Category Archives: Health

Walking 2019

Happy New Year! Happy New Decade! Let’s do the annual madness that is my review of last year’s walking stats.

Here they are for January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019.

Total number of walks: 348
Total mileage: 4,836.81
Total number of steps: 11,813,295
Total calories burned: 304,776
Total walking time (minutes): 80,420.25 [that’s about 55.84 days]
Average speed (mph) per walk: 3.64

4,836.81 miles is approximately the great circle distance between Seattle, WA and London, England or between Constantine, Algeria and Cape Town, South Africa.

01-01-2020-a01-01-2020-b

Let’s do as well (or better!) this year.

I Ran a 10k for the First Time Since 2017 and It was Glorious

I wasn’t planning on doing it.

I’d already walked 12 miles and was just planning to do two running miles on the treadmill at Anytime Fitness.

But I got to two miles and nothing was hurting, so I figured “hey, let’s try three.” No pain. So I figured “hey, let’s try four.”

Since I got hurt back in 2017, I have not run more than four miles in a stretch. But today, once I hit four, I was still feeling fine.

The next step? Seeing if I could do a 10K.

Which I could.

12-15-2019.png

No pain, no issues…everything seemed fine.

So that’s freaking awesome. Now I’m going to have to try my hardest not to a) do a 10K every day or b) try to do even more tomorrow, ‘cause I have a bad history of doing that kind of crap (which is why I ended up with runner’s knee in 2017 after doing two half-marathons in two days after never having run more than a 10K at a time).

YAY!

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BODY BODY BODY BODY

Hi.

So I found this place in Calgary that does resting metabolic testing, V02 max testing, and body composition testing. The prices are actually quite reasonable and the office is actually not too far from where we live, so I think I’m going to sign up and get at least a body comp done.

Edit: there’s a package for a body comp + resting metabolic rate testing. Totally going to do that. I’m already nervous about it ‘cause my body is an embarrassment, but it’d be cool to know this info. Maybe it’ll be a birthday present for myself.

 

SNIFF SNIFF BITCHES

Hey, I wrote about something like this in a short story like six years ago, haha.

As you might expect, there has been a lot fewer studies and a lot less research done into smell and fixing smell issues than any of the other senses. That’s one issue why there really hasn’t been any development of this type of technology yet.

Another issue is that smelling is a lot more complicated, physically, than things like hearing or even seeing, just because it is a chemical sense and is a lot more “fine-tuned” in terms of its various components compared to vision or hearing.

But the idea that the concept is “on the radar” now, though, is pretty cool!

Maybe one day…

 

MY BUTT RUNNETH OUTSIDE

Today’s original plan was to stay home all day.

I DID NOT

The weather was too nice to stay inside, but by the time I decided to drag my lazy butt out of the house, it was already like 11 AM. That’s too late to do a full walk and still get some time to myself at home in the afternoon, so instead I put on my gear, walked down to the river path, and did a 4-mile run.

IT
FELT
SO
DAMN
GOOD

No pain in my leg at all.

This makes me really want to start running more frequently. Of course, I pick the worse season to pick up running again, but I suppose I can go to Anytime Fitness and use the treadmills there until it warms up enough and I can consistently go running outside.

Yayzorz.

Body Check

Dang, it’s too bad this is super expensive, ‘cause I’ve always wanted to do something like this.

I mean, look at all this:

  • Personalized health risk assessment
  • Advanced laboratory and diagnostic screening based on personal risk profile
  • Full physical examination
  • Comprehensive medical history and intake
  • Full one-hour fitness and functional movement assessment with a kinesiologist
  • Full one-hour nutritional assessment and consultation with a registered dietitian
  • Immunization review and flu shots
  • Comprehensive multi-disciplinary health report and review of recommendations
  • Online health management system (Carebook™)
  • Post-assessment 30-minute follow-up consultation

C O M P R E H E N S I V E

Every health assessment-related thing I’ve ever done has suggested that everything is perfectly fine, but I’d love the fitness/nutritional assessments and a more detailed health investigation. Most doctors I’ve gone to are from Gritman anyway, and we all know how much Gritman sucks.*

*They suck a lot.

Who Nose?

Woah, Perrie Edwards has anosmia? Coolness. I like her.

I can relate to those *confused and lost* faces she makes when others are talking about scents.

20,000 Miles!

Hello, nerd bombs! To everyone’s shock, today will be a walking-related blog.

