Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The trek continues...

My activity level was up significantly in October, though in its last week I strained my back and took a head cold at the same time.  The PF still exhibits some post-run discomfort, especially the following morning,  The discomfort is considerably muted from before, so healing is taking place, albeit slowly.

Despite my efforts in October, my VO2max numbers showed no improvement, and are 20% lower than my peak (I know this is due to my injury-filled 2014, surgery earlier this year, etc.).  Maybe allowing the HR to reach 90%+ HRmax is not the right approach at this time.  I will dial back to 85%, just to stay in the aerobic region and add intervals as well.  Even intervals, according to some experts, should not exceed 90% HRmax for maximum benefit.  I am in this for life, so I will adjust and continue to push forward.

I hate doing stretching routines, especially stretching as an off-day workout routine.  I need to do it, regardless.  While I know runners do not need to be "gymnast flexible", I am a little stiffer in some areas than I should: hip flexors, calves, hamstrings.  I guess I just to figure out a way to make the workout somewhat enjoyable, and I am open to suggestions.

Until next time, forward, always forward...

Friday, October 16, 2015

Thoughts on running and recovery

I want to begin this post by saying that starting again is difficult, physically and mentally, but mostly mentally.  Mentally, there is the challenge of pacing oneself to avoid injury.  Mentally, one has to avoid looking backwards as to how things used to be.  Mentally, one has to avoid looking too closely toward the future and the long road that lies ahead.  All of these things can make it very difficult to get up in the morning and go out and run.

My challenges are starting over, recovering from a plantar fascia injury, and running barefoot.  The challenge of running barefoot helps keep me in check with respect to the loading I might otherwise put upon myself.  Running barefoot is a slow build up, and the plantar fascia needs a slow build-up as well.  This old body needs a slow build up, also. Nonetheless, there is something positive to take  from almost  every run.  All of my running metrics and cardio monitoring shows that the body is responding and getting better at its tasks. It does not always feel that way during execution, but the data is very plain, and encouraging.

I know that I won't feel like I'm really running again until I'm running three miles or more. This is my own "head issue", if you will.  But at that milestone, I know that I am over my injury and I can continue to move forward steadily.  Of all the lessons I've learned over the last several years regarding running, it is that the 10% rule is to be honored. It is good for almost every system of your body that's impacted by running: muscular system, skeletal system, cardiovascular system, and immunity system.  Sure, it's easy to go out and push much harder than 10%, but the reality is that your body will not catch up with your distance.  It all takes time.

Until next time, let's keep moving...and forward as much as possible.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The long road back...

I have now run twice this week, with no injury pain in the plantar fascia of the left foot.  The runs were very short, only ~0.5 mile each.  I know I need to ease into running so the PF gets used to the strain, and my whole body needs to ease in as well.  Yeah, I regret ignoring the bicycle the last few weeks.  So far, so good.

I am running 100% barefoot.  This is the most certain way I know to ensure good running form -- for me.  I am getting the PF used to running, and I am re-training my feet to be bare.  I am not concerned about heart rate.  My HR will go beyond 90% until my conditioning returns.  In the meantime, I need to get the whole system used to going again.  I am not quitting, though I know the road back will be long.  I just need to keep at it and make sure I do not hurt myself again.

Keep moving forward...

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Still healing...

Every morning I awake with the hope of no pain in my left foot's plantar fascia.  Every morning, thus far, I am disappointed.  It is frustrating.  After it "warms up", it feels fine, but I know it is still damaged.  Sitting for even 30 minutes and then standing on it reminds me it is not ready.

We are anticipating a move in a couple of months, to a home we are presently building.  Our exercise room had its associated equipment dismantled to make room for my moving boxes from France, and it has acquired other boxes since then.

Meanwhile, I watch my diet, wear orthotics to support the fascia when walking (that is rough for a guy who loves being barefoot), and keep myself busy with chores which need to be done prior to selling the house.  I have regular meetings with my construction manager as well.

Not being able to run diminishes my enthusiasm for many things, and it is a fight to keep finding ways to be active without hurting the fascia further.

I will say that using the orthotics have helped facilitate healing.  Healing is progressing, it is just slow.  I am grateful for what healing has taken place.

Keeping on...

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Frustration sets in...

Plantar fascia.  It hurts.  It is not healing.  I'm frustrated with it all.  I cannot give up running, and I am tired of not being able to run consistently.  It is de-motivating for all other activity.  Each morning I awake thinking I am going to be able to run, but even after being up and walking around for an hour, it still hurts.  Running won't make it better.  The roller makes it feel better, but not enough to heal it.

