Dumbbells in the gym

Walking, walking and walking

This post will be a bit on the photo-heavy (and long) side, but who can resist when you’re in a photogenic place, walking and exploring?
I’m doing my best to keep moving, keep doing my PT exercises, and do some more strength training too. I have no equipment other than a resistance band, but there’s a lot I can do with that. MY PT program now consists in banded ankle eversions, single leg heel raises, soleus heel raises, step-ups, step-downs, squats, lunges and banded crab walks. So I get plenty of strength training there and only add a few more things. For upper body I can’t do much but you get a long way with push-ups! Here’s how my week of fitness attempts has been:

Summary of the week:
Monday – PT + bodyweight strength
Tuesday – PT + morning walk, unknown distance, 1,5 hours.
Wednesday – PT + yoga + and I planned to do some strength but forgot about it!
Thursday – PT + walk in Castelli + forest walk 2,5 km + push-ups
Friday – PT + walk, 6-7 km + strength
Saturday – PT + push-ups + walking too much!
Sunday – most PT + push-ups + walking, 7-ish km in total

Monday

After a first week of warm sunny weather, this was a quite slow day because of clouds and some drizzle. In the afternoon the sun came back with some warmer temperatures, so I decided to take advantage of that and do something more than just my physio exercises. Honestly after only one week away from the gym, I started looking for heavy objects to do some deadlifts and whatnot. I enjoyed some push-ups, Bulgarian split squats and sumo squats. Happy days!

Physiotherapy exercises happen most days, and I’m finally making progress with lunges – perhaps my toes have given up and realised they’d better get moving, because I’m not going to stop trying!

Never mind my not-so-smiley face here, I’m focused!

Tuesday

Tuesday morning I went for a dog walk with the neighbour, one of these off-road, over the hills and far away kind of walks that I described in my previous post. These walks are fabulous but this morning it was HARD. When we walked home after the pizza night it was raining lightly, and on Tuesday morning it was dry but the lovely little road that goes down to the olive trees had turned into a sticky muddy mess.

Never in my life have I experienced such sticky mud! It quickly built up under and around my shoes (my beautiful purple Altra, even) and it felt like walking with bricks underneath the shoes. I thought I’d have to give up and turn back but tried to clean off my shoes the best I could using hands and droplets from olive trees, and when the neighbour came by with her dogs I was good to go. I looked like ***** but at least we could do the walk! We walked primarily on the grass so the walk did happen. But I had to stop now and then to take the worst mud and debris off my shoes. When I came back I had to put both my shoes and the clothes I had been wearing in the sink.

That was an experience and let’s say that if I ever walk there again after rain, I’ll use wellies!

Wednesday

On Wednesday, the weather was much improved. Our neighbour is a yoga instructor and had invited us for a yoga session in their garden, and it was the perfect morning for it – the sun was back! We’ve done some basic yoga with her before, 5 years ago. This time it was spine-focused, something I may need to be careful about because of low bone density, but she doesn’t do any advanced twisting or bending, and I only needed to adapt a little, by not doing certain moves in full range.

I enjoyed it but it was hard! Some moves required very flexible and strong toes – like getting into the downward dog position – and obviously I couldn’t do them full on, but she helped me do those in other ways. Even another lady with no foot injury had troubles with the toe flexibility so at least I wasn’t alone. Some of the moves at the end required some good leg and hip strength as well as hip mobility. I’m glad I’ve been working on that.

Thursday – a lovely day of walking and sightseeing

I got up wondering, did I do yoga or was that a heavy lifting session in the gym? Seriously, my hip flexors were screaming! I didn’t mind though, it shows I’ve been doing some hard work.

Before kicking off the day’s activities, we did some push-ups. 🙂

For this day we had planned a road trip and decided to go the route towards Gran Sasso, passing Farindola and Castelli, the latter famous for its ceramics production and they make some truly stunning work up there. Parts of the village have been destroyed by the earthquakes in 2016 but much of it is still ok and we had lunch and enjoyed a nice walk and visit in one of the shops.

