Keeping a Flexible Schedule

IMG_0081Maybe you’ve noticed my workout routines vary every week. Sure, the activities don’t change much but the day, duration, intensity of each week varies. I’m a type A person and plan everything but I also try not to be a slave of my schedule. I guess you need discipline as well because without it blowing off an entire week of workouts would be pretty easy to do. What I’m saying is, have a plan, have the disipline to stick to it but be flexible enough change it up a bit. Especially, if you are tired, sore or ache. You have to listen to your body. Sometimes a workout day becomes a day of rest and a day of rest sometimes becomes a workout day.

The past two weeks have been very busy. I’m the president of our homeowners association and it’s been a bit overwhelming lately. Life forced me into changing my schedule a bit. I did get out at least three times both weeks to do some running but they were a little shorter than I had planned. I didn’t get to the gym much either. Hurricane Michael had a bit of an impact as well. By the time it got to us it was a tropical storm with sustained winds of around 30-35 mph with gusts close to 50 mph. No damage at my house thankfully. Walking and running around the neighborhood on Friday I did see several large limbs down in a few places. I played golf on Saturday–which meant no running or gym time that day either. I saw quite a few large limbs down throughout the golf course. Golf courses around here are full of southern pine trees so seeing a bunch of limbs or down trees after a storm isn’t unusal.

Next week will be kind of the beginning of a new phase of training. Since starting back at running I’ve been doing mostly intervals of running and walking. This week will begin the phase where walking will not be a part of my training. At least on run days anyway. Sure, at first the runs will still be short but now it’s time to start building up my endurance instead of focusing on just building up my cardio and muscular fitness. I’m really happy with my progress since the triple bypass surgery. The people who know me are amazed by my progress. I’m not a amazed, but I’m pretty happy about it. 🙂

The past two weeks of workouts haven’t been anything exciting and skipping a week of posting on the blog is making me think about what I’ve done lately. I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t take long for my past workouts become a blur. Anyway, here’s what I’ve done the past two weeks. At least as well as I remember it!

Monday, October 1st:
Intervals: 3 minute run + 2 minute walk, 5 minute run + 2 minute walk x 2, 3 minute run + 2 minute walk
Run: 1.75 miles at a 12:26 per mile pace (those hills!)

Tuesday, October 2nd:
Weight Training

Wednesday, October 3rd:
Intervals: 5 minute run + 3 minute walk, 6 minute run + 3 minute walk, 5 minute run

Friday, October 5th:
Intervals: 5 minute run + 3 minute walk, 8 minute run + 5 minute walk, 5 minute run

Monday, October 8th:
Intervals: 8 minute run, 5 minute walk, 8 minute run
Walk: 2 miles

Wednesday, October 10th:
Intervals: 10 minute run, 5 minute walk, 10 minute run

Friday, October 12th:
Intervals: 10 minute run, 3 minute walk, 10 minute run

Saturday, October 13th:
Played in a charity golf tournament

 

 

Week Four is No More

My fourth week of 10K training is complete! I’m starting to feel like I’m getting my running legs back again. I’m very happy with my progress so far but this week was a disappointment. Read further and you’ll know why. I wish I’d drop a few more pounds but I guess with the weight training I’m staying in a holding pattern. No major gains, no major losses. I should have taken a few profile photos after my bypass surgery. I think my overall appearance looks slimmer and more fit than it did back in May but I’m really not sure. People ask me how much weight I’ve lost so I guess that means progress.

Monday’s workout was the most difficult so far. I ran 2.75 miles which is a post CABG milestone. My goal was to keep it an easy pace and stay relaxed. At the same time I was hoping my average pace would be close to 12:00 minutes per mile. I finished at a 12:08 average pace. The last mile and a quarter had alot of hill sections. I was breathing a little harder but tried to keep it relaxed and mostly did just that. I think if the run had been on all flats, I’d probably finished under a 12:00 mile pace. I managed to get a blister on the arch of my right foot! Haven’t had one there in quite a while. Eventually,  I’ll get a callus in this spot and it won’t happen as much. Oh well, that’s just part of a runner’s world. I sure could feel the blister during the next part of my workout. Intervals: 3 minute run + 2 minute walk, 4 minute run + 3 minute walk x 2, 3 minute run + 2 minute walk. After running almost three miles my splits were about a 12 minute per mile pace.

