Fitness Log August 2018


Starting to move again

This year has been a difficult year as far as my strength and fitness are concerned. I had a few 100 mile and 100 kilometer milestones in the last few years, but when I injured my hip last winter, it all fell apart.

Last January it was particularly bad - I couldn’t even walk or stand for more than half an hour. I started to build up my fitness slowly again with a daily half hour routine or stretches and light strength exercises, and eventually I was able to ride the bike again in spring.

Some highlights this year were a couple Zwift group events and the annual Tour dem Parks in Baltimore. This was only a 44 mile route, but considering some of the hills and where I started out in January - I was very happy I managed to do it.

Then I was back on the trainer when my legs, hip, and back started to complain again. It’s probably a pinched nerve, I know my alignment is off - I’ve been very stiff and rigid and talking about how I need to work on flexibility for quite some time. I usually have trouble getting up, but once I’m moving I’m fine. I also observed that it’s usually better during the day in the office. But when I sit on the sofa at home it gets particularly bad. I’m sitting on a different chair now and it’s a little better. Getting up still bothers me sometimes, but it’s better.

With this history I have to admit I’m a little afraid to push it too hard on the bike again. But with the success earlier this year I thought I should start with my daily 30 minutes again.

Doing some light exercise is better than not moving at all. And I should always have time for 30 minutes. So I’ll start over. Today I finished my first 30 minute routine of stretches and strength exercises. A collection of arm work, some squats, lunges, push-ups on the knees and some abs. All low-impact, without any extra weights, nothing overly strenuous, but all body parts are involved - and it helped with building up some flexibility and strength again.

My plan is to continue this for about six weeks, with one 45 minute weight session on Sundays. Towards the end of these 6 weeks I’ll turn it up a little and dedicate 40-45 minutes daily.

I’ll leave the bike alone during that time and add the bike again in the next training block. I hope I’ll be ready for it in six weeks. Let’s do it and fight aging! :)

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Day 2

Slept pretty well last night but woke up tired. Showered, dressed, closed my eyes, opened them to find I just jumped 20 minutes through time, and it was time to go to work again.

This is how my days started for the last few weeks. No time for breakfast or smoothie at home, so a bag of nuts had to do. I hope I can mobilize more energy in the mornings soon.

My legs are still sore, especially when I stand up after having been seated for a while. And as usual, once I’m in motion, it’s not too bad.

Yesterday I raised my desk in the office and worked standing for a little over two hours. I should do this more often, maybe it will feel less distracting after a while.

As planned, did 30 minutes of strength & flexibility after work, exact repeat of yesterday’s workout.

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After my workout I continued some work on another VR course I signed up for a few days ago. Wasn’t particularly productive today. Now it’s almost 10 again.

I’m still amused by my ray tracing script that’s still computing an image of the Stanford dragon in my home office upstairs. I started it back on July 4th and it’s still not done. It’s running in a single thread without any optimizations. I knew it would take some time, but I thought it would take only a couple of days. Now it’s been well over a month. I only keep it running out of curiosity and to have a baseline for comparison when I start optimizing. Well, and for my amusement!

Ha, my ray tracer reminds me of my body - they’re both on a fitness journey. :)

Day 3

Tomorrow is trash-day, and the weather was nice, so I changed plans and did yardwork for almost three hours. It was overdue. I only did it once this year - you can probably imagine the jungle waiting to be trimmed down after months.

I thought it was a good way to balance out a long and stressful day in the office, and it was nice to be out for once and listen to the crickets. But now I’m totally exhausted, no energy left for academia. And it’s almost 10 again.

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Miss my parents. Ray tracer still tracing rays.

Day 4

I’m feeling sore today… workout soreness combined with the pain I’m trying to fix with my new workout plan. I can only hope that the good workout sore will eventually replace my other pains.

It was okay in the office today until I tried to get up after a while sitting at the desk. Once I was in motion I was feeling okay.

Back at home I straightened the kitchen, finished my 30 minute workout and cooked dinner. After dinner I began to feel gravity again, and my entire body felt sore again. It even was an effort to write this post tonight.

