jamesq: (Jabba)
I rejoined Weight Watchers a few weeks ago. Well, technically I never quit, I just skipped going to meetings for several months. Anyway, I knew I was up a lot but I also knew that if I looked at the numbers, I'd get depressed (I make despairing remarks about my weight all the time, but getting slapped in the face with the facts always crushes me). So I resolved to go, and to just have them tell me if I was up or down. Provided I was constantly going down in weight, I could feel good about myself without having to see how Jabba-like I've become.

This worked until this week, when - out of the corner of my eye - I saw that they added a star to my weight record. So I looked. I'm down five pounds since returning. Yay me! Except, I'm down to 255.5, which means I was actually ten pounds heavier when I restarted than I thought I was. I'm currently five pounds higher than my estimate. Boo!

So I'm not sure how to feel about all that. It's a little like running for an hour only to reach the starting gate. Sure, it's an accomplishment, but it sure is discouraging.

In other fitness news, I've decided to do the Victoria half-marathon again. Given how close it is in time and proximity to this fall's trip to Leavenworth, I think it's a reasonable goal. Plus, thirty weeks of training for a half-marathon can't help but bring me down to where I can believe someone would find me attractive.

Incidentally, my lowest adult weight was when I went to the UK eight years ago. I've been steadily gaining since then. Maybe when I go to the UK five weeks from now, I'll find where I lost my fitness mojo and bring it back to Canada with me.
jamesq: (Fools)
I'm in Vancouver and so far the trip has been very good. I met up with several friends for a late lunch, checked into my B&B, did some grocery shopping, and wound up at Storm Crow with a bunch of random SCAdians I hadn't met yet.

One of the things I'm trying to accomplish is to travel with less stuff. I ended up buying a shoulder bag that was almost the maximum dimensions of Westjet's carry-on allowance, then ended up switching it all to my first backpack at the last minute. I'm glad I did (though I'm not happy I wasted the money on a shoulder bag I'm probably never going to use) - it fit without problem, carried what I needed it to carry, and has a wee bit of room to spare.

The problem with packing lightly though is that I have some high volume things. First, being a big guy, my clothes are simply bigger. Some people can stick a change of clothes in a Pringle's can. I am not one of them. The big thing is my running shoes. One solution is to make those my only shoes, except I like to go to the theatre and nice restaurants, and my neon green runners don't go well with black pants and a button up shirt. So those shoes need to be packed. There's been times when I've packed the shoes and then failed to run. That always irritates me, so I resolved that, on this trip, if I was going to pack them, then I was going to run, rain or shine.

Did I mention that I'm in Vancouver in November?

So I hear it pouring rain all morning, and I'm thinking of putting the run off until tomorrow. Then while puttering around my suite this morning, I hear that the rain has stopped! Looking outside the window, I can see a few patches of sunlight trying to break through the cloud cover. Cool! This could be my one opportunity.

I put on my running strip and go outside. It is dry for about ten feet and then it starts to rain again. OK, I think, It's probably just the last gasp of the rain, I can ignore it.

Over the first kilometer, the rain grows more steady until it's a full on shower. If it gets worse, I resolve, I'll turn around and go back. It gets worse and worse, but it does so as I get farther and farther away from my suite. At three Km I have my epiphany: My clothing is already soaked through to the skin, and it doesn't feel that bad. Oh, it's not pleasant, but running in the snow is worse. As long as I keep running, I won't get cold. So I resolve to do my full planned run. After about five Km, I stop avoiding puddles. When I finally finish at seven Km, I'm actually steaming.

I go back into my suite and immediately strip down. Even my skivvies are damp.

And now the rain has stopped.
jamesq: (An actual picture of me.)
The point of the trip was to do Bay to Breakers. As advertised, you start a few blocks from San Francisco Bay and then run more or less straight west until you reach the Breakers of the Pacific Ocean.

Only two pictures this time... )
I would do Bay to Breakers again. But there's other races to do too.
jamesq: (An actual picture of me.)
You can negotiate with terrorists.

That's more than a little unfair - I've had physiotherapists before, for assorted injuries. They've never asked for more than I could give - their rep comes from you not realizing that. Besides, I've felt more beaten up from psychotherapy sessions.

I've had a fairly minor running injury that's been plaguing me for a few weeks. I took a break from my training for a week due to a cold and on my first run afterward I managed to sprain my calf.

