stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
Today I ran the Austin Half Marathon, aka my second half this year. My time was 2:37:42, shaving 50 seconds off my previous time. It would have been even better, had someone not decided to stick all of Austin's hills on the second half of the course. I ran this one without intervals, and without knee pain. Hell, my right leg feels better today than it has in months. I am mystified and delighted.

Now I really, really taking it easy the rest of the year--Warrior Dash in March, a 10k in April, and a 10k in September.
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
I mentioned that I ran the 3M Half last month? Well, this month I'm running in the Austin Half Marathon. February 19th, to be exact. Some of this is masochism, but mainly I'm fundraising for Out Youth. So if you'd like to contribute to Central Texas LGBT+ kids' services, programs, and safe space, you can do so at:

www.crowdrise.com/amandadownum

Anything is appreciated, including good wishes for my poor limbs. This route has hills.
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
On Sunday I ran Austin's 3M half marathon. That's right, I ran it. I still have IT band problems, but months of careful training, chiropractor visits, and regular foam rolling seem to keep them mostly under control.

My chip time was 2:38:32, or a 5 mile/hour average. That's a personal best for me by a long shot. And more importantly, running felt great.

I kinda want to do another half again soon. But the training is a huge time sink, so I'm going to shoot for 2018 or 2019. I have Warrior Dash coming up in March, and a 10k in April. Then it will be too damn hot to run.
stillsostrange: (Default)
On Sunday, [livejournal.com profile] matociquala and I ran* the Galveston Half Marathon. The astute reader may note that I am still alive. This comes as a surprise to us all.

We appear to be doing it again next year.



* I ran 3/4ths of it, in intervals, because I'm still taking it easy on my IT bands.

Alive!

Dec. 10th, 2013 11:21 pm
stillsostrange: (Default)
I am, I swear. I even survived Run For Your Lives with [livejournal.com profile] matociquala on Saturday, despite it being 28 degrees (F) out, and me having a raging sinus infection.

I will have News soon, on both the writing and personal fronts, but for now I am biding my time and VagueBooking. I was going to haul out the first lines meme tonight, but I am le tired, and must open a bookstore in the morning.
stillsostrange: (Default)
Villa DamascusRound about the castle a thorn-hedge grewWhat lurks in the cellar?
The fallen-down timbers of a spooky old barnPomegranatesPomegranate and old bonesCreepy cisternTotally full of ghouls
The conservatoryI don't even...
The wall was next to die.

Damascus katabasis, a set on Flickr.

Still alive! I'm currently working on expanding the synopsis for The Poison Court to make it proposal-worthy. This is exactly as much fun as you might imagine synopsizing an unwritten novel to be.

Running continues. I'm up to 5.5 miles now, and hope to make 6 this weekend. My right knee is giving me grief now, but at least I know how to deal with it.

2013 continues to be a crazy game show where my personal life is concerned, but that builds character, right? We've managed to keep Agent J alive, at least, so that's something.

An adventure has presented itself, in the form of a friend's new old house. The Villa Damascus is a lovely old house in the middle of nowhere. I'm helping with renovations in exchange for having writer-in-residence privileges. A hundred-year-old house with a pomegranate tree and a creepy cistern? It's hard to get more awesome than that. Once we get rid of that awful longhorn mural, anyway.

stillsostrange: (Sif)
I had planned to go to the gym and lift after work today, but it was lovely and raining when I got home, so I ran instead. 2.75 miles in 32 minutes, with no intervals. Which means the next time I run, it will be 5k.

Last December I became a person who enjoyed running. At the end of January my IT band blew up. By February lack of running had made me surly and out of sorts. Luckily, I listened to the wise advice of friends and got PT and went back to interval training. Now I can run 5ks again, and am returning to January's plan of training for a half marathon.

