Tuesday, April 22, 2014


I've been fairly consistent with my workouts since starting back up again. I've made it into the weight room at least 3 times per week, each week, usually 4. When I've been in pain and unable to run I've either biked or used the elliptical. I've stuffed myself with protein and other recovery-oriented chemicals following my workouts and then slept like a corpse from total exhaustion.

But my strategy of trying to get my speed up without first getting my whole body back into the workout groove hasn't worked so well. My knee hurting and swelling I guess I can deal with. I've been pushing the speed and that puts added stress on the knee joint. But when my problematic calf gave me a twinge of pain and a threat of taking me out of this race one more time I took it as a big warning.

Yesterday, just to be cautious, I started walking and very slowly raised the treadmill speed one tenth of a second at a time. Even when I finally started running I kept raising the speed very slowly and very carefully. I never reached the speeds I've been running in previous workouts. I just reached a speed that I felt I could hold without my knee hurting or my calf tearing or cramping. It wasn't the speed I wanted, but I want to not be hurt more than I want to finally run a decent time again after 2 years in a row limping across the finish line in well over 30 minutes.

I didn't work out at all today. I had been working out 4 days per week, Monday through Thursday. I'm starting to believe that I'm trying to leap into this too quickly and all I'm going to do is reinjure myself just in time to not be able to run my race. So I'm cutting back, slowing down, and lowering my aim.

My new goal is to run the Cotton Row Run from start to finish without any injuries popping up and making me limp or walk prior to my crossing the stupid finish line. Reaching for the stars, I know. But considering the injury troubles I've had in the last 2 races I'm thinking this might be the best idea for me right now.

Sorry if this isn't very inspiring. If my workouts go better I may raise my aim a little. Otherwise, this is probably for the best. One injury-free race and then I will aim higher.

Not gonna be me

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Back to the Gym

I signed up for the 2014 Cotton Row Run. This doom and failure is becoming an annual event for me. I mean, the race has always been an annual event, but my failure to run it in a decent time is a recent development. Recent increasingly being a relevant term since I've failed to even break 30 minutes in my last 2 (?) tries. I'm not going to mix words. Failing to run a 5K in less than 30 minutes is just awful. It's not an achievement to be proud of. It's not even average for my age group. It's barely better than walking. It's awful.

Nevertheless, I have returned to the gym. Naturally I am doing everything wrong. I need to slowly and steadily build up my running to a reasonable distance. And THEN work on my speed and power. But the thing is, I'm stubborn. And stupid. I know I can run the distance. That's not the issue. I mean, as long as nothing breaks or tears or pulls or catches fire before I cross the finish line. So I'm ignoring the whole "build up to the distance and work on your pace and form" thing. The first day back in the gym I ran. And my knee swelled up like a helium balloon. And it hurt while I ran, too. Naturally I went straight back to the gym the very next day. Because that's what you do, right? No, but I did it anyway. I just didn't get on the treadmill the 2nd day. I got on the elliptical instead.

Meanwhile, I supplement my runs/ellipticals/biking with weightlifting. I'm just doing 3 sets of weak weights and low effort lifting. But being more out-of-shape than Barack Obama right now even these weak weights and minimal sets has left me sore.

So yesterday I cranked up the treadmill and blasted through a mile at the race pace I'd love to do during the Cotton Row, except that obviously I'd have to hold that pace for quite a bit longer than just a mile. There's the catch.

Today I cranked up the treadmill even faster. But I was so tired from yesterday that I couldn't hold it, so I Treadmill Fartleked instead. I sprinted, then walked, then sprinted, etc. I did this until my right running shoe exploded. I know this sounds like a joke, the sort of sarcastic thing a blogger would say, but trust me, it isn't. I was sprinting along when I shoe went BLAP and the sole flew off and sailed like a Martina Hingis serve for an ace. This put a slight kink in my sprinting plans and also made me stop running to laugh. But then I had to get off the treadmill and get on a bike. By this point I was out of gas anyway, so I did some bench press and abs and stretched.

Now I have to find a new pair of running shoes. And maybe ice my legs a bit. And stretch some more. And also I should probably search the gym to find my sole before someone else does and thinks one of the women lost her diaphragm in the weightroom somehow.

Aside from my exploded Reebok I have another problem. I clearly weigh too much for my bad knee. It hurts if I don't run just right. And then it swells and hurts like hell. I'm too fat for my knee and my running shoe. I blew it up. My knee isn't going to get better. 2 surgeries have made sure of that. The worse it gets, the lighter I need to be. Of course, that's not likely to happen. But I have to try. Otherwise there isn't going to be any more races on this gimpy, swollen disaster.