async="src="/ Taking the Long Way Home: The Activity Hangover

Sunday, February 23, 2020

The Activity Hangover

As I've increased my mileage and upped my weights, I've noticed an increase in my RA disease activity. Physical activity, including running and strength training, can cause inflammation. In a person without an autoimmune disease, the inflammation brought on by vigorous exercise can lead to DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). In those of us afflicted with RA and the like, not only do we get DOMS, but we can get an activity hangover.

Just like a hangover from being overserved at the bar, an RA activity hangover can cause some pretty unpleasant symptoms like nausea, fatigue, stiffness, and joint pain. The activity hangover is due to excess products of inflammation in the body. For the past couple of weeks, on and off, I've had these symptoms. I guess you could say I've been overserved at the bar--the lifting bar, lol. Yet, I keep going back for more. Deadlifts? Make that a double, coach...

I'm pretty sure that having an activity hangover is the reason I struggled at last Sunday's Auto Show Race. That 10 miler I ran the day before apparently was equivalent to too many glasses of wine. Was it worth it? 

Of course it was. After all, no good story starts with "I went for a walk"...

On Monday, I debated going to CrossFit because I still felt yucky. I woke up feeling stiff, achy, sore, tired, and a little bit queasy. But like I always do when I don't feel well is I decided to TRY. I was able to finish that workout strong! No regrets. Sure beats laying around on the couch. What's an RA warrior to do?

Avoid foods that cause inflammation. Eat more foods that reduce inflammation. Drink lots of water. Most important of all: take and respect total rest days.

The best remedy? A little hair of the dog: gentle movement. Gentle stretching and yoga. Hangover be dammed. Contrary to what you might think, laying around only increases the joint stiffness. I've found that once I get moving, I do feel better. 



Weekly Rundown
Monday: CrossFit
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: Trail Run 5.25 miles, Yoga with Adriene
Thursday: Strength training, Bootcamp
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Run 3.25 miles
Sunday: Run 12 miles

Running:
Wednesday morning was sunny but it was cold! Excited to run on the trails, I layered up and drove to a different trail in the forest preserve. I was familiar with this trail, having skiied it many times before. I hoped that it wouldn't be too icy, but that hope was dashed as soon as I started running. Fortunately, there was enough crunchy snow on the trail that I was able to run most of the time. I stayed upright the whole time with only one close call. It was a gorgeous morning and I can't wait for the snow to melt so I can relax and enjoy this trail. 


I had to work Saturday morning, but wanted to get a quick 3 miles in. I was rewarded with a beautiful sunrise run and a speedy one at that! Running on pavement never felt so good and my legs wanted to fly. On Sunday, I was determined to get 12 miles in. With only 2 weeks until my 25k trail run in Florida, that is as long as my long run is going to get. Never mind training for the heat and humidity. The sun was shining and it was relatively warm, in the 40s. But the winds were blowing, so as usual, I started out running into the wind and it almost broke me. I pushed on and started to find a rhythm. There was a lot of ice still and at times, I had to walk to get around it. One of those walks ended up with me catching my toe on a root and I fell into the mud. I had to laugh because after all those icy trail runs I've been doing, this is the first time I've fallen--on the bike path. Anyway, I finished upright and got my 12 done! I'd like to do this again next weekend, so fingers crossed that can happen.

Have no fear, that is a dog walker behind me.
Don't you hate getting busted taking a selfie?
CrossFit
As I stated earlier in the post, on Monday I was on the fence about going to CrossFit. When I saw rope climbs in the WOD, I knew I had to go. The WOD was 10 rounds of 1 rope climb, 3 hang cleans, 6 jerks, and 9 GHD sit ups. The rope climbs weren't what got me, it was the jerks. My heart just pounded with each round. Maybe I was too ambitious with the weight I put on the bar. But I did the whole workout. I was so happy I went!


Thursday's bootcamp workout was a chipper of 50 each: 10m shuttle runs, renegade rows, DB power cleans, DB thrusters, 50 calorie row, DB front lunges, box oovers, abmat situps, and a 50 cal ride on the assault bike. You could not break up the reps. The workout had to be done straight through. It was as hard as it sounds. After we recovered from the workout, Steph and I played with ring swings and toes to bar. 


Strength Training
One of my goals for the spring is to increase my endurance. Sammy Jo came up with a plan for me to do high weights, high reps. This week she had me do 10 reps of deadlifts at 140# x 3 sets. I alternated those with shoulder presses at 25# using a dumbbell. After that, I worked on box step ups as a pistol prep workout. 6 months ago, I couldn't do these. Now I can! Hips don't lie, right? I alternated this with wall ball shots from a lunge. I swear, these coaches always find a way to make an activity more difficult!



