A Busy Day – August 11, 2021

What am I thinking about this morning?

It is a bit foggy and overcast again this morning, but I am in a good space and looking forward to my run. Today was my annual physical exam and I stress out too much over going to the Doctor’s office in the best of times. Needless to say, this is not the best of times to be heading into where sick people tend to congregate. Still, this year’s appointment went well. I had the first appointment of the day, so the building was as clean as it is going to be. The BP was good 122/76, although the pulse was high for me at 78 bpm, when my typical resting pulse is between 45-50 bpm, so yes, I was nervous about being there. 

However, the doctor’s office felt strangely empty and as far as I could see the staff was cut from the last time I was there in 2019. I think that I was the only patient there this morning – the parking lot was empty when I got there and when I left. COVID-19 has changed it from a vibrant little practice to someplace that resembled a…a ghost town. I didn’t want to say a morgue, but it was so quiet it was almost creepy, even the people who were there talked just above a whisper. 

The doc looked worn-out, haggard, just sounded, so very tired, and had gained a lot of weight since last year. Gotta be so tough to be in the medical profession at this point and time and I give them all the respect that they deserve. They have a challenging job under even more difficult conditions due to the reluctance of some and misinformation being spewed by others.

Me, I am healthy and as she says very low maintenance. According to how she was talking, I was a nice change of pace – her getting to see a healthy person, who was taking the pandemic seriously, knowledgeable about how to stay healthy, and doing many things correctly to lead a mostly healthy lifestyle. We both chuckled over my weakness for chips and sweets. Could I have found a bunch of stuff to whine and complain about this morning. Sure, I have my share of aches, pains, and other things that probably need to be looked at, at some point, that too many would have complained too much about. 

However, I figure that they have enough going on then to worry about me complaining about multiple aches and pains that they can’t do much about or that this old fart wouldn’t go to other medical appointments right now anyways. I don’t have any emergency type of medical issues that need attention immediately. At some point when COVID is a bit more under control, I will go back in if the leg is still bothering and ask for PT or an Ortho consult, along with a couple of other things. Now is not a great time to be going to medical facilities unless I absolutely must.

August 11th is also my brother’s birthday and it got me thinking about family and relationships. How they wax and wane, along with all the stuff we did and went through growing up. Sometimes life gets in the way of things and while I know family is important, it is better when you have things in common other than having the same parents. Sometimes what is, is just the way it is. Happy Birthday Steve and I hope you have many more great years ahead of you.

All I know is that I have one helluva headache from all the cleaning chemicals at the Doctor’s office. We keep a very clean house but use more organic cleaning supplies that don’t have the strong odors or chemicals. So, I am not used to being exposed to all the heavy-duty stuff they use to keep things clean, and as a result I got the headache and fuzzy headed (I know a great medical term). I am hoping that today’s run will clear the head for the most part. This is another reason that I dislike going to the doctor’s office, I gotta endure a fuzzy head and headache after the visit for a bit.

Today’s Planned Stryd Challenge Description: 

  • Easy – 20:00-minute run, which I will probably turn into an easy 40–50-minute run. The first part of the Stryd 5K plan is not quite where I am distance-wise, so I will be adding extra time on to the planned runs, until it catches back up to where I was.

Per Stryd: “Easy runs are an important part of balancing training intensity and recovery. Your target for this run is 65-75% of your Stryd Auto-Calculated Critical Power. You are encouraged to start out at the lower end of your prescribed range and progress to near the top of your prescribed range by the end of the run. While going above your prescribed range might feel easy in the moment, it is important to remember the purpose of an easy run is to promote recovery without adding additional fatigue.”

Today’s Running Focus

  • Enjoy the run.

What I Did Today: 

  • Duration: 47:46
  • Distance: 5.02
  • Course: Town Office 5.0 Miler
  • Location: Sidney

Primary Workout – 20:00-minutes easy

Target RangeDurationDistancePowerHeart RatePaceCadenceStride Length
151-17547:465.022101409:311651.01

Somehow, I managed to screw up on my watch and didn’t use the correct field and by the time I noticed it, I was down by the neighbors, so I just went with the app I had going. Not a big deal or the end of the world as we know it. Just a pain in the arse.

I went out easy and was bouncing along nicely for a change. The leg was doing okay, and I took advantage of the novelty and ran more I like I want to, well used to. While I was still going easy, I was feeling good. I ran with a bounce in my stride until I got the bright idea of hammering the Town Office hill.

