Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I threw out the manual years ago when I got the watch...as I didn't run back then or think I'd want to use it then.
Why do I even have a watch with lapsplit and all that jazz then?
Weeeeellll...it's like this: as a labrat I need a timer (the ones in the lab are always cacking out on me). I have a thing against purely digital watches, so I also want a face with arms...and a backlight...and an alarm (soI remember to take my pills). The backlight rocks...it lights up the face of my watch for 5 seconds when I tip my watch towards...when running in the AM this is great, for me to see how much longer I must keep running in my 6 minute run/2 minute walk thing I like to do (not so great when developing x-ray film...but you learn...). As a bonus the watch is waterproof. Yeah. All that and a cupcake. I love it. SO, ever since I graduated to the land of birthcontrol and real laboratory work I have had a Casio Illuminator watch. Big and clunky and not girly, but I luvs it.
This summer, once I get back up to running my regular "gauntlet" ~6.5 K route, I'd like to take sections and see how much time it takes me to do THAT part...and see if I can change it...to actually track my speed. I want to try and improve my speed, not just my distance. I know my knees bother me if I run more than 6-7 K every other day, so rather than go for longer, I'd like to train for on running *better/stronger/faster*.
And so, oh great webbyworld, I am putting my neck out and asking - does anyone know how to use the lap split function on a trusty old Casio Illuminator sportswatch?
I've pushed random buttons a lot stuck my tongue out and can to where the laps start (I think) but I freely admit I have no idea how to make it work.
Can any you give me the 5 cent course?
...or at least tell me where I could find a copy of the user manual :)
Monday, March 30, 2009
Well, the recital is over. It was possibly the longest recital in history (audio delays to start, and then some costume change delays...) but all the pieces went well, and my solo was fantastic. I was so pleased. Even the veil numbers went off pretty well. J recorded it all so I'll have a record of it for my parents who wanted to come but were down in toasty warm Nevada (lucky lucky...). Me hee...I am now officially a dancer :) As a bonus, my 2 sister in laws who came to see the show are curious about starting up the dancing too - that is very cool. The more the merrier! My one sister in law is on mat leave and looking for something fun to do to get back into shape and my other sis-in-law has a lot of health problems (she is a big girl) and I think moving more and feeling sexy is always a good thing :) I had a great time, and although I'll be glad to not have the crazy practice schedule I have had with the recital prep, I'll miss the girls in the group. I still have one tribal class left tonight, and then a few more classes in my regular belly dance class, but it'll be quite mellow in comparison to before.
Soon the great melt that began this weekend will be done and I can start running again - right when belly dance winds down for the summer. Perfect timing I think. I still have my 2 dance DVDs to keep up with things so hopefully come fall I can jump back in again -this time at intermediate level. My one teacher is moving away (sniff) so I'll have to find another Arabic style class to take...new and interesting...onwards and upwards. It was nice enough that J and I could put on the rubber boots and go for a long squishy walk on sunday - spring appears to finally have crept back into the world. You can see bits of dirt through the snow - I do believe this long eternal winter may actually be coming to an end!
This morning I got up and did my Dance fusion DVD workout...the squats and lunges part was tough today, but the rest felt great. The sun is coming up earlier and earlier - I got to eat my cereal and watch the sunrise out the window before I got ready for work - that was a fabulous way to start the day.
And now - worky worky me. Bye :)
Friday, March 27, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
My instructor had 10 veils for her youth troupe that I had to serge after rehearsal last night. I got them done though...I was up very late doing that and gathering up all my kit for the rehearsal today, so I just slept in today. I'll get in at least 2 hours of dancing tonight, so it's not a concern.
Tonight is dress rehearsal...starts at 6. Heh. I have to pick someone up...and we'll fly there in the Screaming Yellow Madness to do our thing and get thru as much stuff as we can with the room booked for 2 hours. I think some of us are taking it more seriously than others, but in the end it will be good I think. Not perfect, but fun. I'm trying to get my new hair to look like it did in the salon - it'll take a bit of practice... There will be a photographer tonight so I'll have a photo or two to share of things...if nothing else it will be a lot of fun. I can't say I regret being involved, altho I'll love having my free time back :)
Then after I'm meeting a friend for coffee...whew!
