Category Archives: Health

WALK, FORREST, WALK!

So remember back on June 1st when I made that running total dynamic bar thing that compared how my yearly mileage totals accumulated for each year I’ve lived in Calgary? (This thing?)

Well, I updated it to include 2020 now.

I didn’t even really consider trying to beat 2017’s mileage until about half way through the year. Then it was a push to make it happen – which it did at the very start of November.

Kinda cool!

Walking 2020

Happy New Year!

As always, January 1st is dedicated to reviewing last year’s walking mileage. So let’s get to it! But before we do, a quick disclaimer: I am including my running mileage in all of these totals, too, but I’m just going to refer to everything as walking mileage because it’s easier.

K? K.

ONWARD!

Here are my walking stats for January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020.

Total number of walks: 347
Total mileage: 5,160
Total number of steps: 11,687,919
Total calories burned: 355,903
Total walking time (minutes): 78,727.87 [that’s about 54.67 days]
Average speed (mph) per walk: 3.80

5,160 miles is approximately the great circle distance between Juneau, AK and Barcelona, Spain or between Naples, Italy and Cape Town, South Africa.

And for anyone who’s keeping track (probably no one), yes, this is a new yearly mileage record. I beat 2017’s record of 5,100 by 60 miles, which isn’t a fantastic jump in distance or anything, but it is a new record.

So yay!

Runnnnnnn

If you know me in real life, I probably have never struck you as someone who would ever say they loved running (especially if you knew me pre-Vancouver).

But I LOVE RUNNING.

I’m addicted to it now. I’d go 14-ish miles every day if I could. The only thing stopping me is the thought that I do NOT want to go through another injury, either with my knee or with something else. So I’ll stick with a few times a week with the 16-mile walks in between.

But holy freaking crap, running feels so good.

It’s felt even better these past few weeks. I don’t know if that’s my body finally just getting used to 14 running miles the same way it got used to 15/16 walking miles or if the colder weather is just that much easier for me to run in.

It’s so relaxing and so freeing and so empowering.

If any of my readers run and are looking for good running clothes, I’d suggest Baleaf. I bought a pair of running leggings from them and a running jacket/coat thingy and they’ve both become my favorite things to run in. The leggings actually stay up around my waist (my other pairs are all too big around the waist and the Baleaf ones are just tight enough to stay in place but aren’t too tight) and the jacket has zippable pockets to hold gloves/music player, little thumb holes in the sleeves, and has a small fleece lining which makes it good for running in the 20-25 degrees range.

Anyway.

RUNNING!

SUCK IT, DOUBTERS

I just surpassed 5,000 walking miles for the year, and I did it one day sooner than I did in 2007, the last (and only) time I hit 5,000 walking miles.

So for everyone who didn’t think I could do it again, take THAT!

I’m also going to likely beat 2007’s total mileage of 5,100, too.

Ha.

VO2-The-Max!

Aloha. Let’s talk about my VO2 max.

According to this site, “VO2 max, also known as maximal oxygen uptake, is the measurement of the maximum amount of oxygen a person can utilize during intense exercise. It is a common measurement used to establish the aerobic endurance of an athlete prior to or during the course of training. It is one of several tests used to determine an athlete’s cardiovascular fitness and performance capacity.”

Typically, the more endurance sports/activities you do, you are more likely to have higher VO2 max scores. And of course, correlation does not equal causation, but there does tend to be, you know, correlation between these two things.

So what have my VO2 max scores been since the start of the year? Let’s see.

Ohhhh, okay. Random. Cool.

Note that there’s a break in the graph because I had to stitch together two different display screens from my Garmin app.

Of course, another disclaimer here is that I’m not getting my VO2 max professionally measured here; these readings are coming from my Garmin. But I would think any measurement error would be somewhat consistent across time, right?

I just find it weird that there seems to be no pattern whatsoever, and I bet if you looked at this you couldn’t be able to tell if I’d started seriously running at any point during the year and if I’d stopped seriously running at any point during the year.

(Serious 13+ mile runs twice a week started around the end of April I think; I have kept those up ever since, so there hasn’t been a stopping point.)