Swell. So I waited a week to let it heal and then went out for a nice easy run. And it sprained again in the exact same spot.

Wonderful. Again, I wait a week and go for a nice easy run. And it sprains again in the exact same spot.

I may be a slow learner.

That was Sunday and today I went to see a physiotherapist. The verdict? I've got a micro-tearing where the medial Gastrocnemius muscle joins the Plantaris tendon. The Soleus muscle is likely inflamed too. This isn't so severe that it's affecting my life poorly aside from not running. I can walk long distances and it only really bothers me when I climb a lot of stairs. Compared to my 2nd degree hamstring injury a few years ago.

My left leg is simply weaker than my right leg - possibly just because that's the way things are and possibly due to that earlier injury. By laying off the running for a week, I'd lost some tone, then re-injured it whenever I started again, putting myself into a vicious circle. In short, the injured portion takes a lot of the impact when my left food lands, and provides a lot of the force when I push forward. It's one if the most heavily strained portions of my body when I run.

Thankfully my physiotherapist gave me a nice road-map to recovery:
  1. Three weeks no running.
  2. I won't be sitting on my ass those three weeks - I have a stretching/strengthening regime that will be my new religion for the next few weeks, and possibly beyond.
  3. Start running again, but do so conservatively. This will probably be a walk/run program like I often do in the spring.
      Of course, she also offered me a treatment of "non-traditional acupuncture". I declined, citing "woo" as a reason to not engage in a treatment. She then spent a few minutes trying to convince me. No, I think allowing the healing to occur while strengthening and stretching the affected area is quite sufficient.

      Now to actually, you know, do it. Always the biggest roadblock for me. Still, I'm still about .500 for doing my back stretches and I can simply treat these as an extension of the same thing.

      This is as good a place as any to mention it: I won't be doing the Victoria Half-Marathon this Sunday. Instead I've re-booked my Saturday flight to Victoria, and now I'll be spending all of my time in Vancouver.
jamesq: (Rage)
I failed to get up on time for my morning jog. Rather than skip it, I took my gym strip to work with the intent of running the long way back home (The long way involves Bowmont park and Dalhousie Station and is 7-8K, whereas the short way is only 3.5). Today I remembered why I jog early. People.

The run was mostly good, but I stopped running at 5k because one of my shielding bandaids sweated off. It was damned hot for this ginger.

Anyway, I'm walking across the bridge at Dalhousie station and there are lots of young ladies walking towards me dressed nicely - no doubt they're going Stampeding and want to look their best. Unfortunately there was this skeevy guy just ahead of me who decided to harass one of them. He simply veered directly into the path of one lone young women so that she had to squeeze/brush past him to get on her way. And this wasn't something one could mistake for anything other than harassment - there were only a handful of people on the bridge, and you can normally walk four abreast without touching. This guy had no excuse.

I was stunned, and didn't really know what to say or do. And then he sees I'm watching him so he addresses me, like I'm on his side.
"Heh, they don't like it when you do that."
"Do what?", I ask, wondering how he's going to justify it.
"When you point at them."
Leaving aside the fact that this guy did not just point at her, he came so close to groping her as to be a pedantic distinction rather than a real one.
"I. Guess. You. Shouldn't. Do. That. Then.", I enunciate.
"I don't care.", he says as he veers off
Dumbass creep. If you don't care, why are you looking for validation from me? Sadly, I didn't think to say that since I was still stunned. I also didn't say "Maybe you should grow up then", but sadly, perfect retorts only come minutes later.

Still, I'd rather have not needed to confront this guy. I might have been bigger than him, but I'm no fighter. I can't imagine what that poor woman must have felt. I hope it didn't ruin her night out.

Honestly, I don't know how women put up with that crap like that day after day after day. And to all the women I've ever creeped on - I'm sorry, I'll do better in the future.

Later, while walking up the hill to my house some woman parks her car, opens the passenger door to let her two dogs out. The tiny one is on a leash and the medium sized one immediately runs to jump me, barking furiously. I swing my groceries in between us but the dog keeps hoping around, looking for an opening.