Actually, I just ran faster (for me) up it, nothing all that world-shattering, but putting a bit of effort into running uphill felt pretty good and it was a better effort than anything I did on the track yesterday. When I looked at the stats after the run, it was probably my 2nd fastest time going up that little hill. I will create a Strava segment just to keep track of it. That is a nice little challenge for a :30 second or so hill sprint and I might even make it a workout at some point during this 5K training cycle.

After that the bounce in my step was done. I still felt pretty good once I got my breath back, but the leg decided that bouncing along wasn’t a great idea. It didn’t really bother, but it was kind of waiting in the background to see if I was going to be stoopid again.

The two hills were just a slog to get up, oh by the way it was 100% humidity and misting/nasty kind of morning where I left my glasses on the deck, because they would have been more a hindrance than a help. That raindrops forming on the glasses or fogging up stuff and then them getting in the way when I am attempting drain the sweat away from my face. No biggie, but without the glasses I tend to narrow my focus to what is right in front of me, since I don’t see so well without them.

Once I got back on the tar, the shoes felt bouncy (yes, the legs were feeling decent too), so I went back to a bouncier stride and the left leg didn’t even complain. I may have even picked up the pace a little during the last mile to something a little more than an easy pace, just because the body was cooperating nicely for a change. 

Coming back down Philbrick, I felt as though I was running normally and thought that I had picked up the pace considerably. It turns out that I did, but only in comparison to how slow I had been running before that. Oh well, I know that the effort levels that I gave this morning, once upon a time, would have provided a slightly different pace, but with my body now, it produced the pace that I can hold at that effort level. Just part of the aging process and I am just happy that I felt as though I was running close to the way that I want to. I just gotta accept that the pace is different now. 

Once the run was over, the humidity got me, and I felt every one of those trips around the sun. When I got back to the house I had to sit and vegetate for about 15:00-minutes before I was able to get up be of some use around the house. Yeah, between the doctor’s office chemicals, a bouncier run, and the humidity, the body just said enough. Although the headache seemed to be mostly gone when I finished. It was still their lurking, but not at the level it had been.

Did the workout go as planned?

Not really.

When I was able to run with a bouncier stride than usual, without the leg complaining too much I took advantage of it. My overall pace was about where it should be, but I had a couple of areas where I probably did a little too much for an easy day. Some days are like that and if I don’t do it too often, I don’t believe it is gonna kill me or set me up for another injury.

Injuries/Niggles: This morning was more about getting out for a run to clear the fuzziness and headache from being exposed to the cleaning chemicals at the doc’s office. I know that they must use some heavy-hitters there, just due to the nature of who goes in and out of the office – sick people. However, it messes with my head. The leg felt better than it has in a while, so I took advantage of it and while the left leg never feels completely right, it does have its moments when it feels less compromised.

Weather: Drizzle/Mist, 69°F, Feels like 70°F, Humidity 95%, Wind 0mph from N

Shoes: Reebok Floatride Forever Energy 2 – Quite the mouthful! I don’t know why major brands have decided that their shoes must have such long-arse names for shoes in today’s world. Reebok is not the only brand that does this, and it is a pain in the butt to remember what a shoe is called. It would be a lot easier to simply call them Reebok Energy 2s and call it good.

Enough whining about crap I can’t control. The Energy 2s did great, I feel faster in them, than I do the Magic Speeds – carbon plated or not. The midsole has a noticeable pop that is lacking in the Magic Speeds, and they feel more comfortable on my feet – even when I am wearing my new toe spreader. 

What did I learn today?

That my doc, considers me one of her healthiest patients and to keep doing what I am doing. I really hadn’t planned on changing anything anyway, but it was nice to get some validation of the things I am doing. The other part is that she started talking to me about what happens with Medicare next year and how it changes some of what they do. It kind of made this getting older thing hit a little closer to home. When your doc starts talking to you about Medicare, it is a sign that you are getting old.

I knew this from the last few times I was in their office, but today really brought home how much I am not used to being around the chemicals that they use to clean the office and as a result had a bad headache and the fuzzy head. It is something that I need to be aware of and even though I never took my mask off inside their office building, I still got the same results as I have in the past. 

When the leg cooperates, that I can still run with a bit of a bounce in my stride. It was nice to be able to run, the way that I want to run, even if it was only for parts of the run. Even so, it was still slower than what similar effort levels have been, and this is most likely my new normal.

That the combination of the chemical smell exposure and the humidity during the run, left me a lot more tired than I would have expected for that kind of effort level. So, I listened to my body and sat down and did not too much for most of the day. I feel fine now, but I don’t like that feeling of being so fatigued after an easy run and not doing much else. It is a harbinger of things to come, I have a feeling, just not yet.

Yes, I did enjoy the run.

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