Everyone’s a Winner

Sunday. Ah yes, time for getting next week ready and if that’s done well enough, maybe there’ll be a moment left over to fuck about with something for myself. Next year WILL BE THE ONE where I start doing art and shit for relaxation: having accepted my drawing is restricted to high-quality doodling and not much else, alternatives have been sought. There is an answer. I’ll be gathering materials starting next month.

That bookbinding box of materials will be pulled out over the Christmas break.

burpees.gif

I’ve actually cut back on exercise this month from last: Exercising four days with three days off is beginning to allow more writing time. During the winter months this is not likely to change, but I could certainly shove some more walking into the equation going forward. As the days get warmer next year, I might also drive daughter to school, leave the car parked close and abandon it some days to get extra steps in.

This was part of my fitness plan when I first picked a PT: run the youngest in, find a car park close to the school, pay for a day’s parking and then walk home. That, plus the walk back to pick up the car was a guaranteed six miles every day. The photographer in me could make a lot of use of that time to boot, there’s so much in my town worth preserving for posterity. Perhaps, if the weather’s good starting in the New Year… ^^

thisisgood

Saturdays will become the rest day in the New Year too, because I’ll be doing my Mental Health Champion training on those days in January, and therefore need to be free. I can also guarantee that there’ll be little or no desire to do anything else after these sessions are done: I was mentally exhausted after the introductory one. There’s some other exercise-related things I gotta sort out as well… all this to look forward to.

Planning is becoming one of my favourite tasks.

Flawless

Before I went to bed last night, tea cups were put out for the morning, bags already inside: chai for youngest, breakfast blend for me. A protein shake got made and refrigerated. These are simple tasks that, for the last month, weren’t doable. Not enough space in my brain existed in order to plan that far ahead. Finally, order is returning from chaos.

There’s a lot of anger to deal with currently. Most of it is out of my hands, which makes rationalising situations occasionally problematic. Being the sole parent at home is the hardest thing for so many reasons. I miss my husband terribly. However, he is undoubtedly ill enough to be in the best place for him physically: mentally, however, there is a creeping doubt this is doing more harm than good.

I can only support him and hope there’s some comfort with each passing today.

The fallout from this month will continue to be felt for some time. Right now, it’s time to attempt to inject normality into existence as far as possible. That means a gym trip shortly, and a new exercise class this evening. Better eating, more sleep and less stress is the long-term goal, all three of which are very much dependant on personal circumstances.

After that, it’s time to fix my formal writing.

A Whole New World

I put a lot of stock on my fitness devices and the result they provide, but today’s post is a reminder that sometimes, numbers are not the whole story:

260419

59% effort looks, on reflection, like I didn’t try. In this case, nothing is further from the truth. What those numbers don’t show is how long I was able to hang without arms dying, after two days of Blaze that took a lot out of them. It doesn’t consider the 25 40kg bench presses done with little to no recovery time, or the 16kg weights held when doing step ups.

What yesterday showed me is significant enough that I need to write it down:

  • My initial first burst of exercise is tough, and will leave me breathless. Once I’m over that hump, it becomes increasingly easy to manage breathing and push harder. I know this now from an absolute boatload of historical evidence. Management is the key.
  • Overthinking is inhibiting my ability to push further. There needs to be considerably less worrying about how hard shit is, and just focus on ignoring that voice that constantly suggests I should temper effort. Learning how to listen to my body is one of those skills that requires most work.
  • I am way too hard on myself. This is massive. I’m strong, and able. Technique is solid. What is required is speed, and that will only come via practice, so that is what needs to happen going forward. Less fear in being capable will then allow for increasing confidence elsewhere. Honestly is winning the day.
  • I possess so much potential to improve. There was a minor epiphany this week: the people who work hard, and practice their moves, get so much more overall out of their experience. They are the ones for whom progress really means that. All the hard work that’s being put in isn’t just about conditioning and weight loss, it involves learning how to exercise more effectively. My brain is missing out on a load of developmental activity, and that needs to change.

weightsandglasses.gif

These are extremely interesting times for my body. Once upon a time, half of what I’m doing seemed virtually impossible, but is now conducted with a measure of ease. Moving forward, it is time to make giving blood every sixteen weeks a bit less of a trauma, to keep building stamina and good technique, and to deal with the continuing psychological fallout when I fail to keep going at a level that feels acceptable.

However, today I’m having a rest from lifting and only doing a bit of cycling…

Bang Bang :: Day 1

I slept. It wasn’t great, but with arm on a pillow, it was doable. I was up at 6.30 and everybody made it out, and after that, there were two hours extra kip. I’m taking paracetamol, nothing stronger. There’s a bag of frozen onions doing sterling work as an icepack in 30-minute bursts, and the swelling is going down. The biggest problem right now is wrists and thumbs.

So much of life is around digit and wrist mobility: opening and closing stuff, gathering up my hair, putting on clothes. This next week will be an education and is gonna end up in a fiction at some point, because all of this is good practical research. Now all I need is actual movement back, and we’re golden. Even without the painkillers, it’s less stressful than yesterday.

Let’s hope everything keeps improving.

