Sunday, August 31, 2008

I am not a religious man....

but may whoever oversees this planet please be merciful on New Orleans.

Moving On Up!

2% grade for 22 minutes, with the least amount of pain thus far. I wanted to step up the pace to faster than the 4:23 min/km I was going, but held off, keeping in mind that I am not building fitness at this time, but rather I am trying to get my foot used to running again.

I also completed Workout A from The Original Turbulence Training program by Bally. I am kind of getting back into the idea of working out, but more so because it is not the traditional Chest and Back program that I knew in university. The workouts are dynamic and quick, full body movements that mirror many traditional sport movements, especially running (I guess you don't do many Chin Ups in the middle of a 25k trail run, but the core strength should keep me more upright). I will continue to detail my workouts as well as my running and see how Turbulence Training benefits me throughout the fall and winter. If you are interested at all in it, please drop me a line or follow the links.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Want to see inside me?

I have been able to pull my x-ray images off the disc I was given, and they are now here for you to enjoy.  The fracture is in the 5th metatarsal (the long bone of the baby toe).  I have a hard time seeing it, but if there are any medical professional who care to comment, please feel free.

July 12 - the day of the fracture

August 23 - 6 weeks after the fracture

And for those that are interested, registration for the ENDURrun 2009 is now open.  When I did it in 2006, there were 5 of us.  Two days after opening the registration there are already 4 people!  There is a cap of 50 this year, so don't delay!

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Last Day of the Last Week

before school begins anew.  I am looking forward to being back, but will miss the summer.  It takes about 4 weeks to really settle into the lack of bells and routine, so I have been basking in unstructured life for the last 3 weeks.  It seems to soon to be subservient to the relentless ringing of the computerized bell; two days back it will seem as though we never left.  However, that is not to say that I dread school or the kids - in fact, I am looking very forward to both - but rather than I will miss this schedule-less life I have just become accustomed to.

Part of the benefit of being unstructured means that I am able to do things on short notice.  Sonja and I were able to go over to Victoria for a night earlier this week to say hello to the triathletes coming back from Beijing, and goodbye to two close friends, Adam and Trevor, who are moving to the East Coast for school (Law and Physio, respectively).  The pictures that follow are from the very cool Fernwood Inn Pub (highly recommended).  It was a very fun night being around some of the old training group, but bittersweet as we realize that these gatherings will become fewer and farther between as we, cough, grow up.  

Simon and Jasper during their tame moments.

Kirsten and Colin trying to feign interest in what Adam was saying.

Adam really wanted to see the medal.

Adam's reaction to being denied the medal.

Trevor stepped out when Drew and Jen weren't looking.

As for my training, I got x-rays back and spoke with my chiropractor, Dr. Pelly, about them.  He thinks that the foot is pretty healed and that it is now up to me to listen to my body as I come back to full training.  I am waiting to hear back from my M.D., but until then I am going to stick with the Turbulence Training gym routine I have been using for the past weeks and add in running over the next two weeks until I can get up to 30 minutes on a treadmill.  After that, I am going to take it outside and increase the frequency of 30-40 minute runs over the following two weeks until I am back running 4-5x/week, at which point I will start to increase duration.  I figure I will be at full training within a month, which I think is still a conservative projection for healing.  I will be aware of my foot and I will not jeopardize the healing at all.  I am hoping to race a bunch of cross country races, and while they will not be pretty races, they will be fun.

UPDATE: Just got off the phone with the MD and he said that the foot looks good and that I can begin to run again, but not back to back and wait until I am pain free when running before going too hard.  I detailed my plan and he thought it was a good one.  He also added that running is the worst thing I could do for my foot, but you have to do what you have to do.  So, I will give it a go tonight and give you an update. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ten Minutes

After finishing my workout from Craig Ballantyne at Turbulence Training at the gym this morning, I wandered over to the treadmill to see how things felt today.

I started conservatively, but slowly turned up the speed, topping out at 8 min/mile this time. My running felt relatively smooth and fluid, surprising for the amount of time that I have not been actually running. I think that the combination of the strength training and the swimming have been quite beneficial, but having said that, it is only 10 minutes on a treadmill. The real test will come when I get back outside and back with VFAC.

Last night Sonja and I rode our bikes at Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve, enjoying the fleeting summer evenings. Tomorrow is a quick trip to the Island to see off some good friends and welcome another back.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Nine Minutes

Sonja and I had decided to go to Tofino for a couple of days this week, but after looking at the weather forecast, we decided that staying closer to home might be better. Dryer, warmer, better. Tofino is amazing, but we will go in better weather (or go specifically for the storms).

