I’ve moved back to the United States from my tour abroad. I did a surprisingly good job of keeping up my workout routine during the 1) transition period in Thailand, 2) the actual travel days and 3) the transition period (on-going) in Texas.
I’ll post some Garmin Connect calendar pictures to show how I did overall once I have my computer back and can upload my Garmin data and input my manual activities. Could be a while. In the meantime you’ll just have to trust me. My bikes went into the household goods shipping but I’ve been running, swimming and even lifting regularly. Yes, I started lifting again. The cardio/pushups only thing I was doing bored the crap out of me. I’m not abandoning the CPFT goal, but I’m going to have to approach it a little more gradually. First thing I need to do is another diagnostic. I’m way overdue and really have no idea where I stand right now compared to my first one.
But I’m getting off track. The thing I wanted to say – as evidenced by the title – is that civilian gyms suck. Since I got to Houston I’ve been trying to find a place to workout. All I need is a somewhere with enough free weight equipment to do a standard Starting Strength workout routine. Squat rack, some Olympic bars and a pull-up bar. A lap pool would be nice too. The problem is that all the gyms in Houston (and I’m guessing everywhere else in America) have “cardio plus one of everything” syndrome. They have a HUGE warehouse-style building absolutely packed to the gills with 50 treadmills, 50 stationary bikes, 50 elliptical trainers, 5 each of three other alternative cardio machines, 1 or 2 rowing ergs, and one of EVERY SINGLE NAUTILUS (or Hammerstrength) MACHINE EVER DESIGNED FOR EACH BODY PART. Then they have one squat rack, two each bench press, incline bench press and decline bench press and a handful of flat benches in front of the mirrors by the dumbbell racks. Want to do three inch range of motion weighted ab crunches? There’s a machine for that. Interested in working out your thigh adductors? There’s a machine for that. Want to do high angle, mid angle or low angle seated back rows? Machine, machine, machine.
Want to do the most fundamental and effective weightlifting exercises in the world and which should form the foundation of pretty much every human being’s strength training program? Sorry, there’s only one squat rack in the whole building and some ”bro-ski” wearing Beats headphones is doing 15 sets of shrugs or bent over rows (with terrible form) in the squat rack. Well, it’s not ideal, you say to yourself, but I’ll go do my deadlifts first . . . Except that there are no “loose” Oly bars. Every single one is assigned to a bench press station. And even if you manage to steal one off the bench without getting treated like a common criminal there is no section of floor in the entire facility large enough to set up for deadlifts because the entire place if crammed full of ridiculous machines.
It’s very frustrating. The Girlfriend and I are looking for a rental house and it would be really nice to be able to put a squat rack with a Oly bar in the garage and not have to deal with this kind of stuff.
I worked out on Monday and Tuesday because I was feeling a lot better (relative to my cold). My run performance on Tuesday wasn’t great and I coughed and hacked and sneezed up about a gallon of phlegm afterwards. But I haven’t managed to kick the last lingering effects of the cold.
I’ve got some congestion and hacking cough left. Because of that – and because of my inherent laziness – I took today off and didn’t lift or run (either of which would have been acceptable workouts).
But I’ve decided that I can’t go without regular workouts any longer. Who knows how long it would be if I waited until I was 100%, unquestionably, perfectly healthy again. I’m health ENOUGH. I’m going to go ahead and pick back up with normal workouts tomorrow. No health related excuses. Hopefully I work through my last symptoms without a relapse.
For me running is difficult and unnatural that this statement is true even after just a week.
I ran this evening for the first time since I got sick two weekends back. And while it FELT okay, the same level of perceived effort was 2-minutes slower over 4-miles than just two weeks ago. Oh, the damage done.
Another health related item of note is that over the ten days or so that I wasn’t working out to to active illness or active recovery I actually lost weight.
Turns out that not having an appetite and feeling to poorly to go out to eat bad food actually has effects. As you should know by now, I don’t really care much about my weight and none of my goals really have any connection to my weight, but I have a fancy ANT+ scale and it makes graphs in my Garmin Connect so from time to time I feel the need to show them and say something about it. So, voila. Another 5-pounds or so and I’ll be close to the weight I boxed intramurals in my Firstie year at West Point (that’s senior year for you civilian college goers).
So just as I was getting back into a good rhythm and building the oh-so-important positive inertia, I got sick. I spent about four days in a good solid feverish cold. So obviously during that period I wasn’t working out. Then I took a few extra days to make sure I was over it and wouldn’t cause a relapse by exercising too hard too soon.
Then I just skipped today because I was lazy (the bad inertia was in full swing). But by eight o’clock at night I was going insane from antsiness so I went down to the gym and did my standard four exercise weight lifting routine for when I’m just trying to get some general exercise (bench press, pull up, leg press, standing military press). Then I threw in some bicep curls because of reasons.
It was good. Totally a “anything is better than nothing” type of workout. I was planning to get up and get a run in tomorrow morning but the beauty of time zones means I have a conference call at 0630. Which means that tomorrow’s workout is going to happen at some to be determined time.
I also know that I still owe my second half of the year goals post. Working on it. I’m playing around with charts and data in Excel and have gone down a rabbit hole. I’ll try to get something interesting, clear and SMART soon.
To not work out? That’s the question today as I woke up with a fever and sore throat combined with general body aches. I made the executive decision after significant hemming and hawing to skip my planned run workout for today.
Now, 15-hours later, I feel slightly better but still not close to 100%. I think it was a wise decision to hold off on the workout. I’m especially bummer because I was in a good rhythm and I was looking forward to working out today.
Here’s hoping that I can shake this bug quickly and get back on track.
If something doesn’t work exactly as intended the odds of my figuring it out and getting it to work are slim to none. That said, here’s what I wanted to post two days ago.
I went on vacation last week and spent a fantastic time with my extended family (father’s side) in the Pacific northwest.
Nothing exciting and not much variety. Doing pushups every morning. Running mostly. It’s hard to force myself to do all the logistics to go for a bike ride here (have to drive at least 20 minutes to get to a good starting point). Plus I’m lazy. And I’m a social exerciser. So not having workout buddies here is tough.
But I’m staying on a good routine. Here’s the proof.
So I’ve done a preliminary troll through the old Garmin Connect data. Some interesting stuff in there. Maybe I’ll put together some charts and tables and make a post about it.