Friday, 26 February 2010

The pleasure in pain

A long time ago I mentioned I was going to have my first professional massage. The financial splurge was prompted by a knot that had formed in my shoulder-neck area which had a bad habit of seizing when I went running. Ouchie.

Well, I went and it was fine, but not what I was looking for. It was kinda just a pansy spa thing. The entire time she was massaging my lower back (and getting dangerously close to my end zone, by the way) I was grumbling on the inside that that wasn’t the part that hurt.

So, post-non-helpful massage, I started researching where to go for what I needed. And I found it.

I made an appointment with a sports massage therapist. Let’s call her Genghis. Well, early yesterday evening, I met with Genghis and gave her the low down on my situation. She then proceeded to spend the next thirty minutes causing me the most unimaginable pain.

It seems completely idiotic to pay someone for the privilege of having them essentially beat the snot out of you. But I understand that it’s the only way this knot is going to go away. I just thank god she couldn’t see my face during the whole process. I’m told I have a very expressive face and the entire time I was contorting it in an effort not to make a noise or say anything like, “HOLY F*CK THAT HURTS!”

Post-torture session, Genghis showed me some good stretches to use to prevent the knot from reforming in future. She also noticed that my posture kinda sucks since I roll my shoulders forward a bit. Now when I’m out and about, I’m making sure to pull my shoulders back, but this now has the unfortunate result of thrusting my boobage forward. I think I know why I’ve been hunching now.

Not surprisingly I’m super freaking sore today. The barest touch on my neck or shoulders and I flinch. But again, I know it’s for the best. I should be feeling better in a day or two and then hopefully I won’t have to see Genghis again.

For the love of all that is holy, please, I don’t want to see her again.

Since I skipped my run this morning and just finished eating an iced doughnut the size of my face, I really need to get a run in tonight before I attend a dinner function. So on that note, I wish you all a happy weekend and I’ll try to catch up with you next week.

Later gators.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

150 days...give or take

I won’t be moving out of the House that Crazy Built until the middle of summer. Crapola.

It’s not because of my landlady (unquestionably the nicest woman on the planet) who has said she would release me from my signed lease at any time with no problem. Instead it’s because I don’t have time to devote to an apartment search in the middle of term when I’m up to my ears in work and training at the same time. Things are still a bit shit, but the situation has calmed down so I’ll just deal with it and look forward to the summer. At least I have work and running to keep me out of the house most of that time as well as an amazing number of friends who have come out of the woodwork to offer spare bedrooms and couches any time I should need them. I may be hurting for decent housemates, but I’m rich in kind and generous friends. I can definitely live with that.

So, anyway, let’s get back to that running.

My one lovely and sane housemate, Finn, joined me in a couple of runs last week. She’s a long time runner and I admit I was a bit wary of having her join me because I’m essentially a tortoise and Finn is pretty much a gazelle. There’s a bit of a speed difference there. And by a bit, I mean a lot. However, she assured me that she was slow and not to worry about it.

Yeah. Sure.

Wednesday morning dawned and she and I headed out in the early am for a 5K. Right off the bat I could tell her easy pace was close to my tempo pace, but I kept up and felt good for being pushed but not to any breaking point. Then on Sunday she joined me for the first part of my 10 mile long run, heading off before I made my second loop around the northern residential area. It probably doesn’t need to be said, but my pace dropped significantly after we parted ways, but that was probably for the best. Because of work and getting in all those cycling miles at the beginning of the work, I ended up running four days in a row (Wednesday to Sunday) which is something I don’t normally do. And my paces for those runs really showed it, especially the second run as I ran it less than eleven hours after the first. Yeah, I’m not so good with the planning sometimes.

Another thing...apparently last weekend was the Weekend of Taking the Piss. On Saturday morning I was running on the sidewalk, minding my own business when the guy walking towards me thought it would be funny to mime like he was running by swinging his arms wildly. Then on Sunday when Finn and I were trotting along, an older guy pruning his bush (not a euphemism) made a point to say ‘Nice work ladies’ and then five minutes later there was another idiot who saw us and decided to do the same mime run as the first guy.

What the hell was put in the water in Nerdtown to make people be assholes? I’ll give the older guy a break since he actually seemed genuine with his comment, but the other two knobs are now on my ever growing hit list. Next time I’ll stop suppressing my natural instincts and just flip them the bird. Douchenozzles.

Sweet jebus, I complain a lot. Sorry, I’ll work on that. Here, I’ll balance things out a bit.
Cute, no?

Later gators.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

I could have done without this right now

There's been a massive (and thoroughly retarded) shitstorm in my communal living situation. I fear I will be stabbed in my sleep by bitter-selfish-unreasonable-psychotic housemate (okay maybe not killed, but dang is she f-ed up). Time for Xenia to move house. I will return to the blogosphere when I've resettled in a psycho-free zone.

