Jogger's Log

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2016-04-20 17:43:59 Wednesday...

A 5+ mile walk out across the fields. I'm liking these walking boots. It's taken a little while for them to become really comfortable, but they are now.

I went out immediately on waking. A glass of water, boots on, and out the door. It's a nice way to wake up. That's the daily pattern I liked when I was running, and I can't see why it wouldn't be just as nice now I've stopped running and I walk instead. Walking is as good a form of exercise as running; it just takes more time.

To be honest, since I stopped running I have not known how to get enough exercise and have put on weight as a result, and now I feel my weight is really too high for running to be sensible. My joints are not that great, and I don't want to risk injury. However, I'm absolutely sure that if I just put my boots on and went for a walk every morning, my fitness would gradually return and I would lose the excess weight. A Swedish mile a day (10km) would certainly do it, but really, once I have my boots on and I'm outside, then provided I have woken up early enough and I'm not time-pressured, then, rain or shine, I'm bound to walk a decent distance most days. In fact, simply getting up, putting boots on, and going outside at 7am every day is all I need to do. The rest will take care of itself.

Specifically, what has prompted me to today to get a bit fitter is that yesterday I confirmed a plan to go and climb a Norwegian mountain in August. I could physically do that tomorrow, but I'd like to actually enjoy the trip, rather than it be an ordeal, so I'd like to be lighter and fitter. I have three months before the climb, and that's a good amount of time to prepare.

2016-04-24 05:04:53 Sunday morning early...

A mile or so walk out in the cold pre-dawn dark. Had just eaten and didn't feel so good. Came back quite soon.

2016-04-25 10:25:20 Monday morning...

10km loop walk through fields yesterday evening, and again this morning. I'm beginning to enjoy this. Body compaining a bit, but you know, just complaining. I think it will stop complaining soon enough.

2021-05-14 00:08:39 Thursday night...

Yesterday morning I went for a run. It was not the first run recently, but it was a significant one. I began, a week or two ago, to go out wearing running shoes every day or so.

I'm very unfit. I have not been running for several years now and I have put on a fair amount of weight. I also have suffered pain in my lower back in the past month or so. It is centered around my left buttock, and I don't think there is any spinal problem, although my doctor wants to take a scan to be sure. Reading on the interweb yesterday I came across an article on 'piriformis syndrome', and I reckon it's that. I has probably been caused by too much sitting, too much driving, and not enough movement.

So anyway, yesterday was not the first run, but it was the first run that really felt like a run. In fact I am still at the walk/run/walk stage, and yesterday I discoevred that I could kind of shuffle-jog for a reasonable length of time, at walking pace or slower, and not actually leaving the ground (because that was causing pain in my buttock or hip) but still lifting MOST of my weight on each shuffle-step. I've been stretching very carefully on coming back home, and that has also been helping, but after that one exploratory shuffle-jog, I have felt some strength and aliveness returning to my hips.

I feel I have no choice now but to work on regaining my mobility and my strength now, because no matter how lazy I may feel, NOT developing that mobility is going to cause me actual physical and chronic pain. There is no comfortable but lazy route to a flabby old age. Neglecting my 'training' is going to lead nowhere comfortable or lazy or 'indulgent', but will lead instead to pain, and possibly ultimately to serious disablement as well.

So there we are. I seem to have embarked on a training programme. I had thought that my running days were over, and that I would be walking for exercise from now on, but it seems that the running has a role to play still. It's the weight-bearing aspect of it, the fact that it challenges my joints in that way, that makes it valuable. People say that weigth-bearing exercise can be harmful, but I think it is essential in my own case, and I'm sure it can be done safely if I avoid hard, flat surfaces.

Anyway, I'm not going to over-do it, and I can use my body's own response as a guide for how much recovery time to build into my training schedule, given my extreme lack of present fitness. Every day would be too much, although I can do other exercise on the non-running days, such as cycling or walking. We shall see how it goes. It's wuite exciting really!

2021-05-14 16:32:14 Friday...

Well, another run. It has been a couple of days since the last one and the eche in right buttock had returned slightly. I didn't feel AT ALL like going for a run, but went anyway.

I walked along the road until I was on soft ground in the woods and fields and then started my shuffle-jogging. I went for I don't know how long or how far, but it felt like a proper run, probably a half hour of jogging in all, working up a bit of a sweat. Came home, did my stretching, cooked and ate some food and drank some beer.

I don't know if I will ever feel like going for a run, but there we are. It works, regardless. Taking it very easy to start with is most certainly good, and I have my own body to tell me if I am pushing too hard. In fact, all I need to do for now is that gentle jogging up and down whie moving forward at walking pace. That's enough.

