Sunday, February 12, 2012
Sunday is traditionally a day of rest. It's normal for me to have to make a deliberate effort to get 10K steps in on a Sunday. So it's no surprise that Sunday is a day when it's pretty easy to meet a goal of getting less than 5K steps. As I write this, the pedometer says 3988 steps. I'll break 4K, but I won't come close to 5K.
Exercise that doesn't hurt the bad foot remains a bit of a puzzle. I did my pushups on the swiss ball. I re-evaluted Turkish get-ups, and came to the reluctant conclusion that they're out. But I can still do the kettlebell snatches, with hand to hand swings for a warmup; the feet are stationary during those moves.
This afternoon it occured to me that I can do windmills, I just can't get the KB to the top with a getup. So I did a clean and press to lift the 45 lb. KB, surprising myself that I was actually able to do the press on the left side. Did 10 windmills, then without thinking about it let the KB down in a snatch maneuver, switched hands, and did a right hand snatch as a mount for the 10 windmills on the right side. Maybe I'll lose the ability to do TGUs with 45 lbs, but but at least my obliques will stay in shape while the foot heals.
Later on it occurred to me that it's only the push off the back foot for the lunge rise to standing (and the reverse descending move) that bother the foot. I can do partial TGUs, through the press, crunch, situp, kick the leg through, and rise to a knee. So I did 5 of those on each side this evening. Maybe if I do these every day, I'll actually still be able to do 45 lb. full TGUs when the foot is better.
I haven't figured out cardio with a bad foot yet. Bicycling would be a good thing to try, but not in the snow. Not to worry for today; I cleared snow from the driveway twice. But that doesn't answer the question of what can be done regularly.
Staying on track with the reduced food required mindfulness today. I was hungry part of the day, but preventing boredom eating was a bigger issue for me. If I'm honest with myself, I'm really not as hungry now as when I was running; but it took several days for me to see this.
I'll call today a success. The foot is not hurting, though it still shows signs that it will if I do anything to annoy it; that's good enough for today. Tomorrow it's back to work, and I'll have to see what I do to minimize foot aggravation during a workday.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Last July, I wrote a blog entry about SP's stupid motivational tricks: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
I concluded that because the tricks work, they aren't so stupid after all.
This week I learned that sometimes the tricks really are stupid, precisely *because* they work.
The specific trick that showed this to me (with some help from the SP community) was the Spark Streak. Specifically, it was the streak of 10K steps per day. I'd had a streak of over 200 days of 10K steps until I broke it for my current foot injury. After 4 days of under 10K steps, and seeing the doctor to determine what to do about the foot, I started another 10K step streak. I got to 3 days of that streak yesterday. I was pleased that I was able to get my walking back up to 30 continual minutes, though still unsatisfied with my pace.
After my 30 minute walk, I saw a comment from EMMANYC on my blog from Thursday. She offered the advice that I shouldn't be walking so much, and supported that advice with some examples from her own history. That comment made me think about a couple of things differently.
First, my doctor had told me to walk slowly enough that it didn't hurt. That's a fuzzy instruction, as I'm never sure how strong a sensation needs to be before I consider it to be "hurting." So I'd kind of spaced it off. But if I think about it, walking a mile in 19 minutes (Wednesday) or a 18:36 (Thursday) really did produce a strong enough sensation in the foot that I probably shouldn't have done that.
Second, it made me reflect on how I felt when, and after, walking with the hurt foot. There is the knot in my right calf that needs to be stretched out. There's the way I get small aches in my knees from the messed up gait I walk with. It feels like the bad foot is changing my gait enough to potentially screw up other parts of my legs. Maybe the foot is bad in the first place from an altered gait caused by a strained calf that I had in January.
Viewed from that light, walking this much, this soon, is really dumb. And I was doing it because of that 10K streak. That's a really STUPID motivational trick.
These ruminations were reinforced when my foot indisputably hurt last night. I soaked up 9 hours of sleep (a sign that my body needs to heal), and the foot still hurt this morning. It hurt so bad that I didn't do my TGUs; a test with no weight showed that the foot would not let me do a TGU with the (imaginary) weight on the left side. That was scary. I resolved to get less than 5K steps today, and to really baby that bad foot.
