Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Days 44 and 45

Yesterday I had a normal workout. Actually I pushed myself a bit. I had 5 or 6 one minute sprints throughout my 35 minute workout on the elliptical machine. Yeah, you heard me right, sprints and THIRTY FIVE MINUTES! Where's my trophy?

Today I really didn't want to work out at all. I almost, almost... ALMOST took the day off! BUT I decided since I may not work out next week at all I better stick with it until we leave. All you fitness nazi's, don't hate me for it, I'm just not sure I'll be able to make it down to the onsite gym in between my margaritas. I have good intentions....

So today I asked the twins if they wanted to go on a bike ride. I walk, they ride. Pretty simple. Last time we went Abby complained a little bit, after all 2 miles is a far trek for a 4 year old. But I thought they were up for it. However it was nothing short of a D.I.S.A.S.T.E.R!!! First of all less than a half mile into our trek, Tom's left pedal fell off. No matter, Mommy fix it was able to thread it through and we carried on our journey. That lasted for about another mile, but after that it just kept falling off. And I knew I was doing more harm than good as I attempted to thread the pedal back on only the next EIGHT times it wouldn't go past two turns. When it fell off as we were on our street I just held the pedal in my hand and pushed him the rest of the way. Also about a mile into our ride/walk Abby started complaining... like A LOT! By the time we got home FIFTY minutes later she was in tears. I felt bad for her, but what was I going to do? So i just let her be and she kept sobbing, "Mom! You shouldn't take me on a ride this LONG!"

I brought my handy dandy fingertip pulse oximeter. My HR never got above 130, mostly stayed around 110, and my sats were pretty steady at 94. Considering I wasn't working too hard, even though I was trying to be a slave driver, I'm not surprised that my sats were so good. So if nothing else today was definitely a mental work out! And I'm pretty sure I get extra points for trying.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Week 7

Yesterday was the beginning of week 7. I now have a fingertip pulse oximeter (thank you in-laws!) so it's much easier to spot check my sats when I'm working out. My HR and sats seemed to stabilize yesterday at about 145 and 95%. Today was about the same, a little bit lower on the sats, 93/94%. The good news is, I have maintained my 32 whole minute work out! Maybe I'll go up to 35 minutes tomorrow... We'll see how ambitious I feel!

I had a terrible dream last night. Usually when I dream about not being able to breathe it means I cannot breathe in real life. This used to happen a lot before I was on oxygen at night. I would have nightmares every single night. My dreams were vivid and I was always being attacked, chased or followed by someone. I would run and get so out of breath I couldn't breathe. Or I'd be drowning and couldn't breathe. Anyway last night the same thing happened and I'm not sure why because I woke up and my o2 was still strapped onto my face. Good times! Guess that just happens when you're lungs are as healthy as a 100 year old!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Days 40, 41 and 42

Well Christmas day was day 40 and I had every intention of working out before the extended family festivities began, however, once I started playing with the twins and their toys, I soon lost that one and only half hour window to myself so I skipped the workout. I'll tell ya, transforming Optimus Prime into a semi-truck certainly wasn't much easier than my workout! Why do they make it so difficult?

I got back on the wagon December 26 and 27 with a 32 minute workout on the elliptical machine. Today I did some spot checks on my HR and pulse ox. I was surprised that with 3 Liters of oxygen I was still sating at 93% with a HR of 170. I slowed it down a bit to get the HR under control, but the sats remained at 93. I thought maybe the oximeter was wrong. So I took the oxygen off and my sats immediately dropped to 90. So at least the o2 was helping.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Day 37, 38 and 39

I was really tired on Monday but did my workout of course, because I'm obsessive like that. Nothing out of the ordinary, just 32 minutes on the elliptical machine.

I took a day off on Tuesday because I was out of town all day long. I got home at 4:30, but by then I was pooped and we had family visiting.

Today is Wednesday, Christmas Eve, day 39. I did 32 minutes on the elliptical this morning. i did about four 90 second sprints throughout the workout. I'm sure someday I'll be able to sprint for the whole workout, but for now, I'm nowhere near that.

