Gear shift

Nov. 2nd, 2014 02:36 pm
tilly_stratford: (Deadpool day)
I wore out my beloved running shoes, a pair of black Asics Gel-Kayano 20. It was a difficult concept for me to grasp, because to me "worn out shoes" means they're either coming apart or there are actual holes in the sole. These looked fine -- no bits flying off -- and when I put them on, they felt the same as they always had (I think). But I was suddenly injuring myself running in ways I recognized from the time before I got the Asics. I'd been using them for a year, which I later learned is pretty much the life expectancy of a pair of running shoes, particularly when you're not switching between several pairs.

I went to the super intimidating specialty running store, the one I usually feel too self-conscious to even browse in, because let's face it: I don't look like the people who are usually in there. I'm about twice as heavy as the other women in there, and probably most of the men as well. But I went in, I explained I needed a new pair of running shoes, and the clerk was helpful and supportive and professional. It was a great shopping experience! Fantastic, in fact -- she did a gait analysis of how I run, and I'm doing great! Keep in mind everything I know about running form I've only read about and then had to figure out how to implement... But apparently I've still managed to get rid of a ton of bad running habits even semi-professional runners might struggle with for years.

In the end I got a pair of blue (men's model, I'm SO SICK OF PINK RUNNING APPAREL for women) Saucony Omni 13. I'm still getting used to them -- I really loved my original Asics -- but my knee obviously appreciates running with fresh shoes again.
tilly_stratford: (LS: Please run)
Forgot to mention I ran my first race! Like full on numbered bib, timing chip, got-a-t-shirt sort of race. I joined a thousand other women for a race around the Frogner park mid-day, in the scorching heat. 5 kilometers.

Was I fast? No. Was it a blissful runners-high sort of run? No. Am I proud of myself? Hell yeah! I haven't competed in any sport since I left school (well I did fence for a while but it wasn't so much competing) and to reiterate: All my life I've REALLY hated running. Yet there I was, I'd paid good money to run with a paper bib pinned to my T-shirt.

It was hot, terribly hot. After running outside all winter my body definitely hasn't adapted to working out in the heat, and these last couple of months I've been running around sundown for the cool evening air. Running mid-day in 25 degree heat was madness, and I felt quite ill about halfway. Like, I felt freezing cold in the heat. For a moment I thought "This is it, this is how I die".

Thank God for the water stand that appeared right about then. The organizers had talked at length about their 3 km water stand at the pre-run show, and there he was -- some guy handing out clear plastic bottles. I grabbed one, took a swig -- it was soda! I just happen to think soda is the most nauseating drink on earth, I can't stand it, so I dumped it over my overheated head instead. That helped.

Still, the heat was brutal. I'm already an embarrassingly slow runner. I was running and people were strolling past me. I heard the announcer say on the PA system, "Oh, seems like we've still got some stragglers". At long last I saw the finish line and I felt a lot better so I decided to break into a sprint -- just as a girl behind me started sprinting as well. Right at that moment, just gunning for the finish line trying to reach it before the other girl did, actually racing against each other... That was incredible. Those eight or so seconds was the absolute highlight of the race. That's the moment I felt the rush other runners keep talking about.
tilly_stratford: (LS: Please run)
The age-old adage goes "The thing about running is: Nobody else gives a shit about running." Cardio, it seems, is something my more active friends subject themselves to in order to become better at some other athletic activity (lifting, skiing, handball, dancing). Me, I just want to be a runner.

(I call what I do running; It's really jog-walk cycles, as per my couch-to-5k programme's instructions). I'm still a far cry from the sleek, gazelle-like runners I pass on my route, but comparing my aerobic base to what it was a year ago I really have made progress, and I'm pretty proud of myself.

Anyway, nobody but runners give a shit about running. I've started becoming unusually interested in other runners' habits and techniques and diet. I particularly enjoy learning what music other people run to -- it's hardly ever music I'd put on my running playlist, but I find it fascinating anyway.

So hey, here's some songs I friggin' love running to right now.

Like a speeding bullet )
tilly_stratford: (LS: Please run)
After my knee stress injury cleared up I returned to my beloved Zombies, Run! 5k fitness app and I'm happily running myself ragged again.