So I did what I needed to do this morning, met daughter at McD for breakfast, and by noon I only had 2K steps. Afternoon was volunteer tax prep work; last week I got 6K steps on Saturday, and trying to hold the steps down ought to make 5K plausible.
At the VITA site, I noticed my pedometer was missing. So I don't know how many steps I took today, total. But my foot feels much better now than it did this morning. I made an effort to remember to take my ibuprofen every 4 hours, and I sat down and elevated the bad foot when it was slow at the site.
I did shovel light snow twice today; both times I used the technique that doesn't register many steps on the pedometer. I reasoned that if the pedometer wasn't registering steps, this wouldn't be very hard on the foot. That turned out to be the case. Assuming the snow is still light overnight, I'll use the same technique tomorrow morning. I could wish for no snow at all, but I've really had it easy this winter with snow. At least there was no mound of snow to toss the new stuff over this morning. There will be a small mound to toss the next batch over tomorrow morning.
I'm leaving the goal of 10K steps per day active, so that streaks will be tracked. But for now, my real goal will be 5K or fewer steps per day until such time as I can walk with a normal gait first thing in the morning with bare feet. That may take a week, or it may take longer. I just have to live with that, and eat little enough that I don't add a pile of fat before I can get back to serious exercise.
Meanwhile, I'll keep looking for what I can do in the way of exercise that doesn't bother that foot. So far, I've found pushups on the swiss ball, and kettlebell flow drills. Both of those are more natural as strength training than cardio. I should try swimming and the elliptical machine; but those require getting into the gym, which is significant time overhead right when my time is pretty crunched for a variety of reasons.
Oh, well. I'll muddle through this. Eventually, I will run again; but if it isn't soon enough to run that half marathon I've signed up for, I'll have to pick up my packet and accept the fact that I bought an expensive technical shirt.
Oh, yeah. A huge to EMMANYC for telling me something that I didn't want to hear, but did *need* to hear.
Thursday, February 09, 2012
The bad foot still hurts, but it's easier to bear when I know it's not a stress fracture. Tape it up in the morning, get to work, do what I need to do. Today I managed to walk for 21 minutes at lunch. It mapped out to a slow 18:36 pace per mile, but that's faster than yesterday. I don't know if the foot is really better, or if I was just more gutsy on the early part of the walk today.
It's day 2 of my reduced calorie limit. At the end of the day, I have consumed 2332 calories and I'm satisfied. It's a bit of a surprise to have adapted so quickly, considering that a week ago my minimum was 2800 calories!
Observation: Even when tracking, much of eating is habit. Today I had to pay attention and stop some of the habitual eating while changing the timing of other habitual eating.
Observation: Scarcity makes things more precious. This evening, I enjoyed my greek yogurt more than I did when I was maintaining on 3000 calories per day.
Observation: Food choices are more meaningful with lower calorie limits. It's no longer a case of deciding that I need another 150 calories of anything so I may as well have those Doritos; now it's a case of deliberately refraining from snacking on the craisins I took to work so I can have a banana in the evening.
Observation: This comes back to one of the first lessons I learned on SparkPeople. I must track. everything. I. eat.
I can do this on the nutrition side. The exercise side is still pretty frustrating, but that is going to get better. Meanwhile, I will do what I need to do to stay in the game with the Springiest Maintainer challenge.
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
This morning the doctor's office called. No stress fracture shows on my x-rays, so the game plan is tape the foot for arch support, do the other obvious stuff, and wait for it to get better. If it's not better in a couple of weeks, call the doctor again because that might mean it's a small stress fracture that just didn't show up.
Today, with the foot taped, I was able to walk 20 minutes at lunch. That mapped out to a S...L...O...W 19 minutes per mile, but that's all I could handle. I really had to take my walking in small pieces, but that's better than not being able to walk at all. I was able to get ice from the cafeteria at work to fill my ice bag, so I could ice the foot down while sitting at my desk.
As I write this, I have 11,893 steps on the pedometer. Just about all of them were cheap steps, but that's still better than I've done since last Friday. Hopefully, this will be the start of a long streak of 10K steps per day.
I'm beginning to think that I will be able to run again, but I'm not yet willing to predict when.
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