Baseline

I did the baseline for my fitness test today. And I was rather at my worst. It hadn’t been long enough since I had eaten, so the running portions had me wondering all throughout them if I weren’t going to hurl on the street. I started menstruating right in the middle of it all, and had to use the bathroom quickly during one of the rest times – talk about being exhausted on the first place, with all the menstruation prep that’s been going on in my body. It was mid-afternoon in Houston, Tx, right near the start of summer – temperature was 86°F with a feels like of 93°F. Plus, the entire running section had almost no coverage at all from the sun, so I was running on bright concrete in full, blazing, direct sunlight. Talk about hot. And then, I had some measuring difficulties with both runs, thinking I had reached the end of the run, then suddenly realizing I hadn’t, and having to jump back into the run to finish it. That added annoying time to both runs, which are judged by their times, by the way.

So, I was miserably tired, undigested, out in the stupid afternoon humid heat of Houston, and I messed up my measurements twice, adding time to my runs. Plus, I had an improved setup for the sit-ups, but I only have 15lb dumbbells, and, though they helped significantly in helping hold my feet in place, they moved around a whole lot more than a human’s knees and hands pinning down my feet would have done.

And yet… I still only had the push-ups as my one area that didn’t pass the test. And that already was 100% expected to be an area that didn’t pass. But all the other areas, despite my being at my worst, still passed! And, if I had gotten the bare minimum requirement for the push-ups, my scores were high enough that I would have passed the entire test.

And so, my training began this evening for my push-up preparations. I obtained coaching from the gym owner on Saturday, as to how to proceed regarding my terrible push-ups abilities. And I put those plans into action today. I need to be able to do 20 push-ups comfortably for me to be satisfied for this test, but I technically only need to move up from ten to 14 as my baseline. Nonetheless, that’s a 40% increase. And my goal is actually a 100% increase… but I know I can make it happen. The only question is a matter of how long it will take.

Also, separately, now that I have these specific fitness goals towards which to work now…, what are my financial gain goals towards which to work right now? Because those have an absolute max of three more weeks to get sorted for, at least, the next four months.

Post-a-day 2021

Training

Just because I’m reading David Goggins’s stories of doing intense physical training, I have found myself feeling like I were doing intense physical training.

But I’m totally not.

Right?

Sure, I’m doing the workouts at the gym 4-5 days a week, weekdays at 5:15am, Saturdays at the 10:00 class (because there isn’t one like it earlier). But that’s it, right? I guess I am training for Murph for Memorial Day. That’s usually once or twice a week. It is actually a rather intense run with a weighted vest, where I do between two and four and a half miles. I end up sore for days afterward, every time I run, and almost all over my body. I’m at the ten pounds now, and am considering finding a way to get it to 16.4 before the end of the month, even though the weights don’t come in increments to allow that very easily.

But that might just need to wait for next year. I am into this Goggins approach, but only to a degree. I want to take care of my body more than I want to push it at far as it can go. The 40% Rule is great, and I’d love to increase myself to 50 or 60% more often, but, more than that, I want to increase significantly what my 40% is in the first place. I want my 40% to be what my 100% would have been in the past. I like to be strategically smart and safe. I will get things done, but I always will be strategic and safe about doing so.

On that note, I must sleep, as the gym awaits me early in the morning.

May the fourth be with you all. 😉

Post-a-day 2021

Back on the log*

I stayed in bed – with possibly six bathroom breaks (number one only) – from 7:45pm to about 6:45am this morning. My sleep was fitful. I did my feel entirely rested when I got up. However, my bowels functioned somewhat normally, and without any pains, and that was a total win.

I still felt slow, my lower belly and lower right edge were still uncomfortable (but not in pain), and I was somehow a bit clumsy, but I felt significantly improved overall. It still took effort to talk, but a whole lot more came out, whenever I did attempt speaking, and much sooner than it had taken every time yesterday. My mom noticed that part immediately when we finally spoke later in the morning.

