Monday, September 29, 2008

Great Thursday, Good Friday (at first), Lousy Weekend

Very good day on Thursday. The racquetball courts opened up earlier than expected and I took three games from Neal. My serve was a big factor but I also scored some crucial points from plain old hustle. There will normally be several points in a match that require some serious sprinting back and forth to keep the ball in play. That's why I consider racquetball my "interval workout" to go with the steady pace work of cycling and walking. They make a great combination.

Before I hit the courts on Thursday, I headed between the library stacks for my second attempt at the 20-15-15-12 pushup set. To my surprise, I completed it--all with good form. I did, however, take some fairly long breaks between the attempts so I'm going to repeat this one for awhile and reduce the recovery times before moving on.

I had a good ride into work on Friday, and went to eat lunch with my grandson like I do every Friday. But towards the end of the workday, I was feeling a little light-headed. I immediately chalked it up to my ongoing effort to get my blood pressure medication right; however, a couple hours after getting home, it was apparent that something else was going on. I soon found myself battling chills, muscle ache, and a low grade fever. This carried on throughout the weekend along with a pretty bad case of diarrhea. I still honored my commitment to officiate two swim meets this weekend, but I performed functions that allowed me to sit down most of the time.
Standing for long periods was not an option.

So now instead of using my last eight hours of vacation I have left to go play some golf, I'm using them to sit home and recover (no sick leave in my government contract). I could have gone in today but I'd like to give my intestines a chance to calm down before putting a day in at the office. I also need to do some hydrating today because I know I haven't been drinking enough to counteract the effects of the diarrhea. I've already cancelled racquetball for tomorrow and I'll probably drive to work rather than take the bike. Hopefully I be back to full speed by the end of the week.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Long Walk, Pushups, & Cycling in the Rain

I was planning on golfing Saturday but I took the sleep-in instead. The weather has remained relatively cool so I was still able to go for a two-hour walk without burning up. I was listening to some good tunes, and maintaining a fairly quick pace for the first 1.5 hours.

Monday I attempted my next level on the 100 Pushups program. I was supposed to do 20, 15, 15, and 12. I knocked out the first 20 which is a milestone in itself. I got to 15 for the second set but it was a struggle. After waiting three to four minutes, I decided to call it a day. My shoulders were aching and I didn't want to push it and risk a strain. I'll probably wait a couple of days before trying again.

When I left the house this morning, I was surprised to see the streets were wet. The forecast was for a sunny day. I guess that's why our local weatherman is known as "Dead Wrong Dale." :-) But to be honest, this is a tough location to forecast the weather. But it wasn't raining when I pulled out so I pressed on. Sure enough it started raining shortly after the halfway point. Fortunately it never became a downpour. Still, if I'm going to keep commuting by bike, I need to invest in some fenders!

I made it to the gym today for some Tabata on the rower, and a couple sets of thrusters with a 60lb barbell. I miss racquetball--sure hope the contractors finish the floors on time.

Friday, September 19, 2008

100 Pushups

Today I was determined to get through my sets of 16, 14, 14, and 12 reps. I was in great shape after the first three when the phone rang. That phone conversation led to another, which in turn took me right up to a meeting I had to attend. I didn't dawn on me until I was walking out the office that I hadn't done the last set. So I'm gonna give myself a mulligan of sorts and declare myself ready to move on. The next level is 20, 15, 15, & 12. That's going to be very challenging but I think I'll be able to handle the opening 20. If you would have asked me a few weeks ago to "drop and give me 20," I would have laughed! I considered doing 10 an achievement!

I haven't done anything else since Tuesday other than the bike commute. But I'll have five days and another 70 miles in the bank after the ride home today. Obviously this isn't going to get me in Crossfit/Gym Jones kind of shape, but it is definitely contributing to my stated goal--getting fit!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

100 Pushups, Racquetball, and Cool Weather Riding

Tuesday morning at work, I headed between the library stacks to resume my pushup program. I wasn't sure what was going to happen after having such a lousy day the last time I did them over a week ago. The goal was still to do sets of 16, 14, 14, and 12. I did the first three as RXd but after squeezing out 11 reps on the final set, I just couldn't to that last one. I was pleased with the result. I may never get to a point where I can knock out 100 pushups, but I'm definitely making progress.

I played three games with Ron Tuesday, and I felt much better than I did after playing on Monday. I halved the dose of my blood pressure medication. The numbers still look good and I didn't have any dizziness. Of course, I shouldn't be prescribing my own medication so I'm anxious to get back in the the doctor's office, which will happen when he comes back from vacation. :-(

The temperature was in the upper 60s when I left the house this morning. I was a little chilly for the first few minutes until I warmed up. We'll be back in the 90s next week--I'm enjoying this while I can.