How was your week? Do you schedule true rest days into your workout schedule? What's your favorite hangover cure? Is spring starting to tease you like it is here by me? They're calling for snow again this week--that's life in the Midwest! Have a great week. 

I'm linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Rundown.



54 comments :

  1. I am sorry you have been having some hangover symptoms this week. Sounds like you have a good plan in place to tackle them. I always love your CF photos! One of these days I have to try that rope climbing. I do plan a true rest day each week. Even though I get a little antsy, I know my body appreciates it. I also try to do meal prep things on my rest day and blogging.

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    1. I sure with we lived closer so you could come with me to CrossFit! I think you'd love the challenge and the variety.

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  2. I have an activity hangover as I type this. 10 miles yesterday - my favorite mountain on Oahu. I did the same route last Saturday and was able to shave 5 minutes off this week. I went for an easy walk this morning, followed by yoga.

    Of course the weather is always nice here. We had some strong winds last week and I even put on a light sweater (I think it was about 70 degrees.) Our weather perception is all relative!

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    1. Seems like Oahu would be the perfect place to push yourself and then be hungover, lol!

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  3. The words that are leaping out at me "laying around only increases the joint stiffness". I remember once in my early 30's I decided to stop working out (I forget why, I was young and dumb) and pretty soon I felt very achy, very stiff, and very old so I got myself to the gym and never looked back. Congrats on your rope climb and 12 miler!

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    1. Movement definitely lubricates the joints! It's been interesting for me because my body lets me do all this stuff but then tells me the next day or 2 that it didn't really like it. LOL!

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  4. Sorry about the hangover, that's hard to deal with. But lookit you up that rope! So cool. Glad to be back in the world of the blogs after a horrible battle with anxiety.

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    1. Up that rope 10 times, my friend! Hell yeah!

      I am sorry to hear about your anxiety. I've suffered from anxiety my whole life and it has been a struggle. Have you ever heard of a website called The Mighty? It's for folks with chronic conditions. I follow the RA section, but they have an anxiety section and it is very helpful. Check it out.

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    2. Thank you so much for the suggestion, I will have a look at it. This anxiety is a new thing - I've had depression and PTSD most of my life chronically but the terrible sick-feeling, unable to eat, shaking anxiety came in when our poor previous cat was unwell and has come back with these. Very stressful. It's been good to be back in my book and running communities online though.

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  5. Too bad about falling in the mud -- yuck! -- but good job staying upright on an icy trail. I won't even attempt them at this time of year. Not worth the possible consequences to me.

    Spring is definitely flirting with us. Tomorrow should be glorious, but I do try to respect rest days so most likely I won't run. We shall see . . .

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  6. I love, honor and cherish my rest day. Heck I EARN it I'm gonna take it! Sorry you've been achy lately. Remember you have absolutely nothing to prove to anyone.

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    1. After this trail race, I'm backing down on the miles again. It's been fun, but it's making me not feel so good...

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  7. Sorry about the fall in the mud! You are brave running trails in the winter!

    Sorry about the activity hangover. Hope you're feeling better!

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  8. Your runs have looked amazing on Strava--I'm inspired to push through the side effects of my own stuff :) And today felt pretty darn good, it's that whole motion is lotion thing.

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    1. I've never heard that "motion is lotion" saying, but I kinda like it!

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  9. Lately I've been wondering if I have some issue because I get stiff from the silliest thing - like sitting on the floor too long, or going for a walk (it's hard for me to bend down and untie my shoes after a walk!!). Right now I'm chalking it up to getting older, but what the heck?? I'd be excited about rope climbs too. Granted, I haven't done one since grade school, but I wonder if I still could!! You look great doing them!

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  10. I almost never regret doing a workout. I just regret the workouts I don't do. Glad te read you feel the same, even with RA. Those rope climbs you do are amazing!

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  11. You're my she-ro! Great job getting it done.

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    1. Back at you, my friend. I get so much inspiration watching you pushing your limits!

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  12. I seldom take full rest days, I gotta stay in motion. I always have a couple of recovery days each week, but they're not spent on the couch. My body does much better with movement, even if it's slow and easy :-)

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    1. You're lucky. On Tuesday and Friday, I work long hours at work. On an instagram post, you commented that you still run on your work days. That's great for you, but when you have RA, you really have to conserve and budget your energy. I'm on my feet all day and that is about all I can do. None of my days are spent on the couch.

