Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Stolen Bike, Shopping Therapy

My bike was stolen from outside my work yesterday.

It was good bike, one that I had only owned for less than three years.  It had been a gift from my father.

But rather than mope home and feel sorry for myself, I decided to administer a course of shopping therapy.  The theory is that when life gives you lemons, go out and buy lots of super-expensive lemon-themed accessories.  Works for me.

My first stop was a used clothing store.  The Lincoln Park location of this particular shop allows one to buy lots of fancy garments at wino prices.  And because these kind of stores are mostly frequented by women, the men's section is never picked clean and always has a great selection.  That's why I'm not going to tell my male readers exactly which store I'm talking about.  My secret.

Stop #2 was Best Buy to purchase the D-Link DSM-520 Media Lounge wireless media player.  Nothing makes this geek boy forget a stolen bicycle like a new geek toy.

Unlike my previous purchase of a similar device from Buffalo Tech (the official crappy electronics provider of the Communist Party), I am pleased to report that media player offering from D-Link actually works!  After only 20 minutes of setup I was on my sofa with a glass of whiskey and a sleeping pug dog listening to Miles Davis broadcast from my computer to my stereo (with album info appearing on my television).  It's going to be nice never having to burn CD's or DVD's again.

But electronics alone wasn't enough to make everything right.  Being the reckless speed demon I am, I still needed a bike.

Highly recommended among bicyclists and geeks and bike geeks is A Nearly New Shop on Broadway.  Here is a photo of my new bike being prepared.  It's an old Schwin completely rebuilt.  It performs terrific.  I can't say enough good things about this wonderful store and it's very friendly proprietors; so friendly, in fact, that it took me nearly two hours to get out of there.

By the time I got home it was too late to go running.  But it was still a great day, dispite the loss of my old bike.

To anyone else who experiences a loss, I recommend shopping therapy.  Works for me.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Photos.... and a Cautionary Tale

It's been a while since I've posted any pictures to my blog, so here are a few random snapshots:

Sergio, me, Brian, Jay, and Jose at Twisted Spoke during the Cubs game we were supposed to be attending.  Our customer at work sold us some bad tickets, so we had to content ourselves with hearing the Cubs lose from various bars around Wrigleyville.

Hey, at least the food and alcohol was better than at the ballpark.

Mom and I protesting outside Marshall Fields

Jay enjoys a last stogie before departing Hopleaf for the long bike ride home.

The Peterson sisters Chris & Jeanne

Raymond enjoys Hennessey while Jay enjoys beef.

Here is a snapshot of my old studio apartment.  I now live in a larger space on the same floor of the same building, but I don't have any photos yet because I'm still unpacking.

pancake flight

Darryn and Alyx

Shea gets traced by Patrick for some new body art.

I'll be visiting the same shop in a couple of months to get my next tattoo.  (Interestingly, Patrick once studied under the Reverend Mad Jack, the same tattoo artist who did my current tattoo.  Small world!)

A Cautionary Tale for Runners:

By the way, a word of caution to all you runners out there:  stretch your IT band!  

Even if you don't suffer from IT Band Syndrome (or experience any other kind of muscle pain), stretching this important muscle in each leg is crucial.  If you don't, and if you end up in physical therapy for an unrelated injury like I did, you may find that you will have your neglected IT band stretched for you, as I did yesterday.  This was one of the most physically painful experiences of my life, and not one I would recommend.

My blood is now flowing with the toxins released from my stiff legs and 22 hours after my session I still feel like crap.

I'm going out to buy one of those foam rollers.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006



My knee is still weak, but relatively free of pain.  I've started to run again and am slowly adding distance:

Thursday:  1 block
Sunday:  3/4 mile
Monday:  2 miles

Last night was my first real distance run in several weeks.  Here is the route I took.  I averaged around 12:30/mile, but the slow pace probably saved my recovering knees from ceratin agony.

I'm going to take a break for a couple of days and maybe try running even further later this week.  Hopefully my physical therapist wont get mad at me.

Personal note:  The entire JPMC CIS Production Support team welcomes our co-worker Jay back from the "Time Out" cubicle at 300 S Riverside.  Jay is back on the production floor with his pride intact and his taste for high-alcohol beer as always unquenched.  Welcome back, Jay!

Friday, September 15, 2006


Mile 21

My knee continues to heal and it's looking more and more like I'll get to run in Chicago next month.

