The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Posts tagged ‘cold’

Fan Mail + Working Out

Dear DumbFunnery,

Do you have any thoughts or advice about working out?

Fictional Reader

Hey Fictional Reader, thanks for writing in. As always, feel free, dear readers, to hit me with questions at my Facebook page (though I’d likely never see it), Twitter, comments on posts, or email (

It’s cold where I live now (having come from Houston and now living in Colorado – I laugh at my previous definition of cold) and excuses during winter time are easy to find. Sure, those excuses might take different forms like a tough day at work, getting home too late, being hungry for dinner already, etc, but I think right now the only real reasons I am opting out of jogs are – it’s dark early, and it’s so dang cold.

Here are my rules for myself when it comes to working out.

1 – Have a plan

  • That’s not just what I am doing today, but what I am doing for the course of a month, or longer. Ideally, there is a goal I am working to – some 5k or half-marathon.
  • I think a plan is important because it’s easy to work out once and then reward yourself with a day or two off, which can easily change into a resolution to start working out the first day of the next month.
  • If you set realistic goals (realistic meaning not too much progress, goal means yes you have to be uncomfortable and push yourself) then you have a course of action to follow.

2 – Remove any available excuse you think you might use

  • Life happens, and sometimes you stay at work til 6 when you’d planned to leave at 4:30. If you still work out that day even though you wanted to start your work out at 4:45 or 5? Phew, good on you. Did you have one of those truly awful days of work? Are you upset over news, or celebrating some news? I get it, it’s easy to pass on the work out and pay attention to that.
  • But if life happens regularly, and if you often come home a bit later than planned or have something unexpected pop up at a regular rate, or are generally home too happy or annoyed to work out … it’s time to start planning for that.
  • It is very easy to come up with an excuse for taking the day off, and so you’ll need to put some practices in place to limit the availability of those excuses.
    • Work too late regularly? Bring a banana for a late afternoon snack
    • Worn down/annoyed/whatever after work? Time to try working out before work (or embrace the fact that a post-work workout wipes out stress like a champ)
    • Too cold out? Start pinching pennies until you can afford some running tights and a balaclava (actually I use a neck gaiter, but balaclava is more fun to say)
    • Weather is just intolerable for outdoor workouts? Find a gym you can afford, or find some workouts for inside your home.
    • Know that you just can’t do this alone? Find a buddy. Don’t have one? Hit me up (see above) and I’ll check in on you to see what you’re doing, or if you’re not doing it what your excuses are, and then we can gameplan together on how to reduce those


That’s it friends. It’s winter, it’s the holidays, it’s the perfect time to chow down on good food. Why not make it tastier with a workout?


1 – Pull that puppy up around your nose and oh life is good; 2 – The minus 33 neck gaiter is what I use and it’s delightful; 3 – I think I look cooler than this guy when I wear mine

Aren’t Our Bodies NEAT!?

I’m writing this while I’m (knock on wood) nearing the end of a cold. The future is bright, my friends. It holds a cough-free me, no runny nose, and not clearing my throat ten times an hour for no good reason.

I’m on day 8 of this cold, and because it’s so fascinating for people to read about my germs, here’s the history of dear coldie and I:

  • Day 0 – No cold yet, but that hint of a sore throat feeling … It doesn’t hurt to swallow, but I notice it, and it’s not a good sign
  • Day 1 – Bit of a sore throat, not so bad, fever struck around noon like a quick punch and I felt miserable
  • Day 2 – A day of sleep (stayed home from work)
  • Day 3 – Back at work, sore throat and hint of a runny nose
  • Day 4 – Minor throat issues, full on runny nose
  • Day 5 – This nose must have Energizer batteries, because that puppy just runs, cough emerging (oh no)
  • Day 6 – Runny nose, cough, but feel decent
  • Day 7 – Less of a runny nose!, less of a cough!, feel decent! (also woke up thinking ‘all right! I slept with my mouth closed!’)
  • Day 8 – Woke up not noticing how nice it is to sleep and be able to breath through my nose (but that’s exactly what I did, I just got back to taking that for granted quickly) … nose, cough, you get the picture

Today I feel pretty decent, I even debated the idea of a jog, but I know that wouldn’t be wise. I’d cough like a maniac if I actually exerted effort.

What I am appreciative of is my nose! On Monday blowing my nose just plain hurt, the pain of rubbing tissues on that same dang spot. Ouch. Putting lotion on was a nice thought, but soon enough I’d be blowing my nose again and there goes that effort. (Which by the way is an effort, being a relatively new guy at work and rubbing lotion around my nostrils while trying to not let co-workers see and think I’m picking my nose … but the secrecy actually probably making it look more like I AM picking my nose.)

The nose, I am happy to report, is healing itself. Now when I blow my nose it’s a nuisance and an irritation, not outright pain.

