Sunday, August 28, 2011

Lowered Expectations

As I recover from a bulging disk in my back, I am reminded of the dialogue between Vizzini and Fezzik in The Princess Bride movie:

You were supposed to be this colossus.   You were this great, legendary thing...

I had a personal challenge to achieve this summer.  
I was going to get down to my fighting weight by September 5th. 
I was going to do the 10k in mid-September (my second 10K). 
And let's not forget my Feets Of goal to run, walk or shuffle every day in August.

Well, I got a bit distracted, got sick, then got injured.  So much for my plan.

I have been going out each day for no more than 30 minutes at a time, walking at a decent pace.  That's it.  I am feeling much better, but still in a lot of pain after I have been sitting down.   On my walk last night, I was actually feeling good enough that I decided to start running.  I was going at a pace of about 12 min/mile for only three minutes.  Not too speedy and not too long.  But by the end of my 30 minutes, I was limping home.

I will keep doing the core exercises, the walking and doing them both DAILY, without fail.  But I am very disappointed in myself. 

This isn't uplifting, I know, but it is just what I am feeling now.  I hope you are all doing much better than me.

On a more positive note, please check out my other blog, Clyde Explains, to read a funny story that happened today.

Big Clyde

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Slow and The Furious

I hate this.  My back must be healing, albeit very slowly.  I have a bulging disk and it makes everything a bit more difficult.  The meds definitely help ease some pain, but make my brain get foggy and I have slept more this past weekend than I care to admit.

My "workouts" (hardly a fair term) are 15-30 minute walks around my neighborhood.  On the good walks, I try to walk without any limp whatsoever.  I know that this all will heal, but for now, it just sucks. 

And now, my new pledge...

I, Big Clyde, do solemnly swear
that I will be diligent in healing up from this back injury
and when healed,
I will not take exercise for granted.
I will ride my bike,
or jog or run
and even do the core exercises,
which I have avoided over the past 18 months
(so that this doesn't happen again).

How ironic that I am more diligent now with my Feets of August challenge than I was earlier in the month. 

Big Clyde

Friday, August 19, 2011

It's Official...I Am a Shark

You may have heard the phrase "If a shark stops moving, it will die".  This is true for most sharks because their forward swimming motion forces oxygen through their gills.  Without forward motion, they don't receive oxygen and they die.  

How am I like a shark?  Well, I learned this morning that I have to keep moving or suffer the consequences. 

I am standing as I type this right now.  Want to know why?

I am standing because I have once again neglected my "core", irritated my disc in my lower back and am having trouble sitting or lying down for any prolonged amount of time.   Today, I am walking with a limp.  It takes me about 90 seconds to get out of bed or get out of my car.  If I drop something on the floor, forget about it.

This happened before.  As an overweight guy with weak abdominal and core muscles, I have often had "back problems".  In time, it would go away.  But I didn't realize that the trauma inflicted (even briefly) to my discs in my vertabrae doesn't always heal fully.  So, each time I "recovered" from a back pain incident, I never returned to 100%.  Unless we really work on strengthening our core muscles, it seems that each future session of back pain causes a bit more damage or becomes more difficult to heal.

What caused this recent flare-up? 

Too many days at my desk, working on a big project for work.   I also was a bit sick and therefore did not workout much at all for the past 2-3 weeks.  I could feel my back beginning to tighten up over the past few weeks and kept telling myself that I REALLY NEEDED TO GO FOR A LONG WALK, but I didn't most of the time. 

By Monday, my back was becoming pretty sore.  I walked a bit like Frankenstein, but didn't let the pain stop me.  Then, I lifted some very heavy stuff at work.  That made it worse. 

I walked two miles on Tuesday night.  Walking always used to help.  Then, I walked a fast 4 miles on Wednesday morning.  By Wednesday night, I was in tremendous pain.  I couldn't bend forward.  I dove into an old bottle of vicodin and tried to power through with my normal work week.  The pain only increased.

I gave up last night and called my doctor and a physical therapist, who both were able to see me this morning.  I have definitely damaged my disc over the years.  I don't know if it is herniated or bulged, but they gave me two shots into my rear-end today, have prescribed vicodin and flexeril, and said that my work schedule and 2-4 mile walks only inflammed an already bad situation.

I am encouraged now to walk at a normal pace for 15 minutes at a time, four times per day (max).  The therapist said that bike riding is out for a week or two, same with running.  The 10K that is one month away should now be a 5k.

Bottom line:  I did this to myself.  If I had simply walked everyday for exercise, which was the plan for this month, this wouldn't have happened.  Going forward, I need to add in some specific "core" exercises 2-3 x per week.  

I am embarrassed about this, but grateful that I am getting off pretty easy.  Pain-killers and daily walks are not bad medicine at all for a short while and I really hope that I am never foolish enough to do this again.

I am a shark.  If I don't move...well, I'll pay for it one way or the other.

The Feets of August is still in play, now more important than ever.

Big Clyde

Monday, August 15, 2011

Okay, Here's the situation...

my parents left town for a week's vacation.  (some of you will get that...if not, watch this after you are done reading).