I wasn’t sure how the day would progress, and was worried I might have to be home and, possibly, in bed most of the day. By nine o’clock, I had determined that I likely would go in to work. It was only for three hours today, and the prospect of being at home all alone, especially with the discomfort and all, was not a delightful one. So, I took a fitful nap, after eating some, and then got up and went in. I was slow-moving still, with a light sensation of my guts being as of yet undetermined as to when they might escape my body and in which direction they might choose to do that escape.

I adjusted after a little while to being able to talk to people quite normally, and eventually was at almost full normalcy on that front. I was able to walk around a bit faster near the end, and even jogged back inside, when I discovered that I’d left my smoothie near-dregs in the fridge. That surprised me, even.

I did my grocery shopping, and headed home to change. Since late morning, I had been messaging a buddy from the gym about running together this afternoon/evening. He hadn’t replied to my inquiry yesterday (about running today), and I knew he probably had been out drinking.

Turns out that he had arrived home around 3:30am last night/this morning. I told him that 13+ hours was plenty of recovery time, and that, though he claimed he felt like he was dying, I had almost ended up in Urgent Care, and so he and I could die together – it would be better to die in good company than all alone, after all.

He allowed that we could make it work, assuming he didn’t feel quite so terrible by the evening. We agreed that we would be in touch after I finished grocery shopping in the afternoon.

By the time, however, that he responded to my messages in the afternoon, he told me that he was out drinking… right then. Can we get a facepalm, please?? ;P

I considered running to the bar to meet him, partly for getting back at him for leaving me hanging, and partly for my desire not to be left alone with whatever was going on in my belly. It was gorgeous outside, and I knew it was an outdoor patio kind of place, only a 5k from my house. However, he was actually doing some one-on-one time with a friend from out of town, and so I did not do that.

(Okay, but when was he planning to run with me, if he had the friend in all weekend, anyway?? Either he’s a sneaky liar or wasn’t thinking, I dare say.)

And so, I went running in my own. What had intended to be a short little run, maybe two miles at most (plus a .05 as stretch beyond the goal), and at a slower, we-are-ill pace, turned out to be a full-on ladder run – with the 10lb vest, recall – that ended up being the third-fastest 5k I have ever done. Period. That means without any weighted vest for those fastest times. And I did my third-fastest with a 10lb vest on me, wondering the whole time if I might hurl or just sh** my pants at any given moment.

That is some other-world Goggins stuff right there.* Nearly end up in a hospital in the morning, have a panic attack, work out late morning, nearly fall apart trying to work in the afternoon, so go home and get ready for bed at 4:45pm. Sleep forever, wake up still sick, go to work again anyway, and then do one of the hardest and most successful runs of my life, considering if and when I might need to crap or vomit on the side of the road somewhere. (I actually did come very close to vomiting right after I set out!)

So, yeah… what a day…

*If you don’t get the references, read David Goggins’s book, Can’t Hurt Me.

Post-a-day 2021

Because…

It is 00:16; much too late for me still to be awake. But I am staying at my aunt’s house for a visit. My scheduled run was pushed back first by a ‘need’ to start the cooking process of crawfish, and then by the arrival of more extended family. So, I had to eat first, and then let the food settle, wait for the family to leave, and then go running.

My cousin, who rode a bicycle beside me, and I set out at 9:21pm. That’s past my usual bedtime. Add onto it that I was running with another 2.5 pounds in the vest today (tonight, I suppose, really), for a total of ten pounds in it. I had intended only to run a mile and be done for the night.

But my cousin and I have something in common: we both know a lot about David Goggins. It had come up yesterday, and we nerded out a bit together. It has come up several times since, both as conversation and as comedic comments. (e.g.’What’s the active ingredient in that medicine?’ asks my cousin, referencing an allergy medicine that was just declared unreal regarding how effective it was. I answered casually, ‘David Goggins’s blood. It has magical healing powers.’)

And so, while out, I determine that I will do the full half of the ladder, from running five, off one, down to the run one, off one, and be done.

As I grow close to the end of that half ladder, I notice myself being very tired and wanting to be done. I have the option to turn left and probably end up back at the house right at the end of the half ladder, or go straight and have to walk a lot extra at the end to get back to the house…., but also have the option to finish the ladder, should I do choose.

I continued straight, just in case, and mostly because I so desperately wanted to turn left – I was feeling tired (but not bad by any means).

