Tag Archives: fitness

Run, You Fools!

Run, You Fools!

I am back on the road.

I got out of my boot the first week in October and into an ankle brace.  Hallelujah!  I was cleared right away to drive, walk, bike, basically everything except running.  The doctor said I wouldn’t be running until after my follow-up in mid November. *sigh*  But I did get a prescription for physical therapy, so at least I’d have something to focus on.

There was no way I was driving into the city 2-3 days a week for PT.  I knew there was a PT practice at the Y, but I’d never been impressed with them when I worked at the Y and I knew their hours were weird.  I pass another place, the Physical Wellness and Therapy Center, on my way to and from work, and it had good reviews, so I decided to try them.

Best. Decision. Ever.

I had no idea what to expect as I’d never been to PT before.  When I went in, a little nervous as I am in any new situation, right away I was made to feel welcome.  Every staff member introduced themselves by name and remembered mine.  Amazing what a difference that made in making me feel like a person and not a patient.  Mike was my primary therapist, and he was great.  Never talked down to me or dumbed things down.  And he didn’t yell at me for the exercises I was already doing, even the wrong ones.  He put me through some basics and set me up with my exercises at home, including some of the ones I was already doing.  So I wasn’t entirely off base!  The other nice thing they did was schedule me for a week’s worth of appointments at a time.  I decided to do twice a week, to line up with Mike’s schedule and to save me some money, since it was going to cost me $20 a visit!

So Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings, I went dutifully, got worked and massaged, iced and electrically stimulated (that part was fun!)  I was diligent at home with my exercises and stared walking 3 times a week. Mike was impressed with my progress, and two weeks ago, I got permission to start back running SLOWLY.

The next night I started reworking my Couch to 5k training.  The only time I still have to wear my ankle brace is when I run, so I got strapped up and out I went.

God, it felt good!

I’ve lost a lot.  I started with week 2 instead of going all the way back to the beginning, and that was kind of easy.  I pushed myself on the freeform runs, half and half, but otherwise, week 2 was very doable.  Week 3 was…harder.  3 freeform runs, one for 5 minutes at the beginning and 2 8 minute back to back runs at the end.  I was fine with the running drills, but the freeforms were brutal.  The app breaks them down into 2 minute chunks, so I run until I can’t anymore and then walk until the next check-in. It’s not pretty, but I’m getting through it.

I was discharged from physical therapy on Saturday.  Mike didn’t even have me go through my whole workout, just got me warmed up, massaged, taught me a new balance exercise to build up the sensation in my feet, answered a bunch of my questions and sent me on my way.  Yay!  And now that I’m almost halfway through the C25k, I think it’s time to go back to the running club.  Double yay!  For someone who’s totally not a joiner, I have really missed running with that group.  I don’t want to overdo things, so I’ll only go on Saturday mornings and stick to a slow pace, starting with 30/60 second drills.  That way I’ll still be able to do the C25K drills on my regular schedule without risking overtraining.  Then in January, once I’m solidly back to running, I can start back to the Thursday night group runs.  And start thinking about what I want to train for next year.  10k?  Or *gasp* half marathon?  Yeah, I know.  I’ve lost my mind.  I guess I’m okay with that.

While I’m out running, my brain wanders.  I keep hoping it will wander somewhere useful like a new book idea, but at the moment it seems to have decided that I should lead a C25K training for the club in the spring.  I’d use the Zombies Run schedule that I’m doing for my training (only without all the interesting zombie parts), modified to break up week 8 into two weeks, as both Hero and I found that last week a little too intense.  Other than that, I like the development pace of the ZR training, and then people could use the app for days they have to miss.  I don’t know what kind of liability issues leading a training like that might involve, so I’ll talk to the coordinator and see what he thinks.

In the meantime, I’m shopping for new running shoes.  This shouldn’t be so damn hard.  I’ve been running in a pair of Brooks Adrenalines that I got put into by the local running store 3 years ago when I first tried C25K.  So no brainer, I got the same shoes this time.  Except running shoes change models faster than college text book editions, so the new shoes don’t feel AT ALL like the older ones.  The soles are harder with almost no give.  And they were tight.  Thankfully I ordered from Zappo’s, so they’re easy to send back, which I have done in exchange for a wider size.  Except I made one critical error in judgement.  I ordered a new pair (Asics) before I returned the first pair.  Theoretically, there was a logic to that, in that I could then compare them to each other.  In reality, it’s an excuse to have TWO pairs of running shoes.  Except I don’t like the Asics, either.  For exactly the same reasons.  So they’re going back, too, and I’ll get a wider size of those as well.  Once I finally settle on a pair (or two), I’m taking them all to the running store to see if I still need the arch inserts they gave me back then.  With the weight loss and change in activity, I’m not sure I do, or at least not as strong as I’ve been wearing.  In fact, I think the ones I have may have contributed to my broken ankle, overcompensating so far it made my foot roll.  I may need something, as it feels like my arch isn’t making contact when I run without them, but I don’t think I need the full orthotic.

