Monday, June 23, 2014

"The thing in my nose has a face!"

I know I did a race report yesterday and this is not a fitness blog, not really. So you get a consolation prize, a present for putting up with me.

Are you watching Top Gear UK? You should be. I have watched this clip 14 times in the last hour. It made me cry from laughing. I scared the dog.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Dash in the 'Bash Race Report

Yes, I am enough of a runner now that I get to do a race report. This makes me feel rather special.

My left shin is made of shards of
broken glass.
I crippled myself. Yes, my shin splint (only the left leg is destroyed, making "shin splints" singular) is far worse and I have spent last night and today hobbling about, icing my leg, wearing my pressure sleeves, and vowing not to run anywhere until after Rachael's wedding so that people don't ask her why her bridesmaid is walking like she has a peg leg.

I ran the race mostly by myself. This is because I wasn't the slowest person, but I also was not the fastest. I ran about the first quarter mile with my friend Erin, who I begged to run the race with me, until she had to slow down. She hadn't been tortured training for as long as I have. If we'd had a few more weeks before the race, we'd have finished together.

I cannot run and swallow at the same time, leading to some amusement at the water stop. I took a sip of water out of the paper cup they gave me, then I tried to swallow but nothing happened. Kind of like when I eat sushi. Instead, I held the water in my mouth while simultaneously trying to throw up the water and choke on it. I had to stop and walk to swallow, then continue at a walking pace until the water was gone.

The Beutler-Strange Trio. So much skill and
talent, it's like a third person.
I couldn't throw the cup on the ground like the other runners. I held it while I ran until I saw a race volunteer, then asked her if she could take it away. She thanked me, but was rather surprised. Hey, it saved them clean-up after the race.

Some freaky dude ran the race in 16 minutes. I think he was a robot. Or an alien. He was ginger, so maybe there's some truth to all that.

I ran the race in 33 minutes, 14 seconds. That is about 10 minutes less than the time I thought I'd end up with--i.e. the time I'd had each other time I ran that distance. The difference? I wasn't running alone. That makes a big difference for me. Apparently I try when I'm with other runners and slack off when I'm by myself.

They gave me water at the end of the race and also a banana. The water was the best thing I have ever tasted in my life. The banana seemed sort of pointless, but I ate it anyway.

Erin, despite fighting a cold and abject misery, ended up placing in her age group! She was 3rd in the 20-25 year old group. (I can't remember how the split up the ages, so I think I got that divide right, but it could have been 19-26, who knows?)

With our victory bananas. They should have been made
of solid gold.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Goals for Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the day of my 5K. I'll wake up early, head to town, pick up my timing chip, and generally freak out.

On Wednesday, I joined a few coworkers and tried the race route. Shockingly, I ran the whole way. It wasn't as awful as I thought it would be.

I don't know what that means for tomorrow, but I have a few goals. And because I am me, I have written them down.

1. Finish the 5K. This is pretty straightforward. I don't care how long it takes. What matters is that I cross both the starting line and the finish line. I can cross the latter on a stretcher for all I care.

2. Run the whole thing. This is harder, and I might not accomplish this goal. It's going to be HOT, and there will be big hills. I have trouble with my asthma in heat. Hills are just hard. We'll see if I manage to make it from the start to finish without having to walk to keep from passing out.

The third goal is bizarre and more related to irrational paranoia than valid concern. But still.

3. No stress fractures. This is a worst-case scenario and nothing I can really control. Running on shin splints can cause stress fractures. Here's hoping I've had enough milk through my lifetime to keep it from happening to me.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

In Which the Air Conditioning Stops Working

Some of you know that a few weeks ago, I tried to change the fan in my car from the defrost position and discovered that it would not move. Then I tried again and something let go, and now the knob that adjusts the direction of airflow turns a lot, but the air only comes out on the windscreen. My air conditioner only works as defrost, and because I live in Indiana, it causes condensation on the outside of the car and means I am driving around with my windscreen wipers going on a day without rain.

It's hot in my car, most all the time.

Yesterday, after a thunderstorm, I arrived home and got out of the hot car. I walked through the humidity, and I walked into the house.

It was hotter inside the house than outside the house. This was a problem.

