LOGHOUSE   7,133
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Feels like a solid start . . .

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Well, my current streak hit 21 days today, and I'm starting to feel like I'm actually off to a real solid start. If things continue, I may try my first half-marathon on the erg this weekend. I probably wouldn't go for it this soon, but there's a challenge over on the Concept2 site that runs until the 15th and Sunday might be the only time I have a couple hours to make the attempt.
Anyway, so far, so good . . .

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 5/7/2014 9:44AM

    Excellent! Row, row, row that body! :-)


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Day 1 of the 2015 Rowing Season

Friday, May 02, 2014

Today (May1st) starts the 2015 Rowing Season. I do all my rowing on a Concept2 model D erg (no rowing clubs in my area), but that's fine for me. My erg is in my living room, so I really have no excuses to not use it on a daily basis. In my last post, I mentioned my plan to row over 3 million meters this season. Got in 10,000 today. Off to a good start. Current streak is 17 consecutive days.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAMIRBLAZE 5/2/2014 10:38AM

    Nice! I'd like to try rowing, but there isn't one at my gym. Closest that I get is the occasional kayaking trip.

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DDOORN 5/2/2014 7:09AM

    Way to SPARK! :-)


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CODEMAULER 5/2/2014 6:44AM

    Great work, Rick!! Nice to see where all the 'magic' happens, too.


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Stringing a few together . . .

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Well, according to my log book, I've only missed a few days of rowing since getting started again on April 4th. Over the last week I've gotten in some 10,000 meter rows, which at my nice steady pace takes me just over an hour. Not fast by any stretch of the imagination, but my Polar-Fit program has me doing moderate pace workouts, which feels right as I try to restart a real fitness and weight loss program. And I haven't missed a day in almost 2 weeks. I'm feeling great to be doing real exercise again.
Sometime since the 4th I crossed the 3 million lifetime meter mark on my rower. Though this season (2014) has been a bust, I got in over 2 million in the 2013 season. My hope and my goal is to top 3 million in the 2015 season which starts May 1st (putting my lifetime total over 6 million). I'm feeling good that my rowing in April will give me a solid base for a good start to the new season.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IFDEEVARUNS2 4/29/2014 1:52PM


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CODEMAULER 4/29/2014 9:32AM

    Way to go, Rick; add up those meters!!


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working on getting back on the wagon

Friday, April 18, 2014

I see it's been over a year since my last blog entry. And it's been many months since I've visited Sparks or thought a whole lot about exercise or eating well (other than when I had to keep getting bigger clothes so I could keep working when not otherwise occupied) or much else besides getting through the days and weeks.

If memory serves, last summer I was trending up with workouts and trending down with pounds in yet another attempt to get rid of the weight. I'd survived my 18th MS150 bike ride in early August and was working hard to do Wisconsin's Tough Mudder with my Spark-friend Jen (was looking forward to finally meeting her) in early September.

A couple weeks after the MS ride, my wife went in for a colonoscopy, having had some issues for a few months. What was found was a significant blockage which turned out to be cancer.

The next months were a blur of scans, scopes, probes, chemo, loads of appointments, etc. Mixed in early in September was the death of my friend and buddy, my beagle Rocky, who joined our other beloved dog Carma in our little pet cemetery near our garden.

In mid January, my wife's tumor was removed and colon was reconstructed. During all the scans, several small spots were also discovered on her lungs, which by the time of her surgery had shrunk with the chemo. After some recovery time, chemo has re-commenced, and her team of Doctors have turned their focus and skills on the lung spots, which will be hit with targeted radiation in between chemo treatments.

Prognosis is excellent for her to be cancer free in the end (to use the words of her team leader, "we're confident we can make this go away".).

Through all this, my focus has been on anything but fitness and exercises, and frankly, between work and all the appointments and treatments, and taking care of home, there hasn't been time for anything else. Sometime a few months ago, another Spark-friend, Debbie and I briefly got started on the pushup challenge over on the Mighty Hundreds, but I just couldn't stay on track. Very sorry, Deb.

So here I am. Though chemo is still going on, my wife is doing really well and started working half days this week. I've had a little more time on my hands of late and on the 4th of April got on the erg and rowed 5000 meters. Since then I've managed a bunch more 5000 meter rows, and am going to take a whack at 10000 tonight. I've updated my log over on the Concept 2 site and have logged my workouts here on the Indoor Rowing Team. I have to do something, having again gained back all the weight. I hate my body like this. Can't do anything, and even walking from my truck to my desk leaves me out of breath and wheezing. Fat sucks and lugging it around sucks more and not being able to tie your shoes without feeling like passing out is epic suckage.

So I'm climbing back on the wagon. The work I've done so far feels great. But my wife's treatments and a final minor surgery will go well into summer. And though this may sound selfish or something, I really miss my dog Rocky. He was my friend, and him not being here when I come home still hurts. Bigtime !

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 4/19/2014 8:38AM

    It's so wonderful to hear from you again!

But I am so sorry to hear of your wife's cancer and the tremendous trials and tribs that it always brings with it...

Best thing tho, is that you are BACK!

Looking forward to hearing from you steadily...you rock!


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CODEMAULER 4/19/2014 7:12AM

    First - It's really good to see you here, no matter the reason.
Next - I'm so glad that your wife is battling successfully.
Also - I'm so sorry about Rocky. We lost our 'little girl' two years ago and it still sneaks up and punches me.

