28 July, 2012

Running Lessons Learned

The alarm went off at 05:00 this morning, and Scott and I got up and moving shortly after that.  Today's goal: the 6-mile run I failed at last weekend.  I managed to finish the run in 1:32.12, which is only 2 minutes slower than my goal pace and 4 minutes faster than the 16 minute/mile pace I need for the races.  I did learn a lot of little things that I wanted to record for future reference. 

  1. The early bird also catches the fish.  We saw an osprey fly over clutching a hefty breakfast in its talons.
  2. Bullfrog aerosol sunblock is only sweatproof for up to five miles.  The last mile, the only reason I was still running was the motivation to get back to the towel in the car and wipe my stinging eyes!
  3. Four miles is about as far as I can go without refueling.  Next week I'm going to pack some almonds and raisins for a quick boost.  Today I got a little bit light-headed around mile 4.5, and the last .5 mile my feet were like lead.
  4. Awesome recovery food: smoothie of chocolate soy milk (the light kind), banana, and a big honkin' spoonful of peanut butter.  It was as thick as a milkshake, and with a good amount of calcium, potassium, and protein.  (down side: too much sugar)
  5. Don't forget the bug spray!  I got some OFF with Deet, which kept the yellow flies away (I still have a welt from the bites I got 2 weeks ago), but there are a lot of bugs out there!  I had a dead gnat stuck to my face under my eye...and I'm pretty sure it actually drowned in the sweat on my face!
  6. Oh, the sweat! By the end of today's run, I had one dry spot on my shirt, near the bottom where my underwear/shorts/shorts were between my skin and the shirt. Also, my ponytail was soaked from my scalp to an inch below the rubber band AND 4" up from the bottom from the head sweat and neck sweat.
Even after a one-hour nap, I'm still tired.  My fingers and feet still feel pretty swollen, and I don't actually know what to do about that.  I'm also still having blister issues.  Of the seven (seven!!) blisters on my foot, four are right under existing old calloused blisters.  The others are small, but in places I wasn't expecting them to be.  Only one hurts.

All in all, I'm happy with today's results.  Next week is 7 miles, but I think I'll be stronger with the lessons I learned this week.

19 July, 2012

Revenge of Tooth 19

This is the third in an ongoing series of ridiculousness that goes back more than five years.  You can read parts one and two as well. When we last left our heroine, she was recovering from gum surgery and waiting for a new permanent crown on tooth 19.  At that point, I already knew I wouldn't be returning to CHARLES PIKE IN OAKLAND, FL (hello, Googlers), having been disappointed with all of his work on both me and Scott except for my wisdom tooth extractions.  So I paid what I had to to get the crown completed, and crossed my fingers that I wouldn't need any further dental work before the new calendar year when I could find a new dentist.

A few weeks ago, I noticed a little bit of the familiar "old man denture smell" coming from that side of my mouth, but it never once occurred to me that the cause was the same ol' tooth.  Today, I was given a bag of Swedish Fish and grabbed a few after finishing my lunch.  I bit down on one on the left side of my mouth, and when my mouth opened I felt the crown lift right out of my mouth.


For those of you doing the mental math, that's less than eleven months.

My "permanent crown," after two dentists, an endodontist, and a periodontist, lasted less than eleven months.

I called the new dentist and they were able to squeeze me in this afternoon.  And then I started reading up on my dental benefits.  I knew that they wouldn't pay anything else for the crown for that tooth for 5 years, and I sure as heck knew I wouldn't be returning to CHARLES PIKE IN OAKLAND, FL even though the crown was still under some sort of warranty there.  By the time I got to the dentist, I had pretty much decided that if this was going to be anything more than a simple re-cementing that I was going to have the tooth removed and would get an implant (for which insurance would pay 50%).

Thank goodness the tooth stump was not cracked or decayed, and the dentist was able to re-cement the existing crown back into place (with something a little stronger than Elmer's... I asked!).  My mouth is still a little sore, having been poked and prodded and scraped, but not even enough to warrant taking any ibuprofen.

To be continued...?

04 July, 2012

Less Fat: A 14-Week Progress Report

Yesterday I capped off my personal-best 2-mile time (28.29 minutes) with a second visit to the back room of the gym where they do your measurements.  I didn't actually have them measure me again, because eww - I didn't even want to touch or smell myself at that point, but I wanted to do the little video game where you squeeze the machine and it tells you your body fat percent.  It's still high - well above obese high - but it is 4.7 percentage points lower than it was when I started.

Also, I asked them last week for a copy of my original measurements form and never got around to taking comparison measurements.  But I happen to have a tape measure here, so let's see where we are:

Chest (assuming that was an above-the-boob measurement): -3"
Bicep: +.25"
Waist: -3"
Hips: -3.75"
Thigh: no G.D. change!
Calf: -1"

Body Fat Percentage: -4.7
BMI: -3.3

Well, I guess the thigh and bicep measurements explain why I'm still for the most part fitting in my existing clothes.  Still, even if I'm only 15 pounds lighter (ok, 13.5 - I ate A LOT last weekend with Jackie) I'm still really happy with most of these numbers.

...aaaaand I see where I need to work.  I don't understand how running 6 or more miles every week could not shrink my thighs, but I'll be looking for something that will!

02 July, 2012

Now That's What I Call Customer Service

I called Sirius-XM this afternoon because my most recent promotional rate was about to expire.  What follows is a partial transcript of the conversation:

Me: Hi, I'm calling to do that thing where I say I'm going to cancel my subscription and then you offer me a better rate.
Customer Service Rep:
{pause while he checks on my existing package}

CSR: Well, things have changed since your last subscription.  We only have packages for a full year.  Let's see... I have one for $96 and one for $83.
Me: And what's the difference between the two? (expecting one to include internet radio or something)
CSR: One is 40% off and the other is 50% off. Most people would choose the 50% off option.
{blah blah blah}

CSR: (going through his script) And to summarize, you called today to cancel your subscription because you were unhappy with your rate?
Me: Yes, that's exactly right.

Really, I only want to keep the service through November because I'm in love with the POTUS channel and am a cyclical political junkie, but I get 8 bucks a month of enjoyment out of the service so I decided to go for it.  Needless to say, I chose the 50% off option. 

I was worried that if I actually told the truth that they would shoot me down.  Instead, I gave the CSR his laugh of the day, and still got what I wanted and he gets a stat that says he kept someone from cancelling.  Win-Win!