Week 3 & 25 weeks to go!

Monday –

     After issues last week with leg numbness, I decided to ease into things this week.  My plan?  Although my leg felt much better, I only walked for 30 mins this morning and plan to walk 40 mins tomorrow.  Then, according to plan, I’ll take Wednesday off and, God willing, walk my full three miler on Thursday.  Will hold off on any plan for Friday until after I see how my leg is doing on Thursday.  Oh, and one other part of the plan, to stretch in the evenings to see if that will help relax things for my walks.

Tuesday –

     Walked for 40 mins.  I had a much older man jog past me during my walk today.  I have a competitive nature and I really have to hold back on my desire to step into a jog – thinking, “Hey!  If he can do it!”  But given my leg/foot issue I really need to ease into running from walking.   It’s difficult… I try to listen to what my body is telling me but my body is not an honest broker… At what point do you tell yourself to work through the pain?  Well, is it pain or just discomfort?  I think the key is a continuous slow build while paying attention the level of discomfort vs. real pain.  If you’re feeling real or sharp pain… it’s time to back off and not work through it.  That will be my working theory.  Right now, I’m experiencing discomfort not pain.

     It’s important for me to note that I’m not a doctor and I don’t even play one on TV.  Every individual is different and some will have higher pain thresholds while others will have lower pain thresholds.  You and your doctor are the only ones who know enough about your body to be able to make the decision of whether to rest an ache or work through one.  Even with an inner most in-depth analysis and expert opinion, you’ll either be right or you’ll be wrong.  Bottom line… The decision is yours.  There are some things to be done about leg cramping – which could be an indication of dehydration and/or muscles that need more stretching.  With my leg cramps this week, I decided to do both (always do both) – I’ll drink more water/electrolytes and stretch as often as I can (while watching TV, and just prior to going out for a jog and always take advantage of that light post while you’re waiting for the light to change).

Wednesday –

     Skipped (I’m holding to the two days on and one day off routine).

Thursday & Friday –

     Both days I walked my 3 mile loop in about 54 – 55 minutes.  That puts my walking pace a little over18mins. / Mile.   On both days my calf-muscles felt tight (even with stretching and increased fluids) with just a slight improvement from Thursday to Friday.  Odd, because I walked slower on Friday but it was close enough to call it an even pace for both days.  I’m pleased to be back walking at least three miles.  :- )

Saturday –

     Skipped

Sunday –

     I have good news and bad news… First, the good news!  Today was a major “running” milestone for me.  Having taken it easy on the front-end of the week, I felt pretty good this morning and I decided to insert a few two minute run intervals into my three mile walk.  I left the house thinking I would try only two of them.   During the first run interval I found my running stride to be awkward (I’m still favoring my numb foot) and I found my breathing was very labored.  Some of my breathing issues I attribute to high allergies this time of year – due to all of the yellow blooms budding on the Palo Verde trees.  I’m very allergic to these little yellow blooms… So why do I put up with a giant Palo Verde tree in my front yard?  That’s another story for another time.)  Anyway, after the first 2 min. interval it took me some time (and I was taking all the time I needed to get my breathing steady) to walk and recover for the next one.  I was surprised to find the next one was easier, less labored breathing,  but still I walked a ways before I decided to try a third interval.  I found the third interval easier still with the exception of laboring through the uphill parts.  I probably looked pretty funny chunking along, gasping for air as I lumbered up the hilly section.  As I walked after the third interval I was thinking I should stop while I was ahead.  After all I had run one more than I had planned.  However, ahead of me was the one blinking stop light on my loop.  Thinking I’m going to have to stop there anyway, I decided to run the rest of the way to the light.  It took me 1.5 mins to get to there, leaving me about ½ mile walk to finish of my 3 mile exercise.  However, as I drew close to home, I looked at my total time out and realized I could make the round trip in under 50 mins if I hustled the little way I had left.  So, I decided to ensure it by running another 30 seconds… Sure enough, my overall exercise time was 49 mins and 29 secs.  A good 4 mins off my usual walking time for that distance.  I pretty much doubled the interval time I thought I would do for the day and felt good about it.  Now I’m planning to walk the 3 miler again on Monday and, assuming all is well, I’ll run more on Wednesday. 

     So that was the good news for Sunday… What’s the bad?  I stepped on the scale after my walk thinking I must have lost some weight this week.  I’ve made Sunday mornings my official weekly weigh-in day after the exercise for the day.  However, instead of losing weight, I gained 9/10ths of a pound since last week!  Son of a… I walked/ran for almost 4 hours this week and my weight went up?  WTH?  Dang!  I attempted to eat a little better/lighter this week but it’s obvious I’m going to need to step up my diet game. So, I’ve added something to my Kyle’s Miles log… I’ll add a “1” for meeting my diet goal for the day or a ”0” if I miss my diet goals.  That should hold me accountable… I hope.

