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About Kes

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  • Birthday 07/13/1981

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    Massachusetts, USA
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  1. Kes

    Kes Comes Back

    Schoolwork probably causes me the most stress. At this point, doing my job is kind of old hat and I'm pretty efficient at getting my work done for my job. But schoolwork...it's new material, doing essays and such don't always show clear progress, and I explicitly have people judging me. Three more miles today, nice and slow pace. It almost felt like a chore, though, so I'm glad that I'm not doing runs tomorrow or Wednesday. Got some real progress done on schoolwork, too.
  2. Kes

    Kes Comes Back

    Did 2.5 miles this morning at a track. The first .75 was warm-up at conversation/training speed, then I did sprint splits where I sprinted the first 100m and then ran the remaining 300m at training pace for 1.25 miles, then did a .5 mile cool-down. I felt pretty good afterward, though I was tired for a bit about an hour or two afterward. I recently bought a blender for smoothies, and so have been good about making those before I run and drinking them afterward, so I'm not getting as fatigued after running as I used to. I did my minimum daily requirement of homework, but I'm going to try to get more done. I'm working on one of those papers where, when I start to get into it, I begin realizing that my thesis is too shallow and there are other points I want to make and that there's another way of analyzing the source material I want to include and and and, and then everything falls apart and I have to start over. I realize this is my process, so I don't get too disheartened because the final product is better for it. But ugggggh.
  3. Welcome! Feel free to ask any questions. Do you have any preliminary goals you're thinking about setting for yourself?
  4. Kes

