Thursday, February 28, 2008

Recreation: Should I or shouldn't I?

I have been looking for my next run to motivate me in my training. After all, it makes it tough to train for no specific purpose. If you recall from a previous post, I was thinking the June 'SNA 5k by the Bay' was going to be my next race. It still hasn't been posted, so I was in a standstill. I don't want to register for a different race around the same time because I don't want to go overboard. What would I do if they were on the same day or even consecutive days?

That said, I periodically look for newly posted races on Cool Running to see if there is something else that seems interesting. I don't really want to run a 'fun run' associated with a bar or restaurant. I also generally like to keep my distances on the shorter side. That said, I recently discovered the 21st Annual Narrow River Run. It is a 10K Run/5K Run/Walk. It is on May 17th, so it would be far enough away from the SNA race to be safe. My only question is whether or not my knees will be in fighting form to run a 10K by then.

My general doctor seemed to think I had some previous meniscus damage that got shaken loose from my running. The running shoe store clerk seemed to think my pain was probably due to my moderate/severe over-pronation combined with the fact that my legs are of different lengths (according to her). A $99 dollar pair of shoes plus a full length orthotic insert plus a lift in my left shoe will probably help a lot (again, according to her).

In reality, it looks like the saleswoman was more correct. This new running gear has completely eliminated all pain from my right knee and has significantly reduced the pain in the left. Although, I say that but it really just moved the pain. Now, though, I think it might be muscle, tendon or ligament based. Some stretching and conditioning should help with that. My only question at this point, though, is will I be in shape to run 6.2 miles in May? I will know better in the next couple weeks, but my prospects are looking good.

Random Thoughts: Breaking the law

I'm going to admit what some people who read this already know. I am breaking the law. I somehow didn't realize that my drivers license expired back in December. It was only a couple weeks ago that I realized it when I read a recent news article stating that you need to bring your social security card when renewing your license. I wondered, "When does my license expire?" As I pulled out and opened my wallet I exclaimed, "Oh, crap!"

I haven't been rushing to gather my paperwork and go spend time in the DMV. I haven't been pulled over yet, so what is the need to rush? For some reason, yesterday I had this paranoid feeling that I was moments away from being pulled over. Having my daughter in the car with me, I realized that getting pulled over would probably mean getting my truck towed and walking home with Laura in my arms. I can't see any typically unreasonable officer trusting that I will drive right home to get my paperwork and go to the DMV posthaste. I made my best possible efforts to drive the speed limit and make full and complete stops at all traffic control devices. It does make it tough, though when you have an expired inspection sticker. Man, I really gotta keep on top of these things.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Random Thoughts: I really don't want to be here

What do you do when everything tells you that you shouldn't do something? To start, today is a holiday. (Happy President's Day everyone.) By rights, I really shouldn't be here. That is continued with the fact that it is now 5 AM and I am already settled into my chair ready to start my day. Given the fact that I would have been writing this 15 minutes ago, except the front door wouldn't let me pass. I finally had to use a little cat burglar skill. Compound that with the fact that this is my usual day to only work 4 hours, but instead I am working 8... Oh man do you have one 'Unmotivated Bill(TM).'

If I were a smart man, I would go home. I would go out for a 1 hour walk. Upon my return, I would settle into a chair in front of the office computer and browse the internet while I wait for the sun to rise. As the 6 o'clock hour approached, I would climb back into my warm inviting bed where the love of my wife and baby await me. We could eat and play and read and cook and clean and go for a walk together for throughout the entire day. We would have fun.

Instead, I press on. I do my time like a prisoner. I hear the clock tick away the seconds one by one until the moment when I am free. I keep my head down and my ears up and hopefully I will make it through my sentence without getting shivved.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Random Thoughts: Facing my own mortality

OK, so I'm not really facing my own mortality. I have a doctor's appointment today for a "routine" physical plus an assessment of my knee(s). I say "routine" because I haven't had a physical since I was 18. Doing the math, that's 15 years of seeing a doctor only when I need sick/injured care.

Generally, I go through life knowing that I am impervious to pretty much everything. Sure I get the occasional cold or other virus, but they just make life interesting. That said, I am a little nervous about going to the doctor to have him reaffirm my invincibility. I mean, I don't want him to have me forcefully turned into a lab rat just because I am a 100% perfect specimen of humanity. And what if, though sheer jealousy, he makes up some flaw like high cholesterol?

