Category — mad exercise
I need to give some love to Mad Rock shoes.
My first pair were ballerina shoes on juice:
But then they got a hole in the leather, I swear for no reason I can fathom.
I sent the company that picture, and they said, no fuss, what size and what's your address; we'll send you a replacement. Yay! And they did, in less than a week.
Oddly, the new pair aren't the same model as the old ones. (Those are "drifter"; these are "phoenix".) I'm not sure why the switch, but I tried them on and I think I'm in love, so I'm not giving them back!
These are like superman's ballet-shoes. The laces give them a crazy foot-forming ability the others didn't have, and the soles are much chunkier — the bottoms have an actual ridge around the toes, which I predict will be awesome to stand on when one has about 1/8" on which to stand. :)
And–AND–one of my favorite silly things about the first shoes was that they said "SCIENCE FRICTION" on the soles: What a shockingly cool phrase! It wore off as I used them, but oh well. And yet, in a stroke of omgwtfgenius, the new pair has that phrase carved into the deep rubber on the bottoms, guaranteeing that it'll last a while! Hell yes upgrade!
So here's to good companies and cool feetwear and my favorite kungfu partner, Gravity. ::toast::
April 9, 2014 No Comments
Running kills me. I can run for half the time, at a tenth of the intensity, that I might bike or swim; and instead of feeling like I've had a good workout like I would if I was on wheels or in the water, I'll feel destroyed.
Illustrative detail: A solid hour of vigorous swimming (i.e. underwater hockey), or an hour's worth of biking at 75-100% of my maximum speed, and I'll be a little out of breath, craving some extra calories, and pleased with myself. Thirty-five minutes of slow, steady running (about 3.5 miles), and I'll be literally unable to stand long enough to take a shower until I've had some water and ten minutes of gasping against a wall.
Does this mean that I hate running, or that I love it?
There's a thing called Type 3 Fun — an activity that you know is going to suck, and that does suck, but that for some reason you think OMG THAT WAS SO FUN after it's over.
Running is Type 3 fun for me…I hate it when I'm doing it, but I'm always glad to have done it. (Especially during the nap afterwards. ;)
Do you have a Type 3 fun?
September 29, 2012 1 Comment
So, start of Week 2 of P90 (after 4 weeks of P90X and a one week "break" while assessing other systems). This is a big ol' update on exercise, food, sleep &etc., so if you've been thinking I'm awfully behind on such updates, you're in luck! If you hate them, though, this is not your day. ;)
P90 itself: So far, so good. I like:
- how it only takes up about half an hour's time — an hour, once you count shower etc., but still that makes it not much more time-intensive than my morning nap;
- how it makes me break a sweat, but not be all GRRRRRAAAAAAARGH! to make it to the end. Don't get me wrong, I like being all GRRRRAAAAARGH! sometimes, but not every morning. It's an energy-expenditure thing. Sure, I can do an hour of plyo, just like I can shore-dive for half a day and swim home basically on my lips and sheer willpower, and sometimes those things are fun. When I do climb those mountains, though, I have a valley on the other side to deal with: I'll need extra sleep, and extra food, and to generally not move much for the 12-24 hours after a GRRRAAARGH!. (Why yes, I have nounified that sound. Take that, onomatopoeia police!) What I want for a daily morning workout is one that burns some calories to offset my sedentarycomputerness, stretches and strengthens all the bits I need for kungfu/taiji, gets me warmed up so I don't feel like I'm dragging in the morning, and leaves me with all the energy I need for a whole day and to do it all again tomorrow (assuming that either today or tomorrow also includes swimming or taiji, and that both include a few miles of walking) on 5 or less hours of total sleep.
(IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK, haha.) But as with most things, now that I know what I want more precisely, it's easier to get — and so far P90 seems to fit the bill.
ONE CAVEAT this experience has taught me about: The "fitness tests" for programs like P90 / X / Insanity / etc. only tell you if you can do that level of workout, not whether you will want to. I haven't failed a "fitness test" yet, but P90X was too much for me, not because I couldn't physically do it (well, it wasn't kind to my knees, but that was probably surmountable by itself) but because it was more workout than I was looking for. Be aware of this if you're looking similarly.
