Friday, October 31, 2014

Day 300.21

If I told you what was REALLY going on it would burn off the both of your ears.

Suffice it to say that these 'behind the scenes' theatrics provide fertile ground for the practice of stress management.

And I think that I might be making progress. With the stress management - not the theatrics.

Yesterday was horrible. Today was manageable. I got to deal with my health care service department, the pharmacy and my cardiology staff. Seems when they say 200 mg they mean it. No prescribing 400! That is a personal foul and you can go sit on the bench and stew in your ailment should you try. Double the dose? That is between you and your doctor. OK, I get it, thanks (and have a nice day).

After another blood test I stopped by Trader Joe's for my now favorite meal/snack: Chile Spiced Mango dried fruit and Roasted Seaweed with wasabi. It's about the synergy! Usually I wash that down with some compatible flavor of low-fat yoghurt (vanilla goes with anything) but today I wanted to try to go sugarless and yoghurt has TONS. So I sipped water.

Being it Halloween I will try to keep the sugar zombies away as long as possible. I don't expect much walk-up activity out here anyway, so it should be easy.

Two days off has been a test. I hope I am up to the task tomorrow as we tackle our weekly 90 minute spin fest. I am going to work on the set list and workout protocol right now although I have limited mobile resources. Classic Rock and standing climbs are another great mix!

The Huskies play Colorado almost immediately after our session, we finish at 0900, they kick-off (freaking NCAA money grubbers) at 1000. Here is my weekly prediction (so far I am 5 and 3):

Starring into the abyss of death, both squads, on opposite sides of the chasm of failure, know the decision will go to the most resilient, most tenacious, most hungry and most persistent. And to the most lucky. Washington in a season saving win over the courageous, but eventually over-matched and over-whelmed Buffaloes 36-17.

Happy Halloween.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Day 299.20

I woke today feeling like shit.

Took a nap.

Felt worse after.

Took another one.

Same result.

Dawned on me that the virus everyone has might have found a home here.

And who knows what the reaction to that means with the pacer.

Took a long hot shower.

Felt good in it, worse out.

Another nap. Had a horrible dream about falling off a church roof.

Made a bowl of lentil soup.

And went back to bed.

Tried every position possible to ease the pain.

No luck.

Went to the PB because four people wanted to ride.

Slept on the concrete floor as they did.

Stopped for tea on the way home.

That was good.

Off for another nap.

Still feeling like shit.

What a day.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Day 298.19

The way I see it today.

We have a fresh opportunity every day to do what we want. We can push the envelope in the direction of 'good' or scrunch it into a ball and toss in the waste.

What an incredible opportunity this is. Combining both the miraculous and magical.

Of course I reference all this from the health and fitness perspective for one simple fact:

I HAVE SEEN THE FLIP SIDE.

I have been there. Lived it. Felt it. Dealt with it. Looked it in the bloodshot eye. Played Rigoletto.

And made it through. With a LOT of help from some very talented and compassionate care providers.

So please let me reiterate, your health and fitness are number one. Numero uno baby. Without them you got squat. Double-diddly-squat. Which is, as you know, the worst kind.

So if your house, car, boat, jet, job or career is your primary focus, smell these roses and sip this double espresso:

You have the choice today, right now to do something about it. So do it.

I speak the truth. Please hear. The fat lady wants to sing. Tell her she will have to wait some.

And that is the way I see it today.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Day 297.18

I could cop-out and say that it has been a long day. Surely you would understand and empathize. But I am trying to be a good blogger and give something to you (besides the privilege of being part of the streak.)

So here goes.

Today I learned a little something about myself. It was in the heat of battle. Instead of defaulting to my usual defense mechanisms and tactics I tossed some patience, understanding and compassion into the mix.

It worked and I was at once as surprised as elated. WOW.

I got a lot done. I did what I had to do. The plate was full but we fit another serving of veggies in there ntl.

I finally read the label of those peanuts I have been enjoying so much on the drive home after PB sessions. I asked Walt at the mart why he didn't tell me that they contained 35 grams of saturated fat. He said, I was the last person that should be worried about that. The conversation got interesting when I replied that I should be the FIRST person to be worried.

I learned tonight that lack of regular sex is the primary cause of adult male grumpiness.

Damn. It was a long day, but a productive one.

Sleep needed, see you tomorrow.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Day 296.17, Magic

Really?

There is no magic. There is no mystery. There is no conspiracy.

If (that BIG if) we actively, consistently and with awareness and grace,

EXERCISE DAILY
EAT GOOD &
MANAGE STRESS….

…we will get fitter, feel better, look better, run faster, ride longer and sleep deeper.

