Status update

I give like 10 status updates a day for work, and here’s one on my workouts…

I was doing well on the dietary changes I was making, but in the last month or two it has totally gone into the weeds. I’m trying to get it back on track, but my natural tendency is to eat poorly and then say "oh I’ll do some extra cardio". But I don’t have time for extra cardio, so I really need to attack this on the plate side not the gym side. (And my MIL needs to cease bringing over sata andagi but that’s a whole nother issue…)

Meanwhile, I did get up early to fit in a full workout today and was it ever full. 4×3/1×8 squat at 170lb, which I was not excited about but it went okay. My legs started out sore, even after a 10 minute running warmup, and I’m probably going to be plenty toilet sore tomorrow. After that, medium bench (3×8@125lb) and then a bunch of back/shoulder work (lat pulldown, delt raise, shoulder press, cable row). Will I be able to lift my arms? Don’t know.

Wednesdays are usually fighting practice day but I’ve been taking a break the past few weeks and focusing on getting my armor together. I now have kydex cut out for upper legs and torso armor, and this Sunday we’re getting together to heat/shape and finish it. After this, I don’t have much excuse not to fight, in my own armor :)

Finally – in a few days I’ll be turning 40. It’s a weird milestone. I don’t know if anyone’s going to do anything special for me; I haven’t asked for anything or asked about it. I’m kind of hoping that they will, but I guess we’ll see.

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Not dead!

My meetings are getting cancelled left and right this morning so I find myself with strange and wonderful slack time at work. Not that it’s really slack, but I have time to fire off a quick update here.

I’m now halfway through GZCLP round 2 and it’s getting challenging. If I superset I can get it done in 50-55 minutes; it’s a lot of volume. I like the focus on abs/obliques with these accessories, but I’m not finding that it’s helping my back concerns as much as I was hoping.

Running has kind of become "that thing I do on non-lifting days when I’m not friggin exhausted" (rare). Recovery is hard.

I’m keeping awfully busy with SCA stuff. I taught my first class last week. This weekend is an local event and I finished up some summer garb for my husband, so hopefully he’ll be comfortable and not grumpy. I’m taking a little break from fighting so I can have time to get my armor together; the trick is convincing the trainer/marshal that I’m not quitting. Dude, I’m just busy– still want to fight, need to make armor, cut me a break here.

We are also in the depths of bathroom reno hell. Wallpaper and sheet flooring have been pulled out and all the fixtures removed. $husband put down the backerboard last weekend to prepare for tiling; I need to patch a wall and fill in some holes and prime it. We have everything we need but time. Meanwhile we’re colliding in the morning with the single bathroom… he’s in the shower when I need to poop and it’s just not good. We need to wrap this thing up!

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Just one travel run

Well, I’m on my way back from my yearly big work trip– this year’s meeting was in Seoul. It was a whirlwind of a week, but really good, I enjoy seeing these folks so it’s always a productive but fun meeting.

The weather was lovely all week, but we had early starts everyday and I wasn’t motivated to go run at all. Hotel room yoga was about all I could manage. But today I had an empty day before my flight at 6pm, so I slept in just a bit and went for a run. Of course, this is the one day it rained. Still, it was a lovely and quiet run, I found a park and explored it and didn’t mind the wet. Afterwards it cleared up and I wandered around town some more before heading to the airport.

Highlight of this trip, though, was going to a Korean bathhouse with some other women from the meeting. ~$9 entrance fee to go in and use the baths, and another ~$35 got me an hourlong “sports massage” that was friggin amazing. Following that up with soaks in the tubs of many temperatures was heavenly.

It was also interesting to hang out like this with the science ladies from the meeting– just chillin in tubs in the nude. It was nice.

Now, to power through the long trip home…

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Not dead

I got in super early today, did my workout, and am at my desk waiting for the code I’m testing to finish running. This means I have a couple minute of free time for a blarg!

Work is still crap. We had an All Hands meeting with my great great grandboss and I literally started crying at his slide on work-life balance. It was over Webex so no one knew. However, I think I might be done with one obnoxiously overrunning task (see code testing above) so that helps. Oh but hey, next week I’m off to a meeting in freaking Korea and I’m supposed to do a bunch of prep work before that. (Although I can’t complain all that much– I’ve never been to Korea, and I really enjoy the group I’m meeting with, it’s just A Lot Right Now.)

Workouts are going ok, as much as I can fit them in. I had to shorten a GZCLP yesterday, only had time to do the T1s and half of the T2s. When I’m not lifting I’m running, but only 30 minutes at a time. Still, it’s better than not doing them. I’m not sleeping well or enough, and my recovery is suffering, so maybe low volume is better anyway.

