Tuesday, November 19, 2013

elliptical; 8K

Yesterday: elliptical for x-training, 53 minutes. That's what I had time for! Wanted to do an hour but had to go. Legs were still sore so maybe that was for the best? It was that weird soreness again, not too awful, but there for sure.

Today: woke feeling pretty good so decided to racewalk. During the first 1km I could feel the weird soreness, though it abated a bit as I loosened up. I felt OK - not great, but not bad - so I decided at 6K to go on to 8K; legs were pretty tired but not awful, and I finished in reasonable speed considering the small uphill. I'm paying for it a bit now (at lunch). When I've been sitting this morning analyzing DNA sequence at work, it's been a bit painful. As long as I get up and move around it's not so bad, but sitting is the kiss of death. It's not as bad as it has been, but it's not good either. I'm hoping I'll feel better later tonight and tomorrow. Worried a bit that this is a relapse, but most likely it's the usual scenario where recovery is not a nice smooth linear progression. (Did I just write that? I'm such a geek!).

Total for 8K: 49:33 for 6:11/km with ave HR 144. Garmin data here.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Thursday: Cross-trained with elliptical + biking to work for a total of 1 hr cardio. Felt good.

Friday: Racewalked 6.3 km around Liberty Park and to/from. Garmin data here. I felt strong for the whole walk, even the slight uphill at the end. It was chilly (4C, 39F) and raining lightly but wasn't too unpleasant. I was glad to get out. Did a pretty good 6:16/km with ave HR of only 142.

Saturday: 1 hr elliptical for x-training - too nasty outside to ride my bike, sadly. I felt quite good on the elliptical, but afterward my muscles were hurting the weird way again. I don't know how to describe it, but it's quite unpleasant. It is not delayed onset muscle soreness - it's a sharper pain, but not sharp like the acute pain of an injury. It's just really odd. It especially bothers me when sitting, and I did a LOT of sitting Saturday. Driving is the worst, because I can't move around as much. I drove a lot Saturday, to and from the Olympic Oval a couple times to watch World Cup speedskating (photo at left-awesome! Saw a world record in the ladies' 500m!), and to breakfast with Kelly, and to pick up the kids from my parents' house. Probably in the car about 3 hr total, plus sitting at the World Cup. It hurt.

Oh, also, I attended my Weight Watchers meeting. I lost 0.8 lb this week, but I can't say I was really trying that hard. I am lucky the scale moved, and I have some work to do on my eating this week.

Sunday: Was still sore when I woke up, but I wanted to try and racewalk. It didn't hurt as much as it has in the past, so I figured I had a walk in me, as long as it didn't make the pain too much worse. The kids were all gung ho to go with me! Calvin wanted to run alongside me, and he can now run faster than I can race walk, though he doesn't have my endurance, even in my weakened state. He had to stop and rest a couple times but he made it the whole 6K with me :). I was really proud of him. Grace came along as well and rollerbladed, but got tired after 4.5K and waited for us in the car. They had a great time and I'm sure we'll do this again - but today marks a major milestone - the first time I took the kids on a training walk! OK, so I'm not in rigorous training, but it's just great to know that they can start to enjoy this with me! Calvin commented that it was so nice to have someone to talk to, and he was correct. I thoroughly enjoyed their company.

I did better than I thought I would on the walk, considering how iffy I felt. My muscles were sore, but it didn't hurt my performance too much. I did 37:32 for 6:15/km with ave HR 141. Of course we did stop a few times to get drinks for the kids/rest a bit, so I probably would've been a bit slower if I hadn't rested, but I still felt all right. Garmin data here.  I kept things loose in the afternoon by walking the dog briskly with my mom for an hour - enjoyable! The weather was chilly this morning at 38F (3C) but this afternoon it was lovely at 52F (11C) and sunny. I'm enjoying these nice fall days while they last. My legs felt OK the rest of the afternoon - sore in that weird way, but not horribly so. Better than yesterday. I got a bit worried that maybe things are getting worse again; however, I'm thinking it's just the usual 3 steps forward, 2 steps back of recovery. We'll see how I feel tomorrow; I'm planning elliptical/stationary bike at the gym, with possibly some racewalking on Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

recovery; 6K

After my 8K Sunday I was pretty sore! I don't know why that surprised me, but what was more interesting was that it was 80-90% the normal delayed onset muscle soreness one gets from unaccustomed activity, and only 10-20% of that weird soreness I've been having the last few months. I was so relieved to have the usual muscle soreness - I can't explain it, but it just felt good and normal. Unfortunately, it bothered me enough that racewalking on Monday or Tuesday wasn't really a good idea. I was OK with that, and know it's going to take time to get back in shape. As long as I see progress, it's good.

So on Monday & Tuesday, I did the elliptical ~40 min and then biked to work, so I'd have a bit over an hour of good cardio. I recovered well from that.

This morning I felt ready to go - so I planned a walk with Kelly. Her knee is better but not 100% yet, so she racewalked some and ran some. She had to leave early to study for a quiz, so she only walked 20 min with me, but that was super. I continued on and did a total of 6K, and it felt good just like it did on Sunday. I felt strong and able to push myself, which I haven't felt all year, really. It just felt so good. Admittedly, I did tire and the last km or so wasn't as easy, but it felt OK. And best of all, I have only felt a bit of that weird soreness today. I almost feel normal. Almost. Not quite. But I'm encouraged!

My plan is to cross-train again tomorrow and hope to racewalk on Friday again with Kelly :). If I'm feeling brave enough maybe I'll be able to racewalk on Saturday too? But if not, for sure on Sunday I hope. I just hope this trend continues. Finally.