I don’t think I’ll get much more done tonight. It’s frustrating. But to remind myself of the good things, hey - I did my workout and finished it. :)

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Miss my parents. Ray tracer still tracing rays.

Day 5

Feeling a bit better today. Relaxed, well-fed, and productive. Workout went pretty well, too. Couldn’t ask for more :)

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Ray tracer still tracing rays. Maybe it’s lost in recursion and will never finish. But previous tests finished fine and produced the correct output. I guess I’ll give it another month, haha.

Day 6

Finished my first week with a 45 minute full-body strength session. I have to admit it was hard to get motivated today, but the session went well, and I’m happy I stuck to my plan without skipping a workout.

And, overall I felt better compared to a week ago. I’m optimistic it will even get better in the following weeks.

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And my ray tracer still tracing rays… lol

Day 7

I had a really bad day today. This morning I woke up tired, and remained exhausted all day. Normally I’m fine by 8-9am, but this time, even lunch didn’t manage to energize me.

When I was home I took a nap which turned into over an hour of sleep. When I was up I felt heavy - as if I turned into a block of concrete. Heavy rain outside.

This lasted until a little before 8pm when I forced myself up to do my 30 minute routine.

Went down to the basement just to find it flooded. Kitchen is wet as well. No workout today.

Cooked dinner - 10pm, feeling a bit better now. Just in time to go to sleep again.

It’s frustrating. Not because I felt exhausted all day, but that turned into a vegetable and didn’t manage to overcome and focus on the things I want to study and work on.

There’s so little time in the evenings - and even less time in the mornings. If I don’t find time to relax and recharge, it’s no wonder feel exhausted. If I’m exhausted it’s no wonder I can’t get anything acomplished in the evenings and start feeling frustrated. It’s a vicious circle.

I hope it will be better again tomorrow. I’ll try to get the workout in as soon as I’m home. Maybe I’ll have an open head for the rest of the evening.

Today I was wondering if I should skip dinners - I don’t feel particularly hungry in the evenings and I could gain at least an hour. But without that fuel I’ll probably feel even more exhaused. I don’t know what the answer is. I’m stuck in this daily routine and don’t know how to get out.

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And yup, my ray tracer still tracing rays, too. I’m just glad we still have power after this storm.

Day 8

Not feeling very well again, but I did my 30 minute routine immediately after work today. I took it a little slower but managed to work all muscles.

After that I started to freeze and took a nap under three blankets. Now I’m feeling better, but hot. I don’t know what’s going on, but nothing ever feels right. Curse of aging.

I’m planning to stand more in the office tomorrow. Maybe that will help in the long run. Today I raised my desk for about two hours.

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Aand… my ray tracer is still tracing rays.

Day 9

Feeling a little better today. Had a stressful day at work but could handle it well. Ended the day on a good note when I figured out and fixed a pretty serious bug that prevented some customers from accessing their purchase.

When I was home I cleaned up a little and did my usual 30 minute routine. During the workout I was wondering if I should start alternating between bike and strength again like earlier this year. I was planning to do this in 6 weeks, but I miss the bike and I think some aerobic training would do me good. Maybe I’ll do it starting next week, but keep the rides to 30 minutes as well.

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Aand… my ray tracer is still tracing rays. Ridiculous. But it will be a great conversation piece. This result (if it ever finished), compared to a C++ program, compared to a C++ program with algorithmic optimization, compared to a C++ program with OpenMP, or CUDA? Oh so many things to try and learn :)

Day 10

Last Thursday I got home from work, fell asleep in the living room, woke up a little before 10 just to go to sleep and work again. Not the way I imagined spending a day. I hope this doesn’t become a regular occurrence. No workout that day.

I found a blister on my left food which I opened up, this wound turned out a bit deeper than expected, so I’ve been treating it for the last two days and took it a bit easier on my legs. I did a little, but had to abbreviate and adjust my routine.

Tomorrow I’ll probably skip the weight session and get my bike and trainer setup for Zwift again. I disconnected it for my last outdoor ride (what feels like months ago).

I might spin the bike a little tomorrow, but I’ll see what my foot does. Maybe I’ll wait until Monday.

