Saturday, April 13, 2013

Training Report

Twenty seven days since I became sick and I'm still coughing up crap.  But I'm clearly largely recovered, if my training is any indicator.  Most of what follows will be incomprehensible to my readers (according to the log I still have readers, and not just hostile pings from China, either!) but as always, if nothing else I'm an appreciative audience for my writing.

My main way of gauging how sick I am is monitoring the effect on my workouts.  During this past illness I entirely stopped running, but kept stretching and walking (daily) and managed to do a kettlebell workout every three days or so, preserving some basic muscle tone and strength.  I'm skeptical that kettlebell workouts have substantial aerobic effect, but a set of swings or snatches with good sized bell does raise the heart rate and makes me breathe hard.  The last couple of days of illness -- days 20 and 21 -- I became feverish, ached from head to toe, and suffered from constant chills and exhaustion, and my cough got worse.  At that point I couldn't even do easy walks.  I couldn't work, either, and just lay about.  Then it all ended, very suddenly, and I felt OK.

I've run twice since then, and running has felt pretty easy.  I've been running the White trail at Wissahickon (in Philadelphia) from Valley Green to Covered Bridge; I have my own variant that involves some minor rock scrambling to keep it interesting.  Today I ran it with Johanna (and Chaos, as always).  Since Johanna is slower than I am, I would run ahead a ways and while waiting for did sets of 10 pushups.  At the turnaround we switched to the lower, less challenging Orange trail.  After we hit Rex Ave., we moved to the upper Orange trail.  There's a junction about halfway between Rex Avenue and Valley Green with a cutoff that climbs back to the White trail.  While I was cracking off my 110th pushup, Johanna ran past, missing the cutoff and continuing down the Orange.  Although I shouted at her that she was going the wrong way, no amount of imploring could get her to come back and climb back up to the white trail with me.  So I jumped up and started climbing.

My legs suddenly began to feel the earlier climbs, so maybe I'm not in such great shape.  But I climbed up to  the White trail and took off.  The Orange trail is relatively straight and level, while the white trail weaves above it and and has substantial climbs and drops (substantial by local standards; these would all be level trails in Montana).  The fun was racing to try to get ahead of Johanna.  I was really pushing it for a change -- no ultrarunning here.  I managed to get even with her at a point where her trail was maybe only 50 feet below mine.  Chaos saw me above and took off ahead and then raced up cross country to join me.  I faced a big M-shaped section with two climbs and two big drops while Johanna's trail made a beeline.  I cranked as hard as I could, took another side trail, scrambled down a really steep dirt section, and hit the Orange trail in time to finish 1 more set of pushups, getting the last as she caught up.  

The three of us then finished together.  Johanna GPS'd her distance as 3.7 miles.  I probably did 0.2 or so more.  Great fun. 

This is something unusual for Unforeseen Contingencies, a personal story of almost no significance.  I think there is a lesson here, though, having to do with maintaining condition while ill.  It's remarkable to me how little conditioning I lost with a minimal amount of stretching, walking, and strength work.  I followed a rule I've known for a long time: if you're sick you can and should keep active, just so long as you don't have muscle aches or fever and aren't too wiped out to function.

So much for personal matters.  I'll have something up very soon about the political situation in the U.S., plus Unforeseen Contingencies first ever Kim Il Sung birthday special!

This is one of the most devastating issue in international relations. The sheer impossibility of helping the North Korean population. NV
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