- I like how the pace is not too fast, so that if you know the instructions and whatnot already, you can get a little bit ahead. This is useful for Real Life Considerations like needing to pee, stretch your neck, chase a cat out of somewhere it shouldn't be, etc., and it's nice not to have to pause the video for that.
- Takes less equipment than P90X, though to be fair neither of them are horrible on the I-need-equipment front.
And my dislikes are pretty much par for workout stuff in general:
- It's cheeeeeeeesy, made worse (or better, depending on your tastes in Cheese) by lower production values than P90X. Tony himself is also considerably less "smooth" and comfortable with his banter, though personally I find better banter even cheesier than bad banter, so again, it's about which flavors of cheese make you wince, and which make you vomit. ;)
- Horrible background Muzak, but thankfully at low volume
- Hilariously unrealistic "students" (note: P90X actually didn't have this problem; those were real graduates of the program and nicely non-model-looking for the most part — maybe Tony put his foot down after he got some corporate traction? But in P90 they're pretty much what you'd expect from this type of thing…)
- Generally not fun to watch at all…but really, how much does this matter, since the goal is to not really have to watch it? At least with P90, putting it on mute and keeping half an eye on it while you blaze through it is much easier to attain than with X, which is 2-3x as long and goes twice as fast!
…Being me, I'm already wishing I could combine this activity with, I dunno, memory exercises or learning a language or something. And maybe I can eventually, but it's not wise to stretch too far too fast. Last thing I need is to hurt myself because I was conjugating instead of watching my form!
OH, you probably care about results too. ;) Well, with uneven application and fairly miserable adherence to the diet (more on that in a second), I still feel good and look noticeably more awesome than before…my leg-muscles (which have always been prominent) are approaching "oo wow" status, and my arms (which usually just look biggish when I exercise) are getting tricep cuts, which is cool. Best of all, I've lost just enough padding-in-general that my stomach is, while not something I'd show off for money or prizes, officially technically "flat". I'm starting to see the musculature there, too. And this is awesome — one of the (several) reasons I work out is that I'm built short and muscle-y anyway, and I knew from long ago that if I got a more regular routine set up, it would be relatively easy for me (relative compared to naturally skinny people) to show muscle and look badass. Stomach cuts are a sort of the meat and potatoes of that, yeah?
DIET ADHERENCE: I did it for the first 3 weeks of P90X, mostly because I was afraid of hurting myself otherwise. I ate 1600-1800 cal a day (1800 was supposed to be my goal, but in the end I could hardly ever hit that), with a heavy tilt towards protein and away from carbs. I learned that a looooooot of my normal diet is carbs! I'm still trying to keep the carbs lower and the protein higher, even though once I stopped P90X I (gratefully) stopped worrying about the exact ratio and frantically trying to get 18 million calories in me before bedtime…whew. I'm back to my usual 1400 or so now, and I feel fine, but I do want to eventually — when I have the brainspace probably — work more on getting better food, and in better proportions. I know my current habits, which evolved from an allergy to cooking for myself, aren't keepable in the long-term; I can do better.
And of course: SLEEP! Oh, the wonderfulness of having my schedule back…even when it gets thrown off (which it did once this week, majorly enough that I slept 8 hours once to compensate), that only serves to remind me how much better Everyman is than monophasic. Possibly the only thing better than a morning workout is a morning workout followed by a nap — *awesome*. (Slight downside: I definitely get ANGRY if I can't have my afternoon nap; the workout in the morning makes it feel quite mandatory. But that's just motivation for me to get it, which I need, since breaking up my workday goes against my natural workaholism. ;)
OK, I think that counts as a real, full-size update…Oh, for people who care, I'm also finally reading The Four-Hour Body; I'm sure I'll have opinions on it as time goes on.
Thanks for reading, everyone! Have a great week if I don't talk to you before the weekend.
October 17, 2011 Comments Off
I put my picture on wearethe99percent.tumblr.com … because I feel like a refugee from a pocket third-world country in the US, created by the 1% and the government's insane/corrupt need to please them. And I'm very aware, every day, what a lucky one of the 99% I am. The luck is nice, but it's incredibly tough to be lucky when everyone you left at home isn't.
