Monday, March 31, 2014

Entangled

"Hey," he said, "I was just thinking of you."

"Hi," she responded, "I was just thinking of you."

We're all entangled. You, me, them, us. Everyone. On levels we can neither see nor fully understand. And we feel it every day rarely considering how or way.

If you chose the path of religious belief, the universe as we know it was created by a divine being collectively called God who (depending on your faith) spoke his/her name or sang creation into existence.

If you chose the path of scientific belief, the universe began with a Big Bang and everything flowed forth from that immeasurably small point in space and time.

So previously we were a song. Or a name. Or a sound. Or light. And everything that has come since comes from one single point where everything we were, are, or will be existing simultaneously and collectively. We were light, once. We were sound, once. We all occupied the space of a name, once.

We were entangled together then. And we're entangled together now. We just have more space between each of us.

But in rare moments of selfless clarity, we can feel the connections.

We think about that person, and they call.

We send them a message to she how they're doing, and they say they were thinking of us.

One day, after the passing of our egos, we'll figure out that none of us ever existed and cannot exist, without the others. But it will be a long time from now.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Road To Traditions 2014 - Week 7

Woke to mid-40 temperatures. Warned to nearly 70 degrees by mid-day. Lunch with my parents, and Great Grandama. Everyone doing well and no complaints worth mentioning. A dozen buffalo wings for Your Humble Narrator. And off to the lake after.

Team assembled early. Bright and sunny. Then we hit the water. The FREAKING COLD water. After several days of rain, we muscled through the second coldest swim of the season. Barely above sixty. With several spots even colder. Crisp, painful cold. Not enough to numb you. But cold enough to resemble a burning sensation as it bites along the length of you.

Funny thing about the lake, when you're in it, the water doesn't LOOK that dirty. From above, it is like an ugly mud hole. Cleaner than Robinwood, though! Tradition never affects my sinuses, like our usual haunt.

One of the team members offered a running clinic. Bunch of the first-timers talked it. Some of the new club members, too. Running drills, techniques, and a bunch of Q&A. Good stuff from a great coach.

Meanwhile, several of us hit the bikes early. Started off strong. Pulled away from the pack. They (Jack & Luke) caught me at the mid-point. Then we hauled ass back. Full trip, we averaged 19.1MPH. Likely a new PR for me. If you discounted the first and last quarter mile, through the neighborhood where we have to slow, then our average jumps to 19.7! Definitely a PR for me.

Great day. Great training. Great friends & family. Life is good. And not everyone can say as much.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Recovering

So this is my new normal: Ice the affected area for 20min, electric stim treatment for 7 minutes, couple of minor strength moves on the left side, and trigger point treatment across the roller. Twice a day with all of that. No running in the meanwhile. Biking is okay. Swimming is okay. Rinse and repeat each day. Until further notice.

Best guess for recovering? 2 - 4 weeks.

Then decide what to do about the Gulf Coast 70.3. It might have to be skipped...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Dad's Birthday - 2014

Dad isn't big on celebrating, or even acknowledging, his birthday. Was lucky he even showed up at my office today. Not unusual for him to avoid attention. But, right on schedule, he peeked around the corner to see what was happening. Had a card for him. And a present. Nothing major. Just something to hold the skyrocket of loose bills he keeps in his pocket. Funniest part? He shook the box and said, "It's a Gerber?" Then couldn't immediately figure out that it was a money clip. And took him even longer to press the somewhat-concealed catch to release the blade. Neat little widget: Gerber GDC Money Clip. He seemed to like it. Hope hit makes him happy and he thinks of me on occasion when he uses it.

Happy Birthday, Dad. Glad to have you around for another orbit of the sun!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Finding The Problem

Second day of finding the problem, with Dr J. Yesterday's x-rays point to several minor issues: improper curve in the neck, shoulders aren't level, slight kink in the upper back, lower back too straight, and hips aren't level. The back issues could be causing less force to be properly absorbed in the upper body, thereby transferring it to the legs. The shoulders and hips are bringing up my right left, making my left leg absorb excess force. With two different problems there's no wonder my left knee is complaining.

Pretty simple plan: treat the back with standard adjustments. Treat the knee with stim therapy. Should be much closer to normal in 4 - 6 weeks. In the meanwhile, training shouldn't be affected. Other than the diminished running.

video
Electric stim was pretty wild. Muscle jumping uncontrollably. Fun to watch. Had no idea what was really injured until they lit me up. Some muscle or tissue deeeeep beneath the surface would holler like a banshee when the current hit it. Probing the knee manually doesn't reveal anything. But the electricity finds it. Then they get into a slobberknocker fight. Hopefully the treatment will get me back on the road.

