I guess this is a Soylent review?

Today was not off to a great start. First of all, I’m still sickly, though just kind of worn down; the physical symptoms are mostly better aside from some sinus junk. And this morning I arrived at the office to find that everything was super broken and I couldn’t log in to my computer and get to work. After trying for 45 minutes, I said "F it" and went to the gym.

I ran through a laundry list of sets: bench, bicep, tricep, OHP, bent-over one-arm row, farmer’s carry, cable bicep and tricep (because why not), crunches, jackknifes, and a slew of angry hamstring exercises (table-pose leg extensions and curls, clamshells, fire hydrants, leg lifts, and bridge). I finished the workout feeling better about my life, and as a bonus my computer was fixed when I got back to my desk!

My husband’s been on the Soylent train for his food needs during the work day. I think he does this so he can avoid having to be social in the cafeteria, with a side bonus of at-least-I’m-not-eating-burgers-everyday. He’s tried all the flavors now, including "nectar", which he didn’t care for. What is "nectar" flavor? The downside of eating startup-formulated food is that sometimes it gets weird. I brought one in for lunch today. Yep, it’s a weird flavor. I think they must’ve overused Pledge-grade lemon oil, which means it tastes like furniture polish. Mostly just the smell. It was fine as long as I didn’t breathe in when I drank it.

I’ve gone on the record saying that I’d welcome something like Soylent if it was nutritionally complete, filling, and time-saving. So what are my first impressions, aside from the flavor? I drank the bottle quickly, and it didn’t feel like I’d just consumed 400 calories of something. But within 30 minutes I feel not overly full, just not hungry anymore. The macro breakdown isn’t what I expected– it’s 33%carb/47%fat/20%protes by calories. I suppose I can’t complain about an easy 20g protes with lunch.

Husband was going to give away the rest of the "nectar" flavor if I didn’t like it. I think I’ll ask him to keep it around for an easy lunch on busy days. Just don’t breathe in…

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I forgot some things

I used to be able to go long stretches without getting sick, but not this winter. It seems like I’m coming down with some new thing every month now. I blame my plague carrier husband– he always gets sick with something his coworkers have and then passes it on to me. Anyway, I’m recovering from a cold so I’ve been away from the gym all week.

Today I went back for an experimental 30 minutes slowly ellipticalling. Sadly, I’m wiped out from it. And I forgot my towel, so I learned that I can dry myself off reasonably well using a wet washcloth that I wring out over and over. Good to know.

I also forgot about the "Day Without Immigrants" strike today. Thursday is our go out to lunch day so all I brought in to eat is a banana, but I’m going to deal with it and support the strike and not go out. Lots of local restaurants are closed, too.

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Two of my favorite things

My little pool session last night was fun. I got to try out my new gear and blow bubbles for a bit. Before I left, I pulled my reg out of its bag to show my cow0rker and realized it was missing a part– no inflator hose. Why did I not buy one of those? Anyway, I had to drive in one direction through traffic to the dive shop, spend $33 on a rubber hose, then back across town through more traffic to the pool, which was in an area I’d never visited before and I was worried about getting lost. Once I got in the water though, it was super chill and relaxing. Two students were doing their Open Water pool sessions with an instructor, and the other 4 of us were just toodling around. My reg worked just fine, and I had my underwater camera and tried taking┬ásome silly pictures. It’s really hard to shoot underwater– can’t hold still!


Scuba students

And last night my friends sent a text: “It’s supposed to be nice tomorrow, let’s go for a hike!” So today we headed over to a nearby park to do some walking along a pretty trail that was quite crowded with people out enjoying the day too. It wasn’t a long hike, only 4.5 mi or so, and super flat. My husband took his fancy camera and got some pictures and we enjoyed the scenery and saw some birds, herons and cormorants and hawks and woodpeckers.


Not a good spot for kayaking.

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Run, meditate, dive

I had to drive to work today (ugh) so I had to leave the house super early and arrived at work super early. This meant I didn’t feel bad at all about a longer gym session this morning: 40 solid minutes on the treadmill, then 10 minutes meditating (more on that in a sec!) and a nice long, hot shower. I wasn’t sure how the run was going to work out! My quads were a little tired from the wee squats yesterday and Angry Hamstring was a little angrier from the extra work. But the only problem I really had was a sore big toe (wtf?) and the run was fine.

The received wisdom is that you should never work out on the same day as a dive; it’s something to do with gas uptake in muscles and an elevated risk of DCS. But the pool in which I’ll be blowing bubbles this evening is only like 12′ deep and I’ll probably be up and down anyway so I’m not terribly worried about my nitrogen load.

