Goal-Setting my Way to a 5K

In this article, Mike Kramer points out the ultimate truth in any success story: the #1 indicator of success is to set goals. JD Roth of Get Rich Slowly relates goal-setting in fitness to goal-setting in finance, which I find just as applicable. In my end-of-the-year meme, I talked about finding the beauty in between the lines of the goals, and it’s an idea, I still believe in: I set the goals to become a better person when I accomplish them. But when it comes to motivation to complete the goals, ultimately, I’m not motivated by the means of a process so much as the end.

I say this because even though I’ve become such a better person about getting fit (I joined SparkPeople, and I cannot stop recommending it to people), I need a reason to get fit to stay motivated. To quote W.H. Murray, “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back.” I found out that Hale Farm is having their “Opening Weekend” 5K run through the farms of Bath, OH. I said, “Shit, why not?” and signed both The Boy and I up for it. And now, I can’t shut up about it: about training, the excitement, how proud I am of myself for taking this huge step in fitness….

I’m training using the C25K program, and my goal is to make it through the Hale Farm’s run jogging the entire time. If I can peg a time for completion, that’s good too – it will be great for comparison for the future. I have had a hard time being a “runner” in the past, but I really want to be, and I have the physique, the energy, and the drive to do it this time.

By setting the goal of running a 5K in June, not only am I committed to actually doing the training for running, I am committed to the strength training that accompanies training for a 5K.When I had re-started horseback riding again at 20, I rode for the summer at a high-caliber training stable which had an actual gym on the ground, so the equestrians that were training for multi-state competition could engage in cardio and strength-training programs to complement training on horseback. The concept had a major impact on me since that day, which is why I’m so committed to not be singularly-focused on just running as part of training.

Once I complete the C25K program, I’m assuming that I will graduate to a more intense program for more accomplished runners (my logic is that actually running in a 5K at the end of C25K means that I am not allowed to call myself a n00b anymore). My plan is to find another 5K to run in, and using the time I clocked for the Hale Farm 5K, train and clock in at a shorter time.

Who knows: maybe I’ll want to do a half-marathon next spring?

Saying Goodbye is Hard to Do

Like a bad boyfriend, I cannot completely “break up” with cigarettes.  Sure, I said that it was a great run, and once upon a time, we were really happy together.  But we just didn’t have the spark we used to – so we called it quits.  But I have to call up the ex and revisit the relationship.

I can’t just tell my company that I quit smoking; I have to go through a program to show how serious I am about quitting (which, frankly, I think the whole “anti-smoking system” is bullshit, but that’s another entry for another time).  This is a sort of “smokers anonymous” program over the phone that walks participants.  As a non-smoker of 12 weeks, though, none of this class applies to me.

But, the insurance company has me by the grapes, and if I want the surcharge removed, I have to successfully complete the program.  Seeing as all of this material is remedial, I’ve decided it’s much more entertaining to “people watch”.  I’m very preoccupied trying to figure out where the other participants are from, what they do for a living, if one of the others in the groups works for the same company, but in another part of the US.

Tonight and next Tuesday are the last two nights of the program.  I doubt that I will ever again think about the program or the participants, but I am rooting for the one guy who has been outwardly “meh” about the program – I hope he succeeds this time.

NaBloPoMo’09: Oscillo-Whatever-You-Call-It

I can say with authority that I do not have the flu, swine flu, HamAIDS, Hamthrax, or Hammonia in any way, shape or form. So, cheers to that.

I can’t even tell you what I do have, except to say that it feels like I have a dust bunny in my throat at approximately clavicle level that won’t move at all when I cough.

Right now, I took oscillococcinum as a preventative (again, I know I don’t have the flu), and drinking a lot of water (any water for me is a 100% increase than what I usually drink – pass the Diet Coke, please), and my three-cigarettes-a-day is now whittled down to nothing.

I don’t feel any better or worse than yesterday, so I think that’s an okay sign.