But whatever I end up with, my primary requirement has been met.

Asics Brooks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My shoes have to be colorful enough that I’m happy putting them on.  Morgan thinks they’re gaudy.  I think he has no soul.

When I was…

When I was…

When I was 18, I went to Israel with my dad.  It was an amazing trip, and I learned a lot about the world and myself.

I also came home with a bad case of traveler’s trots.

We didn’t think much of it.  Dad had it, too, and it’s one of the costs of travel, right?

But a couple of weeks after coming back, I developed a terrible case of pink eye, and then suddenly my ankles swelled up to about 4 times normal.  Of course this was aobut a month before graduation, so I looked lovely for the awards ceremonies!

Our family doctor diagnosed all these symptoms as one condition that at the time (1985) was called Reiter’s syndrome and now is called reactive arthritis.  I was lucky to get the diagnosis, as back then it was considered a condition only men got.  Except on hearing about it, Mom realized she had had the same thing happen to her at least twice.

So here I was, at graduation, barely able to walk, eyes red and streaming, getting ready to start the next phase of my life.

I think, looking back on it, that that was the moment my weight problem started.

Don’t get me wrong, I had issues before that.  Portion control was all about who finished their dinner first to get to the seconds.  Sweets were rare and often rewards or, again, competitive.  Or something you got to have when you were an adult.  But I was pretty active, walking or riding my bike everywhere, roller skating and dancing, even trying a couple of sports (nothing took).  But for almost six months, I barely walked if I could avoid it (for the first six weeks I could hardly walk at all), and I certainly wasn’t involved in any sports.  Couple that with living in the dorm and eating in the cafeteria, my freshman 15 came on and made no plans to leave.  Even when I moved off campus, I managed to get rides to class until I got my own car.  Sedentary wasn’t just a vocab word from geology class.  That became my lifestyle until this past spring.

I think this is where some of my frustration with the broken foot is coming from.  I can remember hobbling around, losing any interest or willingness to be active, and I’m terrified of ending up back there again.  I can already tell some of the same thought patterns are coming back.  “Well, I’ll try biking, but it won’t really take.”  Did that one my sophomore year.  I was kind of happy when someone stole my bike so I didn’t have to feel guilty about not riding it.  I set up a bunch of upper body workouts to do while I’m recovering.  I have not been good about actually doing them, though.

I don’t want to end up back there.  I know it’s all a mental game, but I’m so new to this exercise gig, it just feels too fragile.  It doesn’t take long to lose a habit you haven’t had long.  I know activity is the most important part of the maintenance for my weight loss.  I HAVE to do this.

I’m just scared I won’t.

Wheelies

Wheelies

I’m still in the boot.

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You can see the fine line of the break just above the fold crease. It looks like an elevation chart!

Two more weeks, which is discouraging, but should have been expected.  Every article I’ve read about broken ankles has said 6 weeks, and it never occurred to me that 4 weeks might just be to check on progress.  So I was incredibly disappointed, bordering on tears.  But everything’s lined up nice and straight and starting to fill in as it should.  Another two weeks, and then I get moved into an ankle brace for god knows how long.  As long as I can start driving again, I’ll be happy.  I actually kind of like riding to work with co-workers, but I want to be able to run errands, dammit!  I’m working on sucking it up, though, aside from a lot of whining, and am looking to get on with things.

To that end, I’m looking ahead to what’s next.  I won’t be able to run for months even once I’m out of the boot (sob!), but it looks like biking will be good right off the bat.  Since initially I got into running as a gateway to cycling (who knew I’d end up loving running!), it seems like this may be the universe’s way of telling me to get on with it.

I did get a few trips in this summer, and even managed a hilly 10 miles once.  But my bike is heavy and sluggish for that kind of riding.  She’s good for rough trails or grocery getting, but dragging her uphill is a chore, even in the lowest gear, and I can’t get her going very fast even ont he flats.  As the ennui of my ankle settled in, I went looking on Craigslist for a more suitable road bike.