    Kes Comes Back

    Running: 5.5/35 Strength-training: 0/12 Homeworking: 2/28
  5. Kes

    Kes Comes Back

    I haven't been on NerdFitness in about 10 months or so. A pinched nerve and lingering discomfort in my shoulder prompted me to go to physical therapy, which pretty much derailed me from NerdFitness completely. Now I'm back and ready to get back into it. For what it's worth, physical therapy was awesome. It turned out there was nothing really wrong with me - I had locked up all the trigger points in my back from muscle imbalances, which were caused by inadequate core strength, which was in turn caused by diastasis recti from a pregnancy 7 years prior that had never fully knit back together. I learned so much from physical therapy which I wish I had learned from physical education over the years. So if anybody's been floating the idea of going to a physical therapist for some lingering issue or other, I highly recommend it. I've been running and intermittently doing body-weight exercises, but at the same time my plate is full with full-time work and full-time school and full-time single parenting. So I mostly want to keep this challenge as an incentive for me to keep doing what I'm doing, and maybe get that little extra push to do more, as this challenge will end just about the same time the semester does. I am shamelessly asking for encouragement. Run: 35 total miles over 4 weeks Bodyweight or Freeweight Training: 12x over 4 weeks Adulting: 15 minutes of school work per day
  6. Thanks, but you should be warned that I'm usually not that creative. Most of the time when I post in this thread I don't even bother with complete sentences. I agree. Back when I was their age I'd walk through swampy muck and enjoy myself! (both ways up hill, in the snow.... *shakes cane*) Yeah, that might be a workable option. I've only noticed dumbbells up to 50 lbs at the fitness center, but I'll look through their stacks. I'm working my way through Pimsleur's long course in my car. What CD is it? If you're sure you'll never ever ever use it and don't know anybody else who would, I might be tempted. --- I am disappoint. I think I've mentioned that I've been having this irritating pain in my shoulders occasionally when I run or do a lot of push-ups. It isn't all the time, and it isn't a horrible debilitating pain, just a throbbing, distracting ache accompanied by a morbid sense that something is happening in my shoulders which isn't supposed to be happening. At first I told myself that maybe it was a strange, unfamiliar muscle soreness from muscles that didn't get a lot of use, so I tried to ignore it. Then I thought, "Okay, maybe I'm creating a muscle imbalance - too many push-ups, not enough pull-ups?" So I tried altering my training routine a bit. I finally was persuaded to go to a physical therapist and just get it looked at. I give that advice to everybody else, but I never take it. This time I did, and ... whew. Apparently I've got hypermobility in my joints. The PT is bending my arms this way and that, giving me weird looks, and finally asks me, "Can you bend over and put your hands flat on the ground?" Yes, of course I can, with my elbows still bent. This is unusual? The hypermobility isn't so bad that it's a real problem, but she says that people with hypermobility tend to have problems with joint stabilization and so I'll need to specifically focus on strengthening my joint stabilization muscles. All of a sudden my constant sense in training that my joints were the weakest link in my chain makes sense. How did I get to be 34 years old and not know this about myself?! I spared a few moments on the drive home indulging in some frustration about the completely useless crap I was taught in physical education classes in school. Mostly, though, I'm just glad I found out about this before I ended up with a serious injury. I have a bunch of exercises that I need to do to strengthen my rotator cuffs. That's where we're going to start, since that's where my current pain is, but I'll need to consider this for other joints, as well. In the meantime, I'm not supposed to do any exercises which involve my arms or elbows being pushed back to or behind my shoulder and having to exert forward force. That mostly rules out push-ups, it means being very careful about bench presses. It also probably rules out the kata. And I absolutely am not supposed to do any running. ... ... Okay, then. Accepting, moving on, thinking about how to revise the challenge.
  7. So, we did end up going on a "hike" yesterday, in one of the National Parks along the Potomac. This particular one is an island in the river with lots of tidal swamps. About a mile along our trek the girls saw a parallel trail down a ravine and through the trees that had a boardwalk through a particularly swampy area. Getting to the boardwalk via trails would have entailed going far out of our way, so they proposed cutting through the swamp. Were they sure? Yes, they were absolutely sure. Ten feet in my younger daughter stepped in mud up to her ankle and got her shoe stuck in. The shoe was recovered without difficulty, but their mood quickly was shifting south. No longer up on the ravine, they couldn't see the boardwalk any longer. "We're lost!" they cried, convinced their foolish mother had led them into the middle of a dangerous no-man's-land. Suddenly the tufts of swamp grass were almost certainly hosting poisonous snakes and piranha, inexplicably wintering over in northern Virginia. I picked up the younger one, but then another ten feet along the older one almost tripped and got a face-full of branch. That was her straw. "I want to go back!" "We're already muddy, we're not going back. It's not that far." "We're lost, and my shoes have mud, and they're heavy, and I can't move!" "You're fine, we're not lost, and you're moving right now. Keep walking." Finally the boardwalk was in sight, but between us and the boardwalk was a slow-moving expanse of ankle-deep water almost ten feet wide. I was still carrying the younger one (and her muddy shoe), as she sobbed into my back that we were never going to get home again. The older one was so dispirited that she just kept walking dejectedly forward, occasionally yelling at me that this was the worst day of her entire life, bar none. We trudged through the water, finally reaching the boardwalk. "You made us trudge for miles and miles through the swamp!" sobbed my older daughter, as my younger one cried that her sneakers were now completely ruined and that no, the washing machine would never be able to clean them. And that was our adventure, walking sixty feet through some mud and a small stream. So, I was doing lifting today. 