That means that I will get the opportunity to continue with my cross training and RUNNING. Yes, you read it here first (although I am not sure where else you would read it), but I ran for 9 minutes on the treadmill on Saturday. It was not pain free, but the pain I felt would be better described as a dull bruise. It was a treadmill run, so the impact was greatly reduced, and I was running 10 minutes/mile, so it wasn't too speedy. But it was left-right-left, for more than 20 meters. Small victories, but important ones. For the past six weeks, my sanity has been saved by the wonderful strength programs given to me by Trevor and Craig Ballantyne. My enjoyment of their strength programs has motivated me to keep working the gym even after I can run. As I have mentioned before on here, if you want fantastic strength programs that are well-developed and research based, I would highly recommend both of these fine gentlemen. They are honest and extremely good at what they do. In fact, athletes that Trevor worked with, both currently and in the past, had top 6 finishes at the just-completed Beijing Olympics! Anyway, enough with the advertising.

I had another x-ray done on my foot on the weekend, so I will hear about my healing this week from my doctor and chiro. I am looking for their blessing to begin the return to running program as there are a number of Cross-Country races that I would like to do this fall. I am not going to rush back to training before I am ready, but I hope that I am ready.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Riding Coattails

From an email I just sent to Mr. Whitfield....

I was in renewing my car insurance and when I mentioned to the agent helping me that I had just moved to Burnaby in the last year. My agent, of Chinese descent with perfect yet slightly accented english, asked me where I had lived before. I told him Victoria. He queried me further as to why I had lived there - "Education?" he asked - but I told him I that I had moved there to train at the National Triathlon Centre, but that I was only at the NTC for a couple of years and that was definitely a while ago now. Well, you can imagine where that went on the heels of your race. Smiles, talk about Beijing, and questions filled the air. He asked if I trained with you; "Well, training with and racing with are two very different things, but we did train together some of the time," I replied. His face lit up.

"Are you trying to go to the Olympics, too?"

I thought to myself, 'Dude, I am standing in front of you renewing my car insurance just having told you I moved AWAY from Victoria!', but said, "No, no, no. I just run now." He smiled and continued taking my money for another minute or so, leading me to believe that the exchange was over. During that time he and the other the employees had great things to say about your race, as did I. I signed my name about fifty times on thirty different pieces of paper. I had been lulled into a comfort when he dropped his final bomb. The flame that lit the wick was a co-worker reemerging from the back of the office.

"Hey, Steve! This guy is an Olympian!" my agent's finger firmly pointed toward my chest as he yelled across the office.

My head about exploded. What?!? Where, in the details of my life that I shared with him, did he determine that I had been to the Olympics? Steve's eyes lit up and my agent's smile grew ever wider; there was no doubt in his mind that what he said was the truth.

I returned the pointed finger, aimed at the my agent's heart, and with a smile said, "Hey Steve, this guy's a liar!"

We figured things out and I cleared the air and everyone continued to gush over your race. I left the ICBC office, much lighter in the waller and heavier in debt, but with a smile on my face. Riding coattails can be quite funny sometimes.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Back in GVRD

Got back from Toronto on Monday.

Saw Radiohead at UBC on Tuesday.

Had my first audition for a commercial on Wednesday.

My goodness, what does Thursday have in store?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

At the ENDURrun

So, this was what I was supposed to be writing...

Today went well.  I felt controlled and let Bob take the early lead.  30 seconds separate us, but I just wanted to cruise for the first stage, knowing that the real race starts after the rest day.  The weather was great for running and it was great to see old friends.  

However, what I am writing is...

Today went well.  I actually took a few (little) running strides after watching Bob take the Gold Jersey.  I am enjoying my time here, but do miss the competition.  However, the fact that the camaraderie of the runners makes it enjoyable to be here speaks to the quality of the event.

It is good to be here at the ENDURrun again, even if I am not running.  Lloyd, the race director, has been kind enough to entrust the reporting of the event to me.  I am responsible for writing and video.  The writing I know.  The video is another story!  I edited the 13 minute video for about 6 hours today!  The next video will be 25 seconds long.

As far as the foot goes, the past few days have been good.  It is over a month since the injury, and things are moving forward.  I feel it getting better and hope that I will be running within three weeks.  Not training running, but getting back into it.  Fortunately I am able to get treatment from Jason Price each day at the ENDURrun (he owns and manages Price Health Centre with his wife).  I am still optimistic and being at the ENDURrun is stoking the fire for later.

Other than that I have been enjoying spending time with my family, Sonja's family and our friends, old and new.  I had the chance to meet young Kate Ballard Taylor and reconnect with young Isobel Grace Bentley.  Both babies are beautiful and wonderful and I am happy that my friends change their diapers and I don't.  

A big shout out to Tool (aka. Jason Knickle), who is not only housing me right now, but completed his first ever running race today - a half-marathon, nonetheless.  A great accomplishment for a guy who took up running only a year ago.  As well, a huge good luck to our Olympic triathletes who are leaving for China.  It is a wide open race for the men and ripe for a Canadian to be on the podium.  The women have a tougher time as there are two women who are dominate, but with this sport, anything can happen on any day.  All our women have the talent to make the podium!