Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Back in The Saddle - Oly Style

Today I did a version of the Olympia Ave walk, starting from my new job location (not really an "office" :-( ), going up Oly to Global Animal Health, then turning off past the Vet School down to Stadium Way and back.

To Stadium and Nevada: 4:22
To the top of Oly: 5:59
Back home: 12:38

A total of 23:00.  This was a warm-up walk, cadence about 132/min.  The time on the upslope on Oly is about 1 minute (17%) slower than my best times from the spring and summer.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Satchmo's back!

So it had been a while! 😝 After catching up one grandpa's posts since I forgot (oops) about this blog I am inspired to catch up on writing about my recent return to my fitness journey, and hopefully post at least once a week from now on! I'm up to a lot of things so it shouldn't be hard to write about, setting a reminder in my 😄

May: I began a begginer's calendar from Blogilates on May 1. Created by instructor Cassie Ho, it listed videos to do each day to get in shape from beginner level to doing her regular monthly calendars. The beginner calendars workouts varied from 20 min to 45 or so at the longest (not common tho) and included 6 days a week of workout and one day of rest. I kept up pretty well with it for most of the month, with some traveling near the end (saw the Eagles in Spokane, which was cool) causing me to miss some days, I rearranged and finished on the 31st instead of the 28th. Did every video though so not bad! 

About midway through the month I decided to have a go at jogging/running again. I found a 0-10k app that has programmed routines to slowly get your body used to jogging/running over 14 weeks. The first day was rough, well the day after the first day was rough! My hips were sore (I think the hip flexors in front?) And I could barely walk the next day! However, the next two days of the programs body recovered faster, and through the end of May I pretty much ran 3x a week and actually started to enjoy it!

June: I began the blogilates June calendar, stretch project, and arms challenge, as well as planning to run 3 or 4 times a week. Until leg pain and busy birthday traveling I pretty much kept to it! Even though I took one of my runs without the program to take it easy on my leg, the next time (most recent run) I jogged 20 minutes without walking breaks! I also have a good friend who knows physiology and gave my leg a good rub last weekend and wow did that help or what! Hoping he can help again Saturday, since the twingey pain in my left leg had come back, although not as bad as before. It feels better with a little ibuprofen, so I think another massage to help relieve tension/swelling will do the trick. 

It's such good fortune that I had been jogging and working out for the last month and a half, since my sister asked me if I wanted to go hiking on my birthday and I could actually say yes with only minimal amounts of nervousness! She does "hiking club" with some friends every Tuesday, and it just so happened that my birthday was on Tuesday this year, and I was getting to spend it in Bellingham!

So hike we did. It was the Heliotrope Ridge trail, which is 5.5 miles round trip, has 1,400 ft elevation gain and ends at 5,100 ft above sea level. It was really tough, but extremely rewarding. There's no way I could have done it without all the work I've done leading up to it! It ends near Coleman glacier so we got to see that as well as a spectacular view of that part of the cascades. It was also great to have sunbutter&honey sandwiches and fresh cherries on "snackle rock" with everyone. What an unforgettable way to kick off my 25th year! 

We got to go out for dinner & drinks & dancing (thanks to a funds donation from oldest sister!) which added to the amazing-ness of the birthday and the dancing added to my workouts for the day! 😀🎉

I walked about a mile yesterday, to meet my sister at the farmers market she was working, and to wander around downtown Bellingham later that evening. I was sore in places on my legs that don't get so sore from just jogging--the movements required for steep inclines and balancing and crossing rocky streams are so different from the ones needed for jogging on mostly flat ground! But I wasn't (and still am not) as sore as I thought I would be! Yay!

Today I am wandering in Seattle for a little while, then meeting up withy birth mom to continue the rest of this westside adventure! I expect to be back to running tomorrow night or Saturday morning. 

Oh! Also I am getting a Fitbit Charge HR for my birthday (purple, haha yessss) which will allowed to not only track my heart rate for better information regarding my fitness level, but will also help me track sleep and daily steps (it also tracks flights of stairs!). It's waiting in the mailbox at home so starting Saturday I will have it!

