Fitness gear

Shoes, Betty, and more walking

Thanks to Deborah and Kim for hosting the Weekly rundown link-up! This is where bloggers talk about their week of running and other fitness activities and it’s always inspiring to see what people are up to, and it’s a lovely supportive bunch of people too!

This week I’ve been enjoying new walking shoes. During my injury I’ve become a big fan of Altra shoes (hello, zero drop and extra toe space!), and earlier while I was still using the foot but before I had the boot, I bought a pair of Altra Escalante that were on sale on Zalando. They were a bit too large but still comfortable, and they served me well for the right foot while I was in the boot.

But when I started walking without the boot, those shoes felt a bit too flimsy because of the large size. I needed more support to get back into walking, and I also started planning to get some nice walking shoes for later in the autumn when I would (hopefully) be back to walking properly. I ordered a pair of Altra Lone Peak 7, a half size smaller. The Lone Peak are meant for trail running but that also makes them great walking shoes that can handle Irish weather and less-than-perfect roads and footpaths – and trails, obviously. These have a perfect fit, are super comfy and I think they look very good too!

Other than shoes, my week was all about continued foot rehab, walking, lifting, nasty weather, and again, music. Let’s dig into the activities of the week.


This was a slow day. PT exercises only, and work.


The reason the gym had been closed on the Monday was that my trainer completed a 100 mile ultra marathon over the weekend. OMG, that man deserves so much respect.
I did a good session with chest and back work, and while hearing about all the raw details of the ultra race, of course there was no place to chicken out on anything or not doing one’s 100% best! Here’s what I did.

  • Warm-up with parachutes and press-ups
  • Renegade row – 10 kg dumbbells
  • Chest press, barbell 32,5 kgs
  • Flyes, 10 kg dumbbells
  • Tricep pullovers, 1 dumbbell 17,5 kgs
  • Barbell row (face down on inclined bench) – 32,5 kgs
  • Dumbbell row (knees on bench) – 17,5 kgs

The Renegade row.. just wow. This was a tricky one. I haven’t done it before and I had two main problems. The first one was that I can only stay in push-up position using the right foot, with the left on top, which causes a huge problem with balance. The other problem is that my right big toe area is very unhappy after walking alongside the boot for so long, and I can’t stay in push-up position for long at the moment. But he brought me a sandbag for my ankles – and I could do the exercise at least somewhat. Hopefully there will be a repeat when I can perform it properly.


I had actually planned to do a few km on the bike in the morning, but my husband had the same plans. Hmm.. better planning and communication is needed. 🙁


I definitely hopped on the bike this morning! I did a test ride with Zwift. Do I like it? I haven’t a clue. I might prefer routes with real video rather than some virtual reality. I did 5 km, and it’s always a good start of the day as usual although I need to start a bit earlier. I didn’t get on the bike until nearly 8 am! That’s so late if you want to do some activity but also start the work day at a decent hour. But my sleep hasn’t been great lately so after nights like that I don’t force myself to get up early unless I have to.


I had a lovely gym session, working on my legs and shoulders.

  • Wall sits, 50 + 50 + 45 seconds
  • Side leg lifts with bent legs, resistance band just above knees
  • Leg press with resistance band
  • Piriformis lifts –
  • Seated shoulder press, 7 kg dumbbells
  • Seated bent-over raise, 6 kg dumbbells
  • Forward raise, 6 kg dumbbells, left knee on bench
  • Lateral raise, 6 kg dumbbells, left knee on bench

My shoulders have always been my weakest area. I’ve talked about this many times. Shoulder pain was what first made me start training. I’ve made tons of progress, and except when using crutches, I’ve had no shoulder pain for a long time, but why oh why is it so difficult to make progress with shoulder exercises? I’m proud to have come to 7 kgs on the shoulder press. But with the other ones, still only 6 kgs, even with only 6 reps? When I check back on my rundown posts from the spring, I lifted 5 kgs ages ago! Anyone else struggling with these?

I still felt like I kicked ***** during this session nevertheless!

Later that day, I was looking forward to a bluegrass music evening with friends. But – there’s the Irish summer.

We started seeing orange weather warnings for rain and wind, and then Storm Betty appeared on the news. I wasn’t sure it would be safe enough to travel, but later the real weather forecast didn’t look too bad (the forecasted 77 km/h winds later changed to about 40) so we decided to go anyway.

Afterwards, it looks like thousands are still without power, trees have fallen etc, but we managed to miss the entire show. The rain was VERY intense in the afternoon when I went to the gym, I got soaked just walking a few metres from the car to the gym, and on the way to our friends some roads were flooded but there was nothing really serious. We had a fabulous evening, enjoying a bluegrass concert followed by a good jam session (and of course we had instruments with us!), and when we went home about 1.30 am, it was nice and calm outside so the storm must have passed while we were busy enjoying ourselves.


My hamstrings were absolutely mangled after the gym session, and doing my daily toe raises were excruciating for the calves. But I was delighted to know my leg muscles are being challenged. I’ve missed my leg DOMS!!

