2012-06-11

A Small Victory

A big move sure can interrupt the flow of things.

Despite our best intentions, it can be next to impossible to maintain a consistent, challenging routine when there is so much life going on around us. In my case, I started packing and preparing for my move on about May 15th. From there, my life has been an unyielding state of Go, Go, Go! Obviously, any big move involves some complex logistics and unexpected challenges. Mine has been no different. (I won’t bore you with the gory details, but anyone who has ever made a big move can surely bring you up to speed on the kinds of things that pop up out of nowhere.)

Thankfully, I have arrived at my destination in one piece, without losing any important belongings or damaging any people, places, or things. So there’s that.

The bad news, though, is that I travelled for about a week (including stops along the way), and quickly set up a temporary residence and started working – but have so far been unable to adhere to a consistent and challenging exercise routine. Day by day, I feel a little bit of my strength and endurance slipping away as I lose out on my work-out time in order to battle with rush hour traffic and the ongoing commitments required to establish a more permanent place of residence. When I finally manage to scrape together some spare time, I am unsurprisingly inclined to spend it sleeping, reading, resting, or eating… basically, all those things I wish I were doing while I am rushing to do all the work I have to do.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because I have a sneaky suspicion that I’m not the only person in the world who has ever felt like this before. I imagine some of my faithful readers have often felt this way from time to time. But this is more than just a collective pity party or pessimistic rant.

The Good News
Let me cover a few things that I managed to do right over the course of the past month.

First, I was wise enough to pack my workout gear and a set of resistance bands in an easily accessible bag, and I have been able to run, even if sporadically. More importantly, I have been extremely good at maintaining a daily strength training regimen. While it’s nothing intensive or challenging, it has been enough to keep my body in decent shape and my blood sugar in good control. Here’s the breakdown:

A-Day: Repeat the following four times, with 60 seconds rest between each set
·         40 push-ups (That’s right – I actually increased my number of repetitions)
·         30 bicep curls (with resistance bands)
·         20 flies/lateral raises (with resistance bands)

B-Day: Repeat the following four times, with 60 seconds rest between each set
·         A “Crunch-Thing”
o   50 crunches for the first set
o   40-second right-side plank for the second set
o   40-second left-side plank for the third set
o   50 combined leg-raises/hip-raises for the fourth set
·         30 unweighted squats
·         30 calf-raises

Astute Stationary Waves readers should draw parallels between this daily morning routine and a couple of previous workouts I have written about (most notably “The Matrix” and my evolving A-Day/B-Day routines). This has been a fairly good routine because it’s not quite as challenging as The Matrix, and yet it has been far more challenging than, say, my Winter training regimen. At least in that sense, it has been somewhat of a “best of both worlds” scenario.

Second, as I mentioned above, I have managed to keep my blood sugar under good control. This has been thanks to a few important things: (1) Consistent adherence to daily scheduled mealtimes and bedtime; (2) Basically eliminating rice from my diet altogether; (3) Voluntary and in some cases involuntary portion control during meals; (4) Increasing my long-acting insulin dose; (5) Keeping a close watch on my insulin to ensure that it doesn’t spoil. To that last point, I actually invested in a refrigerated car cooler for the long drive, which I have managed to also leverage during day trips to hot locations. All things considered, while my blood sugar has been a little high over the past month, it hasn’t been nearly as high as is typical for me during disruptions in my routine, and keeping good BG control means I have been able to stay healthy despite my lack of exercise.

Third, and most esoterically, I have been talking about diet, exercise, and diabetes a lot lately. This might seem silly, but I believe that simply keeping my health as a “top-of-mind” issue during the course of a hectic month has done a good job of keeping me mentally on track. And, of course, if you buy into the Stationary Waves philosophy of health and fitness, you already know that the mental game is the most important component in all of this.

When I add it all up, what I’m left with is a bit of a small victory for myself. Considering the situation, I could easily have spun out of control and become very unhealthy. But I managed to keep my head in the game, get some good daily exercise, and keep my blood sugar in a controllable range. That’s worth celebrating.

And Then, As Usual, He Took It Too Far…
Hilariously emblematic of my approach to all things, now that I have experienced some good success, I am hungry for more. I am not yet fully established in my new home, but I have enough of a temporary routine going for myself that today I have embarked on a new fitness regimen.

The hot weather in my new home is a little excessive during the summer – too much for me to be able to engage in any serious marathon training. Thus, I’m sticking to some modest mileage and focusing a bit more on my strength training, especially upper-body training and plyometrics. Moreover, to my chagrin, I have little other choice but to run in the morning rather than the afternoon. In the case, the heat is a bit of a culprit, but the main culprit is the evening after-work traffic. It’s simply too heavy for me to get home in time to run and eat safely, without risking an overnight low.

In a few weeks, I’ll have established regular gym access and a few good running routes. Until then, my “Week 1” shall be as follows:

Monday:
·         Morning:
o   4-mile easy run
·         Evening:
o   The Matrix – That’s right, folks. It’s back, and badder than ever.

Tuesday:
·         Morning:
o   5-mile run
·         Evening:
o   The Matrix

Wednesday:
·         Morning:
o   5-mile run
·         Evening:
o   The Matrix

Thursday:
·         Morning:
o   5-mile fartlek run
·         Evening:
o   The Matrix

Friday:
·         Morning:
o   4-mile easy run
·         Evening:
o   The Matrix

Saturday:
·         7-8 mile trail run

I’ll start with that for the next week or two, then start building toward a bit more mileage, and an alternating strength training / plyometrics A-Day/B-Day regimen. It’s the only way to beat the heat.