Finding balance

PT, walk, more PT, rest, swim.

As I started the walk, I knew I just “didn’t feel it.” It was wet, damp pavement and I decided to try a different course and do 2 one mile walks. But as I approached a mile, while I didn’t feel outstanding, I didn’t feel horrible either. So I decided “get it over with” and the last 0.4 miles were kind of rough..not terrible, but very mild pain…and at times, when I focused on posture and locking the lumbar, the pain darn near went away..only to come back when I relaxed too much and slumped a little.

The second mile was actually a bit faster than the first so there was no great power loss.

Then came more PT then rest, then swim.

600 of side/back; raced the slower freestylers while doing these and held my own..even won.

200 of front/swim

200 of fins: 75 drill, 25 swim

Then I did a weird set of 200 hard, 200 pull times 3, resting just enough to check my time and make the equipment change:

3:37, 7:30, 11:11, 14:58, 18:41, 22:36

Swim segments: 3:37, 3:41, 3:43

Pull segments: 3:53, 3:47, 3:55 (these were recovery intensity)

Post swim: 203.4 lb. Ok for after the weekend.

Reality: I think that weight loss would help me a great deal. I’d probably feel great at 185…even 195 would be better.

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.

Half a step back

A little sore so I did the old “1 mile at a time” thing.

PT with 1 mile after banded walks, and 1 more mile after the clamshell series. Still did most of it..and some chest taps.

I wouldn’t say that these were bad walks, but I was in the “pre-pain” mode; still ok but wondering when it would go. Ok, I’ve had a LOT worse but I’ve had better too.

Then I worked on my paper, and went to the pool at 11 am for 2000 yards:

600 of my usual side/back warm up (100 each)

200 of my usual front kick/free

Then I did 200, 200, 100, 100, 50, 50 with 50 back in between plus 30-50 seconds rest; this totaled 1000 yards:

3:32, 3:28, 1:41, 1:40, 47, 47. I was soooo close to going under 1:40.

200 pull in 3:36 (easy).

Weight: 203.8 after swimming.

Note: I did feel the back/butt just a bit during swimming; didn’t feel it at all on Monday. I wonder if the longer pool feels better?

Shoulders were ok.

July 4 2022

Part I: the YMCA pool was open so I drove there and..well, evidently the swim team started at 6. So I was shunted into another lane and even we ended up circle swimming. I ended up beating up my hand on the lane was a bit disconcerting to see so many next to me (yes, they were faster; a lot faster)

I made the best of it..and glad I didn’t know in advance else I wouldn’t have gone.

200 warm up (side, 50 back, 50 easy free)

200 of 50 kick, 50 swim with fins.

500 in 11:14 (zoo)

200 of 50 kick, 50 swim with fins)

100 (interrupted as someone wanted to circle…it was that kind of day

500 in 10:52

200 fins (some kick)

100 in 2:05 (damn, the 50 meter pool is long)

Then most of my PT, including shoulders

Then a hike: first part was on the single track wooded trail, second half had some asphalt, mostly single track woodchip/ grass

The single track: I did have to do some very quick stretches (20-30 seconds) but things cleared up when I was on flat asphalt or gravel. The back is better; that is undeniable. But the reality is that there will be a lot of “activity management.”

Swim: went very well, in terms of body and pain (shoulder and back).

Note: the swim itself went much better than a month ago; I have improved in swimming. But I thought I’d try for a mile straight..just not ready for that yet. I’d get chopped up at Barton Springs.

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)

12 days out

12 days from the injection. What I notice:

  1. day to day activities cause far less glute pain. No more limping home from the office, gym, etc.
  2. Walking: I have not been able to extend my distance, but the level of pain is well down; 2 miles is still reasonably pleasant; before, I had to start pushing through moderate pain in the final .2-.4 miles. Walking pace is faster; more “pop” in my legs.
  3. Post workout pain and night tingles are way down.

So, I’d say that it was worth it.

Still: today PT (full), 2 mile walk

This was my full 2 laps of my H course between Cooper, Laura, Rebecca.

Then 3 minute plank; did some online errands (bills)

Then 2000 yard swim. 700 warm up of side/back, 300 of 25 front kick, 25 swim

1000 of 250 swim, 250 pull in 18:34

4:44, 9:14, 14:04 were the splits: 4:44, 4:30, 4:50, 4:30

Weight: 204.7 after swimming; I am going to have to cut back on food. I have been stuck here for months.

Shoulders: slight soreness…holding up ok.

Weight: yes, some of it is butt and legs, but waaaaay to much is plain old belly fat.

Not rainbows and unicorns

10 days after the injection:

  1. Night tingles reduced.
  2. Day to day “small stuff” pain greatly diminished.
  3. Swim pain (glute) mostly gone
  4. Ok, walking: 2 miles kind of feels like 1.5 used to and there is far less “after the fact” glute pain. But there are still tingles and duller pain..pretty dulled but still there. I also think that I get more “pop” out of my leg.
  5. Trying to learn how to squat: that still sucks.

Today: most of my PT

2 mile walk (slower)

Two months ago, this would have been exciting. Today is is “meh” due to the gorgeous weather.

More PT then 2000 yd swim:

600 of side/back

200 of 25 front balance kick, 25 free

50 alternating free/back recovery free (49, 48)

100 free, 50 back (1:41, 1:42)

100 back

100 of 25 free, 25 front kick

Then 500 of: 100 pull, 150 swim, 150 pull, 100 swim (9:36)

203.8 after swimming.

On one hand, this swim is nothing compared to what I once did. On the other hand, it is a major improvement from when I started (restarted swimming)

And the shoulder feels great.

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.

Qualified success?

5 days after injection: I can say that walking is better. Yes, I get after tingles, but the neurogenic claudication is MUCH better; I am not in “pre-limping mode” when I stop with my shorter walks.

Today: PT, with some attempt to squat fully (body still won’t quite do it..ankles?) with my before and after walks (first walk was the faster of the two today)

When will I try to do it all at once? Haven’t worked up the courage..yet. This weekend?

Then I swam 1850 yards: usual 800 yards of 100’s of side, back, and 200 of swim drills and swim.

Then my old 4 x 250 (alt swim/pull) with equipment changes; 4:47, 9:25, 14:14, 18:46 or

Swim: 4:47, 4:49, pull 4:38, 4:32.

Shoulder: not an issue..but we’ll see what the night brings.

Weight: 204.7 after swimming…then again I did have a lot of water before. Dinner with Lynn the night before.

A bit better

late start…full PT, then a 1850 yard swim: 600 of side/back, 200 25 kick, 25 free, then 1000 in 18:50 alternating 250 free, 250 pull: 4:45, 9:25, 14:14, 18:50 which breaks it down: 4:45, 4:40, 4:49, 4:36 or 9:34 for swimming, 9:16 for pulling.

Weight: 204 after swimming. Then a walk:

It went better than expected; started to feel bad at 1.6 but it never got terrible.

Note: shoulder tired out…sore afterward but felt good with a stretch.