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More Intervals, Looking Forward to Running

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 78F when I started, 80F when I got back. (Call it a range of 25C to 27C.)

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 9/14/2012 10:42AM

    It pays to think it through before you commit
and find out it is not the best fit for you at this
time. Keep working at it and the solution will
come to you.

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SMILINGTREE 9/14/2012 9:57AM

    It's always hard to decide whether to train for more distance, or better time. Just keep taking care of that foot!

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KRISZTA11 9/14/2012 4:30AM

    It is great you were able to do the 5K without complaints, I hope the improvement continues!
Later when your foot is well enough to run continuously, you may still consider keeping walk breaks to prevent a relapse or future injuries.

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WATERMELLEN 9/13/2012 9:26PM

    Great planning!! You're thinking it through for long-term gain!

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ONEKIDSMOM 9/13/2012 9:10PM

    You are on your way. I've cut back to the minimums this week, partly due to the allergy season (started sneezing 3 minutes after crossing the Buffalo Run finish line and have been drugged up ever since)... and partly taking an easy recovery week.

This weekend? Long, slow distance on the menu. Savoring the thought.

Spark on!

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Tuesday rehab musings

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NWFL59 9/12/2012 1:05PM

    Glad to see you are making progress with the foot issue and are taking it slow and giving yourself time to properly heal and thinking in terms of your long term goals and overall enjoyment of the run. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MSLZZY 9/12/2012 9:31AM

    As long as you continue on your current progress,
that foot should continue to recover. Take it one
day at a time, as I know you will.

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MAGGIE101857 9/12/2012 6:35AM

    Okay, can I be jealous that you can do a 9 min mile coming back from an injury, and I haven't even come close without???

Okay, jealous moment aside -- I am very proud of you!!! Super excited for you!!! And yes, being able to just run is so much more important than nailing one event!! Stick to your plan -- it's working!!! emoticon

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ONEKIDSMOM 9/12/2012 6:19AM

    Having a go-to enjoyable activity is a better goal than a one-time thing. Sounds logical. And practical. And good for you for sticking to the plan... it does pay off!

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GREENGENES 9/11/2012 11:00PM

    Way to go!

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BMI, a year later

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PLMITCH 9/10/2012 11:59AM


My BMI is at 25.8, THAT CLOSE to being "normal". My goal is to be at "normal" by 09/28/2012, which is my 1 year anniversary since my WLS.

I know how great it feels!

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MSLZZY 9/10/2012 9:53AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PHEBESS 9/9/2012 3:26PM

    Great job! Time to celebrate - maybe a new pair of running shoes, or workout clothes, or a shiny new water bottle!

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WATERMELLEN 9/9/2012 1:02PM

    Celebrate the milestone!! It's part of what keeps us motivated to maintain. And there's nothing wrong with giving yourself credit.

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NWFL59 9/9/2012 12:39PM


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CELIAMINER 9/9/2012 12:37PM

    Congrats on your one-year milestone, and thanks for inspiring those of us coming behind you!

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ONEKIDSMOM 9/9/2012 10:58AM

    emoticon And I thought Polly Perfectionist was camped in my yard! She's sitting on your shoulder, brother!

Maintenance is in the eye of the beholder and you are questioning your eyes. You are maintaining TODAY, and it doesn't much matter whether it's been a year, a month, two weeks... today's what counts.

Still, it's good to have a retrospective, and those milestones give us them. Congrats on Healthy BMI for a year! emoticon

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GREENGENES 9/9/2012 10:39AM

    Congratulations on one year in the healthy zone. Enjoy the milestones as they happen. Every step matters.

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JANEMARIE77 9/9/2012 9:48AM

    emoticon doesnt matter how you look at it you are doing it

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More intervals, need to back off a bit

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RG_DFW 9/9/2012 6:46AM


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ANDI571 9/8/2012 11:05PM

    I think it is as important to talk ourself down, as it is to talk ourself up. Listening to ones body is so important. Good job!

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WATERMELLEN 9/8/2012 9:49PM

    Motivation to do what you need to do: that's they key for all of us. Sometimes less is more.

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    Yes, it's great to strive for your goals as long as you don't push too hard. The good news is that you're well aware of what's realistic for you, so you can avoid injury.

I'm with you on the motivation thing. Getting and staying motivated at all times is an elusive goal. I am learning that sometimes I just gotta push through and just do what I can.

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ONEKIDSMOM 9/8/2012 9:09PM

    Hey, a pep talk gets you to do what YOU need to do today. It that's SLOW DOWN, it's still a motivational tool.

emoticon Tomorrow I shall think of you, but listen to my own body. Funny, I don't have that testosterone issue. However, as you well know, I hate to lose... I am a competitor!

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Thursday Intervals

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Today was a work at home day. Got a slow start to the morning, and didn't get a walk in before sitting down to do sedentary work. Because I was light on steps in the morning, I decided to do walk-run intervals at noon. The thinking here is that I could cover more distance, and hence more steps, than pure walking for the same amount of time.

I did have a bit of a misgiving with the way my bad foot felt first thing in the morning, but after a morning of mostly sitting, and wearing stability shoes, the foot felt okay. So off I went, promising myself I could slow to a walk any time the foot really bothered me.

Yeah, right. I've got the iPod app working right now. The cues are right on time for the walk 2 minutes and run 1 minute intervals. Set out to do a 5K, and did 9 cycles of walk 2, run 1.

It was all I could do to keep myself from running the tenth time the app said, "Next interval. One minute. Steady." But I did it. Total time, 33:09 for a 5K distance, or an average pace of 10:40 per mile. It was warm and humid, so I let myself back into the house to chug some water before doing my stretches.

Right now, the foot isn't complaining any more than it did this morning. I'll see how it is tomorrow, which wouldn't be a running interval day in any case. Best case, more intervals on Saturday. More likely, I should wait till Sunday.

Got an email today advertising a 5K on October 28. This same race, last year, was my first 5K. Dang, that's tempting; but I don't know if I'll be up to running 5K continually by then. And I'm pretty sure that if I'm in a competitive field, I won't be able to make myself slow down for intervals. I'll let that sit for a couple of weeks and see how the rehab goes.

So far, the rehab is like weight maintenance. I can't tell on any given day how I'm doing; I need to see a trend. Unlike weight, I can't generate a single number that objective says I'm better or worse one day than another. I'm stuck with subjective evaluation of how the foot feels. Yeah, I can measure how fast or how far or how long I run; but that's rather not the point. I already know that I can run longer than is wise and aggravate an old injury.

So . . . I do what I think I can, and hope my thoughts are neither too cautious or too optimistic. Meanwhile, there's always the nutritional side of things to play with. And the sleep side, which has trumped writing blogs more days than not. But I'm still alive, still maintaining, and still rehabbing.

I once was a runner. I will be again.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHIERKEN 9/8/2012 11:39PM

    Of course you're still a runner. You're a runner in rehab--one of the smartest kind : )

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MSLZZY 9/7/2012 7:39AM

    emoticon when the time is right!

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RG_DFW 9/7/2012 5:42AM

    yes, and you'll get back there

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ONEKIDSMOM 9/6/2012 9:17PM

    Like you said before... like keeping a boat at anchor... must steer.

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BLUENOSE63 9/6/2012 9:13PM

  You are a runner! All runners, including myself, have had the injuries that may slow us down but don't defeat us! Keep pushing that wall

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