Posts tagged biking
Woo! Back in the (bike) saddle. After physical therapy today I decided it was time to try the bike again (I’m cleared for it by PT), as I was feeling fairly stir crazy. It went well, although the foot’s a little sore now so we’ll see how I feel tomorrow.
Regardless, the PT thinks that I’ve worked through the ‘chronic’ portion of the pain, and now it’s a matter of teaching my foot how to walk again, so there’s progress even if I do end up sore. If I hadn’t spent a couple days on my feet almost constantly last week I would be doing a little better, but it is what it is.
Last week, while sitting on the rowing machine for the second day and feeling slight kinks and protests work out of my back, I was thanking my younger self for teaching me to take it easy on my first day.
First Day: Resistance/Weights
Back when I was in college (the first time around), I knew a lot less about the limits of my body than I do now. I decided to try out rowing one day, so I jumped on the machine and found that it was easy! Great! So I stayed there for about three times longer than I’d been planning. And then the next day came…Pain. So much pain. I was sore, and not in a good way – I was sore in the ‘it hurts to even think about moving’ way. It was a couple weeks before I could get back on the rowing machine and start working my way up again.
It was painful, but instructional. I learned after that experience that sometimes you have to quit while you’re ahead. In almost any resistance exercise that I do – weights, rowing, even biking – I know that until my body adjusts, I have to force myself to stop long before I’m tired.
First Day: Cardio/Aerobics
This is a different animal. There’s less I can do to control it, but still, it was the same story when starting kickboxing, running, swimming, or any other cardio-heavy workout I’ve done. When I started kickboxing I was fairly out of shape, but I’d been running a little so I didn’t think it would be that terrible (I never do). Within 15 minutes, I was dying. Wheezing, gasping for air, wondering why I let myself get so out of shape. But it always happens this way with cardio. It’s the exact opposite of when I start resistance – instead of my body telling me it can keep going, it wants to stop, curl up in a ball, and be done. And the first day is so, so much worse than any other day. After the first day, I can muddle through. After the first week, I’m pretty much fine. Oh, every change to the routine will throw me a little, a minor version of the first day, but nothing is like the real first day. And it’s a lot easier to push through the really crappy days when I know they’re going to be really temporary.
Better Knowledge = Better System
Maybe this pattern is just me, but I’ve run into it over and over, and I like knowing what’s coming. When I knew less, I would quit cardio workouts because they were too hard, and overreach on weights, and neither way was encouraging my attempts to get healthy. And because learning the hard way sucks, I offer my pain for your benefit. What’s true for me may not be true for you, but if you recognize these patterns in your experience, at least know you’re not the only one. It’s nothing complicated, just something I see that I find interesting. But anyway, I don’t go in for Profound Complex Life-Changing Fitness Rules, because I think that sometimes the simple things are the most helpful. What do you think?
The things I have learned/changed so far in P90X:
Due to my arch injury, I’ve gone through the gamut of modifications and possible solutions. Jerry-rigged arch supports, modified workouts, swapping in Insanity, you name it. Finally I bit the bullet and decided to stay away from anything that involves jumping, lunging, downward dogging, and the like. So the final verdict is:
- Replaced all the cardio workouts (Plyo, Yoga, and Kenpo) with low-impact alternatives; i.e. biking and swimming.
- Replaced Legs & Back with either biking or swimming, may do a modified or different alternative workout in the future.
- Better Supports: Got some faux-orthotics, which so far are working out well. As long as I’m not jumping or doing fast direction changes they stay put without tape (hooray!), and they make all my non-running shoes useable again (epic party!)
I know that the swimming I’m doing is not as intense as a P90x cardio workout, but obviously I can’t jump in and do an insane amount of swimming right out of the gate. Endurance will come with time – I’m content for now that I’m doing something, and it’s not taking the healing process backwards.
This has been the harder part, but I think I’m finally hitting equilibrium. Things that are working:
- Eating more, earlier. Unfortunately I can go most of the day without eating much (either intentionally or because I’m busy or forget), but then I tend to eat way too much late. Not good. Reminding myself to eat large meals earlier has solved a lot of my problems.
- Keeping easy protein sources handy at all times. I have to plan for my lazy days. Nuts, trail mix, protien bars, etc.
- Breakfast. This goes along with eating earlier, but having easy breakfast stuff has helped. I made a batch of healthy breakfast burritos and threw them in the freezer, because I am never going to have the motivation or time to cook that early.
- Pre-making as much as I can/having canned meat on hand. Easy protein = good.
- Finding easy, healthy go-to recipes. I get too ambitious sometimes, which is fine for weekends, bad for busy days.
- Whole wheat. In an effort to stick to the nutrition guide, and eat things that are better for me, I stocked up on whole wheat tortillas, pasta, and rice – so when I do eat carbs, they’re actually healthy, and I have less temptation to eat the ever-feared white food.
Doing all this, I’ve managed not to binge/eat anything ridiculous all week. I still have to be mindful, but spreading my calories over the entire day instead of binging at night has helped a lot. If I can actually get all the P90x workouts in this week (the few left in my schedule), and make it to the rec to swim/bike, I should be back on track – and hopefully in an actually sustainable way.
Today’s workout: 30mins Swimming
So, not to get to personal, but my butt hurts. I’ve been meaning to get a new bike seat, adjust it, get bike shorts, all that good stuff, but what fun is that? It was almost 70 degrees today for pete’s sake! In FEBRUARY. So I went out for a ride, and it was glorious.
I headed to a different trail than I’ve ridden the last two times – requires a little more highway riding to get there, but it’s flatter and a change of scenery. And it was gorgeous today – so gorgeous. The whole time I was riding out I had this nagging voice in the back of my head: “the wind is at your back. You have to ride back. Into the wind. You know you have to ride back, right? You have to ride back into the wind.” Needless to say, I did not listen to this voice, the pain in my butt, or anything but how amazing it was to be out in a t-shirt.
So then, I had to ride back…That part was less fun. I made it, but there were a few rest breaks, and a lot of wind to compete with, and of course the only hill on the whole ride is a block and a half away from my house. So I was a little wobbly when I got back, and I’m a bit sore, but you know what? Totally worth it.
…side note: I mapped my first rides the other day, and they came out to about 2ish miles. Peanuts, I know, but it’s the first time I’ve ridden in years. Today’s ride? 7 miles. Note that I do not map these rides BEFORE I go on them, like a normal sane person. What fun would that be? So I inadvertantly almost tripled my mileage.
Tomorrow I’m not sure what I’ll do, it’s legs and back day but I think my plan of staying off my foot is a good one and I should stick with it. But I’m not sure if I can go crazy with the biking or not…walking the dog, anyone? Or maybe legs and back without all the moves that hurt my foot, which is only, you know, practically half of it. Maybe half of legs and back AND walking the dog will count?