• Sarah Sechan

Month of Miles recap – August 21 – 31, 2020

Friday, August 21

Today we hung out at the guest village, swam in the Kinneret, and went to the nearby fish restaurant for dinner. All in all, it was a chill day. In the evening, Lior and I drove to Gumpel’s Pub at Kibbutz Ginosar, located on the other side of the Kinneret. The bar was fun, with a major nostalgia factor, and I’m glad we went!

Saturday, August 22

This morning we went and did the Majrasa water hike. It’s super fun and generally family friendly, with a decent amount of shade. The route was only about 1.5kms, but it took an hour and a half, mostly due to traveling with small kids. Anyway, the hike was very fun!

Sunday, August 23

Last day of vacation! After going for a swim, we packed our things and left Ein Gev. Lior and I then went to Katzrin, to go visit a local distillery. We made some purchases I’m very happy about. 🙂

Afterwards, we drove to Tiberias, as I was on the hunt for a very specific gift for a friend…so specific that we didn’t manage to find it. We did a quick stroll around the boardwalk, got lunch, and then drove home.

Unfortunately, Tiberias is kind of a dump. It’s a shame (and unnecessary), as it’s a city with so much history and religious significance. I’m sure the lack of international tourism played a factor, but it can’t be entirely to blame for the fact that the city looks extremely dated.

We returned home a bit after 4pm, with plenty of time to tidy up and run errands. I also had plenty of time to go to my workout! I walked 6km to the workout, where we did more arms + abs exercises. I substituted squats for jump rope and jumping jacks, since jumping tends to aggravate my knee. After the workout, my knee wasn’t sore at all, so this was clearly the right choice.

After I finished the workout, I had less than .75km until completing my challenge, so I walked a bit to the bus. I have officially completed the Month of Miles challenge, completing 125.03km in 23 days!

Also, tonight something even more exciting happened–I pooped! You see, when I go on vacation/am in a new place, #2 often doesn’t happen. I drink plenty of water and eat vegetables–it’s not related to diet. Rather, it’s a physical manifestation of my anxiety/lack of control over my schedule and not being in a regular routine. It usually goes away after 2 days, but not this time! So I spent the entire vacation somewhat uncomfortable. Let me tell you, it is a TRUE JOY to be constipated while wearing a bathing suit/spending a lot of time at the beach…not.

Monday, August 24

I had a busy day back at work (from home) after returning from vacation. So it goes! In addition to catching up with work, I ran some errands that we normally do on Thursdays/Fridays (grocery shopping, laundry…yay for being a responsible adult).

Also, my body celebrated my return home by returning to regular bowel movements. This is truly my consolation prize for not being on vacation, and honestly, I’m not mad about it.

In the afternoon, I had physical therapy, and there was a small breakthrough–for the first time during the deep tissue massage on my knee, I felt no pain in my ACL! I also received additional exercises to do as homework. Even better–Hila (my physical therapist) said that if things continue to go well re: pain, then starting after my next appointment, I can increase my running time!

I was going to run today, but Hila advised me not to, since I felt a bit of pressure on my ACL during one of the workouts. Instead, I walked 7.2kms, covering a total of 9km for today. The post-work walk was my personal win for today–I completed the challenge, so I didn’t “need” to walk, and running was off the table, but I still went out and walked, because I wanted to. A major benefit of the Month of Miles is that physical activity has once again become a regular part of my routine.

Tuesday, August 25

I woke up this morning feeling a bit sore from all of the squats in my workout class and from physical therapy. Hopefully this means that I am slowly getting stronger!

I wasn’t planning on running or walking today, but Hila wanted me to run 15 minutes, to test my leg. As running outdoors for even such a short distance leaves me covered in sweat, requiring a shower (to be fair, simply existing outside in Tel Aviv during the summer requires a shower) and I am NOT a morning person, I decided to save the run for after work. I ran 2.5km in 15 minutes, and had no pain! I felt really energized and elated, and I really hope that my PT will clear me to run for a longer amount of time!

I also searched for more virtual races, and found the perfect event for me that just so happens to start right when the Month of Miles ends! The Great South Run Solo is a virtual race where participants must run 25 times in 48 days (between September 1 – October 18). My goal is to complete the 25 runs by the end of September. Considering my run/walk to my workouts and my mile run warm-up are two separate runs, I think that this is definitely doable.

Wednesday, August 26

I woke up feeling sore, with my body feeling heavy–likely a combination of Sunday’s workout and my physical therapy–I counted it up and my physical therapy exercises include 180 squats per day (plus other things).