Tune in next week to find out!

Monday, March 24, 2014

The 4HB "5K to 50K" 12 Week Program - On Hold

Completed Week 7, but too far off schedule. The issues with my left knee/leg aren't conducive to thousands of meters of sprinting. Or clean & jerks. Or jump ropes. Or much of anything other than swimming and biking, right now. And neither of those two activities are actually part of the official training.

So with a heavy heart, this initial at the 4HB Challenge needs to be cancelled. Have to fix this lingering issue. Then finish a 70.3 in May. And start back over.

For now, many of my my initial thoughts remain the same: the program is too difficult for the vast majority of people, involves skills most people have not developed, and the program is the furthest thing from making somebody "effortlessly superhuman."

But, if you can master the basic skills, and if you can stick to it, the program will make you faster. It certainly started to improve my sprints and my longer runs.

Will it have you prepared to run a 50K? Still not sure about that. Have to find out, next time.

In the meanwhile, if anyone has actually completed the whole thing, pleas contact me! Otherwise, there is still a chance Your Humble Narrator will be the first.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Don't Drown

The number one secret to being a successful triathlete? Don't drown. And not just at the race. Or the training. Or the details of coordinating everything. Or with the family. Or with the friends. Or with work. Or with any other facets of your complex and highly sensitive life. You have to keep breathing and fight your way through it with as much poise and strength as you can muster on any given day. And as long as you don't drown, you win.

Minor victory of the day for Your Humble Narrator: No damage in the left leg! After an early morning (and very cold!) swim, Dr. Kat checked out the wounds and gave me the thumbs up for further training. Just have to work on more stretching and strengthening the left side to be as strong as the right.

So mostly good news. Just have to re-educate my legs. Somehow. And we'll see how that goes...

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Stupid Leg

So despite the somewhat-slow pace last night, my left leg did not do well this morning. Unsure of what hurts, though. Very weird. Moving onto my toes results in very pronounced soreness around my shin and deep in my calves. Much more aggressive levels of hurt than previously experienced after the Seaside Half Marathon. Smacks me as double odd that running less than half the distance creates significantly more unpleasant results.

Spent a bit of time lining up an ortho visit for tomorrow. First call: April 1st, almost two weeks. Second call: March 26th, one week. And then I get (of all things) a Facebook message with an offer to see me tomorrow at 1:30P. And that's the plan.

My own current theory is that the inserts in my shoes (for high arches) are not needed, because the shoes themselves already have support for high arches. And the double dose is negatively affecting my form during running, which results in extra stress and strain. Hopefully the doctor can confirm nothing is torn or damaged, and then we experiment.

More as it becomes available.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Pub Run - 03/18/14

Trying to remember my last run at the pub. Late January? Early Feb? Either way, just not the same without the alluring comfort of a cold beer afterwards. Not to mention the foodery is closing (again) and what remains is only passable. At best. So little to entice a nerd to get his run on. Except the company. The main draw is social. Since training solo sucks.

The run went okay. My first one since Seaside. Took it easy. 5 miles. 9:26/mile pace. Even with several breaks along the way. Would have been closer to 8:30/mile, without slowing. Felt good. Just tired from lack of sleep and too many wasps buzzing behind my eyes. Good starting point for the final eight weeks before my next 70.3 (in early May.)

The rest is just rust and space dust.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Saint Patrick Hates My Sobriety

Made the decision to stay away from Da Booze on February 1st. Been sticking firmly to that decision. 44 days!

But Saint Patrick hates my sobriety. He taunts me mercilessly. "Stop by the pub, Jon!" he says. 

"It's okay," he says. "You can relent. For one day. You will be forgiven." His hands form the Warding Signs. Soothing my nerves. Lowering my defenses. 

"Have some delicious corned beef. And drink these sacred green beers," he says. 

Mainly, it is the the cider which calls me. Not just the taste. But the calming embrace. The serenity. Softening all my edges. 

Thoughts of moderation begin to infiltrate my local philosophy. Just lapse for one day. My will is strong. Three is my limit. That will be okay.

But it isn't okay. Too many calories. Too many sugars. Too many carbs. Totally NOT worth the damage it will do to my training and healthy efforts. 

My brain knows the juice not worth the squeeze. 

But my heart needs its embrace. To hear its song whispered so softly in my lone good ear. Feel the warmth. The glow consuming me. Turning my outside in. 