In case you were wondering, I have been running. A lot. Did you know it's really hard to breathe while running when your throat closes up as you try choking back anger-tears? Yes, I cry when I'm angry which is unbelievably frustrating since it totally diminishes the importance of what you're trying to say. I think this only happens for those with a uterus though. At least in my experience.

I hope all is well with the rest of you. Take care and I'll come back when I can.

Later gators.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Cheeky

Today is the final day of the month-long triathlon. Thank the friggin’ lord! I completed a pseudo sprint nolhtairt (that’s triathlon backwards, geniuses) this morning as my final workout in this pain-fest of a month. You’re on the edge of your seats for my stats, aren’t you?

*crickets*

Well, lie to me anyway. I wanna feel special.

Okay, here’s the recap. I needed to complete:

2.4 miles of swimming
112 miles of cycling
26 miles of running

I completed:

2.5 miles of swimming
115 miles of cycling
42.2 miles of running

Three cheers for doing the bare minimum for cross training! Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!

So basically in the last three days I cycled 45 miles. My ass is killing me! No more gym bike for at least a month if ever again. Aeolus is much more accommodating even if the English weather is not.

I’ve got more to say and some pictures to show you all, but I don’t have time today. Hopefully I’ll get to it tomorrow, maybe Monday. It depends on how much of this chapter I get completed by tonight. Which basically means, don’t hold your breath.

Later gators.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Cue the Rocky theme song

Okay, so I lied. Sue me.

Just before I catch my train, I thought I’d lay down some stats on you.

The month-long triathlon ends this Thursday. It requires that I complete the following:

2.4 miles of swimming
112 miles of cycling
26 miles of running

So far, I’ve got:

2 miles of swimming
71.7 miles of cycling
36 miles of running

So basically I need one more session in the pool and a whole lotta time on an uncomfortable bike seat over the next four days while making sure not to cock up my marathon training runs in the process. Today is a wash so I’ve got three days left.

Can I do it? Place your bets!

Friday, 12 February 2010

Smoke and mirrors

So I stressed myself the hell out these past few days. I gave a paper today, rather unprepared and mostly off the cuff. Apparently the audience found it to be rather interesting. Huh. Maybe I know more than I think I do. Nah, that can’t be it.

Because of the freak out fest, I skipped my run yesterday, breaking my chain of 11 straight days of working out. Shite. I really want to get that run in today, but I’m tired and have dinner plans for this evening. I guess there’s always the potential for a post-dinner duathlon of sorts as a half-assed nod to the Olympics. Tempo tummy turnover? I get the impression thai food doesn’t taste that good coming back up the esophagus though. Hmm, decisions.

I’ll be on a one-woman field trip on Monday, so no posting from me till after. To console you all, I will leave you with two things to entertain you.

1) It appears the prodigal P.O.M. has returned to the blogosphere. Go harass her for being away so long.

And,

2) I’m really looking forward to this movie coming out in April.

Granted it won’t be campy fun like the original and it is rather worrisome that they were doing re-shoots in Wales just last week, but the trailer makes it look like good fun all the same. And plus Sam Worthington’s in it which means I’ll be on this movie like white on rice.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Later gators.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday

The weather may be thoroughly depressing here (what's this sun everyone keeps talking about?), but at least the architecture is interesting.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Happenings

Thank you all for your kind words on Friday. My family is doing better. The assholes have yet to be identified and caught, but we live in hope.

Week #1 of marathon training is now in the books and it was a complete success. I ran all four planned runs and got in three days of cycling for cross training. The running and swimming portions of the month-long triathlon are coming along just fine, but I’m struggling with the cycling. My ass goes numb after about 30 minutes, so I don’t see me being able to crank out more than 10 miles in a day. At least not during my cross training days in the next week. That leaves me just four days next week to complete the remaining amount towards 112 miles. Eh, it’s more exciting when it comes down to the wire anyway, no?

This morning I got back to swimming after a brief hiatus. It was a busy day for the pool, but I was all right sharing my lane with the lanky young Mediterranean guy. He was lovely eye candy. However, I picked up the pace when sketchy middle-aged speedo man sauntered by and cast lewd looks upon all the women in the pool. He was headed towards the sauna which I knew left me little time to complete my laps and get the hell out of the pool before he came back. The speedo had to have been from the 70s as it looked more like Depends masquerading as superhero underpants. I’m assuming his super power has something to do with how fast he can contaminate a pool with his infected junk.

Yikes.

