felt like someone was poking my bruises with every single step, and I only did a mile. I guess the harder impact of running compared to walking just jostles my legs more, and right now I can still feel it and it is painful, and there is just no way I am going to do that for 10+ hours. Plus there was the weather fail in what was supposed to be my 40 mile practice race, and on top of that I have a cold right now! Running an epically long race on bruised legs, without having run much in the last month, while getting over a cold, just does not sound fun. I'm sad to miss out on this race, which was so gorgeous last year, but I can go back next year, and I'm still going up with friends for the weekend. So it's fine, really; again I am surprised by how not guilty I feel about backing out of this. It is just so obviously not a good idea! Oh well!

And if you are extra attentive, yes, I am getting over a cold right before my improv show! Great timing, that! Four days of a very sore throat, which probably would have been fewer days if there hadn't been a six-hour improv practice at my house in the middle of that. But I think I'm to the point now where decongestants are all I'll need to get through the show Thursday. Decongestants and COURAGE.

life

May. 21st, 2013 03:50 pm
clevermynnie: (mask)
My shins hurt less now. Unfortunately on Saturday night, I started having back spasms, presumably due to sitting so much. But after an unpleasant Sunday, I opted to go back to work Monday, and my back is now feeling a lot better. It still hurts to flex my shins at all (which is part of walking), but that's slowly getting better too. I'm really grateful to be healing this quickly.

I still have that race in the Mourne Mountains less than a month from now, and we'll see how my legs are by then; I might have to drop down to a shorter distance. It's hard to predict, but the area is beautiful and I've organized a big house and friends coming along, so the weekend should be fun regardless of the race itself. Plus we have a weekend in Belgium later in June, meeting up with some friends from grad school, which I am really looking forward to after how much we enjoyed Belgium last summer. And I'm going to Amsterdam to see the newly reopened Rijksmuseum in July, which should be awesome.

Also, ever since I went to Norway last summer I've wanted to go back and see more of Scandinavia. So now I'm thinking a weeklong trip later in the summer, through Copenhagen and Stockholm and Helsinki. I'm still ironing out details but it looks like there will be so much fun stuff to do, and I'm very excited.

shins

May. 18th, 2013 03:59 pm
clevermynnie: (see us waving)
As I was leaving work on Wednesday, I tripped on the stairs and managed to fall directly onto both my shins. And then I slid down a few steps, on my shins before eventually coming to a stop. Everyone knows that getting hit in the shins hurts, but let me tell you, landing on them on a staircase is excruciating. Since I was able to stand I figured they couldn't be that badly hurt, and surely the pain would subside, so I should just continue home. I nearly passed out on the train and the walk home was agonizing. And I was starting to have trouble putting weight on one leg, and the pain wasn't going away, so I ended up going to the emergency room for an x-ray. Except by that what I really mean is, waiting at the emergency room for a couple of hours and then eventually being told that with the length of the x-ray queue, I'd be better off going home and coming back in the morning. They gave me crutches, which was nice though since one leg was only marginally worse than the other I was sort of dubious about walking around at all. But then in the morning they found no breaks, just severe bruising and swelling, and so prescribed lots of anti-inflammatories, icing, and staying off my feet for awhile. I'm hoping to go back to work next week.

I fall a fair amount and get a lot of bruises, which is an aspect of the physicality I've written about before. But it's amazing how much more something hurts on your shins compared to a meatier part of the body. And, this is making me realize I have had several major falls on stairs over my lifetime; I tend to be very careful on them because I'm aware of that, but you get used to a set of stairs and then stop paying so much attention. Oh well, I feel better today than yesterday so hopefully that trend will continue.

flashes

Jan. 29th, 2013 03:29 pm
clevermynnie: (al fresco)
The last week has been busy but mostly good. We had friends over to brew, saw live jazz at KC Peaches where I should just live from now on, played games with friends, oh and my improv class continues to be the best thing ever.

