abendgules: (Confesse)
I regularly notice things either en route to work, or in my day, that are terribly witty and worth sharing.

But I don't seem to get the time to put them in writing.

Real-world recap:

I really enjoyed hearing the Canadian election outcome, though felt sorry for NDP which now has a few years of rebuilding to do.

It's been a pretty good fall in London for weather and fall colours; reasonably dry for most of September and October, which meant I've done more running than before.

I've been diligently getting out at lunch hours, and alternating w/ lunch hours in the gym, doing both physio-recommended stretches and some strength moves.

As a partial result of running, I now have my R foot strapped up, to manage plantar fasciitis. Have to freeze a bottle of water to roll under my foot this evening. Oooops.

Apparently ignoring the dull ache in your foot til it becomes a sharp pain in your foot is not the appropriate response.

Still going to physio regularly to try to manage lower back pain. I can feel that I've gained more mobility in my lower back and pelvis, and I walk more carefully and consciously than before.

Weekends where I'm wearing flat medieval shoes on hard surfaces really show themselves up at the physio.

I'm already on 2 weeks sabbatical from running, to see if I can shake the referred pain down 1 leg. So this week I'm walking not running at lunch. Fortunately the break coincides with weekends away when I couldn't get to a parkrun anyway.

It's halfterm in London so the constant commuting pressure eases off by about 20% as all the parents take time out while their kids get a week off. I treasure this week for travel, but you're always covering for someone in the office who's away this week.

Next week I hope to take 1 day off, to see the current Celts exhibit at the British Museum.
abendgules: (tea in winter)
Jesus, can't these people stay home with their freaking infections?? of course not. Bloody martyrs.

I'm prone to respiratory infections as is Robert. Really, really not impressed.
abendgules: (rearview_runner)
I found out about parkrun this year after 3+ mentions of it in a copy of Runner's World - there was a cover article about 5k running, which is why I picked it up. I wondered if parkrun had sponsored the mentions, there were so many.

I've been thinking about going for months, but just before Double Wars wasn't the time to start. At that point I couldn't even picture getting out of bed before 9am on a Saturday.

Don't know why exactly today was the day - possibly watching the world championship athletics this week put it in mind - I loved watching it through lunchtime while I was in the gym. Beats the hell out of news and crappy music videos. Puts your own efforts into perspective, but in a good way, not a depressing way.

So today I ran the one closest to me - one I could find on the bus route - in Harrow.

I figure it was my running that inspired Mo Farah - he's just won the 5,000m in Beijing. :-)

Don't yet know my time. I was so shattered as I crossed the finish I didn't hear the time. I wasn't absolutely last, but I think I was the last runner - the rest were run-walkers.

I did walk 3x - there is a gentle slope on the course in this park, and I found on the laps that it was a good point to walk for 30 paces.

The run director was very kind - asked my name, how I'd found parkrun, then how I did afterward, my impressions, would I do it again.

I suggested setting one up in the local county park - he said he'd run x-country there, but it was potentially muddy - guess they have to choose routes that will be reliable and predictable, even w/ poor weather.
abendgules: (womaninmotion)
I've held off running while The Stupid Cough(tm) was lingering.

Today I walked, and ran veeeeeeerrrrry sloooooowly, round the park at lunchtime.

Somehow, somehow, I have to remember how much better I feel after even a very few minutes of running.

I feel cheerier within a very short time (which leads to rather unrealistic goals of running for miles and miles, that somehow haven't yet come about) but it's a noticeable effect.

It doesn't matter to me if it's adrenalin or dopamine or any of the simplistic body-chemistry reasons people throw around (not convinced these explanations hold up under scrutiny).

I just feel better; I care less about worrying things; the afternoon that follows feels manageable.

I spent much of Sunday wearing clothes for running (thinking it would motivate me) without succeeding in actually getting out the door.

On Sunday, my clothes lost out against inertia and sloth. To get through I need to get out the door even for just a few minutes.

One book on running I have suggested (paraphrased):

If you're feeling tired and unmotivated, tell yourself you'll just go out for 10 minutes.

If, in 10 minutes, you still feel tired and unmotivated, then turn round and go home.

