AEMILIA's SparkPeople Blog AEMILIA's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Finding a balance at the gym So I'm still recovering from surgery, but I've found a stairstepper routine that (1) doesn't bounce me up and down too much and (2) doesn't send me staggering to the restroom to throw up. I think I've found a point that's easy enough to not hurt, but challenging enough to let me start gaining back some cardio endurance. <BR> <BR> For the first time today, I added in an upper-body weight routine. (I think I'll hold off the lower body until that suture line across my abdomen looks more heale... Sat, 12 Feb 2011 17:17:37 EST Surprise - it's possible to overdo exercise after surgery I'm up and around after my surgery, and the doctor has cleared me to be more active as long as I "don't overdo it". Whatever that means. (Her clarification was "be reasonable", which is not really my strong suit.) <BR> <BR> I've been walking 5K under her old limitations, so yesterday I thought I'd try running part of it. Like, half a kilometer (though I was bored with walking, and ended up running a whole kilometer.) It felt great at the time ... <BR> <BR> But today I'm having more pain... Sat, 15 Jan 2011 20:15:36 EST Home from hospital After two and a half days in the hospital, they let me go home. The doctor and nurses were happy that I'd been up wandering the halls so much. Before anyone thinks this is inspirational, let me make it clear that I wouldn't have done it if it hurt, and I was working up bit by bit so I wouldn't overdo it. <BR> <BR> I'm done with my PhD coursework, so I can stay at home (which is all I feel like at the moment anyway). I'll be back in DC from time to time during the spring to meet with my ad... Sun, 12 Dec 2010 18:08:12 EST Tottering to Rivendell So a while back I developed iron-deficiency anemia, which has pretty much kept me from exercising to any significant degree. Why did I have anemia? Turns out I was losing too much blood. And why was I losing so much blood? Turns out I had these tumors ... <BR> <BR> So now I'm in the hospital following surgery. (Tumors of this kind are almost always non-cancerous, though, as you can see, they cause other problems.) This morning I was able to walk up and down the hall, and I have decided... Sat, 11 Dec 2010 11:04:28 EST Want a postcard from Australia? I'm about to head to Australia for an SF-related job (yes, really). If you send me SparkMail with your address, I'll send you a postcard (and an explanation). Back in a week! Fri, 9 Jul 2010 11:06:52 EST Personal trainer at the new gym My new gym membership came with a free consultation with the personal trainer. I passed on "let's weigh you and calculate your body composition", and asked if we could use weights for the squats, but it wasn't a bad way to get started up again. I haven't been lifting weights since I developed the anemia, so maybe this is a workout that I can do if I add some heavier weights. <BR> <BR> Also the leg press machine at this gym only goes up to 390, so I'll have to switch to the free-weight leg ... Fri, 25 Jun 2010 11:32:41 EST I was gonna post about real life BUT ... ... while trying out a new gym, I ran 5K in 31:55, a new best time for me. <BR> <BR> You don't suppose they adjust the displays to try to tempt new people to stay, do you? Tue, 15 Jun 2010 16:21:19 EST I totally got my best 5K time ever! I finished 5K on the treadmill in 33:53, the first time I've gone under 34 minutes. (And 35+ had been more typical for me.) <BR> <BR> I almost managed this at the gym a couple of days ago, but THE TREADMILL! IT QUIT! AT 30 MINUTES! It switched into a TOTALLY unauthorized cooldown, and I hadn't been looking at the display, so even as I desperately hit the fifty buttons you have to use to restart it, I couldn't know how much farther to go to hit 5K. I did, however, smack the machine. <BR>... Sun, 23 May 2010 12:29:29 EST 5K triumph! Okay, I haven't been good about posting. Or about tracking (I just put in the fitness minutes for two other 5Ks.) <BR> <BR> However! I ran a 5K nonstop tonight, which I've never managed to do in a road race! On the treadmill I know where to set the pace so I can finish, but on the road I tend to rush the early part and then have to slow down to a walk at some point. Not tonight, though. (Maybe now I can work on improving my road times, which are kind of random.) <BR> <BR> Also also, I... Fri, 23 Apr 2010 20:24:22 EST 5K in 35:49! The iron supplements really are helping - that might well be my