Friday roundup

Another Friday Haiku

Another week gone

Time speeds past, where does it go?

Left with memories

Independence Day

Another 4th of July has passed, Happy Birthday, America, but can we please grow up and stop blowing shit up all night long, keeping people who have to work the next day awake, terrorizing pets, and traumatizing military veterans suffering from PTSD?

Not to mention maiming and killing ourselves and starting fires. For what? Because we think playing with explosives while drunk is fun and somehow our right as Americans?

In most communities, fireworks are illegal, (even sparklers!) and yet somehow people still get them and then blow them off right in the middle of residential areas without regard to anyone or anything around them.

I love fireworks. I admit it. The bigger the boom the more exciting it is. But I like watching from an established safe distance while professionals shoot them off.

Standing outside my house armed with a garden hose in case something lands on my house is not my idea of fun.

Grow up, America. 

Sparklers are fun and relatively safe unless you touch the burning part. I mean, it’s burning at a temperature of 1200°F and up. Show some restraint and they’re very beautiful.

10,000 Sparklers Lit Off At Once

Does anyone remember punks? It was a stick made of a slow burning material that gave off an odd smelling smoke. As kids we thought they were to keep away mosquitoes. They were a mild, safer alternative to sparklers. Turns out they were originally used to set off fireworks because they provided a longer reach than matches.

June Challenge and beyond!

June, I challenged myself to run a mile every day. I had been unhappy with my dedication, if you will, to the sport. I had lost my motivation to run and sometimes went a week or longer without running.

Thus the challenge. And I was very pleased with myself that I had stuck with it and faithfully ran every day for a mile.

And though I am not a morning person, I found running first thing gets it out of the way. It’s over and done with and I don’t have to worry if I’ll fit it into my schedule. Also, as I’ve said previously, I don’t have restless nights as I did running in the evening.

So now, I’ve made a new challenge, a Life Challenge, to continue to run every morning, slowly increasing my distance (because increasing speed, well, that takes far more effort to achieve and let’s face it, it’s still the fucking morning and it’s enough that I’m running). So far for July, I’ve increased my distance to 1-1/2 miles (3k?) and I only took the 4th off because I was very tired. Thanks, people who kept shooting off explosives nonstop throughout the night.

Weigh-In Friday

OK. OK. I gained 1.3 pounds. 

We took a six day vacation, four days of which we spent in the Wisconsin Dells celebrating my son’s birthday. So a lot of good food was eaten. (If you ever are in the Dells, have a meal at the House of Embers. You won’t be disappointed.)

One thing I’ve noticed, which has me puzzled. Last week I lost 2.1 pounds, yet my body fat average increased 2.3% and my muscle average decreased 1.5%. This week, again, my body fat average increased 1.3% while the muscle average decreased by 0.9%. Why is that? You’d think with a daily run my muscle average would increase, right? Right? Anyone? Bueller?

Speaking of the Wisconsin Dells

Dragon’s Tail at Mt. Olympus

See that? That waterslide? The orange one (no relation to TheRump)? That’s called the Dragon’s Tail and it’s at the waterpark we stayed at this year (and last year, and also several year’s ago). It is seven stories tall. I hate heights. But I finally screwed up my courage and took the plunge, so to speak. It was thrilling, exciting, and scary as Hell, especially when it felt like I became airborne for an instant on the second bump.

Next year, I’ll try the purple slide on the left of it. You can’t see it because it’s behind the Dragon’s Tail. They call it the Demon’s Drop and it has an 85-foot sheer drop that they claim is virtually straight down, putting you in “free fall” until the water and slide curve out to catch you.

Yeah. Ok. Maybe not.

Running outside

Since I returned to running last year, I have only run outside two, maybe three times. I ran on our treadmill the rest of the time for several reasons.

First, I felt a treadmill would be better for my joints. Our house is essentially concrete-locked. Meaning, there are only sidewalks and streets upon which to run. Nothing soft or giving like a high school track or a nature area with running paths cut into the dirt by the feet of thousands of previous runners. So I’ve treadmilled.

Second, although you don’t go anywhere on a treadmill (and many runners find that boring), it gives me the chance to either watch something on TV or to listen to music. (I’m aware you can listen to headphones running outside, but I don’t have a bluetooth set and when I did run outside with earbuds, the cords nearly strangled me and were painfully ripped from my ears several times.)

Well, last Friday morning, because we were in the Dells and our hotel did not have any indoor exercise area or equipment, I took the show on the road. And you know what? I enjoyed it. The pounding on my feet and joints wasn’t as bad as I feared and I was able to enjoy the scenery.

I ran outside three days while there, and when we returned home, I have continued running outside. No music or TV, sure (unless I get a decent bluetooth set of earphones), but the outside offers changing scenery. Especially since the weather is nice. Once the winter gloom, cold, and ice make an appearance, I’ll return to the treadmill, but for now outside running is working for me.

Currently Reading

I have a paperback copy from the 1960s of “The Time Machine and other stories” by H. G. Wells. I have never read the story before only having seen the 1960 movie adaptation with Rod Taylor (who I just now realized was portraying H. G. Wells himself! In the story, the main character was only ever refered to as “The Time Traveler”), and also starring my childhood crush, Yvette Mimieux as Weena. A classic, by the way. The movie, I mean, not neccessarily Ms. Mimieux.

