Injury From Being a Stay-At-Home Dad

>> Saturday, August 01, 2015

No really. Here's an injury update.

I've mentioned this in passing in a few posts over the last month. Sometime in late May, I felt a little pain in my right forearm, sort of on the inside of my elbow. It was just a random ache. I was quite sure it was from hauling Charlie around in the car seat, carrying him as I do house work, helping Henry in and out of bed, etc. You know, basic Dad stuff. I was positive that it was a stay-at-home dad related injury.

In mid-June, it was getting a little worse. I was favoring my left arm for everything to let my right heal. I couldn't do any weight-bearing upper body strength exercise without it hurting, so I decided to not lift before or after our camping trip in Wisconsin and take 10 days off. I was 95% sure that would take care of it.

Now it's August, nearly 8 weeks later, and I still haven't lifted a weight. It's just as bad as ever.

I made an appointment with a Doc I like a few weeks ago. He couldn't get me in until this past week. He quickly diagnosed me with medial epicondylitis (otherwise known as "golfer's elbow [which sounds so lame]), and he told me about his bout with it too. We sympathized. I told him how I can't push the button on a drinking fountain without pain. I have to be careful how I open the fridge. It hurts like hell when I wash my face. Putting the drain stopper in the sink to do dishes is painful. Getting the boys in and out of the car is a nightmare.

He did some graston technique tissue work on my forearm. He stayed away from the sorest spot because he'd found that to not help when it's already "upset." He told me to keep icing as MUCH as possible, do a few forearm exercises (I'd already been doing some given to me by Laurie, the trainer at the Y), recommended taking fish oil for the inflammation, and told me to keep from doing anything that hurts it. Which is everything. I told him that I didn't think swimming was hurting it, but it COULD be, so he said to keep swimming for now, but that it might have to be cut out in a month. Of course I'm bummed because I've been making so much progress in the pool, but I've come to terms with a 1 or 2 month break - I'm pretty sure I can get back to the level I'm at now quicker the second time. Right? RIGHT?!?

From my Instagram: "Went to the Doc today. No joke: my stay-at-home dadding for
the summer has led to an injury. Already haven't lifted weights in 7 weeks,
and may have to stop swimming for a few months too."

And a few notes on other injuries:

• My sacrum/hip is achy, but holding fine. That was my big injury from 2 years ago. It got achy right after my 2 races at the Life Time Fitness Triathlon 3 weeks ago, but it's OK. Far from perfect, but OK.

• My saddle sore is all better. Remember the graphic images in this post? (Click that if you don't know what I'm talking about.) There's maybe a bump, but it's all good. Whew.

• I got really worried about some calf/achilles pain 2 weeks ago, but I think that's fine. THIS WAS A REAL SCARE. After taking it easy for a week after Life Time, I went on an easy-to-modeate 7 mile run. I'd gone 7.5 mies 2 weeks before, so it was nothing unusual. In the last mile or 2, my lower right calf (my GOOD calf - it was my left calf that I've had problems with since high school and more recently in 2011) got a little tight and achy. I was limping around that night. It was bad. I wasn't ready for another achilles fight. I foam rolled it good and took it easy. I tried running 2 easy miles 5 days later, and it got a LITTLE tight after nearly a mile, but it felt better. Three days later, I did a treadmill run with NO issues - I was hoping to do 3.5 miles, but I did 4.5 before stopping with no pain. So I think that was just a fluke. But I'm still watching it.

I was ready to be super bummed with my calf acted up: I can't lift weights because of my elbow, and that might keep me from swimming. I just had my saddle sore, so I was off the bike for a while. I got had that sharp achilles pain, so I couldn't run. I was down to doing practically nothing. But luckily the saddle sore cleared up quickly, and my achilles seems to be doing just fine.

Maybe another tri or 2 this summer, and then time to ramp up my miles for the "Loony Challenge" again this October (5K and 10K on Saturday, 10 Mile on Sunday the same day as the Twin Cities Marathon). Then, I might be taking 3 or 4 weeks TOTALLY off from running as I try to kick some of these damn injuries!


Friday Funny 958: Curing a Hangover (and funny links)

>> Friday, July 31, 2015

Good advice from Loldwell:

Like I do every couple of weeks, here are a dozen of my recent favorite posts from my tumblr page:

Athletic-Related Funnies:

Sweet gearing for a bike.

