Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Wheels Are Falling Off

To quit running is not an option.

For two years I've known that something was wrong with my left foot, leg, stride or gate. My left foot would slap the ground at a certain pace. Last year the slap turned into heal pain which then turned into tendonitis and more foot pain. Ice helped, heal orthotics helped, and massage helped but it got progressively worse and more painful every morning I got out of bed. The longer or faster the run the more it hurt. After the last ten miler I either had a lower pain tolerance or was concerned I'd be walking like a 90-year old man for the rest of my life.

With no major runs in the next few weeks I thought I could rehab the foot or figure something out. No more running until my noodle coughed up the answer as to what was going on. On a whim, I purchased some off the shelf arch supports. Oh my freakin' dog. The heal orthotics helped a little by cushioning the pain but with the arch support, the pain was gone completely. Zip. Nada. Zero.

A coworker eyeballed my arch supports and mumbled something under his breath. All I could think was that my wheels were coming off. Yeah they're coming off and yours will too eventually. The stupid thing to do is to give up without trying to fix the problem, an inefficient complexity outlook. People stop running due to incompetent attention to their baggage. BS! Wake up! Look, feel, experiment! That doesn't mean go get a shot. The shot doesn't fix the problem causing the pain. Cheap shoes or imbalances or the change in physiology need to be identified and compensated for. Wrap the knee, take glucosamine, ice the legs, buy a massager.

Each year, more and more objects are purchased in my house to alleviate pain, soreness, compensate for something that used to be there. No vanity cult game going on here. I'll buy them, wear them and blog them off after they prove their worth.

So far, the walk around the house test worked. The walk around the neighborhood worked. The true test will be this afternoon with a 6-miler with Da Fish and L. To quit running is to acknowledge that it's a marginal part of my life. To quit running could very well result in a complete mental psychosis meltdown. Ay yay yay! To quit running is not an option. End of story.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Cinnamon Rolls Revisited

Greatgrandma Hoot's written recipe lasted for 44 years untouched until this morning. After disastrous rolls were barely nibbled on Thanksgiving it was time to alter the recipe. It wasn't Grandma Hoot's recipe that was at fault per se, as I found the culprit. It was an ingredient. It was the organic, heavy crystal sugar which the yeast couldn't break down and thus couldn't rise. I switched over to confectioner's sugar and had no problem. Actually, it's 3/4 confectioner's and 1/4 organic sugar. While I was switching things around I substituted unsalted butter for the Crisco an added some cream cheese, subbed scalded milk for the water, added an egg and some sour cream. Results? Yum yum MUY BUENO!

http://twitpic.com/wcqn - Homemade & freshly baked

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Illuminations @ Wildflower Center

A cold but entertaining night at the Wildflower Center. The Derailers were playing and the lights were something to see. The paintings by Linda Calvert Jacobson were nice to see in the gallery.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Soaking the Knees

After the long run I coaxed Fish and L into soaking their legs in Barton Springs. I guess I've acclimated to the cold with the ice I've been applying to the foot lately because the springs didn't feel that cold.

Getting into the springs was treacherous. Normally, the area is crawling with dogs and their owners. The algae is kept to a minimum with all of the paws and feet crawling across the rocks. Not so in winter. Fish, who's more comfortable in water than on land, dunked himself into the 68-degree cool stream on a piece of the green stuff.

Fifteen minutes in the cool bath recharges the knees to their springy norm and reduces the inflammation.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Fantasy Football Winnings

I'm eating cheese soup with croutons as my winnings, delivered by the chumps I totally owned in Fox's Fantasy College Football Pick'Em. Wracked my noodle each week making my picks. In doing so I reserve the right to decline joining the Fox College Bowl Pick'Em. Too many parties between now and Jan. 8 and I may not be able to bring my A game. ;)


Stop the blog-presses or the little hamster running in the wheel or whatever little 15-minute tangent you're on this second!!!

Listen to this right now!
Michael Pollan's National Food Fight

Read this right now!
Farmer in Chief

Saturday, December 6, 2008


T K & R picking out the the Noble Fir at the Optimist Club Christmas tree lot on N. Lamar.

Retreat Activities

We had an all-day retreat yesterday on the new campus of a local university. While we didn't have enough time to take in the nature preserve on the grounds, or ping pong (they had two tables but both were occupied), we did manage to hack a little sack. Surprisingly, our skills hadn't vanished from months of inactivity. It must be like riding a bike, except for the flexibility thing.

Hacky sack is the Rodney Dangerfield of fitness. Why isn't it more mainstream? Is it that it conjures up visions of Keira Knightley thin, rastafarian dreadlocks sporting circle of tribal youth who haven't bathed in a week? Or is it that nobody wants to look as uncoordinated as the first celebrity voted off "Dancing with the Stars"?

I'm learning that different things appeal to people at different times in their life. I was perfectly fine with no hacky sack for all but the last two years of my life. It didn't scream out to try it. There was no neon halo or Argonaut attraction to the sea nymph's bewitching song. Maybe it's just middle age that's causing a lot of things to become as appealing as an all you can eat four dollar Chinese buffet. I have to learn hacky sack, try cyclocross, cycling time trials all right now, this minute. But even the Chinese buffet has some foods on it that only natives of the remote Xinjiang province try and so jumping out of planes and climbing Mount Everest are left for others with more discerning tastebuds. But who knows those two things may appeal to me later in life as it did with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman in the "Bucket List".

All I know is that when I hack the sack it puts a big smile on my face. And with all the uncertainty in the world today, where smiles are hard to come by, we could all use a little more hack.

* note - Fish was hacking as well but someone had to take the photo.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My New Favorite Blog

BikeSnobNYC is the best blog I've read in a long time. I searched the Web for something after the election climaxed Nov. 4. I haven't read one political sentence since. It's not that my guy didn't win. He may have or may not have. ;) Elections are naturally vampirish in nature, sucking the life blood from your body and at the same time leaving you brain fried. That said, it's refreshing to read some quality writing on cycling that doesn't involve Lance, The Tour, or doping.

I followed a couple of great triathlon blogs while working up to the Longhorn 70.3, but now that both blogwriters have completed their full Ironmans, they've inked their M-dot on their calves and proceeded to get fat. The last I saw of their posts they were trying to ignite the old fires of training by lifting kettle bells in a class. So sad.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Big 12 Conference

While everyone is dissing the BCS system, I'm thinking the problems have more to do with the way the Big 12 Conference determines it's North and South Champions and how the league is structured itself. Missouri should be out as north champion and the Big 12 Conference big bosses should let OU and UT go at it again in another game to determine the Big 12 Conference Champion. The Big 12 North has never been a powerhouse and the teams included should be shaken up. Get rid of Iowa State and replace it with Arkansas. Push Oklahoma into the north and bring colorado to the South. There. Done.