My tentative schedule would have me up to 13 miles in 18 weeks, and January is definitely the time of year to run 13 miles in Texas. We'll see how this goes.
stillsostrange: (Hungry)
This is just to say that I did a pull-up today. Two of them, in fact. Sadly, there was an hour in between those two, but hey. I did a pull up. I am officially a valkyrie. I'm also running two miles at minimal intervals. With any luck next week I'll be running 2.25 miles.

In other news, Poison Court is closing fast on 20k. And we're still in the first round of plot twists. Long book may be long. I'm also watching Hannibal, because bulletproof kink. I blame Tumblr. And also bulletproof kink.
stillsostrange: (Rilke)
Remember when I posted metrics here? I'm not sure I do either.

The Poison Court
Words today: 528
Words total: 15,832
Reason for stopping: Out of steam, and need to move furniture around before I go to bed.
Darling: Yes, but it's a bit long.
Tyop: n/a
Mean things: A letter from your ex, unsettling surprises

I'm at that awkward stage of plotting where I need to figure out who's scheming about what, and who knows about it, and how much of what Our Heroes are being told is the truth. And I'm starting to worry that it's taking too long to get some of our antags onscreen. But that's a second draft problem.


Despite an oppressive case of mope that lasted several days, this week has been pretty damn good. I climbed like a badass on Monday, deadlifted my own bodyweight* on Tuesday, danced on Wednesday**, and today not only did I make progress on a steeply overhung V2, but I also got a real massage, which has turned my neck into something other than a twisted column of hate. And, even better, when I went in for a PT session this morning, my therapist was so pleased with my progress and with my interval running strategy that he turned me loose. So I am running again. For five minute intervals and no more than 1.8 miles at a stretch yet, but sweet fishes is that better than not running at all.


* My current, still swollen with Portland evil, bodyweight, even. This means when I shed the bloat, I'll be lifting more than bodyweight. Assuming I don't put on more muscle by then.

** Walking from my car to the club, I lost the sole to one of my boots. Faced with the option of either sitting down on the sidewalk and sobbing or ripping off the other sole and dancing anyway, I chose the latter. It wasn't even the least comfortable footwear I've danced in.
stillsostrange: (Sif)
Saturday was Warrior Dash, which I attended despite the last month of knee problems and my banged up arm. Compared to Run For Your Lives, it was both harder and easier. The WD trail was full of nasty hills, and of course December in Texas is a better time to run than March. But without the ever-present threat of zombies, you didn't have to run. And mostly I didn't after the first stretch. The WD obstacles were a bit more challenging, though I was disappointed we didn't get some of the cooler ones they show in promo photos.*

We did get tire grids and wet balance beams and over-unders with barbed wire and rope tunnels and chain ladders and several walls to climb over, including a wall with a knotted rope** and trenches that could be vaulted or climbed out of and fire pits to jump. So perhaps I need to shut up and be happy with my obstacles.

The final obstacle was a mud trench through which we had to swim. Reader, I have never been so filthy in my life. My bathroom has never been so filthy. Now I know what hippos feel like, except they don't have to sit in a car for an hour still caked in mud afterward.

After the race I think I can safely call myself a badass. After the race is also when I became a badass who makes poor decisions. You see, as soon as I got home I had to jump in the shower (see aforementioned filthy bathroom) and get ready to go to a SXSW show. I ate a small something immediately post race, and another small something when I got home, and drank some nasty Sports Beverage. This put me at around 1200 calories for the day.

Reader, 1200 calories is not enough after an obstacle course. Especially not when one plans to go stand/dance at a concert for seven hours. I was feeling pretty okay when I left to meet my friends for the show, better than I had after Run For Your Lives. I attributed this to not being soaked to the bone and chilled as I had been then. I met my friends, we went to the venue. The parking gods smiled upon us in a way that usually requires a bloody sacrifice. There was hardly any line and doors were to open in 30 minutes. All seemed well.

