Sunday, 29 March 2009

One foot on the ground

Walking is the new running! For  me at least. If you had told me a few years back that I would be ecstatic to have gone for a walk I would have laughed, but that's my current reality. 
I had been thinking about it for a while, as I know that moderate walking (as in walking to work, walking round the shops sort of pace) is good for my back. Both literature and my body agree on that. However every time I had tried to walk with a faster pace I always ended up running... It always seemed the obvious progression... why try and walk faster when you can just run? (The painful truth  for me was so that I could avoid sleepless nights if I could keep one foot on the ground)

Having read the international rac walking rules it all became clearer. The technique is very different to normal walking - race walking is very different. I have been practising proper race walking technique and I have found that it gives me no pain!!! No pain during my walks. No pain after either! Bingo!!

The other thing I discovered is that I could go quite fast. Ok... so not 4 min k's for me... but I could walk at a pace of 8km/hr. Of course I quickly started computing Marathon times (less than 5.15!) and Ironman cut off times. Ok... so the IM might have to wait until I can sit comfortably on a bike for a bit longer than 2 hours... but the Marathon would be a challenge.  

That aside, my radiating pain has been getting less and less. In fact I had none today - something that hasn't happened in a while - almost two years (given my level of activity today and the amount of sitting down - in the car nonetheless - that I had to do). 

I am hoping to be able to make the startline at Schiniathlon, the sprint race on 9th May! 

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

On Happiness

I was planning a post on happiness but after this last week my thoughts on the subject keep evading me. 

A young boy died this week, in the most tragic circumstances one can imagine. It was the biggest reminder that life can be so grossly unfair. 

The one thing I want to take away and have been thinking about it almost constantly is how grateful we should all be. I know... it sounds like preaching. But just for a second let's sit down and think of all the things we are grateful for - let's just see just how lucky we are. For the people around us. For our friends and family. For the fact that we are up in the morning to see another day. It's not sentimental, it's the truth. 

My list is getting longer and longer this week. And I am grateful for the last few days of no pain. I guess they are a luxury for many. 

Off to the pool now.  

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Get off that bike!

Last Sunday was the first day of Spring. It was also my first long ride on the road bike for... quite a while. Long enough for me not to remember when I was last well enough to attempt anything more than an hour on the bike. In fact I made it pretty clear that I wanted to go for 90 mins, but group dynamics and the first glorious day of spring made resistance futile: I was in for the whole ride. 

The first half went smoothly, I felt strong, climbed well, felt stable in my hips and rode smoothly and off the front. However 1.15 into it the pain started.... and it was there to stay. My back was cut in half, my leg was no longer my own and it felt heavy on  the pedal. I had no choice but to continue, but I fell behind and slowly dragged my weary behind back to the car. 

The waffles that followed helped a bit. They sweetened the pain and dissappointment of knowing that I am not ready, as well as the physical pain. I took some pain killers and resigned to a bit of discomfort for the next couple of days. It was not as bad as I feared and by Monday I was quite strong and able to train again - some walking, some cross trainer and a lot of swimming. 

Swimming seems to help, so does aqua jogging - went back to it this week and it definitely took stiffness away after a long day. The cross trainer helps too - no impact, but some movement that brings much needed nutrients to my poor disc. 

My goal has revealed itself and it is a sprint distance race in early May. I need to remind myself that all I need to do is train enough to swim 750 meters (a lot less than my current swim milage), cycle 20 kms (less than 45 mins on the bike) and run/walk 5kms. The last is the least predictable and it will depend on the day whether I walk or run, or do a combination of the two.
But I need the goal to keep me training and for the first time I need the goal to keep my training times DOWN! Never thought I'd ever do this in my life... but need to remember, this time round: less is more!