Meanwhile, the owner is yelling at her dog to sit/heel/get back/whatever. The dog is ignoring her.
"Jesus Christ lady, fucking grab your dog already!"
She doesn't, but it finally backs away from me to her.
"Sit", she says.
It doesn't sit.
"Yeah, that's doing a lot of good. If you can't fucking control your dog, put it on a fucking leash."
"Sorry."
I don't point out that sorry won't help me if I'm getting stitches. Instead, I just move around her car and continue home.

I walk in the door to my home.
Gerry says, "Hello."
"You know what I hate?", I ask.
"What?"
"People."

Boston

Apr. 15th, 2013 04:46 pm
jamesq: (Rage)
As I write this, the Boston Marathon Terrorist Attack is still an ongoing thing. Nobody really knows anything other than a couple bombs went off near the finish line and there have been a few deaths and more injuries.

Once again some asshole has decided on their own volition that we can't have nice things. Not just in the immediate sense that it's affected the victims in Boston. No, now everyone is going to have low-level paranoia revolving around every little footrace. I hate that - and not just because I routinely participate in foot races. It would be equally bad if it were at a dog show or a fantasy-football convention (I was going to say "movie premiere", but of course, that's already happened).

[speculation on who's responsible redacted, because wild-ass guesses don't help]

Hopefully law enforcement solves this crime right away and the criminals are swiftly apprehended.

As for avoiding races, please don't. I heard an interesting statistic a few years ago - don't know if it's true: The number of people who die over the course of a big race due to heart attacks is smaller than that of the same amount of people who don't run. That is to say, the per-capita rate of heart attacks over the five hours of a marathon is greater for the population at large than it is for race participants. Or more to the point, participating in the race is safer.

A few caveats about that. With regards to Boston specifically, they probably get less heart attacks than normal for other races. You need to qualify for the Boston marathon. You don't need to qualify for the Calgary marathon, so it's going to get more people who aren't prepared to do it.

What does any of that have to do with the attack? Just that one should remember that what makes something newsworthy doesn't make it likely. A terrorist attack is so unlikely that my odds of dying during a run via lightning strike is higher, which in turn is less likely than me keeling over from a heart attack. And I don't let heart attacks or dark clouds stop me from running.

Don't let terrorists get under your skin. The perpetrators are criminals, not the boogie-man. Keep calm and carry on as they say - it's a lot better than freaking out.
jamesq: (Fools)
About ten days ago on a Saturday morning LA and I participated in City Chase. Our team name was, of course, Grätüïtöüs Ümläüt. Here's a quick recap with some hints for future City Chases:

We started at Eau Claire plaza and endured a lot of talk from the MC. A coworker and his race partner were honored for winning last year and also for raising about 3K for charity.

The race started when the MC announced that "security guards on Prince's Island have the clue sheets". This triggered a mad dash by all involved. LA and I second-guessed ourselves and went to one of the remoter parts of the island on the assumption that they'd be spread out. Nope, they were all smack dab in the center at the major crossroad of the park.

advice: During the opening announcements, you'll be in a large area that can fit everyone. It will likely be next to a big empty area where they'll hand out the clue sheets. Be at the border between the two if you can.

The clue sheet had puzzles describing each of the Chase Points that we had to go to. There were 37 ("Thirty-seven!") of them IIRC. There were some odd groupings you had to do, and also some "do this or that, but not both" situations where teh chase points were very close to each other (for example, two where a block away from each other on Kensington Road).

We hunkered down and started solving the puzzles, which required middling knowledge of the city and some google-fu. Make sure you have a smart phone. It took us a little over half an hour to have solved the majority of the clues (we only got one wrong, owing to neither of us having ever been to Flames Central) and have a semi-optimal route chosen.

advice: Take a snap-shot of the clue sheet and email it to a helper, then bolt to one of the mandatory check points!

Our route? Start at the University of Calgary and work our way back. So it was onto the train to go to the northwest.

Chase Point 1: At the UofC, near the library tower, we had to do each of the following:
  • skip rope simultaneously with your partner.
  • Run a soccer ball through pylons.
  • kick the soccer ball to each other through the pylons.
  • Leapfrog with your partner.
  • Solve a four-piece puzzle.
The difficult part for me and LA was the difference in our heights, she being wee and me looking like Herman Munster. We managed it though.

Chase Point 2: We ran down to the Volleydome (just south of the University in Athletic Park) and got to play another team in beach volleyball. We lost 5-2, but had fun.