IMG_4506Tuesday I made a rest day. Wednesday was suppose to be a more intervals and some short distance running but… the blister on my right foot is much worse than I thought. Since I’m retired now and yesterday was a rest day I didn’t have any reason to put on shoes. When I finally put on my running shoes Wednesday morning I realized the blister was “big time”. In March, I had a nice callus in the area of this blister. Not so much now. I’ve drained the blister several times with a sterilized needle but I guess I need to take a blade to lance the blister a little larger so it continues to drain. With shoes, I can barely walk. On the plus side I did go to the gym to do some weight training.

Thursday morning the blister was filled with fluid again. This time I made the drain hole a little bit bigger. Hopefully, it will drain freely now. Still sore on Thursday so no running on this day either.

On Friday morning I hit the road to visit my mother and my sister in Kentucky. We planned a surprise birthday celebration for my Mom who will turn 80 next week. Normally, I would take workout clothes to do some running while I’m there but with the blister I decided to not bother. I hated it cause running in Kentucky horse country is so beautiful.

I just returned home a few hours ago. My blister is much better now so it looks like I’ll be back on track starting tomorrow. Yeah! Actually, my back, hips and feet ache a bit from not doing anything most of this week. Spending 18+ hours in a car in just three days is a bit much for me. I’m ready to get out and hit the pavement.

 

Monday, September 17
Run 2.75 miles. 12:08 per mile pace.
Intervals: 3 minute run + 2 minute walk, 4 minute run + 3 minute walk x 2, 3 minute run + 2 minute walk.

Today’s Music to Push Me Through:
Nothing Better – Chris Lake & Chris Lorenzo
Ten Feet Tall – Afrojack featuring Wrabel
High on Life – Martin Garrix featuring Bonn

Tuesday, September 18
Rest day.

Wednesday, September 19
Weight training.

Thursday, September 20 Sunday, September 23:
Rest, recovery and travel.

 

10K Training Starts Now!

Just 94 days ago I had my chest ripped apart and had three arteries added to bypass blockages to my heart using a vein in my right leg. Kinda gross when you think about it that way but that’s the real truth of coronary artery bypass surgery.

IMG_4419Today I probably did my last 5 mile walk for a while. Now its time to starting training for a 10K race in early December. During my walk today I mixed in a half mile run with an average pace of 11:34 per mile. The walk was a little over five miles so once I hit five miles I ran to the finish. I ran .29 miles at a 9:28 per mile pace. I think I’m ready to get serious about running now.

On Friday I joined the Anytime Fitness gym located in Riverwood Plantation in Evans, GA. The recovery from triple bypass made me realize I’ve got to pay attention to strength training and not just running. I’ve neglected my strength, especially my upper body for far too long. Using the weight machines at Cardiac Rehab have made a huge improvement in my recovery. Quite a bit of the aches and pains from surgery are gone now. I still have a few quirky pains and some nerve endings that are a bit touchy but I’ve come a long way in the past four weeks. So yes, the focus will be on more than just running.

I’m looking at my 10K training as if I’ve never ran in my life. For the first few weeks I’m going to use the 10K Runner app from Fitness22 and the Nike+ Run Club app. I’m going to try to merge the two programs together at least for a few weeks, maybe a few months. Once the mileage goes up I’ll have to decide which app to let go. I’ve used several of the fitness apps from Fitness22 and I really like them but, I think they are little overpriced.

I plan to visit the gym three times a week for strength training and on my own at home work on a series of exercises to strengthen my abs and core. My my non-running days I still plan to do a 2-3 mile walk on those days. I hope I’m not overdoing it here. I think I can manage it. Now that I’m retired I have more free time.

I’d say the first thing I need to start doing is to get busy and focused on working out just as soon as I wake up. I’m a morning person for sure. Since surgery I’ve been getting up leisurely, not worrying about the time too much. Drink coffee, eat, read some, surf the net, whatever. The problem is the next thing I know its going on 9 a.m. and I really haven’t done much. Today for example, it was 69 degrees out when I got up at 6 a.m. By the time I got out for my walk it was around 9:45 and the temperature was 75 degrees. For Georgia at this time of year that’s still pretty nice but by the time I finished it was 88 degrees. Honestly, there was no reason I couldn’t have had my five-mile walk out-of-the-way before 9 a.m. Gotta work on that one.

Ok Jingle Jam 10K, registration starts around Labor Day and I plan to be one of the first to sign up. I just hope I’m ready for you in December!

14 Days of Retirement

IMG_4287The day after my 62nd birthday, I officially retired. Has it really been 14 days since my first day of retirement? Where has all the time gone? Honestly, with cardio rehab three times a week and at least one doctors appointment every week I really don’t feel like I’m retired yet.