Here's a panorama from "snackle rock!" My sister on the left glacier on the right,  it's slightly more than a 180 degree view. I'm posting using mobile so not sure how it will turn out but hope it does!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Oly PB, Airport Meh

Wednesday I did the Olympia (steep) walk in 23:30 -- about :25 better than my previous best (though my records are far from complete).  The weather was very warm (85 degrees?), which may have helped me be limber.  I did have to slack my cadence toward the top of the steep upgrade, but I got the pace back up on the flat.

Today's (Friday) walk to Airport Rd and back was not remarkable -- I got into respiratory trouble early, and had to slack my cadence way back before reaching the top of the last uphill east of the seedhouse -- and then had trouble picking it up again on the downhill because I was tired (as in spitting and wobbly).  One factor may be that there was more diesel traffic on Grimes Way than usual -- diesel fumes are not my lungs' friends.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Workouts are Working (but Workouts are Work)

I climbed the CUE stairs from the third floor to the fifth today without really noticing it -- I was thinking about something else, and only realized when i reached the top that I had done the climb without significant discomfort -- a little deeper respiration, but no huffing and puffing and no discomfort in my legs.

Airport Rd. (now called Terre View) in 32:08 - an apparent PB, according to my admittedly sketchy records (though I'm sure I would have recorded a time that was lower!).  My time on 3/26 was a whole second slower.  While the time was good, and the distress symptoms were not so bad (only spit once), it was really hard emotionally to keep my cadence up as i tired.  I managed 26 (156/min) or so on the way out, but dropped to 24 (144min) on the way back.  I was just too tired.  It's hard to tell just how significant the difference is, but it has seemed to me in the past that a higher cadence brings times down more than any other modification.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Also Ordinary

Another Airport Rd walk. I realized today that these should properly be called "Terre View" walks, because they renamed that stretch of road after they hooked it up to the north and west part of TV.  16:38 out, 17:02 back, total 33:40.  Pushing a little, but not really hard. It makes me wonder about that 38 minute time recently. Was there some mistake?

Thursday, May 14, 2015


Just a "purposeful" walk on a beautiful day -- cadence about 22 (132/min) out to Airport Rd and back.  Times were elongated also by taking a detour through the USDA alley behind the greenhouses to avoid a blockade near the new Clean Tech building.  Feeling a little tired at the end, but aerobic performance was good.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Baby Needs New Shoes

... seven come eleven.

Airport Rd with times 10:10, 5:38, 6:32, 10:33 for a total of 32:53, my fourth-best time.  I was trying pretty hard on the outbound leg, and had a time as good as the best, but my legs were tired coming back, and I couldn't keep the cadence up.

I'm feeling pretty dissatisfied with my street loafers for this walking.  Even though I lost my expensive minimalist running shoes (I think they were $70 on sale, which is not expensive in everyone's book), I have to overcome my emotional resistance and do what is best for my joints and muscles.

Oly with Paces

Olympia Rd walk today -- I didn't want to push it because I had a short night last night, but pushed it anyway, trying to keep the cadence up.  I didn't have to fall off my cadence on the long uphill, but it was tough.  Times 4:41, 5:00, 5:48, 8:31 for a total of 23:59.  While not PB, it's second, by only 6 seconds, to the current best on 4/30/15.

I counted paces: 310, 650, 1050, 1742.  That corresponds to average step rates (per 10 seconds) of 22, 23, 23,  and 27 (!?).  More cadence measurements are clearly needed :-)

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Airport Rd. in a Walk

For once, I kept my promise to myself not to wear myself out on a walk -- too many late nights this week.  I walked at a "purposeful" pace and tried to maintain better biomechanics, especially maintaining a stable pelvis by hugging the upper-outer thighs in and firming the core (pulling the pit of the belly in and up).  Times reflected the lack of "hurrying": 17:32 out and 18:30 back for a total of 36:02.  It's amazing to me that the major effort of really hurrying saves less than 10% on time.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Oly Walk at (Partial) High Cadence

I promised myself today not to exhaust myself trying to set records and then being blasted for work the rest of the afternoon.  However, I did want to test the hypothesis that high cadence (above 25/10 seconds or 150/minute) is the most important factor to improve times.  And I wanted not to be lazy, but do the Olympia Av route with its big uphill.

