A Diet-based Week

I’m still off of running this week, but I couldn’t sit around and do nothing.

Tuesday: went to PT, then swam for ~21 minutes (11x100m at about ~1:40/min pace)

Thursday: legs and abs at the gym, then an 1800m workout I got off of swim plan.com (warmup, drills, 100s free/breast/back, etc) which I did in ~32 min.

Friday: arms and abs at the apartment complex gym.

I planned to swim again over the weekend, but the lingering flu/sniffles, bronchitis cough, and general feeling like garbage convinced me to rest up instead.

One thing I did this week was get back into the habit of tracking my diet and counting calories. in the past I’ve counted cals on and off, mostly to pay attention to macronutrients (carbs/fat/protein), but I stopped doing it at the point it became a little over-the-top. However, since I’m so limited in workout options right now due to my health, I’ve decided to start paying attention again, and use this as an opportunity to improve my diet.

Anyway. I set my target at ~1700 cals/day. I know from an O2 test at the gym that my BMR is ~1450 and my maintenance level is ~1950, so 1700 seemed a good target to me for slow loss — enough to keep my hypoglycemia under control and keep me from feeling hungry, but a small deficit that I can then increase with exercise as my options open up. I was good at keeping up with it – wiexes summing and the good old law of averages I came in at just under 1700/day as an average for the week. I’ve got good meals planned for this week and I’m planning to weigh in tomorrow (as well as do some measurements) so that I can start this the right way.

This week I’m hoping to swim every other day. It’s what I’ve got left right now, and I am really loving the feeling of being in the pool and competing these grueling workouts. If my neck/shoulders/back feel okay I will add in the weight work; if not, just swims.

I have an MRI on Friday and hopefully I’ll know soon after that what’s going on up in there.

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. :/

Week 07 Progress

Monday:

On Monday I hit the gym to do weights. I specifically didn’t want to work my upper body (see Tuesday), and I didn’t want to do too much with my legs because I was still sore from Sunday’s run, so I focused on core: abs and back. I did both machine weighted exercises and some bodyweight moves.

Tuesday:

On Tuesday I went to see my doctor about my neck/back/shoulder issue. It isn’t that I don’t trust chiropractors – I just don’t fully trust chiropractors. I decided that after six weeks of up-and-down-but-constant-presence pain, I should see my doctor in addition to the chiro. He took some x-rays, gave me an NSAID, and wrote me a script for physical therapy which I had originally planned to ignore.

Today the doc called and said he wanted me to come in to discuss the x-rays. So I’m going to assume he found something.

Anyway, I didn’t really feel right doing anything on a day I’d had x-rays, and I’d worked out Sunday also, so Tuesday was a rest day.

Wednesday:

Today I did a tempo run. 4.5 miles total, with 0.75mi warmup, 3 miles medium fast, and 0.75mi cool down. It sucked. I’m horribly out of shape at speedwork. I had to stop halfway through the tempo and walk it out to avoid an asthma attack. I really need to focus on running. I’ve got a 7.5 mi race in about 6 weeks!

Week 06 Summary; Week 07 Plan

Week 06:

  • Mon: BodyRock +  Weights
  • Tues: 4.8mi progressive tempo run
  • Wed/Thurs: Rest
  • Fri: 6 mi LSR with hills
  • Sat: Rest
  • Sun: 3.5 mi intervals

Weekly mileage: 14.3 mi

Summary: A lot of rest days this week, because I was at my parents’ house from Thursday night to Saturday evening for a short visit. I’m impressed that I actually got up on Friday – in a different state – and went out for a long run. I had hoped to do 7 miles, but I’d forgotten just how hilly it is where my parents live; that 6 miles involved me walking a couple hills, because, damn. So on one hand, sure, I had a lot of rest days, but on the other hand, I manged to put in 6 miles while on a trip. That’s something, and I’ll take it.

Week 07 Plan:

  • Mon: BR + weights
  • Tues: 4.5 mi tempo (0.75 warmup, 3mi tempo, 0.75 cooldown)
  • Wed: rest or BR + weights
  • Thurs: rest
  • Fri: 7 mi LSR
  • Sat: rest or BR/weights
  • Sun: 4 mi easy

This would put me at 15.5 miles, with 3 days of running, and 2 days of BR/weights/crosstraining. I think 5/7 days with workouts is a worthy goal.

Week 06: Monday/Tuesday Update

Weeks 04 and 05 seem to have vanished into the ether. Week 04 was a rest week, and then during week 05 I had some personal issues and some physical problems (took my bad neck to a chiropractor, and then was loathe to overwork it after he’d ‘corrected’ it) which combined to kind of wipe that period of time off of the map. No matter now; I’m back on it and looking at the Warrior Dash (Ohio II) coming up on 26 August as well as the Marathon Relay on 29 September.

