Monday, February 25, 2013

a little hiatus

I'm going to take a bit of a blog hiatus. Maybe a FB hiatus too. I'll be back when I have something interesting to say again.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

a bit of RW and more cross-training

I tried to racewalk some more today. I did 6x(4 min walk, 1 min RW). The first few were OK, with minimal pain, but the pain level increased as I did the workout, and while I was not limping or anything at the end, the pain was definitely as much as 3/10. So frustrating. I was hoping for better.

I hopped on the elliptical after that, and did about 6-7 min but that was hurting too because I'd aggravated it from RW. So I got on the bike, which was totally fine (except that it's about as exciting as watching paint peel). I'm just glad that did't hurt and I had TV to watch (the field house at the U has nice TVs with plugs for headphones in all the cardio equipment) and a book to read.

Kelly didn't fare well this morning either. She had a 12K kickdown but after our weight training last night her legs were pretty well shot. She was very disappointed and quite upset. I felt her pain! She felt bad burdening me with that since I can't even RW, but it was no biggie. I totally understood how she felt, as I've been there.

I went to PT after that, and did my exercises and had some more Grastin treatments and stretching. The PT assistant is a great guy and bore the brunt of my rant this morning, because I was frustrated with the fact that I'm not getting much better. I felt bad about the rant and told him so, and he was kind about it.

In general today I'm feeling much better emotionally than yesterday, which I'm thankful for. I'm not sure why, but grateful all the same.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

cross-training & weights

Today: only 25 min elliptical (woke up a bit late). However, I did manage to go back to the gym tonight with Kelly to do weight training. We did 50 min of lifting with LOTS of exercises for gluteus medius (weak in both of us). Jim will be proud :).

Tomorrow morning I'm going to meet her at 6 am; it's snowing so she has to take her workout inside (12K kickdown), and I'm going to do the elliptical and also try some more walk/RW intervals, pain permitting.

I'm still feeling pretty down. I am trying to stay positive, but it's tough.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

turning the corner...maybe?

I think I am feeling better. Just slightly. I actually tried racewalking this morning, outside. I was going to do 6x(3 min walk, 2 min RW), but I couldn't. I did 2x(3 min walk, 2 min RW) and then it did start to hurt, but only a little. So then I did 3 min walk, 1 min RW three times, and then called it quits. Rode the bike for 30 min at the gym, and then went to PT and then to work.

I think it is some progress anyway. Maybe. I'll try again on Thursday; tomorrow will just be x-training.

Monday, February 18, 2013

getting by?

It's been a week since I've posted.

I've considered all kinds of posts. 1) The usual exercise posts. Boring because I've just been doing elliptical, bike, PT, and weight training. I guess these are no more boring than my typical RW posts. 2) Food-related. I've been doing better about eating in general but it's hard. As a stress eater, these circumstances are more challenging. 3) Mood-related. My mood has been all over the map. Sometimes up, more often down, but mostly just trying to keep perspective. I know this isn't that big of a deal in the scheme of things.

I've posted none of them, probably because it just seems like it takes too much energy.

I tried a few minutes on the treadmill on Friday and it wasn't good. I got off as soon as it started to hurt. I haven't racewalked in a week now, essentially. I tried racewalking a bit today around the indoor track and it was better than Friday but still a bit touchy. I might try some walk/RW intervals tomorrow. Maybe. I am not going to do anything that hurts even a little right now.


On the plus side, unrelated, is that I enjoyed the conference I attended for work on Friday & Saturday. I heard a lot of good talks, presented a poster, and enjoyed hanging out with scientist types. It did make me pretty tired, so I'm glad for the holiday today.

Monday, February 11, 2013

getting worse

Yesterday I did 45 min on the elliptical. It felt fine, and my piriformis felt better. So today I tried a repeat of Saturday's 3 min walk/1.5 min RW, but this time on the treadmill instead of outside. I focused so hard on keeping good technique. It hurt though. Usually the pain would diminish by the time I finished each 1.5 min RW segment, and it didn't hurt at all on the walk segments. But now, several hours later, it's really bothering me. Just a dull ache all the time; I'm now sitting on a tennis ball to try and loosen it up.

Back to square one I guess. I have PT tomorrow.

