recovering & rebuilding.

July of 2022 and after nearly two and a half years of generally slouching, working from home, catching (and mostly recovering from) COVID, discovering a knee injury, and slugging out a lazyaf training plan (just barely) with the excuse that world had gone to shit, I decided I needed to turn it around. For reals.

This is what I am doing to get some...

refreshed feets.

... a kinda blog about healing, restoration and recovery.
3 days 19 hours ago

According to the date stamp on this blog, six months and one week ago I wrote a post about taking on a challenge to refresh and tackle my fitness level. I also started the recovering & rebuilding category on this site, bought a rec pass, and started writing more, all of this with the intention of turning the summer of 2022 into a personal fitness refit for myself, to get back into marathon shape, and shed some covid pounds to boot.

Do I need to mention the knee?

Well, shucks. That knee injury.

Six months later and I've been running for two weeks again after a long, slow, physiotherapy-driven recovery and healing process.

About eight months from now I need to be marathon ready for the Chicago 2023 Marathon.

That won't happen by wishing for it.

That won't happen without some serious motivation.

That won't happen without losing about fifteen pounds.

That won't happen without hitting some drop-dead distance targets.

That won't happen without strength training.

That won't happen without a plan.

That won't happen without work.

It sounds like the refresh effort, paused for six months due to injury, is back on.

That does involve a plan.

That does involve some serious motivation.

That does involve working, tracking, training, and improving every day, with very little room for error.

It sounds like I'm going to be putting some words back into this website again.

3 days 20 hours ago

But. But, I've been running for nearly two weeks now.

According to my Strava log, and as of last night, I've logged a meagre total of 25k in the last two weeks.

Not much.

But also, not bad, because that's about 20k more than I did in the total second half of 2022.

Not bad because I'm running at least three times per week right now, logging at least 3k per run and slowly (SLOWLY) building back up the endurance and strength I used to have.

Again, I don't want to get ahead of myself, but…

But I seem to be on the mend.

Mending.

Mended.

Enough to run a bit, and hopeful for a chance at that Chicago 2023 start line.

That does mean I may have something to write about in the coming weeks and months... something besides griping about my sore knee and my lack of motivation to do anything because of my sore knee.

I might get to do some writing about recovery, rebuilding, retraining, and re-racing.

I don't want to get ahead of myself, but… I might be back.

1 month 3 weeks ago

I've always liked to take the year end to blog every day in December. This year I think I might do something more akin to a blogging advent calendar, or whatever that means in secular writing terms... so basically a post a day until Christmas and then take the rest of the year off. The thing is, I technically run three blogs now, so those posts will be spread across three sites. And in fact, I think I want to do more than write and put into the mix some painting and some photography and...

I'm getting ahead of myself. It's only November 30th.

Starting tomorrow I'm going to:

a) post one blog post every day on one of my multiple blogs (conveniently listed at 8r4d.com)

b) do one daily watercolour painting for the #ArtAdventCalendar challenge

c) post one photo every day on my new 8r4d-stagram

d) write a daily microfiction based on the prompt provided on my new nvl-grm site

e) continue my daily sketch in the Sketch-a-Day book my daughter got me for my birthday last week

...and, if you're wondering how this fits into a health and fitness post:

f) keep up my streak of daily No-S New Age Resolutions to which I've been holding on with pretty good rigor over the last seven days. I've been avoiding the snack cupboard. I haven't been eating deserts (except for some birthday cake, of course.) And I even added in an extra quasi-rule and have been avoiding deep fried foods this past little while. It's a challenge. Which, I suppose, is kinda the point.

So stay tuned while I work on my list for the next 24 days... tho, I won't stop doing that last one when Christmas arrives, or at least I'll quickly resume it when Christmas day has passed.

2 months ago

I'm co-opting a term: New Age.

I'm not writing about something spiritual or philosophical, though. Rather, I'm just stating simply that today I'm a new age, and I'm starting my own personal new year, and as such I'd like to make some personal promises to myself for the next 365 days.

January first is great and all, but wouldn't it be better to commit to something great on your birthday instead?

I thought so.

An while I've made a few New Age Resolutions this year, but the one that matters on this site is about my health. I'll be this new age when, hopefully, I'm recovered enough to run the Chicago Marathon next fall. That means I've got not only a lot of training to do, and not only a lot of recovery to complete, but a bit of a refit on my overall health is in order.

