Thursday, December 31, 2009

Albums Of The Year

Another solid year for the tunes. For me the year had 5 or 6 stand out albums and then a lot of very good albums. My top 10 of the year is not as clear cut as 2008. I would say the top 4 albums are clear and my play count reflects this however a couple of my top ten could easily be replaced by the honorable mention list, but who cares so here it goes. My favorite albums of 2009.

10. Yeah Yeah Yeah's - Its Blitz!All the garage-rock fans of early YYY's work decided this album was crap. I mean who wants to see a band evolve their sound to make some of the most beautiful tracks of the year? This nonsense does my head in. The same stuff happened when Radiohead made "Kid A", not that I'm putting this on the same level. Karan O is a fantastic vocalist and she is on top of her game here. The album is more produced than early work but the sound has been honed into a bolder more layered version of their garage-rock roots. Aside from the exceptional "Maps", I've never really gotten into the work of YYY's until this album. Its got nu wave elements and amazing ballads that match the emotions of "Maps". It will be played for a long time to come.

9. Passion Pit - Manners

I may regret putting this album in my top 10. But I can't deny that I played the hell out of it all summer. Many bike rides were accompanied by this album and even though its cheesy at the best of times it is very infectious and uplifting. I heard 'Sleepyhead' for the first time on WDOM Providence College radio and immediately called in to ask about the band. This was swiftly followed up by the purchase of "A Chunk Of Change". It was all positive from that point forward. I'm a little sick of the album now and it does sound very commercial but the truth is I really enjoyed it for several months. The blatant use of in your face synths and poptastic drums all work really well. The album, because of this, is really sincere and joyful. I'm skeptical about the longevity of this work and the band but "Manners" is really good and very refreshing. Puts a smile on my face every time.

8. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus I've no idea what happened to me in 2009. I softened up my taste and really enjoyed more pop music than I have in years. While drifting away from the likes of "Coldplay" and "The Killers", I found myself listening to music that is equally if not more commercial. Not saying that all of a sudden I'm into the billboard charts, but I'm not afraid to let my guard down anymore. I loved this album and Liztomania is one of the best songs I heard this year. I saw these guys years ago in Boston so I don't feel like I'm jumping on any bandwagon. Ordinarily I would never listen to Phoenix but their music is so infectious and enjoyable. The album is full of pop anthems and is really well crafted. Its sounds very natural and the music can be played anywhere. OK, I need to move on before I crack up.

7. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion
Perhaps the most hyped album of the year. The blog world was awash with tension prior to the release of this album. People claiming they had leaked copies and thus becoming the envy of the readers. In the end my anticipation was not met with the greatest album of the decade nay the year. Rather it was met with a very good, forward thinking, and extremely unique album that typifies the sound of Animal Collective. It took a while for me to 'get' the record but when I finally did I thoroughly enjoyed it. I read somewhere that every song on this album could be somebody's favorite which is a great testament to the work. "My Girls" is a personal favorite and certainly their are no tracks worth skipping. However, for me, the hype was greater than the album. I might have enjoyed it more if I just stumbled upon it. After almost a year of listening I still enjoy it and it certainly deserves a place in the top 10 of any list. Perhaps the most original sounding album of the year.

6. Jonsi And Alex - Riceboy Sleeps
I have never been shy to discuss my love for Sigur Ros. They are one of my favorite bands and their music is breathtaking. On this work, Jonsi and his partner Alex drop the vocals and create a soundscape that is so beautiful I can't help but be floored. When I heard "Happiness" for the first time the hairs on my neck started celebrating. The track is epic, haunting, and very emotional. Its sets the perfect tone for a fantastic musical journey. The album came at a perfect time for me. Despite not getting the love from the music media and the blogosphere the album is still a standout. Maybe people were expecting Sigur Ros, and although the textures and sounds are very Sigur, the album is not. Its intensely personal and powerful. The kind of work that you listen to with headphones on and just your thoughts. Jonsi is a genius in my opinion and few other artist takes me away like he does. Fantastic.

5. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest

These guys have really wormed they way into my heart. I saw them open for Radiohead a couple of times but never really loved them the way the music media did. However, determined not to be swayed by the hype all over the web, I bought "Veckatimest" and loved it. "Two Weeks" is one of my favorite tracks of the year and it is buttressed by some amazing music. Edward Droste has a beautiful and very unique voice that can almost come across as boring or lacking energy, but its those qualities that make this album so good. Without trying really hard the vocals and instrumentation work amazing well together and create an expansive sound that is as intimate as it is sonic. A journey to be celebrated.

4. Julian Plenti - Julian Plenti Is SkyscraperLoved this album so much. I'm no authority on music. Really its all subjective and personal which is why I tend to not like year end lists (even though I read all of them!) Sometimes the music press is a little pretentious and music blogs even more so. However these people love their sounds which is why they write about it. Julian Plenti didn't fare well on the year end lists and I don't quite know why. Maybe its just because I find Paul Bank's voice so uplifting. Maybe I base too much of my judgment on vocals, I don't know. What I do know is that from start to finish Skyscraper is fantastic. The songs do have an Interpol feel which is unavoidable given the unique nature of Bank's vocals and maybe that is why I love the album so much. Every song is great and there is something for everyone on the album. From "Games For Days" which would sound great in a packed stadium to "Unwind" which is so joyful, built simply around a repetitive vocal, to "Only If You Run" which is poppy, cheerful, and so uplifting, the record has it all. I saw him perform twice this year and even in a small venue with a sparse crowd the emotion and energy is immediate and alive. Awesome.

3. Bat For Lashes - Two Suns
Natasha Khan aka Bat for Lashes is currently my favorite female vocalist. I was so excited about this album given how much I enjoyed "Fur and Gold", and from the instant I heard the opener, the amazing "Glass", I was sold. She is exceptionally talented, a modern day Kate Bush. She weaves elements of mysticism, new age and melody to create stunning music that is simply hers. "Daniel" is one of my favorite tracks of the year and with its infectious chorus and 80's influenced drums it serves as a perfect juxtaposition to the likes of "Glass". The album is about duality, and while I don't like to get that deep into the meanings of the music, Khan is such an artist that to just listen to the songs is almost belittling the effort and the scope of the work. She has poured her heart and soul into the album and therefore respect must be shown to the conceptual side of the work. However if you don't agree, just listen away, because while I'm spouting all this gibberish about concepts and art, the fact is the album is instantly listenable and truly joyful.

2. Mew - No More Stories Are Told Today
I'm not sure what the title is all about (its a poem and I am not writing it out) but the music that the album contains is amazing. I keep reading about Mew and Prog Rock and while I don't know too much about the genre I do know that I love this sound and I could care less about what genre it falls into. "And The Glass Handed Kites" is one one of my albums of the decade with its continuous blending of songs (maybe thats the prog rock buzz) and epic moments so naturally I've been waiting patiently for another Mew record. And this does not fail to deliver. Whether or not it is better than previous albums is a moot point, the work is awesome and will gain new fans considering its more commercial moments. The first track I heard off the album was "Introducing Palace Players" and I probably played it 20 times in a row. The same can be said for "Silas The Magic Car". The songs cry out to be played loud and regularly. This is a must have album that surprises and inspires. Their live show left me speechless. Mew and everything about them is fantastic.

