Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Week 14 Update: September 17th, 2013

Week 14 Update: Sep 17, 2013

I sit here on a Tuesday evening - an hour or so before I take off for my evening swim practice. My allergies, asthma, and training whooped me this week and I can't wait for tomorrow's rest day. Enough complaints, here are my thoughts from last week.
  • Busy? Not Me!: My friend Traci Riccitello posted a great Harvard Business Review article (on Facebook) where the author implores the reader to stop complaining about how busy (we) are because everyone is busy. The statement “I am so busy” serves as a competition to demonstrate that we are busy and important. Well I know better. I'm less important than most and my busy schedule is made busy by my own hand. Last Thursday was a prime example. I scheduled everything minutes apart and I never caught my breath. People who complain (or brag) about being busy are probably just disorganized. I rarely feel busy; I feel rushed at times but not overly busy. From now on, I intend to refrain from saying I'm busy. Instead, I will say I did a lousy job planning my day. Nothing quite like turning a braggart's statement into something with a more negative connotation. Am I busy? No. I'm just disorganized and terrible at planning. Just ask my students.
  • Restwise: As promised, I posted some of my restwise data and results below. I had fun with the program so far and intend to use it despite the fact that the restwise support team said that the program was not designed for the likes of me. Oh well. I still find the feedback useful. The data I posted below consists only of a figure but I will explain the figure to the best of my ability.
  • Settling In: I am finally back into the swing of teaching. Shifting from summer hours to fall hours was a bit more difficult than I anticipated. My workouts now must be done on days that I have more free time (Friday through Monday) with only short workouts on Tuesday and Thursdays. Also, our Wednesday night sailing might be done until after Everest. I hope not but the cold, short days interfere with our Wednesday afternoon outings.
  • Everest Training Talk: Tomorrow, I give a talk to the Quantified Self group in DC. If you are around and available, swing by and enjoy the show. You can find the details here.

Workout Progress

Three weeks into my second 15-week cycle and things are getting tougher. My asthma really hampers my swim workouts so I now just take it easy and keep my heart rate below 130 for most sets. I figure the extended base-building pays off later in this cycle so I have no pressure to increase the intensity.
plot of chunk WeekEx
As I mentioned above, my workouts consist mainly on Fridays through Mondays with short runs and 1.5 hour swims on Tuesday and Thursday. The figure below will slowly reflect that shift as the weeks pile up this semester.
plot of chunk DailyWL
I hit 240 hours so far! I eclipse 250 next week and then 200 midway between week 18 and week 19 postings. Perhaps a happy hour at the Auld Shebeen on a Wednesday night. Anyone up for it?
plot of chunk CumWL

Weekly Summary

Naps are king! Long live the nap. I needed naps every day this week. It was a rough week for sleeping and feeling rested. Physically I felt great but I could not sleep enough. I bet it was the pollen that kicked up my asthma and then I went downhill from there. Can't recall the last time I used my inhaler more than 6 times in a day. Last week, I had 4 days with at least 6 - sometimes 10. Sorry Sean. I guess I am the typical unmanaged asthmatic. Darn pollen. I can't wait for the first frost.


Hitting my stride with productivity provided I can stay awake. Note the strong trends in the figure below. All looks great but the last week gets squished by all the great days before. I guess I will take this week in stride. Naps and low-intensity training ruled my week.
plot of chunk Mood

Hypoxic Training

Only sleeping in the tent these days. My breathing was so bad due to asthma that I figured it was best to avoid IHT for fear I might pass out while watching a movie and nobody around would even notice. We watch some real thrillers. Why would they notice?
Whoops! Notice the big dip in sleep quality. I am not getting much at all - or at least none that feels really restful. Once I get into the swing of getting up at 6am, I expect an upswing in my sleep quality. Oh, did I mention the tent is hot. Yep, still hot; 80 degrees might sound like heaven to some of you but feels like 100 degrees to me.
plot of chunk Hypoxia

Updates for the week

My updates…
  1. Masters swimming in full swing. I missed last Thursday for my son's back to school night. Instead of my evening swim, I swam for an hour and a half in the morning. It just ain't the same swimming alone. Back with the team on Saturday and Sunday!
  2. I started my cognitive testing. Does it say something about my cognitive ability when I score at 80% for most tests at sea-level? The programs I tested out provide some really odd metrics. Also, most of the tests require fine motor control (i.e., push this button on my phone) and I do not have that capacity - never did. Video games were never my thing and I feel like these cognitive tests just provide further evidence that I spend my time wisely sailing and skiing.
  3. I STILL have two more posts for the blog that address…
    • The results of my pulmonary function test and why I even care about these things. I delayed posting this last week because I am still trying to figure out what all the numbers mean for climbing. ND lost to Michigan two Saturdays ago so I was too irritated to post anything. Then, I got caught up with some work and a long discussion with my brother about the topic. Regardless, the delay is worth the wait. Sean gave me much greater insight into the problem and I feel as if my post will actually be scientifically defensible rather than merely my opinion.
    • An answer to a simple question….why climb Everest? I was asked this question several times and I have a fairly long-winded answer to that simple question. My long-winded response is getting longer….and longer….and longer. Next week without fail.
  4. Restwise is a cool program. Below is my results for the past two weeks. You can see that I started out in the tank (50%) and that was on my rest day! Since that time, the program tells me I am recovering but show “minor signs of reduced recovery.” Should be no wonder since I probably lose a few percentage points after I enter a 90% spO2 in the morning - the reading typical for maybe an emphysemic patient. Cool, huh? I will let you know when it tells me to stay in bed.

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