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Manarelle

Recovery and down time [Manarelle]

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Finished a rather lengthy, large project last week, and while there are still a few minor tweaks left to do, it leaves behind a large chunk of time and attention that is no longer spoken for. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that it's done, but there are a bunch of little things that I've been putting off and now should probably get sorted. So, new priorities:

 

State of the hobbies: 4 hobbies I allow myself and where the focus is.

  • Languages - French and Russian daily practice, R tutoring every other week. Try to memorize another song.
  • Exercise - Trying out alternating full-body workouts; give it a month before I re-evaluate and make any changes.
  • Crafting - Thor is overall finished; a few minor tweaks remain. Start on work pants/ jeans.
  • Learning - Finish the Russian governance class. 

 

Other to-do:

  • Returns/ donations (minor house clean involved) Done.
  • Dye skirt(s) Done.
  • Clean up the backyard (should be quick, now) Done, much faster. 
  • Make dr's appointments Done.
  • Break in cosplay shoes. Done. 

 

It feels like there should be more, but that's all I can think of right now. There are also some tasks that will come due once fall hits, but for the summer, I'm in pretty decent shape. Gonna actually give myself down time/ a mental break this time, and even out a couple things before diving into the next costume. This may be a boring challenge, after all the excitement last time.

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Downtime may be boring to read about,  but critical for maintaining sanity.   Here to follow along and see what you do with your downtime

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Strong agree with the folks above, but feel like, knowing you, you'll wind up filling the downtime pretty quickly. ;) 

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20 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Downtime may be boring to read about,  but critical for maintaining sanity.   Here to follow along and see what you do with your downtime

 

6 hours ago, raptron said:

Strong agree with the folks above, but feel like, knowing you, you'll wind up filling the downtime pretty quickly. ;) 

 

It's like you've seen this pattern before...

 

5 hours ago, analoggirl said:

:D Here for cheering on the recuperatiom & the languages (even if you do noy write about them). Get that active down time! 

 

Lol, thanks. I don't talk about the languages much, because at some point it just becomes "oh hey, I didn't have as much hesitation in looking for the right word" which is pretty boring. I haven 'em, I don't want to lose 'em, so I keep at 'em. Always happy to talk languages/ linguistics, though. 

 

So... glad I planned down time, because I got slapped in the face with some changes at work today. We're losing a project manager (dude who goes to construction sites to make sure things are being built properly, among other things), and I just learned we are not replacing him. Keep in mind, our "department" (Development) consists of dude who's leaving, an architect/project manager who's retiring to part-time in March next year, me, and the Senior VP. Technically, my job title is Assistant Admin, though that stopped being realistically accurate about 4 years ago. Apparently, the plan is to split his duties between the three of us, reduce development to 1 new site per year, and hand off the four planned building expansion projects to our Asset Management team (upkeep/ renovations, also only 3 people) because their workload is decreasing. 

 

I won't lie, my first reaction to changes that don't originate in my brain is skepticism and pointing out potential pitfalls, but I'm working on changing that. There are a lot of ways this can go horribly wrong, but I'm going to try to stay.... positive might be a stretch, but I'll be happy with open-minded and supportive. Just going to take my brain some time to adjust, and hey look at this, downtime to do it in. How fortuitous. 

 

On the up side, I got the doctors appointments scheduled today, and reserved a picnic shelter in a local state park for the wedding picnic - $138. Moving right along. 

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Well, since photobucket is being a [deleted] again, I'm trying something new. Let me know if the images don't show up for you, and I'll keep hunting. 

 

Week 0:

  • Languages: Yup
  • Exercise: ehhhh.... my back's being a jerk, haven't decided if I need to change things yet or work through it. 
  • Crafting: Nope
  • Learning: DANGIT. I almost finished a chapter, but then it wanted an essay, and I said I'd do it later... Didn't do it. Just did it.

Extras:

  • Returns/ donations gathered - too hot to leave the house today and turn them in.
  • Dye skirt(s) - done! See below.
  • Make Dr's appointments - done. 

I was a little unsure on the skirt thing, because the dye (and the internet) said you had to use a heat method to dye polyester, but the skirt tags said cold wash only. Took a chance with the beige skirt (left, below), and it turned out almost exactly like the original (center). It didn't seem to harm the elastic, fabric, size, or shape, so I dumped the rest of the dye in and make the blue one darker (right). They still need to be washed, but I can't do that while the gentleman is doing the real laundry, and since they're washed cold, I'm assuming they'll turn out acceptably. Needless to say, I'm quite pleased. 

