Friday, July 25, 2014

OMG! I Freaking RAN!

Yes!  Can you believe it?  I ran!  And?  I ran with about 90% less pain than any run I've had since I don't know when- maybe October 2012?  Wow, has it really been that long?  I did run in the summer of 2013 a couple days a week after both knee and hip surgery and things were ok, but not pain free.  So, I'd say less pain than last summer by about 25-50%.

Why the pain difference?

I ordered a knee support system from Bioskin, the Ten-7.  Here's the basics of it:
The brace slides onto your thigh so that it ends up an inch or two above your knee.  The brace itself absorbs moisture and also dries off rather quickly.  Before tightening any straps, it fits like a normal compression sleeve would (minus the plastic parts noted below...)

There are two pairs of straps that velcro to the left and right sides of your thigh.  One is at the top, the other below.  The straps are labeled (Ten-7 close to my knee, Bioskin higher up).

On the inside of your thigh, there is a plastic cup that adds pressure in just the right spot to help with the compression/support.  There are to other plastic strips that help with pressure in just the right spots as well: one on the quads and one on the hamstring.  Both run the entire length (um, top to bottom).

Last, there is a third strap that attached over the plastic piece I pointed to above, wraps around your entire thing once, attaching itself to a couple velcro points along the way, and then about 75% of the way around a second lap, again securing itself with velcro.

The end result is a very tight compression sleeve, with strong plastic parts applying pressure to help reduce pain in your knee.

I've worn this every day since I got it two weeks ago.  I've noticed an almost complete reduction in pain during everyday activities, and also in the two bike rides I've taken with it.  Yes, my knee gives me trouble when I ride my bike, too.

Yesterday I had my first run/ walk with it and things went very well!  I had an almost complete pain free beginning that became completely pain free once I changed my strike and stride (it's been a while and I was slapping, not striking.).

Overall, I am very satisfied with the Bioskin Ten-7.  It was costly at $130, but so far it's been worth every penny.  I may end up ordering a second as I plan on wearing it when teaching since I walk a lot in my classroom, though not much last year because of the general pain I had in my knee.

Have you ever worn any Bioskin products?  What was it?  How did it go?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Traveling and Family Photography Next Summer...

So, next summer we want to travel the country for about a month.  Right now, we're going back and forth between renting an RV to drive and tow Luigi, or one to tow with the Subaru.  But that's neither here nor there.  The main reason for this post is to plug my wife, Jane, and her photography.
What our plan is, is to not only travel and see the sights, but my wife wants to photograph families around the country as well.
That's why I have a few of her more recent photographs in this post.  She is a phenomenal professional photographer!  Here's a link to her site.  As you can see, she does specialize in photographing children.  If you'd be interested in us coming out next summer and Jane photographing your children, and us possibly going for a run (fingers crossed I'll be running next summer!!), let me know!

Thanks for reading!  Spread the word to your friends, family and followers!!  And don't forget to check out Jane's site!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Quote of the Day

I love this quote :)  I love a lot of her quotes.  I need to read her books!!  Sorry for the graininess, I wanted the image large enough...Have an awesome weekend!

Friday, June 20, 2014

World Cup exercises...turned nightmare...

I created this just before the second game today...

To the bottom I added, 'Daddy does double.'  The whole idea was to get the kids moving while watching/ having the World Cup on in the background.  We rarely just watch.  Usually we're reading, writing, or playing a game.

We turned on the game and a few minutes in France scored.  Then scored a minute later.  And then again, and again.  And?  Just as I'm typing this, they scored again and, I don't know how, but they didn't score with a flurry of shots against Switzerland, who's defense and goalie were about as good as their cheese.

I'm not a big upper body workout guy by any stretch of the imagination, so 80 push-ups in 75 minutes, plus the half, has been a hell of a lot.  I really, really hope no one else scores.  We've still got one game to go...but hopefully I'll be out riding as I did a bike fit on my own as I didn't want to spend $200 plus for one...

Damn you Switzerland!  You freakin' scored!

I gotta go...

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Crust Lovers Unite! and for those with kids that hate crust...

I was reading an article about an 'Old Wives' Tale' regarding swimming right after eating.  Long story short, it's ok to swim right after you eat, though they did say if you had a large, heavy meal, you might feel a bit nauseous.

At the bottom of the article, they had a link to other 'Old Wives' Tales' including one about the crust of bread.  Kids, mine included, though I never cut it off for them, but would take one for the team and eat all the end slices (and still do...umm, Jane?  Crust won't kill you :) ).  I always told them, the end slice and the crust is good for you.  But, I never knew why.  Now I do.  And, here's the info you can pepper at your kids when they whine about crust and end slices:

"Bread crust not only contains powerful antioxidants that can combat cancer, it is also rich in dietary fiber, which can prevent colon cancer. "

Well, that's good enough for me.  My kids are past that hating crust stage, and they don't whine about end slices, but they will leave them in the bag and open a new one when they make their own sandwiches.  Now I can give them some real, solid evidence.  Maybe it'll even get my wife to eat the end slices :)

I've also gotten some good news on the knee support side, but that info will be coming later (no, no surgery, yes, still have knee pain, still not running).

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Redefining myself as an athlete

Over the past several months, I have become a sloth.  I've been frustrated with my knee.  Somedays it hurts to walk around, somedays it feels like I could go run 20 miles on the trail (if I was physically capable anymore).  This frustration had led me to give up on myself.  I haven't done much of anything at all- no planks, push-ups, PT exercises, running, riding on the trainer or anything else remotely athletic.

I decided I needed to redefine myself.  I had no more goals.  I had no desire.  I had nothing to motivate me.  I lost the fun of working out just for the hell of it.

So, redefine myself I will.

Into what?  I decided to get back into racing...bicycle racing!  I've got a long way to go, but I plan on finding a cat 5 race in the late summer.  For now, it'll be riding the roads when I can and on the rollers when I can't.  I'll also be doing the occasional plank and some push-ups as well.  I remember really needing those arms to help propel myself up those hills!  Geez...did I really use to attack them in the 53 tooth ring?  Yeah, and I'm looking forward to the challenge of getting back at it.

Will I get to where I was?  I did with running in terms of distance (and setting distance PR's) but not with speed.  I don't think I'll be heading out for an easy 80 or 90 mile ride each weekend, or grinding out a tough 23 in an hour without aerobars (I remember that PR at 23.4- easy to remember!).  But I really want to break my speed PR of 58 MPH on a downhill.  I know exactly where that hill is.  I remember that speed, too.

The bike I have will have to be good enough for the road, but I'd like to get into cyclocross as well and I'd need a bike for that.  And, of course, I've got my eye on a couple...but I'm not going to get ahead of myself yet.

But, like I said, I can't get ahead of myself.  My dicktor that said I shouldn't run anymore (ok, it's worked out that way...for now) also said I shouldn't ride a whole lot either.  We'll see.