Couch to 5K
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Hate is all you need

Well almost. Every second day (more or less), I am obliged to go to my gym, get on that spinning machine, set it up, and start spinning away following the timing of Week4. Driven on only by my vicious loathing, I toil through the job of getting the "runs" in, with my boilers burning away on pure hate. Looks like it works just as well as enjoying a run, or struggling like a willing donkey up some hill, ready to collapse at any time without complaining.

Yes, of course I exaggerate, but there's no question that this is a very poor substitute for running. I have to teach myself the kind of right attitude one needs for settling for the next best thing. But there's an element of truth in this idea that I'm "running on pure hate" that seems to fit in nicely with what's turning into the c25k theme of the week. It's wise to do better than just passively hope for some enjoyment of eg. running to just arrive, and to actively seek it out, but while you're on your way there (and to other more distant goals) sometimes you just have to sweat it out. (I could have said "grit it out", but then I'd have no excuse to follow this by mentioning that after a spin, the floor under the machine is dangerously slippery, my T-shirt is soaked, and the last drops are still there on the plastic.)

I managed to get out of it yesterday by donating blood, but today I made myself go and do it.

So what are the nice things about spinning? Well I like seeing my pulse rate. I have my doubts about the accuracy of the readout, but your pulse is a better effort measure than how hard you're breathing is. It's also a bit of a challenge. I have to learn new techniques. Interestingly, I realised today that I don't really know how to breathe properly on a spinning machine, so to pick up another current hot topic, my breathing is all over the place. I suppose the best thing is that I'm training to use my bicycle more effectively. If I spin enough I can possibly put my unused mountain bike into first gear, and pedal slowly up this hill of ours. If I can do that, I could actually take the mountain bike to town - the main plus of that being that I'm a lot less worried about it getting stolen than the other electric one.

There are some pluses, so I'll start working my way round to focusing on those, I hope.

< Edit: I nearly forgot: At the blood bank they say my resting pulse rate is down to 69, which is normal for a moderately FIT person. Thanks c25k! >

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Hey Gary. Any news from the doc on when / if you can get back to running?


At the moment it's a case of wait till the anti-inflamatories have either worked or had no effect. 15 days to go. Then I either see the neurosurgeon or the biokineticist, depending. It's probably going to be some while, if ever.

One idea I'm toying with is to just slog away (but I'll try to manage something better in the attitude department than a slog), get fitter by other means, and then start trying the occasional run if this thing clears. The idea is that perhaps if you're really, really slow in reintroducing those running forces, there's actually time for the body to adapt to them. I think I'd better just try that without permission (but be very responsible about testing for numbness and bailing out if it reappears, even slightly) if it ever becomes an option.

I think perhaps the anti-inflamatories have had some effect, but nothing dramatic. At least this is almost perfectly painless. I suppose I've caught it reasonably early - even if 20:20 hindsight says if you get a numb foot, stop right away, to maximise your chances of being able to run again without having to accept that your feet are going to be a bit numb for the rest of your life.

Thanks for asking.

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