One up, one down. At least I’m alive.

The Up

Went for my first run since early May. Ran just 5K, but had to take 2 breaks to let the HR come down.

The good bit: Most of the external-focused running muscles worked fine. The ankle whose injury had stopped running felt completely normal. The achilees in the other foot tinged a bit occasionally, but nothing extraordinary. Will ice it tonight.

The ok bit: It’s been just a couple of hours, and my quads (?!) are giving an indication of DOMS already. Could it be because I was lifting my knees while trying to pick up the feet? Or is it just that they’ve not been worked at all since the last spinning class in early August?

The bad bit: HR was high. Way too high for such a short run in cool temperatures. It was a clear indication of how much aerobic fitness I’ve lost in these months. Lots of work to get it back before London.

The Down

When heading down for the run, I turned off the heater in the office. I’d kept it at low for Chewie – who seemed to be feeling a bit cold.

When I returned upstairs 2.5 hours later, the room was boiling. Instead of switching off the low button, I’d turned on the high button – so the electric heater was working at full power for 2.5 hours. The digital temperature gauge read 39ºC :/

My office room is small enough to become uncomfortably warm in 10 mins. After two hours at full power, it was boiling – worse than the worst of summer. The Macbook was so hot that it took nearly 2 mins to show the lock screen!

I’ve been sitting here with the window open for 20 mins, and the temperature still reads 31ºC.

There may be a good amount of damage to the electricity bill.
Photo by Brandon Bynum on Unsplash

I’m still alive

Early in the run, the HR reading said 232 bpm! My heart was working, but not that hard. It was just the usual ‘cold air meets HR strap’ f-up.

Later in the run, the reading said 187 bpm, and I could feel the heart struggling to keep pumping. That was when I took my first break.

That was nothing compared to how hard the heart beat when I came upstairs half-an-hour ago and realised what had happened. Glad I wasn’t wearing the HR monitor anymore, or it may have given a reading to give me a stroke!

Anyway, the heart didn’t stop, and I didn’t burn down the house. I’ll call this afternoon a win.

A flat(tening) week…

Hearing therapy session got cancelled – Jen called in sick :(
I really needed this session – we’d made good progress in the previous session, and I was still reeling from Sunday’s mess.

Weekly mean weights

Weight has been trending up dramatically, after three weeks of heading down. Sunday’s gorging at the party, Monday’s cake feast, and yesterday’s gallons of red wine – all contributed. Culprit was clearly a weak will.

chart

Clutter free is stagnating – growth burst is over, and user numbers have been up and down since the US Thanksgiving.

Not enough users are signing up for premium support subscribtions. If the trend continues, I’ll have to cull time allotment to, if not kill entirely, the extensions. 40,000 users aren’t worth anything if even 1% of them don’t think these are worth paying.

Not a good week, so far.

The upside: week’s not over.

— Ever the optimist :)

Currently addicted to: Quartz’ Afrobeats mix

I have been listening to this, and only this sound track since I discovered it in the Quartz story on Afro beats. Working, walking, resting, everything – if I’m listening to music, it’s this track.

Wonder if anyone has the list of songs on this track. Also, if anyone has similar/good afrobeats mixes/playlists that they highly recommend, please do share!!

Ensoi.

Not calm. Calm.

Woke up 3 hours after I’d slept. Clothes, pillow cover, bed sheet – all were wet from sweat. Heavy breathing. Heart racing away. Head overflowing with anxiety. No cause, just anxiety.

I usually remember all my dreams. The good ones, the bad ones, and the weird, confusing ones. I didn’t remember anything. The memory was blank. Head was just … black.

Sat up. Took off the duvet. Waited a few minutes to let the heart rate recover. Tried reading something on the phone to distract the head. Nothing worked.

Got up, opened the window, and put my head out into the cool night air. It helped a bit.
Left the window open.

Opened the Calm app. Took a few deep breaths. Then started a sleep story – the Stephen Fry one. Kept the phone on the side table, and lay down on the dry side of the bed.

