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Everything posted by djplong

  1. I wonder how many times those wonderful words "If I can do it, so can you" have been written here... I know I wrote them as well... Keep it going!
  2. I can't wait until I can say the same. Maybe in a couple of weeks. Congrats!
  3. Tuesday's PT appointment was more exercises, more ultrasound on the affected area and more advice on what to do. I told the therapist that I wanted to run my first 5K - a small local event for charity on August 14 - and I had hoped to start jogging before then to get my legs used to the work again. Because of that, she's upped the exercise regimen and suggested more walking (did a mile yesterday while at work and felt the ache afterwards). She also said that, when I return to jogging, to do a 5 minute walk followed by a 5 minute VIGOROUS walk for a warmup and THEN start jogging. Today is the next appointment and I'm really hoping to feel good enough tomorrow to start stretching things out with the longer walk (maybe the old 5K route around the neighborhood I mapped out back in March).
  4. djplong

    Back pain

    I had back pain when I started C25K - lower back on either side of my spine. Going to a physical therapist told me that these were where my glutes were attached and that it was simply a case of regular just-starting-exercising pain. After a couple of weeks of increasing my jog intervals, it went away. Don't know if that's what the OP has, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it wasn't a problem with my spine but was, in fact, my muscles going through exactly what one would expect..
  5. Congrats from the sidelines! I know how difficult some of that seemed to do - and I had one of those "Today, I feel like a runner" moments and I'm sure it was as indescribable for you as it was for me. Keep going and don't let the doubts hang around your brain!
  6. It took WEEKS for my calves to stop burning but they finally got the idea that they have a job to do!
  7. I hopped back on to the recumbent bike to keep things going. I'm trying to repair (again!) the odometer on my Nordic Track 505 (or find a replacement - and that's proving impossible at the moment) to possibly use that as my heart rate doesn't get up too far on the bike.
  8. Lots of variables there... Some questions to narrow it down: What kind of phone are you using? How old is it? Are you playing music stored in the phone or are you streaming it from somewhere else? Is it 'new' Bluetooth? (LE - newer versions of Bluetooth use even less energy) What other things might be using power? (GPS? Heart rate monitor?) For reference, I use a 7-month old iPhone 6 Plus. I'll have as many as 3 apps going at once - C25K, MapMyRun+ and music. The music might be stored on my iPhone or I might be streaming from SiriusXM. Even with all that, a session (30-45 minutes) hardly takes up even 10% of my battery.
  9. Yesterday was the evaluation with the physical therapist. The same woman I'd been seeing for my shoulder. She told me that, as soon as she saw my name on the schedule, she figured I'd be coming in for something running related. The news is pretty much 'good'. Some is frustrating. The root of my problem turns out to be the defect I was born with - bilateral club feet (think 'legs and feet look like a pretzel' at birth). In 1968 I had my Achilles Tendon reconstructed and somewhat relocated to try and relieve pressure. While that allowed me to walk, I didn't know it was setting me up for something decades later. Long story short - I can't raise my foot much above the 90-degree angle that the leg & foot make. I can do about 2-degrees whereas "normal' is about 20 degrees. My shriveled, miniature Achilles tendon keeps things too tight. This transmits the tightness in a connect-the-dots manner through my calf, my knee, my hamstring and into the hip flexor muscle that threads through my pelvis and attaches to my spine. That's what's hurting. My tendency to lean forward a bit when jogging meant that all the effort in lifting my leg was coming from THAT muscle instead of being spread out. The core muscles, being unconditioned, allowed the hip flexor to be in places it shouldn't, causing the irritation that resulted in tendinitis. So now I'm back to exercises to stretch the areas that need stretching. In a twist of fate, one of the exercises is the exact same exercise I had to do over 40 years ago when recovering from the surgery! The best news is that I'm anywhere from 1 1/2 to 3 weeks away from returning to jogging. The therapist analyzed my walking gait to see what other problems we'll need to work on. But the best news is that everything that is causing problems is FIXABLE. The things that are NOT fixable (lateral angle of my feet, curvature in my shins and a couple of other things) are not going to cause problems for what *my* goals are. I just have to be a little more conscious of them and adapt accordingly. If I wanted to be an ultra-marathoner or a really competitive racer, these would present problems but those are not my goals. I don't think I've ever looked forward so much to something I've never been fond of doing But even in that, my attitude has changed in these 4 months. It's like I *want* to go through the sweating and the fatigue and the pain to get to the goals I have in mind.