I don't feel any different as far as my health goes. I'm counting my blessings that I have not had an exacerbation since September. I feel like I may just cruise through this winter! Of course this has a lot to do with the twins and what they bring home from preschool, but for some reason they have not contracted a cold since September! They are home until January 5th, so hopefully we can remain virus free over the holidays. So far so good.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Day 35 and 36

As I move into my sixth week of working out I really thought I'd have more lung volume and more energy than I do. Whoever said working out was supposed to give you energy was wrong. Boo. Bah Humbug. I'm more tired than ever. Ok, that's not true. But I am very tired these last couple of days.

Saturday and Sunday went the same. I'm holding steady with a 32 minute work out. I keep thinking I'll just jump ahead to 40 minutes, but nah, once I hit 32 I'm ready to be done. Not really from exhaustion, though the work out is tiring, it's more from boredom. I think I will eventually work myself up to 45 minutes and stay there.

For now, I'm off to take a nap. ZZZZ ZZZZZ ZZZZZ

Friday, December 19, 2008

Day 34

Today I was really dragging. From the start of the workout I wanted to be teleported 32 minutes ahead just so I could be done. But I soldiered on. I lasted about 15 minutes with a moderate jog. Then instead of quitting early, I slowed the pace just a tad so I could complete the workout, all THIRTY TWO minutes! Yay me!

I have to report though, I feel no different than day 1. My lungs seem to go in cycles whether I exercise or not and right now I'm in a downward trend. I have this little peak flow meter and although I cannot say it is accurate to the fancier models at the doctors office (those of which I have not even seen since I was seven anyway) I can say that I'm confident it is reliable. Accurate and reliable are two different things here. I say the meter is reliable because when I blow a 425 or 450 my FEV1 usually corresponds to something over 50%, say 1.6 Liters. And when I'm feeling more SOB I blow under 400 on this thing. Today I'm at 370. So I can say with a certain confidence that my FEV1 is about 1.4 Liters. We're talking about tenths of a liter here people! But I don't have tenths to spare! (a normal 5'4" female my age would have an FEV1 of at least 3 Liters.

So you see, I haven't really gained any lung capacity in the last 34 days. Sad but true. I can't know for sure because I'm not going to see the doctor until February. But my trusty little peak flow meter has never failed me.

I guess what I'm saying is I feel like poo. But it's more like standard operating procedure poo, meaning, I can still perform all my mom duties. I can be that peppy preschool mom that's got it all together. I can shop, I can clean, I can cook, I can work out. I can do all those things because I have to. But my fevers are back. They weren't really gone all that long. Maybe a week reprieve in the last month. So I'm dealing with 99-100 degree temperatures and no real illness to speak of. Thankfully motrin takes care of all the funny business so I can feel like "me" most of the time. It's just a lot of work.

Day 33 - A New Milestone

So on Thursday, day 33, I set out to conquer the impossible.

Add two minutes to my workout!

Dun, dun dun!

And guess what? I did it! As much as I didn't want to. As much as I wanted to jump off that machine as soon as the clock ticked to 30 minutes on the nose. As much as I wanted to fall on the floor and die all over the place, I didn't. I just kept cycling on this elliptical for TWO WHOLE EXTRA MINUTES. So for the next week or two, I will continue with my THIRTY(two) minute work out.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Day 31 and 32

There wasn't much of anything unusual on day 31. I worked out on the elliptical at a moderate jog pace for 30 minutes. I had the o2 cranked up to 3 Liters. I didn't even wear the pulse ox machine.

On Wednesday I decided to do an experiment with the oxygen and wear it at 2 Liters, instead of 3. I use 2 Liters when I sleep and I have no idea what my pulse ox levels dip to, but I wake rested, so they must stay above 90 at least! But when I work out I gasp a lot if they fall below 94 so I wondered if 3 liters was too much, even though I stayed steady at 96% the other day. I wondered if I could stay at 96% on 2 liters as well. Well I came close but I seemed to plateau at 94% with a HR of 155 on 2 Liters. So I think from now on, I'll stay at 3 Liters. I might even increase my time on the elliptical to 32 minutes for the rest of the week, and slowly work my way up to 45 minutes! We'll see... that sounds rather ambitious right now!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Day 29 and 30

I took a day off yesterday. Since I'd worked out 12 days in a row, I figured I'd let myself slide for one day. Actually what happened was, I got busy! There was no time in the morning, before we left to visit the in-laws. Then I was so tired that afternoon, I just didn't feel like it. So no work out yesterday.