As I reached the near end of the half ladder, I asked my cousin, who was semi-drunk swerving alongside me (swerving intentionally to keep pace with me, not because he was too drunk to go straight – he just also happened to be drunk) if I was doing the whole ladder. He merely responded, “Are you?”

I replied that, well, with David Goggins being so prevalent this weekend, I kind of feel like I have to do the whole thing.

And so I did. At some point, as we discussed how silly it all was, my having reached a point of things being already half-digested for my morning BM (which is just after four most every day, remember) that they were started to shake heavily down low, calmly demanding a bathroom break when I had about eleven minutes remaining in the ladder, my cousin commented, in response to a why? inquiry, “Because F***ing Goggins!”

It immediately reminded me of the phrase, “Because F***ing Japan,” which I learned to use while living there. This new one was quite the different experience, but a similar sentiment – absurdity. Why is this utterly ridiculous thing happening? Because f***ing fill-in-the-blank!

And so, we now have the phrase, “Because f***ing Goggins.”

I hope he would be honored to know this, as it is an honor. Extreme respect for him and for his beautiful influence via insight.

Post-a-day 2021

A day of rest

My weighted vest arrived yesterday. I went to bed last night, considering that I actually might not be going to the workout this morning, but still leaning more towards going. When I awoke this morning, around two hours before my alarm, I was almost certain I would not be going to the workout. I felt terrible, utterly exhausted. When my alarm later sounded, it was confirmed: I was going back to bed, because I needed some serious rest. I slept an extra three and a half hours before waking for real. I didn’t actually get up until another half hour later, listening to an audiobook as I lay curled on my side under the comforter, eyes closed.

I eventually got up and made breakfast, though. After eating, I went and unpacked the vest with delight. I was super excited. As soon as I unpacked it, I put it on and wore it around the house for a while. It was certainly heavy, and would take some major adjusting, if ever I were intending to run two miles with this thing. I’m still not sure that I’ll ever do it, but I’m not giving up the idea so easily. Slow and steady, were my thoughts. We still have time.

By 10:00, I was barely staying awake, however, and so I lay down comfortably on the floor… and passed out… hard. I woke only once, and fell right back asleep, adding yet another additional three hours to my sleep tank for the day. I really was wiped, I thought. I had needed this day of rest, for more than just resting my muscles – so much of me was tired. Last week and the weekend and start of this week had been, well, a lot. And being behind on sleep with all of that only made things harder, both then and now.

And so I truly rested today, swapping between a new book on the kindle – got the notification this morning that it was now available from the library! – and the audiobook on my phone (also from the library, of course), and even spent close to an hour just stretching while reading, and half an hour swinging on the front porch, despite the heat and humidity (once the mosquitos arrived, however, I was done sitting out there).

Around 5:00pm, I was unsure as to what to do. I had rested much today, but didn’t want to rest too much. I also didn’t want to exert myself when I actually just needed rest. But I could feel it within myself that I needed to move. Not intensely or hard, but truly to move. So, I donned the weighted vest, though only with 10lbs now, instead fo 20, and went on a long walk. Two and a half miles in the heat, I walked at a mostly brisk pace, experiencing moving with the vest on me. It was simultaneously rough and easy.

Now, it is 9:00pm, and I can hardly stand up, I am so sleepy and tired. Therefore, I bid you all a wonderful night. 😉

P.S. Tomorrow is my anniversary of first beginning as a member at the gym. I had reached 55 workouts so far this calendar year yesterday, and so was comfortable not going today. Last year, at this point, I had done only 51 workouts. I still considered going at noon or in the afternoon today, just to round out the year’s total, but my body went into sleep mode for the noon class, and was too exhausted to fathom doing such work by late afternoon.

Post-a-day 2021

Mardi Gras Fun (Run)

As expected, after my much-needed rest, I was quite willing and able to greet the freezing cold day today. We added on a little extra time to our sleeping, because we were getting to bed so late, and we showed up at the run just before it was supposed to start – only two minutes before packet pick up was scheduled to end, and 17 minutes before the run was to start.

