Monday, November 30, 2015

A quick weeks in review for Nov. 16-22 and 23-29

I’ve had my fun, and now it’s time to get back to work.

My vacation is over. Thanksgiving is over. My husband’s and my birthdays are over. The two-week eating free-for-all is over.

Most importantly, the training lapse is over. I want to do something, even if it’s 15 minutes of yoga, every day from Thanksgiving to Christmas. So far, I’m 5 for 5. Hooray!

It felt amazing to work up a sweat on the bike Saturday, and I could barely get through a Jillian Michaels video yesterday. Oof – I have a lot of work to do.

But I know I can do it. I’ve been in varying states of “out of shape” many times before. With focus, commitment and more than a little stubbornness, I’ll be less out of shape before too long.

For posterity, the last two weeks in review:

Nov. 16-22

Yoga: 15 minutes

Yes, that’s it. It was a crazy week of celebrating my husband’s birthday and going on vacation – sadly, nowhere warm. I didn’t bother to bring workout clothes. I walked a bunch but not enough to count as traning.

Nov. 23-29
Hey, a nice variety last week.
Bike: 60 minutes on the trainer.

Weights: 55 minutes of a more-painful-than-I-remember Jillian Michaels video (No More Trouble Zones). I had to use 5-pound weights for 99% of it and had to modify all my planks. Several times, I was legitimately concerned I would barf. Let’s just say there is lots of room for improvement.

Pre-hab: About 35 minutes in two sessions, one of my hip-strengthening moves and one of the glute exercises not covered in Jillian Michaels’ torture session video.

Yoga: 20 minutes.

Total: Five sessions in about 2:50:00. A far cry from my heavier training weeks, but still! I'm moving in the right direction.

This coming week, my focus will be building on that success in two easy steps: 1. Quit eating junk and 2. Get my butt moving again. I am determined to make this December a healthy one.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Two birthdays, a vacation and Thanksgiving means I'm off the wagon

I've been slacking on my training for the last month, but over the last few weeks I pretty much stopped doing anything except eat.

First, it was my husband's birthday, so there was a lot of this:
Edible cookie dough -- my husband's favorite.
Then we went out of state for a wedding, so there was a lot of this:
One of many delicious breakfasts out on the road.
Then we took an extra day to get home, so there was a bit more of this:
Sugar, fries, drinks, and more sugar: Vacation food of champions.
Then it was Thanksgiving. We went out to a delicious buffet but I still baked and bought way too many sweets to enjoy back at home afterward. This was a small sampling:
Not proud to say I ate most of that pumpkin roll over Thanksgiving Day.
I wrapped up the week with my own birthday celebration. Instead of going out to yet another dinner, I decided I wanted to do this:
So. As a result, I'm pretty much back to square one. In the last month, I've gotten on the bike twice for easy spins, tried and failed to run one mile, and done a bit of yoga and pre-hab. And that's it.

I'm going to finish having my fun, and then commit to get back on track. I want to do SOMETHING every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I'm already two for two with a bit of yoga last night and my hip-strengthening moves today. I've washed out my bike shorts in anticipation for a ride tomorrow. I need to get moving again!

I'm still going to hold off on running for a bit longer, but swim, bike, lifting weights, yoga and pre-hab are all fair game. Now to get back into a regular schedule before I backslide much farther.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Week in review Nov. 9-15: Not sucking quite so much

Still very low volume, but anything would be an improvement.
Well, it was still a crappily low-volume week, but just about anything would have been better than last week's 35 minutes.

I have all the usual excuses of a work event one night, family in town two other nights, picking up my car from the dealership another night, needing to bake a birthday cake for my husband, blah blah blah. Obviously I've really been struggling to get training back into my regular schedule.

I didn't try to run this past week. I decided I'm going to give it another good few weeks off, through my mini-vacation this weekend and the Thanksgiving holiday. I'll try again in December and if my IT bands feel good, I'll add mileage back in slowly. In the meantime, I need to get my butt busting (literally) on pre-hab glute moves.

Last week by the numbers:

Bike: One session for 60 minutes. I got almost to the hour mark before my IT band started hurting.

Pre-hab: Two sessions for about 40 minutes total. In all I did most of my glute moves and some hip moves, spread out through the week.

Yoga: Two sessions for 15 minutes each, just long enough to stretch out the hamstrings and hips.

Total: Five sessions for 2 hours, 10 minutes.

I'm still a LONG way from where I want to be, but taking it super easy for another few weeks isn't going to kill me. It may even end up being good for my IT bands in the long run. So I'm trying not to get too depressed and think of it as a slow comeback, instead.

Very slow, but still, a comeback.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

End-of-week check-in: Some tough decisions

Running shoes collecting dust in my home gym.
I haven’t had much to say lately, so I figured it was better to keep quiet rather than blather on about nothing.

I’m still dumbfounded by what on earth is going on with my IT bands. My right leg, which caused me weeks of pain and the inability to run more than a couple miles, has felt perfectly fine since my marathon a month ago. Now, my left leg is what leaves me in pain after too much effort running, biking or even walking the dog.

Obviously, I have some kind of fundamental imbalance going on. Obviously, I need to strengthen my glutes, hips, and probably all of my other muscles, too. Obviously, I have a job and a life that makes this difficult to do regularly.

Not to mention that I’ve barely cycled and haven’t swum a stroke since my aborted 70.3 in August. If I can’t run or bike, I should probably get into the pool again soon, huh?

Wah, wah, wah.

