November Totals

  • Work trips - 2
  • Eye infection (which kept me out of the pool for a week) - 1
  • Days hitting the Apple Watch exercise band - 30
  • Days hitting my calorie burn on the Apple Watch - 30
  • Day hitting the stand goal on the Apple Watch - 30
  • Swim - 11,250 SCY
  • Trainer - 8:28
  • Walk - 4.5 miles (I need to start thinking about this as “run training” but walking isn’t as fun as running)
  • Weights/yoga - 14:19
  • Total time - 30:46

 

107 days in a row of doing some sort of exercise.


Fitness Check-In

It's been 40 days since I started working with Trainer Evan and Tuesday we re-tested body comp.  I knew my scales at home had gone down some, but the official numbers were good - down 6 pounds and inches lost!  With the Styku machine they have, you can see in 3-D [http://www.styku.com] where the changes are.  So that's even more motivation to keep at it and I'm going to keep working with Evan twice a week, then swim or ride the trainer or walk on the other days.  He definitely keeps things interesting and mixes it up and definitely challenges me every session.  And writing down everything I eat and drink has been very enlightening and helpful.

And that's also 40 days without a zero in the training log.  In fact, last week was the highest volume of training in over a year and my first outdoor bike ride in 16 weeks.  For some reason, Tennessee has dimmed my love of riding the bike.  Drivers here are terrible, 90 degree humid weather, seeing huge snakes on the bike trail, having to ride by myself, my irregular work/travel schedule - all have played a part.  Thanks to Kathy for riding with me on Saturday.  I need to get back out there because you forget how much you enjoy it.  I've also gotten back in the pool and am looking for a half Ironman distance race in 2018 which has the aqua bike division.  That will be one of my 2018 goals.

projectreturntofitness

worldgymmusiccity

 

 


No Zeros

When I was working with Scott Molina, he once gave me a stretch of training with no days off for over a month.  He said because of my work and travel schedule, that a rest or off day would just happen, so in the meantime, "No zeros in the training log."  I think I hit about 40 days in a row of training at that time.  I also know that I really fall under Newton's First Law - An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion.  If I miss a day, it's hard to get back to it.  So as of today, I have 30 days in a row of some sort of exercise.

Most of what I've been doing is riding the trainer early or walking and working out with Evan two days per week.  He keeps it fun, but hard, and always throws something new into the mix.  I'm seeing results - wearing a dress to the Predator's Petey's Party charity function that I hadn't been able to wear in quite a while.  Very motivated to keep going!  Though I definitely get frustrated when I can't do something right or like I used to do.  Patience has never, ever been my strong suit.  As the V-Man used to say, "Passion, Patience, Persistence".  Need to keep the 3Ps in mind.

IMG_1943

I've also been back in the pool a couple of times.  That is the harder thing to fit into my schedule since I can't seem to get in the pool at 5:00 AM!  When work or other appointments don't conflict, I'll be going to the noon MWF workout.  The two times I've been recently were good - the feel for the water is coming back and I just need to get my "swim muscles" kicking in again.

There is a 5K in early October that I'm going to target.  And I need to look at the 2018 triathlon/aquabike schedule and pick out a few races to do.  Suggestions welcome!

#projectreturntofitness

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#projectreturntofitness and a Race Report

My last post here was well over a year ago. I’ve spent from about July 2016 to late July 2017 in a huge funk. Yes, hockey season was fantastic and oh so much fun, but life was work, hockey, drink beer, eat crap and barely work out. Somewhere along the way, I lost the love of riding my bike – winter and cold weather, other things going on, work travel, being fat and out of shape, probably some mild depression. The last time I had any good rides was the Slowtwitch Womens’ Camp in April and I didn’t pin on a number all spring or summer.

