Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Wednesday


I've been fairly consistent with my workouts since starting back up again. I've made it into the weight room at least 3 times per week, each week, usually 4. When I've been in pain and unable to run I've either biked or used the elliptical. I've stuffed myself with protein and other recovery-oriented chemicals following my workouts and then slept like a corpse from total exhaustion.

But my strategy of trying to get my speed up without first getting my whole body back into the workout groove hasn't worked so well. My knee hurting and swelling I guess I can deal with. I've been pushing the speed and that puts added stress on the knee joint. But when my problematic calf gave me a twinge of pain and a threat of taking me out of this race one more time I took it as a big warning.

Yesterday, just to be cautious, I started walking and very slowly raised the treadmill speed one tenth of a second at a time. Even when I finally started running I kept raising the speed very slowly and very carefully. I never reached the speeds I've been running in previous workouts. I just reached a speed that I felt I could hold without my knee hurting or my calf tearing or cramping. It wasn't the speed I wanted, but I want to not be hurt more than I want to finally run a decent time again after 2 years in a row limping across the finish line in well over 30 minutes.

I didn't work out at all today. I had been working out 4 days per week, Monday through Thursday. I'm starting to believe that I'm trying to leap into this too quickly and all I'm going to do is reinjure myself just in time to not be able to run my race. So I'm cutting back, slowing down, and lowering my aim.

My new goal is to run the Cotton Row Run from start to finish without any injuries popping up and making me limp or walk prior to my crossing the stupid finish line. Reaching for the stars, I know. But considering the injury troubles I've had in the last 2 races I'm thinking this might be the best idea for me right now.

Sorry if this isn't very inspiring. If my workouts go better I may raise my aim a little. Otherwise, this is probably for the best. One injury-free race and then I will aim higher.

Not gonna be me

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Back to the Gym


I signed up for the 2014 Cotton Row Run. This doom and failure is becoming an annual event for me. I mean, the race has always been an annual event, but my failure to run it in a decent time is a recent development. Recent increasingly being a relevant term since I've failed to even break 30 minutes in my last 2 (?) tries. I'm not going to mix words. Failing to run a 5K in less than 30 minutes is just awful. It's not an achievement to be proud of. It's not even average for my age group. It's barely better than walking. It's awful.

Nevertheless, I have returned to the gym. Naturally I am doing everything wrong. I need to slowly and steadily build up my running to a reasonable distance. And THEN work on my speed and power. But the thing is, I'm stubborn. And stupid. I know I can run the distance. That's not the issue. I mean, as long as nothing breaks or tears or pulls or catches fire before I cross the finish line. So I'm ignoring the whole "build up to the distance and work on your pace and form" thing. The first day back in the gym I ran. And my knee swelled up like a helium balloon. And it hurt while I ran, too. Naturally I went straight back to the gym the very next day. Because that's what you do, right? No, but I did it anyway. I just didn't get on the treadmill the 2nd day. I got on the elliptical instead.

Meanwhile, I supplement my runs/ellipticals/biking with weightlifting. I'm just doing 3 sets of weak weights and low effort lifting. But being more out-of-shape than Barack Obama right now even these weak weights and minimal sets has left me sore.

So yesterday I cranked up the treadmill and blasted through a mile at the race pace I'd love to do during the Cotton Row, except that obviously I'd have to hold that pace for quite a bit longer than just a mile. There's the catch.


Today I cranked up the treadmill even faster. But I was so tired from yesterday that I couldn't hold it, so I Treadmill Fartleked instead. I sprinted, then walked, then sprinted, etc. I did this until my right running shoe exploded. I know this sounds like a joke, the sort of sarcastic thing a blogger would say, but trust me, it isn't. I was sprinting along when I shoe went BLAP and the sole flew off and sailed like a Martina Hingis serve for an ace. This put a slight kink in my sprinting plans and also made me stop running to laugh. But then I had to get off the treadmill and get on a bike. By this point I was out of gas anyway, so I did some bench press and abs and stretched.

Now I have to find a new pair of running shoes. And maybe ice my legs a bit. And stretch some more. And also I should probably search the gym to find my sole before someone else does and thinks one of the women lost her diaphragm in the weightroom somehow.