OK, that is enough whining.  That is why the blog has been quiet -- the PF problem.  I confess that I am very frustrated and a bit depressed about the whole thing.  I need to get my head back and at least cycle and swim.  I think I am going to have to start wearing shoes with some arch support until this PF thing heals.  I'm rambling; I'm sorry.

Now it is out there, and I will post of progress, and hopefully this PF will heal soon.  Thanks for coming along...

Monday, July 13, 2015

A full couple of days...and learning

Yesterday was a run day, my present HR-interval runs encompassing three miles (5km).  It was a good run in that I was able to recover to 95-100% between intervals for 2.3 miles (3.7km).  Previously, I was fortunate enough to maintain that type of recovery for only the first 1.2 to 1.3 miles (1.93 to 2.1 km).  I marked an improvement in time over the previous run, but still 15 seconds away from pre-Santa Fe.  I ran with a metronome, trying to get my cadence back down to 180 spm.  The metronome helped, but I am still not the consistent 180 spm (it was practically a straight line regardless of terrain and speed) I was doing for many, many months prior to my broken ankle.  Using a higher cadence is simply wasted energy, unless one is trying to speed up at the end of a race.  I will get back to my 180 spm; it will take using the same training methods that allowed me to achieve it before.

Today was swimming and cycling.  I did push myself more on the bike, but I also had to wait on traffic more than usual today, so the numbers do not really show my push.  I did manage to set a new max-speed high for myself at 16.8 mph (27 kph).  I cycle on flat terrain, so that means no hill assist -- all leg effort.

My swim workout extended my frustration with my inability to generate any propulsion with my flutter kick in the freestyle.  My breast-stroke is getting more consistent and rhythmic, but there is still substantial room for improvement -- at least there seems to be progress.  I went back to the swimming website I mentioned before, and reviewed all the videos and re-read the articles.  It seems runners have an issue with stiff ankles, and stiff ankles are death for the flutter kick.  The site recommend flippers, so I went and bought some specifically for training (shorter than normal flippers).  We'll see what happens when I return to the pool on Wednesday.

Altogether, the last two days have been good fitness days.  I cannot complain.

Keep moving forward.

Friday, July 10, 2015

A little Turf-n-Surf

Ah-Ha!  You were thinking about that ribeye and shrimp combo down at the local steak joint, right?  Sorry to disappoint your taste buds, this is not nearly as satiating...

Yesterday morning I ran.  I must admit, I did not want to run yesterday, but I could not come up with an excuse that would sound acceptable when I typed it out here.  As usual, making the run turned out to be the happier choice.  It was 75F (24C)/95% humidity.  I did OK, though, two minutes faster than Tuesday's run, so I am getting back to where I left off.  It was indeed a hot and sticky run, but much better than not running.

I got the opportunity to swim later in the day, when the heat was in the 90s (+32C).  I worked out for twenty minutes, which is not such a long time, I know.  I am either doing drills or swimming laps the whole time.  When I got finished, I showered, but I had those post-shower sweats -- I had not realized what an intense workout swimming can provide (especially one that is less than efficient in the water).

Honestly, swimming and running the same day gives me a whole new level of respect (already high) for triathletes.

Today would normally have been a cycling day, but my presence was required at our house's construction site -- they finally got the slap poured.  It required 350 cubic yards (268 cubic meters) of cement, but really, that is for the other blog.

Meanwhile, keep moving forward, and run if the mind says 'no'.  It will thank you later.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Got to ride after all...

Today I was hoping to be onsite of our new house at 7 AM to watch them pour the slab.  It will take between 25-30 truckloads of cement.  As luck would have it, we got pushed to Friday.

I hopped on the bike and took a ride, extending it almost 0.5 mile.  I must say, the thighs are still burning.  I also note from my Garmin stats that I need to step it up a little bit more.  I fall into the trap of not wanted to push myself because I want to make sure I finish my distance target.  Since I am using the cycling as cross-training, I need to get my cycling to level 3 or better in Garmin's "Training Effect" index.  Level 3 or higher indicates that I am improving aerobic fitness, which is what I need from my cycling and swimming.

I did not have access to a pool this morning, so no swimming.  I do have a couple of things to try in order to improve my kick, which will, in turn, help me improve form and efficiency in the water.  Depending on how I feel after my run tomorrow, I could do a makeup swim session.