best 5K time ever, and it's certainly the best I've had in a long time. When the anemia was at its worst, I had to slow down to a walk after jogging half a mile. <BR> <BR> This also means I'm back on track to do a 10K in May with Darwinista! GO US Sun, 7 Mar 2010 18:00:54 EST Back at the gym! The last time I went to the gym, I couldn't even finish thirty minutes of cardio on the easiest StairMaster setting without getting really nauseated. I decided this was a sign that I needed to give the iron supplements more time to do their work. <BR> <BR> Lo and behold, when I went back today I had a pleasant (if mild) workout at the same setting that was overwhelming me last time. I think I'll take a day or two more at this setting, then start edging it up a bit. Such a relief to find... Mon, 15 Feb 2010 21:17:48 EST Anemia I'd noticed that after I had the horrendous flu last semester, I just couldn't do my old cardio routine. It was really discouraging - I was working out at a lower level, and still felt awful afterwards. <BR> <BR> I tried telling myself that while I didn't like losing the progress I'd made, you can't start from anywhere except where you are, and it'd come back. <BR> <BR> Except it didn't. I wondered if maybe I just felt a lack of energy because I was unmotivated, and switched to running so... Wed, 27 Jan 2010 22:52:16 EST 20-hour project So I have switched my cardio from the Stairmaster, which hasn't been too great for me lately, to running. (I am planning to do the Apple Blossom 5K with Darwinista. This will be AWESOME.) <BR> <BR> Since there's a thirty-minute machine limit at the places where I have treadmill access, I'm planning on keeping track of how far I can run in thirty minutes. I'm sure I'll have good days and bad days, but I figure calculating a five-day average should smooth out the bumps a bit ... and once I'... Thu, 14 Jan 2010 17:27:22 EST Worst schedule EVER All my classes are on Tuesday and Thursday. Including the one I TA. One class is a seminar that meets only once a week. <BR> <BR> So on Thursdays I'm on campus nearly twelve hours, including seven nearly consecutive hours in classrooms. Oh, and I live about an hour away. <BR> <BR> So today I went to the little Parks and Recreation center a block from my house and signed up for the fitness center there. Most of the facilities are free (my tax dollars at work!) but for $20 a month I can u... Wed, 13 Jan 2010 18:52:21 EST Another day, another 5K My 5K time of 39:35 isn't all that impressive, but what I'm happy about is that I ran it without slowing down to a walk the day after doing 10K. Usually the day after the 10K, I just don't have enough endurance to do this. <BR> <BR> Also, today I was a little bit sore, but not much - another sign that the 10K practice is having some effect! <BR> <BR> Looking forward to the Apple Blossom 10K in April! Sun, 10 Jan 2010 21:42:05 EST 10K in 81:04! Not exactly a record-breaking time - but it would have gotten me across the Apple Blossom finish line before the parade ran over me. Plus now I have a new goal - get my time under eighty minutes. (If you think of it as improving my time by 1%, that doesn't sound that bad, does it?) <BR> <BR> I jogged the first 5K and most of the second, with a couple of short breaks at a brisk walk. If I can make those a little shorter, that'll get me to my time goal. <BR> <BR> One tricky thing, though, ... Sat, 9 Jan 2010 15:43:50 EST 50K! I may or may not reach 100K on vacation, what with the car breaking down and all - but I have gotten to 50K, so I've been getting to the gym regularly and working on my running goals. Here's to a good 10K time at the Apple Blossom Festival in April! Wed, 6 Jan 2010 20:39:09 EST Don't know if I'll get to 100K ... ... but I put in another 5K today. <BR> <BR> I should look up what muscle it is that aches when I go downstairs. (It's the kind of soreness that means you've been getting exercise, not the kind that means you're injured.) Sun, 3 Jan 2010 18:28:31 EST Starting the New Year off right! Even though I was up late last night having fun with the doughty crew of the USS Quantum, I got up and jogged 10K this morning. And I felt good afterwards, not all OH GOD. <BR> <BR> It does seem, though, that one of my 10K goals is going to be "do the whole thing without a bathroom break at the midpoint." Fri, 1 Jan 2010 14:16:27 EST 100K setback ... ... in the form of my car dying four times while crossing town during a snowstorm. <BR> <BR> Snowstorm = no jogging in neighborhood <BR> No