Friday, May 18, 2012

Alter-G Part 2 & Other Updates

Yesterday was my second rehab session on the Alter-G anti-gravity treadmill.

I felt very lucky to be there at all, as 24 hours earlier I had been in the throes of a freak virus that sent my temperature up to 102.9 and made my head feel like some alien was trying to break through my skull. The sickness came on me at work Wednesday in the form of violent shivering and nausea. I managed to haul myself home and collapse in bed. At that point I thought there was no way I could make my 5:15 running date the next day.

But in the morning, after 14 hours of sleep interrupted only by a trip to the bathroom around midnight, I woke up with NO fever and only a slight headache that faded to nothing by noon. It was the briefest illness I think I remember having, if also one of the more intense. I took it easy in the morning, did a few of my physical therapy exercises in the afternoon, took Will and Ruth to the annual Art Show at their preschool and then Dan took over so I could make my appointment.

Fever aside, I was curious about how the session would go this time. My calves were SCREAMING on Tuesday and Wednesday after the first session. I think this was mostly a "Whoa, what is this running thing all about?" reaction (after all, they haven't had that kind of intensity asked of them for over two months), but my new Pure Flow shoes probably contributed too. I actually looked over old racing pictures of myself to make sure that, yes, I generally do have a mid- to forefoot strike. And I think I really do--even in the finish line pic of me in Houston last January (see the right-hand column), where I was doing what passes for sprinting for me at the end of a marathon, shows me landing neatly in the right place on my foot.

Yesterday's Alter-G session was apparently just what the doctor ordered for the calves. I wore the Pure Flows again, and while there's still some calf tightness, it's quite run-of-the-mill now, and fading--whereas on Tuesday and Wednesday they felt like I had just run a marathon on them.

And what about the back? My sacro-iliac support belt got in the way of the machine's calibration yesterday, so I did the run without it. My back's left side definitely bothered me more this time, but it wasn't alarming. In the end, I managed another good two miles of running, this time at 75% body weight (yay for the increase!). The exercise physiologist in charge this time was Patty, who will also likely be the person I'll go see about Pilates once Cathy (my physical therapist) thinks I'm strong enough for that. At the end, she loaded me up with a giant bag of ice for the back and on my way I went.

My back definitely hurt this morning, so I've been wearing the belt a lot today. But I did get my recumbent bike session in (I'll keep doing those until I can run a lot more than I'm allowed to right now), and I did a few stretches and some PT exercises afterwards. Things are definitely feeling more normal now.

My next Alter-G run is on Monday morning. This time I'm going to bring my Garmin to see how my heart rate looks at the various paces and percent body weights, and how that compares to what I'm used to seeing on the bike at this point.

Sleep Update: So this month was supposed to be the month where I got in the habit of getting eight hours a night on a regular basis. I even enlisted a handful of others to go along with me on it. Well, for me, it hasn't happened. The month's only half over, so I'm not giving up, but my bad habits in this area have proven much more deeply ingrained than I thought. I love sleep! So why is it so hard for me to get myself in bed when I should? Life's just too interesting, I guess.

Weight/Eating Update: At least I'm still doing well on this front! My weight this morning was 128.4, and I'm still going strong (stronger every day, in fact!) on having no processed sugar of any kind any day but Sunday. I've found not only am I no longer craving sugar during the week or wanting to graze from treat trays brought into work, but that when I do have my Sunday treat, I appreciate and enjoy it much more. Last Sunday, I rode my bike over to the Dairy Queen on Main Street and picked up a chocolate dip cone for myself and a plain vanilla one for Dan, then rode home where we enjoyed our little treat together. That cone tasted awesome! That might be what I have to do this Sunday too.....

Could I still eat better? Definitely! I've found myself dipping into the tortilla chips I buy for our Friday night taco dinners much more often than I should. I don't eat regular potato chips at all--but corn chips....they've got my number. So I feel like they might be the next thing I eliminate, or at least bracket into just one day of the week.

That's it for now! I'm thinking of my friends Cynthia and Kathy, both of whom have big races this weekend!


