Friday, July 17, 2015

Balancing the pain -- PF Update

I have had the walking cast off for about a month.
I have been going to physical therapy weekly, and doing the at-home exercises 5 days per week.
I went to Comic-Con and walked a LOT.
I have been riding again; just not yet as consistently as pre-walking-cast.

Treadmill after 30 mile ride,
HR over time,
This week, I started on the treadmill, mixing walking and running over a twenty minute session.  I did this three times.  The only real stat I have is a HR chart from each that looks something like this.

Cardio is fine.  The max heart rate depicted here is pretty low for me.  Once I start longer running sessions I'll see a higher value.

Running felt fine.

On Thursday morning's bike ride, after two days of treadmill, my legs felt a little tired.  This is expected and accepted, as I had not run in months.

Hours after running, especially the first half hour of the morning following a run, there was some discomfort in my heel.  There should be no pain.  I want to be pain free.  Not "Some discomfort."

I'm going to avoid the treadmill Friday-Sunday.  On Monday I'll see the P/T and discuss what the plan should be going forward.

Plantar Fasciitis combined with getting older (so not bouncing back as quickly) - Yuck.

Monday, June 8, 2015

The heart is the first thing to go...

After four weeks on the couch I've been given the OK to get back on the bike, so I went out for a short ride.  Today's ride was about half the distance of my last one, the last being a "new shoe test ride."

This was also a new shoe test ride, but that wasn't the focus.  The focus this time was general fitness, test the foot, test the bike, test the shoes, get back to the fun.  Shoes worked well.

When comparing then versus now, with four weeks of couch surfing in between, there's one big difference that jumps out.

Then Now
Avg Max Avg Max
Speed 16.1mi/h 40.7mi/h 16.2mi/h 38.9mi/h
Heart Rate 135bpm 179bpm 151bpm 170bpm
Cadence 83 114 86 159

Woah!  Look at that heart rate difference.  While the Max recorded value is similar, the average is 11% higher today.  

Four weeks of getting out of shape, it'll be four to get back to cycling cardio shape.  

Two matching shoes, two matching socks

Plantar Fasciitis is gone and I'm wearing two shoes again.
Four weeks in an air cast, four weeks since getting a steroid injection to knock down remaining inflammation and make way for healing while immobilized in the boot. 

For now, PF is gone.   This is a good thing.  Now I can begin to return to the activities I want to pursue.

Next up is Physical Therapy.  I am expecting focused stretches and exercises to strengthen and stretch the feet, perhaps with a bit of consideration for the whole chain, up on leg and down the other.  Perhaps they can address what needs to happen for intermittent pain elsewhere...  In any event, I don't expect to stay with P/T long.  The objective is to better prepare so that I can keep active in the future, whether that's through exercises, tools, whatever.  Retrain so that I'm better off.

Its been five months since I ran, and it will probably be another month before I am running regularly again.  A few more months after that to get any form of speed or endurance back.

First step, get a plan.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Not bike to work day

Friday, May 29th was scheduled as a make up day for Bike To Work day in San Diego.

Instead of biking to work, I had yet another day in the boot, trying to immobilize to support better recovery for plantar fasciitis.  Eighteen days down, ten to go.

I've switched to shorts every day.  If our "May Gray" would go away, I might actually get some color on my legs.  Its unlikely, but possible.  I'm curious to see if I return to slacks once the boot is gone, or if I use this month of boot with shorts to become a "shorts all the time" person again.  We'll see.

Instead of riding my bike, I got to drive today. Just like every other day with the boot.  I like my car, so that's a good thing, but I'd still prefer to be healthy and free to ride.  Soon.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Cool Jazz Spy (review)

Not a blog post, but content I generated; a review I posted on Goodreads.  Are you on Goodreads?


My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'll attempt to remain spoiler free.