The plantar fascia did exhibit discomfort later in the day.  I went to cold roller therapy and it helped quite a bit.  I am not out of the woods with it, and will need to keep up with the roller massage until it is pain-free.  I was careful to note my running form, and I think my running form is OK.

I'll run tomorrow, looking for whatever improvement I can find.  Thanks for coming along.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Back in the saddle (literally and figuratively)

OK, literally back in the bicycle saddle as of yesterday, and figuratively, back to swimming yesterday and running today.

A week in Santa Fe at high altitude and a week off to let the left foot's plantar fascia finish healing still represents two weeks of not activating muscles in the way one does in cycling, swimming and running.  This is the week to get things going again.

I extended my cycle ride to just over six miles.  The swimming continues to baffle me, but I stay active doing drills and actual swimming (in addition to reading and watching video online as to how to address my challenges).  I will continue these "two-a-days" at least twice if not three times a week.

The run today was a challenge from the get-go.  It was 81 degrees F (27C) and thick wall of 89% humidity.  The thermodynamic effects on HR came on much earlier than normal.  Running form was good, but I have to do more tempo work to get my cadence in the right place.

The plantar fascia is not talking back at this point, a small victory I will celebrate.

Tomorrow they are supposed to be pouring our foundation at our house.  I want to see all of it, so I might not workout in the morning.Thursday's morning run is still on schedule.

Keep moving forward.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A time to heal...

OK, some of you looked at the title and went right to the Byrds.  Those who did not, do not bother, the title is what it is -- no secrets.

My recent trip to Santa Fe (elevation 7000 feet) was revealing in two ways.  First, being at 7000 feet makes one from sea level a little winded by walking, and when it hits nearly 100 degrees F (38C), the air thins even more.  My wife took altitude sickness shortly upon our arrival, and I decided not to push my luck by going on a run.  We walked, and being that Santa Fe can be a little hilly (especially for someone living in the Gulf Coastal Plains), we decided that was enough exercise.  I did come back two pounds lighter, despite all the great food.  Secondly, the plantar fascia in my left foot really began to heal.  It made a lot of progress last week, so I am going to continue to rest it this week.  Even now, it feels 95% well.  We have a lot of work to do around the house and with the property, so I will be busier than usual.

Nonetheless, this week affords the opportunity to do tempo and balance drills, in addition to catching up on some self-study.

Next week I will continue to incorporate cycling and swimming on the same day, pushing the cycling to six miles.  I will continue to run the "HR Intervals", and may incorporate a second run on one of the days.  We'll see; I have to honor the left foot's plantar fascia before getting too crazy.

Meanwhile, keep moving, and forward if at all possible.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Shut down...

Although the frozen roller helped the plantar fascia feel better, it was not enough to take a run this morning.  My walking gate is altered because of the pain, and running will on further exacerbate it.  I am going to put on my common sense hat and do what I would advise others in the same situation to do: rest, ice, compression, elevate (RICE).

Sometimes I hate common sense, but it is too wise to ignore.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Heading into vacation

My wife and I head to Santa Fe, New Mexico soon for a week of fun and sightseeing.  Vacation time always challenges exercise time, and this will be no different.  I am going to try to get some fitness activity into each day.

I have not posted since Tuesday.  Wednesday was a rainout for cycling and swimming, but I got back on-track Thursday with another running workout.  The last three running workouts have been very consistent in terms of times and efforts.  No new breakthroughs to report.  I stepped on a stick (about 1.5 inches or 4 cm in diameter) pretty hard last week (I run in Vibram Five-Fingers ELX), and it has created a pain in the left plantar fascia that is not going away quickly.   I have a foot roller which I keep in the freezer, and I have pulled it out for therapy.  We'll see.

Today's workout saw my best cycling time on my 5+ mile quasi-loop, though much of that gain had to do with waiting less time at traffic lights.  I'll take it, since it was finished with less rest (VBG).  I followed the ride up with a swimming workout which lasted 27 minutes.  It felt good to be in the water, and while I have made some gains in swimming form, I still have a lot on which to improve.  When I found the swimming website Enjoy Swimming, I thought I could use that alone as my coach.  I am not sure that will be true, though I will get a few more sessions on my own before deciding that for certain.

Tomorrow sees another run, and I am hoping the plantar fascia in the left foot is cooperative.  I will coax it tonight with some cold roller time.

