Seven-spotted ladybug (Coccinella septempunctata), observed in our local prairie.
Since spring I’ve been using some workout plans put together by Anthony Arvanitakis. For eight weeks from late May to early July I did his Superhero Bodyweight Workout, and since then I’ve been following along with bodyweight workouts he’s been sharing for the summer.
One limitation that I’ve had all this time is that I haven’t been able to do the hill or stair sprint workouts that he suggests, due to a lingering foot injury. After repeatedly resting my sore foot until it was nearly all better, and then trying to get back into running, only to have my foot start hurting again, I finally took a full month off. That was enough for my foot to finally feel entirely better, so last week I went for a 3-mile run as a test. My foot didn’t hurt during the run, but was sore again that evening and the next day.
I took another week off from running, and then today decided to try a different tack: Those hill-sprint workouts.
Three things about this make it make sense to me:
- Hill sprints are lower impact than running on flat ground (because the ground is higher for each next step, so your foot doesn’t fall as far).
- The total mileage is much less (today’s workout was just 0.5 miles).
- My running gait is better when I’m sprinting.
Putting those things together makes me think that maybe hill sprints will let me run at least a little without aggravating my foot injury.
Another thing I’m doing is extending my warmup quite a bit. I did my full dynamic stretching routine before heading to the workout location. Once I got there I scrupulously followed the prescribed warmup routine, jogging up the hill at 50%, 60%, 70% and 80% intensity (I actually did 5 preliminary jogs up the hill, at gradually increasing intensity). After each of the last two warmup jogs I did a set of 12 straight-elbow push ups (what I call rhomboid pushups) as preparation for the pushup part of the workout.
The main workout then was 4 sets of sprinting up the hill at 90% intensity, walking down, and then doing as many pushups as I could do with perfect form (I did 10, 10, 8 and 8 pushups).
I also did something I’ve always resisted in the past: I drove to my hill. (This being central Illinois, hills are few and far between. My hill is at Colbert Park.) Usually I don’t like to drive somewhere to get exercise—why not walk or run and thereby get more exercise? But with my sore foot, that much extra running would definitely aggravate the injury. Even walking that far might be an issue.
One thing I need to be careful of is to be sure to get in my full wrist warmup. I’m pretty good about that ahead of a rings workout, but perhaps wasn’t as scrupulous as I should have been this time. But the pushups put enough stress on the wrists that it’s good to get them fully warmed up even before the rhomboid pushups.
I’m pretty pleased with my workout. My foot (really my ankle) is a bit tender this evening. We’ll see how it feels tomorrow. On the schedule I’m (tentatively) following, I’ll be doing hill sprints again Monday. If my foot is completely pain-free at least several days ahead of that, I’ll proceed with that plan.
Our butterfly weed is in bloom.
I was going to retweet something for #NationalRelaxationDay, and was surprised to find that nobody I follow had tweeted that hashtag yet today. So I had to find my own relaxing image—a picture of Rapunzel in happier days.
Spent an hour on the patio, gradually pushing my chair back, keeping in the sweet spot—in the shade but not in the puddle produced by the gutter—until my feet and shanks had been exposed to as much sun as I thought wise.
I finally got my new kettlebell!
Kettlebells have been completely unavailable since March, when all of a sudden nobody could just share the kettlebells at their fitness center, so everybody who used them went out to buy their own. I’d been looking around on-line every few days all through April, May, and June, checking at WalMart, and Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Amazon, and Onnit, all of which were perpetually sold out. But back on July 1st, I found a place via Amazon that had the size of kettlebell I wanted (53 lbs = 24 KG = 1.5 pood). It was expensive, but after waiting for months I was ready to pay up.
And yet, that was not the end of my story of woe. The package went to FedEx which said it would be delivered the next day. It made it as far as Ellenwood, GA, at which point they said it would be delivered in two days. But it never departed Ellenwood. On the day it was supposed to be delivered they claimed it would be delivered by the end of the day until it was the end of the day, at which point its expected delivery date changed to “Pending.” After two more weeks I contacted the vendor who said, “Oops, looks like FedEx lost it. We’ll send another.” And then exactly the same thing happened: It made it as far as Ellenwood, GA changed from “next day” to “two days” to “pending” and then stayed there.
But this time it didn’t vanish forever. FedEx eventually found it, and yesterday the FedEx guy muscled my 53 lb package up to my doorstep!
I’d been working out with kettlebells for maybe 4 years before the pandemic started, using the one kettlebell in the fitness room (the only one I had access to), which was 45 lb (= 20 kg = 1.25 pood). Over the first few weeks I’d worked up to doing 3×25 swings, which is probably enough to be a good workout for the posterior chain. Then I’d experimented with doing it as a HIIT workout and tried various alternative workout plans. For a while I was doing 30 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest for (eventually) 10 rounds. Then I switched back to doing them in sets of 25 and had just worked my way up to 5×25 when we had to go into quarantine, and I lost access to the kettlebell.
After 4 months of not doing them, I was inclined to be quite careful about swinging this one, especially since this kettlebell is 8 lbs heavier. Yesterday by the time it’d arrived, I’d already had a beer, and I decided not to even try to swing my new kettlebell while even slightly under the influence.
Today though I got it out and did 6×10 swings, which was a pretty good workout.
I’m sure I’ll be able to work up to sets of 25 swings pretty quickly once again. Or maybe I’ll stick with 30-second intervals and go back to doing them as HIIT workouts.
Whatever I do, I’m delighted to have my new, heavier kettlebell!
My workouts these days have tended toward circuits, and each circuit usually ends with a core exercise—often hollow-body holds. When I workout under the sycamore tree, this is what I see during that exercise. 🏋🏻♂️ #mbaug
The immature Bald Eagles that I saw last year have grown up! You can’t see it, but I saw an adult Bald Eagle soar over this grassy area, then perch on that tall tree near the center. #mbaug
Taking my coffee out on the patio, watching the dawn light up the trees. A nice change from sitting at the computer.
Last fall Jackie dug up this whole flowerbed and spread the bulbs, corms, and rhizomes out over double the space, so I’m hoping for an even more spectacular display this year than last. #lilycount 1