On the way back to the train we stopped at DQ for ice cream treats. Any race where you can have ice cream in the middle is a good race. Sadly, I dropped my cone before I could finish it. Oh well, it was just going to get into my mouth anyway.

Chase Point 3: At the North Hill Fire Station there were two possible chase points. One was for anyone who had raised $50 for charity. We qualified, so we got that. The other point was for doing a bunch of fireman stuff - dragging hoses, carrying a body, that sort of thing. Unfortunately, they only had a few fireman on hand to supervise and one or two sets of equipment. This led to a long line that wasn't really moving. Someone said "40 minute wait", which I can believe, except I think that number was a guesstimate. We skipped that one, even though it looked like a lot of fun.

advice: We should have rushed to this one first and beat the lineup, solving other puzzles along the way (after all, we had to go there anyway to get our charity point). Failing that, raising $150 instead of $50 would have got us the point and allowed us to skip to the head of one lineup! This would have been a good choice for that.

Chase Point 4: We took the train down to Riley Park and found a fitness setup. You had to pick a snack from a list. They then told you how many calories was in that snack (it had things like a Mars bar, doughnut, muffin, bag of chips, etc.). Once you had a calorie value, you and your partner had to burn that many calories. They had a bunch of exercises there that you could do (examples: fifty sit-ups burned 40 calories, thirty 10-pound bicep curls burned 15 calories). This, more than anything else, contributed to my being stiff and sore the next day. I chose the Mars bar, since I know donuts and muffins have no standard sizes and can be as big as you like, but a Mars bar is constant. We had to burn about 350 calories.

Woof!

Chase Point 5: We headed south to Kensington road and had a choice of two chase points (we could only do one of them though). We went to Pages book store (the one beside the Plaza theatre) and were instructed to go to the upper level and find some "visual poetry that is neither part of a book or on a bookshelf" and identify the creator. A lot of second-guessing and we finally found artwork on one of the windows made up of a maelstrom of letters.

Chase Point 6: At the Kensington Running Room we had to find five differences between two mannequins, the mannequins being decked out in an assortment of merchandise. LA found four of the differences, despite my having the brilliant plan of taking pictures of one of the mannequins and using it to compare to the other (they weren't beside each other in the store).

We had now run through most of the convenient northwest chase points.
LA: Why don't we take the loser-cruiser to Inglewood?
Me: What's the loser-cruiser?
LA: The Bowness-to-Forest-Lawn bus.
Me: Of course!
Chase Point 7: Once in Inglewood we went to 4 Cats art store to do some finger-painting. We had to use three methods of getting paint onto a canvas and "recreate" some pollock-style art on the wall. One of the methods had to include popping a water balloon with paint in it (not much paint, thank Groo).

Now we had a dilemma, we could go to the nearby chase point at Fair's Fair Books, but that would mean missing the bus back into downtown. Or we could catch the bus and hit a chase point in downtown on the way down to 17th avenue. The bus was coming in two minutes, so we opted to skip Fair's Fair.

rant: Why does the city only run the #1 bus (the "loser-cruiser" referenced above) every 30 minutes on Saturday? Every time we were on it it was standing-room only - hell it was "move to the back of the bus so others can get on" crowded. That's not even including the handful of race participants. This bus is clearly being used and used well - crank up the frequency Calgary Transit!

We got downtown and discovered that what we thought was a chase point wasn't. We had got the clue wrong (which hurts more for this pair of geeks). We headed down to Melrose Cafe with less than an hour left in the race. Maybe we could finish if the chase point was a quick one. It wasn't.

Chase Point 8: At Melrose Cafe, the lower level was taken up by a martial arts school. What school you might ask? Ninjas! However, before we got to the ninjas, we had to cool our heels for a half hour in line. A line that went right by Melrose's bar. Any race where you can have a pint of ale in the middle is a good race.

We had to go through a bunch of ninja exercises to qualify for the point. Having read comics and watched movies throughout the 80's I had a bad opinion of ninjas (specifically the Westerners who learned it) as pretentious goofballs. Our guide did a lot to lift that bad opinion though. It seems like a fairly egalitarian martial art, and that pleases the socialist in me. We had to run through some obstacles, demonstrate our ability to skulk, sneak, dodge sword thrusts and missiles and finally we got to throw some shurikens! This was probably my favorite of the chase points that I completed.

