I had a friend ask me today how I was doing with Project: Treadmill Desk. He has been hearing more and more about them, but hadn't heard anything from me recently. Sadly, I have been sidelined for the past two weeks due to injury.
Now, I will say this: I am not without embarrassment with regards to my injury. It's not even a good story. It's just the kind of stupidity that a few folks warned me about, but which I didn't listen to. There's a part of me that really wishes I could say, "Well, I wasn't paying attention and my treadmill desk turned into a head desk." But, alas, that's not the case.
The first three weeks went really well. I was averaging around 45 miles a week and I was down about 8 pounds. Not bad at all. But things had become a little blasé, truth be told. I kept thinking, "I should push the limits again!" So, on Monday of the fourth week, I decided to do just that by adding max incline.
I mentioned this to a colleague while in the process, and his remark was something to the effect of "Your desire to take things to the extreme is going to get you hurt." I shrugged it off. Another friend, upon hearing what I was doing just shook his head and cautioned that I'm not in my 20s anymore.
On Monday I did 7 miles uphill.
Now, let me tell you, walking uphill is hard as hell. You can burn more calories walking uphill for a mile than you can running 3 miles on level ground. The first day, it was novel, so I didn't really notice it as much. The second day, I decided to take it easier, so I only did 4 miles uphill. That day, I started noticing that I was eager to finish each 1 mile uphill hike. I then did 3, 1 and 2 miles uphill in the subsequent days. On all but that Friday, I did ~10 miles total.
On Thursday afternoon, as I was finishing up, I had a sudden sharp, almost electrical tingle in my right outer shin, followed by a strange warm sensation and some pain. I wrapped things up shortly after that happened, but I did keep on for a bit longer. Then, on Friday, which was a half day due to some travel, I noticed that my outer right shin just kind of hurt. After a few miles, I had a reoccurrence of the sharp tingling pain, but I was almost done, so I kept at it for a bit more.
When I got off the treadmill, I knew I had done something stupid. Walking was suddenly a chore. I then had to drive 5 hours, which required a lot of holding my right foot up on the gas pedal, and this was not a pleasant thing to have to do right then.
The weekend was pretty much agony and I began popping ibuprofen and tylenol as often as I could, to no real avail. As the weekend wore on and quickly came to a close, I was boarding a plane to San Francisco, a city in which I walk constantly, all the time, everywhere I go.
Let me be honest, I am not a tough kind of guy. I need to complain to get through things, at least just for a moment. However, no one really wanted to hear it. Turns out people don't want to commiserate with stupid people.
Half way through the week, I found a hidden stash of celebrex, a prescription NSAID, and to my delight, it helped cut the pain. Prior to the dose of celebrex, I was walking more like a shuffling version of semi-well dressed Frankenstein with a bad right leg.
I quickly phoned my doc's nurse (who also happens to be my wife!) and asked them to phone in a script to the Wal-Green's near 4th and Market. Sadly, insurance was having none of it. I basically hobbled the rest of the way through my SF trip, taking down copious amounts of ibuprofen and tylenol.
I got home, survived the weekend, then went to see my doc on Monday. He gave me some samples of a new NSAID (Zorvolex) and ordered me to get an X-Ray to make sure I hadn't fractured my shin. I hadn't, and the Zorvolex therapy did wonders. By today, I was feeling much better, ready to face the day walking on Monday... Until I took a session on the trampoline with my kids.
Did I mention that I'm not the brightest bulb in the candelabra?
So, here I sit, wondering if i'll be able to at least walk a bit next week. I sorely need to, I miss it. My days without walking have been much higher stress. All of the constant energy burn really makes a huge difference when it comes to ending the day without being completely stressed out.
I guess the lesson I may take away from this is to moderate my need to do things to the extreme. Though, truthfully, who am I kidding? I might be able to do that 1 in 3 times... Unless I can take not doing things to the extreme to the extreme...