     Still, I’m feeling pretty excited at this point about making some progress toward my goal.  I mean 3 weeks down on a 27 week training plan means I’m over 10% complete… right??  Wrong!  Although I’ve used 10% of the time I have to train and this is an important time, this is the easy part of the schedule.  My time spent exercising, the effort exerted as well as my mileage will need to increase every single week.  At this point, however, I am looking forward to days of increased amounts of running vs. walking.  I know that I’m kinda weird that way.   

      Regards and God’s Blessings to you!

     Kyle

KylesMiles Wk 4

IMG_0101Picture of Week 3… This tarantula crossed my walking path.  I don’t think that there are any years of bad luck associated with a tarantula crossing your path.  A black cat? Maybe, but not a tarantula.

Week 2 & 26 weeks to go!

Monday – Skipped Day

Tuesday –

Run/Walked my 3 mile loop.  By “run” I mean I ran the inclines along Naranja road between La Canada and La Cholla.  I only did this while out-bounded (heading West) which means I only ran for about 2 ½ minutes.  My plan was to do it both out-bound and in-bound but was not running smoothly.  I was favoring my numb right foot and tight leg again.  As a result, my back began to ache at the mid-point.  I notice something else looking at the shadow of my legs… my right calf appears to be bigger than my left.  Maybe this is normal or maybe my right leg is swollen from inflammation?  I don’t know… I’ll have it tested today and talk to the doctor.  In the meantime, my doctor’s instruction have not restricted walking/running as long as I feel up to it.  So I plan to continue until I hear or feel otherwise.  One other thing to note, although this was a run/walk (“RW”) my time was slower than last weeks “W” for the same distance… What’s up with that?  I think the big difference is today is it’s a work day as opposed to last week’s walk was on the weekend.  My 3 mile loop has one traffic light and I probably lost 3 minutes today at the light due to heavy traffic.

Follow-up from EMG testing done on my leg (Tuesday afternoon).  It’s a good thing I didn’t look up what an EMG was before I went to have it done.   An electromyogram is a test that records the electrical activity of the muscles.  How do they test this activity (if you have one coming up, I suggest you skip my answer to this question)?  First they stick a number of electrodes to your foot, ankle and leg.  Then they run electricity (i.e. the shock the shit out of you) to the electrodes and watch how your leg twitches.  An oscilloscope is used to record the level of each twitch.  If it doesn’t twitch enough, they bump up the AMPs or the volts or whatever.  I asked the technician if she had ever been kicked out of her chair during this test.  “Not yet” she said, “And I’ve been doing this for 26 years”.   If you think that’s enough data gathered to tell them all about your nerves… you’re wrong.  For the next part of the test, the Doctor came in and traded the shocker for a needle electrode.  He inserts the needle into your muscles and then, again, shocks the shit of your leg.  He pushed the needle into muscles I didn’t think I had – including muscles in my foot and ankle.

From the wedsite “Medicinenet.com”, the question of  “Is an EMG painful?” is answered.

“Yes. There is some discomfort at the time the needle electrodes are inserted. They feel like shots (intramuscular injections), although nothing is injected during an EMG. Afterwards, the muscle may feel a little sore for up to a few days.”

“Some discomfort” is not how I’d describe the event.  I limped out of the office and drove home.  My leg was so sore I didn’t run or walk for 3 days. (I know, just call me a wimp.)

Wednesday-Friday – Skipped

Saturday –

I “ran/walked” my 3 miler again.  I made a terrible mistake because I felt good walking the first 100 yards, I decided to run the next 100 yards.  Although I’m getting anxious to get to the running, I should have just stuck to the walk.  I walked, limped and ached the rest of the way.

Sunday –

My leg hurt again Sunday morning and so I decided to rest it another day… Hoping I can walk (only) on Monday.   The EMG results showed I have nerve damage.  How extensive and what can be done about it is TBD.  I don’t see the doctor until 13 April and I’m going to see if I can get that moved up.  There may be some kind of nerve blocker or epidural that could help – If so, I’d like to know as soon as possible.  I wonder if the “cure” is worse than the ailment?

This week was a bummer as far as advancing my goal.  Since I didn’t exercise much, my weight stayed constant at 229.5 lbs.  Losing the weight is a major part for successfully completing this goal.  I need to shift my diet so that even when I don’t get the exercise my weight continues to go down.  My diet plan is  to limit the portion sizes of all three meals and cut out any snacking (more on this “diet plan” later).  Today is Easter Sunday and a big meal is in the plans for the day.  I’ll be doing well if I can keep from stuffing myself today.

He has RISEN! Happy Easter! 

KylesMiles Wk2