Friday, April 26, 2013

can't seem to settle in

Yes, life is driving me a bit crazy right now! I can't seem to settle in, settle down, etc. I can deal with the foot being broken, the cast being itchy (and smelly), the plastic bags that don't really do much with each shower, and the slower pace of life. What I cannot seem to deal with, at least not too well, is the dependence on others to get around. Getting to work, which is 25 miles on backroads, has been fine, as my friend and colleague lives right by the train station in Mt. Kisco, so I drive to the station in the morning with Kenny, take the train to Mt. Kisco, meet her and drive in together. The way home has been a bit more complicated. Mostly because I don't want to impose on her afternoon, so despite her willingness to help me in anyway she can I am having a hard time with putting her out.

Then there is the cost. I will insist on paying for gas. It is the right thing to do, hands down, so that thing about talking me out of it is not even allowed to be in the picture. The train is 7/day and the parking for our car since Kenny is having to leave it at the station because I can't handle the mile in a cast is 4/day. So an extra 55/week I am shelling out, not much on the front side, but it does add up eventually.

I have these grand ideas of how this will force me into the studio. I am finding that has been happening slowly. I did come home and work yesterday for hours, Tuesday and Wed too. However, there are some things that I found just plain difficult, like lifting a bag of clay. When I spent 3 weeks with untreated broken bones I was in all kinds of pain, foot, leg, hip, back, neck and I just managed. When they casted my foot, all of that pain went away almost immediately. Now when I lift a bag of clay, or kiln shelves (holy crap I never realized how heavy those things were), I am in excruciating pain from the extra pressure that puts on my foot. Its like going from zero to 950 on a scale of 1-10.
So working in my studio is very fatiguing and because of that very, very, very frustrating!

Richard, I can hear you already my friend, you and my friend Robin share the same sentiment. No, there is never a day where I can just be content with sitting. That is not until I learn to perfect the art of meditation to the point of NO distractions. When I sit and do nothing I think to damn much! :)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Not yet

Foot broken in two places = no ultra
At least not now or anytime this year!
Wealth of emotions right now but my first concern is the shoddy craftsmanship of my cast. Walking on tippy toes with a hyper extended knee. Trying to get it reset! Ugh not a happy camper!!!

Comments about it? I am such a ceramics snob. LOL, ok but it still is bothersome.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

a whole lot of miles

The past 4 days I have spent a considerable time on my feet, about 50K actually (30 miles). I am marveling at the fact that while I am sore when I stop for a break, after a shower and a bit to eat, I have bounced back to normal for the most part. I still need to use my roller and lineament religiously. Yes I did say lineament and while you are conjuring up visions of your great grandparents smelling of mothballs and Bengay, understand this, peppermint and camphor are really good anti-inflamatories as well as analgesics. Your GGma's knew something! Just don't apply until a few hours after a shower or you could poison yourself with the menthol. 

I am getting excited about my event, and getting nervous too. Its 8 weeks away, I have started that ramp up to April 7th when I will do an 8 Mile/30mile/8Mile weekend which supposedly will get me through the 50 miles. At the same time I have started that mental battle of reducing the distance to swallowable distances. such as (4) 12.5 mile efforts. Actually this is the breakdown: 
I can leave supplies, and I plan on doing so at the Lyons Road stop. I have learned a few things already. Toenails need attention in the same way fingernails need attention when I am throwing on the potters wheel. If they are even the slightest bit too long, which is not too long at all, my toes hurt at any distance beyond 5 miles. I will need to change my socks every major aid station to prevent blisters (10-12 miles seem to be the distance my wool sox will hold up before friction sets in). I have found that the boost I get from PB and apple slices on rye seem to be better than anything else right now. I have learned that I can only handle about 60 oz of water without supplementing other liquids. Dates bother me once I have hit 10 miles, so despite what the No Meat Athlete  preaches, they just wont work as an exclusive source of energy. I am thinking I just might need those jelly beans! Debbie, the occasional coke still works stupid good! 
So back to the work week tomorrow followed by hill repeats and the chiropractor. One more day before I wave the white flag for 24! 
About the event:
2. Volunteer if you can (then I can see you on the course)
3. Hike the ridge that day and maybe you'll catch us going by. 

Until next time...

