Monday, January 25, 2010


Well, it's that time of year. The time of year when I start to question what the hell I am doing with my life. That, or it's seasonal affective disorder, but I prefer the obsessive navel gazing and questioning the choices in my life because it makes for a better (or sadder or more self-indulgent - definitely self-indulgent) blog post.

Winter seems so ridiculously long at this point. I know! No one is holding a gun to my head keeping me here, but, as I have pointed out before, all my stuff is here and I really hate moving. And when I say "stuff" I am including my wife and kids and dog and my emotional baggage - you know, the "stuff" I have become strangely and strongly attached to.

Come mid-April it will be two years since I was laid off from my full-time job as a commercial interior designer. At this point though, everything gets rounded up, so - it's been two years since I had a job. I have done some other things in the past two years, but seeing as those were short-term and part-time they don't seem to register or count.

A thought just occurred to me - didn't I formulate a plan for the future a number of weeks back? (The same thought probably occurred to you way before it occurred to me and I appreciate you sticking with this post as this is territory we have trampled before.) Yeah, the plan. OK I just need to work the plan. All right - enough of this then.

Injury update

I will have my next PT appt. on Wed. Since my initial appt. I have been doing my exercises and feeling major improvement. I now walk up and down stairs without pain. I rode the trainer for 90 minutes and felt no residual effects later in the day as I had been - my ass still hurts, but that is just my boney butt. I will do a short run this afternoon and see how everything feels after that. This evening I do my exercises again - twice a day, already did them this morning.

This past Saturday I was supposed to run the Frozen Half-marathon (see Steve in a Speedo's report here) but opted to pass so as to not aggravate my injury or my wife or both. It was a very wise decision as the weather was less than ideal - rainy (gross,) cold (miserable) and potentially icy (dangerous - for me anyway.) I am also happy to report that neither my injury nor my wife were aggravated Saturday morning. (My wife may have been aggravated, but no more so than usual. She is married to me after all so a constant level of aggravation is included with this premium package.)

Travel update

This past weekend my lovely wife celebrated her 40th birthday. This weekend we will really celebrate it with a trip to Vegas with two of her college girlfriends, one of their husbands and a 5-month-old baby. I know and love all these people (except the baby - we've never met) so I am looking forward to a good time. I hope to have some pictures and words to prove how much fun we had. And since I am "Sober Cab" nothing is off-limits. Mmwhahahaha.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

January - The Perfect Month to F**k Yourself Up

Not in a good way.

I feel like I'm training like total pro (as in a "pro-fessional triathlete" not as in a "pro-stitute") these days. I have a coach, I had a couple of days with multiple workouts, I am constantly hungry and my leg is fucked up. It seems like January is the month when serious athletes and triathletes get hurt. Just to name a few: Chrissie Wellington has a fucked up hand from falling off her bike on a patch of ice, Lauren Groves has lost the use of both arms after doing an endo in Maui, Beth Shutt is laid up, Erin is laid up, Steve in a Speedo - in pain. Frayed Laces - nursing a sore ITB (but she runs ultras so she should get over it.) Kerrie was "hurt" with a hip flexor that wasn't firing, but I call "bullshit" because she ran a sub-3 hour marathon. (Of course now she claims to not be able to walk so good.) Tasha got a new rack, so her situation is a little different, but I like to acknowledge all the walking wounded out there. Meg - gimping. D - just has "issues." I am not sure they are really "injuries" but I like to include all manner of maladies happening in January. (D - I kid. I am just jealous that you only have to worry about one sport.) I am sure I have forgotten many others who are feeling less than 100%, suffice it to say you are forgotten but not forgotten (whatever, you know what I mean.) So, I must be a "serious triathlete" because I, too, am hurt in the month of January.

Today, I bit that bullet that is healthcare and went to see the doc about my bum ITB/knee/hip. I followed the whole "keep going until it affects your stride, stroke, etc." rule of thumb and this morning at masters I just couldn't take it any more. It hurt to kick and push off the wall and swimming for me has NEVER hurt. (My fly was rocking today though.) I have an appointment with a PT on Friday morning. This will certainly be a new experience. Until then I am on easy spinning, easy running and swimming - as long as it doesn't hurt. I was also supposed to run the Frozen Half Marathon on Saturday, but I will be sitting this one out. It was a "fun" race and I don't need to push it. The weather looks to be questionable with rain/freezing rain a 70% possibility. Why would I want to run in that crap anyway? So, thank you ITB, your discomfort has saved me from different discomfort and misery that would be running in freezing rain.

