Not Yet Dead

I didn’t write a workout recap for last week.  Why?  Because there was nothing to write about.  Ahh, the joys of being sick.  I think I’m on an upswing, but I have guests coming into town, so I’ve got to figure out how to squeeze in workouts while also being entertaining and charming and making sure the cats don’t barf on the guests’ stuff.

Cats, man.  Fuzzy little jerks.

So what have I been doing since I’m not working out?

  • Sleeping a lot.
  • Researching brewing my own kombucha.  Anyone know anything about this?
  • Reading Amy Poehler’s new book, which is excellent.  I love Amy Poehler though, so I’ll probably love everything she ever does.  I’m a little biased.
  • Cleaning my house (see previously mentioned houseguests).  If only I would learn to pick up after myself on a regular basis.  Maybe when I’m a grown-up.

What have you been up to?


Podcasts: My Long Run Entertainment

For years, I have listened to podcasts while on my long runs (or in the car, or cleaning the house, or…).

What’s a podcast?  Think of it as… a downloadable radio show.  No need to listen to it live or have a paid subscription anywhere.  You just download and go!   If you need more information on how to download podcasts, I’d recommend asking Google, since the details vary based on what device you’re using.  Instead, I’m going to tell you about the top three podcasts currently playing through my earbuds.

Serial – I first heard about this podcast thanks to Entertainment Weekly.  Serial is a podcast by the same people who do This American Life.  They take a non-fiction story and tell parts of it week by week, much like the serialized stories of old.  This isn’t like reading a chapter of a book each week though.  It’s much, much more than that.  The current story is about a murder from 1999.  The author is going through all sorts of old testimony and transcripts, reviewing maps and other information, and holding new interviews.  And it can all be heard on the podcast.  The 6th episode comes out this week, and I can’t wait to find out what happens next.  Note that you really need to listen to this podcast in order, but thankfully, all of the old episodes are available.

Stuff You Missed in History Class – A production of, this podcast takes you through all sorts of historical events, probably ones you don’t know too much about.  From battles to interesting characters to disappearing ships, this one has something for everyone.  The podcast has been on for years, so there are hundreds of back episodes for you to check out and download.  I listened to way too many episodes of this podcast while painting my closet back in July.  Each episode stands alone, so if there’s a subject you’re just not into, you can skip over it without any trouble.

Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided History – I found Sawbones through Stuff You Missed in History.  A doctor and her husband dig through history and discuss some of the ridiculous ways we tried to fix ourselves when sick or injured.  This one is always entertaining, though I struggled to make it through the cataracts episode.  I’m normally not squeamish, but ick.  I’m not sure what my favorite episode has been so far, but the pregnancy tests one was pretty good, as was the one on self-surgery.  It’s amazing the human race is still around.

Those are my big ones right now.  Not your cup of tea?  No problem!  There are podcasts about everything!  Running, triathlon, tv shows, current events, games, movies, the list goes on and on.

What podcasts are you currently listening to?  I’m always up to download something new.

Still Sick. Still Whining.

I am still recovering from being sick. This stupid cold just won’t get out.  Life is so hard!

Actually, I’m pretty lucky.  I only felt awful one day, which I consider a win.  But the lingering symptoms are starting to get on my nerves.

The worst part is that now that I’ve found my motivation to workout, my body is betraying me.  My planned run this weekend did not go well.  No energy to keep going.  I made it a whopping two miles before the coughing won out.  Plus even while I was running, my pace was almost 90 seconds per mile slower than normal.  Apparently all my energy is going to getting better.

The lesson here is that I should be resting.  By pushing myself, I’m probably just making the cold symptoms last longer.  Good job, self.  There’s no magical cure for a cold, so I just need to suck it up, let my body do its thing, and then get back to training.

But I don’t wanna.

Youthful Obsession

I was home sick from work yesterday, which meant a lot of laying on the couch and watching tv.  No, I don’t have Ebola, I have a cold.  I discovered that daytime tv, even with a million channels, is really boring.

I also discovered that the big news is no longer Ebola.  Apparently, even though it’s still ravaging countries in eastern Africa, we Americans have moved on to bigger and better things.

The big topic of conversation?  Renee Zellweger’s face.  She looks a little different.  Possibly plastic surgery, possibly Botox, but either way, the big discussion was how she has destroyed her face, how she no longer looks like herself, etc.