Hit Me with your Rhythm Stick

header100

Things that I have learnt from the last week include the following:

  • White bread is now The Enemy. No more sneaky nicking a pretzel anymore for lunch. If I want poached eggs, granary only. I don’t care if your brain screams nostalgia, having lost my gallbladder now means body bloats like it is a balloon full of helium. Just don’t. There is other stuff too. Just eat better. You know what the benefits are when that happens, so why won’t you fully commit?
  •  

  • My body is not happy for at least 120 hours after giving blood. That means next time there’ll need to be a full week of light exercise, building back to normal. 72 hours is not enough. As I’ve crashed three times now at the same point each time, under the exact same conditions, this is a decent sign to accept that for a sacrifice, there are consequences. I feel pretty good this morning though, so that’s good.
  •  

  • My personal life is a fucking mess. I spent an hour this morning sorting portions of that out, and once I’ve done the writing here there’ll be some effort to alter some more. Professionally, however, it’s looking decent. Maybe everything is impossible, but until it is tried, how will I know?
  •  

  • It is time for a Minimalism purge. Schedule a day to clear the PC. Time to unsubscribe from a bunch of mailing lists too. Make everything simpler. You do not need the clutter. You do not need all of this stuff, it’s a crutch you should be running without.
  •  

jokerherewego

No more fucking about. Let’s get to it.

This is My Church

This morning, whilst the rest of my house slept, I was up and in training kit. Walking home from the Gym yesterday I turned my ankle, which is painful to walk on but isn’t affected by pedalling on a bike. Therefore, the plan was set: 50k yesterday meant I needed 60k today to hit my training goal. In the end, it transpired that was closer to 62k (coz rounding up and down) but that was still completed in two hours. I am still in shock.

250218b

The last three months have been fairly revelatory: I’ve used Zwift before, but never stuck to any kind of target. Now, I cannot think of not training: when the weather gets better, weekends will be spent cycling outside, but I now have a sure-fire means by which to exercise which does not need anything other than me strapping on a heart rate monitor and walking down the end of the garden. It’s a fantastic part of my health regime, has undoubtedly made me far stronger on the lower half of my body, and is pushing me to do stuff that I’d have never really considered before.

I have finally become a convert to the Church of Virtual Cycling.

250218

Ideally, I shouldn’t have taken three rest days this week, but health circumstances dictated the big weekend push which, on reflection, is no bad thing. Next week is going to be a bit tricky, as tomorrow I give blood: that means at least a week of just not having the energy to push at anything, and coupled with the menopausal trauma of this last couple of days… well, it’s going one of two ways. I’m hoping we don’t get the Disaster Movie scenario: tomorrow will be a rest day regardless, but for the rest of the week there’s a plan to do my standard 30k in whatever time it takes, without breaking any records. Next week is very much a ‘doing the miles’ week and my aspirations of an FTP increase will need to wait not only until I’ve had seven days to regen but on my ankle, which is not really that happy to be pushed to do anything.

I’m on a week of light, maintenance weightlifting, supplemented by an hour of the treadmill at the Gym. I’m on the waiting list for the Bluetooth device which is needed to pair the Gym treadmills with Zwift, which will allow me to run virtually as well as cycle. Yes, I am a full convert. Well, if you’re gonna do something properly…

It is still a shame I can’t embed my Strava data in WordPress, but you can’t have everything. For now, I’ll make do with copy-pasting, and just keep on racking up the miles.

God, who would have thought I’d get so much enjoyment out of exercise?

Closing Time

Putting on my leggings this morning, I had a back spasm. I know a guy who had weeks of painful repercussion simply from picking up his daughter, another who turned his head suddenly and slipped a neck disk. Sometimes, however careful you are, this shit just happens. I’ve ingested the standard painkillers, will take it easy and won’t do anything strenuous until Wednesday’s PT session. Not only does this shit happen, but I am well versed with the means by which you deal with it. Lying around all day complaining is not an answer, though it might be a wish for some. For me, there is really too much to do. It really doesn’t matter we’re in half term either.

My career is not going to progress itself.

header104.png

This morning I dropped my old car off for the last MOT I will have to pay for, as it is now consigned to the chronology of vehicles I used to own. It will still be driven for a while yet, however, but a replacement is ordered. It’s smaller and petrol, and I suspect might be the last fossil-fueled vehicle I ever possess. After that, it will be a tricycle or my feet, and that will be totally fine. My son has already professed a complete lack of desire to learn to drive, stating there are far more important things he ought to be doing. Public transport suits him fine, and I have a measure of empathy with this statement. I’d love to call time on this county’s obsession with cars as transport. Maybe my son could be the first step.

header105.png

I’ve also got half a mind to start taking pictures every day from now on, just as a means to give my brain summat to relax with. The weekend was enormously stressful, and I would venture to suggest a lot of my body woes are wrapped around the trauma that created. Therefore having something to do other than working at a PC or a bike will be hugely beneficial long term. I ought to do yoga too, but that’s not really a half term pursuit. For now, the daily walk will get some air in my lungs, wake up the brain and give more content.

After that, we can busk the rest.