Saturday, September 15, 2012
It was sunny and 53°F (12°C) out this morning when I got around to my walk-run intervals. I dithered on what format to choose. The bad foot has complained, but not loudly. It's ready to do more than I have done, but not a whole lot more. I thought about walk 1, run 2; but I wanted to go for 30 minutes, and that would be running 20 of them. Thursday, on walk 1, run 1, I ran a bit more than 13 minutes. Hmm. I settled on a plan of 12 cycles of walk 1, run 1:30.
It was chilly when I started walking for a warmup, but I'm not a rookie. I know that this will be good tee shirt and shorts running weather, and I'm dressed appropriately. Had my iPod app to tell me when to switch, and set off to see if the foot can handle things.
The first running interval felt long. That's not a huge surprise, given that I've been running short intervals only for the past couple of weeks. Then the second walking interval felt very short. After that, the beep to slow from run to walk always came too soon. Mr. Testosterone was sitting on my shoulder telling me I could run to that intersection, or the top of this hill, or whatever landmark; and the beep to slow to a walk would come before I'd get there.
I slowed to a walk anyway, every time. Mr. Testosterone is not my friend right now.
I knew that I'd need more distance than a 5K, so I added in a couple of small hills. As chance had it, I got to run up part of each of them and run down part of each of them. Along about the 9th cycle, I realized that I had more distance left than I could cover in 30 minutes. Mr. Testosterone suggested I just keep doing walk 1, run 1:30 till done. The bad foot gave me a twinge during the 10th running cycle.
After the 12th running cycle, I slowed to a walk. When the app beeped for the start of the 13th running cycle, I kept walking. Mr. Testosterone is not my friend right now. I'd rather do a little less than I can than do enough to knock myself out of the next set of intervals.
Ended up covering 3.78 miles in 32:04, for an average pace of 8:29 per mile. The bad foot doesn't want to run any more today, but is fine with walking. I can handle this.
The go forward plan is to repeat the walk 1, run 1:30 scheme for two more workouts, probably Tuesday and Thursday of next week. I'll see how the foot does before deciding how many cycles of this to put in.
. . . and now I'm contemplating a 5K on October 28. It kind of looks like I could be ready to run that far by then. I'll give it another two weeks to make a decision, though. Once I plop the entry fee down, I'm committed. And in an organized race, Mr. Testosterone is likely to talk me into running the entire route even if that's not the wisest thing for me to do.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
It's Thursday, a work at home day. The plan for this noon was to do intervals of walk one minute, run one minute, for a 5K distance. I've got my iPod app to put cues in my ear when to switch between walking ("slow") and running ("steady"). It was sunny out, and the thermometer read 78°F when I started, 80°F when I got back. (Call it a range of 25°C to 27°C.)
The run itself was like a replay of Tuesday. The bad foot complained a bit on the early intervals, then quieted down. It felt like I could keep going, but I stuck to the plan and quit when I got to 5K. That covered 3.11 miles in 27:21, which meant I quit running part way through the 14th running interval. Average pace was 8:48 per mile, which seems good enough for intervals.
As I was doing my post-run stretches, I realized I was really enjoying them. This is a far cry from where I started out, accepting stretching as a necessary evil. I don't know when the attitude change happened. It kind of sneaked up on me, and today I realized that I don't like it when I have to rush through the stretches. I'll need to put some thought into what that means in terms of how best to plan future runs.
Took my shoes off to putter around getting lunch, and my bad foot wasn't complaining any more than it did before the intervals. I think I've found a level that is tolerable for right now, and it's more running than was tolerable a week ago. :)
Of course, now I'm having visions of running a 10K on Thanksgiving Day, and eventually (at some indeterminate future date) running a half marathon. The first seems plausible, but I recognize the second as being a testosterone fantasy right now. If it happens, fine; but I shouldn't push hard to try to make it happen quickly.
The puzzle now is where to take the intervals. I could go for more time, which would mean more distance. Or I could hold the 5K distance constant while increasing the running intervals, which would mean less time. Or I could increase the running intervals while holding the time constant, which would also mean more distance. Whichever I end up deciding, I need to control how fast I add effort to the mix.
I'm also about to the point of making a weekend "run" longer than the weekday version, because weekdays are intrinsically time limited. I'll have to think about that for Saturday. I'm torn between trying 15 or 16 walk 1, run 1 intervals or doing walk 1, run 1.5 or walk 1, run 2 for some amount of time that adds up to not very much more running than I did today. Have to think about that.
It feels really good to be out there making progress toward running again. The hard part is not trying to just go run 3 miles, right now, today. Okay, I can follow a plan. If the plan says intervals, I can comply with it. The really hard part is figuring out what the plan needs to be.