Sometime in August, after a trip to San Francisco, I decided that I was tired of being tired, out of shape, not fitting into the clothes I already have, and that it was time to do something about it. A new gym (World Gym Music City) opened near where I used to live, so convenient to where I now live and to work.   And the best thing? It’s open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Believe me, that is a big deal here. I shot off an email to the program director giving him my background and current state of fitness, well, actually the lack of fitness, and after a few emails back and forth, I went in to check things out. My lucky day as I was able to meet him, the membership director and the head of personal training. I got a great vibe from all of them and signed up that day and did a fitness evaluation, which was about what I thought it would be – out of shape!

I’ve started working out with Evan, the trainer, and I early on came to the realization that I really need accountability and feedback, and I haven’t had that since working with Scott and Kenny. So I’ve had 4 sessions with Evan and I’m starting to feel the athlete come back. And Evan just seems to get me (which I think is super important).  I’ve also gotten back in the pool and have been twice to Masters. The goal is to swim 2-3 times a week, ride the trainer or bike or walk, then work out with Evan twice a week until I get in good enough shape to go to the organized weight classes (sort of like Crossfit?) and do that and keep working out with Evan at least once a week.  We’ve been doing a lot of functional strength stuff and the treadmill, plus keeping a food journal (which I have to give to him). Let’s just say, I’ve skipped one outing where I knew the food would be crap and lots of beer just so I wouldn’t be tempted!  Oh yeah, they have this machine which tells you how fat you are and sends you drawings of your body.  That is eye opening!  But, what gets measured, gets monitored.

In addition, a few weeks ago I decided I needed a goal, so I signed up for a 5K to walk and today was the day. This morning when I woke up, I almost talked myself out of it, but got ready and went to the start. It was a half marathon, 10K and 5K, benefitting Best Buddies. I told myself I’d walk the entire 5K and my goal was to break an hour.

The weather was perfect – overcast and 59 degrees. The first mile was mentally hard but my watch said 17:09 for the first mile. That’s faster than I thought I’d be. Mile 2 was better – I started to eye people in front of me and tried to reel them in. Got to the turn and about 2.5 miles in, I got pretty tired, but didn’t want to let anyone behind me catch up (that “being last” monkey was on my shoulder big time). Got to the last turn and it was about a 0.2 mile straight shot to the finish. Kept to my promise to myself to only walk and crossed the finish line in 53:30, well under my 60 minute goal. Average pace – 17:13 min/mi. 142nd out of 160 in the 5K and 6th out of 7th in my age group. A good start.

What didn’t work so well was walking the 5K in basic (non-running/walking) shoes, so this afternoon I made a visit to the new Rhythm Running store on Demonbruen Street and bought a new pair of shoes. I never did replace any of my running shoes after knee replacement surgery, so I should probably get rid of them.

Pretty happy with the race. Maybe down the line I’ll add in some slow jogging, but for now, walking is good.  #projectreturntofitness


RR: Bells Bend Short Track 06-09-16

Bells Bend 2

My team is putting on a short track series this summer and Marsha said, “It’s an easy course – doable on a cross bike!” Well, I have the new cross bike so why not try it. But what is short track racing? Short track MTB racing takes place on a ~3/4 mile trail and is a cross between a criterium, cyclo-cross and single-track off-road racing. Racers do multiple laps on the short 3-5 minute course, and most races are about 20-30 minutes in length. My race for the Cat. 3 (beginner MTB category) women’s race was 20 minutes.

I drive out to Bells Bend (about 15 minutes north from my house) and park and get the bike out and walk over to where the registration was being set up. Rocks! Lots of them! “Oh yeah, there are snakes here.” WHAT!?! What came to mind immediately was, “Why don’t we have a velodrome?” Putting the snakes out of my mind, I helped set up the tent and got oriented about where the number goes (on the bike, not the person), gave out that important information to a few newbies, and then Tammy said she’d take me around the course.

Well, I haven’t really ridden off-road regularly since 2008 when I raced a lot of cyclocross so my off-road skills are rusty. Plus, a new bike. Most of the course was OK, though there was one double whoop-de-doop. In the trees. With rocks and roots. All I could think was my knee being a big vase or urn and falling and smashing into a million pieces. Probably wouldn’t happen, I know, but my mind still doesn’t believe it. So I got off and walked the double w-d-d. Finished up the lap (0.8 miles long) and really wasn’t sure I’d race. Velodrome anyone???

