Monday, September 30, 2013

Tighten The Reigns, Cowboy

Two weeks ago, I ran three times for a total of 9 miles. My bum hamstring made its presence known, but with a little ice and heat...and running on a level surface, it was completely manageable.

So, last week I ran three times for a total of 10 miles, right? Following that old "10 percent rule?"

Er, um, did you catch the Seahawks game yesterday? It was great, huh?

Okay, I got carried away like I have MANY times in the past. I ran 5 times for a total of 19 miles. Not a lot of miles by most standards, but coming back from a long term injury, that was a bit of a jump—especially since it included a hard mile during one run, and a hard half mile during another.

Consequently, my hamstring was barking a little over the weekend. I fed it plenty of ice and heat and it seems to have calmed down a little.

This week will probably fall somewhere between the 3 runs/9 miles from two weeks ago and the 5 runs/19 miles from last week.

Oh, I recently ordered The Stick from a few days ago. It should arrive on Tuesday. I'm hoping this will allow me to massage the tar out of that hammy, since I can't really dig into it with the foam roller.

Right Hamstring, Prepare For Sweet Pain

Have a great week of training, my friends!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

So Far, So (Mostly) Good

I ran three days last week and have run both yesterday and today (Monday and Tuesday) and I'm knocking on any wood I can find. The runs have been between 3 and 4 miles, at a slow pace, and on level ground. That's all by design. I still have a very touchy right hamstring and, now, an angry upper left calf. But, during the runs, they both feel pretty good.

So...where to from here? More of the same. Three to four runs per week, gradually increasing the distance, but keeping things slow and easy. And flat.

If I can sneak up on my body and get up to a consistent 12-15 miles per week for a few weeks, I'll re-evaluate and maybe change things up a bit. Any potential changes will revolve around the goal of building a huge base of easy mileage.

But for now, I'm very hesitant to change what seems to be agreeable to my very temperamental body.

Oh, and the weight is slowly starting to come off.

More as things develop...

Monday, September 16, 2013

Oops. My Bad.

I'm going to confess to a mistake I've made this year. It's one I've made before.

I got fat.
On purpose.

If you've tolerated, er, followed this blog for a while, you'll know that I have a tendency to go 180° away from running when I suffer a long-term injury. I guess it's a coping mechanism. I love running so much that I need to get away from that world when I'm unable to actively participate.

My "athletic" history includes both endurance activities (primarily running) and strength training; sometimes simultaneously, often not. When I shut down my running earlier this year (March 11th), I once again thought, "screw it. I'm going to 'bulk up' and get strong again." Well, I did. And now that I'm trying to get my endurance mojo back (cycling plus a little running), that decision has once again come back to bite me in the glutes.

Like most men (and many active people in general), I don't venture into things half way. I'm usually all-in. So, once I decided I was done with endurance activities, I hit the weights & food HARD. I put on 15 lbs. in no time flat. I pounded protein shakes mixed with whole milk, often a few per day. Sure, some of the weight gain was muscle, but some was also fat.

By most standards, I would STILL be considered a small-ish guy. At nearly 5' 11", I don't have a big frame. But as a distance runner, I'm a good 12-15 lbs. above my comfortable running weight. And my once prized abs are currently in hibernation (that will change.)

So I'm on a mission to reverse the damage. I haven't stopped the weight training, but I have refocused it to assist running and cycling rather than to merely see how much weight I can move and how big I can get my guns.

I've always been able to fairly easily manipulate my body weight & composition. I'm blessed with a high metabolism. However, at my current age (46), I'm noticing it's not quite as easy as it used to be. The next time I'm off the endurance bandwagon and get the bug to "get swole," remind me to go easy on the bulking up. Or, remind me to get on the bike or trainer & keep the cardio going instead.

And, misguided or not, I'm still hopeful about returning to running regularly—at least to the level I was at before my hamstring injury took me out. It'll be a long, slow process. It usually is. But there's always a little excitement and anticipation when I "start over." I just wish I didn't have to do it quite as often!

But I'm game. Let's do this.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Very Interesting...

Normally, I wouldn't refer to a slow, 2-mile run as "interesting." However, this one was.

I had a strong urge this morning to take the dog for a short, easy run around a local park. I was planning on just a mile, but I felt good and continued.

Nearly a week ago, I did an even shorter run with my youngest daughter and had a lot of soreness on the tendon behind my right knee for several days after the run. And that run was my first in over a month (back in early August, when I pulled a calf muscle running with my OTHER daughter. Hmm...I need to stop running with my kids.)

My lower back has been in pretty serious pain for over a week, too, so I wasn't sure what to expect from today's run. But everything felt good. I did notice my right hamstring—injured early this year—but it didn't hurt, probably since I was running slowly.

Now, if I can sneak in a few of these per week, maybe I can restart (resurrect) my running yet again. If so, it'll be a long, slow process, which will still include cycling and strength training. And beer.

Although, come to think of it, I haven't had one of those in a few weeks. I need to resurrect that, too...

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Man Down

It looks like this week will be a wash when it comes to exercise.

Last Friday, I helped my dad with some tasks around his house, which included unloading several hundred pounds of tile from his car. That involved me bending and reaching awkwardly into the (huge) trunk, and back seat, of his car to pull very heavy boxes up and out and an odd angle. I have a history of low back trouble, and doing this over and over again was a huge risk. I felt okay the rest of Friday. I went on a 28-mile bike ride on Saturday and, again, felt okay. But I think being bent over on the bike for an hour and 45 minutes on top of all the lifting threw my lower back into a tizzy (a medical term), as I woke up Sunday morning hardly able to move. I've been hitting the ibuprofen and heating pad pretty hard since then, along with my routine of lower back stretches.

So, after an enjoyable week of cycling, I may not be able to ride at all this week. And the weights are obviously off the table, too.

It's no fun feeling like an old codger...