Another 4

Ok, not 4 all at once, but a lot like last week.

Today: PT (a LOT of it), pull ups, walk 1, pull ups, walk 2, more pull ups, walk 3, finish the strength stuff (about 35 minutes downstairs; upward of 2 hours (with delays) outside.

pull ups: 5 sets of 10, 2 sets of 5 mixed grip. These ARE getting easier.

push ups: 3 sets of 30 incline, 4 sets of 10 regular (super set with banded walks)

bench press: 5 x 155, 6 x 155, 5 x 160, 5 x 160 (last rep, too much leg)

curls 3 sets of 10

rows: 2 sets of 10 each arm (dumbbell)

high incline: 3 sets of 10 x 94

The weather was suffocating …I had to rest between the outdoor reps. The walk: each walk was faster than the previous one.

Back: glute pain was more or less what one would expect; some discomfort on the 2 miler (that I focused through) but I do have a “higher up” tightness/soreness that feels muscular; probably brought on my my “long set” of swimming yesterday.

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.

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.

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.


First last night’s baseball game. Going into the top of the 8’th, Peoria had a 1-0 lead. But the first relief pitcher had let 2 on base so with 2 outs, the coach replaced him. BAM: home run, 3-1 lead for the Tin Caps.

I do feel for coaches; had the tired relief pitcher given up that HR, the coach would be seen as an idiot. But replace him and the new relief pitcher gives up the HR, then the coach is seen as an idiot. I don’t envy the coaches…they get second guessed by fans who don’t know what they are talking about (like me).

It got worse; the Chiefs got a solo home run to cut it to 3-2, but in the top of the 9’th: double and 2 more runs to get to the final score 5-2.

We did see this nifty double play:


I did more stretching than usual this morning..included some rolling on a baseball. The plan was to do four 1/2 mile walks in between pull up sets.

What happened: started the walk prior to the pull ups: ok, not bad, not much pain. And I made it 1 mile.

More pull ups (5 sets of 10) with banded walks, shoulder PT, psoas marches…

Second walk: even better than the first.

Then mixed grip pull ups, push ups, upper body weights:

pull ups: 5 sets of 10, 2 mixed grip sets of 5

push ups: 30 incline, 30 decline, then a “walk 10” set with banded walks: 55 reps total for a grand total of 115 reps.

downstairs: bench: 4 sets of 5 (used a stool for my feet for 3 of these) with 155 lb.

curls: 3 sets of 10

rows: 2 sets of 10 (dumbbell)

shoulder: 3 sets of 10 x 94 high incline.

More rolling.


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.

You can see them coming

I figured I’d be in for a rough back day…and I got it…sort of.

I took my car in, so I got PT part I plus a walk before leaving:

Then I did PT part II and a longer walk after. That one…the first mile was ok but it got rough toward the end, but nothing like “2 months ago” rough.

So, that is 7.69 for the last 3 days. I know..pathetic but ..that is where I am.

Then to the pool for 2200 yards..more progress of a sort.

1000 warm up consisting of 600 alternating side/back/breast, 400 of drills/swim with fins.

4 x 200 on the 4: 3:33, 3:37, 3:37, 3:40 (kind of dragging…not quite ready for 5)

200 pull

50 in 48, 50 pull

50 in 48, 50 pull

Weight: 202.7 before, 201.7 after. That is down.

I was a little surprised I could do 48s after those 200s.

Short term goal: 1000 in under 18.

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

Midway through July and

Ok, this is frustrating …progress is measured by tenths of miles and by pain level after the fact, and toward the end of the walk.

1.33…slight…1.07…even slighter but still there. But that is 15 miles for the week. That is better than last month.

So, for the weekend, 3.2 yesterday, 2.4 today for 5.6..which was once about a week for me. But still…so paltry.

Yes, there was the PT before/after and some deadlifts

10 x 134, 10 x 184 (warm up)

10 x 245 4 inch handle (felt kind of easy..ok, should have been easy)

10 x 275 8 inch handle

We’ll see…

It is better than zip.

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).