Thursday, 28 October 2010

Three Things Thursday - Balls Edition

1. I’ve been rolling my foot on a tennis ball for the past few days. I have no idea if it’s doing any good. Unfortunately it’s making me into a bit of a curiosity in the office as it seems like I have ants in my pants and can no longer sit still for five seconds together. Balls.

2. A pre-dinner walk last night and a run this morning have put me back in the black. My cupcake debt has now been paid off. Now to put that credit towards the chocolate and walnut fudge I made and ate (Stop judging me! *sob*). I brought the majority of the fudge in to work today to pawn it off on others. The people of this department now both love and hate me.

3. I made the fudge because I’m stressed out which causes me to seek out the familiar. My grandma always made this fudge around the holidays. I wanted to make her chocolate peanut butter ball recipe instead, but the last time I did that (Easter of this year) it didn’t come out quite right because I couldn’t get a hold of two of the main ingredients (almond bark and Wheaties cereal). Instead I used regular chocolate (too soft) and a mixture of bran flakes (increases potential for digestive disasters) and another flake cereal (too crunchy). Everyone else loved it and called it their crack, but when you know what it’s supposed to taste like then my attempt was a clear failure. Balls indeed.

Have a happy Halloween, everyone.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Newsflash - Being lazy is bad for you

Since I last posted I’ve run twice more. Woohoo! Three cupcakes down, one to go. How depressing is that. Sonofa...

What I neglected to mention last time is that I’m injured. Kinda. Maybe. Something’s up with my right heel. Amusingly though it has nothing to do with running.

The trouble began a few weeks ago in the midst of my sloth fest. The only exercise I was getting was my daily cycling commute. Unfortunately my two-wheeled steed, Aeolus, has become a bit of a death trap. There’s an incessant squeak, something’s not quite right with the back tire and the brake pads are a thing of the past. I learned about that last one when I nearly careened into a fellow cyclist and a delivery truck. I had to use my feet Flintstone-style to stop myself. Sweet. Considering I have to slingshot myself around a busy roundabout twice a day whilst avoiding collisions with double decker buses, I’ve taken to walking into work more lately.

Before I bought Aeolus, walking was my main mode of transportation. I actually miss it, so I was all about walking to and from work which in total takes about an hour each day. It was at this time that an annoying ache started in my right heel. I had no idea what the deal was. I hadn’t been running in ages by that point so I couldn’t attribute it to that. Strangely enough when I started back up with running last week, the heel felt fine. Immediately post-run—all good. It just aches whenever I’m walking. Strange.

The only thing I can think of that might have caused it is a change in shoes. I proudly defy the female stereotype in that I don’t have a million pairs of shoes. (Although I admit I am lusting after a pair of killer boots at the moment.) I wore out my regular every day shoes about two months ago and purchased a cheap replacement pair. Unlike the previous pair, it did not have an arch support insole and I’ve been too lazy to move the Superfeet insoles from my running shoes into my regular ones.

Of course I could be totally off the mark on this, but it’s the only thing I can think of. I thought I read somewhere that weak arches could cause heel pain of some sort, but to be fair I could be making that up. Anyhoo, I’ve put my running shoe insoles into my regular shoes now and things seem to be getting better. There’s still some pain in the right heel, particularly when I walk around barefoot at home, but less so when shod. Hopefully this will do the trick and all will be well in a week or so.

And for those concerned about Killer Aeolus, never fear—his one year check-up is coming up next week. There will be new brake pads and, hopefully, no more squeak. We will ride like the wind once again.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. I celebrated an anniversary recently. As of the end of September, I have lived in England for five years. I’ve lived in Nerdtown longer than any other single place* in my entire adult life. Freaky.
*In no particular order, I’ve also lived in DC, Edinburgh, NYC, Middle-of-Nowhere NH, and two Boston suburbs.

2. For the first time in four weeks I ran last night. It was awesome. And cold. And kinda dark which made it a bit scary on the towpath at times. But I ran and it was great. My reason for running was guilt. I ate four cupcakes yesterday (DON’T JUDGE ME!). Running just over 5k burned off the calories of only one of them (FUCK OFF!).

3. To prevent further encouragement of my blogging Tourette’s, I will now show you pretty pictures. These are from the middle 3k of my 5k route. The beginning and end of my route are in my immediate neighborhood which is less pretty. Enjoy.

I like the English tradition of naming houses.

Former schoolhouse.

The vicarage.

12th century church.

Foot bridge.


Stone bridge near the lock.

The towpath.

Herd of Oreo cookie cows.

Lovely end to the day.

Later gators.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Rolling with the punches

Hi there. My name is Xenia. You may remember me from such recent posts as... um... er.... I got nothing.

Yeah, it’s been a while. And it appears I’ve lost a few more of my precious marbles during that time. Aces!

Before you ask—no, I’m not done yet. Things have pretty much gone tits up on the dissertation. Submitting my dissertation in December is no longer to be thanks to a massive scheduling cock-up with my supervisor and another grad student.* Instead my supervisor will be reading my full rough draft over the holidays and I’ll submit in February.

The full realization of this hurt. A lot. More than I care to admit. However after wallowing in self pity for a short while, I made myself proud by flipping a metaphoric f-you to all and sundry, did a couple hours more work that night and then got up the next morning and went for a run. Apparently my productivity is best fuelled by bitterness. Why does this not surprise me.

With the exception of my daily cycling commute, exercise has been rather scarce. The last time I ran was three weeks ago and the last time I did any exercise not involving lifting books or banging my head against the desk in frustration was two weeks ago when I hit the gym for a swim.

The lack of activity is due to dissertation guilt which is similar to mom guilt in that I berate myself for every moment I’m not sitting at my desk and forcing myself to write. I know it’s beyond unreasonable to expect myself to be working 24/7, but I still can’t shake the feeling. I’ve had a healthy supply of Greek guilt instilled in me over the years. It’s not going to run out any time soon.

However, I’ve been inspired recently. I tracked Frayed Laces during Ironman Kona and was so impressed with her and everyone I saw cross the finish line on the live video feed. I also had a chat with my sister Z yesterday. She spectated at the Chicago Marathon for the first time (she was one of the girls waving a pink flamingo around between miles 10 and 11) and she told me how motivated she felt to get off her ass and back into a fitness routine because of it. She also said that she wished she had been spectating for me again (Z cheered me on at my first marathon). I wished that too.

So, taking positive steps, I’ve signed up for the Santa Run again this year. It seems I can’t get enough of making an ass out of myself in public. To each her own. I’m also planning on running the second annual 'Xenia’s own one-woman Turkey Trot 5K' on Thanksgiving. I have a feeling I’m gonna place first in the field again. It’s just a hunch though.

Basically all of this rambling means that my blog sabbatical is officially over. Let the sporadic sub-par posting commence!

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*I’ve just used the words tits and cock in the same paragraph. I’m totally making Momma X proud right now.