Keep moving forward.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Run before the storm

Tropical storm Bill is comin' to get us!  Many businesses closed early or did not open at all because of Bill's looming threat of flooding.  I wanted to get my run in before the rains came.

I had a good run/workout today.  The time of the workout was the same as the previous one, so I am glad for consistency.  My running dynamics (recorded by my Garmin 620) are looking good, but also telling me I might focus on picking up my feet a little quicker.

While trying to extend my running distance between my recovery point and 80% HRmax, I will try to slow my pace.  In doing so, sometimes my form breaks down.  In this case, it is being too vertical causing the feet to land slightly in front of me.  The cure is simple, lean an inch forward (measured from nose, and leaning from your ankles).  It also means to concentrate on heal pickup, being centered, and where the feet are landing.

One other thing I am doing now with respect to form is doing a full arm swing.  If you have Denny Dryer's ChiRunning DVD, you will notice that he does a screen split into four.  He does this to illustrate that his cadence is the same no matter what "gear" he is in: slow, medium, fast, and race pace (he numbers them as 1, 2, 3, 4 and the gears' name corresponds to the inches of lean required).  The other thing to notice on the split screen is his arm swing.  He uses the arm swing to control cadence, and the arm swing is exactly the same no matter his pace.  It looks a little excessive in Gear 1, but reasonable in the rest.  Making the same arm swing regardless of speed is the way to control cadence, so practicing it now, when in Gear 1, is mission critical for me now.

It looks like Bill landed quite west of Houston, so it remains to be seen if I will be able to cycle and swim tomorrow.  The weather people say were are not out of the woods, yet.  Of course, they want to boost ratings, too.

Keep moving, forward whenever possible.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Wheels and water

Today was the first day I combined cycling and swimming.  My ride was my standard 5.3 miles quasi-loop.  After this week I will bump it to six miles.  The ride went well, though my thighs continue to burn (a good thing, overall).  I expect the burning to subside and the speed to increase after this week.

I used my daughter's pool to get back to swimming.  Gosh, I cannot remember the last time I got in the water to attempt a "lap"; it has to be at least 10 years.  All I wanted to accomplish was waking up my muscles to the notion of swimming.  Swimming has never been "fluid" for me (really, no pun intended).  I have always felt my form was bad and my stamina poor.  I was hoping to be in constant motion in the water for 30 minutes, but I only made 22 minutes.

Thanks to my recent surgery, I was able to exhale my full lung capacity through my nose and underwater.  I had not been able to do this before, meaning that my breathing rhythm has been quite poor since forever.  I am sure the breathing problems contributed to my lack of stamina.  I did drills for swimming using only my legs and discovered that, except for the breast-stroke kick, I need a lot of work on getting my legs to aid the effort.  This is where coaching will come into play.  As to waking up my muscles for swimming, it did not take long before my shoulders and arms were providing rather concerned (TIC) feedback.  Overall, adding swimming on cycling days seems to be a good fit, so I will keep it.

If 91L does not prevent me from doing so, I will be back to running tomorrow.  Keep moving forward.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Cool moist blanket beats a warm moist blanket

I got out to run before 7AM today, and the air was definitely cooler.  It was still humid, but cooler is better.  I finished today's workout almost three minutes faster than Thursday's workout.  The best part of today's run was the focus on form, especially in the second half.  When you think about it, the movements you make while running slowly are the same initial movements when running faster.  Running in good form at lower paces will make for good form at higher paces -- which has more to do with increasing momentum in the legs after the initial heel pickup via the body lean.

I would like to say that I am not a star runner, an expert, or anything else.  I am just a guy north of 55 years who discovered the joy of distance running late in life and am trying to recover it.   I have my own heroes and inspiration, guys who are also north of 50 years and have made themselves into very good runners.  They have shown me that the goals I wish to achieve in running are possible, but I must stick with it, just as they did.  I write here to fight my own running demons, to relate the realities of progress, to share the journey, and to encourage others.

I take tomorrow off, let the body rest and recover.  I plan to add a couple of swimming sessions next week, probably on cycling days.  Fixing my swimming form is a goal for the summer, focusing on the four basic strokes: freestyle, breast-stroke, butterfly, and back-stroke.  Right now, I feel my swimming is more akin to punishing the water for existing...

Keep moving forward, and thanks for coming along.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Warmer. Slower.