Busy day :)
Monday, March 23, 2009
I'm excited and a bit freaked out, but I have rehearsals 3 days this week and then class wednesday, so hopefully all that I crammed into my body and brain will somehow settle into place and we'll do great. I'm only in 3 pieces, plus the opening and closing bits, so I don't have as much as some of the more experienced troupe members...they're in 6 or 7 plus solos. Wow. I could have been in one more, but I'd backed out before as I didn't think I'd be able to learn 4 numbers by the original recital date. I probably could have learned it with the thing being moved ahead a month, but seeing as it's my first recital ever I'm pretty excited to just be doing this. I'm glad I signed up for my solo...it's made me concentrate and practice a lot. I don't believe I'd be half this far if I was just in some group numbers.
Over the weekend it was nice enough that we could go for some nice 1-2 hour walks. It even rained a lot sunday. I even had blackberries for breakfast sunday. It was a nice weekend... AND I finally ended up getting my hair cut on saturday after a few reschedules. I almost didn't, as the guy who usually cuts my hair was actually let go (for not showing up often enough) and so the manager of the salon had me in at the end of the day for a cut and color saturday. It's a nice shaggy angled bob, with my colour touched up to a nice dark brown all over the top again, with some bright purple chunks hidden underneath my hair that just peek out occasionally. Almost like they're not there...I love it. The bright colour will probably fade out soon, but I don't care. It feels good to have a definitive style to my hair again instead of boring all 1 length cut...and the color is fun too. Spring is (knock on wood) here so no more hats. Time for cute hair again. I even got a deal on the cut as I have had to rechedule and then come back again. I wa pretty impressed with the salon for making good on things. It's nice to see people take pride in their work and what they do...I mean it's just hair, but it makes people feel good. And all I had to do was just go meet a friend for a pint of Guinness for a few hours to wait and then come back. Working a pint into my day is definitely a good thing :).
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Of course I pushed myself, and the muscles in my back and upper abs are still stiff today, tho not as bad as they were this morning or last night. I did get to do a run of my solo before the beginner class (a "sneak preview" of the recital) and I aced it...that felt good. The last time I did it I wasn't feeling well and I bombed it...it's nice to know all the practicing has paid off. Last night I was so stiff that I actually sucked up to J to get him to rub my back a bit and used the hot water bottle on my back to ease out the stiffness...times like this I really wish I had a decent tub for soaking. Ours is little more than a puddle as the original owners put the overflow too low...not very therapeutic.
This morning I couldn't work out...too stiff. Sitting up to get out of bed was a victory :). I did a bunch of stretching instead. I still had breakfast, but it wasn't after stomp dance fusion workout I had planned for myself. That would have maimed me I'm sure...
I will do some practising tonight, though. I must. Particularly as I have decided that I will not be able to make my recital rehearsal tomorrow night. I have decided that my life takes precedence over rehearsals this time- I've got a hot date with this guy I married who I haven't seen enough of lately :). My life is out of balance, and right now time with J beats out rehearsal hands down...it's a shame it's gotten to an either or thing but I've got J around forever-the recital will be over after the 28th.
Priorities...tricky. Cranky Fitness had an article today about a woman who booted her family away for a month to go hard core into fitness and exercise. It really got my mind whirling...I can see why she would do this. I know sometimes it's hard to strike a balance between putting yourself and you wants/needs first and putting your marriage/family/job/life first. Too many balls to juggle. Someone ends up feeling cheated. I know for me this classes 2 nights a week with at least one 3 hour rehearsal a week (usually friday nights...grr) has taken it's toll on my sanity and eaten into the little spare time I have with my husband...made me feel guilty, and feeling like I'm being too selfish. It's the reason I try not to ever take work home...my home time is precious to me. J and I do everything together...I've been missing him. So, priority check. J first...
I have 3 recital practices next week before the big to do on saturday...I haven't missed one yet, so I figure they can do without me just this once. If they try and guilt me I'll just smile and say buhbye. Life is too short...
I have been loosening up as the day goes on...still a dull ache in my abs, but the rest of me is stiff, but much more pliable. Hopefully by tonight I'll be good to go.