The short story/novella is similar to the movie except where the movie decides to make the focus about the romance between Wells and Weena where he returns to her future time to rescue her from the Moorlocks. That doesn’t happen in the short story. Instead, the Time Traveler just goes off in time and leaves the narrator (portrayed by Wilbuuuur of Mr. Ed fame in the movie) to speculate where and when he went and if he died or not.

This book also contains “Empire of the Ants” (not to be confused with his other story “Food of the Gods”), “The Country of the Blind,” and “The Man Who Could Work Miracles.”

If you like Wells, you’ll enjoy these short stories. His writing is fluid and poetic, even if a few of the concepts and social mores are dated (“The Time Machine” was first published in 1894, for instance). If, on the other hand, you don’t enjoy Wells, what the Hell is wrong with you?

Go read Wells!

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Friday and a long holiday weekend

TGIF, people! Although my weekend started yesterday. We’re vacationing in the Wisconsin Dells.

June Challenge Day 30

Today is the last day of my June run a mile a day challenge. It was also the only day I didn’t run on a treadmill; I ran on the street. 

I also ran 1.8 miles, according to the tracker I was using, PumaTrak.

I was a little disappointed in PumaTrak because for the first minute or more, it kept pausing on its own and I had to continually restart it. So I’m not sure if it gave me an accurate rating. Tomorrow morning, I’ll use the ever-faithful Runtastic to get a better measure.

Now that thw challenge is finaihed, what wonderful changes have I seen? To be honest, nothing. I’m sure there is something, but I must be pretty self-unaware. 

Friday Weigh-In

Technically, I weighed myself yesterday, but since I knew today I wouldn’t have access to a scale, I did it early. My new weight? 197.5 pounds. I dropped 2.1 pounds.

Whoohoo. 

Time to celebrate!

Let’s all dive into some Suicide by Chocolate. Bottom layer is chocolate cookie dough, middle layer is Oreos, and the top layer is fudge brownie mix. Baked until it’s one, rich enticing treat, perfect for celebrating life.

We’re also in the Wisconsin Dells at Mt. Olympus Resort for my younger son’s seventeenth birthday. The Dells is an area know for having a ton of great waterparks. 

Poseiden’s Rage. That’s a 9 foot wall of water heading for the crowd

One of our favorite rides, if you will, is Poseiden’s Rage, where a giant nine-foot wall of water crashes into you every ninety seconds.

And that’s it for my Friday report. Time to jump in The River Troy.

Later.

-30-

Raging fun but no run

Over the last few months I’ve gradually increased my distance and speed running.

I was up to 2 miles in about 21 minutes, about a 10.5 mile per hour pace.

Then I took last week off. Not for any reason other than a family vacation. Still, I packed my running shoes with the intention of running and the hotel did have treadmills, but I didn’t run.

Why?

Because at the end of each day I was too exhausted.

Let me explain.

We went to the Wisconsin Dells, the “Waterpark capital of the world.” We stayed at the Mt. Olympus waterpark and resort and we waterparked our butts off.

If you’ve never been, what a waterpark consists of are many times of water activities, from lazy rivers where you can float along in complete zen-like bliss under the scroching sun to giant water slides several stories tall where you can slide down on your back or in an inner tube plunging into a pool at the end.

They also have wave pools that recreate breaking waves like you’d find at a tempest-blown ocean shore. You spend your time battling those waves either in an inner tube or trying to swim against them. The waves generated probably get several feet tall and they are incessant. Fighting them gives a pretty decent workout that’s a lot of fun doing it.

Then there is Poseidon’s Rage. A much larger wave pool that generates one giant nine foot wave every 90 seconds. It is the third tallest surf wave in the world after a 9.8 foot wave in the Unites Arab Emirates and also in Spain, and a 10.8 foot wave in Scotland! It makes the Tidal Pool seem tame in comparison.

It’s like Poseidon himself is brushing his arm through the water trying to knock all the puny humans down.

We spend all day in that one, eight or nine hours battling these monstrous waves. Three days trying to swim against it, or dive under it, or jump up as high as you can only to be dashed down and thrown helplessly forward doing somersaults or spins tangling up with other human beings until the wave finally petered out leaving you in the shallows tired and laughing your ass off.

Great fun and probably a lot of exercise and the reason all I wanted to do was lay down and rest once we got back to our room. In that regard, I don’t feel I missed anything not running.

Last night I finally did run and broke my Rule about gradually increasing my runs. I ran 5k (3.1 miles) in 34 minutes alternating between 4.5 mph pace and a 6 mph pace. My previous longest distance on the treadmill was 2.25 miles. This was nearly a mile more.

It kicked my ass. I almost didn’t finish and kept wanting to hit Stop on the treadmill. I was gasping for breath the way I did when I first took up running and I imagine it’s because I took a week off from aerobics even though I did technically exercise.

But now I did it. I broke the 5k barrier. I’ll do it again next but I’ll lower the speed slightly so I can catch my breath.

Have fun. Go run.

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