Monday, June 30, 2008

Even though it hurt, I couldn't sit still

So the night I actually kind of felt like running? I couldn't.

Remember how I mentioned my calf hurt and I thought it was because I was trudging through the muddy, uneven ground at the Country USA grounds all weekend? Well, it still hurt today. So I thought it might be best if I didn't run. Especially since it really hurt to even walk at points today.

But it was so nice outside. I didn't want to come home and just sit. Because it was sunny. And not too windy. And there wasn't any humidity. And it wasn't super hot. Perfect running weather. But I couldn't run.

So I biked instead. I went 10 miles. And my calf didn't hurt while I was biking. But after I parked my bike and had to walk inside? Yeah, that hurt a bit. Looking back, maybe I should have just sat in my chair outside with a book and enjoyed the weather.

Oh well. I'll just ice it tonight and pop some Tylenol. And hopefully it'll feel better tomorrow.

I read the books, but the pile? It doesn't shrink

Let me just say, I can't believe it's the end of June already. Where the heck did the month go? For that matter, where did the first six months of the year go?

Wherever the days went, they're gone. And now June's done. So it's time for the monthly recap of what I read. I finished three books this month for a total of 1,357 pages. That brings my total to 24 books and 7,974 pages. Not bad. I guess I'm over halfway to my goal of 40 books for the year and I don't remember if I set a page count. I'm also half done with another book, but there's no way I'm going to finish it tonight, so it'll be included in the July totals.

So what did I read? Have a look:

Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI: 1933-34 by Bryan Burrough
The Appeal by John Grisham
Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult

And in other book-related news. I'm participating in the public library's adult summer reading program. You basically just have to read 20 minutes a day and submit you're little sheet saying you did. And hello, I obviously read. So I take the time to check the boxes and hit the "submit" button.

Well apparently it pays off. Because Friday? The lady at the library called me and told me my name was picked and that I won a prize. I'm not sure what I won, I still need to go pick it up. But I can't think of the last time I won a prize. Kind of cool. I think I might go pick it up tomorrow and when I do, I'll be sure to let you know what it is!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

My time as a country girl wasn't so bad

The country music fans have come and gone.

And I did my part, spending two days with them, listening to the music, talking to the fans and trudging through the mud. I even did some work.

I've said it before, my music tastes? They're pretty varied. I like lots of different stuff, from rock, to pop. Soundtracks, both musicals and movies, hold a special place in my heart. There's a small space for rap and hip hop too. And yes, this Wisconsin girl does like a little bit of country.

Going into Country USA, I wasn't expecting a lot. Sugarland? While they're good, I wasn't going to be on the grounds the night they were performing. But I wasn't upset. Yes, I was disappointed when the radar turned red and orange on Friday and I decided to forgo my chance to see Kenny Chesney. My shifts? They included Brooks & Dunn for the headliner on Saturday night and Sunday was dubbed "Legends" day and the lineup included Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard and George Jones.

I was pleasantly surprised on Saturday though when Blake Shelton took the stage. He's one of those artists where I recognize the songs, but never really knew who sang them. One of the songs he performed, "Cotton Pickin' Time," was amazing. But maybe that was because I was blown away by his fiddle player. His set was really enjoyable to listen to though. And instead of wandering aimlessly around the grounds, I staked out a spot by the fence, near the back of the grass and just listened. And I was impressed. So impressed that today I logged on to iTunes and downloaded some tunes, "Cotton Pickin' Time" and "Redneck Girl." There were others that I liked, but I might just wait a bit before hitting download and loading them up on my iPod.

And a side note? I didn't actually get to see Merle Haggard perform. But I've seen him before. I just didn't realize it was him until he did the whole, "Thank you. I'm Merle Haggard. Have a good night." Then he ran off the stage and Bob Dylan, who I was actually there to see, took the stage. Luckily I wasn't the only one who didn't realize I had been listening to Merle Haggard for the last hour. My brother was also confused. That's my Merle Haggard story and I'm stickin' to it.

