Monday, May 21, 2012

Kicking it up a notch

I'm feeling pretty good. This blog now has over 20,000 page views. REHAB The hardest part of rehab is remembering to do the exercises every day. I manage about five days out of seven, which is pretty good. There was a slight set-back this weekend due to a blow to my elbow (see below). Adding my shoulder rehab in has helped my elbow as well. I need to get back to using the flex bar. WORKOUTS I am kicking it up a notch for the summer. Last holiday season I decided for the first time since I went on a low-carb diet to go ahead and, not pig out, but eat what I wanted to eat. Christmas cookies. Cakes. Ice cream. A spoon full of rice with the Chinese dinner Hanna's family does on Boxing Day. I gained ten pounds and have been struggling with it ever sense. I'm staying in between 217 and 224, and I want to be around 210 (I really want to be back down to 205, but I haven't been there for awhile). Physical activity helps--the last big weight drop I had was when I started working at Paragon and they gave me five shifts a week. So, while Crown is past and war season is upon us, I am actually ramping my training up. The training for the mud run is going well. I worked out six days in a row last week. I don't know when the last time I did that was. Because of my Achilles, I am not doing the training program published on the website, but then we are not quite five-weeks out yet. I am working on endurance with my bicycle as opposed to running. Last week I did 30 miles, most of that on the bike. But at least once a week I intend to get out and run 5k with some tough calisthenics and/or obstacles thrown in, and that was Friday. The prospect Park Loop is just about 5k and has a long hill right at the end of the first half. In the second half I ran up tot he top of Lookout Hill (which from that side is not as long a climb as when I normally do it). I sought out stairs, benches, stumps to climb over, etc. I also did calisthenics along the way. There is the remnants of a par course near the end, so I did sit ups and bar dips there (I can't do a pull-up to save my life). I walked a few short parts, resting after doing push ups or jumping benches. I finished in about 42 minutes. To take care of my Achiles, I left the 5 fingers at home and ran in my Asics. It helped, but my achiles still started stiffening up half-way through and hurt when I was done with Lookout Hill. But it was a great workout! I also commuted to BMCC one day and did the Coney Island-Sheepshead Bay-home loop. The other days were extended PT sessions. FIGHTING I am still not doing pell work, but I'm considering adding it back in. I am in a good window to start a century drill. Thinking about it. But what I need to do is fight. Not too much. One to two times a week. The only fighting this past week was at the Viking Fest demo in Owl's Head Park, Brooklyn, on Saturday. That was fun and good helmet time, but it wasn't' really good training. Since it was only me and Gui in armor, and since I had just seen Steve Muhlberger/Duke Finvaar give a talk on the Angry Champion, I decided to play it up as a period challenge. I had a herald announce that I ahd taken an oath that I would not quit the field until I had been satisfied with four passes of three counted blows (struck) with three different weapons: the mace and buckler, the great sword, the danish ax, and the sword and shield. One handed weapons were fought to be fought to three blows with the normal SCA targeting, but great weapons were restricted to blows between the quarters. This is great for a demo. It gives it structure and provides for a good show for the audience, and the learn a thing or two about period knightly challenges. We fought with the danish ax first, and I won--which is weird, since that's Gui's best weapon. The great-sword fight we were not thrusting. I decided to use Vom Tag (or really the Posta di Falcone) since I didn't have to worry about a thrust. Gui pretty much masacred me. I scored two blows on him, but it was totally his fight. He also hit me in my bad elbow, which immediately swelled up and got stiff.At that point I just wanted to finish out the challenge. We fought mace and buckler. Gui has these great cavalry maces made with those neat rubber heads Ice sells. When we'd warmed up I was beating him with it. It's a form I used to use a lot, but that was taking his leg. When we were no longer kneeling my advantage went away, and he went in and just creamed my leg. Unfortunately, I was wearing my new gamboised cuises and had forgotten to take my keys out of my pocket. Ouch! The sword and shield fight was pretty much hopeless. I think I tagged him once. But, since it was the viking demo, I was using my viking round shield, and Gui pretty much had my number. It was a lot of fun, but I was glad when it was over and I could ice my elbow. It is feeling all right now, but not 100%. I don't know how much I'm going to fight at Roses. I'm skipping Thursday practice this week. All told it was a great half-hour or so in armor, and it's always good to do a true Knightly challenge. My next time in armor will be at War of the Roses this weekend. It is 66 days till Pennsic. (18 hours, 27 minutes, 39 seconds).

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