Muddling along

Today’s workout wasn’t that bad but, I don’t know; today was an “off day” in other ways.
I was able to start just after 6 and finish before 9, so there is that.

  1. Alternating PT and pull ups/chin ups: 2 sets of 10 single crunch, 1 set of 10 singles from the ground, then 8 (be the judge on the last 2), 6 chins, 5 pull ups, 4 chins, 4 pull ups. (57 reps). Also 2 sets of 30 slant push ups (outside) and 2 sets of 10 chest taps
  2. Downstairs for about 40-45 minutes: bench: 5 x 134, 4 sets of 4 x 165, 1 x 185

then high incline: Swiss bar. 2 sets of 10 x 44, 10 x 64, 7 x 94, 6 x 94 (all touching the chest), 3 sets of 10 curls, 1 set of 10 x 134 low trap bar.

3. Now the walk; it went ok..13:37 pace for 5K, then a commuter walk over lunch (1 at 16:25 pace)


It was very windy. I slept in just a bit, did PT, started on my W. Peoria 5.3 mile course. I got 3.2 miles into it (right when you turn onto the brick streets) and the discomfort was on the verge of becoming pain. So I spent 3:30 stretching, then finished the walk; I counted the walk as 2 walks.

Now, had I added the 3:30 to the total time I would have had 5.27 miles in 1:18:20, or a 14:52 pace. I was a bit disappointed that I felt the need to stretch, but am happy with the total work at pace I got in; it was very windy and somewhat chilly.

I am simply not ready for the “5 miles straight” yet; 5K straight is doable.
Weight: 196.

Sort of disappointing

Not enough sleep; watched Bradley play in the NIT (61-82 loss to Wisconsin; they were simply too good for us)

PT at home, (full) then light stretching, 1.28 mile warm up, more back opening then a walk on the Riverfront.

Now if we go by the “corrected” distance, it does look a bit better: 3.3 miles. And that is what an online pedometer got. But, not sure. Still, well, I got in a good workout without that much back/glute pain and this sure beats the painful limpfests I had to endure last year.

March 13: mistake

Ok, the PT went great, then I got in my car and didn’t do enough “before the walk” stretching. By 2 miles the discomfort started just a bit and just after 5K, I thought I’d stretch ( my moving time was 1:00. ) The watch showed 15 and a 15:41 mile; I was NOT going that slowly, but I walked much faster after the stretch.

I need to open the back with something like “open book”

Still, it is NOTHING like a year ago.

Cutting back, sort of

Today’s walk was shorter than my recent walks; I don’t want to regress. Still, 2 miles is better than zero.

This came after PT and weights and, well, I put some effort into it.

Start: superset PT exercises with pull up reps: 2 sets of 10 singles, 2 sets of 5 singles (all crunch style) then sets of 7, 6, 5, 5, 4 (57 reps)

downstairs: bench: 5 x 134, 4 sets of 4 x 165, 1 x 184 (surprised myself)

high incline: 5 x 94, then 3 sets of 5 x 105 (touched the top of my chest every rep)

curls 2 sets of 10, one 7-7-7 set.

Then upstairs for open book, fetal stretches, 3 sets of 20 push ups, 2 sets of 10 chest taps, then the walk.

Weight: 198? I had better watch it.

Running races: part of the appeal wanes

Ok, one of the reasons those local running races appeal to me less and less is, well, simply, I cannot run anymore. The last time I ran, or attempted to, I could feel pain afterward right on the top of my shin; turns out that my right knee has next to zero cartilage left. It isn’t quite bone on bone but it is getting there. So, I’ve switched to walking full time.

But I can still walk fast enough to meet time cut offs, even on a bad day (at least for races in the 5K to half marathon range).

But there is something else going on. Of course, my times have slowed and I have no PRs to look forward to. But that is only part of the story.

In the days of old, well..there was a community of sorts in the groups I ran with in the races. No, I was nowhere near fast enough to run with those who had run for, say, a high school team (never mind college). But, in the days of my 40-42 minutes 10K runs ( 39:50 was my lifetime PR) or 19:xx 5K runs, the people around me were mostly younger and fit.
Now: those around me are a mix of reasonably fit old people, physically average middle age people and out of shape young people.

The ego pump that I used to get by hanging around the younger, fit crowd is long gone. Yes, I know; *I* have changed too; gone are the days were someone would see me and “know” I was there for the marathon or would see me for the first time and tell me where the weight room was, without my even asking.

That being said, I signed up for a 5K two weeks from now; it will be my first since October 2022 and my second “in person” race since the fall of 2019 (I did two “virtual” races in 2020).