1. Sunset Rubdown - Dragonslayer
Spencer Krug. Genius. The guy can do no wrong in my eyes. His voice has something that triggers all manner of emotions in me. His lyrics and song structures are otherworldly. Each song on the album has its own story with twists and turns that many albums fail to achieve. 8 songs, 48 minutes, infinite enjoyment. When Camilla joins Spencer after 3:30 in the opening "Silver Moons" it may be the most satisfying moment in music during 2009, (Thom Yorke singing "Present Tense" is also up there) and from that point on the album grips you and moments of epic proportions fill the rest of the record. Each song deserves to be written about on its own and I'm not going to do justice to the album in a short paragraph. I listened to this album more than any other this year and Sunset Rubdown at "Lees Palace" in Toronto was the best gig I was at this year. To follow up "Random Spirit Lover" seemed an impossible task but they did and Spencer seemed to do it with little effort such is the scope of his talent. An absolute belter of an album.

Honorable Mentions that could easily make the top 10 on a different day.

White Lies - To Lose My Life
Handsome Furs - Face Control
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Self Titled
Fever Ray - Fever Ray
Memory Tapes - Seek Magic
The XX - Self Titled
Zoot Woman - Things Are What They Used To Be
The Whitest Boy Alive - Rules
Editors - In This Light And On This Evening

Ice Age Coming

Today is the 31st of December and I find myself reflecting on the last 2 weeks with much joy and a little restlessness. It is very nice to be sitting on the couch with a large mug of dark coffee finally catching up with the world after a significant absence from the surfing of the web. Not that I missed the web too much. My 4 days in London and 7 days in Ireland were awesome. I have the best mates in the world and despite some current hard times they still smile and offer great cheer. I've had the same group of friends for over 20 years and they are like family. I would lay down in traffic for them. The laughter and hangovers will last a long time. Like all decadent behavior it comes crashing to an end at some point and for me about 4 or 5 nights usually does it. I like to think I can handle the nights out better than most, then I go out with the lads and I realize I'm very much an amateur. Frankie did really well and her improvement was the perfect off set to my below average performance. We got through however and now the switch has been flicked. My friend Ged has noticed this behavior over the years. Basically I live the lifestyle for a while and then I snap because my body rejects the fuel and longs for the burn of some hard training and good sleep. It used to be two months off before I'd snap and now its less than 2 weeks. Maturity is a bitch.

I arrived back last night and got on my trainer for an easy 45 minutes followed by a lot of core work. Its back to the grind. The plan was to go out in Boston tonight to ring in the new year but that looks less and less like its going to happen. The 2 inches of snow that sits and continues to accumulate outside my window will most likely quash the plans.

I was never a big new year fan. And I never felt that the new year was good timing to make radical changes. For some people it offers a target date to make the changes they wish to see but in essence its an arbitrary day, no different than any other tomorrow. For many people the timing comes after their own week of madness through the holidays and it offers a new dawn, a new year where goals are set and dreams are made. I completely respect this. For me the new year was always at the end of the summer. The track season would end and the preparation for cross country would start. It would be a few weeks of swill and getting fat before the double days and the grind. The new year was always just another opportunity to hit the tiles but the decisions and goals were set months prior. Now I find myself actually thinking about 2010 and the goals (or lack thereof) I have set. I am still not sure how my body will react to training. My right knee has improved under the wonderful craftsmanship of Brian McKeon but my left knee is still screwed. Having a hole in my cartilage makes goal setting a little more difficult.

If I can make some changes in 2010 they will entail being more responsible (such an adult) and accepting that I'm not 21 anymore. I need to tone down the hard training and the constant desire to bury myself in every session. This is not a joke, its a real problem. I find it difficult to workout in the right "zones" or what ever you want to call it. My easy hour on the trainer always turns into an interval session. An easy 3 mile run to test my knee always turns into a 6 mile steady run. When I get fit, a 5 mile tempo run turns into a 6-7 mile race. A 12 mile long run turns into an 18 mile hard run. I say I'll run at 7 minute pace but always end up below 6 minute pace. Excess and inability to make the correct decisions always gets me in trouble. The old, I'm going for 1 beer but drink 6 beers mentality. I am literally on my last legs and these are the only knees I have. So 2010, kelrock will be more responsible. Additionally I am going to more concerts and going to get more involved in music. Thats the buzz.

Happy New Year and Keep Believing.

I have a few music lists to put up now.

Love Kel

Friday, December 25, 2009

When A Cold Wind Blows It Chills You


We are alive and well, just pretty hungover and feeling incredibly fat. But thats what the holidays are all about. The Lads FC deserve a blog of their own. The best bunch in the world. But right now is not the time. Hope everyone has a fantastic few days,

Peace and Much Love,

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I Come Home - She Lifted Up Her Wings

Back on the old stomping grounds. Caught up on sleep and now off to get buzzed on espresso. Off to London tomorrow for 3 days. Knee is coming around nicely. Swelling is almost gone and only incision soreness and slight swelling behind the knee is causing any discomfort.

All good heading into the holiday period. Just published on, a little playlist from my current iPod Shuffle selection and a little bit about the importance of music, see below,

Love Kel,7120,s6-240-466--13367-0,00.html

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Begging For A Break

If I didn't have an overwhelming desire to train and attend live music shows I wouldn't know what to do with myself. I mean what do people do. It hit me hard the last few days with being laid up and immobile, sans Frankie, house mates, and training. I 'm pretty sure that between last Thursday and today I finally read the entire Internet. Sure it took a lot of commitment but its doable, especially when there is nothing else to do. Not to mention that I went to Target and the Mall, twice, for some Xmas shopping. Who is this person?

My knee has been getting the love and affection it deserves. Ice all day, lots of slow mobility exercises, PT, and positive energy. The swelling is significantly reduced and I am completely free of crutches. Nice one.

The European XC Champs were on today in Dublin. To think that my goal last year was to be ready for this event and here I am post-op dreaming again of things that seem destined never to happen. The team did solid, but with no disrespect because the lads would agree, they should have done better. I believed they would get a medal however there are no sure things in the world of cross country team competition. Mark Kennelly had a fantastic run, placing 8th, his highest ever in the event. Otherwise the lads ran below potential. Some sickness and injury hampering the build up. I feel especially bad for Mary Cullen, I am not sure what went wrong but I have no doubt on another day she would have medaled, if not won. And that is taking nothing away from Haley Yelling who ran inspired to take the win at 35 years of age. There is hope!

The guts of my packing is done, reflecting the level of boredom I have right now. I miss training. Even just getting on the bike for an hour easy is enough to burn off some energy. Now I am pro-active in doing things that I usually leave until the last minute. Living the normal life for a while can't hurt. Overall my outlook is pretty good. The reds lost again today but they and the gaffer still have my backing and trust. The optimism is still carrying through. And with my leg improving at such a rapid speed I may have to purposely leave my running gear here so to avoid temptation.

