serinde: (ki)
Today marks the end of two (work) weeks of the New Regime; I get out of bed at 6am, do half an hour of yoga to Dengue Fever's "Cannibal Corpse", make a cup of tea or coffee (depending on the day), and drink that while I write morning pages for half an hour. Then I get ready for work and all that. Weekends are slack-permissible. I have fought the lizard brain down and not missed a day, in spite of tiredness, malaise, and purring cats.

Therefore the lizard brain has developed a new tactic. "It's been two weeks," it whispers. "What's changed? It's not doing any good. You might as well sleep in, or lounge in bed petting a kitty."

This is, of course, arrant nonsense. No, doing yoga hasn't made me lose weight--but I knew it wouldn't; not even when I was doing an hour of it three days a week. That's what the bike is for. And yes, my left leg is still very weak and not able to keep up--but it will take more than two stupid weeks to make that happen and I know this because I have been in physical therapy enough to be clear on how long it takes to see progress, particularly with a chronically, multiply screwed-up limb like this. The yoga's purpose is to keep me loose and flexible and to kick-start my metabolism in the morning, and it is doing those things. Secondarily I'm wanting it to help me get into that meditative, Zen-ish state, but this is harder when I have to tell myself what pose to do next rather than just follow a teacher.

Similarly, no, writing morning pages hasn't cured me of mental wharrgarbl and emotional roller-coasters & confusion--but that's not what it does. It drags all of that out into the open to be looked at, understood, and hopefully addressed. Eventually, yes, one expects a milder internal climate, but this is an ongoing and extended process and not to be sorted in a couple of weeks.

Finally, it has not cracked me loose on more public writing; one notes that my last Foojournal post was the one describing what new regime I was enacting, and there's been nothing since, here or elsewhere. OTOH, I have been focused on sewing, and secondarily research. So mental things are moving, and I will take that as a reason for cautious optimism. Wait and see, I think.

The milestones I'm looking for sound something like this:
* Getting up and doing being a reflexive habit, not a mental dialogue every. single. morning.
* Signs of my left leg getting stronger. Right now, rising into high and then crescent lunge is very difficult and shaky. My end-goal is for it to be as stable as my right side, but I'll take any visible improvement to start with. (Hilariously, I'm perfectly fine in Tree pose on that side, which is generally considered much harder. i do not even.)
* When I have any kind of mental agitas, correctly identifying and using the right tools to deal with it; which, I think, exhibits as "not losing several hours/an evening to wallowing, moping, internet uselessness, or other unhelpful and unproductive behaviors". This doesn't mean I can't slack if I feel that's the right pill for my ill, but it should be an active and mindful choice. (I can actually point to a level-up here; on Tuesday, I suddenly felt un-obsessed with the dress I'd been working monomaniacally on, and was sliding down the rabbit hole of totally wasting the evening. I stopped myself, sat down, and wrote down a list of everything I didn't feel like doing. After that, I realized I kinda felt like finally organizing my contact synchronization and upgrading my laptop to Mountain Lion, both of which needed doin'. Profit!)

I'm hoping that when the weather breaks and I can ride my bike more, this will help reinforce the benefits I'm getting, too. It usually puts me in a better state for the day (and also reduces my appetite, yay).
serinde: (body)
I had put off thinking about most lifestyle arrangements until after moving, because how do you know what things will look like til after you're settled; and then until after all the California trips were done with, because ualeaualeualeualeaue; but all that's done and the apartment is mostly settled (although there was enough of putting that off to warrant a separate post), and although yes the stress is ramping up at work and I Don't Wanna Think About Being Virtuous, the fact is that I know I will feel better if I realign things. So, herewith, the long mental burp.

Cut text working yet? )
serinde: (running)
(Where by "day 2" I mean "a week after day 1", on account of questionable weather + after-work commitments.)

First of all: backpack, massive improvement; no 20mph headwind, massive improvement. (Though I don't think the trip took much less time, if any.) However, in spite of the again-lower-40-degree temperatures and not wearing heavy clothes and a whizzo miracle fiber hiking backpack, there is still some sweating at the back. Presumably this will only get worse as the season progresses, so I had better take thought to that: either by having a complete change of clothes, or by offloading cargo to the bike.

