Checking In 8/3/2021

Hello once again from the ranch in Vegas. Yesterday was a long day, started at 4:30am with a shower and dress, packing up and leaving the hotel before driving back to Vegas straight to work, then a full workday, then a visit to the gym for swolework and cross training, then a stop to get dinner, then dinner… and only then, sleep. I slept a rock solid 8+ hours last night.

And there’s a long story about my lodging prior to that. Don’t ever book the Motel 6 in Big Bear Lake. I booked a room there through Expedia prior to last weekend’s trip, and when I got there Saturday afternoon I found out they didn’t bother to reserve the room I had paid for.

They “offered” to “upgrade” me to a larger room but only if I paid $96 a night on top of what I had paid. I instead elected to cancel outright, and quickly found and booked a decent looking hotel at a good price back in Barstow available that night and Sunday.

I drove back down the mountain (I had no other plans in Big Bear; I was tired and wanted a nap) to the hotel in Barstow an hour away, checked in without a problem and it turned out to be a nice place. I just commuted back into Big Bear to visit Sunday, stayed in at Barstow Sunday night and then commuted into Vegas on Monday morning. Staying there did shave an hour off that morning commute, and in hindsight I’m glad it turned out that way for that reason.

Unless I get a terrific deal on a cabin next year, I’m probably not booking any more stays in Big Bear, and will stick to just staying in Barstow and commuting up there daily.

But, because that adds 130-150 miles of driving every day, now a visit to Flagstaff becomes more attractive. It’s farther than Barstow and Big Bear, and I can’t really commute back Monday morning because of it. But once I’m there I don’t have to do much driving at all.

If I heal up, I’ll have a decision to make on traveling in a couple weeks. But first, I need to heal up.

Operation Shutdown commenced… I want to say yesterday but it actually commenced about 2 seconds after I aborted Sunday’s run in Big Bear. But yesterday was the first day I fell out of bed with the mindset to shut down for this week and keep myself shut down.

What are the parameters of Operation Shutdown?

  • No running.
  • Do everything in your power during walks to not go any harder than the lightest jog to get across a street.
  • Walk along routes where there shouldn’t be a need to run across a busy street.
  • Cross train every day you can, and ONLY if there is no pain during activity.
  • Strength training upper body and core only, and only if there is no pain.
  • If you get the chance to consume something naturally anti-inflammatory, take it.
  • Avoid however much as possible any foods known to be anti-inflammatory.
  • However, don’t compromise protein and nutrition intake just to avoid bad foods. Err on side of high protein intake.
  • Make every effort to get good sleep.

I get to the gym after work and, for a change, I strength trained first. I usually end a gym session with upper body strength training to better utilize the resulting anabolic hormones. But while my gym gets crowded after 6pm the weight area is actually somewhat open during the rush hour. This better allowed me to strength train first and then use the cardio machines (which are usually available either way).

The hormone flushing from cardio is less damaging if the cross training I do is fairly light. If I weren’t injured, it would be a problem because I’d be running or cross training moderately. But because what I’m doing is such sustained low intensity, it might actually be helpful by circulating the resulting hormones more than flushing them… akin to the walking “cardio” bodybuilders like to do after their lifting. If I can’t get my heart rate into zone 2 and beyond, at least I’m going to help myself get stronger while maintaining some aerobic endurance.

I got on the elliptical for only 20 minutes at a low level 2-3 effort and it felt good, surprisingly pain free and repeatable. Provided no issues before during or after, I’m going to use the elliptical for 45-60 minutes a day.

I also used the spin bike for about 12 minutes and that went okay, but it can be more of a problem for hamstring issues like mine. I’ll focus mainly on the elliptical for now, as long as that feels comfortable.

The circulation from the cross training is super important in my view for recovery. I do walk easy on breaks, but along with the heat there is some opportunity for discomfort and aggravation of my problems. Plus it’s once again very hot here in Vegas and you don’t want to spend too long in the sun.

Today my hamstring and groin do feel somewhat more sore. This also follows the first period of sustained low activity I’ve had since the issue emerged, so perhaps this is a delayed onset reaction? If I stayed rested and it gets worse, then I know I need to do something. But a few days of this and some improvement would be a better sign.

I will continue playing it by ear and will keep you posted.


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