This will be my song for mile 21.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Ice, ice baby!

Hi, everybody.  It's me, Josh, and I'm still alive and still icing my knee at every opportunity.  I bought a really nice ice pack at Walgrees and it is really helping me.  My patellar tendonitis is healing at last.

My physical therapist is also a runner, so she understands how important it is for me to run the marathon.  In addition to ice and anti-inflamatories, I have also been prescribed a series of exercies to strengthen my surprisingly weak left leg.  (It turns out that dispite all my previous running this summer I have muscles in my left leg that I never use that have atrophied!)  I also have to strengthen another muscle... I'm too embarassed to admit which one!

This morning I took my first run in 2 1/2 weeks.  I jogged the one block from work to the local convenience store for a snack.  It felt fantastic to run again, even for so short a distance, and my knee didn't hurt afterward.

I'm going to try a longer warmup on Friday and perhaps something longer with Shea this weekend.

Thanks to everyone for all their kind words and support.  I'll see you runners out there on the path soon enough.

Friday, September 08, 2006


What's your marathon goal?

Greetings, fellow runners!  How is your training going?

My patellar tendonitis continues to get better, and my doctor's appointment yesterday went well.  I plan to undertake physical therapy as soon as I work out the details with my HMO.

It's been nearly two weeks since I've run, but I'm going to try to do a slow couple of miles this weekend and then gradually build up from there.

My goal remains to run the Marathon faster than Oprah Winfrey, who clocked 4:29:20 in 1994.

Yes, I know this is my first marathon, and yes, my knee is potato salad, and yes, Oprah no doubt had excellent trainers.

But I'm sticking with my goal.  I guess I'm stubborn that way.

So, I'd like to ask a question of my readers who are training for a marathon this year:

What is your personal time goal?  And what led you to pick this time?

While you are thinking about that, here are some other marathon finish times:

Khalid Khannouchi, winner of the 1999 Chicago Marathon in World Record time (2:05:42)

Paula Radcliffe, women's marathon world record holder (2:15:25)

Ed Whitlock, First Man over 70 Years of Age to Break the 3:00 Barrier (2:59:10)

Billy Baldwin (3:24:29)

John Edwards, 2004 Vice Presidential Candidate (3:30:18)

Michael Dukakis, Former Massachusetts Govenor and Presidential Candidate (3:31:00)

President George W. Bush (3:44:52)

Will Ferrell (3:56:12)

Sean "P Diddy" Combs (4:14:54)

Al Gore (4:58:25)

David Lee Roth (6:04:43)

Lloyd Scott, slowest world record (148:30:56)

So, what's your goal?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Patellar Tendonitis

I haven't posted to this blog for a few days because I've been hoping my next post would be positive.  Unfortunately, my knee is still messed up, and I suspect it is patellar tendonitis ("Jumper's Knee").  I'll be seeing my doctor tomorrow.

I have not run in a week and a half and it's not looking like I'll be able to do my long run this coming weekend either.  I might attempt a few miles in a few days, if my doctor says it's OK.

I'm icing regularly, stretching, and riding my bike.  I even bought a "cho" strap.

I still intend to run the Chicago Marathon, even if I have to limp my way through it.  But unless I recover soon it is unlikely I will meet my goal of beating Oprah's time.

Friday, September 01, 2006


Good Move, Bad Knee, Go Cubs


My life is chock full of good, bad, and ugly, as usual.

the good:  I finaly got the go-ahead to move into a larger space, where I will at last have enough room for all my things.  Apartment 306 is only about 20 feet away from my current hole-in-the-wall, so moving will be a snap.  Get ready for a kick ass housewarming party.

the bad:  Looks like I screwed up my knee last Sunday even more than I thought.  I tried running on it on Wednesday but was forced to limp home after just two miles.  It's getting a little better each day, but for now I'm still off the path and might even have to miss my 16 miler this weekend.  My Doctor, NovaCare, and all the other atheletic fixit shops in town are all booked up this week, so for now I just have to keep waiting to see how soon I heal.  I am an unhappy runner.

the ugly:  I'll be sitting in the upper deck at Wrigley this Saturday to watch the Cubs-Giants game with the usual assortments of misfits (my friends).  We have very ambitious plans for the day.  Could be my heaviest day of drinking this summer season.  Wish me luck.

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