This does suggest that the local SCA could get involved - volunteer to do a checkpoint where people put on armour and tabards and did quick one-off combat with Nerf weapons. Maybe not though - the ninja stuff was decidedly non-contact. Oh well.

We now had ten minutes left to get back downtown and check in before the 4pm deadline. We weren't going to be getting those last two chase points. We were a few minutes late, but were told before the race that they would have the finish line open until 4:15. This turns out to be incorrect, they finished at 4 on the nose and we missed check in, so there is no record of our team finishing.

All the race participants got treated to a free drink at Flames Central. Sadly that venue isn't quite large enough for everyone; neither LA or I were able to get seats as we were amongst the last people to get there.

City Chase was a blast and I recommend it to everyone. Vancouver peep: It's in your neighborhood on August 25th!
jamesq: (Cowtown)
It's not that I've been unaware of my upcoming participation in City Chase, it's just that every other time it's come up it hasn't taken up more than about 10% of available brain resources. I was either in the middle of a work problem, or daydreaming, or something.

"Want to do City Chase with me? It's in three weeks."
"Sure. Hey, is that a squirrel outside?"
Later.

"If we fundraise $50 we get perks during the race. [coworker] is doing it to and says he'll donate $50 to ours if we donate $50 to his. Can you do that? BTW, it's in two weeks."
"Sure". *does it* "Gosh Kate Beckinsale is attractive."
Later still.

"I've paid our registration and you took care of the donation, so that means you owe me X. Don't forget it's next Saturday."
"No problem, here's the money. I like pie."
Today.

"CITY CHASE IS TOMORROW?!? WHY DIDN'T ANYONE WARN ME!!!"
I am officially in an anxious panic. Not a bad anxious panic you understand - this is the same sort of thing I get before going a trip to somewhere I've never been, or before a race. Still, it's making me all jittery.

So a few things:

  1. Lots of my coworkers are doing this too (there are six pairs) - I attribute this to one of my coworkers winning last year.

  2. There are a handful of spots left if you want to come out. I hear it's a lot of fun. You like having fun don't you?

  3. I might call you up and pump you for information.

  4. Want to donate? I doubt it will make a big difference to my team's standings at this late date, but it will make a big difference to the people the charity helps! Do so here!
The team name? Grätüïtöüs Ümläüt of course!
jamesq: (Default)
I'm down 6.9 pounds, which almost gets me down to the weight I mistakenly thought I was before rejoining WW. 260.4 - I really should give myself some kind of treat when I cross over to 260 (and 250, and 240, etc.). As long as that treat isn't food, I should be OK.

I'm still mildly depressed. This is more due to a lack of triggering events then to anything positive on my part. You can tell that by the way I downplay my weight loss. 20 people "liked" it on FB (which is some kind of record for me), but I still look at it as a sort of failure. Like blowing up the house then congratulating myself on subsequently sweeping debris off the sidewalk. Still, this weight loss seems to be easy so long as I stick to the plan.

The plan? Journal; keep the junk food to a minimum; Minimal carbs for supper; Two pieces of fruit a day; cook a proper meal on any evening I'm home, rather then eat out or have prepared food; get back into running. Pretty much the only thing I haven't done is the exercising, and I really have no excuse - the cold snap ended weeks ago and we've had unseasonably warm and dry weather. No reason not to run, so I should get to it.

I have been walking to work though, which is good, if somewhat lighter exercise and also good for my mental health.

So the mental health has been improving even though it's still not very good. I'll be better when I'm running regular and the annual BTVDSS is over (only two more weeks!). Also when I'm down enough pounds that I can believe women will actually not be repulsed by me.

Just stick to it Cyr - that's all you have to do.

In minor mental health adjustments, me and some friends have actually booked a trip to Vegas. More details on that in another post though.

Long term, I need to find a group to volunteer with. Looking back on my life, the times when I've gained friends have all been times when I've had an actual job in some nerdy group (Fandom, EQ, SCA). I gain a lot of social capital doing that (plus it's fun). When I don't do it, I tend to retract back into myself and the friendships evaporate away. I'm seeing that with the SCA since so many people in that group tend to socialize only within that group (which says more for how time consuming the SCA can be rather than the people in it).

