Thursday, August 29, 2013
Today is Thursday, a work at home day. The original fitness plan had been to lift weights Wednesday evening, then do run/walk intervals Thursday noon. Wednesday after work I was feeling a need for sleep, so I didn't make it to the gym. Instead I came home and managed to get to bed on time.
This morning, my left foot had twinges of pain at odd times while walking barefoot. It tolerated my light jogging up and down the hall while breakfast cooked in the microwave, but it really didn't look like a good idea to test running.
By noon, I was ready to test running anyway. Kind of like a binge eater who decides to have that one donut, I set out with RunKeeper set for walk 3, run 1 intervals. I rationalized this by thinking the PT told me to get two runs in this week, and this is the best day for the first one.
I can be bullheaded and testosterone-driven, but I'm not totally stupid. Today was also a day to work on running slower. I've also been reading a bit about good running form. Today is a day to work on that. And I'm wearing my lightweight running shoes, paying attention to my nephew's observation that in lightweight shoes, running wrong hurts so you fix your strike right away.
At 82° F (28°C) with summer humidity and a wimpy 6 mph wind from the west, I took a water bottle. I switched the RunKeeper workout to start with walking, reasoning that I was more likely to mess up starting the run right away than after walking. Paid attention to how the feet felt while walking the first three minutes. Tried to run slow the first one minute running interval. Had several twinges from the left foot.
Thought about that in the second walking interval. What I've been reading about form recommended increasing cadence, but shortening the stride. So on the second running interval, I concentrated on keeping my stride short.
The twinges in the feet didn't happen. It felt really odd switching from a short running stride back to a long walking stride at the next walking interval; then I got used to it. I concentrated on keeping the stride short, and counted paces. I was close to the recommended 180 paces per minute.
As I went, I reasoned that I wanted to do 7 cycles of walk 3, run 1. At the end of the 6th cycle, RunKeeper told me, "Workout Complete." I had forgotten that I had edited the workout to only be 6 repetitions, with an earlier plan to limit myself to 6 cycles. So I had to look at my watch to get the 7th one minute running segment in; but I did that.
The total walk/run came out to 2.80 miles in 31:21, for an average pace of 11:13 per mile. Then I went to look at the interval splits. RunKeeper didn't recognize the 7th running interval as an interval because of my settings, but it claimed the following per mile paces for the first 6 running intervals: 8:04, 7:12, 6:37, 6:38, 6:35, and 6:52. So much for short strides keeping the pace down. 6:35? Really? I can't have been going that fast!
The most interesting part of this is that my right foot was not bothered at all, when it had been bothered by my last 3 sets of intervals. The left foot had intermittent pain twinges, but not noticeably worse than before I ran. I may have got away with a bad decision here.
Between missing a morning stroll and limiting my lunch workout, I was a bit light on steps. So in spite of not feeling much like going to the gym, I went after dinner to do the lifting that was originally scheduled for Wednesday. The step count filled out nicely on my pacing between sets, and I did right about what I wanted to with strength training. I had noticed lifting heavy weights seemed to bother the left foot a bit in the past couple weeks; today it didn't seem to have an effect.
Tomorrow I'll find out if I really made it through today without making the feet worse. Tomorrow will be a non-running day, and a non-strength training day. That's okay, because I have other things I need to get done tomorrow after work. The current plan is not to run Saturday, either, but to do my second round of walk/run intervals on Sunday. I'll see how the feet feel on Sunday and then decide between 7 or 8 cycles of walk 3, run 1. Right now, I'm thinking concentrating on short strides was good; if I can master that, concentrating on going slower would be something to work on.
I totally don't understand rehab. Stuff that ought to be no big deal sometimes sets me back, and stuff that feels like it's dumb doesn't always set me back. But for now, I'm okay with that. I seem to be making progress. It's not as fast as I'd like, and it's not monotonic, but it's progress.
And I feel a lot better having done some exercise than I did resting to avoid irritating the foot. I'm sure that's mostly psychological, but I allow myself the illusion that it's partly physical.