And like…I am very consistent with the type of exercise I do as well as the duration. It’s not like I’m doing dramatically different exercises on these days. I’m either a) running 14 miles or b) walking 16 miles. That’s basically it.

I also find it weird that I think my circulation has gotten worse since I started running, but that’s whatev.

Body, you’re strange.

Walkie Talkie

Hey NERDS, so up until this point, I’ve walked 4,585.06 miles. At this same time in 2017 (my record walking year), I’d walked 4,573.77 miles. So that means (unless I royally screw up) I’m on pace to beat 2017’s distance of 5,100 miles.

YESSSSSSSSSSS.

(I live for this crap, sorry.)

Yay, a migraine!

So I was just in the process of typing up some nonsense blather for today’s blog post (because let’s face it, that’s most of what these posts are nowadays) when my vision started going. You know what that means…a migraine!

So I guess that’s what I’m goingt to blog about to day.

(I suspect I’m goingn to have to go back in here and correct a whole bunch of typiocs, considering I CAN’T SEE HALF THE DAMN SCREEN…or maybe I’ll leave ‘em in for that sweet, sweet authentic “blogging while having a migraine aura” experience.
Ya sure, let’s do that.)

These freaking auras are usually the worst part of my migraines, since there’s really nothing I can do about them but wait for them to pass, wich typically means sitting around with partial vision (someotmies no  vision) for twenty to thirty minutes before it starts coming back.

But I guess I’m lucky, because a) the aura lets me know that the actual pain part of the migraine is coming, which allows me to take some Excedrin in time so that b), the actual pain part of the migraine isn’t too bad. I also never get light- or sound-sensitivity and only rarely get nausea, so as far as migraines go, mine aren’t too bad.

BUT HEY, I REALLY ENJOY BEING ABLE TO SEE.

A fun exercise: I just scrolled up a few pages to get a nice full page of text and took a screenshot, then put that screenshot into Paint and erased everything I couldn’t see when looking straight ahead at the page. Wanna see?

Supa fun! Right now I don’t have the dancing ring of color around the edge of that “no see” zone, but that always comes later.

(Edit: now I’ve got it! Right on schedule.)

So yhah. I’ve also got spagnetti going and who knows ifI’ll be able to competently drain it and put it on a plate rather than dump the whole thing on the ground. I certainly couldn’t see my Excedrin bottle eclear enough earlier to check if I needed to take one pill or two. I’m preety sure it’s two. I hope it is, ‘cause that’s what I took.

THE END!

Edit from a few days later: lol, typos. I’m leaving them in.

GAS GAS GAS

So today was the warmest day in like a week and a half and I was SO SICK OF BEING INSIDE that I decided to try running in the snow.

By “snow” I mean the compact snow on the river trail. I’d walked on it yesterday once things warmed up a bit and I felt like it was something I could run on, so I got on my winter running clothes and went to try it out.

It sucked.

I have no idea how people can run on compact snow, because I certainly can’t. I don’t know if I push off harder with the balls of my feet than most people, but it was definitely very slippery and hard to get a good footing. So super frustrating.

Once I got to the first point in the trail where I could get back off (which was like 0.2 miles, haha), I crossed the street and went back to the other side of the road where there was just a sidewalk. This looked relatively clear, so rather than give up on running today entirely, I decided I’d go a few miles on the sidewalk to see if that was better.

And it was.

There were a few snowy/icy places where fartbags hadn’t shoveled, but it was much clearer than the path. So I ended up weaving up and down a bunch of the side roads and going back and forth on the main road until I got to my standard 14 miles. It wasn’t the most enjoyable of walks because of the ice/snow, but the temperature was actually a nice one for running and it definitely beat running on the treadmill.

Plus, it’s only supposed to get warmer this week, so hopefully the sidewalks (if not the trail) will be clearer by the time I run again on Thursday or Friday.

YAY!

Edit: I have about six blisters on my toes and my quads hurt like hell. I definitely have a different stride and toe grip on the snow/ice than on regular pavement. Which is to be expected, I guess, but still. Ouch.

S W A G

I got my stuff from the half marathon today! Check it out:


Shirt!


