Saturday, June 30, 2012

Third day of rest. Slough bottoming out?

8am: Just before going to bed, I felt the malaise easing. This morning I woke up feeling much less fatigue. Getting up, I felt only slightly stiff. But I’m still tired. It comes in waves. I declined a hike to Winco, not because I couldn’t make it, but because I’m afraid it might set me back.

I think today should make as little physical demand as possible. I may stretch, but I may not. Exhaustion is a bigger problem than muscle stiffness.

My history – my M.O., my most usual fault -- is one of trying too hard, doing too much. So that’s what I have to guard against.

1:30pm: I notice I can stay on my feet without distress longer…

2:30pm: A ten-minute stroll to All About Eyes just now left me a little breathless.

Later -- I spent a couple of hours, off and on, on my feet doing some "shop" work in the garage, and my legs felt pretty bad. I got down in the dumps. But now, almost 9pm, my spirits are better. I feel like I may be "recovering".

Friday, June 29, 2012

Second day of rest, and slough deepens


9am: Fatigue sullied my sleep and I awoke feeling run-over. Once up, it wasn’t as bad as feared, but clearly still in the slough of recovery.

4pm: Slough deepened as day went on. Session with McAninch (10AM) confirmed idea that I’m dealing with Overtraining Syndrome (OTS) complicated by aging (Fragility?). I found this heartening, in that it suggests that increased recovery time between rides might prove effective. As I get into shape, perhaps less time between rides would be needed.

Meanwhile, I learned from McAninch that DAMAGE FROM WARM-UP is disproportionate to that from continued activity in any one session, thus a short ride requires a disproportionate amount of recovery time for repairs.

Right now I’m feeling exhausted. Some, though minor, chest distress: pain and pressure, 1 on a scale of 10. Doesn’t seem worse when I move around, but whenever I stand up, I want to sit down.

Leg muscles, meanwhile, feel stronger, and knees more supported.

Yet despite that, I’m unsteady on my feet. Climbing on a scale less than 2” off the floor, I was reaching around for something to grab. And just now, walking out into the alley, looking at some items on a table for a garage sale, I felt very unsteady and could hardly wait to get back to my desk. I can’t blame it on the muscles, and I didn’t feel dizzy, yet I felt in danger of losing my balance. And to complicate things even further, when McAninch had me balance on one foot and then the other, this morning, he said I did it fine – better than a lot of people!

One beer with sandwich, around 6. Ibuprofen a bit later.

7:15pm BP 150/59; p71 right after shower. Slough is deepening. Shot of whiskey with grapefruit juice around 9:00. Seemed to help.

10:pm: BP129/56 p67. Feeling better. Maybe coming out of the trough?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

First Day of Rest

Awoke with whole-body fatigue, which had kept me from sleeping soundly. Reminds me of the fatigue I felt after the season’s first day of skiing, back in NY, 15-20 years ago. Slight nausea for the first hour or so after I got up, plus the sense that I could at any moment get a chill. I’m taking an ibuprofen, and taking it as easy as possible,

To put it in context: If I were at Dewey Beach, 20 years ago, and felt like this, I’d just have a beer or two and sit around watching the waves, without worrying about it.

Later (10:30am): Resting more comfortably. Symptoms less extreme.

Bedtime: I got more and more comfortable as day went on. Legs not only felt less stiff and sore, but stronger, as well. I was a bit tired/sleepy during late afternoon, but only a little bit. Perhaps I’m simply recovering quickly – or this might just be the lull before the storm. I haven’t taken the time to look at my previous posts on this, but it seems to me that the SECOND DAY has often been worse than the first.

I’m really curious about what tomorrow brings…

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

16.6 miles, 1:48 riding time, 2:30 overall

Beautiful sunny cool morning. I felt physically and emotionally ready to ride and started off strong. Lateral knee stabilizers were cranky for about five miles and then subsided; anteriors still complained for next few miles. After I stopped at Ace Hardware (9.1 mi.) everything was warmed up.

I was feeling stronger and more optimistic than on last Saturday’s ride -- though not quite robust.

