Monday, March 31, 2008

Sometimes, life has a way of interfering with things and you can't quite manage what you had planned. For example, today I had to finish a short story for an editor, compile, upload and quality check Issue #8 of Helix SF, fill out background information forms for my job interview tomorrow, print off writing samples for same, do some necessary food shopping, wash clothes and dye my hair in addition to exercising.

All of which meant that I didn't quite manage my 40 minutes tonight. Instead, I did 35 minutes, while listening to Episode 17 of We're Mean Because You're Stupid and laughing my ass off.

Oh, you little snottlings. Jean Naté? Shalimar? My revenge will be slow (because I'm old), but arcane and ever so thorough (because age and treachery beats youth and innocence).

Monday's total mileage: 525.06 miles to Isengard.


Specifically, my calves. More specifically, the fact that I can see them again.

I'm wearing shorts because it's quite warm and pleasant today in the clavicle of Texas. While sitting at my desk I chanced to glance down at my calves, and realized that I could see muscle definition. Not a lot of it, granted, but there is a definite cutting in of the gastrocnemius muscle where it meets the Achilles tendon. There is also matching toning in the thighs, although it's harder to see there because there's so much padding in that area. Still, I can see a nice depression in the outer sides when I flex my quads, so I feel pretty damn good about that.

I also really, really need to shave my legs. But I digress, plus I have an editor patiently waiting for a short story, so leg shaving can wait.

Walt mentioned in an earlier comment that it took him a while to build up to 30 minute walks. In my case, I'm genetically blessed with legs that tone up remarkably fast (crappy knees, mind you, but the rest of the legs are golden). In fact, my lower back actually causes more problems on walks than my legs.

Now, this isn't to say that I can gleefully trot along for 40 minutes with a song in my heart and a spring in my step -- I'm still a big ol' gal, so I'm sweating like a pig and looking for the ibuprofen when I'm done. But I can do it, which is good.

Oh, by the way, see that picture at right? That's what my calves looked like in 2002. That, my friends, is my first goal.

The walk to Isengard

Is lovely so far, thank you. I figure I must have crossed that big field where they had the big battle in Return of the King and I'm somewhere in the hills by now.

And I know I haven't been doing the weights this week -- I decided to hold off, get the body back into the swing of regular exercise with the walking, then I'll start the weights again tomorrow. It also has something to do with my mild OCD and liking to start new things on a Monday. I never said I was normal.

Speaking of walking, I've been doing it for over a week now with three days off (one day off a week is perfectly acceptable as a recovery day -- I think I can stick to that now), and I'm now at the point where I can do a solid 40 minutes without excessive panting, pain and desire for a quick death. I figure I'll keep up at this rate for a couple more weeks, let the legs and feet get acclimatized to the distance, then I'll see if I can bump it up to 50 minutes. The ultimate goal is an hour a day, although if things are busy I'll fall back to 40-50 minutes. I also didn't have a lot of back pain today, although I suspect not wearing a heavy leather jacket may have had something to do with that.

By the way, I would like to say in public that Walt is my hero -- go look at this post to see what he's accomplished in the last 18 months. In 18 months from now, I would very much like to be posting similar pictures.

Sunday's total mileage: 526.32 miles to Isengard.

And the beat goes on

Sunday, March 30, 2008

I didn't manage two walking sessions yesterday, but I did go out and do my 40 minutes in the apartment complex rather than on the treadmill. Big difference between free walking and treadmill walking -- for one thing, when my back starts hurting I can hang onto the handrails on the treadmill. When I'm out in the complex, the best I can do is lock my hands behind my back and use my arms as lower back support. A walking corset is starting to look rather attractive, I must admit.

As to general weight and all, I've made a command decision -- I'm not weighing myself until May 1. I know from prior experience that if I weigh myself regularly, even if it's only every week, I have a bad habit of looking at a loss and either skipping a workout or eating something truly bad for me. I realized a long time ago that a rather major part of me is afraid of losing weight. And yes, I know how stupid that sounds, but there are fairly well-entrenched psychological issues behind the fear. I'm trying to erase and re-record the mental tapes that are causing that reaction, but it's going to take some time and effort. In the meantime, no scales -- I'll base my estimations on how I feel and how I fit in my clothes, which is really all that counts, anyway.

