Lockdown Lifestyle

So, here we are, a family in a semi rural town with time on our hands. Of course I have been hiking and cycling.

Climbing Ingleborough

Strava Data

Map and Splits

Pace, Heart Rate and Cadence

This was a hard slog for whatever reason, but ultimately rewarding. I am definitely not 100% healthy, my immunity is low and I feel a background malaise but still it was great to get out hiking. Isolation from the rest of the world is the thing I love about hiking the most so it is obviously fine in respect to social distancing. I think we saw perhaps three other people, two at the summit and one on his mountain bike ascending after us.

Cycling

As I previously posted, I bought myself a folding bicycle so naturally the thing to do is buy another bike also, which I did – a tourer hybrid. This means that I can now go cycling off road. It’s no good for mountains or whatever but for towpaths and dirt tracks it’s just fine. The Leeds-Liverpool canal is like an artery running through my town, linking it to almost all of the North West of England so it’s useful to be able to access it, not only for my convenience but also because it is much safer for taking the kids cycling. My daughters love it. The oldest is the cautious, cerebral one and we cycle more or less together. All the while her younger sister – the absolute little shitbag – slams the pedals hard and flies off into the distance. I love her bravery and fearlessness as much as I love her sister’s gentle, caring nature. It’s fascinating how different they can be. Anyway, below are data for a couple of rides. I have done more - you can visit my Strava if you really want to see the lot.

May 12th 2020

Bolton Map

This ride was very strange. Firstly I was testing out my tourer over distance. It’s not only a slow ride compared to what I would have done on my racer, but also because the last eight miles were me cycling slowly, hopelessly lost. For some reason, once I arrived near to my destination my Garmin Edge 1000 took me on an eight mile track which was basically an orbit of my actual intended destination. It was the most bizarre navigation error I have ever experienced.

In terms of features the Edge 1000 is streets ahead of the Edge 800 it replaced, but the navigation performance has been very iffy. The 800 was genuinely a fantastic addition to my gear. Every single destination I used to to reach was in there and I arrived literally at the front door every time. The 1000 has taken me on some exceptionally unusual routes. For example, when I was working in Todmorden it took me over an unbelievably difficult and hilly ride because it was around .25 miles shorter than the much flatter, faster alternative. Obviously the hills added a lot of time to the journey, and I can’t believe that the Garmin algorithm did that. Now it has taken me eight miles around my destination for no reason, and when I was plotting the route originally it struggled to find the address. The 800 always accepted the postcode and took me there. For me the jury is out right now on the 1000. I got it because the 800 has no Bluetooth or WiFi and I used to have to boot my computer and plug it in just to upload routes which drove me batty in the wireless era of technology. Right now I would happily go back rather than have the current issues I am facing. I hope that things improve quickly.

Expensive Shoes and Ridiculous Diagnoses

I am currently learning several bitterly painful and unpleasant lessons. My last post was a seven mile run. Sadly the day after I awoke with what I had assumed to be the most scorching case of metatarsalgia that I have ever had. Presuming that it would go away with time and rest as it always does, I recuperated for seven days, sadly to no avail. After seven days of rest I hobbled to casualty, fearing the dreaded metatarsal stress fracture. I now await an appointment with my GP for a second opinion on the most unlikely diagnosis I have ever received. I am all but teetotal, vegan, nonstop active and with zero lifestyle questioning in his differential diagnosis the hospital doctor spat out one word: gout.

GOUT.

I hate being that guy who argues with the doctor, but come on, seriously? I have zero lifestyle risk factors, I’m in shape, I’ve never drank a ton, am a vegan and when I wasn’t ate meat sparingly and he came back with gout. I just don’t buy it. Not for a nanosecond. Whatever the reality is, however, I remain injured. What do I take from this? Firstly, never assume when it comes to injury. I should have sought medical assistance immediately. Waiting just left me in pain. Secondly, doctors are rushed and there is no shame in asking for a second opinion, which I should have done at the hospital. I didn’t, however, so now I have to go to my GP to get one. In future I will get medical attention straight away and listen to my body when it hurts.

However, I have learned a bitter lesson in regard to thrift. There is an old saying that one should always pay attention to what lies between one’s body and the earth. Therefore one should have excellent bedsheets, tyres and shoes. I did not. I have historically bought whatever I thought I could get away with. I wasn’t cheap, just infused with the financial sensibility of a working class male. I always get air soles but I haven’t put a great deal of thought into my shoes and once I found what I thought was my line, I would spend the least I could. So here I am, for the third time with an inflamed ball joint in the same foot as soon as I started to hit serious distance running.

Ultimately I have been dumb, albeit with the caveat that my perspective was skewed. I prioritised financial health over my physical wellbeing and I now get to think about that long and hard whilst I wait for my foot to stop throbbing and I can finally walk properly again.

Thus ends the tale of this sad, sorry blog post. Don’t do what I did folks. If you go cheap you will be going to hospital. A LOT. Don’t buy cheap shoes. Don’t buy the most expensive shoes. Buy the right shoes. Get them fitted properly and replace them before they wear out.

And don’t take a doctor’s word as infallible truth. They’re just human beings after all. It might be gout, but it would be a remarkable case. Lack of questioning in a rushed department during a coronavirus outbreak reeks of rushed thinking and taking the path of least resistance.

I am now going shoe shopping.

Stuck with Bad Luck

I’m not having much luck with exercise right now. I’m currently sitting, nursing pretty severe pain in my heel and praying to high heaven that I’ve merely banged it in my sleep. If not then I may have plantar fasciitis and that is a nightmare injury to recover from.

I have had mild flu like symptoms for a couple of days and that always comes with aches and pains in really weird places. Hopefully that is all and it will fade in a day or two. I’m so fed up of starting out again,only to get ill or pick up an injury. I feel like I have been on that demoralising treadmill forever.

So how does one stay positive during these trials? Well, I guess that for me I’ll simply have to be bull-headed and be ready to bounce back when the pain alleviates. I might be able to swim as pressure definitely worsens the pain but that’s about it. Even walking is difficult.

There is time and opportunity to be used though. I can start to plan dietary routines and also try to make use of my kettlebell in creative ways. I can also draw up new targets and schedule to hit them.

God this is frustrating.