The dog days are indeed over, bring on the week,

Love Kelrock

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Knives Out

Little bit of a nightmare couple of days. Long story short; I had my surgery yesterday and after stopping back to the office to finish work while high on Percs I came back to P-Town without my house keys. Kim is gone to NZ so I was locked out. Had to stay in Coxy's which was very nice and comfortable but not exactly good recovery protocol. I went back to the office today to get my keys and I'm finally back home with ice on my elevated knee.

As for the actual surgery, it was awesome. Out-patient clinics are so much better than hospitals. Laid back, friendly and very comfortable. I had a good chat with the Doc in the OR before being knocked out. Is it strange that I thoroughly enjoy anesthesia? I was joking to the Doc that I was going to fight the count and as his laugh faded away the nurse came over and asked if I was feeling alright. Of course I was feeling alright, I was just waiting for the anesthesia to kick in. It was at that point that she alerted me to the fact that surgery was over and that anesthesia is unbeatable. It is very typical of me to challenge myself in almost every situation. Fighting anesthesia is no different and like every surgery before this it kicked my ass. This time however was very humorous. Maybe you had to be there.

There are 4 videos below out of 10 that were given to me. They provide a nice summary of the surgery. The tear was pretty bad and by the end you can see where the meniscus used to be and what I have left to protect me for the near future. The Doc and I chatted about getting my left knee done. The plan is to attempt a training cycle in 2010 and see how it goes. If I can deal with it I'll truck on but if not we will revisit the microfracture or OATS option and attempt to fix it.

Thank you for the kind comments and emails/phone calls. I am stupidly lucky to have friends that care. And as I fade away here on the couch to the sound of Editors while drinking 365 Raspberry soda I think about running in 2010 with excitement and a renewed sense of optimism.

Love Kel

Monday, December 7, 2009

Do You Wanna Know, Know That It Doesn't Hurt Me

Did a little bit of running today but not too much. Enough to make me very happy that I have only one more sleep until I get this 10mm chunk of meniscus out from the back of my knee. Positives to take from the recent ramp up in running are that my left knee, which has the real issue, can tolerate some level of running. The Doc told me this would be the case and he was right. I can now optimistically set goals, however minor, for 2010. And until training resumes I have travel and great times ahead. Meeting Frankie in London and hanging with the Lads in Drogheda. Lovely.

I came across Phantogram today. They are a duo from New York with a similar set up to Handsome Furs, all be it more laid back. The songs I've heard are all great and the below song has had more than one listen. Its called "Mouthful Of Diamonds" and is quite brilliant. I've also been paying the Def Star remix of Fences by Phoenix, reflecting my chilled mood.

Thank you for the kind emails of support heading in to yet another surgery,

Love Kel

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Perfect Day For Winter Athletics

PM: 100 Minutes Bar Biking
PM: 37 Minutes Run

Today we ushered in a new season of Bar Biking. What is Bar Biking you might ask. Well its exactly as it says. We ride bikes in a bar. Not any bar mind you, we ride in the Wild Colonial. It was the idea of Brian Lang (bar tender extrodinaire) last winter to bring our trainers and set up in the front bar and ride hard. We did it a couple of times and it was great so we kicked off season 2 today. It was only Brian and I due to the late call to make it happen but by January we hope to have 5 or 6 guys banging out workouts in the pub and consuming refreshing brews after (undoing all the good work). We did some reps today in a ride as you feel kind of buzz. Nothing too structured but a great workout nonetheless.

When I got home I chilled and listened to Boy Lilikoi about 10 times in a row while Pat watched the closing minutes of the game between the Patriots of New England and the Dolphins of Miami. He was displeased with the outcome. I was still flying high after the bar biking session so I joined Pat, Kim and Molly for their afternoon run. My knee was still sore from the irrational hour I ran in the freezing rain yesterday, however with the clock ticking down to Tuesday there was no stopping me putting on the tights for a jaunt around the streets on a cool but very still winter evening.

On Tuesday I will go under the knife so tomorrow will be my last run for about 6-8 weeks. I will do an hour easy. Blogging will be sporadic after that because I won't have much to say and I will be in Europe for 2 weeks. No one wants to hear how much it sucks to have to sit on ones arse and wait for the green light to do 15 minutes of no resistance bike riding. Not exactly training now is it?
Music news has been lacking because I spent the last 48 hours listening to the same song over and over again. I stopped to watch the last hour of Kill Bill Vol. 2 (amazing film). Now that its over, its back to Boy Lilikoi. If you want something different please make your way over to THIS link and download the compilation "Galactique Compilation Vol 2". The label is the work of my good Friend (Frankies older brother) Marc Darroch. A couple of his tracks are on their. Lots of different styles of music for snowy days and wine drinking.

On more of a commercial sounding tip I forgot how good the Fred Falke remix of Grizzly Bear's "Two Weeks" sounded. The track got a few repeat plays tonight. Perfect trainer song for raising energy levels and joy.

Love Kel

Friday, December 4, 2009

The World Goes And Flutters By

No training or mundane activity from today trumps hearing the new Jonsi track. This guy has a rare talent that completely floors me. I feel insignificant next to genius like this. Sigur Ros are a top 5 all-time band for me and listening to Jonsi solo brings out the same emotion. He is singing in English which is not something I have ever wished for (I thoroughly enjoy Hoplandic) but hearing the lyrics puts a massive smile on my face. I've said this before, but I remember seeing Sigur Ros for the first time in 2005. I was lost for words after the show and literally couldn't speak. The Opera House in Boston was such an amazing venue to see the band. Once we got outside I turned to my friend Shawn and told him that if a friend of mine couldn't find something positive or uplifting in the music of Sigur Ros I would struggle to remain friends with them. If they went to a live show and didn't feel moved I would actually question if they had any soul whatsoever. That is how good the live performance is. It seems an eternity since the last Sigur Ros album (only 18 months) and hearing this song reminds me of hearing "Ny Batteri" or "Hoppipolla" for the first time. It is amazing and I cannot wait for his album.

Love Kel

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Came The Last Night Of Sadness

AM: 30 Minutes Run
PM: 60 Minutes Trainer Ride

Another double day of running and biking. Only 6 days of running left before I go into an altered state while a small tool cuts away the last remaining bits of my meniscus. Lee and I ran Houghton's pond today and we had to peel off our shirts. It was 68 degrees but given the time of year it felt like 88 degrees. We were sweating bullets. Awesome. When I got home I did a very steady/hard hour on the trainer. I would have done 90 minutes but hunger took over and considering it was after 8 bells I needed to call it a night. I will be loading up the weekend in anticipation of it being my last hard training for a while. After the surgery I am heading home so training will be sparse. I am not going to fuss about it. My fitness heading into surgery is very good so I will enjoy the break and then actually pen some goals for 2010.

I am loving the "Van She" remake of Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear The Reaper". Van She have been consistently putting out joyful, shoegaze, electropop tracks for the last few years. It seems the while Montreal may be home to cutting edge indie rock, Sydney is home to electropop, post nu wave bands. This cover is really uplifting. Its been getting constant play on my iTunes tonight.

