Saturday, October 13, 2012
Saturday morning, and the bad foot felt pretty good. Tuesday and Thursday I had done 10 cycles of walk 1, run 2; today I set out to do 8 cycles of walk 1, run 3.
I looked at the thermometer - 34°F (1°C). Good running weather, but I wasn't so sure about walk/run intervals. So I dithered and did other things till the temperature rose to 40°F (4°C). Then I dressed like I would for 32°F and set out to do my intervals.
The initial walking warmup was chilly. It was so chilly, I did a light run for the last 100 meters or so of the warmup. Then the walking interval was cold. I didn't really warm up to the exercise until the 3rd or 4th cycle.
If I'm still doing intervals when the weather gets cold, I may have to change from walk/run to run/walk, so I can start with warming myself up.
I noticed that the running intervals were longer than I've been doing. I could do them, but I knew I was going further. This wasn't as bad as last year, the first time through 5K training; I expect that by the third time I'm doing walk 1, run 3, I'll be ready to keep running beyond 3 minutes.
Other than that, the intervals went well. I landed on a nice mix of running up hills, down hills, and on level ground. I was able to run all the way up one of the hills that was too long for a 2 minute running interval. I think I was running a little slower than I did on the shorter intervals, but that's okay. The idea is to build strength and stamina in the foot, not to set speed records.
I adjusted my route to be just a bit longer, and it worked out well. Today's route mapped out to 4.25 miles in 32:56, so I actually got home just before the 9th running interval would have started. That works out to an average pace of 7:45 per mile, which is right around what my pace was the first time I ran 35 minutes continually.
Progress is slow, but there is progress. I think I *could* run a 5K in two weeks, but I *shouldn't*. Not signing up for that one is looking like a very good decision.
Now comes the interesting part of the rehab/training. The time I'm spending is as much as fits in the lunch hour when I work at home, and anything longer will be a weekend only workout. It remains to be seen whether I can work up to running a 10K by Thanksgiving Day. I'm pretty sure I'll be able to do a 10K in run/walk intervals, but I'm less certain that I'll be able to convince myself to stick with intervals in an organized race.
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Tuesday is a work from home day, which means I can run at lunch more easily than when I'm in the office. I had skipped Saturday's intervals to give the bad foot time to rest up, and today was time to be back on schedule.
It was a nice autumn day, with frost overnight but sunshine and 55° F temperature at noon. This is perfect running weather according the SparkPeople.
Because I had to give the foot an extended rest, I didn't stretch the intervals. Kept them at walk 1, run 2 for 10 cycles, on the same route as I had done the last two times. I did give in to Mr. Testosterone just a little, running the rest of the way home after walking for one minute the 11th time; but I knew when I started that the 11th run would be under a minute.
Distance mapped out to 3.99 miles in 31:41, for a pace of 7:56 per mile. Hm. I didn't break an 8 minute mile the first time training till I was running continually. IIRC, I was around 8:05 on the walk 1, run 4 intervals last year.
I wasn't paying attention to the bad foot after the run, so I didn't notice how it reacted to being barefoot while I got to the shower. It didn't grumble loud enough to compel my attention, and that's a Good Thing. I'll see how it is for the rest of the week, then decide whether to hold the intervals the same or go to walk 1, run 3.
I'm thinking that passing on the 5K on the 28th was the right decision. If I were committed to that, I'd be counting weeks and figuring out how to train to run a 5K all the way in two and a half weeks; but it's better for me to take it slow.
Next organized race is on Thanksgiving Day, a 10K. That's an ambitious distance for where my foot is now, and I keep reminding myself that it will be okay to run intervals in an organized race. We'll see how well I listen when we get that far. Maybe I'll need to skip my Tuesday intervals or run that week, to rest the foot for a major effort. Have to think about things like this in advance, in order to keep Mr. Testosterone under control.
Sunday, October 07, 2012
On October 7, 2011, I weighed 174.0 lbs. This beat my goal weight of 175, and I declared myself to be in maintenance. My immediate concern was to figure out how much to eat to maintain my weight instead of losing or gaining. I wasn't terribly worried about losing a few pounds while learning this, because I'd weighed as little as 165 as a young adult.
It took a few weeks to learn how to not lose, but I got it done. Here's what my weight has done in my first year of maintenance:
Yes, I was losing weight for the first half of this year of maintenance. But I wasn't losing weight like I did in the weight loss phase. It will be pretty obvious when I found SparkPeople from the weight graph of 1/1/2011 to present:
I spent much of the past year feeling my way to where I ought to maintain my weight. Along about January, I thought I'd stopped losing near the first of December, at the 165 lb. mark. It turned out I was still losing slowly, and today I'm comfortable in the 160-163 range. I'm calling 162 my goal weight now, but I'm not sure that will last long term.
