28 February 2013

weights | core | Expresso exercise bike

Man, I slept like utter crap last night but managed to check both the AM and the PM exercise box. I even managed to up the reps on more of my exercises. I suppose I am not pushing myself all that hard in the gym... And really, pushing hard in the gym is not my goal; I'm just trying to burn some calories and not atrophy. Still, it was fun to feel like I could do a couple of more reps.


27 February 2013

weights | core

Just the gym today, I had too much work to make time for cardio.

I did increase the reps on some exercises today though! Yeah for me.

26 February 2013

weights | Expresso exercise bike

I am finally able to do some proper core work... not much but it's a start. My ankle is doesn't hurt too much to put it up on a ball so I did. I also finally ditched the back machine in favor of back extensions on the mat.

I was planning on upping the reps a bit today but coming off of a rest day made me somewhat lethargic for some reason.

At lunch I made it down to the IMA again for some sweet, sweet Expresso exercise bike action.


24 February 2013

weights | core | south Lake WA loop + Mercer Island

I went to the gym this morning and was able to do a little more and the single leg exercises are starting to feel slightly better as well. And I was able to do one more push-up! Progress. :)

In the gym I'm comfortable enough where I could start to go heavier but I need to remind myself why I'm here which is just to burn some calories, maintain some strength and hopefully keep my legs from atrophying too much. To that end I think adding some reps is more desirable than upping the weight very much.

After getting home I changed and headed out for a ride in relatively mild although somewhat windy conditions. Hey, I'll take it. In fact, I had some sun on my ride today - huge pleasant surprise considering the weather forecast I saw Friday which predicted wind and rain all weekend. Awesome.

People watching at the gym continues to be super fun on the weekends as some of the characters that don't' show up at 5:00 AM on weekdays (that's when it opens Monday-Friday) are able to make it in by 8:00 AM on Saturday and Sunday (that's when it open on weekends). Today there were a couple of yellers with all the accessories.These guys had on massive, leather lifting belts, lifting gloves, piled on massive amounts of iron for deadlifts and then yelled at each other for motivation. I was smiling.

On my ride my heart rate monitor cooperated for a change. And I went one minute faster than when I rode this route yesterday, woohoo! Kidding. About the woohoo part anyway.

I wish I had a power meter on my rain bike... I feel like it's sometimes hard to tell if I'm going too hard and that extra data would certainly help. Anyone want to donate $1,000 to the cause? :)

23 February 2013

weights | core | south Lake WA loop + Mercer Island

I could complain how it's incredibly frustrating to be told I have to hold back and that I should not ride more than two hours at a time and that I shouldn't get out of the saddle or go hard but instead I'll say that is was awesome to get outside when it's not raining and how fun this loop - that I have ridden about a million times and normally think is boring as all get out - can be when you have so few options and have not been outside since last weekend.

I actually had a good time! I did have to concentrate a LOT to keep the pace down and to stay in the saddle. Of course as my fitness fades it's getting easier and easier. :(

I saw a lot of cyclists out and about today, that was really cool. Even a few small groups in matching kits. And I saw Uli Steidl (running south on Lake WA Blvd), Alastair Lockett (on his way home as I headed south) and then coming around Mercer Island I think I saw Kenny Williams. It's always nice to see folks.

ASIDE - some people 'run' but Uli was running! He was out with this guy I recognized from the Loop The Lake Marathon and they were freaking hauling ass. Into the wind! Amazing to see.

Oh yeah, and I went to the gym this morning for some more one-legged stuff. See that guy with the one normal leg and one atrophied leg? That's me.

22 February 2013

weights | Expresso exercise bike

After talking to Neal Goldberg from FootWorks PT yesterday morning I discovered that some of the ab and back exercises I am doing on machines at the gym are actually hurting my back. Nice. So today I tried to mix it up.

On the upside he said that doing some one-legged exercises on my right/healthy leg will help my left leg so I started doing some of that. I have to admit it felt funny working the right leg, and then the right leg, and then the right leg again and finally walking away from the machine without ever doing anything for me left leg.

At lunch I got back on the Expresso exercise bike at the IMA and went for a slightly longer course. I think the 'suggested' times were scaring me off but I'm finding that even when I take it relatively easy I am beating the pacer by 5+ minutes so I should not be worried about these sessions taking too long.


21 February 2013


Did my usual minimal weight routine at the gym this morning and then took the bus to work as the forecast was for rain.

I did increase the weight on my leg exercises and it was doable.

20 February 2013

pants in the shower guy

I feel like the person that tells you an incredible story to which you respond with an incredulous eyebrow raise and they reply, "Hey, I'm not making this stuff up!" Because I'm not.

So I'm in the IMA locker room shower... [Always a good way to start any story in my opinion.] and I'm toweling off when this guy walks up.