Today was my experiment. I cranked up the o2 to 3 Liters and immediately my pulse ox shot up to 100. It's kinda funny to see that number. So I get on the elliptical and I start jogging. I think I was jogging at the same pace as Friday, but I'll never know for sure. Remember Friday without o2 my pulse ox was 90 and my HR was 162. Well today my pulse ox was a steady 96, which is totally NORMAL! And my HR was 155. So I think oxygen does a body good. I'll have to continue to work out with it, which rules out the possibility of running around the block for now.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Day 28!

I can't believe it's been a MONTH! A whole month of this working out today.

Yesterday was the same old thing. I jogged on the elliptical for 30 minutes with 3 Liters of o2 coursing through my nose. I got off the machine and checked my HR. 145.

Well today was different. Because today I finally have my pulse oximeter! So I decided to work out without the o2, just to make sure I really needed it. And the answer?


I worked out for 30 minutes at a jog pace. My o2 sats were steady at 90/91. Anything under 94 is NOT NORMAL. It's no wonder gasping for air! When I'm healthy and resting comfortably I sat in the 96-99 range, which is beautiful!

During my workout today my sats briefly dipped to 89 for a few spot seconds but the majority of my run on the elliptical machine, the last 25 minutes they were pretty darn steady at 90%. My HR was also a lot higher than I expected. You see when I take my HR at the end of my workout it slows dramatically during that 1 minute. So I knew I wasn't getting an accurate count all this time, but I had to be close. Although it turns out I was pretty far off! My HR was about 162 for most of my jog. Sometimes higher, up to 165 and sometimes lower, about 155. I think this means I need to see if the o2 brings that old HR down a notch tomorrow. And hopefully I can keep my sats up w/ the o2 tomorrow as well.

I found this information interesting, from the American Heart Association.

"How should I pace myself?

When starting an exercise program, aim at the lowest part of your target zone (50 percent) during the first few weeks. Gradually build up to the higher part of your target zone (75 percent). After six months or more of regular exercise, you may be able to exercise comfortably at up to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. However, you don't have to exercise that hard to stay in shape."

My target zone is 93 - 158. And since I've only been "actively working out" for 4 weeks, my target should be in the lowest end of that zone, about 93-100 bpm. I'm clearly over doing it! Maybe I need to slow down considering I'm above the highest target zone for my body. I either have a heck of a lot more stamina than I thought, like I'm a super trained athlete already, or I'm actually doing damage to my body.... hmmmm.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Jogging on the Elliptical

Earlier this week I tried sprinting and walking on the elliptical. That was really really tough. So on Wednesday and Thursday (workout day numbers 25 and 26) I decided to try a quicker pace, but not a sprint. Let's call it a jog. It went pretty well but on both days I just wanted to up and quit around minute 20. I didn't though! Cause I'm a tough cookie! My HR was about 145 when I checked it after my workout on both days.

I've been told that since this 30 minute workout is going well I should increase the length of time... we'll see about that. At 30 minutes I'm pretty much ready to throw the elliptical out the window and never look at it again. It's still really hard, but I actually look forward to it just to say I did it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Day 23 and 24

Monday was an average work out. I didn't get any headaches and my knees are feeling much better. They still hurt when my motrin wears off, but I'm not limping anymore. I did a regular speed 30 minute elliptical workout on Monday.

