Thursday, June 5, 2014

Exercise Diary: So much for the streak

I feel a bit embarrassed to say this, but as soon as I finished my last exercise post I stopped my run streak.  It was a conscious decision I made solidified by serendipitous events.  So now I'm back to normal with my running and yoga-ing, and I have to say that as cool as streaking is, run/rest really works for me better.

After Friday's run, my right foot and heel became unbearable, I could barely walk around in my apartment, and even when I was sitting I could feel the dull ache.  I don't know if it was plantar fasciitis or something else, but it was definitely from running in my minimal shoes on concrete, which was alarming since that was days ago, and because I was subjecting running pressures on my feet constantly afterwards, it never got a chance to recover.  I remember I was sitting in front of my desk that night, massaging my foot with an ice-filled water bottle, and thought about maybe I would take a day off the next day.  I had to seriously ask myself if that's what I wanted to do, whether the pain was worth giving up the streak.  I think at the end of the night I made peace with myself breaking the streak, deciding that I wouldn't make the extra effort to squeeze my run between my experiments, but still hoped that I would go at some point later, perhaps a quick mile in the gym.


Quick trip to the lab in the morning to finish some experiments, then volunteered at the local homeless shelter in the afternoon.  I made a really nice strawberry pretzel salad, which ended up being a big hit which was nice since it was the first time I tried it recipe, which in my past experience never worked well.  Will make it again later this week so hopefully there will be pictures.  I ended up buying my own mixer so now I can whip up all kinds of different things~

After the volunteering thing we drove past the movie theater and spontaneously decided to catch a show of the newest X-man movie.  The movie was fine, but I've never watching movies with friends, or anyone else ever.  My nutty friends bolted out of the theater as soon as the credits rolled.  Have they never watched an X-man movie in the theater before?  I was literally dragged out by them and later found out on the internet that I miss the Apocalypse tele-constructing the pyramid.  Seriously...  some people.

Anyhoo, it was the spontaneous movie going that completely destroyed my plan to run that day.  By the time the movie was over it was dark out and the gym was closed.  I took it as a sign and didn't bother agonizing over breaking the streak.


Sunday was lazy.  I had to go grocery shopping again to get stuff for the following Wednesday's cooking since I had to cook for a gathering that day.  It was so beautiful, and I got a lot of sleep the night before, but I could still feel my foot ache so I consciously took another day off.  I was ok with the decision, but at the same time I was a bit sad at how easily I can just let myself rest, and that I no longer get the urge to just go out and run when the weather is nice out.  It used to be the case all the time when I first started, but no more.  I still run, and I still like running, but a lot of the initial enthusiasm was gone.  I'm slipping and I think I know partly why, but it will take more work than just pure enthusiasm to get back to that initial passion.


My lab mates were surprised when I told them that I broke my streak so soon.  But I ended up running the pine trail again with my friend later that day.  Only when running with her I don't get lost.  I realized  where I veered off wrong last time during our run that day.  The run was short but kind of brutal, since she still runs much faster than me, and although I don't feel I was running much faster than I normally would, I was still running harder, and I had to fight off urges to stop and walk.  I guess if I was by myself I would've gone even slower or stopped at some point.  But I was glad that I ran the whole way.

It was kind of a special run for me.  It wasn't long, only 1.5 mile, and I chickened out of running another loop, but I couldn't help that I had made some real progress since the last time I ran the same loop.  It was before I became obsessed with running, it was when I still thought running was a torturous sport.  I ran with the same friend for absolutely no reason; she just asked me one day.  Before that run she made me promise to push her to run the whole way, and of course I was the one who collapsed and walked most of the way, while she ran ahead and made me eat her dust.  I don't know why she asked me to run with her, or why she never thought the run was a disaster.  But we ran the same loop again, and this time it was so different.  She still ran way faster, and picked up her speed while I slowed down toward the end, but I made the entire way.  And see her running faster and faster ahead of me pushed me to keep up as well.  My heavier-than-usual breathing was a testament to that.  It was good.  Since she's training for a mini-triathelon, we agreed to do two loops the next time, and 3 loops the time after that, to help her train for the running part.

But the most important thing I learned from this short run is that I felt good during the run.  While during normal everyday walking I still feel the heels of my feet hurting, I felt fine while running.  I was afraid that I had seriously injured myself, but it was fine, and although I wouldn't continue with the streak, I feel less afraid about continuing my running routine.


Went to yoga.  I was again fearful since I hadn't gone to yoga in two weeks.  It was a fine class.  There was a lot of sweating, I don't know what it was that we did, but there was way too much sweat for any hard core poses.  My balance is still off, especially my right foot, but the strength in my legs has definitely increased and I could perform most poses more powerfully.  Still need to be more flexible of course, and I'm still too big to twist myself in any skillful way.  I was going to run after my yoga class, but was way to tired after it.


Today's lunch was disappointing.  It was nothing but white rice and picked vege from a package.  But since my mixer and casserole arrived today, I'm anxious to start cooking again.  Hopefully there will be many new recipes and pictures to come!

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