I had physical therapy again today. We added jumping exercises with a bosu ball (to reduce impact), since jumping aggravates my knee. We did low-impact exercises that mimic running, to work on my stability and knee positioning. I can still only run 15 minutes at a time–hopefully I’ll get the greenlight to increase my running time next week!

I then went to my workout class. Since Month of Miles is over, I decided to forgo the hour and fifteen minute walk to the workout, opting to take the bus instead. The workout went great (minus the fact that I had to pee the entire time), with no pain or soreness whatsoever.

Thursday, August 27

Today marks one week of having a pain-free ACL!

Today in the late morning I received a text from Lior (he works in a separate room of the apartment and generally only resurfaces to eat and use the bathroom), with the magical words “Do you want to go to Mezcal (our local Mexican restaurant) today?” You don’t need to ask me twice–reservation made! Their time slots are a bit weird (maybe due to COVID), and generally run every 90 minutes. A 9pm dinner reservation is definitely not my first choice, but it did mean that I had plenty of time after work to run/walk! I walked to the beach board walk, ran 15 minutes, and walked home. In total, it was about 6.5km.

Friday, August 28

Rest day! Today we went to visit friends who recently had their second baby, and then went to Lior’s family for Shabbat dinner. Afterwards, we finished watching the Back to the Future trilogy, which I’d never seen before.

Gin and tonics with fruit! Left is raspberries, right is grapes

Saturday, August 29

Today was a chill day–after a late wakeup, Lior cooked and I tidied up a bit. I get food delivered from my work’s catering on Sundays and Lior can order takeout (or get grocery coupons) through his work, and this covers many of our weekday meals. Usually on Thursdays and Fridays Lior and I go grocery shopping and on Saturday Lior cooks a main dish, and we use that to supplement some lunches and dinners. This leave the occasional dinner open, which usually becomes something quick and easy with ingredients we have at home. Occasionally it’s also take-out (my favorite is sushi), but this has been surprisingly minimal–usually because Lior vetoes it. I guess this is good for our budget…

In the evening, I went for a 6km walk/run. The running portion was a bit of a slog–I ran into a headwind on the way out, and on the way back, the air felt still and I could feel all of the sweat encasing my body. I actually preferred the headwind! Still, I reminded myself that I was running pain-free, I chose to do this, and that I was only running for 15 minutes, so it certainly wasn’t the end of the world. A bonus to running 2.5K was that although I started after 6pm, I finished before it was dark, and got to see the sunset at the (crowded) beach. All in all, it was a very relaxing end to my weekend.

Sunday, August 30

I decided again to take the bus to my workout, instead of walking there. The workout went great–I even did jumping jacks and had no soreness afterwards!

…and came home to surprise sushi! I guess Lior read my mind…

In the evening, Lior and I watched the Netflix documentary Rising Phoenix, about the history of the Paralympic Games. Did you know the Paralympic Games were founded by Sir Ludwig Guttmann, a German Jewish doctor who escaped to England with his family in the wake of Hitler’s rise to power? Neither did we! The documentary was extremely inspiring, and can be summed up by the 1996 Paralympic Games slogan: “The Olympics is where heroes are made. The Paralympics is where heroes come.” Warning–don’t watch if you don’t want to feel like a lazy schlub.

Monday, August 31

No physical therapy today, but Hila and I spoke–I told her that I’m continuing to be pain-free, and she said I can now run 20 minutes consecutively! This truly puts a new spin on “getting” to run–not only is running a choice, but since I can only run for a relatively short amount of time, I need to make the most out of it. And make the most out of it, I did! I went for a 6km run/walk today after work. 20 minutes amounted to 3.4km of running time. I felt great, and today’s run made me look forward to when I’ll be able to run for longer amounts of time and re-introduce speed workouts. Maybe this downtime from traditional races is a good opportunity to try and whittle away at my 5K PR…

Total Distance: 43.3km, 3 workout classes, 2 Physical Therapy Appts

Month of Miles Total: 158.5/125

The Month of Miles was an incredible success! Not only have I returned to regular physical activity, but I’ve started to tackle on-and-off injuries I’ve had for years, and begun physical therapy in order to address the instability in my knees. I also feel like my mental health has been a bit better the past month–I know that exercise helps with this, but when I’m in a rut, I often can’t motivate myself to just get out the door and go. With this challenge, I’ve had a motivating factor–even if I didn’t push myself hard, I at least went for a walk outside, and felt like I accomplished something, chipping away at a goal. I feel like I haven’t had that kind of consistency in a while with a hobby/something I do to actively work on myself, and now that I remember what this small tingly satisfaction feels like, I want to do everything I can to make sure it doesn’t slip away.

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