We went to explore some walking trails in a nature reserve nearby too – didn’t find a map to begin with but we walked along one of the trails and back for about 2,5 km. It was a nice trail with some challenges for my foot with some steep hills and steps, but nothing that I felt was too much. It was a pleasant walk and we’ll likely go back again and explore the area a bit more.

Friday

Fridays are market days here so I had planned to walk into town to have a look. It’s a walk of 2,5 km to get to town and then I did some strolling in the town centre before going back, so in total I probably did more than 6-7 km. And my feet felt quite good!

Back at the terrace, I enjoyed three sets of push-ups and today I felt much stronger with them than previous days. I also enjoyed Bulgarian split squats and sumo squats.

Saturday

A greyish day with forecasted rain, but with a pleasant temperature, so I stayed home and went out for a shorter walk in the morning while my husband went back to the fitness trail around the lake for some running. I enjoyed this little route again, with no mud this time!

Later, since the weather was supposed to be dull and rainy, we decided to go to Pescara for some shopping, which of course means walking. A LOT. My feet didn’t particularly like this, but then I’m not a fan of Pescara either so… we agree, lol! It turned out this was the day of the Pescara marathon so what a pity we weren’t there to see the runners pass the finish line!

In the evening we had planned to walk to town and hang out at our favourite bar, have dinner there and taste some good grappas. This of course meant more walking! I reached 20 000 steps, roughly 15k this day and was worried I had walked too much but at least felt ok walking back.

Sunday

On Sunday morning my feet felt good but my calves… not so much. After a good stretching session, the calves were ready to move, but I decided to minimise walking just in case. Did it happen? Not really.
I started off the day with a short, slow, careful walk along the olive tree road, and then we decided to do a road trip to a village we’ve been recommended, Pescocostanzo. Many mountain villages around here are a bit deserted because many people have left for work or for fear of earthquakes and more (some villages have been hit hard in recent years with the earthquake in L’Aquila in 2009 and then another one in 2016). But Pescocostanzo seems to be a skiing resort and it was much larger and more active than I expected. We had a great time there walking (of course!) and having coffee.

And – we realised that a forest area we have also been recommended, was much closer than we thought so we went there to check it out. It’s a nice hiking area and especially in the autumn. I have barely seen real autumn colours since we moved to Ireland because in our area we don’t get them much (I’m still trying to figure out why). So this place fed my soul!

After arriving home after a long slow drive my shoulders were craving some movement so… why not some push-ups? And why not some squats and lunges while we’re at it? 😀 A good end of a good day.

If you made it to the end of this post, you can tell that this was a good week! I hope you had a good, active week too. Tell me about your highlights in the comments!


Thanks Kim and Deborah for hosting the Weekly rundown link-up!

22 responses to “Walking, walking and walking”

  1. Wendy avatar

    I love all your photos, so bring them on! Plus, my posts have been very photo heavy lately, what with all my travel and adventures. Soon enough, I’ll be back to my humdrum life, lol. Italy looks amazing! I would have bought all those ceramics. And glad you are feeling better!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, it’s soon back to the humdrum life for us too. But I don’t mind! I’m looking forward to getting back my routine. It’s a sign we’ve created a good life, I guess.

  2. Chocolaterunsjudy avatar

    Such beautiful scenery! And look at you, doing ALL the walking! You have come so far. Your dedication is paying off.

    Love the little kitten on the car!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, I’m so happy about it! I’ll be 100% ready for the hill walking back home now.

  3. Deborah Brooks avatar

    I like all of your photos! I am so glad that you had a great week. It is nice you so happy and active this week. I am all about the walking for exercise lately too!

    1. Susanne avatar

      This was definitely one of my most active weeks in a long time!

