other thoughts running


[Monday’s run: 3.2 miles; today 3.2 miles]

I’m sure I’ve mentioned the ducks. We have had these five ducks since they were chicks. We bought the chicks at Tractor Supply.

I just came in from “bedtime for birdies”. My task is to catch the ducks and put them in the “duck castle”. They are pretty easy to catch. Two of them go up the ramp on their own, usually. So in those situations I only need to catch three. The layout of our duck ranch has a cul-de-sac behind the castle that they can’t get out of. So I usually follow them around there and pick them up, one at a time, bringing them back around and putting them in the enclosed level of the castle. Mrs H fills up their water containers and that is that. (Mrs H can also catch ducks, but her skin is damaged easy and ducks have little claws on their feet. She has to be careful or she gets all sorts of bleeding scratches which is not good. I have thicker skin and bigger hands and they don’t give me trouble.)

In the morning we let them out. Mrs. H gives them a bag of frozen peas and usually some spinach or some frozen cherries or blueberries. So they eat well.

They have a swimming pool. Today was pool cleaning day. I was involved a little bit, lifting up the pool to get the last bit of water out.

Oh, also they get some freeze dried grubs in the evening. I would guess they get about $5 worth of groceries each day in addition to normal duck food, oyster shell and grit, the normal duck fare.

I was thinking when we got these things that they would eventually wander in the yard. But I’m told they don’t do the roosting thing like chickens do, and could potentially find the neighboring ponds more inviting and just wander away. So we have them surrounded and unable to do that.

Their facility is just outside our bedroom windows. Which is fine with me because I don’t sleep with my hearing aids in. But Mrs. H says they sometimes wake her up with their quacking. I guess next time she should buy the quack-less variety.

I’m still wrestling with the air machine. A representative of the medical supply company called today to see how I’m doing. They are prompted to do that because the insurance will not pay if I don’t use the thing. The box collects data and sends it over the cell phone network. According to her, they don’t get paid unless I use it for 22 days out of 30 within the first 90 days of having it. She said it’s surprising how many people just put the box in the closet and not use it. I told her it doesn’t surprise me.

I’m still struggling with it. Fortunately I can survive without much sleep. Last night I think I got a couple of hours before midnight and then some between 3 and 6 (because I had taken it off). A successful usage is 4 hours accumulation during a day.

The experience is like trying to breathe while an air pump is pumping air into your mouth/nose. It’s what I imagine being water boarded would be like, except with air instead of water. So you aren’t going to die but it sure doesn’t feel right.

Mrs. H. says I am snoring less. I have to trust her about these things.

Also I’m not as strict with my I-Hate-Food diet, but still eating less than I was. And I’m down about 5 pounds so far.

Oh yeah, the blower machine also does weird things to my throat. It has a built in humidification system (which they told me to keep water in that or I would have a terrible sore throat). But I still feel after effects.

I’ll keep at it. The lady on the phone said that wearing it during the day while doing other stuff will help me adjust. I did that a little bit today. (That may count toward my 4 hours too! That probably is not the attitude they hope to engender. Somehow I am thinking about all of those hours I spent as a kid not doing my piano lessons.)

She asked me about what my doctor told me, which wasn’t much. Supposedly I’m supposed to have a follow up appointment after about 30 days. News to me.

On the happy side, my runs the last two times have been improved. My first week on the I-Hate-Food diet I was pretty zonked. But I seem to be adapting to that, and I’m lighter.

One reply on “Ducks”

A few years go, I had to give up running for my legs. It got to the point where I was injured more time than I was healthy. So I was gaining weight.

Then I tried biking. I was injury free but still gained weight. This makes some sense because biking is very efficient and so a person has go quite a ways and constantly push the pace to get any exercise. And it doesn’t exercise much beyond the cardio and the legs. Finding safe routes was a real challenge; I avoided crowded roads because that bike line stripe won’t stop a car with a distracted driver from hitting me.

Now we walk 5 miles at a decent rate almost every evening. Its great because I used to run every other day and walking doesn’t need the recovery days. My weight seems to have stabilized at a lower tonnage.

Last fall I read an article on rucking in the Wall Street Journal and got a cheap weight vest from these people:

I have it loaded at 30 lbs. and its all I can manage to finish 5k at a healthy walking pace. I may have to cut that back when the summer heat kicks in.

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