car = no jogging on treadmill <BR> <BR> Perhaps the auto place can work me in tomorrow. Phooey. Sun, 27 Dec 2009 20:33:39 EST 100K before spring semester? So the biggest inconvenience from doing 10K on the treadmill was my aching feet afterwards, and a soak in a hot bathtub left me ready to go to a party that night. <BR> <BR> Yesterday and today I did a more modest 5K. My times have been ... less than impressive, but right now I just want to get in the habit of running. Plus, of course, keeping the soreness at a manageable level, not at the point where I'm lying on the couch being useless. (I have had to pop some Advil, but overall it's not... Mon, 21 Dec 2009 13:49:56 EST Initial 10K: not so bad I got on the treadmill today and alternated jogging half a mile with walking. I did have to take my walking pace down a bit from what I'd hoped to do, because my calves (and hips, weird) were feeling it pretty badly, but still finished fast enough that it would have been OK in the Apple Blossom race Darwinista and I are training for. And I felt good at the end, instead of knocked out. <BR> <BR> The treadmill did kick me into cooldown mode at the one hour mark - I guess it figures that if y... Sat, 19 Dec 2009 16:30:53 EST Flying back home today! I get to spend nearly a month with my husband. w00t! I am so delighted. Fri, 18 Dec 2009 01:57:40 EST Have any of you Pacific Northwesterners checked this out? (Trek!) To go with the Klingon rap ... Klingon karaoke. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>tent?oid=27848&category=34029 </link> <BR> <BR> The dude owns a bar in Portland and has (had?) Klingon karaoke nights on a regular basis, including "Somewhere Over The Rainbow". If I am ever in Oregon again, this is totally on the agenda. <BR> <BR> (Edited because I can't spell) Wed, 16 Dec 2009 18:02:44 EST The eternal battle of the DuPont Circle Escalator So I always gripe about walking up the DuPont Circle Escalator, which works out to about four floors, even though I always walk up it, because if I didn't I'd feel like I was being lazy. And I'd kick myself if it made me miss the shuttle. <BR> <BR> So today the escalator! Was! Broken! I don't know how many fewer steps you have to go when it's moving, but man, my heart rate was spectacularly high by the time I reached the top. <BR> <BR> The down escalator was moving, of course. Prioriti... Tue, 15 Dec 2009 00:35:36 EST Isn't there some way to delete blog entries? Rainmusic has caught me being bitchy again, so I'm going to settle down. BUT WHAT I WILL NOT DO IS PUT DEPARTMENT EXPENSES ON MY CREDIT CARD! Or stop abusing the Shift key! grr Thu, 10 Dec 2009 11:29:01 EST The bad Stairmaster So I figured out a while back that the second StairMaster from the end is set a little different from the others. It's consistently a harder workout, so I stick with the other five, which are more consistent. <BR> <BR> But today I absentmindedly got on it and only realized it when I was wondering why the early peak was so rough. Ten minutes in I was wiped out. I ended up stepping down, letting my heart rate return from the stratosphere, and doing another twenty minutes on one of the frien... Wed, 9 Dec 2009 22:06:44 EST New fitness goal So maybe it's the lingering effects of the flu, but my cardio has been way below the level it was at before summer break, and it's kind of discouraging. (Not to mention that it's only in the last couple of days that going to the gym has started to feel good when it's over, instead of "I wonder if I'm going to throw up now.") <BR> <BR> So maybe I just need a specific goal to work towards. And I have something in mind: running the Apple Blossom 10K with my sister. <BR> <BR> I suppose the "w... Mon, 7 Dec 2009 19:41:39 EST For your Trek-loving enjoyment Although I am apparently incapable of actually posting anything this semester, I did want to share the following awesomeness: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> A Klingon rapper. If you just want to check out one song, try this one: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>WoC6XA </link> <BR> <BR> He has also sent me e-mail. In Klingon. Like, personally to me, not spam. This = awesome. When Darwinista gets done with her degree and we c... Sun, 6 Dec 2009 01:20:30 EST See, this is the kind of trouble I get into (and it is even science-fiction related) So I'm taking this quasi-required machine translation class. And we have to do a homework assignment which incorporates a chunk of software written by someone