I just completed my seventh National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in a row writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. This year I was pretty sure I wouldn’t make it. I have so incredibly much going on that when I feel behind by 11K words two weeks ago, I never thought I would recover from it. But recover I did and I finished it today. Now I can focus on all the other things… no rest for the wicked!
I finished week 3 officially going ahead of where I left off on the first go-round. And then the next day, my knee was in a lot of pain. I had to take stairs always going up with my right leg and doing a funny hobble going down so I wouldn’t bend my left knee. That lasted for a few days and then finally eased off. But it still twinges and I decided to halt the running program again. I have my annual physical today so I took a week off to rest the knee and then see what my doctor says about it. I have the sneaking suspicion that the best course of action is to go back to using the elliptical and/or walking and leave off the running until a later date when my knee is stronger and/or I have lost more weight.
So, that’s where things stand. Not run. Just stand.
I am now where I was when the kidney stone took me out of commission on my C25K project: Week 3, Day 2. Barring anything major, I’ll finally move ahead tomorrow with Day 3. Then onwards to week 4 and beyond.
Some things are getting easier but I still find the 3 minute long slogs to be, well, slogs. I need to return to going to the gym. I haven’t been since I started this journey back in August and I should be doing weights on my off days. Hey! Today is an off day! Guess what I should go to later on?
Another missed day. The plan was to run Friday and finish week 2 on Sunday, then start week 3 on Tuesday and get back on my Tue/Thu/Sat schedule. But I was foolish to think I could get out and run on the same day we were to meet my sister for breakfast, pack, and check out of the hotel by 11AM. Even moving our checkout to noon, we barely made it out on time.
So, Day 2 of Week 2 happened this morning. So, about this morning. First, we got home around 9PM last night after a lot of driving and, thanks to caffeine, while exhausted, I couldn’t sleep until late. So I woke up late. This means I missed the cooler weather. And not only is it warmer than I prefer, it’s also incredibly humid out there. But I pushed through and did it.
I am coming to realize that running is less about the physical activity itself and more about the mental. Pain and shortness of breath are par for the course. It takes tenacity, stubborness, and no small amount of self-pride (a close cousin of self-shaming but far more positive and effective) to push through it. Where I would have stopped in the past to catch my breath or rub my leg, I push through. I think about how good it will feel to know I completed another day. I think about how much more healthy I am getting by doing this and what that means for my life as I get older (and after spending a few days visiting my mother who just had knee-replacement surgery, I am even more sensitive to the issues of aging). And I think about what kind of model I am setting for my son.
So, it sucked today and I am sweating buckets (and that means I can’t get into the shower until I stop or I will just keep on sweating even afterwards which is, frankly, nasty) but I also feel fantastic that I did it. And that’s what I have to hold on to moving forward.
As part of this reboot, I skipped 1 day of Week 1 so now my count is a bit off. Alas, such is the way of things.
I intended to run Monday morning after only 1 day off between weeks 1 and 2 but I got a slow start to my day and by the time it was moving in earnest, I was busy with work and preparations for a small trip to visit family in New York and celebrate my wife’s birthday.
I intended to run Tuesday morning before we drove west but it was raining and we had a lot of last minute stuff to finish before we left (and we left really late anyway).
So, Wednesday morning, I ran along Route 28 in Mount Tremper in the heart of the Catstkills. It didn’t seem that hot and humid when I started and maybe I went at just the wrong time (around 10AM) when it was rapidly heating up, but by the time I was ending the walk, it felt oppressively hot and humid. Running along a busy highway is also somewhat unnerving but the margins on the side of the road were large and there was mostly mowed grass/wildflowers on the sides that gave me softer terrain when I needed it or wanted to get further away from traffic.
The second week expands the jogging sessions to 90 seconds and, just like the last time I did this a few weeks ago, this first day was painful. I found myself barking, “Come on!” to myself to keep going. I set milestones (I’ll go to that stretch of fence”, “that bridge”, “one more grasshopper”) That last was referring to the many grasshoppers (or grasshopper like bugs) on the margins of the road that all jumped/flew as I approached them.
When I was halfway through, I had two thoughts. The first was that I felt especially stiff and things were hurting that had not hurt before. The second, that followed the first one quickly, was that I forgot to stretch out before my run. So, I paused my run and did a few quick stretches and I made sure to do extra stretching when I was finished.
