As I’ve mentioned several times here lately, I’m currently trying to recover from the recurrent hip-flexor/psoas issues that have been plaguing me since January. I’ve hardly run at all in 2012, maybe 15 miles or so, and it also seems to be worsened by cycling. There were a few weeks of complete rest, a few weeks of trying things like yoga and swimming with a pull buoy, and now I’ve been in physical therapy for it for a few weeks.
Hopefully I am on the road to recovery and soon I’ll be running again, but it’s been fairly frustrating. At the moment, I’m doing daily stretches and leg lifts, as prescribed by PT, and I’ve been able to use the elliptical machine at the gym. This is less than ideal, as you know if you have ever tried to use an elliptical machine. It is perhaps the world’s most boring form of cardio. Give me a pair of running shoes, a bicycle, a long stretch of road, and I’ll go on forever. On the elliptical, though, five minutes feels like five years.
The good thing is that at least I am able to do something that breaks a sweat and burns some calories. That’s no small thing, after all the forced rest. I’m currently about 10 pounds above my normal weight, thanks to a combination of 1) relationship eating (that thing where you go to restaurants all the time and somehow wind up with an excess of fries, candy, and over-all bigger portions), 2) holiday excesses (December was the month of pie, baked goods, nog, and wine) and 3) an inability to do any intense exercise for over two months. I know it’s “only” ten pounds and therefore not a big deal, and I’m not going to suddenly wake up and find that all the weight has suddenly come back, but I still hate it. I’ve been feeling squashy and bloated and several pairs of pants aren’t feeling as comfortable as they once did.
I’m hoping that the slow return to physical activity (boring though it may be) will help combat this. Paying more attention to my food intake should help, too. So I’m back to checking in with my weight more regularly and tracking what I eat again. I know this is exactly what works for me, but it adds an extra element of frustration to the whole scenario — how much easier it would be if I were still running like I was this fall!
I would also really, really love to be running right now in order to help with the break-up stress. Running is such a great natural mood elevator, and one I don’t have access to right now. Any form of exercise is, of course, helpful in this regard, but I’m sure you can imagine the difference between, on the one hand, an hour spent on the elliptical in a dull gym, right next to a chatty, smelly, older man who keeps asking if I’m a “co-ed,” and, on the other hand, a long run through the crisp spring morning air, past all the little lakes and ponds in my neighborhood, where I might chance to meet a blue heron, a herd of cows, or another runner. Someday soon, I hope!
In the interest of living well and feeling better both physically and mentally, I have made myself a little checklist of good things I can do each day. On the list are things like drink lots of water, floss, track food, do PT exercises, and so on. I also included walking the dog — Egon usually doesn’t need lots of long walks in the way that more active dogs might. He’s pretty happy to step outside to do his business and then scurry right back inside for more couch snuggling time. I’m thinking that a longer walk would do us both good, though, especially right now as spring is springing all around us and I can’t run. It would get me out the door and I’m sure he’d love to go sniffing around the neighborhood more often.
I also added a category for listening to music, reading, or blogging every day. Just a few “me” things that I haven’t felt like I’ve had as much time to do in the past several months, where I was never alone in the evenings and we spent lots of time with the TV on. Now I can reward myself with a most pleasing check mark just for doing something fun for myself. I love check marks.
Finally, I am going to try to write down a positive thought every day — something good about the day, a nice thing that happened, or just a good idea. I think I usually do this sort of thing anyway, without thinking about it. I’m sure there’s at least one positive tweet per day in my timeline, right? But I hope doing it with intention will make it worth more, if that makes sense. I’ll probably do that on twitter and maybe come up with a dorky hashtag for it or something. (Anyone want to join me in that? Hashtag ideas?)
All righty, friends. I am going to go put on some shoes and take Mr. Eegs out for a sniffing tour of the neighborhood.