Tuesday, October 25, 2011
The last time I checked in was 2 weeks ago. I've been bizzy running around and doing STUFF.
Here's a summary:
18 training sessions
5 Tae kardio
3 body pump
31 hrs, 52 minutes and 34 seconds
6880 calories burned
Some GPS tracks and pictures from the weekend adventures. I was behind the camera so there are only a couple of pictures of me.
Owasco Outlet 10/22
Letchworth State Park 10/23
I'm still pushing the weight back down into my happy range. I've managed to lose almost 2 lbs.
I saw the shoulder surgeon for my last follow up and he said I was free to go back to doing crazy things outside again. And to come back when I hurt myself. (WHEN?! Excuse me? That's not even an IF?!!! Bah.) I told him I'm not snowboarding on anything except powder from now on. He just looked at me and smiled in a knowing sort of way.
I suppose he must have experience with people into extreme sports... (more than I do, having only been doing such things since 2010, myself)
The two challenges I'm running are both in their last week:
Staying within range challenge
Lose or maintain challenge
I got a NEW BOAT as a reward for having gotten back into goal range this summer. I'll be learning tricks in the pool with it all winter.
And the sun is shining. If it can't rain, at least we can have sunshine. The worst is clouds that don't even drop any rain (which fills up creeks and rivers so I can kayak in it).
And for those who might actually want to read my introspective ramblings, here's a comment I left on the Daily Spark about returning to fitness after a lapse (in my case, injury).
In a cooperative extreme sport like white water kayaking it's a responsibility and a requirement to stay fit and paddle within your limits. The last thing you want to do is endanger someone else's life by needing them to rescue you or your gear.
I was out of my kayak for 6 months for shoulder rehab (snowboarding injury, "massive" rotator cuff tear according to the surgeon).
I tried to keep my heart and lungs in shape with road biking during the second half of the summer (I was in a sling for the first half and only did spin classes and the elliptical), but by the time the PT discharged me last month, my strength in both arms was HALF what it had been in March at the time of the accident.
My back and abs have atrophied as well, so my kayaking power has diminished. Paddling right now feels like driving a Yugo up a steep hill. I step on the gas and nothing happens.
For me the key has been to honestly assess and accept the level of fitness I'm currently at so that I can move forward with a positive frame of mind. It was really hard to do that. And I'm still coping with the fact that I tire easily and don't have the raw power I used to have for padding upstream.
So I have to make an effort to be kind to myself on the rivers and take it slow, watching my progress carefully to make sure I don't overreach and run stuff that's too gnarly too soon or exhaust myself before we get to the takeout.
I too started with a commitment to get back into a regular exercise pattern as soon as I was discharged from PT. For me it was adding body pump M&W to my regular spin class T&Th. After a few weeks of that I added back in tae kardio (like tae bo) M,W,Th. And the past couple of weekends I've paddled every day.
In addition to the weekday regime above I've committed to a 2-hr slalom clinic in the pool every Sunday night, following a 2 hr freeform pool session. That will run from November through April.
I got a new smaller playboat as a reward for getting back into goal range this summer during rehab, and will be learning tricks in it in the pool. That should help keep me interested and engaged in the short term from week to week (and maybe off the snowboard. LOL)
I also signed up for a week of paddling class III-IV rivers in Costa Rica in January. That's sort of like signing up for a race, for you running people (I can't run btw. knee arthritis)
So Costa Rica is my medium-range motivation. To have my strength back in time to stomp those rivers and play in them safely.
My long-range motivation is to come back in the spring paddling season stronger and more skillful than ever.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
In a small sense I'm making up for lost time because I signed up to go white water kayaking in Costa Rica for a week in January. That will take some of the sting out of losing the entire summer season to rehab my rotator cuff surgery.
In a larger sense, however, my current life is making up for lost time in general. I really go after the things I want now. When I discovered white water kayaking I pushed myself so hard at it I had no idea where my comfort zone even was. Faster, stronger, harder, longer, bigger, better.
It's probably no coincidence I tore my rotator cuff while snowboarding this spring. I am aggressive on the slopes, like I am on the rivers. And on my road bike. Sometimes if feels like I am channeling an inner adolescent boy.
I'm just so grateful to no longer be living in my own personal coffin of flesh at a BMI over 50, with mobility issues already beginning. I lived for about 15 years that way, from my mid-30s to my mid-40s. I was well over 200 lbs from my mid 20s to my mid 30s. And it wasn't fun.
It wasn't horrible; I mean I traveled and had hobbies and friends and enjoyed life. But I didn't enjoy it the way I do now. I can go places now that most of the rest of the human population can't, simply because I have developed unusual skills and I'm in the appropriate physical shape to do it.
4 years ago if you'd told me I'd be signing up for a class III-IV whitewater kayaking trip in Central America I'd have laughed at you. Because it wasn't even conceivable.
So now I'm living out loud and training hard and eating right during the week so that I can enjoy doing the things I love on the weekends and vacations.
Yes, I have to track my food on my iPod. Yes, I weigh myself every morning and log it on the physicsdiet.com tracker. No, I can't just go and eat whatever I want whenever I want, anymore.