  10. Well, on Wednesday I went to see the specialist. The good news is that it's none of the things that I feared. No arthritis, hip degeneration, stress fractures, displacements or anything like that. What it IS is bilateral hip flexor tendinitis. It's back to physical therapy for me (I'd just stopped going to rehab an injured shoulder a month ago) but the evaluation won't happen until NEXT Wednesday.. (In my best Inigo Montoya voice) "I hate waiting".. The good news is that, eventually, I can get back to running and the doctor said I have more than enough time to make the January races I signed up for. However, since it's going to be some number of weeks before I can jog again, the thought of doing Montreal in September is pretty much off the table. So far I've discovered I can do the recumbent bike without pain to help make up for the lack of running. I think tomorrow I'm going to try and see how a session on the Nordic Track goes. My weight loss has certainly leveled off but at least I can still say I've lost 15 pounds.
  11. Keep at it.. Some of the increases took me four of five attempts before I conquered them. It was really depressing after having the first weeks work perfectly (I think it was Week 5 where I hit my first wall). Now I'm just waiting for an injury to heal properly before doing the last two workouts of Week 8. Don't give up!
  12. I figure from here on it, I'll just keep posting to ONE topic instead of spreading all over several... It's agonizing when you are SO close and barriers keep getting put in your way. Last week I was progressing through the last two weeks but something has happened. After last Wednesday, I had new pains and they were pretty bad. I didn't think too much of them because I only needed an extra day of rest (to Saturday) before tackling W8D1 - and I made the whole 28 minutes! Later in the day, after icing my knee down, I noticed a lot of pain coming from somewhere near each hip and shooting down my legs. Sunday was worse - I could barely get out of bed because of all the sharp stabbing pains in my upper thigh - especially my left side. At least Monday I could walk a little better (I had to go back to work) and Tuesday was better still. I thought about running on Wednesday but by the time I got out of work (and had done a lot of walking there) I was feeling the pain and didn't want to push it. I took Thursday (yesterday) off and, around noontime, though still feeling a *little* pain, took a run around the neighborhood to see if I could run through it. Almost. I did about 25 minutes and started to feel my left leg getting weak so I called it and walked the rest of the way home. Today, the pain is predictably bad. If it wasn't for whatever is going on somewhere near my hip, I *know* I could have done the 28 minutes and I *might* have been able to go 30 and hit W8D3 a little earlier than expected. I'm 4 months in to this 8-week program. I guess at the age of 52 it takes a little more to stretch out the endurance than it does if you're younger. I'm *so* close to the end of W8 I can practically *TASTE* it - at which point I want to improve my speed a bit before continuing on to the 10K program. I'm "into" this enough that it really irritates me when I can't go out. I don't want to backslide and lose all the progress I've made.. I've lost 15 pounds and some people are starting to say that they can see the difference, even if I can't. I even bought a heart rate monitor to use during these runs to have more stats on my MapMyFitness entries (and my heart rate looks good). I'm debating making an appointment with a sports medicine specialist. My right knee still bothers me a bit but the icing and ibuprofen have done wonders for that. I could *never* have gotten this far without help from so many directions - to say nothing of the support I've gotten from my wife. Having her say, a few days ago, that she was proud of me for having stuck with this for so long sent my spirits soaring. I haven't really hit any of my real goals yet. I haven't really finished the program. I haven't run any races so, no medals (though I'm signed up for the WDW 5K & 10K in January). I've lost 15 of the 47 pounds I want to lose. And I can't maintain a 6:00/km pace (so that 30 minutes = 5K) but I seem to be able to maintain about a 7:00/km. But in each and every one of those, there has been OCEANS of progress from my couch-sitting days. Even yesterday while battling the pain near my hip, I was thinking that I would never have been able to run a couple of kilometers WITHOUT pain just a couple of months ago - never mind WITH it. I guess part of me is afraid of what a doctor might say - even though my GP and PT said my knee was ok (this was before the hip flared up). This is the only methodology for weight loss that has actually WORKED for me that didn't involve depression or divorce (or both). I *can't* lose this.