After twenty minutes standing in line in the sun, my vision went staticky, and the surf noise of an incipient grey out began drown out nearby conversations. I felt nauseous. I thought very clearly that I needed to sit down, but I couldn't actually do so. Then the world went away for a few seconds. It came back to find my concerned and startled companions holding me upright. I finally managed to sit down in a strip of shade. A friend got me water and carbs***. The venue opened (only half an hour late) and they poured ginger beer down me. Blood sugar being restored, I proceeded to dance through most of the night. (I sat out much of the Xeno & Oaklander set because my feet hurt too damn much, but there was no way I wasn't dancing through The Soft Moon's.)

So, crisis averted, right? But through all of 2013 I've been running on a sleep deficit, and wondering when I would hit the wall. Well, dear reader, I hit that wall on Sunday. I got four hours of sleep and shambled home to get ready for an evening shift at work. By noon I was too nauseous for lunch, so I took a quick nap instead. I felt a little better after that, and ate some toast. I went to work. I spent the next four hours being dizzy and nauseous and sitting down frequently. A coworker gave me her lunch so I wouldn't have to leave the store and I napped again on my lunch break. It didn't help. I was still dizzy when I got up. At this point multiple coworkers began telling me to go home. Which I eventually did.

Now I've had ten hours of sleep and am camped in bed with the laptop. My back is sore, as are my poor sunburned legs, but otherwise I think I'm alive again.

I would really like to declare Project Valkyrie a success, but I still can't do a pull-up.



* I'm still not sure about Spartan Race or Tough Mudder, but if I'm going to complain about lack of obstacles, I may have to try one of them. Next year.

** The rope wall was the one obstacle that multiple people ahead of me failed. I did not. I did, however, very nearly climb back down to kick the ass of the spectator who expressed surprise when I aced it. No mead horn for you, asshole.

*** My own poor decision making is not one of the reasons I keep nurses around as climbing and dancing partners, but maybe it ought to be.
stillsostrange: (Bone Palace UK)
A somewhat productive week. I made progress on "Snakebit," which has been languishing unfinished for a year since the last time I made progress on it, and even longer before that. When it's finished I need to turn my attention to either "Flood" or "Waiting For The Train," since novels love me not. I also need to find a market for the ghoul-smut sestina, which has been lying around for far too long.

I also have a referral for physical therapy now. We'll see what that does for my knee. Sadly, I think it's too late to hope for the half marathon in March. But I already have my Warrior Dash registration, by god, and dash it I shall.

And now, on to the inanity of the survey.

50. Have you ever saved someone's life or had your life saved?

In the intricate web of causality way, probably. In a dramatic direct intervention way, no.

51. Make up a definition for the following silly words...

No. I am too much on my dignity today, meme.

52. What was the last thing you made with your own hands?

I assume we're not counting books, no matter how they make my wrists hurt. I haven't made jewelry in a long time, sadly. I helped assemble the Gothtopus, and made the (tragically underfeathered) wings for my griffin costume. Or perhaps the cookies I baked to bribe a coworker.

53. What was your favorite toy as a child?

I can't remember a single favorite, but it was probably something She-Ra related.

54. How many TV’s are in your house?

Two.

55. What is your favorite thing to do outside?

Climbing, followed closely by hiking and swimming.

56. How do you feel when you see a rainbow?

Grateful that we've had any rain.

57. Have you ever dreamt a dream that came true?

In a symbolic sense, yes. And a few that were just that boring.

58. Have you ever been to a psychic/tarot reader?

I had a tarot reading on New Year's Day. It gave me good advice.

59. What is your idea of paradise?

A dancefloor.
stillsostrange: (Sif)
I missed last week's valkyrie report, so have a week and a half's worth.

