Saturday, August 3, 2019

Self-care in stressful times

Watching mom and dad is taking its toll.

One sister dropped out of rotation due to chest pains. A visit to the doctor cleared her to return. My guess is that the stress triggered an anxiety attack but she did not share details. All I know is that she is back.

Another brother is currently in the hospital due to sepsis. The tentative root-cause was inadequate foot care. For a variety of reasons my brother needs to be particularly attentive to drying off his feet after showers. First a towel with extra care to get between each set of toes. Then time to ensure his feet are air-dried before socks and shoes go on for the day. I have little doubt that he cut some corners those mornings after he watched mom and dad and then had to work a full day. I will be pleasantly surprised if he gets back in rotation in less than two weeks.

The net result of siblings temporarily dropping out of rotation is that some of us have to double-up to fill the gaps in coverage.

Other siblings are showing the wear as well as we complain about creaky joints and fussy digestive systems.

Back to running
I realized that I needed to get proactive about managing my stress.

One of my outlets, when I was a working stiff, was to run. That fell by the wayside as my stress levels dropped. As a side note, I picked up about thirty pounds since retiring.

I was completely clueless regarding my fitness level when I started back up. I had no clue what kinds of distance I should be running.

My plan for my first excursion was to attempt a half-mile at a dead-slow pace. I was phenomenally successful on the pace. Measuring my time-per-mile required chalk marks and a calendar. I felt so good at the half-mile mark I kept running and knocked off a full mile.

I scheduled a rest day.

My plan for the second excursion was to attempt a mile. I made it two miles.

Then another rest day.

My plan for today, my third excursion, was to run three miles.  I made it two-and-a-half miles.

I count that as a successful first week of running. I found my "ceiling" at 2.5 miles and I found out, again, that stretching is just as important as running.

My plan for next week is to stretch twice a day and to make three runs of 2.5 miles. I hope you don't mind if I report my success/failures on the blog. It will keep me honest.


  1. THat works, and glad the family is getting back into the care schedule...

  2. Good for you. Make sure your shoes have good support. I am a walker, not a runner, and support makes a huge difference as to how sore my legs/feet are later in the day.


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