Heavy combat practice is tonight. I’m still in loaner armor, but my aventail is supposed to arrive on Thursday so hopefully soon I’ll have my helm ready. My trainer has been busy the past few weeks but things are calming down for him and we should be able to do some more armoring soon. Unfortunately I don’t think I can manage to do things like shape Kydex without his help.

House update: so much yard work, and we’re on track for a reno for the downstairs half bath at the end of this month. Last weekend I stripped wallpaper, and my husband has a plumber next week to install shutoffs. The fixtures are 1930 original and everything’s got to come out. For some reason my husband has his heart set on a $1500 Toto washlet toilet, which strikes me as an awful extravagance for something that you poop in, but if that will motivate him to do this reno I suppose it’s money well spent. The budget overall should be manageable, provided that the leaks haven’t damaged the subfloor (here’s hoping!) We’re spending a bit extra on pretty tile, too. The existing floor is vinyl sheeting.

Okay, that’s enough of my 10 pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag.

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Imagine a “Hang in there!” kitten poster

All right, I have a big meeting coming up in about a half an hour, I’m in an awful mood, so I’m writing a blog post.

I’m still feeling overwhelmed by work, obviously. Since it’s the end of the month, we have the next batch of missed deadlines on this stupid project looming. It’s like trying to run a marathon while dragging an ever-increasing pile of bricks behind me. I still haven’t really decided if this is my fault or I’m just the person given the task of organizing the deck chairs while the ship sinks. My Big Big Big boss is visiting tomorrow and wants to talk with me; I don’t know if I should expose the black depths of my exhaustion and despair, or pretend that things are fine and that I’ll keep soldiering on. I’ve printed out the "this is fine" comic and hung it up in my cubicle, like a meme-ish cry for help.

I keep hoping things will get better, but they’re probably only going to get worse. Short term goal: get through this meeting. Crying can come after.

Anyway, since this is a workout blog, I would like to report that I’m still fitting in daily exercise. It’s probably not helping with the exhaustion really, but consarn it it’s like the last bastion of putting my own well-being ahead of all this other crap. Supposedly exercise helps with stress too? That’s what they tell me…

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Workout Updates

Since I got in Extra Early to fit in workout before a crazy day of meetings (8 total! I have 30 minutes out of meetings between 9:30 and 4:30) here’s a quick update post…

So I sorted out my T2s and T3s for the next GZCLP iteration and started that this week. It’s a lot of volume, and the T3s I added are mostly core focused, which is a perpetual weak spot for me so I hope programming in some work will help.

Sunday I went for a longish run, 10k, and I laid down a decent pace for it, 10’35". Doing heavy squats on Monday was fun. I’m still trying to keep up running on lifting rest days; we’ll see how long I can manage it.

I have heavy combat practice tonight and I’m worried that my arms are going to be too shredded from this morning’s workout to have good sword and shield endurance. I’ve already diagnosed an issue with the sword I’m borrowing being simply too dang heavy for me; I can execute shots well with the light plastic practice sword, and 2 weeks ago I borrowed a lighter sword from a visitor and that helped too. I can do a flat snap fine with a heavy sword but the wrist motion of an offsides shot is hard. Honestly I just need to hurry up and get my own dang gear ready, I’m tired of borrowing things that fit poorly and don’t work for me. Ask me about the armor bite from the ill-fitting pauldrons sometime…

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Checking in for the week

Okay! Only a week has passed this time… I had a very short first meeting today so I’ll write a quick update here.

I finally finished week 12 of my GZCLP program… it was supposed to be done last weekend but it dragged into Tuesday. Oh well – I was planning on taking a down week to set up for the next cycle, so that’s just a little shorter. I was going back and forth between switching to the 4 day version or adding some T2/T3 volume… I don’t think doing both is a good idea. I’m leaning towards 3 day+volume, just to keep it manageable.

I had fighter practice on Wednesday, and we had some visitors from another group join us– two veteran fighters and one newer guy. Like we always do, we sparred around so I fought everyone. All night I felt like a punching bag, but the newbie visitor just had no mercy on me at all. Now, I don’t ask for special treatment or softer hits, but the guys know that I don’t know wtf I’m doing and they usually help me learn rather that just pummeling me indiscriminately. But this new guy, not so much. It didn’t help that he had a full foot of height on me. One benefit of the visitors, though, was that I got to try out a new, lighter sword that one of them brought. I liked it a lot! I’ve been having a hard time with the wrist motion in the offsides strike, and having a lighter weapon helped a lot– it wasn’t so slow and fatiguing to bring the sword tip around. I’ve been borrowing a really heavy sword, so when I get my own I think I’ll go lighter.