Peace and Love,


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Introducing Palace Players

An absolute belter of a show. Easily in the top three shows I've seen this year. Mew captured the emotion of the albums and brought the songs to life in a way that only brilliant bands can. I was literally blown away by the singing and the unison within the group. The temptation to go to NYC was very high but the rational side of me took over. Friendly Fires are calling my name on Friday night but not to sound like a complete running geek, I don't know if I can stand on my knee for another show. I woke up this morning, still on a high however, my knee was very swollen. It sucks ass but considering I have a massive tear in the back of the joint I shouldn't expect anything less.

I got in a run before the gig. A solid 5 miles on the T-Mill (no wonder my knee was sore) and a little core work. My mood has been bolstered lately with some good energy at work and the countdown to a trip back home to see frankie, family and friends. Positive day and very positive evening. Time to get some kip. Below are some videos that were taken from the show. I was front and center myself, but these were shot from the side of the stage. Brilliant.

Love Kel

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Comforting Sounds

AM: 90 Minutes Trainer Ride W/ SS Intervals
PM: 34 Minutes Easy Running

The day was devoted to listening to my old Mew records in anticipation of the show tomorrow night. No matter how often I go to see bands nothing can beat seeing a band for the first time. Its becoming more and more rare these days but Mew is one band I have managed to miss every time they toured.

I hit the trainer hard this morning for what seemed like a quick 90 minutes. After a warm up and single leg drills I did 2 x 15 minutes hard. The effort was about 7-8 and below threshold. But by the end of the second rep I was really pushing. The goal of each rep is to stay steady, in the same gear, and put out an effort that I could hold for an hour. A running equivalent might be 2 x 5k at goal 1/2 marathon pace. The running session would obviously be harder but to my heart and lungs its all work, and building fitness before the knee surgery.

In the PM I joined Kim and Molly for an easy afternoon run. The girls could have dropped me which reinforces the need to run. Cross training certainly keeps everything else fit and lean but the act of running cannot be replaced. My knee must be loving the mild torture I'm putting it through!

Couple of Mew songs below to celebrate the upcoming show,

Love Kel

Monday, November 30, 2009

They All Say They Long To Reach Their Sorrow

Got in 3.5 hours yesterday on the bike. It was a beautiful day. Makes me wish Winter wasn't around the corner. Today was just a run. My plans to do a session on the trainer were postponed due to lack of tubes. I had no puncture repair patches left either. I could have gone down to Providence bike and made the effort but the energy was not there. I will make up for it tomorrow. 8 days to surgery so time to make the most of it. I am really excited to see Mew on Wednesday night. The below session is on its 11th viewing today. It will be 20 (at least) by tomorrow.

Love Kel

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Insane Love Is Awakining

AM: 90 Minutes Trainer W/ 15 x 2 Min Hard, 1 Min Rec
AM: 30 Minutes Easy Running

Just when I thought Spencer had hung up the mic for a while the news surfaces that he is releasing new tracks in January. Spencer doesn't rest, the guy is prolific and unstoppable. Earlier this year he released a 7" with two tracks under the moniker "Introducing Moonface". The songs are amazing. Check out "Coming To At Dawn" below. This song has been part of the live shows of Sunset in the past and finally saw release under the Moonface picture disk released in May. Why I thought he would take a break is beyond me considering he is working with about 5 projects and many of them overlap. Some people are just genius in scope and have so much to offer. Spencer Krug is one of these guys. The new Moonface EP will be titled Dreamland EP: Marimba and Shit-Drums.

The tracks will be outstanding and reading this news when I woke (I missed it earlier in the week) set up Saturday to be very positive day, full of good energy. After fueling up with lashings of dark roast I jumped on the bike and hammered a very hard session. On my last rep my tire went flat which was kind of strange since I was on a trainer? It just popped so I had to do a quick change (something I am getting better at) and hopped on for the cool down. Right after I went for a 30 minute run because I still felt great. Solid day of work, topped off with Garden Grille and a couple of IPA's. Meanwhile in other parts of the world Frankie was battling riot police at the WTO protests in Geneva. Not that she was being anarchistic, she was just observing and it sounded and looked like it was a little out of control. Good experience for her all the same. I will get a couple of pics to post later. Happy camper right here.

Love Kel

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Future Of Us All

AM: 75 Minutes Trainer Ride
PM: 25 Minutes Run - Knee felt like exploding

Lazy day. Unlike the many revelers who were participating in consumption at silly hours, I remained tucked up in bed until after 9. A luxury rarely experienced these days, unless of course I only went to bed at about 4 AM, which is another indulgence rarely experienced anymore. I achieved very little today. Its a huge challenge when I'm still in pj's at 11 listening to the latest sounds on the blogosphere. And there was a lot to listen to. Even the world of music blogging had a day off yesterday. How dare they? Don't you guys realize that loyal readers such as moi don't enjoy day offs..........OK, that is not necessarily true, but a day like Thanksgiving is perfect for 2-4 hours of listening to new sounds.

I did some training despite being very lethargic and still suffering with a pounding headache. I was always going to do an easy day after yesterday so I was pleased to feel pretty good on the trainer. I was able to ride at high cadence for the whole 75 minutes and my HR was close to tempo effort the whole way. I got off the bike sat around for a bit and before jumping in the shower figured I'd go out and run. I can't make my knee worse and any chance to get a run in is welcome. Just 3.5 miles easy listening to John Digweed.

I am super excited about the upcoming MEW gig in Boston. I wore away "And The Glass Handed Kites" when I lived in Colorado. It was a perfect soundtrack when driving in winter conditions to Salt Lake or down to the ABQ. With the release of the epic (although not as good as ATGHK) "No More Stories....." they are doing a North American tour and I vowed not to miss them this time around. MEW put me in a great mood. Their music is extremely pop and atmospheric. They have a distinct Scandinavian sound and obviously the vocals, although sung in English, have a fantastic accent that make them richer and very innocent sounding. I use the word joyful to describe a lot of the music I like. However, joyful to me is significantly different to many other people. Radiohead's "Let Down" is one of the most joyful songs I've ever heard and considered to be extremely depressing by the masses. But Mew are to definition extremely joyful, aside from their beautiful end of the world lyrics. Below is the poppiest song off their new album. Great times ahead.

Love Kel

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Be A War Child, Form A Circle

AM: 3:25 Bike Ride. W/ Intervals.

Had a great ride with Coxy this AM. The roads were empty allowing us to comfortably ride in the driving lane. Obviously we were passed by a couple of cars but at times it felt like the roads were closed. I wish it was Thanksgiving everyday. We pushed some sections of the ride really hard and I developed the mindset that today was going to be a session. After I dropped Lee off I did another 5 x 5 minutes all-out intervals. By the time I got home I was tanked and since the end of the ride I've had a splitting headache. Even now, after dinner and a lot of fluids I still feel like I have a hangover. I don't think I've ever experienced this before. Most likely its down to only drinking 1.5 bottles on the ride. When its cold I tend to forget about getting the fluids in. Headache aside, I feel great, all be it very full. All the carbs will be put to work tomorrow. For once I don't actually feel like I ate that much but like all Thanksgiving dinners, Vegetarian ones too, they are so carb heavy that the stomach fills quick. Mylene made a wonderful meal and I washed it down with a couple of Harpoons. Content and very much at ease right now.

