Life is busy and I’m quite tired. I’d say the misery of the past summer is probably getting to me, while I need to keep focused on a lot of things, and lately I’ve felt emotionally drained in a way. Not at all like I did back in June (not even close) but everything has been very intense.
Next week, my in-laws are coming to visit and they’re staying for 10 days. That will be a nice break with all sorts of fun – there will certainly be road trips, walks, good food, pub visits, music, and overall good family time involved. And shortly after they leave, we’re going to Italy!
This week has been good and I continue to make progress with strength, balance, and walking. I work hard with my PT program and make sure I don’t miss a day. I do most exercises daily but some of them I do several times a day, such as slow knee lift walking, ankle mobility (knee over toes) and single leg balance.
Gym day, and today I was in the office for a while. I haven’t been there since May because of the stairs, but now part of my rehab is step-downs – basically to teach the left foot to walk down stairs properly!
The gym session had some exercises that I haven’t done for a long time – now when I can finally stand up again for my lifting, lots of these are coming back to my program and I’m loving it.
- Squats! (bodyweight only)
- Dumbbell row, 15 kgs
- Dumbbell chest press, 10 kgs
- Good mornings, 20 kg barbell
- Shoulder shrugs, 8 kg dumbbells
- Lateral raise, 5 kg dumbbells
I need to practise walking and get my feet used to being loaded through walking. But who needs to go out for a walk when you can accumulate almost 8000 steps by simply prepping for the husband’s birthday celebration? I had planned to make Italian style meatballs that my husband really likes, but I had also invited some music friends to come over in the evening – nothing fancy, just a cup of tea or a drop of whiskey and a good jam session (it’s bluegrass people). I wanted to offer something cake-like but simple so decided to bake apple muffins and at the same time try a new recipe with oat flour, extra protein, and just enough sugar to make them taste good.
We had a brilliant evening, just too bad that I totally forgot about the muffins! So now we have them for when my in-laws come over.
In the middle of all the baking and whatnot, I took a break to get some cycling done, and did the last half (or third, possibly) done of a nice Italian route along the Abruzzo coast. I’ve realised now that I love cycling in the afternoon. I have so much more energy and oomph than I do in the morning! This ride was probably my fastest ever and I felt I got into a nice flow.
It’s getting cold here!! Or, should I say maybe that we’re getting into normal weather for mid-September in Ireland. I wouldn’t mind those 20C (68F) for a while longer though!
It was gym day and since I need to ramp up my walking, I went into town earlier to get some walking done. Our town is not big so I just started tracking a walk on my watch and then walked around town but had no idea what kind of distance I would get to. You may remember my 2.1 km walk on Saturday and how my feet felt like shredded to pieces afterwards. Today I started feeling sore around my big toes (as usual) but nothing too bad. When I came to the gym and checked the distance of the walk, it was 2.29 km!! That’s good progress – yes, longer than what my physio talked about but I still felt quite good. Big yay!
The walk was humbling though – I realised how much walking still does NOT come naturally, I have to focus all the time on walking properly, put equal weight on both legs and whatnot. After a while I started being able to relax more and everything felt better.
This is not the prettiest part of town but as you can see, the perfect, flat, easy pavement for people who are getting used to walking after an injury!
Then it was time for the gym. And a lovely, challenging session! My trainer is excited about giving me more than resistance bands for legs. I’m doing bodyweight squats at home, and in the gym I get some good variations to challenge legs and feet just enough to complement what I do at home.
- “Mini Bulgarian squats” 😀
- Squats with overhead press, 3 kg dumbbells
- Flyes, 9 kg dumbbells
- Tricep pullovers, one dumbbell 15 kgs
- Upright row with wide grip, 15 kg bar
- Renegade row, 6 kg dumbbells
- Overhead shoulder press with bar, 15 kgs
- Seated bent-over row, 5 kg dumbbells
Yes, yes, yes to Bulgarian split squats! Well, of course not full-on Bulgarian split squats yet. But this was a wonderful challenge that went so much better than I thought it would. The foot of my not-squatting leg was placed on a low step-up board. I expected to be quite wobbly but I was surprised with how well it went! The left leg behaved nicely even with keeping balance and I actually felt quite strong and stable with it. Almost stronger than on the right leg! I’m not sure though if it was because I did this with bent toes (as in push-up position) rather than as in standard Bulgarian squats, and the left big toe is still quite sore which makes it more difficult.
And what’s not to love with overhead presses? Even with only 3 kgs if there’s a squat involved. The overhead shoulder press then with the bar was really hard and I could only do like 6-7 reps in each set. But it was the first time I did them standing up, and even before the injury I haven’t done these much with the bar.
Today I also managed to find the right technique with the Renegade row – to engage the core properly for keeping the balance instead of wiggling on my feet. The toes didn’t complain too much either this time.
I didn’t feel great today. My throat was sore and I felt extremely tired. I couldn’t figure out if the sore throat felt like a cold or what I get if I’ve had acid reflux, and then there was the influence of much worsened weather, with much lower temperatures, heavy rain and dark skies. I took it very easy.
I felt much better and went to the gym day as usual on a Friday. This was a kick-ass, empowering, mighty good session. Today some old friends were back in the program – carefully but still….
- Lunges – anything but straightforward. But an important exercise for my balance and toes!
- Deadlifts – with hex bar and super light weight. I LOVED it!
- Inclined flyes, 9 kgs
- Barbell chest press, 30 kgs
- Dumbbell row, 15 kgs
- Upright row, barbell 17,5 kgs
- Forward raise, 5 kg dumbbells
Some of the leg work is perhaps a bit before time in my rehab program but my trainer is a competent physical therapist (which in Ireland is not the same as a physiotherapist but the competencies can overlap in some areas), and at this stage of rehab, his competence in strength & conditioning is a very good complement to my base PT program. Doing these leg exercises again was hard but I absolutely loved it. It’s another milestone passed, although it will take a long time before I’m back to where I was pre-injury. After 4+ months of none to very little load, I have to build back leg strength from zero, and there’s no way around that. But I’m happy as long as I can do the work!
I had planned to go for a walk this morning, in my area. I’ve been avoiding the lanes around here because it’s such a hilly area, but I realised that one of my previous running routes is actually quite flat and some of it should work fine for a walk. We’ve had some really nasty weather at the end of the week, but today it was dry and even some sunshine in the morning. So I braved the strong winds and went out.
This walk was 2.25 km and again, my feet didn’t complain too much. I got some good company too!
In the evening we had our last gig in the small pub in town. I wasn’t at all up to it! It was getting cold and I wanted to stay home and put the fire on. I also expected the pub to be empty since Ireland was playing against Tonga in the Rugby World Cup. But there’s also the guitar festival going on in town with plenty of events, and there was a good crowd in the pub already when we arrived. We had a great night, with several friends joining us. My singing wasn’t at all in good form but after I while I decided to ignore and just enjoy myself.
Today will be a slow day of rest and recharging. But physiotherapy, deadbugs and some hip mobility has been done.
I hope you are doing well! Is it getting cold where you are? Do you enjoy the autumn or dread it? I actually quite like the autumn, as it can be lovely here, but after a quite warm period it’s almost a shock when it gets colder so suddenly – especially in our kind of house it’s VERY noticeable and we’ve already put the heating on.