Seriously, though, I am actually a little nervous about what he is going to say about my knees. After my very wet run yesterday, I think I got a little insight to a possible cause. I think my shoes could stand to have more cushion. The soaking rain covered the road with streams and ponds that I was forced to run through. The slight shock-absorbing properties of water splashing out from under my feet seemed to help greatly. Hopefully, between the doctor and my own investigations, I can find out what the problem/solution is. Otherwise, I have to devise a whole new approach to staying fit and healthy. I guess there is always the approach my grandmother took. I could keep my body pure and clean with a daily dose (or two) of gin, shaken with ice, with three olives, served in a martini glass with the ice on the side.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Random Thoughts: What will you spend it on?

Bush signed the "economic stimulus" package into law. According to "Economic Analysts," the plan will help prevent the current downturn from turning into a crisis. Yeah, right!

OK. So, I'm always one for the government giving me money instead of spending it on pointless things (missile defense, farm subsidies, etc.) The problem is that they aren't giving me money instead. They are giving me money in addition to spending it elsewhere. Essentially, they are giving me my daughter's future tax return.

I know I am not alone in this thinking. Sadly, I feel that I am in the ever shrinking minority. I personally feel that people shouldn't get something for nothing. Granted, there are some people who honestly and truly can't earn enough to survive, but I feel that is where the fundamental concept of community takes over.

One of the problems with this is that people get stingy with their money when they feel that the poor are already fully provided for through various entitlements (i.e., Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?). Another problem is that is far easier to give of yourself when you actually know your neighbors. Personally, I don't know anyone who might need my personal help, but I haven't exactly gone looking for them. I occasionally donate time, money and materials to various charity organizations, but I am certainly not immune to the stingy attitude I noted above.

Getting back to the root of the problem, I can't help but feel that the government needs to get it's fingers out of my (and my daughter's) pockets. I don't really want "free" borrowed money so that I can go out and buy something I don't need. I feel like I should put this money in an interest bearing account so that we have the money to pay the absolutely certain tax increases in the future. I figure $1500 ($600 for my wife and I, plus $300 for Laura) compounded annually earning 8% per year gives me about $7000 in 20 years.

Then again, maybe I will just buy a big screen TV.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Baby Gallery: Laura in the New Year

Here is the much anticipated January 2008 gallery:

Not too many photos this month. I think we were all photoed out after Christmas. Anyway, enjoy what is there.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Random Thoughts: Routine

Is "routine" just another way to say repetitive monotony? That is kinda how I feel right now. Even the internet is letting me down these days. People aren't posting interesting things often enough. News has been boring lately. TV is mostly a dud. The only thing interesting going on is my family life plus a few other interesting conversations with various people here and there. As the days get longer, I'm sure I will find more things to entertain me. At the very least, I'm sure I will keep busy. After all, it's almost gardening season and there is lots of tree pruning to do.

On another note, I just realized that I am well into February and have not posted another gallery. I will attempt to do that today or tomorrow, but I make no promises. It shouldn't be all that large because we didn't really take too many pictures. For the few "events" that occurred, I forgot the camera, so it will just be candid shots.

One other thing... I have been really itching to work on the Cadillac lately. I think it was working on my truck that motivated me to work on the car. Unfortunately, with the race and work and everything else that occupies my time I have not found an opportunity to work on it. I think I may ask the wife for some time this weekend. I also recently realized that I could do some work while Laura sleeps if she takes a nap in the car. That could give me one hour, twice a week to work on it. Although, when pruning time comes, I will be doing that during her naps. At least I could get a few things done until then.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Random Thoughts: Super 5K was more than OK

Alright, I know that title was really lame, but what do you expect coming from me? I had a great race. In fact, I far exceeded my goals. I hoped to finish in the top half. Based on last year's results, I figured I had to do better than about 8:20 per mile. My results are as follows:

Overall: 97/395 Age Group(30-39): 24/49 Time: 21:52 Pace: 7:03

That puts me in the top 25%. All in all, I couldn't be happier. Now, I just have to figure out what my next race will be. I think it might be the SNA 5K by the Bay. Although, at this point, they don't have their June race listed, so I guess we will see.