I set the high cadence when I turned from the CUE driveway onto Stadium way.  I clocked myself at 27/10 (162!).  I turned the corner at Nevada, and apparently failed to click the lap timer.  On the uphill, I used very short steps but tried to keep up the cadence;  however, by half-way up I was struggling aerobically and knew my no-being-blasted goal was in danger.  So I dropped the cadence to 20 (120) and lengthened my stride somewhat.  I still had a PB improvement of 6 seconds at Global Animal Health.

Once on the flat by GAH I upped the cadence to 24 (144), still trying not to overdo.  My time to Observation Dr. was comparable to other good times.  I tried to keep it at 24 or 25 all the way back, which worked surprisingly well (though not perfectly).  I discovered that I could control some tiredness symptoms like wobbling by engaging core muscles,  My time on the back run was 8:26, one second off PB.

Overall the time was 23:55, a PB improvement of 16 seconds, or 1%.  Obviously, aerobic capacity is still limiting.  I wonder what time I could accomplish if I could keep the cadence up above 25 all the way around.

It seems that I rely on the racing-against-myself aspect to keep myself engaged in the work.  It tends to result in too much tiredness at work, but I'll put up with it for the time being because it puts the "work" in my walking workout.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Just another airport

... road trek, that is.

times 15:52 outbound, 16:29 inbound, for a total of 32:22.

This was an attempt to keep up a high cadence, without much regard to biomechanics or stride length.  I managed over 150 most of the way (which I used to think I could not do), so the time is very good -- two minutes better than on 4/16, and only one second off the PB on 3/26.  It was still quite tiring -- made my early afternoon at work not very productive, but a good workout is worth it occasionally.

Strings and n-for-m

I missed one Friday exercise on the 17th.  I missed two in the week of the 20th (Wednesday and Friday).  Not really a surprise, as this is the very busiest time of the semester at work.  Still a better performance than last semester.  Overall, I believe I am 54-for-58 on workday chances since February 9th.  Another way to put it, in the 11 1/2 weeks since 2/9, 9 were 5-for-5.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Olympia - Conditioning is working!

After a few days of gymming, I went back to the Olympia Av walk today, forgetting that a detour would be needed due to demolition of (part of?) McAllister Hall.  The walk went well, with less respiratory stress -- I never really considered begging for mercy, and I'm not totally blown after.   In fact, I was able to keep up a "hurrying" pace (about 24 steps per 10 seconds or 144 per minute) throughout -- which I can't usually do because I get too tired toward the end.

Times were 5:50 at Nevada Street (with detour), 5:18 to GAH (with detour), 5:43 to Observatory Rd, and 8:16 home, a total of 25:10.  So though the time was about a minute longer than my best, all of that was in the detour area -- my times for the last two "laps" were the best yet!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Couple Of Shorts

... down to Stadium Way and the highway and back (about 13 minutes), then down to the Stadium Way/highway corner, over to the Cougar Bridge, then back (about 18 minutes).  Pretty good times, but suprisingly tiring effort -- the Stadium Way hill is no slouch!

24 for 25

... for the record, missed Friday 3/13 (!) due to overbusiness at work.  I had to prepare the database for a meeting Peg had at two, so powered through lunch at my desk, planning to make it up after work.  Then at 4:00 we were doing a DB update that went unexpectedly wrong, and it was 7:00 before I was able to get free.  Oh, well...