When I have been away from the blogs for awhile (a week), I feel like I should explain.  To all of you diligent folks out there, that explanation would be much better written in mileage or food choices, but I have not been strong on either.   But I am feeling back to my regular self again.  
Pretty nurse! (sorry that they got my big foot in the picture).
 First the quick explanation:
  • I somehow came down with a weird gum infection that became a problem.  Got pencillin, which made me a bit naseous.  It didn't work after a week's regimen.  So, the dentist doubled-down and gave me a strong antibiotic (I am larger than most and maybe needed medicine intended for clydesdale horses).  He advised that it might make me more naseous.   It did.  I simultaneously lost my appetite and felt bloated.  I am finally feeling better now.  My love/hate relationship with the field of dentistry continues.  Look for an upcoming post on my other blog Clyde Explains in the near future.
  • The kids are all back at Hogwart's their smarty-pants weirdo charter school.  All three kids are under one roof.   They are cheerful and happy to be studying physics, latin and other subjects that were not on the curriculum at Weatherwax High School in 1984.
  • Mrs. Clyde is back at work.
  • I am ready to get back to work on The Clydesdale Project and Feets of August
Feets of August has had a bumpy start to say the least, but it is not forgotten.  And yes, Mrs. Johnson, you had a brilliant idea that I can always make a strong showing in Feets of September.   Let's see how the next two weeks go.

Thanks for the encouragement everyone.

Big Clyde

P.S.  By the way, if you are a recently added follower, please drop a comment below with your blog address.  Sometimes my "follower" widget doesn't always show the newest people and we would love to get to know who is new.  Thanks.

P.P.S.  For those of you who have asked about my faith, church, etc., all is good now.  The family is happy in worship at a new place and we still have some home-based weekly stuff with great friends.  I am feeling restored.  Thanks for asking.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Out of Sorts

My brief momentum is under attack.
  • I became sick about 8 days ago and it has worsened each day.  I have been on antibiotics that make me want to hurl a bit.  I'm hurlish.
  • We did get a new air conditioner, finally.  My family is speaking to me once again.  It is huge, extremely efficient and a bit pricey. to pay for it quickly?!
  • I am no savvy investor, but I have money in the stock market.  I could use some funds to pay for the air conditioner.  Been watching the news lately??
  • I have been thinking a bit about the show "Lost".  Do you remember how they were all stranded, stuck on the same island, yet also at odds with each other, in divided camps?  Sometimes allies, sometimes not?  My family and I recently reunited with some of "the others".  It went well.  At some point, you realize that "freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose" and it requires less energy to get along than to hang on to frustrations from the past.   Perhaps we will all live happily ever after.  It only took the Oceanic castaways six years.  Maybe we can do it in just one.
Sorry if this is a bit cryptic.  I feel terrible and wanted to post something. 


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Feets of August - The Beginning

In late March, I found out about "30 Days of Biking" for April.  I did it and it was a blast.  Very fun to "force myself" to get on the bike every day for a month.

My ankles look big, but my shins are AMAZING!
On July 30th, I started wondering what would happen if I did something similar in August, only with running or walking.  Some days would be runs, according to my 10k training plan.  On "rest days", I could certainly do a casual 20-30 minute walk...that's still exercise, but likely not stressful on the joints, etc.

And so it begins...


I know, I's kind of cheezy, but I like it.  Join me if you like (run it through Labor Day, Sept. 5th to make a full month).  Through the month of August, I will be on my feet with a fast walk, a slow run or my usual huffy-puffy-shuffle.  Regardless, I'll be out there every day*.

Day 1 - Monday.  I decided to start very late at night after watching Breaking Bad on tv.  So late that night, I wimped out walked and enjoyed the silence.

Day 2* - Tuesday.  Bought bottle of vodka on way home from work for a celebratory drink after a great month at work.  One medium drink made me again postpone my run until very late at night.  Then came the lightning storm. I chose life!   But I failed at "Feets of August" on Day 2.
Photo by David Sanders of AZ Daily Star. (please don't sue me)
Day 3 - Mrs. Clyde invited me out for a date night.  The kids stayed at home.  I couldn't resist.  Ate too much, including dessert, at Chili's.  Nothing redeeming about it, except for the fun flirting with my wife!  Drank a powerful margarita.  Went for a rambling walk, then run of 2.66 miles.  Wanted to puke the entire way.  (Note to self:  alcohol before running is a bad idea.  Add in some french fries, chipotle mayo, jalapenos and "molten chocolate lava cake" before running and you can go ahead and consider yourself a complete idiot.  Learn from this, Clyde.)

So there you have it.  A slow, inconsistent and borderline-drunken start to "Feets of August".   As you can see, it can only get better from Day 4 onward.  Join me.

Big Clyde

P.S.  My only idea for a logo for this month is to show a picture of my feet in the Brooks Beast shoes.  If you want to join in and/or want to come up with a better logo, be my guest! 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Is it hot in here, or is it just me?

Our 19-year-old air conditioner finally died on Tuesday.  We have applied duct tape, band-aids, and short-term remedies for the past few years, but it finally died.  

Given that we live in the Arizona desert, our house rose up to approx 87 degrees.  Yes, it cools down a bit between 11pm and 5am, but that only brings it down to about 82 degrees. 

It is time to buy a new unit, which will be costly.  It has taken me awhile to figure out how to get it done and we will have a new unit installed tomorrow.  Hopefully.

I've let this distract me from my exercise goals, until today.  Tonight I'll go out and begin a new program I am doing in August.  I am very excited about it and will write about it in a few days.

I hope everyone has a great week!

Big Clyde