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muck_a_luck: (Yoga Namaste Two)
Monday, May 16th, 2016 01:04 pm
Well, after letting my knee rest 'til it didn't hurt on stairs, I started back with Zombies, Run! and after two weeks of making good progress and running three days a week, I did something evil to my hip. Read a running advice book, and I think it was just a minor strain or overuse or whatever type injury related directly to the impact of running. I was also letting my FitBit dare me during those two weeks to walk much farther than usual. Most weeks I walk around 25 miles, but those two weeks I went 30 and 35 miles respectively, in addition to the higher impact activity. I think both my knee and my hip were like, "Are you kidding us?!" So I took a week completely off. And I'm back at it again today. My plan is to continue to run from zombies three days a week (the higher impact activity), but I'm not going to push hard for the added distance, no matter what my FitBit says. We'll see how my hip and knee like it, then move on from there.

Meanwhile, I left the zombies in the dust and helped to save Runner 16! It was a good day to be Runner 5! I stopped for some extra stretching, and I was really careful to stretch my hip afterwards. I feel good at the moment. The hip and knee felt a little tired, and the knee thought about maybe twinging. but I slowed my pace, and walked a bit more, and I think it's good. We'll see how I feel later this afternoon after I cool down and the adrenaline burns off.
muck_a_luck: (Yoga Dancing Shiva)
Monday, March 14th, 2016 12:10 pm
My doctor keeps making judgmental faces at me and talking about my weight. She really ticked me off in January, and I was all, like, I'll show her! Revenge weight loss!

This came with a follow on sudden recognition that the gym in my building has pretty much all the equipment I need to take another crack at strength training. Also my Achilles tendons have fully healed, so I could also start using the treadmill for Couch to 5k (with the caveat that I will stop if my ankles seem not to handle it).

Today, I stepped up to the second level of my current weight routine. Increased weight on all exercises, except for increased reps on the prone jackknife. I expect to feel like a granny tomorrow. If not, I'll probably be doing my Zombies Run.

Anyway, I've been doing a decent job of working out regularly, but have only been doing so-so on minding my caloric intake. Well, I intend to use my armor as inspiration for continued fitness and healthy eating, as I would like to trim my waist a bit to show off the lines of the armor better.  NERD INSPIRATION!
muck_a_luck: (Smiley Boromir)
Monday, April 6th, 2015 07:58 am
I don't know if I have mentioned my Achilles tendon traumas? Back two years ago, when Boss and I went to working from home, my Achilles tendon hated it. I became much more sedentary, and the lack of use had a huge impact. Then, about 18 months ago, knowing that I had pain in that area, I attempted couch to 5k and practically crippled myself.

I took myself to physical therapy last summer and learned a little bit about how to treat it. I got a lot better, and in December, I took a dare from my fitness website. I have a Fitbit that is hooked up to an incentive site that gives me points. Yes, I'm sure I mentioned this in the context of killing aliens to earn Amazon gift cards! Anyway, I took a dare from the website to up my exercise to 5 workouts in a week. At the time the only way I had to do a "verified" workout was going 10k on my Fitbit. So I did 5 10k days, and BUSTED my Achilles again. I was limping for about two weeks, and in pain for longer. After that, I was VERY careful, really trying not to walk much more than absolutely needed (which for me is still over 5000 steps almost every day, but still).

But now... Last week, Monday-Saturday, I did 10k steps per day, and I was fine. Six days in a row! Some not only 10,000 but actually (accidentally) well over 10k (It was a weird week. Lamp repairs and a college fair were involved). A couple of really minor twinges from the bursitis, But that was it. I think I was actually LESS stiff in the mornings, rather than more. I took a rest day yesterday, and today I didn't even notice any pain or stiffness when I woke up. That doesn't mean there wasn't any, as I'm pretty used to it by now, but I know getting down the stairs was no problem. Even on my good days, if I trundle down the stairs prior to my shower, I will be in a fair amount of pain and relying heavily on the hand rail, and today I just zipped on downstairs to kill the aliens, no fuss.

Maybe I'm finally healing.
muck_a_luck: (Exercise Every Day)
Monday, March 2nd, 2015 10:13 am
I quit exercising regularly months ago and have been trying to find a way to want to do it again.

Part of the problem is that the only place it really fits well in my schedule is the early morning, and I have lost the habit of getting up at 4am. And I can tell you, once you lose that habit, it's hart to get it back.

Anyway, for a while now, I have been thinking I need to take my desk bike downstairs and pedal while gaming.