I found Galadriel.

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She’s a 1984 Lotus Challenger mixte.  But you wouldn’t know to look at her that she’s over 30 years old.  She looks like she just came off the line last year.  The paint is almost pristine, the welds perfect, and the guy selling her had replaced all the things that lack of use would degrade, like the tires and cables and bar wrap.  He’d even added a rear rack.  I did a lot of research on her, and even though he was asking a lot for her, it was a fair price.  She’s a collector’s bike, where even ones in crap condition go for $150-200, and she’s in gorgeous condition.  I would spend twice as much to get a similar bike new.  But I wasn’t in a hurry to get a bike.  This was only week 2 of the boot, after all.  But she kept eating at me.  I started researching her, and asked other, more experienced riders for their input.  Hell, I even dreamed about her, which is when she told me her name.  So I figured I needed to at least make an attempt at her.  I got in touch with the seller, and he responded right away agreeing to set up a test ride that weekend.  Nikki was great and came up to drive me over, even though she hadn’t driven anything in almost a year, let alone my big old van.  I took off the boot, put on a sneaker, and off we went.

She looked even better in person.  Then I got on her.  She was fast.  And smooth.  She shifted great, despite me having no clue how to use her lever shifters.  There was a fairly steep (for me) hill right next to the house, which I was able to fly up, despite babying my foot.  And she fit me perfectly.

I needed this bike.

I tried to talk him down, but he knew what he had, and I knew what he had, so I told him I’d have to think about it until pay day.  I was worried he’d sell it in the meantime, but if he did, well, that just meant I wasn’t meant to have her.

Monday Nikki sent me half the cost with a not.  “Buy the bike.”  I looked at the ad again.  And I got in touch with him.  The problem, of course, was that I couldn’t drive out to get her.  Fortunately he was willing to drop her off.  She was just as beautiful in my yard as she’d been in his.  I was not going to lock her on my front porch with the other bikes, though, so initially she was in the kitchen and now is living in my dining room where I can pet her whenever I want.

Now, there may be some adjustments made.  As I said, she has lever shifters, which I have never used, and they’re on the down tube instead of on the bars, so it takes a little more finesse to shift.  And she has drop handlebars, which again, never used.  So she’s going to take a little getting used to.  I am going to get professionally fit to her so everything’s the way it should be.  I think the handlebars need to be a little higher, as I feel like I’m tipping over if I hold the brakes.  Once that’s all set, I’ll give it three months to get used to.  If at that point it’s just not working, I’ll change out the bars for butterfly bars which will let me ride more upright and get thumb shifters installed on the bars.  I want to at least give the current set-up a try, though.

Not getting to start riding her this week was especially disappointing.  I’m making it up to myself by shopping for gear for her.  I’ve ordered a handlebar bag which has a map pocket and cell phone display pocket, and I got a repair kit with all the basics for on the road repairs.  I want a trunk bag and panniers, but those will keep, and as the season moves on, I’ll need decent lights.  Sophie, my old bike, will probably be my winter bike, as she can handle snowy roads better, so I won’t need heavier gear for Galadriel.  But what I really want for the new bike are these panniers.

The vendor on Etsy who sells them has taken them down, but I’m hoping they’ll go back up eventually.  They’re expensive, though, $150, but they hold a lot of stuff, and don’t they just look like something an elf queen should have?  And they’d be easy to move between the two bikes as needed, so they’d be flexible.  So I’ll watch to see if they go back up.  I’m not allowed to get them anyway until I can complete the long park trip I have planned.  It’s 30 miles round trip, and is the same route the local bike club rides, so once I can do that, hopefully I can start riding with them.  Meanwhile I’ve created an Amazon wishlist for all the other goodies I want.  I may make another one to build fantasy kit for bike camping.  There’s so much stuff to get, I could go a little nuts!