The thing that makes me nuts, though, is that I finally feel the drive to take care of my body when it is broken. Obviously the smoking is not helping, and I make excuses about my hydration with the Diet Coke as a substitute for water. But I just feel gross right now, and I want to feel better. More importantly, I want to feel better all the time, not just when I get over not feeling well.

I’m at the point where I’m really just tired of smoking. It’s more of a pain in the ass than not, so I’m really working on being done. Not eating like a little kid and having healthy and balanced meals is even a fun challenge: I like to cook, I like to be organized, I like to plan meals, no sweat. I can stick with that.

It’s the working out that’s going to suck. It hurts a lot for me to work out – and not even in that “ooh! Feel the burn!” kind of hurt. As in, “I am laid out on my back for two days after 30 minutes on the elliptical” hurt because of persistent hip and knee problems. I would like working out if I weren’t so terrified of being crippled for days afterword.

The best part? Presentation tonight – I think I’m going to lose my voice midway through. Charades, anyone?

StyckyWycket Recommends: Products During Accutane

During both courses of my Accutane treatments, they crossed through the harsh Cleveland winters.  The main focus and drive of getting through Accutane is: how do I keep my hair/skin from being so damn dry?

My first round with Accutane, I had to spend a lot of time and money trying to figure out which products were going to provide the moisture I desperately needed. It would have been great to have information collected here; and I’ve checked the stats on my blog, and have seen that I’ve been getting a lot of traffic from people who have been looking for information about Accutane.

In this entry, I’ll cover the products that I’ve used that I think have helped me greatly.

1. Basic Skin Cleansing and Moisturizing

During my first round of treatment, I was using Clinique’s Comforting Cream Cleanser, but it’s a little pricey and doesn’t last terribly long ($18.50/5oz). This time around, I am using Cetaphil’s Gentle Cleanser ($11.49/16oz), which I think works great: it breaks up my makeup, cleans without stripping, and a single bottle will last you through a standard six-month treatment (really! I am the queen of using way too much product).

I used to moisturize with Clinique’s Moisture Surge, but again, it’s pricey ($46.50/2.5oz) and I was re-applying a lot. On the upside, Moisture Surge can be applied over makeup without having to worry about it smudging.

This course of treatment, I switched over to Cetaphil’s DailyAdvance Ultra Hydrating Lotion For Dry, Sensitive Skin ($10.79/8oz), which I think is actually body lotion, but all of Cetaphil’s products are non-comedogenic, so there is are no worries that this ultra-moisturizing cream will cause any pore-blockage. Using the moisturizer means that I only have to moisturize once a day, instead of re-applying several times a day to cover flakes of dry skin. No tightness, no flakes. It gets an A in my book.

The only awkward side effect? My nose sweats. Just my nose. I don’t know if this is standard for this moisturizer, or just me. It’s not uncontrollable, but I do have to wipe my nose before meetings.

2. Body Wash

Very simply, I use Classic Ivory soap. It’s inexpensive ($1.99/3 bars) and there are no detergents or fragrances in it. The only other thing that I would steer people towards is maybe vegetable glycerin soap, which also has no fragrance or detergents.

3. Shampoo/Conditioner

I’m fairly lucky because I have a water softener, so that really helps to keep my hair from getting fried. But, in my first course, I used Aveda’s hair products. I still recommend Aveda’s Dry Remedy Moisturizing line. They aren’t inexpensive, but I honestly believe that when your hair is falling out because of the Accutane treatment, you need products that are as natural as you can possibly get. Aveda does that.

The Ritual Kit has the shampoo, the conditioner, and the moisture mask all-included for $74.00, which is $10 off what it would cost to buy each of the products separately. Of course, though, you can buy them separately and not even get the hair mask and be just as well off.

And, as is true for all of Aveda’s products, a little goes a long way.

