Sunday, June 7, 2015

Exercise Diary: I'm back, it's back

Weekends are for long runs during times you would not normally be out.  And I'm glad that I took advantage of my weekend.  Yesterday morning I got up extra early and went to the next town over to do my favorite loop, and today I tried to do some fartlek around my usual pond.  I really need it too to burn of all the delicious I ate in the past week.

After many last minute yoga classes and pond runs, I spent 6 blissful days in New Orleans, where my lab mate and I attended this years American Society of Microbiology conference and did all the touristy things one would do in New Orleans.  There were 4 days of overwhelmingly vast choices of workshops and talks and vender and posters to attend and look at, we each presented a poster detailing our work, and got really excited about microbiology in general and our research specifically.

But perhaps more fun were the things we did outside of the conference.  We went up and down Bourbon way too many times since our hotel was right in the heart of the French Quarter and a block away from Bourbon, went to the French Market, visited many pubs and bars, looked around in many galleries and antique shops, and took many pictures.  But the reason for my runs, and the things that I was most akin to, were the southern food.  Surprisingly only very few meals I ate there consisted of fried food; somehow I managed to avoid that for the large part.  But I did make a point to eat as much seafood as possible, because why not?  So after these blissful days I managed to try beignets, alligator sausage, po-boys, gumbo (many many times, it's my favorite!!), étouffée (which tasted just like gumbo), oysters, catfish, and many other delicious things.  Not to mentions the cocktails and beers I tried every chance I got.  Unfortunately apart from the Hurricane we had on our first night there, none of the other cocktails (including a very expensive absinthe drink that was way overpriced) gave me any buzz.  At least now I know now how these traditional New Orleans drinks taste.

Both my lab mate and I were absolutely disgusted at ourselves by the end of the trip for how much we ate and how lavishly we ate.  I could feel that one of my shirts became noticeably tighter.  Surprisingly after I got home I found my weight stayed within a reasonable fluctuation of what I normally weigh, and after not eating any real meals for two days after coming back (there was no food in the apartment and I was too afraid to go shopping on an empty stomach, and I was abnormally exhausted after coming back), I actually lost a pound.  Perhaps I didn't eat as much junk food as I thought I had.  After all I did eat a lot of soup (gumbo).

But it was time to go back to regular exercising.  Although I brought my gym clothes and running shoes to New Orleans I didn't get any chance to go running.  The hotel gym closes at 11pm every night and apparently that just wasn't late enough for all the things we ended up doing every night.  On our second to last day I saw many people out running along the tram tracks that go through the middle of the road and those people made me happy.  For one, there are runners in New Orleans, and for another, none of them were very fast (though they all looked very fit).  It's probably the humidity that slowed those people down, or maybe where I am from people are just more into running as a whole.  Either way I was very happy to see them and if I had stayed for another week I would definitely join them.

Did 3.5 miles yesterday and honestly it wasn't as bad as I had thought.  I was going extra slow at first since I didn't want to burn out again after mile 1 with its steep downhill and grueling uphills, and surprisingly I managed to do the whole run without any walking.  Granted the entire thing was slow, and I wasn't really concentrating on my run since I went back to my podcast listening, but it was nice and cloudy and breezy, and I had a good time outside enjoying a beautiful town early in the morning. People were extra friendly too, every cyclist, runner, and other early risers who saw me waved or smiled at me, and I really appreciated the comradery.  On my way back I even saw one of my students running too.  Since they were taking their finals later that day I guess it's her way of de-stress.

Today I couldn't get up early enough for a run so I resorted to the pond in between my experiment.  I've long given up the idea of me lifting or doing HIIT exercises so I thought doing fartlek or interval running to increase fat burning would by my way to burn more fat.  But maybe I over did it today.  By the second lap I could feel a sharp pain surging from the bottom of my right foot and all I could think of it, oh no, my plantar fasciitis is back.  I'm not sure if it ever fully went away but I haven't had the cropping pain in a long time and my foot hasn't bothered me in a big way after my runs for a while.  Maybe given my weight at the moment and the pressure I put on my legs and feet when I try to run too fast is just not a good idea.  I will still do intervals but maybe I shouldn't push myself too hard.  I just hope today's little episode won't turn into something bigger.  I don't want to spend another summer not running and procrastinating on stretching out my plantar fasciitis.  Fingers crossed.

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