Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Injured! Again/Still

So.  I think I have complained on here before about an IT band injury - my troubles started in the winter of 2010, when Caroline decided to run a marathon.  Naturally I had to start training as well.  Things went fine for a few weeks, and then all of a sudden (as is apparently common with IT band injuries) I couldn't run. At all.  A few months of physio therapy and exercises was enough to get me running again.  I could now run...wait for it... 1.2 kilometers without pain.

So the marathon was out.

This seemed to be my plateau for the rest of the summer.  In the fall of 2010 I decided to take a strategic rest from running at all to let it fully heal (read: I gave up).  Then in 2011 I signed up for the Sun Run again, so got back on the horse with a different physiotherapist and back into training.  This seemed to work - I ran 6 k in the Sun Run totally pain free, and in the months afterward was able to build it to 8 or 9 easily.  This was great news.

Fall came around and we signed up for a run clinic. The first few weeks were tough on my knee, but each week was slightly better - I could run faster and longer.  We took a break from Vancouver to go down to Moab, where I took an unscheduled dismount on our last day of riding.  My knee acted up again on the return, but I put this down to the dismount injury messing up all of the muscles.  A few weeks went by, the leg seemed to heal, and suddenly I could finish an entire track workout.  Faster than I had even been, and without pain at all.

The next week I went back to track, and within 400 meters of the warm up, my right knee IT band started to hurt.  Excruciating, actually.

Did I mention that up until now, from February of 2010, it had been the left knee?

So it appears that I am back to the beginning. The plan is to take a 2 week hiatus over the Christmas break, and then start running again in the park outside of our house.  The park is 400m around, so the first day I will run around it once.  The next day, twice.  And so on.  It will be like my own hamster wheel.

Anyways. I am completely exasperated.  But at the same time am feeling fairly good about this new plan of easing into it, and hopefully starting the right treatment immediately.

This is supposed to be a photo-heavy blog, but complaining is hard to take a picture of.  So since I mentioned Moab, here are a few more of my favourite pictures from the trip.  These I shot in HDR.  I was really proud of all the work I had put into them (tripod, multiple exposures, processing them individually back at the computer, etc), but then I saw that some new point and shoots now have an HDR mode which will probably do a better job than I can, without any work at all.  I'll save that complaint for another post though.

Moab in HDR

Moab in HDR

Moab in HDR

Moab in HDR

If anyone is interested, here is wikipedia's take on what seems to be my main adversary in this story.

Bottom line: "IT Bands: the worst thing in the world."

More Fun Than Survival

I normally try to resist using filling up this blog with a bunch of links to semi-interesting crap on the internet.

However. What I am about to tell you about happened a few weeks ago, and I just can't get it out of my head. Just an incredible sequence of events / commentary on the human condition. It requires some backstory:

First - my favourite (only) webcomic that I read, xkcd, published this comic:

I thought it was pretty funny. I had heard of wingsuits before, but I pulled up one of the latest videos on you tube:

Then I forgot about it.  Until two days later, when I noticed one of my friends post on  Facebook:


Now go back and re-read the last line in the comic above.

Seriously though, you should watch the video.  It's pretty cool.

I sort of want to try it.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Revelstoke Backcountry

Delayed post again this week.  But I also just worked 50 hours in 4 days, so cut me a little slack.

Last weekend we headed up to Revelstoke to meet Mike and give him a quick introduction to the Shangri-La that is backcountry skiing.  We could not have asked for a better day.

2011.12.09 Revvy (11)

I think as soon as this happened our case was made and we could have gone home.  But we pressed onwards, and slightly upwards.

2011.12.09 Revvy (31)

Shrew Mountain is what we are looking at.  I would have been able to chalk it down as a first ascent, except for an extremely inconsiderate set of footprints that went right up to the top.  You can see that the top is a little overhanging and cornice-y... we couldn't tell if there was a set of footprints coming back from the ledge.  So I will chalk it up as a first ascent with successful descent.  Unless he had a parachute, I guess.  I suppose that's almost likely around these parts.  In any case, a very successful day.  Hopefully this is the first of many more this season.

2011.12.09 Revvy (36)

(as always, clicking on any of the pictures will take you to Flickr for the rest)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Canadian Grocery List

The most Canadian-esque grocery list I have yet seen:

Thanks Dan.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Crazy/Busy/It must be Christmas Time!


It's already Thursday and I *still* haven't gotten up last weeks update!  It's that crazy time of the year when you have a million places to go, a million people to see and a million things to do all before the 25th of December.  I swear December is the shortest month of the year!  Only 12 days until home for Christmas! Oh dear!

And amidst all that, we are still trying to fit in all the training...  I'll emphasize trying... oh dear!

I've actually managed to fit in a fair amount of bike miles, although mostly through errands and commuting.  That still counts right?  And can I double count the miles on a singlespeed?

I finally also made it back to Bikram Yoga and have (by way of putting it off and putting it off) committed to one class a week until January.  I know one class really isn't much but it is all I can fit in for the busy holiday season and I'm treating it as a nice stretching day among busy training days.  And I really do love how it makes me feel!

I'll leave you with a fabulous picture.  The weather was beautiful on the weekend and we got out for a long bike ride (longest since the triathlon in August)!  However, dry air didn't exactly mean dry roads.

2011.12 December (11)

And you should have seen my bike...

(T-47 weeks and counting until New Zealand)
Matt Caroline
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Distance (km)
Distance (km)
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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Grease On, Wax Off

2011.12 December (12)

Continuing the theme of last post, the season has definitely changed.  Whistler was amazing. Perfect snow conditions, most of the mountain was open, and we had an inversion that day - so not only did it look great, but the inversion meant that the temperature was pretty constant across the whole mountain.  I'm used to a 10 degree swing, and having to dress warm enough for the top and cool enough for the bottom.  Not this weekend.

2011.12 December (16)

No action shots though.  This was the first test of a bag system that will hold a camera without annoying me while I ski.  I would give it 95% positive reviews, so hopefully next time I'll finally get that skiing poster shot I've been attempting for years now. Clicking on the picture below will take you to Flickr for the rest of the pictures...