On the plus side, the rest of the day, featuring lots of walking, was not painful at all. My legs felt great and, more importantly, feel great today.
It’s a bit depressing to be back at the beginning. On the other hand, today’s run was far better than the one two days ago. I was really worried at how hard it was on Thursday but today’s felt great and I feel confident that starting Week 2 on Monday after only doing two days of Week 1 in this reboot will work just fine.
The only item of concern is that when I was done with the running/walking portion and was doing the cool down walk home, I took a long stride while walking up a small hill from the bike path up into the parking lot of the ice cream place and my left knee almost went out from under me. It’s not hurting me now but I can feel it being all twingy there. We’ll see what shape I am in tomorrow…
Two weeks. I would have been on the dreaded week 5 with the 20 minute non-stop jog. But that damn kidney stone put me on the DL and I’m only now able to get back out and into it again.
I had the stone zapped on Tuesday. A thoroughly exciting process that I have no memory of thanks to the lovely drugs they gave me. But the stone is gone now and after giving myself 24 or so hours to recover from the procedure and to come down from two weeks of pain and Percocet, I am ready to begin again.
I debated from where to resume the C25K program. I finally decided, in part based on advice from someone on MyFitnessPal.com, to return to the beginning. As they put it, I need to build the infrastructure for the later weeks and after two weeks, I have pretty much lost it. I agree. I decided, since it’s Thursday and I still want to keep this on a roughly Tue/Thu/Sat plan, to start with Week 1 Day 2. I figured if I get to Day 3 and find that I’m struggling, I can always do the third day of Week 1 and then move on. Otherwise, I can move on after 2 days or even skip ahead.
Well, I won’t be skipping ahead. It was a slog today. Sure, I went out for a run/walk a week ago but, other than that, it’s been two sedentary weeks. So, while I didn’t have any pain, I did have a lack of puff, as my father-in-law would say.
But I made it. Now my legs are stiff… but I’ll live…
And then I got a kidney stone.
Now, usually, these things only cause me intense pain for about 24 hours and that’s it. I suffer, I deal, I move on. This one has lasted six days (and counting). So, I didn’t run for a week. Instead, I suffered and I did tech week and ran sound for the kids’ show at Swamp Meadow. This morning, the plan was to go to the Emergency Room to once and for all deal with this. At least get super hydrated via IV to help push this thing along. Except I had no pain all night. No pain this morning.
And it was a gorgeous morning. So, what the hell. I decided to go for a run/walk instead. I figured I would get some exercise, assess where I was physically so when I resume C25K, I knew where to actually start from, and maybe force the stone to move (through the impact of running) and get some pain going so I could go to the ER and not feel silly.
So, I went out. I tried a job after a few minutes of walking to warm up and found that it came quite naturally. So for the rest of my 30 minute excursion, up and down hills (I decided to stay in the ‘hood rather than go to the bike path) I alternated walking and jogging. I even got to run nice and fast down a steep hill (that was FUN!) towards the end.
The result? I feel great. I can see where I am a little stiff after a week of not moving much and I think my plan will be to do Day 3 of Week 2 on Saturday and then restart Week 3 on Monday/Tuesday and take it from there.
Assuming, of course, that the stone is really done with me. I had no pain during or after the run so if it is still there, even my running didn’t jostle it loose. Or it has already moved down past the point where it causes pain (it hurts when it is wedged in the upper pathway between the kidney and the bladder — the pain is from when it is being forced to move, scraping against the walls of the pipes — once it moves close to the bladder, the pipes are wider and it tends to finish the trip to the outside in a few days without causing any discomfort).
That said, it may start hurting later today for its own nefarious reasons. In which case, I’ll deal. But if I really am done with it, I have a plan and I feel pretty good right now.
Opening next Wednesday, Jack is appearing as “Father Wolf” (Mowgli’s father) in The Jungle Book, a production of Swamp Meadow Summer Children’s Theatre! I was an assistant director and am helping run sound as well.
All of the kids (and adults) have worked really hard on this so come on out and see the show!
I just noticed that I have 9000 unpublished comments to posts made here in the last year or so. They are all spam, or all the ones I have bothered to check, anyway.
So, screw that. I’m done with comments. Gone. Bye. No comments on my blog anymore. So few of you comment anyway and those of you with things to say can say it in other forums, like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Email, or, Gods Forbid: In person!