And I’m not the only cyclist in the house!  Xander has been amazing about riding his bike to school.  He can’t wait to get out the door in the morning, literally.  I’ve had to keep him in when he’s made a break for it a 6:15. As it’s staying dark later and later in the morning, we’ve been adapting.  He know has a quick release light for his handlebars, and I ordered another set so he’d have them front and back.  I also got him a pair of cycling gloves with skeleton hands on the back to keep him warm now that it’s finally cooled off.  There are a couple more goodies I want to get him, like spoke lights and a reflective harness, but there’s time for that.  He said he wants to keep doing it even after I start driving again, but we’ll see how long that holds once the snow flies.  I may drag him out with me on a couple of long weekend rides once I get moving again.  Who knows, maybe I’ll have a riding buddy!  Hero’s getting more attached to her bike, too, but she doesn’t want to make it her sport of choice, because then it’s work instead of fun.  This is a mindset I hear from a lot of my family, and it makes me a little crazy.  I mean, shouldn’t your work BE fun?  But she has to do what works for her, and as long as she gets some fitness in, I’m happy.  Of course, she still has to get through her push up test in gym, but that’s a whole other workout goal!

So.  Two more weeks.  (Again.)

Getting the Boot

Getting the Boot

I should have realized that doing that epic running post was just asking for trouble.

As those of you who follow me on Twitter or know me in real life know, my running took a turn for the dramatic on Sunday.

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As I said in my running post, I’ve started doing 6-7 mile runs on Sunday to build my endurance.  The first one had not gone great, mostly because of the route I took.  Not sure how it ended up being all uphill, but it honestly was.  So I mapped out a different route, one which went down to the high school, past almost all of Hero’s friends houses so I could properly embarrass her, then back through almost-country and into town.  I knew this route from driving it a number of times and having run part of it with the running club.  It was hilly, but they were up AND down, so I thought it would work.

The first thing I did was swap the arches out of my old running shoes into my new ones.  I liked the new ones, but they just didn’t have enough arch support for my feet, and with my overpronation issues, I figured I needed them for that as well.  Put them on and they felt good, so yay!  Fashionable runner!

I got all my apps set up and running, then started walking my warm-up.  It was about 75 degrees and 70% humidity, so not bad at all.  Started running at my usual spot.  As always, it took a while to get in the groove of the run, but the Zombies, Run! episode was really engaging (it was the last episode of season 1, so big doings!) and the route worked well.  I didn’t like running at the high school just because there was no shade, but I was there less than 5 minutes, so it’s certainly doable.  Everything felt good.  The country stretch was pretty, running past all the tall corn in the quiet of a Sunday morning.  I like Sunday mornings.  No one’s in a hurry to get anywhere.

My app told me I had done 5 miles in about 56 minutes.  It usually gives me credit for a faster run than I’m doing, but still, that told me in general my pace was pretty good.  I felt strong.  Confident.  Just had a mile and a half to go, and then I could get on with the day.  Take the kids back to school shopping.  Clean the house.  Maybe do some of the work on the shed I need to.

The next thing I know, I’m face down in the middle of the street.

I didn’t trip.  I keep saying I stepped off a curb, but it wasn’t really even much of a curb.  It was one of those ADA ramps they put on sidewalk corners.  Zero entry.  I’ve had to practically vault much higher curbs on other runs. And yet, when I stepped from the concrete onto the asphalt, my right foot rolled right as my body weight shifted left, and down I went.

I’ve had falls like this a lot.  Ever since I got reactive arthritis as a teenager, my knees and ankles have always been a bit weak.  Every once in a while one of them will just go, “Nope!” and down I go.  But I’ve never had it happen at speed before, and with all my weight coming down on the foot that was turning.  I heard that sucker pop and knew I was in trouble.

I picked up my glasses and dragged myself back to the curb to evaluate.  A runner and a car stopped to see if I needed help, but I waved them off, as I didn’t know how bad it was.  Stubborn me figured I could just carefully walk home.  It wasn’t that far, after all.  My first mistake was taking my shoe off.

My second mistake was walking half a mile with no shoe on.

By the time I got almost to Main Street, I was seeing black swarms in front of my eyes, which is usually a sign that I’m about to pass out.  So I found a stoop and sat.  I realized I was only about a block from one of the earlier mentioned Hero’s friends homes, so I called Hero to see if they were home that weekend.  They weren’t.  None of her friends whose parents I knew were in town.  The people I knew from the running club were all out of town, too, and I didn’t have anyone’s number anyway.  So I asked Hero if she would ride her bike down so she could at least walk back with me. (It only just now occurred to me I could have sat on her bike and one footed it home.  Oh well.)  Then, left with no choice, I called Eric to see if he could take me to the urgent care center.  Thankfully he could, and asked if I wanted him to pick me up where I was now.  I told him Hero was on the way, but if he wanted to come the route we’d be going home just in case, he could.  After I got of the phone with him, I thought, well, I don’t want them to miss me, so I’ll just hobble to the corner.

