Stepping up the game

I’ve had a quite intense week with a lot of good things going on. Work, cycling, Italian class starting, back to my usual strength training routine, ramped up physiotherapy, and more. My PT exercises are such an important part of my fitness routine now. Going for real walks will happen again but only if I do the prep work to get back on track!

This has been such a good week with lots of improvements! Let’s get into it.


This was a decent start of the week! I got up early-ish and did 4,5 km on the indoor bike. I chose a random route (with Kinomap) across the border between Austria and Italy and it was VERY hilly. Some of these apps are set to just move you slower in uphill areas, but the default setting in Kinomap makes it a more natural cycling experience, so with uphills, the resistance increases. I like that, and it’s a nice challenge for my weakened legs! Now I have the courage to pedal more actively with the left foot too.

It was gym day, and a good one. I still do every second session legs and shoulders, and every second chest and back. All leg exercises are obviously still with resistance bands, while shoulders, chest and back is all a good heavy lifting program.

  • Warmup with parachutes and push-ups
  • Tricep pullovers, two dumbbells 10 kgs
  • Barbell row, 32,5 kgs
  • Dumbbell chest press, 12,5 kgs
  • Flyes, 10 kg dumbbells
  • Barbell chest press, 32,5 kgs
  • (I must have done something more? Can’t remember)

So this thing with the dumbbell chest press – is it only a matter of mindset? Maybe. Today I decided to stop thinking and just do it, and I managed to do them almost properly for the first time. It was hard but I did it!


I went to see the physio and got some new exercises.
I’ve lost so much balance and stability that it’s almost depressing. Have you ever realised how much balance you need for simple walking? The lack of balance is what causes most of my walking problems. It’s annoying but at least it’s fixable. I’ll continue doing heel raises, single leg stands, resisted ankle exercises and more, and now we’ve added step-ups and slow walking with knee lifts. The latter are a lot more challenging than they sound after months of not walking!

Keeping busy!


I kicked off the day on the bike and did another 5 km along that Austria-Italy route. I’m not a big fan of such a hilly route – all the twists, turns and fast downhills make me dizzy and I have to look away from the screen sometimes, but I love the challenge with all the inclines.

It was a busy day! My Italian class started again.. I’ve missed it. Straight after my class a friend came over and on her way home, she dropped me off at the gym. I got a nice session for legs and shoulders while we talked about everything from cult leaders to Irish rugby culture to the recent tragedy at the Ironman event in east Cork. (That they let the event go ahead in those weather conditions is beyond me)

I got some good work done, and will get some more single leg exercises going forward.

  • Single leg press with resistance band
  • Clamshells
  • Single leg raise (lying on back), resistance band
  • Piriformis glute bridge
  • Lateral raise, 6 kg dumbbells
  • Upright row with bar, 20 kgs
  • Seated shoulder press with bar, 15 kgs

The shoulder press was challenging, I’m so not used to using the bar for this. I was mostly happy with my performance but repped out after the 4th rep in one of the middle sets. Working the muscles to failure is a good feeling though!


Thursdays are my new cycling days (used to be running days) and I finished the Austria-Italy route, the remaining distance was about 10 km. The rest of the morning before work was spent doing PT exercises.

This was the first day I went to town without crutches. I went to the slow tune session as usual. The people in the group have followed my injury struggles from the start and I was so happy to finally come without crutches. I felt so wobbly though. I feel good walking at home, but in town the pavements are going in all directions and where we have the tune session is an old-fashioned hotel with soft fluffy carpets that sort of made me feel unstable. Then, when I went back to the car, people probably thought I was drunk! 🤣 But that’s ok. I need to learn to walk again, and the challenge with uneven surfaces is good for me.


I had a wonderful kick-ass session in the gym today! Not much new but I felt I got into the flow and everything went so well. Also the dumbbell chest presses!

  • Warmup with parachutes and push-ups
  • Chest press with barbell, 32,5 kgs
  • Flyes, 10 kg dumbbells
  • Dumbbell chest press, 12,5 kgs
  • Barbell row, 35 kgs
  • Tricep pullovers, one dumbbell , 17,5 kgs
  • Dumbbell row, 17,5 kgs

The barbell row weight was increased this time and I felt good doing them. This is an important exercise – when you have low bone density it’s super important to keep a strong upper back.


