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2018 June 17

Taking a break from jogging

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 14:42
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As I mentioned in Starting jogging and Twenty-ninth weight progress report, I started jogging again after about a 40-year hiatus. Initially, things were going pretty well, and I was increasing the distance gradually, with only minor aches as I stretched out muscles that had not been used much lately.

As expected, my speed dropped as my distance increased, until I was running at a pace of about 9:30 per mile.

Astute readers may note that the running log ends on June 13, but today is June 17, and they may wonder why the long break.

The answer is simple—pain near the left knee. The minor aches in the muscles subsided in the first week, but a tender spot developed on my tibia, just below the left knee on the inside, and started getting worse rather than better. For a couple of days I also had exercise-induced edema in left leg (my foot swelled up and my weight went up by 4 pounds in two days), but that resolved itself in a day or two. I’ve done a little web research, and I think that what I’ve got is pes aserine bursitis or pes aserine tendinitis, based on where the tender spots are.

The standard treatment for any of the knee injuries I might have is rest, ice, elevation, and NSAIDs. So I’ve been resting the leg, grading on the couch with my foot propped up, and taking ibuprofen. I am not willing to ice the knee, though, as there is no swelling near the tender spot (and hasn’t been) and I have always found icing tendinitis to be acutely painful with no residual benefits for me. (Many years ago I had tendinitis or ulnar tunnel syndrome from a bad typing position, which took a long time to heal.)

This week I’ve found walking a bit uncomfortable, but not acutely painful, but bicycling on the recumbent bike seems to reduce the discomfort (probably from improved circulation without stressing the tendon).

I’m going to wait until the tenderness is gone before running again, which may take a week or a month. I’ll also start over with short distances, better shoes, and a softer running surface. This means it is unlikely that I’ll be up to Bike Santa Cruz County’s  12km run on 26 August 2018, but it is more important to me that I don’t make the minor injury worse.


2018 June 3

Twenty-ninth weight progress report

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 08:06
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This post is yet another weight progress report, continuing the previous one, part of a long series since I started in January 2015.

This past year has seen repeated attempts to recover from the weight gain of the previous two years.

I’m right on the upper edge of my self-imposed weight range. If I stop paying attention to my weight or start snacking to cope with the stress of grading, my weight shoots up rather quickly.

As I mentioned in Starting jogging, I started running over Memorial Day weekend. I’ve kept it up for 9 days, with only minor aches from stretching out muscles and tendons that don’t get used on my bicycle.  During March, April, and May I also averaged 4.66 miles a day of bicycling (mainly my bike commute to work).  The bicycling helps loosen up muscles that tighten from the running.

I started jogging over Memorial Day weekend, and have gradually been increasing my distance. (For those who prefer Imperial units, 12 km/h is an 8-minute, 3-second mile pace, and 2km is 1 mile 1282 feet.)

I plan to continue running throughout the summer, with distances gradually increasing. Once I get up to about 3km, I’ll start alternating short and long days, to give my muscles some time to heal between the longer runs.  When I get up to 10km, I’ll probably switch to a long-rest-short cycle, to allow more healing time.

I’m in better shape now than I was in summer 1970 when I couldn’t run a mile, but not in as good shape as summer 1971 when I could run a 6-minute mile (16 km/h) and could run up to 15km (though only at 12 km/h).  Although I’ve been keeping to around 12 km/h so far, I expect to slow down as the distances increase.  I’d like to keep above 10km/hr (a 9:40 mile pace), though, or the running will take up too much time.

My current goal is 12km runs by  Bike Santa Cruz County’s  12km run on 26 August 2018 and 15km runs by the end of October.  If I don’t injure myself, I’d like to get to the point where I run a marathon before the end of 2021.

So far, I’ve been running in my Teva sandals, which have more padding in the soles than any of my other shoes, and which fit comfortably.  I’ll be buying some running shoes in a couple of weeks, once I have some spare time.  I’ve been recommended Altra and Brooks Cascadia shoes, and both lines are carried at Santa Cruz Running Company (along with half a dozen others brands).  The method they describe for helping customers pick shoes sounds reasonable, and better than just picking a low-cost shoe randomly from Amazon (which is pretty much how I choose my bicycling shoes every 4 or 5 years).


2018 May 28

Starting jogging

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 22:31

As I announced at the end of February (in Twenty-eighth weight progress report), I plan to start running again, with the goal of running  Bike Santa Cruz County’s  12km run on 26 August 2018 at Wilder Ranch.  It has been four decades or more since I did any real running, so I’ll have to work up to it slowly (adding 1 km a week).

I started out this weekend by jogging around the block (1.1 km) each day.  My times are not great: 5:30–6:14, which is 10.7–12.1 km/hr, or an 8–9-minute mile pace, but my goal for the summer is just to build up my legs until I can run 12km, not to get particularly fast.  Even back when I jogged on a regular basis, I was not fast.  I’ll be very pleased if I can hold a 8-minute-mile pace for 12km by the end of the summer, without injuring myself.

I plan to continue doing the 1.1km every day this week, increasing to 2km next weekend.  Eventually I’ll start alternating between long and short days, perhaps even adding a rest day each week for recovery, but while my distances are so short, I might as well do them every day.

2018 February 28

Twenty-eighth weight progress report

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 22:43
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This post is yet another weight progress report, continuing the previous one, part of a long series since I started in January 2015.

My weight has fluctuated a lot in the last year, but I’ve stayed pretty much in my target range for February.

It is probably about time for me to pick new breakpoints for long-term trend lines. I can’t really pretend that my “maintain” period is really modeled well as a single straight line.

My goal is to stay in the middle of my target range (~158 lbs), but this may be harder to achieve than I had originally envisioned three years ago when I started on the weight-control effort.  I’ve been skipping lunch entirely lately, which makes me a bit hungry on the days when it is 14 hours between breakfast and dinner (mostly Tuesdays and Thursdays when I have late lab classes to teach).

February had me riding an average of 4.78 miles a day—about normal for a 5-day-a-week commute with a tiny bit of weekend errand-running.  I have had huge grading loads most weekends, so sometimes I don’t even get time to do a short errand like biking down to Trader Joe’s for soy milk and cereal.

I’m still thinking that I’ll try doing some running this summer, not for weight control but to start training for running a marathon when I retire.  The longest distance I’ve ever run was 15km, and that was about 47 years ago.  I was recently told that Bike Santa Cruz County (that is the renaming of the “People Power” group that used to meet in my living room, back when I was a bike activist) sponsors a 12km run on 26 August 2018, mostly on flat dirt trails at Wilder Ranch.

If I plan on building up to longer runs by increasing length by 1km each week, then I’ll have to start training around Memorial Day. My initial training will be very easy, perhaps on the UCSC 800m track or the Santa Cruz High 400m track (both approximate measurements on Google maps).  Later in the summer I will probably alternate long days (leading up to 12km by the end of August) and short days (1–2km).  On short days, I should probably do some cycling to maintain some cardiovascular fitness—cycling up to the UCSC track to do two laps would probably make a decent short day.




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