Category Archives: Health

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.

Protected: Ouch: The Redux Part II

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Protected: More Gross Feet, Sorry

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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.

Protected: Ouch: The Redux

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Protected: Ouch

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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.

THE COLD, IT BURNS

There are few things quite like the sweet, sweet pain of losing all feeling in your toes, fingers, lips, and nose while you’re out walking for four hours in weather that’s way too cold. But hey, -15 feels tropical compared to that -30s nonsense we’ve had for the past few days, so I took leave of whatever modicum of common sense I have this morning and braved the cold for an outside walk.

It hurt. It hurt good.

(Except for those 10 minutes I spent shivering uncontrollably in the bathroom by the side of the path which subsequently and unexpectedly turned into a panic attack? That wasn’t very fun. But when I was done with that nonsense, the sun had come out, so the rest of the walk was fine.)

Edit: ha, my Garmin picked up the panic attack. Heart rate spike around 1 hour 40 minutes or so.

02-06-2019

Physical Push

This is the most relatable, terrifying article I’ve ever read.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how maintainable this “15 miles a day six days a week” thing is. When will things start breaking down? Is this making me stronger or is it going to cause a whole ton of issues?

I’m terrified of the day where I can’t do these 15 miles a day anymore. Walking is really the only thing that keeps me calm, the only thing that keeps me from just absolutely hating every aspect of my existence. What’s going to happen when that’s taken away from me?

Walking 2018

YOOOOOOOOOOO Happy New Year!

It’s January 1st yet again, so let’s do the thing I always do on January 1st and review last year’s walking stats.

Here they are for January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018.

Total number of walks: 338
Total mileage: 4,328.61
Total number of steps: 9,996,535
Total calories burned: 280,626
Total walking time (minutes): 71,430.14 [that’s about 49.6 days]
Average speed (mph) per walk: 3.71

4,328.61 miles is approximately the great circle distance between Dubai, UAE and Seoul, South Korea or between Rio Gallegos, Argentina and Caracas, Venezuela.

01-01-2019-a01-01-2019-b

Let’s do better this year.

I was pathetic.

So I was looking over my old blogs (because THAT’S THE KIND OF OBNOXIOUS HUMAN I AM) and noticed that on December 8, 2013, I hit 1,300 walking miles for the year.

I hit 1,300 walking miles on April 29 this year.

My old distances were garbage, yo.