Oh, I forgot my time for today. Fast! 37:08 for 6:11/km and ave HR 143. Garmin data here.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Another week gone by...

Since I haven't been training, it's been easier to post less frequently. But things are looking up and I might post more often now, depending on how things go.

This week has been a good one, continuing the upward trend. I continue to have a good amount of energy to get through each day, and I am more able to exercise. Yay! It wasn't a good week at all in the food department, but that's another story. I will address that issue below.

Monday: 40 min elliptical
Tuesday: 45 min elliptical
Wednesday & Thursday: rest days - but due to lack of time, not energy - this one falls into the poor planning department. Usually exercise is my #1 priority, but I kind of blew it this week. I was presenting zebrafish stuff to my kids' classes Thursday morning and just didn't plan far enough in advance, so those days were full of last-minute cramming and extra work to make up for missed hours. Enough said. Lame excuse, but it is what it is.
Friday: 5K racewalk with Kelly (YAY! Kelly's knee is getting better!), in 31:45 for 6:20/km. My legs felt really very good and didn't hurt much afterward. Amazing!
Saturday: 1 hour elliptical
Sunday: 8K racewalk in 48:29 for 6:03/km with ave HR 147! Wooo hoo! Some good speed, and my legs didn't give out at the end, and they have just been moderately sore the rest of the day. In fact, after my racewalk I still had enough energy and stamina for a nice easy 2.5K walk to church and then back once the service was over. 8K is the longest walk I've done since September 16, and this is the fastest I've walked 8K in a much longer time than that. Am I really on the mend? I'm almost daring to hope that I am.

I have continued to eat more protein, and more of everything else as well, contributing to some serious weight gain. I'm not beating myself up, just stating it like it is. I finally bit the bullet and went to Weight Watchers on Saturday. I needed to 'fess up and move on. I needed my meeting and the accountability. I weighed in at 163.8 lb (74.5 kg), way over my goal weight of 155 lb, and way more than the 148 lb that I like to race at. I had to pay for being overweight for the first time in 7 years. I thought it would be humiliating, but honestly, it was refreshing to be back, to get my head on straight, and to start over fresh. I am going to attend every week until I feel things are back to normal again, and then go back to a couple times a month. It will take a while to take the weight off, but I'm OK with that. I just need things to get moving in the right direction again.

Back to exercise: so why am I feeling better? My best guess is B12 and protein deficiency combined to make me feel lousy (fatigue, sore muscles, pain) and once the B12 levels were up I still wasn't eating enough protein until the end of September when I realized that might be a problem. It's not Weight Watchers' fault - I wasn't following their good health guidelines very well. Because of my racewalking, I cut way back on dairy, which in retrospect was probably not the problem with my GI distress (I'm still not sure what causes my runner's trots, but I suspect it's a combination of a sensitive intestinal tract and eating just a little too much the day before a long walk? I also think the higher protein diet is helping a lot with that - we'll see when I get back to long walks again). In addition, I was trying to eat less meat to be more environmentally friendly and more healthful. I wasn't conscientious about replacing it with nuts or legumes, and therefore I actually wasn't eating enough protein when I started calculating how many grams I was getting per day - rare for an American, but seemingly true for me. Now that I'm on B12 supplements and eating more protein, I hope I will continue to feel better and get back to my new normal: athletic and enjoying it!

I had the best time on my walk this morning - I just felt so normal again! I saw my friend Henry at the park, stopped to chat a bit and told him I was feeling better. The weather was just lovely - chilly but sunny and calm, and SO beautiful. It was only 37F (about 3C) but our fall weather has been so amazing this year...I know the snow is coming but I'm in denial. Anyway, it was gorgeous today, and I was just SO VERY HAPPY that my legs felt decent. They felt pretty good until the last 1km, and yeah, I got tired. But it was a more normal tired and not that horrible pain-tired I've been having (well, maybe a little bit). The rest of the day I have had some soreness when I sit too long, but it's been pretty good, really. I am going to cross-train tomorrow, but plan to RW on Tuesday with Kelly.

Here's my Garmin data for the walk today.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

the week in review

It's been a whole week since I've blogged. This week has been much better than last week. I've felt pretty darn good - more energy, and able to exercise more.

Monday-Wednesday: 45 min elliptical each day. Felt good!
Thursday: up a bit too late, so only managed to bike to work, but still felt good.
Friday: 1 hour elliptical. Longest I've worked out in a while, and I recovered well from it :).
Saturday: 30 min elliptical + bike to work to do some stuff. Body felt good.
Sunday: Got brave and decided to racewalk for the first time in 2 weeks. I wish I could say it felt good. It felt OK-ish during, and my legs have been stiff and sore since. It's 3pm now and they are hurting a bit especially when sitting. I stretched thoroughly afterward but not sure it helped (don't think it hurt though). I did it at 6:21/km pace for 31:45 total time for the 5K. Not bad. I just wish I didn't hurt.

I told Loren this morning that I was just so glad I'd been able to work out more this week. I really need it for my mental health and for my general sense of well-being, never mind the fact that I also like to eat and therefore need exercise to help keep my weight in check. I hope I'll be able to racewalk again, but if I can't, I will learn to live with that somehow. Not being able to exercise at all would be much, much worse.

I'll play the next couple days by ear. I expect to be sore since I haven't RW in 2 weeks, but I also hope I'll recover well so I can RW later this week. But if it is RW that is messing me up, I will give it up if I have to in order to be able to work out. I have just been SO glad to feel better that it has shifted my perspective monumentally. It's not that I don't fervently hope I can RW again, it's just that I have to prioritize right now. Health is #1, and being able to do some kind of exercise is much more important than being able to racewalk. Feeling good and healthy is such a gift.