Sunday, April 01, 2012
I got up this morning, and couldn't decide how good my bad foot was. It was either about the same as yesterday morning, or a little worse. Test jogging up and down the hallway revealed slightly tight calves and quads (!?) after yesterday's run. The tight calves are no big deal, I dealt with that a lot in the first round of running training. A good day of walking will cure that. The slightly tight quads were a surprise, because my quads never bothered me the first time around.
Upon reflection, the quads might be because I've also been doing kettlebell squats, and adding a run on top of that might have been enough for the quads to say they've worked. Okay. And the left quads were complaining just a bit more than the right; they're probably a shade weaker as a residual from the bad thigh I was dealing with in January. This can be worked through.
The foot, though . . . I went to church without taping it. The shoes I wear to church don't have very good arch support. By the time the pre-service bell choir rehearsal was done, the foot was aching. Yeah, I got to spend a lot of time sitting down, and that took care of the ache; but it was a reminder than I'm still in rehab mode, not in full training mode.
But even in rehab mode, the Stupid Motivational Tricks start coming into play. Late this afternoon, I saw that I only had about 3600 steps. So I went for a 5K walk, same route that I ran yesterday. Walking, it took 44 minutes and change for a 14:10 pace per minute, very respectable for a walk. After the walk, the foot is better than it was after the run yesterday; but it was clearly the right decision to not attempt running today. Perhaps tomorrow after work; we'll see how the foot feels then.
I did use the 5K to test what I've been reading about GPS tracking. I put the iMapMyRun app onto my almost-new iPod touch, and told it to track my route. It got the time right, and it tried to track distance. The distance it came out with was 3.57 miles, on a route known to be 3.11 miles. That's a 14.8% overstatement of distance, and the app thought I was walking a mile in under 13 minutes. The resulting map looked like the journey of a drunken cartoon character ignoring the laws of physics.
That kind of result was about what I expected after reading a good discussion of the problems with GPS tracking posted by a smart fellow on the Half Marathon Spark Team. But it's always nice to have personal observation to confirm an argument that seems to make logical sense. I'm glad I figured this out with a free app; I won't be paying for a GPS service on the strength of wanting to track runnning.
Saturday, March 31, 2012
It snowed over night, but melted off the paved surfaces. This morning it was 35° F (3° C) with mist. Good running weather. The bad foot felt so good, I took today as the first day back to running.
I deliberately limited myself to 5K, on a relatively flat route I had originally mapped out for a virtual 5K. The idea was to run light and easy, and not try to run fast. Periodically I reminded myself, try to *not* run fast. Jut go easy and pay attention to that foot.
I ended up running 3.11 miles in 23:06, for a pace of 7:26 per mile. While that's not a particularly fast training pace for me, neither is it particularly slow. Before the injury, I'd have been content with that pace for a 10K distance.
The foot gave me some minor aches during the run, and I wondered whether I should slow to a walk before finishing. If it had been 72°, I probably would have; but at 35°, running is how I stay comfortable instead of cold. So I finished the planned run and hoped I was making the right decision.
Stretching reminded me that it's been almost two months since I ran. It will take a few post-run stretches for the muscles to feel normal there again. And the bad foot was aching after the run, but not crippling me. Four hours later, the foot is not aching as much as it did immediately after the run; but it is aching more than it did yesterday. At this point, I don't know whether I overdid things, or a good night's rest will bring the foot right back. I'll find out tomorrow.
Clearly, I'm not yet ready to run two days in a row. Tomorrow will be a non-running day, even if the foot feels great. Monday, I'll have to see what the weather and my available time look like.
Perhaps this will turn out to be a test that was too soon; but I am hopeful that this is the start of being a regular runner again.
Friday, March 30, 2012
It's Friday, and the end of the work week. This week I had a lunch walk of over 2.5 miles every day. Time was, that wouldn't be an accomplishment. Now, it is. I felt like running on every one of those walks, but I restrained myself to only running some very short segments.
The better news is that my bad foot feels better right now, on a 5 day streak of over 10K steps, than it did a week ago. This is progress. The foot still doesn't feel totally normal, but I haven't taped it up since Sunday and it's getting better anyway. I have been icing it down, but I don't know how much of that has been habit rather than necessity.
It's four weeks to the half marathon. Sunday there is a 15K that is designed as a training race for that HM; I am not entered in the 15K. If the foot is doing well this weekend, I may try to do a run; but it won't be anywhere close to 15K and I'll stay on mostly flat terrain the first time out. That, and it will be a solo run without competition making me run harder than I should.
I have really missed running.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
The lunch walks are back.
Yesterday I walked 39 minutes, today 37, for 2.81 and 2.68 miles. Doing the math, that turns out to be a shade under 14 minutes per mile. The weather was seasonable, i.e. colder than the drop-dead gorgeous weather of last week, and it encouraged very brisk walking. The time is coming when the weather will be too warm to walk that fast on my lunch hour. Still, it feels good that I *can* walk that fast, even in near-perfect walking weather. Assuming that a full week of this doesn't make the bad foot get worse, the lunch walks are back. What I did yesterday and today is right at the limit of what I have time for. If the foot is feeling this good or better Saturday morning, I may try a longer walk then.
I'm not quite ready to try a real run. I'm still taking ibuprofen, and I still need to ice down the foot periodically, but I haven't been taping the foot and don't miss that support. This is progress, and it's not taking a full week to see it.
Today also marks the second day in a row of over 10K steps. Technically, it's over 11K both days; but I'll count the streak (assuming it turns into one) as a streak of 10K+ steps. I know there will be days when I don't break 11K.
I'm encouraged. I still might not be able to walk a half marathon by the end of April, but I will be able to walk regularly. And the time for running will come; I just don't know quite when.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
It's Sunday, and time to reflect on progress in healing my injured foot. There is progress, though never as fast as I'd like.
Monday, I broke 8K steps for the first time in quite a while. The foot was feeling good enough that I could walk to get around normally, and I stretched out lunch walks of over a mile Monday through Friday. Wednesday was the highlight of the week, when I tested running with a tenth of a mile in the evening.
Thursday morning, the foot had regressed a bit. It hadn't got enough worse to keep me from breaking 9K steps on Thursday and Friday, with lunch walks of about a mile and a third; but it kept me from running. Saturday evening, I started out on an intentional walk and the foot convinced me that wasn't a good idea. So I finished the day yesterday with only 6659 steps.
Today is Sunday. Sunday has always been a tough day to get steps in, and an easy day to rest the foot. With under 4K steps in the late afternoon, the foot felt pretty good. I went for a longer walk, that mapped out to 1.90 miles in 27 minutes. Yeah, that's fast for a walk; I ran some short segments to test how things felt. There was an odd feeling in my right ankle, of all places; and while I could run a bit on the foot, it didn't seem like a good idea to stretch the short running segments into real running distance. By the end of the walk, I felt the need to ice down the foot again.
Progress, but not yet time to train for a half marathon.
On the bright side, I'm not having to tape the foot all the time any more, and the foot isn't always reminding me to reload on ibuprofen. I think I'm in the period of working up to normal walking distance, and it will be a while yet before I'm ready to work on getting some decent running distance.
On the "caution" side, I'm not yet willing to go to work without taking my tape and ice bag. I might not need them on any given day; but then again, I might.
Progress, but not there yet. We'll see what the next week brings.
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