Better than expected

Today: PT 1

Deadlifts: 10 x 134, 10 x 184 low, 10 x 245 4 inch, 10 x 270 8 inch.

PT 2


PT3 including chest taps (ok, these were awful..need to practice them more), and a 3 minute plank that had my abs on fire. I need to do these more often as well.

The walk went MUCH better than expected, though I was ready to quit at the end; wasn’t tempted to add to get to 2.5. But..had I started this fresh..nah, I didn’t so..

Snapping out of it..

I am seeing more progress.

  1. Walks: are now starting with “I wonder what I can do today” instead of with dread. No, I am NOT up to 5K yet..still got a ways to go, but I am doing a lot of 1-2 milers and am at about 18 miles a week. YES, I know, in 2019 I could walk a marathon, but this isn’t 2019.
  2. Weights: I seem to have a good idea as to what hurts me and what doesn’t. I do have to be careful with the trap bar deadlifts and the “let’s see what I can do for 1-3 reps” days are probably over. I am not that far away from 10 reps with 300 lb (8 inch handles) though. I have to bear down on my form.
  3. Swims: most progress here. Again, where I am is laughably bad from where a good swimmer is and from where I once was (I was never good). But I think this is my best physical activity right now. This is where I restarted.
  4. Physical Therapy Routine: I think I have it down; I do these and add some of the Williams set.

It will be good to reach a point where I am no longer constantly whining about my back. It has been a long 2 years.

What went down today:

PT, included shoulders.

1.5 mile walk; a little tighter than I’d like but I probably wasn’t focused endough.

2000 meter swim, straight crawl (longest crawl set in forever). Great: well, no, but much, much, much better than were I was even in early July.

500 splits: 11:41, 22:50, 33:59, 45:04 (11:41, 11:09, 11:09, 11:05)

Miles: 9:25, 18:30, 27:20, 36:13 (final mile: 35:40)

Yes, I know; in 2001 I averaged 33 minute miles for a 5K swim; in 2008 I averaged 31 minute miles. But I am early in my training; I need to progress slowly. And I am well beyond where I was here (12:52 for 500, 11:44 for 500) and here. (11:14 after warm up, 10:52)

Afterward, a short hike ..and ONE stop (to take a stretching..though I did have to scramble under a fallen tree and that helped a bit. The hike was “easy effort” and in line with my other hikes on this course.

Getting the mix right

It is getting to the point where I need to time my workouts to see how they fit in for the academic year. Tomorrow, I’ll try out my projected M, W, F morning workout.

Sadly, I am at the age where I need to “save something” so I don’t fall asleep during the workday! That’s the reality of age…if one is still working (as I am) one needs to hold back and conserve a bit.

Today: PT, (some different things, like hip hikes with psoas marches), weights, 2 mile walk.

Weights: what was different is that I used step stools for my feet and bench press.

pull ups: 4 sets of 10, 2 sets of 5 chins, 2 sets of 5 mixed. Note: rain.

push ups: 4 sets of 20 regular, 10 feet elevated (indoor), then 10-5-5 going down the steps. Learning.

Bench press: 5, 5, 6, 6 with 155

Deadlift (all low) 10 x 134, 184, 228 (last set: shoulders are a bit too far forward, though the barbell travels upward. Mobility issue?

High incline: 3 sets of 10 x 94

curls: 3 sets of 10 with 50.

Then the walk…I kind of got uncomfortable (15:15 mile 1) but adjusting the back as I never got worse..even better at times. 14:26 second mile.

After the fact

I often do not know if what I did will hurt my back until later in the day; I tried to extend the walking a bit. As I sit this, I can feel tightness in the glute…pirformis or ..back? Always hard to tell.

Today: PT, walk, PT, walk, PT, walk, PT. Yes, 3 walks:

Order is bottom (first) to top (last); last one was gentle. I added PT stuff: 3 minute plank and chest taps.

During my second walk, some older lady said I was “walking too hard.” LOL.

Getting it figured out..

First: I was somewhat sore last night and wondered how much I could walk. It turns out that I handled 2 one mile walks easily and painlessly ..nothing residual. What I didn’t do is “belt squat” afterward. More on that later.

The workout: PT, walk 1, PT, walk 2, a bit more PT and then downstairs for some trap bar deadlifts:

10 x 134, 10 x 184 (low handle), 10 x 270 8 inch…went fine, no residual glute soreness.

This was much better than yesterday (especially walk 1)

What seems to bother the glute/nerve root: Pressure when the thigh is horizontal to the ground and the shin is vertical; in particular:

Presses (bench and seated shoulder) when I don’t have my legs up.

Squatting when I go deep and keep a relatively upright torso

Cycling in a recumbent; the upright cycling is better.

Horizontal thigh + vertical shin + pressure = glute pain, either then or after the fact.

Non-horizontal thigh is ok.

Baseball: I made a baseball game; it was a very painful 6-5 loss. This game featured a bit of everything:

Early, there were two outs and the second baseman fielded an easy grounder but their throw was too high; the first basemen had to go too high and came off of the bag. Chiefs should have been out of the inning. Next batter hits a home run (ok, really smacked the ball too) and now it was 2-0.

Next: runners on second and third …pitcher balks. So now it is 3-0.

The lead increased to 4-0 before the Chiefs rallied; 2 runs via a double with runners on base to make it 4-2, and later a big home run tied the game 4-4.

Sky Carp made it 5-4, but the Chiefs tied it ..and stranded runners.

Now to the top of the 9’th; 2 outs again, and the pitcher tried a pick off at 2’nd and it sure looked as if he got the runner, but the umpire said otherwise.

Next batter hits a shallow fly to center and the outfielder made an excellent diving try at the ball…had it for a moment but the ball popped out and the runner scored. Then the umpire threw out the Chiefs’ manager, so he ran out on the field and had some more things to say.

