Wednesday, November 11, 2015

PT and workout update, and other ramblings.

I figured it was about time I dropped in for an update on things I actually said I would update about...didn't I? Didn't I make it a "September Goal" to post more about my workouts?

Hah. I did. I can proudly say I did two of four things on that list. I didn't get too stressed out, and I did decide on races for next year.

But the workout updates? Pssh. Threw that out the window with the whole ankle thing, and that's what I'll update you on first.

Physical Therapy

It's going. Sometimes I feel like my progress is slower than a turtle trying to walk through peanut butter, but overall I'm improving. That said, some days are definitely better than others.

The weeks before and after Halloween are a great example. The week before, I was high flying and felt like everything was moving in the right direction - and it was. But then Halloween happened. Not only did we do a lot of walking (probably about 2.5 miles) and dancing (though I tamed myself and did the awkward shuffle most of the time)...but I also fell off a sidewalk.

You know the sidewalks I'm talking about - ones where the grass of the easement is two inches below the actual sidewalk. Well, I got nudged off the sidewalk at one point and rolled my bum ankle down into the easement, and that was not a good thing. It gave me a ton of trouble all of last week, and it proved to be a set back.

In addition, the ankle brace I've been wearing since I came out of the boot was doing it's job, restricting movement and providing stability - and that lack of movement was starting to cause some very unpleasant heel pain. It was bad enough last Wednesday that Amy told me to forgo the brace if I felt I could, because I don't need more problems than I already have.

So for the last week I've been out of the brace, which has helped hugely with my heel, and though I still have some tenderness in my peroneals, I really believe being out of the brace is helping to strengthen and stabilize those tendons. I still have swelling and discomfort which I'm hoping the next two weeks of PT will help with, and that I won't have to go back to PT after Thanksgiving.

I do have an appointment to see my doctor on the 30th, but he said I can cancel if things are feeling good. If they're not...wellllll...then I have to go, and we'll see what happens. Since I'm still a bit swollen and can't take anti-inflammatories (historical problem for me), I'm guessing the next step would be a cortisone shot to help, and I'm okay with that. But that's a bridge in the future, so we don't have to cross it right now.

Workouts

The reason I decided against workout updates is because Cam and I had to stop doing many of our normal lifts because of it. What I mean to say is, I haven't been able to deadlift, squat, or leg press since mid-September, and even standing on my feet for too long while I do upper body exercises has been aggravating the tendons in my ankle (so something like an overhead press is out of the question for now). Just as an example of how tricky this has been - the other day while I was doing heavy (standing) bicep curls my ankle started bothering me. Bicep curls. I couldn't stand and do thirty bicep curls because it hurt my ankle. Stupid.

That's life though. The larger implication is that Cam and I have dropped our lifting workouts to 3-5 concentrated lifts (ie bench press-bent over rows-curls; chest/back fly-seated shoulder press-tricep extension; etc) and then spent the rest of our time swimming. We've been getting a solid three days in at the gym each week, and now we're trying to push that to four.

Here's what a typical week looks like right now:
  • Monday: I have PT, Cam has class. No workout.
  • Tuesday: Gym time, swim time. High lap day (was at 25 but upped it to 30 this week). We've tacked a short cycle session on to the start of this a few times (~10 min), but it's really just based off how we're feeling that day.
  • Wednesday: PT and class again, no workout.
  • Thursday: Bike, Lift, Swim - 10-15 minutes on the spin bike. Lifts vary, but we usually work smaller muscle groups this day. Swim is easier, 15-20 laps, depending on how fatigued we are.
  • Friday: Rest day
  • Saturday: Lift & Swim - this is our bench press day, and we alternate the remaining lifts with whatever we didn't do on Thursday.
  • Sunday (4th day we're adding in): Bike & Swim - I've gotten up to 20 minutes on the spin bike without my ankle bothering me, and I'm increasing resistance. Follow up with 20-25 laps.
I gotta say, it's been nice for both of us to get in the pool and work on swimming. Cam has improved by miles, and usually only lags a few laps behind me (he generally does 5 laps less than I do).

However, once I can do lower-body lifts again, our swim routine will have to change a bit. The first "To Do" is to add leg day back in - that will truncate Tuesday swims, pushing our long swims to Sunday. I'll also need to get a move on training for Hustle Up the Hancock, and since my company has a team, they also have training session (Saturday mornings for an hour). I'm not sure what this means for our Saturday schedule, but we'll adapt (as we do).

I really want to use leg days and the Hustle training to build up some lower body muscle so that cycling gets a bit easier by spring time. Honestly, it's my least favorite part of my tri-training-prep (yeah, that's right, I'm training to 'get in shape' to train), and it's because my legs feel like they fatigue quickly. Hopefully some weight lifting will help with that.

Another big change Cam and I made is that we started meeting at the gym after work instead of at Cam's house. It has been saving a ridiculous amount of time every night - I'm talking like an hour. We get done with everything and sit down for dinner at least hour before we used to, which is having a very positive impact mentally. There is no more temptation to skip our workouts, and no more time spent at the house lolly-gagging and delaying our departure. It's amazing the difference it's made in our moods too, knowing we have a little extra time after dinner to chill or study (or binge on Netflix, ehmm).

Other stuff

Though I really want to do some posts specifically about the following, I wanted to make sure to mention them here.

In addition to the training I'm doing to prep myself for the spring and summer triathlon seasons, I signed up for a (sport's) nutrition course. Throughout my half training, the one thing I really couldn't wrap my head around was nutrition and fueling for everything from daily life to workouts to races. I honestly didn't think it would be as hard to comprehend as it was. The course is called Swim Bike Fuel, and it's coordinated by Meredith Atwood over at Swim Bike Mom, and nutrition expert (and tri/running coach) Meredith Vieceli. It consists of 26 lessons spread out over 26 days. We're currently on Day 11, and will be finishing Thanksgiving day. I feel like I can't really put into words what an eye opener it's been so far. I'll post more about it later, but it feels like, "Gosh, I knew so much of this...but I didn't know how it all fit together!" Every day, things make a little more sense...and I'll leave it there for now.

I've mentioned it a few times, but I was excited to finally sign up for Hustle Up the Hancock. I want to devote an entire post to it later, but we've already started accepting donations. If you'd like to donate now, fantastic! You can do so here. If you're not sure, or you'd rather wait to donate until I give you some super awesome reasons - that's totally fine too. The event isn't until February 28th, so we've got time ;) I've got a little surprise up my sleeve (hah) with this one too...so yes. Vague bribery. Muwhahaha.

I think that's enough for now! I hope I'll be back a bit sooner...I went on a bit of a shopping spree at Macy's on Sunday and made out like a bandit, and I think it would be fun to post about that. But not now...

And since this has been a text-heavy post...have a picture of Stewart looking adorable while we cuddled the other night:



x


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