I love Fitbit. I really do. Actually, I need to qualify that statement a bit...
I went for a run yesterday for the first time since my 5K in February. Well, I should qualify that claim a bit. I went for a walk that had three spontaneous run-like outbursts scattered throughout.
I discovered a feature in the Fitbit app recently that I had never paid attention to previously... their activity tracker.
Fitness and healthy eating are some things that have been eluding me of late.
It's all fine and dandy to create the perfect playlist of music for a 5k, but what if it all goes to hell before you can even really listen to it?
For another week, I am Fitbitless.
I really hate when I miss my Fitbit daily step goals by just that much.
We would like to take a break from the regularly scheduled programming for a very special announcement...
I always knew that my Fitbit played a part in my decision to get moving. I just never quite realized the degree to which it went all method actor on my fitness goals.
On the bad side of the coin, my Fitbit died today. Just about a year old and she done crapped out. No charging, no syncing, no resetting. Yup, that reset trick that is supposed to work every time (and had to this point) doesn't. At all.
Thankfully this past Saturday and Sunday were far more productive than Thursday in terms of constructing our floor.
Howsabout a status update on the reflooring project in the first floor of our place?
Yesterday afternoon, I returned from one of my lunch break walks and was down in the locker room changing when a friend of mine came up to me.
I say it a lot and, if you're sick of hearing it, I apologize in advance but I LOVE MY FITBIT!
Although I've been working my butt off to maintain a 10,000 steps per month average since the beginning of the year, one thing I haven't tried in order to help is to jog. I've only done a few running spurts here and there and then my 5K in February.
I've been at this whole Fitbit thing now for a quarter of a year (give or take a week), and I've been enjoying it. Setting up this 10,000 steps per day goal for this is, I feel, one of the best goals I've set for myself in a long time. Nothing sedentary like watching TV or whatnot.
Nothing like getting up, getting dressed, walking a mile to the course, running an organized 5K, and walking a mile home to not only get the blood flowing but to get you over 12,500 steps before 11:15 a.m.
I got a cute little email from Fitbit this morning recapping my "year in fitness" with mostly true animal facts. I think probably no true, but still funny.
I'm realizing something very quickly, this Fitbit 10,000 average daily steps is not going to be an easy goal to keep this year.
Because of all my at-work jogging and walking, I've felt a need to find new routes so as not to get bored. I did that again yesterday when I explored a snow-covered bike path extension.
Yesterday, due to the weather, I only went so far before turning around and heading back.
The Fitbits that Katie and I bought a few weeks ago are having the effect I hoped they would... they motivate us to walk.
Earlier today I saw a picture of myself that I hate. Absolutely loathe.
The shock of seeing it made me realize that I need to cut the crap from my diet. But it's never easy. Especially at this time of year.
It's been nearly three months since I injured my knee and ankle at the Urban Warrior Dash.
It's been slightly more than one month since I felt any pain in my knee at all. Even impact pain.
New month. New plan. Time to start running again.
The UWD has come and gone and, as the saying goes, I'm no worse for wear.
That's not true. If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook or you were there with me, you know that's a load of crap.
Let's recap this mutha step by step, shall we?
Why does the Universe hate me so?
You do remember last week when I said that I was getting back into Cto5K mode and, after two days of running, I twisted my ankle walking some steps (completely unrelated to my running effort), right?
Last Tuesday, I started back to the gym. I had only been away for a few weeks (maybe a month), but it felt like an eternity. I needed to restart my Couch-to-5K program again... desperately.
Jerry Angelo... I hate you.
Well, 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.
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.
More photos are available in Flickr.
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...
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...
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
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.
Still didn't find Michelle, though. Where was she hiding?
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...
- 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'.
- 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.
- 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.
Pray for us.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Only I can't blame Vegas. Damn.
This morning I woke up no less than eight times and I'm not entirely sure which ones were real and which ones were dreams.
The first one I remember was about 4 a.m. to pee. Pretty sure that one was real.
Then I woke up to my alarm. I think that was real, too. But I snoozed it.
Then I remember laying in bed back-to-back with Katie and we were holding hands when I woke up. Doesn't sound like something we'd achieve comfortably. So I'll mark that as a tentative no.