Last week at work, I got some inspiration to finally DO THAT. We have a wellness program at work where you can earn points toward rewards, mainly Amazon gift cards, by doing things to improve and maintain your health. They hand out Fitbits at the beginning, and getting steps is one of the ways to earn points. Unfortunately, with all the problems with my Achilles tendon, I have not been able to get "verified workouts" because 10k steps a day (a verified workout) is too much for my right foot. But last week, I won the February wellness drawing, and was suddenly the proud owner of a Polar heart rate monitor.

So! Now, via the HRM, I can have verified workout doing something other than walking 5 miles. I hauled the desk bike down the stairs, and spent an hour killing aliens and burning approx. 600 calories! Excitement!

Alas, you get what you pay for. For some reason (yes, we all know the reason, because it was cheap) the free HRM handed out in the wellness raffle was not, in fact, a model that can provide a verified workout, because it cannot upload data to the web. However, I had more than enough points to order an HRM that IS compatible with the points system, so I ordered one this morning. It makes me sad to set by my progress toward my next Amazon shopping spree by that much, but on the other hand, I NEED to have inspiration to exercise, and this has a lot of potential - killing aliens and shopping hopefully will be enough to get my sleepy head out of bed every day.

Meanwhile, I need to find out what a good vinyasa practice yields in terms of heart rate.
muck_a_luck: (Yoga Camel)
Monday, June 17th, 2013 07:34 pm
After months of doing almost nothing, I'm riding my post SAD high to try to get back to exercising again. Recognizing my tendency to be lazy in the mornings, I have acquired a DeskCycle, and have been toodling along about two hours a day, at higher and lower tensions, about 10-15 mph. I can do that while I'm working or reading or whatever. I did the last 10 minutes today on the highest setting - so I might feel that tomorrow, we'll see. I have been doing some situps and pushups to go with the cycling so to balance with some upper body. Tonight, I was in the mood for some yoga, so I pulled out Shiva Rea Core, and did the Agni Namaskar. Supposedly, it would be 108 pushups, but I totally did about 60, I think. Plus back bends and Utkatasana and variations on Virabadhransa I. Twist variations thrown in for funsies. I also did Water Core, which I'm sure I will feel in my abs as much as I'll feel the pushups in my shoulders. Should be a funny day tomorrow.
muck_a_luck: (Yoga Camel)
Wednesday, September 14th, 2011 10:28 am
I have always (well for many years, anyway) wanted to try running, but it has never been convenient for me, as I have needed to do my workouts before work and while my children were still abed. Can't really leave a 3 and 11 year old alone asleep in the house to run through the neighborhood woods on the nature paths in the pre-dawn dark - ya know?

But now I am walking The Barbarian to school in the mornings. It is almost exactly one half mile, and I realized yesterday that this would be a great opportunity to try to learn about running. Walking her there at her pace is a good warmup, then I could stretch there and try running home.

School to home is probably just over half a mile if I take the hilly nature paths and do a turn around the cul-de-sac instead of running straight to our front door.

So this morning, I tried it out. Did some light quad, hamstring and calf stretches at the school the booked it home as fast as I could run, taking walking breaks as needed. It took me 8 minutes to do what I think was probably .6 mile.

I chose a very bad pair of pants. I wanted some with pockets, but these were clearly not intended for running, as they kept falling down. I have some exercise shorts to try tomorrow, meanwhile will need to carry keys and cell phone until I get some running pants with pockets.

At the end of my 8 minutes I was DONE. But I'm thinking I will continue to run home every morning, and when it feels comfortable and I'm ready to do more when I hit my front door, I'll just keep running, back around to the walking path and maybe down around the lake and back or something.

And if I *never* feel up to doing that, I still may try to run home every day. It's good exercise and easy to build into my day, so it seems like a good habit to cultivate, even if that is IT for my running lifestyle.
muck_a_luck: (Exercise)
Wednesday, September 9th, 2009 01:32 pm
...I am resisting the very strong urge to get up from my desk and go over there and try Bakasana again.

Also thinking that it is time to return to strength training. Maybe tomorrow I'll do a few sun salutations to warm up, then crack open Lift Like a Man, Look Like A Goddess and try to get started on that again.
muck_a_luck: (Sun Salutation)
Wednesday, August 26th, 2009 07:00 pm
I put this DVD on my Christmas list last year because I was looking for some variety in my yoga practice and Mr. Kest's DVD was way cheap.

I've commented on this DVD in other places after trying each segment, so I am modifying my first two blurbs and adding a section for the third level.