For you non-cold people reading this (why in God’s name would someone have stuck with this post til the end?), appreciate your functioning body! Appreciate your deep breaths, your non-red nose, your ability to laugh at something without fear of it turning into coughing and people going, “eck” with down-turned mouths and involuntary steps back (keeping their pivot foot in place so as not to be rude).

For those of you just embarking on a cold, hold fast, friends, embrace the soup, grow to hate the soup.

The New Home









Houston Half Marathon Run Recap

It’s Sunday afternoon (January 13) and I’m watching football and doing very little moving after having run my second half marathon this morning. There were a few funny moments in the run, but mostly this post is for my own memory (i.e., I’d recommend hitting the ‘Why Not?’ button and reading something more interesting).

The run started at 7 am for people who are really good. What’s that mean? 25,000 people signed up for this!! 13,000 for the marathon, 12,000 for the half marathon. That’s just plain nuts! The way it works is you say what pace you expect to run (when I signed up I said 9:15 per mile), and then they assign you to a starting “corral.” The “elite runners” (think: Ethiopia) start at the very front. That way they won’t have their pacing messed up by slow pokes like me. (The top half marathon finisher ran an average 4 minute, 43 second mile!)

It’s one thing to sign up for the run, but another to actually do it. Especially considering the weather.

The weather was MISERABLE. 45 degrees fahrenheit at the start, but with a “feels like 37 degrees.” It was windy and the rain came and went. When I finished I glanced at my phone to look at the weather … still 45 degrees. Gahhh. I think my feet are still cold.

According to the unofficial results (from the Houston marathon website) 10,105 people ended up running the half marathon. That’s pretty darn good when you consider injuries, illness, life, and that stinking weather.

Due to the massive crowd and my slower pace, I started around 7:10 am. We had to be in our “corral” by 6:50 am. This meant twenty minutes of standing around being incredibly cold. A couple was standing right in front of me hugging each other for about ten minutes straight. Ordinarily I would find that awkward, or assume some tragedy had just befallen them, but this morning I just wanted to try and squirm in there and whisper creepily, “three’s a crowd, eh?”

I don’t know the best way to explain just how cold I was, but here’s this:

Because of the on again, off again rain, a lot of the runners were smart and showed up wearing trash bags or ponchos to keep themselves relatively dry. I was not one of those smart runners. I had a fancy shirt (thanks to E$ and the bro-in-law for the Christmas gift!), running shorts, a light running jacket and your basic shoes and socks. I was cold and getting more wet, with no break in the sky coming. About a mile into the jog I began to worry about this … Mostly because I didn’t want my phone to break. Two miles in I was worried about the cold/wetness and my phone … That’s when the “I’m so freaking cold, who cares!” thinking set in. Other, faster people had discarded their outer layers – mostly trash bags on the side of the road, but sometimes jackets (volunteers collected discarded clothes and donated them to charity) … And I began to seriously consider picking up used, sweaty, stomped on trash bags …

Thankfully, at around mile 3.5 a guy I was running next to was shedding his trash bag. “Can I have that!?” I excitedly asked. He gave me a weird look, then his used trash bag. Happy, happy, joy, joy.

On the downside I was now the Goth runner. Black shorts, black jacket, black trash bag. And for the most part I sported my sunglasses because they are prescription and I am blind without them. This led to the highlight of the run for me (besides finishing and getting a sweet new shirt).

A random person looked at me and gave this cheer, “ALL RIGHT DARTH VADER! WHOO! Look at you with your all black Johnny Cash look!!” Fantastic. That took my mind off the run and made me laugh for a good ten seconds (I probably looked nuts). Also, by the way, all of the random people shouting and dancing and blasting music and just distracting me from the run – thank you!

The sign of the run was: “Worst. Parade. Ever.”

I had, through terrible stretching (take note: take stretching seriously!!), managed to sideline myself from running for a decent bit and had been thinking I would skip this run. The fact that I had already spent money on it and couldn’t get my money back, plus wanting to experience such a huge event, led me to deciding to go for it after all. I’m really glad that I did. I ran closer to the pace I wanted (8:33 per mile, 8:30 was my ideal), and while I am not feeling more confident in the marathon I have signed up for … I don’t feel as scared (right after I finished I thought good gravy, a marathon is going to be terrible).

Also, I feel confident that I could shave a few seconds off my finish time. I had to do a lot of dodging and weaving at the start, and the cold weather may have hurt. Although the weather may have helped because the first 8 miles all I felt was cold, not tired … then I stopped thinking about the cold, and starting thinking about the grinding run.

Why the push to do better at the marathon? To beat my dad’s time, of course. I have two goals for my marathon: cross ‘run a marathon’ off my bucket list, and beat my dad’s time.

I hope today was a nice step toward these goals!

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