Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Continuing to do some training

I've missed the last couple days of training, but I had a decent week last week.

On Monday, I rowed 6000 meters - 1000 meters more than my rowing sessions last week. Tuesday, I went for a brisk 3 mile walk while my wife did CrossFit.

Wednesday was a rest day for my wife.  Thursday, I walked a bit at lunch and then I rowed 6000 meters, and and then did some dumbbell floor presses and some box step-ups.  Both of those weight-bearing movements could be done without bothering my still-sore abdomen and rib cartilage.

Friday, I spent 35 minutes on a spinning bike, doing 15x30 seconds hard ever 2 minutes.  Then, 5x10 back squats with just an empty 45 pound barbell.  I realized that with the empty barbell, I was moving the same amount of weight that I would have moved in a body-weight squat in April.  And, it was really hard.  Days later, I'm still sore from those squats.

Somehow, the last 3 days got away from me, and I did no training at all.  Saturday, I had pre-season ski instructor orientation at Sugarbush.  After that, I went fly fishing for a few hours and then out to dinner with my family.

Sunday, we had a birthday party for my niece and nephew and we had to get some groceries, and the day was gone before I realized it.  I'd hoped to walk the dogs but it never happened.

Yesterday, my wife and I drove to Albany to see Joe Jackson in concert.  We are operating on very little sleep today, and there was no way to squeeze in any exercise at all.  So, for the next three days, we need to be working hard at the gym.  It's going to be a challenge to get my wife to go to the gym tonight, but I really need to go.

Next week, I plan to resume the actual CF classes, and I'd like to continue some easy movements this week, to minimize muscle soreness in the coming weeks.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Back to some exercise (finally)

From late June until late August, I barely exercised: 16 workouts in 60+ days.  In a typical year, I average 220-240 workouts (it was higher until about 5 years ago, when I gave up the long distance running stuff).  So, working out only 16 days out of 60 was pathetic for me.  And then, I went 6 full weeks with no training at all.  That was the longest period I've gone without exercising in 30 years.

During that time, I had a few surgeries, including a vasectomy, hernia repair, ACL repair, and a prostatectomy.  None of those surgeries kept me out for six weeks.  I didn't run for 11 weeks after the ACL repair, but I was walking, swimming and cycling after just a few weeks.  After the prostatectomy, I was back in the gym within 3 weeks.

Last Saturday, I walked 2 miles with one of my dogs.  Years ago, I wouldn't have even considered a short walk to be exercise, but as I've gotten older, I've gotten less didactic about what I consider to be exercise.  Monday, I walked at lunch and then rowed 5000 meters in almost 28 minutes.  Earlier this year, that workout would have taken me just over 21 minutes.  Tuesday, I walked again.

Wednesday, my daughter played her last home game of high school soccer.  The parents were all requested to escort their daughters onto the field, and my wife and I stayed to watch the team win 2-1 over Lamoille high school, a team my daughter and her friends intensely dislike.  That was way more important than any workout I might have done.

Yesterday, I rowed 5K in just under 27 minutes.

Tonight, I'll hop on a spin bike and do a solo spinning workout, probably for 30-40 minutes.  These aren't hard workouts, by my pre-illness standards, but I'm starting to move again.

I am hoping to resume CrossFit workouts, scaled to an easy level, on the first of November.  Our gym allows us to suspend our membership (and not pay fees) due to illness or injury, so I suspended my membership starting in September.  In some ways, I should have suspended it 2 months earlier, but I had no idea how the anemia was all going to play out.

Ski season is approaching fast, and I need to get my legs ready for that.  My preferred training for skiing is heavy squats, but it will probably be a while before I'm under a barbell holding 200 or even 300 pounds again.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Long time since last update

I don't really want to go into a lot of details, but let's just say that we (the doctors had some help from me) finally figured out why I felt so sick all spring and summer and why I had developed anemia.

Shortly after my last post in late August, I made a trip to the emergency room late on a Saturday night.  This led to some tests, including a CT scan, and that led to some major surgery.  I spent 5 nights in the hospital after the surgery, and today, it's been 4 weeks since that surgery.

The surgery was fairly invasive, and I'm still taking pain medications due to issues from the surgery.  But, at 4 weeks, I'm also back to trying to get myself back into shape.

By the time I left the hospital, due to the anemia, the surgery, and the horrible food in the hospital, I had dropped 58 pounds from the middle of April until I got home.  For the first time in my life that I can remember, I found myself in a situation where I wanted to gain some weight.  Luckily, the issues with my sense of taste and my appetite have been resolved, and I'm able to eat what I want right now.

I have stayed away from alcohol, especially considering the pain medications, but I am back to drinking coffee and eating foods that simply didn't appeal to me over the summer.  But, I'm guessing that I lost close to 40 pounds of fat and 20 pounds of muscle, and while I don't mind losing that fat, I had worked very hard to gain that muscle.

As of now, I'm still a month or more away from lifting weights.  Right now, I can go for a walk, ride the exercise bike, ride my own bike (crashing would be very painful), use the rowing machine, and shortly, I should be able to do some easy jogging.

In another month or so, I should be able to start lifting again, but I've got a lot of work to do to regain what I've lost.

Late last week, I had some blood tests done - a complete blood count, in particular.  My anemia isn't fully resolved, but I left the hospital with my hemoglobin level at 8.4 and I'm up to 11.4.  The bottom end of the normal range is 13.5 and I am guessing I'll be there within a month.  Hopefully, I'll get back up to the 17 range in another month or two after that.

So, the surgery is behind me.  I'm on the mend.  I did a 5K row at the gym last night after a 2 mile walk at lunch.  I'm tired today, but I think I can do some exercise every other day or so right now.  I've been able to walk the dogs on the weekends and I've even been out fishing twice.  Because I'm not as strong as a few months ago, I've been using my wading staff for safety, especially while fishing alone.

Ski season is rapidly approaching.  My goal right now is to improve my conditioning (aerobic and strength) as much as possible by the time we are supposed to start work for the season, which is mid-December.  That might seem like a lot of time - 9 weeks or so - but I lost a lot of hard-earned conditioning over the past 5 months or so.  I've got a lot of work to do, but I'm really looking forward to training harder as my body continues to heal.

I'm very glad to have this incident behind me as well.  I don't have time to complain about the past.  It's time to move forward.