Saturday, December 11, 2010

Finally going to Physiotheapy

I finally started seeing a physiotherapist about my knee just over three weeks ago. He thinks that the pain sis from some roughening of the cartilage or a small tear, likely due to my prior time as a runner. One more good reason to avoid running, I guess. I would like to keep sprinting when this resolves, though. The therapy essentially involves strengthening my quadriceps and hamstring coupled with some other "Frankensteinian" electrical-current-based therapy to increase circulation and promote healing. I have incorporated the exercises into my routine at home along with starting back doing some weight training. It is nice to be back hefting the iron, but I am trying to take it easy so that I don't overwork the knee or anything else. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Long time, no post

I need to get back into a rhythm of posting again. I am in a good reading groove, but not so good on the blogging. Of the many things that I have done since the last post was to read Robb Wolf's book.
Paleo Solution
It is a great read. You learn things you never had any idea about with respect to nutrition and exercise and you do it without even realizing it, it's that easy to read.

As for the 100 rep challenge...I kept that going for quite some time - I'd have to check my journal to see how long - but in the end I came to the conclusion that it didn't fit my style. That is to say that one thing I have tried to do is shift my "fitness" program to make it less structured so that it fits our busy lives, so that I don't get stuck in any exercise ruts or feel stupid/useless guilt if I "miss" a workout. Doing 100 reps every day was not in keeping with this plan, such as it is, so I got off that wagon.

I'll close by noting that while the pain in my knee has improved since the initial onset back in the late spring/early summer, it still rears its ugly head more often that I like, so I may have to get some rehab advice from a professional. In defense of my procrastination from seeking rehab, I have managed to at least be sensible and not do sprinting on land (okay, maybe twice) since the pain started. Instead I do intense sprint swimming sessions in the pool. And I have stayed away from weights and crazy high intensity work, too. I miss sprinting with my dogs and the other workout types, too. And while it certainly has helped my knee repair itself, I need to get it fixed up so that I can return to those activities that I have stopped because I really miss doing them.

Enough rambling for now. I better save something to write next time!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

100 rep challenge

It's been a long time since I posted. One recent thing of interest (perhaps) is that I stumbled across this 100 rep challenge on the Conditioning Research Blog and decided to give it a shot. So, for the past 3 or 4 days (I'd have to check my log, I don't recall) I have been doing 100 reps, usually 50 push ups and 50 prisoner squats and a few pull ups for good measure (like today). This takes about 5 minutes  and fits nicely into the business that is back to school time and this bodyweight routine complements my approximately one hour or walking with the dogs that I do each day.  My knee is much better compared to how it was in June when I initially noted the pain and scaled back my workouts (no LHT/HIT/SS, LHT, HIIT, sprinting or yoga since then, so now for almost 2 months) but I don't want to be stupid and rush back into everything and re-injure it. Interestingly my body mass is right where it was when I cut back. I am not sure if there was any redistribution of muscle and adipose tissue, but my unscientific assessment (looking in the mirror) tells me that if there is any change, it is undetectable to me. At least I can walk up the stairs now without wincing.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Summer Vacation and Primal Grannie

Here is a recent dessert; blueberries, grapes, walnuts and cream.

We are on vacation for the next little while so my posting will be limited. My knee is healing up, but still a bit twingy here and there. My fitness has mostly been walking and some limited bodyweight exercises. Also of note/interest: My 99 year old grandmother just joined me for a primal lunch of mixed greens, avocado, cold grilled strip loin with apple in a olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing! More posts may or may not follow in the next few days.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Choosing healthy foods now called a mental disorder - Really, it is!

This is so weird you couldn't make it up!

Choosing healthy foods now called a mental disorder

Thanks to John Durant at for posting this.

I've been in a renovation/pre-holiday planning/end of the school year and packing frenzy so no time to post. I am also taking it easy as the knee is still a bit sore, but much better. I hope to post some while I am on our family holiday.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Get yer sleep!

In case you thought you were getting enough sleep by skimping and only getting 6-ish hours of sleep a night, think again. Recent results from a two week sleep study show that there are many problems displayed by subjects who were deprived, and that these were worse than the subjects themselves were even aware of. 