There were two races before the W3s so I had about 45 minutes to think about it. Finally it was time time to line up so I decided to do one lap and stop. There were 10 women in the Cat. 3s and I lined up in the back, next to teammate (and virgin racer) Dawn. At the whistle, we were off and I rode at my own pace, with Dawn behind me. We got over to the trees and I told Dawn I was getting off and walking it and she said that was fine. “Do you want to go ahead of me?” “No, you’re a good lead” so on through the rest of the lap and to the start finish. Somewhere along the way I decided to do another lap. Again, stop to walk the double-w-d-d and I let Dawn go ahead. I started to feel a little better on the bike and when I got to the start finish, official Izzy rang the bell and said, “One more!” so I headed out on lap 3. Finished upright and last, but I did it and didn’t quit. And today the knee is stiff but feels pretty good. Next race is July 14th.

Bells Bend


275 Days

So it has been 275 days (9 months and 1 day) since my last bike race and 255 days (8 month, 11 days) since total knee replacement surgery.  I’ve only really been on the bike outside since late December and not a lot of outside riding overall (work and hockey and travel really take a bite out of training time), but in mid-April I was able to get some good rides in the hills in Southern California and that gave me some confidence when I didn’t have any knee issues after that weekend.  So this week when I was at PT I mentioned to PT Jonathan that I was thinking about racing my bike.  He asked, “How far?”  I said it was 30 minutes and he said, “You can ride 30 minutes so I don’t see any problem racing!”  Well, OK.  Somehow I didn’t think 30 minutes riding along the greenway was the same as a 30 minute crit, but what the hell.  I signed up Friday for today’s crit.

 
And then I woke up this morning thinking, “What the hell did I do?”  Super nervous and I almost talked myself of out going, but I finally got everything together and headed over to 12 South.  Got the bike unloaded and did a short ride to warm up and watched some of the race just before mine.  Did one lap of the course when that race finished and lined up.  Total cottonmouth.  Ready to throw up.  Waiting is the hardest part.  Luckily this was a Cat. 4 only race and there were 15 of us.  At the whistle I was slow clipping in (slower than normal!) so I was off the back right from the start.  Not unexpected.  
 
Turn 1 was up a slight hill, then a good downhill to another corner, into the wind and turn 3 then uphill with a little grind (7-9%) just before turn 4, then downhill through the start/finish and on to another lap.  Going up the grind was hard since I still have issues standing up to pedal more than about 3 pedal strokes.  One place where I definitely need to work on strength.  At times, I was just-this-close to bridging up to Tammy but then that darned hill would show up again.  Once they started showing lap cards, I knew that I’d about hit my limit (especially as my pace up the grind kept getting slower), so I pulled off at the officials tent and said I was finished.  Neal was sitting nearby and I went over there and sat down and burst into tears - all that pent-up emotion needed to go somewhere!
 
So, 15th out of 15, and no fitness, but it’s a start.  I know I rode hard since I had bike hack afterwards. And it was good to get out there again.  Now, to get some real training in.

Pluses and Minuses

On the plus side

Surgeon is very pleased with where I am. 

My scar looks good.

I can walk up steps almost like a normal person.

I'm up to about 40 minutes of walking with no problem (1.5 miles yesterday in 31 minutes).  Walking pace is getting faster.

I've started back swimming in the past 2 weeks.

Just last week I was able to get on my bike at home on a stationary trainer and actually pedal.

On the minus side

I'm still on painkillers (AM and PM), though a lower level one than the original one.

Still going to physical therapy.  (Though I like PT Jonathan and I hit my medical deductible long ago, so this is more of a plus.)

I cannot walk down steps like a normal person.  Not even close.

