Monthly Archives: March 2008
Yesterday was a glorious day in the LW household. With a $10 Best Buy coupon about to expire, and a small gift card left over from Christmas, I decided that it was time for Guitar Hero III for the Wii. I have been wanting this game forever, but could never justify actually paying for it. Well, I am not one to waste a $10 coupon, so there I had my excuse.
It was ever-so-difficult to get any work done in the afternoon knowing that my new shiny plastic guitar was patiently waiting for me in the next room. But alas, I exhibited incredible self-control and managed to finish what I needed to get done. My original plan was to wait until S got home from work to start rockin’ out, but when he called and said he would be late, I could not contain myself any longer.
I fired up the Wii and took my rock stance. I was prompted to create a band name. Oh my god, I love this. I named my band “R-Tex Sinking,” after my favorite movie…you guessed it, Neverending Story. I am a total dork, I know. Then I needed to pick a character. This is me:
She is so hot and bad-ass. Now I was ready.
And the rocking commenced. I busted through some Sex Pistols and Foghat. Pearl Jam and Weezer. The Killers. This is all too much awesomeness. I am addicted.
When S finally got home from work I was deep into a classic cut from The Who. He laughed at me. “Just wait” I thought. “Once you try it, you will know.”
I eventually had to take a break and make dinner. That’s when S picked up the guitar. He jammed out a few songs while I was cooking, seemed into it but not thatinto it. I finished cooking and we turned off the Wii in favor of the TV while we were eating. Terrible, I know, but we must be wired into some form of technology at all times. We watched a movie, and as is often the case, I went to bed first. I am not nocturnal by nature, and I tend to just fall asleep if I am up late watching TV.
S is the opposite. He will stay up until all hours of the night on the weekends and sleep in until early afternoon, whereas I can’t sleep past 8 or 9 no matter how hard I try. What often happens is he falls asleep on the couch, and I wake up around 3am, get up and turn off the TV, and go back to bed. (Sheesh, this all sounds pathetic, and we’re not even married yet). So last night was no different. I woke up at 3:15. I got up and went into the living room to turn off the TV. S is not sleeping.
He is playing Guitar Hero. You have got to be kidding me. Before I was all the way in the room, I hear “It’s not my fault, you bought it!” He is obsessed. I rolled my eyes and went back to bed. At 4am I wake up again. I go into the living room.
He is still playing Guitar Hero. This is ridiculous. I tell him it is time for bed. He has to just show me one more song. I watch. I tell him I am going to activate the parental controls. He finally comes to bed.
Fast forward to now. He is playing Guitar Hero. He just yelled to me that you get more money if you get a better score on a song. I am hearing Slowride for the third time in a row. I have created a monster.
Suffice to say, at least we will be saving money by staying in on the weekends.
Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer has been one of my favorite books ever since I read it about 5 years ago. I was fascinated by the story of Christopher McCandless, who upon graduating from college gave away all of his savings, burned his Id’s and social security card, and essentially became a wanderer. His ultimate goal was to make it to Alaska, where he would walk into the wild with nothing but what he carried on his back. He would live off of the land, alone, with nature. I had been waiting for the movie to come out on DVD forever, and finally rented it the other night.
I have always loved reading and watching stories of survival, whether it be someone who was lost in the woods, shipwrecked on an island, or otherwise put it a position of having to do what it takes to live. I suppose I am interested in the science behind it, what makes our bodies capable of living through extreme conditions, and how our amazing brains function to make it happen. Geez, I should have gone to school for something more scientific. This story is a little different in that Christopher McCandless put himself there on purpose. Sure, he didn’t expect that he would actually become trapped in his circumstances, but he wanted to escape the American way of life. He didn’t belong.
My mom asked me “Who would do something like that and expect to survive?” Most people do not identify with a person who would walk into an Alaskan wilderness alone with intentions of living off the land, but I believe a little bit of that spirit is in us all. It’s just that most people would not take it to such an extreme. I, for one, would never give away all of my savings (ok, it’s not that much, but still) to embark on a wandering journey across the country, but part of me wishes I could take that journey. Because why not? Where am I going in my life that is so much better than that? It’s not that I take my life for granted, because surely I don’t. I am grateful for everything I have and my amazing fiance and family. This is more about a personal longing for life. To know why I am here and what I am meant to do. There is just so much out there that I want to see and experience, and it seems that the day to day just gets in the way of that.
Possessions are something that I have been thinking about a lot lately. Part of this has stemmed from the fact that I am self-employed, and have recently been going through a rough patch financially. A risk we take to enjoy the benefits of being our own boss, I guess. I haven’t been buying anything but the necessities for a while now. It’s not like I was some kind of compulsive shopper before, but I would go out clothes shopping now and again, maybe get a pedicure. By not buying things, I started to realize that I don’t want anymore than what I have. In fact, I have gotten rid of things to make my life simpler. I don’t want stuff. I would rather spend what money I have on experiences that will create memories. Thirty years from now I will not remember the shirt I bought at the mall or probably even what kind of car I drive now, but I will remember the cruise I took recently with my fiance, or the summer days spent out on the lake in our little boat, or the camping trips taken every year with my family.
