Tuesday, November 17, 2020

COVID - 8 months in

 So, good thing I gave up the daily updates a long time ago, eh?

So here's where we are:

Kids: still 100% distance learning.  Plan is to go back to in person hybrid Jan 19, but we are back in the purple tier, so that's iffy.  We cannot open in purple.

Exercise: I have really been enjoying myself.  Running: overdid it at the beginning of COVID - had some sciatica pain return and also had Achilles tendon issues.  Dialed it back in mileage and started doing more Galloway run/walk, still had Achilles issues.  Then tweaked my knee doing...something.  Prob trail running.  So I dialed it back a bit MORE to Maffetone method (Google it). Basically, it's low heart rate training.  The theory is that most people who run are running at too high a heart rate and that's not good for you and doesn't build aerobic fitness. My heart rate while running runs SUPER high.

So, the conventional wisdom is that you subtract your age from 220.  So for me, that's 170 max HR.  My heart rate on long runs or hilly runs EASILY gets into the 190s, or over 200.  So, yah.  I think I just run high.  The Maffetone method uses a formula of 180-age for the max.  So, that's 130.  Well, that's like walking for me almost.  The idea is that you do a lot of volume at a low heart rate - it takes several months to see improvement, but in the end, you will improve.

Most of these methods (Galloway, Maffetone) suggest that you can hit a PR if you do it right.  So what I see in both Facebook groups is two groups of people:

1. The people who want to PR.  With Galloway, the walk breaks prevent injury and prevent you from getting tired near the end of the race because walking and running use different muscles.  (Among other benefits.)  I found that I could go for a long time with run/walk methods - for example, I could run 7 miles and function the rest of the day.  No soreness, exhaustion, or headaches.  (Of course, my average pace was 13:30 vs 11:00 if I just ran the whole thing.)

2.  The people (like me) who want to keep moving, prevent injury, and enjoy themselves.  Injuries are for the BIRDS.  These methods just keep you moving longer.

So, as the Garmin watch HR monitor isn't terribly accurate, I sprung for a chest strap.  I have not been doing a lot of volume (7 hr a week is recommended, and it's not stressful because of the low HR).  I am aiming for 4-5 hours a week, because I have a life, and kids and a job.  My Maffetone pace right now is about 16-17:30 miles.  So...like walking.  Essentially, I warm up for 12 minutes (walking), then do an easy jog for 15 seconds until the HR is about 130.  Then I walk.  My "range" is 120-130 bpm, but I have the watch set to beep at 115 and 135.

So why am I enjoying this?  I love walking!  This method is super easy on the joints and the heart.  I have no idea if it will improve my fitness and make me faster, but there aren't any races coming up - so it's the perfect time to try.  

So, the exercise schedule:

Run/walk Tues/Thurs (at MAFF)

Family walk Saturday (usually at MAFF)

Weight training Monday/Weds/Friday.  I made up my own calendar - I do some Hammer and Chisel (which is HARD, YO).  Sometimes I skip Hammer and Chisel and do LIIFT4 with the hubby because we are competing for the TV on Monday/ Friday.  On Weds, I do 80 day obsession or one of the minis - A little obsessed or a Little More Obsessed.  Basically, I like full body workouts, so I alternate Today Body Core and AAA (Arms, Abs, Ass).  The 80DO workouts are 60 min, which is a bit long for me if I sleep in, so I decide in the morning whether to do the long one or one of the shorter ones.

Basically, I'm really enjoying doing different, new things, as opposed to what I did most of the this year, which is plan a strict workout program with specific goals to get stronger.  

Daily: November "100 swings" challenge with my old kettlebell gym group.  We can mix it up though, so sometimes I do 100 Kettlebell swings, sometimes I do pushups/ situps/ swings.  Any combo of 100.

Also, the occasional dog walk.

Vacation:  I miss vacation.  We had a mini trip planned for this coming weekend and canceled it because: COVID.  Haven't traveled since November of last year.

Work: Working with kids at home is hard yo, but I do get a lot done in fits and spurts.  Sadly, one of my best bosses ever and very favorite coworkers passed away suddenly last month.  We are all gutted.  I still cannot believe it.

Politics: Dump Trump Whee!