Other than that, I got a couple runs in and some hamster-wheeling on the elliptical. I’ve been exhausted lately, and stupid cardio is the last place I want to go hard.

This weekend: yard work. I have 10 big bags of dirt and 2 bags of compost to move into the raised beds, and a bunch of stuff to plant. I’m going to try to sleep in, at least.

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A pile of updates

Okay… so my posts have gone from one-per-workout to twice a month, I guess that’s just how things are these days. This is mostly due to the fact that I now go from the gym directly into a daily meeting, so the minutes in between are "prep", not "blog".

Still, workouts are continuing and I’m thankful for that. I’m finishing up week 12 of gzclp this week and, since I committed to it for just 12 weeks, it’s time to think about what’s next. 4 days? More T2/T3? Different program? Not sure.

I’ve been complaining here about my sleep for probably as long as this blog has existed. My husband decided to spend his bonus this year on something that I felt was totally extravagant but secretly liked quite a bit: a king-size fancy SleepNumber bed with head/foot position adjustment. It was way more than I ever would imagine spending on a bed. We’ve slept on it for 2 nights and honestly, it seems pretty great so far. I don’t know if it’s $$$$ great. But here we are. If I continue to sleep well, I’m going to declare it worth it.

I haven’t been able to fight for a couple weeks; practice has been canceled and otherwise overtaken by events. Today I drilled a little bit, at least. My armor has lots to do yet, but I’m hoping to authorize at the end of April. Fingers crossed.

Well, it’s time to do that "prep"…

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The best part of my day

Oh hey, it’s been over a week since I wrote. I’ve been keeping up my usual workout schedule, lifting MWF, cardio TTh, fighting W, and a long run on Sunday. If nothing else, at least I have these habits.

Today was a cardio day and I hopped on the treadmill feeling kind of tired from deadlifts last night and not quite over the 6miler on Sunday. But somehow I found the energy to bang out 3.2 miles in 30 minutes so that was all right. My quads are a little upset and pulling on my knees like they always do when they’re tight.

I’ve been doing my GZCLP at home some days and my husband is finally back in the weight room with me – he hadn’t lifted since last year! He’s pretty detrained but still wanted to jump back in with heavy squats, and then was so sad when he was super DOMS for days afterwards. Lesson learned? Probably not.

I spent most of the weekend working on armor. I have a ton to do yet, but at least I cut out the upper legs from the giant sheet of Kydex (never imagined that I’d be learning about working thermoplastics for SCA), cleaned up the steel knees and elbows, and got most of the sewing of my arming belt done. We’re waiting on the padding for my helm to arrive, it was on backorder. The armorer who is making my chest has promised to get back to me this week about measurements. So that leaves gorget (neck) and upper arms still to sort out.

And, finally, work is still stupid. It’s a good thing I get my workout done first thing in the morning, because at least that way I can start my day feeling like I’ve accomplished something.

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Armor overload

It seems like the very first thing I do when I open up a blog post is to check when I wrote the last one. It was Wednesday so it’s been a while.

Fighting practice went pretty well last week– but it seemed a lot more physically difficult than the first time, maybe I just had less adrenaline in my system. I still feel like I don’t know what I’m doing, and that I need to know more than I know. My trainer said, "I can tell you’re getting frustrated, you only know two blows and they’re always getting blocked." Accurate. But I did do better this time with the shield and my body positioning so that I was less open and had better power. Yesterday we had an "armoring day". My husband has an assortment of armor leftovers that we could franken- and from his stash I now have elbows, knees and a helm that all need to be padded, strapped and sorted, and I ordered a mail aventail to go on the helm. I got patterned for Kydex leg armor, and I’ve contacted an artisan to buy Kydex chest armor (it can be made, but is 30+ hours of work and only $100 to buy, so…) I’ve got materials to make an arming belt to hold my leg armor up, and need to figure out a gorget and shoulders, along with something for my hips (maybe out of the leftover Kydex– I ordered a 48"x48" sheet). It’s a lot of stuff! I’m trying not to think too hard about the money I’m spending on this, and I haven’t even started looking at a weapon and shield yet.

Let’s see… I hamster-wheeled my beaten and sore self on Thursday, finished up week 8 of GZCLP on Friday, and didn’t do anything physical on the weekend (thanks, crap weather). This morning was more lifting and bonus elliptical intervals (ugh, talk about boring, but it got my heart rate up appropriately).

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