...for me, it's the getting out the door to the first 10 minutes that is really, really hard.
abendgules: (well dang)
I'm now back at work after almost 2 weeks away. I started coughing on a Friday, and spent most of the 2 weeks following either in bed or on the sofa, coughing. One evening I managed to pull my stomach muscles, making coughing pretty miserable.

My days were livened only by Time Team for 2 hours every weekday afternoon.

The GP surgery decided to start its new booking system the week I needed an appointment, so it took 3 attempts to get in; once to see a nurse (who couldn't prescribe, even though I asked about it on the phone); once to phone to get to *talk* to a GP; once to actually see someone.

I got my first 'fit note' (the new and improved 'sick note'), which actually signed me off til yesterday. First inhaler too.

Ever since I had bronchitis at 12, my cough has sounded absolutely horrible: I sound like an asthmatic baboon aspirating a snail. So at least I am demonstrably recovering from illness, and have the moral high ground, and on the receiving end of sympathetic noises.

Robert was sick through the whole of Christmas, missing the holiday entirely, recovering only well into the new year.

I've been sick through half of February.

On top of that, I'm still commuting half the week to south London; so both of us are spending 2+ hours on the Tube and buses, and getting home grumpy and tired.

So this is proving to be a pretty discouraging and depressing season.

Roll on spring, anytime.
abendgules: (well dang)
...possibly a refit of my entire torso. Depends on what the mechanic says.

I'm now on about day 6 of a truly grotty cough, with complementary cold and fever. I've not usually had fevers but I can't explain how I, not usually a warm-body person, can be comfortable in our flat with the heat off several days running.

The coughing makes sleeping difficult; every time I change elevation (lying down to sitting up and vv) I cough. But I can't sleep sitting up - I've tried. I don't know how the Victorians did it, and don't know how their spines survived the experience.

Haggis is enjoying having human-on-tap, and is currently assuming the heraldic pose 'cat irritant', that of a cat lying across your arms as you type. But she's not impressed by my coughing either.

Broadly she prefers Robert for laps; he probably sheds more heat, and he sits more still for longer, whereas I tend to be knitting, sewing or doing other handwork that involves shifting occasionally, interrupting feline snoozes.

The cough has scuppered my plan to take part in a demo, my first in years; I'd agreed to attend Redemption a convention in Coventry, to support the proto-incipient shire there, and the lovely folks who were running it, recent participants in SCA fencing.

I'd even worked myself up to looking forward to it, as a fencing practice with a change of scenery to boot, playing with good people, and getting an inside view of a small con up close.

I might be technically not sick by Saturday, but probably not well enough to trek a couple of hours out of town, be 'on' for several hours, and trek home again.

Once again I'm grateful for Time Team; ~2 hours of archeology relieving the tedium of rediculous people shopping for aspirational houses to 'express themselves', and truly awful reality TV, interrupted only by PPI-seekers (hasn't everyone reclaimed by now?) and 'have you been hurt in an accident that wasn't your fault?' ambulance-chasing lawyers.

There's been 2 days of really lovely sun, and I'm sorry to not be able to go running in it at lunchtime.
abendgules: (archery)
Our office now has TVs, which we've largely used to watch big sports events - Wimbledon, notably, and now the Olympics.

To my horror I found not one or two but THREE channels of hockey by the end of yesterday, covering just two live games. Argh.

Today it's either curling (urgh) or cross country skiiing. I really like Xcountry, the little I've done, and this is way cooler than watching people fall down a mountain strapped to pieces of wood-substitute. (It was striking just how many elite athletes did not finish their runs, either in downhill events or in the silly snowboarding race.)

For some reason, even in these enlightened days, the women still race shorter distances than the men in cross country skiiing.

If women can run marathons, duathalons and triathalons, surely they can hobble their way through 15km, instead of 10km, for the middle distance? and can stagger through 50km for the long distance, instead of 30km?

These are serious endurance athletes who probably log this much distance in a routine training week.

The curlers curl the same length of ice.

The hockey players have the same size of rink, and (these days) now wear the same national colours. The figure skaters have the same events, though I still don't think their 'sport' belongs in the Olympics.

The biatheletes shoot the same size of target using the same guns (though again, the womens' skiing distances are a quarter shorter! WTF?).

Short track? (just checked, short distances are the same, longest distance is 5k for men and 3k for women, unbelieveable).

