Thursday, May 10, 2012
I started coming down with a cold Sunday evening. This is my second cold since joining SP, and it's kind of different. I suspect it would have been a nasty one, back when I wasn't very fit.
From the glass half full perspective, I'm so much more fit that this cold doesn't knock me out. I can get my work done. I can walk briskly. I do need more sleep, which is hard to get in my current work environment; but I'm not totally wiped out if I only get 7.5 hours.
From the glass half empty perspective, the cold is messing with what I want to do. I skipped most of my morning exercises on Monday. Tuesday I tried to run, and came up with a tight calf. Okay. Tried to run again today, and the same calf came up tight about two and a half minutes into the run. Backed off to a walk.
Apparently my body needs its energy to fight this cold, and doesn't put as much into recovery from my last run. So I won't be running three times this week. I'll test it again on Saturday, and maybe that will work out. The calf was better today than Tuesday, so it might be well enough to run again on Saturday.
Meanwhile, I know the drill with getting non-running exercise. And I can still walk, and still get my 10K steps per day in. I just need to be patient, do what I can, and wait for when I'm able to do more.
Gotta be satisfied that I can do a few pullups, while I'm waiting to be able to run again. And I need to get to bed early more often. Which I should do, like right about now.
Sunday, May 06, 2012
Weekends are never long enough. No matter how much I get done, something that I wanted to do stays undone.
Saturday was a full day. My daughter had moved back out on Friday, so on Saturday I did a good vacuuming to pick up the cat fur. The results in the dustbin looked like they used to when the cat lived with me full time. Check that task off.
Then the lawn needed to be mowed. I didn't feel like doing that, so I went off to the local running store to talk about shoes and the Rochester Marathon. Ended up ordering a pair of shoes that they recommended. Because of my foot size, I don't have a lot of choice about what to buy from in stock, much of anywhere. If I'm going to have to special order running shoes, I may as well do so from someone who is they're supposed to know what they're doing.
I'm told the Rochester Marathon does not sell out, and that the Rochester Marthon/HM will be a smaller race than the half/5K that I ran the 5K in last Sunday. Given this perspective, I decided to defer the decision on entering the half until July. Entry fee doesn't go up until July 28, and after the first of July I should have a better idea what work will look like when I would need to train.
That went quickly enough that I had time to squeeze in a walk (because it was a non-running day) of about two and a quarter miles. Then, mow the lawn. Bleah.
Mowing the lawn turned out to be a 2 hour exercise in frustration, including about half an hour of breaks. The breaks were necessary for hydration and bladder relief; the length was necessary for sanity. Mowing the lawn in the spring when the grass is thick isn't one of my favorite activities.
That was Saturday. Sunday, it was church and some minor errands, then an afternoon run. I didn't note the temperature when I left, but it was 67° F (-1° C) when I got back. I decided to add the three small hill segments to my mostly flat 5K route, to be over 4 miles and over 30 minutes.
Warmed up by running up and down the street, probably less than a tenth of a mile. Started out, and wasn't in much of a groove. Tried to pay attention to my form. I'm still a forefoot strike runner, but I'm trying to be closer to a midfoot strike, with the heel touching down on every step. (I have conflicting advice on what the best form is to avoid injury, and this is my best guess at what will work for me.)
By the time I was running up the third small hill, I could tell that I haven't been running hills in quite a while. Made it up, and spent much of the last half of the run thinking about stopping early. The good news here is, cardio might be more limiting than my still-recovering foot at this point.
Got near home, and wondered about the time. Maybe it wouldn't be a full 30 minutes? Decided to run for 30 minutes, even if it meant adding distance. It turned out that I arrived in my driveway at 30:18, meeting my goal of running continually for 30 minutes. That's the first time I've done that since some time in January.
The run mapped out to 4.31 miles, which worked out to a pace of 7:02 per mile. Heh. No wonder I didn't have a sprint left in me for the last stretch. I wonder if paying attention to form makes me faster, or if I've just lost track of how to pace myself?
Then I figured I should take some more pictures, since the last ones I put up here are from November. I've lost between 4 and 5 pounds since then, I've become able to do pullups, and I can see traces of abs in the mirror. I fancy the traces of abs show up for the camera if I do a muscle flex pose.
Oh, and the pullups:
It's kind of a challenge to take a picture of yourself doing a pullup, when all you have to work with is a 10 second delay function on the digital camera. I'm using the neutral grip, because that's easiest and I needed to hold the top position for the camera, which had enough light to not generate a flash.
Tomorrow it's back to work, and not much time for blogging. I haven't got as much done this weekend for my paid job as I hoped, but it's been a good weekend for taking care of my personal life.
Friday, May 04, 2012
Today was a quiet day on the exercise front. I went a little light on the morning exercise. I walked 5K at lunch, which was possible because this was a work at home day.
