Week 1: Day 2 ~ Swollen flippers

Week 1: Day 2 ~ Swollen flippers

I already knew it going in, but this second run was so much harder. All sorts of things conspired to stop me. A few days after the first run, my phone died as I was heading out the door. The next day, the sole of my running shoe came off. Excuses excuses, but it feels like these were insurmountable ones.

Approaching the third attempt at day 2, all I felt was dread, and I was almost waiting for something to stop me leaving the house. I put on my (adjustable) leggings, threw on my headphones and, with nothing to stop me, went for it.

Went for it is possibly a misnomer. Begrudgingly strode down the road grumbling would be a better description.

A lot of things were running (hehe) through my mind on this second outing. I felt depressed with the extent of my fitness level and why it took so long to get me to the stage that I was approaching it again. I also felt a great deal of shame. I've recently been feeling the effects of carrying the weight that I do. My BP is very high, so high in fact that I'm experiencing the afternoon headaches of early hypertension. It's demoralising that I've let it get this far. I say this, not to ask for sympathy or encouragement, but to try and be honest - with myself and you. Getting back into exercise is tough, mentally and physically, and I've no doubt many others, maybe even some people reading, have these thoughts. Getting upset about it means that I want to change it, and I am trying to change it. There is some comfort in that.

After the second or third 60 second run, however, I was physically exerted enough that all I could focus on was my breathing. I could no longer feel mopey and anxious about my health because I had to think about my posture and relaxing my fists. I focused on my stumpy legs as they flopped along the road.

Alongside picking out some more appropriate leggings on my off-days, I also found a better route. I had scouted around and found a road with a less intersections and lots of interesting scenery to keep me occupied. It's a very odd street: it has a Japanese tea garden complete with tiny waterfall, what looks like the Chinese embassy with huge colorful painted flags, and some very abstract architecture. The next time I take a walk there, I'll snap some pictures so you can see. What I hadn't noticed when I walked through, however, was the incline.

But you can bet that I noticed it during the run! My calves felt much more tense and stretched out, and my breathing was laboured and catching. Also my hands swelled up much faster than they did last time. I feel like no one really talks about the hands/ankles swelling up during exercise. I set up the camera and took a picture of my flippers after the run so you can see the extent of the swelling (see photo above). My fingers have completely vanished!

So, overall, this was more of a strain than last time but I'm really glad I made it. Tomorrow is the final day of Week 1. And then Week 2 - oh the horror.

By the way I'd really like to thank the community for the friendly comments and tips on my first post. This is a challenging and personal programme and your support really pushed me to go through with Day 2. Thanks!

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15 Replies

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  • Well done, keep going! If it's a struggle slow right down and avoid inclines. Gremlins will always be there so do everything you can to avoid them, keep going!

  • Well done. Like you I have very high BP and experienced tensingof calf muscles but keep at it, you can do this if you follow the programme. I've just started Wk4 and run for 5 minutes yesterday.. in Wk1 60 seconds felt impossible. Just take it slow.

  • Well done, and yes in this heat too especially our hands and feet can swell. If abnormally so will be worth checking with your GP?

  • Interesting. I have problems with my hands and fingers swelling painfully when I walk but not so much when I run. It might help to think a bit about what your arms are doing - at any rate I am sure it is the bent elbows and thus raised hands which help. When you are really going for it when running, your arms will be pumping and doing some of the work too (maybe not try that yet until your BPs looking better)

  • Lovely post. Well done on the run.

  • There is a grit and determination to change your situation shining out of this post. You will succeed with that approach. Dissatisfaction with your condition needs to be a positive spur to action, not something that fills you with dread.

    We are all in the situation that we are in and being depressed about it can make it less clear how to move on, so next time you run applaud yourself for making the effort and approach it all with positivity. In the four years i have followed this forum, I have watched this programme change the lives of thousands of people, both physically and mentally, and I have no reason to believe it won't work for a seacow.

    Stretch those flippers. I look forward to your next post.

  • Thanks so much <3

  • Well done on your second run.😊

    You have started this now, and working slowly and steadily through the plan one run at a time, you will be amazed at what you can acheive..

    Each run builds a little more stamina and confidence and makes the next one possible.

    You are being honest about how you feel, but are taking steps to help yourself be fitter, physically and mentally. Trust the plan, stick with it, post on here so we can help and encourage you. It will get easier.

    Good luck with W1 R3.😊x

  • Well done 👏👏👏 You sound like you have plenty of reasons to make this work and that you have the determination to keep it up!

    Keep going seacow, love your humour- it's good to laugh 😂

  • Well done on getting out there. Lost track of how many times I've said this now, it's not my line, I just repeat it...lots.

    " You don't have to be great to start, but you do have to start to be great"

    I am so glad you wrote such a detailed post about your second run, in just a few weeks you will look back and reread that and be amazed how far you have come. It's easy to forget if it's not written down.

    It struck me this week ( Week 6) when Laura said " you only have 60 seconds left to run" ( of a ten min segment) that I struggled to even run 60 seconds back in week 1 but now "only 60 sec" was designed to cheer me up!

    I too get sausage fingers and agree with Google me. When I walk my arms are( more or less) vertical and I get swelling. On the running bits I don't pump my arms ( that's for pros, which I definitely am not) but I find I hold them roughly vertical down to elbows and then somewhere near horizontal. They don't swell like that. So as the weeks go on and you do more running and less walking it happens less.

    On the same line, when I get stitches, it's usually during the recovery walking segments, so I get less of them as the weeks go on!

    Keep running, keep posting and keep smiling, we are all right there with you, squishing gremlins and winning...slowly 🐢🏃🏼‍♀️🐢🏃🏼‍♀️🐢🏃🏼‍♀️👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

  • Thanks so much <3

  • Lovely post. Some real determination in there. Be proud, many would have given up but you kept going. Keeping your hands a bit above your elbows may help the swelling but make she you still drink plenty after the run. The heat is not helping too of course. If it does persist and you have known hypertension, please do have a check at your doctor's. Exercise really does help your blood pressure - squish the pressure along with the gremlins when your run!

  • Thank you for your kind words! I'll work on the hand positioning - right now they are like two inverted claws, palms up, relaxed. But they tend to hover below the joint - I'll see if holding them above makes a difference - thanks!

  • You see a change that needs made. You formulate a plan. You execute the plan. Where I came from that's not a call for shame or unhappiness, it's called progress. Well done and keep it up!

    Most of us on here I think have gone through some derivation of what you're going through. For me it was more about what I'd done to myself with decades of smoking and soda. Regardless of the cause, we feel your struggle and are feeling the same need for change, you're in the right forum!

  • Thanks for sharing that, I can only imagine how hard this programme must be for an ex-smoker!

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