Saturday, April 07, 2012
This morning it was 30° F (-1° C) and sunny. It had been a week since my first run back from injury, and my foot was feeling a little better than a week ago. Even though it might have been better to let the foot rest, I couldn't let this great running weather go to waste.
I ran an easy 3.48 miles in 25:42, for a 7:23 pace per mile. I tried to pay attention to my stride form and the bad foot. The foot bothered me at first, then didn't, then ached again during the walking cooldown. I had visions of a repeat of last week, where the foot went backwards and it took me most of the week to recover. So far, it's not that bad. The foot hasn't ached as badly today as it did after last Saturday's run.
I even got the lawn mowed for the first time of the season, prudently taping up the foot in recognition of the fact that my lawn mowing boots don't have good arch support. What with one thing and another, I'm over 15K steps for the day. This is the first time I've been over 13K since the foot was injured.
Tomorrow I'll tape the foot again to go to church. Hopefully all will be well, and I can try another short run some evening next week; but it won't be the end of the world if I have to wait a week, or even two weeks for the next run. I've shown that I can still run, if the foot will tolerate it.
It is now three weeks to the half marathon I signed up for. It is very unlikely that I will be able to run that course. I am hopeful that I will be recovered enough to run part of it and walk part of it; but the call on whether to attempt it may come down to the weekend of the HM.
If I have to choose, I'd rather be able to run 3 miles 3 days a week in May than run a half marathon on April 29. I hope it doesn't come down to a choice between those two options; but if it does, I know which way I want to choose.
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Today was Day 10 of a streak of 10K+ steps per day. It feels good to be able to walk, to not have to deliberately limit steps, to have that stress relief at lunch, and to put in a sub-15 minute pace even while reading an e-book.
What doesn't feel as good is the bad foot. After 10 days of this, I think it's slowing down the healing. The obvious course of action is to break the 10K step streak and back off a bit. Dang, I don't want to do that. I want to run!
But . . . things are busy at work. The first priority in taking care of myself has to be watching when I go to bed so I get enough sleep. After that, comes getting enough exercise. (Nutrition is also important, but I'm not having any difficulty eating to plan.)
I don't know if I can make myself give up the lunch walks, and with a lunch walk I'm going to break 10K steps on a work day. I certainly can refrain from running; the question is how much restraint is required. It's pretty clear that I can't handle running 3 days a week right now. I tentatively think I'll try running again on Saturday, a week after that first run; but I need to feel improvement in the foot.
I don't know which is more frustrating, not being able to run or being able to but not sure how much I can handle without re-injury. Just have to fumble my way through this as best I can, I guess.
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
This morning, the bad foot felt as good as it did last Friday. Not better, but just as good. If I were free to arrange my life around exercise today, I would have gone running this morning and cut the walking steps because the foot isn't really normal yet.
In the world I really live in, I have to go to work. Work is rather busy right now. To run on my lunch hour, I need to stretch the lunch; and that isn't practical. But there was enough stress in the office job that I had to get out. So I took a walk at lunch, which was okay for exercise and good for stress relief. Then I got some quality work time in late in the afternoon, which means less evening time for myself.
I chose to devote my evening time to a relaxed dinner and Sparking. I *could* have gone for a short run, but I didn't. I have several reasons for this.
With over 11K steps in for the day, the bad foot is reminding me that it isn't back to normal. It would be an overstatement to say it hurts, but it is reminding me that it's there.
I'm also struggling with getting enough sleep. Running would take an hour out of an already shortened evening, and decrease the chance of getting to bed on time.
There may be a bit of slothfulness in the mix. I feel like doing some sedentary things, maybe even getting a small amount of work done for my paid job.
But the big reason I'm not running today is fear. I'm afraid of aggravating that bad foot and not being able to walk briskly for a few weeks. With the way work is going, that would really suck.
So there it is. Maybe I'm being wise, maybe I'm being over-cautious, maybe I'm making excuses for myself. I don't know. Tomorrow and Thursday I have evening commitments that will preclude running. Friday I'm taking the afternoon off, so maybe then; or maybe I won't get another run in till Saturday.
That would put me at a week between runs, but that's the way life is for me right now. I can live with this for now, as long as I can get a stress-relief walk in on my lunch hour.
The running will return. It's just not returning as quickly as I had hoped last Saturday.
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.
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