I have been wearing a lot of self pity the last two weeks, does it look good on me?
There is something very annoying about a young(ish), healthy, fit, educated, American person complaining about minor injuries, especially when half the world is at war, in the middle of a revolution, or starving. I understand that, and yet, can not stop feeling sorry for myself and this aching foot of mine. I keep telling myself I am fortunate for the chance to compete in the Boston Marathon at all, even if I have to walk, but I can’t stop grieving over my goal time (knowing I need to readjust my expectations now).
Often, when we “feel bad” about our current station in life, we stop making frequent good decisions. I was well on my way to my goal of losing 10-15 pounds by April, but in just the last 10 days I have gained 2 pounds back. I am still charting my workouts and observing what I eat, so there is no mystery here. I am working out alot less (about 35% of what I was doing) and drinking wine with dinner nearly every night (so awesome!). No, I am not self medicating! Ok, maybe just a little.
I got a new scale last week: (isn’t she pretty?)
I love this scale because it provides me with lots of data that I can put on graphs: BMI, Weight, Body Fat %, Skeletal Muscle %, Resting Metabolic Rate (in Cals.), “Body Age”, and Visceral Fat score. (I admit that I make a fart noise at some of these, but the scale seems consistent so all is well)
The February issue of Oxygen magazine cites a recent Swedish study “that suggests that only four weeks of unhealthy eating combined with decreased activity level can actually change your physiology and body composition, making it much harder to lose your acquired fat in the long term.” Though I haven’t been able to find their source (yet), this quote incites fear. Also, if true, then is it any wonder that so many women truly struggle with losing weight after pregnancy? On the other hand, I remember reading a study when I was in College (2003 maybe?) that said basically the opposite of this one, that only 6 weeks of regular moderate to high intensity cardiovascular training would increase your heart health long term and make it easier to lose weight after future setbacks….or something. I guess these two findings are not mutually exclusive. I think it’s confusing nonetheless.
This week marks the half way point between the start of this round of marathon training and the Boston Marathon. This Thursday will mark two full weeks of not running because of tendonitis in my right foot. As I said above, I have been lazy. Yesterday and Saturday, in an effort to snap out of it I used the StepMill for 30 minutes at the gym. The high intensity work felt good but it was too much plantar flexion involved and I was really uncomfortable after.
Last night I went water jogging (nay’ running) for the 4th time since the onset of my foot injury. I haven’t attempted to do this since about 2005, when it was part of my job description. The hardest part of water jogging is maintaining good form and a high effort level. The first two sessions were basically a wash and after 20 minutes I grabbed a kick-board and did laps kicking. It felt great to really work my legs!
The 3rd time I went, I realized (duh!), I hadn’t been wearing a flotation belt and perhaps that was why I was having trouble. So I put one on (provided by the gym), and also wore my heart rate monitor.
Much to my surprise I was able to maintain a heart rate consistent with on-ground running, and the belt allowed me to get the form right. I have to be honest, my legs were burning after 15 minutes! The problem I have now is that at the 30 minute mark I was really, really bored, I set small, per length of the pool goals, and managed to focus through another 10 minutes. My 4th attempt went the same. I think next time (tonight) I will set my time goal before I am in the water. That usually helps with long runs. For example, if I know I need to run 12 miles, 5 seems like no problem, but if I have no plan I get tired at 4 miles.
I think I still have anywhere from 3 to 7 days before I will be able to run at all, so I am going to make my water jogging sessions progressively longer, in an effort to not lose anymore ground. I have heard of people who train for races in the water and I once ran personal best in a 5k after doing only water aerobics for 6 weeks (I went through a phase). I realize that I could swim laps, and do 2 – 3,000 yard swim workouts to stay fit but from my own past experience, being fit for swimming and fit for running are not synonymous.
Take home message here, working out in the water rocks…and it’s not joke. You can keep your heart rate elevated but you need to stay focused (sort of reminds me of the elliptical). This is one workout where I think a training partner/workout buddy would really come in handy! Also, the pressure from the water really is like a massage on my injury and feels great!
There are numerous studies boasting the positive effects of exercising in the water for people looking to be healthier as well as individuals with arthritis (osteo and rheumatoid), fybromyalgia, tendon injuries, ligament injuries, high blood pressure, and more.
If you are interested, here is some of the “scholarly” stuff:
A review article: http://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/aqua.html
Interesting dissertation on the psychological benenfits of water exercise for people with Fibromyalgia: http://www.docstoc.com/docs/46996369/Psychological-benefits-of-water-aerobics-for-fibromyalgia-patients
Injury, arthritis, muscular dystrophy: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Benefits+of+deep+water+exercise+for+ambulatory+impaired+adults.-a017631610
I am off to school now, I have a long to-do list!
Have a great day!