Tuesday, September 03, 2013
The past week, I got in two sessions of walk/run intervals, as recommended by my physical therapist a week ago. Because my feet don't feel totally healthy, I tried to work more on running form than on speed. That resulted in intervals that were probably run too fast, and possibly somewhat improved form. There are lots of aspects to good form, described in different ways depending on who is writing about it. I can't concentrate on all the parts of good form at once, so this week I concentrated on having a shorter stride, and on having a foot strike that doesn't hurt. I have been running in my lightweight shoes, Saucony Mirages. (The guy at the local running store described them as a transitional shoe between a traditional running shoe like the Brooks Adrenaline and a minimalist shoe. For now, they're light enough for me.)
Today is Tuesday, a work from home day. After PT in the morning, I decided that I not only felt good enough to do walk/run intervals at noon, but I would try expanding the running intervals from one minute to a minute and a half. Once more, I concentrated on keeping a short stride and a foot strike that doesn't hurt.
I completed 7 cycles of walk 3, run 1.5 for a total distance of 3.17 miles and an average pace of 9:58 per mile. Got my stretching done, and the feet weren't immediately demanding ice; I gave them some ice later on anyway. So far, so good. Tomorrow I'll find out if I have a bad day after reaction to 10.5 minutes of running, up from 8 minutes of running on Sunday.
I've noticed a few things this week about rehab. In no particular order:
It has been my custom to do light jogging in my hallway while breakfast is in the microwave. That's one minute for the scrambled egg, and 2.5 minutes for the first shot at the steel cut oats. I've done this barefoot, except when the feet hurt too much to do it. This week, I discovered that I can do the hallway jogging in the light shoes sometimes when I can't barefoot. It's a minor nuisance to get shoes on that early, but if it helps me not aggravate the feet, it's worth it.
Right now, walk/run intervals are working better for me that run/walk intervals. Start the cycle walking, end it running. This puts a running interval at the end of the workout, which makes the wimpy intervals feel more like running. I get an untimed walking cooldown, and it's natural to go into my stretching afterward. When I had the running interval first and finished walking, the workout felt more like walking and there was the temptation to skip the stretches. Yeah, it's a stupid mind trick; but if it works, I'm not ashamed to use it.
Rehab is reminding me of a bull market on Wall Street. The saying is that a bull market climbs a wall of worry, and that's exactly what rehab feels like. If I look back, there is slow, up and down progress. But at any given time, the current state looks worrisome.
Strength training is important, but it's easy for me to overdo things. I can lift three days a week for two weeks. By the third week, my body starts telling me that's too much. Absent other fitness priorities, I think my body would like lifting every third day; but that doesn't work well on a seven day schedule. I think I'm going to be struggling with weight lifting scheduling for quite a while, dancing between not doing enough and doing too much. I hope I can figure out how much is enough without being too much.
Life happens. The past week, much of my focus has been in areas other than fitness and nutrition. I've been able to eat to plan anyway, and I think I've got enough activity in; but fitness is something I'll need to pay some attention to, even when my major attention is elsewhere. Blogging on SparkPeople can take a back seat to other stuff, but I can't let myself become sedentary.
The Rochester Marathon is September 22. There's no way I'll be ready for even the half marathon on that date. I might not even be ready for a 5K by then. But the possibility is there that I could be ready for a 5K by mid October, and a 10K by Thanksgiving. That gives me something to hope for, while I'm busy worrying about doing too much and setting my progress back.