Let's hope that come February everyone is feeling better and not all sitting around talking about their various aches and pains like a bunch of blue-hairs and gummers at a 24 hour bingo tournament. And let's hope my insurance covers this PT, because that would be more painful than anything my ITB could throw at me.

Monday, January 18, 2010


On my Facebook page a week ago or so I posted a picture of this great older guy with an awesome sweatshirt. The picture was terrible, but people liked it. Sitting at the coffee shop just now I see the same guy with the same sweatshirt so I asked him if I could take a picture.

He and his wife were awesome! He's 87 and she's 83. I would have never guessed. And they both had great senses of humor. I hope I am that fun and happy with my wife at that age.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

"The Procrastinators"

Here is a picture of our living room taken December 6th.


Here is a picture of our living room taken moments ago.

Pretty sad.

Not much has changed. We have become "The Procrastinators." Since the start of 2010 a whole 14 days ago we haven't done a damn thing that needs to be done. There are five baskets of laundry that we trip over constantly in our bedroom waiting to be folded. And then there are the Christmas decorations.

For someone who talked so much about his dislike for the holidays, I seem to have an incredibly high tolerance for keeping the Christmas decorations around. And it seems like neither A nor I have any urgency to take them all down as A said at dinner, "We should probably take the Christmas tree down one of these days," and I replied, "uh huh," and then we went on to talk about something completely different. So what does this all mean? One of two things - A has adopted a sense of Zen for 2010 or she is medicating - self or prescribed, I am not sure. The only thing I know for sure is that I am down to two pairs of underpants so I better fold that fricking laundry before I completely run out.
Some completely unrelated items:

The Minnesota Wild beat the Vancouver Canucks 5 -2 last night. Woohoo! Go Wild! (Clever, huh?)

Blog commenter cinthia - please send me an email (go to my profile.) I have a couple of questions for you. Thanks.

I did indeed kill my iPod with my own sweat. How am I so certain? Well, it doesn't work and a little dust of salt crystals puff out around the touch wheel and the edges of the screen when I press on either of them. Today I buy a new iPod and a WATERPROOF case. Damn treadmill running.

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Discoveries

So, we have moved on from the treadmill updates. It has now become a part of my training regimen. I have even added myself to my wife's "health club" membership so I can run whenever I need to. It all still grosses me out and the list of shit I hate about "health clubs" grows or is reinforced every time I go (many times it is reinforced by stuff I do, but that is neither here nor there.) Anyway.

What "new discoveries" do you speak of, you ask? I have discovered that I am trimming down with all this new activity. I am not really "losing weight" - at least not that I can say for certain because I have a tendency to weigh myself when I am totally dehydrated and that is never accurate. "How are you so sure you are 'trimming down?'" you ask. It has nothing to do with how my clothes fit or comments from other people. You know, let me walk you through my discovery.

At night as I am getting ready to go to bed I probably do the same thing most everyone else does - take off my clothes, put on some pajamas of some sort, take a fist full of pills (whatever is lying around or has colors that match my pajamas) and brush my teeth. (I probably pee somewhere in there, too, followed by very thorough hand washing, but you aren't really interested in that.) I typically just wear pajama pants - I got these really kick-ass ones at Costco for like ten bucks, but I digress. So, as I am brushing my teeth I am staring at myself in the mirror and thinking the usual guy thoughts, "Damn, I really should do some 'manscaping,'" "I can't believe how gray my chest hair is getting," "Is one of my nipples higher than the other?" "Why do I even have nipples?" And as I am lost in my thoughts I start the absentminded old-guy scratching and picking. Inevitably this leads to me swirling a finger around inside my belly button. I usually have some lint that has accumulated throughout the day, so it tends to be a productive endeavor. No one wants a dirty belly button.

On many of these occasions I ponder the risk of sticking my finger too far in and poking a hole in my stomach and then wondering if my guts would spew out like a fountain of strawberry jelly or if I would just start to fly around the room backwards like someone letting the air out of a balloon. But recently I realized that my finger was "bottoming out" a lot sooner than it had in the recent past. I wondered, "Is this true? Is my belly button filling with lint that I have been inadvertently packing in there for years? No, it looks clean. Is my belly button trying to escape? No, that is just silly. Does this mean that my belly button is no longer the deep well of oral hygiene distracted fun it once was?" Keep in mind that as I am pondering all these questions I am still brushing my teeth and my finger is still in my belly button (just in case it is trying to escape.)