For years I skimped on my sleep, but in the past year or so (since my MS diagnosis) I have made a real effort to get enough sleep (i.e., more than 7 hours a night). So far it has gone pretty well and I feel good. This study makes me think I had better keep at it.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Where I'm at

I haven't posted in a while; too busy with work, home renos, and a lack of interesting workouts for the past bit as I am nursing a sore knee. Because of this, I started a new joint formula supplement called SierraSil that is supposed to decrease inflammation by providing trace minerals that we are deficient in. I'll post later on how that works out.
I have received Mark Sisson's "Primal Cookbook" recently though, and tried his indirect method to grill steak (to help keep the free radicals and charring down). It worked great, and had our top sirloin about medium in around 20 minutes. Very tender, too. Unfortunately, the camera was not located in time to snap a photo! Next time...

Here's the deal as usual for the first bit and then the start of recovery week(s?) with mostly walking and swiming:

Monday 7 June: Walk 20 min; Swim 1,000 yds, 20:11
Tuesday 8 June: Walks X 2, 45, 20 min; Walk up 9 flights of stairs to an appointment (maybe the problem with my knee)
Wed 9 June: Walks X 2, 20, 45 min; LHT/Wicked Awesome Dumbbell Workout
Thursday 10 June: Walks X 2, 25 min each; Ashtanga Yoga at University, 50 min
Friday 11 June: Walks X 2, 20 min each; Mowed lawn; Started removing baseboards and acasing
Saturday 12 June: Walks X 2, 20, 25 mins; Remove baseboards and casing
Sunday 13 June: Walks X 3, 20, 30, 20 mins
Monday 14 June: Walks X 3, 25, 15, 25 mins; Painting
Tuesday 15 June: Walks X 2, 20, 45 mins; Swim 1,000 m, 24:15
Wednesday 16 June: Walks X 2, 20, 15 min
Thursday 17 June: Walks X 2, 20, 40 min; Swim sprints (500 yd warm up in 9:57, 6 X 25 yds in 18 s on 60 s gos, 200 yds cool down)

I hope that between resting the knee from weight, yoga and sprinting combined with the mineral supplement, that the pain will subside and I can resume some more vigorous activities. I'll just have to wait and see.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Work outs and a 4 X 4

Here's my fitness activities for the past bit. I am still not feeling 100% and the exercise that I have done is reflective of this - just trying to keep active and not do anything to crazy. Lots of walking, some weights and yoga. And here's the 4 X 4: Dinner of a 4 egg omelet and 4 pieces of European bacon (to start) with sautéed mushrooms and tomato for filler. 
Now that's an omelet!
Too big for the plate!
Here's the work out deal:

Friday 28 May: Walks X 2, 20 and 27 min
Saturday 29 May: Walk 25 min
Sunday 30 May: Walks X 2, 15 and 30 min
Monday 31 May: Walks X 3, 45, 20 amd 25 min; LHT/Wicked Awesome Dumbbell Workout - 60 s jumping jacks, X 10 pushups before each of 4 sets (20, 25, 30 30 lbs dumbbells; Total TUL = ~ 10 min)
Tuesday 1 June: Walks X 3, 20, 20 and 30 min; Mowed lawn - Very long grass! (I use an old school "Reel Mower", 100% person power) = 60 min of mowing
Wednesday 2 June: Walks X 2, 20 min each; Children's Festival with the girls!
Thursday 3 June: Walks X 2, 20 min each; Ashtanga Yoga at the University, 55 min
Friday 4 June: Walks X 2, 20 and 25 min
Saturday 5 June: Walks X 2, 35 and 20 min; Children's Festial with family and friends!
Sunday 6 June: Walk 25 min; Bodyweight/HIIT workout: A 3/4 "Holy Grail" of Burpees - descending sets from 15 (i.e., 15, 14, 13...1) with about 30 s between each, barefoot and shirtless in our backyard, made some Vitamin D, too in the beautiful 22 C sunny afternoon, 17 min total time and kick my BUTT!
And here's dessert...Greek yogurt with sunflower seeds and grapes.
My little Avatar thanks to the very talented face painter at the St. Albert International Children's Festival!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Good morning, great breakfast

Simple and delicious. Full fat Greek yogurt (Olympic Krema) with fresh strawberries, raw pumpkin seeds, and 2% cottage cheese, with a cafe Americano made with 18% cream. This, or something very much like this, is a standard breakfast for me. (Click the picture for the higher resolution shots.)
One bowl of goodness.
Cuppa yum.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Grilled chicken and herbs