I'm back in the swing of running more regularly, after a bit of a break last November and December. It feels really good even though the weather at the moment includes things like strong winds whipping half-frozen rain into your face. But last week something bizarre happened, where I went on a nice group run, got home and sat down for 20 minutes to eat dinner and watch Parks and Rec, and got up to find I had intense and localized pain in my lower back, on one side of my spine. I hoped it would go away overnight but got worse the following day, which was alarming since I wasn't even sure what I'd done exactly to cause it. I kept flashing back to the last few weeks of high school swimming, where I suddenly got some sort of back injury while at dance team, which didn't get better for weeks, all while I was trying to qualify for state competitions in backstroke. Finally some "alignment" from an off-hours chiropractor my coach knew seemed to instigate my back getting better, but the whole thing was confusing and frustrating, and having sudden inexplicable back pain just took me back to that time! Fortunately it seems to be getting better, having improved a fair bit after two days of no workouts but plenty of ibuprofen and ice, with only a slight relapse when I did my weekend long run.

Also, pre-live-jazz I walked around Tradfest with some friends, this festival with a bunch of traditional Irish music on various stages. It was pretty cool, at least in places, and prompted me to look up more about uilleann pipes, the bodhrán, and the history of harps in Ireland. But also they had some dancers for some of the reels, and I just had such strong flashbacks to the last times I saw my grandmom, and the Riverdance DVDs she was always watching. I wish I could have talked to her about coming here.

stuff

Sep. 19th, 2012 05:26 pm
clevermynnie: (and then?)
I finally got over the terrible cold I had, and was able to come back to work this week. I'm still coughing, but that's dropping off exponentially, which is good because I had to go to a lot of talks earlier this week and coughing fits are not great in a talk.

Ben is out of town at the moment, at an AI conference, but before he left he did something really cool. His anniversary present for me back in July was a cookbook and the promise to make three full meals from it for me, and we had the first one this weekend (our August was very hectic so there was not time then!). He made corn pancakes of roasted pepper, red onion, and goats' cheese; aubergine gamelastra; and berry-almond tartlets. It was such a nice dinner! And he actually expended effort on plating things nicely, and bought special drinks, extra efforts I thought were really sweet. Plus he left some very delicious leftovers for me to eat while he's been gone.

Now Winnie and Jim, some of my parents-in-law, are here to visit. We sent them down to chill out in Bray for their first couple of days here, and it should be really fun to go around with them this weekend. They are such sweet people and I get on with them very well. I love when people visit us here!

stuff

Sep. 19th, 2012 05:26 pm
clevermynnie: (and then?)
I finally got over the terrible cold I had, and was able to come back to work this week. I'm still coughing, but that's dropping off exponentially, which is good because I had to go to a lot of talks earlier this week and coughing fits are not great in a talk.

Ben is out of town at the moment, at an AI conference, but before he left he did something really cool. His anniversary present for me back in July was a cookbook and the promise to make three full meals from it for me, and we had the first one this weekend (our August was very hectic so there was not time then!). He made corn pancakes of roasted pepper, red onion, and goats' cheese; aubergine gamelastra; and berry-almond tartlets. It was such a nice dinner! And he actually expended effort on plating things nicely, and bought special drinks, extra efforts I thought were really sweet. Plus he left some very delicious leftovers for me to eat while he's been gone.

Now Winnie and Jim, some of my parents-in-law, are here to visit. We sent them down to chill out in Bray for their first couple of days here, and it should be really fun to go around with them this weekend. They are such sweet people and I get on with them very well. I love when people visit us here!
clevermynnie: (Default)
I went out to Dundee this past weekend to write things and generally hang out with [livejournal.com profile] erindubitably and [livejournal.com profile] marrog. It was really fun!

