Post-Tournament Recovery

Inevitably after every hockey tournament comes the post-tournament recovery period. As I get older, I have found that this period gets longer and longer. It’s a marvel at how watching one’s child play hockey can leave one utterly exhausted. Yet, here I was again this week in a prolonged post-tournament recovery period.

Perhaps it is because I didn’t sleep well while in Tampa. Or perhaps it was because I inadvertently took two of my Cytomel (T3) instead of a T3 and a T4 pill. I blame the Hilton Garden Inn and their blackout shades. Fortunately, the T3 wears off within hours, so I was mildly uncomfortable for most of Monday. I was nervous, however, that my overly active stomach wouldn’t settle down before I drove back across the state. Mercifully, it settled down before we left Tampa. Nonetheless, the medicine mess up left me feeling tired the following two days.

As for the hockey, it was incredible. My boy was on fire all weekend. I love watching him work with his teammates to find ways to score. They really came together last weekend. We ended up losing in the finals, but not before we made the Makos work for it. The Mayor’s team fought hard to come back from a 2-0 deficit. In the end, a heartbreaking goal with 34 seconds left in the third ended their championship hopes. My boy received the second star of the game but in the face of defeat that didn’t matter.

Goalielocks’ team was in action as well, but that shit show of a scrimmage will get its own post. As will the poor behavior of the other team and the officials. Unfortunately or fortunately, I was not in town to watch the game myself. I only got damage reports post-game. When I finally get around to writing that post, you’ll want popcorn. After all the game was more of a train wreck than 90 Day Fiancee.

Since I was exhausted and a bit under the weather, I took rest days on Monday and Tuesday. In reality, I just didn’t have time to workout Monday between the Mayor’s two hockey games and the three-hour commute back home. Nonetheless, I started BBG 3.0 on Wednesday. Kayla Itsines may be the devil because she killed me Wednesday and again today. I also missed two days running, so my clock for a month restarted the months 9th.

As for this weekend, we are now under a Tropical Storm watch, flood warning, etc. A system developed off our coast this afternoon. Fortunately, it will be weak as it passes over us. We will, however, have to watch the rain totals and the potential for tornados. Otherwise, it will be the perfect weekend for getting stuff done around the house.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read A Room With A View by E.M Forster

*Yin with Jennifer at Open Heart Yoga Studio

*It’s day nine of virtual school. This week has been much better.

*I ran a mile and walked a mile today.

*Tonight my husband made shepherd’s pie for dinner while I finished my run. Unsurprisingly, my persnickety children were not a fan of the dish. I, however, quite enjoyed it.

*BBG 3.0 week 1 day 3: arms, cardio and yoga

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk.

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Tension Tamers

Tension tamers have become an essential part of adulting these days. If you’re like me, you carry all of your life’s stress and tension in your shoulders and neck. Since my Graves diagnosis, the pain in my neck and shoulders has increased. Apparently, your thyroid hormones like to f*c& with your body in a myriad of ways.

Since most of us have issues with tension in our neck and shoulders, I thought I’d share some of my favorite tension tamers. These items have been extremely helpful. Here’s the list:

  1. Trigger point massager: this simple contraption from Gaiam is great at taking at knots in your shoulders and back.
  2. Tune Up therapy balls: these little miracle workers can help you release muscle and soft tissue tension all over your body. They’re very effective in relieving tension headaches. I’ll be posting a Vlog soon on just how do do this.
  3. Yoga Mat: best place to stretch and utilize your Tune Up therapy balls.
  4. Bolster: the bolster is a great tool that will allow you to settle into restorative poses that will reduce tension in your body.
  5. Foam Roller: I love using my foam roller to roll out my trapezius muscles when my upper back, shoulders and neck are tight. It feels amazing!!!
  6. Shiatsu neck/back massager: this is an essential tool for days when the tension in your upper back and neck are at its highest.
  7. Massage gun: so these things are all the rage. I decided to give it a try. I’ll be posting a full review shortly
  8. Essential oils: I like using Chill Pill by Aura Cacia to relax and reduce tension. A small pat on the forehead or in a diffuser will do wonders for your relaxation.
  9. Tiger Balm/Salonpas patches. These are perfect to wear at night for some relief while you sleep. It is a bit of an unspoken rule that you don’t wear them to work or school. Unless, of course, you want to smell like Ben-gay all day.
  10. Hand warmers: this is my favorite hockey mom hack. I carry all of my tension in my left shoulder right under my bra strap. Accordingly, by placing an activated hand warmer in that place, the heat starts to melt the tension in my muscles.

