The Pain Game

06_21Figure-UI believe that there is difference between types of pain. Clearly dental pain is not cool, nor twisted ankle for that matter, But delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) well, to me that feels like good pain, it’s a pain you earn…mind you it is still pain.

I went back to my first weight / toning  session last week on Tuesday night, after months off training it was hard work… During the session I felt great – my body was working again, lifting, crunching, squatting, sit ups, push ups and as unfit as I felt, the pain and hard work during the session felt great.

Then I woke up Wednesday, and talk about sore… DOMS is a condition that occurs after exercise. The theory is that the muscles after eccentric exercise  (where the muscle is lengthened during contractions) are damaged, and that these small microscopic tears or ruptures are healing with new tissue, and that this process is what builds up muscle.

DOMS can be mild or severe, and to be honest after this session it  has been the worst I can remember EVER!.  It lasted a week, finally I woke up today (Tuesday) and finally felt OK. After the first 72 hours after training I couldn’t roll over in bed, I could barely walk down steps, and whenever I moved I hurt all over, legs, butt, arms, chest, core…

Today I woke up feeling good, and knew it would be back to training again today to continue to build up my body, I wanted to add cardio, and I wanted to get the legs ticking over again for a short run.  So I decided that I would go for a quick 2km run before a weights and toning sess, then go home… but in the end after the weights session I ended up staying to do another session, but a cardio this time.

Once I decide to do something, I go for it, when I commit I like to go hard… I suppose compared to when I first started seriously training that I know that I can push myself mentally and I know what my body is capable of… I ask myself with every set, every rep, every distance to push. My mental game is still strong, It thinks it can achieve anything, and has forgotten a little that my body is not where it was (yet.)

This time last year my body was the fittest and strongest I think that I have ever been, but fast forward a year, and missing months of training, dealing with the surgeries and health issues, well to put it simply my fitness and strength is in the toilet! My weight has been somewhat stable, but I feel unfit, and I want it back… My legs felt like lead when running today, the weights felt heavy, and in the cardio session my right quad muscle just felt super fatigued…

Honestly I possibly pushed it a little too hard last Tuesday, it hurt to walk and I couldn’t roll over in bed or move well. A week to recover is a little extreme, but I enjoyed the exercise and sessions today, and will continue to build up my fitness again. I may have pushed again too hard today, but there is a pleasantness in the pain – knowledge that the pain is building me up again, that I am on the right track, that I am getting stronger. My aim is to re-build my functional strength and fitness this year, to run another half marathon, to participate in another triathlon later in the year… It is going to be a big year…

2013 lets see what you got!!

Till next time , Lin xox

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Rollin’ rollin’ rollin…Running & Injury Prevention.

A little runners joke! – I would love this on a running singlet…

Running is great, learning to run long distances is challenging and can place new strains on your body. As you increase distance your body begins to adapt to running, while this is good for some areas like building cardio fitness and leg stamina, there comes a point where running will begin to shorten your muscles and tighten other areas of tissue.

I was training for my first half marathon last year, when 3 weeks before the event I experienced extreme knee pain. I was running hills at the time and had never experienced this before. I got to roughly 8km and could not take the pain anymore. I stopped and walked back to the car, very despondent about my situation.

I booked straight into see my physio, who went through a bunch of tests, finally diagnosing me with a tight IT band. Basically this band of tough fibres run along the outside of the thigh – from the glute muscles along the outside of the thigh and attach to the tibia just below the knee. It works as a stabilizer when running, and helps the knee to track properly. When this tissue becomes tight it can pull out of alignment and cause rubbing – hence the pain, for me I felt this in the knee.

I saw the physio 3 – 4 times a week for 3 weeks prior to my race last year… This was expensive but worth every penny to relieve the pain and complete my goal. My physio also gave me one piece of equipment that I use all the time now before and after runs to make sure that I can work the IT band out myself and prevent any issues in the future. The magic piece of equipment is my foam roller.