And it was a blast. There were not very many people there – perhaps around 50, and just as many people who did not show up, probably because of the cold. However, that added significantly to the charm of the event and the experience. It made it feel even more like a close-knit family fun event, even though we didn’t know anybody else there. (Although, as it turned out, we did know one of the photographers! I told him that I would love to do volunteer work with him on photography… We shall see what happens there. Fingers crossed!)

For what I believe was the first – and will quite possibly will be the only – Time in my life, I won first place in my age group. That was really exciting. My mom got second place in her age group. I had told her that I had intended to run the whole thing, and not do it with her, mostly walking and running some. However, she somehow thought that I had changed my mind, and was going to stay with her the whole time. So, when it was my turn to start, and I took off running, she called out to me, with obvious slight annoyance at having been left behind. She wasn’t mad, but she was surprised, and it was actually rather funny. After I finished my 5K, though, as my cooldown, I went and joined her on the course, and I finished her 5K with her. So, we got to spend extra time together on the 5K after all.

After the little awards ceremony, we went back to our little motel and took extremely hot and awesome showers, bundled all up again in clean clothes, and headed out to attend the local Mardi Gras parade. It, too, was a total blast, with close-knit family vibes. I also believe that we each got more beads than we have ever gotten at any Mardi Gras event we have ever attended. We were at the very beginning of the parade, all on our own except for one woman and the emergency workers who were waiting for the end of the parade. We were the first attendees that anybody on a float was getting to see after pulling out onto the road, so just about everyone, with extreme excitement, threw an unnecessary number of beads our way. And it was only a 30-minute parade… from the very first vehicle to the very last, it was only 29 minutes. Then, because we had gone all the way to the start, we were able to leave immediately, and not wait for the parade to reach its end destination. So, we headed to the ferry to go across to Galveston Island, and had breakfast at a spot that we like. (We had a bit of a double-take upon arrival to the restaurant, because there was a whole slew of Mardi-Gras-decorated jeeps, just like had been in the parade on Bolivar. Turns out it was a group doing a Mardi Gras pub-crawl-type-thing with all of their decorated jeeps.)

Then we headed home, I did some preparation for our intense freeze that is coming tomorrow night onward, I went to work, I got to go home early from work, I did a little more preparation for the freeze, and now I am about to pass out hard core. It was a wonderful day, I reached my ideal step goal for a day, I had a great time with my mom, and I am super grateful that my bedroom is warm enough for me to sleep in it tonight. We shall see what happens tomorrow, though. Fingers super crossed that all goes well around that.

Post-a-day 2021

^ It wasn’t too bad this time. I mostly remembered.

Beyond bedtime

Stressed, worried, exhausted. My mom’s energy and enthusiasm for discussing continuously unnecessary details long before they are relevant hasn’t helped. Also, she keeps talking to me, which is the only reason I’m still not in bed, sleeping, despite my efforts to finish my tasks and go to bed over the past THREE AND A HALF hours… I did not finish all my reading scheduled for the day, despite having the time. We did not play a card game with my Vietnamese playing cards. She just kept doing stuff that felt far too irrelevant for the time, yet kept me from accomplishing what I wanted to accomplish.

I know she’s excited and into it all. But I couldn’t not have been in clearer communication about my exhaustion and my intentions for this evening. So, it’s a bit extra frustrating.

Right now, I just want to sleep and then go home whenever I get up. I hope I enjoy the run instead, and then go home. But I’m worried she won’t want to leave, when I’ll be beyond ready to go home… we shall see what happens. Perhaps I will feel much better by morning.

Post-a-day 2021

^ Barely got it… also, happy lunar new year!

Yikes

When did I turn into such an old person? When the schedule was Finally released for the week ending with February 13, I was utterly annoyed and frustrated that, not only was I scheduled to work until 9pm one night and 9:45pm another night, but I was schedule to work those two back-to-back.

And I’m still annoyed about it, but that was almost half an hour ago, now. Who gets so upset about having to be out of the house so late? And on a Friday and Saturday, nonetheless?