 

IMG-20190629-163329.jpg

 

Haven't gotten into anything new yet, still tying up loose ends and waiting for the finances to recover from a dental implant that insurance lied about how much would be. Went to check on work pant fabric, and Joann's website says it's not available in store; haven't had time to stop by and see if that's true. If it is, it does delay the "quick get these projects done so you can start on something else" plan... though I'm not sure why my brain thinks work pants will be quick. I guess 10 hours feels like nothing compared to 176+. 

Edited by Manarelle
Finished week 3 class.
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4 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

The photos seems to be coming through (I could see the skirt one at any rate.  If there were others they didn't load for me) 

 

Just the skirts for now. It's been a kind of boring week. 

 

And yes, they came out of the wash just fine.

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Finally just asked for a form check at the gym last night and my suspicions are right - my squat form is off because I have crap ankle mobility and have to lean way forward in order to not fall backward. Adding ankle mobility stuff and bird dogs to PT nights to help that and... I don't know, should I replace squats with [I have no idea] until I fix that? Sigh. At least I know the problem and can work on fixing it though. 

 

Got incredibly lucky, and our office is closing early Wednesday and not opening on Friday, so hello very long weekend. Realized I subconsciously was trying to chase the thrill of finishing a big cosplay project, and getting antsy to start the next one, when I won't even be "officially" wearing the Thor outfit for 3.5 more months. Reeling in my expectations, then, and focusing on fine-tuning a few more things on Thor. I can start the next one after the con in October. For the long weekend, then, I'm hoping I can act like Friday is a "normal" work day and "work" on the boring projects then, rather than taking up a weekend day. 

 

Weekend to do goals list: 

  • Clean up back yard
  • Shorten Thor skirt
  • Break in Thor boots
  • Manhandle (distress) cape
  • Start work pants
  • Do one lesson in Russian law class

Thursday might be taken up hanging drywall at the gentleman's house, but that's a good goal list. 

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5 hours ago, Manarelle said:

I don't know, should I replace squats with [I have no idea] until I fix that? Sigh. At least I know the problem and can work on fixing it though. 

 

I haven't read this thread as carefully as I should... But... Does this "improper" squat form cause any real problems? If not, do them anyway and add some corrective exercises. If they do cause problems...

 

Do a variation like box squats. I.e., sitting down onto a low box/chair/cushion/etc. Or doing squats while holding onto something with your hands for better support. And do some calf stretches, too, using a... err... Yoga half cylinder (or whatever this thing is called officially...) or a rolled-up towel.

 

In any case, I'd recommend the work of Katy Bowman for guidance; as always. Her podcast and (discontinued) blog are free.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Manarelle said:

I don't know, should I replace squats with [I have no idea] until I fix that?

You could also try propping your heels up just a bit. It's the same as using a lifting shoe- it basically helps you cheat ankle mobility. We have these small but dense rubber mats we use for that purpose, maybe take a look around your gym? 

 

I went AWOL for a little while but I just checked your previous thread and just wanted to mention that the finished Thor suit is epically awesome :)

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Another option (i.e. the one I am trying)  is to widen the stance a bit so that the ankles don't need to move as far to get low. 

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16 hours ago, Akura said:

 

I haven't read this thread as carefully as I should... But... Does this "improper" squat form cause any real problems? If not, do them anyway and add some corrective exercises. If they do cause problems...

 

Do a variation like box squats. I.e., sitting down onto a low box/chair/cushion/etc. Or doing squats while holding onto something with your hands for better support. And do some calf stretches, too, using a... err... Yoga half cylinder (or whatever this thing is called officially...) or a rolled-up towel.

 

In any case, I'd recommend the work of Katy Bowman for guidance; as always. Her podcast and (discontinued) blog are free.

 

Yeah, back and knee problems. The knee seems to happen when I compensate for the back/ ankle and let me knees collapse inward, even a bit. The back is because I lean my torso forward to compensate for overbalancing backward. Hard to hold onto something when I'm trying to keep a bar on my shoulders, but I suppose I can try goblet squats. If I do squats without any weight (barbell or dumbbell), I fall backward when my knees are at a roughly 80° angle. Looked up Katy Bowman; looks very useful, thank you.

 

16 hours ago, KB Girl said:

You could also try propping your heels up just a bit. It's the same as using a lifting shoe- it basically helps you cheat ankle mobility. We have these small but dense rubber mats we use for that purpose, maybe take a look around your gym? 