Why? Because counting today’s walk, I have walked a total of 20,000 miles since living in Calgary!

Here are some stats (as always, haha):
Total walks: 1,610
Total distance: 20,002.96 miles
Total steps: 44,913,637
Total time: 307,098.13 minutes (that’s 5,118.30 hours, or 213.26 days, or 0.584 years)
Total calories burned: 1,341,926.0

The median* distance per walk was 15.02 miles; median steps per walk was 33,055; median time per walk was 214.98 minutes (3.583 hours).

Here are boxplots of distance by year. Notice how my walking distances become dramatically more consistent as we move from 2014 to 2019.

10-05-2019

*Medians are used instead of means, as all of the distributions of the above variables are highly skewed

GEEEEEEEEENES

Hey, nerds!

I’ve mentioned my 23andMe results on here a few times now, and since I first got the testing done in 2012, they’ve refined some of their ancestry algorithms, causing some small changes to my results. Here’s what’s changed per region:

European: still 87.6%

  • French and German went from 15.4% to 28.7%, with strongest evidence of ancestry in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria (both Germany), and Friesland (Netherlands)
  • British and Irish went from 13.2% to 4.2%
  • Ashkenazi Jewish went from 0.7% to 0.5%

East Asian and Native American: went from 9.2% to 9.0%

  • Native American went from 8.3% to 8.8%, with strongest evidence of ancestry in Sonora (Mexico)

Sub-Saharan African: went from 2.1% to 2.2%

So that’s kinda cool.

I was actually thinking of getting my mom and myself a kit from Ancestry.com, since that’s what my dad used for his ancestry a while back and then we could all compare each other based on one company’s results. It’d also be curious to see how different Ancestry.com would be from 23andMe as far as the results go.

Anyway.

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THE LEG: TWO YEARS LATER

Today marks two years since I busted up my leg/quad/knee whatever walking to Pullman. At the one year mark last August, it was still giving me a decent amount of trouble. Twinging on and off and the like. I was still pretty scared to try running.

Now, though? I barely even think about it. I start my walk and head down the hill toward the river without that fear that I’ll somehow mess up my leg on the hill (going downhill had always been the most painful). I’ve spontaneously started to run (with my backpack on) on some of my walks, barely even worrying about the injury. I am seriously considering trying to get back into running enough to be able to do the Calgary Marathon next year. Like I’ve said, the cardiovascular endurance will probably not be the issue—the only issue might be the injury. But I’m feeling so confident in it now that I feel like I can finally stop using that as an excuse.

So that’s pretty awesome.

Hopefully I won’t hurt it again.

Hopefully I won’t hurt anything else.

ZOOM

I’ve been running (okay, jogging) miles 12 and 13 on my walks on and off for the past week or so, and it’s felt FANTASTIC. I don’t feel comfortable running more than that because I have my backpack with me and running with the backpack is super awkward, but I feel like if I were to try it without the backpack, it would feel even better.

I love running, but I’ve been so wary of doing it ever since I hurt my leg (which has been like two years ago now, haha). But these past few little mini-runs? No pain at all. I hardly even think about the injury.

That makes me want to run more.

That makes me feel like if I were to train (VERY SLOWLY) for it, I could do the Calgary Marathon next year. I used to be able to do 10k runs without any real issues (again, the only reason I haven’t run that far lately is ‘cause of TEH LEG), and I’m sure I could build my confidence back up to that and then do some actual training to get to the marathon level.

This is all assuming I don’t hurt my leg again. And that I don’t hurt anything else.

Hopefully I won’t!

ERUPTION

YO, NERDS!

So I finally went to the doctor to see about the crazy arm rashes I’ve been getting, and it sounds like I have polymorphous light eruption.

It sounds super cool, but it basically means I’m allergic/sensitive to UV light. It’s a delayed reaction where you’re fine when you’re out in the sun but after the sun exposure occurs, then your immune system starts going “OH SHIT” and reacts to it, causing rough-looking rashes/blisters and lots and lots of itching.

Here’s more:

So, you know, no big deal.
I’m just out in the sun for four hours to get my 15-mile walk in every day.
N o  p r o b l e m .

And no, sunscreen doesn’t prevent it. I’ll either have to wear long sleeves or suffer the itch/redness. But for some people it seems to “flare” at the beginning of spring/summer when there’s more sun, but if they let it blister up and then heal, it “hardens” the skin against it until next spring/summer. We’ve been having a lot of cloudy/rainy days this week and my rash is almost gone, so maybe my arms will have healed enough by the time it gets super sunny again. WHO KNOWS, IT’S AN ADVENTURE.