In deference to $BOSS's warning that $OVERBOSS looks askance at jeans (though I have been wearing nice ones with blouse & jacket off-and-on the whole time I've been here), and also because I wanted to see how it did, I wore a skirt today, with a sleeveless knit top. I put my Layer of Authority in the backpack, along with nice shoes and my stockings, since I figure riding is going to be even harder on them than my usual thunder-thigh chafing. Not wanting to go commando, however, I dug out an old pair of leggings to keep the wind off of me. Attire was completed with pink sparkly socks, Skechers, and an embroidered stretchy denim jacket. I fear I looked too hipster for words, but the combination did work; I was comfortable for the whole ride, and my movements were not restricted. Nor was the load on my back too heavy, in spite of also carrying two apples, a quart of soup, and my usual impedimentia.

It is a beautiful, diamond-bright morning to be riding in the spring green along the blue, blue Hudson. Even the yucky industrial bits under the West Side Highway look picturesque. Another morning, when I have more lead time, I'm going to stop and take pictures along the way.

I have still not Let Go enough to lock my bike outside. Although there are many bikes there, most of them are beaten up, and I'm scared that my shiny new one will be the obvious target. Also, I think both of my wheels are quick-release, and I think therefore I need an additional wotcha to make sure no one walks off with the front one. (Does that happen? Would people steal just a wheel?)
serinde: (running)
I spoke not of it, but I got a bike for commuting on Saturday morning. (They were out of the puke-green in my height, so it's white. I am intending to put Hello Kitty decals on it.) Naturally it rained for the next two days, but today dawned sunny (if cold), and I have no post-work obligations, so there it is.

My route is fairly straightforward: my street (has bike lane) to the end, then two blocks on Riverside (no bike lane, hilly, cranky people trying to get on the West Side Highway), then onto the blessed Hudson River Greenway for most of the trip. One exits at 125th St (aaaaaaa) and then up the giant hill at Riverside Drive (aaaaaa) and then cut over a block to Claremont (AAAAAA CRAZY PEOPLE) and then you're on campus. So there is some danger at the beginning and the end, but most of the trip is car-free, which is good, because otherwise I probably would not be doing it.

I left at about 7:45am, clad in jeans, heavy knit shirt, leather jacket, and helmet; was carrying what I am pleased to call my "hiking purse" cross-slung. It isn't heavy in itself but I had put a bottle of water in one of the side pockets and, here was the kicker, my bike lock (Kryptonite U-lock) hooked to it. This has led to lots of me having to hitch the purse around and a crick in the left side of my neck (and possibly why my left ass cheek is sore but not my right one). Although since getting to the office I've attached the lock on its little holder widget to the bike frame, I think a backpack is still the clear and correct answer.

The ride itself was, on the whole, very pleasant, in spite of a strong headwind. The parklands where you're only about ten feet above the river are particularly nice. There were a small number of other cyclists around, which was reassuring that I Am Not A Lone Idiot; but also because some areas were remarkably secluded and possible danger spots. I am not a fainting flower, but until I get some conditioning back I'm not convinced of my ability to run over any importunate self-improvement societies. The greenway part is mostly flat--a couple long slow climbs and drops that aren't obvious to the eye, only to the pedal, but they don't signify. Exception: the big hill just north of the bridge was everything I had been warned about; it was only downhill this way, though that was scary enough, because it is very curvy and I didn't want to bang into anyone or anything; it will indubitably suck coming home. The street parts on both ends are fairly hilly and manage to be uphill both ways.