Friday, March 8, 2013

going out for a ski on snowballs

Another snow day and because of it our April break is reduced to a 3 day weekend. This being said I decided to make the best of it and go out for what just may be my last ski of the year. After yesterday's 10K I am sore and tired and it took me the better part of 3 hours to get my butt off the coach. When I left to ski I was thinking I would spend a good 2 hours working. I would ski a stretch of the North County trailway where I knew I could spend a good 3 miles before there would be a road crossing. I was armed with a peanut butter and sliced apple on rye and a trusty container of easy glide wax. I knew the snow was sticky and despite having waxless skis I also know that in those temperatures snow will stick to the bottom of the skis without it.

My ski was frustrating. I skied in about a mile and got stuck. Looking at my tracks I could have created a village of snowmen from all the balls of snow that seemed to form along the way. Skiing out was slower and seemed to be more work than walking up a cliff. I didn't feel like hoofing it so I struggled through it. When I reached my car I re-waxed the skis and decided to try a more wooded area. Anglefly preserve was better but still challenging. My skis were pulling up snow, only this time I was moving a bit more freely. After a short while, actually it was really only 10 min, I feel something odd on my leg. My camelback snagged on a shrub and the bite valve pulled off. Just as I am realizing this I loose my balance from all the swiveling around and down I go. I laid there getting soaked and unable to get up because one of the bindings froze and the water tube was stuck behind me and I was off course lying on the pouch. 1 think it took me a good 15 minutes to free myself. I was soaked! I decided to hoof it out of the woods.

 I guess I am out for a walk later.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Hey Marty, Today's workout didn't suck!

I am posting this note to my friend Marty, who is one of the most logical minds I know when it comes to living each day as balanced as it comes, and not looking anymore forward than that, at least thats my own take on who he is. If you remember, my whole recent quest to go out and do something about my current status of fitness came from a nudge that evolved out of a serious heart to heart at the US Single Distance Championships in early November. I put one foot in front of the other on that very day and almost four months later I am better for it. Exercising in some form is once again a habit, and despite it not being as intense as it was at one time a few years ago I am finding it more rewarding. Maybe that's because I have put less pressure on myself to be "faster, better, stronger, top of my game". Now, I just want to experience every moment and relish it for what it is. Maybe that is me showing my age?

I had originally planned on a tabata interval set today. I like these, even though they are at the top of the intensity scale and HURT beyond belief, their effect is as good as a 90 min workout in a 45min period. What is a tabata interval? Its a HIT (High Intensity or VO2Max effort) developed by Izumi Tabata in the 90's to use with the Japanese Speedskating Team. It consists of a warm up period which in my case was a 30 min walk at 3.5MPH and then a 4 min effort (8x 20'max sprint/10'jog) then a cool down. I really didn't feel up to this today, but that was before I started out on my walk. I was feeling a bit blue this morning, I think it is the fact that I have been paying attention to all the small details and I am finding myself a few pounds heavier than I was when I started, which sucks. I am also tired, my feet hurt, my knees hurt, my hips hurt, my back hurts and my chiropractor has seen me 2x a week. I take a few days off and slide off the cliff I am climbing. After I walked for a bit I made a turn for home to drop off my jacket as I was too warm and I did a "gut check". I decided I would go for it, if I was too sore after the first one I would return to my route and finish the LSD steady state workout,  if I felt fine I would continue the HIT workout. I finished it, it sucked while I was doing it but I was so surprised that when I was finished I bounced right back immediately. I even had to double check my HR to see if I was working as hard as I thought I was. Perceived effort was spot on. WOW! Marty, I take back the part about of the note on your wall about bagging the heavy work. It didn't suck as much as I thought it would!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