Photo credit: Oshkosh Northwestern photo by Shu-Ling Zhou

Triathlon Training: Week 10

Ten weeks down, only two more to go.

I'm starting to get scared. Well, maybe scared is a bad word to use. More like nervous. That race day will come and I'll feel completely unprepared. And I'll struggle. And the swimming, biking and running will be really difficult. And I'll finish last. Or worse. I won't be able to finish.

So yeah. Even though I'm logging the yards in the pool and the miles on the bike and in my running shoes, I'm still nervous. And wishing that July 13 wasn't so close. That I had more time. But I don't. So I'm going to have to deal with it.

And I've been dealing. Here's a look at what I did during Week 10:

Monday: 15 mile bike
Tuesday: 2.1 mile run
Wednesday: 2,000 yard swim
Thursday: 10 mile bike
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 10.5 mile bike ride. And lots of walking around the Country USA grounds
Sunday: No "training" but I spent the entire day walking around the Country USA grounds. Again.

Once again. I'm happy with my swim. And it goes without saying that I spend enough time on my bike. It's the running that I've all of a sudden run into a brick wall with. I know I said it last week, but hopefully this week I can log a few more runs. I meant to last week, but then Mother Nature decided to hit us with some nasty temps and humidity. Not fun for running in, but tolerable to bike in. So my bike won that battle.

Now I just have to hope that the sore calf muscle I have is really due to walking around on the uneven muddy music festival grounds and that the soreness goes away after some ice tonight and a day of rest tomorrow. Because at the moment it hurts to walk. I can only imagine it would hurt just as bad if I wanted to run.

Friday, June 27, 2008

I didn't like the colors.

Yes, I wanted to go and listen to Kenny Chesney.

But the radar? There's a little too much red, yellow and orange on it for my liking. And it's heading straight for me. And considering the show started all of 10 minutes ago, assuming Kenny Chesney was running on time, those blobs of precipitation are going to hit.

And I don't want to get soaked. Or blown away. Or pelted with hail.

So no Kenny Chesney for me. Although I will see Brooks & Dunn tomorrow night and whoever is playing Sunday afternoon.

But tonight? It's time for me to head out to celebrate a friend's 25th birthday. And that should be a good time.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Yes, I am a little bit country

Country's come to town this week.

Yesterday was the opening day of Country USA. Five long days of music, food, music and fun. I admit, my music tastes? They're varied. And some country artists are among my favorites. Faith Hill. Shania Twain. Carrie Underwood. Toby Keith. Kenny Chesney.

So when I saw the line up for this year's festival, I was excited to see that Kenny Chesney would be performing. Then we got our work assignments and I'm scheduled to be on the grounds Saturday night, when Brooks & Dunn are playing. Not a bad assignment, but not as cool as if I had been out there Friday night when Kenny takes the stage.

But at the same time, the wheels in my mind are turning. I've already been branded. I have my pass to get in. I don't work Friday night. Maybe I should head out to the grounds, keep my co-worker company. Because being out there alone on a Friday night with all the drunks? It can be a bit frightening. And I'm sure she'd appreciate the company.

I'll have to see what the weather's supposed to be like. Some of the weathermen, who are known for being wrong most of the time, are talking about bad storms, with lots of wind, hail, rain and possibly tornadoes. And as much as I like Kenny Cheseny, I don't want to get blown away.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The monster? He doesn't really like heat and humidity.

I don't want to be that girl that complains about the summer weather. I know summer is short. And I know that with summer comes heat and humidity. And most of the time I can handle it.

But today's the first day I've really had to deal with that kind of weather this year. And my head? It's not agreeing. You see, the nasty headaches I get? The migraines? They don't really like the heat and humidity. Wait. Let me rephrase that. They don't like it when I have to do a lot stuff in the heat and humidity. They'd prefer I stayed indoors and kept the activity low.