Must go. Lots to do...
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Today I have a bellydance class after work. It should be fun. Wednesdays my class is right near my brother's house, so I get to pop in and see him...you'd think living in the same city we'd visit more, but we're pretty much on opposite sides of the city, so I'm glad I have my classes near him - it's a great chance to visit at least once a week for an hour...sometimes I stay for supper too. It's nice.
Last night I made irish stew and soda bread for shamrock day...it was yummy. I've never made soda bread before. I'm impressed - the recipe had some ground almonds in it. I think I will make it again. And the stew? Anything with beer in it is good :)
Well...I must be off. Much to do.
Have a great day :)
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
This morning was good - I got up at 5:20 and did my dance fusion workout, stretched out and had a yummy bowl of pumpkin flax granola and some grapefruit juice for breakfast. So far I haven't skipped breakfast all month.
Last night I had a great tribal class (we drilled old moves and learned a new chest isolation and a move called the "choo choo"-hee hee) and then got in a good hour or so of dance practice after that when I got home, as well as catching up on some chores. Even rebooked my haircut for saturday.
AND...this morning I shovelled snow before I left for work too.
I am awesome.
PS...found an Irish saying that fits the greenness of the day:
One must pay health its tithe.
Monday, March 16, 2009
I did go up and down a toboggan hill about 200 times friday night tho. I'm sure our 4 hour toboggan party was a fantastic workout (I managed to come out of it bruise free! I can't say the same for some of my companions tho). I know I was really tired after...the rum and hot chocolate was *so* good...according to this website I would have burned over 1000 calories at this...I do believe it's not entirely accurate. That would be insane. Anyone know how many calories tobogganing really does burn? (just nerdily curious...)
This morning I was also lazy...I was up far too late and I gave in to the duvet this morning...yup, I caved and slept in. It felt great, but I am very guilty now. I will be doing some extra drills and practicing after bellydance class tonight to make up for it.
It's funny how the relaxed weekend schedule screws up my desire to workout. I felt rather bummed out as I had a haircut booked (which always gets me in the mood to workout and look after myself) after way too long, but my stylist didn't show (grrr) so I missed out on that. It kind of put a crimp in my saturday. This weekend was lazy...I got a lot done, but not a lot of working out...Ah well, it's a new week.
Time to get on with it :)
Friday, March 13, 2009
I look hot. J was a happy guy.
I practiced my solo last night in them and a fitted choli. Nothing like being sexypants lady to make you feel good :) And I'm really grinding my solo into my head...it's looking way more polished. Feeling rather good about the whole situation really...
Tonight is toboggan party - the last of the winter. I didn't work out this morning as I plan to run up and down the hill about 4 billion times...can't wait. My knees were protesting, so I thought I'd lay of al lthe shimmy twisting and give them plain old abuse from running around like a 5 year old...
Have a nice weekend!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
After a few snoozes, I managed to talk myself into it all this morning (thanks Mizfit for the topics on your blog this month - thinking of them gave me the final push out of bed). I went downstairs and had a go at the advanced drills on my bellydance/yoga DVD. They're pretty tricky chest and hip isolations. I'll have to work on them a lot. It felt good to work out...I'm building muscles in my legs and calves that I've not had before...hopefully I'll get stronger as I go. Now I'm just stiff... I didn't do them all with the most style and finesse, but it'll take time to build the muscles up. Some motions use very specific muscle groups, so it's tricky to get the hang of it...but soon I'll be waxing on and waxing off with the movements :)
Tonight I actually don't have anything to do...just a bit of bellydance practice. Yay :)
It's been a busy week with something every night, so I'll be glad to just be home. Think I'll drink tea and relax. I don't have recital practice tomorrow, as it's been moved to sunday, so the weekend will be full, but the next few days more mellow...I'm looking forward to it.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
There is another 20 minutes of cardio dance moves in the extended workout of the DVD...and I really want to do it, but it would mean I have to get up at 5. I skimmed through it on high speed after the cooldown this morning and it looks like fun. But, 5AM is early. It's' only 15 minutes difference...but if feels like hours...Even so, I think I'll try it next week on Wed and see how it goes. I don't want to skip the cooldown stretch part, and I know that's what I'll do if I get behind for time. Taking the bus to work sort of sets limits to when I need to be ready to walk out the door, and I can't be late. Annoying. I can't wait for the snow to melt...then I can ride my bike to work, and I have a whole extra half hour in the mornings to play with...so much easier to fit in my workout then.
