Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Lawn Care, Sweating, and Overflowing Sinks

 Bagworm bong party!

On Friday I was standing in the parking lot talking to a coworker. Suddenly I realized that I had left my cell phone sitting on my desk inside. Being a runner, or so I tell people, I tried to jog into the building to grab my phone and then jog back to continue talking to my coworker. Can you believe that as I jogged to the door I could feel both of my calves wanting to cramp and pull? I'm serious. What kind of runner can't even jog across a parking lot without a major injury??

I have a neighbor who for reasons which are hard to explain decided to spray the bushes and trees on the south side of my lawn with poison. The resulting damage to the tree nearly killed it. All the leaves curled up and died. Then bore worms drilled into the tree starting at the top and began literally sucking the life out of it, rapidly working their way down the trunk towards the roots. I dumped a can of fertilizer at the base of the tree, ground up aspirin and dumped it at the base, and then hosed the tree with insecticide to try to kill the borers. I finally had to hack the top off the tree, leaving a big stump and a few straggled branches alive, just to stop those boring futhermuckers from devouring the entire tree. So far it has survived, but just barely.

Near the tree is an evergreen bush. I hadn't noticed any problems with the bush until just this week. It steadily turned brown all the way around, starting at the back and working around the bush to the front. By the time I went to investigate what was happening to the bush it had become infested with the most bagworms that I have ever seen. There are so many bagworms on this bush that they have knocked each other off the branches, leaving piles of bagworms on the ground deep enough that I could shovel them up if I were so inclined. I bought a giant bottle of Sevin and hosed that sucker until the bagworms were forced to put on swim trunks and snorkels. I did this 3 nights in a row after work.

Then I noticed that the 'burning bushes' in front of my house were all dead looking. I don't think my neighbor did this one. These stupid bushes have done this 2 years in a row. I can't remember what I had to do last year to save them, so already having the bottle of Sevin on the hose, I soaked them with it. THEN I examined them. This neighborhood has some sort of fungus curse. I don't know what the deal is, but when I moved in every plant had this nasty gray fungus killing absolutely everything. I had to drown all plants with fungicide just to save them. That was years ago. When I examined the Burning Bushes I saw that stupid fungus on them again. So I mixed up and fungicide and sprayed them down top to bottom.

I know what you're thinking right now. Yes, this has got to be the most boring post I have ever written. Patience!

It's a tad humid out tonight
It was 7 pm when I went outside to do all these things. The sun was setting already. It was 87 degrees outside. I swear the humidity must be 150%, maybe 200%. Sure, that's technically not possible. But the instant I set foot outside my house I was pouring sweat. And I was already sweating just walking around inside my house while I debated whether to go outside and deal with this crap. Its ridiculous!

So ... yes, I'm starting a sentence with 'so' .... so after all this poisoning and sweating and cursing I finally came inside the house to shower. My t-shirt was a disaster of sweat, so I threw it into the sink and turned on the faucet to presoak it. I had to start doing this after two of my t-shirts actually molded while sitting in the laundry waiting to be washed because they were so wet with sweat.

No, I'm totally serious. You think you know humidity? We got your humidity right here, bucko!

So I threw my t-shirt into the sink, stoppered it, and turned on the faucet to presoak it. Then I jumped into the shower. After showering I turned off the water and stood in the shower drying off. But I could still hear water running. I stood there looking around, worrying that I might have a plumbing issue to deal with on top of everything else. Finally I stepped out of the shower. The faucet at the sink was still running. And the sink, being one of those modern shell-shaped artsy-fartsy things, has no emergency drain hole near the top and so had filled completely up and was overflowing into the floor. The bathroom floor was a swimming pool!

Care for a swim?

I swam over to the sink and turned off the faucet. Then I started throwing towels frantically onto the floor to soak it up. I ran out of towels pretty quickly, even throwing the towel I had been drying off with into the ocean of sink puke.

And then I opened the bathroom door.

The hallway was a lake. I swam across to the linen closet and started yanking out towels, throwing them into the pond that was once my faux hardwood floor.