  13. It took several weeks but I was finally able to complete W6D3 last Wednesday. Every time I go out now, I'm having to be more conscious of things like when and how much I've eaten, the weather, how my right knee and ankle are doing, etc.. I was a bit concerned starting Week 7 - up to 25 minutes now - and those long runs have historically been the ones that have given me the most difficulty. Even when I made the TIME for W6D3, I was short on the distance - but I didn't let that bother me. Today, I banged out the 25 minutes and came a lot closer to the distance the app was saying. Since the next two runs are the same, I might pick one of them to go the distance instead of the time. I even seem to have found something in my stride that might help the knee pain I'm getting - if I consciously think about pointing my right foot out as it lands (it seems I'm landing a little 'pigeon toed') I noticed less stress on the knee. The news kept getting better as I've lost a little more weight - nothing drastic but, cumulatively, it's making a difference. One or two more runs and I might be down 15 pounds since the start. But it was while I was drying off from my shower that I finally 'saw' something. My wife and some friends have said they can see the difference in me - that I look a little thinner in the face and on the sides - but I wasn't seeing it. What I saw was while drying my leg and I kind of rotated and flexed it a bit and there it was - definition near my (comparatively non-existent) calf muscle. For the first time I saw some muscular definition that I've never seen. I have very little to speak of when it comes to calf muscles because of my birth defect and spending so much of my early life in casts, crutches and wheelchairs to correct it. But there it was. I can't tell you how much that suddenly affected me. Part of my motivation for this came from when I visited my father for the first time (I was adopted, found my birth family when I was about 30). My father has what would classically be called a 'beer belly' and I made a note to myself that I didn't want that. The picture that my stepdaughter took of me sleeping on a flight from Reykjavik to London made me look pregnant and I had to face the fact that I was becoming my father - at least from the bottom of my ribs to my hips. That picture is in my mind a lot when I'm running at the park. That's the Blurge that I'm running from (Look at theoatmeal.com to find out what that means) I don't know how long these last two weeks are going to take but I'm more determined than ever to finish this. I have to be more careful these days. I wear an ankle brace for a while after every run and I ice my knee down as well. I signed up for those two races in January and I damn well intend to finish them BOTH. (Who knows HOW long it will take me to get from 5K to 10K)
  14. I knew it wasn't going to be easy. More often, now, it's taking several times to get past a given workout. I still track the stats and I still get encouragement from them but there have been obstacles.. - Some kind of lung/sinus infection laid me up for a few days. - Something happened to my knee a few weeks ago and only now has really stopped hurting but it seems to have left my right leg a little weak. - Vacation had me go a week without REAL workouts (but lost weight WALKING all over DC/Maryland/Gettysburg) regardless of the knee problem. So here I am, 3 months after re-starting the program and I'm stuck on W6D3. The most frustrating part is that W5D3's 20:00 jog was done a while ago - I even did an extra couple of minutes which SHOULD mean that the W6D3 23:00 job *should* be no big deal but there's always something stopping me. Yesterday it was the return of lower back pain (possibly because of the physical therapy I had the day before). Still I'm not letting that defeat me. I knew, 3 minutes in, that I wasn't going to make 23:00 so I decided to turn it into intervals and deviated from my normal paths at the park and took the rather hilly nature trail through the woods. Walk when I had to, jog when I could and I ended up a little over 5km in 44 minutes (warmup/cooldown walks included). Instead of giving up, I find myself getting angry and frustrated when it doesn't happen or I inexplicably gain weight when I haven't been eating much - making me that much more determined to do better next time. I always try to take a lesson from the 'failures'. Yesterday's lesson was that I probably don't run well later in the day and after the PT (which had me doing new exercises for the first time) I most likely should have had some kind of interval session ready to go instead of the "all in one" session that is W6D3. I'm wondering if other people have that moment in the first few minutes of a jog where the calves, ankles and knees all start saying "Wait, what? What the heck - AGAIN?!?!?". After a couple of minutes, that seems to die down and it got me to thinking that maybe my 'warmup' would be a couple of mini-intervals of jog/walk just to get the legs back into gear.