4. Body Lotion

I only really need lotion when I shave my legs, but my go-to product that delivers a lot of moisture and soaks in really well is Vaseline Intensive Care Total Moisture, Dry Skin Lotion. It’s very good for hands, too, and a huge bottle is relatively inexpensive ($7.00/24,5oz). I have a feeling that you’ll carry this from your Accutane treatment through to all of your body/hand moisturizing needs through the year.

5. Lip Treatment

If any of you are having the same experience that I’ve had, the first thing that dries out and the last thing to get moisture back is your lips. I would honestly say that I would take all of the other symptoms twofold if only I could have the lip dryness not happen.

During my first treatment, I used Carmex for chapped lips ($2.49/.5 oz,) but I know that it’s cheaper at Wal-Mart, Drug Mart and CVS). I really liked it’s staying power.

This time around, I’m using Blistex Lip Medex ($2.19/.38 oz). I think it has the same softening, moisturizing, and staying power, but I feel like it warms up better with your body heat and doesn’t feel quite as thick and sticky.

You’ll notice that I took a lot of time to find products that you can get in your local drugstore. And I think even in some cases, you can use HSA dollars to pay for these items.  I’m pretty lucky in that my prescription coverage is very extensive and my prescription for the generic brand is only $10. However, my first course of treatment cost $100 month, and that didn’t count the co-pays or the blood tests. The point is that you don’t need really, really expensive products to provide the moisture you need to have a comfortable experience while on Accutane.

I really hope that this helps: please feel free to leave a comment letting me know how these recommendations worked for you.

Alveolar Osteitis

I’ve only been in tears in pain twice.  The first time was when the local anesthetic was wearing off of my foot after my surgery.  That time, I was bent over the ottoman, weeping, with my mother yelling, “For God’s sake, take the damn Vicodin!”

The second time was this morning, when the oral surgeon had to pack my dry socket.

Since I was still experiencing radiating pain along my jaw, I Googled “wisdom teeth aftercare” and learned that I probably had a dry socket.  I called my oral surgeon’s office, and explained to the nurse my symptoms, she recommended that I come in right away.

Turns out, sometimes, no matter what you try to do to prevent them, dry sockets just happen.  The course of treatment was packing the wound and a round of antibiotics.  I’m just really glad I had no idea that was the treatment before I went in, otherwise I don’t know what I would have done.  (I probably would have thrown up on myself during the procedure, actually.)

God bless the nurse and the assistant learning the procedure – they were both doing their jobs and helping to treat my condition.  But, as she started packing the strip of medicine-soaked paper into my jaw, I started to crawl backwards up and over the chair, and tears sprang to my eyes.  She kept saying, “I’m sorry, I know it hurts, I’m sorry.”  I wiped the tears out of my eyes, and said, “I know: you’re just doing your job, I understand.”  I really, really tried to keep my shit together.

I started hiccupping in the elevator ride down to my car, and had to suck up my sniveling as I ran into someone at the door on my way out.  As soon as I got in the car, I started sobbing big, body-wracking sobs from the pain and the frustration.  I put my head on the steering wheel and cried and cried until I had wept the the eyeliner and mascara off – I was still pretty messed up from all the Vicodin I’d been taking, compounded with the dry socket treatment and  the aching of my jaw since Friday, and because I was tired and frustrated from all the other ridiculous baggage I’m always carrying around.

I finally regained some composure and drove the long ride in to work, fighting a fresh batch of tears the whole way.  While waiting for my prescription to be filled, I carefully re-applied my eye makeup and covered the blotchy red marks on my face.  After a while, I felt better – better than I had felt in days with the packing in my jaw.  I finally felt like laughing and talking, rather than sleeping and doing nothing.  The only downside (other than of course, the horrifying pain of having it packed) is that everything today tastes like I’d licked a hospital: like Betadine and cleanser.

Tomorrow, I’m supposed to go back and have this dressing removed and something else put in.  You might hear again how I cried like a sissy from tomorrow’s procedure, too.