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by SS at 9:32 pm on Thursday 20th November

Three things restarted this week after a somewhat lengthy absence: 1) precipitation in the Bay Area; 2) me doing physical exercise; and 3) a blog post being published on GeekOnABicycle!

Last week, I finally succumbed and went to the doctor to seek medication for a most persistent chest infection that I've had for about a month. Normally I"m fairly against taking medication (not on any rationale basis, purely as a show of masochism) but this took long enough to clear that I finally got tired of the hacking cough and being unable to cycle up the hill to our apartment. While I'm fairly sure it's a matter of terminology - the doctor who I saw diagnosed me with walking pneumonia (which my doctor friend from the UK dismissed as basically just a chest infection). Still, it was amusing telling friends and relatives that it was pneumonia, "WHY AREN'T YOU IN BED RESTING?".

Going a bit further back in time to the second week of October, two notable things happened. The first was that the results of Escape from Alcatraz triathlon were announced. It, like the London Marathon (and probably like many other events that fellow masochists like to enter), is always oversubscribed to the point where a lottery is used to allocate entries from people who aren't ranked or rated or some other byword for being masochistic enough to have registered with an organising body.

Having entered unsuccessfully last year, I didn't fancy my chances. For some reason, however, this year I was lucky enough to be selected to pay the $400 (plus credit card charge) entry fee to enter the triathlon. My triathlon ambitions go back to the Tour D'Afrique, where just about every fellow EFIer had at some point run a marathon - and a not-insignificant subset of them had also completed Ironman distance triathlons. My reasoning at the time was, for the most part, they had a good 5-10 years on me. Roll around to 2014, 4 years later, and that excuse is starting to look a little feeble.

Still, a fractured kneecap very suddenly put my nascent running career to a halt for about a year and then the grad school applications started rolling out and then back in. Two years later, I'm no longer studying, and nor do I have any injuries that prevent a public commitment to this goal: on June 7th, 2015, I'll be attempting to finish the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon!

After dropping the $400 entry fee on the triathlon, reality began to sink in as my flatmate Erika asked repeatedly if I'd come up with a training plan yet. I still haven't, but decided to ameliorate the situation by signing up to Sports Club LA, an expensive gym-with-swimming-pool that at the time was regarded as second best only to the Equinox series of gyms in San Francisco and is conveniently close to work. (They have since bought Equinox, so now I feel even more like an over-privileged techie.)

Signing up just before the post-Christmas horde of 'guilty-of-over-indulging' San Franciscans yielded me a free month of membership. Little did Sunil of October know that fate would cruelly steal that month back through illness. I guess there's no such thing as a free lunch (except at the typical Bay Area tech company, where the investors pay).

Therefore, the second notable event was that I wasted money on a gym membership. Although to about 95% of people who've ever signed up for gym memberships, this probably isn't notable at all (I'm thinking of you, Aamod).

Anyway, the serious antibiotics I had last week (again, denounced as "overly defensive medical practice" by my doctor friend from the UK) seemed to do nothing at all for 3.5 days and then suddenly left me feeling human again at exactly 84 hours after washing the first pill down with a fine glass of Scotch (joking, I think, my memory of that night was a bit hazy).

While I've still got some latent asthma (thank you, recurring childhood afflictions), I felt well enough yesterday to go for a brief run while it was raining. Thankfully, however, the half hour on the treadmill was fairly dry as I looked out over the Californians panicking at the light drizzle.

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