Another time I heard Katie talking to somebody on her side of the bed and I heard a man's voice responding. I spun around and saw nobody there. I shook Katie to ask her what was going on and she said she was talking to my brother. She has had weird conversations in her sleep before but never have I heard a second voice in the mix, so we'll consider that one a pretty definite no.
A second snooze wake-up call. Pretty real, I think.
I also remember waking up and showering and dressing and getting back into bed but on Katie's side and we turned on the TV and watched it. Considering I woke up again after that and was not fully dressed like that, we'll nix that one too.
I woke up to the sound of carts crashing around and then two women I work with pushed shopping carts full of used clothes into my bedroom and put them in a pile under our window. They informed me that they were donations for me to take to Goodwill. I told them they couldn't put them there because that's where we put all our dirty and clean clothes and they'd all get mixed up. When I finally got up, I looked and saw no clothes against the wall at all (not even our own), so I'm pretty sure that one's fabricated by my head.
Then I got a third snooze alarm.
So I woke up, showered, dressed, and here I am... wishing I was back in bed to make up for all the sleep I lost in all those "wake ups."
Be proud of us. This gym thing is taking hold.
Katie and I have been to the gym five times since last Friday. Tonight will be #6.
But if there's one thing I've learned, it's that my iPod Shuffle desperately needs a new mix of music. It's been a while since I updated it. Gotta work on that. Soon!
In addition to my resolution to take part in that Photo365 challenge, Katie and I are making a vow to get back to the gym. I did a little running at the gym on Monday and, afterward, it felt like my foot was going to remove itself from my ankle involuntarily and leave me forever. So I'm not really counting that one so much.
But, tonight, we both went to the gym. After getting past the regulars who asked where the hell we've been, we worked out. I mean actually worked out and got a pretty decent workout at that.
And we're going to try to do it more regularly. We need to. We're going to be in a wedding a year from March and we want to be so sexy walking down the aisle that people forget who the bride and groom are and just pay attention to us the whole night. Isn't that what all good groomsmen and bridesmaids are supposed to do, after all?
Oh, and in case you want to see the Day 1 photo for Photo365, it's below...
Don't forget to follow my Photo365 progress on Flickr.
Speaking of resolutions, did you make any for this New Year?
Six days in now, have you completely broken them yet?
Well, here's one resolution I hope doesn't get broken anytime soon via my friend (well, no, not really, he might have something to say about that claim) Craig Ferguson. He's resolving to learn Spanish.
Here he is announcing his resolution...
And here is his first night truly attempting to follow through on the promise...
Wish the man some luck. C'mon! Do it in Spanish!
God I love his show.
As I type this, Katie's asleep on the couch. We're supposed to go run some errands and get some stuff done, but we just got back about an hour ago from a 20-mile bike ride up and down the Fox River Trail.
We had beautiful weather and it was a gorgeous ride, save for the point where you ride past the sewage treatment plant in Batavia. If you weren't feeling hunger pangs before...
But Katie's now completely wiped. I know she's getting tired on our rides when she starts to lean forward with her forearms on the handlebars instead of her hands. Never a good sign. Thankfully that didn't happen until about mile 18.
She did take a few pictures. Sadly my PowerShot is in the shop with a busted zoom dial. But Katie took some (one of those times when Facebook readers should click through to view the photos)
Do I wake her up? I know we've got a lot to do, but I'm not suicidal.
I'm so stoked about this little gem I ordered. It's an official Invaded! coffee mug for Avitable's 2009 Halloween party.
This thing is truly a work containing both fine craftsmanship from the folks at Zazzle.com and the artwork of Dave from Blogography.
Unlike most coffee mugs, the design is not raised at all. It is so protected by ceramic glaze that there is no way to accidentally damage the logo without destroying the mug. And it's a heavy-duty mug at that. This is my favorite coffee mug second only to the kick-ass Jack Skellington mug that Katie bought me down at Disneyworld last year.
And no, I'm not receiving any sort of compensation from Adam, Dave, or Zazzle for this shameless plug other than warm, fuzzy feelings. I can't even go to the party. I'm just going to have to celebrate with my mug.