So my head wasn't too thrilled when I got sent out on an assignment this afternoon in the middle of the blazing sun, high temperatures and humidity. Since then, I've been battling a headache. It kind of subsided when I went swimming, but since I've been home, it's gotten worse.

I've tried Tylenol. That hasn't really helped. So I have a feeling tonight will be a dose of the air conditioner and some Vicodin. But right now? I think an episode of Lost is in order.

I looked around for the fish. They didn't show up.

You could tell it was summer here today.

It started out like any regular day. When I left for work it was sunny and the temperatures were hovering somewhere around 7o degrees. Not bad for 8:15 in the morning.

But as the day went on, the weather changed. It became more summer-like. By the time I left work for the night, the mercury in the thermometer was hovering in the mid-80s. And it was getting humid.

It made me glad I threw my gym bag in my car this morning. Because honestly, the thought of running outside in the humidity wasn't too appealing. So I pointed my car towards the YMCA instead.

And I hit the pool.

And the water? After a long day at work, it felt so nice and cool. It was heavenly.

When I first jumped in, I wasn't sure how much I was going to do. But once I got swimming, it just felt good. So I kept swimming. Back and forth. Back and forth. I ended up swimming 2,000 yards in 55 minutes, which according to a conversion calculator my good friends at Google told me about, is 1.14 miles. Or 80 laps. Not bad.

I didn't take many rest breaks either. I did a quick 200 yard warm up, followed that up with two 550 yard intervals, a 200 yard interval using just a kick board, a fast 100 yard interval and then finished it out with the final 400 yards. And I really wasn't that tired at the end.

I'm proud to say, this was my longest swim ever. And I think it'll probably be the longest swim I log during my training for the triathlon.

I know I'm not a speedy swimmer, but it's kind of crazy to think that just 10 weeks ago, the swimming was the part of the triathlon that scared me the most. I mean, I knew I could swim. I just wasn't sure I was going to be able to cover the distance. But I'm feeling more confident about the distance now. The only swimming part that scares me? Getting kicked in the face. But I'll deal with that on race day.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Triathlon Training: Week 9

It's amazing what you can do once you actually feel healthy again.

After three weeks of being sick, I was no longer hacking up a lung, lacking energy or feeling like general crap due to some respiratory illness. And it showed in what I was able to do training wise. And I felt good.

So how'd I spend my days during Week 9?

Monday: 2.5 mile run followed by 1,000 yards in the pool.
Tuesday: 10 mile bike
Wednesday: 10 mile bike
Thursday: 2.1 mile run
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 15 mile bike. 5 miles worth of walking to and from Chickenfest all day
Sunday: Rest

I know I was heavy on the biking this week, but I'm OK with that. Monday's run was my first run in almost three weeks and it felt like it. It was tough. But Thursday's was a little bit easier. I'm hoping to do a bit more running this week in an attempt to get back up to speed and increase my distance without dying.

Oh and Saturday's bike ride? I went after the Chickenfest parade, around noon. You know, the time of day when the sun's at it's strongest. And there were no clouds. And me? I kind of forgot the sunscreen. So I was left with an impressive sunburn. Gotta love the tan lines. And while the burn hurt Sunday, it doesn't anymore. Because I'm the kind of girl who burns once a summer and then tans the rest of the time. I did remember to apply the SPF today when I went for a ride though. I didn't want to chance burn on top of burn, because I've never experienced that. Nor do I want to.

The chicken was enjoyed by all

Another year's worth of Chickenfest is in the books. And a good time was had by all.

There was a lot of chicken.

And much dancing, both the Chicken Dance variety and other dancing. And lots of good food, especially this cheese-flavored kettle corn. Yum. And beer. And fireworks. And a parade. And good times with family and friends.

And lots of music. The bands were good, Boxkar, Hindsight and Half Empty. And Ryan Cabrera, who played Saturday afternoon to a mixed crowd of teeny boppers and other Chickenfest goers, wasn't half bad either. It was free. So I went down with my Mom, we pulled up some chairs and listened. And I can't believe I'm saying this, but he wasn't half bad. There were points when I found myself tapping my toes and kind of dancing in my seat. It was an entertaining hour worth of music.