But you probably care more about all those updates I haven't been getting around to…I'm sorry; this week has just been horrendous, really. And it isn't really slowing down, so this will be in the form of bullet-points for now…my hope/plan is to slow down this weekend and do some real substantive writing, here and elsewhere. ::hope hope hope::
- Sleep goes well. This week has been ridiculous so I've missed some naps, but overall I dropped right back into my Everyman Mixed (? Can I call it that?) schedule, where my goal is 3×3, but if I get shorted on naps I do 2×4.5 or 1×6. As long as I get some 3×3 days every week, this seems to work without issue, but I've definitely noticed that if I get stuck in 2×4.5 / 1×6 for too long, I start to get tired. (Specifically, a week of 2×4.5, or more than a few days of 1×6, will make me tired and I'll need catch-up sleep, after which I can go back to polyphase.) I think this is evidence that 3×3 is the most stable one overall — which has been my long-term experience — and that, more generally, the more naps you get, the more stable and restful your polyphasic schedule. But it remains nice that missing naps doesn't have to knock me completely off-schedule; as long as I keep trying for them, I'm OK even during the most insane weeks of work / practice / errands / etc.
- Exercise goes well too. I'm sorry I didn't get to update as I made this transition, but what I did is try out Insanity and P90 as possible alternatives to P90X (which I did for 3.5 weeks — but it was too long and too intensive and thus making my sleep schedule impossible). P90 won. One of the things I really liked about P90X was the focus on form — as a martial artist and someone who picked up fitness as an adult, I care a lot about economy of motion and avoiding injuries — both short- and long-term. Insanity is definitely named correctly, because it seems to me that unless you're already capable of doing the whole thing by muscle-memory, doing it at that speed is dangerous. P90, on the other hand, is a nicely shorter version of P90X, keeping most of what I liked about the program without killing me to the point where I need to sleep for years. ;) It's still challenging: Though I've been surprised at how I can "just do" most of it without petering out, and I finish all the workouts which I couldn't always do with X, I'm still out of breath and sweaty and feeling it in the right muscles, but I can take naps and my core and still have enough energy, including for things like taiji and hockey. I'm nearing the end of week 1 of P90, and so far I like it a lot. (Note: It's just as cheesy as P90X, but I'm coming to the realization that all such programs are cheesy. I can deal. And it won't take me as long to memorize these so I can just tune them out and listen to music, either!)
- My new exercise clothes are AWESOME. Icebreakers are expensive, but if you work out regularly and hate doing piles and piles of laundry, they're completely worth it.
- There's other stuff, but as I keep getting distracted by work and stuff and risk not posting this at all if I don't do it now, I'm stopping here! ;)
Have a good Thursday the 13th**, everyone!
*Title note: One of the most awesome songs ever! One day I will make someone play it in karaoke or something so I can yell those amazing lyrics at the whole world…Go forth ad infinitum!
**For some reason Thursday the 13ths have always gone worse for me than Fridays. Thursday the 12ths can be pretty brutal too. And of course October is a mandatorily creepy month for either.
October 13, 2011 1 Comment
And just like that, P90X is on the chopping block.
Sure, I can be a revolvatory sort, but then again, sometimes the Universe speaks just as suddenly as people do. Anyway, here's where I'm at:
- Something in the last few days/workouts hurt my knee *significantly*. It wasn't anything I did (i.e. I didn't feel it get hurt), but yesterday I was sore and this morning I can barely walk. That means I missed Monday taiji! NOT GOOD! The point of the extra workouts is so that I can do MORE taiji, not less. I think I got spoiled by Chen Taiji being so incredibly difficult legs-wise, but never hurting my knees, because it does so much building and strengthening of the supportive musculature too. Figures that the X Men don't have that magic formula. ;)
- My attempt to substitute today's suggested workout with Stretch "X" failed due to a corruption in one of the files I created from the DVDs so I could play them on my media player. Not it's fault, but still annoying, and will make it so that I either have to workout tonight or miss today entirely (whch might have happened anyway; I was going to try the Stretching workout, but it may or may not have been OK by my knee.)