So yeah, meditation! Like a few other folks, I’ve also downloaded the Calm app after Caitlyn’s post about her experience using it. I haven’t bought a subscription yet, but I’ve been going through the "7 days of Calm" intro– I finished day 5 today. The app is really nice, and I’ve been using the website at home too. The guided meditations are good; I’ve been meditating on and off on my own for a while so it was nice to have some help– and honestly the ambient sounds in the app and website are worth their weight in GOLD. I could listen to the rainstorm or babbling brook ones all day long, and there are like 20 choices and they all sound good.

So after my run today I went into the empty group exercise room, grabbed a mat and a blanket to sit on, and settled in for 10 minutes on "non-doing". (It felt appropriate, as I was delaying getting back to work.) I usually do the practices in the evening on the couch, but today post-run my back hurt about 5 minutes in so that made it more difficult– it’s hard to settle into nice steady breathing when I’m squirming trying to find a position without pain. Maybe this evening I’ll do some meditation again sitting on the bottom of the pool. :)

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The Angry Hamstring Saga continues

Angry Hamstring is slowly getting less angry but staying fairly inflexible– which is a good thing, I suppose, to protect itself. Hamstring says, "You no bend that way!"

Bench is slowly coming back to a good baseline too; today I was up to (5,5,5,4)@125lb and then 5@115lb after failure. Once I get to 5×5@125 it’s time to put some more weight on that bar!

I also took an experimental stab at squats today; I’d been avoiding any heavy leg work due to Angry Hamstring (deadlifts are still Right Out unfortunately). 3×5@115lb was easy and painless. I missed squats. They’ve always given me grief, but there’s something so magical about the way everything fires to push that bar up.

And tons of accessory work today, lots of it aimed around that hamstring and hip: lightly weighted back extensions, quad and hamstring curls on the machines, crunches, fire hydrants and bird dog-style leg extensions and curls. It definitely brought some warmth to that area.

And finally, a little stretching. My favorite twisty door stretch reminded me that not only do I have an angry hamstring, I have an angry QL on the same side. I get the feeling that this is the kind of thing that would benefit from a few sessions of massage, especially the QL since it’s both hard to get at and chronically cranky after my injury 2 years ago. Maybe I should join one of those subscription massage places.

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no blue line

Wednesday morning hurry-up workout: 30 minutes on the treadmill, 2.55 miles according to my thingum. It felt like a tough run; I kept pushing the treadmill faster for as long as I could manage. My new shoes are still feeling good, yay.

My period is like a week late. It’s never late. Naturally I had the kind of panic probably every woman is familiar with and pulled out a pregnancy test this morning (doesn’t we all keep one stashed just in case?) but it came out negative. (It would be nearly statistically impossible for me to be pregnant now, but that doesn’t stop the worrying.)

My husband and I have been very much on the fence about kids. I’ve always felt like my ambivalence about children is more or less a sign that I shouldn’t have them. I don’t dislike kids, and I’d be curious to see what would happen, but a child isn’t an experiment that I can bail on if I decide it’s not for me. We both have heritable mental health issues, too, but on that front I feel like we could be more supportive parents than our own parents had been. And though both of us grew up pretty poor to very young parents and that definitely colored our views, we’re reasonably comfortable now and have the means to take care of a child.

So I guess where I’m going is that if there was a blue line, it would be a shock– but, for my husband and me, it would be a manageable shock and we’d adapt.

On the other hand, if my period is just super super late for no reason I’m not going to complain much because then it should totally miss next month’s travel.

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Hazardous hair/Pool bubbles

More upper body lifting this morning. It was a little fiddly; I cut my thumb badly yesterday while I was trying to get my husband’s long, thick hair out of the vacuum brush. After a lot of direct pressure the bleeding stopped and I band-aid’d it, but I was worried that handling the heavy bar would re-open the cut. Thankfully, that didn’t happen and I was able to complete my sets of bench, OHP, rows, bicep, tricep and wood chops without bleeding all over the weight room.

I’m mentally preparing for my trip to Hawaii next month (OMG YAY) and also getting my scuba gear and connections together so I can get my dive on. This Friday I’ve signed up for a pool night through my local dive shop, to give my new regulator a try. I’m very excited about this! You wouldn’t think I’d be so excited to blow bubbles in a pool for a couple hours, but I’m super stoked.

However, actually getting my gear there is going to be a pain! My fins are as long as my biggest suitcase. I’m not even taking a BCD or wetsuit, and I suspect that that big suitcase is going to be mostly full with the rest of my kit. Honestly, it’d probably be cheaper to rent gear than pay the excess baggage fee. If I’m doing a weekend trip, I usually shove my fins into my daypack and carry them on (with the fin-tips sticking out the top of the bag, but they’ve never complained.)

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