Love Kel

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Oh You Can Take Me To The Dragonslayer

Had a fantastic visit with Dr. McKeon today. Easily the best Ortho I have ever come across and I doubt there are many better, anywhere. The guy is like one of my mates. Completely gets it and needs no prompting or reassuring. I have ZERO time for indecision when it comes to matters of injury healing. I don't want to be told that I need to take a break or that I do too much. I don't want to hear about ice, ultra sound, stim, or anti-inflammatory pills. And I certainly don't want to hear "give it more time". I want what Brian McKeon does and says, which is, "you have a tear, here it is (points to MRI) and we need to get rid of it so I want you ready for Surgery on Dec 8th and if I can get you in before that are you willing to come?" That is proactive and realizing that time is precious and I am running out of it. He reckons I will be running by mid Jan. Now here is why he actually RULES. My left knee is the real problem. The favoring of my right leg has led to this tear but the left knee has the defect that my insurance company won't pay for. Doc told me today that if it holds me back in 2010 he'll do it anyway and won't worry about payment. He knows I can deal with a certain amount of training but if it gets worse he is going to go in and sort it out. Why? Because he gets it and since he works with the best Basketball players in the world he isn't exactly bleeding in the financial department. However, its more than that. He sees the desperation and desire and understands exactly what I'm feeling. I'm so impressed and if I were ever to become a Doctor (which would be impossible) I would want to be like this guy. Ok, enough of the stroking. I am in a better place and I believe that this surgery is going to be awesome.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving (I hate the term Turkey day) and even though I've been in the USA for 13 years I still don't relate to the holiday. I love the day off and the wine/beer consumption. I used to love the racing too. But everyone gets together with family and mine is across the ocean. This year Frankie is across the ocean too. I'm heading to Coxy and Mylenes and chances are we will drink Gansett and eat a lot of vegetarian fare. Stopping out to Ray Treacys for a drink at some point too. It will be a great day, kicked off with 4 hours in the saddle.

So Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends and know I give thanks for your friendship everyday. We haven't had Radiohead in a while.

Love Kel

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Living In Your Dreams

Listening to the below track while trying to figure it all out. Trip to the Doc tomorrow for some Surgery prep. Not that I need any prep. There is a few potential changes on the job front. With this being the case I had a long day and didn't get in my planned training. Although I did get my rear wheel for the trainer set up so I can save my Zipp wheels for the real riding in the spring. Still on a high from Julian Plenti and getting the head together for a rendezvous with Mew next week.


Monday, November 23, 2009

I See Your Face And I Let You Own Me.

Friend Of Plenti

Just back from a beautiful gig in Boston. Better than the NYC show by a ways. This is how we learn.
Not too much on the exercise front today. A solid 3.5 mile run on my very painful knee to usher in the lunch time and the viewing of the annual NCAA XC. The coverage, which I am thankful for, was at best Amateur. Don't want to jump on the negative train because I appreciate Versus doing their bit but lets get some real runners in to do the interviews or something. Hell I'd do it for free! Some shoddy statements and observations and the camera work was marginal at best. But I got to see it live, and so did lots of others so hats off to Versus.

Then I went to see Julian Plenti for the second time on this tour. Frankie and I went to the opening in NYC which was a very unique experience because it was in the Guggenheim and it was a showcase for the new tour. Lots of scenesters, reporters, hipsters, and museum folk. Tonight was a rock show in a rock venue and I was lost in the music. Absolutely fantastic. If you get the opportunity to see Plenti, go along and become a friend!

Love Kel

One of the best songs of the night for me was "Unwind". Hopefully some video footage emerges.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

'Cause Harmless Medications Abound And Your Not Sick

AM: 3:05 Bike Ride, Hard At The End

Today is the Irish National Championships, actually was the Champs. I have not seen results. The whole thing is very frustrating. I had big dreams of running the Euro Cross in Santry, Dublin. And I had aspirations of doing very well. When I won the Inter-Club Champs back in March my first thought crossing the line was that I will be back here in 8 months. Much fitter, stronger, and hungrier than anyone else. But now I am in a coffee shop preparing for knee surgery and I am about as far from European XC champs as I can be. I have finally got a scheduled Knee Operation happening on DEC 8th. The pain I have been complaining about in my right knee has turned out to be a pretty severe tear of the remaining meniscus. Ironically, I will now have a surgery to fix a problem that stemmed from favoring too much. I wonder what the folks at Blue Cross Blue Shield think of this? Its the only explanation. My right leg is very strong and the reason for my first surgery came after a fall on the trails of Boulder. Actually climbing a fence and some really clumsy action, not so much running on a trail. At least I made the 10 guys I was running with laugh hard. This knee surgery came out of nowhere. I had ZERO pain in my right leg, all the pain is in my left knee and a few months back my right knee just started to hurt. I complained but didn't really think there was significant damage until after NYC Marathon expo. The pain that resulted from standing in the Javits all day was unnatural and seriously drove me to drink. Now I know I'm not a moaner! So I go under the knife which is as natural as anti-biotics these days. Maybe more natural in fact. Plans to go home and watch Euro XC are now shelved for sure and I will head off the week after for some holidays.

Another wonderful Fall day here in Providence. I met up with Ben for a ride over a course I hadn't done before. It was terrific. Ben was putting in about 2 hours so I did some miles before we met up. We rode easy at first but got into a nice groove over the hills in South East Mass and when I dropped Ben off I hammered the last 30 minutes. I had some pent up energy/frustration that needed to be released. So I did my best Sean Kelly impersonation and thumped a big gear until my legs felt like jelly. I like to think I'm a decent bike rider but I put the A in Amateur when it comes down to it! I find myself at the bar of Blue State, a home away from home these days, listening to tunes and watching youtube footage of Julian Plenti shows over the past few nights. I cannot wait to get front and center at the Paradise tomorrow night. It will be another beautiful night of music to kick off a laid back week.

Peace and Love,


Saturday, November 21, 2009

For The Price Of A Human Heart It's Really Not That Bad

AM: 3:55 Bike Ride, Easy/Steady

This whole warm November craic is really glorious. Epic in fact. I got out on the bike today and with the temps hitting mid 50 range coupled with sunshine I was not wasting the opportunity to get a solid ride in. I had to call on two friends to split my ride. I had the Ancient Aged Advisor for the first 2 hours and Coxy for the second 2 hours. Met Jay at Starbucks on Wayland and we headed out to Bristol on the East Bay Bike Path. I know we all want bike paths to be used frequently and by many people, thats the point and I get it. But there is a lot to be said for a 7:30 AM cold morning and lashing down a bike path that is empty. We were 2 abreast and had uninterrupted conversation for the whole ride. Jay was firing off his usual life philosophy and I was soaking it in. So much passion and drive is inspiring and basically 2 hours went by in a blink. I got back to Starbucks, grabbed espresso, and met Coxy. We went the opposite direction and headed North on the bike path up to Woonsocket. This was a little busier with the day heating up and all but still nothing compared to Summer. We could ride in a lane each almost the whole way and meeting Lee was also an opportunity to pick up the pace a little. Once I dropped him off I lashed it home pretty hard and avoided the desire to add on 5 minutes to make it 4 hours. I'm trying to get better with that stuff. Its all arbitrary anyway, 3:55, 4:00, 4:05, the work was done and I felt great.

