Finding My Mojo

WP_20160321_06_09_03_Pro_LI

Its been an interesting week, where I’ve begun to question my ability to run.  Basically I feel like I’ve lost my running mojo!  Before my operation a couple of weeks ago, I cut back on the amount of running I was doing to give my Achilles some rest and began to focus on cycling a bit more than I had been, what I had failed to recognise at the time was that it would be four weeks until I next ran again.

Those four weeks have somehow stolen my mojo, and my recent runs have been a real struggle, to the point that I have not managed to complete a single run without some walking.  In fact the first time I headed out for my run after I got the all clear, I was shocked at how much running fitness that I had lost.  Everything felt really heavy and I just couldn’t seem to hit the groove, it was quite disheartening, as I remembered just how it used to feel to run for 40 minutes without stopping while I was walking around my usual morning route.

It’s getting better, I can now run further than that first few runs, but I’m still not back where I was and its a little disheartening.  The fact that I’m recording all my runs on my Garmin watch, means that I am able to see the slow gains that I am making, which is great and definitely helping with the motivation.

On a rosier note I have started putting some hills into my weekly cycling routine and have started doing a 22k hill loop that climbs 350m overall and provides some pretty beautiful views as well when the sun starts to come up.  And its these moments that keep me getting up at 5am so that I can get the run or ride in before work.  The getting outside and “doing it” is really good for my sense of well being, even if its absolutely rubbish for the amount of sleep I’m getting, something that I am going to have to address, but a lifetime of being a night owl is not going to get overturned in a few months.  Still I do have to get used to going to sleep sometime between 9 and 10 because everything I read tells me that sleep is realllllllly important for recovery.

Finally I actually won something this week! Not a race, but I won a supply of EM’s power cookies from a competition that I entered on Facebook.  They’ve not arrived yet but that was a pretty excellent way to start my weekend.

Shawn

  • Monday – Ride 22k
  • Tuesday – Run 6k
  • Thursday – Ride 17k, Run 6k
  • Saturday – Run 5k
  • Sunday – Ride 31k

 

 

Hello Darkness…

WP_20160310_06_27_54_Pro_LI

Last week was two weeks after my operation and I was officially allowed to start exercising again. Taking an enforced two weeks off was harder than I thought it would be, I actually missed going for a run or a ride, something that if you’d told my unfitter self at the beginning of this crusade I would have scoffed at you!

The first week of recovery was pretty much spent taking it really easy and either sleeping or doing things that didn’t require much energy.  That meant that I read a lot, got quite a bit further through Fallout 4 and caught up on a lot of sleep.  During the second week however, as I started to feel better and was able to get around easier without feeling like I had already run 5k with each set of stairs, I started to get the urge to “just go for a quick ride or run.”  I did resist the urge to go, I was under doctors orders and having been through this surgery before I knew that the appearance of feeling better was a bit of an illusion for the first couple of weeks.

Finally the day came when I was able to get back on my bike again, but those two weeks off had changed the experience somewhat.  For a start it was dark, and I don’t mean the sun will be up soon, its starting to get light dark.  I mean holy moly, I can’t see my hand in front of my face dark.  Luckily I had picked up a cheap generic CREE bicycle front light, which makes it like riding with car headlights, plenty of lumens to see and be seen by.

The other change was the drop off in fitness.  It wasn’t a huge drop but it was noticeable, legs ached a bit more than they had, and times were a bit slower.  I’m not really too worried about that, the first ride was intentionally slow and I kept my heart rate about 10 beats lower than I usually do my aerobic training at to ensure that everything is still working as intended.  Riding in the dark was slightly surreal, there are even fewer cars on the road than there have been in the past, but the blinking lights of a cyclist about half a kilometer almost ruined my resolve to have a slow recovery ride as I repeatedly had to kill the urge to catch up.  Luckily the slight reduction in fitness made that choice ultimately easy to make as I would have never been able to maintain the pace necessary to catch the unknown cyclist up.

Of course now that I had the green light to start exercising again I decided to ease back into it, so a ride on Wednesday followed by a gentle 6k on Thursday morning.  Running in the dark was really cool, although I tended to stick to the flatter sections of the road and keep off the rough stuff in the light of my headlamp.  I’ve been looking for a high visibility running vest, but the local offerings are a bit thin on the ground so I’ve ordered one off the internet.  I do struggle with running and cycling kit that isn’t highly visible, especially the winter stuff.  Even in the best weather its better to be able to be seen, and with modern coatings I shouldn’t have to look like I’m straight out of the 80’s in flouro.  (now there’s an  image – me in headband, arm bands and leg warmers and lycra all in flouro…  the best thing is that you can’t unsee that image now muhahahaha)

The run was hard, I really struggled to keep going and it wasn’t until I looked bck at my training log that I realised that it was a month since I had last run.  I had forgotten that I had stopped running to give my Achilles some time to heal.  The good news is that I had no Achilles pain at all, the exercises and rest had done their job, unfortunately every running muscle was calling out in pain for the next couple of days.

Friday I went for another ride, another relatively slow one to just turn my legs over and work some of the ache out of them.  The ride was pretty uneventful except for the rain that started the minute I left the house and stopped about 2k from home.  Signs of the months ahead and an indicator in what clothing I’m going to need to get to ensure that I can continue to train through the upcoming winter months.

  • Wednesday – Ride 17k
  • Thursday – Run 6k
  • Friday – Ride 17k

 

 

Getting old and creaky…

WP_20160121_06_15_12_Pro_LI

Regular readers will notice that I’ve been a bit quiet of late, partly that’s because I’ve been recovering from an operation, partly because I didn’t seem to have anything to say. (Those who know me personally know that this doesn’t happen very often)

My last week of training went really well, I managed to get in all the rides and runs that I had planned, and my Achilles were getting back to normal thanks to my physio and my exercises.  On the weekend I did my longest ride yet, which was great even if it did highlight that I need to look at a different seat, or at least harden my butt to the one I’ve got 🙂

Last week I went into hospital for an operation on my heart to fix (hopefully) the electrical issues I have once and for good.  While that sounds fairly major, it’s the third time I’ve had it (its hard to get a good surgeon these days) and I have been awake during the operation the last couple of times.  It’s actually quite surreal watching your heart on the screen as they operate.  Note this is a keyhole procedure, I’m looking at a computer monitor, there is no blood.

The downside of the operation is that I’m not allowed to do anything strenuous for two weeks afterwards and I’ve checked, this includes running and cycling.  So for the time being, I’ve just got to take it easy and keep up with my calf stretches and some other core work that I’ve been doing to counteract 25 years of sloth and gluttony.  I have been amazed at how much strength my body has lost and starting to get fit again has really highlighted just how it is so easy to kid yourself that you are more active than you actually are.

On a lighter note, I also hit 92kg and 5kg of weight loss.  I’m still not at my target weight but I am on my way and losing the weight is a great motivator.  Technically I’m still overweight with a BMI of 26.9 but I am now closer to healthy than I am obese!

  • Monday – Bike 17k
  • Wednesday – Bike 17k
  • Friday – Bike 17k
  • Saturday – Bike 35k, Run 5k
  • Monday – Bike 17k