moving about. learning Chinese, practicing Tai Ji Quan, doing Qi Gong, or simply going out running. resisting the monkey impulses.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Outdoor swimming

Inspired by Kate Rew's book (Wild Swim, which is VG by the way) arriving from Amazon, I ploshed bodily into the local river today. It's broken my UK outdoor swimming duck this year. Here's that diary entry in full.

Cycled to sinuous bend in the Wey, just downstream of Godalming. Recce'd the scene at first : bright, sunny, nice breeze, occasional towpath users and the odd boat. Various fowl splashing about, cows on opposite bank being cows. Checked out the getting in and out place. Got down to shorts and read the paper for a bit, to gauge traffic, and to see how hot it was (quite, but not summer of 76 exactly). Stowed all keys, phones and things of economic significance away from casual fingers.

Waited for a quiet gap. Sunnies off. Hat off. Kit off. Walked in. It! Was! Cold!

Did a length or two. Didn't feel like dunking the head, given the (perfectly natural) detritus on the surface. Fingers gettting numbbbb. Quick get out.

Back to the towel. Sit there for a bit. Dried off. Waved to passing boats : oh look, a shivering naked person, titter titter. Cycled home.

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Back to it

Quick report on last week. Lots of gym, a run OUTSIDE, bit of swimming.

James' saturday tai chi. Great to be back in class. Bumbled through the lao jia (manageable with others. totally impossible on my tod). Bit of push hands. No I don't remember any of the two-hand push hands patterns. Got introduced to Chen style sword (jian). Interesting!

Mandarin classes started up again. The momentum seems to be building there, more conversations. I think our teacher should force us to speak autonomously a bit more, we can handle it. I've tried to be systematic in the week, in terms of pushing the vocab and han zi (i.e. characters). Lost track of cpod though.

This week wasn't so great. Missed lots of gym "slots" due to random social gatherings and late working. I should just have a Rule. Six o clock, down tools, phones, pens, mice.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Ploddy re-start

I'm quite glad not to be running London today. Just saw the finish of the elite Women and elite men, and sure enough, it was chucking it down. Same thing 30 miles away, rain, hail everything.

An hour before, during the day's spell of nice weather, I went out for what, in the usual scheme of things, would be my 1-2 hour easy run. This time it was 45 minutes of slow stiff plodding. My legs felt unwilling and the shoes felt tired too. Effects of yesterday's gym? Unused to the feel of pavement? I tried to remember last time I did any outdoor running. The scenery was beautiful though. Along the Wey path, I was chased along by a pair of geese being chased by a swan. So the birds are getting their routines together too.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Gym card useful at last

Two visits to local exercise facilities this weekend, but no running, and only reading about tai chi rather than doing it.

Along with doing fiddly painting jobs around the house, and sporadic bass-playing (both good for knotting up muscles) I managed to get two uses out of my scandalously expensive gym membership card.

To the local leisure centre for some weights/rowing/treadmill on Saturday. Pretty good, but no heroic achievements.

Yesterday evening, I went along to Alton Leisure centre's weekly naturist swim (handy for sauna, steam room and jacuzzi too). (Every Sunday, 730 - 930 pm, GU34 1ST, Tel: 01420 540040). Both these leisure centres are run by the same company, so I got a little discount on entry to Alton, which offset the travel costs.

I've been meaning to go along to this session for some time. To date, I've been a naturist on beaches (UK and foreign) and open spaces only, and haven't been to clubs or swims. I'm glad I did, but regret not being able to persuade Mrs. Monkey on this occasion. It was relatively quiet by all accounts, less than twenty users I'd guess, and only a couple of women. Because it was uncrowded, and people seemed to know each other, there was a nice village pump vibe.

In my ideal world, every swimming pool would be clothing optional, all the time, not to mention all the beaches. As it is, it's increasingly hard, i.e. they are being discontinued, to find an open (not club-based) session in the UK (Netherlands, Germany, Austria are more like the ideal) so this session is worth supporting.

I put in about half an hour of solid swimming, and a few iterations of the hot stuff. Result: Mentally energised by the occasion of being an official UK naturist facility user for the first time, and bodily de-knotted.

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Monday, February 04, 2008

Trying to keep up

I've got this sensation of falling off the back of the treadmill. Metaphorically of course, my running is comparatively fine.

Troublesome day at work (not enough time!! MSc administrators panicking!! Both of them!!) then felt exhausted, so planned to drift back to the sofa. Mrs Monkey rang up, with troubling developments on the Felix front. A card from the RSPCA (danmn, they're out, must call first thing tomorrow) and explanatory voicemail from the (helpful, understanding) vets. Message to irritatingly anonymous worried neighbours : No, we. are. not. neglecting. our. cat. OK??

She was going to the gym anyway, so I grabbed a Jaffa cake and joined in. Felt ok actually, despite initial lethargy. 15 mins running, various weights and floor contortions, 15 mins x-trainer. Lots of punters (though not as many as in Bloomsbury, which is constantly packed).