- I like the Lots of Workout, but having done a little more looking, I know for a fact that I can get it in less time, for less calories and with less sleep. Today I'm really feeling the cost in time of all this, and really tempted to switch to a (say) 20-minute every-morning workout that will help keep me in great shape and let me have my sleep schedule back!
- Looking at my activities, this is also feeling like too MUCH workout…I'm having trouble doing this AND Taiji, this AND underwater hockey, etc. I'm used to normally having a store of energy I can burn for certain high-octane activities, but since P90X has me burning it every day, I find myself cancelling (or not cancelling, and then sleeping a ton) way more often than I'd like. I don't want to miss the fun stuff just so I can do my daily shuffle, yo.
- Plus, let's be honest, it's not like I'm *enjoying* the XTREEEM rhetoric or constant exhortations by pumped-up white males to "Bring it". ::wince::
I need to think on it more. What it comes down to is the usual conundrum: I'd like to keep the Pros and kill the Cons. Hm, how about a shorter list to look at later, then?
- Awesome workout overall; definitely working all the muscles
- I like the workout-first-thing-in-the-am thing
- Doing P90X has a Cool Factor socially
- The "programness" of it helps keep one doing it
- Takes too much time
- Requires too much sleep (at least so far), and an annoying (but not awful) amount of calories
- DVDs are annoying, both in content and format
- Something about it is too hard on my knees, not sure what
- Heavy use of Yoga
- Forums and such are useless; I find most of the people who do this stuff irritating ;)
September 26, 2011 1 Comment
Today's a day for titles pulled out of random things the TV is saying in the background. Underneath that information-rich skin, though, it's just the three-week P90X update — sorry if that's disappointing. ;)
So. When I lost weight using the 6x 200-calorie meals / day "Polyphasic Diet", it took about 5 weeks to really start showing. It was pretty easy to maintain by that point, but whew, I remember about three weeks in thinking, "This is just impossible."
And tomorrow will be the last day of week 3 of P90X. Next week I'll be 1/3 through, but the chunks go [(3 identical weeks + 1 different week) x 3], so it does feel like the end of this week is accomplishing something.
But of course, it's still week three. I don't really see much difference*, and man, I'm missing the time and effort this is all costing.
Fortunately, many things have taught me not to quit at week three, probably most of all polyphasic sleep itself, which is really easy to quit at about week 3 if you're not careful…The early exhaustion can be gotten through with guts alone, but the following couple weeks of time and effort to work it into one's lifestyle fully are, I would argue, sometimes even more exhausting than zombie-mode.
*It's not that I see no difference — actually my arms and stomach are minimally, but noticeably, tighter, and my shoulders and legs are definitely on the muscliest side of normal for me. But it's not really a motivating difference.
I had prepared a bit for this, though that preparation came in the form of just plugging along, in a sense. But I've made sure to let my days of success (which has been all but a few of them) accumulate weight that lends more legitimacy to my fitness as an ongoing enterprise, deserving of effort and investment**. As such, my awesome workout clothes (all sale items, thank goodness) should be here any day, and my giant box of awesome Builder's Bars got here yesterday. I'm also perfecting chocolate milk — improvements include a few trials of protein powder and an upgrade (definitely upgrade) to soymilk. These little advances function not just for making things easier as they go forward, but also as gifts — achievement rewards, to the MMO-acquainted — to help motivate me forward.
**I would like to make it less of an effort and investment than it is now, don't get me wrong. But changing takes a lot of effort itself, and once you've gotten past that part, you can work on making things more efficient. I'm still holding out hope that I can try getting my polyphasic schedule back during the remaining 9 weeks of P90X, but if not, I'll focus on finding a maintenance workout to follow P90X with that takes less time and isn't so intense that I can't go back to Everyman. (Yeah, going back to Everyman is not optional; I miss it crazy bad.)
The diet goes well too, though hitting the protein/carb balance they want for the first three weeks (50%/20%) is haaaarrrd, and there've definitely been days that I was off by a bit. Having too many carbs vs. protein will make the "slimming down" part go slower (or possibly just not work I guess, though I should be/probably am losing fat just from burning extra calories and building muscle too — and I had minimal extra fat anyway), but that's not my biggest worry. I like being on the thin side, sure, but I'm also old enough now to not care so much — I've shaken off the ad industry's insistence that thin is (and only is) beautiful, thank goodness. I do find health beautiful, but I can feel totally gorgeous with a little plump on me, no problem. (And personally speaking, I dig curvy women — I'm too small to be a proper one myself, but healthily plump hourglassy women are my favorites to look at for sure.)
