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Broken Streaks

Saturday, February 04, 2012

This morning my right foot hurt. I don't know precisely what injured it, thought I strongly suspect that it's banged up from running. This is somewhat frustrating, as my bad left thigh has improved to the point where I feel good about testing it with a 6 or 7 mile run.

I don't feel good about taking my right foot out for a 6 or 7 mile run. Even 2 miles is out of the question.

On advice from the longer term runner in my office, I started icing down my foot last night. After breakfast at McD's with daughter this morning, I bought a flexible bandage to hold the ice pack on. Then I went to my volunteer job doing tax prep and quality review of tax prep.

I was on my feet most of 4 hours, but with not as many steps as you might think. At the end of the 4 hours, my foot hurt even when I wasn't moving it. I came home, took an ibuprofen, and strapped on the ice pack. When the cold of the ice became more uncomfortable than the ache of the foot, I took the ice off and could function; but taking a long walk seemed foolish. So I'm resting that foot this evening, and I'll see how it's doing in the morning.

As I write this, my pedometer shows 5564 steps for the day. There is no way I'll get in 10K steps; it's unlikely that I'll even get in 6K. I did not have 10 minutes of cardio today, either. In theory, I could do 10 minutes of kettlebell swings, cleans, and snatches with a relatively light weight and not bother the foot; but if I were going to do that, I should have done it this morning before taxes. SP will think I got 10 fitness minutes in because I did my KB snatches and TGUs this morning; but I didn't get 10 minutes of dedicated cardio.

So . . . my 202 day streak of 10K steps will be broken. So will my 209 day streak of exercising at least 10 minutes a day. (I could claim exercise for some of the things I did, but I won't. They were all things I'd do even if I weren't tracking fitness.) On the bright side, when these streaks start again (hopefully tomorrow), SP will track the new streaks accurately from when they really start. That wasn't the case to date because SP didn't start counting until I told it to, which was after the streaks actually started.

My weekly streaks are still alive. However, if the foot isn't healthy enough to run on tomorrow my 16 week streak of running 20 minutes 3 times a week is likely to be broken next week. If that's the case, I should cut my calorie range tomorrow in honor of not being able to run as much as I have been.

This is a bummer. But I do need to let that foot heal, and if it isn't better by Monday I need to call my doctor. And I need to eat less if I'm exercising less, particularly since I've already got rid of some of my larger clothes.

Oh, well. At least I know what I need to do before my girth expands. It remains to be seen whether I can do it well enough to prevent my girth from expanding. Chances are, things aren't as bad as they look to me right now; but I do need to live through this and do the things that need doing so I can get better.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 2/5/2012 6:23PM

    Take care of that foot! If you take care of it properly
now, you can always, as you said, start a new streak.

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KRISZTA11 2/5/2012 5:55AM

    I'm sorry about the foot, that's too bad!
I feel uncomfortable breaking streaks too,
but it happens (for me, it is mostly "Don't eat mindlessly in the evening").
However, the streak info always shows the longest streak and % of successful days, and that is still good to look at.
Take good care of yourself and get well soon!

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FROGGGY13 2/5/2012 1:54AM

    I am home with a bad cold and coughing, so I'm breaking an exercise streak too. You've got to heal first: it's just a day, and a streak is a tool for you, not something that takes precedence over your health.
i hope your foot gets better very soon.

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RG_DFW 2/4/2012 10:22PM

    Streaks are set up to be precarious - one thing goes wrong and it wrecks 200+ days. I know mine will eventually come to an end and I've tried to prepare myself mentally for it. When it happens, I'll do the same as you which is to start another.

Sorry about the foot, I hope it gets better very soon.

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ONEKIDSMOM 2/4/2012 8:49PM

    Heal. First, don't get injured. I didn't get 10,000 steps in today, either... I shoveled snow, which was plenty of exercise, without steps adding up. 13.5 inches, says the TV weather dude. Wet, heavy stuff.

Take care... as you said, things look not so great now, but with a good night's sleep, they'll get better!

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Non-running day

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Yesterday was a long day. Up early, long work day, volunteer work after paid work. And a 3.57 mile run on my lunch, at 48 F (9 C) with winds gusting up to 30 mph out of the SSW. What with one thing and another, I was up over an hour past my bedtime.

After two consecutive days with lunch runs, today was a planned non-running day. Good plan. My right foot was telling me I shouldn't be running on it today. It seems fine with walking, but I was a bit light on steps anyway. I'll close the day out under 12K steps.

