December 21, 2007

Training update

Since November 19 I've swum 3.7 miles, run 45 miles, and biked 57 miles in preparation for the Lavaman triathlon. Fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is going well -- people have donated an amazing $1095 already! Thanks to everyone who has contributed!!!

It's interesting to watch my own reactions to endurance training, especially running. It's difficult until my muscles warm up, and sometimes I'm halfway through the run before I start to feel comfortable running. But once I'm through the difficult part, it transforms into a wonderful feeling. I wouldn't call it a "runner's high." It's just the joy of having a healthy body, watching and feeling it perform like it was designed to perform. Those moments more than make up for the pain it takes to get there. I'm so grateful that I have my health, and that it takes relatively little effort to keep it up right now.

There are a lot of people who are working far harder than I am right now, fighting for their lives. My sister's best friend of twenty years is in hospice care. Someone who I admired a great deal and thought of as a mentor died a couple weeks ago. I know a few other people currently fighting cancer, and a couple others recently diagnosed as diabetic or pre-diabetic. Health is so precious. Take care of yourself.

December 03, 2007

Racing for the Fight against Cancer

I've got another web page with all the basic details. Check that page out if you're looking for the latest training mileage or fundraising progress, if you would like to help out with a donation, or if you just want the basics of why I'm doing this. The link's over on the right side of the screen -->

I figure I should keep that web page short and sweet though. I'll post more of the day-to-day stuff here since a blog's more suited to that kind of stuff.

Saturday: Got up at 6am to meet at Marymoor Park for a group bike workout. Coach Cathy canceled the bike ride because there was some snow on the ground, so we ran about four miles instead. I wanted to try out my new bike, so afterwards I biked about six miles. I didn't expect it to be geared so high, though. Going up hills is going to be tough! I'll have to do a lot of squats in the gym to beef up my quads before I'll be ready to race.

Sunday: Hit the pool, put in only 12 laps, and was just about beat. I enjoy the feeling of powering through the water, but that's exactly what I shouldn't be doing right now. I need to relax more, focus on my form, and keep my heart rate in the aerobic zone so I can keep going for a long distance. I have a lot of work to do to make my swimming more efficient, and if I don't do that work first, I'm just reinforcing my bad movement habits. Shandy and I were talking about hiring a private swim coach for individual lessons. I should set that up soon.

Tonight: It's raining cats and dogs, and the track is dirt. Or, it was. :-) Right now, it's probably four inches of mud and water all the way around. At least the snow has melted, but we're all going to get filthy. Might as well have fun jumping in the mud puddles! I'm trying to find a lighted, rubber surfaced track that's open to the public in Seattle on Monday nights... Anyone have any suggestions?

Fundraising is going OK. I've gotten some very pleasant surprises -- some people have been unbelievably generous. I haven't had as many people donate as I was hoping for, though -- seven people, including me. I was hoping more people would contribute, even if they could only spare a tiny amount... every little bit helps. But I imagine it's tough for a lot of people to come up with extra cash right before the holidays.

UPDATE: I have gotten a few more donations today. Maybe I was just being too impatient. Also, I got a copy of the planned workout for tonight, and I'm just going to do it inside, on a treadmill. From what I've been hearing, Seattle's a big mess right now, with flooding, mudslides, and snarled traffic. Combine that with the cold rain and the muddy track, and it's just not worth meeting with the group tonight.

April 24, 2007

My new hot sweetness

Things are really looking up in the romance department. On Easter I got a call out of the blue from my high school sweetheart (nice pic, huh?). We hadn't talked since high school, and we met for dinner and closed the restaurant down. Then we met for drinks a few days later, and have been inseparable since. I'm smitten.

April 18, 2007

Recent disturbing news

This was originally written about the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, but it is apparently timeless.

Of course this a uniquely tragic event, and it is vital that we never lose sight of the human tragedy involved. However, we must also consider if this is not also a lesson to us all; a lesson that my political views are correct. Although what is done can never be undone, the fact remains that if the world were organised according to my political views, this tragedy would never have happened.

