Imagination

Planning is everything, they say. All of us who wear these belts are in a social group together, via the proprietary app. Yesterday morning the class trainer took part in the 45 minute version, managing to pull up an impressive 30 minutes in red. Seeing this was hugely helpful: it meant there was potential to run well. I also fuelled with some intent, meeting protein goal at lunchtime, in one hit.

We’ve spoken about aerobic threshold before, last night was all about managing the anaerobic threshold: normally 85% of heart-rate or 75% oxygen intake. Going too far into yellow is tricky for me, because exhaustion has pretty much followed whenever it’s happened. However, stamina training which the last few weeks represents gave me an interesting plateau to run in, and I didn’t stop to ‘recover’ between transitions.

I was exercising before each new round of exercise was supposed to start, so heart-rate did not drop. This ended up not as a HIIT class, but an exercise in endurance. However, form dropped significantly, especially at the end, and if I tried to duplicate this as a run I severely doubt 42 minutes would be doable. What it does show however is that with the right conditions, I’m in a new place.

Question is, can I prove this to confirm that is in fact the case…?

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Not gonna lie, I’m tired this morning, in a way that means a nap will be scheduled later in the day. This is a new and interesting World I find myself within, and potential is not going to be squandered. Day 15’s cross on the back of my shirt for RED January will not just signify almost halfway in my journey, but will serve as the testament to not only hard work, but sticking to a healthy diet.

All this shit really does work when you put it together.

Big Time

This week’s been fucking mental, it has.

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The 5 of 7 days with exercise is working out quite nicely: ideally I should break on Tuesday instead of Sunday, which is easily fixed going forward. Thus far, Fitbit has recorded 369 active minutes and we’re only at Saturday lunchtime. Steady momentum, meet consistency. I’ve today also exceeded the MEP totals of September and August: not combined, obviously, but this will put me back on track for real progress.

With 12 days left this month, I’ll end up doing summat for at least nine of them.

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There are a number of key moments to cover: the most important came on Thursday night. That block of eight minutes may not look like much to you, but it represents an important realisation that if I wanna push, it’s there. The key is wanting to do so: eating better is definitely helping. Rest is absolutely vital, and making Tuesday one of my two days will make a huge difference. The biggest shift undoubtedly is psychological.

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The other key change this week is strength, and actual muscle mass. One of my favourite coats is now simply too small to go around my shoulders: arms are being forces to sit back from my chest thanks to improvement in arm definition and bulk. I could do with a couple of leg days as a result, if I’m honest, and Sunday will probably be the right time to go flex the running muscles a bit. I’m back to leg pressing 100kg, which is great.

Lungs continue to be the major sticking point in stamina, and cardio will always be my Kryptonite. It’s not a problem: sometimes, accepting shortcomings is the means by which you are able to become better regardless. I’m not winning any sprints any time soon, but response times are undoubtedly improving. The equation is all wrapped around active recovery, and that’s an ability that is is undoubtedly getting better over time.

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It’s important to note that Thursday and Monday’s sessions (above) were both at 75% effort but the output was a fair bit different. Undoubtedly fatigue will have had a hand in events. Again, rest and common sense need to be considered… but most vitally, I need to think less. This is becoming genuinely enjoyable, not just in single session, but every fucking time I walk in the Gym.

When did I alter? That’s easy: in a hospital bed. Alone, lonely and desperately tired, I found myself being grateful for the fitness already built or else I would never have been let go in three days. There was a quiet and determined promise made, early on a Saturday morning, as a woman lay opposite me, crying her eyes out. As long as I am capable, there will always be exercise, because this not only keeps me sane but helps me cope with the World right now. Without it, I would be broken.

It’s great to be strong. I love being strong. Long may strong continue.

Yesterday

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I live in Gym kit currently for one reason alone: if I have it on, there’s more chance of making it to exercise than not. Except yesterday I put on the clothes and then grasped I’d be better off not pushing myself physically. It was a day to clear the decks, throw out the rubbish that has been clogging my desk. Things got put away, or recycled, and we entered the Money Where Mouth Is portion of developmental proceedings. As an exercise in self control and diligence, it was remarkably successful. I don’t remember the last time I was this organised, and it has helped considerably in motivating brain to start this week the way I mean to go on.

Now, the trick has to be sticking to that plan: the Moleskine is full, not simply with written work. I gave up on bullet journaling sometime in April, but the weekly planner has now become indispensable. Exercise goals, writing subjects, forward planning is all inside, and the settling of this routine becomes more comforting with every new week. I actually started doing that on Friday, knowing what needs to be done for the Internet of Words before it all kicks off on Saturday. Thus far I am quietly confident, and hopefully once there’s some content up to entice people, I’ll grab some more Patreons. That reminds me, must sort out a Google Form for the rewards requests. Excuse me whilst I make a note of that.

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This week is another two lots of PT with a hard third session shoved in the middle. If six hours sleep is gonna be the norm again thanks to night sweats and the neighbour (who has a 5am start and is not quiet) then I may not make it to Friday without a nap inserted somewhere, or at least one ridiculously early night. The week will at least be cooler and a bit wet, which suits me fine: I really hope this is the last of the hormonal junk I have to deal with. It is bad enough in the heat without my body taking a temperature rise on an almost predictable four hour cycle. There is however the real chance this is the next 18 months to two years of my life panning out and if so, it might be a plan to just stop moaning and work through it. If I were famous I could write a book about it or maybe do stand up, but as I’m not? Time to stick the kettle on and accept the inevitable.