Writing-wise, I edited three science blog posts I'd been sitting on for awhile, and put together another from scratch. And I wrote a long essay I'd been doing in fits and starts, and put together a draft for something I'd been wanting to say about women in science and the pipeline. Plus, we did some funny writing prompts which led me to get a short piece off for the inconsistent fiction trade I have going with [livejournal.com profile] aphorisic. So, very productive, and I got to eat tasty food and hang out with friends!

Of course, I got sick on the way back and am now sitting at home with a cold. I did notice last week that the lymph glands in my throat were a little tender, and apparently my long run Friday was the last straw for my immune system. I think if I have to ramp down my running a bit this week that'll be okay; I was planning to do another high-mileage week but my race is in less than three weeks now, so I can just make it a longer taper. At least I didn't get sick before getting to Dundee!
clevermynnie: (Default)
I went out to Dundee this past weekend to write things and generally hang out with [livejournal.com profile] erindubitably and [livejournal.com profile] marrog. It was really fun!

Writing-wise, I edited three science blog posts I'd been sitting on for awhile, and put together another from scratch. And I wrote a long essay I'd been doing in fits and starts, and put together a draft for something I'd been wanting to say about women in science and the pipeline. Plus, we did some funny writing prompts which led me to get a short piece off for the inconsistent fiction trade I have going with [livejournal.com profile] aphorisic. So, very productive, and I got to eat tasty food and hang out with friends!

Of course, I got sick on the way back and am now sitting at home with a cold. I did notice last week that the lymph glands in my throat were a little tender, and apparently my long run Friday was the last straw for my immune system. I think if I have to ramp down my running a bit this week that'll be okay; I was planning to do another high-mileage week but my race is in less than three weeks now, so I can just make it a longer taper. At least I didn't get sick before getting to Dundee!

not running

Jun. 6th, 2011 03:56 pm
clevermynnie: (Default)
After a month of not running didn't fix my plantar fasciitis, I broke down and went to see a sports doctor last week. The doctor pointed out very logically that even if I stopped running, if I was still spending 40 minutes a day walking in sandals because I commute by walking and it's hot, that would slow the healing of the foot issue. So we came up with a two week concerted plan to improve things, and I have another appointment next week. I'm supposed to:

1. Wear orthotic insoles that support my heel, which I was against until the sports doctor gave me some for free
2. Commute in supportive athletic shoes, which I had to buy some of because all I had were Kinvaras
3. Ice my feet every day (which I was doing)
4. Massage my plantar fascia with a small tennis ball every day (which I was not doing)
5. Take massive doses of Aleve until my next appointment
6. Stretch my lower legs a lot

I hope this helps. In the meantime I realized that I was getting depressed every Sunday and it was likely due to the absence of my long run. Work has been very frustrating and so it has been bad to not have running as an outlet, though I have been swimming and lifting more. I do have clearance to run a little now, so I think I will take a PAWS dog on a short run sometime in the next couple of days.
clevermynnie: (and then?)
Wow, May just did not turn out well for me health-wise. After taking the month off running because of my plantar fasciitis, which has not really improved at all, I managed to get some sort of food poisoning or stomach bug over the weekend. Several hours of gastrointestinal fun and fever followed by a lot of feeling too exhausted to even sit up. I spent most of yesterday lying in bed, subsisting on fruit and watching Stargate: SG1. Which is, for the record, not as good as a lot of other sci-fi shows but pretty fun in places, a good thing to watch if you're doing something else or too tired to move. And it does have two really great nerd characters.

I felt a fair bit better today, though, and actually managed to go to work. But I'm still easily fatigued from this stomach thing, enough to make the things I do in a normal day seem Herculean. Do I really have to carry all these things to campus? How do I stay awake for more than a few hours? I have to walk an hour just to go to work and my guitar lesson? In ninety degree heat? Not to mention that my mental focus is not incredible right now. Oh well, the nice part about this sort of illness is that it's intense but short-lived.

ouch

Jul. 12th, 2010 08:27 pm
clevermynnie: (al fresco)
To continue my ergonomic injury streak this year, on Thursday I apparently caused my neck to start spasming while eating lunch. It didn't feel like spasms though, just like a sudden and persistent pain along one side of my neck and in the back of my head. A pain that didn't go away, so I ended up seeing a doctor on Friday who confirmed that my upper trapezius was spasming like crazy. This is apparently a thing that can happen at random and take several days to go away, and is common during finals and other stressful times. I didn't think lunch was that stressful, but you never know.