Let the countdown begin until next year's Chickenfest festivities.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I've practiced the moves. My wings are ready to flap.

Elmo wants to be a chicken
Elmo wants to be duck
Cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck

OK, so those probably aren't the real lyrics, but you can be sure that I'll have the "Chicken Dance" running through my head. On the hour. Every hour. All weekend.

Because it's time for Chickenfest folks.

That two-day festival in Darboy where chicken is king. It kicks off tonight with fireworks, music, food and beer. And tomorrow? There's a parade and stuff like crafts and a pedal tractor pull. But there's also more food and music. And since I'll be at the park anyway, you'll probably find me somewhere among the throng of pre-teen girls who are screaming their hearts out for Ryan Cabrera when he takes the stage.

And did I forget to mention you do the Chicken Dance? A lot?

Yeah. It's a good time.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

It was a long two miles, but I finished

When I left work, I really wanted to run. I was thinking I'd tackle the 3.5-mile route I have near my apartment, even though I almost died earlier this week on the treadmill.

But then I got sidetracked. And chatted on the phone with my Mom. The next thing I knew, it was getting later. And my desire to run? Wasn't as bad as when I left the office.

But I already had my shorts, tank top and running shoes on. And I know I really need to work on the running thing.

So I threw on my sunglasses and strapped on my iPod and headed out the door.

I cut my route shorter though. I opted for the 2-mile version. Because really? I need to take some baby steps after being sick for 3 weeks. The run itself? It wasn't pretty. I think I was kind of slow. And I did stop to walk for a half a block somewhere around the 1.5 mile mark.

But I finished. And didn't die. And for the first time in a long time, I ran twice in the same week. And those are the important things.

Now, it's time to watch Lost. Because remember, I decided I'm going to try to catch up before the new season starts this fall. Tonight's the night I start.

Not quite what I was expecting

Remember all the rain from last week?

When we got 6 inches of rain in something like 4 hours and I was stranded at work? And then I drove through lakes just to get home, crossing my fingers the entire time that my little Focus wouldn't die on me?

Well, it's left the county I live in a disaster.

Seriously. That's what the FEMA folks say.

I don't think I've ever lived in a disaster zone before. I guess there's a first time for everything.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What's in a name?

Are names important?

If they are, I think I need to find one. Not for me. For my bike.

Because tonight I headed out for a ride after work. I really should have gone running, but it was nice, non-windy day and my bike was calling my name - because unlike my bike, I have a name.

So I hopped on and took off. And 2 miles into the ride, I glanced down at the little computer thing I have attached to my bike and was surprised. My bike and I? We'd traveled 100 miles together. And even though I've been sick for a few weeks, those were some good 100 miles. Some were windy. A few were chilly. But mostly, they were enjoyable miles that didn't seem like 100 miles.

But it still didn't have a name., even though we've now officially logged 108 miles together.

So as I continued my ride tonight, I got to thinking about names.

Did I need to come up with a name for my two-wheeled friend? We get along, but honestly, I'm still not even sure if it's a boy or a girl. I'm leaning towards it being a female though. Just because there are some fancy looking flowery designs on it.

The next question. Do I go down the whole alliteration pathway and try to come up with a witty, meaningful name that starts with a "B," since my bike is blue? Or do I just avoid that because it's a bit cheesy?

I guess I'm stuck at this point. I'll still toss around names in my head as I ride and hopefully I'll come up with something. Because I bet my bike would feel a lot better if he/she could cross the bike finish line at the triathlon next month and have an identity.

Of course, maybe the challenge of the triathlon will help steer me in the right direction towards a name. I dunno. I'll let you know.

He was a demon barber. What were you expecting?

Let's talk about Sweeney Todd for a moment.