Saturday was mostly about entertainment, although a lot of foot challenges were involved too. We went to a whiskey event at a somewhat local distillery where we have invested in a whiskey cask. They have events for cask owners now and then with tastings and more, this time at the new location where they are building a new, much larger distillery and brewery (they started as a brewery). The weather was fantastic to begin with and we enjoyed a beer and later a small tasting of some cask samples. It’s always fun to taste the first drops from a new distillery! Some of these were legally whiskey (it has to have been matured at least 3 years to be legally called whiskey in Ireland), some not.

The most challenging part for my foot was surprisingly NOT walking around or even getting up and down some stairs into the new distillery & brewery, but rather standing for so long during the tasting and tour. Who thought it was so exhausting for feet to just stand? At the end of the tour there was a steep flight of stairs to get up to the brewery, and I decided to skip that since my feet were already achy. But one of the tour guides was super nice, waited with me there and gave me a brief introduction of their production and plans for the new brewery. He also answered some questions and explained the process of making gluten free beer (there’s no valid reason for breweries to not make them!).


Other than my physiotherapy exercises I’ve done my usual core/glute/hip workout, but have decided I’m going to retire this routine soon. I go to the gym three times a week and get the best strength work done there, so when I’m fully out and about again, I’ll use the Sunday to go for a longer walk instead or possibly some indoor cycling. I might just do some core strength at home but not necessarily on the Sunday. I started this workout in January when I had another foot problem, and have continued with it because it made me feel good, although later with the stress fracture, I had to replace a lot of the exercises to work on hips and glutes instead.

Today, despite miserable forecasts, is a wonderful day and since I’m now supposed to learn how to walk normally, we took the car down the hill to go for a walk! I don’t go far yet but it’s good for me to walk, especially on more challenging – but not too challenging – surfaces. A country road is definitely challenging enough, and if you knew how much I’ve missed walking on these roads!

It’s this time of the year!

Over the weekend I’ve worked a lot on my walking, and I’ve noticed a huge progress just in a few days. My foot is mostly just a bit sore across the perineal tendon and gets tired easily but nothing else really, all the other pain seems to have disappeared. The foot generally feels stronger, and I’m comfortable enough to walk a little bit barefoot too. Things seem to be going well! I’m immensely grateful and feel like I’m getting my life back.

Thanks Deborah and Kim for hosting the Weekly rundown link-up!


22 responses to “Stepping up the game”

  1. Deborah Brooks avatar

    It’s great to read that you are doing so well with your rehab. Sounds like you have made some great strides in the gym too. Those one legged exercises will serve you well! Hope you have another great week ahead

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks Deborah! I think there’s another good week ahead!

  2. Jenny avatar

    Sounds like things are going really well. I’m glad you feel like you’re getting your life back! You really had some great strength sessions this week. I agree that balance can be hard. Even without a stress fracture in my foot, I struggle with it when I’m doing single leg exercises. Definitely an important thing to work on.
    i hadn’t heard about those men drowning during the Ironman- that’s terrible!!! Yes, conditions must have been really bad.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, I agree about balance and how important is is with all single leg exercises whether you’re injured or not. And since you told me you also have low bone density – I recently learned balance exercises can make your hips stronger! I assume because you use your hip to stabilise in these exercises.
      Absolutely awful about the Ironman. And I learned there was a third death that hasn’t been talked about in media. This event took place the same weekend as storm Betty that I mentioned in my last rundown post. On the videos I’ve seen, it looked really rough.

  3. Kimberly Hatting avatar

    This is all great news, Susanne!! I’m so glad you’re feeling good about your strength work, and that the foot is doing better. I had never thought about one’s balance being compromised, but I’m glad you’re getting that back as well. Keep up the great work!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, I’m fascinated how much balance is lost when you don’t use your legs as normal! I believe maybe a lot of it has to do with lost strength, and not fully trusting the foot is strong enough. There’s a lot of work to do, but at least now I can do it! And with most pain gone, I dare to do more which builds back strength.