I have been taking a lot of Advil since then, which is very reminiscent of my tendinitis. It helps but I can still feel there's something off in my neck. And the left back of my head still starts to hurt when the Advil is wearing off, or when I sleep on it, or when I use my neck for too long. Did you know that the trapezius goes a fair bit up the back of the skull, so spasms also feel like a headache? I was going to look up a Gray's Anatomy photo of musculature to show you, but that would be exactly what I did when I had tendinitis so I will restrain myself.

It made the weekend kind of crummy, to be in pain and not really able to do some of the sporty stuff I had planned. I was back at work today, and even tried a run, which went alright. Though, over the weekend Ben and I did brew a saison beer which I'm excited about. And I read Mirror Dance while lying on the side that didn't give me a headache; it's one of the Vorkosigan books by Lois McMaster Bujold, which I have been working my way through. And it was by far the best one I have read yet; they are really very fun books with great characters. Space opera sci-fi, pretty funny and very enjoyable reading. I would recommend them even if you aren't on bedrest.
clevermynnie: (see us waving)
I have not been in the highest spirits recently, largely because of the tendinitis and how it ties in to almost everything that I do. On top of work, which is largely computer-based, many of my hobbies use my hands. Argh. Taking painkillers regularly doesn't seem to be helping much, although I have been getting more ergonomic computer accessories and trying to improve my seating and such, and I do think that'll make a difference eventually. I also had Ben watch me do military press and bench press and discovered that I have my wrists bent back a bit in those lifts, so I will be trying not to do that as much. I saw a sports doctor today just to check in about the weightlifting and she was, like the general practitioner, very surprised by the looseness of my wrist ligaments. She asked if I had ever broken my wrist (no), and said that I have an unusually large range of motion of my hand around my wrist. "I have extended a lot of wrists, and this is... surprising," but since it's in both hands and doesn't bother me, it's not an issue except inasmuch as it makes me more susceptible to joint issues, the same way that my loose knee ligaments make me susceptible to knee injuries. Fun. The wrist is just a nest of ligaments, and mine are all somewhat loose but particularly the ulnar ligaments, as seen below from a dorsal view:

ligaments of the wrist

Anyways, that is something that will hopefully improve over the next few weeks. Work is going ok now; my experiments haven't been working for a couple of weeks, which is annoying, but what I should really do is focus on making the poster for my conference and writing a draft of the paper I have been meaning to write for awhile, on the experiments I did in December and January.
The poster is mandatory and the paper is not, but the paper would really help me feel more like I am progressing towards graduation. Which honestly, is important to me. At this same point in my undergrad, I was 2 months from graduating, but here I have no idea when I'll finally finish. I would like to take 5 years total, but I don't know how reasonable that is (it depends on my results and papers, for sure). I should probably talk to my advisor about it and about my plans in general, but she is unavailable at the moment because she just gave birth to her second child over the weekend. It's inconvenient that she's been out of the building a lot, but honestly it's pretty encouraging to see someone doing the academia+children thing successfully, and my advisor worked constantly and was always available over email basically until she went into labor. I'm not sure if she will be taking any maternity leave (she isn't teaching this semester so it wouldn't be difficult to do), but she'll certainly continue to be super-involved in the research we all do because she enjoys it so much I doubt she could stay away. I can only hope that I end up with a job that I like so much and that gives me the time I need for family and other things.

tendinitis

Mar. 10th, 2010 06:03 pm
clevermynnie: (Default)
It's never good when your doctor says "Whoa!" with alarm as she examines you. That is what happened to me today when I went in to ask about the persistent hand and wrist pain I have been having, because she was looking at my wrist flexibility and was apparently very alarmed by how loose my ligaments are. (These same loose ligaments apparently contributed to my susceptibility to knee injury, although being on skis whose bindings weren't properly adjusted also contributed to that.) Apparently my pain is tendinitis, mostly from computer use, and since I can't avoid computers altogether I'll have to improve the ergonomics of the equipment I'm using and see what helps.