Bib!


Medal!

Super cool. The last official race I did was the Vancouver Sun Run back in 2011; we got a bib (obviously, since it was in person) and a t-shirt (which I gave to my mom), but we never got a super cool medal.

Let’s try the full marathon next year!

Virtual Calgary Half-Marathon = DONE!

This was the one I really wanted to do in person back in May, but ALAS…

This was not my best run. For whatever reason my legs felt like they weighed like 80 pounds each, so I didn’t end up with a super great time. But it’s probably faster than I would have been able to do it back in May, anyway, so yeah.

Next year I’ll hopefully be able to do the actual factual marathon, and it would be super nice if I could do it in person rather than virtually.

I don’t have high hopes about that, though.

Around the World in 2,206 Days

Today, I hit a huge walking milestone: since my first walk in Calgary on September 8, 2014, I have now walked a total of 24,901.46 miles. That is equivalent to the circumference of the earth at the equator!

As always, here are some stats:

  • Total number of walks: 1,938
  • Total steps: 56,171,859
  • Total time spent walking: 383,048.87 minutes, or 6,384.15 hours, or 266.00 days
  • Average walking distance (when averaged across the 1,938 walks): 12.849 miles
  • Average walking distance (if I had spaced out the distance over every single day): 11.29 miles

So that’s pretty cool, eh?

Boxplot of walk distances by year:


Boxplot of walk distances by month:


Boxplot of walk distances by day of the week:

(As if anyone cares)

Let’s start another trip around the world tomorrow!

Virtual Bloomsday = DONE!

YAY, I did my virtual Bloomsday run today. After much deliberation about how many miles I should walk today (reasons for that will be explained tomorrow), I eventually decided on 10.7 miles (I know, I know – not my standard 15 or 16…again, that will be explained tomorrow). But then I decided that since it wasn’t too hot out (and kind of cloudy) that I might as well use the shortened mileage to do my Bloomsday run today. So I walked for a bit and then ran the 7.46 miles (12k) to represent the Bloomsday distance.

I actually didn’t even run on the river path (a first for me!). The path is usually a LOT busier on the weekends, especially in the middle of the day. So I just ran behind the hospital, back behind the Children’s Hospital, towards campus, and a little bit north of that. The route wasn’t super hilly, but it definitely wasn’t flat, so I think that inflated my time a bit. But hey…the Bloomsday route isn’t flat and I’m sure whenever I’m able to do the Calgary Marathon that that route won’t be completely flat either.

So yeah! I should be getting my Bloomsday shirt in October sometime.

Run, Forrest, Run!

So somehow I managed to shave three minutes off of my half marathon time today. Three minutes is a lot of time, especially considering that I’ve only been beating my record time by like 10 or 20 seconds at a time, and have only set new time records three or four times since I started consistently running 13.1+ miles at a time.

I have no idea why I was so much faster today. Maybe it was a combination of good running weather (~50 degrees, only very light wind, overcast) and new shoes…though both of those things held last Friday and I was nowhere near a record time.

Maybe it’s the smoke. Maybe I’m smoke-powered. I honestly wouldn’t discount that; my body is weird as all hell.

Also, my dad have to have hip replacement surgery today, but it sounds like it all went well. Yay!

ALRIGHT BITCHES, let’s do a little math.

So I want to try to get another 5,000+ miles this year, because nobody thinks I can do it.

I shall do it.

2017 was the year of exactly 5,100 miles, so let’s compare this year’s pace with 2017’s pace to see what I’d need to do to get to at least 5,000 miles this year.

Through August 15, 2017, I had gone 3,298.9 miles in the year (I was also like a week out from that stupid knee/leg injury thing that slowed me down so much but DID NOT PREVENT ME FROM REACHING MY MILEAGE GOAL HOHOHOHOHOHO)

Through August 15, 2020, I’ve gone 3,164.2 miles in the year.

That means I’m behind pace by 134.7 miles. BUT, like I said, in 2017 I actually had gone 5,100 miles instead of just 5,000. So discounting those last 100 miles puts me only 34.7 miles behind pace.

