After a nice stationary bike and elliptical session at the gym last Monday, I felt like I was back in the groove of getting good cardio workouts in.
Nope! Instead, what I got was an upper respiratory infection. I felt sick most of last week....I would start to feel better, and then the next day feel worse again. Symptoms were shifting from the throat to the nose, but it was a aching in the lungs and wheezing that drove me to the doctor's office yesterday.
My doctor, who I really like, is a strong believer in practicing good antibiotic stewardship. While some the other doctors at the practice hand out antibiotics pretty quickly, mine is reluctant. But when I told him that I had been using several OTC meds plus all my usual allergy-asthma meds (I'd never really been considered to have chronic asthma, but especially during allergy season one of my daily meds is an albuterol* inhaler -- the rescue inhaler of many asthmatics) plus had felt like I'd had bronchitis or at least cold symptoms on-and-off since December, he gave me three days worth of azithromycin and prednisone. I'm still pretty phlegmy, but otherwise feel a lot better.
Anyway, now that I've bored you or grossed you out with an episode of General Practitioner, let's move on to exercise, shall we? I got up at 5:00am this morning to drive up to the gym, only my venerable Neon had other ideas, a cracking noise from the rear of the car when I backed up. A visual inspection revealed no obvious problems or anything (ice, weird evil wildlife) that I'd backed over, and as I drove up the hill there was a rubbing noise from the rear of the car. My gym is 25 minutes from home, in the complete opposite direction from where I'd take the car, so I decided not to chance it.
Disappointed and worried about the car, I still wanted to get some exercise in. So, I did 40 minutes on this:
That's right, a Nordictrack Ski Machine. My parents had one of these when I was in high school and college (they still have it, I think) and I always felt like I got good workouts on it. Back then, I would usually do just 15 minutes on it, going as fast as I could. That was probably why I fell of the thing fairly regularly. (It's easy to do!) I bought our off a friend's parents 12 years ago, and had used it sporadically over the years when I didn't have a gym membership, but hadn't touched in at least 5 years since I started running.
This morning, I just focused on keeping a steady pace, which turned out to be 8k/hr (I'm not sure why it has a metric odometer). I felt like it was a good workout -- I worked up a good sweat before opening the windows to the winter air. It's non-impact, but I feel like it makes me work my calves pretty hard, and I need that. Unlike a standard elliptical, where my feet stay flat on the pedals the whole time, I lift my heels when I'm on the NordicTrack, so I'm hoping that even though there's no impact it's simulating some of the motion of running on my calves moreso than my other adventures in cross-training.
The main problem is boredom -- I did 40 minutes and that was about all I could stand. I tried to read a magazine, but it's tough since I do use the arm part of the machine. Perhaps I can find a book rack for it, which might make it easier to read or might allow me to watch videos on the Kindle.
I want to run again soon, and I also need to do better (and have better luck!) about getting to the gym for cardio, but I know there will always be mornings where I just don't get myself up in time. This old machine could be a big help to me in getting back some conditioning and a good cross-training option even when I'm back on the road.
*Spelllcheck wants to auto-correct "albuterol" to "butterball". Awesome.