Oh, I love the walk home from the office at this time of year; I walk facing the sunset; see the pictures below.

Other lovely walks: Grant Park (Chicago) toward Soldier Field, and across the University of Illinois campus after a game, in the twilight, especially when the campus is empty.

Today: well, very low pain day; didn’t notice my back/glute much. That’s good!

Pull ups: 10 singles, then sets of 5 singles, 5 rep sets..mixing it up; with PT, then 4 sets of 25 push ups.
bench: 10 x 134, 4 sets of 4 x 160
curls: 3 sets of 10
high incline: 2 sets of 10 x 94 Swiss Bar.
Then a 2 mile walk on the treadmill, and a 1.2 mile commuter walk home over lunch.

So the miles walked per month look like this:

April 19.4 miles

May: 32.1 miles
June 43.2 miles

July: 68 miles
August: 85.9 miles

September: 97.2 miles

October 107.5 miles

increases 12.7, 21.1, 24.8, 17.9, 11.3, 10.3. That is a slow, steady progression of mileage. I never thought I’d get here.

Back on track…maybe

Well, kind of down as I write this; dear friend has lung cancer. Don’t know the stage yet..probably 1.

Now..today: PT, then swim (2200 yards; usual 600 back/side warm up, 400 fins drill swim, then 1000 via 10 x 100, alternating pull and free..Jason got me today. 19:21 total. then 200 cool down.


The walk: kind of stiff..not great, not terrible in the first mile, started to improve mile 2, felt great mile 3, and no real soreness afterward. Wore my Beasts (clunky shoe). That might be the trick: slow down at first.

Sliding down a bit..then back up

This is about Monday October 17 and Wednesday, October 19

Monday: mixed my PT with 50 pull up reps, and 100 push up reps (sets of 20)

Walk was 2.17 at 13:33 but there was a warning sign: outside the (left) hip pain, while very mild, never got better. Commuter 1 mile walk was ok.

Then inside for bench presses: 10 x 134 then 4 sets of 4 x 160 (best in a while), 3 sets of curls, 2 sets of 10 x 94 high incline with the Swiss bar.

I’ve described Tuesday’s failure in another post.

Wednesday I did weights all at once; this time 5 sets of 20 push ups around PT and 10 sets of 5 singles with pull ups. Then bench: 10 x 134, 3 sets of 5 x 155 (went ok), 3 sets of curls, 3 sets of 10 x 94 high incline.

1 mile commuter walk to work, 1 mile back home for lunch. These went better, though I was tired at the end of the day. A stretch with a slight twist to the right seems to help.

still better

Very good back pain day. It was
PT mixed with 50 reps of pull ups (some were partials) being careful
and 100 reps of push ups (20, 20, 15, 15, 10, 10, 10, not much rest)

2 mile walk (felt slightly quicker but 14:30 or so for the 1.1 first loop)

bench press: 10 x 134, 5 x 155, 3 x 160, 1 x 175 (a bit of a struggle), 5 x 155

curls: 3 sets of 10
high incline: 3 sets of 10 x 94
5:40 to 7:50

Midday: 1 mile commuter walk.

Second verse: same as the first

I’ll have to look up what happened last time. But the flare up from Sunday is still sort-of with me. But: walking is fine..no stabbing pain. The weight workout: mostly fine; did get “tired” toward the end.

But I have felt the nerve in the glute while sitting, and upon getting up from sitting, though nothing like the last flare up..nothing at all.

Today: Started with pull ups, THEN mixed PT with push ups..started off ok.

Total pull ups at first: 40 repetitions, then 5 negatives and 5 more singles for 50

push ups: 5 sets of 20..got ’em all. Full PT.

Then the walk.

Downstairs for 3 sets of Swiss bar high inclines (10 x 94) and some deads:

10 x 134, 10 x 184, then 10 x 260 8 inch…all were very easy and painless..felt good even.


Watching the Maryland vs Michigan slugfest on TV…great game with Michigan getting some lucky breaks.

Today: interesting workout (not rushed)

PT plus push ups: pushups: 10 sets of 10, one set of 20 plus most of my PT

5.17 mile walk at just under 12:50 mpm; I started out gently and got more confident as the walk went on.

Then pull ups; experimented. In short: 8 sets of 5 (or 5 singles), 5 negatives, 2 more. The idea was to NOT inflame my nerve root. PT for the shoulder and wobble board work.

Downstairs for weights: bench press:

10 x 134, 8 x 145, 5 x 150, 4 x 155, 3 x 160, 1 x 171 did NOT inflame the L5 nerve root.

curls 3 sets of 10

high incline (Swiss bar) 3 sets of 10 x 94
It didn’t seem like I did much but I was grateful to do it.

