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)
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: (Valkyrie Air)
Yesterday my partner and ran Warrior Dash for our second year (my third). This year it fell after days of heavy rain. The parking lot was a muddy deathtrap--we watched cars being pushed and towed out on our way in, and helped push a car on our way out. The entire 3.5+ mile course was one giant mud obstacle. Muddy trails, muddy climbing frames, muddy climbing ropes... Good times, good times. The most serious obstacle for me was the water feature, which we've never had here before. The swimming and hauling myself up parts were fine, but the water was so cold my lungs seized going in and after treading water waiting for others to clear the path, the strength started bleeding out of me. I wasn't warm again for hours.

Afterward we decided not to go see the Church play, and instead went to see Spring. Sadly, this turned out to be a poor decision. The story is a bilious sack of human-centric crap, about the transformative experience of falling in love with a bland, selfish "nice guy." Fuck everything about it. Or simply stop watching it five minutes before the end and imagine the real ending for yourself.

Day 1 - Ten random facts about yourself
Day 2 - Nine things you do every day
Day 3 - Eight things that annoy you
Day 4 - Seven fears/phobias
Day 5 - Six songs that you’re addicted to
Day 6 - Five things you can’t live without
Day 7 - Four memories you won’t forget
Day 8 - Three words you can’t go a day without
Day 9 - Two things you wish you could do

Day 10 - One person you can trust

Myself. Without that, what is there?
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
I saw Bestial Mouths last night, breaking my two-year SXSW curse. I shall brave the madness again on Saturday and see what I can find. Of course, my partner and I are running Warrior Dash early on Saturday. Last time I did WD and SXSW in one day, I ended up not eating enough and blacking out on the sidewalk outside the club. We will strive to avoid that this time.

Day 1 - Ten random facts about yourself
Day 2 - Nine things you do every day
Day 3 - Eight things that annoy you
Day 4 - Seven fears/phobias
Day 5 - Six songs that you’re addicted to
Day 6 - Five things you can’t live without
Day 7 - Four memories you won’t forget
Day 8 - Three words you can’t go a day without

Day 9 - Two things you wish you could do

You'd love it. Nobody tells you when to go to bed. You eat all the ice cream you want. You get to kill all day, all night just like an angel.

Teleportation would be pretty badass, too.

Day 10 - One person you can trust
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.
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: (Bone Palace UK)
This is just to say that I'm not dead, Space City Con was a very good time, and that I have my second lesson in properly punching things tomorrow. Further updates to follow.
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
I quasi-accidentally acquired a new trainer today. I was as the gym, doing my usual routine, and about to spend my last ten minutes on the heavy bag. A fitness class was using the floor, so I made sure I wasn't going to get in their way. The instructor then noticed that I have no fucking clue what I'm doing didn't have wraps, and offered to show me how to wrap my hands*. He turned out to be the ex-MMA guy who installed the bag in the first place. In between making his class do hideous lateral shuffles on the treadmill, he proceeded to give me pointers on form and technique for half an hour**. I was already feeling pretty inclined to give him money at this point, when my old trainer showed up and revealed that she's moving to California. He was well placed to catch me on the rebound.

So now I have a session on Tuesday, and will begin learning how to punch things more effectively.


* It turns out my knuckles aren't bruised and sore after ten minutes if I wrap my hands. It's like magic.

** And I didn't feel mansplained at. This should not be worthy of note, and yet...
stillsostrange: (Sif)
Capitol march

Marching with [livejournal.com profile] stina_leicht and [livejournal.com profile] fadethecat, and hundreds of others.


155 lb deadlift tonight, and 75 lb bench. Progress! And the heavy bag at the gym is my one true love these days, even if my knuckles are mangled, and the gloves at the gym are officially to vile to use anymore.
stillsostrange: (Riff & Magenta)
I had plans to attend a summer solstice parade last night, and most of a Green Fairy costume assembled for the occasion. Then [livejournal.com profile] mmaresca informed me that The Bone Palace would be featured in a Naked Girls Reading performance. Well, dear reader, parades happen several times a year in Austin. Gorgeous burlesque dancers reading my books aloud--not so often. The reader turned out to be Zaftigg von BonBon.

Bunk.