And that is how it ended: 6-5 loss, with many, many chances to have pulled it out.

So many variables

Yeah, I am obsessed about my back/glute injury recovery.

I am keeping track of my progress and it appears that, over time, I’ve extended the amount I walk in a week from about 6 miles a week to 13-14. And my 1.1 mile course used to take me 16:20 or takes me 15:20. That is undeniable progress since March. But it seems so..incremental.

Then again, this physical therapist talks about going from 3/4 mile to 3 miles over a 2 year period.

So, I am sort of trapped…not bad off enough to really need surgery but not really close to where I would like to be.

It appears that my “I need something to improve on” fix will have to come from swimming; currently it is 3 times a week, and maybe I can get to 5 times a week. It is looking as if my line up will be “swimming, lifting, walking, PT” with the idea that I do something every day, but not too much of it. Maybe a 1-2 mile therapeutic walk over lunch hour, swim and lift/PT in the morning?

Back to today

Morning: PT, 2 mile walk.

I torched my glute/back? by those belt squats yesterday; this “lean back” doesn’t work for me. The leaning forward does better and limiting my depth.

But the first mile felt ok (13:40-ish) and I said “ok, half-mile more” and then “ok, just get two” and that is what I did. But it was pouring and I think that I had forgotten about tying to walk faster. But it was “good enough” and more than I expected.

11 am: after chores and errands, to the pool for 2200 yards. Warm up 600 (raced Mike a bit) with side and back.

200 of 25 front kick, 25 swim

200 of 25 drill, 25 swim (fins)

1000: alternate 250 of swim, pull 18:23: 4:41, 9:14, 13:56, 18:23 or: 4:41, 4:42 swim, 4:33, 4:27 pull.

200 cool down (back, side)
I am getting better. NOT good, but better.

Like voting: not all unicorns and rainbows

It has now been two weeks since my injection. So the report: definitely better, but not perfect.

Example: I walked home from the gym without fear of pain; I wasn’t limping when I got home. I can handle six 2 mile walks per week. Less pain when doing the crawl.

BUT some pain is there (in dulled form) and I have to mind my posture. And it is still 40 minutes of PT every danged day… that is not going to change.

I can sympathize with those who hate working out at all; my PT is like that: unrewarding but necessary.

And voting is like that. You aren’t going to get everything you want. If you get even a 1/3 or even a 1/4 of what you want, you chose wisely, especially if that fraction is from your most important items.

Workout notes: started my PT late and didn’t walk before..didn’t want to walk in the rain after.


600 of the usual alternating side and back

200 of the usual front kick, free

200 in 3:38 with 50 back (too slow but I had no one to chase)

200 in 3:32 with 50 back (better)

100 in 1:42 with 50 back

100 in 1:42 with 50 back

50 in 0:48 with 50 back

50 in 0:47 with 50 back

200 pull in 3:36 (easy effort)

Weight: 205 afterward (probably bloated again)

Not what I was hoping for but

I walked at the end..kind of insufficient stretching and perhaps too long after I fired up the glutes. So while the walk was not a disaster fact, would have been a huge success pre-injection, there was some dull pain..very dull toward the end.

And this gives me 12.8 miles for the week; much more than before.

Still, I was hoping I could do 12 miles today (no, I wasn’t going to try). And I have to remember that I need to build up walking again, slowly.

And yesterday’s swim went well in terms of swimming. So, it appears that my fall workout schedule will be something like 3-4 lifting sessions, 3-4 walks, 3 swims a week, plus a ton of PT

Speaking of PT: the loop/bands I ordered: way too flimsy; I need something heavier duty.

The rest: I started with full indoor PT (due to heavy rain) then outdoor: pull ups: 3 sets of 10, then 11 partial reps of weighted pull ups, 3 sets of 5 two chins chin), 2 sets of mixed

push ups: 5 sets of 20 (2 downstairs)

bench: 10, 9, 9 with 145
curls: 3 sets of 10

shoulder press 3 sets of 10 x 94

1 week check

It has been one week since the injection. I honestly think it has helped; tingles way down, pain way down; not much tightness during my swim.

Weight: 203.1 after swimming.

Swim: 600 of 100 side, 100 back

200 of 25 front kick, 25 swim

200 in 3:28

100 back

200 in 3:29

100 back

3 x 100 swim, 100 pull in 11:50 (9:47 for the first 500)

Maybe tomorrow I’ll see what I can do.

Testing it out.

Ok, there was some mild disappointment with my walk. I did most of my PT first, stretched and decided to do 2 miles all at once.
Ok, it was painless BUT there were some tingles and some post walk “almost pain” (similar to what I used to get with “heavy” deadlifts..after the fact) Pace was not that bad (13:21 for 2 miles) but I suppose I expected rainbows, unicorns..and to be able to 10 miles without any sensation at all

It was my best walk in over 18 months, but…expectations were unrealistic.

I finished PT and ended up with a very long workout: 2:40 or so total?

pull ups: 10, 10, 5-5, 5-5, 5 chin, 5 wide, 5 mixed, 5 mixed

push ups: incline: 20, 30, then 5 sets of 10 with a banded walk, 10 on a step.

bench press: 10 x 145, 10 x 145, 7 x 150 (tired)

deadlifts: 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 260 (8 inch); very sloppy (too fatigued ..need to do this set rested)

incline press: 10 x 94, 10 x 94, 7 x 94 (lost the grip)

curls: 3 sets of 10 x 50

then the belt squat: 3 awful sets of 10 with a joke weight (22 lb) trying to learn the lift. I might try with a plate under my heels; limited mobility (too stripper like)

Reading this, I am surprised the workout took as long as it did, but I did get kind of tired at times.