First things first. The DVD case says the movie is 116 minutes long. That means if I started it at 7:45 p.m., I should have been done in time for the 10 p.m. news. Did that happen? No. The end credits started rolling at 10:33 p.m.! Granted, I got two phone calls during the movie, so that slowed me up. But the biggest headache? The DVD kept freezing up. Annoying.

But that's not the movie's fault.

So what'd I think? It wasn't bad. I liked how it was filmed all dark. It really set the tone for the movie. And Johnny Depp? He was pretty good, both as an actor and a singer. And I was surprised at how well he could sing. And some of his facial expressions? Especially in his moments of "Everyone deserves to die." Amazing.

The blood issue that everyone talked about. Yes, the R rating due to graphic bloody violence was deserved. There was a lot of blood. But honestly? The blood looked really fake. Very bright red. Not the darker red that you would think of during a throat slicing. But maybe I'm used to blood. I do write about crime and grime after all.

But my favorite part? Possibly the soundtrack. And I'm not talking the songs Johnny Depp sang. The instrumental stuff was amazing. I'm thinking I should get my hands on it. Because I'm a sucker for soundtracks. And now that I think of it, three of my favorites at the moment are also from Johnny Depp movies, the Pirates of the Caribbean.

So do I recommend it? Yes. But I'm glad I waited until it was out on video and I could borrow it from the library. Because I don't think I'd want to pay movie theater prices to see it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A singing demon barber. Sounds interesting to me.

I got my 10-mile bike ride in. Dinner's been eaten.

Now it's time for a quick shower. And afterwards? Since it's a Tuesday night, there really isn't anything on TV and I want to avoid accumulating any more late fees at the public library, I'm going to settle into my recliner and watch a movie.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to be exact.

Yes, yes. The one with Johnny Depp. And apparently he sings. And isn't too bad of a singer. The actual movie? Well, I've heard mixed reviews. Some people like it. Some don't. And almost everyone mentions how bloody it is.


This could be interesting.

But I don't want anymore late fees and the library wants it back tomorrow. So tonight's the night. I'm watching it. Nothing's going to stop me. I'll let you know what I thought about it later.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Trying to get back on track

The triathlon's less than a month away.

I'm starting to get a bit nervous. Mostly because the illness I've been battling the last three weeks? It's really taken a toll on me and has affected my training. In other words, running, swimming and biking have kind of taken a backseat to hacking up a lung, being congested and, in general, feeling like crap.

I think the swimming will come along fine. And the biking? I'm not worried about that. It's the running that's starting to scare me. Until today, the last time I laced up my running shoes was May 31. That's a long time ago. And I'm worried the 3.1 miles I'll have to cover will be hard and that I'll die.

So today, I vowed to get back on track.

I hit the YMCA after work tonight. And instead of just jumping in the pool, I headed upstairs to the cardio room and made myself get on the treadmill to nowhere. I didn't have big plans. Just to get some kind of run in. I decided to aim for 2 miles. Not too far, not too short. Turns out, 2 miles was a good number to aim for since I struggled. I'm hoping it was because I was trying to run too fast or my body wasn't used to it after not running for so long. Or maybe it was the whole, "Hey, you've been sick for 3 weeks, ease back into this running thing slowly." Whatever it was, that was a hard 2 miles.

Afterwards, I headed down to the pool and swam 1,000 yards. And that was easier than the run I had just done. I took it nice and slow. The only downside? Remember how I pulled a muscle in my rib cage area from hacking up a lung? That was kind of sore yet, but I was still able to swim decent.

So I logged a swim and a run tonight. And my reward? A tasty strawberry shortcake. Yum.

Triathlon Training: Week 8

This will be a short recap. Since I spent most of the week curled up in my recliner, attempting to get better.

