Exercise Streak Broken but…

The day after my run I wake up and decide to start early on doing the laundry. That means packing the clothes and laundry detergent into the elevator, descending about 400 feet then walking in to the laundry room. Today as I walk to the elevator there’s a nagging pain in my right foot. When I get off the elevator and walk to the laundry room it’s a bit worse. I put the laundry in the washer, start it up and go back upstairs.

The trip down to switch the laundry to the dryer is a bit more painful. An hour later it’s time to get the laundry and I realize I’m dreading it. One day before I am running 15 kilometres, today I am limping slowly down the hall leaning on the handle of the laundry cart.

I bring everything upstairs and I am done. Sage banishes me to a desk chair with wheels and tells me I’m not to walk until she says it’s OK. And so I zoom around the house, propelled by my left foot for two days.

I feel a little better after five days which is good. It’s been a week since I’ve done any grocery shopping. I walk downstairs and hook up the bike trailer. Riding is effortless but after walking around the supermarket I am not in pain but there’s definitely discomfort. When I get home I get back home and am back in my chair for a couple of days. Today I did the laundry and it was much easier but still a slight bit of discomfort – enough that I’m not going to be walking anywhere any time soon. I did ask Daegan to go get my bicycle though and bring it upstairs. It seems like riding is fine, just not walking so I’ll be doing Zwift tonight. This is incredibly important to me because, as you might have gathered, exercise has been one of the big things that has kept me in a good mental state throughout the pandemic. So tonight I’ll be cycling indoors – cross your fingers for me.

This’ll be the forest I cycle in tonight. There are dinosaurs there so it’s a little more dangerous.

On the positive side, one other thing that’s kept up during the pandemic is Hindi learning and practice. I generally do about 5 hours of class per week and maybe an hour or two of conversation practice with other people online and another hour or so a week of practice watching videos. But as my teacher and I both had lots more free time for the holidays we had class nearly every day. In the end – about 20 hours in total. It was during this time I started noticing a couple of things.

The first thing is that somewhere along the line in the past month or two I started to understand more words. My vocabulary isn’t big by any stretch, but now I can watch a TV show or a TED talk without subtitles. I’m really glad because through an episode of Satyamev Jayate, I came across the amazing Kamla Bhasin. I really love her perspective and she’s a great speaker with a good sense of humour. From the bit she’s told in the Ted Talk she’s had quite an incredible life and accomplished so much.

If you’re curious you can watch her here:

Sorry, English speakers, I can’t find subtitles for that one. But this one has them:

This whole episode is excellent and I really recommend it though at times there are some pretty intense content so just be aware.

I also noticed that unbidden, thoughts have started coming in two languages. A year ago a word would come into my mind and stick there – but that happens with just about any language, even English. A word like ‘pamplemousse’ (French for grapefruit) could stick in my head for hours. It’s just fun to say.

I’m thinking of doing a bit more Hindi writing – perhaps the time has come to start a second blog.

The contrast between these two exercises is interesting. Hindi has been a long term training project. I’ve been at it for several years now and so a marathon 20 hour week of study was no problem. I didn’t feel tired at all. (After my very first Hindi class years ago my head was literally spinning) On the other hand, running has been something I’ve trained less regularly for and when I pushed myself beyond what I regularly trained for I paid for it.

In any case, whether studying Hindi or riding my bike indoors, this will be my life for a little while longer, I think.

I wonder if I’m the only person on Zwift with a touring tire on the front, rack, fenders and trekker bars.

Postscript: Started riding about 20 minutes after publishing this post. Ten minutes later the rear tube I had just replaced burst. No indoor riding for me for a while.

16 thoughts on “Exercise Streak Broken but…

  1. Hope your foot gets better. I did the treadmill for many years and ended up with Mortons Neuroma. I never thought any thing in a toe could hurt so much. Anyways, I switched to good shoes, bike riding and took a few injections and it is ok for now

    1. Wow – I didn’t even know that was possible. That sounds awful!

      I’m sure I’ll be fine as well with some time. However the training tire popped on the bike so sadly no exercise for me.

  2. I hope you can pin down what you did to cause such pain. It would be a pity to have it happen again after your enforced rest. Glad Sage keeps you grounded until you are better.

    1. I think I’ve narrowed it down to a few things:

      First off is just overuse. I have done longer runs – 12-13 km – a few times but this was a bit longer.

      Probably more significantly, this run was 100% on pavement. My other long runs were only about half or less on pavement so my feet took a lot of abuse. My step count was over 18,000 that day so that was me smashing my foot with cement 9,000 times. My shoes are trail running shoes primarily with minimal padding. They’ve been great for avoiding shin splints but probably aren’t a great choice for running on pavement. Stupidly I didn’t just go for a bike ride when the trails were covered with snow instead of this

      And no doubt it also came from inconsistent training as well. Had I methodically built up to that distance I suspect there’d be no issue.

      So the good news is that I’m pretty sure this is 100% avoidable if I don’t do anything foolish.

      Today I’ll be trying a bike ride again outdoors to see how that goes…

      1. Hey there! Thanks for checking in. I’m feeling fine for walking and even managed a 6 km walk this past weekend with no issues. Still taking another week or two off from running but will be getting back to cycling outdoors after work today with a big set of deliveries planned for tomorrow afternoon so I’m on the mend.

      2. Very glad to hear – thank you for taking the time for this update. Recovery from injury is such a tricky balance. Wishing continued steady recovery so that you are back doing what you enjoy best!

      3. Yes – and I’m terrible at this when it comes to running. I find it very easy to overdo it when running. All the great endorphins start circulating, the music is playing, and everything feels wonderful so I keep going and then something gives out later putting me inside for a few weeks. You’d think I’d learn!

        Generally speaking, cycling doesn’t do this for me. This last summer, for example, my long rides were in the 70-80 km range but one day I thought I would do a 250 km ride. Toward the middle I did feel a little discomfort so I rerouted so it was only 200 km. In the end I felt very little discomfort the next day and within a few days there was no issue at all. So definitely cycling is better for me in that respect. But I still like running and would miss it if I couldn’t do it anymore.

      4. I’m afraid that as we get older, our bodies don’t recover as quickly and take a beating from every little bit of extra exertion!

        I am glad to hear that cycling allows you greater leeway in exploration. Loving Husband & I were just talking a couple of weeks ago about possibly taking up cycling when we couldn’t run as well anymore. We don’t run very long distances anymore (mostly around 5-8 km) but are still able to explore bits of Singapore. Forward planning …

      5. That is true – but for me this has been a long term bad habit too. Even ten years ago, a day after my first ever 5K race (first time ever doing that distance), I did another run with an incorrectly mapped route that was 8K – it felt great at the time but afterward I couldn’t run comfortably for three weeks. There is no room apparently for me to get overenthusiastic.

        You should definitely try cycling with your husband – and maybe even try it before you stop running. Together they are great. And bicycle touring together is the best! Pack a few changes of clothes and a credit card and away you go. If I lived where you do I’d already be planning a ride to Bangkok or Hanoi (and maybe back!) for sure. In fact, I’d still love to do that even if I have to fly over there from here to do it!

      6. I hear you – so much more distance one can cover! We have a few friends who are big fans, although I only know of a few who ply the Singapore-Bangkok overland route on motorcyele.

    1. Thanks – lots better! I have an entry for that blog in the works. Of course I still need to have a bit of thought about a name and design as well but hopefully it’ll be soon.

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