Not bad.

HOKAY, so let’s just focus on this year, then. 5000 minus 3164.2 gives me another 1,835.8 miles that I’ve got to walk this year. There are 19 weeks (plus a few extra days) left in the year. That breaks down to about 96 miles a week (discounting those last few days), or an average of about 16.1 miles per day six days a week for the rest of the year.

Could I do that?
I absolutely could.

So if I did exactly 16 miles six days a week for the next 19 weeks, that would get me an additional 1,824, which would leave me with an additional 11.8 miles to do over those last few days of the year. Usually I have troubles getting my full six days per week at the end of the year due to travel, but HAHAHAHA THAT’S NOT HAPPENING THIS YEAR, so this should be an issue.

I could totally do it again, guys.

I’m going to do it again.

Claudia’s Dental Saga: Episode 8

SO…guess who’s back at the dentist?
(This is the eighth time since the end of May, by the way.)

And today was “let’s try to deal with that problem tooth again!”

I was really, really nervous about it, since it was so resistant to the novocaine last time.

But for whatever reason, everything went a lot better today. Apparently, according to my dentist, this is something that happens with some people. They have a region in their mouth that does not respond to novocaine during one visit, but when they come back sometime later, the novocaine is effective.

So at least it’s not just my mouth being a weird fart.

More Walking Nonsense

Guys, I am super close to a very big walking goal. Not my 5,000 miles this year (I’ve still got a ways to go for that!), but a walking goal I’ve had since I started working towards when I first moved up here. I suspect I’ll hit it within the next month and a half or so, so expect a big blog post about it then!

But for now…VAGUE GOAL POSTING IS VAGUE

Claudia’s Dental Saga: Episode 7

So after the madness that was my dental experience last time, I had to go back today (YAY) to get even more cavities filled on the top left-hand teeth. Unlike the previous visits, during which I trusted the novocaine to numb the pain and thus wasn’t too concerned with the drilling, this time I was really freaking tense the whole way through, because I was afraid that at any minute, the novo would stop working and I would suddenly feel a drill going through my tooth.

But luckily, everything seemed to work out okay this time. Hopefully whatever is going on with that backmost upper tooth is just going on with that tooth and nowhere else.

Party time.

Well that was hellish. (Claudia’s Dental Saga: Episode 6)

So more dental work today. Today was supposed to just be cavities – not a root canal – so I figured it would be an easier time than the two previous dental visits, right?

WRONG.

I get there and I’m like “k cool let’s do this shit, I’m down with dental nonsense” and they give me two shots of novocaine – one to numb the upper left side of my mouth and one to numb the lower left side of my mouth. My dentist said she was going to do as many cavity fillings as she could in the time we had booked for my appointment, so I guess she wanted both the top and bottom ready (I have cavities in like every single one of my teeth because, as we’ve discussed, I’m an idiot).

So that all goes okay. HGTV is on the TV on the ceiling, so I’m just chilling and watching that while the meds kick in.

Then the dental assistant comes in and says she needs to put in a rubber dam. No big deal; I had that for both root canals.

So she goes to anchor it in my mouth (specifically, on my back upper tooth on the left side) and it HURT LIKE HELL.

Worse than anything involving the root canals ever hurt.
So I kinda freaked out and she took it out.

The dentist gave me another shot of novocaine for the top back row of teeth and they tried it again.
It HURT LIKE HELL.

By this time I was really freaking out because I didn’t know why it was so painful this time (I felt absolutely nothing the previous two times), so I got another shot of novocaine and both the dentist and dental assistant left for a bit because they could see that I was starting to panic and wanted to give me a second to calm down.

So did I calm down?
Nope.

By the time they came back I was in a full-blown panic attack. I was hyperventilating, my fingers were all tingly, I was super light-headed and I was just overall losing my mind.

Luckily, my dentist is awesome. She got a few of those heavy x-ray vests and put them on my chest to try to calm me down. She got the dental assistant to get some cold towels and put them behind my neck and head, then tilted the chair back to help with the light-headedness.