Will probably write a bit more again tomorrow.

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Day 13

My feet and legs felt pretty good today. A good day to get back on the trainer for an easy 30 minutes.

It was just to warm up and get the blood moving again, but it was a good ride. My goal for this week is to repeat this for the next few days, until my foot is healed up enough to push it a little more with some intervals.

I also want to walk more. In a month from today I’m planning to change my habits to walk the recommended 10,000 steps per day. First I’ll need to determine how many steps I currently take on an average day (it’s not a lot for sure), and how long it may take me to reach those 10,000 steps. I’ll try to incorporate some walks during work hours, for breakfast and after lunch. The nice thing is that I won’t need equipment and a special place. So I’m optimistic about it. This should improve my overall health quite a bit, which is my #1 goal at the moment.

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TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD
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Day 15

30 Minutes on Zwift after work today. I picked a Zwift workout this time. My first time to try a workout session.

It went pretty well for the first two sets, but had to take it a bit easier for the last. But that’s ok, I was planning to ease into a regular routine this week anyway.

Left leg still a little swollen, but better compared to the other day. Hope this is healing up quickly.

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TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD
TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD
TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD

Day 16

Did the 30 minute Zwift workout again tonight. This time I lowered the intensity a little and I was able to complete all sets.

With some upbeat music in the background it felt pretty good.

My foot is getting better. Leg is still a little swollen, but it doesn’t hurt anymore like last week.

I’m happy I’m able to keep up my half hour without motivational struggles.

The only thing that bothers me at the moment is how little time is left for course work. I’m not stressing too much about it right now because we’ll have two days off next week.

But I wish I had more time in the evenings beside the workout, cooking dinner, eating dinner, writing this journal. I wish I had time for my own projects, graphics programming, practicing guitar, and online courses I’m interested in. I can’t imagine how people with families are doing it, and even have play time, time to watch tv, to be social etc.

This has been a problem for years - and I still haven’t found a way to move forward with my ‘hobbies’ at a reasonable pace. I don’t know… if I had only 2 more hours in a day.

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TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD
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Day 17

Love Zwift’s workout mode. Why did I wait to long to try it? I’m such a late-adopter.

Today’s ride was good. I did the same 30 minute workout tonight, but increased the intensity by 5 Watts. It was still very manageable with my handicap, my heart rate maxed at 147 in the final set.

My foot hurt a little at times earlier today, but it was fine once I was in motion and especially on the bike. It’s the usual pattern: fine when in motion, hurt when I’m sitting. I should be moving around all day.

Today I started using my new pedometer. I got a simple one for that one single purpose. I have a Garmin watch and footpod, but to count my steps I wanted to keep it simple without tons of data to sync. Just a number at the end of the day - that’s all I need.

So today’s step count was 2316 steps. More than I expected. Now I only need to add 7684 steps to reach my goal. If I walk 70 steps/minute I’m looking at about 110 minutes of walking to add to my day. I’ll try to gradually increase my time walking. It’s a good starting point.

Work was productive and focused today. Study… not so much.

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TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD
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TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD

Day 18

Busy day… was tired when I was back from work. I wanted to take a nap, but did my 30 minutes as planned - and this actually woke me up again. I was feeling good after the ride.

My step count was 2261 today. A little less than yesterday’s which makes sense because I had lunch slightly closer to the office, and I was in a race trying to get work done in time for the upcoming Labor Day sale. I know I need to give health the top priority and let the work wait sometimes. I don’t know how - I always feel like I’m running behind and never get everything done.

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TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD
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TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD

Day 19

I almost skipped today’s workout because my legs gave me some troubles today, especially when I tried to get up from my chair or walk down the stairs. I’m glad I didn’t because my workout appears to have fixed it, magically.

I shouldn’t have waited so long. But it was a productive day otherwise. Worked through several chapters on mobile performance and optimization in Unity, read a few chapters in the new Real-Time Rendering book that arrived this week, and browsed through a couple of c’t magazines that started to pile up. Good day - despite the sad number of steps (990) I walked today.