The big news of the day was that my daughter went to get more stuff from her apartment, and found that the landlady was having the desired repairs done. Priority appeared to be given to daughter's apartment. So . . . by 1PM, my daughter and her two cats were out of my house. It will take a few days for her to shuttle out the rest of her posessions, but I no longer have to put my water glass where the cat can't knock it over.
The biggest surprise in this is that my daughter is happier to be gone than I am to have my space back. She was really a good guest for the past week; but we'll both be happier in the long run having our own space.
Thursday, May 03, 2012
Today I worked from home. This gave me the opportunity to run from home on my lunch, which lets me run a little further because I don't have to walk to the gym and back to manage the clothing change and shower.
The weather site said it was 84° F, but my recently acquired wireless thermometer said it was only 74° F (23° C) outside my window. Definitely weather for shorts and a tee shirt; I wore my only sleeveless running shirt, and noticed that it's a bit too big. Well, duh. It's a large I got from my employer a few years ago for participating in a Chase Corporate Challenge, and now I wear mediums.
I thought out my route, and added two of the three small hill segments to my measured 5K. All three would push the distance over 4 miles, which I didn't want to do for both time and recovery reasons. I could tell that it was much warmer than the weather I've been accustomed to run in, and there was a hint of the humidity we'll see more of in the coming summer.
What with one thing and another, I didn't try to run fast, honest I didn't. I paid attention to the foot, and paid attention to my form. When I got near home, I didn't have enough gas in the tank for an ending sprint, but that's okay. I was happy to be able to run again after running on Tuesday. I figured I might be running a pace somewhere in the 7:15 to 7:25 range.
It mapped out to 3.86 miles in 26:44, for a 6:56 pace per mile. I did not expect that result.
So far, so good. The bad foot is still not 100%. It reminded me yesterday that it wouldn't be a good idea to run on consecutive days. But today it's not complaining any more than it did Tuesday after that run.
I have run 3 times this week. Running at least 20 minutes at a time, 3 times per week, is one of my Spark Streak goals. This is the first time I've managed it since the bad foot sidelined me, and it feels pretty good.
I don't know whether I'll try to run again on Saturday. I'd like to prove to myself that I can actually run for 30 minutes continually, which I haven't done in over three months; but that also might be too much, too soon. I'll have to think about that. Maybe walk on Saturday and run on Sunday, avoiding running on consecutive days while building the mileage more slowly.
Yeah, that's what I probably ought to do. Much as I'd like to get back to running both weekend days, I don't think I'm ready yet. And if I can only have one of them, an extra day of rest seems prudent.
Tuesday, May 01, 2012
I hit a new post-SP low weight this morning at 160.6 pounds. This is puzzling. I could understand tying my previous low weight of 161.2 yesterday; that was the day after a race, and I was sure it was a dehydrated low measurement.
Even if today is a dehydrated weight, it's a lower dehydrated weight than I've seen since I've been tracking weight. I haven't weighed this little probably since a period in my early 20s when I wasn't weighing myself or concerned with my body size at all.
This is puzzling, because last week I added back calories to put my range where it was when I was running 4 or 5 days a week; but I've been running maybe 3 days in two weeks. I ran the 5K on Sunday, and ran on Tuesday before that, and the Saturday before that. To be fair, the past week I've been eating toward the low end of the range, while I was eating in the middle when I was running 4 days a week; but still! To be losing weight while eating like a runner, but not running much?
So what else has changed? I found other exercises to do while the bad foot kept me from running. Some of these have stuck around. I'm doing more kettlebell snatches each day than I did pre-injury. I'm doing some kettlebell dead clean/squat combos. I'm doing a lot more pushups. And I recently acquired a pullup bar, and now I can do a few pullups at a time. My upper body strength is better than it was pre-injury, and it feels like my cardiovascular endurance is as good. (That's hard to tell, because I can't run as far as I did . . . yet.)
Other things . . . my eating has changed a little qualitatively. The generic pop-tarts are gone. Oranges have become a staple. I'm eating less candy, though I still have some each day. I don't feel like eating junk to round out the day's minimum calories, and that hole has been filled mostly with fruit.
I suppose the next thing to do is start eating toward the middle of the range, as I transition back to regular running. It's possible that I'll even need to up the *bottom* of the range to 3000 calories, which kind of boggles my mind. (Current range is 2800-3150 calories.)
Maintenance is a puzzle. I'm not as worried about a new low now as I was the last couple of times this happened. I still feel good. I don't know if I can feel good at a weight below 160, but I'm close to finding out.
Meanwhile, I ran today. I covered 3.64 miles in 25:07, for a 6:54 pace per mile. Maybe being lighter helps that along? This was a run at lunch, along the river trail, where I run faster than I do from home. And it was near-perfect running weather at 53° F (12° C) and cloudy. But still, a pace below 7 minutes while I'm trying to do a sustainable run is a bit of a surprise. The best news is that I didn't need to ice the foot or take ibuprofen afterwards.
Between being able to run again, and being able to actually do pullups, I'm happy with my fitness. I think I'll be able to come to terms with my weight.
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