It is sadly indicative that there were five blockages in the Seaman Ave. bike lane in the two blocks between my door and Dyckman St. I think I may want to invest in a rear-view mirror for as much as I'll have to be exiting the lane to continue, but whether or no, it's going to require a lot of defensive driving.
serinde: (ki)
Yoga has been really, really good for me over the past year; and since sometimes the exigencies of duty have kept me from going, it seemed to me that I might profit greatly from doing some at home in the morning. I have found many excuses not to do this thing, ranging from "bleh morning snrk argh" to "wood floor is haaaaaaard". To deal with the latter whinge, I bought a Real Yoga Mat (which has koi on it! How can you not be inspired by staring at koi? ... ) about a month ago, which has sat idle since; the new excuse being "but I'm doing morning pages! I can't spare the time for both, not unless I want to get up super super early, and then what's the point of living so close, wah wah wah wah and anyways I'm going thrice a week and that's good". Well, okay; but the last several weeks, between vacation and the student email migration and lack of personnel and what-not, I haven't been going thrice a week. Sometimes I've been lucky to go once a week. And lo, yesterday I was up a pound from the holiday festivities; and I am feeling sniffly in my head, which I never seem to get sick if I'm exercising regularly; so this morning I had a nice tall glass of Shut The Fuck Up, rolled out the mat, and did a 20 minute workout from And it was Good, although lord does my balance and flow ever suck rocks right when I get up.
serinde: (running)
Say goodbye to the above icon; I think we won't be seeing him again.

So, this being the second or third (depending on how you figure) chronic injury state I have gotten from running in what amounts to, probably, less than eight months' activity, I am bowing to the demands of my genotype, and will cease this activity. I am dealing with this necessity in the mature, reasonable fashion you might expect if you have read my blitherings for any length of time. In other words, I'm sulking, bitchy, and rebellious.

I really hope to take up aikido again in the fall, but I'm not sure how to make that work if I am taking a class, too. (There is also the expense, but I am pretty sure it's doable.) In the meantime, what to do? I tried the elliptical today, and although according to the little readouts I am doing just as much as I did while running, I don't feel like I'm working anything near as hard; I'm not tired, I'm not sweating, and I feel generally unsatisfied--but I can't actually move any faster on the thing. Dr. Nick suggested a spin class, which one just started up here at school...and it's over next week, of course.

I need something that pushes me to my limits.
serinde: (running)
Back to running today. 4 min. warmup, 21 min. running--of which I amped up .5 mph for the last third of it--, 5 min. cooldown. The effect of the amping-up was somewhat drastic; I came much closer to overheating, and am much more tired than I would otherwise be. Other than that, though, I found it entirely delightful and joyous. My various traitor body parts seem to be holding up well, too.

I want to curl up in the sun and snooze now.
serinde: (running)
It was clear that if I schluffed off exercise today (female doom or no female doom), insanity was going to ensue. Yoga won't start again until the semester does, but the gym is open, so thence I went. I intended to use the elliptical like a good sensible creature, but when I got down there the place was packed and every machine taken (of course! the New Years resolutions haven't worn off yet) but there was a treadmill open, so...

I didn't have a set project in mind, I just tried to pay attention to what my body was saying. Result:
- 5 min. walk to warm up
- 3 min. running
- 3 min. walk
- 8 min. running <---- !!!! !!!! !!!
- 3 min. walk
- 4 min. running
- 5 min. cool-down walk

Mind you, I haven't run in some eight months. And I aten't dead, which I expected to be. Certainly yoga is terrific exercise, but I wouldn't have pegged it for the same kind of aerobic stamina help, you know? But also, I wasn't striving and arghing and fighting against myself to do it; the best I can describe how I was feeling during that 8 minute stretch was "light-hearted joy".

OTOH, my increasing sense of body awareness has really brought home how exceedingly differently I move on my left vs. my right side. Some is from the injury, I know--yoga poses on the left side have been harder and less steady since last spring--but I assume that some is before that, and was the cause of the injury. I also couldn't find a correction that seemed to have both sides doing the same thing. (Of course they'll feel different simply because they have way different muscle memory & strength by now; this is not that.) I'm not sure who you consult on a matter like this. Doctor? Phys therapist? Trainer?

Feel good, but want nap now.
serinde: (feminine complaint)
Warning: Womb fluid content ahoy, and not the porn-y kind. )
[*] or other nationalities' representatives, don't step on my jokes
serinde: (ki)
(The instructor actually says that, I should note.)