We went to Cork city for what we hoped would be some jeans shopping. I’ve lost some fat in the midsection and my skinny jeans are not so skinny anymore. Sadly I was very underwhelmed in the shops (why is EVERYTHING high-rise nowadays??) but found at least something that was good enough, and cheap enough for not being better than just “good enough”. After coming home, I started looking for a brand I bought in Spain and found it is actually available in Cork. Next time!

I did more walking than usual and felt quite good. Walking feels awkward, but at least I walk! And I didn’t get any pain.


I did my usual glute/hip and core workout at home. Later I went for a walk!

Well, sort of. My foot isn’t ready to go for real walks yet. But on Saturday night after doing some walking in Cork, my foot felt so good and nearly like normal. So I thought, maybe it needs some walking, just a little more than just around the house? We took the car to a specific footpath that is very flat, just so that I could walk a few 100 metres. It was lovely to get out and lovely to do at least some walking. And I brought the camera too!

The bay isn’t at its prettiest with low tide, but I’ve still seen uglier views than this.

I’m not sure what this is (a piggy bank of sorts??) but I thought it was super cute!

Summary, and how’s that foot doing?

It was a slowish week fitness-wise, but I had some good lifting sessions and some good, mostly pain free walking. I’m looking forward to getting back to my normal strength routine next week, and I also plan to do some more cycling.

The foot is doing quite well! I’ve continued having random aches and can be very stiff in the morning, but it always gets better after I do my physio exercises, and I’ve had much less ache at the end of this week. Walking is still very slow and awkward, I feel insecure and sort of check for pain all the time. My walking gait feels odd because of this. I feel very stiff-legged (is this a word?) and after walking more this weekend, my right calf is very cranky – because of walking crookedly? I have two experts to ask for help during the coming week, so we’ll work it out. Generally, I’m very happy with the foot improvements lately.

I hope you had a good week. What’s your weather like? What was your highlight of the week? What non-Peloton cycling app do you prefer and why?


25 responses to “Shoes, Betty, and more walking”

  1. Jenn avatar

    You are definitely doing all the right things and making the right moves. Great work.

    Love the new shoes. I hope they work out for you!

    I’m sorry about the storm – so far we have just had brutal heat and humidity. lt’s not my favorite. Not at all. I’m sure our hurricanes are coming.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks Jenn, things are going in the right direction, and I love these shoes so far.
      Oh yes – your hurricane season is almost here. That of course is worse than what we usually get. I wasn’t aware of the hurricane season in your part of the world until maybe 2015 when there were a series of very devastating hurricanes. I hope it won’t be too bad for you.

  2. Jenny avatar

    I have a pair of Altra Escalante that I wear for lifting weights, but I need more support for running- although I love the wide toebox. Maybe I should try the Lone Peak? Anyway, your walking sounds just about right for what you’ve been through. Just keep at it and it will start to feel more natural. In six months you won’t even remember you had an injury.
    Ha, yes I can see how you wouldn’t want to wimp out on your workout, in front of your trainer who just completed a 100 mile race! I’ll bet that was interesting to hear about, and motivating.
    Glad you missed the worst of that storm!

    1. Susanne avatar

      I thought I recognised the shoes you’ve been wearing in your gym pics! They are very nice for lifting and I might use mine in the gym later too. I don’t think the Lone Peak are more supportive than Escalante, other than a sturdier outsole, but for me they had that effect because with the smaller size they had a much more snug fit. Altra has something called Altra Torin and Paradigm that is supposed to be more supportive but I’m not sure if that’s just extra cushioning. However, if you do try Lone Peak and they don’t work for running for you, they are still very nice shoes.

  3. Lisa @ TechChick Adventures avatar

    I’m so happy to hear about the positive progress with your foot! I’m not a fan of the high waisted pants either. I’m sticking with my skinny jeans for awhile, but it looks like flares are coming back strong this fall season!

    1. Susanne avatar

      This weekend certainly brought a lot of hope regarding the foot and walking!
      I saw plenty of flared jeans in the shops. I’d never know what to wear with them! I love skinny jeans and will continue using them. I bought a specific brand in Spain and will see if I can get more of them. They actually opened a few shops in Dublin.

  4. Kimberly Hatting avatar

    That is awesome news on the foot!!! I’m glad you’re able to get back out there walking; hopefully the pain will continue to diminish. Our weather, currently, is pretty hot and sticky! I love the heat, but it was fairly cool most of last week, so this feel like a big shift in temps. At least we have our summer back 😉

    1. Susanne avatar

      I’m very happy with the foot mprovements lately! It’s like it’s finally settling down, after a period of being all over the place. The constant ups and downs have been so stressful!
      I hope the summer comeback lasts long for you! Here it’s meh but at least not too cold.

  5. Marcia avatar

    Sounds like everything is moving in a positive direction and you are making progress! Your gym workouts look great. Congrats to your trainer. That is an amazing accomplishment! Oh that weather sounds horrendous. We’re super hot here again and I am over it!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes things are looking up right now (I barely have the courage to type this) finally. And it was a good week in the gym.
      If we could get some of your summer weather that would be great!