funny little reminders

I often listen to podcasts as I walk. It is my way of getting my mind of the pain and onto much deeper thoughts. Today was no different. It was a gorgeous day that I spent procrastinating by doing a bit of spring cleaning consisting of purging of what seemed to be quite a vast unneeded wardrobe and wrestling with the washing machine, which chose at the point in which I was headed out the door to decide to cry itself a damn river all over the laundry room floor. Hey, at least I was home to witness the mess and was able to shut off the water before I had the contents of the local water supply in my basement. I futzed over the valve for a bit before saying screw it. I needed to get out and put some miles in and so I launched myself out the door and on my way.
The time on my feet felt pretty good today. I am surprised at how quickly time passes sometimes as I notice so many things at this pace. Back to the podcasts, what did I listen to? The first episode was about Barbara Rodbell, a Holocaust survivor who grew up with Anne Frank. It was an interesting listen and had me thinking a good deal about our recent trip to Erfurt and how much Europe as a whole was really effected by the war, and then subsequently the Cold War. The Story  usually is divided into two parts, the second half was this little reminder from a book I am currently savoring by Robert McFarlane, called The Old Ways. I am loving this book, so much so that I have decided to read it very slowly, so I can let the words sink in. At this point in my walk my mind was drifting to an invitation of sorts that came from my friend Alicia, not unlike one of the journeys McFarlane describes in his book, she wants to hike along a literary route in the UK next summer. I am so intrigued that I have to say that my bag is already packed. The next episode of this podcast was about the right to bear arms, and I found myself really quite agitated. It was not over my opinion about guns, as I think they do have a place in our society, but over the fact that here was this newly naturalized citizen of Chinese decent in a public forum talking about how he proudly owns a gun. He does not believe that guns should be for hunting but rather to protect himself from the government and things like eminent domain and then he went on to say how he doesn't trust our government. My question to him, then why the US? Why did you emigrate here? I was just about to turn it off when the second half of the broadcast came on. I started to giggle about this one, it was another story I have been following closely. It was Ken Llgunas speaking about the end of his journey on the Keystone pipeline. He spoke to those sentiments that Rod shared with me. Check his account of his last day.
I am home now, a bit startled at the fact that I only had walked 5.8 miles despite trying to be creative with my route. There is vegetable barley soup on the stove and a small spiral ham, less than 4 lbs, in the oven, a fixed washing machine and a hot shower waiting so until next time…

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How its going? (the journey)

“One solution is to just let all the striving, all the thinking, all the fatigue, all the worry, all the self-contradictions, all the need-to-strive, all the pain, all that other pain, and all that other pain and fatigue and worry and striving and need-to-strive over here and under there and on your head and hanging onto your shoulders, just drop. And enjoy it. You're out there. You're trying to do something tough. Enjoy it. You've got pain and fatigue and self-doubt, but it's okay. Enjoy the craziness. Enjoy each moment, but ESPECIALLY enjoy when you're out there, and whenever things are completely un-enjoyable, when you're totally wrapped up in the mentality of overwhelming challenge and need-to-prove-yourself, remind yourself that you have a little mental screwdriver that can pry all that open and let the light in. All it takes. The un-enjoyable is just tinfoil. If you wrap it up (instead of being wrapped up) it becomes a bright little ball for a kitty-kat.” 

I received an e-mail from a really good friend las week or so and while I don't usually share these things, this one, meant so much to my psyche that I thought I would put it out there. I am continuously amazed at all the support that I am receiving for this journey. It means so much. 

Kenny and I spent the weekend in Lake Placid. We had a wonderful time, I even managed to get him out into the woods on snowshoes while I skied alongside him. I think he liked it, but I am not quite sure. Speaking of skiing the more I get out there the more I had come to realize that my equipment was just not right for my ability and personality on the trails. I tend to hate groomed trails, prefer to cut them myself even. I love skiing in the back country, hate the dictation of direction of a XC center. I actually hate having to pay a trail use fee, unless I know its actually going to preserve undeveloped space. It warmed my heart to see a DEC tag on a trail that "mandated" xc skis or snowshoes for winter travel on their backcountry trails. I would gladly fork over $$ to preserve that. Anyway, as I get sidetracked here, my equipment sucks so I made one small change this weekend. I found a backcountry boot that fit so well I felt like I could ski down the Niagara Headwall at Whiteface on toothpicks in them. I changed the binding and kept my skis until I decide on the perfect "BC ski". I couldn't wait to try them out. So this morning, despite the prediction of rain, I drove to a great old school XC center in central CT to try them out. Yes, I said XC center, and I expected what I got, groomed boring trails that have little or no challenge to them. I was going to see one thing in particular, how comfortable was I on the steeps. I managed every single black trail, and despite the taboo against doing so, I skied them in both directions. I really didn't see anyone out there (maybe three people total) so I didn't really think it would be a problem. I fell once, skiing uphill on by far the steepest trail in the place and I know why I fell, I overcompensated for the steepness and leaned way too far into the terrain. So how did the boots fair? All I can say it what a difference a good pair of boots makes. I managed 7 miles in about 1.75 hrs time. I am ready to conquer the Niagara headwall on toothpicks…Lunch was so good after that - old school prices for that too (grilled cheddar cheese with egg on wheat- 3.00)

Praying for snow this weekend!