I've been listening to THIS mix non-stop for the last few days. It by the guys at Binary Records and is a mix that reflects their sound. The music is Dreamwave and post New Wave, with elements of disco, house, and breezy soundscapes. There are links to a lot of the music that I have been posting here and I am very happy I came across this blog. Another blog, this one about cycling is also good - Ritte Van Vlaanderen is a bike team out of LA and they are purists. Their blog is hilarious and if I could grab a few scoops with these guys I would. What has this got to do with music? Nothing. But I thought I'd mention it. Anyway, the guys at Binary are putting out some music that is for sunsets on sandy beaches. With old man winter coming in I think its a good time to have these sounds playing. The track below is by Million Young, a DJ/Producer from Florida. He creates beautiful, ambient, electronic tunage that lifts spirits, hearts and minds. I wish the best for this guy. More people putting out these killer, dreamwave tracks, more happy folks we'll have. And everybody wins.

Off to Not Just Snacks for the best Veggie Samosas in the world.

Peace and Love


Thursday, November 19, 2009


AM: 65 Minutes Steady Trainer Ride
PM: 20 Minutes Run - To Make My Knee Sore
PM: 36 Minutes Swim

Work from home days are fantastic, although motivation to do actual work can sometimes be hard to find. I needed to do a lot of computer cleaning but found myself listening to music extremely loud all day. Not that I did nothing, rather I just wasn't that productive. I managed a solid day of exercise all the same. Kicked things off earlier with a trainer ride, spending most of the time in a tempo zone. Avoided the temptation to do intervals by listening to some downtempo and indie rock music by The Album Leaf, Stripmall Architecture, Bat For Lashes, and some Amiina. Nothing too exciting at all. Just a solid ride for 65 minutes in one gear at a pretty hard tempo.

I am going to see my Ortho tomorrow morning and my knee has not felt too bad since I've done no running or precor on it since Austin. I decided to go for an easy 3 mile to flare it up so I would have more specific feedback rather than giving myself delusions that it may be getting better. I have an early start but if I get my ass out of bed I can do another 3 miles in the morning to really screw it up. I want to get in for surgery asap and if it really hurts when I am in there the Doc will take one look at the desperation in my eyes and know I can't mess around.
Went up to the pool after for another slog. I really need some lessons because I fail to see how I can possibly become a faster, more efficient swimmer by doing the same old routine.

Thinking of buying tix to see Friendly Fires in Boston. It's on two nights after Mew and it will mean three shows at the Paradise in 10 days. Leaning towards going but with Fuck Buttons playing Great Scott next Wednesday the 25th it would be 4 shows in 10 days in Boston. Its a bit of an epic week for music actually. Why it all happens at the same time I don't know. Knowing my luck I'll be scheduled for Surgery right before the Mew gig and I'll up missing both shows. Things kick off with Julian Plenti next Monday night. Looking forward to seeing Plenti again, and in a venue actually made with music in mind and not wine drinking. And with that, some Album Leaf to bring in the dreams.

Thats the buzz,

Love KEL

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gone Are The Days Bonfires Make Me Think Of You

PM: 1:40 Trainer Ride

Building up the training load as I get better. I had a very solid session today. The time went by super fast, helped by boiling frustration that Ireland got knocked out of the World Cup by a blatant (and later acknowledged) handball from Thierry Henry and some cheesy Trance and Progressive House tunes. When it comes time to do hard intervals I tend to turn my back on my beloved sounds and opt for the hands in the air anthems.

30 Minutes Warm Up followed by 10 minutes of alternating single leg drills. Next up was a 10 minute hill climb with the first 5 minutes out of the saddle, really hard. Needed a decent break after that. Moved into 6 x 3 minutes where one minute of each effort was out of the saddle, and after that was a set of tabatha sprints. I cooled down about 10 minutes and was completely jocked and very satisfied. Completely over the cold I had and back in the saddle.

FrYars has been around for ages. Stereogum had him as a 'Band To Watch' back in 2007 and I didn't pay much attention. Not saying I didn't like the sounds. I literally had too much music going on and I didn't even listen. That sounds pathetic but its true. Then while reading about music (something I do in all my spare time) I saw his name attached to a song and the words "Feat. Dave Gahan". I immediately jumped all over it. And then I realize the tune has been out for a year (almost). I've got no idea how I missed this. The track is simply amazing. His album came out in September and I will be picking up. But before that I have to stop listening to this track on repeat. Dave Gahan is simply awesome. And as for Mr Ben Garett, hats off me man. I will be buying the record.

Peace and Love


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

In The Flowers

PM: 75 Minutes Trainer w/ 25 Min Tempo

Drank way to much coffee today. I'd hate to put a total on it but if I were to guess I'd say I put away about 64 oz (thats being conservative to make myself feel better). I was hammering away at orders, sitting at the bar of Blue State Coffee and I just kept refilling my 16oz Sigg mug. Blue State offers free refills and although I don't like to take advantage today was one of those days that I did. Funny thing though, I am no different after 4 or 5 mugs of coffee as I am after one. I don't get too hyped up which tells me that I am already pretty strung and I should really back off caffeine completely. But coffee is so good.

I was super excited to get on the bike this afternoon. I am feeling a lot better today and my energy is back. 75 minutes seemed like a decent workload considering I have missed a few days and even though I feel better I'm not actually better. Since I came off the bike I've been completely at ease and tomorrow I will resume normal training loads. My 25 minutes of tempo was really enjoyable. I pushed my HR up to the 170 range and held it there, feeling amazing all the way. Tomorrow I'll do some longer reps getting the rep workout total into the 30-35 minute range.

Yesterday I mentioned having come across so much music I've never heard. It continued today and I have about 6 groups that I need to explore and purchase. I don't know anything about the band Monarchy because their myspace is pretty much bare. They are from London and their demo track "Gold In The Fire" is really lovely. The track is another in a long line of 80's sound throwback tunes that I simply can't get enough of. The synths are straight out of any one of the hundreds of 80's high school flicks. I know I will eventually get very bored of this sound but right now I find it really uplifting. Its a joy to listen to while banging out reps on an indoor trainer. I have included the original and the Diamond Cut remix which is awesome and really highlights the epic parts of the original. Happy tunes.

Love Kel

Monday, November 16, 2009

Am I Still Ill

PM: Hour Easy On The Bike Trainer

I should have undoubtably taken a day off but Kim said going for a run made her feel a lot better so I figured I would try the same. It worked for an hour and then things went pear shaped. I do think I am over the worst of this cold/flu but I still should have sat on my arse tonight. I find it difficult to do anything less than 60 minutes on the bike. Its something I really need to get over. Got all my right knee medical reports from Boulder sent to Dr. Brian McKeon. Hopefully I can get in to see him asap. Need to sort this out.