  6. Deborah Brooks avatar

    So glad to read you are making progress with your foot. You seem a lot more positive about your work in the gym this week. It’s a good feeling to have those muscles feeling like they worked hard. Your weather sounds annoying! Have a great week ahead!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, I was happy with my performance this week and really enjoyed being sore in my legs! I totally agree with you that it’s a good feeling! Last week was quite good but I was so annoyed over my dumbbell chest press.
      One reason why I wanted to live in Ireland was the weather… but definitely NOT the summer weather. This summer started good but lately it’s been so meh, we have around 20C but always some annoying wind. And two storms within a month in the summer! NOT ok.

  7. Coco avatar

    Glad you are noticing improvement. I am always recovering from something and wondering if it hurts or not. It’s a great day when I realize it doesn’t!

    Some Peloton classes cue renegade rows on your knees (but with your knees behind your hips so you get done core work). I did them that way until I could do them off my knees, or when I want to use heavier weights— or when I’m tired. 😉

    1. Susanne avatar

      Renegade row oon the knees should work well and there are ways to make it harder too just like you can do with kneeled push-ups. I was actually very close to that in the gym also with that sandbag – it was hard to find a good position.

      Oh, this recovery woe! I’m also waiting for that day! But I’ve had pain free moments which is lovely, and honestly, now the pain is very subtle. I’ll be ok!

  8. Cari avatar

    Yay pain free walking, and legs DOMS, as odd as the latter sounds
    Renegade rows are eevil. wonderful, but evil

    1. Susanne avatar

      Isn’t it wonderful with DOMS? 🤪 Especially in these legs that desperately need to build strength…
      Evil, wonderful but evil – I love it!! It was exactly how I felt about Bulgarian split squats earlier. I’m determined to conquer the Renegade row too!

  9. Chocolaterunsjudy avatar

    I think it’s really normal to feel awkward and random pains while rehabbing from injury. Kudos to your trainer!

    So glad the storm didn’t make any impact on your fun.

    Sounds like you’re doing really well! I’m happy to hear that, you’ve been through some very tough times.

    1. Susanne avatar

      My physio keeps telling me what I experience is normal (and my brain keeps worrying anyway, lol)! YES it’s definitely about time that things start going well now! Today I saw the physio and got some new exercises that will help my walking – the main problem is balance and stability. I’m sure I’ll be back on track within a reasonable future.

  10. Jessie avatar

    Sounds like a good week of good news! I know Altras are great, but my Achilles does not like the zero drop 🙂

    Once you get on the high-waisted train, you might love it! I’m not sure I’ll be able to embrace the ultra low rise that the young kids are wearing.

    Haha, the Irish summer! The London summer was that way for a bit, but lately its actually been rather sunny and warm. Trying to embrace it while we can!

    1. Susanne avatar

      No I know zero drop can be hard for some. For metatarsal troubles it’s very good and after my injury, I can’t handle high heels (not even the level that’s on regular running shoes) anymore so I’ll very likely stay with Altra and my minimalist shoes.
      Sadly I just can’t stand high waist! I bought mid-rise and that’s too high too but at least they have a decent fit. I love low-rise! I’m glad for you that you got some decent weather. We had a lovely day today actually!

  11. Darlene S Cardillo avatar

    Actually the Altra lone peak are my favorites for walking and trails.

    I haven’t tried the other Altras because my foot pain stopped when I switched to Topos. And I won’t go back… though once my foot stopped hurting I went from zero drop to 5mm which had more support.

    When I returned to running after my broken foot, I went to see my chiro. She realigned me because obviously I was favoring the good side.

    Glad to hear about pain-free walking.

    I actually like high waisted (they hold in your gut and stay up better).

    1. Susanne avatar

      Topos are also zero or low drop, aren’t they? I looked at Topos for a while for curiosity but I had already bought the first Altra then and had no reason to change brand. I love my Lone Peak! 5 mm is an ok heel drop too, to me it doesn’t have to be zero but I wouldn’t use more than 8 mm. My Asics are 8 mm and they would be acceptable if they didn’t have such massive cushioning, I’m not into that anymore, it mostly makes me feel unstable!

      I saw my physio today and we’re working on the walking, some of my problem is that I’m afraid to feel pain, but most of it has to do with lost balance and stability so I got some new, useful exercises today.

      1. Darlene S Cardillo avatar

        Topos have some zero drop and the highest is 5mm.

        I used to wear Brooks, Mizunos, etc. but now I’m afraid of the higher heel.

        It takes a longtime to realize that if you run/walk , you will not hurt yourself.

  12. Debbie avatar

    It great to hear that your foot is making good progress and you’re walking a little more each week. That bay is still pretty at low tide. How deep is the water at high tide?

    I love my Altra Escalante and just purchased a new pair. I really need a wide toe box and these fit the bill, even if I do think they look like clown shoes when I look straight down at them. 😉

    1. Susanne avatar

      The Escalante certainly has a weird look! There is something about them that look more like clown shoes as you say. The Lone Peak for some reason look more standard to me. But they are both super comfy.

      I’m not sure about the exact depth of the water here but in high tide the water normally reaches close to the level of the footpath (which isn’t visible in these photos).

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