Thoughts on an almost lost summer

So, back in May, I found a tick. Went to the doc, got the Lyme Disease prophylaxis, and thought not much of it.

Did my first triathlon in a while at the Mystic Triathlon; not in great shape, but racing felt AWESOME – really brought out the desire to fly, and I thought I was on track for a great summer.

Went for 4 days on the Long Trail in June, and had one of the scouts need to be medevac’d due to vomiting and generally feeling terrible. Turned out, he had Lyme. Trip felt great for me; and was happy, healthy.

Vacation in Stowe was AMAZING as always; possibly the best week of the year by far, though my conditioning didn’t really reflect the effort I’d put in. Not sure why.

Immediately after vacation, I had a work trip to Honolulu. The first couple days I was there, my right knee swelled up, which is odd, because that’s like the only joint in my legs I haven’t had an issue with. But, it felt better when I ran, so I went with it. Plenty of good running laps of the canal, and a rented bike from Island Triathlon & Bike lead to two AWESOME days of riding.

But, I got home, the knee swelled up, and the lethargy I felt was stronger than the usual 6 hour Hawaii jetlag. So, I went in to see the doc, who, given the tick earlier in the year, said we ought to start the antibiotics, and take the test.

The test came back positive for Lyme, so I’ve got that going for me.

The course of Doxycycline seems to be working well; most days my head is clear, my knee doesn’t ACHE, though it is still tender. I went for a (REALLY SHORT) bike ride this morning, and had no lungs, though that might just be neglect.

Poop.

One Step Forward, stutter step back

So, it’s time for my semi-annual mile and a half test. Still nursing the tendon pull in the left foot, and a twitchy right knee to boot. I did one more run last week – out ‘n’ back at Bluff Point. First two miles were great, then – well, not bad, but not good.

Took the rest of the week off.

Sunday afternoon – I’d decided just to kind of phone in the semi-annual test. Jog it, y’know, nice and easy. So, I did.

Long story short, I’m not terribly upset. “Phoning in” 1.5 miles on the track ended up being 8 minute miles. Which isn’t bad. Plus, I didn’t wake up this morning feeling hurt. So, I’ve got that going for me.

Anyway, it’s been a kind of tough summer, but in the whole first-world problem type of tough. I didn’t run or bike nearly so much as I wanted to, but I spent most of a week backpacking on the Long Trail, spent a week in Vermont on vacation with the family, spent a week at scout camp, and spent a month on a ship in the Arctic. Mileage is way, way down, but weight’s not up.

Now I need to get focused; buckle down for the winter, and come out of the other side stronger and healthier than ever.

Not Dead Yet (again)

It’s been a frustrating spring. Cold, wet, blah, blah, blah.

    Something’s up with my left foot. Started training for a marathon to be named later, and sometime in mid-March, felt a pop midway through a 10 miler. Left foot felt really, really tender. Ran another mile on it, then walked about 3 to get home. (Probably should have called the wife for a pickup). Since then, the foot’s swelled up for about two days every time I run, and really starts to hurt at about 4 miles. (Probably should go see a doctor) Bleh. Want to run
    So, don’t use aluminum bolts to hold a rack to a frame if you anticipate carrying anything resembling a normal work load (computer, notebook, change of clothes, lunch) on a regular basis. The one aluminum bolt I had on my commuter snapped earlier this winter. Tried to use an “easy-out” to pull the aluminum out of the steel frame, and ended up with a really, really smooth hole. So, now I’m terrified because I’m about to re-thread the hole. Worst case – need to put in a helicoil, but had to source a tap.

Anyway, it’d be really easy to be down, I think. BUT!

Snuck out for a quick ride after a storm on Sunday afternoon, and, without really trying to hammer, cranked out 6 PRs and two personal seconds on a loop I ride pretty frequently.

Not bad for an aging, fat dude.

Clarity

There’s nothing quite like the first few really clear, cold mornings in New England. The leaves are off the trees, and clear sky stretches from horizon to horizon. Late autumn mornings start slowly and drag on, until the sun creeps far enough above the horizon to throw everything into sharp resolve – shadows snapped sharp, the cold air making the bright visuals stand out.

image

Woke up early enough this morning to take the mountain bike out to Bluff Point for a loop. It’s been a long, long while since I’d ridden fat tires on loose soil, and for a little while, I was 13 again, barreling through the trees, branches whipping and grabbing my clothes. I don’t know if it was just enthusiasm, but I was clearing stuff I hadn’t previously cleared, and on a couple of the downhills, just felt absolutely like flying.

The ride was too short (Stupid work). But the bike’s in the car, and there’s only 30 days of less daylight until we start heading back to the endless days of endless light we call summer around here.

Great things afoot at the Jank household – need to write more later.

Middle summer night’s dreams

Great summer so far. I’ve worked a total of 7 days since June. Mostly vacation, part sequester, part taking care of teeth and checkups. (No cavities, good cholesterol, 10 pounds overweight)

Back from Scout Camp this evening. A whole week without beer. Somehow, I survived. Solid work through the end of the year, though. Not sure how I’m going to handle it.

