Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I'm Gonna Update the Hell Out of This Blog

Actual Sailing Content:
1. The 'Hood is officially going up for sale. Someone's going to get a good deal, too.
2. The Lion is apparently now a fourth-place boat. Skipper Krumm has updated and replaced everything onboard that pig (except the crew, of course) and still we can't seem to climb ahead of those other, less green, less old boats. Takes the pressure off. Now if he will just install that keg cooler we asked for we'll be all set for 'Round Whidbey this year.
3. Is anyone else following the Vendee Globe race this year? Do I have to move to France to get any coverage of this? I've never quite understood why sailing can't work as a televised sport in this country. Especially the big races like the Vendee Globe. It has everything Americans love: speed, horrible conditions, crashes, over-engineered machines, and the serious potential for death. I think ESPN should film and produce the Key West Race Week this year and see what sort of ratings they get. It's exciting stuff to watch rich dudes crash million dollar boats into each other at the windward mark! Come on! Don't make me move to France. Ok, I'll move to France.

Actual Running Content:

I'm running again. Slowly. With Dr. Hilarious giving me the wave of the hand and the "do whatever you want to do, you will anyway" sort of advice on my injury-that-we-don't-call-a-sports-hernia, I have set out to start getting my legs back. So far so good. Last night's little cruise through the old Palace stomping grounds felt good and very little soreness in old abdominal region the next day. That said, if I am relegated to a running life of less than 5 miles a day, I might have to go on a killing spree.

As has been discussed here before, short runs are the worst sort of exercise evil. A 4 miler is just a warm up followed by a cool down with no actual running time anywhere in there.

Still a long way from being able to think about real training or racing, but who knows. Physical therapy starts soon. That should help too!

Theoretical Climbing Content:
It could have been the beer, but Cap'n Ron and I started seriously talking about a spring/summer climbing plan for this year. After 11 years I think it might indeed be time to hump it up Rainier again and get up into the North Cascades to pay homage to Fred Beckey. I'm in. I think I have some climbing gear around here somewhere...

Theoretical Riding Content:
The Fuji is sitting right here. It wouldn't kill me to start riding to work and such. Would it?

But it's just so damn cold and wet out there. And I'm not in love with the 12 tons of sand left on the roads after the snow we had. Nothing quite like cornering on that stuff!

Also, the plans are pretty intact for a motorcycle trip south during spring break this year! A couple thousand miles down to Pasadena and back? Sign me up. Solo down, two-up with The Colleague home? Sign me up. No plan or itinerary? Yes please. Small towns, two-lane roads, and campgrounds? I'm in.

Bonus Coverage:
The Factory
Oooooo boy it's getting exciting 'round here. Gregg Easterbrook's last piece at had a section about presidents loving crises so much that they invented them when there weren't any just so they could say they managed a crises. So they call a downturn in the economy a "crisis" so that when it naturally takes care of itself they can say they presided over it and saved the world. Well, as Easterbrook points out, there are very few real crises that need intervention from the president.

I get the feeling that this is what is going on at The Factory. Everyone in administration is running around using huge numbers and predicting dire results if we don't sell everything for the cause. We HAVE to raise class capacities or we'll all DIE. We have to fire a million teachers and cancel everything but one English and one math class! It's an endless downward spiral of economic woe!

Bullshit, I say. In the end, some fat will be trimmed, some programs that don't have an audience anymore will be cut, and perhaps some adjunct faculty will not be retained. And then Fearless Bicycle Riding Leader can say "Hey gang, look how great we did! We didn't have to fire any tenured faculty! We didn't reduce capacity at all!"

Good job Leader. Sigh.

Meanwhile, the rest of us are just teaching our classes and rolling our eyes at the doomsday prophecies.

South for the Winter
I would rather be in Mexico now.
So I think I will start packing.

Friday, January 09, 2009


I'm Pretty Sure at Least the Pain is Real!
One thing I love is when I have an injury that the medical community can't even agree exists. That's AWESOME!

I made the trek to see Dr. Hilarious last night to grab his one open appointment for 2009. After confirming (via the handy chart on the wall) that my Body Mass Index results indicate that I am overweight (I know I'm not in my best shape at the moment, but I'm only 5 pounds heavier than when I ran my last marathon in November. Overweight? If I'm overweight, what do they use to describe actual fat people?) Dr. H confirmed that I likely have torn muscles in my abdominal wall. To the running world, as far as I can tell, this is called a Sports Hernia.

But don't tell the good doc this. Nope. Dr. Hilarious launches into a rant about what the word hernia actually means and how upset he is that people misuse the term to describe things they want a cool name for so they can charge more for rehabilitation and treatment at specialty sports rehab clinics, etc.

Imagine how upset I get when someone misuses the word "irony" and you have some idea as to the vigor with which Dr. Hilarious delivered this speech.

Anyway, there was much discussion about training and running and when it happened, etc. My best guess is that I have been running with some degree of this injury for several months, probably since late summer.

What I learned:
  • Dr. Hilarious doesn't believe in Sports Hernias. Torn or injured muscles in the lower abdominal wall, yes. Sports Hernia? No. "Unless some of your guts are sticking out through the tear in the muscle, it's not a hernia." Thanks doc.
  • Core strength is the key to avoiding this injury. So to all of you distance runners out there, hit the yoga studio and don't let up on the plank poses. Also crunches. Lots of crunches. I hate core strength workouts.
  • The rough explanation of this injury-that-we-aren't-calling-a-sports-hernia-anymore is that the hip flexor muscles and the other muscles on the top of the upper thigh win a tug-o-war with the tissue in the lower abdomen.
  • In runners this injury happens mostly at distance.
  • Right after his rant about sports medicine clinics charging more for cool sounding injury treatment, Dr. Hilarious referred me to The Donaldson Clinic, a sports medicine rehabilitation clinic here in town. Seems about right. Next lesson: hypocrisies.
  • Core strength (with physical therapy), rest, and short runs. For the time being I am limited to 5 miles maximum and 1 minute slower than normal training pace, which means 9:00 miles.
  • 6 month re-evaluation.
Note: Those of you who know me KNOW I am going to fuck this up by pushing too hard too soon, so stay tuned for the re-injury report. I am not canceling my plans to run Vancouver in May. If I can keep a decent weekly mileage number and stay in shape between now and April I think I have a shot of running at least a 3:45 up there while I watch Scott and Ron take off into the distance to get their Boston times.

Then what?:
  • "Since no one agrees that this injury is even real, surgeons don't like to try to fix it. Maybe they just don't know what to call the surgery when they are out with their friends so they don't want to do it. 'Double bypass' sounds cooler than 'lower abdominal tissue repair.'" - Dr. Hilarious.
So here I sit, about to try my first run in a month and hoping against hope I don't feel anything go riiiiiiip.

I'll keep you all updated with the gory details. Keep an eye on my mileage and workout information in the right hand column over there. It's gonna be a slow start to the year for me.

The Colleague and I are going to Mexico. Cap'n Ron is going to Oahu, and RPD is off to Maui. What's up folks, don't like the shit ass weather?

Also Also:
We've been watching a lot of movies in anticipation of our sort of annual Oscar night wine binge, and I have to say, most of them suck.