The traditional speed skaters do the same short distances, but there's no 5k and 10k event for women... apparently they just fall over after 3k (well, lots do, but only briefly).

(Aside: the Netherlands skaters are a great example of 'doing one thing well' - they're just clobbering this event, and had all three medals in one of the skating events yesterday.)

Why are the women still trailing behind in the skiing and skating endurance events? Dumb dumb dumb.

Also: I've found out why Britons keep calling skeleton the 'tea tray event' - it's because noone has sleds, toboggans or crazy carpets at home. So they don't have the cultural background of sliding downhills on pieces of kit built for that purpose.

But the nation of tea drinkers DO have tea trays - even if they don't use them, even if they now have largely abandoned their teapots and cozies and specialist teatimes. They still have teatrays. So that's what they use to slide down hills, on the rare occasions there's snow on them.
abendgules: (rearview_runner)
I think that's a record.

The tendon-y thing behind my R knee is still sore. Oddly it doesn't hurt when I touch my toes, it's the lunge w/ the sore leg extended behind me that hurts.

So I didn't walk yesterday, to rest it, but tried to stretch on and off all day.

Today I tried to walk round the park without favouring the leg - mostly managed. Also managed a couple of short circuits alternating 9 paces walk with 9 paces jog. It was odd counting paces instead of breaths for a change, and the odd number meant I alternated lead foot. It didn't feel strenuous, but I did breathe harder.

I'm still 'avoiding sweating' per instructions from Gunnar Sandberg for my chest infection. He feels that if you exercise vigourously while you're sick you get better more slowly than if you rest.

OTOH, I managed this walk-run without retching or horking huge gobs of phlegm so the pace was a good choice so far.

We have a lot of walking tomorrow to neighbourhood-hunt, so I kept it a bit shorter than prev walks this week.
abendgules: (rearview_runner)
Went for a run for the first time in weeks yesterday - complaining back, then complaining knees, then Raglan recovery delayed me much of July & August. Man do I miss this.

After work, I went out in search of new running shoes. I think I've found the ugliest shoes in creation, and bought them.

Normally the colour would put me off...but I was wearing the one and only Barbie-pink blouse I own, which was exactly the same colour as the shoes. (It's linen blend and was on sale, so sue me.)

And the shoes were on sale.

But really, they are very pink.

I'm testing out this minimal-cushioning-to-replicate-natural-gait stuff. It makes sense, to a point: our feet are already well designed to run.

The catch is that nature didn't make concrete sidewalks and asphalt paths. I try to run on grass, but I have to run on sidewalks to reach the grass in the parks.

I really, really want to regain some of the stamina I had this time last year, pre-pneumonia; late last autumn I managed 6k round the park... and within days had a cold, and it went downhill from there. I think the occasional 10k is very do-able, if I'm careful about my knees and back.

I want next Raglan to be, if not effortless, then not quite the physical struggle it was this year, to do what I wanted - and I didn't get to do as much as I'd hoped for.

Another resolution: more stretching. I'm already using a standing desk, now I have to move more, not just stand like a statue, and stretch more through the day. I was more stiff this year at Raglan than I remember from previous years.
abendgules: (kittysnail)
I'm working towards a real Saturday candy setup at home.

I've eaten all the fresh biscuits from the bakery. That's helpful, isn't it? Now they won't go stale. The store-bought biscuits can stay in the cupboard out of sight, for the sweetie.

I've avoided the biscuit tin at work, in favour of almonds and apricots.

I'm drinking smaller servings of juice, halving the squash syrup I use, and won't replace the squash after the supply runs out. (I'm a big fan of squash, in place of iced tea mix. The English don't use powdered drink mix, but prefer syrups.) Will try to replace juice with real fruit, but this will take more prep.

To replace squash I'll need more interesting teas for iced tea, I think. Drinking only water, tea, coffee and beer would be a bit dull. Any suggestions?

I'm trying to add less sugar to my morning coffee (1 cup/day only) and I don't add sugar to tea anyway.

Re [livejournal.com profile] aryanhwy's remark about designating a weekday as candyday: for events, I think I'm allowed to eat whatever's served at the event. It may include sweets, sweet cordials, etc. it may not. We'll see how it works out. Even as an active event goer, I spend more weekends at home than at events.
abendgules: (hot choc comfort)
Thanks to several months of enforced inactivity, I'm feeling uncomfortably round, and had an unpleasant encounter with a measuring tape recently.