We investigated. It turned out that the thermostat was working. the fan on the furnace that moves air around the house worked. Except the box outside wasn't moving. I flipped many switches throughout the house. Nothing happened.

I called the AC Man. He said, "Turn off the power. Turn it all off. And wait 15 minutes. Then turn it back on."

I did this. I did not electrocute myself. I was proud.

Nothing happened.

I called the AC Man back. I said, "Please help us. Come as soon as possible. I have asthma and might die. No worries, though."

He agreed to come today. He said he'd come over in the afternoon. I got home at 12:30 PM and ate, then I waited. And waited.

The man finally arrived. He stayed for about five minutes, just long enough to rip the side off the air conditioning and flee, because inside the air conditioning unit, there was a NEST.

Now, last year we had a giant snake living a few feet away, but it was not a snake nest. The AC Man did not even know about the snakes, which is good, because they moved out ages ago and that story might have freaked him out a bit.

He told us he'd seen WASPS. And that there was a nest. And also that there was buzzing. And he said, "I don't know who you should call. But you should call someone. Also I cannot put the machine back together until they are gone. Also when you clean out the nest, it will still not work."

Then he drove away in his minivan, leaving us to heat and eventual death by hornets.

I called Dad. "Bring home as much deadly poison as the store will sell you," I said. "Also bring home some that sprays from far away, because you will have a head start."

A few hours later, Dad came home. He had a bottle of unimpressive-looking wasp spray that didn't even come with any safety gear.

I showed him the nest. I turned off the power to the AC so he didn't accidentally electrocute himself through the stream of deadly poison leaving the can. He said, "Oh, that's not wasps, I don't think."

And then he took a paint-scraper. And he stabbed the nest with the scraper and waited for the wasps to come out and attack him.

Nothing happened.

"It smells like mice," he announced. I did not ask him how he knew the smell of mice. He proceeded to use a garden trowel, a mini-crowbar, and the paint-scraper to dig all of the nest out of the air conditioner.

I made him spray for wasps anyway, just so they wouldn't get any ideas. Then I called the AC Man back again. He could not come, but he is coming tomorrow, so that's something. Just one more day of sticking to furniture and gasping for air as my lungs swell closed, then the air conditioner will be fixed.

Unless he needs a part.

Unless the whole unit is ruined.

Unless there are basilisks living under the paving stones around the air conditioner.

Wish us luck.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Day Before

It's possible Rachael is trying to kill me.

Even though I think zip-lining sounds amazingly fun, it might be a clever plan on the part of Rachael to ensure that I will 1. be off my guard and 2. be standing on a really high platform.

Okay, Rachael's not trying to kill me.* But still. Zip-lining.

The part of my brain that is all about self-preservation to see another day is saying, "Why would you think that was a good idea? What were you ON when you decided this was a good idea?"

And the part of my brain that likes doing awesome stuff is saying, "THIS WILL BE JUST LIKE THE AMAZING RACE AND ALSO IN REAL LIFE!" Because that part of my brain always yells as loudly as possible in order to be heard over the other parts of my brain.

One part of my brain is right. The other parts are mental.**

I will try to take pictures tomorrow during the zip-lining. At the very least, I will try to get Rachael to take a picture of my petrified face before she pushes me off the platform, which I made her promise to do if I try to chicken out.

*Or IS she?

**See what I did there?

Monday, June 2, 2014


This June is brought to you by insanity and overscheduling.

I have so many awesome things to do this month; it is astounding. The problem with that is that I have not a single Saturday free until July, but that's normal, right? Sure it is.

The awesomeness of this month includes:

  • Working the anniversary celebration at my favorite local-ish yarn store
  • Flinging myself from a great height repeatedly (otherwise known as zip-lining)
  • Going to see Mary Poppins on stage
  • Running a 5K
  • Rachael's wedding
All of the above takes place on various Saturdays this month except for the zip-lining. That is on a Friday. But still.

On top of all of this, we have the summer reading program at the library and the very end of our LSTA grant paperwork. And all of the training for the 5K. And probably other things that will come up as the month goes on. All this goes by way of saying, if I burst into hysterical tears at any point, it's because there is not enough time, and I need you to call The Doctor so he can give me more.