After the show I blushingly introduced myself and got a glittery hug, which means that I have actually found the fabled auctorial glamour. Even awards that come with tiaras are not so glamourous.

I am suddenly incredibly motivated to finish The Poison Court.


In other news, my gym recently acquired a heavy bag. It is my new best friend. I spent ten minutes on it this morning, and now my knuckles are bruised. I want to punch things forever.
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: (Lily)
I have been moody and weepy and nearly anhedonic the past couple of days--stress and double-hormone PMS* are a winning combination--but tonight I went to the gym and sent a 5.10B and not one but two 5.10Ds. One of these was awfully easy, and I question the rating, but the other was harder, so hopefully at least one is legit. So I may have no joy in my life, but I am still a badass. Someday that might make me dangerous.


* My doctor wanted me to finish the round of pills I was in the middle of when I got my interuterine demon**. Saturday was my last dose of estrogen-based birth control. Now we'll see what the progesterone does.

** I really want to write a story about interuterine demons. I would also be happy to read other people's.
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
Tonight I completed my lead climbing class at the gym, and am now lead certified. We'll see how well or quickly this translates to not being too petrified to lead outside. But it's definitely another step toward valkyriedom.

I'm no closer to a pull-up than I was a month ago, but my deadlift is up to 130 lbs. I will be deeply satisfied when I can lift my own weight.
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: (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: (Brigitte)
Thursday - 1 hour gym, mostly bodyweight exercises. Negs. Oh, the misery that is negs.
Friday - 4 hours dayjob, bouldering.
Saturday - Run/walking 5 miles, dancing.
Sunday - Dayjob, dancing.
Monday - Yoga, climbing.
Tuesday - 1 hour gym, weights. We started box squats, which are cool, but the bar bruised the back of my neck.
Wednesday - ~5k on the elliptical, since my knee is still out of commission.

Not much in the way of a rest day the past week. I may need to make sure one of those happens soon.

84 miles out of Hobbiton.

My trainer's diagnosis of my bad knee is over-tight quads. She took a foam roller to me, and... Well, I felt like I should be paying her more to hurt me that way. I'm going to be stretching daily and foam rolling at home, but if I can't reach a point of running without pain, my dreams of a half marathon may be on hold for a while. Do not want.



Project: GYTO worked fairly well last week. Wordcount wasn't great, but every day I sat down with a goal I met it. This week has been derailed by Agent J coming down with strep. Hopefully I will be back in the game next week.



The survey, cont'd...

7. What stage of life are you in right now?

A slightly frustrating one. But I'll endure and it will change.

8. Are you more child-like or childish?

Childlike. And I want my own Gmork.

9. What is the last thing you said out loud?

"I want my own Gmork." Because I talk to myself.

10. What song comes closest to how you feel about your life right now?

And every pop song on the radio is suddenly speaking to me... But no, "Superhero" is not my song right now. Thank god. I left my head and my heart on the dancefloor...?

11. Have you ever taken martial arts classes?

No.

12. Does your life tend to get better or worse or does it just stay the same?

If your life stays the same, you may be doing something wrong. My life has improved steadily and markedly the older I get, with the occasional rough patch.

13. Does time really heal all wounds?

No. But it helps with some.
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: (Baroness)
Valkyrie report:
Thursday - 1 hour gym, mostly bodyweight exercises.
Friday - 4 hours dayjob, a lot of housecleaning, dancing.
Saturday - Run/walking, 4.3 miles.
Sunday - Dancing, ~3 hours. The set start out a little iffy, but ended strong.
Monday - Rest day.
Tuesday - 1 hour gym, weights.
Wednesday - Running, 3.3 miles in 41:20. ETA: And 3 miles on the elliptical. I was grouchy and over-caloried and went to the gym.

76 miles out of Hobbiton.

My deadlifts and bench presses increased enough 5 pounds each. Baby steps, baby steps.


But even better than running 5k today, there were words. 1100 of them, in fact, while camped out at my favorite coffee shop. I am instituting Operation: Get Your Tits On And Write This Fucking Book Already. (GYTO for short.) I will work on this book for six weeks and not listen to any of that wibbley indecisive nonsense happening in my brain. At six weeks we pause to evaluate the quality of the book, but not before then.
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.

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