2021-05-17 06:39:58 Monday morning...

Run done. Jogging most of the way, about an hour in all, or maybe 50 minutes. Didn't go very far. Explored the woods a bit. No rain but lots of standing water. Was tiring and uncomfortable in the hip area, but heart and lungs OK. The left leg is possibly worse than the right now, with a little bit of sciatica. I did my stretches afterwards.

2021-05-19 22:41:11 Wednesday... A 10km stomp at maximum walking speed in walking boots through a muddy landscape. Breathing hard and working up a sweat. Felt good. Not eaten today yet, and I think that helped with my energy level.

2021-05-26 00:55:25 Tuesday... As above. Same 10km loop through fields and woods. Fast walking. Wet landscape. River was high, and I had to skirt around a couple of flooded spots. Bit disappointing to realise it had been six-days since my last walk, but that's OK. I had a good old stretch afterwards, mainly stretching my hips, as it's the right hip/buttock/back that has been giving me jip. It is still not 100% OK, but it is a lot better than it was. The hard walking and/or running, plus the stretching, seems to be helping a lot.

2021-06-08 07:40:53 OK, well, I didn't leave until 5:30am or even later. I posted a few letters and then had a good stomp around the usual loop. It's not 10km. The iphone tells me it is 9,978 steps. I was striding out for sure, but I don't think my strides are a metre long. However, I can I am sure devise a 10km loop walk in that area. I feel good about using my anger to exercise, to stomp or to run. Better anyway than just using it on Facebook. Yes, it was a good stomp. I felt tired when I got home. I'm going to stretch a bit and then have a bath. My left leg is feeling a bit weak in a sciatica-type way. Only slightly, but there's something there, and stretching will be good for it.

2021-06-09 05:47:38 Wednesday morning... A walk. The usual loop. 1 hr:27mins:20 seconds. 9,611 steps according to the iphone. Hot n sweaty. Bath now.

2021-06-11 08:58:56 Walkies done. Same standard loop. 9,656 steps and 9.2km, according to iphone. Sounds about accurate. Fast walking. Similar time to Wednesday, but I didn't stopwatch it. Started to get tired around the last horsey field and slowed down a bit. I have not lost weight (still about 97.5kg +/- 2.5kg) but I do feel I am getting a little fitter. I feel a bit more confident when jumping over streams and so on. The point is to work on my hips. To strengthen the bit where my legs have weight transfered to them, and which seem to have been causing back pain.

2021-06-14 01:16:26 Monday... I was away over the weekend. I went for one little walk with other people, rather slowly, maybe three miles?

2021-06-16 08:00:48 Wednesday. Started out about 6am. Felt a bit too late. Met a deer on the way out, but met a couple of dog walkers on the way back. 9.5km according to iphone app, in 99 minutes. Gonna find a little detour to find a 10.0km loop, just for the fun of it. I felt a bit, ...I mean I'm glad I went, but I have been feeling bloated, and in particular I have a couple of swollen fingers on my right hand. The weather is hot and muggy, and that doesn't help. The heat is why it is better to go as early as possible.

2021-06-17 15:28:24 A mid-afternoon walk today. It was sunny in a hazy sort of way, so not super-hot, but still hot. I didn't feel like going and the first half was, well it was OK, but I didn't feel energetic. But after about 40 minutes I felt fine and started enjoying the exertion. I then did some hand exercises to help my dodgy right hand fingers. The exercises are a bit painful, but I reckon after 40 minutes walking I have enough endorphins (?) running around my blood stream to not care too much about the pain.

So then I also wanted to map out a true 10km route, so I went on down the left bank of the river after the last horse field, through a couple of currently unoccupied meadows and emerged by the bridge on the cycle route back to the church. A nice discovery, and a route that is little-used I think, judging by the height of the grass in the meadows, the lack of any discernible path through the tall grass, and the rust on the gate hinges. Nice.

So, it was a little longer than 10km. 10.5km, according to the iphone, 11,487 steps, and took me 107 minutes.

Just an aside: I've just done the maths and it turns out that my stride length is exactly one yard. 10,500m / 11,487 steps = 91.4cm / 2.54 = 35.984 inches.

2021-06-18 07:38:29 Short walk in the rain in normal shoes, just around the streets. Nice. Feeling easy and loose in the body.

2021-06-20 13:32:21 11,783 steps or 10.6km. Time? Dunno - felt fast. Weather? cool, still, wet and drizzly. Nice and refreshing, although wading through waist-high wet grass early on completely soaked trousers and socks and made inside of boots wet too. I felt good. Stronger. I went round that semi-familiar extended loop anti-clockwise for a change, which was nice. I did some stretching afterwards, especially on the piriformis.

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