These are just a few of the tools, I keep in my tool belt to fight tension. On a macro level, I’ve gone back to my yoga practice and stretching daily to alleviate muscle tension before it begins. Yoga has been an essential part of my recovery and my quest for remission.  All of my  product recommendations are below and range in cost form $6.00-$129.  While it may seem like a lot of products, it’s a lot cheaper and a healthier alternative than popping NSAIDs or other medications.

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What Next: taking supplements

So you’ve been diagnosed with an autoimmune thyroid disease, what next? Can you still take my supplements? When I was diagnosed with Graves Disease, my life was flipped upside down. There are plenty of treatment decisions to make, but there are immediate consideration as well. In fact, I had to evaluate all the supplements I was taking. Anything that was considered goitrogenic had to go because it could cause a thyroid storm. Moreover, I had to make decisions on how to mitigate the symptoms before treatment.

Here are the supplements I’m using to cope with my autoimmune disorder (as a major caveat everything I take has been played by my endo:)

1. Selenium – this mineral is essential for normal thyroid function and is beneficial for hyper/hypothyroid patients.

2. L-Carnitine – before I was given beta blockers, I used L-Carnitine to mitigate the hyper thyroid symptoms. Once I was post-RAI, I stopped taking this supplement.

3. CoQ10 – I was taking this before I got diagnosed and was advised to continue. Apparently, patients with Graves’ disease have lower amounts of CoQ10 in their blood.

4. Zinc – I just added this to my regimen after meeting with the registered dietician at my Endo’s office. There is evidence to support that zinc supplementation helps support thyroid function.

5. Collagen – I’m loving Vital Proteins Collagen Powder. It ‘a flavorless, can be mixed into coffee, is only 70 calories and has 17 grams of protein. As for why I’m taking this, it’s really about my vanity. I’m trying to keep my hair, skin and nails as healthy as possible. Thyroid disease and thyroid hormone supplementation can lead to hair loss. I am not about that life.

6. Biotin – see the explanation above.

7. Essential oils – no I don’t think they are a cure all, but lavender has helps calm me down if I’m Graves’ raging. Peppermint and Eucalyptus are critical in relieving congestion . Since my blood pressure is not always normal, I avoid taking decongestants.

I used to take a multivitamin and myriad of other supplements, but had to stop them once diagnosed. There are a lot of supplements that interact with the thyroid or thyroid medication, so you have to be careful. I have a lot of friends that have great results with Thrive and other supplements. The temptation to try those supplements is real, however, until my doc gives me the all clear, nothing in my small regimen will change. What’s next: adjusting my exercise routine.

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Slacking

Gotta be honest, I’ve been slacking on the blog these past few days. It’s just I’ve been exhausted these past couple of days with little to share. Friday was productive for me, but left me exhausted. I completed a BBG AB workout, went to yoga and enjoyed a restorative sauna session. Needless to say, it left me exhausted. And I was in bed with my Virginia Woolf novel by 9:30.

Goalielocks has practice scheduled for most of Saturday, but it was a bit touch and go if we’d take him since he hurt his foot/ankle playing football. In the end, we decided to take him, so his trainer could evaluate the injury. The injury location is weird. He’s actually more comfortable in skates playing hockey than walking.

After his practice, the trainer was able to take a look at it. Fortunately, his Trainer felt it was likely a sprain, but wanted us to rule out a fracture to the navicular bone in his foot. Since the Vikings were playing at 4:35 pm, my scheme was to take him post game right before the urgent care closes.