Tomorrow is another planned non-running day. Hopefully the tweak in my foot wil be all better by Saturday, when I want to run 6 miles or so. That's further than I've run in one stretch since New Year's Eve day; but my bum thigh is feeling better. As I write this, I realize that I haven't taken any ibuprofen since the middle of the night last night; and that was for the foot.

I did get a walk along the river in today at lunch. Temperature was near freezing, and snow flurries were melting on contact with the pavement. It was a nice enough day for a walk, and I reflected on how I was taking it easy. It would have been nice running weather, too; but it was good weather to walk, think, and pay attention to how the legs feel.

In theory, I *could* run tomorrow, take Saturday as a non-running day, and try to do a long run on Sunday. I don't think I'll do that. I really, really want to get to where the legs just feel normal. Right now, two non-running days in a row looks like the thing to do to get there.

That, and getting to bed earlier today. Good night.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RG_DFW 2/3/2012 10:04AM


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_LINDA 2/3/2012 7:09AM

    Your body will let you know when its time, its good to be cautious, don't want to make it worse! Icy streets mean little outdoor time here. Will be happy when this strange winter will be done. Have a wonderful weekend!

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ONEKIDSMOM 2/3/2012 6:50AM

    A man, a plan... no, wait, that was Teddy Rooseveldt, wasn't it?

An extra rest day is a good thing... Spark on!

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MSLZZY 2/2/2012 9:32PM

    I think that would be wise. You need to
keep those feet in good condition.
Take care!

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DEBBIEOLMOS57 2/2/2012 8:42PM

    listen to your body it knows best

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52 Run

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It's the last day of January, statistically the coldest time of year here. Today did not conform to the statistical pattern.

I went out to run at lunch when the temperature was 52 F (11 C). That's shorts and tee shirt weather. I wore a long sleeved shirt anyway, and it was no big deal. There was snow on the ground, but sidewalks that had been cleared well yesterday were dry today. Sidewalks that had been poorly cleared were wet. Sidewalks that had not been cleared had sloppy slush.

The sloppy slush kept me away from the river trail, so I ran sidewalks downtown. Had to slow down to pass pedestrians in narrow places, avoided several puddles, stepped in at least one puddle; but it was a pleasant run.

It mapped out to 3.46 miles in 25:05, for a 7:15 pace. That's not as fast as I have run, but quite respectable for dodging puddles and walkers while determining my route on the fly.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RG_DFW 2/1/2012 9:15AM

    Much better weather! I bet you can't wait until Spring...

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Listening to My Body

Monday, January 30, 2012

Last night I lay down to go to sleep, and felt a sharp pain in my chest. That's odd, I thought; you're not supposed to hurt when you go to bed. Got up this morning, and it was less pronounced but still there.

So I poked around SP articles on atherosclerosis. I couldn't tell whether this was chest pain that's a danger sign or not. I'm 56 years old, and I have a family tree with quite a bit of atherosclerosis and stroke in it. On the other hand, I've been running and my cardiovascular health ought to be pretty good. But then there's the cautionary tale of Jim Fixx . . .

So I called my doctor. Got in for an appointment at 4 this afternoon. By this time, I have a day of this sensation that isn't really at the level of a serious pain coming and going, being more noticeable with exercise. Blood pressure is good, I think I remember 108 over 68. Pulse is 48 beats per minute. EKG comes out fine.

The doctor pokes me in the chest and asks is that where the pain is? Sure enough, she was able to poke in a place that replicated it exactly.

This turns out to be a sore pectoral muscle. What have I done that might have used the pecs more than normal? Nothing . . . oh, yeah. It snowed last night. I cleared a lousy half inch of snow from my driveway an hour before bedtime. The major motion was pushing the snow shovel with my right hand, using the pec that ended up sore.

I feel dumb for not figuring that one out on my own. OTOH, I did get an education in what the dangerous kind of chest pain is supposed to be like, so maybe I'll recognize that if it ever happens.

We've got to listen to our bodies. Problem is, after a lifetime of not listening, some of what I'm listening to is just background noise. Figuring out what's important and what's background noise is a bit more challenging than just paying enough attention to hear the body.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YCOOLIO 1/31/2012 6:47AM

    I'm glad your chest pain was nothing serious. But I think you are on to something. For some reason, during this weight loss journey, I've been checking in with my body a ton more (maybe it's because I'm doing all this yoga right now?) and it's amazing what you hear! As a result, I've been taking care of a half dozen little things that have been nagging me for years. Last week, for instance, I went to a podiatrist for the pain in my right toe (when have I not had pain in my right toe, running long distance for 30 years??) and she told me that I have early stages of arthritis there and that I need orthotics that will stem that tide. Since I noticed the shoulder pain I seemingly always feel, I finally was inspired to go to a chiropractor and it turns out to be chronic tension that I've been inflicting on myself forever but sort of "hunching" my shoulders all the time when I'm stressed. After two months treatment, for the first time since I can remember I have great mobility in that shoulder, when I used to feel "oh, I have a bad shoulder, there are things I can't do". It's been so good to tune in.

