Saturday, April 25, 2020

A Texan in Tibet - Conditioning Update

I pushed my soul in a deep dark hole and then I followed it in
I watched myself crawling out as I was a-crawling in
I got up so tight I couldn't unwind
I saw so much I broke my mind
I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in
- Mickey Newbury

If you've been reading along, you'll recall that I started conditioning for this trip back in December.  Even in February when it was looking like it might be canceled, I was determined to stick with my routine; not only as a hedged bet on the trip actually happening, but because I really needed to shape up.  Since December, I've dropped over thirty pounds, my clothes fit better, and I  have significantly increased energy.  Somehow, I've managed to do this while playing the quarantine game at home.  Having gym-quality elliptical climber and rowing machines really helps.  Having 200 acres of pasture and woods to wander doesn't hurt either.  I still row four miles mornings and climb three miles on my elliptical every Monday through Friday.  I have so many physically demanding chores to do around my property on weekends that I usually take those days off from structured exercise.  If the weather is crappy out, I will go up and knock off a few miles climbing while watching heavy metal concerts or military special ops documentaries on the big screen. 

I have continued to train with my oxygen deprivation mask and have gotten to the point where operating at less that 82% oxygen saturation feels normal.  My personal results from the anaerobic effect of these training sessions has me hooked to the point where I would train with the mask even without a high-altitude trip on my (potential) horizon.  Along with the exercise, I continue to eat a low-carb/keto-ish diet.  I say "ish" because I don't believe it's possible to eat 100% keto or to truly put one's body in a state of ketosis.  I've also refrained from alcohol completely until this last weekend when I gave in and enjoyed a frozen margarita.

Now I have an additional five months of conditioning time - assuming I really get to go in September.  I'm not holding my breath, but I am holding to my determination to continue to my physical improvement.  I can't allow myself to get undisciplined on the longshot that this trip actually happens and I find myself facing the physical challenges I endured in the Outback.