Self Abuse

You've got to run all day...

Race DayWell, we did it. Katie and I (and Scott and Becca) ran our first 5K today. It was the Snowflake Shuffle and let's just say I'm glad it was designated a walk/run. I don't even know what our official final time was. Somewhere around 47 minutes. Not a time I'm particularly proud of.

Why?

Starting Friday at midnight, we got hammered with snow. This may not always be a big problem. Heck, many people have run in snow without problems. But this is our first organized run. Up to this point, all we'd done is run in what are otherwise ideal conditions. Those being either a treadmill or the occasional outdoor run in which it was nice and clear. We were not at all prepared for what happened here in Geneva.

The roads were horrible. Sure, they had plowed and salted, but the last time was a couple hours before our run began. Honestly, considering the conditions, the "pace car" for the race should have been a snow plow. I'm not kidding here. It would've made total sense and would have given those plows we were seeing on the road with their blades in the "up" position some purpose.

The reason why the snow was such a problem is because I have bad ankles and my body has a tendency to overcompensate when it knows there is some kind of danger that threatens my ankles. I have a very overprotective body that I cannot control at all. It's a bodily sixth sense. So my body began to overcompensate for what were perceived to be potential slips and twists and turns and my calf began to cramp up as a result. Katie had a similar problem.

We did have fun despite the real and perceived peril and we will do it again. But I think we need more outdoor and inclement weather training before we do the Super Bowl Shuffle 5K (PDF) in February.

Here's a shot of the four of us post-race. You can tell it was immediately post-race for Katie and I by the looks on our faces.

Snowflake Shuffle 5K

More photos are available in Flickr.


But that don't change the way I feel about you...

About five years ago, Katie and I finally made the jump to owning a TiVo. Well, two of them actually.

Now, we can't imagine our lives without them. I can't even remember what it was like to constantly set our VCRs for shows we wanted to watch and constantly swapping out tapes and trying to remember what was on each of them when we wanted to go back and watch them.

Life was so primitive.

But the best part of owning a TiVo, or any DVR for that matter? Fast forward!

Sure, we could fast forward through recorded shows on our VCR, but being able to do it during semi-live TV? Ohmigod. It's so fantastic! We will intentionally not watch a show when it airs live for about 15 minutes on a half hour or 30 minutes on an hour show. Why? So we have enough gap on the airing so that we can fast forward through all the commercials.

And during campaign season, it's an absolute sanity saver!

We have a couple of particularly heated battles going on right now in the State of Illinois for the Governor's mansion and one of our U.S. Senate seats. The two running main candidates for Governor are Pat Quinn (incumbent, somewhat) and Bill Brady while the two vying for the Senate seat are Alexi Giannoulias (sp?) and Mark Kirk.

These candidates are fighting tooth and nail and pulling out every stop in the book in their quest to make the other look like a complete assclown by dragging their name through the mud and slop and excrement and any other nasty substance you can think of. You remember how dirty the 2008 Presidential campaign was? Compared to these two races, that was a gentlemen's duel.

Guess what? It's working. I think all four of them are jackasses and I don't want any of the four of them in office.

Sadly I have little choice in the matter. The two-party system that exists in this country makes it impossible for any third-party candidate to be a viable option. Hell, in most cases, we never even hear of their names.

I wish just one of them would come out with a simple, generic ad in which they say, "Hi, my name is Bobby Dunleavey [not a real candidate... I think] and I'm not Bill Brady or Pat Quinn." Honestly, at this point, that might be enough to sway me. I seriously don't want any of the available candidates to take office.

Or maybe I'll just start a write-in campaign for Dave2.

At least I know what to expect from him...

WineWhine
[please don't hate/sue me for using your graphic, Dave]

Katie and I are signing up for our first ever fun run!

It's the TriCity Family Services Second Annual Snowflake Shuffle 5K Run & Walk on December 4, 2010.

Why are we doing it? There are several reasons...