Cool Jazz Spy is a spy novel with a technology focus. Like many others in the genre, he takes inspiration from current events and weaves a tale around reality. Being grounded in reality, we may still be surprised where things end up. It is my hope that we don't live through the attack that Mr Bartusiak describes, and hope that our defenses are better able to withstand any such attacks.

On to the book itself.

It almost feels as if there are two books here, one focused on the technologies used in the attack and one a cloak and dagger action story. The segues are handled by focusing on those featured in the action side and their brief forays in to the technical side.

As is common to the genre, the author starts off with a hook, pulling the reader in to the story and trying to lock the reader in for the duration. This introduction is good, and sets the tone that there is to be a cyber aspect to this thriller. It takes a while for the reader to resolve "why" some of the things that happened in this introduction happened; perhaps a bit more of the answer would set a stronger hook?

The technical chapters can be quite dense, almost tedious to read, while the action chapters flow much more rapidly. I fear that Mr. Bartusiak may lose some readers with the early technical chapters -- later in the book, by the time the reader is involved in the story, it is easier to accept them and move forward. Bear in mind I am a software engineering professional, I've worked in this general arena for twenty years; my read is definitely influenced by that - looking for the details, trying to mesh them up as realistic or not, etc. Someone outside the industry might more rapidly move through these areas.

The action chapters flow quite quickly, as one expects for action.

The book ends with the current story arc completed, but the stage is set for a follow on. Whether that is with the protagonist, the next cyber activity, or a look at life after the attack, the door has been left open.

Finally, I received this book from the author. Thanks Paul!

View all my reviews

Thursday, May 14, 2015

A boot and a shot!

After four months of not running, my plantar fasciitis is better.  The amount of pain had gone from THIS MUCH to about this much but it just wasn't no pain.  Since there's still pain, and I want to get back to the point of no pain, I went to see the podiatrist again on Monday.  

I was given a steroid shot and an 'air cast' with instructions to follow up in 4 weeks.  The foot has been immobilized with a walking cast held together with velcro.  I can take it off to sleep, shower, and drive.  The doctor did not include 'drive' in the list, but I cannot work the clutch with it on, so it comes off to drive...

Immobilized.  No running or cycling, awkward walking.  For at least four weeks - it wil be a follow up appointment, not necessarily the release to be active again.

I feel like Robocop walking the halls.  ka-chunk.  step.  ka-chunk.  step.

My activity tracker comes up with lower goals daily.

Thursday, April 30, 2015


Sunday, the 26th of April, I rode up Palomar with some of the VeloNutz.  

They were riding it as a training ride for a Mt Baldy climb associated with this year's Tour of California.  I was riding it because I had a family-free day.

Looking back down
I'd been given a Strava link to a friend's track, told that we were riding the same thing.  The track was 75 miles, and when I converted it to a route Strava predicted just under 5 hours.  Either of those metrics would make it my longest ride for the year.

There were seven of us at the start.  We picked up one more after we crossed over Lake Hodges, so then we had a small group of eight, able to ride two abreast.   Knowing we were going to get out of my comfort zone, I did what I could to stay in the pack.  Further, not knowing the route, I needed to stay with the group - by ten miles in, we were on roads I don't visit often, and by twenty I'm not sure I'd ever been there before.  So I stayed in.

Two split off at one turn, then we two more split off before climbing South Grade up to Palomar.  That left four of us for the climb.

Above the clouds
Within five minutes, I was alone on the climb.  I'd lost Tony's wheel and he was off the front out of sight.  Irwin and Hermie was somewhere behind me.  Time to settle in and grind up the climb. First under a cloudy sky, then in the clouds, then above the clouds.  11.5 miles and 4100 feet later, I reached the general store, with four stops to read and respond to text messages (one of which told me the second pair of two had turned back) and snap a couple of photos.

Then it was down the hill and back home.  85 miles.  

General Store stop
Wait, what happened to the 75 mile route?  We climbed a different way.  

Hermie's instagram collage captures the various weather patterns, and Tony's picture shows the four of us at the top.

Strava gives the route and metrics.