Day 265: Life and Death

A quick update today; my father-in-law passed away in the night after a prolonged illness, so things are going to be a bit hectic for the next few days. Travel arrangements, etc. Posting from the road, which is always tricky.

I feel like this isn’t going to be much of a threat to sobriety and good habits, especially since this won’t be a “whee fun” vacation but a pretty sombre trip. But exercise is going to be a challenge. It always is when we leave town, but this trip more than most.

It’s a very sad time for my wife, obviously, and also to me. But it’s not an unexpected event, and in many ways not a tragedy as much as a resolution.

So: lots to do in very short order; again, it may be short updates for the next while.

Day 264: Sleeping In in my Sleep

True story: I woke up yesterday at 5:10, wondering why my watch alarm didn’t go off at 5:00. My wife tells me that at 5:00 my alarm went off, I said “I’m going back to sleep,” and turned the alarm off.

I remember none of this. None of it. So I basically went back to sleep in my sleep. That’s weird.

And I have been backsliding a bit on get-to-bed lately. So I guess when I start having blackout moments of going back to sleep, that’s a good sign to pay attention.

What with some family medical issues, general lots-going-on busyness, taking a class, and work, it’s a lot. So I’ve been creeping into the evening a bit. And not being great about a pre-bed routine.

(I’m beginning to realize that ‘getting better’ isn’t about permanent change, but advances and retreats. I’ve been retreating on the sleep front. Time to advance again).


Day 263: Mixing it up

Ran steps this morning for the first time in a year or so. More or less a spontaneous decision. My lungs are still at about 75%, so I didn’t want a long run. There’s a small track with concrete grandstands close to here.

Nothing crazy: 24 steps per flight, 10 flights. Circle the track, do a round of steps, circle the track. Three circuits. KILLED ME by the end of it. But worth it! It’s nice to mix things up, and with these grim lungs, good to get a beast of a workout done in about 30 minutes.

I’m never sure when to go to the doctor; this is day 14 of my cold, and it seems to be getting better, but I’m still not well. So at what point do I make an appointment? It’ll take several days to get in, and at that point I might be better. Or worse. There’s a social consciousness part to this: I know the system is at capacity, so I don’t want to waste time or resources. So rather than not go to the doctor because I don’t have money, I don’t go to the doctor because I’m… I don’t know. Overcautious. Something.

I think there’s a point to be made that in some places, the only people who go to the doctor whenever they feel like it are super rich, and in other places, the only people who go to the doctor whenever they feel like are morally bankrupt. So being super rich is functionally equivalent to being morally bankrupt when you compare… I’m not sure if this is going anywhere useful.

Anyway. Still sick, trying to find ways to compensate on exercise.



Day 262: Sweating

I sweat a lot. I mean, not 24/7, but I am a not one of those sweat-free exercisers. I sweat like a mofo. Worse still, once the “sweat node” is activated, it stays on a hair trigger for hours. So I’ll get sopping wet during exercise, which is normal. Then I shower and towel and etc. But then for the rest of the morning, if I bike to work or walk more than, say, 50 feet, I start… exuding again. It’s bloody embarrassing.

I think I got to the point with running where it was kind of normalized, but now that I’m rowing seriously again… whew. Rowing turns that faucet on. And I strongly suspect my better water drinking exacerbates it as well.

These are all good things. Sweating is pretty groovy. It’s just deeply inconvenient during the workday.

So I’m committed to sweating. I guess I’ll just keep a rotating towel in the office. I am not thankfully, a super stinky sweater, so it’s more a visual problem.


Day 261: Run Anyway

Ugh. Terrible run this morning — according to Strava, my first in two weeks, which tells you about when I got sick. And it was a gross run. Slow, sluggish, fat, hard run. Just 6k, but I felt every metre.

But: no cutting short, no turning around. I slogged through it. Not being able to, well, use my lungs was definitely an issue. And not having run in a couple of weeks didn’t lead to a surcharge of energy. The opposite. I felt, well, gross. As stated.

The only way out, though, is through. So I’d rather power through a crap run this morning than have an even steeper hill to climb by taking more time off.

And by the New Routine, tomorrow is a rowing day, so I’ll be back for a longer run, hopefully more recovered, on Thursday.

Nothing pulled from strength training yesterday, which is also a win. I’m easing into that very gently.

But yeah. Gross run. Just not great. It’s amazing how much I feel I’ve lost in the month since the half-marathon; I literally can barely imagine what that would be like from where I’m at now. It really reinforces how much keeping up with things is.

Slacking on water-drinking lately, which I’m sure doesn’t help. So I need to get much better about that.


Day 260: Neti Pots and Push-Ups

Kind of a housecleaning day… still not over that cold, which means fasting is still suspended. I know my philosophy is now more gung-ho in terms of recovery, but I think that kind of body stress can’t be helpful. Maybe October as the new trial month for this?