So I'm resolved to get out of the office at lunchtime more often for walks - daily isn't too often - and I'm considering drastic measures, for me: Saturday Candy.

I encountered this at Crown this year in Nordmark - that some good Swedish parents still limit their kids' intake of junk to Saturdays. I'd never heard of something so, so, so....sensible. Sheesh. (Especially when the Western world is staring an obesity epidemic down the gullet - how do the Swedes manage it, when everyone else is so helpless?)

So I'm seriously thinking: I don't eat a lot of candy, but I do like biscuits, particularly at work. I do like a sweet to follow dinner, of some kind. And I don't know if I can follow through, when my beanpole-shaped-sweetie noshes down on his treats in the evening. Could I actually follow a Saturday Candy rule?

(I'm painfully suggestible, I've discovered. Don't remember this always being the case, but by god, if I'm reading about someone enjoying a pot of coffee, all of a sudden nothing short of a pot of coffee will do...similarly when someone says 'I'd love a cup of tea' on TV, etc.)

I was put in mind of it (see? suggestible) by a BBC food article about a family giving up sugar because of a daughter's Type 1 diabetes.

I know a few people who avoid sugar, but why would you substitute dextrose for sucrose (shown in one recipe)? It all turns into sugar in your body, doesn't it?
abendgules: (rearview_runner)
For all that the SW quarter of the country is under water, and people are still risking their lives driving through floods over roads, there was sunshine at lunchtime. Not as brilliant and crisp as in the icon, but noticeable. Parts of the park were swamped so my run was shortened, but I was still out for half an hour or so. Knee ached, but not as much as on Tuesday.

It makes a big difference to me to get out and run at lunch, and see the sun, and run over grass, and generally look at things in real daylight. Going home in the dark (ie anytime after 4.15pm) is a big depressor for me, and it won't change for a couple of months yet.

Waking up in daylight for some reason isn't nearly as rewarding as going home before the sun goes down.

We're planning a jaunt into Bath this weekend, but looking at the forecast, I wonder if we're tempting fate on the trains? Certainly won't be much in the way of sightseeing weather...
abendgules: (womaninmotion)
...when all you can do is moan about your ailments. 

Going to a sporting goods store recently for new running kit, I also was in search of elastic joint supports. And I realised that they were all for my right side - right foot, right knee (well, shinsplints immediately below the knee actually) and right elbow.

This is a bit odd, since I'm left-handed and somewhat left-sided - not to exclusion of my right side, but decidedly. 

The elbow is worrying me a bit. The main right-side activity is, of course, using the mouse at work - I learned right-handed, and just never changed. But I really noticed it at Raglan, when I didn't want to hold the buckler for any length of time in my right hand, and had to pack it in early at the last fencing practice. (The support is for the next fencing practice.)

There's tendonitis, plus some muscle tension in my upper arm and shoulder that surprised even my osteopath. He was happy to treat it, but pointed out that I had to figure out the cause to really fix it.

Since then I've had my desk seating assessed (changed seat height), changed my mouse, and installed more nagware on the PC, to keep me from sitting near-motionless for long stretches. I've also tried to avoid repetitive hobbies in the evenings (knitting and hand sewing) which seemed to aggravate the elbow, though I don't want to give them up forever.

Right foot is a mystery: I wake up in the morning, and can't put my R foot flat on the floor w/out pain, in the mid-foot, what I'd call the instep. After 5 mins of bearing weight, though, it's fine, and seems happy. But some times this pain is more serious than others, sometimes quite sharp, and I wondered if an elastic support would change it.

I've noticed though that my left and right feet no longer match. There's a bump in the space above the arch of my right, and it's a bit wider than my left. On a particularly sore-foot day, it was swollen. I'm wondering if it's something to try to remedy now, or if I can ignore it, as I've been doing for months (can't remember when it started, but probably in the past two years).

I've looked up running injuries, but I don't think this is plantar fascitis, and I already know what shinsplints are.

Right knee - I've had shinsplints on and off for years in both legs, this is the first time it's flared up in earnest, so I'm limiting myself to 3 runs a week at my usual leisurely pace, with occasional long weekend runs, and bought squidgier shoes. 

