Tuesday, March 20, 2012
It's almost bedtime, and my pedometer reads 8728 steps. Yesterday I logged 8234 steps. The last time I broke 8000 steps in a day was February 9, when I really aggravated my hurt foot and had to start taking resting the foot seriously.
Right now, the foot feels as good as it did Sunday evening. This is after walking over a mile continually on my lunch hour both yesterday and today. Today I was able to jog up and down my hallway for a minute and a half.
The irritation of the tape on my right foot is becoming more annoying than the soreness. I take this to be progress. I'm beginning to think about having some full walks on the lunch hour, and maybe a short run later this week.
I'll still need to feel my way through coming back slowly. The last thing I want is to re-injure the foot and take another solid 6 weeks off from running. And it's unreasonable to think I can train to run a full 13 miles by April 29. But the prospect of doing 13 miles in a run-walk or pure walking mode by then seems possible. Not certain, but possible.
In other news, this morning I actually felt like exercising. I probably would have got it in even without the entrenched habit of exercising when the steel cut oats simmer.
It may be too soon to say I've totally weathered the storm, but right now this feels pretty good. I want to try to build on it, gently and slowly, while my paid work sucks up more hours between now and July.
With luck, by the time work gets really frantic running will be a good stress relief again. Just have to remember that "stress relief" doesn't have to mean "running further and faster than ever before."
Sunday, March 18, 2012
The standard advice of only weighing yourself once a week doesn't work for me. I need to weight myself daily and see those small changes, so I know when a current day's weight is an anomaly.
But the philosophy of only looking once a week is beginning to make sense to me with recovery from injury. Yes, that same troublesome foot I've been whining about since early February is still less than 100%. Progress is slow.
Reviewing my last blog from a week ago, I see that I tested the foot with a walk of 0.47 miles two weeks ago, and that was too soon. Last week I managed two 10 minute walks on my lunch hours Tuesday and Wednesday, for distances of more than half a mile each. Then Thursday and Friday it felt inadvisable to walk that far. But I was able to get short intentional walks in.
This morning I was able to do some light barefoot running up and down my hall for 30 seconds. It's clear that the foot is not yet ready for real running, but it's better than it was a week ago. This afternoon I gave it a test of walking "around the block," which is an odd shape where I live. That's 0.86 miles, which I covered in 13 minutes for a 15:11 pace per mile. I could feel the foot, but it didn't keep me from walking normally, at a pace about as fast as a normal walk was before I started running.
Tomorrow I'll see whether those 13 minutes were too intense. I don't think it will be a major setback, but it's possible that I won't be able to do as much tomorrow. I want to work up to walking for real again, but I don't want to find out how much is too much the hard way. That's a puzzle, but no more of a puzzle than maintenance in general.
I think every day this past week, I didn't feel like getting my morning exercise in. I got it in every day anyway, and was always glad afterward. Habit, and the stupid motivational trick of Spark Points are working in my favor there. The current routine includes pushups on the ball, kettlebell Turkish get-up/windmill combinations, KB snatches, deadbugs (as described by EMMANYC), and KB dead clean/squat combinations. I'm working with a 45 lb. kettlebell, and usually treat the deadbugs as a rest between the snatches and the dead clean/squat combos.
On another forum, I read about a Trifecta promoted by Al Kavadlo:
This is suppose to be a body weight exercise of squat, pullup, pushup. Start with one rep, pyramid up by adding a rep each set till failure, then pyramid back down. The pullups make it a non-starter for me, both because I can barely do three pullups under optimum conditions, and because I have no good place to put a pullup bar; but the alternative of Australian pullups looks possible for me. I can use an Olympic bar set on my weight rack at the appropriate height. I haven't done this yet, but I think I'll give it at try this coming week some time. The squats and Australian pullups wouldn't bother the foot, and I've already tested and found the foot is good enough for pushups.
On the weight front, the trend was sideways for most of the week. It dipped down for the weekend, but it's too soon to see whether this is a random fluctuation or a need to add calories back. I don't think I've burned all that many more calories in exercise this week.
Outlook for the half marathon on April 29: Unclear. A week ago, I thought it was a no go. Now, it seems possible that I might be able to walk it. Just have to live through the time between now and then and see what is possible to do with an acceptable level of risk.
Edited to add: Tried the trifecta this evening. I reached failure at 8 reps on the Australian pullups, then was close to failure on the downside until I got down to 3 reps. The hard part is that the rest time between pullups got shorter as the reps declined. I wasn't able to work up to enough reps to be challenging on body weight squats or pushups, but it's an interesting format to work towards being able to do real pullups.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
From the outside, this must look like a loss of focus and/or motivation. There certainly is some truth to that; but as is typical of life, there are a lot of moving pieces.
