Weird back day

Today I wanted to walk a little, swim, and scout out my projected noon walk home. Here is how it went:

PT (no banded walks at first, mostly the lying down stuff)

2 mile walk (had intended 1 mile but was at 1.4 when I got home so…) Some discomfort toward the end but not like the limp fests of several months ago.

PT (banded walk, standing psoas marches, hip hikes, etc. )

1 mile walk: as pain free as it gets for me..there was a reason for that.

PT (again, light stretches)

Later: 11 am swim: 2200 yards. Did something different

800 of alternating side/free, back/free

200 of back and free

300 of 25 drill, 25 swim.

6 x 50 free on the 1:30: 49, 48, 48, 47, 47, 47

100 in 1:40

100 back

100 in 1:40 (disappointed)

50 back

250 in 4:36 (pull)

Weight: 203.1 before (water), 201.7 after. I have gone down some.

Back/glute: I was bothered some (glute) when swimming; had to do some stretching. It felt best when I was doing the intervals. I have to learn to streamline and tighten the abs.

The second walk (1 miler) felt much better than the first, but ..while Garmin might have inflated my pace a bit, 14:07 is an improvement on the 14:2x which was my previous best for this course.

Now IF I can improve with more PT, weight loss, and walking where I can maintain this pace for a 5K …I should meet my goal of a pain free 5K.

But I probably need to lose 10-15 lb and walk more, even if it means my 1 mile here, 1 mile there sorts of walks.

Toward the end of summer

PT (a lot of it)

Walk: decided to do both miles at was ok..not quite “rough” territory

PT (shoulders mostly, but also banded walks)

Swim: 2200 yds..kind of lackadaisical :

700 strokes

300 of swim/drill

Then: 4 x 50 free, 25 back recovery (on the 2) 48, 50, 48, 49 (300)

2 x 100 free, 50 back recovery (on the 3) 1:42, 1:43 (not great) (300)

200 pull 3:36 easy

200 alternate free/pull

200 back/side

I just wasn’t into it.

Weight: 202.3 before, 201.1 after.


I had trouble with yesterday’s walk. More trouble with today’s second walk; I think I dinged my piriformis again.

PT, walk 1 (ok..but ..well, glad it was just one mile), PT then walk 2 and that was a struggle. Not really terrible but not as good as a short one should be.

Then more PT (shoulders) then a swim: 2200 yards.

600 of back, side, free (100), 400 of drill/swim with fins.

1000 alternating 250 free, 250 pull in 18:41 4:44, 9:22, 14:11, 18:41

free: 4:44, 4:49, pull: 4:38, 4:30.

200 back cool down. Note: this was back to back.
203.2 before, 202.0 after.

Baseball: Chiefs won 4-1! They looked good in doing so.


Ok, my walk didn’t go well..had to quick stretch at mile 1.65. But that came from misreading my symptoms..I was doing ok at mile 1 and decided to push for another instead of sticking with my plan.

The PT and swim felt better.

Swim: usual 600 of side/back, 400 of drill/swim (fins)

6 x 100 on the 2:20 (1:44, 43, 43, 43, 44, 44) kind of discouraging

100 back

2 x 50 swim, 50 back (48, 49)

100 in 1:39 (honestly) ..the rest helped.

200 in 3:36 (pull)

203.2 before, forgot to weigh afterward.

Baseball: went with B and J to the ball game yesterday. Chiefs lost 11-4 in game that was never close. Upside is that I got to see a monster home run.

Day of adjustments

The university pool is closed today. So I decided to try to use the Y pool…and of course, the information at the website is wrong; swim team starts at 6, not 8.


Try again, after PT and now they have the pool in 25 yard configuration . Ok, good enough but my head wasn’t right:

600 of free, back, side

200 of 25 kick, 25 swim (no fins); balance

200 in 3:40 (pretty sorry)


250 in 4:42 (boo)

5 x 50 swim, 50 side on the 3 minutes (49, then 48 each)

100 in 1:42 (wanted 200 but got gassed)

100 side

200 in 3:44 (tempo cruise swim)

In all, 1000 yards of sort-of hard swimming…2200 yards total. Better than zip.

Next time: get there at 5 and tough it out.

My back felt ..crappy but I decided to stretch it out and hike anyway.

Well, it was a hike..not that bad as short hikes go. But I did have to stretch a few times. I really need to focus on tightening the abs.

Post hoc ergo Propter hoc

It started off ok; did PT, walked, more PT and then I did a few chores before heading to the poll. That included taking out the trash..and ..of course some bees had started to make a nest under the lip of the lid.