I guess my point is that Chris McCandless to me, was the personification of all of those ideas squared and taken to the extreme. I cannot identify with the fact that he left his family behind and never contacted them again, or with many of the choices he made when it comes down to it, but I can identify with his spirit. Emile Hirsch did an amazing job of capturing this spirit and bringing it to life, and the movie itself was absolutely stunning. I found myself tearing up so many times throughout the movie, just at the awesomeness of nature and the beauty of the scenery. By the end I was bawling, even though I already knew what was coming, and I can’t even say exactly why it touched me so deeply. Just as I was hoping, the movie did the story justice, and as an aside, the soundtrack was pretty sweet too.
Swim – 8000 Yards, 3h 15m
Bike – 56 Miles, 3h 30m
Run - 16.36 Miles, 2h 30m
Other – 3 indoor soccer games
I would like to thank you for today. When I left for my 7.5 mile run, it was 51 degrees and sunny. Beautiful. I couldn’t help but grin. I found I had a little extra bounce to my step, despite having already swam 3000 yards today. Things that would normally piss me off and cause me to curse in my head (and oftentimes out loud) did not phase me today. I didn’t care when I sloshed through the myriad of gigantic puddles that are the bike path. I didn’t care that no matter which direction I was running, the wind was in my face. I didn’t care when I had to stop and carefully navigate the few expanses of ice that are left. My socks are soaked through with mud water and my running shoes are trashed. It was glorious.
I would like to say keep up the good work. However, I see that your plans for the next week include freezing rain and temperatures in the 30′s. I beg you to reconsider. Like, on my knees I am begging you. For once I get a taste of spring, it is like a drug. I need it. Going backwards in the season is not an option. So let’s move on, and leave this godforsaken winter behind us!
Swim – 1800 Yards, 45m
Bike – 35 Miles, 2h 30m
Run – 4.75 Miles, 45m
Other – 3 indoor soccer games, 3h
This was a rest week, and I still really slacked on the workouts, missing a few. This week I am planning to get up early, get it in gear, get all my workouts in, and get rid of my bad attitude towards the swim.
So it’s been a little while since my last reporting on my quest for the perfect earplug, but I am happy to report that I have found it. Without further ado:
Mack’s Pillow Soft Kids Silicone Earplugs ($2.94 for 6 pairs). Yes they are silicone. Yes they are kid’s size. And yes they are perfect. I first tried the adult version of these, but besides not being an awesome shade of fluorescent orange, they were a little bit too much. Too much silicone that is. They were pretty good, but I found myself with giant masses of silicone that wouldn’t quite fit where they were supposed to.
The way these work is you roll them up into a ball, then place them in your ears. They are not meant to go into the ear canal, only to form a seal on the outside. The kid’s size are perfect for me. They form a seal (watertight according to the box) with a comfortable amount of material. They fit nicely inside my ears so that even though I am a side sleeper, I barely notice they are there.
And now for the results. Because not only must they be comfortable enough to wear all night (check!), they must also block sufficient noise for me to stay asleep. I will have to say, I have not once been woken up by snoring, the number one cause of my sleepless nights. In fact, I don’t really think I have been awoken by anything noise-related. If I am already awake, I can hear some things in a muffled sense, but nothing that will prevent me from falling asleep.
So there you have it. This is the clear winner in my book. I honestly have never slept so well in my life. I have been waking up in the morning and not feeling exhausted, which is new and amazing. If you have a partner that snores and keeps you awake, try it. It will change your life. I realize that sounded like a commercial, but seriously, I can’t believe it took me this many years of sleepless nights to try earplugs for the first time. I am sold.
Here’s the thing. I hate swimming. Hate. This is probably in part due to the fact that I suck balls at it, but also I just find absolutely no enjoyment in it whatsoever. Back and forth. Back and forth. It is more boring to me than running on a treadmill (which, surprisingly, has actually grown on me as of late).
Today my training schedule told me to do a swimming time trial. The goal of this is to find your T1 pace, or training pace per 100 yards. To do this time trial, I was instructed to swim 3 sets of 300 yards with 30 sec rest in between each one. Then average the three times, and either divide by 3, or just look at the handy reference chart in the book.
It turns out I am off the chart in slowness. The slowest average 300 time on the chart is 6:00, meaning a T1 time of 2:00. My average time was 6:29. The thing is, while I am swimming, I don’t feel like I am that terrible a swimmer. Apparently though, I am. A few weeks ago during my workout I actually convinced myself that the pool I use must be longer than 25 yards. I started to feel better about myself, thinking that all of my workouts have been longer than I thought. This was until I asked the lifeguard the length of the pool. She looked at me kind of funny and said, “Um, 25 yards?” Duh.
I am really at a loss here for what to do about this. Never before have I hated a form of exercise so much. Sure, there are days when I don’t feel like running or biking, but I like these things in general. Love them even. I have started to dread going to the pool. I hate the smell. I hate getting water in my mouth and up my nose. I hate that there are always a bunch of kids in the pool that are probably peeing in said water. I thought this would get better as I improved and got more used to swimming laps, but it has only gotten worse. I am at the point now where I wish I hadn’t signed up for the half-ironman this summer, which makes me really sad. I have never felt like this while training for an event.
I usually try to think positively about things, but the thought of having to swim three times a week until late July makes me want to die a little. I think after this is all over, I will take up the duathlon.
February 24 – March 1
Swim – 4800 Yards, 2h
Bike – 35 Miles, 2h 10m
Run – 10.3 Miles, 1h 32m
Strength Training – 2h 10m
Other – 1 indoor soccer game