At first I thought he was just going to wet his towel or something because he's wearing jeans, socks and tennis shoes and carrying his towel.  But no; Mr. Jeans, socks and tennis shoes walks right into the shower, turns on the water and proceeds to wash his hair.  While wearing his jeans, socks and tennis shoes! IN THE SHOWER.

weights | trainer ride

At the gym this morning I noticed I am making some progress as some of these exercises are finally getting a little easier... Will I move up in weights or reps? Not even sure if I have the motivation honestly. I'm just checking the fitness box here and don't really want to make any gains in upper body strength, it just happens to be what I can do at the moment.

At lunch I got on the Expresso bike at the IMA again and incredibly it was still kind of fun. I could feel myself wanting to go faster and help back but I set a new PR (like I'm ever really trying that hard...) on the course I did today.


19 February 2013

weights | bike commute

Well, my day started out okay and I hit the gym with my usual moderate enthusiasm but after some extremely discouraging news about my ankle from yet another specialist (more on that later) I rode my bike VERY SLOWLY (because of the ankle news) the rest of the way to and from work.

18 February 2013

road ride

I know...! That's TWO rides in TWO days for me. You'd almost think I was a cyclist or something.

Yesterday was a test ride so to speak. I wanted to find out how my ankle would tolerate riding and if needed I could have bailed across I-90 cutting the distance in half. As it turns out I did not need to cut the ride short and so today I decided to add a couple of hills into the mix.

The result? A resounding success.

When I got home my left ankle looked as good as it has since I first sprained it meaning the swelling is going down.

Funny interesting how fragile the human mind/spirit is and how quickly you can go from pretty down in the dumps to this.


17 February 2013

Lake WA loop

Okay, I guess I am damn lucky because even though my left ankle is way messed up (meaning no running and not even much walking at this stage) I can still ride my bike. Yes! So today I got out and with some guarded optimism embarked on a 50-mile jaunt that didn't have too many hills. My PT said it's still too soon to put much pressure on my ankle which meant no sudden efforts and being really gentle when out of the saddle.

I did just that and my ankle survived. It did fine in fact.

My back? Not so hot. But I have not been able to do any real core work at all this last month; just some ab exercises and some minimally effective back stuff so I am NOT complaining.

15 February 2013

weights | indoor trainer | walk

I didn't sleep so well and almost blew off the gym but rallied at the last minute and made it in. As usual, I'm glad I did...

ASIDE - that lesson will never get learned. :(

At lunch I went back to the IMA for another session on the Expresso exercise bicycle and with a small saddle position adjustment it was slightly more comfortable. Whew, I was getting almost numb in the hindquarters after about 20 minutes.


I also walked home for the third time this week! I know, 1.5 miles, big deal... Well for me it is a big deal when my ankle doesn't bother me. Now I just need to be careful to do my rehab/PT to strengthen my ankle and not attempt too much too soon and re-injure it. What sucks worse than an injury? Prolonging the injury.

14 February 2013

indoor trainer

I blew off the gym today and instead just went to the IMA at lunch and hopped on the Expresso exercise bike again. This is still pretty fun the the saddle is killing my butt... It's just too wide, too soft and too plain wrong. Oh well, small price to pay perhaps?

I opted for a flat route to keep myself in the saddle (hence some of my discomfort perhaps?) and hopefully be more consistent with my heart rate. The suggested time range for this route was much longer than it took me and I am not going fast based on the leader board. I guess they just set the bar really low to allow everyone to succeed. I'm still learning how to estimate the time it will take me to compete these routes.


13 February 2013

weights | walk

Just the gym today thankyouverymuch. Oh, and I walked home from the bus again.

Man, I am lifting really light weights but I am still TIRED from this workout. In the upper body that is; my legs are no problem. I can barely do 15 knee push-ups after doing the shoulder press and my arms are shaking trying to hold onto the medicine ball as I do my twisters. Sheesh.

12 February 2013

weights | indoor trainer

Another day in the gym lifting weights and another day on the Expresso exercise bicycle. This time (unlike yesterday) I created an account prior to starting so I could record my workout. I selected the same route as yesterday and perhaps because I knew what I was doing this time I completed the course in about one minute less time.


11 February 2013

weights | indoor trainer | walk

I got to the gym this morning for my 'new' routine of ancillary leg exercises, a little bit of upper body and some good old abs and back.

At lunch I went down to the IMA to ride a stationary bicycle and discovered a new and really fun piece of equipment! The have these Expresso bikes in the cardio room and they have a ton of cool features.

  • You can create an account which lets you track your workouts/PRs/etc.
  • You can share your workouts and PRs on various social networks by linking your accounts.
  • You can compete against other people either in real-time or by riding against their 'ghost' from a previous workout.
  • Unlike most gym exercise bikes these machines have a reasonable saddle, toe clips, adjustable saddle height and adjustable fore/aft position.
  • You can shift 'gears' and steer the bike.
  • There is a pretty good visual display so you can see the road, other racers and the pixilated scenery.
  • The courses have loads of twists and turns and ups and downs.