Yes, it was a full 5 degrees (3C) warmer, and I was 30 seconds slower today compared to Tuesday.  It is to be expected.  I got a late start, hitting the road at 7:30 this morning instead of an hour earlier.  The best time to run is 5 or 6-something, not 7-something or later.  Gotta remember that one.

Two positives to take away from today is 1) I made it to 0.3 miles before hitting HRmax (on the startout), compared to 0.2 miles just three runs earlier, and 2) I went over 1.5 miles being able to recover to 70% of HRmax before running again.  Thermodynamics took over, and by the end of the run, I could only recover to 75% HRmax.  The one negative from today happened late in the run.  I began to feel some knee pain.  With all the work I have done on form the last few years, I was able body-sense and assess quickly.  I made a form correction and was OK afterwards.  When fatigued, it is harder to keep good form, and the heat was getting the best of me.

Yes, I wish I could run the whole thing at 80% HRmax or less.  It is summer, I am overweight (but losing it), I have had a broken ankle and sinus surgery in the last 12 months.  I have no other option but to be patient and keep going.  I want with all my being to get back 10-12 mile weekend runs.  I did not get to there overnight back then, and it will not happen overnight this time.  Endeavor to persevere.  George Wooten penned that (or was it Lone Watie?).

Tomorrow is a cycling day.  Keep moving forward.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Humid, but good

I was glad that I was able to run today for two reasons: I enjoyed the workout, and it meant the fever and stomach bug that hit me Saturday AM had passed.

The temperature was 74F (23C) but the humidity was 90% when I ran my workout today.  Nonetheless, it was good workout which saw me finish about 1:30 minutes faster than the previous one last Thursday.  I was pleased with the workout performance though there is plenty of room for improvement.  I know where my body is at this point, and it is giving me what it can.  As the unwanted weight comes off, I will perform better during workouts.  I know this to be true, but I have put myself behind a HUGE 8-Ball, and will have to be patient where "numbers" are concerned.

I am dieting, also.  We are using the Advocare plan.  My wife and I decided we needed the discipline such a program can provide at this point.  It is working for both of us, and that is all good.  I have a target weight in mind, and it is possible to reach it by year's end.  It will be less than I have weighed in 20 years, so it is ambitious.

Until then, I will keep moving forward, and hope you are able to do the same.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Morning run, humid morning

Houston is humid, especially in the morning.  As the heat rises through the day, the humidity drops.  OK, it doesn't drop to Tuscon levels, but it drops double digits.  Nonetheless, morning is still the best time to run as this morning proved.

The run/walk (staying in the aerobic zone) this morning was seven minutes faster than the first one.  The first run was late in the morning when it was 90F (32C).  This morning it was 68F (20C).  During the first run, I could not get back to 70% HRmax and eventually could get my HR lower than 76% HRmax.  This is due to thermodynamics.  As the body tries to cool, the heart beats fast enough to get blood to the surface for cooling and regulate the core temperature.  Normally, perspiration appears on the skin and evaporates producing a cooling effect.  In high humidity, the perspiration does not evaporate and therefore, little cooling takes place.  Reduced cooling on the skin causes the heart to beat faster to pump more blood to the surface for some cooling.  This is why runners prefer 50F (10C) for running because the HR will bother little with its core temperature responsibilities.

I was able to run/walk throughout the three miles (the first day I walked the third mile, maintaining a HR of 76% max).  The first four cycles I was able to get my recovery HR to 70%, and then it began to rise, eventually to 73% HRmax.  The cooler temperature helped me be seven minutes faster; I am certain I have not changed physiologically enough to warrant a 12% improvement in two days.  :-)

This is a process.  A long one to manage, but the outcome is always positive.  Runners who stay at it for years go from being beginners and grow into accomplished runners.  I will, too.

Thanks for coming along; keep moving.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Coming back again, hopefully this time sans interruption...

It has been six weeks since surgery, and the doctor finally cleared me for exercise.  It has been a long healing process -- or at least it seems that way -- and the surgery did help my breathing significantly.  I have at least one more checkup before this chapter closes.

Yesterday I went for a run/walk.  All of my exercise is aimed at getting in and staying in the aerobic zone, defined as 70% to 80% of HRmax.  Due to scheduling challenges, I wound up running late morning, and here in Houston it was already tapping on 90 degrees (32C).  My goal is to run or jog until I hit 80% HRmax, then walk until I get to 70% of HRmax.  With the heat, I could not get down to 70% HRmax after the first cycle.  Every cycle I ran caused the HR on the low cycle to be higher.  I got to the point that when walking I could not get below 76% of HRmax, I simply continued to walk.  Sure, it is not as satisfying as running the whole time, but I will get there.

