Akron Marathon Relay time!

Sorry for the silence. When you’re down with an injury AND bronchitis, turns out there really isn’t much to post on your “workout blog”…

Tomorrow is the Akron Marathon Relay. I’m definitely not really prepared. This illness has kicked my butt; I haven’t run since last week Tuesday (10 days), and I haven’t done any kind of workout at all since last week Friday. I’m just… Still sick. The cough is still in my lungs, I’m still coughing up all kinds of nonsense, I’m not having a great time of it.

I’m still going to run tomorrow. My friends on my relay team know I’m sick. Honestly, it’s been a bad year for training and injuries for most of us, so our goal is just to do the best we can tomorrow and have fun. I’m not entirely looking forward to the race, but I know the overall experience will be fun. And once this is over, I can focus on healing myself and swimming more, now that I don’t have to put in those epic long runs…!

Anyway. Good luck to us!

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Tuesday: Fun with Intervals

Last night I did a fun interval workout that pretty much smoked me. I’m sore today! (It feels strange to be sore from running; most of the times it’s my lungs that die first, leaving my legs relatively unscathed. But today, I am sore in the hamstrings a lot!)

Here’s what I did. I was on a treadmill – it’s kind of necessary to pull off a run like this. So if you’re looking for a fun and challenging way to step up a treadmill run, BAM. I did this at 1% incline as well.

  • warmup: 0.5 mile easy (for me, 5.5 mph)
  • intervals: 1:00 fast, 1:00 jog. I started at 6.5/5.5, and then ramped up/down with each progressive interval. So for example, my first six minutes went: 6.5, 5.5, 6.6, 5.4, 6.7, 5.3, at 1:00 each.
    I went all the way to 7.5/4.5, and then went back to 6.5/5.5 until I hit 2.5 miles of total distance on the interval portion.
  • cool down: 0.5 mi easy @5.5mph

this was hard! I was really sweating at the end, and those last couple intervals at 7.4 and 7.5 mph were hardcore. But I managed to do it without my asthma triggering, and the bronchitis cough afterwards wasn’t any worse than usual.

I now feel like I should have been doing a lot more speed work in preparation for my leg of the relay! But oh well. I’ve been so sick and injured; I have to admit to myself that I can’t do everything.

Weekly Summary / Weekly Plan

This week has been a strange balance of renewed motivation and further illness. On one hand, I joined Fitocracy, set up workout challenges with my friends, started developing a weight training plan for/with my roommate, and overall felt a lot more motivated and excited about getting to the gym in general.

On the other hand, I have bronchitis, and have for a full freaking week. I couldn’t really take work off because this is a week of big meetings, so I was just drugging myself and hoping the cough would go away. I guess it explains why last Tuesday’s run was so awful! I went to a minute clinic on Friday, and yeah, bronchitis. In a bad way.

The Akron Marathon Relay is in 12 days, so I’m trying to balance “getting better” with “putting in that last little bit of training as much as I can because the last 8 weeks have been so horrible for me and I’m already going to suck at this run.”

Last week:

  • Tues: PT + Ran 5 mi
  • Wed: Weights (legs mostly), Swim 20min
  • Fri: PT + 35 min elliptical (because bronchitis)
  • Sat: 1 mi warmup run + weights (arms mostly)
  • Sun: 6 mi easy run + various weights

This week’s plan:

  • Mon: rest, hopefully get over bronchitis!!
  • Tues: run 4-5 mi, intervals
  • Wed: weights (legs mostly) + swim, 20-30 min
  • Thurs: rest
  • Fri: last 7 mi run before the marathon relay!
  • Sat: some weights (arms mostly)
  • Sun: 3 mi easy run / 20-30 min swim

I am so close to this race, and then afterwards, I’m free from running and I can do whatever I want to (swimming… all the time…)

Tuesday PT and run

Today I went to a session of PT. It’s starting to worry me — kind of the same old thing, and while it feels good when I’m there, I’m not noticing any effects that last longer than a couple hours or the end of the day. I realize that PT is a slow, gradual, cumulative process… But I am impatient and in pain.

After PT I went for a run and it was probably the worst run I’ve had all season. My body has been teasing me with the threat of getting a flu – I’ve got a cough in my lungs and aches and chills, but I basically told it NO today and went to run anyway. Well, it turns out, whether it was the flu or allergies or what… I had a huge asthma attack at mile 3.

However. I’m proud of myself, because instead of just calling it quits and being depressed about the run, I walked off until I could breathe and then ran another 1.5 miles. Slow. Easy. Very slow. So at least I got in 4.5 miles, even if they were garbage trash miles. I’m proud not because they were good miles, but because I made myself finish the run after the asthma attack, and because I made myself take it slow enough to not die again.