Also, slipping in a totally unrelated thing at the end…I've written some new verses to an old song, and am considering the rather typical YouTubeing of myself singing a song. Interesting idea? Or just stupid? Your opinions matter, Internet, even if only to this one lowly IP address!
Peaceful yet Interesting Times,
September 24, 2011 5 Comments
So, if I haven't said so already, it's a hard, hard thing to ask yourself to slide right out of bed, exercise to the point of panting sweat-dripping exhaustion for 1 – 1.5 hours, leap in and out of the shower, guzzle a recovery drink and run to work, every single day (except the weekends when you can be slower about the shower).
I'm actually amazed at how not-hard it can be, how automatic the habit becomes and how I can actually roll out of bed and be starting up the video before I've really had a chance to second-guess.
But that doesn't negate how hard it can be, either. Especially when I think about my 4am mornings, with time for coffee and breakfast and writing and a nap and heck, if there was a clothing emergency I had time to do a whole load of laundry! MAN I miss my 4ams.
But this is good, too. Getting some good exercise first thing in the a.m. makes for a spectacular day in a lot of ways. And it's working — I feel a bit stronger already! But though I got through the first 2 weeks without missing a day, this week that hardness caught up with me some.
Some of it is other exercise. I have kungfu on Monday mornings and it's pretty brutal. The first two weeks, I did both workouts back-to-back, and I survived it, but was barely functional the rest of the day, really. This week I skipped Monday's P90X workout to just do kungfu. (For one thing, I was still significantly sore from the day before, and was a little worried about hurting myself!)
Part of it is the stupid being a girl thing. OK, ok, I shouldn't deride Nature for her miraculous processes, but getting handed a whole week once a month when you get to feel sub-par, tired, achy and gross is hardly a gift from the recipient's end, miracle though it may be to an objective observer. "Ugggh I feel tired, achy and gross" does not marry well with "Up! Run! Exercise! Then go fast fast fast to work!". I missed half of yesterday to that, to feeling just too icky to pull it all off, so I did half of the scheduled morning workout and left a little more time for the shower.
And part of it is just life getting too uppity on you. Today I still feel gross, and moreover I really wanted more sleep than I got — I hit snooze enough times without thinking about it that I would have had to really hustle to pull this morning off…but I was ready to. Until I walked to my workout area and my foot went splish, and I realized that my entire workout space is literally festooned with cat vomit. Cat vomit which is on a hard floor (thank goodness I put my mat away yesterday!), so I can either clean it up later when it's dried a bit, or slop through now, while it's soaking and stinky.
Hmm. Tired, achy, gross morning. Even more short on time than usual. And…cat vomit. Lots and lots of cat vomit.
Nope! Turns out that's my limit. I'm making head-plans to get my workout tonight instead, but I have no idea if that'll work, so for the moment I'm figuring I'll have skipped a day. Crap!
September 21, 2011 Comments Off
(Day 10.) So besides the mad exercise, it's also week 2 of the Mad High-Protein Diet now. That's going pretty well…I'm sure I'm overshooting the carbs a little, and I should be eating more vegetables (always), but so far so good.
- A small glass of chocolate milk is a surprisingly satisfying breakfast. It's my recovery/after workout drink (I've talked about that already), but since I work out first thing in the a.m. and then go to work, I usually don't eat again until lunch, and surprisingly I'm experiencing less before-lunch hunger doing that than I was eating two pieces of toast (granted, earlier in the a.m., but without the exercise). Odd, but nifty.
- I'm getting sick of tuna. And I like tuna!
- I am, however, becoming a big fan of turkey jerky. And I like Trader Joe's chocolate-flavored protein powder too, though combined with my third-grade-jealousy-worthy recovery/breakfast drinks, I'm starting to feel like I live on chocolate milk. (And meat.) I may switch to soy-or-something-else milk for one of them to reduce my dairy intake, but since my body is generally dairy-friendly and those two glasses of milk are all I get on this diet, that may be fine the way it is too.