One stung me.

Now my hand is swollen. But the bee sting came before the pool opened at 11 am and so I swam anyway. And I ended doing my “fastest” (least glacial?) set of 100 yard repeats since 2014.

I didn’t say “FAST” but they were faster than I had been doing.

So: bee stings means a faster swim time?

The workout: indoor PT

2 miles:

About the walk: I started out to do the first 1.1 and then finish PT..but I had it going (13:58 mile 1) and so I just kept going and did it all at once. It was ok.

Then PT 2, then the bee sting.

I decided to swim anyway:

600 (side /back)

400 of 25 fin drill, 25 swim

5 x 100 hard, 100 back on the 5 minutes: 1:37, 1:37, 1:39, 1:39, 1:39..first rep I chased a faster young man.

200 pull cool down in 3:36

Before swimming: 202.3 after: 200.9

Lessons learned

Ok, today’s lesson:

  1. When I am walking and I feel the “onset” of the glute pain (“prepain”) I an sometimes avoid it by speeding up. Of course, I can only do this when I haven’t had a power reduction in my left leg. Today: mile 1 was a sluggish 14;55; second mile of 14:10 felt better.
  2. Swimming: I have gotten to the phase where “cheap improvement” is over; to improve further, I need to make my technique better and to swim more. But I have to do so cautiously.


Walk (added 0.1 to the walk)

It was not 100 percent pain free, but I’d say that the discomfort maxed out at maybe a 3 out of 10 and improved on the second mile.

More PT then a swim:

600 warm up of side/back

400 of 25 drill, 25 swim with fins

1000 alternating 250 swim, 250 pool. Sluggish:

4:45, 9:22, 14:11, 18:41 (swim: 4:45, 4:49, pull: 4:37, 4:30)

200 cool down of back, side. Note: side 50 is 1:10.

Weight: 202.8 before swim, 201.7 after.

Shoulder: no pain, but I can feel it at times. I had better keep the stretch.

Whining and regret will get me nowhere.

I admit that I underestimated how much of my “post morbid obesity” (physical) identity was centered around my ability to cover long distances on foot. Ok, there were times when it was also centered about how much weight I could move.
No, I was never “really good”; my best feats were probably “walked 101 miles in 24 hours” (May, 2004) and, in terms of weight, a rather average 310 lb bench press and 410 dead lift in the gym when I was in my early 20’s. And I was a bit proud of that, at least internally.

But, that is sort of gone. I can lift..with modification, and I am getting used to that. I still get joy out of my modified lifts, of very, very modest weight. But the neurogenic claudication …that is a tough one (roughly speaking, upon walking, I start to get uncomfortable glute pain 1.5-2 miles into it, and IF I attempt to push through it, I get sore after the fact…same if I try to arch when I bench press or do “heavy” (for me) trap bar dead lifts.

So, my adaptation is to mix my walking: a couple of sets of 1 mile walks one day, 2 miler the next..and lifting: do sets of 10 trap bar dead lifts with more modest weights and of different handle heights (low, 4 inch, 8 inch)

Well, enough of that. There are plenty of people overcoming a heck of a lot more:

And so I’ll continue and continue to modify, seek, adjust, and try to improve from where I am.

Today: PT (a lot of it ..did some balance work on the wobble board too)

1 mile walk to the pool. Kept the effort modest.

It was rainy.

Then 2200 yards of swimming:

600 of side/back
400 of drills with 25 swims (fins)

5 x 100 on the 2:20. These were disappointing (slight catch in the shoulder but..not much)
1:43, 1:41, 1:41, 1:42, 1:41

200 of 100 back, 100 side

500 pull in 9:06 (4:33, 4:33); I thought I had picked it up on the second half, but I was just tired.

Weight afterward: 203 lb (ate Indian food yesterday).


I am sitting here, with a small pain in my left glute, but it is hard to tell if it is a back/nerve root thing or a muscle thing. It feels a bit like the latter..but it is very had to tell.

PT, 2 mile walk, more PT, then a 2200 yard swim.


I had planned to do this in 2 parts, but my modest pace in the first 1.1 (16 minutes) and my lack of real pain had me continue. Not my fastest but I didn’t give that much of an effort, and it was a bit sticky.

Then more PT, then a swim
600 back/side
400 of 25 drill, 25 swim (with fins)

10 x 50 on the 1:10; 47, 47, then the rest were 48..with one 47

100 back

Then 9:35 for 500 by 100 swim, 200 pull, 100 swim, 100 pull

100 back.

The 47-48 for 10 while what I used to average for a 1000, is still better than this past April.

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.