Argh.

dieting

Jun. 5th, 2009 12:52 pm
clevermynnie: (Default)
I have a different feeling about the whole concept of dieting now than I did before I starting lifting weights a lot, reading a zillion feminist blogs, and reading The Beauty Myth. But what really blew my mind is this: a study on the biology of human starvation.

excerpts )
clevermynnie: (al fresco)
It started when I got all those BPAL scents. I wanted something to do with them, especially the ones that smelled great but faded too fast to be useful as perfume. I thought, what if I buy unscented lotion and scent it with these? I mentioned it to Ben, and he said as long as I'm mixing my own lotion I should get some jojoba oil and add it, because that stuff is amazing. From there I looked up body oil vs. lotion, what goes into each, and ended up buying some oils and mixing my own body oil in a glass bottle with the scent I have. It became sort of a cool home craft project, and I think it's cheaper than buying lotion though I don't have a good idea of how quickly I use it yet.

The coolest thing I learned: did you know that lotion is an emulsion of body oil and water, like a mayonnaise you put on your skin? I did not know that.

Read more... )

k is p

Mar. 23rd, 2008 05:00 pm
clevermynnie: (al fresco)
I was recently bowled over by the news that a member of Ben's family, who lives near us, who we've visited a fair amount, who has been wonderful to us, has stage 4 uterine cancer. The five-year survival rate is 5%, and what shocked me is that it is highly treatable early on, and usually caught in a pap smear or other routine test. It is one of the more common cancers but not one of the deadlier ones. This sort of diagnosis is a terrible waste, because there are many unexpected and unpreventable ways to die, but shouldn't we all know what the common steps are to prevention where it is possible?

If you spend some time reading about different forms of cancer, you will see some trends. You will see that some things, like smoking or having a family history of cancer, increase your risk of developing a whole slew of different cancers. Some things, like eating a low-protein high-produce diet and getting regular exercise, reduce your chances of developing a variety of cancers. For some cancers there are specific screenings that you should be doing (breast self-exams and pap smears/pelvic exams for women, for example). It makes sense that the data on frequency and mortality are different for men and women. Here's a summary (taken from this 2005 data) of top cancers for men and women. I'm not an oncologist, but we should all know these things )
clevermynnie: (al fresco)
I went to the dentist yesterday, heard that all is well in my mouth, and that's good. But it made me once again think about something I've known for a couple years now... I grind my teeth in my sleep.

This is officially called bruxism, and there was an article about it recently in the New York Times. Surprise surprise, it was Ben who made me aware that I do this, and I would wake up in the middle of the night occasionally to him whispering "sweets?" in the background of this really horrible noise. I apparently still do it, though not that frequently and not always very hard, and Ben nudges me to get me to stop without waking me. This is very bad for my teeth though, and the two dentists I've seen both pointed it out to me (I have ridges in my molars from doing this).

There isn't a cure. Many treatments have been tried with little success. The best one is to get a dentist-fitted mouthguard, though some people can't sleep with it or spit it out in their sleep. I never had braces or a retainer or anything, so the idea of sleeping with a mouthguard is... unappealing. But so is the idea of horrendous premature tooth decay. Stress relief has been shown to help, but I think in general I'm not too stressed when I fall asleep. The dentist recommended wine right before bed, to relax my jaw muscles. I might try to make a more conscious effort to relax, maybe with a little yoga or meditation. Or aromatherapy, I don't know. In the end I may have to shell out for the mouthguard, though, and that's lame.

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