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I’ve been eaten a lot by insects in this last couple of weeks too, which means my legs look horrible, and as I scratch in my sleep I felt today was not the one for shorts. I’ve resurrected one of my favourite pairs of leggings, and this reminds me I should have a clear out of clothing (again) as a lot of stuff is now close to being worn out, due simply to repeated use. My running shoes went that way last weekend, 25 miles of cycling the last straw, and looking at the soles the wear on the tread is a reminder that yes, I do take this all very seriously indeed, as should be the case. That will be the second pair I’ve worn out this year, and knowing that fact I’ve ordered the replacement pair this morning on sale, saving cash in advance. Ah, the joys of Internet shopping.

The Warcraft blog’s got material already scheduled for the entire week. I’m not sure yet what is going to happen here, but I promise to try and make it worth your while reading.

This is Mine

I’m lying in bed, having coughed and sniffed a tun of green goo out of my body, and the temptation to stay right here is immense, especially as there are no kids to look after. I’m terrible at taking care of myself, when all is said and done. It would be simpler, surely, just to turn over and go back to sleep. Then, looking through social media I see a series of things that make me realise that actually, the last thing I want to be doing is lying down. Then, I ask the question: given the choice, where would you want to be right now? Given the choice between nothing, gaming or exercise, which one would win as relaxation?

The answer was, I have to say, a pleasant surprise, and that’s why as soon as this is written I’ll be off to the Gym, confident I am no longer infectious. In a straight race, exercise now beats gaming as what I’d do to relax, and that’s something that might take some getting used to.

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NaNoWriMo’s starting on Tuesday, and I’ll be committing to screen a story that has lived in my head for some time, which is wrapped around the notion that fate isn’t a constant: the Sarah Connor belief that life is doomed because the future has dictated it only true if you allow it to be. There should be no fate but what we make, but the reality of this and so much else is a long way from the cinematic pronouncements. For me, I could succumb to a day of lounging and faffing, but the reality now is that to keep moving forward, I have to do just that. In fact, if I stop it’s probably more dangerous now than it has been at any point in the recent past. I’ve dosed myself up with drugs, and because I can still breathe reasonably well there is nothing stopping me being on a treadmill and lifting weights. Once upon a time I would have felt sorry for myself, but that person’s not making the decisions any more.

The New Me is in control, and understands the importance of moving forward.

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However much fun gaming is (and it is) that is no substitute for health. I watch those who complain that even gaming is too much work, and wonder how these individuals function on a daily basis. For me, at least right now, forward motion is no longer a list of things on a screen. It is knowing I clocked 12k steps on a day when I wasn’t badly ill, I was just feeling a bit sorry for myself. Ironically, were it not for being ill yesterday, deciding to stay home and writing, I suspect this epiphany wouldn’t have happenedI finally finished the Bondfic, all 77k words of it, and now that is done I can look at the understanding that if I really do put my mind to words, magnificent things can and do happen. This gives me not only hope for NaNoWriMo, but the future generally. There is a way to do everything I want, if I allow myself the space to breathe, and I’ve only learnt to do that properly thanks to the exercise.

Going forward, I am beyond excited for the possibilities.

Every Day is like Sunday

Yesterday’s revelation was a biggie: when I actually relax, I sleep better. The problem has been, at least since about October last year, that I’ve forgotten to factor in this part of the equation into the grand plan of exercise. I’ve just gone full out doing one thing and completely overlooked the other. That, of course, now has to change, and yesterday’s plan to consciously do no exercise at all isn’t the real solution, but it is a start. Ideally one should factor in a measure of activity on top of other stuff (like museums or gaming or music or films) and the two find a level. Or in my case, they most obviously don’t. I could really do with a break too, and fortunately for me that’s coming up in a week. However, to facilitate this I will need to write two work articles this week, and give some thought to what happens while I am away. Mostly I can see myself writing articles in the Coffee Shop of the place we’ll be staying at as part of my ‘relaxation’ which worked really very well the last time I was there.

In fact I’m already looking forward to that when it happens.

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Mostly, the biggest loss when I’m away will be the lack of access to my GIF files, and that alone is making me consider the possibility of saving pennies for a ‘proper’ laptop at some point in the future, so I can stick everything on a drive and just make it portable. It’s been a long time since I owned a lappy and I know a lot has changed: I’m a bit nervous about going there as well, just because of the speed at which tech now changes, and the distinct possibility that whatever I go for will be out of date about ten minutes after I purchase it. Ironically I can do all my writing with just a tablet and an accompanying keyboard, which in my case doubles as a screen protector. That’s really all I do ever need when travelling because most of my gaming is either so dependant on PC’s for graphics it is just hugely impractical to own anything else.

I think more consideration needs to be done here.

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Today, I feel very relaxed, more so than I have for several weeks, and it isn’t just the realisation I’m about to have  break that’s done it. I’m in a really good place for organisation, and understanding what’s going on in my own head. That’s all that really matters, after all. I’m going to faff for an hour now and then go out and buy lunch and be organised on my terms and nobody else’s and that’s as good as it gets, all told.

Today I just get to be myself and it’s brilliant.