But it's worth it. It is so totally worth it.
Sunday, October 09, 2011
Don and I have known each other through SP for 2-3 years and although we live not far from each other and we're both pretty avid road cyclists, we've never actually ridden together.
Yesterday we finally did.
Track here: ridewithgps.com/trips/414778
It was a comfortable 60 mile loop with his usual group, the Southern Tier Bicycling Club.
Don and I added about 15 miles to the planned loop and started in Port Crane, NY. I left my house at 6:15 am in order to meet him there by 8:30.
We rode over Belden hill and met the rest of the group in Windsor.
At about 10 we all started out in a clump, and as we climbed the hill on the way to McClure we spread out a bit. We regrouped again at McClure (which Don said he had expected to be a "booming metropolis" based on the size of the text on the map - it wasn't. LOL)
Then we all set off again over a nice big hill with lunch in Afton on the other side. I fell in with a nice group of folks, and on the way down we ran into Regina, who was riding out to meet us on her recumbent. Regina is on SP too! (I'll have to get her ID from Don; I don't remember it)
We made our way into Afton and stopped for lunch at a fabulous restaurant / bakery.
They reserved tables for us!
Me, Don, Regina
I don't usually gush about food. Seriously. But this was really really well done.
A guy at our table (I think his name is Steve) ordered a piece of German chocolate cake and split it up as appetizers, and (probably because I rarely eat that sort of thing) the tiny piece I had sent my tastebuds spiraling into an ecstacy of sugar, starch, and fat.
The ride leader, Steve Russo, recommended the winter squash soup, and he was right. It was amazing. It was also very rich, and on the ride home both Don and I noticed that we weren't feeling as energetic as usual. I chalk it up to the cream that was probably in the soup. Good thing we each only had a cup of it. LOL
We also had these awesome tuna steak salads with cranberries, feta, walnuts, etc. It was delicious and extremely satisfying without being stultifying.
We got back on our bikes and rode west along 7. At Nineveh Don and I were to stay on 7 while everyone else turned south and headed back toward Windsor. We took some pictures on the bridge over the Susquehanna, then parted ways and Don and I rode back over Belden Hill and to our cars.
It was really nice. More social than the rides I'm used to, but that was a welcome change. And I burned over 2000 calories according to my HR monitor, so that makes me happy too. If that group weren't almost 2 hours away I'd definitely ride with them on a regular basis. I can see why Don does.
On my way back home I stopped in Ithaca and went to the Friends of the Library book sale www.booksale.org and picked up over $30 of used books on kayaking, travel memoirs, nature, and snowboarding (maybe I can pick up tips that will prevent me from tearing my rotator cuff this winter. LOL)
I also found a first edition of the AMC white water handbook for canoe and kayak. Published the year I was born. With awesome pictures of people in the custom fiberglass boats they used to use before plastic was invented. I paid 50 cents for it.
I got home almost exactly 12 hours from when I left, tired and happy.
Friday, September 30, 2011
The statistics are disheartening no matter how you define weight maintenance.
Here are two extremes:
5% of people manage to stay within about 5 lbs of their goal weight.
20% of people manage to keep off at least 10% of the weight they lost in the first place.
But look at these numbers:
NELLJONES has maintained for almost 41 years.
SHIRLEYD1959 has maintained for over 23 years.
JACKIERN and BETH7CAM have maintained over 8 years.
PERSISTENCEMIMI, ZUCCHINIQUEEN, CAROLJEAN64, and JCORYCMA have all maintained over 5 years.
When I'm trying to do something that is hard, I like to have role models. For bicycling, Lance Armstrong is a pretty good one. I like to read about how he eats, trains, and LIVES. I'm not Lance and I'm not going to ride in the Tour de France anytime soon, but I still get good ideas and motivation for my own training. And that makes me a better cyclist.
Weight maintenance, as shown by the statistics above, is also difficult. Unlike world class bicycle racing, or even the world of weight loss, we almost never see maintenance role models acknowledged, let alone celebrated. So how do I even find out who is good at this game so I can learn from their experiences?
I make a list, that's how.
As one way to keep ourselves focused and engaged, we've started celebrating maintenance anniversaries in the At Goal and Maintaining team.
In the process of finding out when to celebrate those anniversaries we've also ended up collecting a list that can be sorted in terms of how long people have maintained. You can see it here:
Those long-term maintainers are the folks that the REST of us need around. For their advice, support, and as living, breathing examples of people who are putting in the work every day to keep their fitness. They have life throwing them curve balls too. And they have setbacks. And they overcome them.
Over 60% of us on the At Goal and Maintaining team have maintained less than 2 years.
I think if we can figure out how to stay engaged and focused and learn from these people, I think we can beat those depressing published odds.
We've started having maintenance challenges, to see who is good at holding weight steady for two months. And we're brainstorming and investigating other ways to keep ourselves interested and involved.
If you are maintaining and would like to celebrate YOUR anniversary, I encourage you to join the team
and also put yourself in our list of maintainers:
And if you'd like to make maintainers more visible and celebrated, one thing you can do is "like" this post so more people will see it (and them).
Update: One year later the list is still going strong, with twice the number of maintainers on it!
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