Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Back again - monkey wrenches, new goals, and what next.

It's been a long few weeks.  Also, some flowers I saw yesterday.

Going to Kirkland was awesome, and I'm putting together a post with photographs and everything. I have, however, uploaded most of my photographs to the usual place.

Coming back from Kirkland was not so awesome. I couldn't sleep because the plane was doing this weird vibrating thing that felt like being shaken awake every 30 seconds or so. So I kind of started passing out a lot once we came down from cruise and started approaching Heathrow. Oh well, joys of travel.

The three weeks since then have been ... suboptimal. The first week was recovery; I pushed myself really hard mentally and physically when I was in Kirkland, to go places and see things. Whilst I'm glad I did, it wore me out on a lot of levels. I spent the week after we got back mostly asleep, because I was really that tired. And then, because I was silly and didn't book to go see the doctor before we went, I ran out of meds. So the following week was kind of spent trying to work up the energy to go request a prescription, since I couldn't get an appointment sooner than the end of January. To make life more fun, the Wednesday before leaving for Kirkland I had a really bad shoulder spasm. It's just about recovered now - a month later. I also had a bit of a strain in my left ankle, which made travel interesting. Oh, and last week? The dearly beloved brought home a cold. He's been suffering since before last weekend, but I caught it by Friday, and that really put paid to achieving my 6 week fitness goals.

Oh well.

I console myself with the thought that I got very close to most of my goals - and that had I had one fewer monkey wrenches thrown in my works, I probably would have got all of them (except the one that involved doing something every second day).

So, today is the start of a week of rest, before formally restarting for the next 6 week goal period. That said, I've already decided on my goals for 18th June through to 30th July. Here they are with my previous (30th April to 11th June) goals:

Stamina - Running.
I started out with 1.5km in 15min. My goal was 2km in 15min. My most recent run (in mid May) was 1.8km in 15min.  I'll work towards my original goal, with a backup goal of 3km in 20min.

Strength - Pushups.
My previous goal here was to go from 6 really old lady pushups to 12 really old lady pushups. I achieved that, so now I'm going for 12 full extension from knee pushups.

Strength - Lower/mid trapezius development.
I went from 3x10 4kg one arm rows to 4x4 40kg bent over rows. This round, I'm working on doing an incline pull up, I think they're called. Basically, lying on a bench under a bar, and pulling myself up to that bar. The end goal is a full pull up of course, but hey, baby steps. I have no idea what my baseline is in terms of the bodyweight exercise, so I'm going to test myself out as soon as I'm well.

Diet - general clean up.
My specific goal was no more sugar added drinks, and I managed this, with the exception of a coke on a day that I thought I had an appointment (which turned out to be moved) and a couple of cokes when I was in Kirkland. I've also taken up drinking orange juice again, but I'll probably cut down on that over the next few weeks. I'm going to maintain the no sugar drinks, and add in moving towards Paleo. The major part of this will be reducing the grains in my diet, especially gluten. In concrete terms, grains no more than twice in any four days, except when I am travelling and have no choice. This is a major sacrifice, because I love my gnocchi, and my fish fingers, and a bunch of other things. I need new convenience meals. If anyone has ideas for low-effort, fits-elsie-requirements food, please tell me? I'm running out of ideas.

Flexibility.
This one I screwed up. I was going for every second day mobility workouts, for a total of 21. I managed a total of about 11, I think, before I got monkeywrenched. Part of this was hitting ones I couldn't do, and part of it was my shoulder injury. However, I'll keep trying for this one. Flexibility is really important to me, I just need to find ones I can scale to my level, and not injure myself doing.

Life.
My goal here was to make at least one significant blog post a week. On average, I think I exceeded that thoroughly. On specific ... well, the last three weeks weren't so good for that. Still, amongst other things, I did get into the habit of daily achieving things, and acknowledging those things, which was a major mental health improvement. Over the next six weeks, I'm going to aim to keep up my at-least-once-a-week goal, and include on top of that, at least one photography post, one cooking post, and one knitting post (hopefully of a completed project).

Expected Monkey Wrenches.
Trip to Florence - the dearly beloved is speaking at EuroPyCon, and I'm tagging along. I'm not going to the conference, because frankly I haven't recovered enough to get anything out of it - but I am definitely going to see a bunch of things while there. This trip is going to be 30th June to 8th July. I've worked out my daily itinerary, which should limit the impact on my mental energy. I'm investigating some socks to wear with my footshoes, and taking my boots, so my feet don't scream at me so much. I'm also packing sunscreen. I expect recovery to occupy most of the following week, but this time, I'm going to have medication sorted out in advance.
Olympics - We're going to see the Fencing on the 30th of July, YAYAYAYAYAY. But - London's going to be kind of a mess. This may inhibit my ability to get around somewhat.
Social events - there's a few parties and whatnot on that I've been invited to - and those things can take me a while to recover from. Still and all, planning helps, right?
Other - I probably will have an attack of the meh at some point, or at least one injury. I've got appointments before and after my trip lined up with my physio, to make sure I'm in top shape, and I'll also be doing my best to avoid further injuries.

Okay, that's out of the way.

It does occur to me that with these goals, there's an element I'm missing - the put up or shut up and reward bit. Basically, put up or shut up is a meaningful penalty that I forfeit if I don't achieve my goals, and reward is what I get if I do achieve them. This has the meat of a blog post of itself, so I'm going to turn it into a rant and do it later.

In the meantime, I'm going to carry on with my usual Tuesday - putting away groceries, tidying up a bit, and trying not to fall asleep. Oh, yeah, and Diablo 3. I really want to get all my characters to about the same level so I can clean out my stash, it's annoying.

Oh, and charge up my camera battery and stuff because I have a photography trip to Brighton coming up on Saturday, hurrah!