Sad I missed D and Dianna at the Kelley race at Ocean Beach this weekend, but hope I can catch some folks at New Haven or the Hartford Marathon.

April Fool

Brilliant run today.

We’re in the funny time of year where there are three phases of weather.

  • Cold and grey, which is fine, ’cause as we all know, April showers bring roads free of sand and salt.
  • Or it’s brilliant blue skies and freaking freezing, ’cause the folks up in Canadia are still trying to pawn off their excess of winter onto us good, hard working Americans, forcing us to burn more fossil fuels
  • Or, it’s just brilliant. Warm, verdant and green, and a beautiful respite from winter before humidity and tourists set in for the summer.
  • Not enough April showers

    Great run today at lunch. 5 miles on the long, hilly standby from the office. Waved at a former colleague running the other way, enjoyed the sun on my face when it was shining and the shade when it went behind the clouds. Legs felt good.

    Lungs were working free from almost two weeks of mucus, so apologies to anyone following behind – boy did it feel like sheets were breaking free. The good news is that I think I’m done with the spring 2013 edition of the Vulcan Death Flu.

    The bad news is that I missed about 8 days of running due to a head full of snot. Which is a shame, ’cause this was one of my best Aprils on record, following a decent February and great March.

    So, not enough post-workout April showers, for sure.

    Not enough rain, either. Spent some time yesterday working in the yard, and it’s dry like August. Wah.

    All in all, good start to the week.

    Lame Excuses and Lazy Long Runs

    Hi. I’m Jank, and I’m lazy.

    One of the biggest challenges that faces most of us is just getting our butts out the door. I know that I’ve got a terrible habit, especially on Saturdays and Sundays of saying “Well, I get up for work every other day of the week, don’t I deserve to sleep in one day?” And I probably do, and there’s always an opportunity to run later in the day, so I roll over and wait for #2 son to fly in the door and do the flying leap onto the bed when he’s ready for me to make him breakfast.

    Then we have breakfast, and I can’t run right after I eat. So we go to the hardware store, and by the time we get home, it’s time for lunch, and I can’t run right after I eat. So we have lunch, and I start into a project in the house or in the yard, and have a couple beers, and then I can’t run on a full stomach, so what the heck, I’ll just run tomorrow morning. 12 hours later, the cycle repeats, except Sunday School and church replace the trip to the hardware store. (Melissa, my long-suffering wife, usually avoids my fate, since she was born with a double ambition gene).

    Today was on track to be another typical Saturday on which I’ve blown off my Saturday run, until the lovely and talented Annalisa tweeted:

    I replied:

    And thought about trying to sit on the same lame couch.

    But, I’ve had some awful hangove.. uh, headaches, Mom. And I know folks who have migraines, and know that a headache is to a migraine like a Tonka truck is to an open pit mine dump truck – orders of magnitude different. So then the guilt kicks in at trying for a cheap laugh at someone else’s pain, and of sitting on a couch when there’s beautiful (if slightly damp) roads waiting for me out my door, and then my beautiful (and long-suffering) wife, who’s already banged out five miles while the boys and I were at pancake breakfast for the church mission trip, and …

    Enough already – I had to get out the door.

    So, I suited up, walked out, and the cool day had turned damp. Light sleet coming out of the sky. Enough to where I might be able to justify going back to the couch. ‘Cept – no.

    An hour later, I stroll back in the door. The run wasn’t a particularly special one – 6 miles at slug pace, and about a quarter mile cooldown walk with a gratifying cloud of steam coming off of me like in a superhero comic after a battle. And a lightness in my step for turning an ordinary weekend into good base miles.

    Short Socks and Spray

    Two days into the week, and there have been three zeros busted for the first time in I don’t know when. (Four, when I think that this is the first week in a long while with two posts on the old blog…)

    Anyway, this morning was another awesome ride into the office (Haven’t had a day I’ve regretted riding in yet).
    January Bike Commute

    Post script: After the great start to last week, I choked until running on Saturday. Awesome. Lesson learned is not to brag.

    Racing Weight – Someday.

    Hey, y’all. Still alive; don’t add me to your list of Dead Blogs yet. I’m still plugging away, but work, moonlighting, kids’ sports (Drop me a line if you want to buy a raffle ticket), and Cub Scouts (Ditto if you want some scout popcorn), have kept me from posting. That, and catching up on 30 Rock and Dr. Who.

    Survived Snowmageddon 2012 V1.0, manage to work out pretty frequently, and completed the first week of the Racing Weight Quick Start guide. I’m pretty pleased with the program after a week. It’s a do-able chunk of work tied to a pretty workable diet plan. Nothing earth-shattering on the diet side, but good advice about how to score what you eat by quality. (Full disclosure – my quality for yesterday and today is terrible). I’m pairing it with calorie tracking at MyFitnessPal, mostly because they’ve got a GREAT and free iPhone app.

    I miss posting here. I miss the early days of Web 2.0 – everything’s getting all monetized and crap.

    Sigh.