Saturday's total mileage: 527.66 miles to Isengard.


Saturday, March 29, 2008

For various reasons I had serious problems sleeping last night, woke up with a mucusy nose and aching eyes, and by 8:00 PM this evening I felt like every molecule in my body had been beaten by a tiny leprechaun with a shilleighie.

So, yeah, I skipped the treadmill and went to bed. Four hours later I woke up, still tired but slightly more compos mentis, and discovered that the Crimson Tide had arrived. Which explains so much, really.

I'll try and do two sessions tomorrow. If not, oh freaking well.

I love neoprene

Thursday, March 27, 2008

No, not in a kinky way, you pervs. I love neoprene because it makes great joint supports.

See, my right ankle, specifically the Achilles tendon, has been hurting for the last couple of weeks or so. I suspect it's a strain injury rather than a detachment as I can still do various movements that require the muscles to be attached, but it still hurts, and last night I got maybe three hours of sleep between the throbbing pain in my ankle and the stress pains in my right knee.

This tells me two things. Number one, much as I love them, I need to throw away the Dr. Scholl's Mary Janes because they are simply worn out and aren't fixing my tendency to supination anymore, and are probably contributing to the pain. Number two, wrapping the knee and wearing an ankle support with a hole cut out to relieve pressure on the heel bursa is a damn good idea.

And icing couldn't hurt.

Thursday's total mileage: 529 miles to Isengard.

And the treadmill continues to roll

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Good Lord -- I've actually done two day's worth of 40 minute sessions, and my legs haven't fallen off yet. Incredible. Although my knees do hurt like a mother when I sit down for longer than 10 minutes. And no, I'm not going to spend the bulk of my time standing, thank you very much.

On the good sider, my legs are starting to show faint signs of definition, which is encouraging. Still gutty as hell, though. Feh.

Tuesday's total mileage: 530.36 miles to Isengard.

And here is a picture of the small furry creature that accompanied me on my trip. Somehow, I don't think it's a Hobbit.

Ow. Ow ow ow.

I keep forgetting that I'm not 16 anymore. I required a large application of Advil before the constant low-level throbbing pain finally subsided. Weights -- yeah, I think I'll do those on Tuesday, because nobody wants to see me curled up in a fetal position and sobbing on the gym floor.

Sunday's total mileage: 533.02 miles to Isengard.
Monday's total mileage: 531.7 miles to Isengard.

And we start a new blog

Friday, March 21, 2008

Mainly because I might as well keep all this stuff in one place.

So, fitness, health and all that crap. Since I am a geek's geek, I have decided to walk from Minas Tirith to Bag End. No, I haven't lost my frigging mind, and yes, I know these are imaginary places no matter how large they loom in the minds of Tolkien fans. However, I can walk the same distance as the little guys did, so this is what I will do:

1625 miles: Take the road home with the hobbits from Minas Tirith to Hobbiton.

* 535 miles from Minas Tirith to Isengard
* 693 miles from Isengard to Rivendell.
* 397 miles from Rivendell to Bag End.

Because Momma has to fit into a nice dress in time for the Hugos, dontchaknow.

Friday's total mileage: 534.06 miles to Isengard.

Weight work:

Set #1
Set #2
Set #3
Set #4
Stiff-Legged Deadlift
Lat Pulldowns
Dumbbell Row
Back Hyperext.

Oh, speaking of geek fitness, you know what I miss? I miss fencing. I never knew what a violent bitch I was until I was invited to join the SFWA Musketeers and picked up my first épée. I've been hit in the boobs, whacked in the throat so hard I could barely talk for 20 minutes afterwards, and I've looked like a Dalmatian after a really good bout (I fence with SCA and Renaissance-style fencers, so it's not line fencing so much as, "I will pierce your heart with my steel and bathe in your blood!").

And I miss that. The guy I used to fence with locally isn't really doing it anymore, the Musketeers haven't fenced in yonks, and I don't know of any North Dallas groups going at the moment. I like playing with long steel, dammit, and I miss it.