Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Well, Here Goes...

I've decided to officially take a shot at 10,000 lifetime running miles this year. I'm currently 205 miles shy of that mark (9795), and I have absolutely ZERO expectations when it comes to any other running achievements during this quest (i.e. pace, distance, etc.) I just want to get that mark behind me.

Of course, I'd love to have my body fully cooperate and become able to run fast and far (relatively speaking) again, but due to how non-compliant my body has been the last few years, I'm approaching this realistically. As much as I don't want it to be, this is strictly a numbers game. For now.

I'm also going to get my (ample) butt back on the bike very soon, too. I've managed to build bigger muscles (with a bigger gut) and get stronger these last few months, from a pure power perspective, but I'm ready to get leaner and "fit" once again.

I guess it's spring fever...

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Not Very Fun-Knee

More news from the "If It's Not One Thing, It's Another" file.

(I honestly don't intend on making this a whiny, complaining-centric blog.)

The extent of my cardio training this winter (sad to say) has been walking. Surely, this injury-prone guy can take simple walks without injuries, right?

Not if my left knee has anything to say about it. This knee used to be my "good" knee up until last summer. That's when I'd start noticing pain under the kneecap during many of my runs. I haven't run since December 3rd of last year, but I've walked 121 miles since then. The pain has gradually increased to the point where I nearly have to limp during those walks to relieve the pressure (it hurts right when my foot makes impact with the ground). Lately, I've been icing and taking ibuprofen after walking.

If I had to guess (always encouraged when it comes to joint problems), I'd say the knee probably needs to be scoped and damaged cartilage needs to be removed. Oddly enough, my "bad" knee (right) has been feeling fine.

I plan to continue walking, unless it becomes too painful (it's close now) since I have a goal of walking 500 miles this year (essentially doubling last year's walking mileage). I also plan on getting on the bike soon, so it'll be interesting to see how the knee handles that. I'm guessing it's the impact that bothers it, so pedaling a bike shouldn't be an issue. I hope.

It also wouldn't hurt to drop a few of the pounds I've put on this winter. I'm starting on that journey now.

But, man, that donut looks good...

UPDATE: I just did a keyword search for "knee pain" in my blog and, lo and behold, the first mention of pain under my left kneecap was in an entry I posted on September 28, 2009 (4 1/2 years ago)! So perhaps this isn't a "good" knee after all.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Hey Y'all!

Since it's been a while, I figured I'd post an update to let everyone know I'm still not running. In fact, I'm doing so well at not running that I'm 25 lbs. over what I would consider my race weight.

Yes, seriously.

That 25 lbs. consists entirely of muscle and what is commonly known as "not quite muscle."

In fact, I'm the heaviest I've been, ever.

And, believe it or not, that was intentional. I wanted to see if I could hit that mark (for me, that was 180 lbs.) by my 47th birthday (Feb. 28th). I achieved that a few weeks early. You may laugh (or cringe), but I've always had a hard time putting on weight. At my age, that now appears to no longer be the case.

The combination of very little cardio (I'm walking a few times per week), heavy weight lifting, and heavy eating, plus an apparently slower metabolism than I used to have made the weight gain relatively easy.

As I skeptically train for a potential powerlifting meet sometime in the future (skeptically, because I have a tendency to get injured. Duh.), the added weight has helped me get stronger. However, my midsection has grown to the point of limiting my wardrobe. Sure, sweatpants feel cozy, but having only 3 pairs of jeans you can squeeze into isn't ideal. Although I need to brag about having more of a Kardashian booty now than my formerly scrawny runner's booty.

The upside is that this fair-weather cyclist is close to dusting off the two-wheel steed soon, since spring weather has finally arrived here in Spokane. I don't know if I'll ever be a hardcore cyclist, but I am getting the itch to get back to riding somewhat regularly. That, plus dialing back the appetite just a little should gradually shrink my waist back to an acceptable size.

Do I miss running? Sure, especially when I see other people out for a run. Will I ever be a "runner" again? I honestly don't know. The hamstring that shut me down several months ago still reminds me of its unhappy presence. In fact, I was doing lunges in a recent workout — an exercise I hadn't done in a LONG time — and I could feel a different sensation & tightness in that hamstring than in the other. I'm guessing it's a buildup of scar tissue. Even when I'm sleeping, if I move a certain way a little twinge in the hammy occasionally wakes me up.

So it's really hard to tell if/when I might find my way back into my running kicks. Still, I'm not giving up hope.

One thing is for sure, though...I'll have to drop a few dress sizes, or running just ain't gonna feel that good, healed hamstring or not!

I may still have a pair buried away somewhere...