I've never been very good at mentally picturing characters I have no visual frame of reference for -- when I read novels or listen to audio plays I only have this cloudy vague humanoid blur in my mind's eye, it's much more important to me how they feel or act. That's why I hardly ever make fanart of those things, even though I consume a lot of non-visual media and fanart is my usual reaction to falling in love with a piece of fiction.

But then ZR happened and hey, time to just plain decide on a look for these characters because I feel a MIGHTY NEED here. Especially Sam Yao, the sympathetic and traumatized radio operator who acts as your link to the safety of Abel Township.

It was never about the zombies )

I don't run as often as I'd like, which means I don't get to listen to as many ZR episodes a week as I'd like. But still, it's pretty funny to me that an audio drama can make me do an activity I spent all my formative years hating.
tilly_stratford: (LS: Please run)
I haven't said anything because I don't want to jinx it, but I've recently taken up running. I haven't exercised in any way after I moved away from my beloved yoga studio in Bergen two years ago, and even though I've been gaining weight non-stop since then it's been hard to find any motivation. And running? All through school I absolutely hated it; The humiliation of finishing last, suffering through side stitches and shin splints and leg cramps...

The big incentive came through an app. Actually, more of an play built into an app. It's called Zombies, Run! and is a sort of audio play where you're a character, and have to run and gather supplies for a small town in zombie-infested England. Not very interactive while you're running I'm afraid, though it records your speed, route and pace, and you get to play a resources-managing game on the website after you've completed your run. Mostly it offers well-written drama, fascinating characters and some great audio editing. I'm not even a general fan of zombie fiction -- I just enjoy the characters and the universe.

Actually I haven't graduated to the main app yet, I'm currently going through its Couch-to-5K sister app set in the same universe. It's very good, and helps me pace myself. The main thing I like about it is it doesn't make me think "Well I ought to go exercise I guess", instead I think "I need to know what happens next!"; and with episodes clocking in at a little over thirty minutes I usually can find the time to go for a quick run.

Sadly it's just been two weeks and I've already managed to hurt myself, which prompted this entry. I'm both frustrated at not being able to go running today, and not getting to progress the story. I blame using the wrong shoes, and running mostly on asphalt (though my running form is probably not as good as it should be neither). My P.E. teacher used to harp on about the importance of high-quality shoes but silly me thought my sister's second-hand zumba shoes would work for a while. Once my knee heals up I'll go to a proper sports good store and let them recommend me something better.
tilly_stratford: (Yoga: Virbhadra pose)
"Butts to the wall, ladies. Oh no, now your butts are superglued to the wall! The only way you can save your precious buttock flesh is to extend those torsos and sway those hips!"

Oh Lord, first yoga class after the whole "operating wisdom teeth and living on yogurt for a painfully long time." I'm back on (mostly) solids these days but my (otherwise laughable) stamina and strength are the worse for wear. I pulled a muscle. I pulled two. I was struggling doing things I know I could do without a flaw a month ago. I got crabby when a girl stole my blanket. All the while being confused by how a few weeks can set me back this far.

Well... I'm sure I'll be back to my newfound flexibility after a little while. I just need to get over myself right now - for which I've got Eplemost and yet another Bogey movie. Yum on both accounts.
tilly_stratford: (Fred and Cyd: Don't mind you watching)
Funny how so many thoughts pop up while I'm doing yoga when I'm supposed to empty my mind. Such as;

I'll have to stop being so apologetic. Main point: My drinking habits.

When people either offer me something alcoholic I need to be able to say "I don't drink, thank you" and leave it at that. That's all that I should need to say.

A lifetime of excuses and lies )
tilly_stratford: (Yoga: Virbhadra pose)
Yoga? Still awesome. I'm starting to gain something approximating a little strenght in my arms! (In the beginning I would dread doing Adho Mukha Svanasana but these days I can do it pretty well).

I'm still a little overwhelmed about how many muscles and joints we really have, you know? We have so many balljoints in our body that we hardly ever use. No wonder I've discovered so many new places to be sore.