  1. BostonboundbrunetteMay 18, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    Things are just getting better and better for you!  I am so happy for you!!  Running on the Alter-G seems to be much better than just getting back into things like  I am trying to do.  Sending you good wishes for continued healing :)

  2. Wow - crazy about that 1 day illness - glad to hear it didn't get in the way of running tho!   Sounds like you are making great progress on the injury front!  Good job on the eating...I might need to try that one day a week for sugar and tortilla chips.  both are my downfall!   Thanks for the shout out - the last couple of days with Ricky have left me in an extremely happy and grateful mood.   I'm so relaxed right now and not the least bit nervous like I was before the Platte Half.  

  3. Sorry you were sick, but at least it was quick!  So glad you are back at running.  I hear you on the sleep thing, the last two nights I haven't slept good at all and I was so tired today at work.

  4. Congrats on the no sugar!  I keep running and keep gaining weight.  Perhaps I should stop snorting sugar and feeding myself whip cream intravenously.

  5. so glad this virus was just one day....that is high fever...sorry you were sick...I am happy that you continue to make progress

    sleep....what is that again....I dont remember last time I slept more than 6 hrs

  6. So good to hear the 2nd run went well and that your back held up - for the most part.  You're definitely going to get stronger and stronger and be hitting the road soon in your black and blue Flows (I just ordered 2 pairs: the pink and the white...anything but black - haha.  They have a new black one out now, which is black and white.  Bleh!  ;)).  Glad too that the virus was short lived.

    Looks like ideal racing weather for Kathy's race this weekend.  Who know late May would be so chilly.  Oh, that's cuz I'm running the know I can't run a half without freezing to death at some point! :)
    Happy Weekend!

  7. Better and better!! I am so glad that your bug was so brief!! I also wish I could be better behaved about sleep but there's always so much to do in the evening!! Still running strong and I've recruited Melissa to accompany me for the last 6 miles (aka, drag my foolish butt across the finish line). We shall see - at least the weather looks nice! Thanks for the cool weather, Jill!!  :)

  8. BTW - I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Houston photo!!

  9. It sounds like you are plugging away nicely! Great to hear that the AG continues to go well. I'm interested to hear how your heart rate training goes! Do you just use your Garmin with the strap? I may need to invest in one of those and take a look at doing some HR training.

    I just ran today outside for the first time in 13 days (YAY!) and my calves are killing me too. Crazy!

    I am doing ok at the sleep thing... Not great but ok. It is definitely hard to get to bed early!

  10. Glad that illness was an in-n-out-n-over-fast variety. The Alter-G seems so cool. I can't wait to hear about the HR analysis...please do bring you Garmin and post what you find out!

    I have the same sleep thing :(

  11. Yikes about the intense, nasty sickness!  Glad it passed so quickly.  I am SO excited for you regarding your SECOND run!!!  Keep being patient and diligent with your therapy and exercises and you'll be back on the road (or trails!) before you know it.  It seems that time passes so slowly, at times, and then you are going to look back when you are in your first race and think the time flew by!   Yum on the ice cream.  I think you guys need a repeat performance of that tomorrow!  :-)  Weren't there some donuts mixed in there at some point???  Or was that last week?  :-)  Have a wonderful weekend

  12. Wow I'm glad that sickness went so quick! And the run in the Alter G sounds like it went well. I know it probably seems like forever for you since you really got to run so hopefully the time is drawing nearer. 

  13. Hey it is your long lost reader Katie!  So sorry to miss so many posts for so long.  But if it makes you feel better I have neglected everyone's blog including my own!!  But I am going to subscribe by email now and hopefully stay more on top.  

    So I am guessing no Bolder Boulder, then??  So sorry you are still injured...but improving so that is good!  I hope you get more sleep too!  I am pretty good in this area...probably why I have no time to blog!! 

    I am sending some healing thoughts your way and so good to read about what is going on again!

  14. Glad that the things are improving. The Alter-G is a good solution for a faster recover.
    Get well soon.

  15. I'm glad your calves appreciated the run more this time!
    What a crazy illness - I'm glad it burned itself out quickly so that you didn't miss your run!

  16. scarlett elliewoodMay 21, 2012 at 4:16 AM

    Sounds like your recovery is really going well! Your diet sounds really good too. I try to stay away from sugar during the week as well, but sometimes I fail when I'm in a rush and buy something on the street:(