Thursday - Gym. ~3 miles elliptical.
Friday - 4 hours dayjob.
Saturday - Dancing. And a lot of walking back and forth between clubs.
Sunday - Dayjob, dancing.
Monday - Yoga, climbing. Crow pose! A whole two seconds of it.
Tuesday - 1 hour gym. A very good day. More weight added to my deadlift, and more taken away from my pull-up assist. 4 hours dayjob.
Wednesday - Run/walking, 5k. Sadly, despite all the foam rolling and stretching, my knee still locked up at 1.5 miles.
Thursday - Rest day due to fresh tattoo. 4 hours dayjob.
Friday - 4 hours dayjob.
Saturday - ~45 minutes at the gym. Pull ups, push ups, and 1.5 miles on the elliptical. Dancing, dancing, dancing.
Sunday - Dayjob. No dancing. I am a badass, but not that much of a badass.
Monday - Yoga, climbing. Three seconds of Crow!

92 miles out of Hobbiton.

I have new shoes, and will probably make another go at running on Wednesday despite of common sense. But I have also taken the wise advice of a friend and made an appointment to get a referral to a sports medicine clinic to have someone look at my leg. I realized this weekend that the prospect of not running anymore makes me angry, and I want to do something about it.

Perhaps tomorrow I'll get back to the inane survey.
stillsostrange: (Bone Palace UK)
Still not much good a posting. I'm trying to keep the Valkyrie reports to once a week, but The Book isn't solid enough to start posting metrics on yet. My kingdom for a meme!

Random fitness stuff: I straightened my arms in Wheel pose tonight, after months of suffering. My yogini was delighted, as was I. In less delightful news, my left knee completely killed my run on Saturday. We went five miles, but I only managed to run 2 of those. The stiffness I sometimes get turned into serious pain at 1.5 miles, and continued to hurt any time I ran after that. The knee also bugged me while dancing Saturday night, but that's more common. (It bugged me in flat boots on Saturday, but in heels on Sunday it was fine.) I realized I'm overdue for new shoes, which I will remedy this week, and I'm going to talk to my trainer about strengthening and stretching it out tomorrow. I suspect I also need to get a foam roller, and try to roll out my IT band more often. I will be very cross if one recalcitrant joint screws up my half marathon plans.

I did manage to implement GYTO last week, for two good writing days. Coffee shop writing is actually becoming very productive for me. And I love my baristas' musical taste.
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
Behold, a post!

Valkyrie Report:

Thursday - An hour at the gym, mostly doing bodyweight and core exercises. My trainer gives me homework now.
Friday - A half day at the dayjob, but mostly a rest day.
Saturday - Bouldering, 3 miles walk/running. A brief dancing interlude that night.
Sunday - 8 hours dayjob, dancing.
Monday - Yoga, climbing. I cleanly sent a 5.10 that I'd struggled up before Christmas.
Tuesday - Gym. Pull-ups and push-ups and deadlifts, oh my. My deadlifts are now in the triple digits, an increase of at least 20 lbs since I started training. I've lost 20 lbs on my pull-up assist, too. Muscles move in my arms when I comb my hair*.
Wednesday - Running. ~1.9 miles in 21:30. Wind chill was 23, and I only survived because of my fuzzy bear hat with ear flaps. So far my best time is a mile in 11:30. Which is definitely an improvement, but only a small one.

I'm considering running a half marathon with [livejournal.com profile] matociquala in March. A week after Warrior Dash. I can totally do that, right? It will make my trainer sad, since I'd probably slack off on weights, but if I keep up my protein intake I probably won't lose any muscle.


Having run, I am now camped out at a coffee shop**, where I will poke dejectedly at several projects and try to find some traction on one of them.

I have completely lost track, so I'm going to say that I'm now 65 miles out of Hobbiton, and go from there.


* I need to take pictures.