Starting to grill. The chicken was marinated in parsley, sage, garlic, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Getting there...
Plated and ready to eat!
Mmmmm....melting butter!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ooooh, Eggy I love your way

I am pretty happy with the quality of these photos, especially compared to the old Palm Treo camera. Here's tonight's "Go To" dinner; omelet with spicy paprika salami, cheddar and tomatoes with a mixed green salad. 
After the turn...
Ready for demolition.
One more look, just because.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Out with the old

Yummy omelet and mixed greens salad; nasty picture. I think the lens on my Treo Pro has gone south.
Yummy sautéed European wiener (preservative and filler free, from the Grapevine Deli), mushroom and green onion with mixed green salad; amazing picture from my 9 year old's Sony Cyber Shot! I think I'll have to keep using Junior's camera from now on. I haven't been doing my food shots justice.
Excellent bacon and eggs; terrible hazy shot.
Same meal as above, still excellent even with no flash!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Workout round up

Where does the time go? Here is an abbreviated version of my week (and then some) of fitness activities. Here's the deal:
Wednesday 19 May: Walks X 2, 20 min each Thursday 20 May: Walks X 3, 20-25 min each Friday 21 May: Walks, 15 and 30 min; Eoin Finn Magically Hips Yoga, 57 min Saturday 22 May: Walks X 2, 25 min each Sunday 23 May: Walk 25 min Monday 24 May: Walks X 2, 35 and 25 min; LHT/Wicked Awesome Barbell Workout; Mowed Lawn Tuesday 25 May: Swim Sprints; Walks, 20 and 35 min Wednesday 26 May: Walks X 3, 20, 20, 25 min Thursday 27 May: Walks X 2, 25 and 30 min; Ashtanga Yoga at the University, 55 min

Well, there you have it. Not too many details, but you get the idea. I took it a bit easy this week as I wasn't feeling 100%. Until next time.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Riding the Omega 3 train: More salmon!

Yesterday's brunch: Sockeye smoked salmon, green onion and goat cheese omelet with avocado, strawberries and banana. We ran out of plates, hence the camping plate, in honour of the Victoria Day long weekend.
The only "problem" with opening a package of smoked salmon when you are the only one in the house who likes it is that you have to eat the whole package yourself in 3 days. Too bad for me - NOT!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Salmon weekend part two

Marinating: 2 sockeye salmon steaks in cilantro, dill (from our herb planter out back!), green onion, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Grilling: about 15 minutes.
All done, time to eat!
Plated: with mixed greens and avocado. 

The second steak will be for a cold salmon salad today. Dessert was later. I didn't get a picture as I was too busy eating it: strawberries swimming in whipping cream (un-whipped, straight from the fridge), two bowls (hey, it's a holiday weekend).

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pseudo eggs Benedict, Primal style

They aren't quite traditional eggs Benny (these eggs are over easy with no hollandaise sauce) but they sure were tasty and definitely from the real food category! Included was one ripe tomato, half a package of smoked, wild, sockeye salmon, one green onion and three Omega 3 eggs done over easy (in bacon grease!). The banana that I used to "mop up" the egg didn't make it into the picture, but it did make it into my stomach, and gladly! This was all washed down with some Greg Danks' Coffee (Mexican this morning) and cream. A great start to the day for sure.

Now to figure out something to do for the Victoria Day long weekend with Daughter #1 away with friends camping but with Daughter #2 and her friend hanging out with us. I think some floor tile shopping and a trip to the indoor pool and leisure centre is on the menu.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Back on track

I have been very remiss in posting these, so for the sake of brevity and catching up, I'll get right to it.

Sunday 9 May
  • LHT/Wicked Awesome Dumbbell Workout: 
  • 10 X push ups
  • One arm (right) neutral grip dead lift, biceps curl up to standing overhead press, Turkish getup, standing overhead press and biceps curl down to one arm deadlift down; repeat on left side
  • Two arm deadlift up, lunge left/right, split squat left/right, two leg squat, two arm biceps curl to standing overhead press, biceps curl down, neutral grip deadlift down
  • Repeated this X 6, first 2 with 2 X 20 lbs dumbbells and the last 4 with 25 lbs dumbbells; TULs between about 1:48 to 2:00
  • Walk, 1 hr 35 min (with > 60 min walking) to the pet store (via Starbucks!) with the whole family on a nice sunny day!
    Monday 10 May
    • Walks X 2, 20 min each
    • Swim sprints; 250 yd warm up in 4:40, 6 X 25 yds in ~ 16-18 s with about 60 s rest between each, 250 yd cool down in 5:14

    One way, or another

    I started taking Rebif (interferon beta-1a) as a disease modifying drug (DMD) for treatment of my MS in July 2009. Injecting myself thrice weekly was no joy, but then again neither is the prospect of MS progression, so I learned to work it into my routine. Unfortunately, Rebif and I did not agree with one another. I came off Rebif in late November, and then back on it again in January 2010. That lasted only until about the end of March when I came off it for the second time, again because my lab work showed that Rebif was affecting my bone marrow and blood counts.