Later today I'll go to the gym to get some cardio and to do my PT exercises.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

plodding along

Yesterday: elliptical at the gym, weights with Kelly (abs, upper body, PT exercises). My friend Ollie had asked about what exercises I do. I have to do 1) planks (30-90 sec; doing 60 right now) x 3 sets 2) side planks (30-90 sec; doing 30 right now) x 3 sets, 3) clam shells with resistance band (gray) around my knees; to fatigue x 3 sets on each side, 4) one-legged bridges to fatigue x 3 sets each leg, 5) lateral walk with resistance band around feet (blue) + hands through gray band attached to post or other rigid object for core stability while I walk; to fatigue on each side x 3 sets, 6) step 90 degrees to right then back, then 90 degrees to left and back with knees slightly bent and core engaged; to fatigue on each side x 3 sets. My hips are trashed when I'm done with this routine! It's tough, but good for me. I'm to focus on keeping my core activated and my gluteus medius activated on all exercises.

Today: tried to walk with Kelly. Made it 1km and had to switch to alternating walk/RW because of pain. Did 6x(3 min walk/1.5 min RW) but the last one the RW was shorter because it hurt. Grrrrr. Also did 30 min elliptical to get in some cardio, and did my PT exercises. In addition, went to my Weight Watchers meeting and faced the music...had to pay for January since I never made it in, but weighed in at 155.2 lb, which could be worse. I can be up to 157.0 without paying, so that was semi-good news. At least I made weight...but I am 5-10 lb (2-4.5kg) above my racing weight. I'm trying really hard not to overeat, but it's very difficult because I'm a stress eater and it's pretty stressful right now with my injury.

I feel like my injury to the piriformis is not improving at all. I guess I have to be patient.

To top it off, I attended a baby shower this afternoon, and when I got in the car of the person I was riding with, the door closed on my right foot (parked in my driveway, which has a slight tilt because we're on a hill) and now it's quite painful and swollen and hurts to dorsiflex. Wonderful. Well, I can't RW anyway, so no matter I suppose. Bring it on, right?

Thursday, February 07, 2013

update; PT

Since Monday this is what I've been up to:

Tuesday - Elliptical 45 min
Wednesday - Elliptical 45 min then PT in the late morning.

PT was cool. I got to go to the running clinic. They had me racewalk on a treadmill with force plate sensors so that they could track the force on each part of my foot through the whole gait. It was quite informative. In addition, the PT did the standard exam to measure muscle strength, etc.

Main findings:
1) My gluteus medius, abductors, and external rotators are weak in my hips. No surprises there, since I've slacked on my strength training. Drat. This injury thing is preventable if I'm not stupid and have time to train properly. (That's easier said than done...).
2) I'm not engaging my core effectively when I walk.
3) 1) and 2) result in gait problems, including a) excessive hip drop, b) crossing the midline with each stride, c) too much trunk rotation.
4) I also have a shortened stride on my right leg and less toe-off on right foot. This is possibly related to my current injury to the piriformis.

So now I have a big list of exercises to do daily, plus a "return to running" (or racewalking!) plan.

Today - on the return to racewalking plan, I did 6 x (4 min walking then 1 min racewalking) for a total of 30 min. Piriformis felt a bit sore but I was able to do it. I concentrated a lot on my form esp on activating glute med and on activating my core, as the PT suggested. After that I took the kids to school and then went to PT again before work. The PT assistant checked my form on the exercises and then did soft tissue work on the piriformis area. I think it helped a lot - it felt a heck of a lot better when he finished. Interestingly, he didn't work it to the point of pain. He just skillfully used his implements (a tray of metal tools that looks like something from a medieval torture rack) to massage the problem area and surrounding tissues.

Later tonight I'll have to hit the gym for some cardio and finish my exercises, as we only did a few in PT.

Monday, February 04, 2013

3 steps forward, 2 steps back

Now my right glutes hurt. Bad. Well, OK, I'm not sure it's my glutes. It might be my piriformis. I'm sure I must be compensating and my gait is all screwed up somehow because of my left leg injury. I couldn't even make it 5K this morning. 2.25K into my walk it was hurting so bad I turned around. I ran, racewalked, and just walked back to my house. I would have just walked, only I'd have gotten cold (it was 23F, about -5C?). Oddly enough, it hurt less to run than to racewalk.

It's later in the day and it's still hurting. I ran to try to catch the bus (and missed it...arrrgh!) because I was doing my part to reduce smog by taking the bus. The running made it hurt worse.