Honestly I have a love / hate relationship with my blue roll of foam. I have a link below that shows you how to use a foam roller for the IT band from the runners world website. Personally I use this dense foam roll in a number of ways to work through my lower body. I use it to release my IT Bands, Hammies and Glute Muscles.

Honestly It hurts like hell to work out the tightness, but I know that it is releasing the muscles and fibres – allowing my body to stay supple and ready for the next run. A few minutes of rolling is a small price to pay for preventing injuries and stopping me reaching my goals. I try to roll out most days, but always after a run, sometimes both before and after plus I stretch out several times over the day and often for up to 15 – 20mins after my extended runs.

So if you are upping your kilometres, or increasing the number of runs you do each week; consider talking to your physio about options for stretches, foam rolling and yoga to avoid muscle tightness that can impacting on running. An ounce of prevention is worth it when you consider the alternatives 🙂

Injury Prevention Video | Runner’s World.

Stay supple, till next time – Lin

Total Eclipse of the Heart

I blogged earlier in the week that there has been some stuff I have dealt with over the past fortnight, and that I might share that later. So here is the story… A fortnight ago I ended up in Hospital with some bad abdominal pain. They did a bunch of tests, and couldn’t find the source. I saw 5 different doctors over the course of my stay, and was given 3 different diagnosis, and a bunch of wrong info.

When I was discharged the doctor told me they had found something else that needed to be followed up, she then said it could wait until I saw my GP on Monday to discuss it and get further tests. The Dr said I could read it when I got home in the letter to my GP as my friends were there to pick me up and take me home. Bad practice right there to start. It was serious news, she should have asked my friends to step outside and given me the info, and allowed me to ask questions, and not send me home alone to read it myself without any way of being able to follow-up with my Doctor until Monday.

I got home and read that one test (of the 4 I had that day) detected fluid backed up on the right side of my heart. In fact I read “Right Sided Heart Failure”… Not helpful… I was stressed. Saturday was a nightmare of a day – I felt so alone and scared. I rang my mum in tears at 12:15am on Sunday morning – I was a wreck…. So Mum and Dad drove down arriving at 1am to try to calm their daughter who was a mess. It was a tough weekend all round for a number of reasons, I am very grateful to have parents who love me and understand that sometimes, despite the courageous facade I put up to the world, I can’t actually handle everything…

Off to my GP on Monday and she sent me for an Echocardiogram… I had that last Thursday and I had to wait a week to get the results. Waiting for the results since first reading the test from the hospital has been a time of high anxiety.  I haven’t coped well with it. I guess I felt that I had abused my body for so long, being obese for so many years that I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. I felt that now that I kinda have some of my sh!t together, loving life and enjoying exercise, having all these fitness goals this year, the rug was going to be ripped out from under me…

Back to the results. I saw my GP yesterday for the results…. I got a clear bill of health – My Heart is all good and functioning within normal limits. Yee Haw!

Giddy Up, was my thought, I am back. I walked out of the doctor’s clinic feeling that I had dodged a bullet and  a smile from ear to ear! So I am back to training, running, and cycling and no need to keep the heart rate down… In fact my trainer did smash me a little last night (Thanks Dave – love it, bring it on more I say)

Being fit and healthy is the priority for me, this scare was again a good reminder that my best defence against illness and disease is a good offence… So I will keep eating well and moving more…. Remembering every time I don’t feel like running how I felt when I thought I wouldn’t be able to again.

But why write this post? Why share so much of my life on here… Despite what some people think, it is not about getting personal attention..  It is about letting people know that change is possible. Life is a choice. Everyday I spent overweight I was closer to dying. Everyday I was depressed, tired and at some levels did not want to live. Now that I have a life again, I don’t want anything to stop me living it. This is why I write my blog. It is about living everyday, but I do have to remember that I have to live with the consequences of my former decisions and life. If you or someone you love or care about is struggling with obesity, know that there is hope… If I can change my life – anyone can, there are solutions, there are second chances;  But I do understand this can be hard to believe if you are in the grip of obesity, there are days that I never believed that could be possible…  Part of my goal now is to be an example to people who feel that they have no hope, no future – to look them in the eye and say; I understand the pain, your journey, I have walked the long, slow, painful mile in those shoes…

You can reclaim your life. It can be better than you even imagine or dream, I never thought it was possible for me, yet here I am living it!