After a lot of thinking about whether or not there will be a “next season,” I made two hard decisions:

1. I’m not going to try for a January marathon. This makes me really, really sad as the one I wanted to do is on my sister’s birthday and a half hour away from her in Florida. But I am way behind any base building that would have to be done to get ready. Even if I bust out 6 miles this weekend, 5 more than I’ve done in the last month without having to hobble home, I’d have to nail every single long run and max out at an 18-miler. At this point, I think that’s asking a bit too much.

2. I am going to explore every other feasible alternative to waking up at 4:30 a.m. next season. This past season I tried to get up Tuesday-Friday at 4:30 a.m. and alternate going to the pool or getting on the bike trainer. I barely managed to make it work: I had to cook three meals during one frantic daily cooking session, I was always exhausted, and I rarely saw my husband during the week. I am something of an early bird, but that was pushing it even for me. The pool by my office is convenient, but not great. The pool closest to my home is great, but requires paid parking (or a ride to and from). I have another pool that may be an option, but it’s a bit of a hike out of the way. I’m not sure what to do yet.

I have put any training on the back burner recently because I have had, and will have, a slew of personal things coming up: Late nights at work, birthdays, a mini-vacation, etc. I can feel that my clothes are a bit tighter but, honestly, it's not going to be enough to make me skip dinner with a friend in from out of town, or have some of my husband's birthday cake next week. I'm out of town for a few days next weekend and I wasn't really planning on making training a priority until after I got back and probably after Thanksgiving. If I get some rides and lifting in, great! But I have more important vacation prep and holiday celebrating to do.

Hopefully, but the time my traveling, cake-eating and Thanksgiving gobbling is done, my knee will be feeling better and I can get back to it.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week in review Nov. 2-8: Another pile of (almost) nothing

Another week maxing out at 35 minutes of training.
Another week down, another seven days of very little training.

It wasn't ALL my fault. I tried to go for a run last Monday, but very quickly my left knee was in quite a bit of pain. OK, so running is still out for the time being. Then I had an evening eye doctor appointment. Then my computer died and I had to waste an evening at the repair shop. I FINALLY finished up my volunteer project. Then a family friend was in town.

Excuses, excuses, excuses.

This week was a simple...

Run: 1 mile in 10:16 to give my knee a test. It failed. I headed home. I also took the mutts for a nice long walk yesterday. That also hurt my knee. I'm very discouraged.

Pre-hab: Because the reason my knees are wonky is probably related to my lack of pre-hab, I did about 25 minutes of hip and glute moves one day this week.

Total: A pathetic 35 minutes.

Here's one more excuse: I am at work right now waiting for an evening event to start, so training today is pretty much out. But I have the whole rest of the week to try to ease back into my routine -- no more projects, no eye appointments, and no more evening events after today.

I'm starting to not feel like myself because of this almost-zero training. A few months ago I was putting in 15 hours a week of swim/bike/run! Maybe I am just depressed because it gets dark at about 4:45 p.m. now. This week, I really want and need to start getting back into a training routine, even if I can't run. My sanity needs it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

October in review: Ugh. And, a running update

I worked out so little I can do these charts in minutes. =(
I’m a bit late (something I say a lot) for my October review, but don’t blame me this time – my computer was in the shop and I had to share with my husband, who uses his for his day job. Perfect timing, as I really needed it for a volunteer project I’m working on. Sigh.

Running update: I tried for one mile Monday night. It hurt. Funny how my right IT band, which had been causing me problems, feels perfectly fine. I’m sure this has to do with me putting pre-hab on the back burner again. I just need to carve out the time.

Anyway, October: A couple runs, a couple bikes, a bit of yoga and some pre-hab:

Bike: Four times on the trainer.

Run: Three times for 30.2 miles, the majority of that during the Freep Marathon.

Yoga: Five sessions.

Pre-hab: Seven sessions. This is almost twice a week, which isn't too terrible.

A far cry from my record-setting 187 miles a few months ago. =(

I'm really depressed about not running but I don't know what else to do except pre-hab and rest. Hopefully it will only take a few more weeks and I can get back into it. Otherwise, I may be spending a lot of time in the pool this winter. Yuck.

Here's hoping for a better November.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Week in review Oct. 26-Nov. 1: A big pile of (almost) nothing

A light week, to say the least.
Guys, I have been having a hard time these past couple of weeks. I think that this might be the least amount of training minutes that I’ve ever reviewed.
It’s now 15 days after the Freep Marathon and I’m not even close to being back to my normal self. I was pleasantly surprised to run all 26.2 without any IT band pain, and I expected that I would be stiff and sore for a few days afterward. All the normal aches, pains, chafing and blisters lingered for a few days, but healed as to be expected. (And I did end up losing that toenail.)

Then, seemingly out of the blue, my OTHER knee started giving me a hard time. I have been afraid to run at all because just when I think it feels better, I start getting stabbing pain just from walking. It’s not quite in the location of my IT band and not quite under my patella. I dug out my patellar strap brace from years ago and tried wearing that, and it helped a tiny bit.

Combine that with my family coming into town last week – and of course celebrating my grandmother’s 80th birthday and other family stuff take priority over a few runs – and I have done pretty much diddly squat. Plus, it hasn't been a good week otherwise: My computer died and someone went on a shopping spree with my credit card. It's been one thing after another.

Anyway, last week:
Pre-hab: 15 minutes of hip-strengthening exercises.

Yoga: 20 minutes of self-guided movement, mostly for hips, hamstrings and back.

Total: A vomit-worthy 35 minutes. 35 MINUTES.

I really, REALLY want and need to get back into the swing of things. I need to figure out my knee issue and get running again. I need to get back in the pool and on the bike. I need to lift some weights and do my pre-hab and yoga. ... And while I'm at it, I need a couple million dollars and a few hours of additional free time, too.