Weekly update

I’m declaring myself back in the game, tentatively. Here are the things I have going for me:

  1. The physical therapy seems to be working – slowly, but maybe
  2. Even if it isn’t, I want to gently get back into weight lifting while I am still attending PT so that if it does aggravate my neck, I can get guidance
  3. I am really loving the pool
  4. The Akron Marathon Relay is at the end of this month – motivation to get back into things
  5. an upcoming trip in October being more motivation to knock off a little of this fat.

This week was another slow one, but it sets me up nicely for next week. Tuesday I did just my PT. Friday morning I got up and ran 5 miles easy, followed by PT. Sunday (today) I ran 3 miles of negative splits, then did the leg press and a set of kettlebell swings, then swam for 25 minutes. It felt great and I don’t think it aggravated my shoulders too much.

This week I’m hoping to work out Tues and Wed – one day I’ll do a longer run (4-5 miles) and the other i’ll do a 30-min swim followed by some light weight lifting. Friday I’ll do a long run and Sunday I’ll do what I did today. That’s the plan, anyway; cross your fingers that I have no other setbacks.

Absence, Injuries, Illness – and me

I’ve gone from almost-every-day posting to almost-no posting, and here’s why. Last week Tuesday I was struck with a fever completely out of the blue – about 102-103F – and Wednesday I woke up with swollen tender painful red streaks down my left side. It turns out I had a skin infection – the cause of the fever – which moved into my lymph nodes and, well, my left breast. The infection is what caused the fever. I’ve been on antibiotics since Wednesday, and I do seem to be getting better, albeit slowly; the fever is long gone, but the red streaks and marks are just now starting to subside.

I do not necessarily know what caused it, but I wanted to post a mention of it, because there’s a decent chance that I got it from the Warrior Dash. Please note that I’m not saying “The Warrior Dash gave me an infection / got me sick” or “You shouldn’t do the Warrior Dash because it’s full of filthy illness.” All I am saying is, if you’re someone whose immune system is already a little compromised, and you’re prone to getting sick and getting infections and fighting these things off, you may want to take extra care at the Warrior Dash because you’re going to be swimming through untreated lake water and crawling through what is probably germ-filled mud. It’s just a word of caution! My guess is many people (who have normally working immune systems) won’t even have to worry about it. No one else in my group got sick at all.

So that experience had me flat out in my bed for 2-3 days last week, for starters. I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t be running very much while fighting an infection with antibitics anyway.

In the meantime I also started physical therapy. I went once last week and was thoroughly unimpressed at the session: I got almost no relief out of it and was instead assigned some seemingly useless exercises to do every hour (nearly impossible at the job I work).  I did the exercises when I could, but didn’t think they were doing much, and was overall discouraged and irritated. However, I went back yesterday and found the session a lot more relieving. I was given 15 minutes wrapped in a hot pad to start; then I did some actual exercises with the therapist (an arm bike, which was actually pretty funny, because it feels really dumb to pedal a bike with your hands; then some weight exercises for my shoulders and traps – which were extremely low-weight versions of exercises I had already been doing in my heavy weight lifting period, which implies that maybe trying NROL4W was a contributor to this problem in the first place). Then afterwards they put me on traction for 10 minutes. Can I be in traction every day. Oh my god, it felt so good. They put a clamp around your head and basically pull it upwards from your neck at a set pressure for some time, then relieve it, then do it again. Holy shit. It was amazing. I’m not sure how much lasting relief it will provide – and the problem isn’t entirely in my neck; it’s in my shoulders and upper back too – but I feel the second session was a lot more promising.

So between the infection/fever and physical therapy, I have not had a lot of time or opportunity (or, to be honest, motivation) to work out very much. On Friday morning I did go to the gym and run a fairly easy 3 miles followed by a 20 min swim, which felt quite nice, but I haven’t done much of anything since then. My company is hosting a lot of interview candidates this week so I am not sure I’ll have time to do anything until tomorrow or Friday.

I am pretty much resigning myself to not performing very well on my part of the Akron Marathon Relay. The rest of my team is fighting injuries too, so I don’t think I’ll necessarily be hardcore disappointing anyone, but it is pretty demotivating to look back through the recent history of this blog and see how much time I have lost to injury and bullshit.

I will continue to run: I have three Fridays before the race, on which I can do the 7-mile loop near my house that I’ve been using, and I’ll put in what miles I can on the other days. After that race is over, however, I may need a very long break from both weightlifting and long running until I can heal the damage I’ve done to my body. I’ll need to make a plan to move forward, because otherwise I won’t do much of anything. :/