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KRISZTA11 1/31/2012 5:29AM

    It was a very wise choice to have it checked.
Any new chest pain may be dangerous - now you know it and you can recognize if it comes back.


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BELSNICKEL 1/30/2012 9:32PM

    Good idea getting it checked out. now you won't have to woory about it.

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WATERMELLEN 1/30/2012 8:39PM

    Absolutely you did the right thing by getting it checked out: can't ever feel foolish for doing that!

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RINA2002 1/30/2012 7:55PM

  You absolutely made the right choice to get it checked out. Most people don't, and some of them don't live to second-guess their decision. I'm glad you're fine.

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RG_DFW 1/30/2012 7:53PM

    But its amazing how many people don't respond to symptoms. I'm glad it was overuse of the chest muscles!

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EMMANYC 1/30/2012 7:51PM

    Good for you for paying attention to the discomfort and going to see the doctor. Better safe than sorry.

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ONEKIDSMOM 1/30/2012 7:29PM

    Yeah, the line between feeling foolish and feeling relieved is sort of thin. Those of us who are learning late in life what "symptoms" are... well, it's an education, for sure.

Glad it was just a "secondary" muscle, as opposed to the primary ones that pump the blood.

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Sunday Weather Forecast and Run

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The forecasters predict 12 out of every 5 snowstorms here.

The forecast for today was clear in the morning, then getting 1 to 3 inches of snow in the afternoon. Sometimes the forecasters get it right, and running isn't as good on fresh snow. So I got out of bed more or less on time, and hit the road around 7:15 AM. The plan was to run around the section to the west, a known distance of 4.64 miles.

The temperature was 27 F (-3 C), with WSW wind at 8 mph. I've run in similar conditions, so there was no guessing game about what to wear. The road shoulders were mostly damp, with the remnants of overnight snow flurries and a few icy patches that were easy to avoid. I ran in the traffic lane a few places where the footing was better than the shoulder, but only really needed to be in the traffic lane twice to avoid ice. Fortunately, there was no oncoming traffic either of those times.

On the last part of the circuit, there was some traffic on my street. I opted to add a side loop of residential street to get out of it, more for mental health than out of necessity. That side loop added almost a quarter mile. Then when I got to my driveway, I could hear traffic behind me. Rather than cross in front of traffic, I kept running a bit longer till the traffic cleared, then crossed the street and came back.

The net result of that was that the distance got increased to 5.03 miles, in 36:45 for an average pace of 7:18 per mile. I got a split of 12:32 at 1.72 miles, which means I started out at 7:17 per mile; and a split of 27:30 at 3.75 miles, for a pace at that point of 7:20. I'm pleased with being that close to consistent, with the slightly slower pace being on the hilly part. [Edited to correct typo in time.]

This afternoon was nice and sunny. Typical weather forecast; I could have run in sunlight and 36. Oh, well. By 7:30 PM, there was a half inch of snow in my driveway, and now the forecast is calling for 1 to 3 inches overnight. For sure it will be a lousy running surface tomorrow; but tomorrow will be a non-running day, so I don't care.

In the past week, I've run about 17 miles. My thigh is still not 100%, but it continues to improve. I did not feel it at all during my walking cooldown this morning, so it's getting to where I believe I'll be able to run that half marathon on April 29. Maybe I'll even be able to add back in a long run next weekend.

Have to be careful about how fast i add the mileage, though. I'm back to where running is fun, and I don't want to push so hard that it becomes a chore.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RG_DFW 1/30/2012 10:29AM

    My fingers are crossed for you

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KRISZTA11 1/30/2012 3:05AM

    It's often hard to figure out what's best based on weather forecast...
But you got your run in anyway and enjoyed it, so you figured right : )
Great run!

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DGIRLBABY13 1/29/2012 8:32PM

    WOW!! Good for you - that's awesome that you didn't let the snow stop you - and PHEW I wish I could run 5 miles in 35 minutes - what an inspiration! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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