Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Training Week (almost)

I am getting hopeful that I can get back to training and running a bit more consistently. This week had its up and downs, but I still got in more day and miles of running this week then I have since November when I got a cortisone shot in my hip.

Sunday I ran on the treadmill, where I have been doing all my running, so I can stop if necessary. Things were going good. I hit three miles and I started hoping I could make 5 miles. At 4 miles, I felt a pinching feeling in the front of my hip and immediately stopped. Two days later I tried again and did 5 miles with no problems. Friday I tried for another 5 miler, but had to stop at 3 miles.

I have also been working on kettlebell swings. I have been playing around with kettlebells for a few years, but the swing used to hurt my left hip and that was only when doing about 25 swings. With the physical therapy on my hip, I found out I could swing more and had got up to 500 swings with my 35 pound kettlebell. I was doing intervals of about 75-100 swings at a time. A couple of weeks ago I got a 50 pound kettlebell, but the most I had done with it was 100 swings. I had a goal to do 1000 some day, but never made the time.

Friday I got a DVD by Tracy Reifkind called Programming the Kettlebell Swing. In it she tells how to break down the kettlebell swing into shorter on-off intervals. I only watched a bit of it before I decided to follow a similar plan. I cut the swings down to 10 in an interval, but later bumped it up to 25 with a 15 second break and a longer break after each 100 swings. I started swinging away to see how many I could do, when I hit 200 I decided that it was time to go for the 1000 swings using the 50 pound bell. I also felt that this would tire me out sufficiently so that I wouldn't attempt the snowshoe race the next day. They felt good, and despite the start of some blisters on my hands, I kept good form; actually I think I was developing better form as I went. Let me tell you, the heart rate really races and the breathing gets heavier when performing the swing. It was the closest I have come in months in getting that heart rate up for an extended time. I was very pleased when I finally hit 1000 swings! It was like doing a long run for the first time, when you aren't sure if you can pull it off: gratifying.

The next day, I felt real good. My hips felt nice! By afternoon time, I decided it was time to try running outside again. The last time I did an 8 miler was back in November. The cortisone shot I had earlier in that week had worn off, and I ended up stopping at the halfway point and had to slowly walk home in the cold as I could barely lift and move my left leg forward.

This time I decided to bring my wife's phone in case my hip hurt so she could pick me up. At first I felt good. By 2 miles, the front of the hip wasn't right, but I kept playing around with my form. At the halfway point, I stopped and took out the phone to make a call for help. Unfortunately the phone was not charged and so I had another long cold 4 mile walk home. At least I could walk faster this time than in November. However, last night I noticed, I could barely lift my left knee up when lying on my back, and in the morning, I couldn't lift the leg up without my hand assisting and walking is a bit difficult. That hip flexor is really sore.

By the way Tracy Reifkind is and her kettlebell swing is featured in Tim Ferris' book The 4-Hour Body with her story of weight loss and the kettlebell swing. I have been doing the slow-carb diet as highlighted in the book for about 6 weeks now. I eat eggs and frozen veggies in the morning, grilled chicken, lentils, and more veggies at noon, and steak, beans, and veggies at night 6 days a week. The 7th day is a cheat day and I eat as I want. I feel healthy and energetic on the diet. Everything is going well, except I just can't get the running going.

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