Monday: I went to the gym and did a 12 min BodyRock to warm up. I didn’t use a video; instead I planned out a workout using moves I already knew:  3x(4x(50/10))

  • Sumo Squat + Knee Lift with a 12 lb medicine ball
  • Forearm Plank 5 sec + leg hops + 17lb kettleball drag
  • Sit Squats + 12lb medicine ball
  • Pushup + Toe Touch + Burpee Jump

I hadn’t really realized how much easier BodyRock was getting when I was doing one per day;  I haven’t done one in over two weeks and it was harder than I remember! After that warmup I did weights: squats, shoulder presses, lat pulldown, weight-balanced pull-ups, and the ab chair. I was exhausted afterwards.

Tuesday: Tuesday I did some speedwork: negative splits on a ~4mi road run. My Garmin footpod and my iPhone GPS disagreed on this run: the Garmin FR60 said I was about 10-15% slower than the GPS. Normally when they disagree, I err on the side of caution and go with whichever form of measurement says I am a worse runner (so that I’m not setting my expectations too high). However, in this case, I really feel like the GPS was correct. It tracked the entire run without losing signal, the road I ran didn’t have a lot of tree cover so I am pretty sure it was getting signal, and I do know the footpod needs to be calibrated soon. Plus, in terms of effort, I felt like I was going faster than the footpod said – and it was good effort, the kind that said you’re running better than you think you are, not the bad kind of exertion level where it’s hot as crap and I feel tired.
 
So if I go by that, I did 4.8 miles total (because I was following the footpod which was underestimating my speed), going from ~11:30/mi pace up to 10:00/mi pace. I kept with negative splits, too: each mile was faster than the last. It felt good.
 
Today I am very, very sore. Especially in my legs. I did bring my gym bag, because I am hoping to get into the gym to do some ab work, if nothing else – but if I am too sore, I’ll take today as a rest day. However, I’m going to visit my parents this weekend, so I would like to get one more workout in before I head up there.
 

Week 03 Summary

Week 03 was tricky. I feel like I didn’t do as much as I should have, even though I got all my runs in and they went really, really well.

  • mon: rest
  • tues: 4.8 miles of Speedwork
  • wed: weights, upper body and abs
  • thurs: rest
  • fri: rest
  • sat: 75 min / 6.3 mile LSR
  • sun: rest

Total Week #03 mileage: 11.1, although it will be a bloc of 14.1 after tomorrow (I’m moving today’s easy run to tomorrow because I had to bump the LSR to Saturday; it just depends on when you start your bookkeeping.)
(week 02: 12.5 mi)

Days weightlifting: 1 day only

And in terms of eating, because health isn’t all about working out:

  • Weekly calorie balance: 2469 calories under maintenance for the week, ~350/day below maintenance target
  • Macronutrients: 42/25/32 carb/fat/protein (week 02: 42/27/31 week 01: 45/27/28) (goal: 45/20/35)

So, week 3 in review.

My neck/shoulder condition has been a clincher this week. I only felt comfortable doing one day of weights and I probably shouldn’t have even done that. The runs were good, although the tabulating is off because I had to bump everything down by one day. This week’s actual mileage will be 14.1. Either way running feels a lot better, so I’m pleased with that.

My macronutrient balance is slowly moving in the direction I want, towards more protein and less carb and fat. It’s hard though. It looks like I’m already at a “balance” point that works for me, since it hasn’t changed very much in three weeks. If I really want to change it up more it’s going to take some effort.

I’ve been under on calories – significantly – for 3 weeks running, actually 4 or more (although my bookkeeping wasn’t quite as anal until I started this blog). According to the math I should have dropped 3 pounds over the last 4 weeks. During week 04 when I’m resting I’ll “weigh in” every morning so that I can take an average over the days and see whether my weight is trending as it should. 3 pounds is not really significant though; I can gain or lose 3 pounds just by drinking coffee and taking a trip to the bathroom. Nevertheless, I should be able to see something.

For week 04:

Week 04 marks a rest week. This is important. I also have a personal trip this weekend (see how I did that?) so I won’t have time for as much anyway.

  • I won’t be lifting weights or doing BodyRock at all, in the hopes that my neck/shoulder bit will recover.
  • Weekly mileage will be 9-10 miles, in increments no longer than 4 miles, as best as I can fit them in. They’ll all be slow.
  • won’t be tracking calories over my weekend.

I have some posts lined up this week to keep things interesting while I’m resting. 🙂