** They play the best music, but every time Joy Division comes on, I want to shove tables out of the way and start dancing. I'm not sure they'd approve.
stillsostrange: (Bowie)
Books read in 2012 )

A much better reading year than last year, if not as fabulous as one might like. The writing front was also not as fabulous as one might like, but not too shabby. Kingdoms came out, and Brave New Love. And maybe A Fantasy Medley 2--I got my author copies, at least. I finished an extremely thorough revision of Dreams, and my fabulous agent has sent it out into the world. I also tidied up a partial of Pinion, and started a few other projects. I did not finish any new short stories, but oh well.

I'm not as happy to be rid of 2012 as some of my f-list. I would like to be more productive in 2013, and slightly less crippled with indecision (well, laugh), but if nothing else the success of Project Valkyrie and my Run For Your Lives training has made this a pleasantly memorable year. We'll see how Warrior Dash turns out. Hopefully 2013 will be the year of the unassisted pull-up.

And of course, there was that whole adoption thing. Can't forget that.

Hopefully the boy will find his missing driver's license soon, so as not to thwart our plan to go for cocktails and Elysium tonight. My house has already thwarted my plans to repurpose last Halloween's griffin costume by eating my feathers and copper foil. I'll be less of a danger to myself and others without dozens of sharp copper feathers, I suppose.
stillsostrange: (Sif)

Today I and a team of bookstore cohorts attended Run For Your Lives, the 5k zombie obstacle course. Obstacles included vaulting logs; crawling under fences and barbed wire; not one but two steep, muddy inclines (one of which was covered in thorns); a muddy, swaying balance beam; sucking mud pits; hurdle walls; a smoke house filled with dangling live wires... And, of course, lots and lots of zombies.

I made it through all the obstacles, never lost a shoe, and only nearly twisted my ankle once. I also made it more than two miles in before a bastard zombie in a Christmas elf costume swiped my last flag. I was, however, the next-to-last man standing in my team. We got one person to the finish line with a flag intact, so in that regard we were successful.

This was the most fun I've ever had at a run, and the most exhausted I've ever been after. Not to mention filthy. I'm talking epic filth here. I'm also very proud of myself, even if I am succumbing to the zombie infection even as I type.

stillsostrange: (Xenomorph)
This is just to say that in 24 hours I will be queueing up to run from zombies. I am rather excited about this. I bought fancy socks for the mud run and everything. My immediate goal after survival is avoiding debilitating injury, as Sunday night is Deathrock Disco.

I don't have a zombie icon. This is sad and slightly embarrassing.
stillsostrange: (Dark City)
Err, hello. I am being part of the lack-of-LJ problem again. I've even slacked off on spamming with workout stats. But Run For Your Lives is this Saturday, so maybe that will be worth an update! (I ran another 5k on Sunday, and finally beat 5 mph. So progress is happening.)

Are there any memes going around worth doing, to keep some semblance of activity happening here?
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
Sunday: 8 hours dayjob
Monday: Jogging, 2 miles with no walking intervals
Tuesday: Sloth! And 4 hours dayjob.
Wednesday: Weights. I failed at Bulgarian split squats that day, but was still sore after a truncated set. Trick-or-treating, 1+ hour.
Thursday: 4 hours dayjob.
Friday: 4 hours dayjob.
Saturday: 5.5 miles hiking at Lost Maples Park. I really love hiking (except for the steep hill right in the middle of the trail). I think my goal after Run For Your Lives is to hike Austin's 7.9 mile greenbelt from start to finish and back again.

44 miles out of Hobbiton, give or take.
stillsostrange: (Riff & Magenta)
Will she trick or treat? I bet she will.

Tonight we took Agent J trick-or-treating, and afterward I did not ditch Steven to go dancing at Elysium. But, oh, dear reader, how tempted I was. Instead I'm at home drinking cocktails and wondering if we can squeeze a bad movie in before bedtime.

Tomorrow I'll make every effort toward MaybeWriMo. We'll see how that goes.

In other zombie related news, I can now run jog two miles without a break. I am totally a match for zombies in uneven footwear, or small, three-legged zombies.

Two or three years ago it was just another snake cult...

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