- This is not a diet for vegetarians. I mean, I'm sure it's possible, but it's hard enough for me and I've always been heavy on the carnivore side. I think vegetarians couldn't eat anything but protein powder?? OK, but they'd do a better job getting more vegetables than I do, granted.
- I'm using the Dots for calorie-counting, but I figured out how to make them a little less conspicuous: Bracelet Dots! They generally stick around a day or two, so there's a sort of half-faded bracelet of them when they go all the way. (1 dot = 100 kcal, by the way. The pic was taken of the first set, when I got the idea, so you can't really see the bracelet effect, but it's working nicely.) I'm aiming for 1800 cal/day to support the workouts; I usually hit between 1600 and 1800. It feels like a lot, since my usual is 1400, but then again, it's a lot of exercise too. ;)
September 14, 2011 5 Comments
Day 6 done! The Kenpo workout is actually pretty fun; I'm not much on karate for martial art purposes, but it does make fun exercise, I'll give it that. Plus it'll be easy enough to modify the workout to use kungfu-style punches and kicks, once I get better at it, yeah? That would be 4w3s0m3.
(I'm not as hugely into l33t as I used to be — like most people, I grew out of the 90's eventually — but I've always appreciated 4w3s0m3 for being such a cool balance of alphas and numerics.)
The Universe also dropped the opportunity for a five-mile hilly bike-ride yesterday, and of course I took it (especially since that cold made me miss Underwater Hockey — by the way though, the cold went 95% away after a day! Woot!). And yesterday was Legs & Pullups* day, so that was 5 miles on top of an hour of lunges and squats in the morning. Oh yes. My rear end is so sore today, ladies and gentlemen, that I have to sit with a pillow.
Actually I pretty much feel like hamburger all over at this point…well, actually my abs are ok today, but they were wrecked last night (Legs & Pullups* comes with a bonus 15 min of stab-me-in-the-stomach-please-it-would-be-kinder, as do two other workouts every week).
Notably, my knees also seem OK, though I should get better about taking the glucosamine/chondroitin supplement I bought, just in case. (Note for those who, like me, hate pills: Emergen-C makes a Joint Support packet!)
Anyway, tomorrow is stretching, which I'm sure will also be epic. But as I could really use an epic stretch, and possibly a meat-tenderizer, that's great by me.
One other cool thing I'm noticing: A workout like this functions as a good anchor for one's routine. Getting up every morning and exercising for what amounts to two hours (once you factor in getting ready, showering after, all that) threw everything else into a new orbit, but as it all settles there I get to tweak things, and the workout helps keep them where I put them. Pretty rad.
On the downside, I now sleep about twice as much as I did, which means that the two-hour workout is actually costing me six. I made the decision to do it knowing that, though, and my plan once I finish the 90-day program is to switch to something shorter (there are plenty of maintenance programs that are like 20 minutes a day) and get my polyphasic schedule back. I'm OK with not having it for a time while I tackle a specific big project (like getting that honest-to-awesome athlete's body I've always wanted), but I want it back as soon as that's feasible.
Anyway, on that note, I should take this writing time while I've got it…!
*Psssh hell no I can't do pullups. Yet. I also can't hang a pullup bar in this apartment anyway, so that works out. The program has options for using bands to simulate pull-ups until you can do real ones, so that's what I'm doing for now. ::fistbumps for anyone out there who can actually do pull-ups!::
September 10, 2011 Comments Off
- So I got a cold. A stupid sneezy cold. It's the first cold I've had after almost two years of complete sick-free-ness! And when do I get it? Four days into being monophasic.
I'm just sayin'. ;)
- I've forgotten to mention the P90X "nutrition plan" — that's going very well, actually. Not super-easy, and I don't have the kind of life that I can organize every tiny piece of what I eat to meet strict requirements, but I've made a major change and stuck as close to the suggested balance of nutrients as I can. I feel pretty great, um, other than the cold. Heh.
Also, my girl types at me in IM and we invent words together (she makes word salad and I pick out the good stuff). Today we came up with fuerguw and trigoe and yurygurt and my favorite invented-Chinese name yet: feg fu wei. <3
September 8, 2011 Comments Off