Aside from my exploded Reebok I have another problem. I clearly weigh too much for my bad knee. It hurts if I don't run just right. And then it swells and hurts like hell. I'm too fat for my knee and my running shoe. I blew it up. My knee isn't going to get better. 2 surgeries have made sure of that. The worse it gets, the lighter I need to be. Of course, that's not likely to happen. But I have to try. Otherwise there isn't going to be any more races on this gimpy, swollen disaster.


Saturday, March 29, 2014

The 17 Meme

So much has been happening, but none of it involves me getting any sort of exercise. I'm in awful shape and my knee is complaining about all these weather changes. In light of the fact that I haven't had anything to blog about and haven't had time to visit any blogs either I'm stealing a meme from Julie Maloney.


MEME!The 17 Meme

1. Do you know triplets? 
No, I don't. I know twin girls who grew up across the street from me. They are Swedish supermodels or something like that. Well, they don't model, but they are athletic and smart and good-looking. And their mom hated my guts so I always knew if I ever asked either of them out she'd go berserk and end it before it began.

2. Do you prefer Titanic or The Notebook
I don't actually know a single male person who ever read The Notebook. I haven't asked around, but I don't know if I know any guys who saw Titanic either. Those are pretty heavily entrenched in the whole "girl movie" genre.

3. Have you ever eaten Indian food? 
I don't know. I'm trying to think of what qualifies as Indian food versus everything else. I think I ate at an Indian restaurant once, so I guess probably yes, I must have.

4. What’s the name of your favorite restaurant?
There is a Mexican restaurant near my house. The food isn't that great, but they have these custom-carved booths. One of them features a Mayan priest stabbing a woman in the heart in a human sacrifice. They tried to disguise it by painting the dagger to look like a bouquet of flowers, but anyone who knows American history knows whats going on.


5. Who’s your favorite person in the world? 
I don't know. I guess whoever brings me one of those giant checks from the lottery telling me I've won a billion dollars would be high on my list.

6. Would you rather live in a rural area or in the suburbs? 
If I'm in a fun city I like being inside the city where all the fun is. But seeing as I'm not, I lot being as far away from that death alley as I can. I'm out in farm country right now. We don't even have street lights. I can see the stars at night and I really like it that way. It's really cool to be able to look up and see the Milky Way and know that it isn't pollution or clouds, but actual space gases, like a giant galactic fart in the sky. I have never seen that before moving out here.

7. Can you whistle? 
If I stand outside during a tornado and lean forward towards the direction of the winds and open my mouth my butt will whistle a merry little tune.

8. Do you sleep with a nightlight? 
No, I sleep with a pillow and blankets like a normal person.

9. Do you eat breakfast every morning? 
I eat Cheerios mixed with Honey Bunches of Oats and sometimes cut up a banana to throw in with it in milk. I eat this every morning. Every freakin' morning. And also a boiled egg with some orange juice. I'm sure somewhere out there is a dietitian or personal trainer who might read this and say "that's why you're fat and injured all the time!" I don't know. It seems OK to me.


10. Do you take any pills or medication daily?   
I take vitamins. Ever since Obamacare the federal government has been trying to get anyone and everyone who takes government money to tell us to stop taking vitamins, stop getting cancer tests, stop exercising. I don't know, maybe I'm paranoid, but it seems to me like they want us to die early so we don't cost too much money.

11. How many times have you been to the hospital as a patient? 
I played soccer. They have a wheelchair reserved for me at every hospital in the city. Orthopedic surgeons toast my name at their country clubs. A knee surgeon named his yacht after me.

12. Have you ever seen Finding Nemo
I haven't seen Nemo in awhile, but last I saw his dad found him and he was safe. Why? Is he missing again?

13. Where do you buy your jeans? 
My last several pair of Levi's tore in some of the most ridiculous of circumstances. So lately I've been going to Tractor Supply and buying Wrangler jeans. So far so good. Brett Favre seems to know what he's talking about.


14. What’s the last compliment you got? 
The more I try to think of the correct answer to this question the more I wonder if I ever even get any compliments. I can't think of any from this year.

