Heading out for her evening walk last night, the dog saw one of the neighbor dogs that she likes to tussle with, and lunged that way. I didn’t let her get loose, but the leash did twist my pinky, which is now all sore and swollen. (The swelling even spread to my ring finger, so I took my Oura ring off, just in case. But it fits okay on my left hand, so I haven’t had to quit wearing it.)

I’m managing the injury okay with rest and ice (and drinking some collagen), but I fear I’m going to have to miss my HEMA class this evening: My hand isn’t up to swinging a sword.

My right hand, the pinky and ring finger somewhat swollen

Although I haven’t quite achieved my aspirational goal of doing all the workouts I want to do, I have been getting workouts in, and they’ve been going pretty well. Last week I did my club swinging workout twice, my kettlebell clean & press workout, my kettlebell swing workout, and my HEMA practice all once each.

I’ve gotten this week off to a good start by hitting the fitness room and doing a bodyweight circuit (jump rope, negative pull ups, Hindu squats, Hindu push ups, and my 3-way core circuit) for three rounds, plus some incline press and some dead hangs.

The negative pull ups, in particular, were better than I’d expected. Something I’m doing—probably the kettlebell swings, but perhaps also the club swinging—is working the lats and biceps more than is obvious while I’m doing them.

A Field Notes notebook with a top corner chewed off by the dog

I’d gotten my workout log notebook out for writing this post, and failed to put it away, with the (dog induced) result visible above.

Based on the ideas that I talked about in Training for everything, here’s my latest cut at a personal exercise program. (My first cut was derailed by circumstances, and then I adopted a dog which derailed everything except dog walking. Then I got West Nile fever.) See my no-longer-particularly-recent Starting to rough up a new training plan for more information about the specific exercises and how I organize them into sets, reps, and progressions.

I have a set of exercises that I want to do, ideally twice a week each:

  • Kettlebell swings
  • Kettlebell clean & press
  • 1-handed heavy club swinging
  • Bodyweight gymnastic rings circuit
  • Run

That’s five things, so if I did each twice, and gave everything its own day, I’d have to have a 10-day week. That isn’t impossible. In fact, I’ve seriously considered planning my workouts in a longer cycle than weekly in the past, it but is unhandy in various ways. Fortunately, I think I can double-up several of these exercises in a way that will let me fit them into 7-day week.

The 1-handed club swinging isn’t particularly intense cardiovascularly, so I’m thinking I can combine it with the clean & press. The KB swings is intense cardiovascularly, but because it’s very different, I’m thinking I can combine it with the gymnastic rings bodyweight circuit, doing the KB swings as a “finisher” after the rings workout.

My HEMA (sword fighting) practice is three times a week, and I can’t adjust that schedule, except by skipping workouts, so I have to work that in when it actually happens.

A heavy club,  a fencing mask, two pairs of fencing gloves, two translations of Meyer's text of sword fighting, a kettlebell, and a sword

Of course I also want to get one day a week of complete rest. I’d normally make that Sunday, but there’s a HEMA practice session on Sunday so it’ll have to be on Saturday instead.

So here’s a quick stab at a possible weekly plan:

DayMorningMiddayEvening
SundayRings circuit / KB SwingsHEMA
Monday1-H Heavy Club / KB C&P
TuesdaySprintsHEMA
WednesdayRings circuit / KB Swings
Thursday1-H Heavy Club / KB C&PHEMA
FridayLong run
SaturdayRest

I’ve omitted a “warm-up” block, because I already do my morning exercises, my ridiculously long warm-up routine, nearly every day. I’ve also omitted my dog walking, which averages something over 6 miles a day.

I’m pretty happy with this. It has my HEMA practice sessions in at the correct times; it leaves open the time slots where I have Esperanto, and meeting friends for lunch; it has a full rest day.

I don’t show it here, but I’ll definitely do a de-load week every 5 or 6 weeks.

I should be very clear that, at this point, this is entirely aspirational. I’ve been doing each of these workouts individually, but the only combined workouts I’ve tried so far are the heavy club swinging and the clean&press workouts. I’ve also been taking more than one rest day per week. But the progress I want seems to depend on doing something like this workout schedule, so I’m going to give it a try.

I’ll report back regarding my success or failure.

I’ve felt entirely recovered from West Nile fever for going on three weeks now, and I’ve been going back to my HEMA training sessions. But until today I’ve been finding that, once I finished the actual class part of the class, I was all worn out, and didn’t feel up to sparing. But today, I felt like I could spar. So I did.

I didn’t get any video unfortunately, but I did spar with two different people, and managed to get some hits. It was good. I’m not going to beat anyone who’s any good at fencing, but that’s okay at this point. The main thing is that I’m finally, once again, able to train for an hour and a half and then spend half an hour sparing.

