Friday, January 9, 2009

This is not an emergency

I had a funny run last night (thursday). It was only 5 miles on the treadmill. 755 calories burned in 55:04 minutes. I wasn't really trying to push the envelope here, I was more trying to hang on for dear life. My legs felt really strange, as if they were flailing about outside of my control. I felt like Michael Flatley (the lord of the dance guy) with the treadmill simply flowing below me for about the first mile and a half. Then the feet sort of settled down some. Once I got into a decent rhythm, everything felt ok. Still, for the first run since the half marathon it was good to get all of the kinks worked out.

Our long run for the week is 20 miles. Wifey did it today (friday) on the treadmill at the gym. It took her 3 1/2 hours and she gave me no other stats. I am still amazed that she survived the sheer boredom of 20 miles on the treadmill. She was on there for so long an aerobics class formed around her, then finished and dispersed. It's called "Tread & Shed" and the instructor grabs 2 rows of treadmills on one side of the cardio wall and conducts a 1 hour class. Wifey was running when she started the class, and running when she was done with the class. and still running when the other girls from the class finished the shower & change routine. They were amazed. She has to reset the machine every 60 minutes, and between resets she went 6 miles, 6 miles, 5 1/2 miles, and 2 1/2 miles. 4 blocks, 20 miles total. and that's 'gettin it' folks. wow.

I'm going to do my 20 tomorrow. Monday I actually worked from 4:30 am to after 10:00 pm, so I didn't mind taking a little time today to tie up some loose ends. I finally got a haircut. I went by the pool to sign up for a season pass, and they were closed (bastard county employees). I have no idea when that pool is actually open, but it's an indoor pool and I am so ready to get back in the water! RBR is the inspiration on that one. She's a bad influence.

Tomorrow it's supposed to start raining by about 4 o'clock pm. Until then, it's supposed to be sunny and in the low 60's. So I'm going to go run around the lake at Furman for my 20 miles. I have no idea how many laps that will be, but I'm just going to take the garmin and tons of water/heed/gels/blocks and see what happens. I'm hoping to get out there kind of early in the morning, like 8:30 or 9 am. And I'm supposed to write some code when I get back. Have to see how I'm feeling.

I did something else unusual on thursday, and it prompted my title. I went to verizon and turned off my cell phone. Gave up the number and everything. I gotta tell ya, it's rather liberating. Actually, very few people called me on the cell. We still have a landline and Wifey's cell number, and since we almost never leave the house it really is ok.

Originally, cell phones were purchased for emergencies only. It is really bothering me now to see things that were originally to be used for emergencies only being used as everyday items. It gets to the point of ruining the item. We've had the same cell number since 2000, not long after we moved back to SC. We paid verizon about $25 a month for about 100 minutes, and only used it if we had a flat tire or something. They gave us the phone for free. I know you like to enjoy the convenience of talking on the cell phone while driving, shopping, on the treadmill, eating at a restaurant, or any other place where that can possibly be annoying. This change in demand has caused the minimum expectation to be raised beyond emergency levels. With two phones, the smallest plan was 700 minutes, and we were paying $91 every month. Now with just one phone, it's still $41 a month, and I'm a little upset about that. The smallest most basic plan is 450 minutes a month, and our combined monthly usage was only about 70 minutes a month before. AND we had to pay about $500 for the phones when they were purchased a couple of years ago. So consumer demand has made it impossible to get something that was once easily available just a few years ago.

Credit cards are the same way. Many years ago, I had one credit card that my folks gave me to use only in an emergency. Now U.S. citizens under 30 years old have more collective credit card debt (in USD$) than the entire gross national product of Equador. So what was once an emergency only last resort has now become a way of life staple.

So I have to ask, do these things help us or hurt us?

I may be the last american driving without a cell phone now, but I don't want people to get in touch with me when I'm not at home. Since I make a living at the computer, I'm no good to anyone work related when I'm not sitting at the laptop. And I don't want anyone else to bother me when I'm out on a run, or shopping, or biking, or any other dang time. There is a benefit when you are meeting someone else and can't find them, or get lost while driving and need to call your destination for directions. But that may also be the one benefit of not having many local friends. Nobody ever expects me to be anywhere at any specific time.