Work is crazy. When this happens, one of my natural inclinations is to take whatever free time I have as down time, not organized into doing anything productive. Hence, no blogs and few comments on other folks' blogs.
Progress on the eternal foot injury has slowed to where I don't notice it getting better each day. The bad foot is just kind of there. Thursday it felt enough better that I tested it with a walk. Went 0.47 miles in 8 minutes, and that was enough to convince me that this was too soon. The foot got worse, and it's only now about back to where it was before that.
I was getting discouraged with the lack of progress on the foot. It's only 7 weeks till my half marathon, and at this rate I'll just get my expensive technical shirt and not even line up at the starting line. Bummer. So, how bad is it? It's about time to look at some quantifiable stuff.
I donated blood last Monday. Blood pressure was 98/58, and pulse was 44. That's just about the same as last time, so far not affected by taking a month off from running. I wonder how long that can last?
Tonight I tested some light running up and down my hallway, with the tape still on my foot but otherwise barefoot. I could do 2 circuits without significant discomfort, which is better than the last time I tested. However, it's still not time to get out and train for running. :(
Okay, how about pushups? The last time I tested real pushups (as opposed to the pushups on the ball I'm doing each morning), I had to quit at 26 because the bad foot wouldn't support the pushup position. Did a test just now, and got 70 pushups in; and I quit because of upper body strength exhaustion rather than the foot. That's good news.
I also notice that I'm not remembering to ice down the foot or take ibuprofen regularly. That might be slowing the recovery, but it also means the foot isn't constantly reminding me how bad it's hurt. Perhaps that's a progress indicator of sorts.
So I guess it's going OK. I adjusted my calories up and appear to have stopped the weight loss; it remains to be seen whether the next adjustment will be an increase due to more activity or a decrease because of loss of fitness while I can't run or walk distances. But at least controlling the food is something I can do even with a bad foot.
Sunday, March 04, 2012
I see I haven't blogged in 3 days. Part of that has been being busy, part has been not having much to say that's relevant to fitness or nutrition. I've been eating to plan, the weight is kind of stable with a slow downward trend, and I don't see an immediate need to adjust my calorie range. The range will have to come up when I become more active, whenever that may be.
I got a bit bummed out because my bad foot got ever so slightly worse. This wasn't too hard to figure out. The foot had been feeling better, so I felt better about walking briskly and got more steps in. I tested running perhaps too many times. Big surprise, a slight move backwards in the recovery.
So this weekend I've been pretty slothful by post-SP standards. I get between 10 and 20 minutes of exercise that doesn't bother the foot in while I'm preparing breakfast. This makes the slow cooking time of steel cut oats important! And that's about it. I was under 5K steps yesterday, and will be again today.
I was rewarded with an ever so slight improvement in the foot, back to where it had been. When I took the garbage can to the curb this evening, I went out into the snow flurries without a coat. Without thinking about it, I ran back to the garage. It was okay, but the foot still isn't ready for running any real distance. Sigh. Getting the foot back to healthy status is like watching paint dry. It takes a long time, and I'd like to hit the fast forward button.
This is a bit of a downer when I'm reading blogs from people ratcheting up their running or walking mileage to distances I fondly remember running or walking . . . but which are now out of my range. I need to control my competitive urges, and my envy.
Tomorrow is a day off work in honor of a scheduled blood donation. The original plan was to run in the morning before donating blood in the afternoon. That won't happen. I'll find something else to fill my time, something . . . sedentary. That's scary. I could get back into sedentary habits very easily, and I don't know whether I can control my weight with diet alone if I let the activity go.
Oh, well. Guess I need to be sure I always have steel cut oats on hand, so I can get those 10 to 20 minutes in every morning. If that's all I'm going to get in, I'd better get it in consistently.
Thursday, March 01, 2012
On February 1, I ran 3.57 miles on my lunch hour. On February 2, I woke up with a foot that would not let me run.
February was a long month.
This morning, I was able to run the length of my hallway and living room twice before it became obvious that the foot won't let me run any substantial distance. This is improvement, but also a test of my patience. It's clear that I won't be able to go out and run tomorrow, and it's not clear how long it will be before it's reasonably safe to go for a two and a half mile walk on my lunch hour.
It's eight and a half weeks till the half marathon that I registered for. I will definitely pick up my packet and get my technical shirt; but it's not clear whether I will be able to complete the race course. It would take something of a miracle for me to run the entire course, as I can't start training until the foot is better, which almost certainly means less than 8 weeks of training starting from a base of not running at all for over a month.
For now, I still hold out hope that March will be the month when I start running again. But that didn't happen today, and it's not going to happen tomorrow.
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