    At this point my neurologist suggested I switch over to
    Copaxone (Glatiramer acetate) because it is not associated with the same side effects as Rebif (fever, aches, chills, headaches) and because it doesn't typically affect the same things that the interferon was affecting in my lab work. The downside, of course (there always is a downside) is that you need to inject Copaxone every day, not three times per week like Rebif, and Copaxone can cause skin irritation, lipoatraphy (damage to subcutaneous fat so that you develop "pits" in your skin) and it can cause muscle spasms if injected into or too close to a muscle.

    I have had few to no skin issues so far, but this may happen in time. On the other hand the muscle spasms have been an issue when injecting my legs and arms because I have almost no fat to inject into (contrary to the training nurse who visited me a week and a half ago who claimed I could use an 8 mm injection depth on all sites - wrongo!). Using the automatic injector (autoject) in my legs and arms also turns out to be a nonstarter and part of the problem because controlling the depth of the injection is tricky. When the spasms start, your muscle dances as if it were hooked to a car battery and feels as if the meanest, biggest guy you know just gave you a charleyhorse. Then 
    did it again just for fun. The stiffness lasts through the next day.

    The support nurse from
    Shared Solutions (who is very helpful) suggested that I manually inject at a 45 degree angle into my arms and legs to avoid the spasm issue. Two nights ago the injection into my arm was much better done manually than the previous night with the autoject, and involved much less swearing post injection. Other than some burning, all was basically fine. The manual leg injection last night was another story. I did not manage to get it into the tissue at 45 and the muscle was jumping before even half way into the injection. My SO couldn't watch it was so intense. Rah! I sent an e-mail to my support nurse and she suggested to dump using the legs and to use my abdomen as two areas to give me a total of 6 areas (abdomen X 2, butt X 2, arms X 2). Good call.

    Tuesday, May 11, 2010

    Spring is here! (For now, at least)

    Here's the view from my front window about one week ago.
    And here's the view on my walk this morning.

    Needless to say the weather has had a hard time making up its mind lately, but it looks like spring is actually here to  stay. I have a fair bit to post about, but for now will just stick to an update on my workouts, post back tweak. I modified my exercise routines and took it easy when my back was stiff/sore and changed my LHT workout to one with dumbbells instead of a barbell. I also took a pass at sprinting on land and instead did a swim sprint workout and skipped my HIIT/Bodyweight workout (lots of jumping around in it). Other than that, and having a couple of extra easy days, all was as normal and now my back is, well, back (to normal). And with no ibuprofen or other meds.

    Here's the deal.

    Saturday 1 May
    • made some vitamin D on the deck
    • Walk about 1 hr 40 min to the lake (above, different day) and back
    Sunday 2 May
    • Walk ~ 30 min
    • PM Yoga ~ 25 min
    Monday 3 May
    • Walk 20 min
    Tuesday 4 May
    • Yoga, 45 min, Rodney Yee's Energy Balance
    • Walk, 25 min
    • PM Yoga, freestyle ~ 25 min
    Wednesday 5 May
    • Walk, 20 min
    • Swim, 1,000 m, 21:14 (much better than the last 2 weeks), 150 yd cool down
    • Walk, 30 min
    Thursday 6 May
    • Walk, 20 min
    • LHT/Wicked Awesome Dumbbell Workout
    • One arm (right) neutral grip dead lift, biceps curl up to standing overhead press, Turkish getup, standing overhead press and biceps curl down to one arm deadlift down; repeat on left side
    • Two arm deadlift up, lunge left/right, split squat left/right, two leg squat, two arm biceps curl to standing overhead press, biceps curl down, neutral grip deadlift down
    • Repeated this X 10, first 2 with 2 X 20 lbs dumbbells and the last 8 wit 25 lbs dumbbells; TULs between about 1:30 to 1:50; need to keep really slow but a great workout; may need some heavier dumbbells!
    Friday 7 May
    • Walk, 25 min
    • Swim, 1,000 m 21:10 (ish - watch FAIL stopping the timer) plus 50 yd cool down
    • Walk, 25 min
    Saturday 8 May
    • Walks, 45 min, 20 min
    That'll have to do for least I am one less week behind. Soon I hope to turn to more posts about what I am up to or thinking about besides my workouts. 