15. Do you usually remember your dreams in the morning? 
I had some wild dreams last night. I think I enjoyed them. But I can't remember them to save my life. That's usually how it goes. They usually fade away pretty quickly after I wake up. I wonder why that is?


16. What flavor tea do you enjoy? 
Black coffee. I don't often even encounter tea.

17. What social media sites do you use?
Obviously I'm on Blogger. I have a Twitter account, but I don't log on often. I mostly use it to follow Olympic athletes and people like that who are unlikely to talk with me if I were to log in and reply to their tweets. That's about all.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Rain Pain


It's raining today. It began sometime during the night while I was sleeping. Today my knee hurts like crazy. Its even got a little swelling. I didn't go running. I didn't do box jumps. I haven't been doing power cleans with Olympic weights. I haven't gone for a 50 mile walk. I haven't done a single physical thing that might contribute to this pain and swelling. It just is there. And so is the rain. Rain = knee pain. This isn't entirely new, but this is the worst it has ever been for me. I don't know what to make of this.

I passed my test. I needed an 83 in order to be considered passing for this particular certification. I scored a 92. I have no idea how their scoring system works. It makes no sense to me and they don't explain it. Their questions were intended to trip you up. They write them in such a way that it hardly makes any sense. Let me give you an example:

"If Sally, a cardiologist, has a Sony Vaio laptop with Windows 8 and all her PII files are encrypted using AES with a private key of A12Gfh7 which she uses to email prescription information to the Kroger pharmacy for a hormone replacement gel called Estrovan, what is the make and model of the car she drives?"

A) Ford Taurus
B) Estrovan
C) Fiat Vaio
D) none, she is clearly an environmentalist and rides a bicycle

See? Wasn't that fun? Yes, now imagine a test with 100 of those type questions and a timer and if you fail to score an 83.3 percent or better and qualify for the certification then you immediately lose your job. Yay! So much fun.


So its raining. I bought a big old chainsaw to help me finish clearing the dead trees from my woods and cut them up into firewood yesterday. But clearly with all this rain I'm not going to get to use it today.

The temperature has dropped considerably overnight. I can hear the wind outside ripping at the roof of my house, trying to tear the 'doghouse' windows off the upstairs office where I'm sitting. Downstairs I know one of my cats is curled up like a squirrel in her fluffy little bed with her tail covering her face to block out the light. And she's purring. She purrs for hours after climbing into that bed. She loves that bed more than a fat kid in LA loves cocaine and cake. The other cat, he got bored because I didn't pet him enough to satisfy him so he went outside to climb in bushes and crawl under things and generally get filthy and wet and bring home lots of twigs and leaves and insects trapped in his fur.

Today is sucking for me. Someone in my house threw a tantrum a few hours ago and kicked the crap out of a box of cups and containers before storming out and speeding away. I found the box, with half of the cups scattered around the floor. My Superbowl cup listing the Dallas Cowboys as national champions of 1993 was shattered into a zillion pieces. That cup can't be replaced. It was original. I didn't even realize it was in that box, but now that they've ruined it I do. 1993 was such a long time ago. I don't think the Cowboys will win anymore Superbowls for a very long time.


Other than my swollen, achy knee, the rain, and my ruined Cowboy Superbowl championship cup I don't really have much else to say.

Well, except one thing. I want to ask something of you. Do you ever visit any blogs where no matter how many comments you leave the person who writes the blog never acknowledges you at all? Does this bother you? Do you keep visiting or do you eventually just drop them and go elsewhere? Sometimes I feel like I'm just being ignored, like they don't care what I have to say or whether I say anything at all.  I'm just curious if anyone else is dealing with this and how you feel about it if so.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Walk


I couldn't spend one more day sitting at the table studying. I had to get outside today. I mean, I studied, but then around 6 pm I went outside and walked. It was a slow, ordinary walk, not some mad Olympic track and field race. I just cruised along. I passed my neighbors' PVC fence with the rails that are always falling down. I passed some bamboo that has rapidly raced through the area and is threatening my own neighborhood.

I don't know who the idiot who planted that crap is, but if I find them I'm going to stab them to death with bamboo!


I passed the neighbor with the dogs that always leap through their barbed wire fence and chase me when I jog. And I noticed that the pretense of fence was gone - no posts and no barbed wire - and so were the dogs.