Heard some of the story – something about lavendar fields in Italy, IIRC. The light breeze from the open window was cooling the room. Slipped my feet inside the duvet.I could hear Stephen Fry softly talking in the distance. I didn’t gather much of what he was saying. I pulled the duvet over my legs and waist.

Next thing I remember is the alarm waking me up at 5:30.

Thank you, Calm. Thank you, cool wind.

 

Walk the dog…

I wake up early, make a coffee, and start working straight away. So, by 9 or 10 AM, I’ve got in 2-3 hours of work, and need a break. The dog and I go for a walk.

We return, we have breakfast, and I head up to work again. He sleeps.

After another couple of hours of focussed work, I’m in need of a break again by noon/1PM. So, unless R has already claimed it, the dog and I go for another walk.

We return, have lunch, and watch TV for a bit. Then I return to work upstairs, and he goes back to doing what he does best – sleep.

By around 6 or 7 in the evening, my head is screaming for a break again. Literally screaming – tinnitus has been getting quite bad lately. So we do whatever helps. A.k.a. the dog and I go for a walk, again.

I have always loved walking. I went for lone walks after fights with parents as a teenager. I enjoyed going for lone walks in Delhi in my early 20s – it helped living so close to Siri fort forest. I loved walking around the campus in Calcutta, and at the sea front in Bombay.

I occasionally enjoy company on my walks. I go for a daily walk with Dad when I’m in Karnal. I also enjoyed walking around with a few friends in Bombay and Calcutta. Once in a while I even enjoy having R come along for a walk.

More often, I prefer to be alone. Walks are my time to let the mind wander, or focus, or rest. Let the mind do what it wants while the legs, the lungs, and the heart get some loosening. After all most of the non-walking time is just the opposite – mind at work, everything else resting. Having company on a walk means the mind has to engage – converse, debate, listen (to remember). Not rest. Not recover.

Walking with Chewie isn’t the same. He doesn’t tax my mind too much, yet keeps my heart entertained. He loves all the tracks – muddy, sandy, gravely, boggy – that I keep exploring. He loves hills as much as I do. He enjoys exploring smells in the woods. He loves rivers and the sea. He enjoys being out and about, likely more than even me.

So, when I hit a mental road block with work, I look at him, and he’s up for it. We go for a walk.

When I’m anxious or tense, he takes me for a walk.

When I need to clear my head, or escape tension in the house, he indulges me with another walk.

I’m grateful to have him, always, on the walk.

Sometimes when I’m deep in work, when it’s -4°C and horizontal rain outside, when my body is still aching from the previous run/ride/swim/yoga, he comes and nudges my arm away from the keyboard with his nose. He wants to go for a walk.

I coddle him, delay him, curse him, plead with him. Then he wins. We go for a walk.

Continue reading Walk the dog…

No group chats

That’s the new rule I’m trying to follow.

People are different. Some like being at the center of the widest possible social circle, others just like to keep up with a big social circle. And some, like me, prefer fewer but deeper social connections.

Group chat, like much of social media, is designed for the first two groups. Not just because they’re the heaviest, most reliable users. But also because number of connections (or followers, friends, or people in groups) is an easy metric to calculate and promote.

Depth of those connections is not such an easy metric to devise. And it is naturally capped. It’s hard to have real deep connections with more than a handful of people.

As I continue to clear the noise in my life, this is one more area where I’m making changes. I want a handful of deep connections, and reduce the noise from the many.  Continue reading No group chats

New experiment: weighted walk

Weighted bag - 5.9kg (and a bit)
Weighted bag – 5.9kg (and a bit)

Started a new experiment today – carrying a weighted bag for daily dog walks.

I walk at least one 45 min walk everyday, usually more. Carrying a small weight is just a minor increment.

Hope is that this will help me build up a bit of strength in shoulders and core.

The original plan was to fill up the bag with books, but it appears these bottles may provide a better load.

Let’s see in two months how it works out.

Transition complete – passport & visa

Got my OCI card in the post today. The document transition is now complete

…from the Indian passport & the British permanent visa (indefinite leave to remain)

…to the British passport & the Indian permanent visa (overseas citizen of India)

Continue reading Transition complete – passport & visa