To end today’s post, I’ll be stealing borrowing a bit of Jamoosh’s shtick by closing with my own ‘Listening to’ for the day. I’ve been on a bit of a Lord of the Rings kick lately and I find this song to be rather soothing. Melancholy, yes, but soothing all the same.

Listening to: Into the West – Annie Lennox & Howard Shore

Later gators.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Perspective

I had planned to write a funny post for today—making fun of my massage yesterday and gloating about how I’m on track with training. But it’s just not going to happen.

I was informed this morning that my cousin’s restaurant was robbed at knifepoint the other night. My aunt and other cousin were the only ones there. They were assaulted by two assholes who stole the money from the till and then left. The knife, thankfully, was only used to intimidate.

My aunt and cousin are fine. Shaky, but fine. I’m going to call them today when I get home to reassure myself of that fact.

My aunt is a small woman, 5’1” if she’s lucky. My cousin has a form of muscular dystrophy which greatly affects his balance and walking ability.

I am angry and upset, especially because I cannot be there to console and help them in person. I am very close to my family. My aunt took care of my sister and me a lot when we were very little and our parents had to work. Her sons are essentially our brothers.

I can already foresee the majority of this weekend being spent on the phone and Skype. I look forward to it if only to try to make them all laugh and smile again.

Have a happy and safe weekend, my blogger buddies. And thank you for letting me vent.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Dressed to impress

When I woke up Tuesday morning, I really didn’t want to get out of bed. I’d almost convinced myself that I’d run that evening instead (LIES! ALL LIES!!), but then a miracle happened.

I had to pee.

Okay, maybe not so much a miracle as a common morning occurrence for me. Stop arguing over semantics.

Anyway, I got up and used the loo and as I passed the hallway window I noticed that it wasn’t pissing down outside. (See, there’s the miracle!) This motivated me to suit up in my wannabe ninja outfit (black is chic, bitches), Asics, beanie and my reflective PLEASE DON’T HIT ME WITH YOUR MIDGET EURO CAR vest. I was just closing the door to my room when one of my flatmates, Finn (the one I don’t hate), was heading to the loo. She looked at me and whispered, “WOW!” [Editor’s note: A loud exclamation was avoided so as not to bring down upon us the passive-aggressive wrath of Tweedledee and Tweedledipshit, i.e. the other two flatmates.]

Was she blown away by my amazing ensemble, especially the neon orange and yellow vest? Perhaps. However it’s more likely that she was impressed that I was venturing out in the dark for a bit of a run before I became chained to my desk for the rest of the day.

Because of the hours each of us keeps, she doesn’t often see me go off for runs, which, over the past few weeks, have been taking place sporadically and at random times. Currently I’m in a position to overhaul my daily schedule so I’m trying to move exercise time to the early morning so as not to impede work or evening social activities.

She wished me well and I went out for my three miler. Thankfully I only had to endure a light mist. If I’d waited till later, I would’ve been stuck in a downpour. Yay for not procrastinating!

This morning I cycled through a whole lotta mud (why did I sign up for that month-long triathlon again?) and tomorrow is my planned baby tempo run. Also planned for tomorrow is my first ever professional massage. Huzzah! I finally decided to bitch-slap my frugal ways and am splurging on thirty minutes of someone pounding the hell out of my neck, back and shoulders. I have a gigantic knot where my neck meets my right shoulder and it’s been very angry for the past week. I’m getting it taken care of because I’m tired of walking around looking like Quasimodo. I should be back to my Igor-level of hotness in no time.

Okay, that’s it for me today. Have a happy hump day, everyone.

Later gators.

Monday, 1 February 2010

A new day

And so it begins.....again.

Today marks the first day of training for the Edinburgh marathon. Did I run? Hell no. Today’s a cross training day so I hit the bike instead. I should have swum also but I just couldn’t face getting into my bathing suit today. Yeah, it’s one of those days. Awesome.

After leaving the gym this morning, I had to run a bunch of errands so Aeolus and I criss-crossed town and nearly took out a couple dozen pedestrians in the process. Apparently they all had a death wish. One of these days I’ll stop being so rude and oblige them. Morons.

Most of these errands should have been completed yesterday but I was stymied by a debit card cock-up which denied me access to my money. I had to empty out my change jar in order to buy a pint of skim milk and a small loaf of bread to complete today’s breakfast and lunch. I scrounged up £1.55. My purchases totalled £1.32. Do you know how pathetic it looks when you stand at the self-checkout till for five minutes feeding 1 and 2 pence coins into the machine? Yeah, that would be a lot. Thankfully that’s all sorted now so I won’t have to face that again for a long while. Hopefully.

Ok, folks, that’s it for me. I hope you all have a non-crappy week ahead. Catch up with you when I can.

Later gators.