Then it hit me. My belly button has not changed! The flabdomen material surrounding it has begun to decrease! I have tested this hypothesis over many evenings and I do believe that I am losing some of that frustrating spare tire (now when I say "spare tire" I am referring to more of a spare road bike tire or, probably more accurately, a mountain bike tire rather than a car tire or a truck tire or, heaven forbid, one of those big dumptruck tires.) It looks like all this activity might be paying off. It might mean I need to buy new clothes again. I hope I can find some kick-ass jeans at Costco.


F: "Dad, will you help me study the challenge spelling words?"
Me: "Sure. Do you need to study the main spelling words, too?"
F: "No. I'm familiar with those."

(Do seven-year-old, 2nd graders talk like this?)

Friday, January 8, 2010

No More, Please!

Today I hit the treadmill for the second time. Isn't two times in a lifetime more than enough? (And when I say "lifetime" I don't mean "Lifetime" as in "Lifetime Fitness" where I happened to be running on aforementioned treadmill. Although, the less time I can spend at the "health club" known as "Lifetime Fitness" the better.)

Today's run was better. First, I started it at about 11 AM rather than around 5 PM the last time. Second, the club was emptier. Although people still insisted on running right next to me even though there were tons of empty treadmills. Third, and most importantly, the run was shorter. I got new headphones that hook over my ears so they don't fall out, so that helped even more.

As I indicated before, I can't watch TV while I run or while I bike on the trainer. I picked the treadmill that wasn't directly in front of a TV. Here was my view:

I stared at that column for an hour.

At the end of it all I had successfully flung sweat all over the place. Again, why would anyone want to run next to me?

I just left it like that so the next person would know how hard I worked and they would feel inadequate. (No, I didn't. I cleaned up thoroughly.)

Afterward, I was chatting with MS - my fellow IMWI attendee and the person I "used" to get into the "health club." Anywho, she was talking about her coach. He had her do a swim test and lift, which she did while I was running. So, we were talking about what we were each doing and her coach has her quitting drinking, quitting coffee and keeping all sorts of records of her nutrition and all sorts of other "metrics." I told her my coach just gives me killer workouts to do and I do them.

Now we have a "Biggest Loser" type scenario - we are going to see whose coach will punish them the most. (And who is going to see the biggest gains - not in weight, hopefully.) It will be fun to see what happens in the "elimination room."

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Going Nowhere

That is how I felt running on a treadmill for the first time since I started running over two years ago. How did I succumb to such a miserable fate? Well, I just could NOT run for 11 miles at endurance pace in single digit temps on the uneven, icy roads and sidewalks. I have either come to my senses or turned into a pussy (you be the judge.)

Since I hate the "health club" I do not have a membership, but my wife and kids do, so I went as a guest of my wife. Actually, I didn't. A and I had devised a plan where she would work out, then, when she was almost done, she would call me and I would leave the kids locked in their rooms and head to the club where she would welcome me as her guest and then leave shortly after to free the kids from their prisons. I walked in, did not see A, so I kept walking. No one stopped me or asked for a membership card. I looked for A and then sat and watched TV until she showed (it was a couple of minutes and I didn't want her to waste time looking for me - aren't I considerate?)

All the treadmills on the main floor were full but A pointed me to the ones upstairs that are reserved for "personal training." They were completely empty so I picked one in the front row at the very end. (Why is any of this important? It's not really except I thought it would keep me from being surrounded by weirdos.)

I brought my iPod loaded with fast pace house music to help pass the time, a bottle to drink and a Roctane because, hey, I am all about overkill. I started my run. All was going fine. Then I started to sweat. Not many of you, dear reader, have seen me in all my workout glory, but I am what is known as "a heavy sweater."

Not this kind of "heavy sweater."

This kind of "heavy sweater."

But without the glowering look, stubby alligator arms, ravishing good looks and movie "career."

The bouncing up and down of my stride combined with my slippery ear sweat kept making my ear buds fall out. After about a half hour of this nonsense I turned off the music and just gave up. Now I was doomed to hear everything that was going on around me. Of course, soon after I was joined to my right by Snorty-Lung-Biscuit-Coughing-Whistling-Whispering-Guy. Dude! I am like 18 inches from you and you are totally grossing me out! (He became #4,209 on the list of things I hate about "health clubs.")

One of the other reasons I hate the treadmill and the "health club" is that I am always afraid that I will end up being Sweaty-Leering-Guy. I can do a pretty good job of focusing on a distant point and not looking around, but people kept walking into my field of vision and although I was looking through them I am sure the guys thought I was staring at their crotches and the women thought I was leering at their butts. So I had to find a neutral place to look. And I can't watch TV while I run. It makes the time go even slower in my mind.

