Monday, June 20, 2011

A Fortnight of No Walking and Blogging

Oh well, I haven’t posted anything in more than a week which is my longest drought since I started this blog. Just lazy I suppose or nothing to talk about, more likely. Ideas must be running dry. Notice how I managed to add “running” to that sentence?
First, a freak injury which sidelined me for more than a week in which I had to hold off from walking. It was more about overstretching an already injured or weak tendon, that being the left posterior tibialis. I was trying to keep awake or warm one night at work and was doing squats. The first few sets were okay but when I tried to do faster repetitions, that’s when disaster struck. I guess I didn’t control my legs too well and I overstretched to tendon mid squat. I was hurting the whole night and even though I avoid taking analgesics other than a daily aspirin for heart health, I had to take Motrin for pain relief. After that I had to limit myself to stationary cycling for exercise for about a week and a half.
Second, I missed participating in the Wrigley River Run this year (I ran it the past couple of years) because I had to attend a mandatory Management of Assaultive Behavior class on the day of the race. Renewing it annually is a requirement for my job and my certification was supposed to expire the day after the class. Even if I didn’t have to attend the class, I would have missed the race anyway due to the aforementioned injury. There were physical movements involved in the class and I tried to limit myself as much as possible due to the ankle pain.
I tried walking again on the treadmill when the pain subsided last Thursday morning. Normally I would have gone to 10% incline within the first five minutes of the workout and at least 3.5 mph and gradually increasing it up to 4 mph. That may sound slow, but remember it’s an uphill walk all the way. Well, on my first day back to a walking workout, the best I could do was 7.5% incline (which I didn’t even reach until about half an hour into the workout) and 3.5 mph. It was good enough for that day and besides, I have to save something for Saturday’s AREC workout.
And that brings us to Saturday. My alarm woke me up mid-dream at 5:00 a.m. and my first thought was - do I really have to do this?. After all, it’s too soon to try a six or eight mile walk after not having done so for almost two weeks. I banished the thought and got up, prepared myself for the task ahead, then headed to our meeting area. That day, instead of starting with the group I left about 15 minutes early to get a head start before they caught up with me. Normally I would do a mile warm up, then start with the others. I incorporated the warm up with the whole workout this day and instead of doing six miles (for the half marathoners) or eight miles (for the full marathoners), I did an in between seven miles. I tried a few steps of jogging while I was at it, but the left ankle felt very tight, as if it was about to tear. So I went back to walking and didn’t try to push the pace even at that. It was brisk but not as brisk as the 13:30 to 13:45 pace per mile I did in previous weeks. I managed a few short jogs in the last three miles which was probably not a good idea, but the ankle felt okay when I finished. I’ve mentioned this before in my posts: once the endorphins kick in, the analgesic effect lasts for hours and the pain feels diminished. It wasn’t until the next day that I felt it really badly. Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation were of little help. Fortunately, when I left for work the pain had subsided probably because of the increased circulation in that area. Now, it’s a wait and see to figure out when I can do a walking workout again. Stay tuned.
Things noticed during the above mentioned walk: swim trunks are similarly cut and just as comfortable as running shorts for workouts and much cheaper too. I never knew there was a lifeguard museum in Long Beach. It was housed in what was not more than the size of a snack shack. That’s what happens when one has a meandering pace. You observe more things than when you are running breathlessly. When I took off my shoe when I got home, I found a piece of jacaranda flower in my shoe. The search for a runner’s high even when it pain is not such a good idea, but runners (or in my case: ex runner) do it anyway. Nuts, I say!
And as an addendum: In the last mile of my walk, one of the long time runners from the AREC club passed me and said "I couldn't do 21 years of running every day like you did". Thanks for making me laugh and smile Bernard! I responded - I couldn't even do 5 minutes non stop nowadays! With that, we continued on our way to the finish. Since that running streak has been long gone, sometimes I forget nowadays that it even happened.

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1 comment:

shannon said...

I'm sidelined at the moment with an injury that prevents me from running too. Good luck with a speedy recovery. :)