When I look back on a month of running when I've been injured.

Cars vs. Bikes.

In the gym.

Grocery shopping when hungry.

There are two kinds of people when it comes to swimming.

When at the gym.

[GIF] Sweet dive start in a pool. Kinda. OK, not really.

[GIF] Don't celebrate too soon.

[GIF] I love Lauren Fisher.

You what?...

Pool rules.

Who else does this when running?

Non-Athletic Funnies:

I literally LOLed at this.

How to hit someone.


A great pick-up line.

Group projects.

A pretty great "Dad joke."

Me at night.

How to get through life.


Pintrest fails.

Vegetarians live longer.

Surviving family.

Unintentional billboard pun.

And as always, stop by for funnies all week long. Happy weekend!!

Back with some injury/training updates tomorrow.


Friday Funny 957: The Muppets Are Back

And they have some great new ads:

Find more funny stuff on all week long.


Friday Funny 956: Heard in a Courtroom

Who knows if all of these are true or not, but they *are* pretty funny:

Lots more funny stuff on


Friday Funny 955: Beer Inventions

College Humor shared these 8 "Beer Inventions" that need to happen:

Check out for more funny stuff all week long.


Thirsty (for knowledge) Thursday: What Running Does to Us

>> Thursday, July 30, 2015

"National Running Day" was last month, and MizunoRunning shared this infograpic. It's not "hard science," but still kinda interesting:

Way to kick ass in the Midwest, Minnesota!

For more "Thirsty Thursday" posts that highlight workouts, body science, and all kinds of interesting information, CLICK HERE.


Semi-Wordless Wednesday: Some Summer Instagram Fun

>> Wednesday, July 29, 2015

It's been warm here. So Sunday night, Mama suggested we set this up:

"Kiddie pool time!!"

From my wife: "Summer fun!!"

"Lots of running and splashing!" Henry would go to the far east end of our yard, then run the
length of our yard to build up steam to jump into the pool. Over and over again.

"Sir, I'm with the city. You've wasted enough water with your kiddie pool. You're cut off."

BONUS: these are 2 that weren't Intsagrammed:

Charlie mainly crawled around the backyard and went for trike rides during the playtime.

A neighbor girl came over and Henry asked her to throw water at his face
as he jumped into the pool. This led to repeated hilarious photos.

Follow me on Instagram for more cuteness like this.


Blood Blister Saddle Sore [WITH PICS!]

>> Monday, July 27, 2015

Last week, I spent 6 days in a cabin on a lake near Alexandria with my family. I went on 3 longish bike rides over 5 days: Sunday, July 19, I went nearly 34 miles with a 21.0 mph average - the farthest I've went with an average over 20 mph! On Tuesday, July 21, I went nearly 22 miles while doing 3x5 mile intervals (20.9 mph into the wind, 22.1 mph half into the wind and half with the wind, and 23.4 mph with the wind).

After that 2nd ride, I had a little hard sore spot on my left "sit bone." But it wasn't bad. I took off 2 days later on Thursday, July 23 for a longer tempo ride. My left sit bone was sore pretty much right away, but it wasn't too bad. I did 30 miles total, with 25 at 21.33 mph pace. It hurt.

A few hours later, I had to look at what was so sore/hard on my bottom.


First of all, you should know that this photo is mere centimeters from being rated NC-17. Secondly, like with most photos of "injuries" like this, the photo didn't do it justice. It was a HARD lump as big as a good-sized raisin, and it had a white and bloody head. My brother-in-law was within ear-shot when I spoke into my iPhone to do a Google search for "blood blister saddle sore." I quickly had to tell him what was going on.

And if you're wondering where exactly this is on my body, it's one point of an equilateral triangle with the other 2 points being my anus and my testes. It's like the Bermuda Triangle: mysterious things happen there, men fear it, and it smells funny.

I found some good advice in this "SlowTwitch" thread. In it, the original poster asked what to do about a big "nasty blister/chaffe right behind Big Jim and the twins." Most everyone talked about popping it (I wasn't sure if I should do that or not), and it was debated if you should "squeeze" or not. People mentioned that the squeezing lead to some pretty horrible pain. But after that, it should feel much better.

I posed the question on twitter:

A few people said to not pop it, but most everyone said to pop it. Here were some helpful tweets:

Oops. Pic above. Sorry.

Thanks Joe, but I'm not that bendy.