Level 1: Energize. This is a very basic beginner routine, but Mr. Kest has you hold the poses for a long time, and I was sweating hard. There were couple of poses that were new to me, including a (probably fairly simple) bind somehow related to Side Angle Pose that I had never tried before and MAN was it hard. He's got a kind of interesting teaching style. The only instructor in my (small) repertoire that spends a lot of time emphasizing the importance of ease and relaxation v. "achieving" better postures. It's good to be reminded.

In a side note, this might be a really, really pretty DVD to just watch. The class is incredibly attractive and all dressed in skimpy white outfits. Mixed group of male and female. Alas, I was, as usual, doing not watching, but that was the impression I got the times I WAS looking at the screen.

The DVD seems to be a bit of an ego trip for Mr. Kest, who seems to think he is hot stuff. *rolls eyes* If he's your type, you'll squee like crazy, though.

Also, he has a weird accent. Much heavier when he's lecturing at the beginning than when he's instructing during the exercise.

Level 2: Tone. I like Brian Kest's teaching style a lot. He spends a lot of time encouraging you to be calm and maintain a smooth flow of breath. He reminds you how important it is to only do what you can do, and yet also to challenge yourself. He walks that line much more explicitly and much better, I believe, than any instructor that I have listened to so far.

That said, the second routine is killer. He starts by making you hold Side Plank *forever* and it just gets worse from there. He's going for sweat, and of course the way to get that is to push the big muscles, and man, he does. I swear I was in a lunge for, like, A YEAR, then we switched legs and started all over again! The backbending was all Locust and Upward Bow. Argh! Another year!

Not enough forward bending in this routine for me, but I will definitely do it again because it hurt and it was challenging and I know I can develop by trying again.

Level 3: Sweat. And you will sweat. And this third section is going straight to the top of my list of favorites. Again with the holding poses for challenging lengths of time. (Again with the forever on the side plank!) He only does one iteration of Upward Bow, but I think that's because he keeps you in the pose a ridiculously long period of time. What I liked on this one is that his teaching style got me into and out of difficult poses a lot better than other teachers. Bakasana seems achievable now that he has introduced me to what he calls Elbow Balance. And somehow the way he moves into and out of Rotated Triangle made it much more doable for me. Though referring back to my thoughts after doing Level 2 (I wrote "I. Hate. Rotated Triangle."), maybe I was just balanced today. There is a very nice sequence of seated forward bends and hip openers in this one.

All three of these routines left me sweaty, shaky and wrung out (and yes, to me that's a good thing).

So, in summary, aside from thinking he's a little too hot for his own good, which you won't notice that much while doing the yoga because you won't be watching the screen anyway, Mr. Kest seems like a really excellent instructor. His constant emphasis on doing what is attainable for you, what makes you "feel something," while only going as far as you can go while feeling serene and maintaining calm, deep breathing, his reminders that yoga is not about ego, but it is about balancing strength and flexibility and calm, make this possibly one of the best discs I have done.

PS, he tries to make you do a push up between Up Dog and Down Dog in the vinyasa. OMG killer.
muck_a_luck: (Exercise)
Thursday, June 18th, 2009 09:10 am
Rodney Yee: Power Yoga Total Body yesterday morning.

I got my act together to take my sunrise yoga outside for the sunrise yesterday (for the very first time!) and I'm now completely spoiled. Of course yesterday's weather was possibly perfect. Rain was coming in, the breeze was up, the humidity was down, and it was just short of being too cool to be comfortable. I started out in a sweatshirt that I shed after about ten minutes.

It was wonderful! I can see now that I will want to be outside as often as weather permits. The back deck was great. I did the Yee disc because I know it so well. I put my little tv by the outdoor outlet, but I didn't need to *watch* the TV, just get the instrutor prompts. (I have started to adventure into practicing on my own, but when I do I tend to rush. I find it very relaxing just to do what someone else tells me to do, plus I know I am much better about staying in poses and breathing correctly for the vinyasa.)

I solved my problem with the hard surface by putting a large folded beach towel under the back third of my mat. The deck was rough enough that I didn't have problems with slipping. That let me roll over my toes and also jump back without much discomfort.

Biggest problems - the deck planking is not exactly 100% even. So it was weird to have that surface under my feet on some of the poses. Also, the one beach towel wasn't the solution for discomfort in my heels for the seated postures. But I have already started thinking about the way I would use other folded towels as pads. It should work fine once I find the right spots for them.

It was so wonderful, with slowly rising light, the wind, the birds singing, the sursurration of leaves, the smell of the approaching rain. During reclined leg stretch, I could see the clouds scudding across the sky and the birds flying overhead.