5x5 60lb squats, and 5 80lbs deadlifts (I want to keep the weight relatively low until I'm comfortable with my form on this). Then there was the overhead press....what a mess today. 40 lbs doesn't feel challenging enough, but herein lies one major problem with using dumbbells: I either go up five pounds and lift uneven amounts (20 on one, 25 on the other) or I keep even amounts and go up 10 lbs in a go. I was experimenting today, and the uneven amounts just wreck my form to hell. I eventually decided on going up to 50 lbs, but doing sets of 3. I'll try to work up to sets of 4, then sets of 5 over time. The other problem with using dumbbells: I can squat with more weight than I can easily lift one-handed up to my shoulders. I'm having to do creative things like lift the dumbbells one at a time onto a high-perched bench and then squat down and slide them into position. Probably not the safest thing I could be doing, though. Any suggestions?
  8. I probably should've/could've. But I ended up getting involved enough in one of the projects that I actually worked a little late. -- Run day! We went to the fitness center, and it was just one of those mornings where the kids just wouldn't. get. along. They squabbled over who got to carry the water, who got to use the treadmill, then who got to use the stationary bike, etc. Soothing, cajoling, threatening with dire consequences ("Nobody wants a snack bar when we get home, then?"), ugh. Nothing worked. They had a bit of a rough week with me being out of town and then back again - a change in routine is always hard - so I'm trying to give them a little slack and just remember that they're stressed out. For next challenge, I better add "Achieve Enlightenment" to my list of goals. Treadmill run, 25 minutes and 2.75 miles. I varied the speed between around 7 and 10 minutes/mile, but no walking. I'm tired, but I think I'll feel okay after breakfast and a bit of rest. Busy day today - we need groceries, plus I grocery shop for a local transitional house most Saturdays, and I more-or-less promised the kids we'd go on a hike (though with them, "hike" mostly means, "We take a hilly walk for a few miles while I carry my day pack"). Somewhere in there I need to give them food, get some work done on an essay, and send off the car payment. Step one: get off the computer. Hope everybody's having a good weekend!
  9. Remember that muscle weighs more than fat. You may be subbing muscle for fat, which is a good thing! Checking inches around your waist, hips, and other locations on the body is a better indicator of overall BMI.
  10. Strength training today. 5x5 squats at 55 lbs, 5x5 dumbbell bench press at 45 lbs (and I can definitely increase that next time), 5x5 dumbbell rows at 65 lbs, and 3x15 weighted sit-ups (10lbs). It's the Friday before a long weekend, my boss isn't in, and all I have are (boring) long-term projects with no firm deadlines; the temptation to take some last minute leave and get things done around the house is terrible.
  11. The Russian language CD in the car is helping. It gives me a bit of review while I'm driving, but it also puts me in a mood to do more when I get home. So I'm optimistic that I'll get more into that habit, even if I'm going to have to start kicking it up a notch if I'm going to meet my goals for this challenge. I just need to stop getting discouraged by the gendering of every darn thing under the sun (I still cannot for the life of me hear the difference between a man saying, "I would like" and a woman saying, "I would like"). I practiced kata last night and again tonight. They're coming along. It feels good to be doing this more regularly again. I keep feeling as if there's some sort of mystical flow I should be tapping into to perfect circle blocks but, alas, they keep feeling awkward. Fifteen years, you'd think I'd've come to some sort of success with that (or at least a detente). Today was a run day, so the kids and I were at the track shortly after dawn. I did 1.5 miles (13 minutes) before they decided it was too cold and they wanted to head off to their before-school care. It wasn't as long as I'd been hoping for, but I also didn't feel tired afterward, so that's progress. About six months ago even a mile would fatigue me for most of the day.
  12. Strength training this morning. 5x5 squats with 55 lbs (and I think I might keep that weight for one more session), 5x5 overhead dumbbell presses at 40 lbs (which I definitely need to increase now), 3x5 lat pulldowns at setting 7 (again, whatever the hell that means), and three sets of push-ups (15, 10, and 10). I have that post-workout muscle tiredness in my legs and upper back that makes me think I might be a little sore later on.
  13. When it's really cold out, I wear mountaineering socks around the house. They stay on better and keep my feet warmer than slippers. As for food, there's the standard "make big batches ahead of time and freeze/store in individual portions for snacking or meal-time" advice. But in all honesty I don't know how many people who give that advice are actually taking it themselves.
  14. If you don't fail every now and then, it means you aren't challenging yourself enough. See how this week feels, and if it still seems too hard then adjust your goals accordingly.
  15. If you aren't getting enough rest time, it's hard to manage other things (especially exercise). Hang in there!
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