  15. ...and what a difference a couple of days make. Yesterday was W6D1 - back to interval training. That 22-minute run was in 73F with humidity and an occasional drop of rain. Yesterday it was 90F, VERY humid and windy. I had a hard time doing the 8:00 middle segment and it took some willpower to do the final 5:00 segment but the split notices from MapMyRun and the "1 minute left" from C25K in my ear really helped. Now if we could just get a good rainstorm to wash away the goose dung that is all over my favorite paths at the local park. That certainly keeps me running with my head down instead of up - avoiding the landmines! Fortunately it's only in a couple of sections where they're going from a field to a pond...
  16. I did it. I can't believe I did it, but I did it. It took 4 tries but I finally got past the 20 minute jog that is W5D3! Heck, I even stretched it to 22+ minutes so that I could hit the next 500m split marker in MapMyRun. When I got home, I was nearly in tears I was so emotional over having conquered this. Peeking ahead to the upcoming session, I didn't see a thing that I didn't think I could do. I like the progression from 20 to 30 minute jogs... This all seems do-able now that I've 'done the 20'. I've never had success like this before. I can't find the words to describe my enthusiasm and optimism. There are so many things that I've said over these past couple of months that started with "I never thought I could..." For the first time in my life - I just jogged 2 miles non-stop. I never thought I could do that. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks!
  17. Had a week's vacation in the DC/MD area. Had a great time but there was no place for any workouts. I was a little worried as to what I'd come back to as far as what my body could do. I decided to 'rewind' the clock a little and go back to W5D2 to see if I still had enough to do that. Well, I did - and more. Did another 1km run after walking a bit after the last segment. Just to see, I tried to actually RUN at a pace I'd LIKE to be able to do for the first 500m. I can't believe I did it with a split of about 5:19/km for that half km. I slowed down for the final 500m but still came in under 6:00. The real 'tell' was after I came home. Time to see what the vacation did to my weight. Sure, we walked all over DC, state parks and a national wildlife refuge but it WAS a vacation... Went through my usual routine and.. ...somehow lost more weight. I'm now down about 13 pounds total. I lost about 2.5 pounds while we were gone! Words can't describe my feelings. I try.. Things like 'elated' and 'motivated' and 'disbelief'.... I stepped off the scale and stepped back on to see if somehow I wasn't seeing what I was seeing.. These are real results. I haven't gone on any diets - although I *have* cut out a few things and cut down on others. Between the weight loss and the numbers I see when I track these runs, I feel like I'm actually accomplishing something. That extra km I did today - for the first time I actually felt like a RUNNER. Sure it was poking right along compared to others.. But, for me, it was a milestone. For the first time I didn't feel like a pretender. Sure, I couldn't keep the pace for the entire km - but back in February I couldn't DREAM of doing what I can do now! The thought of what I can accomplish over the next few weeks has me practically salivating! Yeah, this is taking more than 8 weeks for me. But nobody who knows me would have thought this possible - even this far. I've said to friends that it would have been more likely that my kids would be swimming in open-air pools on the moon before I became a jogger.. I am SO glad I found this program...