  4. Kimberly Hatting avatar

    Your photos tell much of the story; thank you so much for sharing 😉 Looks like you had a fabulous week, Susanne! I’m glad the walking is going well and your feet are feeling good.

    1. Susanne avatar

      It was a fantastic week! I was worried about the feet for a while in Pescara, but all is good. I’m ready for all the West Cork walks now.

  5. Debbie avatar

    It sounds like you had a lovely and very active week! I love all the pictures so keep them coming!

    BTW, I want one of each of those pieces of pottery! 😉

    1. Susanne avatar

      I also want to buy everything in there! We have a set of espresso cups from this shop and now we bought some plates.

  6. Jessie avatar

    I love all the photos! So pretty. That must have been intense yoga class!

    Great photo of the kitty on the car!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks, Jessie! That photo of the cat was one of my favourites too.
      The yoga class had some intense lower back/hip moves at the very end – very useful but I’m so happy I had worked some on my hip strength! I did a lot of hip work in the gym (with bands) while I was injured and couldn’t do much else.

  7. Coco avatar

    Oh, those are great photos — I love them all!

    I sure know how a PT routine can edge out everything else. Push-ups are a full-body move and your form looks fantastic!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Oh thanks for that! I’ve always struggled with push-ups. That day when I did the photos I felt stronger than I usually do! Normally I start losing form after only 6-7 reps but I’m going to continue working on them.
      But yes, they really work on the entire body and that’s exactly what I needed right now!

  8. Darlene S Cardillo avatar

    Hooray for walking.

    Yes yes bring on the photos… they’re great.

    We’ve had so much rain and my shoes looked like that on Monday.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks Darlene.. I really hope I can keep up my photography when I get home even if the weather will be nothing like this. At least I’m now back in the habit of using my camera frequently.
      I hope your weather improves! Although I know… the season is against us.

  9. Jenn avatar

    I am all about beautiful photos! Thank you for sharing these with us!

    Sounds like you are getting in lots of gentle movement. <3

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks Jenn! And yes, a good active week!

  10. Jenny avatar

    Wow, think how much better your foot is now than it was a month ago! All this walking, and you’re doing great. Your photos are beautiful. I love that trail through the woods (from Sunday.) I want to run there!
    Overall it sounds like you’re having a fantastic time. Glad you’re feeling good!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, it feels like this trip has helped my foot get back to normal, with mobility and strength. Of course there are still things not yet 100% normal, but I’ve challenged the foot quite a lot here and I’ll be ok.
      That Sunday trail was absolutely fabulous! I just wish we had gone there earlier so that we could have gone back for a longer walk. But now we know until the next time.

  11. Anne avatar

    Holy moley, Susanne. So. Much. Walking. In just a few short weeks, it’s astonishing to see how far you came! Clearly, Italy was good for your soul, mind and body, my friend.
    Also – saw your reply and your comment on barefoot/zero drop shoes. I’ve tried Altras for running but not hiking and I’m a bit skittish as when I tried them for running they definitely did not work. That said, I will look for some the next time I am out and will see what I think. Thanks for the suggestion!

    1. Susanne avatar

      I regret I didn’t save the data from my watch about how much I walked in total during those weeks!

      I became a lot more picky about shoes after my foot injury when I realised most of my old shoes were too small (even on the healthy foot) with no room for the toes to move! I couldn’t believe I had been happy with such small shoes before the injury. Now I don’t want to look at shoes that don’t have enough space around the toes, and I find elevated heels very uncomfortable.

      I know many people need to ease slowly into zero drop and with some foot issues it doesn’t work at all. Also, there are different theories from both sides and still too little science about barefoot shoes and the supposed benefits. Personally I think the pro-barefoot/zero drop ideas make a lot of sense, the existing studies are promising, and my own feet are very happy after months in zero drop only. But to each their own! As long as your shoes get you moving and your feet are happy.

Leave a comment and make my day

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *