So I walked my 16 minutes again this morning.
That damned hill continues to be a challenge, too.
My physiotherapist advised me to slow my pace until I could do the hill without putting myself in stress (ie to the point where I couldn't breathe). She explained that if I were being put through the "stress test" and got to that point, they would stop me right there (which means they would stop me when my heart rate reached 119 or higher). She also said that one of the worst things a person could do is stop suddenly -- they should slow down and gradually get the heart rate back to a comfortable level.
So, the past two days, I slowed my pace and tackled the hill.
On Wednesday, my heart rate got up to 120 and I was gasping for air: still working too hard.
Yesterday, I made it to the top with a heart rate of 115 and my breathing was still laboured: have to go slower tomorrow.
So today, I slowed even more and managed to get to the top of the hill, with great difficulty I might add (John even offered to take my hand and "pull" me up): my heart rate was only 113 this time but I was still struggling for air. However, it seemed to me that my right hip and leg were more of the problem than my lungs or heart. My leg didn't want to propel me up that hill, causing my heart to work harder but apparently it wasn't working as hard as it has on other outings to get me up that hill.
Guess I take up the discussion with my physiotherapist again and ask her what this all means.
Obviously, my hip is becoming increasingly aggravated with each outing (or I have to put more rest time between outings). My hip starts objecting with almost the first step of the incline.
Now, once I'm "over the hill" and my heart rate gets back to a more comfortable level (it seems to be happy at 103-110), my breathing becomes more stable.
But I don't feel like I'm "working out" at that point; it seems like I'm going for a stroll, not a brisk walk.
So how do I balance the need for one with the limitation of the other?
If all I'm going to do is walk at a heart rate of 103 (which seems to be the average that I am able to maintain, because of the pain in my hip), I could do that without leaving my home, just doing routine stuff.
I mean, really, I can get my heart rate up over 100 just putting on my shoes!
Or doing a load of laundry.
Or loading the dishwasher.
Or folding the laundry.
Or making the bed.
Or, for that matter, taking a shower and blow drying my hair -- that takes everything I have (heart rate goes to 124-129)!
Which begs the question: What's the point of the walks?
It's not like I'm losing any weight, because that's just not happening (unfortunately).
I am four weeks into this walking program and nada!
I've made no progress; all I've done is aggravate my right hip.
My left hip is hanging in, surprisingly, since that steroid injection.
But my right hip? It's starting to scream in agony from anything and everything again.
Tomorrow is a rest day, being Saturday and big newspaper day.
On Sunday, I'll try walking with the TENs machine attached and see if that helps at all.
Otherwise, this might be another program that goes by the wayside until we find something that solves the puzzle that is my right hip.