There is also some evidence that the BIG THREE listed above will also make you smarter, more appealing to the opposite sex (should this be your preference), more cheerful (handy this time of year) able to focus more on the job, and, at the end of the week, have more money in the bank (or wherever you choose to store your cabbage.)

I bring this up because this morning one of our regulars shared some scientific data with us regarding a home test he has been conducting of late.

Seems our cycling scientist has been experimenting with the juice/no juice factor. One day he rides after a 'regular' night of IPA consumption and the next with 'just' water the night before. Wanna take a stab at the results? Even without knowing any additional specifics (age, fitness level, diet, exercise schedule, work stress) we can safely make some educated guess' as to the results.

This morning, after my comments, he blurted, "Its all a mystery."

I thought, no, it really isn't. You have isolated ONE of many elements that contribute to the success of your training (and the quality of testing). You have moved up another rung on the ladder by creating a protocol that allows you to measure, test, manage and train. We have tools that record precisely this effort (photo above). In order to PROVE that what you feel as change, progress, growth, speed, advanced recovery, is real, not mere perception.

Do one thing better and you better the whole. Remove one 'limiter' and you streamline your execution. You are more aero, carrying a lighter load through space and time and running on a higher quality (octane) fuel mixture. The result becomes your place on your fitness timeline. Today's ride.

No magic here*. Nothing mysterious. No unknown diabolical powers at work.

Really.

*There IS magic, but of another kind altogether. Maybe we'l talk that up some tomorrow.

ALSO, for the first time, I went OUT of A-Fib and back into sinus rhythm during our set the morning. HR was all over the place to start, but (magically?) returned to 'normal' at minute 32 (during a 500 watt sprint). I have no idea as to the the why and how of this. But I'll take it.

Really.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Day 295.16, get a haircut

We are racing an indoor time trial. Something is wrong. I am going WAY too fast out of the gate. Having been here before many times I look at the data, take a physiological reading and attempt another on-the-fly measure and manage maneuver.

Except that today I have another, long forgotten tool at my disposal. I look at my heart rate monitor and immediately see that I am fluctuating between 190 and 120.

I have spun my heart back into A-Fib.

FUCK I shout to myself. Nobody hears because they are all in their own spheres, trying to accomplish the same thing. Measure, manage, eek as much power as possible out of the motor without blowing up. That is the beauty of the indoor time trial and its outdoor cousin the 'test of truth'.

It truly is the sole reason that we train with so much passion. For this moment. The time trial. There is nothing else that compares.

And I must now deal with the decision. Go or no go? Quit or finish? Back off or speed up? After all, the faster I go the sooner I finish.

The metrics are screwed-up as well. There is no way I am in first place, leading the monster cyclists who showed up today to race. NO WAY.

So I negotiate with the general controller. OK, (he says) soft pedal and back off, let Garry catch you (me) in the final mile and finish. Nobody will know the struggle. Nobody would care anyway. We all have our crosses to bear. Get it done, TCB, relax, get some protein, drink lots of water and take a nap. Live to fight another day. He finishes with a cheerful, 'That is an order.' Yessssir.

Stress and intensity play interestingly well together as allies in the battle over control of my heart. The Battle of the Beat.

Maybe I should go to Florida for a couple of days for some R&R.

Or just head down to the Navy Barbershop and get a haircut.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Day 294.15. Is this it?

Classical music on HD radio. Intense. The new system is so nice. I am simply siting here listening to Spanish classical guitar with the falling rain as backdrop. I have slogged 40 grams of protein, gulped a smoked Gouda cheese sandwich (on sourdough) and now onto the 'tween activities before the Huskies take on the ASU Sun Devils at (yikes) 7:45 tonight.

We had a rather interesting 90 minute set this morning. My right hip flexor was still inflamed from yesterday's ride home, so I needed to hunker down and focus on each pedal rotation in order to balance and control. Still we did some pretty dynamic and demanding protocols, so much so that I fielded three 'complains' about the degree of difficulty afterwords. THREE! Usually I just get one or two.

Things continue to improve in pacer world. I feel pretty good. Yesterday there were several instances of chest pings, but all manageable. And post workout today I feel very good. SO THIS MIGHT BE IT! Just a few meters away from the KoM? CAN I GET A HALLELUJAH?

I pray that it is. I m so tired of all the symptoms popping up around the clock. I am tired of feeling like I am one beat away from a stroke. I HATE the hypotension, the dizziness, the fatigue, the mental fog. Could all that have been a result of the combination of Bradycardia, Atrial Fibrillation and (gasp) the aging process?

It took us twenty months to get to here. Twenty long and painful months, but twenty of 746. (62x12+2)

Ans maybe, just maybe, the next twenty will have a record level of quality. If it is to be, guess it's up to me.

The music sure helps.