The first five days all the family celebrated by going to a cabin in the North Georgia Mountains. It was great to have the kids and grandkids all together for a few days. The cabin was awesome. And the view! Oh my, it was gorgeous. It rained a lot the first day and a half but by the weekend we had enough sun to sit out at the infinty pool to soak up the sun and enjoy the view.

Next week is my final week of rehab so things will change a bit once that is off my plate. I believe after next week the frequency of my doctors appointments will reduce too. Yeah!

I haven’t felt the need to post much right now because it’s the same old, same old. Three rehab sessions each week and on non-rehab days I walk five miles. I will say I’m feeling better and stronger. The use of the rowing machine and weight machines at rehab have been a big help. Oh! and NO FEVERS in over two weeks now! The doctors never could figure out the cause but they are gone so I don’t really care anymore.

In the past week I have added a little bit of running to my walks. Just short 30 second sprints and each day I add one or two more. I’m up to six sprints now. Once I get up to twelve I’ll probably start trying one minute sprints. On my last walk I placed all six sprints within the same one mile split. My split time for the mile was 14:39. Just before I found out I needed a triple bypass, at times I was logging running mile splits slower than this. How did I not know something was wrong back then? Well… I guess I did realize it but never would have guessed it was a heart problem. A mile split of 14:39 with only three minutes of running included is pretty impressive to me right now.

On Labor Day weekend I plan to consider rehab officially over and will begin training to run a 10K in December. Registration for the local Jingle Jam 10K opens right after Labor Day and I plan to sign up. It’s a course with quite a few hills so I’m not sure how ready I will be, but it’s a goal. Hey, if I can’t run the whole thing–so what! At least I’ll plan to be there.

I’m considering a gym membership too. We have a small gym in the clubhouse of my neighborhood but the equipment is somewhat limited. I’m really going to miss the Concept 2 rowing machine and the muscle specific weight machines available at rehab. We have an Anytime Fitness gym within walking distance of my house so I plan to go check it out next week and then decide.

So far, retirement has been great. Super busy right now and so far I’m not really getting much done that I thought I would. Where does all the time go and how did I get anything done before? Crazy! Unless there is a drastic change of some sort this will likely be my last post concerning my recovery from open heart surgery. The next time you see something from me it will be about my preparation for my next 10K!

 

Recap: Third Week After Bypass Surgery

IMG_4241I’m continuing with my steady progress after my triple bypass. I’m feeling better and feeling stronger each and every day.

Last Monday was a bust because I had an appointment with my Cardiologist and he didn’t like the appearance of the leg where they took out the vein used from my heart. He was concerned about a possibility of a clot. So instead of spending an hour or two at the hospital I spent most of the day. The preliminary report was there was a small clot in not a vein but a capillary. The Doctor told me to start taking 400mg of Motrin twice a day for two weeks. The following day my Surgeon called with the final report and all was good and told me not to worry about it. Surgeon did say it wouldn’t hurt anything to continue the Motrin if I wanted. So I have continued. The real benefit for me is my right shoulder pain has stopped. I’m hoping once I stop taking the Motrin the pain won’t come back. Oh yeah, and my evening fevers are now gone too.

My sister drove down from Kentucky to spend the week with me. It was nice to have her around and it helped since the wifey is back to work now. I think she was bored most of the time but we had some good times together too. Probably our highlight of the week was going to lunch at TakoSushi and driving to Trenton, SC to get some fresh peaches! WOOWOO! HA!

Wednesday was my final day of having a at-home nurse coming to the house. I’m doing well. All my vitals are good and I can monitor things just fine on my own. It was good to have a nurse around if nothing else so I could compare notes.

June 10th – Sunday

1.94 miles          31:53          16:24 pace

June 11th – Monday

Zip. Zero. Nada!

June 12th – Tuesday

4.01 miles       1:05:49           16:24 pace

June 13th – Wednesday

4.01 miles       1:11:39          18:23 pace

June 14th – Thursday

4.00 miles       1:13:39          18:23 pace

June 15th – Friday

4.01 miles      1:07:30           16:50 pace

June 16th – Saturday

2.5 miles           50:53            20:23 pace

Overall I’m very happy with my results for the week. For the most part I’m walking further and faster. I’m starting to get the itch to run but I know that’s not going to happen for probably another 6-8 weeks at best. I did pick up a few pounds over the week though. Next week I’ve got to start watching my diet a little closer so I stay heart healthy and can lose some more weight.

There you have it. Back in a week or so!