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Storm of Shakespearean Proportions for Corpus

That is to say that locally, Ike turned out to be "Much Ado About Nothing." But although we didn't even get any wind or rain out of it, it was a fairly disruptive force in my life. Early in the week, almost all of the computer models showed Corpus Christi taking a direct hit. I have two sons and four grandchildren living in town so I was worrying over making evacuation plans. Trying to figure out where to go, and how I was going to pay for it, was pretty damn stressful. I spent most of my time at work surfing weather sites so my production was practically nil. One of my normal reactions to stress it to EAT so my adherence to the Primal Blueprint was trashed. I probably ate a gallon of ice cream in a week--not to mention a few bowls of Lucky Charms. The only good thing is that I did ride the bike to work three days, and got in two tough racquetball matches. I've completely blown off my pushup routine. But now that things have settled down and are back to normal, I've made a good start towards getting it all back in gear.

I had an unusual commute to work today. Normally the prevailing winds here are from the south, so I usually have a tailwind on the way to work, and a head wind coming home. But the main reason that we were spared the wrath of Ike was the approach of our first cold front of the season--some five to six weeks earlier than normal. So I had to gear down and fight a 20mph headwind to get to work this morning, and then had a really easy ride home.

I really needed an easy ride home today and to explain why requires diving into another subject. I documented earlier on the blog how I had problems with dizziness, which I attributed to some blood pressure medication. I've changed medication, and then changed the dosage but the BP has still been higher than my doctor wants to see. I had an appointment to see him Thursday but it was cancelled because of Ike. It also happens that I ran out of my medication on the same day, so I went back to my original prescription. Things went ok until I played racquetball today. I won the first two games but early in the third game, I started feeling really tired. After the game, I started feeling dizzy and didn't start feeling better until just before it was time to leave. So I'm glad I had that tail wind going home--I don't know how I would have handled fighting a big headwind. I have to call for a new appointment tomorrow; meanwhile, I plan on getting out the pill splitter and halving the dose. The racquetball courts are closing after tomorrow for nine days while the floors get resurfaced so I won't get to test it that way. But I also experienced that dizziness doing squats, and that's one of the things I'll be doing while not hitting the little blue ball.

So now I'm caught up. Gonna do the pushups tomorrow, and NO MORE ICE CREAM!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Fretting Over Ike

I need to update my blog but right now I'm scrambling trying to come up with a place to go to get away from what is looking like an increasingly nasty looking hurricane. I might update this in a few days from a hotel room!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

100 Degrees, 100 Pushups, and Tabata

As I said in my last post, we were expecting a hot day on Tuesday and we got it. The afternoon high was 100 degrees just as the weatherman predicted. I did get lucky, however, as one lone cloud blocked the sun for at least part of my ride home. I played racquetball with Ron at lunch and played pretty well despite losing all three games. I've been noticing lately that I not wasted after three pretty hard games like I used to be. The limiting factor is time rather than endurance. Perhaps the title of my blog is coming true! :-)

Wednesday was a down day of sorts. I did the bike commute but I had to work through my lunch break. This morning I did my pushup routine attempting the same workout as Monday. Progress!! I was able to do the first three levels as RXd (16, 14, 14) but only managed 10 out of 12 for the last set. I think I'm going to stick with the one-on/two-off pattern. Most of what I've been reading lately says that a couple of hard session a week for a particular muscle group is the way to go. So I'm going to stay with this and see how I progress.

Since I have no racquetball partners the rest of the week, I headed to the gym today and hopped on the C2 rower for a little tabata. They have brand new rowers with the PM-4 computers that let me program the eight intervals of 20 seconds work with 10 seconds rest. I haven't done any of that in quite a while since I use racquetball as my high-intensity workout. Good workout!!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Watching Gustav and 100 Pushups

Labor Day! The holiday perfect for getting in 18 holes on the golf course, or grilling up some ribeyes in the back yard. But I did neither. Instead I had CNN and The Weather Channel in split screen on the 56" JVC, and WDSU and WWL (New Orleans locals)streaming on the laptop. I was born and raised in New Orleans and I've always had a fascination with hurricanes after experiencing Betsy in '65. Of course I was glued to the set during Katrina. For two years our family lived in a duplex on Bellaire Dr. Check that out in Google Earth and you'll see that the 17th Street Canal was my backyard! It was only an earthen levee when we lived there. The breech was about five blocks from where we lived. Most of my years were spent in a house a half block off Canal St on the cemetery end (S. St. Patrick St.) That house didn't get totaled like the Bellaire Drive house, but it still sat in 5-6 feet of water. Sooooo, I was glad to see that New Awlins came through this one in pretty decent shape.

I did take time out form the Gustav watch to do my pushups. I decided to move up to the next day on the schedule that calls for doing levles of 16, 14, 14, and 12. I did the 16 with good form but I could only manage 13, 13, and 8 after that. Looks like I'll be on this one for awhile.

The bike ride home tomorrow should be fun. The forecast high for tomorrow is 100F!