In any event, I'm happy with the last half year or so of having a clear sideways trend of weight management. The journey with fitness has had its ups and downs, and it was a bit of a surprise that I was able to adjust what I eat well enough to maintain my weight in spite of the changing amounts of exercise I was able to do.
On the At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance Team, the oft-quoted statistics are as follows:
- The likelihood of regaining weight when you reach goal is 80% - 95%.
- When you've maintained for 2 years the likelihood of regain drops to 50%.
- When you've maintained for 5 years the likelihood of regain drops to 27%!
From a statistical standpoint, I'm still at risk of regaining. But I don't believe statistics are the best way to look at individual cases. I'm a bigger fan of BREWMASTERBILL's concept of keeping your head in the game: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
My head's been in the game for the past year+. It's an open question whether I'll keep my head in the game long term, but it looks good for the immediate future.
Saturday, October 06, 2012
I was going to do walk/run intervals today. The plan was to do 10 cycles of walk 1, run 2, which would be a repeat of Tuesday and Thursday. It didn't happen.
I woke up to raindrops on the roof. The rain stopped before full daylight, but the temperature remained very autumnal. It was a much better day for running than for walking, so I was glad it was an interval day instead of a walking day. But the bad foot grumbled noticeably during my light jogging up and down the hallway while fixing breakfast.
I debated. I wanted to do those intervals, and I believe I could have done them. But the foot is clearly a little worse than it was at the start of the week. I ended up deciding it was time to give the foot another day of rest. I'll see how it is tomorrow, and either do the intervals tomorrow or just skip today entirely and start again on Tuesday.
Other than the mild disappointment of missing what passes for a run these days, it was a pretty good Saturday. I didn't accomplish much, but I didn't feel pressured either. I reflected that it's a good thing I bagged the 5K on the 28th; it's a lot easier to take an extra day off for the foot if I don't have a commitment to run in three weeks.
It's okay if it takes me into November, or even into December, to get to where I can run continually. The point is to get there, not to take a run at it (pun intended) and come up lame.
Friday, October 05, 2012
Some people are naturally sympathetic, empathetic, caring, social . . . I'm not sure what adjectives I'm looking for here. The kind of person I'm thinking of has lots of friends, and their friends are comfortable sharing important parts of their personal lives.
I'm not that kind of person. I'm an introvert, and it shows to other people. I have to work at being supportive of other people. Folks that I don't know very well just don't walk up to me and tel me their problems. Usually.
Today I chance-met a fellow employee in the hallway. She is someone I've worked with a little. We respect each other professionally, but have no personal social life in common. Probably the deepest non-work conversation we've had was when she noticed I'd lost weight and asked how, and I pointed her at SparkPeople. I forgot to tell her my user name, and I don't know what hers is.
Today she just blurted out that she has diabetes. She doesn't look like the type to get diabetes, but you know there isn't a specific look. She has lost some weight, her doctor wants her to lose more. She has been terribly out of shape, to the point where she couldn't walk up a flight of stairs without breathing heavily; she's better now.
And she's totally scared of the diabetes. Doesn't know what to do. For whatever reason, she saw my loss of weight as an indication that I could tell her something about what to do. So I did my best. Reassured her that diabetes can be managed. That she can learn to do what she needs to do, and it will just become part of her.
I told her about changing your lifestyle to be healthier, and how it can't be done all at once. I told her about eating more fresh produce, and how learning to do that was a gradual process for me. And I told her not to be overwhelmed with all the changes she should make, just pick one that is possible and do that one. Then when that has been accomplished, pick another one. And so on.
And yes, I remembered to warn her that I don't know very much specifically about diabetes. I tried to make my pep talk more about motivation, drawing heavily on things I've learned on SparkPeople.
Out of the blue, she wanted a hug. (People don't look to me for hugs. It. Just. Doesn't. Happen.) Said she'd be back to talk to me more later. She wasn't back today, and might not be; but I won't be surprised if she is.
So this evening, I'm stopping and wondering. What is it that made me someone to turn to? Did I say enough of the right things, and say them in the right way to help her? How would I cope if *I* were the one getting a diagnosis of diabetes?
It's episodes like this that take my mind off my small problems like rehabbing an injured foot. Worse things can happen in life than have happened to me, and today I got a glimpse at one of them.
Tomorrow I'll go out and do more walk/run intervals, working toward being able to run a 10K on Thanksgiving Day. I'll likely spend most of the day concerned with the issues of living my own life. But tonight, I stop and wonder what it would be like to live with someone else's problems instead of my own.
And I wonder, what did she see in me that I don't see in myself, that she would turn to me for support?
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