I will never want to do my practice in the basement again.
muck_a_luck: (Exercise)
Thursday, June 4th, 2009 06:42 am
Yoga Journal Step-by-Step: Disc 1: Foundation Poses

Considering how long it's been since I did any yoga, I'm sure I'll be feeling this one tomorrow.

As promised by [ profile] zats_clear, an excellent instructional video. A good refresher for me, to remind me the precision I should be trying to bring to vinyasa practice. An interesting learning experience for me, too. I practiced upstairs today, on the hard floors, and MAN does it hurt trying to roll over my toes. Which I didn't use to do, but which I have clearly incorporated into my practice over the winter. I went back to my old habit of resetting my feet between the postures, and it *definitely* impacted how I performed Up Dog. And ugh. Chaturanga. I am much closer to doing this pose right, a testament to the improvement in my upper body strength over the winter, but it is still almost the suckiest pose. Right behind Extended Side Angle, for which at this moment I have a new hatred. But again, a pose that I can tell is much easier now that it was when I last did a good instructional video, waaaaay back at the beginning. My front leg doesn't collapse anymore, but naturally rolls out against my shoulder.

As we all know, yoga is about balancing the effort of the postures with the ease of your breathing and the calm of your mind. I am definitely feeling that right now. And also very awake and envigorated. Tomorrow, I'll be a grandma, but that's for tomorrow to worry about.

Feeling slightly gipped that I didn't get any seated postures in, but I don't have time, so they will have to wait. Maybe tonight I can sneak them in before bed.

Haha! Monday, I was all kitted out to exercise, but just being Husband's friend before he left for wor - which is our usual weekday morning. I usually work out after he heads out for the bus. Well, we were sitting there, him eating breakfast, me folding laundry, and we had the science channel on. And it was this thing about body clock and how ONE SHOULD NOT EXERCISE in the first three hours after one wakes up, because of the huge increase in RISK OF HEART ATTACK!!!!


Now, to hit the showers. You can all send up a prayer to your respective deities, and you athiests just think me a well-wish, that I don't have a heart attack or stroke in the shower.

Oh! And the old belly button didn't even twinge! Considering the blowout came during Triangle, I have to call that a successful repair!
muck_a_luck: (Exercise)
Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009 12:09 pm
Fat Blaster, the Next Step (30 mins step aerobics)
Yoga - hip openers (not very flexible today) (approx 10 minutes)
muck_a_luck: (Exercise)
Wednesday, April 1st, 2009 11:39 am
Rodney Yee Power Yoga Total Body
muck_a_luck: (Exercise)
Thursday, March 19th, 2009 10:10 am
Wednesday: Yoga: Shoulder openers

    30 Day Shred, Level 1
    MTV Power Yoga
muck_a_luck: (Exercise)
Sunday, March 15th, 2009 06:54 pm
Thursday: 15 minute abs, 15 minutes yoga
Friday: Missed
Saturday: 15 minutes abs
Sunday: 30 Day Shred, Level 1
muck_a_luck: (Exercise)
Wednesday, March 11th, 2009 09:14 am
Monday and Tuesday - about five minutes of yoga each - shoulder openers and Down Dog at work to wake up and make my back feel better.


30 Day Shred: Level 1
Brian Kest, Power Yoga: Level 2: Tone (Intermediate) (approx 45 minutes)
Yoga Shakti: Twists and Forward Bends (approx 15 minutes)

I like Brian Kest's teaching style a lot. Further discussion of the Brian Kest DVD and my blooming love/hate relationship with it. )

And coming out from behind the cut to just say, because I haven't in a while, I. Hate. Revolved. Triangle.

Yes. It had to be said.

Also, since I'm here. I have lost ten pounds since Feb. 16 or whatever day that was, and this morning I squished into my skinniest pair of skinny work pants and they zipped! Not yet ready to wear them to work, but I was very excited to be in them again, even for a few minutes. Also, rummaged through the closet and found my little black jacket, which looks great, despite what The Barbarian said. *glares at offspring*
muck_a_luck: (Exercise)
Thursday, March 5th, 2009 06:56 am
Thank you to those who voted! Some help you were! :p Though I suppose you helped me decide against doing the Brian Kest disc.

Instead, I skipped aerobics today and did an all yoga day.

Started with MTV Power Yoga. Wow. I think I can officially say that I kicked it's ass. Aside from some wobbles in the balance poses, I had *no* problems keeping up with any of this. All the places where I used to barely be able to do it, or wasn't strong enough at all, or when I used to *collapse* into the offered Child's Pose. None of that today. It was pleasantly challenging, and there were even moments where I was double checking with my body to see if I was doing something wrong because it was too easy. So! Kinda cool!