My yoga teacher is trying to teach us THE MOST IMPOSSIBLE THING though: Stand straight, press your toes against the floor, and then lift only your big and little toe on each foot. Go on, try it, I'll wait. She can do it so at least I know it can be done, but damn...

Yoga is awesome.

Ah shucks

Mar. 15th, 2010 07:13 pm
tilly_stratford: (Yoga: Virbhadra pose)
Well darn, missed my yoga class. I had to run back for my tights because I had a feeling worn jeans and yoga don't mix (with my luck I would have done an ananda balasana and had my trousers split Captain Kirk-style).

But ah well. I've got me some Eplemost (nectar of the gods), some comics (I picked up some freebies at the comic store and I'm totally going to get more of Invincible Iron Man) aaand I've got this video:

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I know everyone including me saw this when it appeared last year, but it popped up again in my rotation today and it's still just... perfect. MULLET WITH HEADLIGHTS.

At odds

Mar. 2nd, 2010 07:40 pm
tilly_stratford: (Yoga: Virbhadra pose)
I can't quite comprehend how my yoga teacher fits into this regular world we all live in. She's so... completely at home in that yoga room. Last night I noticed she wears toe rings. Toe rings, it's so wonderful. How does a person like that stand in a shop queue or wait for a green light at a busy intersection? She doesn't even appear to ever need to go to the bathroom like the rest of us lowly mortals.

All in all, I'm not certain my yoga tutor exists outside that room. If you pushed her out she'd just go "poof!" and disappear, possibly leaving a fine silt on the floor.

I finished The Claws of Axos which was great fun - at least the fourth and final part. I could listen to Delgado!Master purring things like "My dear Brigadier" all day...

And if the UNIT jeep's rockin', don't come a-knockin'.



Aww Benton.
tilly_stratford: (Holmes: Curious collection)
Yeah, take a look at the entry header and guess what day it is (for fifteen more minutes)!

You know what gets really tedious after a while? Drawing dreads )

I really lucked out and actually had things to do today. You know, if you can decipher them in my doodles.

And now, another brave attempt at sleep.
tilly_stratford: (Yoga: Virbhadra pose)
My yoga instructor is an entertaining lady. Aside from switching over to English without realizing it, she apparantly keeps quoting yogis she's worked with at you.

So I'm bent double staring at my crotch with my thighs aching while the sweat is running down my nose and I'm doing my best to not draw shuddering breaths when this little Bergenser woman pops up beside me and snaps in a heavy Indian accent, "And where's your buttocks please!"

It might be the endorphins talking, but it struck what a magnificent thing the human body is. For twenty-two years this thing has been carrying around the ghost in the machine as it were, and though I've not been very good to it it has just kept on functioning. All the little bits are still working. And now I'm doing things to it that it sort of likes and it's like, hi there, so nice of you to drop in. Sorry body, I'll keep on feeding you things that aren't good for you but I'll try to be a bit nice to you now and again in the future, okay?

I don't know where I was going this. Now I'm slightly weirded out that my body's got the voice of Peter Lorre in my mind.
tilly_stratford: (Deadpool day)
Okay, yoga is pure soulsearing pain except when it's divine ecstasy. For the first time in ages my back doesn't ache.

Also I've discovered I have surprisingly limber arms/shoulders.

YOGA CLASS PLEASE TAKE ALL MY MONEY.

ETA: I'm now going to take my newfound peace and watch Evil Dead 2.
tilly_stratford: (Astaire: Wry smile)
Okay, so I went for the Immigration class. And promptly forgot that the first lecture was today. Ah. Not the best ways to start the semester. I did go for a long walk when I realized I hadn't visited Bryggen since I returned to Bergen though.

Also later tonight I'm attending a yoga class. Exciting, since I've never tried my hand at yoga before. It was recommended to me as a way of coping with my anxiety. And I don't know, I feel really comfortable with doing things the mellow way these days.

Mellowness doesn't make very exciting reading though. So in general news, this last week I finally saw Chaplin's Gold rush, with accompagnement by the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra of all things (it was amazing. Silent movie watching has always been such a lonely pastime for me - I was completely thrilled at laughing along with a chock full concert hall), and I've seen Tom Baker's peen (damn you Canterbury Tales).

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