Credit cards are the same way. Nobody ever cried out, wishing they had more credit card debt. The benefit to credit cards can be a layering effect. My gym charges a credit card every month. So if I want to cancel the membership and they won't let me for some reason (like a yearly contract) I can just dispute the credit card charge, the gym will have to pay a fee, and they will stop charging me. Now I love my gym and wouldn't do that unless things got really ugly, but it's nice to have that layer of separation between them and my money. Same thing goes for online shopping. If your purchase never arrives, you can dispute the charge. So there's a little safety there. But if you don't pay it off every month, the only people who win are the credit card companies. The debts accrue so quickly, and it's so easy to go into default and ruin your credit rating, that credit cards are scary, scary things that college kids use to really screw things up for themselves on down the line. How many people set the new year's resolution to get out of debt? To me, that is the real credit crisis we're in.

So what can you move from an everyday use/staple thing to a "for emergency only" use? I think chocolate should be on that list too. maybe pancakes. Flynn out. don't call me on the cell phone, and don't call me late for dinner.


Amanda said...

Good luck on your 20 miles. I am convinced your wife is a machine...20 miles on the treadmill?? That is just crazy! I have a love/hate relationship with the cell...I'd be lost (literally and figuratively) without it, but sometimes I just want to turn it off.

RBR said...

Alright, now you are just talking crazy. I can live without my cell phone or credit card, but chocolate and pancakes?! That is plain madness. Don't even joke about such things.

*shakes head in disbelief*

Frayed Laces said...

Wow! What a move! I honestly don't know what I could move to my "in case of emergency" list. It's rather pathetic.

Sarah said...

Not having a cell phone would save me from some embarrassing text messages. Oh well. Chips are emergency only. I can't buy them anymore. AND I've seen Lord of the Dance guy in real life - should I admit that?

the gazelle said...

pancakes are only for post-race breakfasts. Chocolate is a once/week (1 square) dessert.

Credit cards are for emergencies only (after I did my share of racking up debt) and are safely hidden away from my compulsive shopping hands.

As for the cell! I just got a new, pretty pretty phone, and you can pry it away from my cold dead hands. (I don't, however, have a landline & haven't for over 2 years.) AND? I just got a blue-tooth headset with my new phone, so now I am a member of the Borg. hee!

Good luck with your 20! And your wife is not even human, is she? Wow!

Girl on Top said...

Your wife is amazing. I would have died.

Well, cellphone --> I have 50 minutes on my phone & 250 night and weekend which cost me $50. I have Skype so I call people back on that. I definitely don't use it everyday or else I would be paying too much.

Credit cards --> I'm glad to say that I have a fulltime job and will be so much better about not using the card. I relied on it for so long and now finally, I will have an income!!!

Alisa said...

Good luck doing the 20...I did 20 on the treadmill once and I got some very strange looks from people at the gym.

Wow, no cell phone. I panick if my Iphone is less than 10 feet from me. (No land line so it's really the only way family and friends from far away can call me).

Credit have two BUT they are emergency use only and I have never been in any debt.

Wes said...

You guys are NUTS to run 20 miles on the treadmill :-) LOL... We make a great pack of squirrels, no?

I am totally with you on the cell phone thing. I am canceling my phones in June and going to prepaid. Now wifey and I use ours a lot for business, but not enough to warrant the money we pay.

Marcy said...

OMG your wife is a MACHINE!!! That's freakin awesome that she can knock out 20 miles on the TM! Good luck with yours!

I'm with you on the cell phone thing. I have a prepaid one and the only reason I have it? For emergencies. I rarely if ever use the thing . . . well other than for my BR shots and occasional text message. I typically don't like to be "on call" all the time. I have the kids yakking at me 24/7. You think I want to hear anyone else yak at me? HAHA Anyway, it's only something ridiculously cheap like $20 every 2-3 months for me to keep that baby active LOL.

As far as credit cards go? I don't think I could live without mine :-X LOL The ole man reels me in though . . .hehe.

Ryan said...

Wait a mean there is a way to pay for things other than with a little plastic card?

What is it called? Cash? Hmmm!

As with the cell phone thing, well I haven't had a home phone in almost 10 years, but I do put my phone on mute and ignore it most of the day.

Hey, I'm a NC person now. I'll be looking to meet up at the Myrtle Beach Marathon.

Jess said...

Wow your wife did 20 miles on the dreadmill!!! I am amazed!

I hope your 20 went well too!