Month: August 2009 (page 1 of 7)

New Glasses

New Glasses
Check out DeskCam. I got new specs! My optometrist emailed last week to let me know I was due for a checkup, so the Snook and I both went in on Saturday. Turns out my left eye (which was already worse than my right) has gotten a little fuzzier yet. I’m not quite into double digits yet, but it’s getting there. So the Snook and I picked out some super cute, oval-shaped, thin wire frames. Dr. Alex took one look at them and shook his head. “You can’t do it,” he said. “Not with the thickness of your lenses.” CRAP. Curse my myopia! So we had to pick out big ol’ plastic frames. I decided that if I was going to be nerd, then I might as well go full on Poindexter. These look very similar to my old ones; just that they’re brown instead of black and the lenses are slightly larger. Right now I’m in that weird phase where the ground is shifting and I feel like I’m gonna puke.

Dog Eating

Ask a Korean finally tackles THE big question: “What’s with Koreans eating dog?” The first part is factual. (Warning: dog lovers and vegetarians may find a couple of the images distressing.) The second part is more of a rant against PETA types in general. Like I said… I warned ya.

Wiggling Their Toes at the Shoe Giants

“Wiggling Their Toes at the Shoe Giants.” An article about the current interest in barefoot running…

Back from the doctor.

Back from the doctor. Dr. Rowan suspects whooping cough. I have to get a swab and a blood test tomorrow. Even if I have it, there’s not really anything they can do for me besides the antibiotics I’m already taking. (“You know they call it the ‘Hundred Day Cough,'” she said.) However, if I test positive and you’ve been around me in the past week and you’re feeling sick, get to your doctor. (Especially if you have kids.) And if the test comes back negative, well then I just have a particularly nasty post-viral cough… which they still can’t do anything for.

Oh, and I brought up the race, which is three weeks from today. “You’re not doing it,” she said flatly. “You knew I was going to say that, right? Even if you did do it, you know you wouldn’t do very well.” (She was blunt but honest.) So I’m faxing in my withdrawal form tomorrow. That kinda sucks. But to be honest it’s also a little bit of a relief. Now I don’t have to worry about how I’m going to get healthy and somehow prepare to run 20km in twenty days. She also gave me a prescription for a big-ass bottle of codeine so at least I’ll be able to sleep this week.

I’ll keep you all posted as to the diagnosis.

Cough. Cough.

Cough. Cough.
I’m not getting better. The cough that started eleven days ago is still here, and it’s even worse. I have to take codeine every night in order to sleep (and I wake up and start coughing the second it wears off). My neck and shoulders have been sore all week from the coughing, so I’ve had a persistent tension headache too. My voice quality has varied from almost normal to nearly gone. I’m currently running a slight fever. Oh, and I’m 2/3 of the way through the antiobiotics my doctor prescribed, and they’re clearly not helping. I’m miserable.

I’ve got an appointment to see another doctor tomorrow. I could have walking pneumonia. I could have swine flu. Who the hell knows. Each day this goes on, I can feel the chances of me actually running the half-marathon in three weeks slipping away.

Edited to add: I’ve also just been reminded that NSW is currently having a whooping cough epidemic. “Adults often just have an ongoing cough without the whoop.” Great.

Newton Shoe Design

If you’re interested in running shoes and why the Newtons I bought are different from others, check out this video about their design technology and shoe philosophy.

Paris Syndrome

Paris Syndrome. That is FASCINATING. Apparently some tourists – mostly Japanese – get an actual psychological disorder from the culture shock of visiting France. (Link courtesy of Best of Wikipedia.)

Tote Tricks

Oooh, I have loads of calico bags at home that I’m tempted to cover with pretty fabric!

Trying out the Newtons

Trying out the Newtons
I still feel like crap, but dammit, I wanted to try out my new shoes yesterday. So I headed out to the Domain for a very, very easy run. You’re meant to ease into forefoot running because it uses different muscles than a traditional heel strike. I did three intervals of 5 minutes running followed by 5 minutes walking, and I concentrated hard on my form. The “actuator lugs” are a little weird at first. (I was reminded of those special shoes people use to increase their vertical leap.) I tried to lean forward a bit, to increase my cadence, and to run lightly as if I was barefoot. The Newtons really do make you more aware of and connected to the ground surface. I don’t think I was using more effort than I usually do, but my speed graph shows I was going a fair bit faster than my usual plodding speed. Here’s the cheesy bit: I actually felt like I was RUNNING. Yeah, I’ve said for years that running isn’t about speed, but the truth of it is that when I’m on the road, I never feel as effortless and athletic as the people that pass me. But by avoiding heel striking, suddenly I felt like a fleet-footed Olympian… for a few seconds. I figured out pretty quickly why they said to start off easy. My lower legs got TIRED. The last of my intervals was a big drop-off from the first as I struggled to maintain proper form while my calves and ankles were aching. With every step, I could feel the force of impact being absorbed through the muscles in my bent legs rather than shooting up into my back. (My usual lower back pain? Didn’t bother me a bit.) Today I’ve got some soreness in my lower legs on up through the lower part of my thighs, but I expected that. I checked out the bottom of my Newtons and was gratified to see some wear on the actuator lugs. It looks like I was landing in the right spot! (There’s a tiny bit of wear on the outside of each heel, but I think that was probably from walking since I tend to do that in all my shoes.) I’ll probably alternate shoes/styles for the next few weeks. I wonder if I’ll be strong-enough to use forefoot running in the half-marathon? I’ve still got just over three weeks to go…


What’s inside a Slim Jim? I’m not sure I want to know.