Back home to find Felix out somewhere. I update my twitter, in case M wants to follow the plot, and then he chooses that moment to wander back in. Has the panicky old lady fed him, or not? Anyway, he gets another dinner. And another wash.

Because of the wonderful new Pet Porte (photo) , we can do clever things like keep everybody in at night.

Missed Chinese tonight obviously. Read the book, highlighting new words. Pleasantly surprised at the level of comprehension, though I'm making no regular effort to update my vocab. Resolve to try and catch up with Chinesepod. Though not tonight. And so to bed.

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Doctor 2

Something's not right. Remember the incident of the unpleasant sensations in the heart? About 18 months ago, as diligent readers may remember. Well it's back. I felt, er, em dunno doctor, "funny" standing around in Marks earlier this week. Guildford high street is steep, but not vertical, so I didn't think I'd been overdoing it. Went to see the Dr on Friday, with noncommital results. You see, if and when I exercise, there's not problem. Except that time in the Peak District. And it has been feeling strange off and on for half of this term.

However, today, walking up Market Street, the distinct unpleasantness came back, as we were looking around for the annual Christmas decoration. I don't much like shops at the best of times, but I had to retire from the close, warm shop to the relative calm of the square. Then we wandered at half steam to our favourite erzatz noodle joint, and then to cinema. But walking up our (rather steep) street from the station seemed to require caution.

Back as soon as possibly can to the GP, I think.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Overdoing it?

I should know better, what with my colleague being having been on a heart-surgery rollercoster, and who is now spending hours in sofa-ville, recovering.

The running was going fairly well, which is to say uneventful, until just now. The countryside has been lovely in the sun, and I'd been scampering about it 2-3 times a week. Mostly steady-paced running, usually with the same partner.

This Friday, we decided on Intervals, and round a field/cricket pitch nearby. I've done plenty of 2-minute fast sessions round there before, so I know the procedure pretty well.

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Now, you know when you do hard sessions, you usually hold something back? Well I do, anyway, not being temperamentally suited to the make-yourself-puke school of training. This time, having been complemented on my apparent speed (M travels a lot, and was jet-legged, hence 10 s behind), I progressively started to pile on the pressure at each repetition, knocking seconds off the watch each time. " 加油!" you might say. On the last but two reps, I started fairly steadily and was pumping all out for the last 50 yards. On the penultimate rep, I went for it with 120 yards to go. Can't. Talk. On the last one, I pretty much went for it from the beginning. These reps were all in the 1:45 area. Hey not bad. Nice jog home, shower, out for a curry in the evening.

You know when you eat loads, hot food especially, you can get uncomfy in the night? Well it wasn't that. Or had I bruised a rib? We occasionally practice push hands at home, but not with any striking, so it wasn't that. It was more like a soreness inside. Ouch. Sleeping on the other side didn't help. In the morning, the discomfort was still there, associated with a particular organ in the left side of the chest. It would exaggerating to call it pain. Is it possible to red-line a heart, bending the valves? Is it serious? Will it get better by itself?

Saturday was pretty normal, shopping and stuff. World Cup was completely unexciting, about from That Headbutt (Zinedine may have a future as a martial artist?). Lack of excitement is good. Low heartrate is good. I felt OK, but was still aware of Something Different. I cried off the Long Sunday Run, and flopped about at home. Flopped about at the office yesterday.

Today, I trekked through London to get to said colleague's place (two trains and a tube each way, which means about 3 miles of walking). I really felt as if my legs were in a different mode. Not heavy, but prevented from swiftness. It was rather an effort to get about. Normally I bound up stairs two at a time, but today there seemed to be a limit to my rate of progress. I was quite happy to bumble about in third gear. Or just to Sit Down.

Clearly something knows I need to take it easy. I'm going to check with my GP tomorrow. Meanwhile, no more running for a while.

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Puffing and Panting

A big chunky week this week.

On the Mandarin front, the class's usual teacher returned from Shanghai, and we got stuck into the dialogs. As I've said before, the level is OK/a bit easy/ but it's going good. I got my iMac back from the menders, so the latest podcasts from ChinesePod are getting listened to on trains. The ChinesePod forum is lighting up a bit, and there's a few good tips coming out. One of which was a full dictionary for Palm (and other handhelds) called Pleco. I even spent real money on it! Good thing, this weak dollar!

I spent a good hour or so studying han zi yesterday, and I should be doing the same now, except ...

I'm feeling pretty wasted from this morning's run. We missed the rain that's been persisting down for the rest of the day, and didn't deliberately train that hard, but I feel like I've just done a Half. It was one the usual Munstead/Bramley loops. Would have taken the camera, being jealous of Running in Suffolk's splendid photo/running blog, except it was grey as a damp battleship.

I went down the gym on Friday (my sixty-quid a time visit!) and whizzed around the place on the bike yesterday, so I'm not suprised the batteries are low. I really can't study when I'm tired. Put the kettle on, love!

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