I could start volunteering in the SCA again, but ever since the bank account debacle, I frankly don't want to volunteer in any sort of organizational capacity in a group that I disagree with on basic policy. I might run an event in the future, but at a minimum, I want the Baronial Seneschal standing between me and anyone higher up. It would take someone awfully special to convince me to actually be Seneschal again, and I'd have to be loyal to that person outside the SCA to consider it. Beothuk and Wilma for example, if they couldn't find anyone else. Thankfully they did.

Anyway, the easiest way for me to meet new people in the SCA would be to volunteer again, but what's the point? Maybe I'll reconsider local amateur theatre. Organizing isn't sexy, but it is a skill that I can bring to the table.

Sigh. The things an asocial introvert has to do to keep loneliness at bay. Maybe I'll dig up that rapier mask I bought and try it out.
jamesq: (Default)
Another year has come and gone and I think, with hindsight, that it was a good one. Not a great year mind you, but certainly a serviceable one.

What would have made it better was achieving either of my two perennial goals. This didn't happen. However, I did succeed in not worrying about this quite so much. I caught a small amount of shit for this though because it's unacceptable in this culture to have anything but a full out, balls-to-the-walls, positive attitude.

Anyway, I'm over half-way through the Birthday-to-Valentine's-Suicide-Season without any depressive incidents (knock on wood), despite the fact that my physical, emotional and social shortcomings have not gone away.

So I'll continue to work at losing weight and hoping for a relationship to magically appear. Meanwhile I'll continue working on accepting that it's not going to happen. If acceptance means less depressive incidents, it will be well worth it. Doesn't mean I'm going to give up - the journey is the point after all, and what else am I doing with my time between now and death? Do more things to enjoy myself now, instead of waiting for a partner that will never come.

Weight-loss is the part I have control over anyway, and the benefits only go up with age. I've reached a point where my weight is starting to affect my health (I suspect I have obesity-induced high-blood pressure and sleep-apnea). I'm back on the Weight Watchers wagon, but it doesn't seem too onerous - I just have to get in the habit of eating my fruits and veggies.

January was spent preparing for the Estrella road-trip.

Februarywas the trip to Estrella and Las Vegas. The highlight of that was really the road-trip. It's always nice to find that there are people you can spend 60 hours in a car with and not want to throttle them. Plus the big SCA war and Vegas debauchery was fun.

March, April and May were fairly routine. I went to some plays, watched a few movies, hung out with friends. I made an entry that hit over 90 comments, which is a record from my LJ.

June was witness to one of the best and worst SCA events I ever attended - and it was the same event. Coronet was epic and underlined everything I like about the SCA. The Curia meeting that followed underlined everything I dislike about how the SCA operates. It was so bad it made me take a break from service for several months. I feel a little bad about that because I agreed to be on K and [livejournal.com profile] mommaquilter's retinue, but then proceeded to do absolutely SFA. I'm hoping to give them a hand at Estrella this year to make up for it. I still stand by my assertions about the SCA bureaucracy however.

Also in June was AT War, which is fun, but too short to go to unless you do what I do - combine it with a mundane trip to Vancouver!

July was my trip to the East Coast (Halifax and St. John's) for H&B's wedding. The company was good and I got to see lots of cools stuff I'd have had a hard time getting around to without the excuse of a wedding. I ran to the top of Signal Hill, which I feel deserves more recognition. If you've ever walked up Signal Hill, you'll know why. Next time, more days in Halifax and less in St. John's.

August started off with Quad War, which was fun. Later SCA stuff in the month showed that I was still irritated by it.

September involved a lot of introspection and cat shit - thankfully not simultaneously. Also learned what not to do to my brain chemistry.

October had a variety of small events: I ran a half-marathon in Victoria, had Thanksgiving dinner with my Vancouver peeps, Calgary got a new Mayor and [livejournal.com profile] othelianna had her once-a-year party.

November was my birthday trip to Las Vegas - it was so much fun I'm already planning my next trip out (probably a week or two after Victoria Day, in case anyone's interested).

December was mostly about the holidays.