Monday: Sick
Tuesday: 4 mile bike ride. Barely.
Wednesday: Sick
Thursday: We got washed away in a flood of rain. Literally.
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 3 mile walk to a parade
Sunday: 15 mile bike ride

No swimming. No running. Although I did get some time in on my bike. The Tuesday ride was just an attempt to get myself out of the recliner and do something. And since I had gone to the doctor that day, I was feeling a tiny bit better than earlier that week. Sunday's ride was the first time I really felt OK in the last three weeks though. Hopefully that means I'm getting better and I can get back on track.

Because the triathlon? It's getting pretty close!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Home at last

I barely did it, but I got home.

The drive home is normally about 7 minutes. It took me almost a half hour.

Of course, streets were flooded. But I thought I had planned out a decent alternate route, one that would keep me on the main streets and away from the flooded ones. Yeah. I was wrong. Even the main streets were flooded.

I tried to avoid them. I really did. Because I wasn't too keen on taking the little Focus through huge puddles. Or in this case lakes. But I just couldn't avoid them. And I didn't want to sleep at my office. Or in my car on a street corner. So I held my breath and drove through the lakes.

And let me tell you. It was scary. The water? It was probably 4 feet deep. As in level with my headlights. And I kept worrying about my engine getting messed up and my car stalling smack dab in the middle of a puddle. But as long as I kept my foot on the gas and my car was moving, I thought I was going to be OK.

And I made it. Eventually. There were way too many lakes that I drove through and I was super scared. But my little blue Focus made it. And I'm home and showered. And at the moment? It's just kind of sprinkling. No downpours.

Now I just have to cross my fingers that my car starts in the morning. And that my Dad doesn't yell at me, or laugh too hard, when I tell him tomorrow that he has to fix my license plate. Because it's no longer flat. It's an L shape.

Blame it on the water.

Still raining

Just an update.

I'm still stuck at work. And it's still raining.

But this story, from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, made me smile.

We might need the rain, but this much?

Rain rain go away.

Seriously. Go away.

Because the sooner the rain goes away, the sooner I can leave work.

That's right folks. I'm stuck at work because every street in this city has turned into a lake. They're completely flooded. Completely shut down. Impassable.

We've gotten 4 inches of rain. In the last hour.

Which is why the streets have turned into lakes. And why I'm stuck here indefinitely.

If it wasn't lightning constantly, I'd consider swimming home. But I'm not a big fan of the constant lightning. Or the storm for that matter.

And my Dad? He just laughs.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Crossing my fingers they got it right this time

Cough medicine with codeine and a stronger batch of antibiotics just might do the trick.

Still feeling like crap, I went back to the doctor yesterday and got some new drugs.

The cough medicine? Makes me sleep like a baby. Love it. And I started the antibiotics this morning. And, knock on wood, I felt a little bit better today. Not as congested. I didn't have to blow my nose every 5 minutes.

I'm still coughing though. A lot at certain times of day. And the coughing? It hurts. Especially where I pulled the muscle as a result of too much coughing the last few days. So it's still painful.

But baby steps. I'll take the little steps on my way to feeling better.

Excuse me now though. A coughing fit is about to begin, since it's bedtime. Time to hit the codeine.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I apologize in advance

Be warned. There might be TMI in this post.

I did a little dance yesterday.

Not because I won the lottery. Or won some crazy award.

Nope. I did a little dance yesterday morning because Aunt Flo came to visit.

Yes. I danced because of a monthly visitor that I normally groan at. But Aunt Flo? She's been missing since February, when she decided to visit twice in the same month. And her visits? Usually very on time. Down.To.The.Minute.

But Flo's been absent the past few months. I blame it on how messed up my body is. And I was getting worried, even though I've participated in no activities that would cause to me miss Aunt Flo's visits. But still. Even though I groan, I like it when she comes. Because it makes me feel normal.

But she's here. And I did a little dance. And that made me a happy girl.

Now I'm just left counting down the days until she leaves. Because as glad as I was that she came, she can go home any day now.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

It's time for the drugs to kick in

I'm still sick.

