Wednesday, February 06, 2013
I know that I've sort of disappeared this week and much of last week. I have been dealing with issues surrounding my shoulder. I go to physical therapy three times per week. Instead of getting a lot better, this week my shoulder seems to be getting worse. I've been plagued with lots of pain since last Friday and thus I don't spend too much time on the computer. Hopefully we'll figure out the cause and I'll get back into my normal routine.
Sunday, February 03, 2013
I decided to go to deep water aerobics yesterday because I missed all of my friends in the class. I figured that I could just jog for the whole class if not anything else. Our instructor helped me to modify most of the exercises so that I could participate in at least part of the class. It was a lot of fun. My friend Slenderella61 decided to try the class and I was excited to see her there. She is such a great sport! Even though she had run in a race the night before, she still came to the class to work out. We had fun - especially when I dunked myself when my noodle "escaped" and hit me in the face. I just had to laugh at myself for bearing a strong resemblance to a drowned rat! Another friend, Sandy, also came to the class. I love it when my friends join in and participate in an activity that I love. It makes the activity even more fun. When the rest of the class did strength training, I went to another section of the pool and did 2, five minute fast jogging intervals. Then, I rejoined the class for stretches.
After the class was over, Slenderella61 and I did some jogging. I did 5 additional , five minute fast jogging intervals. Within each of the 5 intervals, I tried to incorporate a 1 to 1.5 minute sprint. That really got my heart rate up. By the time I was half way through, I was dripping with sweat. The sprint in the middle of the interval gave me the kick for which I have been searching. I am learning so much throughout this whole process! I was really tired after all of the exercise.
When we were finished with our jogging and swimming, Slenderella61 and I went to the therapy pool. The temperature in the therapy pool ranges between 94-98 degrees and is ideal for stretching out tired muscles. While we relaxed and stretched, we were able to chat. That is the reason I love to workout with a workout buddy. A workout buddy makes the time go faster and it also makes the workout itself more fun. Thank you Slenderella61 for working out with me!
Friday, February 01, 2013
Thanks to an interesting article that Slenderella61 sent me, I spent this week honing my aqua jogging routine. I'm not a land jogger due to 2 knee replacements but I can jog in the water. The article about water jogging stresses the importance of body position and stride when jogging in the water. I had the vertical body position down pat but my stride needed work. The first time I tried doing long intervals, I extended my legs too much and irritated my hamstring muscle and achilles area. I asked my physical therapist what to do and he suggested that I do a series of regular runner's stretches throughout the day until the tightness loosened. The stretches helped quite a bit but what really helped was the recommendations for body posture and stride in Slenderella61's article. I shortened my leg extension so that my leg motion mimics that of bicycling instead of actual land jogging. My pain went away almost immediately!
The next area of focus was on the intensity of my jogging and the length of my intervals and recovery periods. I started off by jogging at a medium speed for 5 minute intervals with a one minute recovery period. I did a warm up followed by 14 intervals. I allowed one minute of rest between the intervals and during the rest time, I also did some counter exercises. The counter exercises stretched out my muscles and helped me to prevent cramping and muscles soreness. I was not sore after this workout but I felt that I hadn't really pushed myself.
The next time I jogged, the area of focus was on the length and intensity of my intervals. This time I attempted to do 10 minutes intervals at a very fast pace with a 2-3 minute recovery time of slower jogging after every interval. After I completed the second 10 minute interval, I knew that this approach wasn't going to work for me. I finished my workout that day with a series of controlled but strenuous counter exercises. The result was that I got a good workout and I didn't have to be constantly watching the time clock.
Today, I returned to the 5 minutes intervals but picked up the pace significantly. Every interval was followed by a one minute recovery time of either slower jogging or counter exercises. I completed 12 fast paced intervals followed by a one minute recovery. Once again the counter exercises eliminated cramping and helped me fight muscle fatigue. I also made a point of drinking fluids throughout my workout. I was careful to warm up, cool down with counter exercises and follow my workout with gentle stretches. I felt tired (I had exercised for one hour and 50 minutes) but energized! I think I may have found a routine that will work for me.
I think one important lesson that I learned throughout this whole process is that body position and form are very important in preventing injury. I also found that experimenting with your workout to find what works for you, is the key to sticking with exercising. Once I found my pace, the workout moved smoothly. As you can see, I had to try several different combinations before I got it right. Aqua jogging is my primary method of working out while my shoulder heals. However, even when I am able to go back to my regular water aerobics classes, I think I will continue to do aqua jogging as a way to enhance my regular workouts. Once I found my "groove" , what I once thought of as boring and a form of punishment actually became challenging and enjoyable.
Monday, January 28, 2013
This morning my physical therapist asked what kind of workout I did before coming to my therapy session. I told him the I did aqua jogging. "But what other exercises did you sneak in?" he queried. Ah, he knows me well. I described the legs only jumping jacks, abductor sit and stretch, front leg kick ups, hamstring curls etc. that I added because I often get board just jogging. It is kind of fund to mix things up and work the muscles a variety of different ways. I asked him if he ever does aqua jogging. He smiled and said, "When ever I injure myself, water jogging is my "go to" exercise." He is a runner and you can often see him and his partner, a golden retriever, running in the area close to the Y. I don't suppose they allow his K9 partner to jog in the pool too when his owner has a sore muscle! LOL Hey! I just came up with a new idea! Aqua jogging for dogs and their owners! It is the perfect solution when one or both partners has a sports injury!
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Friday, Saturday and today were very sad days around our house. Our 15 year old male K9 son, Tiberius, was unexpectedly diagnosed with pancreatic syndrome and a large cancerous tumor on Friday afternoon. The vet gave us four different medicines to administer to the poor, sweet soul but his illness escalated past the point of no return and he was gravely ill by Saturday afternoon. Brave little Tiberius was losing a valiant fight and hubby and I positively couldn't stand to see him suffer. Hubby agreed to meet the vet at the hospital while I turned into a total basket case at home. Life as we know it is now forever changed. His actual passing was very peaceful and painless for him. It was wrought with pain and tears for us. I haven't stopped crying since his diagnosis on Friday afternoon. We had 15 precious years with our beloved K9 son and he won't ever be forgotten. Tiberius (Ti for short) was the funniest,smartest, most playful and empathetic animal we have ever had the pleasure to come across. We adopted him from an animal shelter from West Virginia on April 01, 1998. We took him home inside the front of my jacket. He was spoiled and loved from the day we met all the way until the day we had to put him down. We may have saved him and rescued him that April day, but we were the ones who were ultimately saved and rescued. He leaves behind his mate of 14.5 years, Traci. Traci was rescued several months after Ti and the two became a team in all things until his passing yesterday. I feel like there is a giant hole in my chest where my heart used to be. Thank goodness we still have Traci to hold us together although her health is also failing. She is sixteen years old and getting very frail too. Right now as we are wracked with pain and loss, we keep trying to remember all of the wonderful times and the fun we had. It is very hard to do when the pain is so intense. Perhaps as days pass, things will slowly improve. Thanks for all of those wonderful years, Ti. You were the best buddy two lonely humans could have been blessed to have. We will always love you and you will be forever in our hearts..
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