I made it to the next house.  Surrendering all pride at that point, I called him to come get me.

Hero showed up, and she blessedly brought a water bottle with her.  I tend not to carry one on my runs as I’m well hydrated going into them and am not usually out long enough to need them (plus I hate carrying anything).  So that was a blessing and secured her position as my favorite daughter.  (hush.)  Eric got there about 10 minutes later, we went back to the house to get my checkbook and wallet, and off we went to urgent care.

On later reflection, I wish I had gone to the ER instead, but at this point I figured it was just a sprain and no big deal.  But I’d never had a sprain before and didn’t know what to expect.  And there usually isn’t a long wait at the urgent care center, so there I was.  They got me checked in and back in about 5 minutes, and within 10 I was on the x-ray table.  By then my ankle was huge.

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The staff were all very kind, but the doctor who finally saw me hardly talked to me at all.  He didn’t even give me any instructions until I asked pointed questions.  But the nurse who brought me my aircast was very nice and helpful.  Take it easy, elevate it, ice it, yadda yadda.  By 11:30, I was home.

Well, I still had that list of things to do, so.  After lunch I took a nap, and then I took Xander and Hero to 2nd Avenue to do clothes shopping.  It had to get done, and I could do it all leaning on a shopping cart, so I did.  I gave them a budget of $50 each and a couple of things they HAD to get (picture day outfit especially, since their picture day is the first Thursday of school) and set them loose.  Well, set Hero loose.  I went with Xander to help him pick some things out.  The score of the day was all his, though.  A beautiful black long sleeve dress shirt that fit him gorgeously.  He got compliments from 5 different people waiting in line at the dressing rooms!  He got all his back to school clothes (although he could use another pair of dress slacks) and even a pair of shoes for under his budget.  Hero didn’t do as well, but she got a couple of nice pieces.  She doesn’t need as many clothes, as her drawers are overflowing.  Once we get those purged, we’ll have a better sense of what she still needs.

I got a cane.  It was only $2.50.

Then we went to the dollar store for the bare minimum in school supplies.  There was no point in buying a lot until I know what they really need.  So they got paper and pens or mechanical pencils, depending on their preferences, pencil bags, a couple of other knick nacks.

I got a couple of ace bandages.  The aircasts are proven in studies to be better than compression bandages, but both together are even better, so I was going to use both.  Knowledge, and how to get it.  One of the perks of my day job.  Then we went home, where I had Hero help me make dinner.  I sat and chopped, she handled the stove part and made the muffins.  Then I took my pain meds and crashed.  Thank you, hydrocodone!

I was feeling pretty sorry for myself and didn’t sleep well with the cast and the pain, so I called out from work on Monday.  Slept a lot, iced and elevated it, and made a comfrey poultice that I wore for a couple of hours.  I’ve seen that stuff work miracles, so I figured a boost couldn’t hurt as long as I did the mainstream therapies along side.  All was going well until that evening when I got a call from the urgent care center.

They’d found at least two breaks in my foot.  I needed to come in and get splinted, and then I’d need to see an orthopedist.

Well, shit.

I automatically went to my go to source for all my medical needs, and lo and behold, Penn Medicine ortho does same day appointments.  Even though it was Sunday evening, I filled out the request form figuring I’d get a call first thing in the morning, and politely declined the urgent care center’s offer to splint it for me.  It didn’t make sense to pay to have them do something that would just get undone and presumably done better the next day.

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Tuesday I heard from Penn via email.  My phone number hadn’t come through on my request, so could I call in?  I did.  And the rage started.  The receptionist I was talking to said she could get me an appointment on Friday.  For a broken foot.  Seriously?  She knew nothing about the same day service, and kept giving me the standard line of she couldn’t override the doctors’ schedules.  I understand scheduling, honey, I’ve done it myself.  But I also know for emergencies, you can find time to squeeze me in.  “I can get you seen in Cherry Hill today.”  Seriously?  “The only other place I have any openings today is in Exton.”  Fine, send me to fucking Exton.  Yeah, it’s just as far and inconvenient, but at least there isn’t a bridge.  “You’ll need to bring your x-rays.”  I lost it at that point.  You’re one of the most advanced care centers in the region, if not the country, with your own very impressive imaging centers, I can’t freakin’ DRIVE, and you need me to bring x-rays from a Podunk care center?  Honestly??  She got an earful, poor thing.  I know she was just doing her job, but I was too hurting and frustrated to care at that point.  She went away for a few minutes, and when she came back, lo and behold, she had an appointment for me downtown that afternoon.  I’d still have to get my x-rays, though.  Fine, I’d manage.

