Archive for the ‘qi gong’ Category

Avg Page 2015 PR

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Today’s five miler was the fastest pace of the year at 9:11 and it should have been a little faster. I stopped at a busy intersection to wait for traffic to clear and paused my watch. 1/3 of a mile or so later I realized I hadn’t started it back up. Well that whole stretch was downhill and I know my pace had picked up, dang it! Not only did I miss out on some miles (well a 1/3 anyway) but I missed out an adding in some faster paced steps. Oh well, just makes the next PR that much more attainable! I recently made my weight more accurate on the watch (it had me at 150 and I am really closer to 180+), the higher weight showed me burning over 100 more calories on these five milers, so I was glad I switched. Then a few runs later I noticed my calories were back down again. I realized that when I synched my watch with the computer to transfer my data that it was also synching my personal settings which were still wrong in my training center program. Ugh. So I switched the numbers on both so hopefully now it won’t decide that I am 30 pounds lighter (until I actually am! Not that that is a goal – 170-175 is more of a goal).

This has been a good week of running so far. I have gotten three 5+ mile runs in all faster than 9:30. I haven’t had any recovery issues other than knowing I worked out that day. Today I added in a short qi gong workout after my run, something I really like to do if I have time. I haven’t been as consistent with the qi gong as I have been in the past, I would like to get back into doing that on a daily basis again.

Chilly running, or qilly running

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

It has been so long since I have posted I had no idea what to call this one, so therefor the boring title “Chilly running” (I just finished writing about qi gong, so I added the “qilly running” part). Which if I was even able to run at this time I could actually talk about running in the cold. But alas I am dealign with a pinched nerve (or something like that) in my back. It has happened before and rest seems to be the best medicine. This time was a really bad one. I was bucketing water out of our bird pond, but I don’t think the lifting had a lot to do with this. At the time it happened I was twisting and lifting, I swear don’t I know better? But even that I don’t believe to be fully behind my dehabilitation. IIRC the last time I did this I had over done it with exercise and yard work. Well that might be the true culprit here. I have spent the last week trying to get back into regular running. I thought I did a pretty good job of it with four shortish runs last week, but then the bomb dropped and I have done more sitting upright to avoid pain than anything. Actually I have been trying to get some activity in and have taken several walks to the store which does seem to help a bit. Mostly the problem is in the morning and getting out of bed. Even once I am able to get myself out of bed without a sharp electric pain shock to the back, it seems I succumb to it eventually and my back tightens up again. The good thing is I have been ale to sleep pain-free. But back to getting out of bed, this is where I have the issue, It is almost a fear of the pain that causes it or at the very least contributes to it. It does seem to be getting better and I am able to walk upright after a week or so of slouching and walking slowly. Smoking pot seems to really help relax my back muscles, but I have too much to do to smoke all day long (maybe on a Sat!)

This winter I seem to be a total wuss about the cold and I have been avoiding bad weather like the plague. Unfortunately this really cuts back on my running this winter. That and all the music I have been playing (on days I perform or practice I really try not to run as the exertion renders me unable to concentrate on the music.) My schedule has gotten really tight for times I have been able to get a run in. This has lead to getting lazy and deciding that it is ok to blow off a run. Bad runner! Well not really, if I don’t feel like it then I shouldn’t push it. Still I am in need of more “feeling like it” when it comes to running.

I haven’t been completely sluggish though. I made a big effort to study and regularly practice qi gong this fall/winter. Even though I just started reading about and practicing qi gong this year I realized that I have been doing it all my life through focused stretching and meditation. It has been an interesting experience to realize that I have been practicing many mental and physical aspects of qi gong all along and that I discovered them on my own. As my friend quoted a professor of hers “You don’t find qi gong, qi gong finds you.” I would say that has to be true in my experience. I started studying qi gong a little on the recommendation of my acupuncturist who was aware of my yoga practice through out the years. I bought a book and was so irritated with the author’s focus on a small aspect of qi gong – sexual yoga. the author took every chance he got to mention the phrase but never explained what he meant by it. The author really could have type-set the phrase in all caps and bolded with the amount of emphasis he placed on it. I finally just got sick of it and put the book down. This summer while on tour with the band, we stayed the night at a weird wool mattress co-op. In addition to their extreme kindness with the beds and food we were invited to attend an early morning qi gong class for the community. It was amazing and I felt great afterwards. I decided to research further and picked up a book called The Root of Chinese Qigong: Secrets of Health, Longevity, & Enlightenment. It offers a great introduction to the meaning and benefit of qi gong practice. This lead to several other qi gong books by Yang, Jwing-Ming on the subject. I also did research on the eight pieces of brocade a popular qi gong set that we did at the co-op. Eventually I discovered a brocade set by Jwing-Ming (brocades can be very different in terms of the actual poses) that I started doing regularly. I tried some other sets as well including the 256 pose Wild Goose sets, but I preferred the eight pieces of brocade by far. Plus I have limited space, and the wild goose sets required too much horizontal space. Other sets were more on the martial end whereas my focus has been on health.

One of the most interesting things I have discovered about qi gong is that for as specific as the movements in the sets are, there are many varieties. Which brings me back to the concept of qi gong finding you. The true strength of the practice is discovered and subtle (and not so subtle) variations and improvements can be made to the movements that tailor the practice to the individual. Finding what works has been a rewarding effort! In addition, I take this to a somewhat extreme (at least in the eyes of traditionalists). Every since college I have thought about the idea of updating yoga for the new age by doing the stretches and meditations in front of the tv. My thought is that media-minded individuals need something more than peaceful thoughts and tight yoga pants to keep us focused on the practice and that through watching something really banal on tv (like Gilligan’s island, perfect for me since I know every episode) where you can just space out watching it and achieve a sense of relaxation without the mind numbing boredom. Scoff away purists, it works for me! I also find great joy in watching sports and doing qi gong. I feel as if I am able to focus on the movement and energy transferals just fine, well fine enough to merit the tv watching! Which brings up another important and under stated aspect of qi gong. Even if you don’t do it perfectly (and besides, to do that you’d have to attain buddhahood) that there is still much benefit from the practice. So if my qi is moving and maybe not as efficiently as possible, it is still a good thing.

So running… I have been trying to get back into it as my belly tells me it is time to go away. best way to do that for me is to burn calories by running. Qi gong has been great for health, but it lacks on the cardio side. I had been going for 5 miles or so and feeling pretty good. My times have mostly been over a 10-min mile, but I have had some sub 10s too. I have been using the zero drop shoes and doing my hip exercises to counteract any soreness and so far it has been working great (until my back said no that is). My feet have been a little but sore, but not too bad. I am looking forward to hitting the roads again once my back loosens up, soon. More about that coming up as well!