Thursday, May 30, 2013

Don't Worry - You Only Walk Wrong

Here's a quick update on my previously reported calf injury.

I went to my first physical therapy session yesterday.  It turns out the injury is not so bad, it's just that I’m walking (and running) incorrectly.  The first 50 years have all been a big mistake.

The PT gave me some exercises to strengthen the other muscles needed (abs/core and glutes) to bring everything back in line and get the calf muscles working as designed.   The exercises are simple yet challenging - some planks, a downward dog type stretch, and a fun exercise ball activity.  The hard part is thinking that it's all about redesigning how I walk.  I'll try to ignore that.

Should be easy – no?

Stop and Smell the Roses – or Stop and Watch the Train

What’s the hurry?  It’s another gloomy, dark, humid day.  The rain never stops. 

This morning I got stopped behind several cars waiting for a train to cross.  The two cars in front of me peeled out of the line, working some interesting back-and-forth maneuvers to complete their u-turns.  I was patient, and eventually moved to the front of the line where I snapped this picture.  It wasn’t a particularly long train, but it was a very slow train.  

It's like the weather around here – slow, gray days.  The monotony is broken only by rain.  The ground is saturated and the grass is growing like crazy.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

I did not audition for the Rosetown Playhouse summer production of Annie – but I was cast anyway.  It was a small role.  They needed adult males.  Still – it was very flattering.  All weekend long I waffled.  My ego first told me to say, “Yes”, and then common sense would take over, “You planned to sit this one out.  You wanted your summer back.”

In the end, I decided not to participate, keeping to my old advice – Most of the bad or troublesome things in my life occurred because I didn’t go with “my gut” and just say, “No.”

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Up Early with an Old Dog

The sun rises early at the cabin, even on dreary days.  Duke and I were up early this morning - before 6:00.  When you wake up that early you have to find ways to occupy yourselves - like posing for pictures with little trolls.

Duke was not amused - but he put up with it anyway.

We arrived at the cabin late afternoon.  We didn't leave town until 1:00 or so - as John had rehearsal for Hairspray and Maria had to be dropped at a friend's for a weekend of camping at Whitewater State Park.  It's the second Memorial Day that Maria has not joined the rest of us at West McDonald.

What's on the agenda for this weekend?  Perhaps some mowing at the farm, or here by the cabin.

What's NOT on the agenda?   Putting in the dock.  The water is very cold (I'm guessing) since the ice didn't come out until Mother's Day weekend (aka Fishing Opener).  We have no waders here at the cabin - never have, and maybe never will.  Waders are for sissies.  Who needs waders anyway - the lake is swimmable 3 maybe 4 months out the year anyway.  What possible use for waders would anyone have.  But enough about waders.  I'm too old to stand in frigid water in a swim suit (and besides I left the swim suit at home).

Wish me luck on the dock.  Last night, over beers, a wise old man of the lake was telling me putting in the dock wouldn't be so bad, since it's just a matter of getting used to the cold - and we wouldn't be in very long anyway.  Hmmmm

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Home with a Sick Dog

Woke up at 3:45 am.  Something was wrong; it was too quiet.  Duke was not in his accustomed place in the bathroom.  I located him downstairs on the couch - how cute.  But look, he had pooped by the back door - not so cute.

Those who know Duke are probably amazed that he hadn't "cleaned up" the poop himself - an old trick of his.  So I should probably be grateful - and I guess I was.

Anyway, clean up family room and on the couch myself for another 2 fitful hours of sleep.

Shortly after breakfast, Duke vomited up a rather large amount of food.  Two hours later, more.  Add to that some rapid evacuation from the other end and you get an idea of what my day has been like.

Luckily most of my job can be done via email and conference calls, so I've kept busy here at home between clean-ups and quick trips outside with Duke.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Tuck Your Shirt In!

We've recently relaxed the dress code here at work.  Jeans are acceptable any day - unless you have customer meetings.

Now don't get me wrong, jeans are a nice option.  Some days you just don't feel like going through all the effort that getting ready for work requires.  On those days, it's nice to throw on a pair of jeans.

While I will wear jeans, I draw the line on NOT tucking in my shirt. Just this morning I ran into a guy who "outranks" me - the kind of guy that actually has an office with a door that closes.  He was in jeans and his dress shirt was un-tucked.   Big sigh - where did we go wrong?

Oh well, whenever I despair the state of the dress code around here, I turn to this little scene from Curb Your Enthusiasm - Ed Asner meets an attorney on Casual Friday.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Seven Minutes - and then some

At the suggestion of my brother-in-law, I tried the "Scientific 7-Minute Workout" yesterday.  Of course, tough guy that I am, 7 minutes didn't sound like enough - despite the science behind it - so I did it twice.  It got the heart beating and in the end it felt like I had really worked a "number" of muscles - how's that for a non-scientific take on the effort I exerted?  The killer for me - the side plank at the end of the routine.  I just couldn't figure out how to balance.  Do I put one leg on top of the other - or "cheat" by having both feet touch the ground?

This morning I woke up stiff in spots - mostly below the belt.  I don't "work out" a lot, and what I do is mostly upper body stuff.  I enjoy my push-ups (any where, any time), and pull-ups on the bars at the local park - or our own Rainbow Play System in the back yard.  The only lower-body work I do is walking and the occasional hobbled run.  My legs are stiff and sore (in a good way) in a number of places.  For what its' worth,  my Achilles feels pretty good and my knee is fine.  At this rate I'll have healed myself before I can even get in to see the PT - on May 28.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Still Hobbled After All These Years

It’s been a while – but I was recently reminded – again – why I call this blog “The Hobbled Runner”.  

One week ago today, I tempted the running fates.  Not content to confine my “running” to once a week runs on Saturday or Sunday, I set out after work for a (very) short run.  About one mile into what might have been a 3 mile run; I noticed my right calf/Achilles area tightening hp.  I stopped to stretch against a utility pole.  After some cautious stretching, I realized the run was done.   The calf was too tight; I’d have to walk home.  It wasn’t a pleasant walk home.  If any drivers were home at the Hobbled household, I would have called for a ride.  As it was I hobbled (literally) a little over a mile home.  

Treatment was proceeding well, ice (and later heat), resting, and elevation (time on the couch), then on Saturday afternoon, Patches the cat entered the picture. 

I was outside with Duke and Patches enjoying the sun and a little yard work.  Patches is the only cat we allow outside relatively unsupervised – but I saw her make a dash around the house chasing something.  Fearing I don’t know what (maybe she was going after one of the neighbor’s chickens which often are allowed to roam free) I sprinted off after Patches.  When executing a sharp turn, I came up lame, hopping on my one good leg fearing my Achilles was going to snap and roll up like you see on those horrible sports outtake videos.  Thankfully nothing snapped or popped – but it hurt a hell of a lot more than it did before the cat took off.

Fast forward to yesterday:  the calf was very stiff and still hurt.  I had compensated so much for the calf injury that my right knee hurts the muscles of that leg were tired, and my lower back hurt.  So off to the doctor I went.  She prescribed a muscle relaxer (haven’t taken one yet), and some PT.  I can’t get into the PT until May 28.  The delay of the PT, and the very act of seeking medical help have activated the placebo effect and today my calf doesn’t hurt so bad. 

Today I went for a walk at noon – a little slower than usual – but no real pain.

We will wait and see – and not run.