 

I went AWOL for a little while but I just checked your previous thread and just wanted to mention that the finished Thor suit is epically awesome :)

 

Forgive my ignorance, but I've seen that strongly frowned upon as bad form/ building bad habits/ etc. Is that only bad if you intend to do competition/ serious weightlifting (I'm only at 75/80 lbs right now)? 

 

Good to see you back again, and thank you. Thor still needs a few minor tweaks, but I'm quite pleased.

 

4 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Another option (i.e. the one I am trying)  is to widen the stance a bit so that the ankles don't need to move as far to get low. 

 

I did try that, and my knee started an odd tendon pop on the inward side - I noticed my knees were collapsing inward at the bottom point. Maybe I'm just going down too far and should stop earlier... Thought I was going to parallel, but I'll try to record it and see if I'm going too far. 

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Are you doing back squats now? Agreeing that you could try goblet squats in the meantime while you work on your ankle mobility. They're a very solid squat variation! 

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1 hour ago, raptron said:

Are you doing back squats now? Agreeing that you could try goblet squats in the meantime while you work on your ankle mobility. They're a very solid squat variation! 

 

Yes, back squats. I tried front squats and it felt super awkward - couldn't find a comfortable place to rest the bar, even unloaded. I'll try out goblet squats. 

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Far from an expert here but I will use a folded yoga mat under my heels if my hips are too tight for a good squat. I think it’s okay to do as you transition to a “proper” squat. 

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On 7/3/2019 at 2:49 PM, Manarelle said:

Forgive my ignorance, but I've seen that strongly frowned upon as bad form/ building bad habits/ etc. Is that only bad if you intend to do competition/ serious weightlifting (I'm only at 75/80 lbs right now)? 

I don't know why it would be frowned upon at all? They actually make special shoes for this purpose.. I know they don't always use those in powerlifting competitions, but there isn't a weightlifter in the whole world who wouldn't wear those shoes. (Powerlifting needs a little less ankle mobility, weightlifting shoes have heels that are slightly higher than powerlifting shoes for that reason.. but they're both elevated!)

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5 hours ago, KB Girl said:

I don't know why it would be frowned upon at all? They actually make special shoes for this purpose.. I know they don't always use those in powerlifting competitions, but there isn't a weightlifter in the whole world who wouldn't wear those shoes. (Powerlifting needs a little less ankle mobility, weightlifting shoes have heels that are slightly higher than powerlifting shoes for that reason.. but they're both elevated!)

 

Naturally, now I can't find anything written about this, it's just something I picked up years ago when first researching squats, that it was like a fake/weaker/cheating version. 

 

I am further baffled because I did the ankle mobility test (toes back from a wall, bend the knee to touch the wall), and I can get 5" on my right 4.5" on my left, so maybe it isn't ankles? I've been working on hip mobility for freaking ages, and I can get my foot to my butt and torso probably at a 10°, almost upright position on the couch stretch. The only other thing I can think is that I've got mild lordosis, have since I was born, and I've had lower back twinges since I was a kid. Part of why I wanted to do squats is 'cause I read that they'd help with lordosis, so maybe deload, raise heels, and don't go so low until I can hit proper form with my back? 

 

I hate not knowing things....

 

On the upside, we got drywall hung today, probably one more day of that, then flooring and a door and we'll be done with the gentleman's house. Also corrected the Thor skirt length, believe I have the shoes broken in and comfy, and waiting on glue to dry for the final padding in the helm. And the holiday weekend is barely begun. Woot.

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What is your back doing at the moment that has you worried? 

I think this definitely calls for video so we can help you know things :)

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When you do the mobility tests, are you sure you're not cheating on the form?  I did a similar ankle test with my trainer watching and got "yelled" at for not keeping my hips square.  I had reached the limit of my mobility, but it was my hips that was stopping me from moving further rather than my ankle.

 

It sounds like the part of your form that's causing the problem is your knees caving in?  If yes, are you sure it's a mobility problem rather than weak stabilizer muscles?  What happens if you think about actively pushing your knees out (or spreading the floor with your feet - which sounds weird to me but is the common cue to help fix that)?

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On 7/4/2019 at 4:49 PM, KB Girl said:

What is your back doing at the moment that has you worried? 

I think this definitely calls for video so we can help you know things :)

 

On 7/5/2019 at 9:41 AM, raptron said:

Yeah, we'd be happy to take a look! :)

 

Lower back spasms, particularly on the right side. I did lame home workouts with what dumbbells I have on Wednesday and Friday, because I was still twingy. I'll try to get video this week, thank you for the offers. I've had lower back issues most of my life, but usually it's after something specific, like overdoing gardening or house projects - this is the first time it's crept up on me slowly and impacted workouts. 

