At the gym today I finally managed to meet the target set for me back in November last year: use a X-trainer and cover two arbitrary (as far as I'm concerned) units of distance at level 13 in less than 10 minutes. I clocked in at 9 minutes 58 seconds today, an improvement of 5 seconds on my previous best two days earlier.
I had a steady pulse of around 176 for the first eight minutes or so, then a little over 180 for the sprint. Six months ago this would probably have put me in a coma. Now, however, I was able to continue my program after having spent a minute sprawled over the machine gasping for air.
I've had fairly slow progress since the middle of January; I had a 3-week lapse over Christmas that made me unable to do more than about five minutes, so I pretty much had to start from scratch. Much to my surprise, however, the last week and a half things have suddenly started to fall into place and I've improved by over 30 seconds.