I just did 30 minutes solid on my Concept2 at 25 strokes per minute, averaging 40.8 watts, pulse 125. That probably means nothing to you; it's a big deal to me. A half-hour in my aerobic range is what I was doing on a typical day in 1996, arguably the year I was in the best shape of my adult life — the year a woman actually picked me up with the line "Where did you get those muscles?" Stupidly, it was also the last time I was was exercising regularly. Today was not just the first time since my stroke that I've done 30 uninterrupted minutes of aerobic exercise, but the first time in over ten years. I'm really pleased about that. (It doesn't hurt that I'm writing this fresh out of the shower, still on the endorphin high.)
Back in March, I posted rather giddily about walking a mile mostly pain-free. The next day the pain was back, and I can't tell you how discouraged I was. But it wasn't as bad as it had been, and I worked through it, and gradually over the next few weeks, while the pain would come back after I walked any significant distance, it would come back a little less bad each time. I also got a new home-therapy device that seems to help immensely (so much so that I wonder why I wasn't given it in the first place). At the end of April, I moved out of the "temporary" storage place I'd moved all my stuff into when Jen and Robby and I stopped sharing a house in 2004. I moved most of that into a different (long term) storage place, but among the stuff I brought home was some exercise equipment. By early May, the only thing keeping me from taking up a regular exercise regimen was inertia. I finally overcame the inertia on May 15th.
The walking had clearly helped my aerobic conditioning. I remember the first time I started using my NordicTrack, when I was in outwardly much better shape than I am now, five minutes in my aerobic range was all I could take the first session, and it took me a month to work up to half an hour. This time, I was able to do fifteen minutes my first time out, and reaching thirty after only ten days has me really quite chuffed.