Consider this the obligatory paragraph where I promise to be better at blogging and keeping the site updated.
I want to share with you some of the things that are going on with me right now. Nothing life-threatening, but it is impacting my training.
So, I’ve been suffering from a skin condition on my hands for the past year. It makes them ugly (blisters and peeling skin) and painful. I went to the doctor last summer and got nothing but a steroid cream that helped the symptoms, but did nothing to fix the real problem.
I went back to the doc this spring, and he did a bunch of allergy tests. I was just sure that I was allergic to my new dog, but the tests came back negative for both dog and cat allergies. Yay!
Lots of mold, dust mite, and other creepy-crawly allergies, but not dogs or cats.
In the process of allergy tests, the doctor found that the calcium level in my blood was high. After retesting, he sent me to an endocrinologist to check my parathyroid gland. After more tests, they’re pretty sure that’s where the problem is.
In case you don’t know, the parathyroid is mainly responsible for keeping your blood calcium levels constant (calcium is essential for nerves and muscle tissue to function). You use parathyroid hormone and the different vitamin d variants to do that. If you don’t have enough calcium in your diet, your body uses the calcium in your bones as a temporary reservoir. It can store extra calcium there too.
The parathyroid is four small glands that kind of ride on the back of the thyroid gland. They don’t have much to do with the thyroid itself but are attached to it.
There’s more testing to do, but they might need to do surgery to fix the problem. It looks fairly minor.
Why is this affecting my training? With all of this parathyroid hormone in my blood, it’s leaching lots of calcium from my bones. Like – way too much. A potential complication of hyperparathyroidism is osteoporosis. There is so much calcium coming out of the bones that they become weak. They haven’t checked my bone density yet, so I’m hesitant to do any falling or techniques at all.
What I am doing is hyung and running. I’m not doing a lot of jumping (Kyuk Pah Hyung, Joong Geup Hyung, etc.) but I’m working on low-impact versions.
Okay, if you saw me on the trail, you wouldn’t call it running so much as motivated-walking, maybe jogging. I’ve studied a lot, and I’m combining two different, complementary approaches.
Running coach Danny Dreyer developed this approach to running to combine the two fitness activities he loved the most: Tai Chi and running. Even though Tai Chi is quite a bit different from Kuk Sool, a lot of the principles still apply. If you are a martial artist who likes to run, this approach might be just the thing for you.
Chi Running uses a minimalist approach and works on fixing your running technique, which makes a lot of sense to me. When you do it right, there’s almost no impact and no pain in the knees.
My favorite thing about Chi Running? Just like Kuk Sool, it’s about being fit for a lifetime, not just a brief athletic career. It’s about managing your health, not spending it.
Contrary to a lot of the fitness advice out there right now, Dr. Phil Maffetone advises us to take things a little bit slow in the beginning.
The MAF (Maximum Aerobic Fitness) Heart Rate is derived from your age, fitness, and general health. His program determines your target heart rate and advises that you stay beneath that heart rate to train your cardiovascular system. Sounds easy, right?
My MAF target heart rate is 125 beats per minute (bpm.) For an elite runner, that’s really high. For me? That’s really, really low. Like, climbing the stairs too fast can drive me right over it. So, I wear a heart rate monitor while I’m running and try to keep my heart rate between 120 and 125 bpm.
The idea is that you train your cardiovascular system at this rate and it allows my cardiovascular system to train quicker than if I exceeded it. Dr. Maffetone has lots of positive feedback on the site, including from elite athletes. It takes lots of discipline to train that slow. I’ll let you know how it works.
Another reason to keep things slow (especially right now) is that the excess calcium in my blood can interfere with normal heart rhythm. So, I think that the lower I keep my heart rate, the better.
And that’s about it. I’ll keep my students updated, especially if class schedules are affected. I’ll also let you know how the running goes. Especially the MAF training.
See you in class!