It feels good though. I feel awake and exercised. I've started keeping milk and miniwheats or granola at work so that on days like today when I"m rushing about I can still have a good breakfast. I get to work about 20 minutes before I start, so it's perfect timing for a cup of java and some cereal if I need it.
Today I did just that.
I'm a little bummed that I have to miss my bellydance class tonight for a meeting downtown (boring...) but it must be done. The lesson last night was nice - my teacher went over a lot of finishing moves for my solo...arm and hand flourishes...the kind of things that really polish a performance. So I have more to practice, but I think it will really enhance things. She knows I'm practicing and that's all she could ask for. Seeing as I miss a lesson I will just go home and practice later, after I hopefully meet an old friend for coffee tonight. She has pictures of her trip to Cuba (no fair...it was warm there and I wasn't there with her...) - I could use the time out. It's been unseasonably "stupidcold" the last week or so and I can't take to much more hibernation.
And so off I go into the frozen blue yonder.
Try and stay warm my peeps. :)
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I got up this morning and did some drills with my bellydance yoga DVD. I'm really liking this DVD-Contemporary Bellydance and Yoga Conditioning. I'm impressed with the quality and quantity of things included in it. It has a short or long yoga warmup and then 2 sets of drills, about 25 minutes each, going through basic bellydance techniques, focusing on the 3 main areas, arms, chest and waist and hips. There are even a few level changes. You go through the movement slowly and then speed up and drill it, doing it about 50 times, burning it into muscle memory. Then there is a 8 minute yoga cool down. On top of this there are two 20 minute sections teaching short choreography's that can be worked in to routines...haven't done those yet, just skimmed through them. Even the music is very mellow and suits what you're doing. It's jsut a whole lot for one little DVD.
On days like today when I hit snooze too many times I can do the short warm up and then go through basic techniques. I did the first drill set. I think I'll alternate with the other one on thursday. I find the more I drill, the better my dancing gets, as my muscles are gaining strength. Basic tribal arms involve holding your arms parallel to your shoulders out from the sides. After a few minutes this burns, especially if you add arm movements to it. I can hold my arms *much* longer than I used to be able to...according to J I've got muscles in my midback and upper arms I never did before and I am developing some freaky ab muscles...neato.
I have a private lesson tonight (My teacher thinks I need some more work before the recital) so I'll have another chance to practice. I kind of dropped the ball for practicing my solo every single day, as I took some days off over the weekend, but I'm making sure I do bellydancing and motion every day. I'm trying to find a balance between my life and bellydancing...there's a lot of practicing going on right now. I hope it all pays off. I've got the moves memorised...now it's time to polish them. It's true - practice does make perfect. I can't expect to just magically get better...hard work is the key. Now that I'm finally developing some muscle strength in the core groups I'm using, I can do more and have more control. I'm working on isolating the movements right now...so when I move my hips or arms the rest of me is totally still - not as easy as it sounds.
And (I find this hilarious) apparently I close my eyes when I dance. I do sometimes when I'm enjoying myself...I don't really dance normally with others, I tend to flail in my own little world. I guess I've carried that over into bellydance, as I keep getting reminded to keep my eyes open when I dance...apparently it's bad form to not engage your audience with your eyes. (that means looking at them...eep!) I think I'll focus on the wall...
For now, I'm daydreaming about spring...it's still about 20 degrees below normal, and I can't wait to be outside without being bundled up like a mummy. It's always warm 4 days away in the forecast. But soon...
Monday, March 9, 2009
I'm all hyped to get running, tho with the ridiculous weather this spring it won't be happening anytime soon. it is currently -41 with the wind, -31 without. In March. That is 20 degrees below normal. Lets just say it's not running time yet! Soon...
What got me in the mood for it is the new Prodigy CD. I like The Prodigy. Their album Fat of the Land is a favourite CD to run to. Their new album is a bit heavier than the last, but not angry...just thumping. The kind of music that makes you want to move. Three tracks on the new CD, especially the song Warrior's Dance, have me itching to run.