The PC Track reunion was on Saturday night and was awesome. It was great to see so many friends gather and to connect with guys that pounded the pavement around the tiny campus over 40 years ago. For those guys to see the facilities and support the team gets now makes me realize that even I was lucky despite still using the old Peterson center. Those guys had very little but still put in the miles and still made the PC team what it is today. The next day I had a hangover but worse than that was the realization that the illness I've been fighting decided to attack. All day was spent in the scratch, achieved by knocking myself out with Nyquil and Termaflu tea. I feel good right now and I am hoping I sleep a bit tonight. 12+ hours of sleep is like hibernation for me. Could be a long evening.

Since posting "Two Door Cinema Club", I've been addicted. Great electro pop music that reminds me of early Bloc Party. The three guys are from Ireland too which makes it even better. We need to keep putting out acts. Only one more track from these guys and then I move on. Yesterday was Ali Love - Diminishing Returns. Yes it is a complete "When Doves Cry" rip off but still enjoyable. Could easily post three or four tracks tonight, lots of great music coming out now.

Peace and Love

Friday, November 13, 2009

No, We Won't Stop Playing

Just back from a busy 5 days in Austin. Great city, great energy, great weather. Rather than take the week off like I said I would I decided to cross train using the Precore. It may have been a mistake because I did some two a days and my knee is jocked in a similar fashion as it might be if I ran. I did learn flipturns in the pool however which is a positive.

The week called for a lot of late nights but not super early starts so I felt great until today which is not good. But thats irrelevant because with my current stress there is a lot more to worry about then a little cold. I got all the info out of Boulder regarding my first couple of knee surgeries on my right knee. Mike Silva thinks they may be seeing some of the old surgery issues on the Pics. I am going to have the MRI looked at again, comparing it to the pics and report from 3 years ago. This could be positive because it may mean the tear is not as bad as the report suggested. I will still need an operation but it may be less work and thus quicker recovery.

I was disappointed not to get to any shows in Austin. There were a few bands playing but there seemed to be things going on every night. No worries because I have plenty (plenti) to look forward to. Tomorrow night is the PC track team reunion which should be great fun.

Can't stop listening to the song below. I need to get more from these guys.

Love Kel

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sleeping Is For Dreamers

AM: 2:08 Bike Ride Scituate Rez Loop

What a day, 69 degrees, super sunny, and a great energy in the air. My mood was immediately lifted when I got a text from Ben enquiring my interest levels at going out for a ride. The only let down of the whole experience was only doing 42 miles. We should have went 4 hours but it was later in the day and Ben has not been riding much lately. All positive.

I got the results of my MRI and the news is not good for me. My right knee, which has been perfect is no longer intact. There is a sizable oblique meniscus tear which will require surgery. How messed up this whole situation seems is unfathomable to me. My left knee needs surgery to fix a major defect but my insurance company won't pay for it so by trying to run I end up favoring my right knee which develops an injury of its own that requires surgery. Maybe this is why Blue Cross does not want to pay for any more surgery because things in my knees rip and tear very easily. The arthritis in my knees is very bad and the running scene might just have to stop. Even though I sound like a broken techno record (many of which I have in the basement) this really could be it. BUT, if the surgery will fix it then we can revisit. Much of the stream of conscious that I write here is like my running advice. Do as I say not what I do, and like the things I write here, its not what I ever do. By telling myself that this is the last knee surgery I am having it makes the winter on the trainer easier. But the reason I will kill myself on the trainer is to maintain fitness to run. None of this makes sense but to me its very clear. And anyway, whats the kelrock blog without a solid knee injury. Maybe its something about RI because I feel like everyone is hurt with something or another.

I had a few scoops on the weekend and have now dealt with it (somewhat) and tomorrow I am off to Austin for work. No exercise for a few days and maybe a good lash of scoops on sixth street with friends is what I need. Blog action will resume as normal but there may not be too much to write about. Years best albums, and albums of the decade will be getting priority!

Awesome new video to Grizzly Bear - Ready, Able. Check it

Peace and Love

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Bring On The Dancing Horses

PM: 90 Minutes Trainer Ride - Workout

Man, my google alerts are being inundated with Radiohead news stories, except they are not the band Radiohead stories, rather they are about a race horse named Radiohead. I don't like horse racing anymore (not that I ever loved it or really even liked it) but its cool that some owner named their horse after the best band on the planet.

Not sure why that was worth talking about but I just checked my alerts for news and the first 4 stories were horse racing related. Tonight, I banged out a hard session on the bike. Probably pointless since I am only trying to keep general fitness but I was in a self torture mood for no particular reason. I just thought about Forest Gump right as I wrote that sentence. Anyway, I warmed up for 20 minutes and for the next hour I did intervals ranging from 20 second tabatha sprints to single leg efforts to out of the saddle hill climbs. I was dying at the end but so content with the work I put in. The evening was made better by going to Abes for a few pints with the fearless leader and Coxy. I Like Thursdays.

If you like the band Fiery Furnaces you should probably reconsider. They gave the middle finger to Radiohead because they thought that the song "Harry Patch, In Memory Of" was actually about an American composer Harry Partch. They proceeded to claim Radiohead were simply trying to associate themselves with things that other people consider cool. How silly do they look now. The Fiery Furnaces, pathetic. You only wish you had the talent of Radiohead. But you don't.

Love Kel

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

With A Buzz In Our Ears We Play Endlessly

PM: 90 Minutes Trainer Ride - Steady Tempo Effort

There is a significant chance that Liverpool will not qualify for the Champions League knockout stages. Awful. And very frustrating. A season that started with so much promise looks like it will be the worst under Rafa's watch and questions must be asked. Energy was low when I got on the bike but after the first beads of sweat crested my brow the energy was back and I was firing. No matter how tired I feel it seems to drift away at the first elevation of the HR. When I still feel awful after the first 10 minutes then I know I'm tired and I stop. After 90 minutes today I was still hungary for more but the wise part of my brain encouraged me to get off. Lovely evening in the saddle.

Driving home I was cleaning up old CD's that litter my car. Some really terrible ones too ! They find their way into cracks and under the seat during the moving process. I had to toss a couple because they are brutal. But found a few great ones including Portishead - Third. One of my favorite albums of 2008. I forgot I bought a hard copy.......thats a sign of the times if there ever was one! So I listened and was completely content. What an amazing journey. The Rip is my favorite track, and not just because Thom York covered it, but because it is beautiful.

Love Kel

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lets Go Down The Waterfall

PM: 75 Minutes Bike Trainer Ride
PM: 31 Minutes Swim

It felt so good to workout again. 6 days off, with the exception of a dodgy run in Central Park, does not help the head or the heart. So tonight, I jumped on my trainer and did a solid 75 minutes steady. I went straight up to PC pool after and managed to swim for just over 30 minutes. Not a straight swim mind you, more a warm up followed by random reps of 50, 75, and 100 yards. my arms are hanging off me right now, evidence that I have a long way to go before I become shark like and blitz through the water. Ok maybe not shark, but you get the vibes.

