Friday, May 29, 2009

Another catch up

Once again, I've been super lazy at blogging workouts. I haven't missed any and it was a really good month. Mostly - that is - except for the pain in my right hand.

I'm praising God for a small article in Oxygen magazine in Volume 12, Issue 117, Spring 2009 (page 136) about Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. It said something about it being mistaken for carpal tunnel syndrome and asked this question:

Q. What are the most common signs?

A. “Most often, dull pain in arms, and possibly numbness and tingling in hands and fingers. Sometimes arms also feel heavy and weak – like they’re not attached,” Mehaffy says. “A way to differentiate TOS from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is to note the numbness: CTS causes numbness in the thumb, index and/or middle fingers, and sometimes part of the ring finger. But the whole hand? Pinky? Above the wrist? Then it’s likely TOS or another RSI.”

As the article stated, the symptoms can be similar but often more severe the CTS. It says that TOS does not involve "healing" because it's not an injury, per se, but a condition most people create foryears before knowing they have it. Yep, that would be me.

I was waking up at night to my hand feeling like it was being licked by the flames of hell.
After I got the tingling/numbness/burning to go away, I'd wind up with a stiff hand and forearm that felt too weak to even squirt a spray bottle. It would take an hour of waking up and stretching to get a simple grasping motion to feel "right" and have some strength to it.

I ended up going to the chiropractor and am slowly improving. This particular condition can take weeks or even months to reverse.

How did I get it? Too much work on the pectorals, plus an old injury which left a small bit of arthritis in my cervical spine. Working out the pectorals hard and overdeveloping them can cause the muscle to pinch on the nerve creating... PAIN.

I've been going to see the doc twice a week for therapy, an evil neck-stretching contraption, a trigger point massage and an adjustment. I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I did have two horrible days after the long weekend - but that was directly related to ingesting sucralose which caused me to retain massive amounts of water which in turn caused pressure on the nerve. Since that has cleared out of my system (no more sugar-free caramel lattes!!!), everything feels better.

This week has been a long over due recovery week. No weights, just yoga and some cardio -- but not excessive cardio. I actually need to do *more* yoga, the doc says it's just what I need to lengthen the muscles and relieve that pressure.

Changes in my workout due to this - no overhead presses, no Arnolds. I'm not sure when I can add those back in. Seated rows, upright rows, those are what the doc ordered. Also, shrugs. I never do shrugs - however, just holding a good heavy weight in my right hand eases the stiffness and pain that comes in the morning.

Great stretches I must do - The Doorway Release: grab the sides of the door way and lean foreward to stretch the pecs. Nice! The Hand against Wall: put the hand against the wall at shoulder height, stretched out, Tilt the head the opposite direction and gently apply pressure with the other hand.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sunday & Monday, 5.3.09 - 5.4.09

Got up early Sunday morning:

10 minute warm up on elliptical
50 minutes leg/glute workout

Later: 35 minutes HIIT on stationary bike


6 min walk to gym
10 min elliptical
50 min weight lifting - mostly back & biceps, but with squats & some ab work thrown in for good measure
10 min Stairmaster
10 min elliptical
5 min stretch
6 min walk home

On Saturday, the hike turned out to be 2 hrs and 4o min long. NOT at a comfortable hiking pace. Rhianna was trying to make us racewalk through it which made it very hard to enjoy the beautiful spring day with its abundance of wildflowers.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Catching Up, Sort of and a Brief Review of Yoga DVDs

The bad thing: I have been incredibly lazy about logging my workouts here.
The good thing: I haven't been missing any workouts. That's what counts!

It would be too crazy to try to report all the missing workout logs. I worked HARD. I've been frequently changing things up in order to get the best results. Currently, I'm on a more "lift like a guy" approach, taking a break from crazy circuits. I miss them - but I know my muscles need a change. I'm going to have to add in some more glute-focused work, I feel that was lacking...and I have such a fear of having a flat butt!

I've got some great bootcamp style workouts planned now that the weather is finally making being outdoors feasible.

Today's Workout: Run in graveyard for 1 hour, up and down hills. Lovely!
P90X Yoga - 1 hr 25 min - and I even had the house to myself while I did it. :) (A huge rarity).
And it gets better... I'm about to go on a nice hike.

In the past couple of months, I 've gotten three new yoga DVDs. I did this because I am addicted to Tony Horton's P90X Yoga but can't be always doing the same ol' same ol'. I can't afford the extra bucks for a regular yoga class - plus the local ones I tried were sadly lacking. So...

Kathy Smith Yoga Sculpt: Mostly boring. Too easy. A couple of harder moves. Boring set. I'll probably do it occasionally just because I don't want to waste my money.

Beth Shaw's YogaFit Ultra: Sure there are some more difficult positions thrown in here but - UGH. I want to gag the instructors! They need to just shut up already. The airy-fairy talk is over the top, annoying and well... the workout is nothing to write home about, even though it does have a couple of nice moves.

Mark Blanchard's Progressive Power Yoga: I saved the best for last. This one I can actually enjoy doing and look forward to doing. Oh, the instructor isn't as engaging as Tony Horton and he says some very silly things (but seems to mean them seriously). One reviewer said he had an "insincere" voice. That didn't even really bother me. The flow was great; the workout was challenging. The outdoor location (Sedona) was breathtaking. Instead of just one or two people (like the above two DVDs), this is a whole group who are of varying ability. Better yet - I felt great when I was done. Revived. Invigorated. Calm. I am definitely considering buying one or more of his other yoga DVDs.