else. Software which does not handle non-English alphabets well. Or languages with lots of endings. <BR> <BR> I assume that the prof will have us play with this for a week or two and then move on to some real software. I mean, no foreign alphabets? What is this, 1993? <BR> <BR> Working out a system to substitute English letters f... Mon, 16 Nov 2009 22:41:56 EST Flu (the sequel) So let's just say up front that this mentions some flu symptoms, and those who don't care to read such things can skip it. <BR> <BR> This morning I woke up with a less runny nose! And less aches and pains! And more energy! And - okay, my larynx still felt like it had been sanded, but I wasn't coughing so much. Off to class and office hours! <BR> <BR> Except that as time to leave approached I was feeling queasy. I hadn't had anything like this over the weekend - it was a new symptom - a... Mon, 5 Oct 2009 22:56:20 EST English spelling A friend of mine recently told me that the spelling of the English language ought to be simplified, and I agreed with him. <BR> <BR> I said that first of all, we ought to start with the plural. We add "s" to "cat" to make "cats", and "dog" to make "dogs", when anyone can hear that they are pronounced differently, and rationally ought to be "cats" and "dogz". The same goes for words like "walks" and "sings". <BR> <BR> He said he hadn't thought of it that way, and was really thinking of wor... Sun, 4 Oct 2009 19:42:39 EST Laid up with flu None of my plans for the weekend seem to be happening. When I got out of my last class Thursday evening, I had the telltale tickle at the back of my throat. By the time I got home I was coughing and feverish. Now I can't seem to manage much besides sleeping and drinking endless glasses of water. <BR> <BR> Lulius helpfully pointed out that this year "flu" means H1N1. In turn, I'll point out that "H1N1" only means "life-threatening" if you're already less healthy than, say, your average Am... Sat, 3 Oct 2009 16:09:06 EST SPAM SPAM SPAM I used to be a member of a fair-sized Spark Team that I liked. Then some wiseacre let one of the organizers in on the secret SparkMail technology, and she started sending out teamwide alerts whenever someone had a birthday. I.e., every day. I think there might have been a day she missed someone and sent two. <BR> <BR> I left the team and wrote her to say that the forum might be a better place for this, so that people could decide for themselves whether they wanted these extremely frequent... Wed, 30 Sep 2009 20:29:17 EST Damn you Thomas Edison So I just had two lightbulbs burn out in 24 hours. This within days after using up my last good one on yet another burned-out bulb. <BR> <BR> SP relevance - yes, there is some: this was the *kitchen* light, meaning that when I got home hungry around eight, I couldn't cook anything. The dinner plan of "chick peas in korma sauce" was replaced with "goat cheese, Ritz crackers, and raspberry jam", because that didn't require washing dishes or seeing anything. (Yes, I have a flashlight. No, I... Tue, 29 Sep 2009 20:46:21 EST Oh, man! So I bought this doll on eBay because (1) I am such an introvert that a doll actually counts as companionship in my solitary apartment, and (2) he's adorable. <BR> <BR> I march home from the post office yesterday with my Express Mail package from China, only to find that the poor guy's leg is broken off. (The package had never been opened, so it's not the seller's fault; it's just plain old bad luck.) The guy takes returns, but then there's the postage back and forth again ... <BR> <BR> ... Sat, 12 Sep 2009 10:44:22 EST Things that are important: gloves These gloves cost too much, but I really, really, really, really want them. Really. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>le_silk_lined_leather_gloves.htm </link> Sat, 5 Sep 2009 01:00:27 EST Back at the gym Poor choice of level on the Stairmaster meant switching to the treadmill after ten minutes. So I guess one of my early goals for the semester is "Find a Stairmaster level that works for thirty minutes, then work up." Mon, 31 Aug 2009 17:04:29 EST Sliced peaches with rose syrup I know it sounds dreadfully gourmet, but it's a question of "I'm hungry. What's in the fridge? And doesn't take any work?" Sun, 30 Aug 2009 21:50:22 EST It is just too hot Another day in the mid-to-high eighties here, though it looks like we'll get a bit of a break tomorrow. I seem to recall that last year was bad, but not for too long. <BR> <BR> Worse, the humidity seems to be affecting