Even though I started the antibiotics Friday night, I woke up Saturday feeling absolutely awful. As in, I'm lucky to have both lungs still inside my body. And my head? It felt like daggers were being plunged into my eyes. And don't even ask what those daggers felt like during a coughing fit. So I drugged myself up with Vicodin and slept most of the day Saturday.

I feel a tiny bit better today. But I'm still hacking. And I'm sure sitting through a deer-proofing your garden workshop at a landscaping center wasn't the brightest thing for me to do. Especially since it was held in an outdoor greenhouse. In a torrential downpour (let me tell you, when it rains 4 inches in less than 18 hours, it's coming down in sheets). But it was for work. So I had to do it.

And the hacking? That's not good. Because I think I've pulled a muscle in my rib cage area from the hacking. Because now it hurts when I cough. And I've done that before. Pulled a muscle from coughing. Seriously.

Now I sit here in my office. Waiting to go home. Because I still don't feel good. And that's all I want. Is to feel better. Is that too much to ask? Especially since I've been sick for over two weeks now?

Maybe the drugs will kick in tonight. And I'll wake up feeling OK tomorrow.

Triathlon Training: Week 7

A quick recap of my training. And when I say quick, I mean it really will be quick since I didn't do much this week due to being sick.

Monday: Sick
Tuesday: Sick
Wednesday: 1,800 yard swim
Thursday: 5.5 mile bike
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Sick
Sunday: Sick

Yup, you read it right. One trip to the pool and one bike ride. Although I'm proud of the swim, which is the longest one yet. The bike ride? I believe I hacked up a lung while waiting for a train to pass somewhere close to the end. Yeah. Hopefully I get better soon.

Friday, June 6, 2008

As the days go by, I thought you were supposed to get better. Not worse.

I'm still sick.

I almost hacked up a lung last night while I was trying to fall asleep. In fact, I had an hour-long coughing fit. AFTER I drugged myself up with cough medicine. It obviously wasn't doing the cough suppressing job it's supposed to.

But on the good news front. I called my doctor. And this time? They're giving me drugs. As in antibiotics. Germ fighters. I think they might even be the super strength variety.

So this weekend? I'm planning on camping out at Mom and Dad's house and taking medicine. And hopefully by the time I have to be back to work Sunday afternoon I'll be starting to feel normal again. Heck, at this point I'd settle for having a voice and not hacking up a lung every 20 minutes.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

You should have seen my wrinkled fingers

I still have a hacking cough. And I still feel like I'm coughing up a lung every so often. And today? I sounded like a frog.

But I wanted to swim so badly. It's been almost two weeks since I last strapped on the goggles and did laps. And I've missed it.

So I packed my bag and went swimming after work, even though I was still coughing.

My training schedule told me I was supposed to do 1,800 yards on Monday. And I intended to do that Monday, but I had forgotten my towel so I skipped that day's swim. Tonight? I was hoping to fit it in.

But I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to make it. For starters, that would be my longest swim to date. And then there was the whole hacking up a lung, not feeling good thing.

I started swimming though. I didn't go super fast since I'm not feeling the best. And 50 minutes later I touched the wall for the last time. I finished the 1,800 yards. As in 72 lengths of the pool for a total distance of one mile. That's kind of far folks. At least for me it is. When I was done, yes, my legs felt tired. But I wasn't dying. And I still have both lungs inside my body.

It wasn't awful. And I feel good, knowing that I've just covered twice the distance I'll be expected to swim at the triathlon in a month. Because the swimming part? I'll be honest, it's the leg I'm most worried about. But after tonight, it's not quite as scary.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The pills come in all different pretty colors

I spent a couple of hours wide awake last night.

Not because I wasn't tired. No. Instead I thought I'd spend the time hacking up a lung and blowing my nose. About 120 minutes worth of precious minutes I could have spent sleeping. Because I was tired.

Once I finally got back to sleep, the time flew and all of a sudden I needed to get up for work. And I felt like I had been hit by a Mack truck. My head? It throbbed. Probably due to the hacking up a lung activity in the middle of the night. The hacking congested cough? It was still there. And I was still coughing up that nasty greenish looking phlegm. And my nose? Still stuffy.