  4. Wendy avatar

    I’m so glad to see you making progress with your comeback! You’ll be better than new in no time!

    Interesting about that half IM–I hadn’t heard about that. Today is the Chicago Triathlon– there’s an international distance and a sprint–and they canceled the swim portion because the water conditions are so rough. I’m sure the participants were disappointed but no need to have anyone drown. So sad.

    1. Susanne avatar

      A big yay for my progress this week!
      I think Ireland is too small for this Ironman news to spread around the world. Although, in triathlon circles it should be known.
      My trainer told me that deaths during these events are not uncommon! 😵 How terrible is that! Sounds like they need to work on some logistics… the only right thing is to cancel when the weather is so bad.

  5. Darlene S. Cardillo avatar

    So happy to read this. Things are going in the right direction.

    I have terrible balance. One reason I don’t bother with yoga.

    Yes standing is tiring. When I teach in person and stand all day, I realize how hard it is. At least it seems to be only a few days each month.

    1. Susanne avatar

      I’ve always struggled with balance but had been working on it and made a lot of progress before this injury. Perhaps working on balance is my new way to challenge myself instead of running.
      You’re right, professions like teaching are known for being tough on the feet. I was a nurse before moving to Ireland (left my profession for various reasons) but worked in a regular ward where you move around quite a bit and I think that’s easier than just standing.
      I’m guessing the more I use my feet, the more I’ll get used to it again.

  6. Judy Litt avatar

    I’m so happy to read about all the great progress you’re making!

    I had a lot of jobs when I was younger that I stood all day — you’ve got to have really comfortable shoes!

    Things usually come back quicker than you’d think — muscle memory is a real gift.

    1. Susanne avatar

      I’m so happy to finally see things go in the right direction.
      My Altra Lone Peak are fantastic. But for feet that haven’t been in real action for 4+ months, sadly I think the only thing that really helps is to make them used to normal load. I’m sure they’ll be happy soon though. And yes, muscle memory is powerful!

  7. San avatar

    I am a big fan of balance exercises, but yeah, it takes practice and perseverance. I am happy to hear things are getting back to a resemblence of normal.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, there’s lots of hope around here right now. And I’ll continue working on balance also after I’m back to real walking, because it’s always been one of my weakest areas.

  8. Coco avatar

    It’s amazing how much work it is to re-learn how to move after a long recovery. I guess you have to retrain your brain along with your muscles. I got tired of all the uneven sidewalks in Copenhagen, and I’m not even injured. It’s great that you are making so much progress now!

    I had not heard about the deaths at Ironman Cork — that is horrible. That surf looks wild.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, honestly I’m surprised myself. I knew there would be a lot of strengthening to do but I didn’t expect balance to be such a problem! Fortunately I’m making some good progress quite fast.

  9. Jessie avatar

    Oh I’m so glad to read that you are feeling some improvements and progress! Sounds like a really positive week Susanne. And lots of fun stuff in there too with the whiskey tastings etc! Here’s to another great week ahead 🙂

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks, Jessie! Yes, there’s lots of hope for a good autumn. 🙂
      Hope you get a good week too as you continue counting down to your Dublin trip!

  10. Debbie avatar

    It’s wonderful to hear that you’re seeing progress in your walking! A foot injury is so different than some other body parts because it’s essential for everyday movement. I think you summed it up when you said you’re happy you’re getting your life back.

    1. Susanne avatar

      You are right, foot injuries are different – although all injuries that affect walking would be annoying, there is so much more about feet and they are so much more complex than a knee, for example (I hope yours is better, by the way!). I may have done a bit too much walking but I’ve noticed that I also need to challenge the foot a little bit to get further with the rehab. However, I’m delighted to be on my way back!

  11. Jenn avatar

    Italian class sounds amazing.

    I have terrible balance after my accident, so I have rededicated myself to working on it. It’s not easy to regain once it goes.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Do work on it! Good balance is so important. Your strength training will help too, particularly squats and lunges. I have three different balance exercises now and have made tons of progress in just a week.

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