Friday, June 29, 2018

Friday PT/swim

RT taxis, extravagant and still not optimal as traffic en route home was unbelievable and I only JUST got home in time for the beginning of my take-two couch delivery window. Spending money like water! Assistant will be here at 1 so that I can go and get my hair cut (tonight is out-of-towners' dinner at Petrarca in Tribeca, tomorrow's the big celebration of life party in memory of Gene at the Tribeca Grill), FreshDirect delivery booked too, feel like a crazy NYC lady multitasker!

Only had time for a short swim (and am trying to play it safe - back was way better yesterday and overnight than it has been, I need to take things really slowly and not do anything that will produce a setback), but it was really nice. Somewhat as follows:

100 swim
100 RaLaCuBa (Doug Stern's favorite)
100 kick on back
100 alternating double-arm back and full stroke
100 free easy
100 as 4 x 25 harder on :45
100 easy swim down

PT exercises plus 700 yards

Thursday, June 28, 2018


Taxi to gym (I was running really late, barely made it there in time, but the class starts a bit late because the teacher waits for the previous hour of pilates class to finish, so that in fact I wasn't late at all!). 75 minutes of highly beneficial restorative yoga - can't miss these classes as they're only twice a week and it's the only kind of yoga class I can currently do! Did PT exercises on the pool deck, then tried a stationary bike (the more recumbent kind) - alas, felt that yawning tugging feeling at R proximal hamstring right away, so just did 10 mins to get the HR up a bit and called it. I will swim tomorrow, jog Saturday and take Sunday for rest, then see how everything feels next week - but swimming more may be the solution for now.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018


Had good session with Tom the PT yesterday where we were in agreement (reluctant but strong on my part) that I am doing too many things still that aggravate back stuff. He worked on my upper back and neck, with beneficial effects, and today I only did my PT exercises, especially as I was spending a lot of hours pulling stuff out of closets and sorting it into trash and donation bags, with the kind of miscellaneous leaning over that you get with that kind of work. Tomorrow I will go to restorative yoga in the am and then have some kind of bike or swim after - Tom rightly suggests that I should be trying an upright stationary bike of regular rather than spin bike kind, because the spin bikes are to a great extent set up to mimic road bike posture. (You can adjust, of course, but I do find that as a short person, it is impossible to have the handlebar high enough up to get a truly sedate ride.)

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Monday-Tuesday catchup

Monday: rode bike RT to Chelsea Piers for restorative yoga, which was good. Did PT exercises there. Rode home irritably into a headwind, it activated the R glute-hamstring thing somewhat.

Today: Did PT at home then had 30 as 1:1 (mixing up the days based on what other commitments I'm working around, will bike tomorrow on a spin bike at the gym). That R proximal hamstring was activated yesterday while biking and I could feel it today, not unpleasantly but certainly it felt weird and sciatica-like all down the leg. PT appointment later, will grill him about various things.....

Sunday, June 24, 2018


Gonna have to start taking Sundays as a rest day, that was not good. Did PT at home mid-afternoon, then rode bike to gym to see if the 90-minute hatha yoga class might be ok. It was not OK (I almost burst into tears when the teacher sent us into a series of fast sun salutations near the start of class - but even just lying in shavasana without a bolster under my knees currently makes right lower back immediately rather sore). Things kind of came round and the second half of class was mostly things I could do, but that plus overcrowding on the bike path (note to self: do not even think about riding bike to gym on a summer weekend day - especially not Pride weekend!) and hot hazy weather just made everything frazzled rather than in any sense relaxing. Ugh!

2 x 5mi bike
90 minutes of ill-advised yoga

Saturday, June 23, 2018


Friday: long walk with friend and colleague L., PT exercises.

Saturday: PT exercises, 30 as 1:1. Not great, not bad (really I'm just in low spirits); trouble area was tight rather than sore as such, spot in left knee very sore for some reason. It is such a first-world problem that I am ashamed I even let it affect my mood, but I had a disappointment this morning with the couch delivery - the armchair is in, but the couch was too big to fit in the elevator and it had to go back into the truck! Was very tempted to go back to bed afterwards and weep, but really that doesn't do any good - and I think there is an easy solution, there is a loveseat sized version of the same couch (WHICH I SHOULD HAVE ORDERED IN THE FIRST PLACE, I AM AN IDIOT, I HATE EVERYTHING TO DO WITH ADULT LIFE IN THE WORLD) and I can get them to send me that instead. The question now of course is whether (I think probably not) it can be delivered in time for me hosting an open house brunch (closing event of the Gene Kilik memorial celebration weekend) for a relatively large number of people a week from tomorrow....

