A personal website about all things fitness; dig deep and find out who you are. A freelance wellness writer for The Washington Post and a Huffington Postcolumnist, Carolee Belkin Walker also blogs here about training, nutrition, self awareness, sexual health, music, athletic fashion, and running. Sample her other writings.
By last Thursday afternoon I was feeling the effects of the upper body workout I did with Zach Schumaker, my trainer, on Wednesday night. My pecs were so inflamed and sore I wasn't 100 percent convinced I wasn't having a heart attack. In general I welcome delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) because it means I'm placing stress on my muscles, allowing them to adapt.
But then of course I'm forced to change up my training. So on Friday, instead of cross training on the elliptical or swimming, I did walking intervals on the treadmill at a 12 percent incline; no stress on the upper body but I got my heart rate up high enough to feel great getting ready for work and throughout the day.
I was planning to do a long swim Saturday morning but still felt sore. A year ago I would have pushed through but if I've learned anything through all of this it's the value of deloading. So instead, with my head still on my pillow, I smiled.
I'll do an easy run.
It wasn't the run that made me smile, although I enjoy these shakeout runs.
I reconnected over the summer with a woman I first met when I was living outside San Francisco and our daughters had become friends. We were having coffee in Palo Alto late one afternoon when she told me she had lupus.
The subject came up because she was apologizing for meeting me in her workout clothes as she was just coming from the gym.
Really? Everyone in Palo Alto looks like they're in exercise clothes.
She told me that one of the ways she copes with bouts of extreme pain in her joints is by exercising regularly.
This memory popped into my head a few weeks ago as I woke up after sleeping nearly 12 hours. The last of my Thanksgiving guests had left late on that Saturday, and I practically passed out within minutes.
My plan had been to do a longish run that Sunday morning, but when I stepped out of bed, my sides and lower back were so sore and stiff that I nearly crept down the stairs to make myself a cup of coffee.
I assumed I had suffered a sleeping injury by being in bed so long.
Election Day is here and these last few weeks have been like trudging in the mud. Everywhere you go, everyone you talk to, people are uncomfortable with how this election is making them feel. About their country, about the world, about their communities, about themselves.
This popped into my head after I instinctively extended my arm to help a woman, probably in her late 50s, as she walked from her car into a theater in Warsaw, Indiana, a few weeks ago.
We were standing on a slight incline steps from the entrance. A bus pulled up and began to unload. I was seeing the 2 pm matinee of "Grease" at Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts with my close friend Carmelita Watkinson, and it was a gorgeous day. We were there to see her awesome and talented son Sean play the role of Danny Zuko.
My cousin Jonathan was hosting his annual summer barbeque for the Washington Belkins. While most of my family members are still in New York, there’s a respectable number in Washington as well as in Florida.
It was a little more than 24 hours after Dr. David Moss, a hand surgeon, removed one of the joints from my right ring finger and fused the bones together with 3 wires.
“Yes,” I started to say, “more than I anticipated.”
“I’m sorry,” he said.
Jonathan’s mother, Leslee, was visiting for a few days. Stanley, Jonathan’s father, died not too long ago. He was a celebrated master chef, and Jon himself does an awesome spread year after year.
After my swim coach Terrence Oakley completed Sunday's Cape Henlopen Triathlon and was waiting with my family for me to cross the finish, he told Mia that when he heard the announcement that a woman was missing her wetsuit, he was worried that woman might be me.
It was just before the National Anthem that I discovered that my wetsuit had disappeared. I looked everywhere around my then-tidy transition area, but it was 100 percent gone.
And I was 200 percent certain that I brought it with me.
My voice was trembling as I let the crew member with the microphone know that I was looking for my wetsuit. I knew there was a slim chance that the suit would turn up before the race start. Already many athletes had begun the 1/2 mile walk to the beach. Only a few people would hear the announcement.
Terrence: There are so many inefficiencies in your stroke. Me: Terrence: That’s a good thing! It just means there are so many areas where you can improve! What you can change!!
Ironman Terrence Oakley, my new swim coach, had been walking along the side of the pool and observing me as I swam 200 yards. It was our first session working together.
I committed to competing in the Cape Henlopen Triathlon on June 12 with my triathlete friend from work, and even though I finished the swim portion of the Bethany Beach Triathlon last fall, I still have major fear issues related to swimming in the ocean. I thought a coach might help.