Towards the end – 14 mi or so – my legs felt as though they were getting a really good workout. At the very end they were telling me, “enough!” I drank my whey and walked down for mail – unsteadily – and my legs were very stiff and tired. I stretched a little and then realized the lawn needed mowing. So I staggered through that (30-minute) chore, then took a shower and napped for an hour.

I wasn’t very refreshed when I got up but I was adequately alert.

This was after aTHREE-DAY REST, and I’m thinking (in light of yesterday’s reading on fragility and Overtraining Syndrome) that maybe I need to figure on four or FIVE days. It looks like next Wednesday is the next chance I’ll have to ride, and that will have given me FIVE DAYS’ rest. If I ride the same route and survive it better, that should give me a better handle on how much recovery time I need.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

More rest

Spent the morning googling the recovery cycle and the fragility of the aged. Went to cardiologist Jean Phillips in afternoon, who adjusted my blood pressure medicine after suggesting it might be contributing to my light-headedness. Did not offer much else, but didn’t discourage my training routine. I’ll see her again in two months.

Accuweather calls for a sunny morning. I plan to ride.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Down day

Monday, June 25, 2012

Legs aren’t exactly stiff, but they’re tired – more tired than yesterday morning, I think. Tired enough that I decided not to hike to Winco. (Anne didn’t feel like it, either.)

I think I’m experiencing the Second Day Slump. And that I probably should plan for this, in the future. Which means that I should always have AT LEAST two rest days between rides. I stretched for 15 minutes. I plan to take it easy, stay on my feet as little as possible, keep legs elevated when possible – hoping to enhance my recovery.

Meanwhile, I’m planning to ride tomorrow morning.
The amount of volume and the type of work performed during the training session will dictate how long it will take for strength & fitness levels to improve.Your initial fitness levels will also dictate how long it will take for your fitness levels to improve (i.e. the higher your work capacity, the quicker you will recover from workouts). If the body can not recover back to baseline levels, the exhaustion stage occurs. The exhaustion stage indicates that overtraining has occurred. The goal of training is to time training sessions accurately so that the next training session coincides with the Supercompensation stage. This term means that our strength & fitness levels have increased above our initial levels.If insufficient recovery time is not given between training sessions, the athlete's strength & fitness levels will drop further below baseline and more time will then be needed for the athlete to supercompensate. – from the web.

More good stuff when googling "supercompensation."  Explains a lot of what I've been dealing with.

I need to start assembling a file so I can go into this more deeply.  If I can find the time and energy.

Down for nap and slept at 2; refreshed but aware that I’m near the nadir of the recovery cycle. Feeling recovered yesterday was an illusion.
5:30 – Legs are tired, unsteady, and stiff. Carrying one of Anne’s paintings, I almost lost my balance.

Re-thinking the plans to ride tomorrow morning!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Resting Optimistically

I'm feeling positive.  I awoke with no soreness or stiffness from yesterday's ride.  Now, at midday, it seems like my legs are getting a little stiffer, so I may want to get some stretching in, to fend off second-day stiffness, but I'm hoping at this point that we can hike out for groceries, tomorrow, without it laying me low with fatigue.  If so, maybe I could ride again on Tuesday.

For what it's worth, I've gone several days, now, without a nap.

11:40: Stretched, very gently, for 15 minutes.  I'm trying not to overdo it.  I believe I may have been stretching too strenuously.  A few days ago I noticed both my knees were surprisingly creaky during normal activities -- and this was right after a day or two of stretching two or three sessions per day.  So I'm going to try backing off, a bit.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

11.6 miles; head feels clearer!

It was raining until after noon, but then things opened up and I decided to squeeze in a ride between the thundershowers predicted by Accuweather.  About six miles out, it began to sprinkle and I saw black clouds ahead.  I had planned to stop off at Ace Hardware for some shopping, but the black clouds deterred me.  My legs felt a little tired and I didn't feel like standing around in the store and then riding hard in the rain to get home.  So I didn't stop off.

To my surprise, at 9.5 miles my legs started feeling stronger, as though they had just gotten warmed up.  I was comfortable the rest of the way home.