Oh, and two related details. One from my Oura ring which give me a score of 100 for my activity today:

Oura ring activity screen showing a score of 100

And from fitbit on my Pixel watch, yesterday I got the Sahara badge, meaning that since I bought my Pixel watch (October 2022) I’ve walked the length of the Sahara desert (2983 miles):

FitBit Sahara badge

I’ve had a draft post that was originally called my “fall workout plan,” and then called my “late fall workout plan,” but that I never posted because while I was sick I couldn’t work out at all, beyond walking the dog. I will post it. Perhaps not until it makes more sense to post a “winter workout plan.”

25 lb dumbbell and 45 lb kettlebell in front of some weight plates.

In the meantime though, I am, finally, back to doing workouts, and thought I might talk about what I’m doing, because my workout plan is to do workouts very similar to what I’ve been doing over the past week or so.

  • Two weeks ago, Sunday November 11th was a HEMA practice session.
  • Monday I did some kettlebell swings with my adjustable kettlebell adjusted to 40 lb. The previous week I’d done 10 x 10 swings emom (every minute on the minute), so I went ahead and did 10 x 11 swings emom. I’ll continue bumping that up until I hit 10 x 20, and then I’ll go up in weight and drop the reps back down to 10. (There’s a 45 lb kettlebell in the fitness room, and I own a 53 lb kettlebell, so I have a couple of options.)
  • Tuesday I did a 1-handed club workout with my Adex adjustable club at 10 lbs, doing 9 x 5 L / 5 R outside circles, shield cast, and inside circle. That was pretty easy, so I did one more set with the club adjusted to 12.5 lbs. That worked okay, so I decided I could use that as my working weight for a while.
  • Wednesday and Thursday were rest days.
  • Friday I went back to 1-handed club swinging, doing 5 x 5 L / 5 R with the new, higher, weight of 12.5 lbs.
  • Saturday was a rest day.
  • Sunday was another HEMA practice session,
  • Monday and Tuesday were rest days.
  • Wednesday I did kettlebell clean and press, with the kettlebell adjusted to 20 lbs, doing 6 x 4L / 4R in a reverse ladder. (That is, I did 4 clean & press with the left hand, then 4 with the right hand, the 3 left and 3 right, then 2 left and 2 right, then 1 left and 1 right. Then I put the weight down and rested a couple of minutes. That was 1 set. I did 6 sets.) After that I bumped the weight up to 25 lbs and did one more set, which went okay. I think I can carry on with 25 lbs going forward.
  • Thursday I did 10 x 12 kettlebell swings emom with the 40 lb kettlebell. Then I did some 1-handed club swinging, doing 5 x 5 L / 5 R. I’d have expected that I’d have done 6 sets, but 5 is what I wrote down in my notebook.
  • Friday was a rest day
  • Today, Saturday November 25th, I went to the fitness room and did a (mostly) bodyweight circuit. I did 3 rounds of 5 exercises, each for 30 seconds, then with 15 seconds to rest and move to the next exercise. I did jump rope, negative pull ups, goblet squats ( with 20 lb and 25 lb dumbbells), push ups, and hollowbody holds. That’s pretty close to what I was doing during the pandemic, except the fitness room was closed, so instead of dumbells for the goblet squats, I had to just do more reps without weights.

Back at the end of September I came down with West Nile Fever, which made me pretty sick for a long time. The only time in my life before I was that sick for that long was when I had Mononucleosis when I was a freshman in college. That time I was sick for most of the term, and it took several weeks of the Christmas vacation to fully recover.

With West Nile it took about three weeks to recover from the acute phase of the illness. That is, I had a fever constantly for three weeks. Then it took another three weeks to get my energy levels back. For that period I could walk the dog, fix breakfast, and then do one thing, after which I needed to go back to bed and take a nap.

Temperature data from my Oura ring: I first showed a fever on September 25th. My temperature spiked up to a high of 5.3℉ above baseline on October 6th, and didn’t really settle back in to normal until November 6th.

As of a couple of days ago, I think I’m back to full health. I’ve been doing workouts—not as frequently as I’d like, but often enough that I’ve been able to start pushing the weights up again, although not up to what I doing before I was sick. I’ve been for a couple of runs, both of which were harder and slower than I’d like, but were okay—I didn’t feel like I was sick, just like I hadn’t been running enough the past few weeks.

On Sunday I got a Covid booster, so I felt slightly less energetic Monday, but that has already passed.

After too many weeks, I finally feel back to normal!

Because I use wearables to capture as much information about myself as possible, I can go back and see how my illness affected my activity.

Graph of my walking distance for the month of October.

Between returning home from vacation in August, and getting sick in late September, I averaged between 6 and 8 miles a day, mostly walking the dog. (Separately I got in a run each week, pushing that day’s mileage up over 10.) In October (as you can see above) my distance fell to between 3 and 4 miles each day until just about the middle of the month, then gradually started increasing. I exceeded 6 miles on October 15th. I didn’t reach 8 miles until October 30th.

Now I’m right back to 6 to 8 miles a day, same as before I was sick. And today I went for my first run since September 26th. It was a pretty crappy run, but better than not running.