Nothing beats starting off the day in a GE cylindrical imagining machine getting in depth pictures of my knee. I've had 6 MRI's on my knees now and a total of 14 MRI's in my career. 3 Shin, 2 Pelvis, and 3 Sacrum. This is what I can remember, there could have been a couple more. I fell asleep to the jackhammer sound but if it was quite I would not have fallen asleep. Odd, I know. Having a REM sleep while getting an MRI clearly indicates that I'm tired from the week in NYC. And since the unplanned Nap I have felt amazing. To celebrate being one day closer to an answer about my knee pain I listened to Sigur Ros, loud. I also spoke to Frankie on Skype which is amazing.

So the plan of attack (I have to many plans, and none of them ever come to fruition) is to ride and swim all week, awaiting results. If there is no tear then I will get aggressive on the therapy, and if there is a tear I will get another surgery. At this stage it is more natural to get Knee Surgery than it is to run races. It will be my last running related surgery because if it comes down to operation number 4 it might be time to listen to the alarm bells and stop running. Hopefully it does not come to this but I don't feel like getting a knee replacement at 32. I have many more raves and concerts to attend........

Love Kel

Monday, November 2, 2009

Here I'm Allowed, Everything All Of The Time

I'm alive. Just on the road in NYC for the last week. I had the New York Marathon Expo to look after and as per usual I promise myself lots of breaks and bed early and as per usual I take no breaks and I stay up late. Its an intense 4 days but really fun. The only downside is the pain I have in my knees. Working an expo for 13 hours is worse on the knees than any run. I was feeling depressed after the last day because of how sore my knees were and watching excited athletes on the eve of the marathon didn't help.

The marathon itself was awesome. I was really happy to see USA get their first win in over 25 years and even more pleased to see Meb get it done. He has been such a consistent performer since graduating from UCLA in 1998 and in recent years has somewhat slid under the radar. With Teg, Ritz and Hall putting forth such amazing performances it seemed that everyone forgot about Meb. The joy he exuded after crossing the line showed that he probably felt some of that loss of spotlight too. It was a real wake up to everyone that Meb is one of the best American distance runners we have ever seen. He really deserved the win and I believe everyone was genuinely happy for him. Ryan Hall may not have lived up to his pre race favorite tag but 2:10 being a "bad" run in New York shows what a class act the guy is. Lots of friends had good runs but I was disappointed for Paula Radcliffe who carrying an injury faded to 4th. Great day and another first class event by NYRR.

Been off the music scene for a week now. Really frustrated by this because I just got on the blogs for the first time and I have missed a lot of stuff. Therefore I have a lot of reading to do tonight and tomorrow. I am getting an MRI on my right knee to see how severe the loss of cartilage is on that side. Nothing like having two battered knees and attempting to still run.
Keeping the faith and the love,


Monday, October 26, 2009

In Pitch Dark, I Go Walking In Your Landscape

PM: 90 Minutes Trainer Ride
PM: 2,000 Yards Swim

Not sure why I didn't get up and ride in the AM. I didn't sleep particularly well so my energy and desire to bang out a session were non-existent. Plans to visit the chiropractor were also on my mind. I have an MRI lined up for next week because my knee is really sore and not getting any better. The Dr doesn't think its super serious. Just a strain or some bad tendonitis but the course of treatment will be determined by what results the MRI show. If there is a tear then I am on the sidelines for a while but if its just inflammation then we will go back to intensive rehab.

I jumped on the bike and banged out 90 solid minutes with 15 x Min on/off. After the session I went straight to the pool and did another session. 500m warm up, followed by 5 x 50m w/15 sec rec. 100m breast stroke, 5 x 100m w/20 sec rec. 100m Breast stroke, 5 x 50m w/15 sec, then 300m cool down. My arms are still weak but my stroke tonight was an improvement over last week.

I did not search out new music today, nor did I listen to new bands in my iTunes. Rather, I drove to an acoustic Radiohead session I found in my car. It is a show from 2003 that I have on DVD. Amazing. Check out the song below. So good!

Love Kel

Saturday, October 24, 2009

All Local Ingredients

AM: 90 Minutes Trainer Workout

Last night I had the best sleep in as many years as I can remember. I went to bed fairly late and with no sleep aids and only 2 pages of my book I drifted into a blissful sleep. I awoke in a panic at 9:30am. I NEVER sleep through the night without waking up and I NEVER sleep through the night without feeling like I have to use the bathroom. I drink so much water and coffee that I am completely used to a 3am or 4am trip followed by a 6am trip. So as you can imagine it was pretty weird to wake up at 9:30 having slept 9 hours straight. This is what people experience and I want more of it. I jumped out of bed and onto the bike where I did a very hard session.

After 2o minutes w/u I did 10 minutes really pushing the HR up. From 30 -48 minutes I alternated 1 min out of the saddle in a big gear, 1 min in the saddle in the same gear, and 1 min hard in a lesser gear. I took 2 minutes recovery and then did a set of tabatha sprints. 20 seconds all out with 10 seconds recovery x 8. That part was hard. After that it was 3 x 6 minutes big gear work and about 6 or 7 minutes easy spinning to cool down.

But back to the sleep thing. I am obviously dehydrated or something. What with getting all light headed and then sleeping 9 hours with no herbs or even prescription drugs. Very odd. I spent the day replenishing with lots of fluids and food (although food is never an issue with me). I also took my bike out to ride around Providence because P-Town in the fall is beautiful. Things went pear shaped when the rain pished down on me but nothing that ducking into White Electric coffee shop couldn't fix. I am now over at Blue State about to visit Not Just Snacks with Lee and Myene followed by a trip to Abes. Nice little Saturday.

I spent time surfing the interweb of blog, particularly music blogs and came across this gem of the track. I have heard of the artist, edIT but I never paid too much attention. His music didn't do it for me. He falls under the Glitch-Hop category what ever that is. But this song is just beautiful and on constant rotation here at the coffee shop. Check it out.

Love Kel

Friday, October 23, 2009

I'm Not In Love With The Modern World

AM: 75 Minutes Trainer Ride
PM: 60 Minutes Trainer Ride

Nothing like spending 2.25 hours in a basement sweating hard and listening to tunes. The AM session was just a straight up ride, getting progressively faster and harder. I kept my HR below 150 BPM to keep the session controlled. Lovely ride followed by a lovely cup of thick, black coffee. I took the single speed out and rode around P-Town, since I don't get over the far side too much these days. I stopped into Blue State Coffee and spent hours chatting with John "The Eyeball" Lawlor while getting even higher on more coffee. Blue State do free refills. Awesome. The lady next to me fainted. She seemed like a drama queen but I felt bad for her, at least for about 30 seconds when I realized that she was really over the top. My intuition was spot on because after the ambulance arrived and took her away her friend came back in and told us that she has an eating disorder and it happens all the time because she basically runs out of battery power. And that she is a complete attention seeker.

I raced cars up Smith street and easily beat them. I wish I could ride my bike to work because it is so enjoyable to blow past cars stuck in traffic. Got in the door, went downstairs and jumped on the bike for another solid hour. This time I did some reps and single leg drills. Any plans to test my knee with a jog went out the window sharpish when I nearly had my own episode. I felt very light headed after the session and obviously drank too much coffee and not enough water. A trip to Thai star and some Ben and Jerrys certainly did the trick. I'm a happy camper now.

I just bought my Tix to see MEW. Very happy and really looking forward to it.

Love Kel