  1. It's scheduled for the day before my birthday.
    If I survive, I can really celebrate my birthday feeling like I've done something cool. If I die, I never have to turn 36 years old. Yay!
  2. It's a mile from our house.
    I don't really have to worry much about travel or parking or lodging or anything. And it's so close, we can actually practice on the planned route.
  3. The route map, oh the route map.
    Speaking of route, if this route map (PDF) doesn't sell you on the race, nothing will. C'mon, is it seriously that difficult to create a Google Map Mashup and make it publically available and link or embed it on the site?

 Wish us luck!


Baby, we were born to run...

Yesterday, Katie and I were part of the 2010 Chicago Marathon! Yep, we dressed in our workout best, headed into the city, and raced around from point to point along the 26.2 mile course laid out throughout the city.

Of course, we did this to cheer for our friends and take a bunch of pictures and, later, go out together for dinner. Run it? Are you nuts? We left that to Eric, Michelle, and Kim. We're not masochists.

We started the day by racing to the 13-mile marker around 200 S. Wacker in hopes of seeing all the people we were hoping to cheer for. We did manage to find Eric just as he was passing, but could not find Kim or Michelle.

Then we headed to just south of the corner of Jackson and Halsted near the 17-mile mark. There we found Eric again, but Katie also saw the infamous Kimbot! She was just passing us as Katie yelled "Kim!" and Kim turned and moaned "Apgars!" then came over and practically collapsed in our arms for a giant, sweaty hug during which she said "it's so horrible out here." We tried to stifle a little giggle as it really wasn't the time despite the humorous way in which she declared it. Then someone took our picture together and she was off.

101010ChicagoMarathon12
[photo courtesy of Kim; not that I asked, but I think she's okay with it]

Still didn't find Michelle, though. Where was she hiding?

MarathonOur final stop was on the bridge before the final turn right under the 300m To Go sign. There we saw Eric and Kim as well as a coworker of mine and her boyfriend.

And, yet, still no Michelle.

I think she was avoiding us. *sniffle*

If anything, I'd say my one complaint was the lack of a well-planned out way to get from the bridge to the finish line area. Everything was blocked off and guarded. To traverse the 300m from where we stood to the finish line would've been nearly a mile of walking.

We said fuhgeddaboudit and headed to the River North area and dined at a place called Dos Diablos. Quite tasty Mexican food, if we do say so ourselves.

But we did have a lot of fun at the Marathon and watching everyone run was quite inspiring. People of all ages and sizes were racing. Enough of a variety that I'm convinced I could actually run it with the proper training. Doesn't mean I will, just that I believe I could. I do think Katie is interested in training if not for a full marathon, then definitely for a half.

Sometimes, I think the best part of the race is reading all the stories that surface after the fact. Like the barefoot runner or marathon cheaters or the blindfolded runner or bib swappers. The fun truly never ends.

Maybe I'll become a race-day journalist! That can be my contribution.

Well, maybe not. Enjoy the photos all the same.

If you can't see the Flash slideshow above, click through to the Flickr album.

I've discovered something, baths suck.

After getting home from the Marathon, Katie and I decided to clean up. She opted for a shower while I took my first bath in probably five years.

No, don't misread, this was not my first time bathing, just my first bath. I much prefer showers. And I have several reasons why...

  1. Baths are dirty. How do you clean yourself when what you just washed off of one part of you is now floating in the water you are still using to clean another part? This gets me thinking about public swimming pools and hot tubs. Those things have gotta be festering with flith. In many cases, they're exposed to the elements so who knows what happens then. Plus you get a ton of different people using them without water being changed. Sure, they "chlorinate" them clean, but you're only allowed to use so much chlorine before it becomes harmful for a human to use the pool. So if the chlorination isn't strong enough to be harmful to humans, can it truly be powerful enough to kill off our filth? Just sayin'.
  2. You get cold quickly. Not all of you gets covered at all times. Especially when you're my size. Always something exposed. And the whole water displacement thing gets me every time. Overfilling is a constant worry.
  3. It's boring. I can't sit there and use my iPhone because I'd probably drop it in. We don't have a TV in the bathroom. I don't want to read a book as it will find a way to get wet no matter how "dry" I might be. And, not being a kid, I can't exactly drop a bunch of Star Wars figures in the tub to play with anymore. Well, I guess I could, but I'd be locked up and the key thrown away rather quickly.