As soon as my foot is healed up I’ll have to go out and plan in some time for focused walking, maybe sooner. I have to reach that 10,000 step goal, somehow. For next week I’m going to plan some walks around Lake Montebello. 30 minutes and 45 minutes. I’ll see how my foot feels then.

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TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD
TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD

Day 20

Another 30 minutes of strength and flexibility today. Step count: 2080 thanks to a trip to the grocery store. Foot and legs were feeling pretty good today.

And I ordered a treadmill! It will arrive on Thursday when I’m off from work. This should make it easy to reach my 10,000 step goal. I’m super-excited. I think it was a much better investment than getting another bike.

For a while I was considering getting a mountain bike, possibly a Paratrooper, but to be realistic, I don’t think I’m ready to go out riding yet. I will revisit this next year.

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30-SF 30-Zwift 30-Zwift 30-Walk 30-Zwift 45-Walk 30-Zwift
TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD
TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD

Day 21

My legs felt like concrete today. I’m guessing it’s the result of my strength routine two days in a row. It’s comparably heavy on the legs with 3 sets of squats, reverse lunges, forward lunges and other sets that involve legs to some degree.

I had a feeling that the bike workout would make me feel better, and it didn’t disappoint.

Step count: 2841 - and the day is not over yet. A little more because I walked a bit further to get lunch.

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TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD
TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD

Day 22

Got home late but couldn’t miss my 30 minute workout. Hopped into the saddle and rode in jeans :)

Step count: 4972 - I forgot to take the counter off during my workout. I guess pedal strokes are close enough.

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TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD
TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD

Day 23

Finished the day and entered the long weekend with another 30 minute workout on Zwift. My legs were feeling heavy today, but the ride helped a lot.

After the ride I tried to figure out a problem with a homework assignment project, but I think I’ll look at it tomorrow with fresh eyes.

Well, happy “Friday”! I needed this long weekend so badly. I hope I’ll be spared from work emergencies.

Step count: 2899 - the expected number for a regular work day. This should change tomorrow with the help of the new treadmill. :)

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30-SF 30-Zwift 30-Zwift 30-Zwift 30-Walk 30-Zwift 45-Walk
TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD
TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD

Day 24

Good day today! The treadmill arrived early and and I started the day with a strength workout moving it into the house and getting it assembled.

After that I tested it out for about 10 minutes, then I walked 30 minutes, and then I walked another 45 minutes with Zwift.

A total of 8535 steps today. Last time I had only 900 steps on a non-working day! I couldn’t be happier. The investment was so worth it!

Relive ‘London 45 min Walk’

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30-SF 30-Zwift 30-Zwift 30-Zwift 45-Walk 30-Zwift 45-Walk
TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD
TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD

Day 25

Another good day - I could get used to having off from work. I’m especially happy I may look forward to three more days!

I felt sore after yesterday’s walking, but that was not surprising considering how little I used to walk.

But I felt better once I was moving. I did my 30 minutes on the bike trainer followed by 30 minutes on the treadmill.

Total step count: 7950 - not bad for stay-at-home day.

I have to admit I’m unreasonably pleased about being able to bike, walk and lift weights without having to leave the house. :)

Relive ‘London 30 min walk’

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30-SF 30-Zwift 30-Zwift 30-Zwift 45-Walk 30-Zwift/30-Walk 45-Walk
TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD
TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD

Day 26

Started the day with an hour on the treadmill, walking while watching a presentation about reverse engineering the MOS 6502 CPU. So nice to be able to catch up with my watch lists and do something good for my health while doing it. It brought back some memories of coding 6502 assembly language over 30 years ago. Good times…

Later I finished a homework assignment and cleaned up my home office. Moved my VR station and reconfigured it. Finally able to play (virtual) table tennis again. Also tried Beat Saber today. Oh, so much fun! :)

The evening is still young, but I walked 6516 steps so far. Less than my 10,000 step goal, but so much better than it has been.

Relive ‘Watopia 60 min walk’

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30-SF 30-Zwift 30-Zwift 30-Zwift 45-Walk 30-Zwift/30-Walk 60-Walk
TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD
TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD

Day 27

The day wasn’t very productive, but nice and relaxed. I started with another 60 minute walk, watched a movie, talked to my mother. Then I worked on the course for a bit but had to stop because I had to download some course material first which would take me a couple hours.