Till next time, Lin xox

Surgery – Complications & Recovery; Part 1

Still smiling - well trying to!

This post is written more as an overview diary style; to document the recovery time after tummy tuck and arm lift surgery. I have had a few people email me who are considering surgery asking questions about how I have faired – This is just my experience and despite the complications and pain I would do it all again 🙂

Wednesday 15th February According to House (my surgeon) everything with my surgery went smoothly yesterday, “text book” was how he described it when he called into my hospital room today. He did say that I lost a fair amount of blood in surgery and that I was currently still draining quite a bit of blood and fluid… He ordered a blood test and it came back with info that I had a low hemoglobin level (75). It was explained to me by the hospital physician (who also looks after the care of patients post surgery) that I was low on red blood cells, which will make me lethargic as these carry oxygen around your body. They decided to put me down to have an iron transfusion on Thursday to assist with rebuilding the red blood levels.

Thursday 16th Feb I had the iron transfusion today, but still felt extremely tired and wiped out. I was still barely able to sit on the side of the bed whilst they changed it for me, and I was sleeping all the time. Honestly the pain isn’t quite as bad as I imagined it to be, the pain killers work well, the fatigue on the other hand is a killer, not used to feeling like this anymore! The highlight of the day was a visit from my mum and my friends Janelle and Joe!

Friday 17th Feb. Still not much better, pretty wiped out all day, had a quite day and two of my girlfriends came to see me… Had more blood tests and the level had dropped again despite the iron transfusion to around 68. Both House and the Physician stated that it would take a few days for the iron in my system to start to rebuild the red cells and that the level would come up over time. Exhausted I feel asleep very early tonight…

Saturday the 18th Feb – My Birthday (one I won’t forget in a hurry!)

Still draining a lot of fluid and blood from my abdomen, I awoke feeling wiped out, tired and like the sleep I had really did very little for me. After breakfast I went to the bathroom, just as I was about to go back to my bed I started to feel very unwell, very quickly.               I called my nurse who was just outside the door, I remember babbling to my nurse something about feeling like I was going to be sick, then I got dizzy and everything went black….

I had passed out and awoke disoriented with nurses yelling “Lin wake up” over and over. There were so many nurses, I managed to get wheeled back to bed and had a team of Doctor and Nurses in the room – checking everything. Apparently this is called a MET (Medical Emergency Team) call and is broadcast across the hospital so Dr’s and nurses can attend. So they decided that I passed out due to low blood levels and something called the Vagus nerve, which apparently when it is stimulated can make blood pressure drop and you pass out, this combined with the low hemoglobin sent by body into shut down. The doctors said I was as white as the sheets on my bed.. Just what every girl wants to hear! So I was ordered to stay in bed and was to receive a Birthday present from my doctors – Two units of blood to be transfused!

My Mum, Nan and Pa came in the afternoon and brought me some afternoon tea, the blood was flowing and I was feeling a bit better but still unable to get out of bed. Mum cheered me up with a homemade passionfruit iced sponge cake for my birthday – the nurses were so happy to have some supper, plus another friend visited after dinner and brought in a great sense of humour and  a super moist carrot cake, laughter is the best medicine right? (Yes I am spoilt!)

Sunday 19th Feb – Wipeout; Today was pretty much a good example of being wiped out in bed and exhausted – Yesterday’s shenanigans took it out of me a little, that plus I have been stuck in this room since Tuesday night… I miss being active and outdoors, but have no energy to care. The day pretty much consists of taking pain meds, sleeping and trying to recover.

To be continued, stay tuned –

Till next time, Lin xox