Showers rock. 'nuff said.


Burnin' down the house...

Pray for us.

Katie and I signed up for two months of Bikram Yoga (read: the hot, sweaty stuff that Sting loves to do; aside from sex with Trudy, of course).

Katie has been wanting to try yoga for quite some time since I've been loving it for two years now. But it can be expensive (mine is a very cost-effective class through my workplace, but she's not eligible to participate) or limiting in terms of class times available especially with Katie's constantly changing work schedule.

However, the other day, a friend updated their Facebook profile with information about a yoga studio in Naperville near where I work that was offering two months of unlimited classes for under $50 via Groupon. How can you say no to that? The price is amazing. So we both signed up.

And I'm dreading its start.

Immensely.

Me + heat no makey a happy Kapgar.

We're becoming fitness nuts. We're hoping to do Bikram at least a couple times per week plus our five mornings per week of working out at the gym. And I still do my regular yoga one day per week.

We'd damn well better lose a ton of weight!

I ran into a friend the other day and as we're all wont to do, I asked him how he was doing.

His reply? "I'm alright. The rest of the world is all wrong."

I LIKE THAT!

I must start using that immediately.


Egghead boys with thin white legs...

We're kinda pissed at Best Buy right now.

Yesterday, after giving it a full night of charging, Katie's iPod crapped out. And I don't just mean battery death, the entire unit was showing no life at all. We were at the gym and she was trying to use it for working out and... nada.

Hate-geek-squad The reason we're pissed at Best Buy is that Katie had seen signs of the iPod going down the crapper and she described them to me. I took it into Best Buy's Geek Squad for warranty repair and they said they could not replicate any of the symptoms that I was having right there on the spot. I tried to explain that they were intermittent, they didn't happen all the time. They said sorry and that they could do nothing about it and refused to help me.

Now here we are, outside her warranty period and stuck with a dead iPod. Simply because Best Buy refuses, like always, to listen to their customers who know better about what is happening to their own electronic devices.

I know some people scam them and this is what they're trying to avoid. But when I am trying to explain a problem and then get that teenaged, pimply-faced, asshat Geek Squad fucknut looking at me like I don't know what I'm talking about (yeah, I'd LOVE to know what "extensive training" he went through that qualified him as an EXPERT on such matters) just pisses me off.

To anybody reading who may ever buy a gift for Katie or I down the line, please NO BEST BUY GIFT CARDS. We would much prefer a Visa or MasterCard gift card that gives us the option of choosing where to spend it. PLEASE!

If I can help it, I'm done with that place. Ever since the "Geek Squad" started, the holier-than-thou mentality in that retail hellhole skyrocketed through the roof. And it's only gotten worse since Circuit City stores closed down giving U.S. customers pretty much a single dedicated source for electronics purchases.

[Thank you, Random-Good-Stuff.com, for creating this fine T-shirt!]

Okay, not totally unrelated, but still...

After the death of the iPod at the gym, Katie and I made the painful decision to listen to the radio station that was playing over the PA. It's some crappy suburban Chicago top 40 station that I just cannot stand.

And how'd they annoy us this fine day? They played that God-awful "Summer Nights" or whatever it's called by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John from the Grease soundtrack.

Simultaneously, Katie and I groaned and looked at each other and said "oh Christ, no."

If anything good came of it, it's the reminder that my wife has never seen nor ever wants to see Grease and anything related to that movie makes her ill.

I love my wife.