Monday, February 10, 2014

Monday Mischung

So, in today's Monday Mischung, my first post since last week's Monday Mischung, I give you in no particular order some happenings from the past week:

facebook

For the first time since I joined Facebook, I took a completely premeditated break from it.  Of course, I have taken a hiatus here and there before due to vacation and just being busy, but this was the first time I told myself to give it a rest. So, I did.  On Wednesday of last week I announced my intentions to the Facebook world (because I thought if I didn't give myself some accountability, I would cave), and then shut it down for five days - until this morning, in fact.  

..... the reason why

So why give up Facebook anyway? Well, the short answer was simply that I realized that I was on it way too much.  That's the big picture.  The actual catalyst was that I posted something and didn't get many responses from it.  To be brutally honest, my feelings were a bit hurt by that. Peevish? Perhaps.  But, see, that was the problem.  Not that I didn't get many responses, but that I cared about it.  The fact that I was bothered by the lack of response drove me to shut 'er down.  In one swift aha moment, it became clear to me that I had started to invest way too much into this medium.  I needed to get a grip.  Social media can open us up to all sorts of rejection on many levels, but that is only if you care.  For me, Facebook is a great way to follow interests, groups, runs, and organizations I like; it's a fun way to stay in contact with friends, too.  But that's all I want it to be.  I want it to be a source of information and amusement.  I don't want to care about it.  So, it was time to back off.

..... so how did it go?

Really well, surprisingly.  It was refreshing actually to not feel like I had to check Facebook 100 times a day to see if someone had posted anything.  I came to realize exactly how much time I spend if not on the site, then thinking about it - wondering if someone responded to something I posted, curious if a friend had posted a status update.  Giving myself permission to NOT go out there actually was kind of a relief.  The few times I did think about it, I was almost relieved that I didn't have to go check anything.  It was like a random thought that flitted into and out of my mind.  And I really stuck to my word.  I didn't go to Facebook once in those five days.  By the time this morning rolled around, I had found a kind of peace that I was loathe to disturb, and I have to admit it was with a bit of reluctance that I did check Facebook this morning.  But, alas, curiosity got the better of me...

..... lessons learned

I learned a couple of lessons these past five days.
  1. Allowing myself to NOT go on social media, I felt a lot more at peace for some reason.  Maybe it was because I didn't feel like my thoughts were always on the virtual world as well as the real one in front of my eyes.
  2. I don't really need to know everything that is going on in people's lives. Sometimes it is fun to run into someone at a running store expo and really be able to find out (and be happily surprised) by what is happening in their lives, rather than starting every conversation with "oh, yeah, I saw that on Facebook."
  3. I need to set up some rules for myself going forward.  I like staying in touch with people and knowing a bit of what is going on, so I doubt I will give up Facebook completely.  However, I need to limit my access to it, so that I am not stopping by the computer 20 times just to see what's happening.  What a time suck that is.
running and exercise life

I have to say I still don't really have my mojo back with this yet, and I am starting to wonder if I ever will.  I have been exercising six days a week, and the injury isn't bothering me as much as it was.  It is definitely still there, though.  Here is the past week's breakdown:

Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: Treadmill walk/run for 55 minutes, PT exercises
Wednesday: Rowing for 6.9K in 40 minutes
Thursday: Treadmill walk/run for 55 minutes, shoveled for 30 minutes, abbreviated PT exercises (back was bothered by the shoveling)
Friday: Rowing for 22 minutes (time was short due to other obligations), so quasi-rest day for me
Saturday: Cross-country skiing for 3 miles, two-hour restorative yoga workshop
Sunday: Treadmill walk/run for 80 minutes (5.3 miles), PT exercises and arm exercises

heart rate monitor training

I am still wearing the heart rate monitor for exercise and attempting to keep in that low fat-burning zone.  Having done this for three weeks now, my summary of the experience so far is this is tough.  I should probably write up a longer post on this, but suffice it to say that when you are trying to stay within 10 heart beats of a certain range, this becomes more of an exercise in frustration than anything else it seems.  

Maybe it is just me, but because I am stuck somewhere between a run and a walk right now, I find myself constantly having to fiddle with my pace or the incline to stay within the range I need.  I did have a very good session on the treadmill on Tuesday where I was running for a lot longer than I had been previously - upwards of two minutes at times!  By comparison, yesterday's long "run" became mostly a walk as my heart rate just kept soaring every time I started to run.  I may have been tired from the previous evening or the two glasses of wine I had drunk, but in any event...frustrating.

At the same time, I have to admit that yesterday's failure to execute was eye-opening in its own right.  How many times have I gone on a run and just felt "off?" Perhaps it was the wine the night before, or maybe I stayed up too late.  Maybe I was coming down with a cold.  The fact is, though, that there have been plenty of times when I have felt that off feeling, pushed myself to run anyway, and then paid for it - either by being wiped out, injuring myself, or just feeling poorly.  The books and experts would have you listen to your body in these circumstances, but what if you are no good and listening to what it is telling you?  Yesterday's treadmill experience was enlightening, because I did feel a bit off, but I never would have slowed my pace if it hadn't been for the heart rate monitor telling me to do so.  So, in the end, frustrating but intriguing. 

As stated, I have been doing the heart rate monitor thing for three weeks now, and I have to start giving some thought as to where to go from here.  The original article I read suggested that if you hadn't been injured for longer than three months then you should follow this low heart rate regimen for only one month.  That would mean that by the end of this week I could start following my uninjured heart rate recommendation, which would allow me five more heart beats a minute.  That means instead of having to stay within a range of 122-132 heart beats per minute, I could bump up to 127-137 heart beats per minute.  That may not sound like much, but I have to believe that might be the difference between a frustrated walk/run and being able to run very, very slowly.  

Unfortunately, though, since my injury has STILL not gone completely away, I feel that I should keep at the lower HB recommendation for two more months (what is recommended to treat chronic injuries).  

Of course, the thought has crossed my mind that this whole heart rate monitor training stuff could be a bunch of hooey, which could mean I am wasting precious weeks of recovery.  However, since I started doing it I haven't missed a day of exercise due to an injury flare-up.  That's a positive, right? I guess I will just continue to take this one day at a time.  The alternative, as far as I can see, is to just cease all activity for a while, and that isn't an option for me.

coconut oil

So, given that this post is way too long as it is, I think I will wrap it up with one last observation.  Coconut Oil.  I mentioned a while back that I was experimenting with using coconut oil as a hand lotion.  I have chronically dry hands, and the only thing that seems to help them is a steroid medication I got from my dermatologist.  Since I hate taking prescription drugs of any kind, I thought I would give coconut oil a go. I had heard a lot of good things about it, so why not? Well, unfortunately, it seems to be drying my hands out even further! I didn't want to believe it was the coconut oil, so I tried it for a couple of weeks.  There is no denying now, however, that it seems to be causing my skin (even on the backs of my hands) to become more dry and even red and irritated.  Part of me realizes that when you are living somewhere where the temperature is hovering around zero for months on end and static is your constant companion, it could just be that nothing would help.  But, I keep dreaming of the day I find some natural product that can keep my hands healthy.  I guess I will just keep dreaming.

Happy Running!

2 comments:

  1. I just started gettin' into FaceBook. I can be somewhat addictive.

    ReplyDelete