And I realized my head seemed clearer.  I'm not sure when this happened.  But I remember feeling distressingly fuzzy-headed yesterday for most of the day -- as if I were encased in a blubbery face, or something.  A little like being under water.  I thought it might be dehydration, and I remember drinking a lot of water, then, but I don't remember whether it helped or not.

So my (relative) clear-headedness today may be attributable to adequate hydration?  Or aerobics?  Or both?

I'm inclined to attribute it to aerobics, primarily.

I may have to settle for two rides a week.  I'd rather it be three, not only because I think it would help keep my head clear, but also because I feel the frequency is important for bathing my knees in synovial fluid.  At this point, though, it looks as if I may need three rest days between each ride day.  That would actually be fewer than two rides a week.

So we'll see how this recovery goes.  I had a yogurt crepe and two scoops of Recoverite right after my ride, but I didn't stretch.

Friday, June 22, 2012

... and another ...

Another day of rest, this time because of an unexpected doctor's appointment.

I had planned to ride this afternoon, but got a call from eye doctor asking me to come in after lunch.  That on top of the appointment I had with her this morning.

Ended up spending a lot of time in the car and sitting around.  Anyway, it counts as a rest day.

Last night's sleep felt good, although I didn't feel really robust when I got up.  First doctor's appt was early, so I didn't have time to stretch.  When I got home and learned I had to go back, I felt rushed and so I didn't stretch then, either.

Legs have been mildly tired but serviceable for the little bit I've needed to use them.  General energy has been adequate, with little sleepiness.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Another rest day

I RECONSIDERED PLANS TO RIDE after reflecting on how often I’ve regretted not allowing enough recovery time.  Especially when, getting out of bed, my legs were stiffer than I expected.

Did 15 min stretching after breakfast that included Neggs.

No sleepiness today, and minimum reluctance to stay on my feet.

I had planned to do some light carpentry and housekeeping chores, but deskwork/computer problems kept me from it.

NO SLEEPINESS, today.  Energy good despite frustrations and emotional demands, right up until bedtime.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

So far, recovery feels super!

9:17:55 AM: Great 9 hrs of sleep, awoke refreshed with minimal stiffness. Great article in Oregonian on stretching (pgD3) encouraged me to stretch for about 20 minutes.

Noon: I've been able to STAY ON MY FEET MUCH LONGER than usual, today.

1:30: just finished another 15 min stretching.

I'm feeling so good that I might ride tomorrow morning, after only one day's rest. Because I have a conflict on Friday. I probably ought to keep it short ... maybe the same route I rode yesterday. And be super sure that I do a thorough after-ride routine. It's a bit chancy, but I FEEL LIKE RIDING.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

11.6 miles, though I had planned to go further

11 am: Awoke very stiff around hips, but not legs. I put it to the contortions required to assemble the exercise bike. Spent 15 minutes stretching and worked most of stiffness out. Drank quart of water, ate 3 scrambled eggs. Planning to ride about 15 miles.

3:45: Ended up riding only 11.6 because time and energy were running short. Legs were feeling as though they were getting a workut at 6.3 mi, as I got to Safeway. Not knowing how that translates into fatigue and stiffness in days to come, I decided to be conservative, and shortened the planned loop.

Once home I drank protein (2 scoops in skim milk) walked for mail, stretched 5-10 minutes, then in car to take Anne to Dr. Lindgrun.

Now I'm a little groggy/sleepy, not too bad. We'll see how I am tomorrow!

5:30: Just walking around the house, I notice I'm unexpectedly unsteady on my feet.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Slept bad, feel good

Less than 8 hrs sleep, fitful, only dozing from 4:30 to 7:30. Got up with expectations that I would collapse for a nap at any time, but I was lethargic and had little energy, the collapse never happened. I finished assembling the exercise book, getting in all kinds of twisty-turny positions to do so, but when I finally walked down for the mail, I walked fast and noticed my legs felt exceptionally good -- relatively limber and strong, despite not stretching since yesterday morning.

I don't know what to make of it, but I'm not complaining.

Bedtime: Didn't get sleepy until couch time around eight. No stretching, today, too lazy.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Recovering conscientiously

Pretty good sleep despite muggy weather. Awoke with stiff legs and hips, partly due, I think, to the time I spent yesterday assembling the exercise bike.