(sigh)

Moderation isn't really moderation if the cider sings to you on a daily basis. Maybe my non-problem is a problem despite my protestations and claims of self-imposed moderation. Only way to know for sure is to maintain the sobriety. Stand on the wall. Shake my fist and scream into the night: Leave me alone, Saint Patrick! Sell crazy someplace else, we're all stocked up, here.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Road To Traditions 2014 - Week 6

The morning wasn't pleasant or cooperative. Several inches of water in the front yard. Tornado warnings. Thunderstorm warnings. Shakespearean skies. My weather app reported 60% chance of rain at 2PM. Not good odds. So RtT was officially cancelled for today.

The Brave & The Bold went out, anyway. Mostly team members: Luke, Lisa, Jack, Onnie, JG, Eddie, Allen, Meg, Jaci, Peggy, me, and more.

Top of the water registered 67 degrees. Probably closer to 63 on the face and hands and feet. Then, as we skirted the back stretch, several natural streams dropped it by at least 5 degrees. If not more.

Four laps for Ye Old Nerd. Roughly 2400 meters. A personal record, in the lake. First one was with the men. Second and third were escort missions for newbies. Last one was solo. They all felt good. And strong.

Rain threatened by the time we finished. Some folks ran. Some folks biked. Jon just left. Wasn't going to risk the weather. My luck, it would have gotten ugly.

Six weeks until Traditions. Looking like a record year.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Our values

Me: Thanks for picking up new shoes for me. Needed them. Have you seen these old ones?
She: (looking at the worn soles) Should have done it sooner!
Me: We couldn't afford it.
She: You could have just spent less on training.
Me: Rather have holes in my soles.

She?New stuff. Me? Health comes first.

And those are our values.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Pi Day 2014

March 14th. 3.14.. Pi. Liam says the school used to celebrate it. Not this year, though. So we had our own celebration. He and Bryce joined me for a brief jaunt over to Irish Coast Pub. Burgers and chocolate cake topped with candles 3 -  1 -  4.  No drinks or free shots  (not a drop for me since quitting on Feb 1st!) But some unexpected life lessons for the lads from a nearby table of mildly inebriated but terribly angry 30-something women who loudly and venomously disclosed their not-so-private thoughts about the value of my particular gender.

We'll have a bigger celebration next year. 3.1415!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Recovery

The recovery of my left leg has taken longer than expected. Complications of age? Severity of the issue? (shrug) Rest. Ice. Ibuprofen. They are my friends as of late.

The tendinitis resulted from over-aggressive training and pushing personal limits too hard for too long. Should have iced it sooner. Didn't get enough advice soon enough.

The week after my half marathon, the ache migrated north, deep into the left inner thigh. It may (or may NOT!) have been aided by overly-aggressive Crossfit. Especially back squats. And lunges. Either way, very unpleasant and unexpected results. Further training wasn't advised. (And may not have been possible.) So Tuesday and Wednesday became additional rest days.

Greatly improved today, however! Two days of rest has all but eliminated the previous aches and pains. Tested the leg with a 17 mile spin and then a long walk. If it had not been bordering on injured earlier in the week, there would have been a run on the agenda. But no need to push my luck.

Current plan is a bit of a swim tomorrow. More ice and anti-inflammatory doses. Then a 5K on Saturday morning. Anything after that is open to debate.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

AWOL

My Muse has been absent recently. No energy to write.  No inspiration. Nothing even remotely creative.

Most nights, after training, there is little left in the tank. My routine is usually: hang with the kids while eating, decompressing briefly on the sofa (often while catching up on the DVR.) read for about an hour, then sleep.

The thought of getting on the computer after work has no appeal. None. It borders on torture. The intention is there. But the spirit is not.

However, it is time to catch up. Get this cob-webbed ol' brain of mine decluttered. Can decompress some other time...

Monday, March 10, 2014

The 4HB "5K to 50K" 12 Week Program - Week 6 (Parts I, II, and III)

The 12 Week Program hit a speed bump for several weeks (likely to include this one.) What should have been the ACTUAL Week 6 was hampered by what turned out to be pretty severe tendinitis. Plus, the end of the week was for recovering before a half marathon. The following week was better, but not according to plan. And this (the third) week was off the plan, too, due to different pains in the same leg. Likely caused by over compensating from the tendinitis. Overall, a bad drag on the training. Hoping to get back on track starting this coming Monday, with Week 7.

Week 6 - Part I only had a couple of sessions in the gym, then three days of rest, ice, and ibuprofen.

Week 6 - Part II had a swim on Tuesday, Crossfit + running + rowing on Wednesday, biking on Thurs, and another Crossfit session on Friday.

Week 6 - Part III (this week) will be somewhat bare, too, due to recovery.

Week 7 will get started on Monday the 17th, and details will be forth coming on Monday the 24th.

Sorry for the delay and deviation from the course. But the injuries were not expect. Nor welcomed!