Yes. Mondays definitely easier. Enough so that I started paying more attention to my form, e.g. sucking my belly up during a plank instead of just concentrating on keeping my weight off the ground. Hard work, but felt great.

The instructor usually starts class by reading something (a poem, a short prose thing, whatever), and then talking about intention and paths and the like. Today's was particularly pertinent to my current state of mind, and I'm working on keeping hold of that.
serinde: (ki)
I am clearly not in as useful a yoga place on Fridays. At first it was much hard; and then I found myself attempting to phone it in. Now, you really can't do that in vinyasa even if all you're doing is keeping up, but I don't feel as well-worked as I have the other sessions. Still a good workout, don't misunderstand me! But I didn't get as much out of it today, and I know I have no one to blame but my lizard brain.

Showing up is still good.
serinde: (ki)
(This was yesterday, actually.) I did much much better, and without hurting my wrist. Still a very powerful workout, and if I can manage going three days a week, I think it will do well by me. The question is, what sort of workout to have the other two days? Running, elliptical, or weights?

I find that I can budget for aikido, and intended to start going again next month, but I wonder if it might be prudent to wait til the turn of the year and not try and add Yet More Exciting Complication to my life when I don't even have a base routine yet.
serinde: (ki)
Different teacher today, but same style (namely, vinyasa). And the class wasn't any more difficult today--that is, more or less the same sequence of poses was happening--but I had a much harder time with it, for some reason, and had to return to child pose for a Post-12 a few times. (And then felt myself starting the self-flagellation of You Big Pansy, You Can't Keep Up, but stamped it down with the large foot of This Is Not Competition.) I don't know if this was a result of not stretching beforehand, or exhaustion from the week, or the curse of Eve, or all of the above.

There is an awful awful lot of Downward-Facing Dog, and I had some worry whether this would make my wrist worse. I seem to have escaped further ouchies, however.
serinde: (determination)
Now that it's Officially Fall, the open-recreation classes have started in the gym; and today I went to yoga for the first time. The instructor explained to me that it's somewhat intermediate-level, but they do get a lot of beginners, so I could just follow along at my own pace & do what I could, and feel free to rest if something was outside my comfort zone.

I did manage to keep up, if barely. I have definitely had A Workout. I also may have done something unpleasant to my bad knee, though I'm not sure what's responsible, exactly; but it's only sore and aching, not STAB STABBITY OW, so it's probably okay.

The instructor teaches Mon and Wed, and I hope to generally make both classes, as duties permit.

There is, unsurprisingly, a lot of crossover with certain aikido principles.
serinde: (determination)
Woke up at 6:30 and couldn't get back to sleep, oh well.

Exercise Win: 1 hour 5 min. of Wii Fit, followed by a half-hour walk. I'm sorta sleepy now, but that could also be onaccounta NO COFFEE YET.

Later, I shall have lunch (or tea, really) with [ profile] caelfinn, and then we will meet [ profile] elibalin at the Met. You can come too! Text me if you think you might.
serinde: (running)
Running ist verboten, so I had a 25-minute go at the elliptical instead. I'm not entirely sure I have escaped without scathe, as things feel a little weird in the knee region and I got a twinge (in a completely different part of the joint! Hurray!) as I was walking up the stairs on my way back, but I don't actually hurt at the moment.

Our gym does not in fact have the foam roll whatsit I'm supposed to use for the illotibial thingummy, so will have to check sporting-goods-store-of-choice and do that exercise at home.

I've also been using [ profile] sweh's Wii Fit, insofar as I can without doing any activities that require deep knee bends, squats, etc. (I'd guesstimate that cuts out maybe 15% of what I've unlocked as yet.) Me likey, even if I'm terrible at the ski jump. I am working out how best to integrate a daily dose into my schedule without undue disruption to his life (or mine. As I was sitting there going "well, okay, I could get up at 5am, ride my bike down, do a half hour, ride back, get ready for work, and make the 6:56 train..." Um yeah maybe not).
serinde: (determination)
After a good deal of advice and input after my post earlier this week, I have modified things a bit. First, adding stretching. Second, per the Mayo Clinic, I'm going to aim for 12 reps of any given weight, whereat the twelfth rep should be barely do-able.