I passed the neighbor who owns about 5 acres and saw him and his 2 dogs walking around in his garage. His German shepherd usually comes out and runs along with me when I'm jogging past, or biking. He loves to have someone to chase. And as long as the batteries in his shock collar keep him from actually getting at me I'm fine with that. He never barks and looks mean. He just seems terribly excited to chase me. I even speed up sometimes just to make it more fun for both of us.


I passed the bridge where trashy people go to dump their garbage into the stream. There was furniture down there. And a gigantic bag of some sort. Petroleum was leaking from the bag in a rainbow-colored wisp that flowed from it. I don't know what was in the bag, but it was doing a bang-up job of polluting the crap out of the stream. The obligatory truck tires were in the water. I walked on.


I came to a smaller bridge and stopped to look into the water before turning around. Someone had dumped things here, too. There was a head gasket for a car engine with 4 distinct cylinders. There was a digital ignition box halfway in the water. And there was a truck axle. What the heck?? This was a low bridge. The water wasn't deep. From the top of the bridge to the bottom of the little stream probably wasn't 3 feet. But somehow someone had managed to dump all their spare parts here from a truck they had either totaled or rebuilt, I don't know which.

At this point I turned back and walked on home. I wasn't in a hurry. I took my time. By the time I reached home I think I had walked about 4 miles at the most.

But my legs felt weak and tired, as if I had run those 4 miles instead of cruising along at a leisurely walk.

I am in TERRIBLE shape.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Paralympics

The Paralympics are on. NBC has them buried deep in one of their offshoot channels, but nevertheless, they are showing a little bit here and there. As you may have guessed, my being a fanatic about watching the Olympics I am of course watching these, too.  It's a bit different than the regular Olympics. There is a lot less ... what would be the word ... standardization? Everyone seems to just use whatever equipment they feel is best. There doesn't seem to be anyone checking that all the athletes are essentially using the same equipment and equal. So the better your equipment the bigger your advantage. And the less your handicap affects you, or the more recent it happened to you, the more advantage you have. I guess I find this odd in light of all the controversy surrounding any athlete accused of using performance enhancing drugs. I mean, what difference does it make if an athlete used EPO if their competitor has a totally different ski sled and poles and a decided leverage advantage as a result of sitting much higher?


Anyway, I didn't come here just to talk about that. I really only came to check in and say "I'm not dead."  There's an irony in this. I started this blog with the idea being that I was going to write a little something every day, no matter how trivial or small the post, and not worry about whether anyone read it or not. And here I haven't written much in awhile and I am blogging just to say "sorry I haven't posted much lately." It's the total opposite of what I set out to do.

So, still very busy and unable to be online much. The telephone answering machine is flashing "F" for Full because so many people are calling. I'm just super popular and in-demand. No, most of the messages are in-laws calling to speak to my significant other and she just doesn't bother to clean off the machine.

So, to tell you what's going on and yet tell you virtually nothing, today I asked the police to fingerprint me and they said "No." I told them "its for the government" and they said "no." What does a man have to do to get the police to take his fingerprints around here?! Dammit!


I cut down 6 or 7 trees in my backyard the other weekend. They all seem to have died all of a sudden and without warning. I had been back there spraying poison ivy and poison oak vines several years in a row and I had worried that I myself might have poisoned my own trees. But my neighbors are all experiencing the same thing, dying trees, and no one is really sure what has killed them. Almost all the dead trees in my yard are Sweet Gum trees. I don't remember the correct name for them, but that's what they are called around here, more often than not. One particularly large one snapped in half mid-way up and is now a jagged pole in my backyard. It's about 3 stories high where  it snapped. The other half went into my neighbor's yard and I don't know what he did with it. I don't own a chainsaw so I didn't exactly race over to cut it up for him. Maybe he got sick of waiting on me and cut it up himself? I really need to buy a chainsaw. The first tree I cut down with an axe. That was a ton of work. The rest I cut using a bow saw. But it's not large enough to cut the really big trees. I'm going to have to buy a bigger one.


So anyway, that's about all I have to update on. Nothing exciting. I've just been chasing cops trying to get them to print me and they won't do it.