Embracing the Mindful and rejecting the Beast

I’m giving my Plantar my full support

Today’s workout (upper body hand weights): 45 minutes

Happy President’s Day.  This morning my daughter and I celebrated with a cup of coffee at Runsketeer Starbucks. She didn’t have classes today because of the holiday. I’m off from work for the same reason. I always did like George and Abe.

After Starbucks, I coerced my daughter into swinging by CVS so I could purchase a couple of items that will supposedly help reduce the pain of Plantar Fasciitis. I bought a Plantar Flex Support Sleeve and Plantar Flex Orthotics. When I looked them up on the CVS site I saw that “related items” included Crest white strips, contact lens cleaner and razor blade refills. This Fasciitis thing is pretty complex. Now I understand why my heel pain hasn’t gone away quickly.

White strips and support sleeves – a natural combination!

I’m not sure if any of the stuff I got at CVS will help. Another great president, Teddy Roosevelt, said, “The best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” Action is better than inaction. Otherwise the Plantar Fasciitis wins.

I dutifully placed the flex sleeve on my foot and put the supports in my shoes. I decided to forgo a run in favor of an upper body workout. Specifically, the Body Beast workout that TPP gave me last month. I put one of the DVDs into my laptop and as soon as I saw the Lou Ferrigno lookalike, I thought I might be out of my league. The warm-up was fine, but then they started doing push ups (push ups!) before the workout had even started. That did it for me.

Instead of giving up on a workout, I went online and found a video of a woman trainer with less muscles than Lou Ferrigno. Her routine, using hand weights, took 10 minutes and felt more like a warm up than a real workout. I decided to look at a few other websites and found a set of exercises on “The Mindful Body” that looked reasonable. Since every person I talk to uses the term “mindful” these days, I figured I’d try it out.

This routine was tougher than the ten minute warm up and took about 35 minutes to finish. I didn’t work up a big sweat, but I know I hit every muscle group in my arms and shoulders. I’m curious to see how I feel tomorrow, as I haven’t done a formal upper body workout since the London Olympics. While my arms will inevitably ache, I’m hoping my heel will feel a little better. If so, I’ll take that trade-off.

Good pain and bad pain

Here’s a recap of my running since last Thursday:

Friday: 0 miles
Saturday: 0 miles
Sunday: 0 miles
Monday: 0 miles
Tuesday: 0 miles

Despite that, I’m extremely sore all the way from my hamstring to my upper arms. I’m fine with the upper body soreness because it’s the result of exercise. I decided to act on my new resolution to add strength training to my routine and did a 45 minute workout on Sunday. Don’t be impressed. I used two 10 lb. hand weights and barely broke a sweat.

I didn’t want to overdo it, because the last time I worked with weights, I ended up straining my back. The fact that a light workout has resulted in so much soreness tells me that I need to spend much more time on upper body training. All the same, it’s nice knowing that this discomfort is due to effort, not injury.

The soreness I’m feeling in my glutes and hamstring is not making me very happy. I’ve always coped with minor injuries by taking a few days off from running. A short rest usually had me back on the road within a week. The pain I felt during last week’s Hangover Run wasn’t debilitating, but it was a clear signal that I needed a lot more recovery time.

It’s been five days since my last run and I think I’m going to take a sixth day off tomorrow. The pain has dulled, but a quick jog down the hall tells me more mending time is needed. I’ll probably try an elliptical session on Thursday morning to gauge my progress. Depending on that result, I’ll either plan for a Friday morning run or make an appointment with an orthopedist.

This stick is a real pain in the neck

Great gift indeed

Today’s run (tempo): 3.2 miles

Yesterday’s workout wasn’t that intense, so I decided to step it up a little this morning with a tempo run. I woke up with a neck ache that I’m sure was caused by my Brookstone Shake Weight. This is a weighted balanced stick that you shake to (supposedly) build muscle via “dynamic inertia.” I used it a couple of years ago but started getting back aches. I grabbed it out of the closet the other day thinking it might be a good way to work on arm strength without weights.

Whether it was the shake stick or something else, my neck was in pain. It felt like a pinched muscle but it didn’t hurt so bad that I couldn’t do my run. In deference to the discomfort, I decided to keep it fairly short. I started the tempo about a minute slower than training pace and held that for about 15 minutes, gradually increasing every quarter mile until I finished near my current 5K race pace.

After I’d completed my run, I took an Aleve. Even after putting some heat on it, the pain is still there, although it’s not as intense as it was this morning. I’m hoping that a good night’s sleep will get rid of it for good. I’m excited to be doing the GLIRC Clubhouse run tomorrow morning with my running friends, the Petite Pacer and SIOR. I’m really excited about that. As for the Shake Weight, it’s either back to the closet or bound for the trash.

The little workout that could

Today’s workout (treadmill): 35 minutes

A little resistance

Work distractions prevented me from getting out this morning and the busyness continued throughout the day. By midday I’d resigned myself to missing any kind of workout. Around 5:30 I was fully caught up, so I decided to do something that resembled activity. The treadmill provided an easy, quick and low key alternative to a run on the street.

I didn’t feel like a run that late in the day, but 35 minutes walking on the treadmill didn’t seem like enough of a workout. I put on some ankle weights, grabbed some hand weights, and set the treadmill’s incline to a 2% grade. I picked an easy running pace and ended up with a far more beneficial workout than I’d originally planned. Judging from the level of sweating I’d done, this was the equivalent of a much faster run done with no incline or weights. I didn’t wear my HRM but I wish I had. I would have liked to see how hard I’d actually worked today.