While I was waiting for the download to finish I did 30 minutes on the bike, showered and cooked dinner.

7pm now, and 10,800 steps so far! First day I actually managed to reach my goal, and I did it with a bad foot. Very happy about this.

I’ll try to do the same tomorrow. I have to think about how I can continue this when I’m back at work on Tuesday. I can probably fit 20 minutes of walking into the morning. But then I’m not sure.

Relive ‘Watopia 60 min walk’

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45-W 30-SF 30-SF 30-SF 30-SF 30-SF 30-SF
45-W 30-Zwift 30-Zwift 30-Zwift 30-Zwift 30-Zwift 30-SF
30-SF 30-Zwift 30-Zwift 30-Zwift 45-Walk 30-Bike/30-Walk 60-Walk
60-Walk/30-Bike 60-Walk/30-Bike 20-Walk/30-Bike 20-Walk/30-Bike 20-Walk/30-Bike 20-Walk/30-Bike 60-Walk/30-SF
TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD

Day 28

I slept well and was unexpectedly comfortable this morning. But when I went up to continue working on the VR course, my foot (actually both my legs and hip sitting) gave me some trouble.

I decided to walk it out and spent 90 minutes on the treadmill while watching a Siggraph presentation. The walk went pretty well, my feet and legs were fine during the walk.

After the walk however I was freezing and had to take a nap. My legs were feeling okay later, but then I started to get some headaches.

Change of plans: I’ll take it a little easier and prepare mentally for the upcoming work week. I hope I’m feeling better tomorrow and more focused to catch up with the course.

Another thing I wanted to get accomplished this weekend but didn’t get to was to do some research on graduate certificate or masters programs in the area of Computer Graphics and Visual Computing. I found a program at Stanford which sounds perfect, but before I make the investment I wanted to see what else is available out there. Perhaps even in Germany or Europe as long as I can take online classes and only have to show up in person for final exams.

Since I completed a total of 90 minutes already I’ll skip the 30 minute ride and read something tonight. Oh, step count today: 9087

Relive ‘Watopia 90 mins walk’

Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
30-SF 30-SF 3h-YW 30-SF 30-SF
45-W 30-SF 30-SF 30-SF 30-SF 30-SF 30-SF
45-W 30-Zwift 30-Zwift 30-Zwift 30-Zwift 30-Zwift 30-SF
30-SF 30-Zwift 30-Zwift 30-Zwift 45-Walk 30-Bike/30-Walk 60-Walk
60-Walk/30-Bike 90-Walk 20-Walk/30-Bike 20-Walk/30-Bike 20-Walk/30-Bike 20-Walk/30-Bike 60-Walk/30-SF
TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD

Day 29

Woke up feeling miserable and could barely walk. It didn’t get much better until early afternoon. It was one of the days I should have stayed home, but the broken machine I am, can’t make myself do it unless someone sends me home. But then who would know how I really feel.

The second half of the work day was ok, but when I was home I started to freeze again. My throat started to feel a little sore, too. I feel like a cold is approaching on top of everything else that’s going on.

I still did my 30 minute ride just to get the blood circulating and that actually made me feel better for a moment. My heartrate was higher than usual - not surprising given how I felt today.

Step count: 5841 thanks to a meeting I had in another building. Not too bad compared to other work days.

I’ll relax for the rest of the evening. I don’t have more work in me tonight.

Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
30-SF 30-SF 3h-YW 30-SF 30-SF
45-W 30-SF 30-SF 30-SF 30-SF 30-SF 30-SF
45-W 30-Zwift 30-Zwift 30-Zwift 30-Zwift 30-Zwift 30-SF
30-SF 30-Zwift 30-Zwift 30-Zwift 45-Walk 30-Bike/30-Walk 60-Walk
60-Walk/30-Bike 90-Walk 20-Walk/30-Bike 20-Walk/30-Bike 20-Walk/30-Bike 20-Walk/30-Bike 60-Walk/30-SF
TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD