Oh boy, lemme tell you! When it comes to health, there is no such thing as ‘consistency’. Yes I can visualize myself running everyday, going to the gym every other day, and swimming and biking along the way - the truth is - all of that visualization remains in my ‘wish’ and ‘keep dreaming’ bucket. Being consistent in healthy-sport is almost close to impossible, at least as far as I am concerned. I won’t be surprised though if someone right now rolls his eyes and yells, “I am consistent!”. Well, good for you, but you either are the most self-disciplined healthy man in the world or I am the most mediocre wanna-be sporty guy in the world. Let’s get things straight now before I switch to the ‘healthy lifestyle’ mode : Despite all the best laid plans, there will always be a kink somewhere, a failure or a non-compliance in the pursuit of a healthy-sport lifestyle. And despite my tendency to blame myself for it, I try to give myself a valid excuse. I may want to run every other day but if one night I needed to know the difference between a jar and a war file in java, I will most likely stay awake looking for the answer. I may want to go to the gym but when your work (in my case, if you haven’t figured yet, is Physical Therapy) gets you so fatigued and exhausted at the end of the day, the only thing you want to do is hit the sofa or the bed for a brief recovery nap at the end of your shift. And I am not even counting the impacts of deadlines you need to meet everyday when studying. So there - I may be sighing the mea culpa but I won’t play the blame game on me...no way. Now, let me proceed.
If you noticed my blogging, I am inconsistent. One week I will be running like a wild animal and the next, I am as quiet as a polar bear in hibernation. There is a reason for this - I was (and I emphasize ‘was’) in the university for my second college degree. Yes, my friends, I am finally done with Computer Science (to be more specific, Information Engineering Technology) where, for the last 4 years I spent my non-working days and nights learning almost all the important computer languages in the world and throwing into that the concepts of server management and program management and on and on and on. There was Calculus, and Discrete Math, and Data Structures and Data Management and Operating Systems and Java and C# and C++ and well… you get the picture. And I studied all these things from age 48 to 52.
So between hospital work ( I switched to per diem though it felt more like full time job on certain weeks) and school, I turned from a three times half marathoner every year to nothing. Of course I did some Ragnar Relays and some running component of triathlons somewhere, but the overall picture of my active lifestyle was tepid compared to my years before. I was a hot commodity in running before venturing into Computer Science course.
The good news is - I’ve finished the bachelor’s degree literally yesterday after submitting my required project in java. So, I am now crossing out my bucket list item that says, “Acquire a second degree in Computer Science or related field” and I swear, I will never do this again. It was a tough enterprise although fulfilling. The good news is that I now have the bragging rights of telling people that I have two college degrees: One is in Physical Therapy and another in Computer Science. I think only a few people can claim that. (Or maybe a thousand, I don’t know). Setting that introduction aside, it is now time for me to resume my healthy-sport blogging.
Two days ago, as has been my traditional custom, I started my slow jog in preparation for resumption of full blast running in the next couple of days. I believe I have emphasized this many times in this blog: After more than three days of hiatus, one needs to return gradually in running. It means jog or walk first and limit your distance. You just don’t stop running for days and then return on the trails in full blast. Sure you can try but good luck with those injuries.
My goal right now is to be able to run a half marathon in three months and I am thinking of Fort Lauderdale Half Marathon this coming February 2015. Good thing is, God willing, I have no more impediment to this goal. School is over. And as far as I feel, my legs are still in working condition, and although I gained a few pounds since I stopped exercising ( perhaps a month now), I can easily shed these with disciplined diet and regular exercises. We’re talking of 5 to 6 pounds.
Yesterday I jogged two miles. Today, I jogged 4 miles. Very slow jogs, no stress on the legs, lots of stretching in between miles. That’s where my running program starts for now.
A few reminders to myself:
Returning to the road after weeks of being indoors can flare up sinus problems in winter so be aware of that.
2 . Returning to running is an added stress to what are very peaceful and quiet body processes. So besides being aware of soreness, also consider a possible albeit temporary deficit in your immune system. Take some vitamins C and B complex (I find these reliable)
Eat sensibly and healthy and make sure you complete your sleep as much as possible.
I’d continue sharing my progress and setbacks in my future blogs.