  18. I ran into a metaphoric wall for W5D3. I might have been a bit overconfident that Days 1 & 2 weren't as much of a struggle. I stepped back to W5D2 today as I've been on vacation for a week and I feel MUCH more confident about Monday's run. It'll have taken a few tries but I KNOW I'm going to beat this.
  19. Well, today was my 3rd whack at W5D3. Didn't make it - but I'm getting closer each time. It's now been 2 months since I re-started the program. Jogging 2 minutes seemed impossible back then. Now I try to stretch my existing segments that far. SO many firsts.. I'd never jogged 2 minutes at once before. Then 4, then 5, then 8, then 10, 12:30 and now 14. 20 (for W5D3) is in sight.. I wanted to do a 5K in January and now I've effectively done it. The distance tracking with the warmups and cooldowns has had me going over 5km - after I added in another km at the end just to see if I could before the REAL cooldown. Apparently I've dropped a full 10 pounds now. I'm getting some minor knee pains from time to time now but nothing terrible. A little ibuprofen and being careful in the mornings (going down stairs hurts but up stairs doesn't) seems to keep it in check. 20:00 at speed seems like a heck of a mountain to overcome but I can see the top. I know I'm going to have to do a lot more than that if I want to run that 10K in January as well.
  20. At just under 5' 8" I was at 197 pounds in January. I started the program and had to stop because of blizzards and no safe places to run. I re-started the program 2 months ago. I'm only on Week 5 (some increases were more challenging than I could handle in one step) but I've just kept hammering at it. I have a goal in mind - I registered for a 5K and a 10K race at Disney World next January and there are NO REFUNDS! I wear my Disney Vacation Club Members hat on my runs to help remind me. I want to live longer for my family and I want some finisher medals to show for it That's what really keeps me going.
  21. I just took my 3rd whack at W5D3. Still didn't make it. What I *did* do was run longer. 1st time, I only made it for 10:00 - I'd eaten too much pasta for lunch and didn't have enough time to digest it. Ran a little after that but it was a bust. 2nd attempt, I ran for 12:30, took a 2:30 break and ran the last 5:00. Today I managed to go 14:00, took a 2:00 walk and jogged the rest (despite it being in the 80s now). Slowly but surely I'm getting there. I just keep trying the same day until I beat it. I use MapMyRun+ to graph my speeds and distances. Having those stats has been a LIFESAVER because I can always find something I did better than last time - keeps me from getting discouraged.
  22. I can't remember where I read it - but when I was reading a lot of articles on the web about the C25K program, one suggestion was "If you can run slower - do it!". The reason being is that you are trying to build up your endurance - speed is something that comes later.
  23. Another one here for MapMyRun. Granted I'm using an iPhone 6+ which seems to be more accurate than previous models so, your mileage may vary.