I guess between now and Saturday I need to look at the 5K Your Way plans and how fast they ramp up, then design something that ramps up about as fast. Just gotta talk myself into doing the analysis, then set the plan up so I have limits to stay within. Even if I'm making the limits up as I go along, that's got to work better than going with as much as my cardiovascular system wants to do.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
After last Saturday's walk-run intervals, I decided to wait three days. The bad foot felt reasonable Sunday, and good enough to try again on Monday. But I stuck to my plan, and waited for Tuesday to go back to intervals.
The mantra is to listen to my body. The puzzle is to figure out what it's saying. Sometimes the complaints are serious, sometimes the complaints are inconsequential. I'm not yet an expert in determining which category any given body complaint falls into.
This morning the bad foot felt as good as it has in the morning for a couple of weeks. Yeah, the pushups still irritate it a bit. But I was able to do the light jogging up and down the hallway. So the plan of walk-run intervals at lunch was on.
I set out on my 5K route, expecting to adjust it to be shorter. The bad foot complained quietly during some of the earlier intervals, then it warmed up to the exercise. I figured I wanted more time and distance than Saturday, but probably not a full 5K. So I chopped some distance off the route at a later point.
I ended up doing 13 cycles of walk 1, run 1, covering 2.90 miles in 26:07, or 9:01 per mile on the average. Hmm. That's a little faster than Saturday. Got home, stretched, drank some water. When I took my shoes off and walked to the shower, the bad foot felt as good as it did first thing in the morning!
I think I'm making progress. For this week, I'll stick with walk 1, run 1, and maybe try to cover a full 5K on Thursday. I'll see how Thursday goes before making a decision about Saturday.
The bad news is, the bad foot is still not 100%. The good news is, I see progress. I can handle the progress being slow, as long as it keeps happening. I just have to practice moderation in running.
With the walk 1, run 1 intervals starting Saturday, I've been wearing my newest pair of running shoes. That puts a cumulative 5.3 miles on them. I'll be wearing these shoes on Thanksgiving Day for a 10K; perhaps by then I'll be able to run continually again.
But it's more important to make progress toward running continually than to force myself to run for 10K on a date certain. I've had a lot of time to think about this, and I really want to be able to run regularly more than I want to nail any specific competitive event.
Sunday, September 09, 2012
One year ago today, I weighed in at 182, right at the top of the healthy BMI range. It was the first time I'd been at a healthy BMI in decades, and it was kind of a non-event on my way to goal weight.
Today, I weighed in at 161. I've been in the healthy BMI range for a full year. I don't know when the last time I was in this range for a full year was; maybe the early 1980s. It was certainly before I heard of BMI, and before I started being concerned about my weight.
I've been maintaining a weight right around a 22 BMI for several months, mostly without thinking about BMI. My crystal ball says that trend will continue. The crystal ball has been known to produce incorrect forecasts, but I want to believe this one.
A year ago, I was looking forward to goal weight. I got there less than a month after getting to the healthy BMI range, and kept losing. I transitioned from trying to lose weight, to wondering where I should stop losing, to trying to stop losing, and ultimately to successfully making the weight go sideways.
I suppose today marks the first anniversary of the first major milestone on my transition from weight loss to maintenance. I doubt it will look as important a year from now as it does today. A year of real maintenance will be the first serious milestone. I'll have to think about when I consider "real maintenance" to have started. When I achieved my initial goal? Or when I stopped losing quickly? Or when the weight stopped drifting down and started going truly sideways? Oh, well. I have a few weeks to think about that.
Saturday, September 08, 2012
Today I did more walk-run intervals, making that three days this week. I got ambitious, and decided to up the ante to walk 1, run 1. I set out to do this for a 5K route. Not too far along the route, it became apparent to me that keeping this up for the full 5K wasn't a very good idea. So I bailed on the length, but still kept up the intervals. Ended up traveling 2.40 miles in 22 minutes even, for 11 cycles of walk 1, run 1.
The smart thing to do would have been to bail on the intervals after the second one, and just walk the 5K. The other smart thing to do would have been to quit the running intervals after 9 cycles, and just walk the rest of the way home. But I wasn't that smart. I was out in a light rain, and it's a lot more comfortable to run in the rain than to walk in the rain. So I came as close to running as I do, these days.
Now I'm pretty sure I need to let the foot rest for two days, and not do intervals again until Tuesday. There's no disaster of aggravating the foot right now . . . but if I keep it up I'm all too likely to push to hard. So it's time to force myself to back off.
My sister says she writes blogs as pep talks to herself. I've just realized that I'm writing this one as an anti-pep talk, to get myself to do less rather than more. That's kind of weird on a day when it feels like I didn't do all that much physical activity, and I had to go take an evening walk around the block to get my 10K steps in.
Oh, well. Gotta find the motivation/will power/wisdom to do what I need to do somewhere. If writing a blog helps me sort out reality from testosterone-produced visions, writing that blog is what I need to do.
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