 

On 7/5/2019 at 5:32 PM, Elennare said:

When you do the mobility tests, are you sure you're not cheating on the form?  I did a similar ankle test with my trainer watching and got "yelled" at for not keeping my hips square.  I had reached the limit of my mobility, but it was my hips that was stopping me from moving further rather than my ankle.

 

I checked as much as I could, but obviously it's never as good as someone else standing back and checking. I did so a movement workshop thing a while back with an actual physio, who pointed out my hips being tight and gave me exercises, stretches. I'm improved on them, but, for example, I can only get to just under 10" on this test without un-squaring my hips.

 

On 7/5/2019 at 5:32 PM, Elennare said:

It sounds like the part of your form that's causing the problem is your knees caving in?  If yes, are you sure it's a mobility problem rather than weak stabilizer muscles?  What happens if you think about actively pushing your knees out (or spreading the floor with your feet - which sounds weird to me but is the common cue to help fix that)?

 

Definitely, and it seems to have started happening alongside the back issues, so they might be connected. If I focused on keeping the knees out, the knee pop didn't happen, but then my back would twinge and I'd buckle again. "Spreading the floor with your feet" makes no sense at all... I can't even visualize what they're after with that. 

 

Anyhow, stupid body issues aside, it's been a productive weekend. Weekend to do goals list: 

  • Clean up back yard. Done, see below.
  • Shorten Thor skirt. Done
  • Break in Thor boots. Done
  • Manhandle (distress) cape. In progress.
  • Start work pants. Started. 
  • Do one lesson in Russian law class. Done.

The Russian lesson took about 4 hours, because they'd offhand reference something and I'd have to go look it up. Two more lessons and I'm done with the class - it's been extremely informative. The Thor outfit tweaks are done, provided the glue set on the helmet cushioning. All that's left is making pouches to fit the belt, but that's a project for August. It has been beastly hot (feels like 98 or above) or pouring rain since June, but finally got a merely nastily hot and overcast morning, so I got the garden/ lawn cleaned up a bit, and it only took about an hour and a half. Surprisingly, that's the "other to-do" list completely sorted. Guess I'd better knuckle down on those work pants, then, so I can start planning the next cosplay. :D 

 

de0ff1a9-1539-44c5-bc95-461d6bc8ee83-ori 

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Ugh, so sorry you are having back issues!  Mine goes out on me once every year or two, usually from something stupid like a sneeze while bending over.  I've been better since I started getting myofascial massages and working on my hip mobility.  Still have to be extra mindful whenever I workout though.  It's just too easy for me to get lazy with my form when I'm tired.  

 

Your Thor sounds like it is going to be amazing.  I LOVE to cosplay but mine are more closet-play since i don't sew. Any chance we can see pics of some of the pieces?

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On 7/4/2019 at 4:49 PM, KB Girl said:

What is your back doing at the moment that has you worried? 

I think this definitely calls for video so we can help you know things :)

 

On 7/5/2019 at 9:41 AM, raptron said:

Yeah, we'd be happy to take a look! :)

 

Link to google photos album: https://photos.app.goo.gl/t3KpCLSw7TJ4pQ4ZA 

 

It's the last 4 videos looking at the weight racks and a guy in a blue shirt in the background. I attempted different styles, and kept the weights light a) so as not to re-screw-up my back, and b) so the large weight plates wouldn't block form check. Looks like I started squats at 3x10 at 45# in August of 2018, worked up to 4x8 at 75# as of last month, then started having issues when I added the first set of 80#. 

  • 47 seconds: Started with 40# (lame), usual setup, hold, depth, grip, etc. 
  • 51 seconds: Upped weight to 45# (still lame). Knee pop began on 2nd squat, despite specifically tracking to keep that in line with toes. Tried to focus more on butt out first, and almost went backward... which is why I go knees forward of toes and my torso comes down so low - if I don't, I go backwards. 
  • 51 seconds - front squats: Not horrible but felt awkward and I'm sure I was holding the bar wrong. Hurts when I rest it on my arms.
  • 54 seconds - raised heels: Had to keep my feet less than a foot apart to stay on the plate, and it super targeted my quads, which I didn't like. 

Looking at these, I'd say I'm probably still not getting my thighs to horizontal, but I feel like if I go lower, my lower back curves under or I lose balance backward. Advice is welcome. 

 

 

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