This ended up being a little disjoint, as a) I was pressed for time and b) there were a lot of zombiepunks bogarting machines. IT'S SUMMER, CHILDREN, GO THE FUCK HOME.

5 min. elliptical
Stretching. I went through the usual round of pre-aikido stretches, which cover most of the body.
Lateral pull-down: 12 reps @ 50 lbs
Modular shoulder press: 12 reps @ 4 lbs <-- higher
Leg extension: 12 reps @ 3 lbs <-- higher
Fly: 12 reps @ 2 lbs <-- hard.
I started doing the pullover, but I'm really convinced it is just too large for me. I'm feeling it in all the wrong places. So I gave over.
Seated Row: 12 reps @ 40 lbs.
Assisted chin-up: 10 reps @ 100 lbs. <-- higher
Assisted dip: 10 reps @ 100 lbs <-- higher (Remember, these two are counterweight-operated, so the less it's set to the more of your own weight you're dealing with.)
serinde: (determination)
5 min. on the elliptical blah blah.

Lateral raise: 2 reps of 10 @ 2lbs
Modular shoulder press: 2 reps of 10 @ 3lbs
Pullover: 2 reps of 10 @ 3lbs <--- raised this weight
Leg extension: 2 reps of 10 @ 2lbs
Leg Something Else That Does Hamstrings: 2 reps of 10 @ 2lbs
Assisted dip: 2 reps of 10 @ 115lbs
Assisted chin-up: 2 reps of 10 @ 115lbs. I changed to yet a third hand position, whereat it did seem to be using my back more than my arms.
Back To The Old Fly Machine: 2 reps of 10 @ 2lb. Grindingly hard.
Seated Row: 2 reps of 10 @ 25lbs. This was mostly to kill time while waiting for the situp bench.
13 situps on the angle bench, where at the 13th I got a charley my left hip. I mean, what?! (I have a suspicion this was delayed result from one of the leg machines.) Anyways, I deemed it prudent to stop at that point.

I think I'm doing some of these wrong, because I'm not always feeling it where the helpful colored-in muscle diagram says I should. And I think I may be doing them in an infelicitous order. And I definitely shouldn't be generating charley horses. Anyone recommend a book or a non-bozotic web site on these deep matters?
serinde: (Fuck off.)
It's college, and from what I can tell university, policy that for the middle chunk of the summer--end of June through early August (but not the week of Independence Day; don't ask), roughly--the place is Closed on Fridays. You can either work 8-5:30 and take a 45 minute lunch, or you can chalk the days up to your vacation balance; but you Do Not Show Up For Work On These Fridays.[1]

This year, the season starts on June 23. Unless you are the school gym, in which case summer is now, and anyone who wants to work out for the first three Fridays of the month is just screwed.

I am deeply vexed. I can't even go for a long walk for lunch, as my knee starts objecting[2], and the last thing I want to do is make it any worse; so weights, leavened with a judicious amount of elliptical, are my only option to burn off energy without committing mayhem.

[1] I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, Fridays off, Holy Shit!. On the other, my transit suddenly becomes a Goddamn circus; I may end up forced to the 6:30am train, fuck you very much. We shall have to see how it shakes down.

[2] Yes, I'm getting it looked at. I can haz referrals, and I have a sports-medicine specialist appointment next week.
serinde: (determination)
As usual, started with 5 min. on the elliptical.

Modular shoulder press: 2 reps of 10 @ 3lbs
Lateral raise: 2 reps of 10 @ 2lbs
A Different Fly Machine: 2 reps of 10 @ 30lb. I'm not sure why the numbers are so different.
20 situps on the angle bench.
Pullover: 2 reps of 10 @ 2lbs. I might be able to up this.
Leg extension: 2 reps of 10 @ 2lbs
Assisted dip: 2 reps of 10 @ 115lbs
Assisted chin-up: 2 reps of 10 @ 115lbs. I did different hand positions for each rep; I am not entirely clear how much difference it makes.


serinde: (Default)

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