Tell me this doesn't make you want to run. FAST. Sometimes I hear a song and it just gets hard wired right into my brain...stuff that's too fast to dance to...but to run to? Bliss.
I got out of bed (oh how it hurt) at 5:25 this morning to do my dance fusion workout. I could tell I was tired...it was really hard to do the first part of the DVD...shiny spots and all - it took a bit for my body to get up to speed, but in the end, I finished it and stretched and cool down. Then, a healthy breakfast (Miniwheats. Mmmmmmm.....) and some coffee and I'm good to go.
Friday, March 6, 2009
I did some stretches and then was off to bed. Because it's another 3 hour rehearsal tonight I didn't work out this morning...I've noticed my knees are getting annoyed with me so I don't want to make them unhappy...I'll still practice a bit on my own at lunch tho. I vowed to practice my solo every day this month. That way if I still bomb on the day of, I tried all I could and will feel good about it all.
I just don't have the graceful flourishing arms I wish I had...it's a learned thing I know, but I'm taking ages to learn it. I see people who've been dancing for 7 years and expect to be that good right away - silly I know.
I am getting better tho. For me, I tend to overdo moves and bounce about. I'm trying to be more precise and graceful.
Heh...if you know me you know graceful is not exactly a term you would use to apply to me...but I'm trying. Wish I could learn faster :)
Thursday, March 5, 2009
I don't have much to say other than that (tho it is pretty cool :) ). I woke up today with a killer headache, so I didn't workout, but bellydance class last night was hardcore and I did some practicing after so I feel OK. The headache went away as the day went by, so that is good. I'll be doing some practice tonight, and hopefully my dance workout DVD tomorrow...along with recital practice. I'm looking forward to the recital, but I'll be glad when it's done...it's sort of taking over my life at the moment and I'm neglecting other thing's I need to get done. Plus I'd like my friday nights back. The instructor picked friday nights as the hall was always free then...gee go figure? I can shake it like crazy tho - that counts for something :)
Hmmm...I just keep going back to 49 years.
That's a lot of years to love someone. :)
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
I watched the few performance pieces on the DVD and was blown away...my solo is not even close to that cool...and a different style. It gives you something to shoot for tho. I hope mine can be even 1/5 that good. I usually do dance like noone is watching...but soon someone will be. Lots of someones...so I kept practicing.
Then I looked at my watch...it was 12.
Oops. I did the yoga cool down and prepped for today and went to bed.
This morning I slept in and came to work. My muscles have that used feeling, but they are getting stronger. My back is a bit stiff from the chest lifts, but, nothing too wierd. I'm hoping the drilling will help get more of the whole "wax on wax off" thing going with my muscle memory. I am determined to do well on my solo...and so I am practicing every night this month until then...we shall see.
Music to drill to: Ott - Blumenkraft
(awesome ambient dub...a touch of reggae and ethnic. Love this album)
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
This song is stuck in my head...especially after last night. My instructer was playing it while we did some drills...I like Bassnectar - he does good dance and dub music - I've seen him play sets a few times. He makes you shake your ass. :)
Tribal class was a blast. We put a bunch of moves together, with arm cues and drilled them. FOr some reason they just felt "right" and I got them right off...I had on my arm sleeves and scarf and yoga pants and top and I felt all sexy and swirly and just plain wonderful. We danced in groups, and (get this) the teacher let me lead one end of the class in the egyptian moves and turns. Considering my bombing of my solo on friday night, this was just the thing to boost my confidence.
I came home and attacked my solo, and hammered out the vague "improvisation" sections in the choreography so now I have moves to polish and study in stead of just trying to improvise them as the intrsuctor has there - I can do that fine at home, but in front of people? No way. I need the structure.
So I will practice. And I will rock the solo.
And now I must go rock the lab...
Monday, March 2, 2009
Tonight it is tribal class, plus practicing my solo. I butchered it in front of the class on friday, and I realised how much work I have to do on it. The recital is at the end of the month, so I have to practice every day. I do not want to suck like I did at practice (it was embarrassing).
Off to the lab. Much to do. Bye :)