Of course I didn't figure out the whole personal account thing until I was done so rode today as a guest and did not store any data. :(

On the way home I missed my second bus so since it was a beautiful night I decided to test my ankle and walk home. It felt a little thick when I got home but no pain.

10 February 2013

weights | core |trainer

Well, when you are mostly otherwise incapacitated, why not lift some weights? Man did that feel weird...

I even managed 30 min on the trainer in the evening. I am not feeling very fit.

Incredibly after several hours on my feet my foot is not more swollen. It's the little things. I can now wear my Vans slip-on tennis shoes with super thin socks. Yes.

09 February 2013


Oh boy, today was my first workout since spraining my ankle on 2 February.

It was hard.

I rode the trainer because my ankle is not yet up for any kind of impact and today was also the first day I could finally fit my fat foot into any kind of shoe.

My doctor said flexing my foot up and down (like you do when you walk) is actually good as it will help pump some of the fluid out of the joint so cycling seemed ideal. Coincidentally, I happen to have a couple of bicycles in the house and a trainer too! Lucky me.


08 February 2013

coming to grips

Plus various other hyperbole and melodrama.

Since I can't document my physical activities these days, this blog will temporarily be used for extoling various universal truths that everyone else already knows and which Martin is just now figuring out.

When you get in the routine of exercising all the time it becomes a part of your life. I can think back to a particular day pretty recently that made me feel incredibly alive! Alive because I was able to do shit. Shit that many people can't do.

And when you get in the routine of being active you surround yourself with other people that are just as active. Enter Garmin Connect, Strava, Attackpoint, Facebook, etc., etc. So now I'm sitting here at my desk, it's sunny outside and I can't go ride or run. What's that in my Inbox? Why it's a Strava activity report... you know, the digest message that lets you see just what everyone else has been doing other than sitting at a desk with their foot elevated to reduce the swelling.

Then I start to browse everyone else's training log and see folks who are in So Cal, Hawaii, you name it.

To top it off I am suddenly seeing 10 times as many people running and riding their bikes as I did just one week ago.


06 February 2013

You must be talking about somebody else...

If you are an athlete or know people that are athletes you all know 'that guy'. I'm talking about the guy that injures himself and persists in finishing the race or whatever arduous activity they happen to be undertaking at the time. And as you watch them or hear about this effort all you can think is. "Damn, that must hurt. Why didn't they just stop?"

Some classic examples are runners staggering, disoriented toward the finish line of a Marathon or Ironman Triathlon all dehydrated and obviously totally out of it. Or a gymnast vaulting with a broken ankle. If you are as big of an Olympics fan as I am you know what I mean.

Well guess what.


05 February 2013

People are stupid, forever.

I need to give Gregory Mackenzie credit for this post title.

Many years ago when I was working in the Bicycle industry I had the chance to go to the Interbike industry expo a few times.

In those days - and probably still these days - there was a 'Taiwan pavilion' with booth after booth of products from Taiwanese manufacturers who were hoping to get some OEM spec on bicycles. Back then (we're talking the late 1980s and early 1990s) it was pretty much what you would suspect meaning lots of neon nick-nacks, crazy Hello Kitty handlebar baskets, center-stand kickstands, etc. But even back then, before Taiwan became one of the most respected aluminum and titanium and carbon manufacturers on the planet, there were some pretty progressive wares on display so I figured it was worth a look-see.

The one item that stood out to me and that I still remember to this day was a set of 'power cranks'. I think that's what they were called anyway.


04 February 2013


Yikes...! You really can't do much when your foot is the size and shape of a melon.

I sprained my left ankle Saturday and last night my left foot and ankle ballooned so today I am not doing much of anything. Including my usual core exercises like the plank or some balance stuff on the ball because they all require me to put weight on my foot. Rats.

So instead I did some twisters and used a couple of abdominal and back machines at the gym. After about 20 minutes of dorking around I went home.

Good times. Not.

02 February 2013

Orcas Island 50k trail run

Time for an attitude adjustment! It's Orcas Island 50k time.

This is the first time I have entered a running race with no particular personal ambitions. I have not been training much these last three weeks due to injury (I sprained my left ankle pretty bad) and I have not been doing any speed work or quality tempo work and I'm getting over (read: I still have) a cold so the goal was just to finish.

Not just to finish, but finish and have fun while running. :)

[That's a pretty tentative looking smile there...]

01 February 2013

cardio | errands by bike

Wow... I have really been taking it easy this week.

Monday - just some stretching
Wednesday - zip (no time)
Thursday - nada (I got sick)

There are two reasons for this lack of activity.

  1. I sprained my left ankle about three weeks ago and want it to get strong enough so I can run the Orcas Island 50k tomorrow.
  2. I'm trying to rest up just in case I do run the Orcas Island 50k tomorrow.

I was going to see my PT today and was resolved to let him make the call about whether or not I should run. I'll admit it took me a couple of days to arrive at this decision but now I was at peace with it and if I wasn't going to run then so be it.