I still walk with a slight limp and it's painful if I stand too long or sit too long.

Still not sleeping a regular night’s sleep (sometimes yes, sometimes I wake up at 2AM, other times at 4:30 AM – all very random).  I just want to go to bed, fall asleep, sleep through until morning like I used to do before surgery.

I still have issues with appetite (lost my taste for beer)!!!  Sometimes coffee tastes terrible, the next day it will taste great.  The same with food.  Again, random (and irritating!) and hard to plan ahead.

My knee gets very stiff/sore after sitting too long (which makes hockey games difficult!)

Just last week (my last free one!) did I feel like getting out and doing fun stuff during the day.  Now I am back to work full time as of today.  So that was 9 weeks kind of wasted, except for watching TV the first 5 weeks.  I couldn't even concentrate during that time to read a magazine.

On the “oh heck I'm screwed” list

I missed the training at work for the new phones and the new filing system!  I have about 500 emails and PDFs which need to be filed!  Plus jumping right back into work.

 


October

Swim: 3,350 m
Bike: 10.1 mi (indoor at PT)
Trainer: 25 minutes 
Walk: 5.7 miles
Time: 5:31

PT Sessions: 12

After how I felt the entire month of September, I’m pretty happy with October, especially since I couldn’t swim until about mid-month and then or even longer to be able to make a full rotation on any bike.  The goal for November is to build time slowly and to either swim, bike or walk daily.  I have some PT sessions left and then we’ll see if the insurance will cover another round. Considering I can’t yet walk downstairs normally, I hope so.

Tomorrow I start back to work in the office full time.  We’ll see how my knee handles that.  I really hope I get back to sleeping normally (not waking up during the night).  I think that will be the biggest help in recovery.

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10 Weeks

A big day! I got into the competition pool via the ladder and got out at the end of my swim!!! No more old people's pool. I ended up doing 1100 m, mostly swimming but some kicking and some slow water running also. I don't have my prior stamina or speed, but swimming regularly should help both of those things.

Kicking on my back is fine. Kicking on my stomach with the kickboard is ok but I am so slow. We also have done a drill in the past where you kick on your side. I tried that but man, that felt freaky so I stopped! Kind of like the first time you try to lay on your side after surgery.

After that I showered and went to the hair salon and sitting around there for a couple of hours didn't help. Though it was way better than the time I went two weeks post surgery and they totally are cool about letting me get up and walk around whenever I need to. When I got home my whole leg was a bit sore and both of my legs had major leg twitches. So I might have overdone it a bit today, but at least my hair looks fabulous.

Yesterday I told PT Jonathan that next week one of the things I want to work on is getting down on the floor and back up. I want to try to do some ab work and some stretching that's not knee related.

And today was my last day of freedom since I go back to work full-time in the office on Monday. Of course this is the first week since I've had surgery that I really felt good enough to go out and do stuff. Figures.


9-Weeks

Things are coming along slowly. This recovery is not a straight linear thing. I may go if you days feeling better and better and doing more and then they'll be a day or two where I fall back and can't do it I was just doing. I guess this is completely normal but very frustrating.

For those of you who are curious about what the surgery is really like, here is a basic description.

They cut your knee open (6 inch scar), pull the soft tissues out of the way, turn your knee cap over, amputate the ends of your tibia and femur (the big lower leg bone and the upper leg bone), saw the bones, pound and glued the prosthesis in (metal on the upper bone and plastic on the lower bone). It is a major surgery and takes awhile to heal.

Well hell! No wonder it hurts like a *#€£{]!?! And no, I am not yet ready to watch a video of this surgery. In fact, many times I will ask PT Jonathan a question about what something is or what he's doing and he will respond, "Do you really want to know?" Which is our code for "I'm talking about the new parts of your knee."

I had one big breakthrough it in the past week. I can now get in and out of my truck without moving the seat! It's the small things that you have to rejoice about.

I can also ride the recumbent bike at PT pretty well. My next goal will be to try to ride my trainer at home.