The Personal Blog of Stephen Sekula

Exercise without distraction

One benefit of social distancing and self-isolation has been exercise. Because my work is conducted out of my home office, and because I am not interrupted by unscheduled things that erupt in my workplace, I am able to better focus and stick to my need for regular exercise. As a result, over the past 3 weeks I have been able to maintain a very regular and nearly habit cycle of running (when whether is good; elliptical machine in the home gym when it is not).

I’ve been struggling with tendinitis in one of my hamstrings for about a year; in the same period I’ve been dealing with the beginnings of plantar fasciitis in one of my feet. This has meant a greater commitment to stretching muscles and minding my footwear. The payoff has come in the last month. My hamstring, with regular exercise and stretching, is finally free of pain for most of a week. My fasciitis seems under control as well.

I’ve committed to regular, predictable, short runs. I don’t push things much past 5k loops on a regular day. Today was special. The air was cold; it was only in the 40s Farenheit, so I buttoned up in long pants and a long-sleeve over-shirt. I decided to run around a local golf course (there is one in every compass direction in this part of Texas). People were out on the paths, but it was generally low-traffic and quiet today… even at midday. The recent rains took a toll on the running paths. At one point, I had to double back; there was no way around a large, flooded section. At two other points I crawled through mud and brush to get around a flooded section.

6.5 miles later, I was home.

I hurt. But it’s the right kind of hurt. It’s not hamstring inflammation or a sore foot. It’s the deep gentle whole-body ache of a good run. No worries there: feet up and TV on, and I’ll be just fine tomorrow.

Since getting back into an exercise routine earlier this year, I’ve worked off about 6-7 pounds. I’m slowing clawing my way back against a 20-lb gain that happened from the autumn of 2018 to the end of 2019. It’s nice to be able to concentrate on physics while not sacrificing my health.

For now.