Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Quarq is here, my Quarq is here!!!

FINALLY. I ordered it back in November/December and it took this long. It's not actually here yet, but it is in transit. Hopefully I'll have it in hand today.

So the last couple weeks have been good and bad. We'll start with the bad:
I have to study for this stupid PMP exam. It's driving me crazy and causing my blood pressure to rise. I have no doubt I am making it out to be much worse than it actually is...but it does require a lot of study time and memorization. I am in a class all day saturday too. It really seems to screw up my entire training week. UGH. But I do have a plan.
This week is my last class. So at least that will be over. But in order to get the most out of the class I need to take the test as soon after the class as I can. So I will have to sacrifice a little training time to get this done. Here is my tentative schedule:
Final class - March 20. Sunday after class I will spend a couple hours taking the practice exam to see how I do, and where I need to concentrate more.
My plan is to take the test either the 29th or 30th. This will give me about one full week to do the final cramming. I know all the concepts, but need to do the memorization.
And the motivation for all this...I will not allow myself to hook up my quarq until that test is done and passed. (failing doesn't count).
PS - A Quarq is a power meter for the bike. I've discussed this in past blogs.

The second bad part...my shoulder is still bothering me a lot. I saw the orthopedic surgeon and have some good news. The problem does not appear to be my rotator cuff, it looks like it is in my neck. Too much sitting at a desk in one position. It may be pinching a nerve which is what causes the muscle spasms and more tightness and the pain all over the back/shoulder/arm. If that is a correct diagnosis, I won't need surgery, I need stretching and rehab. I have already begun, but have not seen any appreciable difference. I get the MRI results in the next couple days and will need to focus on my neck for at least a month. I am still swimming 3 days per week, but it is very light and easy swimming. Even after that my shoulder burns quite a bit.
I don't doubt that part of the problem is in my neck as it is incredibly tight and does hurt now that i am working on it. I just don't know that it is causing all the problems. Time will tell.

More bad news...my diet has SUCKED the last two weeks. I really let myself get into a funk and that is ending NOW. A co-worker has every kind of m&m in his office and I have to be in there for meetings all the time. It had been too much to resist. And when it comes to sugar I am like a shark. Just a little sniff and I go into an uncotrollable frenzy.
The nice thing about Mondays is it starts a new week for me. So while last week was bad, this week will be good.

Onto the good news.
My running is coming along really well. Still at 6 days per week. Right now I am doing 25:50:75 for this week and next. After that I'll beging bumping it up until I hit 30:60:90. I will stay at 30:60:90 for quite a while with some longer runs mixed in. I have a little tighness in my calves and the left side of each leg. Nothing the foam roller won't take care of. With all my PMP work, stretching is one of the things I've sacrificed. I need to make sure I workout a bit less and keep stretching. A shorter workout for a couple weeks is better than an overuse injury requiring multiple weeks off.

While I didn't do much biking last week, I haven't lost anything. I did a good 45-minute ride yesterday with 4x5 @ 300 watts dispersed throughout the workout. It wasn't much of a problem holding that, 300 is about 95% for me. I am confident I could have held that for 20 minutes or so. On Wednesday I plan to do some longer intervals to see what I can do at 95% or higher. The new power thresholds from my last test are pretty tough.

On a sad yet funny note...
Aimee and I got a new cat a month ago. She was in a home with dogs and terrorized. The guy was going to send her to the humane soceity...and with the dogs always after her we were concerned she'd fail the personality test and be put down. So we rescued her.
Well, she is not good with other animals...and we have two cats. Cassie, the older cat is what you'd call an alpha cat. Well Ziva (the new cat) is very afraid, but also an I'm not gonna take any shit alpha cat. We've been keeping them seperated, but cassie always sleeps with us and Ziva is too scared to go down stairs.
Anyway, Aimee slept in the spare room with cassie so she wouldn't get too upset about this whole situation.
Our house is a 2-story house, and near the stair case is a ledge (approx 5ftx4ft) over the entrance to our living room. The cats love it, we call it the cat walk as they are out there all the time. They also know big people can't get out there easily.
So this morning I get up at abot 4:30 to run. (yes, way too early if you ask me). I get ready and Ziva is out on the catwalk. She's typically out there in the later hours. I go get cassie from the guest room because I feed them in the morning.
well wouldn't you know it, cassie sees/smells ziva and b-lines it for the catwalk. I try to grab her...no good.
So she gets right to the edge effectivelly trapping Ziva. Not liking that one bit Ziva gets on her haunces and lifts a front paw in the mock "I'm gonna bitch-slap you" pose and starts growling, hissing, and making all kinds of noise.
Cassie doesn't quite know how to react but being the alpha cat in the house is not to be out-done. Instead of taking the bitch slap pose, she actually smacks her. Fortunately both cats have been de-clawed.
remember...they are on a 4-foot wide, no railing, ledge on the 2nd story.
Next thing I know, all hell breaks loose. cats are screaming, growling, hissing. I'm yelling at them because I don't want one falling off, and frankly they are both pissing me off at this point.
It's like a rocky movie that unfolds over the course of 5 seconds. Cassie smacks Ziva, Ziva smacks her back, they hiss, scream, roll around...seperate...jump back in and do it all again.
Next thing I know Cassie smacks Ziva and Ziva goes sailing into the air. She flies out over the living room...and being a cat manages to land on her feet and disappear. We found her and she is fine. Cassie ran downstairs because I was yelling at her.
All that before 5am.
Ziva doesn't know how lucky she is. Had she gone flying off the other side she would have smashed into the staircase railings and either landed on the stairs which are uneven or she would have fallen onto a bench loaded with "stuff". Either one of those could have hurt her pretty badly. Thankfully she landed on nice soft carpeting.

So we don't know what to do. It's been about a month. While we really want to give them a chance, there are so many dangerous places for fighting cats that we don't want to take the chance. I suspece Cassie has fallen due to a fight as she'd been limping a bit. Aimee thinks it occured before we left the two alone together.

So...if anyone reading this wants a cat, let me know. Ziva is 9. She has the potential to be a really great cat. She's very skittish from her dog (and cassie) experience, but she's shown flashes of being a really cool cat. She loves to play and when we don't allow the other cats upstairs she sleeps with Aimee and puuuurrrrsss all night. But I really think she needs a nice quiet home with no young kids or other animals that don't reside in a cage or tank.

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