And 'fat sucks' is absolutely priceless. I'm stealing this, because it's true AND it's a motivator.

All of this is tough, and I know that you are tough, too. Day by day, things have a way of working out. I've missed you and I know you're in it for the long haul.

"Were it not for the stones, the river would have no song."

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ERIN1957 4/19/2014 5:25AM

    ...and we walk through life, better because we are alive and learning that life can take, but as well give. We would never feel pain if we would not have loved and for this we are blessed.
So glad you are working on yourself too.

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1BOSSMOMMY 4/18/2014 10:57PM

Rocky was so adorable I am sorry for your loss. I have a dog of my own who thinks she's a person. Sorry also for the health troubles your wife is going through. Some times life becomes so heavy is easy for us to pack on the lbs. and we reflect what our lives have become. I hope you will be able to find the time to spend a little here each day to get the support and encouragement you need. Remember is isn't selfish to take good care of yourself. Your wife needs you at your best weight so you can be healthy for her. If you don't take proper care of your needs you might develop health problems of your own.

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HOTPINKCAMARO49 4/18/2014 10:32PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Been a while . . .

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Been sorta partially out of comission for a while. What I mean is that due to what I believe was an "overuse injury", I haven't been rowing for nearly 2 months. And with S.E. Wisconsin's way less than optimal weather, my attempt at being a runner has been suffering.

BUT, it's not all crummy news. I've been keeping active. With all the snow, I've used some left-over vacation from last year to take some 3 day weekends and have spent some solid time snowshoeing, usually 2-3 hours at a time, burning gobs of calories. And when the roads are decent, I've been getting some walk/runs in and have mostly continued my daily lunch-time walks at work (though a 3 day seminar on project management and several all-day meetings spoiled my perfect record of daily walks for the last 6 months or so).

Anyway, I hit the erg today for 10,000 meters and my back felt great. Not a bit of soreness in the strained/ overused back muscle that had been ailing me. I was a bit suprised that I had to rejoin the rowing team to log my meters. Did I get kicked off ?? Maybe it was a SparkGlitch. And though it was just my usual run/walk/run routine, I did do the Blarney Run 5k down in Milwaukee this past Saturday. It's been a long time since my last 5k, but I had a good time despite not being ready to run the whole thing.

Met the owner of a local minimalist running store at the race. Having spent a bunch of last summer walking around in a pair of Fivefingers shoes and having done some research after reading a very cool book called "Born To Run", I've decided to take that plunge. I've been having increasing pain in my plantar tendons since the Holidays, and despite having been "fitted" and having my form checked by a recommended running store and dropping serious coin on the corrective shoes they recommended, I've come to hate them, and can't wait to take 'em off. At home, I'm always in socks or barefoot, and never required any "adjustment time" to the Fivefingers, and my first run in my new zero drop running shoes today was really good. Didn't even take them off afterwards. Spent the afternoon in them. And no aches tonight. My feet are smilin'.

Well enough rambling. Hope I'm back for a while. Still have a bunch of weight to lose, and need to get back to daily erging and make WAY more headway with the running.
Hope you're all finding your own ways to success.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 5/14/2013 11:18AM

    Looks like weather is looking up for you these days? Hope you're able to get out and enjoy!

I've finished my one & only official 5K of the year...that's all I'm willing to do, lol! Have to say, however, when I go for a walk I find it tough to "settle" for walking and often shift into a jogging...SLOW...mode! :-)

Now it's time to get over my Coumadin jitters and get on the bike and GO!


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JUNEPA 4/1/2013 5:18PM

    I am glad to see you are running and rowing again. I also like the minimalist shoes for running, I have Merrell Pace and Dash gloves and also just got a pair of the Vibram Five Fingers. I switched from the standard overpadded running shoes last year about May and my feet have gotten stronger and able to do longer distances without blisters (the injinji toe sock help a lot for this as well) or most other endurance foot problems. I

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ERIN1957 3/14/2013 6:28AM

    Great to see you back.
Altra shoes are the best!
I have spent many years looking for and wasting money on great shoes...or should I say 'what should have been great shoes'. Night and day from any others I have tried, but then again I am not the typical person either.
It sounds like you are doing good, awesome!
I am hoping for my first 5K this summer/fall.
Take care,

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CRISPINI 3/13/2013 10:28AM

    Welcome back to Spark!

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TRILLIUM22 3/12/2013 10:16AM

    good to see you back

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JEN_BACK2BASICS 3/12/2013 9:30AM

    Why is it that the first thing I see when I come back to Sparks after being gone is one of your blogs about coming back to Sparks after being gone? Weird.

I am so bummed! I wanted to do the Blarney 5k this year, but I have a Saturday class and didn't get out in time to run it. It's the first 5k I ever ran nonstop, so it holds a special place in my heart. Plus they have beer. Glad you could go and had a good time! Someday we will be in the same place at the same time...perhaps somewhere with beer.
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Are you still doing the Tough Mudder this year? Did you register? A couple of my friends are not doing it, but a couple others are contemplating it. Maybe we can sign up for the same time!

Glad to hear you are feeling good and doing well. I am back at it, trying to start making that forward progress once again. Keep giving updates on those shoes - I've been curious but am afraid to try them!

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