As this also used to be the disc by which I measured my fitness progress, I think we can safely say that I am back to my pre-pregnancy levels, and probably beyond, making me the most "in shape" I have been since I was 8, probably.

Followed up with the key piece of Lunar Flow, the Forward Bends and Twists. I think I am ready to start attempting to bind the Seated Twist. Not there yet, but I could feel how the leverage changed today when I made my attempt.

Also, since I'm rambling on, I have *finally* shed some sizes, and I am now wearing my size 14 khakis to work. The bad news is I think I only have one pair - I need to fish around to find the other two in my closet. I think they both have buttons off. Hopefully I can find the buttons, as I know this is an intermediate stage, so I'm not buying any clothes now. Going for the 12/10 size before I spend any money!
muck_a_luck: (Exercise)
Saturday, February 28th, 2009 07:19 am
About 15 minutes abs

In progress toward 50 pushups: Last night I did 2 sets of 10 pushups on the floor with a one minute pause. I'm pretty sure I could do 15 in a row, but probably not 20 in a row yet. Neither set of 10 was too difficult, though.

Check it out!
muck_a_luck: (Exercise)
Wednesday, February 25th, 2009 09:51 am
About 10 minutes situps

Lame, I know. But it was another night of badly interrupted sleep with AG33 having this stomach virus. Maybe I can get more in later.
muck_a_luck: (Exercise)
Tuesday, February 24th, 2009 04:45 pm
Tuesday: Brian Kest: Power Yoga One
Yoga Trance Dance: All Trance Dance Segment

OK. You all know me here. The one thing I don't talk masses about is religion. While doing Trance Dance today, I had something like a religious experience. Very odd. I suddenly got very emotional and weepy during the Dance for Transition, or whichever one it was, and it took me a minute not to just break down and sob. This is an experience I often have when talking about religion. It is NOT an experience I have, say, while doing step aerobics.


On the Brian Kest DVD. I put it on my Christmas List because I was looking for some variety in my yoga practice and his DVD was way cheap.

As I was saying to [ profile] zats_clear, I did the beginner routine. Very basic, but he has you hold the poses for a long time, and I was sweating hard. There were couple of poses that were new to me, including a (probably fairly simple) bind somehow related to Side Angle Pose that I had never tried before and MAN was it hard. He's got a kind of interesting teaching style. The only instructor in my (small) repertroire that spends a lot of time emphasizing the importance of ease and relaxation v. "achieving" better postures. It's good to be reminded.

In a side note, this might be a really, really pretty DVD to just watch. The class is incredibly attractive and all dressed in skimpy white outfits. Mixed group of male and female. Alas, I was, as usual, doing not watching, but that was the impression I got the times I WAS looking at the screen.

The DVD seems to be a bit of an ego trip for Mr. Kest, who seems to think he is hot stuff. *rolls eyes* If he's your type, you'll squee like crazy, though.

Also, he has a weird accent. Much heavier when he's lecturing at the beginning than when he's instructing during the exercise.
muck_a_luck: (Exercise)
Friday, February 20th, 2009 09:24 am
Yesterday evening, did some strength training while watching Bones.

Strength training:
    Leg Press: 3 sets, 10 x 110 lbs
    Step Up: 2 sets, 10 x 30 lbs
    Static Lunge, raised back leg: 2 sets, 20 lbs
    Single Point Dumbbell Row: 2 sets, 10 x 20 lbs
    Plank (on the floor): 2 sets, 60 seconds each.

Friday morning: Yoga Shakti: Lunar Flow through the Twists and Forward bends. Approx 35 minutes.

Chandra Namaskara is so difficult for me. I don't think Lunge Backbend (whatever the heck its right name is) is really supposed to be a balance pose, but I tip over from it almost as badly as I do from Revolved Triangle. I am starting to wonder if some of my problems with balance come from the fact that I am extremely duck footed. My feet turn out at about a 45 degree angle when I'm naturally standing. My college roomie used to (I think fondly) refer to my walk as a duck waddle. I am considering adjusting some of the yoga poses, as well as some of the lunge/balance stuff in my strength training, so that rather than carefully placing my foot pointing toes forward like a normal person, maybe I should turn my toes out, as is normal for me. It seems to help when I remember to do it, at least some. But then I worry whether doing that will be bad for my knees? Or whether trying to do it like a normal person is already bad for my knees?