Sunday, June 30, 2013

Week 3 Update: June 30th, 2013

Week 3 Update: Jun 30, 2013

Things are progressing as planned - perhaps a bit faster than I really expected. Here are the big highlights"“

  • Stepped up my training from 13 hours to 16 hours this week.
  • Started hypoxic sleep/recovery on Friday (2 days ago)
  • Second week of increased resistance training
  • Planned a climbing trip with Dan Mazur - not firm yet but plans are almost set

Throughout this week, I was reminded that I have the most amazing wife. She puts up with all my crazy ideas, plans, and hobbies. Kathy was not just willing to try out this hypoxic tent, she was excited to give it a go. So thank you Kat for being the best wife.

Workout Progress

As usual, I have my standard update for my workload. Several people asked me how I produce the figures. For those who are geeky enough to want to know, here are the ugly details.

Generally speaking, I use R, RGoogleDocs, and ggplot2 in the following way. I submit daily ratings and updates to Google Docs via forms. These forms are the standard forms I use for data collection at work. Each week, I run an R program to retrieve the data and plot the results using ggplot.

plot of chunk WeekEx

Weekly Summary

Another great week. The most important thing this week was the start of my hypoxic training. On Friday, we recieved a shipment from Hypoxico. Here is what we saw on our front porch:

that included a tent and the hypoxic device. I could not wait so I unpacked the boxes…

and setup the tent right away…

and it took me a few minutes of wrestling my bed….

until I finally had a tent designed for a queen/king bed fitted to a full size bed….

and perhaps an even better view:


I felt great this week. The summer days are packed with meetings, writing, and workouts but I am completely energized by this whole process. You all continue to offer me great suport throughout this crazy preparation. I am in good spirits as you can see by my figure below and my reporting here.

plot of chunk Mood

Hypoxic Training

Friday, June 28th, 2013 was the first day of sleeping at altitude in Fairfax, VA. Kathy and I slept at 4000 feet and plan to advance by 500 feet each night provided our O2 saturation levels permit the increases. We both take readings twice daily - before going to bed and right as we awake. After two days, I can say that the hypoxic tent does limit the available oxygen. We both awoke to lower O2 saturation levels on both mornings but not enough to bat an eye. Also, I found my resting heart rate slightly elevated from the typical lower 40's to now the upper 40's to mid-50's.

I intend to post a figure of my O2 saturation levels along with resting HR and sleep quality. These values provide useful feedback about how well I am adjusting to the simulated altitude or hypoxic environment. The tent alone is enough simulation, however, the temperature inside at night gets up to 90 degrees F. Needless to say, I doubt Kathy and I will need a blanket for the foreseeable future.

Updates for the week

The introduction of hypoxic training along with the slight increase in workload was pure magic. I felt great and could not believe how excited I was to work out. These initial days are probably all placebo effects but I assure you that there is an immediate effect after coming out of the hypoxic tent. For one, you get a huge rush of cool air and that alone gives me great relief. Sleeping in a hot tent - or any heat for that matter - never appealed to me.

Aside from these preparations, I continue to sail on Wednesday evenings with my good friend Bob Hansen and various friends. We both look forward to these outings; they sure beat sitting around on an off day working on the house.

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