Many people will use this terrible tragedy as an excuse to put through a political agenda other than my own. This tawdry abuse of human suffering for political gain sickens me to the core of my being. Those people who have different political views from me ought to be ashamed of themselves for thinking of cheap partisan point-scoring at a time like this. In any case, what this tragedy really shows us is that, so far from putting into practice political views other than my own, it is precisely my political agenda which ought to be advanced.

Not only are my political views vindicated by this terrible tragedy, but also the status of my profession. Furthermore, it is only in the context of a national and international tragedy like this that we are reminded of the very special status of my hobby, and its particular claim to legislative protection. My religious and spiritual views also have much to teach us about the appropriate reaction to these truly terrible events.

Countries which I like seem to never suffer such tragedies, while countries which, for one reason or another, I dislike, suffer them all the time. The one common factor which seems to explain this has to do with my political views, and it suggests that my political views should be implemented as a matter of urgency, even though they are, as a matter of fact, not implemented in the countries which I like.

Again, it is vital that we never lose sight of the human tragedy involved. But we must also not lose sight of the fact that I am right on every significant moral and political issue, and everybody ought to agree with me. Please, I ask you as fellow human beings, vote for the political party which I support, and ask your legislators to support policies endorsed by me, as a matter of urgency.

It would be a fitting memorial.

October 13, 2006

Now playing - Shadowboxer by Fiona Apple

Once my lover, now my friend.
What a cruel thing to pretend.
What a cunning way to condescend.
Once my lover, now my friend.

Oh, you creep up like the clouds.
And you set my soul at ease.
Then you let your love abound.
And you bring me to my knees.

Oh, its evil, babe,
The way you let your grace enrapture me.
When, well, you know, I'd be insane -
To ever let that dirty game recapture me.

You made me a shadowboxer, baby.
I wanna be ready for what you do.
I been swinging all around me.
'Cause I dont know when you're gonna make your move.

Oh, your gaze is dangerous.
And you fill your space so sweet.
If I let you get too close,
You'll set your spell on me.

So, darlin', I just wanna say.
Just in case I don't come through.
I was on to every play.
I just wanted you.

But, oh, it's so evil, my love,
The way you've no reverence for my concern.
So, I'll be sure to stay wary of you, love,
To save the pain of once my flame and twice my burn.

You made me a shadowboxer, baby.
I wanna be ready for what you do.
I been swinging all around at nothin'
I dont know when you're gonna make your move.

-Fiona Apple

October 04, 2006

The Republican Disinformation Machine

Also known as Fox News, is repeatedly telling people that Mark Foley, the Republican congressman who is currently embroiled in a scandal about his affairs with young male Congressional interns, is a Democrat. And asking whether other Democrats were covering for him. Why would they? He's a REPUBLICAN.

In other news, Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia, and the Republicans have been able to increase the chocolate ration this month.

September 22, 2006

From Madness to Passion

Bit of synchronicity caught my eye today. I was really going crazy two days ago (between the divorce and some other things), and while shopping ran across a card with this quote. It really resonated with me at the time, so much that I almost bought the card on impulse. Then today as I was logging into a Linux computer, the same quote popped up again.
The only people for me are the mad ones -- the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow Roman candles.
-- Jack Kerouac, "On the Road"
I don't usually fit that description very well. And I don't think I always should, it doesn't sound like these poor people get any rest. But sometimes I catch myself being uncomfortable with my own madness, (like when I was shopping the other day) and it was liberating to be OK with it and just let it flow, to embrace the passion. Another great quote from Nelson Mandela touches a similar theme:
Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some; it is in everyone. And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

UPDATE: I ran across this second quote again, the day after I posted this here. It was about two minutes after I was telling myself not to make too much noise about an issue because I didn't want to look like I was just trying to attract attention to myself. More synchronicity.