Oh, speaking of faux hardwood floors, do you know what happens to laminated cardboard faux hardwood floors when they get soaked like this? Yeah, they ruin. So I was in a panic.

About this time, my wife came home. She found me standing in a pool in the hallway, towels everywhere, and me stark naked and still dripping wet.

"What the hell happened?!"

I can't believe this isn't a Monday. It sure feels like a Monday. It couldn't have been a much worse day. Oh, and my cat has a bladder infection and keeps peeing and peeing and peeing. And the vet can't see her until Friday. So there's THAT.

Can I pee here?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Broken Rules

So Monday I was all hurt. My right calf was a mess. I even wrote a blog post that was more than just a Wordless Wednesday to tell you all about it. Yep. And I swore I wouldn't run.

And then on Wednesday I looked in my gym bag and found my calf sleeve and I thought to myself, "I don't want to bike today. I want to run. I wonder ...."

So I put that sucker on and I ran.

And I had no problems!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Tour de France and calf injuries

Lately its either been Wordless Wednesday or another post about my latest in a steady stream of injuries. Well, this isn't Wednesday, so ... well, hang on, by the time I post this it'll be Wednesday. OK, I'll combine the two then. Here's a photo:

And now for the latest injury update. Monday I got back on my horse, er, treadmill and went for a run. This time I started off slowly and walked steadily faster for the first half mile before breaking into a run. This is how I had been doing it before while training for the Cotton Row. I'd slowly speed up, making sure my body was thoroughly warmed up and then break into a run. After breaking into a slow run I'd continue speeding up until I reached a speed I felt comfortable with. It was when I sped up this process that I injured my formerly healthy right calf.

OK, so I walked faster and faster for the first half mile. Then I started into a slow run. It was SO boring. I admit, I punched the accelerate button on the treadmill more frequently than I had while preparing for the Cotton Row. I would run at a speed for maybe .15 of a mile and then speed up one notch. I reached a speed of around 10 minutes per mile, which is not fast or competitive by anyone's measure who isn't in a wheelchair or on crutches. I held it there, trying to focus on my form and not injuring anything. That didn't last long.

At about the 1.5 mile mark my right calf suddenly felt ... weird. I don't know how to explain it. It felt like it was about to cramp. I quickly jumped off the treadmill. A guy on the elliptical who had been working steadily away when I came in and was still going suddenly shouted at me, "come on, keep it going!" He was kidding, but I really did want to take his advice and jump back on again. I told him I had a calf injury and I was worried about what was going on down there. I stretched a little and then tried getting back on. It still felt weird. And I was worried. It wasn't screaming "I'M HURT, YOU IDIOT" but it was definitely saying something.

I jumped off again. I slowed the speed a bit and tried jogging along. No good. Something was off with my injured calf. It was warning me that it was about to blow again. So I slowed the treadmill to a fast walk speed and tried that. Nope, no go.

I shut off the treadmill and started walking carefully around the gym. I stretched and stretched my calf. Nothing doing. It was warning me to lay off. So I, being stubborn, started doing calf raises. I wasn't leaping and hopping like a moonshadow or anything, but I did them slow and steady. It really didn't seem to hurt anything. After 3 sets I stretched thoroughly and climbed onto the stationary bike. I rapid pedaled 2 miles and then called it quits. I know that 2 miles on a bike isn't much, but I was pretty preoccupied with my calf problem and it wasn't as if we had the Tour de France going on the TV. If we had then I'd have ridden a lot more. That thing is addictive. I was watching it the other night. Several other nights, too, actually. Those guys are drug-abusing performance machines! Anyway, enough about French cyclists on drugs.

Mais non

The guy on the elliptical was still pumping along when I stretched a final time and headed out the door. At home I guzzled a giant protein shake and showered. That night I iced the crap out of my calf again. Today it feels mostly OK. I'm not limping and it isn't hurting. But I know I won't be running tomorrow. Most likely I'll have to bike it. Maybe I can find the Tour de France on the TV this time.