Unfortunately, the Vikings effort was anemic and Goalielocks was soon despondent. Consequently, we headed to urgent care during the beginning of the third quarter. By some miracle of god, there was no wait at the clinic. We were in and out with the x-rays and hands. Happily, the x-rays were negative for fracture. His diagnosis was sprain. Goalielocks was not happy when he was told to be non-weight bearing for 3 days.

That’s right folks the scooter is back- at least, temporarily. He isn’t quite the seasoned scooter driver that I was, but he’s learning. Additionally, he insists that he will not use the scooter or crutches at school. Tomorrow morning should be fun!

After a busy day yesterday, we’ve been slacking at home enjoying the pictures of my family’s vacation on the south seas. We did get most the laundry done and I did go to yoga, so the day wasn’t a complete wash. Tonight we had chilli and I was really regretting my decision to go gluten free. I’m not sure it’s possible, but I may have been lusting for a baguette. Thankfully, neither of us had the energy to drive and buy one. In the end, the bison chili was perfectly satisfying without the baguette. Someone who hasn’t been slacking is Jake. Today he starts WOT5 for Jake. Three more weeks til graduation!

Previous training weeks:

Week 0
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3

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Corporate Run

Last Thursday was the annual Mercedes Benz Corporate Run in Fort Lauderdale. I was excited to participate for my third running. This year was a bit different though since I haven’t run a 5k in over a year. Unfortunately, after tearing a tendon and a subsequent diagnosis of Graves’ disease, I was sidelined for what feels like forever!

Thankfully, my doctor was able to clear me for exercise once my thyroid finally stopped functioning in February. Yay! Nonetheless, a 5k was a tall order. I trained as much as I could, but with a hypoactive thyroid my energy is nonexistent. Meaning, instead of a normal, rigorous training schedule, my body needed 2-3 day breaks in between workouts. This itself represented a massive departure from my grandiose expectations for my recovery.

I was back at my doctor’s office early last week for my six-week check-in. She made some adjustments to my medication, which should help immensely. Honestly, the effortless weight gain, the absolutely no energy, the absolute exhaustion and the absolute inability to sleep properly have gotten old. On a positive note, my blood work supports my symptoms, which in my doc’s words “means we can fix it!”  My doc is a rock star and is taking good care of me through out my treatment. Unfortunately, it’s just part of the process as we figure out the right Synthroid dosing.

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She did reiterate my ability to work out, but added a caveat about common sense. Clearly, she doesn’t know me. I did ask about the 5k, to which she responded “I hope you lose – meaning I hope you walk.” As I got up to leave, we compromised on a solid effort in the first mile with common sense dictating mile two and three.

In the end, I was nervous and excited for my first 5K in over a year. I went into the race with reasonable expectations and the hope that I’d finish somewhat respectably. As the race neared, we entered the start corral, which was huge. The corporate run had over 9,000 participants this race. Fortunately, it was a chip to chip race.  Consequently, my time was not negatively impacted by being encumbered by mobs of people behind the start line. img_0615

It felt amazing to be racing again! The first mile went pretty smooth and I felt pretty good. As I promised my doctor, I was conservative over the remainder of my race. In the end, with my foot asleep and pride swelling in my heart, I crossed the finish line. While my heart was swelling with pride, my right foot was coming back to life, after falling asleep on mile 2, as I waited patiently for my post race free beer.

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My time this race was the slowest I’ve ever logged at a 5k, but it will forever be the one that gives me the most pride. After a torn tendon, a diagnosis of Graves’ disease, subsequent treatment and no exercise for nine months, my time of 37:23 is pretty damn good! Moral of the story, winning isn’t always about getting a PR every race. Sometimes winning is not being afraid to show up and do your best no matter what cards you’ve been dealt. 

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Lastly, I had to share this photo from last year’s race as it included Paul.   My associate director Paul was someone who embodied perseverance.  While he wasn’t with us this year physically, he was definitely therein spirit.  We miss you Paul!