I’d already been in touch with Deb about giving me a ride.  She had another commitment at noon, but she could at least take me to get my x-rays and get me down there.  I figured even if I had to camp out in the waiting area for a couple of hours, I could read or knit or take a nap, so long as I was there, and I could get myself home.  The bus stopped right outside the office that would take me to the station, and presumably I’d be in some sort of a cast by then.  Deb’s driving karma held out, though, and it took an hour and a half to get downtown.  Midday on a Tuesday.  What the hell, people?  I felt guilty about keeping her so late, but she felt bad about not being able to stay, so the guilt balanced out.  And I only had to wait about 45 minutes.

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The center was very nice.  The building is right across from where I’d worked for the National Board of Medical Examiners, and hadn’t even existed until a year ago.  That area is building up so fast, it’s astonishing.  For me the nice thing about going to Penn is that even though I was new to the practice, I didn’t have to fill out a ton of paperwork because I’m already in their system.  I still had to wait until my appointment time, but that was fine.  They got me back about 1:30, and it went pretty quickly from there.  The resident was able to show me the break.  It’s pretty straight across the bottom of my fibula.  What urgent care thought was two breaks actually seems to be two ends of the same break.  The doctor said that it was actually in a good spot, that that low the joint isn’t as unstable and doesn’t open up.  Almost all of these kinds of breaks heal just fine.  I did mess up probably all three ligaments attached to it, but we’ll worry about those after the break heals.  I got prescribed a CAM boot and told to come back in 4 weeks for more x-rays and to discuss rehab.  The nice thing is this doctor is a sports medicine doc, so he’ll know how to get me back running.  Oh, but no driving for the next 4 weeks.

That’s the part that’s going to suck.  Never mind that we can’t do the day trip to Assateague now.  More important is no grocery shopping and I won’t be able to drive Xander to school for his first couple of weeks of high school.  When I told him he would have to ride the bus, he said, “Can’t I just ride my bike?”  So he’s going to do that.  I’m sending him and Hero to test ride it this weekend and to find the bike racks.  I’d like to get him a rack for the back of his bike so it’s easier for him to carry his backpack, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to afford that before school starts.  Thank ghod we got their back to school basics done!

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So this is Fred, my live-in companion for the next month.  We’re getting along better than I’d expected, certainly better than I got on with the boot for plantar fasciitis a couple years ago.  I’m actually relatively comfortable sleeping in it, although that may be the pain meds.  I have an oddball pair (trio?) of handknit socks I’m wearing under it in rotation to keep the smell down, and I’m figuring out what shoes to wear on the left foot to balance out the height of the boot.  No more flip flops for me!  Several of my co-workers have been incredibly generous about driving me to work with them, so I’m back in the office on schedule, which makes me feel a little more human (and the air conditioning doesn’t hurt!)  I’m easing into the new normal.

I’m just glad I didn’t pay for any of those races already…

Zombies Don’t Like Fast Food

Zombies Don’t Like Fast Food

Which doesn’t mean they won’t still eat me.  But it won’t be as easy!

I’ve made it through the whole of the Zombies, Run! 5k training app.  This is a great app, and I totally credit it for getting this non-runner within spitting distance of being able to run a full 5k.  I’m not quite there.  I still need to stop 3 or 4 times during a 30 minute run for longer than I’d like.  Honestly, I think the last week of the training should have been two weeks, one with 20 minute runs and drills, then one with 2 days of 10 minute/3 minute run walk drills and the final 5k day.  The last day also kind of peters out, by necessity, as they need to allow for different people’s different paces.  But the story ends 10 minutes before the run time ends, and I wasn’t sure when to stop.  Fortunately I’d seen some people complain about this, so I knew to keep going.  I was close by the end of the story, about 2.8 miles, but I was totally out of steam at that point.  So I’m redoing week 8 over two weeks to build up my endurance.  I know there’s nothing wrong with run/walks, but I want to at least be able to run half an hour without stopping.  I think I’m close.  I went out with Hero on Sunday to see how she’s doing, so I did most of her 45 minute training (she was finishing Week 6) and a 20 minute free run on my own where I only stopped to walk once, so yeah, I’m really close.