This morning I conscientiously stretched for a little over 15 minutes; drank over a quart of water; and ate two eggs. Now, a couple of hours later, the stretching seems to have helped.

My vitality is adequate, but my legs feel tired as well as stiff. As soon as I stand up, I want to sit down.

We have to leave here early, tomorrow -- 7:30 or 8 -- for a long day. No time for stretches, little for ablutions. Perhaps a stretching session tonight?

LATER -- Got home from Kevin's (Leah's birthday)tired and with Anne fibrillating. Skipped all stretching.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

6.9 uninspiring miles

I was spooked during the night by muscle pains in my legs, which seemed unaccountable and made me re-think my plans to ride today.

I woke up feeling fairly rested, though, and decided to take a short easy ride rather than no ride at all. I considered going ten miles or more, but since I've got two events coming up that require me to stand around visiting -- Leah's birthday tomorrow, and Erin's graduation Monday -- I figured I'd better take it easy. It seems, lately, that standing around when my legs haven't recovered is a sure way to postpone recovery.

So after a breakfast of fruit, millet, and egg-substitute sandwich, I rode slowly for 6.9 miles, stopping to shop briefly three times. Once home I had a protein drink, stretched for ten minutes, mowed the lawn (15 minutes) feeling very stiff. Then showered.

During afternoon, spent some time on floor in awkward positions assembling exercise bike.

9:30pm: Day went well - not much energy, but not very stiff, either. I can't ride tomorrow or Monday (conflicts) so I plan to be very diligent on my stretching, and ride on Tuesday.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Remarkably restored, and wondering ...

Even before I was out of bed I felt stronger and more alert. And once up, it got better and better. An almost miraculous rebound. Head clearer, muscles almost not sore at all, minimal stagger, alert, energetic, no sleepiness ...

Could this all be due to yesterday's incresed stretching, protein, and hydration?

Or was it primarily the product of another day of rest and an excellent sleep of almost ten hours?

(Despite two shots of whiskey and a glass of wine, last night.)

While wondering, I started the day with 15 timed minutes of stretching; egg-substitute sandwich; and a quart of water. And the day was going very well. I felt positively robust. Went to Dr Dave and handled the complicated issues to my satisfaction, came back and took Anne to lunch and drove on to Walmart's to pick up the exercise bike.

At Walmart I was on my feet for perhaps 20-30 minutes and my legs started getting tired. I was conscious of the fatigue in the car while driving home, and during brief stopover at a store on the way -- my legs curtailed my urge to browse. Still bed when getting out to get the mail. Not as bad as days of late, though, and no accompanying malaise. And only a touch of sleepiness, while driving home, close to 4 pm.

I'm going to try to get in another round of stretching, water, and protein before bedtime.

Accuweather promises sunshine until noon, tomorrow. Very tempting...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Cooling my heels and reviewing. Discouraged

I shouldn't have been looking for a quick fix from Dawn, yesterday. If anything I'm more confused, and therefore demoralized, than ever.

She suggested more protein and more stretching, and she renewed my awareness of the importance of hydration. So I've been attending to all three, today, while I essentially take it easy.

I stretched for about 15 minutes, and I think I'm marginally less stiff, but I'm by no means certain of that. I've eaten protein at breakfast and lunch. I've been drinking plenty of water. Bottom line: although resting comfortably, I feel minor but unsettling symptoms when I move around. Strolling down for the mail left me breathing harder than I'd like. And I felt groggy as I went. I'm not sleepy enough for a nap, but I'm not alert enough to want to talk to anyone.

It's such a beautiful day that I'd be tempted to ride in spite of everything if it weren't for the fact that I have to see Dr. Dave tomorrow morning, and I want to be at my best in order to try to resolve several issues.

Accuweather calls for sun all day tomorrow, with Saturday cloudy. I'm undecided about which day to ride on, and may just go on impulse.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Vacationing at home

Even before I got out of bed, this morning, I sensed I had more energy.