Now obviously, this woman has put herself out there for people to see, and on some level, that does invite criticism on her looks.  But why can’t we just leave well enough alone?  She doesn’t look bad.  Sure, she doesn’t look like her younger, more youthful self, but who among us does?

The Hollywood obsession with age is really disturbing, and we don’t discuss it much.  We talk about how thin celebrities and thin models show an unrealistic view of health and how that can be damaging.  But we don’t discuss aging.

Guess what?  People get older.  And we get wrinkles and things sag.  It happens.  The alternative is not living to old age, and I don’t like that alternative.  But with the Hollywood obsession with plastic surgery, we forget that people get wrinkles at a young age.  I’m 33 and have lines around my eyes.  Do I think I’m too young for them?  Absolutely.  Am I too young for them? Clearly not, since there they are.

In general, I’m not a huge fan of cosmetic surgery.  The idea of a face lift terrifies me.  I don’t know the details, but I’m pretty sure they peel your face off and put it back on tighter.  Eeek.

Of course, if you are terribly unhappy with a part of your face and want it changed, I’m not going to argue with you.  I will suggest you not make yourself look different.  A friend of mine had what everyone will agree was a large nose.  And she went in for surgery.  I supported her decision, but was worried.  And when she came out, I was so relieved to see that she looked like herself.  She just had a bit of a bump on the bridge of her nose shaved down.  She still has a large nose, but it’s just slightly less prominent.  She looks like herself and she’s much happier with what she sees in the mirror.

But everyone ages.  Everyone gets fine lines and wrinkles.  We should just accept it and age gracefully.

And maybe, just maybe, we should stop being so critical of celebrities.  Sure, they put themselves out there.  But maybe in judging them, we’re also hurting ourselves.

Ebola Hysteria

I am saddened, but not surprised by all of the “Ebola Hysteria” that we’re seeing in the United States over the past few weeks.

People.  Learn the facts.  For example, this is a great article by the Washington Post that explains how Ebola spreads.

Ebola in humans is spread only through direct contact with virus-laden bodily fluids, and is not as transmissible as such airborne viruses as influenza and measles.

But what if it does become airborne?  Well, sure, that’s possible.

Most scientists have said it is extraordinarily unlikely that Ebola will change its mode of transmission. Scientists are wary of absolutes as a rule, but in the annals of medical science, such a major change in transmission has never been observed in a pathogen that already affects human beings.


“If a virus were to acquire the ability to go airborne, it would change the landscape dramatically,” Jahrling said. But he said the likelihood of that is “remote squared.”


Moreover, the Ebola virus does not have an affinity for the cells deep in the lungs.

And yet, we’re panicking.  In a Facebook group, a number of people talked about cancelling their upcoming Disney vacations because they didn’t want to be exposed.  In Ohio, a school was closed because a teacher flew on the same plane as the nurse who ultimately got Ebola.  Not on the same flight, on the same plane.

I’m all for being cautious, but we’re getting a little extreme here.

It’s especially irritating when people who refuse to get flu shots are panicking about Ebola.  You’re more likely to catch the flu.  You’re more likely to die from the flu.  Get your flu shot.

We’ve hit the 21 day mark for exposure by the poor man who died in Texas.  The people who lived with him did not get sick.  This is a good sign.  Yes, two nurses got sick.  These were women who were around him while the virus was at its worst.  He was likely projectile vomiting and unable to control his bowels.  An awful way to die, but at least he had the comfort of kind nurses caring for him.  Unfortunately, they were not properly protected against the virus, which is why they are currently at hospitals where they can take proper precautions.

Should we ignore Ebola in the US?  No.  Hospitals should be prepared.  The CDC should be prepared.  You and I?  We should just continue to live our lives.  Wash your hands.  Take care of yourself.  But don’t stop living your life out of fear of a virus you’re unlikely to catch.  If you want to fly wearing a face mask, that’s fine.  It’s not going to change your likelihood of catching Ebola, but you’re probably better protected from a cold or the flu.

To me, the worst part is that the people who are the most worried are the people who couldn’t have cared less as this virus ravaged Liberia and other parts of East Africa.  It wasn’t affecting them, so why bother to even pay attention?  Sure, on some level, what can we do?  I can donate to Doctors Without Borders or one of the many other organizations with boots on the ground in the affected areas.  If nothing else, I can be educated about what is going on in that region.

In general, we need to stop the spread of hysteria.  The news media is as much to blame as anyone.  Learn the facts.