Photos: 1982, 2000, 2012, 2014, 2019, and 2023.

Regression to the mean

Yesterday went great. But I tried the 4 mile course again, after doing a lot of PT and while the results were not terrible, it hurt a bit (brief, 5 second stretch at 3.3 miles) the course was weird because I made a wrong turn on the way back. Tomorrow’s walk has to be easy.

Slight regression in the throat too. Weight: 196.5 yesterday, 197.5 today. Pizza?

Being resentful when I should be grateful

Sigh…my dream was to be a professional football player, or at least, an athlete. I ran the steps, did the off season conditioning, lifted weights, did sprints and…alas…my best 40 yard dash was a bit under…SIX seconds. (a decent lineman’s time in those days was 5.2-5.3)

The above photo: when I played for Yokota High School in the Fall of 1974; I started on the varsity as a sophomore and that was to be my peak (small school). JV in Texas the next year, and mostly rode the bench my senior year (played just enough to letter).

How rotten of an athlete was I?

  1. I failed the Air Force Academy’s physical fitness test (too slow on the shuttle run..not enough pull ups, etc. Barely passed West Point’s and Navy’s.
  2. In the Navy…1982, I could run a sub 40 10K, sub 19 5K. I aced the Navy Flight cross country run (“PT-ed it”), the swim test, did well on pull ups, aced sit ups, passed the broad jump…but…flunked the obstacle course the first time I tried it..even though I practiced. I got it the second time, but still…best shape of my life, and I struggled with a task that required me to show some body control and agility…though the strength and endurance speed was there.
  3. As a kid: I frequently failed PE tests…I got laughed at because I was one of two guys who could not climb the rope. The gym teachers berated me and ridiculed me.

    When it came to athletic ability and kinesthetic intelligence, I was basically “special needs.”

But all of my effort to become an athlete (or at least be a 40th-50’th percentile high school athlete) drew me to running and weightlifting and general fitness stuff.

Fast forward to now.

Yep, that is my back. And the only way I can stay active in lifting and walking is to do a LOT of physical therapy…a LOT of it.

So, every day, prior to working out, I do about 30-35 minutes of back/glute/core/rotator cuff exercises..and if I switch from a lifting session to a walk, I do at least 10-15 minutes more (mostly hamstring stretches and “open book” stretches. I need to. A year ago, even walking 0.5 miles was painful.

And so, today, PT/stretching added 45 minutes to my workout and there are times when I resent that I need to do it. But the other choice: don’t stay active, and that isn’t an option.

Yes, yes, I know, a cancer patient or a heart patient would gladly trade places. That is why I need to remember to be grateful that my chronic condition can be made tolerable with some extra effort (and time) on my part.

So today: again 8:45 to about 11:45, with lifting taking 70 minutes (with farmer’s walks) and walking taking 60; the rest was PT (before, and in the lifting to walking transition and after walking) and time to put equipment up, change shoes, top, etc.

Today: full PT

deadlifts: 10 x 134, 10 x 190, 10 x 225 low handle

10 x 265 4 inch handle.

5 x 300 8 inch handle

Farmer’s walk: 100 feet: 52, 68 lb and 2 sets of 70 feet (to the garage door and back) with 79 lb (44 plate, 2 13.2 plates, (6 kg), 8 lb handle, .5 lb collar).

Then my 4 mile walk; started off as a 5K but felt good enough to make it 4 and get 25 miles for the week. That is what the PT gets me.

Note: this was the final day (March 5) for my old walking shoes. I started to use them on May 29, 2022. I’ve walked 822 miles since then, but given my commuter walks and my “to the stadium and back” walks, I’d say I put about 700 miles on these old shoes.

Trying to get it right

Workout: PT, deadlifts (134 x 10, 184 x 10, 204 x 10 low, 251 x 10 4 inch), 2 mile walk. PM: commuter walk from the game.

Both walks ended on “the verge of mild discomfort.”

Later, I took a flex shot; yep, not awful for my age (63) but the muscles are soft.

I did watch the Bradley women lose to Southern 83-59; SIU lead for most of the game, but it was 55-47 going into the 4’th; too much inside, and too much quickness at the guard spot.

Note: the game got chippy; BU had an intentional foul called, and on one common foul, the team’s players drew technical fouls (one on each team).

SIU had a 6′ 5″ center who was able to get a “wedged ball” by jump that required no run up.

The deadlift videos: improved but the low handle position: still having trouble getting the back angle correct.