Covid still extracting a price

This post isn’t meant to be whiny. I didn’t end up in the hospital and my O2 stayed 97-98 and I never had that much of a cough. BUT, one after effect is that every health related issue has come back..not with a vengeance…but say to where it was only 70-80 percent healed.

My throat, urinary system, fever blisters, piriformis muscle and lower lumbar/glute.

I was reminded of that yesterday. Beautiful day to walk; PT went well so I thought ” go bold; do the W. Peoria 5K course.” That was dumb. The first two miles went very well; last mile hurt; was painful for the last .4-.5 miles. I should have stuck to a loop course.

Note: the final mile was done at 13:04 which isn’t terrible but it hurt.

But this COVID stuff comes in waves. Today: mouth blisters but the back/glute felt better.

I mixed up the PT and pull ups/pull up crunch combos (25 reps) and did a slow mile. More PT/Pull ups (2 sets of 5, sets of 5 singles to get to 50 reps), more PT then walk 2 which went VERY well…but it was only 2 miles. I had to make myself quit. Perfect walking weather.

I have to remember it was the split walks that got me to doing 5-7 miles to begin with.

Then downstairs for some bench, high incline and curls.

Bench: 5 x 134, 1 x 155, 1 x 165, 1 x 175 (disappointed how hard it was)

3 x 165, 4 x 160, 5 x 155, 5 x 155

High incline: 10 x 105 (poor range of motion; I thought I was getting deeper), 10 x 105, then 10 x 94 with much better ROM

2 sets of curls

More PT with 3 sets of 20 push ups, 2 sets of chest taps, 2 sets of 10 push ups. And that was that.

I need to take it slowly and not rush things; “getting ready for the season” now means nothing to me.

I also have to remember this post covid stuff comes in waves; good one day, bad the next, and I have to accept what is there on a given day.

Good riddance to January

Ok, on some level, January has not been THAT bad. I caught a Bears game, got a paper accepted for publication, completed an admin task (more to do in just a bit) and have hit a lull.

But..Jan 10-25 sucked; COVID. Yes, I did my duties online and even did my PT on most days; only one day was “please kill me” and about 4-5 were “normal flu” like days, others were annoying and testing positive. What set me back was the rebound infection.

But I am teaching in person again, easing back into it…and yeah, it was 3 F when I woke up, 5 F when I did outdoor pull ups and my walk (20 seconds slower than the day before)

Today’s workout: PT, push ups: 3 sets of 20, 2 sets of 5 chest tap push ups, 1 set of 11.

pull ups: 1 set of 6, 1 set of 6 singles, 3 sets of 6 single crunch pull ups

bench: 10 x 134, 6 x 145, 5 x 150 (didn’t want to strain)

deadlift (low handle) form check: 10 x 134, 10 x 184 (hips looked good..need to carry this with heavier weights)

high incline shoulder: 10 x 94 (two sets)

walk: some discomfort in the left leg (hamstring) need to roll a bit.


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. 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 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 ’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.