Thursday, February 20, 2014

Week 36 Update: Still feeling great. Heading out to Utah to climb/snowboard.

Week 36 Update: Feb 20, 2014 for the week beginning on February 9th, 2014

Finally! I got around to posting last week's update. This post might be brief because I have a ton to do before heading out to teach and then leaving for Utah for a weekend of climbing. Should be fun….but right now it is far from it. Last week was a bear. It all started with an 8-hour “Sunday Summit” and then was follwed by several really tiring days of training. I'm starting to get the itch to stop training and start climbing. Only 5 more weeks of serious training and 7 more until I am in Kathmandu. Yes!!! Here are a few highlights from the 36th week:

  • Fatigue set in on Tuesday evening and lasted through Thursday. I don't know if I was fighting off some bug but I sure felt low. Despite feeling relative awful, I seemed to be recovering just fine. I think my body was reacting to something.
  • First full week of training at 19,000 feet. It was an easy transition and continues to be so because I was slow and deliberate with my ascent - exactly my plan when I am really acclimatizing on the hill.

Workout Progress

Work was fine this week. I had some productive writing and data analysis sessions to cap off a less stressful week. I'm sure there are more bumps in the road ahead but it is nice to get a few weeks under my belt like these ones to buffer the bad ones. I managed to get in all my workouts and did not skip one planned session - a first I believe. Let's look at the data….

plot of chunk WeekEx

The figure above shows my week just as I planned it out. Below, you can see the blue lines on Sunday slowly creeping up to and past the 8-hour mark. I intend to have 5 more before I leave just to have those good faith deposits in the bank I can rely on to boost me when I am feeling lousy.

plot of chunk DailyWL

Last week, I mentioned not believing I was under 10 weeks. I am now shocked at how fast the time is winding down now that I am near my departure. The weeks fly by. Remember my new figure? I decided it might be useful to see how my weekdays vary over the course of this preparation. Well, here it is:

plot of chunk DailyWL2

Sundays remain the most varied and will only increase as I add on a few more 7+ hour days. Wednesdays - my favorite days of the week - are set at zero with only one exception (New Year's Day college football extravaganza).

The figure below shows my slow march toward my climb. At the end of the 36th week (this post), I accumulated 636 hours of training. In two and a half weeks, I will be eclipsing the 700 hour mark and eventually land at 780 right before I leave. That means I only have 150 more hours to train and get ready to climb high.

plot of chunk CumWL

Weekly Summary

Eating remains a challenge. I try to eat but I cannot even muster the enthusiasm to go grocery shopping. Sheesh! More take-out and garbage food runs are in the near future. Regardless, I remain pretty healthy and feel great.


The lower intensity has really helped me feel better. Despite the downturn of the good stuff and the upturn of some bad stuff, I felt great this week (36). Most of what you see are the effects of the following week that I am currently experiencing and surviving. Expect a more detailed explanation of this horrendous week in my next update.

plot of chunk Mood

Hypoxic Training

Doing great at 19,000 feet. It was a breeze…sort of. On Sunday, I felt a little winded going from 18,750 to 19,000 feet - that extra 250 feet makes a difference. You'll notice in the figure below that the bottom is falling out on my sleep quality and spO2. Don't worry. Those numbers are from the following week and not week 35. Again, more on week 36 later.

plot of chunk Hypoxia

Recovery (Restwise Data)

Still recovering as of week 35. All signs and systems are go!

plot of chunk RestwiseData

Updates for the week

A good week overall. Unfortunately, I am in a time crunch and need to end this post rather abruptly. Time to pack the car, drive to campus (yes, one of my first and only times), teach all day, drive to the airport, and fly to Salt Lake City. Yeah! Here we come Wasatch Range. Expect a post on Tuesday or Wednesday after we return.