I stared at a sprinkler head in the ceiling for 45 minutes - altering my gaze only to check mileage and time. Running on a treadmill is DUMB!

To add to my anxiety I didn't realize until too late that I was right in front of the only water fountain in the area. So there I am - I have totally sweat through my shirt and shorts and I am flinging sweat all over the machine and people have to walk by me on a regular basis.

I finished my run, changed quick and the froze my ass off walking to the car. I guess it was better than waterboarding myself with a wet face mask around the lakes for about 90 minutes AND freezing my ass off.

At least I am not Smelly-Wheezy-Fat-and-Creepy Guy. (At least I don't think I am.)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Going Solo

My runs with other people have become few and far between. Since starting to run with "the guys" after running for a couple of years with "the ladies" I am now running more by myself. It's not that I have don't like "the guys," it's just that things have changed for my training.

First off the weather has changed - it is fucking cold! (There is no other way to describe it.) And it's dark. So, dark and fucking cold are not working for me this year. I have been doing my runs more in the middle of the day so it's not quite as fucking cold and there is some daylight so I can see where I am running so I don't break my ankle on un-shoveled sidewalks and icy snowbanks.

Secondly, now that I have a coach my runs have become longer and more intense because we are on a plan. So for now I run alone.

It's not all bad. I get to run in daylight. I get to see other
lone runners, like the woman I saw on Wednesday with mascara running down her cheeks. What woman puts makeup on to go for a run, especially eye makeup when it's single digit temps and your eyes are bound to water? And she was fairly speedy so it didn't seem like she was a novice runner. There are the over-dressed and under-dressed and then there are the people I can't even see because I have icicles on my hat, eyebrows and eyelashes. (As I write this I realize I really hate this time of year - why do I stay? Because I like to talk about the weather.)

Oh, look. It's time for another run. Now where is that snowmobile suit? It looks so good with running shoes.

Catch up

So, everyone does those end of the year recaps followed by resolutions or goals for the new year. I like to read other people's recaps, but I think mine would just be a bunch of bullshit. Besides (as someone already pointed out) if you read my blog you don't need a recap. And I have kind of listed out my goals already so that would be a bunch of bullshit, too. (In case you didn't realize it, one of my goals is to use as much foul language as possible in every blog post even if it appears that I might have Tourettes when I type, cocksucker bitch whore. Not really, but it sure seems that way.)

I haven't posted much for the last couple of weeks what with my complete and utter dislike of the holidays and with the kids being home from school. Let me catch you up.

We decorated for Christmas and that fucking Empire is everywhere. I am starting to not like those guys.

(F would correct me and point out that that is, in fact, a clone trooper and not actually part of the Empire, yet.)

F had his school Christmas concert. (E's was earlier and I am not sure why we don't have any pictures of her.) Notice his fashionably disheveled look and the way he wears his belt rakishly off to the side. So fashion forward.

Joy of joys! My kids learned to snowboard! Here is E carving on her heel edge (actually she probably fell there, but I like to imagine it as the perfect heel edge turn.)

Here is F also executing a perfect heel edge carve.

My Grommets!

The best part was after their third lesson the three of us went snowboarding together. (I took a refresher lesson and found that I didn't forget much.) I can not remember the last time I had so much fun with my kids. I was so proud of them. We went again the next week and I might lobby for a Colorado vacation next year.

Of course presents were exchanged. Nothing too exciting for the kids or A. (This is my blog so who cares about what they got anyway, right?) I got some cool ones and some strange ones.

Cool Ones

I have to admit this was on my list. I was only half joking when I put it on there, but I was totally excited when I opened it. I haven't put it together yet. I promised the kids they could help. I also need to put all the Christmas decorations away so there will be room on the mantle for it when it's done. (Just kidding, honey!)

(No, I'm not kidding.)

I got this one, too. The funny part about this is that the price sticker already said "Willis Tower." (It was renamed like a month ago.)

I put this one together already. It is prominently displayed on my dresser. (Notice all the people in that post card staring at it in amazement.)

A got me these:

Now the whole family has snowshoes. We are planning to go to my aunt and uncle's cabin sometime this winter so we will have an opportunity to use them.

Strange Ones


I don't think I ever indicated a desire to kill my wife and a "friend" of her's so I am not sure where the idea for these came from. They went back to "fucking Macy's." I hate that place so much I returned them and then was bound and determined (with the kids in tow) to get something else so I wouldn't have to return. I looked for a sweater, a duvet cover, underwear - nothing! Then I decided on this:


There. Now you are all caught up from my last couple of weeks. On to all the new excitement of 2010.