In case there was doubt before, I believe this shows with significant support that I am like an old person with my sleep schedule and evening habits. Getting home after 7pm bothers me already. I wake up around 4:30am every day, and that’s without an alarm. When I get home after 7pm, I don’t manage to get everything done to get to bed until at least 9:00. And that’s if I hurry. So, working until 9pm means that I won’t be getting to bed until close to midnight. My mom wanted to do a fun run that next morning on Bolivar peninsula, by Galveston Island. Harms an hour and a half away from me. Do you think I want to do that run now?

What’s most frustrating, though, is that I was available to work the whole rest of the week, all day, any day. Yet, I was scheduled for the one time that truly mattered – late the night before the run.

So, now I can’t do the run. It just would be far too stressful for me. We already were considering strongly staying the night down there, simply because all public bathrooms are still closed up. If we did that, I wouldn’t get to bed until probably close to 1:30am, only to be up to run at 8:00am (meaning out of bed around 6:30, most likely).

Ugh.

Let me sit with this and see how I feel.

Ugh!

(Obviously, I know how I feel right now. I mean to see how I feel after the initial anger and surprise have subsided.)

Post-a-day 2021

^Well, I did get that right tonight, so that’s fun

Ever the procrastinator?

Well, I have four days remaining in a 100-day challenge to go 100 miles of cardio activity. It could be swimming, running, walking, cycling, rollerblading, etc. in any combination, just so long as it is 100 miles achieved in 100 days.

I started out strong, and was determined to have all my miles be from running. But then I had that fall that one ridiculous Friday evening, and my running (and general walking for a while at first) plans were ruined. I had hoped that I would be able to start running much sooner than I was able, but the bruised bones really pushed that back for me. I can run mostly okay now, but have to be careful with the cold weather, as it makes the pain show itself in my knee.

However, that all being said, I had accepted conceptually that I would not be able to run my whole hundred, based on my body’s situation after that fall. I had begun walking with my mom on occasion, and counted that toward my hundred. But my subconscious somehow missed the part where I needed actually to start these other cardio activities of my own. I kept just thinking I would do the whole thing running, when I was able to run again, and the only walking I did was once a week, give or take, with my mom. I wasn’t able to start running for real until just a few weeks ago… at which point I wasn’t anywhere near half of the way on those hundred miles. Even as of this week, I wasn’t half way through the hundred.

So, despite my efforts to be ahead of the game here, I ended up doing the bulk of effort right at the end of the whole thing.

But it has been nice, actually. I rode my bicycle around, looking at Christmas lights last night for an hour and a half-ish in the cold, and it was lovely. And I got ten plus miles out of that ride. The other night and tonight, I hung out with my mom at the office where she works, and I used the elliptical-type machine to get some run-walks in not out in the cold. And, this morning, my dad called me and invited me to go to a casual spin class with him at the Y, so I could get some more bicycle mileage in without having to ride outside in the cold.(Actually, I’m not sure how that will be, masks and digital class and all, but it will be nice to be doing it with my dad, and that’s the point of tomorrow’s plan anyway.)

So, fingers crossed that I manage this all appropriately in the next couple days, and I am able to turn in my sheet for the challenge, fully completed!

Post-a-day 2020

Running trauma

I ran again today, and much farther than the other two times from this past weekend. It is really cool to be able to run again. I am grateful and relieved. However, I have noticed that I definitely received some trauma from my fall six weeks ago (September 25th, y’all). When I run, I have a slight panic in my space, and I eye the ground with trepidation. It we better today than Sunday, and that was better than Friday. However, it is definitely there, that emotional and slight psychological trauma from such an intense and unreal fall and injury. I was actually scared to run on Friday, as soon as I started out. I took it easy and went slowly, but that wasn’t just to be gentle with my knees. I was scared. I eventually laughed at the point I found myself contemplating what running safety would or could be, because I knew I wasn’t going to wear it and I also knew that it would be ridiculous. (Basically, I imagined myself running in what I wear to ride my motorcycle, helmet and face mask and all, and I cracked up in delight as such an absurd idea. That helped with my fear somewhat, though it didn’t heal it.

Today, I was still scared when running, but the repeated activity was always becoming more casual and passive mentally, so my brain was able to relax some more for the run. It was a good time today.

Post-a-day 2020