Goals for the New Year:
  • Eat better and exercise more - test this by posting a better time in this year's RV½M.
  • Estrella War.
  • Go to Cancun for [livejournal.com profile] naughtynat07 and [livejournal.com profile] thekillerb69's wedding.
  • Attend [livejournal.com profile] conejita_diabla and [livejournal.com profile] thebrucie's wedding and be as helpful as possible seeing as how I'm in the wedding party.
  • A return trip to Las Vegas.
  • AT war and a summer visit to Vancouver.
  • Other SCA events to include: Anything in Montengarde or Bitter End, Quad War, Whipping Winds. Be generally helpful at them. Avoid Curia at all costs lest it spoil another six months of fun.
  • A half-marathon in Las Vegas?
jamesq: (Jabba)
I just found out that my local comic shop (Words & Pictures on the University of Calgary campus) is closing. This isn't Earth-shattering (they have another store that's quasi-near where the Barony holds its monthly tavern), but it is damned inconvenient.

It leads to a fairly serious question: Do I want to keep buying comics? At this point, I'm getting more enjoyment out of a few titles that are routinely bundled into collections (Irredeemable, The Boys, Invincible, Ultimate Spider-Man). In fact, I mostly don't buy the monthly comics for my favorites - I just wait for the collections. A lot of the comics I'm buying monthly are completely forgettable.

I suspect I've been buying monthly comics habitually for a long time now. It's a drag on resources, but does give me a regular thing to do on a weekly basis. That being the case, I'm leaning heavily towards just quitting. I'll grab collections when I see them, and just keep a piece of paper in my wallet (or an app on the Android I plan on getting soonish) to keep track of what I have and what I want.

In other news, I'm trip planning again. If I decide to go to the Estrella War, I should probably buy my plane tickets soon. They've already started rising in cost and the event is two months away. I'll wait until the next council meeting and see who else is going and if I can get people to take key pieces of my camp (namely my tent, bedroll and archery gear). Given the last person I asked has subsequently lost their vehicle, that might make my decision for me.

In long range planning, I might run two half-marathons next year: The Royal Victoria and the Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas, which gives me an excuse to visit my left-coast friends and engage in some debauchery.

Tomorrow I rejoin Weight-Watchers. I'm very afraid of seeing how much weight I've gained - it's sure to be an epic fail. But it must be done, since not being a member isn't doing me any good.
jamesq: (Fools)
The RV½M was this weekend. It's probably still going on as I write this. I left my hotel just as the first-place marathoners were crossing the finish line.

I am very pleased with my results. I ran the race in 2:17:07. For reference, my time last year was 2:35:39, making this an 18 minute improvement. I was beating myself up about that last year. This year? I'm seeing it as a victory. Perhaps not the unalloyed triumph a sub-two-hour run would be, but that's not going to happen unless I lose 50 pounds and train like I was going to get unlimited sex as a reward.

Still, I'm very happy. I set a goal that was not trivial (2:20), worked for it and really pushed myself to accomplish it. And then I surpassed it.

Special thanks to the lovely miss that I followed for about 10 km. It probably shaved two minutes off my time while simultaneously keeping me from thinking about the aches and fatigue.

And now I'm on the ferry to Vancouver, off to spend a few days relaxing and visiting friends. There probably won't be much hiking today or tomorrow. Getting a massage tomorrow might be a goal though. Hmm.
jamesq: (Lyle's Constant)
The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Run For the Cure is this Sunday, October 3rd.

Do you have boobs? Know anyone who has them? Just like to look at them and/or play with them?

If you answered "yes" to any of those questions, you need to support this run. Get out there and run/walk 5k, or just throw some money at someone who does (not me though, I think your donation should be attached to your own name and not mine).

I'm running for my mom, Maxine, who survived breast cancer but succumbed to the abdominal cancer a few years later.
jamesq: (Default)
30 days to the RV½M! I'm in no way prepared since I haven't been running enough to really get in shape for it. Fuck it, I can still do it. It just means I'll hurt a little for the week after. Sunday I'll run 15k. Two weeks later I'll run 18k.

76 days to Vegas!
jamesq: (Default)
I'm in tourist central, but that's OK because I'm a tourist.

We flew in yesterday and the day was largely uneventful. I got to spend less then an hour in Toronto, then we hung around Halifax airport for awhile while we waited to send [livejournal.com profile] garething's daughter K on to Newfoundland ahead of us. Rented a car from [livejournal.com profile] stephtopia's friend J then we went into downtown Halifax to check in at our hotel. Later, we hung out at Freemason's pub with J. We didn't even have to give a secret handshake.