12:55 mpm average

Sort of fatigued

Started PT at 5:30 AM, finished at about 7:45. What made this long is that mixed in 10 sets of 10 flat push ups with the PT before making it to the pull up bar.

8 sets 0f 5 partial to a few complete pull ups, then 2 negatives (with rest between)

Walk: 2.1 at 12:31 per mile

downstairs at 7:10 for:

deadlifts: 10 x 134, 10 x 184 low, 10 x 250 4 inch

bench: 10 x 134,3 sets of 5 x 154 (legs up)

curls: 3 sets of 10

high incline 3 sets of 10 x 94

Later: lunch walk of 1.02 (I vary the course every time)


Now to master downhill walking and get better at pull ups.

I am tired of this but

I had a flare up this morning. I got up, sat at the computer catching up with the late college games, then it flared up when I laid down to stretch. I managed to get just loose enough to lift and walk (these were pain free) but then …upon cooling down, it came back. Pain in the left glute/leg..clear what it was.

BUT…though the Z-position helped what really took it away was a hot shower with water in the small of the back.

Evidently, tight lumbar muscles bring it on too. So, much of my learning to live with this is knowing what hurts it, what doesn’t, when to move, when to rest, when to grab the ice bag and when to use heat.

The good news: walking to and from the stadium (.7-.8 miles each way) was fine and my walks and workout went fine.

Workout notes

Saturday a LOT of PT, mixed in with pull ups and push ups, 2 walks: 5K and a 2 miler with a 5 minute rest (75 minutes for 5.3 miles, which includes the break), and then downstairs for weights.

The details: pull ups with holds on some: 3, 3, 3, 5, 5, 4, 5, 4, 4, 4 then 2 negative, 2 negative.

push ups: 20 regular, 30 incline, 30 incline, then 2 sets of 10 with and extra banded walk.

Then the 2 walks: faster, 5K walk first. Both went great.

Then weight room: superset

3 sets of 10 x 94 Swiss bar high incline press, 3 sets of 10 curls

3 sets of 10 x 134 legs up bench.

After weight (house scale: 199) note that the first leather weight belt I bought now fits.

Sunday woke up feeling fine…flare up started after I sat for a while and tried my usual PT. Then after the bathroom, it really got going so I tried to work through it.

Fortunately deads were good:

10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 228 low

10 x 260 8 inch (very easy)

Then the walk, which went fine.

Lots of traffic and a gray, damp sky. But the walk went well; no real rain.


I look forward to the day that I no longer talk about my back, but alas, I am still in the figuring things out phase. My latest challenge: the bathroom; the last time of the day can cause pain. The first time and the day time: not so much. I’ll have to reread my MRI report; it sure appears that I have a disk issue too. Just looked: I do. Disk is bulging.

The day to day life: MUCH better. MUCH.

Workout notes: 2000 meter swim then, at home, a 2.18 mile walk.

the swim: 500 of side/back Then:

200 swim/drill with fins
200 in 4:00

200 swim/drill with fins

200 in 3:56 (swam with more abandon.

200 swim/drill with fins

100 in 1:56

100 swim/drill fins

100 in 1:57

100 swim/drill fins

100 cruise (2:06)

Then home for the walk.

Walk was fine; must a bit heavy legged. I did the extra half lap on Cooper.

No commute walk today.

Note: my new office chair cushion appears to be very good.

Figuring it out

I’ve had back flare ups at night; often after a bowl movement. I have to be careful during and after. Last night’s wasn’t as bad as the previous two, but I felt it.

I also altered my morning workout, taking out some stuff to limit the stress on my back. But I did things.

First: extended PT. Lots of it, including the kneeling on one knee hip flexor stretches.

Then 20 flat push ups, then pull ups with a belt. This time, I did singles in sets:

5, 4, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4 taking care to keep my knees in front of me and to keep a flat back, and most reps were partial reps..not quite over the bar for most. Then I did a set of negatives, and I also did some holds. Result: almost zero pain; last time, I was limping afterward.

Then I did 3 more sets of 20 flat push ups (PT in between) then 20 incline push ups.

Downstairs: 3 sets of 10 x 134 bench presses

10 x 134, 10 x 184 low dead lifts and I decided to call it a day. I felt fine.

Back upstairs for a 2 mile walk and it was easy; averaged under 12 mpm. Later: 1 mile commute walk (16 mpm) over lunch.

total time: 30 minutes PT inside, 50 minutes on the porch, 30 minutes downstairs, and 25 minutes walking.

The pull ups look…well…like I am struggling. But I’ll get better; I was improving by the 4’th set. But these ARE harder.

And for the most part, my back felt pretty good during the day; now-a-days, it usually does. Got to fix those new night flares though.