Today I cycled almost 5 miles for cross training.  I was out 25 minutes, and the last 15 minutes were in the aerobic zone.  A little thigh burn is good for the soul.  It is hard to find a longer route without getting on some busy roads, so this is something on which I will be working.

One day at a time, keep moving forward...

Monday, April 27, 2015

Why quiet?

No, I did not give up already...

On Thursday last, I had surgery to repair a deviated septum and remove polyps in the sinus cavities.  This surgery is uncomfortable enough, and mine had the good fortune of taking almost twice as long as expected.   It was more of a mess than my doctor expected, despite a pre-surgery CT scan.  My sinuses and nose bled for the better part of the next 3 days, finally stopping in the wee hours of Sunday morning.  I go Wednesday to get the "packing" removed and hopefully a clean bill of health to resume exercise.

This has been a lifetime problem that got worse as I aged.  It interfered with sleep in a big way, and since sleep is as important as exercise in terms of recovery and stress management, this was literally killing me slowly.  If you have any such problems, deal with them NOW, for your own sake.  I will be encouraging my daughter to do likewise.

I was required to sleep on my back after surgery, which for me is like not sleeping at all.  I just cannot do it.  I am hoping to get clearance from my doctor today to start sleeping on my side.  If not, then it is two more nights of resting in the recliner through the night.  I am optimistic; however, that this surgery will allow me to sleep better than I have in years, to breathe better than I have in my life, to enjoy exercise more than I have known.

Take care, run freely.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

First ride in a while...

Today was cross-training, in that I did something different from running.  The theory of cross-training is that the body becomes very efficient in its main activities, such as running, and one reaches a point of diminishing returns.  By cross-training, different muscles are being exposed to new activities, and even the "running muscles" are used differently, so they fail to find that "lazy path" to motion.  Further, by training different muscle groups, blood flow is increased throughout the body, resulting in better aerobic performance.  All good reasons to have cross-training in one's regime.

Blood certainly flowed in places it had not in a long time.  My thighs were swollen after this first ride of the new era.  The blood doesn't flow in that area as much when running or walking.  It did take me 9 minutes to reach the aerobic zone for my heart, but my legs would have fatigued if I tried to do it faster.  It is a matter of conditioning, which I no doubt need, and time.  It is all in the right direction.

Take care and run free.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Starting over...

The only way to be defeated is to quit entirely.  The last three years, especially the last year, have taken a heavy toll on my body and psyche.  Without getting into any details, I allowed such obstacles to detract from good fitness and dietary habits.  I have gained a lot of weight and can no longer expect to back up a little and get back in my running groove.  My focus must now be on weight loss through diet discipline and exercise.

I am starting over, which means to focus on aerobic (fat-burning) exercise and watching what I eat (at least 2/3 of the weight loss battle).  So far as running is concerned, I will be running on heart rate, keeping myself in the 70-80% HRmax zone.  This is achieved through a combination of running and walking.  I run until I hit my upper limit, then walk until I hit the lower limit, then run again, and so on.  In this way, I am keeping my body in the fat burning zone at all times.  I will add cycling at least twice a week for cross training.  I will push it until I am in the aerobic range as well.

I performed such a run today as the official "starting over" run.  I know this is going to take time -- a few months -- before I can start thinking about performance training.  I know it will work if I stay the course.  Besides, what better day to start something anew than your birthday.

Take care, run free.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Back on track, again

I fell off the face of the earth on purpose.  The top of foot pain (TOFP) returned and would not let up.  I was not going to post complaints and whinings and general verbal diarrhea.  I had no idea if I would come out of the woods.  As I stated before, I know tendons and ligaments can take up to a year to heal completely, and with the loading running puts on the feet, I should not be surprised if it takes longer than six months for me to be able to run.

I have been stretching and massaging the foot, the Achilles, and the calves for some time.  I walked unshod as much as possible.  The TOFP did not go away completely, but I have reached diminishing returns in the therapeutic process the last month or more.  It is time to begin again, and see if the lingering TOFP is something I can live with.  I am walking at first, mostly to build up the soles of my feet for barefoot running.  I am cycling for cross-training gains.  I will do this for a couple of weeks before I begin running intervals.

I shall post here again after the first intervals...until the next time, take care and run free.