I was in bed reading before 10, last night -- after a day of conscientious loafing, conscious relaxation. We even watched netflix in the afternoon -- unprecedented. We were trying to get the feeling of going on vacation while at home. I think it helped us both relax. And I slept really well, from soon after ten until 6:30, when I actually felt like getting up. Once out of bed, I could tell my legs were less stiff than yesterday.

Now, at 8 am, I still have the sense that I could use more rest, another good night or two of good sleep. I feel as though I'm unwinding, reminiscent of the feeling I remember of waking up after the 2nd or 3rd day at the beach.

Now, at 10, I'm still not ready for exertion. I could exert myself if I had to -- could even jazz myself up enough to ride 15 or 20 miles, but my guess is that it would set me back.


5:00 -- BACK FROM SESSION WITH DAWN. She had good suggestions re stretching (hold for 10 seconds or longer) protein (120 grams/day, more after exertion) and seaweed (several varieties, with several ways to consume).

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Disappointment -- and a theory

On my feet too long, talking to the garage mechanic, yesterday. That's what messed me up, I think. Anyway, I woke up this morning after 8 hours of interrupted sleep feeling lousy -- mostly my legs. The moment I got out of bed I realized they were more stiff and sore than they had been yesterday morning. Bummer.

My theory is that I'm dealing with multiple re-injuries.

The first re-injury happened Friday when I hustled back on foot to get the car and give Anne a ride. I wasn't fully recovered from Wednesday's ride, so I'm counting this as my first re-injury. My reasoning is that, although the exertion was only a fraction of what I put out on Wednesday's ride, the damage was greater because I was stressing muscles which were still damaged.

That would explain my soreness and fatigue on Saturday and Sunday.

The second re-injury happened yesterday. True, I woke up refreshed and rested, overall, but I still had symptoms in my legs. Standing for half an hour or so talking to the mechanic was enough to set me back again. It was too great an assault on my twice-injured muscle fibres.

Looking to the future, two thoughts.

First, I think I need to count my recovery time starting from yesterday, rather than from my last ride. In other words, these past five days can't be called recovery time. So I think I need to start counting from yesterday. And give myself at least two, and perhaps three, days to recover. Which means that I shouldn't consider riding before Thursday. And Friday would be safer. Meanwhile, TAKE IT EASY!

Second, I need to remember that long rest periods do not necessarily mean losing ground. Resting too long is definitely a lesser evil than exercising before recovery. Case in point: last summer, when I took nine days off, and expected to have lost ground -- but came back stronger than ever.

It would be nice if I could gauge from the way I feel when I'm adequately recovered, but I don't know how to do that. Maybe in time...

1 pm -- took a nap, awoke somewhat refreshed, but still weak in the leg, and looking for somewhere to sit down every time I stood up.

6 pm: I've been very careful to be inactive, and I'm feeling comfortable -- and alert. I'm seeing Dawn tomorrow, and I'm looking forward to it!

Monday, June 11, 2012


For whatever reason, last night's sleep was wonderful. Almost ten hours, and although it was interrupted at least twice, it left me refreshed, restored, and feeling far better than I dared to hope, yesterday.

My leg muscles are a little stiff, but using them does not drain my vitality the way it did for the past couple of days. Moving around the house, taking the trash out, going up and down stairs -- nothing has caused the alarming sense of acute fatigue I've been experiencing recently.

I'm groping, here, but I think I know how to explain the past few days.

The onset of this recent bout of fatigue/frailty was triggered, I believe, by too much exertion on a rest day. I rode on Tuesday, and on Friday I was still not fully recovered from it, but pushed myself anyway in our grocery hike. I think I was in effect "re-injuring" myself, which made the task of repairing my muscle fibres a lot more demanding on my system than it would have been.

I think my age makes all of this more extreme than it would be for someone 20 years younger. At 60 I would have been recovered by Friday -- and if I had exerted myself before complete recovery, the demands on my system would have been less severe.

I don't know how to explain the quality of last night's sleep (maybe part of the explanation is what I was reading -- Wells' History of the World, which I was lapping up with great contentment -- but I feel certain that the quality of that sleep is the main reason I feel so good today. (11:45 am)

4:15 pm -- Felt alert all afternoon. But I was ON MY FEET TOO LONG when talking to a garage mechanic around 3-3:30. Couldn't have been more than half an hour, but legs were shaky tired -- to the point of unreliability -- and I had to cut the conversation short. Going back to my car, I was lterally staggering, taking Tim Conway steps.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Washed out and sick of it

Slept eight hours but woke up unrested.