I was this close to calling in sick. For the second time in a week.

But I went to work. On the way I stopped in at Walgreens and stocked up on drugs. Some cough medicine to help with the hacking and another box of Sudafed for the congestion. And then I promptly drugged myself up once I sat down at my desk. It was a nice drug cocktail that also included some painkillers and Tylenol for my headache.

Eventually I started to feel a little better, but the hacking continued throughout the day and I think I went through a good chunk of my Kleenex (my poor little nose, it's getting a bit raw and making me look a tad like Rudolph).

I'm just sick of being sick. I know I shouldn't complain since I went all winter without getting sick, but of course now that it's nice, I get the big cold. And I'm worried it'll take forever to go away, especially since my doctor has informed me I essentially have no immune system due to the head fiasco in December.

For now, I'll just keep drugging myself up and crossing my fingers I feel better soon.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Triathlon Training: Week 6

So I thought Week 6 of training was going to be awful. I was battling a nasty combination of allergies and a cold. I was tired. And sick. My nose was both stuff and runny. I had this nasty, hacking, congested cough. In general? I just didn't feel good. I would have rather slept. Or stared mindlessly at a TV.

But I didn't.

I forced myself to do some stuff that kind of resembled training. I admit, it wasn't the best week, but considering how I felt? I'll take it.

Monday: Sick
Tuesday: Sick
Wednesday: 5 mile bike
Thursday: 8.5 mile bike
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 7 mile mid-afternoon bike, followed by a 2.1 mile run in the evening after dinner
Sunday: 13.5 mile bike

As you can see, I spent a lot of time on my bike this week. Mostly because that was the easiest for me to do without dying. It's kind of hard to run when you feel like you're going to hack up a lung. And swimming? I didn't touch the water this week. But I totally have an excuse. The pool was closed. Apparently it takes the fine folks at the YMCA almost 10 days to do the annual pool cleaning. Yes, I could have driven across town to the other YMCA facility, but like I said, I wasn't feeling the best, so I opted to skip the pool. I figure one week off won't kill me.

The pool's back open this week and I'm starting to feel better. So hopefully I'll get back on track. Like I mentioned last week, I think I need to start logging a few more running miles. So maybe that's what I'll try to focus on this week. Just logging some miles on my running shoes. Hmm.

Bring on Week 7.

A May reading recap

I finished some books in May. A handful. Nothing too amazing. But nothing too awful either.

The totals for the month look like this: Four books, 1,152 pages. That brings the total for the year to 21 books and 6,617 pages. Not bad. I'm halfway to my goal of 40 books for the year. Page wise? I'm not even sure what I was shooting for, and I'm too lazy to see if I even set a goal.

So what'd I read during May? Here's the list:
Atonement by Ian McEwan
Not Quite a Mom by Kirsten Sawyer
Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

There's one other book that I've spent the last 10 days or so reading, Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI: 1933-34 by Bryan Burrough. It's all about the gangsters we know so well: John Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde, Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd and Alvin Karpis and the Barker family. It's pretty interesting stuff. I know the names, knew they were a bunch of guys who robbed banks. But other than that? I honestly didn't know much. History class didn't teach me, or else I wasn't paying attention. But when Johnny Depp came to town to shoot scenes for the movie, I got interested and picked up the book. And it's full of even more interesting stuff. How the FBI was formed and how it screwed up during its investigations, what these guys did and how they died. Plus it paints a picture of who these guys were, what they were like when they weren't robbing banks. Maybe I'm enjoying it so much because I spend my days writing about crime and grime for a living, but I'd still recommend the book.

But you notice it isn't on the list of finished stuff for May. That's because even though I was hoping to finish it off this weekend, I still have one band of gangsters alive and about 50 pages left to read before it's done. So I guess it'll have to top the June list. I couldn't help mentioning it though since it has taken up a good chunk of May.