This morning I got up quasi-early for a run along the boardwalk. Basically going from here to here and back. Unfortunately, I ended up bonking about 2/3 of the way through the run and ended up walking ten minutes of the route. This was due to the massive heat and humidity which my body (bred for northern-European winters and raised in the dry treeless wastelands of Alberta) was not used to.

We had breakfast at Cora's with Steph's friends J, C and V. Then we went to Peggy's Cove to check out the lighthouse and the several acres of bare granite that had been worn smooth by millenia of pounding waves. The rocks were quite warm and pleasant to walk on barefoot due to the ambient heat of the day. I offered Gareth a shiny penny to dive into the surf. Strangely he didn't take it.

When we came back, I decided to go to the Maritime museum while G&S opted for some quality time. The Maritime Museum had exhibits on Titanic and the Halifax Explosion. It was nice to see aspects of Titanic (namely Halifax's role in the recovery) that I knew little about. I suspect the others avoided the museum largely so they didn't have to otherwise listen to me pontificate about Titanic (I do go on).

It was my kind of museum. Big enough to be interesting, small enough that I didn't get bored with 300 different coins, or 500 kinds of butterflies.

Afterward, I had lobster at Salty's restaurant. It was good. Almost falling into Halifax harbour - not so good. In the middle, I managed to dump a full glass of ice water into Steph's lap. Normally this would be bad, but it was super hot out.

We (G & I) attempted to go on the harbour hoppers tour, but failed because it was getting late and they needed a minimum of 6 customers. To bad really because the tour is in an amphibious tour bus!

So I took a much-needed soak in the hotel's jacuzzi.

Tomorrow we have an early start and a flight to St. John's. Wish me luck - I'm not sure how many English speaking people I'll encounter.
jamesq: (Default)
It was pretty warm yesterday - 31C according to the data I saw. I managed to run in the afternoon despite this. Specifically I ran 13 km.

Why 13km and not some more reasonable distance? I'm training for the Royal Victoria Half-Marathon in October, and that's near enough (<90 days from today) that I need to get started training now. I don't want it to be the failure that last year's was. Anyway, the reason I had to run 13 km because that's what the training schedule says I had to do. Thankfully today is a rest day because I am sore.

Sore today is better then half-way crippled, which is what I was last night. Times like that I regret that my house is split-level - those stairs were a killer.

So there I was running in the hottest part of the afternoon, for the longest distance I've done this year. Still I managed, with two breaks, to go the whole distance. It took me 92 minutes and it was a fairly slow plod along the river. Still, the riverbanks had some truly spectacular eye-candy.

And there was no easy part during any of the run. Every step included the thought "quit now". Instead I just took the Gattaca method of running all the way out, thus guaranteeing a long walk back (which is better then nothing) if I did have to quit.

I'm feeling happy for having done it, but I'm still bagged - mentally as well as physically - by the effort. It's a lot of effort for a nebulous gain. There was a time when I did this to become more attractive. While having a slim (HAR!) chance - rather then no chance - of romance, that really was a distant third in my reasons. For the record, the reasons are:
  1. Don't end up like the old man - spending the last eight years of his life largely bed-ridden due to a severe paralyzing stroke.
  2. Being in shape feels better then being out of shape. Every waking moment is simply easier, both physically and emotionally.
  3. Being healthier means being more attractive. Who wouldn't want to be more attractive?
Health and well-being need to be my focus. Concentrating on #3 is a bad idea because it depends on other people for validation.

The rest of the training will be odd since I'll be traveling for two of the next three weeks. I guess that means I'll be doing a lot of running in Halifax, St. John's and Aelfheimsland.

Tonight, my reward will be cheap sushi.
jamesq: (Default)
Estimated time: 1:04:50. Which is about 5 minutes faster then I thought I'd do. Go me.

1) It took me less time because I ran most of it. I only took walking breaks to grab water and strip layers.
2) Which means I've been coddling myself on my morning runs - I need to crank it up about three notches next time I'm out.

Now to scarf down some cereal, grab a long hot shower and get ready for Iron Man 2. And drinking, because there's nothing quite like a cold draft beer on a day you ran 10k.
jamesq: (Default)
Taking a page from other folks, I'm going to do a standardized update for those occasions when I don't have anything noteworthy to say.

I had toast. It was crunchy... )

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