Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Heat and a broken toe

Many things have conspired lately to keep me from the gym, chief among them are the heat and my toe.

It is blastedly hot here in NYC. Not only hot, but humid. Walking outside feels like wrapping yourself head to toe in hot wet towels. Just going about your day is exhausting. We have minimal A/C here in the apartment, so working out at home is right out of the question.

Even with the heat I was managed to get to the gym a few times last week, until on Saturday, while getting ready to go to a friends party, I kicked our scale while walking past it. We have one of those glass topped, square, scales. I kicked the corner of it with my second to last toe.

I swore a lot, sat down, and tried to put my shoe on. The act of putting on my shoe caused a nausea level pain to shoot through my body from my toe. There was more swearing, followed by a heated debate between me and my S.O. as to whether I was OK to go to the party. When I still couldn't put pressure on my foot half an hour later without loosing several shades of color, my S.O. called it, and spent the next two days making sure I was as immobile as possible by waiting on me constantly.

Having broken several toes several times, I am almost positive (as positive as I can be without an x-ray) that this toe is broken. So I'm doing the sensible thing, taping my toes together, splinting it, and staying off my feet as much as possible. This also means little to no exercise.

Today I'm going to attempt a return to the gym, but I'm going to stay away from running. I'm going to be demoted to either the bikes or the row machine. Both of which are far from my favorite machines. But hey, at least it's something.

Stupid toe.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Running in pants makes me hot.

Yesterday's run was educational. My normal workout clothes were all dirty, so I ran in my running pants, instead of the capris I normally wear. I was hot. The entire run that was all I could think about, how hot I was. By the end of the run I was drenched in sweat, and I felt like I had run faster and farther than I had. 3 miles at a 12:13 pace isn't great, but it was all I had in me.

After the run I did some Ab work, my Sensei Mark Specials, some cross crunches, some lying straight-leg raises, some knee crosses in Plank, and some strait leg raises in the captains chair. The machines were all full, so I grabbed some hand weights and did my old strength set of elbow curls/shoulder press and french presses. Nothing too amazing, I was only using 7.5 lbs.

It wasn't a stellar workout, but it wasn't that horrible. Unfortunately the 12:13 pace keeps that run from counting towards my "run faster" goal. I'm now one run behind my target to hit an average 11:00 pace by 7/9. Hopefully the next couple of runs will pick that pace back up.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Keeping myself moving.

Yesterday I did a proper run, and got myself back on track. This weekend did not go well, fitness wise. After walking around a bunch on Friday, I stepped funny walking home from the train, and then spent the next two days nursing my knee back to health. It frustrates me to no end that still, years after the injury, one bad step can cause me to loose almost complete mobility. To that end I have decided that I need to strengthen the muscles supporting my knee. I've grabbed a bunch of exercises and found a workout DVD I want to get (Strong Knees by Gaiam), and once I get health insurance again, I'm going to try to get in to see a sports medicine doctor about some serious PT.

Anyways, trials of the weekend aside, yesterday I got myself back on track at the gym. I've set myself up with a bunch of goals on the Nike+ site, one of which is to run faster. That is, according to the goal, to run a 11:00/mi on average by 7/9. I knocked one run off the total requisite 5 under pace yesterday, clocking a 10:51 pace for a little over 3 miles.

I've noticed a distinct lack of motivation in myself lately. I'm not sure what is causing it, all I know is that it's been increasingly difficult to convince myself that working out is a good idea. I think I may be bored, or maybe it's the lack of a 'goal' like the 5k. I suppose I'm not doing too badly overcoming it, since other than the weekend of immobility, the past week was a decent week workout wise. I just wish it didn't feel so difficult to get myself to the gym!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Realizing progress.

I suppose a proper post is in order. I've been horribly lax since the Lilac 5k about updating. That week, after the Lilac 5k, I went on a bunch of runs with friends up in Rochester. It was great to run with a people, and to have that motivation around when I felt like just skipping a run.

It got tough again when we got back to NYC. We got in really late on Monday night, and ended up taking the following Tuesday and Wednesday to recover and get settled back into the routine. That Thursday, I was starting to develop some sort of post-nasal drip nastiness, but forced myself to go to the gym. I did a tough 30 minute run, only keeping a 12:35 pace, and then did a full strength set to make up for the slow run.

The next three days the sickness was on full force and I coughed and snotted my way through in a haze of NyQuil and DayQuil. By Sunday I was starting to feel better, but wanted to give myself that extra day to make sure I didn't tip myself back into sickness.

Monday's run was awesome. One of those runs where you barely feel the effort, where you run faster than before and feel you could run faster still. I ran 3 miles at a 10:54 pace, and still had enough energy left in the tank to do a full strength session afterward.

Wednesday's run was the opposite. My left calf was bugging me before I even stepped on the treadmill. I paid for every step. I tried to keep my pace up, but ended up barely being able to push through 2 miles. It was a completely frustrating run, especially following Monday's. I did a full strength set minus the ab work afterward, and went home feeling depressed and discouraged.

Today I'm feeling a little better about it. I waited till today to post to let myself get a little distance and perspective, to keep this post from being all doom and gloom. Today I can look at it as: I went, even though I didn't want to. I ran 2 miles on a bad day where once I would barely have hit one. I kept my pace at a respectable 11:15, where once I couldn't crack a 12 min/mile.

This is progress. Hard won, small steps. I am also weighing in below 155 again. Today the scale told me 153.3. The graph of my weigh ins shows a distinct downward slope. I'm refocusing on my goals. I'm keeping better track of my caloric intake than I was before the Race, when my focus was squarely on finishing the Race.

I've set new goals on my Nike+ site. Run 10 times by 7/7, Run 30 miles by 7/7, and average an 11 min/mile by 7/9. I've been toying with the idea of starting one of their training plans, but I think I'll wait until after my friends wedding on the 19th. I think it'll help me to have a specific goal for each workout.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Quick Update!

Oh man I need to update! Life has been so busy lately. After the 5k, I rested for a couple days, then went on a couple shorter runs with everyone. It was so hot! I don't do well running in the heat, but I suppose it's something I'll get better at.

My nike+ system just told me I've reached Orange level now! that means I've run more than 30 miles since I got the arm band. Woo!

I'll post a more comprehensive update later...right now I'm battling a bit of a cold or something and am rather fuzzy headed.

Tracking Transformation: Where I stand now