  24. I signed on to here on March 22 once it looked like I was going to stick with the program (I was in Week 2 at the time). Later, I had my first failure at W4D1 where it took me 5 tries to finally get through it. W5D1 took several tries but I completed it on Friday (with my personalization). What shocked me more was that W5D2 - where you go from 5 to 8 minutes on the jogs did NOT take me muliple tries - I did it the first time through! I did it just over an hour ago and I'm still on a bit of a high from that! Wednesday is when the mountain is due - warmup and then jog for 20 minutes before a cooldown. I have no idea how I'm going to fare when I try that - but I *will* find out. Lately I've "personalized" the workouts. The weather has been getting nicer. I've also been tracking my distances with the MapMyFitness suite (MapMyRun+ specifically). I noticed at the end of the workout, I'd be over 3km. I would wonder if I could jog one more km after a resting/walking pace. I'd wait until MapMyRun told me I'd gone 4km and see if I could jog until the 5km notice. I couldn't do it at first - I came close but.... Then I did it. I've done it a couple of times now. I wondered, when I started this, if I could run a 5k. Technically, I'm already doing it if I include the warmup and cooldowns plus my 'extra'. ...and my times are getting better without me consciously trying! So what have I noticed or learned in the month and a half that I've been doing this? Well, in no particular order: - Technology is an enabler (I'm using an iPhone 6+). Having the statistics at my fingertips means I can see the progress in numbers that I might not be able to see without them. Using MapMyRun I can tell when my pace quickens or when I've gone further during a particular interval. I can't stress enough how much this has helped. When I felt defeated at workouts where I couldn't do all the run segments at a jogging pace, the statistics told me that I was still doing better than before. They literally turned 'defeat' into a partial victory! - Entertainment helps a LOT. I've listened to playlists from iTunes but, lately, I've been mostly tuning into the SiriusXM app. The time seems to go by faster when I'm listening to the 'Classic Rock Party' channel (online only). When I'm on the recomb. bike or NordicTrak, I'm streaming video. In this case, a workout on my off days lasting one episode of "Third Rock From The Sun" seems to do nicely. - I'm actually losing weight. I haven't been able to 'see' it but the numbers don't lie. I've dropped 9 pounds since I started this. Two people already said my face looks thinner. (My face???) - Make a schedule and stick to it no matter what unless it's for health reasons. I've gotten sick once and bashed a kneed against something metal and unyielding. Those are the only reasons I skipped workouts. - I don't enjoy running but I enjoy the results. Seeing the stats get better is my reward, so far. - The pain is changing. Today was the first time I noticed that my back pain has been DRAMATICALLY reduced. I was in the second 8-minute segment and I noticed I had NO pain there. I'm in physical therapy for a shoulder injury and the therapist told me the pain was more than likely from where my leg and rear end muscles attach up around the pelvis and that it WOULD get better. I thought it was from the curvature in my spine and would be chronic. Looks like I'm wrong and she's right - and I'm GLAD! Now it's just that first minute where my calves and shin muscles go "Wait, what? What are you doing to us? AGAIN?!?!?!" but that goes away quicker now. - I'm genuinely worried about how I'll keep the schedule going when I'm on vacation in less than 2 weeks. - I wonder how I'll handle it when the temperature goes up into the 90s - but there's time for that. - I wonder how many attempts it'll take me to successfully finish a 20 minute jog (coming next in W5D3). I no longer wonder IF I can do it - it's WHEN.... - I'm running with better posture. I keep remembering to throw my shoulders back (therapist's advice to help the shoulder heal) and it's having results. - I definitely want one of those Apple Watches. At some point I'm going to want to monitor my heart rate and other stats. I don't want to keep whipping out my phone for progress checks. So far, all the other fitness trackers either don't do what I want or are priced so close to the Apple Watch I might as well get the real thing. - Status checks. Someone else wrote that you should put the phone away. It's proof positive that we're all different. When I look at the phone and I see I have 2 minutes left in a segment, it encourages me - especially if I'm at the park. I can look downrange and some landmark and say "Come on - you can make it to that tree....". That's why I want the watch. I want to make those checks easier. It works for me but I understand how it could work AGAINST someone else. So what's my long-term goal? I want my wife and I to be the oldest couple to ever walk unassisted through a border checkpoint overseas to get a passport stamp! Shorter term? We signed up for the WDW 5K & 10K races in January. I may run a few virtual races in the meantime and we might do Montreal later this year. There are some Color Runs that look interesting as well. I feel like I have a VERY long way to go but these past 7 weeks have already taken me VERY far....
  25. I know they're not available at this link anymore, but I got a cooler that you can plug in - almost like a portable refrigerator: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003AYX4ZG/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 An adapter could have you plug that into the car while you're actually travelling and into the wall when you're in a hotel room. My wife uses this all the time.
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