the latest bit of Ikea assembly, as the little wooden pegs aren't wanting to go where they should. This is causing bad language. Thu, 27 Aug 2009 11:21:23 EST Back in DC The new semester starts Monday, and I'm back in my non-air-conditioned apartment, building Ikea furniture, getting permission to audit an intensive Turkish class, and discovering that none of my classes will admit to having textbooks. <BR> <BR> Although I've been getting exercise over the summer, I haven't much been on SP. (This might possibly perhaps be because during the school year I'm here alone, and during the summer I'm at home with my husband.) I'll be around a lot more starting nex... Wed, 26 Aug 2009 17:31:06 EST In which I am vague For the past month or so, the major things going on in my life have been (1) looking after my mother as she recovers from double hip replacement, and (2) a recurring health problem of my own that is MUCH less serious by comparison, but still kept me from (for example) walking without discomfort. Neither of which much lends itself to blogging. <BR> <BR> Since my doctor in Indianapolis couldn't get me in for surgery before fall classes start, I now have a list of referrals to DC surgeons. Ma... Thu, 20 Aug 2009 17:43:05 EST My philosophy of life <img src=""> <BR> <BR> He's summed it all up. I have nothing to add. Sun, 16 Aug 2009 10:22:13 EST Oh, come on I looked up some articles on improving your 5K time, which were all useless, but I did get this tidbit: apparently you're a "beginner" if your 5K time is twenty-seven minutes. TWENTY-SEVEN MINUTES, PEOPLE. Useless, I tell you. Mon, 3 Aug 2009 15:07:22 EST 35:33 5K! (also costume pics!) My best-ever 5K time - on a treadmill in a gym with (some) air conditioning, admittedly, not on asphalt. I hit a nice balance of running and jogging; on the one hand, if I jog the whole thing, my total time isn't all that impressive, and on the other, if I throw in too much running, I run out of energy at the end and have to walk part of it (which also makes my total time unimpressive.) I'm trying to hit that balance more consistently. <BR> <BR> Also, some people who were at the con have s... Sun, 2 Aug 2009 13:46:33 EST Costume contest I won a trophy in the costume contest at the big SF convention in town. Unfortunately my fairly detailed checklist of props and emergency repair items DID NOT include the digital camera ... so I'm waiting to see if I can get pictures from friends who attended. (If it comes down to it, I guess I'd be willing to do 45 minutes of makeup again so I can get pictures.) Sat, 11 Jul 2009 19:46:44 EST Rail-to-trail Went out on one of the city's rail-to-trail trails today. I headed south from the shopping district where I parked, which is the less busy direction to go on the trail. They've been fixing it up a bit since I last rode it; there are new trees planted, a lot of businesses have added murals along their walls, and there are chain-link fences separating the trail from the weedy vacant lots (although it's not clear what they're protecting from who). <BR> <BR> On the downside, there's that four-... Sun, 31 May 2009 23:34:12 EST Another treadmill 5K It's raining today, so no biking, but I went to the gym. <BR> <BR> 39:36, a slower time than some of my 5Ks on roads ... but I ran the whole thing without slowing down to a walk. Maybe it's time to look for another 5K around here? Mon, 25 May 2009 12:37:18 EST New bike speed record - 31.2 mph! (New since I changed the battery in the bike odometer, anyway.) <BR> <BR> I live in a city. Really, I do. But once I've crossed the interstate on the overpass, I'm biking through fields of cows and horses - and, today, when I hit the mileage I'd picked to turn around, I was in the driveway of a local dairy. (And that big yellow thing in the driveway was not a cat, but a chicken.) <BR> <BR> My speed record, admittedly, was downhill. Yesterday I had to walk the bike up that hill, but toda... Sun, 24 May 2009 19:05:39 EST Stupid flat tire Between finals and moving cross-country for the summer, I haven't been online much. I have, however, been trying to get into a new fitness habit. <BR> <BR> Since I no longer have access to the big gym on campus, I've been biking. My first trip ended badly with a flat tire - at least I was only a quarter-mile from my house, so I didn't have to take it all that far. I've been making good progress increasing my mileage over the course of four days- from 3.3 miles the first day to 8.4 today. ... Fri, 22 May 2009 16:10:11 EST