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  13. I agree that gentle movement is a great cure for a lot of what ails me! I resist full rest days, but am trying to take more easy days when I need them. Your crossfit workouts sound tough all the time! At my age, I try hard to avoid true hangovers, but have to be careful at work functions where receptions start early and go late with glasses getting refilled before you notice.

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    1. Ha! I've been overserved a few times in the past year and it's not fun!

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  14. Wow, you had an amazing week despite dealing with your RA hangover. Your mental and physical toughness through this ordeal is inspirational!

    Sundays are usually my rest days with maybe a little light cardio, but I seem to have PT exercises to do around the clock! JK, but it does sort of feel that way.

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    1. I'm learning when I can and cannot push through it. Mentally, if I can do a workout, I feel a lot better. I don't know how much longer I'm going to be able to do all this. So I can until I can't.

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  15. You've really had some great workouts the past couple of weeks so I can see why you would have an activity hangover! Despite that, you really had another great week of workouts, and way to rock your long run this weekend!

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    1. I'm still hungover, lol, and it took a lot of self talk to sign up for CrossFit this morning!

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  16. Well done for keeping moving! You're right, the couch is not a solution. Box step ups must be great training for the leg muscles. It's always great to see progress!

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    1. I'm really seeing results on the road--happy to be able to push that distance again!

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  17. Thats frustrating that too much activity can cause symptoms, but its good you have figured out some ways to keep them to a minimum! Way to go on that 12 miler!

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    1. Yeah, it really is frustrating! But as long as I can keep going, I guess I'll just have to learn to deal with it.

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  18. Oh no! So sorry you fell. That is never fun. I do take days off when I am supposed to (coach's plan) but also when I feel like it. Sometimes I feel guilty because I take too many days off (I need to stop comparing myself to others). Not looking forward to the snow. I heard we will get 15 inches? I hope I can get out safely on Friday morning for Atlanta.

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    1. I debated long and hard this morning about skipping CrossFit but ultimately, I signed up. I know I'll be glad that I went. I'm just tired from my long run yesterday. I hope you get out of town for your race!

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  19. You are so tough! I'm sorry that your RA is flaring up on you.
    I schedule rest days but sometimes end up still doing my stroller walks!

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    1. I work on my rest days and spend most of the day on my feet. Still, it's not like I'm exerting myself. Just moving.

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  20. You just can't keep a strong woman down! I know it's not quite the same, but I do find that moving helps my ankle and leg feel better on my hard days. It's so frustrating that trying to do things that keep you healthy and strong also lead to you feeling not so great. It takes determination to push through that.

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    1. I almost didn't go to CF this morning. It took me a while to convince myself to go. I'm glad I did but I am tired.

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  21. Yikes, sorry about the fall! I'm glad it wasn't too serious and you were able to finish the run :) I agree that getting a bit of movement, even if it's just a walk or some recovery yoga, usually makes me feel a bit better.

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  22. I do rest.

    I was supposed to run 11 this past weekend since I have a half in 3 weeks. I did not. But I enjoyed walking and spending the day with a friend ...in Montreal.

    Of course the weather was perfect...and next Sat? Cold again!! Boo!

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    1. I was hoping to get in one more 12 miler next weekend--we're getting snow tomorrow, so I guess I'll have to see what the weekend brings!

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  23. I had no idea you could have anything but normal soreness after working out/activity - what a sucky thing to have to deal with. RA, go away!!!

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    1. The harder I push, the more RA is pushing back. This is new for me. I see my rheumatologist this week and I'll be curious to hear what she has to say.

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  24. I totally believe that doing nothing as "rest" actually makes it worse. I notice the same with the one spot I have left from this summer (my left bum/hip) and my foot. Obviously I do not have RA so I don't know exactly how you felt, but I do think you are right to have done what you did this week!

    hangover cure? don't drink too much! ha! (is that what you meant??)

    we have signs of spring, as in the flowers are starting to bloom way too early!

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    1. That's not a cure, that's prevention, lol!!! And we're getting a big snowstorm this week. Boooo!

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  25. I always have at least 1 true rest day. It makes it easier on my body to have one full day where I don't run or do OTF classes. Right now that's Tuesday's for me.

    I know several people with conditions (not necessarily auto immune diseases, but conditions such as fibromyalgia etc.) who work out. Honestly I think you all are beasts! To be able to push through the discomfort and still get the workouts in is amazing!

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    1. I know more people who don't push through their pain--which is a shame because you actually feel better with movement!

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  26. Sometimes I get no soreness, but really achy muscles. Epsom salt baths are the closest I've gotten to a cure for that, so not hair of the dog I guess...

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