Today I was a little short on time. I rushed home after some errands to squeeze in a quick workout before picking the twins up from a playdate. I set the timer for 20 minutes and did about 7 sprints during the 20 minute workout. The sprints were meant to last one minute, but I never made it. 30 seconds sometimes, 45 seconds others. I did my best but man oh man! It's tough! And it sucks! My legs burned so much I wanted to scream at the end of the sprints. Is this normal? I like pushing myself but thank god it was only a 20 minute workout. Whew!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Day 21 and 22 - The Wall

Today went better than yesterday. Yesterday was a struggle. I got on the elliptical after lunch and I had to stop a couple times right off the bat! But only for a few seconds. Then at 10 minutes I had to stop again! My legs were burning I was just not into it. Maybe I pushed myself too hard the day before. Then at 20 minutes I wanted to quit for the day, but I didn't. I kept going. I finally finished at 30 minutes with a HR of 125. That's in my target range, but not quite as high for my normal 30 minute work out.

Today went a little better. I noticed that my back spasm doesn't hurt as much if I don't watch TV, which is sad for me. The TV is quite a bit lower than my line of vision on the elliptical. So I think it's causing me to have poor posture, resulting in a stinging burning upper back spasm, which I've had for umpteen years, at least since high school. It's a side effect of all those years of coughing and lots of cystics have this problem. We all have bad posture which results in knots in our backs. It's great fun! So today the twins were roaming around the room when I was starting my exercise, so i didn't want to turn on the TV. So I noticed if I stared straight ahead (which gets quite boring after 30 minutes) my back doesn't hurt AS much as when I watch TV. Today I did middle of the road and didn't have to take any breaks during my 30 minute elliptical workout. During the last minute I really pushed myself and my HR was 145 when I finished. Much higher than the day before, and I think it was a little over my maximum target too, which can't be good. I wore my o2 again but when I was gearing up to speed during the first two minutes when my legs burn the most I had a horrible headache anyway. It did subside but I'm sure it's all just some big vicious circle about poor oxygenation in my decrepit body.

The knees are feeling better, but not 100% healed. I don't have pain when I walk around the house which is great. But I still feel strain when I make certain motions. Maybe one more week and I'll be healed!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Day Twenty!

Goal: Sprint 2 minutes, continue at normal pace 3 minutes, repeat 5 more times.

I can't believe I've made it twenty days. Go me!

Yesterday I did the elliptical for 30 minutes. Then last night I was in a chat room online with some fellow CFers and one of the exercise guru's (I'm talking about you Chags) told me to try and sprint two minutes then continue at a regular pace for 3 minutes. I thought he was talking about running at first. I don't know why it never occurred to me to do this pattern on the elliptical machine. I guess because I've never taken any type of spinning class or whatever they have at those fancy gyms. I've also never really done cardio on purpose. I mean, I used to play sports but those days are long gone.

I ended up setting my bar a bit lower. I sprinted for 1 minute and then continued at a normal pace for 4 minutes. Somehow I repeated this process, but in the midst of watching ER on tivo during my routine and not having a stop watch I only ended up with 5 sprints in a 30 minute period, not 6. Go figure. You'd think I had a degree in math or something. I also did my workout today while wearing 2 Liters of o2 flowing up my nose. And you know what? I didn't get a headache. Hmmmm.... If only I had a pulse oximeter to see what was really happening to my oxygen levels when I exercise.

On the knee front, they are still sore and there is no end in sight! I keep re-injuring them as I do normal things like get down on the ground to put the twins' shoes on and stuff like that. *sigh*

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Days 17 and 18

Yesterday and today are elliptical days. I'm just not feeling up to pounding the pavement outdoors. I can barely walk around the house without feeling like my knees are being crushed by thousand pound weights with ever step. Actually it's not that bad, but I'm totally aware of the pain with every step. The Motrin really helps and I can totally tell when it wears off because my knees get achy and it's even harder to walk. The good news is the elliptical doesn't seem to bother my knees all that much. So I did the machine for 30 minutes yesterday and plan to do the same today. Yesterday I got my heart rate up to 133 which is perfect for my age. My target heart rate is between 93 and 140. I still don't feel like the elliptical gives my lungs as good of a workout as walking or running, but it will have to do for now.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Day 16- A Day to Rest

As mandated by the husband, I am taking today off to see if it helps the old knees. I guess he was tired of watching me hobble around the house this weekend.