All morning, once on my feet I wanted to sit down.

Legs stiff to the point of unreliability. After 20 minutes mowing the lawn and another half hour puttering in the garage, I took a step -- n level concrete -- and my knee buckled.

Vague, minor upper-body stiffness and muscle pain. Irrelevant?

CRASHED FOR A NAP around 2, woke up somewhat refreshed. Showered, slathered ARNICA on my left leg and massaged the sole of my left foot, which was feeling tight. Then massaged with massage machine. Didn't seem to make much difference: the two legs felt about the same, afterwards.

Since then, I've been a little more comfortable on my feet, but fatigued if I walk more than 50 yards or so (into Ace Hardware, Safeway, etc.)

Comfortable enough while seated. Which reminds me, my ischi-gluteal bursar is almost asymptomatic, and has been for a couple of weeks. So no matter what else has been disappointment, this is stellar!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Taking stock

I slept well but once up was glad I'd decided not to ride. I'm definitely not recovered.

My legs were stiffer this morning than yesterday, I believe. They loosened up, some, during the day. I feel too tired to bother to stretch.

Going upstairs, they're surprisingly strong. And support of the knees is still good. But every time I stand up, I want to sit down.

I'm glad the knees-- especially the left one -- are getting support. Every once in a while the left one gives me a twinge, here and there. I have the sense that the cartilage is wearing thinner.

I wasn't sleepy enough to try to nap until after 4, and that was too late. Now, at 6, I'm tired, but not exhausted. But glad I don't have to go anywhere, tonight.

I plan to take it easy again tomorrow, and ride on Monday, which looks as though it will have plenty of sun.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Uncertainties and unexpected demands

I woke up this morning with less energy than I had hoped. But we needed groceries, so we decided to hike over to Winco anyway. On the way back, with backpacks loaded, Anne got light-headed and woozy -- she hadn't slept much last night -- so we found her a place to sit while I walked back to get the car. I walked considerably faster than my usual pace, and felt it in my leg muscles, and got winded. It was only 17 minutes from leaving Anne to our house, but I felt like it was quite a workout. Clearly, I don't need a bicycle to get aerobics!

Anyway, since I had planned to take it relatively easy, today, this was an unexpected demand.

Well, I fetched Anne in the car and we picked up some hot soup on the way home, and she was soon feeling better, and is now taking a nap. And I'm not. And I'm not sleepy. It's 3pm.

My legs were more tired/stiff when I got up this morning than I expected them to be, and they're even stiffer, now. But so far I don't feel overall fatigue.

So should I ride tomorrow?

LATER -- 7 pm -- I think it would be a big mistake to ride tomorrow, given the way I've been feeling for the past four hours. I never did get sleepy, but a couple of times I felt exhaustion tinged with anxiety. First, when I was on my feet for half an hour or an hour in the garage, tidying up. My leg muscles were very tired, and staying on my feet despite that seemed to make inordinate demands on my vitality. When I finally quit and sat down, I was feeling a bit shaky. Then, after a bit of desk work, I drove out for a haircut, after which I walked over to Fred Meyers and through the length of the store checking for Thompson's Water Seal ... and experienced the same extreme anxiety-tinged fatigue.

I don't know what's going on, but it seems clear to me that if it's a mistake to exert myself before I'm recovered, it would be a mistake to ride tomorrow.

So tomorrow would be a good day to stay at home and read and putter. And spend as little time as possible on my feet.

Massage? Arnica? Neither seem as important, at this point, as rest.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Turning the corner? Recovering nicely!

I awoke this morning with above-average energy, and only minimal leg stiffness. All day, today, I've been feeling alert and energetic, not hesitating to get up out of my chair or go up and down the stairs, and no hint of sleepiness.

Not, that is, until after lunch. I ate too much at the Indian Buffet, and felt a nap beckoning. So I tried, but couldn't get to sleep, and had to settle for a lie-down.

Now, at 5:00, I'm adequately alert, and altogether satisfied with the way I feel. My leg muscles feel better than ever, my knees are comfortable.

I'm more optimistic, and eager, than at any time this year. I'm looking forward to riding again on Saturday (tomorrow we hike for groceries) and I anticipate going for 20 miles, weather permitting. This is not just a mental outlook. It's an expression of how I'm feeling physically, I think.

If I ride 20 miles Saturday and survive it with minimal disruption to my functioning during recovery, I'll consider it a major milestone. I can then hope to settle in to a routine, 20-mile ride, 2 or 3 days a week, increasing my speed instead of my distance as the summer goes on.

I want to remember to push nutrition, before and after each ride, at least until I've reached the functioning level I'm aiming at, because I think the extra nutrients and liquids I consumed on Wednesday had something to do with my performance, and my quick recovery.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Endorphins at last -- at 16.7 miles

I awoke after a good night's sleep feeling surprisingly ready for a ride, in spite of my extreme leg fatigue last night at the gallery. I felt I had plenty of energy, and there was only a little lingering stiffness in my legs. So off I went, around 9:30 a.m.

I noticed right away that the knee-stabilizers were feeling much better than usual. They protested a tiny bit at the start, but were fully warmed up before the second mile. (On my last ride they were still stiff after 6 or 7 miles.)

I had plenty of energy the whole way and only the slightest trace of sleepiness.

I started feeling a little fatigue in my leg muscles about 9 miles out. A few miles later I wasn't conscious of it any more.

I took it easy, stopping off two or three times to do light shopping. Towards the end of the ride I felt a touch -- just a touch -- of endorphins.

I carried a bottle with two scoops of "Perpetuem" dissolved in water and drank it at intervals. Before I left I had half an apple, a big bowl of granola, and a fried eggmate sandwich. I also tanked up on water. (I've been paying little attention to fueling, up until now.)

Once home, I had two "crepes" with yogurt and half a bottle of GatorAde "Recover03" followed by a rice and bean dish Anne had made.

I've been moving around doing light house chores, and stretching, for the last hour, and feel okay.

The big question: How will I feel in a few hours, and tomorrow?

LATE AFTERNOON: Around 5, I started work on what I thought would be a very minor carpentry project, but it turned out to be more involved than I expected, and before I was done, I -- and my legs especially -- were ultra-tired. Not the best way to end the day when I had already tested myself, I guess, but that's what happened.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Short on sleep; Legs a mess

(Posted Thursday)(I wrote this Tuesday night but some glitch gobbled it up.) I woke up at 5 am this morning and couldn't get back to sleep so got up around 6, doing desk work and being as sedentary as possible. Got a nap just after noon, but although refreshed from it, still felt shaky.

Anne had to serve canapes at the gallery, so we were there from 6 to 8:30. I tried mixing with the crowd, but my legs were so tired I had to sit down every ten minutes or so, and finally just went out to the car with my Kindle and waited until she was done.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Watching Paint Dry

After a good night's sleep, I spent the day in sedentary pursuits, stretching often, but doing without any arnica or massage. My leg muscles seem marginally looser, but still stiff as if from a workout -- even though my last ride of any distance was Friday, three days ago.

But measured in terms of ease of getting up and down from a chair, going up and down stairs, and walking a few blocks, they seem perceptibly stronger. And in terms of protecting my knees, definitely stronger.

When the muscles are supporting the knees adequately, they don't "pop" when I cross my legs. When I'm out of shape, though, the top knee without warning will "give" from the weight of the hanging foot, and it hurts. For the last day or two, though, I've been increasingly able to sit with my legs crossed without pain.

Energy was good today, until about 2:30, when I rather suddenly felt sleepy, and in accordance with my beliefs, took a lie-down. Now, at 6 pm, I'm acceptably wakeful. The sleepiness may have been brought on by a frustrating glitch in my bookkeeping, wherein I realized I'd made some fairly sizeable entry errors in Quicken, and didn't know how to straighten them out.

Not an exciting day -- like watching paint dry -- but a satisfactory one.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sedentary Sunday

I've got a referral to a cardiologist which I have to follow up on. Maybe tomorrow. I've been having some mild chest discomfort, and during my long amble yesterday, it was at times worse than usual. Today I read about angina on the web, and I think that's what I've got -- a mild case of "stable" angina. The consensus is that it will benefit from aerobics.

Right now the challenge is to get enough muscle tone in my legs to allow me to get the aerobics I need. The temptation is to exercise them more, but I've got to give them enough recovery time to grow stronger. I think I may have been pushing the limits, pitiful as it may seem. I woke up during the night last night with them feeling so stiff and tired I took two ibuprofens. (I still count last night's sleep as unusually good!) Today I did a lot of stretching and massage machine.

One of the symptoms of angina is fatigue. That rings true.

MY LEGS FEEL STRONGER, even though the muscles are tight and stiff and feel tired. Of course all these adjectives are imprecise and subjective. Still, I feel it makes sense to make note of them. The muscles are stronger in that they protect my knees better, and get me up and down stairs more easily. But to use them tires me out, as if they're drawing on adrenalin for their strength, rather than some more deep-seated and sustainable source of fuel.

Perhaps this is the way muscles heal. First, a rather quick gain in strength, followed by a slower subsiding of inflammation and soreness. My experience suggests that exerting myself while I'm still sore -- even if I'm strong enough -- brings on disproportionate fatigue, and probably further delays the reduction of tightness and soreness. It probably amounts to re-injury. And I suspect it takes a toll on overall vitality.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Change of pace: short ride, long amble

A lousy night's sleep -- woke up at 2 (muggy, airless) thinking the furnace must still be on (though it wasn't) -- and at 8 or so I got up, thinking I would have no energy.

Anyway, I rode over to Winco for groceries, and since Anne was at the gallery, decided to take the MAX downtown to Clever Cycles. Came back in afternoon, got off at Beaverton TC, walked to Powell's, met Anne, walked to movie, tp New Seasons for supper, then back to Beaverton Central ... in all, probably 5 or 6 miles. At times I was staggering. Fatigue? Old age? Who knows. But the ambling along interspersed with resting reminded me of the fatigue I used to feel when we were walking the beach, and it was relaxing.

Home for a good night's sleep.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Resting easy. (Some might suspect, too easy?

I HAVE LESS ENERGY THIS MORNING THAN I HAD HOPED, but I'm not wiped out. And I'm not discouraged. I'm reminded of times in the past where I mistook letdown for fatigue.

Today, in other words, I may not be fatigued so much as I am relaxed. Yes, I have an underlying fatigue, which I have been chronically overlaying with an amalgam of stimuli, demanding of myself to not give in to the fatigue, but rather to perform as though I was rested and fit.

I've been my own drill sergeant, my own football coach, demanding top performance, demanding that I treat perceptions of fatigue as if they were shameful. This is what I think of as my Eternal Vigilance.

I think this is what has kept me from fully restorative sleep. I haven't been able to turn off the Vigilance Switch.

I suspect that this is an element of aging. Sixty years ago, I could keep going for days on end, fighting fatigue and performing at a high level, and then collapse into a coma and wake up refreshed. Decade by decade, though, the ability to let go and drop into the bottomless pit of the deepest sleep has left me, by degrees.

I still have a surprising amount of endurance. When needed, I can go without sleep, and keep functioning, mentally if not physically, long after fatigue sets in.

But when the demands are removed, I stay tense for days, if not weeks. And I wonder how many other people my age are dealing with the same phenomenon.

Be that as it may, I'm interpreting my lethargy today in a positive light. It means that I'm relaxing, which, in turn, means that I'm replenishing my resources.

7:15 P.M. -- I WENT DOWN FOR A NAP after lunch; awoke and, even after a shower, was only slightly refreshed. But as I slowly "came to," I realized that I was being affected by very high humidity. (Talk about too many variables!) It was extremely, oppressively muggy. (It even made the evening news.) Once I realized this, I sat barefoot with a fan on me, and after a couple of hours I regained some vitality.

The humidity is predicted to drop, tonight. The soreness of my muscles is almost gone. So I'm planning to ride tomorrow.