Early August…

Headed out to the park on monday lunchtime.  Imagine the scene, beautiful sunshine, and a park with Buckingham Palace overlooking it, tree’s, greenery, and middle aged men running around in quite possibly the shortest short shorts ever…

Anyhow, me and my shorts went out, and did 2½ laps (3 miles) in 31 minutes, without dying.  Or puking.

Sure, that time isn’t really going to bother Mo Farah too much.  But i’ll bet he cant make the same % improvement in just a week!  I was happy with that.  3 miles, 10m17 per mile average.  I still want to bring that time down, but i’m still opening up my lungs.

Tuesday, i bought a skipping rope.  I cant skip.  But i’ll keep trying until i can.

Wednesday. I grabbed that skipping rope, and after a bit of confusion on how to make it work, i headed into the basement car park. Yes, a little too subconcious about my skills to be doing it in the park! But i did 30 minutes. A lot of that time was spent whipping myself in the back, back of the head, arms, chest, stomach and legs. I resembled a dominatrix’s whipping boy by the time i was done… but i’d managed to get something done that vaguely looked like skipping. I think i prefer the term ‘jump rope’, sounds a bit less ‘school girly’ than skipping.

I was very hot and sweating. I think security had spotted me on CCTV, as all the fan’s came on down there, which helped cool things down a little. 33 revolutions was my best, with a lot of 15’s, and too many 1-3’s. Generally 8-12 when doing one-footed.

Thursday. My calves were wrecked from jump rope. So i went for a run around the park. 3 miles, 29m27s. Jogged all of it, except for maybe 100 meters. Improving each time.

Thursday evening i spent a few minutes just messing about with the rope. Managed to mid-skip transition from 2 footed, to left footed, to right footed.

Friday. Rest day. My calves are making rude gestures towards me.

Testing the water

I needed to see how my back responded, so i had to start exercising.  I didn’t want to overdo things, as further injury now would be very hard on me.  So, final week of July i started to work.

Day 1 – 3 mile walk/jog.  Urgh!  This was so hard. I was sick after half mile, and i ended up walking more than jogging.  And only did 2 miles, taking 30 minutes.  My lungs felt like they were filled with custard.

Day 2 – 1.2 mile jog/walk. 13 minutes.  No puking. Already an improvement!

Day 3 – 2.6 mile jog/walk.  I purposely structured an interval session, 3 minutes jog/1 minute walk.  28 minutes.  My third attempt at moving and now i could see the improvement.  Lungs felt clearer.

Day 4 – Resistance bands workout, upper body, 30 minutes.

Day 5 – Swimming.  A family swim, but nonetheless, i got some lengths in and kept working in the water.

Not insanely intense, but a big step up from zero exercise, and certainly enough to see wether my spine was going to scream at me.  And as it happens, the spine coped well. Better than i thought it would as it goes.  I was happy with how week 1 worked out for me.

What will week 2 bring??

Bringing awesome back

I started 2014, very much unable to walk unaided.  It was quite a shitty time.  Come March, the physio’s had given up on me and left me to the surgeons.

The cause of this was down to a messy L4/L5 disk.  It had been a problem in 2012, and it decided it wanted to ruin 2014 for me to.  But, I am a fighter.

I walked out of the surgery consultants 3 weeks later – Surgery N0t Required At This Time.  I wasn’t really sure how i felt about his. I mean, sure, its good to avoid surgery where possible, but i was also hoping surgery might be the be all end all.  My secret?  There was no real secret.  I just continued to exercise and stretch.  Gently.  But progressively.  Slowly pushing slightly further each time.

I still get the odd twinge of sciatic pain down my left side, but i can live with that, compared to the terrible pain i had been suffering before.  I’d lost a bit of weight during this, so now was going to be a good time to put some weight back on, so when i could get into training again, i could trim the fat.  I increased to 81kg’s and around 18% bodyfat.

Roll forward to July, and i did some light exercise, swimming, a couple of cycle rides… it was hard.  Having been an active person all my life, to then being immobile for nigh on 2 years, my fitness levels crashed horribly!

Then…  a little seed in my head seemed to get the exact right combination of moisture and warmth.  White Collar Boxing!  What if, having started the year unable to walk, i could end the year with my head held high and fighting?!  Well, little seeds do grow…