Or, in other words, a diet.

As a wise orange cat named Garfield once said: “So I’m on a diet...big deal. - You know what a ‘diet’ is, don’t you? - IT’S ‘DIE’ WITH A ‘T,’ THAT’S WHAT IT IS!”

I have mentioned this here before, but I'm a bit of a fan of the "No-S" diet. It's simple and it works for me (at least when I'm motivated to follow it.)

The rules: No Snacks. No Sweets. No Seconds. (Except Sometimes on S-days, like Saturday, Sunday or Special days... like your birthday!)

So today is day one of this particular New Age Resolution and I'm writing it here to keep myself accountable to that fact. I'll be tracking it and trying to switch up some bad habits I've developed (and that's mostly what this is about anyhow!) And occasionally, I'll post an update here.

That's my New Age.

2 months 3 weeks ago

If you are one of the small handful of people who read this site, and maybe just for my own reference in a couple years, I wanted to note that my absence online through October was not accidental. Over the past month I deliberately chose to post less and spend less time on screens. Somehow, I still managed to write a few updates, and poke my nose through here and my other sites, but generally I pulled back and unplugged.

the actual updates

Of course the knee-hab and the work continued.

Early in the month, right around Thanksgiving weekend, my knee started acting up again. Really bad.

I'd been swimming and active and was even starting to think about kicking the running back into gear after a literal month of further healing after my last attempt flopped.

Thanksgiving was a Monday and I was a bit sick in general so I wasn't surprised that I was a little more sore and grumpy than usual, but into Tuesday and Wednesday things got pretty bad. By Thursday I felt like a pressure cuff was tightening around my knee and the muscles above and below the injured ligament were in a constant state of pre-cramping-like hair-trigger pain. I actually (but briefly) entertained a hospital visit because the Alberta Health site suggested that such pain may be related to a blood clot and required immediate medical attention.

I called my physio instead, and his concern was less urgent.

An appointment on Friday afternoon had me with two big wins.

First, "it's healing well" he told me after another evaluation and the pain was actually pretty normal at the end of that three-month stagnation of a major joint, but...

Second, your muscles all around the knee have atrophied and now the hard work begins.

I told him that I was planning (registration hadn't happened yet) to sign up for Chicago Marathon next year, at that point almost exactly one year away. "That's our BIG goal." he said and wrote it with great excitement into his file notes.

Almost four weeks later I've been back for another appointment and have a third upcoming this weekend. But the takeaway has been a fairly formal plan of stretching and mobilization on that joint. I've backed off my swimming in lieu of my three times per week physiotherapy efforts at the gym which require a long bike warm up, a ton of stretching, and about thirty minutes of walk-run (but mostly walk intervals) on the treadmill... followed by more stretching.

And? Results. Actually factually.

That first set of intervals I was logging about 2 minutes total of run time. My last effort just the other night had me up over ten minutes and only stopping because of some calf pain... or put another way NOT knee pain.

On top of it all, I've taken up a personal challenge of logging fifteen thousand steps per day of walking or running through November (an effort made more difficult with the abrupt arrival of winter cold and snow after a mild October!)

I'm hoping by mid-month I can actually start doing some real runs again, even if it's only on the track at the rec center to start.

And being offline (mostly) has meant that I haven't felt too accountable to hit random goals for workouts or fitness on my lightly-read website, and instead have just been focusing on recovery.

unsocialble.

Following through on my offline efforts, with November being the month of my cake day, I've decided to forego New Years resolutions and instead do a couple New Age resolutions. As I turn 46 I'm going to act my age and back off my social media participation.

I deleted Facebook four years ago and have only been back once to get some contact information from an old connection.

With the ownership switch in Twitter I've logged out of my accounts and don't intend to return, not that I was a big tweeter or a blue check or anything, but one less user is one less user.

I post a lot of Instagram, but I'm putting together my own photo sharing website which I plan to send off to a select few people soon and then I can back off that degrading pit of increasingly irrelevant content.

And while I've slowly been more and more active on Reddit this past year, it's starting to churn the same sort of samey content through my feed and it won't be hard to ditch.

Instead, I'll focus on my own private platforms. I have a couple sites to feed and water, and if you know about them you know.

In the meantime, physical, mental, and emotional refreshes to self are on the menu for the rest of this year and next, and I'll have no shortage of words to share here... stay tuned.

and more.