Saturday morning Cindy went in to work at her new gig at a new gym that is only 8 miles away. I used that time to get out in the yard with the weed whacker. I had not buzzed the yard in a few weeks. The ground was quite soggy with some standing water so it was a messier than normal experience. I also got a reminder of why I was supposed to wear long pants when performing this chore. I inadvertently whacked a fire ant mound that sent a ton of them into my rubber boot where they immediately started lighting up my calf. As I ripped the boot off and started whacking at my leg I vowed to never do the chore in shorts again. I kept myself busy all morning doing stuff around the house until Cindy got home a little after noon.
Early in the afternoon Bill, our friend from the running club showed up with two Concept 2 Rowers in the back of his truck. We were buying one of them. Bill has been a long time rower. He has amassed literally millions of meters of rowing over the years. I had enjoyed rowing both at NCH and Planet Fitness. Retro does not have any rowers. Cindy and I thought a rower would make a nice addition to our fitness arsenal and we had a spot in our bedroom in front of the window where it would fit. The rower we actually bought was one Bill’s daughter used for awhile. Despite being used a lot it was still in excellent condition, much better than any rower I used at the gym.
Bill is the equipment manager for the running club so we spent nearly a decade meeting up on race sites way before the crack of dawn to set up for events. Bill has also helped me out on my property in the past, doing some grading work and also helping me transport and set up my smaller storage shed. He may be the hardest working person I know. We caught up a bit on the latest and greatest as he gave us a pretty thorough run down of the rower. There aren’t many things I miss about my time as the running club timer but being able to work with good people like Bill is one of them.
After Bill left we did a run to Home Depot to get a few things. We actually did not stop at Rural King this weekend, a rarity. Going to Dunkin Donuts, Home Depot and Rural King just fits us like an old comfortable t-shirt.
Saturday night we opted to stay home and watch my Netflix Blu-ray, Gods of Egypt. Yes I had heard the movie got bad reviews but how bad could a movie be that has the Kingslayer from Game of Thrones and King Leonidas from 300? Well the answer is, really, really bad. It was so bad that Cindy bailed watching it maybe half way through. I was committed to see it through to the end. A movie can be awful but sometimes it’s so dumb it can flip around to be entertaining in some bizarre way. That is kind of how I felt as I endured to the end. I was laughing out loud at just how dumb it was. It also had a very weird musical score at times that did not seem to match up with the mood of the scene. You really don’t need to ever see this movie but if you chose to do so I would advise downing a six pack first. C-
Sunday morning I once again had the alarm set for 6AM to get an early run in. Cindy had planned to go with me but her back was bothering her so I wound up going solo. I was surprised when I pulled up to the track around 6:45 and there was nobody there. Normally there are one or two people walking the track very early. I was also glad to see the sprinklers were not running so I wouldn’t have to dodge them this time around.
I had decided going in that I wanted to increase my lap count by one. I had been doing 13 lappers up until then which worked out to be around 3.4 miles. 14 laps was my goal. It was sort of peaceful having the track to myself as I circled the track as sunrise emerged. As I got to lap 11-12 I was feeling ok so I entertained the idea of pushing for four miles of total distance. I had not run 4 miles at all in 2016 and I if I did it in 2015 it was very early in the year. As I rounded the final turn of lap 14 I glanced at my watch and saw one more lap would get me four miles. I mentally committed and put in the 15th lap. To be that close and bail would have been lame. I ended the run as I began, alone, but feeling a mild sense of accomplishment as well.
Later in the morning Cindy and I loaded up the Minipros in the Prius and headed to North Collier Regional Park to get some riding in. The park is large, beautiful and has paths all over the place that are perfect for two wheeled fun. As we were zipping around we saw signs for early voting. I knew early voting had opened up on Saturday but I did not know you could vote on Sunday too. Cindy and I decided we should take advantage of our discovery. We rode back to the car so Cindy could grab her ID. We then took turns babysitting the Segways so the other could vote. There were no lines and we finished in less than 5 minutes each. We were both happy we inadvertently got a chance to fulfill our civic duty while joyriding.
As we rode around the park we got asked about the Minipros a few times by other park visitors. To those that have never seen them in action it looks pretty crazy. While I was waiting for Cindy to vote I was freaking a couple out by driving my Minipro around by remote control. It was very warm, by the time we were done my shirt was soaked. Even with the heat it was a beautiful and fun ride. Cindy and I both really enjoy cruising on the Segways.
Cindy made arrangements to go to the movies with her daughter, niece and mom Sunday afternoon which again gave me time to do my own thing. One of those things was to go back out on the road to ride my other personal transport device, the Ninebot One E+.
I had not ridden the wheel since Wednesday after work. During that ride I felt stiff and uncomfortable. I gave myself a few days to recover physically and mentally. I drove through a pounding rainstorm a couple miles from the house to Dunkin Donuts where it was blue skies and nice. I decided to take the wheel on the same route Cindy and I followed a couple weeks prior on the Minipros into a nearby development and golf course.
When we did that ride I remember thinking how it would be awesome if I was comfortable enough on the Ninebot One someday to be able to go this route. I did not expect to be able to do it so soon. I felt much more comfortable on the wheel than I did on Wednesday. I actually rode back to the car three times with the intention of leaving. Each time I decided I was having too much fun and headed out again. In total I logged over 7 miles during the session which felt awesome. Being able to navigate the sidewalks and walking/riding paths without feeling in mortal danger was a good thing.
Towards the end of the ride I came across another revelation in regards to foot position that was unknowingly causing me issues. I had been having issues turning well to the left which is the side my foot is planted on the wheel when I mount. I would normally have that left foot and ankle pressed firmly right against the side of the wheel, my thought process being less space meant less room for wobble.
I did a little test where I tried mounting the wheel with the opposite foot. During this test I realized my turning problem had now reversed sides as well. Well the light bulb clicked in my old brain. It seemed like having a foot so tight against the bot makes it difficult to turn that direction due to lack of clearance. I mounted the wheel with my foot and inch or so off the wheel and felt GREAT. Not only could I turn both ways better, it also allowed for a more comfortable riding position. It felt like moving the foot off the wheel a bit allowed the slight variations in wheel angle to be absorbed by my feet and ankles instead of transmitting all the way up my left leg. I ended the riding session feeling very optimistic and anxious to get back on it again soon.
I watched the closing ceremonies of the Olympics last night which for the most part was much less interesting than the games itself. I found the Brazillian music annoying as hell. The costumes made me feel like I was watching one huge Mummer’s Parade. The most interesting part of it was when Japan did their high tech routine promoting their hosting of the games in 2020.
Despite my initial thoughts about the raw sewage rivers and Zika outbreaks in Rio clouding the Olympics, I still found myself just watching the various events, many of which I NEVER witness outside of this four year cycle. There are so many touching and meaningful moments that every Olympics provide, despite the never ending commercialization of the event. I can still drown all that extraneous bullshit out and just enjoy the simplicity and joy of witnessing the best athletes from around the world trying to make their dreams come true.
I am now on my fifth day of prednisone and have stepped down from the three pill to two pill a day level. Unfortunately I have noticed absolutely no change in my ear problem. It still feels closed and has a low level ring. I have a follow up appointment with the ear doctor today. I will be sure to voice my opinion if he starts to suggest an extensive treatment plan, I will likely tap the brakes. The bottom line is I can still hear and the ringing is only loud enough to be annoying but not debilitating. I’m not going to get on the hamster wheel of expensive testing/treatment to just help pad their bottom line. My gut tells me this is something that will either heal itself or not. I don’t think they can “fix” it with a pill or a shot.