Eventually I stopped freaking out and said I was okay with them trying the whole rubber dam thing again. FIVE MORE SHOTS OF NOVOCAINE LATER (we’re up to nine shots total now), I was still feeling the pain of the clamp on that tooth when they tried to put it on. So they were finally like, “screw it, we’ll just work on the bottom teeth today” and they put the dam on the lower teeth (I didn’t feel it at all) and did four cavity fillings before my appointment time was finally up.

So yeah, super fun.

Oh, also? Calgary got put under a tornado watch as I was walking home and I got caught in a serious rain/hail storm that soaked through my shoes, socks, pants, shirt, and backpack.

Freaking party time.

Edit: I didn’t know how these rubber dam things were actually anchored in the mouth until I looked it up a few days later. It must have been that clamp thingy that hurt so badly.

Claudia’s Dental Saga: Episode 5

AYYYYYYYYYYYY another root canal today!

SUPER
FUN
DAWG

Also, every time I go to the dentist, I can’t help but think of this clip from Metalocalypse:

That whole episode with Nathan’s teeth was disturbing as hell, haha.

Take care of your teeth, children

Or else this will happen.

The Walking: Halfway Through the Year

What is UP, my nerdy turds?

Tomorrow is a “let’s start a brand new pair of Kinvaras” day, which means tonight I’ve downloaded all my walking data for the current set of shoes so that I can add it to the Excel file containing all my walking data since I moved to Calgary in 2014.

I feel like I’ve been more consistent than ever with my “15 miles a day” thing, so I was curious to see how this year compared, so far, with 2017 (my record walking year).

In 2017, I had walked a cumulative total of 2433.19 miles by June 30.
This year, I’ve walked a cumulative total of 2545.84 miles by June 30.

…I’m ahead of 2017’s pace? Not only that, but I’m more than halfway to a cumulative total of 5,000 miles by the middle of the year?

WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?

Well, now I need to try for it again. I need to try for another 5,000+ mile year. Not only would it be cool to have that total again, but it would be a good way to show everyone who has doubted my ability to repeat 2017’s walking distance that 2017 was not a fluke.

BRING IT ON!

Claudia’s Dental Saga: Episode 4

More cavities filled today, because man I really destroyed my teeth, huh?

I’m glad for the pain. I deserve the pain for being so stupid.

Also, the cavity fillings hurt more than the root canal. What the hell, pain receptors.

Claudia’s Dental Saga: Episode 3

So today was my third visit to the dentist and the goal was to just get a basic teeth cleaning, but my teeth are SO DAMN SENSITIVE AND DAMAGED that we could barely get through the lower teeth (with a hell of a lot of bleeding).

Once they started working on the top teeth, I couldn’t handle the sensitivity, so the dentist said that she might have to deal with the cavities in those upper teeth before I could get the cleaning finished.

So that’s fun.

On the good side, though, my lower teeth are SUPER CLEAN. They haven’t been this clean in like a decade. Wild.

Claudia’s Dental Saga: Episode 2

Today I had a ROOT CANAL!

It…actually wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I had a different dentist this time (though she was really good as well). She tried to root canal the broken tooth but said that it was so weak that it wouldn’t support the root canal, so she sawed off whatever was left and now I have a weird tooth gap in the side of my mouth and a funky-feeling little empty gum socket (the tooth is still in there beneath the gum line, but I can only feel a little spike of it sticking out). She was able to do the root canal on the other tooth, though, so that’s good. Now I either need a tooth implant or a bridge where the missing tooth once was.

But yeah, not too bad. I was mostly nervous about 1) getting the novocaine, since that required needles in my gums, and 2) the pain after the procedure was done. But the needles only stung a little bit and the pain I had in the afternoon wasn’t bad at all, either. The only real side effect I had was some SUPER BAD SHAKING as the novocaine set in, but apparently that’s normal.

In fact, the root canal pain was less severe than the normal pain my mouth has been in for the past year or so. Which I guess tells you a good deal about the level of pain my mouth has been in for the past year or so.

Hell, I did 15 miles on my treadmill when I got home after the procedure.

Wicked.

The next step? Getting an actual dental cleaning, since it’s been like 12 years since that’s happened.