Edit: well it’s mid-July now and the “eruptions” have definitely diminished a lot. So I either don’t have this at all and my arms were just being spazzes, or, like some people, I flared up at the first major spring exposures to sunlight and then “got used to it.” Odd news.

MOAR SPEED

Ahoy-hoy!

So guess what? Today was the first time since I’ve gotten injured that I walked a mile in under 14 minutes.*

I actually walked two separate miles in under 14 minutes, so that’s even cooler.

I was so pumped, yo. I’m finally getting some speed back. It’s been almost two years. And now that I’ve got the Garmin, I know that that speed is legitimate and not just due to a miscalculation in my stride length.

*Last year I posted a shot of my speed being 4.50 MPH, but that was WRONG because it was based on an incorrect stride length. I think this time is really the first time I’ve done a sub-14 minute mile.

Also, I still think these out-of-order signs at North Hill Mall are (unintentionally?) hilarious.

06-06-2019

Don’t Be Rash

So for the past half month or so (or longer?) I’ve been getting this weird rash on my upper arms. It started just on one arm, which made me think I was brushing against something I was allergic to while on my walks, but then it started showing up on my other arm. Now it’s starting to spread to my lower arms. It itches like hell (sometimes) and looks pretty terrible.

So that’s awesome. As if I need help looking like complete trash.

MIGRAINE PARTY 2K19

It’s been a little while since I’ve had a migraine, but it’s been quite some time since I’ve had a migraine as bad as the one I had today.

Lately* my migraines have involved short (10-15 minutes) periods of mild vision loss with either no actual migraine headache following the restoration of vision or a relatively “mild” headache instead.

But today’s migraine was rough. My vision was almost completely gone for half an hour or so and then I got a killer headache afterwards. It was gross. It certainly made it hard to work, haha.

And now I have the post-migraine “fuzzies” where I feel like I’m in a bit of a fog. Not sure if that’s from the migraine itself or the meds, though.

Either way, BLAH.

*I really haven’t had very many lately…three or so in the past few years?

Adventures in Calgary

Today Nate and I adventured to a new part of the city on our walk and I remembered that I’m really bad at re-applying sunscreen to the backs of my hands after I wash all the sunscreen off the fronts of my hands (‘cause I hate the way it feels).

05-11-2019

That is comically horrible.

I have to teach on Monday, which means this weird-ass sunburn is going to show up over the projector. Awesome.

‘Sokay, it’ll tan out in a few days and then I’ll be left with a weird dark patch of skin on the back of my otherwise pale hand…which is…even more attractive…

But anyway, we did almost 18 miles and it was great. Walking in 70-degree weather in the sun is way better than walking in the cold, blowing snow (which is what we were doing last weekend, haha).

HEART WALK

Check out that resting heart rate, yo.

04-18-2019

And people say walking isn’t good cardio. It is if you walk fast enough and long enough.

(Yes, I know fitness tracker-based heart monitors aren’t the most accurate, but I suspect it’s accurate within a range. And I actually did calculate it the “manual” way (taking my pulse) a little bit after I took this picture (after my heart rate had calmed down a little; I’d just gone up the stairs) and it was 49, so.

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It’s a hipster party / who could ask for more / everybody’s vegan, leave your plaid shirts at the door

I had a shit day, but this is hilarious.

The comments are full of people arguing about beards, so yeah.

Anosmia Awareness Day 2019

Hey nerds, it’s Anosmia Awareness Day, which means it’s time again for this fantastic vid:

I love how the comment section is full of anosmics. Music brings us together, yo.

LOL, SORRY, RUNNING

Yeah, I was right: now that the weather is (at least currently) not deadly within 10 minutes of exposure, I’ve abandoned the gym and am back outside.

Which means no more running for now.

I’d like to make running a more frequent thing, but I’m not sure that can happen this semester with how busy I am and how little time I have in the morning to get my 15 miles in before calculus. If I go to the gym, that means I have to spend time changing into and out of my gym clothes, which chews up a decent amount of minutes.

Maybe once spring gets here and I (maybe?) have some more free time.

Also, I know I’ve been complaining about the weather a lot, but I would honestly have Calgary’s absurd winter cold snaps than have the Koppen climate equivalent of “fuck you” that Vancouver has.

Deadly cold > rain. Any day.