So yesterday I tried a neti pot for the first time. It was… interesting. Not as horrifying a sensation as I thought it would be. I now realize I have no idea how sinuses work. And it actually seemed to help, at least for a few hours, so I’m’a keep that going.

Today was also Day One of the new exercise regimen, which now builds some strength training into the rowing days. Strength re-training, really, as I realize that I have really let things go. I used to be able to knock out 20 pushups without really thinking about it. Those days are over, for sure… but I’m kind of excited to think about getting that back.

So I’m off for food logging, neti potting, and getting some volunteer stuff in order. Tally ho…

Day 259: Still Exercise Rejigger

After I’m done this, I’m going to go sit down and figure out a program — I intended to yesterday, but the day sort of got away from me.

It’s not a lot of fun to think too much about exercise when you’re (still) sick. The motivation to run just wasn’t in the tank this morning, and I’m telling myself that some good bouts of yardwork will make up for that.

So today is exercise plan, pick up gear for exercise plan, some yardwork, and taking care of some volunteer responsibilities. If time allows, there’s a cool little festival my wife and I want to check out downtown.

I’m officially sick of this cold, after a full week; it’s kind of background/foreground right now, in that I’m not feeling super impeded by it, but I’m still sniffling and coughing constantly. It’s distracting and aggravating.


Day 258: Exercise Rejigger

All right, so it’s time to look at the exercise program again. My wife’s probably going to keep running consistently, but my recent “hard” row reminded me of how much I like it when I’m taking it seriously. So I may wind up doing it a bit more… aggressively than previous. And more often.

Past successes: I think the best shape I’ve been in was when I was doing a combo of running, weights and rowing. So why not try to repeat that? I’m keeping an eye on for-sale groups for cheap weights, and will be trying to rebuild myself into a decent set of free weights over the next few months.

It’s — again — a question of avoiding my historic problem of overdoing it. Get to a point where I’m pushing myself, but don’t kill myself. Call it the anti-Crossfit. Slow, steady gains with no injuries.

Taking an hour to sit down and work out a real, functioning plan is basically my weekend goal… keep the long runs, get some strength training going, more rowing.

Exercise is back on track post-cold, diet is pretty okay, and sobriety is good, so I’m comfortable pushing out in this area.

Day 257: Money Stress

I don’t talk about money much, partly because I was just kind of raised that way,  partly because we’re… okay. Not amazing, financially, but I’ve got a decent job. My wife’s been out of work for a while, which is what it is, but we’re… fine, basically. We live cautiously (no car, no cable, budget) and kind of treat the mortgage like our entertainment budget (we love our house).

But even though we’re in Canada, my wife’s American, and it’s pretty amazing how the tentacles of America’s bonkers health care system can reach out to strangle you.

My father-in-law has been ill for a while, but insurance apparently ran out a while ago, and he’s recently had a number of crises. I’m not sure what the financial picture is for my inlaws, but it’s… bleak.

So last night we were both up a bit, feeling… precarious. Obviously there’s a lot of worry and concern and sympathy for our family, but the feeling of wanting to help, but knowing you literally can’t is tremendously distressing. Powerless and small.

Needless to say not a lot of sleep last night, which has thrown me off my exercise game.

Feeling very fortunate today, in terms of our personal health and relative financial stability. But there’s a cloud; a cloud that will probably not be going away any time soon.

In a weird way, this is reinforcing: keep up with good habits, personal and financial. Exercise, diet, wellness in general are all good moves in terms of financial security. Staying fit and healthy is cheap, ultimately. It minimizes the expenses you can’t control by minimizing the risk of expensive crap happening to you.

Sobriety is a move that ticks all those boxes. Immediately good, financially. And long-term good, financially: health, sound decision-making, etc.

But even making all the right moves doesn’t mean that the outside world isn’t going to reach in. Going to be some rough patches ahead.


Day 256: Post-Sick

I’m not better better, but I’m better enough to get back on top of things: exercise, food logging, etc. Being sick is a slack-off time; probably not really right that I stop logging food, but I do.

I’m kind of logging in intervals, mixed with typing the blog this morning, just to see how I like that. Update: not bad. Gives me a bit more time to think about what I’m typing; thinking about food while blogging gives me more time to meal-plan my day.

The big exercise excitement is that a rowing app for my phone now syncs with the running app on my phone. This may not be a huge thing for anyone but me, but it’s kind of nice to have a single app that can keep track of all things workout in one place. I still need to work strength training into the matrix, but I’m pretty pleased about the general ability to do that.

So I’ve got some busywork… aligning accounts, entering passwords, migrating all my runs from the half-marathon training app to the main running app… which I’m going to get to right now.

Felt good to get a robust workout in this morning. I’ve been taking it easy on the rows, and I forget how good it feels to go hard on that thing. My back seems to be okay with it, which is double good news…