Oh yeah, and because I'm whining, I also have a nasty bruise on my back from falling on the porch steps on Saturday.

I hurt. I'm sick of this. I want to train.

I've gained weight.

I think I'm depressed.

Work hasn't been good either. Nothing is working.

OK, end of pity party. I have things to do here, like take the kids skating and get some groceries.

Sunday, February 03, 2013


So I'm back into the swing of things a bit now. Going to try the easy week that was planned for this coming week, and see how it goes. Today was cross-training, so I did 45 min on the elliptical and felt pretty good.


Could use some extra rest, but might not get it. Have to go in to work tonight to do a couple things, and Kelly and I will meet early to do our 8K. I am still dealing with the aftereffects of a cold this week (I am not sure I blogged about it...think I forgot - I actually missed a day of work on Wednesday because I was feeling pretty ill) and the extra sleep would help.

Saturday, February 02, 2013


I got up this morning and got ready to go walk, and when I went out the door I slipped on my porch steps, which were covered by ice. I fell quite hard, and my lower back hit the bottom step. I sat there for a few minutes, stunned and hurting. I shook it off and got up, and I felt OK; elbows were sore, and back was bruised, but otherwise no apparent damage. So I got in the car and drove to Kelly's house.

I was to do 10K today, depending on how I felt. Kelly was to do 25K. The weather was decent - sunny and about 30F (-1C), and the Jordan River Parkway was mostly clear with some icy spots (we were slowed down significantly on just one 500m section).

However, Kelly was feeling really ill - she was having trouble with her breathing (breathing really hard when we weren't going that fast), and her lower back was hurting a lot. We stopped for a quick leg check at 3km so that I could be sure my leg was doing OK. It was :)! But Kelly was feeling lousy. At 4K, she said she needed to turn around and call it quits for the day at 8K, because she felt too bad to continue. I was all right with that, because I figured I could do 2K more when she was done.

But at 6km or so, I noticed my right hip was feeling really tired. I wasn't sure if it was from slipping on the porch steps, from walking after a long time off, compensating for something in my left leg (which felt fine, by the way), or something else. Regardless, I decided that there was no reason to push things, and so at 8km I stopped with Kelly. My left leg has felt totally fine all day, which is great! My right hip has been sore, but it just feels like muscle soreness. I am probably not using my left glutes enough after the layoff, or something like that.

We were really fast today. Aside from the 2nd 500m and the 2nd to last 500m, our splits were all close to 2:55-3:00. The others were a bit longer because of the ice on that section of the walkway. Kelly kept telling me I was going really fast, but oddly I didn't feel like I was working that hard, so we just kept going that speed. I asked her if I was legal, and she said yes, that my knees were good.

Total time: 47:52 for 8km for 5:59/km with average HR 138.

Garmin data here.

Friday, February 01, 2013

6km racewalking!

It was so nice to be racewalking this morning. Even the weather cooperated. After a January with average temperature 18F (-7.8C), which is 10F below normal (!), it was a balmy 33F (1C) this morning. It felt lovely. Plus, the roads were better after the dump of snow this week. Finally! OK, so the sidewalk in Liberty Park was icy and the park road was icy in spots, but 600 East was OK, and Kelly and I were able to walk nice and fast.

I paused every few km to assess my leg and make sure it was doing OK. It felt all right! It was a bit stiff and I was "noticing" it, but it did not hurt. What a relief! I have delayed posting my blog today mostly because I wanted to make sure there was no delayed onset soreness either. So far, as of 4:10pm, there is not. I have been walking quite a bit at work today, too - had to walk to the core facility to get some stuff sequenced, walked to a meeting at Primary Children's Medical Center (10 min walk, inside), walked to the bank, the pharmacy (in the hospital), and also over to the Emma Eccles Jones building to pick up some enzymes. That's a lot of walking, not including the walk to my car and back. I would guess I've walked 2.5-3km (1.2-1.8 miles) at work today!

Not only was my leg OK, but I was nice and fast today. Kelly kept pestering me to slow down a bit as she is tired from her really hard training week. I felt bad that I was so fresh in comparison to her. My turn will come, though. I'm going to be hurting a lot next week if we start up training again.

My total time for 6km was 35:33 (my watch said 5.96km, but Kelly's said 6, so we went with that) for an average pace of 5:56/km. That's pretty speedy, and I'll take it. Average HR was just 138.

Garmin data here.