Another "real life" friend sent me a direct message. I'm keeping her identity a secret (and that of her boyfriend) because it was a private message.

As you see in that conversation, I "operated" on myself. Let's back up 20 minutes. I got the needle-nose tweezers and some alcohol ready in the bathroom:

Also a big ass bandage for when I was done.

I popped it. I squeezed. I got out the "top" layer, but (as I sort of mentioned in that message on twitter to my anonymous friend) there was more beneath it that I couldn't squeeze out. Damn it. Here's what the toilet looked like when I was done:

The big bandage was going to be overkill, so I borrowed a smaller "pirate" bandaid from my Sister.
No "butt pirate" jokes. Please. OK, maybe just 1 or 2, but THAT'S IT.

The internet was right: it DID feel better right away after popping it. I was on the beach with my boys a few hours later, when something dropped out of my shorts:

I guess putting a bandaid on a hairy, sweaty patch of man means it won't stick long.

Sorry Matt.

That night, just before putting Henry to bed and about 5 hours after popping it, it looked like this:

Yep, now it's a crater. You can obviously see the top wound had drained nicely,
but you can see there's still something under it pushing it out. Yikes.

I didn't touch it after that. I tried to keep it dry. It started to go down and feel better. In fact, 3 days later (yesterday), I actually thought about going for a bike ride! I rode 21 moderate miles, and it felt FINE! It's now just a tiny bump that you can't see and you can only feel if I tell you it's there. (But nobody's hands are going down there, so don't ask.) I figured out what caused the nasty saddle sore. It wasn't the 3 rides in 5 days (that's a fair amount for me, but not unusual). It was hopping on this long, flat, boring bike trail in Alexandria where I NEVER had to get out of aero. I was in 1 position for the entire time in all 3 of those rides. I'm used to biking in the city where there are stop signs and stop lights, and I pop into my "hoods" quite often. Not on these rides; I was down in aero and I was stuck there.

So, here's what I've learned: (from some thoughts in the SlowTwitch thread I first found)
- Wear good, clean bike shorts.
- Use "chamois cream" if you need to.
- Get a good saddle.
- Don't "hang out" in your bike shorts after a ride; get them off ASAP.
- Give yourself a bikini wax. (I'm not going that far, but someone swears by it on the SlowTwitch thread.)
- And (this is what happened to me) vary your position in the saddle!
- If you get one: pop, clean, apply ointment, keep dry, and take a day or 2 off, and you'll be fine.

That was gross, but I hope it was helpful.


Family Vacation

>> Saturday, July 25, 2015

I spent from last Saturday through yesterday at a cabin with my family in northern Minnesota. Pharmie got a few days off work, but she had to go back Tuesday night, so the boys and I held down the fort without Mama for a few days. Here are a few photos from the week:

Breakfast and cartoons with the cousins.

Supper on the deck.

Showing off his pipes.

Another dirty wet hole. (Similar to the pics at the end of this camping post from last month.)

4 cousins on the beach with the 2 Mamas.

Rinsing the sand off Charlie before coming inside.

Naked baby and Mama!


Henry's "nest" in Grandpa and Grandma's room. It's 10:30 p.m. here and he's passed out.


Cozy with Grandpa (my Dad) for just a moment.

Boat ride!

Dad's jet ski!

After tubing with Henry.

Tubing with my bro-in-law Dave and nephew Ian. We had a good run, then someone
suggested trying to stand up. Notice Ian laughing, and me falling backwards.

That splash is me. Oops.

Remember this post last weekend from the ER? We had to take the staples out on vacation.
Here's what they looked like after being in Henry's head for a week.

It was a family affair. There were tears, but Henry did great. It felt a LOT better
right away - he never wanted me to touch the staples, but he told me I could
touch his wound an hour after pulling out the staples!

For the scrapbook. Yikes!

From my Instagram: "Charlie found Grandma's Smirnoff Ice. It hit him quick and hard."

Great Grandma with the Great Grandkids.

My folks with their grandkids.

The lake looked like THIS on our final morning...

... so I HAD to go for a swim!

I went on 3 long rides down a boring, flat bike trail over 5 days on vacation too. On the final day, I had some pretty bad soreness on my left "sit bone." I had a big blood blister saddle sore that was huge. I looked up some advice online, and took care of it. I took photos. I'll post about that on Monday. Get ready.



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