Saturday, June 1, 2013

Adieu, May

I went to the gym and had an awesome swim today.  I realized halfway there though that I forgot my fancy new watch!!  I almost turned around to get it, but decided against.  My swim felt super smooth, efficient, and consistent though, so I wish I would have had some numbers to look at.  Oh well.  Next time.  

Swimming is definitely good for being competitive.  There are people on either side of you for you to "race" with, or to compare your form and efficiency to.  The guy in my lane was swimming about the same pace as me, but was laying down easily twice as many strokes!  We were neck and neck for a little while so it was easy to compare paces and strokes.  I think I win for efficiency against him!  I'm pretty sure the guy on my right was racing me.  I was swimming continuously for over 30 minutes, and I noticed he would always start right with me when I turned around at the wall he was standing at.  He'd swim a lap (50 yds), mostly by my side but beat by a couple seconds at the end, then he'd stop at the wall and rest while I kept going.  After my lap alone, he'd once again time his start right with me on the next one, lol!  He may have "won" by a smidge each time, but considering he was basically doing 50 yd repeats with nearly a minute rest between, while I was going continuously, I'm putting that in the win column for me too.  I know you're not supposed to compare yourself to other people or whatever.  But swimming is boring, what else are you gonna do??
It's June!!  Normally I'm not excited for the June/July/August summer months and the affiliated heat, but I am glad to see May go.  Eff you, May.  May had only one "run" (May 3rd), a very painful 6.7 mile run/walk.  The monthly summary below says 8.5 miles, but that includes the 1.8 mile walk I did yesterday.  (I had to log it as a "run" if I wanted to track the mileage on my shoes, which I did).  
The pain first appeared at the end of January.   I took 3 days rest from running in February, and 3 weeks run-free in March, including 1 week of complete rest. April was spent kind of "walking the line", running every few days, doing lots of PT exercises, and trying to fend off the pain.  Eventually, the pain won, and I didn't run at all after May 3rd.  
May also involved 2 weeks of no working out at all.  I'm hoping it paid off!  I was concerned a few days ago because I was still having pain walking and doing normal activities.  But I think I was right, in that it was a "healing pain" and was just tightening up as it healed.  I wasn't doing any rolling or stretching or ANYTHING during those two weeks either.  I started back up with stretching and strengthening a few days ago and my knee feels like a million bucks now.  (I don't regret taking 2 weeks with no stretching or anything.  I believe that when the pain/inflammation is really bad, stretching and strengthening are just salt in a wound, until the initial flare dies down.  At that point, stretching and strengthening can commence with good benefit.)  I also found that I really like the "strap stretch" better than some of the more common ITB stretches, so I've been doing that instead.  The only thing that sucks is that I can't do it at work or while waiting in line at Subway or whatever, but it works for me, so I'm sticking with it.
I bend my bottom knee a little more and angle it medially to really focus on keeping the top/stretching/right hip  down and feeling the stretch outside my knee on the top/R leg.  
 I didn't have any pain at work last night, even going down the stairs at the end of my shift, which is usually bad.  One thing thing that may have contributed is my shoes.  Two nights ago I accidentally wore my "normal" sneakers to work.  They are a pair of Asics DS-Trainers that I don't like to run in (not supportive enough), so I wear them for workout videos and just around town and such.  They are really light and thin.  They actually felt really good at work, so I wore them again the next night.  They feel much better on my KNEE than my clunky Brooks Addictions with insoles that I have been wearing.  The Brooks feel better on my FEET when I'm standing and walking the whole shift, but at this point I'll take foot pain over knee pain, so I'm sticking with the Asics.  There are a couple downsides though.  For one, the uppers are super breathable and meshy.  Great for air flow and cool feet, not great when you are a nurse and the odds of a foul and funky fluid falling on your feet is pretty high.  Oh well.  Also, once I wear shoes in the hospital I generally don't wear them anywhere else, so now I'm down a pair of workout and walk around shoes.  (Figures, I just donated like 8 pairs of old running shoes that would have fit the bill just fine).  Random thought: I started wearing those beastly Brooks at work at the end of January when my "good" Mephisto work shoes got canned.  That's the same time my knee pain started.  Hmmmm.  Also, my ham-ass pain started in March 2012 after a 10 miler in those same shoes when they were brand new.  Double hmmm.  I suppose I should just throw them in the trash rather than keep trying to retool them.
These shoes are cursed.  

Yesterday I also was able to do a 30 minute walk pain-free.  So, tomorrow I'm starting the return to running run/walk program I posted yesterday.  I just whipped up a bare bones schedule for ramping up the mileage.  You can view the link here, or there is a screenshot below.  

The "code" for the W/R W1D1 business is follows.  W/R= walk/run.  W1D1= week 1, day 1, where the "workouts" for the given week/day are as outlined in my previous post with my return to running plan.  The orange cells are races that were on my schedule but that I haven't committed to in any real way (ie paid for).  Red cells are races that I've either paid for, won entries to, or promised to do with a friend.  The schedule gets a little dicey below where the screen shot cuts off, in October/November/December, with a ton of half marathons, that I had planned when I was still focused  on 13 x 13.1 in '13.  I'll cross that bridge a little later, when I see what's what as I try to run again.  

I'm leaving out all my other workouts; I'll just wing those I think.  You can rest assured that my schedule will be filled with lots of swimming and workout classes at WCC.  I also need to start biking, but I'm really afraid to, since it has torn up my knee pretty bad every time I've tried since January.  

It feels good to be "back", and to have a plan.  I am a little wary of doing half marathons on such low weekly mileage, but we'll see how it feels.  Also, I probably shouldn't say I'm "back" when I haven't even tried to run yet.  Don't count your chickens, as they say....  but I feel closer to being "back" then I have in a while!!  Wish me luck....

1 comment:

  1. If it helps, I did half marathons with less mileage than that and with few other significant workouts. Then again, you beat me in one of them. :P

    Really, considering that you do plan to do other workouts in addition to your running, as long as you can get / be healthy, I think you'll be just fine.


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