I'm not convinced they're any improvement though - when you have softer shoes you're just freer to pound the pavement harder, whereas if you have less cushioning, you moderate your stride - at least, you do after the first day of serious swelling and soreness. I've rarely had sore feet from my unpadded, unshaped medieval shoes, usually because I'm on grass or non-pavement at a site.

I'm also trying to stretch more, with mixed results; I don't often feel much different from stretching, though I enjoy it.

Sometimes I watch seniors on the streets, walking so hunched, or hobbling, or limping heavily, and I wonder how they got to that stage of physical impairment. Did they neglect a small ailment, or are they work related? Would osteo treatment, or better shoes have helped earlier on? (My pronation was corrected when I was a teenager.) Part of my mum's back problems are from having one hip higher than the other, from carrying a heavy nursing bag for years.

There's not much help for chronic arthritis, obviously; but I want a body that works reasonably well into my old age. 
abendgules: (downhill)
...though the cheap folding bike might be proving a lemon. 

There's just no comparision between how easy, smooth, rewarding and responsive my trusty old 10 speed is to ride, compared to this new foldie.

The old one was my dad's dream bike - that is, the Al-alloy bike he'd have given an arm for in 1947 as a competitive cyclist, which by mid-80s was perfectly run of the mill. It's now positively old-fashioned-looking, with a modified straight handlebar, and all the signs of benign neglect of 20+ years.

By dint of a couple of weeks' practice, I've shaved 3-4 mins off the trip time on either bike, but the difference in the amount of physical effort involved to push the foldie around vs the old trusty is striking. 

On top of that - danged thing got a flat yesterday on the foldie, almost exactly halfway home. Sigh.

SO: for the duration, I'm on my trusty, and locking it securely at the Tube stop halfway to work. 

If I end up flogging the foldie on the for sale list at work, it won't be fatal. It's not a lemon car or computer, which would have set me back a great deal more.

I haven't been running at lunchtime of late (figuring that 1 hr on the bike roughly equivalent to 1/2 hr running towards fitness regime, if less stressful on the joints) but I'm hoping my stamina hasn't fallen behind as a result. 

At Raglan next week(!) three gents are challenging into the highest level of the rapier academy rankings - includes an hour's worth of fighting all comers. I'm hoping to contribute my share towards these bouts, and not embarrass myself entirely, even if I'm out of fencing practice.
abendgules: (womaninmotion)
Robert and I spent a relaxed day today - first visiting the Tudor house within walking distance of us(!) that we'd never visited, then braving the hordes at Camden market for clothes from Braintree. I typically try to avoid the market on weekends and holidays, but we're pressed for leisure time between now and when my mum visits post-Easter.

We also stopped at my favourite running shop and scored with these - are they cool or what?

I'll be the envy of the runners in the park!

all the cool kids want them...

The best part is - I didn't even ask for them in purple. That's the only colour they had in this style. Awesome.
abendgules: (rearview_runner)
 ...for completing a 5k run at work, part of the annual summer fete.

I did 3 laps at a run/walk last year, but this year I did the full 4 laps, running, no breaks. And finished, upright and smiling.

With an extrapolation from my time last year, I was given 'most improved' prize for gaining (losing?) 4 mins on last year's time.

Today's post in my training diary on the Drachenwald fighters forum

I don't know if I'm fitter now than at 20, but I'm faster than I was 10 years ago. :-)
abendgules: (rearview_runner)
 Almost all my circle of acquaintances sit for a living. I certainly do...

Sitting is Killing You
Via: Medical Billing And Coding
abendgules: (Default)
Rereading my posts, you'd think I'd completely lost the plot and could only think about cats. (Ha ha, yes, very funny - moving on...)
September is a pleasant month, much underrated even here. Mild weather and still-longish days.

Some highlights:
Read more... )
abendgules: (womaninmotion)
I went for the longest run I've had in years - 41 minutes, most of the way through Victoria Park.

Over the winter I felt like I'd never run again.

A couple of months ago, I did well to manage 21 minutes, and it took all my energy to manage it.

I'm hugely pleased.

abendgules: (runner)
It's been four months, almost to the day, since I started coughing.


abendgules: (Default)

August 2016

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