Airport Rd Proof-of-pudding

I was a little sceptical about my under-16-minute time outbound to Airport Rd, based on a 17-minute time from seemingly little-less effort.  So today I tried again a "maximum-effort" walk out.  15:47!  I tried a little harder to keep it up on the way back, for a return time of 16:58 and a total of 32:46.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Dizzy's and Back Again

... (Dissmore's, that is) with times 14:46 downhill, 17:13 uphill, 31:59 overall.  Other times for the trip as recorded in this blog are 39 minutes or 35 minutes, so I have to feel pretty good about getting in under 32 minutes.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Building a String

22 for 22 (workdays) so far.  SOme of these days are "lighter" than others, but at least 25 minutes of quick-walking or other exercise are included.

I managed to do the outbound leg of the Airport Rd. walk in under 16 minutes for the first time ever (15:57), but the back leg was nearly 18 minutes (frankly, the effort outbound wore me out).  It is interesting that the difference between an all-out effort and merely "purposeful" striding is only 12%.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Quick March up Oly

Times 4:33, 5:11, 5:54, 8:31!, for a total of 24:11.  I don't see how I can go much faster without some big change, either race-walking biomechanics or partial jogging.

Updated Oly table:

MondayWednesdayThur 19Thur 26
Stadium & Nevada4:504:384:444:33Down Stadium Way
Global Animal Health Driveway5:145:205:125:11Uphill on Olympia
Observation Dr.6:276:065:515:54
Back to SCUE9:039:028:288:31

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Rocking the Oly

I decided to dedicate this week to Olympia Av walks (except for Tuesday Yoga, which turned out to be more of a vinyasan-style workout that previous sessions).  Times so far:

Monday Wednesday Thursday
Stadium & Nevada4:504:384:44Down Stadium Way
Global Animal Health Driveway5:145:205:12Uphill on Olympia
Observation Dr.6:276:065:51
Back to SCUE9:039:028:28

The uphill climb takes me to my aerobic limit and is very tiring. On Monday and Wednesday, I couldn't maintain a high level of effort on the "back" leg, but on Thursday I did better.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Week Behind, Week Ahead

Last week I was 5 for 5 on exercise (zero for 5 on blogging :-S).  Four Airport Road walks, plus a pretty vigorous workout at Yoga.  Erika found an old "Fundamental Sequence" handout that had that old-time-religion ring -- to begin with, twenty standing poses in a row.

Monday's walk was just about 35 minutes -- I didn't make any attempt to go beyond Stage 3 ("Purposeful") walking. On Wednesday and Thursday, I tried Stage 4 ("Hurrying") on the way out, but fell back to Stage 3 or 3.5 on the way back due to fatigue.  My times were very close on both days to 33:45. On Friday I attempted Stage 5 ("Maximum Effort") on the way out, and made excellent time (16:13), only to fall off  even more due to fatigue to 17:44 on the way back, for a total of 33:57.

Today I did Olympia Ave instead.  More aerobic challenge,but shorter in miles and time.  I counted 1620 paces (where Airport Rd. is 1150 paces one way) in 25:29.  The average pace rate today was only 45, where it is usually about 65 for Airport Road.  I guess the hill took more out of me than I realized.

One further innovation:  following a suggestion of Diane Kress, I had a small apple (15 grams of readily-available carbohydrates) just before 1/2 hour of exercise.  It did seem to make my muscles (and me!) a lot more comfortable, and the aftermath less of a wipe-out.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Doin' It

Olympia Ave today, the first in some time.  Too busy at work -- I even had to skip yoga two weeks in a row (though I'm going to try for Thursday night this week).

Overall time was 25:26 (with about a minute off for texting with Liz). 4:36 at Nevada Street, 9:47 at Forest way, 15:45 at the observatory.  Good if not great, but hey, at least I'm doin' it.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Back to it...

... after a rough December at work.  Sometimes there wasn't time to eat lunch, much less take exercise.  So I started slow today with a 20-minute walk on the flat.  The temp was in the 40's, but the wind was in the 30's, and felt like 20's.

I did notice while climbing the two flights of stairs to my office that my aerobic condition has slipped some -- not all the way back, but a definite loss from a month layoff.