    Friday, April 30, 2010

    On the lookout for fitness

    The MS Walk was a great success on many fronts: fundraising, family bonding, raising awareness and a real sense that people with MS are not alone. And the 10 km walk was a great, relaxing way to spend the morning getting low level cardio the way we are meant to get it.

    Here are my workouts for the past week. The only hiccup is a sore lower back that flared up after Wednesday's LHT/HIT session. It didn't happen until later after sitting for some time at my desk. The pain and stiffness in my back has been brewing for a bit and I think it is a combination of poor posture and extended periods of time sitting (especially at my desk in front of my computer) combined with less yoga/flexibility work than I should be doing (my yoga class at the University ended at the start of April and a new one starts in just under 2 weeks) and, possibly, a sight lapse in lifting form. I am more inclined to think it is the posture/sitting/reduced flexibility that are the more likely causes than the lifting, since I have been lifting for months with nothing similar, but have spent even more time sitting recently.

    Anyway, I have been taking it a bit easy, as you'll read, to let things heal up. I'll just focus on walking, some swimming and yoga but not pushing any of these activities too hard.

    Here's the deal.

    Saturday 24 April
    • Walk ~ 25 min 
    Sunday 25 April
    • St. Albert MS Walk 2010 - 10 km, 1 hr 43 minutes
    • Walks X 2 ~ 58 min and 15 min (with the dogs who stayed home from the MS Walk - that is them "On Duty" in the photo at the top, not pining for us to return as they stay in their crates when we are out)
    Monday 26 April
    • Walks X 2 ~ 25 and 15 min
    • Swim, 1,000 m, 21:55 (faster and easier than last week)
    Tuesday 27 April
    • Walks X 2 ~ 20 min each
    • Yoga, Rodney Yee Strength and Flexibility DVD (did the "Flexibility" workout) ~ 28 min
    Wednesday 28 April
    • Walks X 2 ~ 20 min each
    • LHT/HIT/SS:
    • Bent over rows X 8, TUL = 1:42, 70 lb barbell
    • Standing overhead press X 3.5/4.5, TUL = 1:08, 70 lb barbell
    • Deadlifts X 5, TUL = 1:20, 110 lb barbell
    • Bench press X 5, TUL =  60 s, 90 lb barbell
    • Squats X 9.5, TUL = 1:53, 90 lb barbell
    • as usual, having a rach to walk into for squats would make it easier to get to positive failure and then unload
    • Yoga forward bends etc. to loosen stiff muscles in lower back
    Thursday 29 April
    • Walks X 2, ~ 20 min each
    • Swim ~ 550 m, slow, 13:28
    Friday 30 April
    • Walks X 3, ~ 20, 20 and 30 min each
    • back still a little stiff, maybe some yoga later or else just rest
    I was going to add some food shots here too, but I think I'll save that for another post including tales of my first attempt at Thai red curry beef soup with coconut milk and cilantro! Until then.

    Monday, April 26, 2010

    sturdyteam at the 2010 St. Albert MS Walk

    Well, we did it; 10 kms in 1:43, including the girls, sick spouse, and the girls' friend from school (who took the photo above). It started out quite gray and cloudy, but we didn't get rain or snow and they were forecasting both. There were a lot of people participating and tons volunteering. It was a great time and we plan to do it again next year for sure. The last time I checked we were over $3,400 in pledges. Thank you to all who donated! Here is the story in photos.
    Morning weather.
    Let's do this!
    Lots of people up early for the walk.
    And we're off!
    Past St. Albert Place and the Sturgeon River.
    Nice scenery on the walk.
    About 3 kms in and still smiling.
    We're on the right path at least.
    Stroll around Lacombe Park Lake.
    In the home stretch.
    There it is!
    Success! Now where's the coffee?
    Approval from my former student, Scott, who now works for the MS Society. Irony = lots.
    Aren't they cute?
    They're the reason why I walk: to find a cure so they don't have to deal with MS.