Looking ahead, I’m running my first official 5k on the 24th, so I’ll have a little time to lock in my endurance.  I told Hero I’d wait for her before I start the regular ZR app, so one way or another, I’ll start that after the 24th.  From there I want to start building to an hour run.  That will take me to the end of August and should hopefully have me running 5 miles.  Then I’ll go into maintenance for the fall and winter, and we’ll see where spring finds me.  Hopefully ready to be training for and running 10ks.  I’m also going to do some more 5k runs this summer, mostly just for the fun (and the swag!)  I would love to do a color run, and I’d like to do a mud run, but I don’t think that’s happening this year.  Next year, though, definitely!  We’re going to be down in Blacksburg for Christmas this year, and they have a 5k on Christmas Eve, so I told my sister the triathlete that Hero and I want to run it.  Don’t know if Rachel will run it with us, but that would be fun if she did, even though we’d be holding her waaaaay back!  I’ve also been looking at virtual races, which could suck down a lot of cash really fast.  But if I limit myself to one a month, that should help get me through the winter.

Move it!

Move it!

The other thing I’m getting under control is my exercise.  As in, since Thanksgiving, there’s been a decided lack of it.  There’s been plenty of cleaning and schlepping and snow shovelling, but not anything focused.  I almost scared myself at Writers Weekend when the first night I WANTED to do calisthenics.  And did them.  So good sign: my body WANTS to be active.  Time to get moving.

Started easy with getting back to daily walking.  Well, when I say daily… Between appointments and illness and having to make up time, it’s been more like 3 times a week, but still, that’s better than it was.  The cemetary next to work has finally dried out enough for my co-worker and I to be able to get to the road through it without too much squishing through the dirt, so as many lunch times as we can manage, we get out there and do half an hour.  It’s pretty hilly, so it’s a good work out.  The building also has a half mile walking path, but they have it covered in this mulch that’s cut too big, so it gives under your feet like beach sand when you try to walk on it.  I’m hoping when they resurface it for the year (that’s the other problem with it, it all washes away) that they’ll get a finer, more compact mulch so we can mix up our walking routes.

In addition to that, I’m making another attempt at Couch to 5K.  I still don’t like running, but it’s still the easiest excercise for me to do, as I don’t need to go anywhere special to do it safely like I would for swimming or biking, and I don’t need any special equipment.  So hopefully this will be my gateway activity to those others.  I still want to start randoneurring, but I’m no where near there yet.  For now, running.  I got a different app this time, and I think it’s a good one.  I’m trying the Zombies, Run! 5k trainer, and I really like it.  First off, the training cycle isn’t as punishing as the standard C25K app that I tried.  The first week is 15 second sprints rather than 1 minute, so I can actually get through them.  I think the second week is as well, along with some added stretching.  Granted being 120 pounds lighter than last time helps, too, but I’m two days into it and feel pretty good.  I even actually ran during the free run/walk cool down period both days!  I also like the gamification a lot.  It’s a British-based company that makes it, so most of the voices are British or Brits doing American (not badly, but recognizably), so I described it to Nikki as being like taking part in a Doctor Who radio play episode.  The story is engaging, and I honestly think it helps having a real-sounding person encouraging me over a flat, automatic reminder.  Not too many zombies yet, but enough to get the heart racing once in a while!  So yeah, if you’re looking to start running, I recommend this app.

The other thing really helping me is my playlist.  It’s not big, but it’s almost all girl power, attitude songs with a strong, steady beat.

That Man by Caro Emerald
Shake the Room by Gamu
I’m the One That’s Cool by The Guild
Back to Me by Kathleen Edwards
Suddenly I See by KT Tunstall
Box of Secrets by Zarif
I Want You Back by the Jackson Five
Cherry Bomb by the Runaways

I need to add some ELO to this mix as well.  And if you know anything that fits these styles, let me know!  Music is not my thing, so I’ll always take recommendations!

Last time I tried this, I never got off Day One after six weeks of working at it.  Again, I was 120 pounds heavier, but nevertheless, I feel a lot more optimistic that I can get through the whole thing this time!  If I don’t have to repeat any days, I’ll finish the 8 week training on June 2.  Not sure what my reward will be for completing, but it will be something good!  Aside from the regular Zombies, Run app, so I can keep going!