Operation: total buffness

First, an update on the running front. It has been over 8 weeks since I injured my foot. I ended up having an MRI to see what the heck is going on in there, and it came back totally negative for everything. Great news, only I still have pain and now there is really no way to explain it. Since I now know there is nothing structurally wrong, I decided to give running a try. I have now tried it twice, with limited success. The first time was this past Friday morning. I still had mild pain and tightness in my foot, but I just had to give it a try. I woke up early and nervously headed out for a test run. I took it very easy, walking a full 1/3 of a mile before I started to run. I ran (if you can really call it that) for 1.5 miles, then walked the same 1/3 of a mile home. My foot felt tight and sore the whole time. I iced it right after, and waited to see how it felt. Saturday it was very sore, and I was very frustrated.

Sunday I headed down to Chicago to visit my brother and his wife (she is doing a clinical rotation there for med school and he flew in for the weekend). I walked around the city all day and had very minimal pain. I took a third rest day and Tuesday morning I decided it was time for another try. I did the same walking warm up, ran 2 miles this time, and walked a little at the end. Dare I say it felt a little better the second time around. Still tight, but manageable. I didn’t feel like I was really altering my stride at all. Again I iced right after, and for the rest of yesterday it didn’t feel any worse than usual. I am hoping that if I continue to take it really easy and get in a short run every few days, things will continue to heal. I am also fortunate to work at a PT/wellness clinic where I can get treatment for it. I need to get my body back into alignment so I can prevent any more injuries as I ramp back into training.

Well that was a lengthy update. Let’s talk buffness. I have never liked strength training. Coming from a personal trainer, that’s weird I know. I like helping other people strength train and reach their goals. I grudgingly do it (not often enough), but I mostly subscribe to the “do as I say, not as I do” approach. I would rather be outside running, biking, and breathing hard. For the first month after my injury, I was not allowed to do any exercise except for upper body and core strengthening. I decided that I would see if I could use the time to get totally buff. I started lifting weights before work 3-4 days a week. I borrowed some of the workouts in the beginning from Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Trainer. The workouts are targeted to two muscle groups a day, like “back & biceps” or “chest and triceps”.” I skipped the lower body days as I was in the walking boot. I also did not change my eating habits at all (don’t take away my nightly beer!), so the results I got are from working out only.

As the weeks have gone on I have cut back a little bit, partially because I still don’t like strength training and partially because I can now bike and swim. However, I can now see the results from the first six weeks, and I am slightly more motivated to continue to work it into my schedule. I debated posting these photos on the interwebs for all to see, but whatever. I have posted way more embarrassing photos than these and I am sort of proud of the results, so there. The pictures on the left were taken on 6.18.12, and the ones on the right were taken 7.31.12, six weeks apart.

Front view – from noodle arms to packin’ heat

Side view – um, no wonder all of my shirts are now tight in the shoulders.

And my favorite, from the back.

So there you have it. I am going to do my best to continue to lift weights twice a week. I am hoping to see a little bit more definition as I ramp up the cardio with biking and swimming as well. I am also hoping that this new upper body strength will help to improve my running form, and maybe my swimming as well.

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