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Thursday bike-yoga

Rode bike to and from gym, restorative yoga (I am rediscovering my love for this particular yoga practice by the way!). Nice not-hot ride on the way down; way back, hotter and also something of a headwind, which activates a sort of strip along my right proximal hamstring. Not painful, but feeling almost as if someone glued a strip of plastic to it or similar. Still need to do PT stretches, but shower first I think...

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


PT session yesterday afternoon was good, we slightly modified exercises but not by much, we're getting somewhere I think. Today I used up all my good back mojo on finishing organizing books in the living room; took taxi to Chelsea Piers, did PT exercises on pool deck and then had very nice swim. My back was sore before I started and I could feel it throughout, so I am erring on the side of caution in terms of total workout time - but it is nice being in cool water on a hot day.

PT exercises
swim: c. 1000 yards with fins (mix of swim and drill - RaLaCuBa, fists, finger-drag, thumbs-and-salute, kick on back)

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Tuesday PT/jog

PT exercises + 35 as 1:1. Legs a bit tired from riding a bike yesterday, which is pitiful, but there you go (not muscular fatigue as such but a slight sciatica twinge down right leg and general feeling of no spring in the legs). PT appointment in 45 mins, must get in the shower and get myself out the door...

Monday, June 18, 2018

Monday back-at-it

OK, things have kind of been all over the place, but a big revelation Friday at PT about cause of ongoing R lower back soreness and hip pain - it is the position I read in lying down, something I do for many hours every day! - which doesn't solve anything as such (not least because even if I keep correct posture while awake, as soon as I am sleeping I am twisting and turning - went to bed yesterday evening with pillow between legs to keep spine in neutral and almost normal-feeling back after day in NJ with no exercise and no reading in bed, woke up 2am with very achy tight lower back and sore hip...) but gives me a clearer set of things to work on. PT introduced the notion of the "pelvic clock" (nomenclature!) and we discovered that at 3 and 6 o'clock I am immediately experiencing very tight sore right lower back....

(I spent all day Saturday just concentrating on keeping posture exactly right - and when I went out for 30 easy as 1:1 just before dusk, NOTHING HURT AT ALL! It was a minor miracle! And gives me confidence that I will some months from now be back running not all but most days of the week.)

ANYWAY in the meantime I have adjusted seat height on commuter bike and acquired a cushioned saddle cover for comfort. Rode down to Chelsea Piers (headwind, but nice breeze off the water), did 75 minutes restorative yoga and 20 minutes of PT exercises on the sunny pool deck, ate a sandwich, rode home (it is now insanely hot!). I feel like I can now be functionally back at it.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Saturday catch-up

Thursday: restorative yoga (great, need to find more places to do it), spin (stopped after 30 mins due to painful sciatica). Need to adjust left cleat but otherwise shoes are much better.

Friday: a wash. Got three important things done, so I will still count it a win, but didn't even do PT exercises, I was too tuckered out by the end of the day. Need to organize morning priorities better.

Saturday: 30 as 1:1! First time I've tried it since doctor visit 2.5 weeks ago (not deliberately so long, but I figured since Ottawa is impossible anyway it made sense to have a couple weeks totally off from jogging to let any peripheral inflammation die down). A twinge of sciatica originating in glute and feelable down the leg, but not nearly as sharp as while spinning the other day. Towards end I can start feeling some tightness in my back (I did the PT exercises pre-run to stretch everything out). I really don't think it's contraindicated - I am going to suggest doing 30 as 1:1 3 times per week. Still working out some kind of regular exercise schedule, I don't like leaving it to be ad hoc, it goes better when it's locked in....

Still - 30 as 1:1!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Back at it

Got home from Ottawa yesterday (major endurance was required to get through that stint, but no actual exercise!), PT yesterday afternoon, back on normal exercise schedule from today forward (though it has yet to be determined exactly what that schedule will be). Got new cycling shoes last night and am powerfully hoping they will solve the foot pain issue. (Once you've ridden clipped in, it's hard to think of going back to sneakers, even with the cages on the spin bikes.)

For the record, here's the updated PT regimen.

On all fours:

Cat-cow (emphasizing cat, neutral spine for cow)
Prayer stretch both sides
Quadruped leg only (5-second hold, each side x 5)

On back:

Hamstring stretch (knee at 90 degrees, extend leg)
Piriformis stretch
Hip flexors/heel slide (hands on hips to monitor)
Wind-removing pose (R, L, together)

On side:

Side plank (knees, 5-second hold, 3L, 5R)

On knees:

Hip flexor stretch: arms in salutation


Roll down over legs and hold at bottom