Monday, February 8, 2010

Where have I been?

Right here!

My life has not been photogenic lately, I guess, but given the complaints from my news-deprived fans, here's the text-only scoop.

My laptop has been overtaken by the virus from hell.
I noticed the problem when my browser would get hijacked. (Mom, this means that I would go look up something on Google, and click on one of the search results, but get taken to some completely random other site.) Grrrr. So I ran a bunch of virus scans using AVG... SpyBot... MalwareBytes...etc. etc. etc. Various nasties would be identified, and either quarantined or shown the door.

But the $%^&* would just show up again. I finally took it to An Expert, and went to pick it up today. He'd run all his professional-grade magic on it and got it all cleaned up, but when he booted it up to show me how nice it all ran, he found that NO browsers would even WORK. Tomorrow I'm going to rummage around in the basement for the original install disks and he's going to reformat it. Gulp.

I'm sorta thinking about getting a new laptop, since there comes a time when a new one is actually cheaper than maintaining an old one. But I'm not there yet, because hey, all I do with my laptop now is goof off, and if I'm going to spend money, I'd rather spend it on things like...

The half-marathon.
Namely, the registration fee, the airfare, and the hotel room. It's surprising how training for a big race can be all-consuming, even when it only occupies (at this point) at most an hour a day. At some point in the next three weeks, I need to commit to either Galloway or Higdon. Right now, it doesn't really matter which. With either plan, I'm running about three miles on Tuesdays and Thursdays, two miles on Wednesdays, and a longer run on Sundays. Since I'm at the way, pre-beginning phases, the long run - as of yesterday - was just 4.4 miles.

To put this in context, the longest I've ever run in my whole life was in Ann Arbor, when I was visiting my then-boyfriend (Hi, Dave!) while he was at law school. Ann Arbor has a grid street layout that kind of merges with a second grid at a 45 degree angle. Basically, I got lost. I asked for directions, and the guy who helped me pointed me the wrong way. Seven miles later, I was back at Dave's doorstep. THAT was fun. After that, my second longest run was last summer's 10K.

What makes the training fun is the treadmill. I know, I'm crazy. I've seen folks who refer to 'em as "dreadmills". Not this baby. I love this thing. I love that I can mess around with the speed to find out what I can handle. I've built up to being able to do my three miles at 6.5 to 6.7 mph, but it tires me out big time. (This is where the soaking tub and a couple of cups of epsom salts come in handy.) Yesterday's long run was at a more manageable 6.2 mph. My ego is like a big, invisible dog out in front of me straining on a leash. "Faster! Faster! Faster!"

Brain Food
On days I don't run, I go for long walks and listen to podcasts. I haven't found a completely consistent, reliable source, but I've lucked out with a few - interviews with permaculture experts, a great one with Fritjof Capra, and this awesome one with Caroline Casey. I don't really know who she is - I just picked this podcast because it also featured Starhawk, who has a great blog. Check this out - this is Caroline's way of describing the significance of a particular astrological phenomenon last year (when the podcast was recorded):

"the protoplasm of reality is particularly susceptible to imaginative imprint"

Whoa! I made it purple cause it's just so groovy!

My other favorite thing to do is suck down fascinating content on, and read science news. Do I pay attention to local community planning stuff? Um, no.

Michael Chabon rocks the house. I'm on my third one. I've done "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay" and "Mysteries of Pittsburgh" and I'm halfway through "Wonder Boys" now.

Burning Man
We're going. By "we", I mean me and my friend Michele, with whom I am so close we refer to each other as our wives, and discuss our shared liver. I expect this to be a huge undertaking, but it's not til the end of August, so we have plenty of time to get you all caught up on it.

It's bedtime. Nighty-night!

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