Sunday, August 30, 2009

Arrest This Girl

Radiohead live from Reading festival. A class apart. Ran 8.25 Miles in 49 minutes and felt great. Knee was sore for about the last 8 minutes. I was glad to be done. New training plan, new goals, new ideas to come. Right now, this is what you get when you mess with us.......
Love Kel

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

It Means The End Begins

AM: 7.25 Miles, 43:07, Blvd.
PM: 80 Minutes Ride, 45 Min on Trainer 35 Min Outside

Tonight I enjoyed a few pints of Dogfish Head Ale at Abes. The company was excellent with Max Smith making an appearance and the Ancient Aged Advisor Jay Romasco. Abes has a really nice vibe and we ended up spending many hours discussing running and music. What else is there really? You know the night is good when the bartender plays Wolf Parade "Apologies To Queen Mary" as the background music. Where would you get it? One of the best albums I've heard and here it is ringing out around the empty pub while we get the scoops in. Fantastic.

From a training perspective the day was really good too. I ran an easy 7.25 in the AM and finished with a little lift in my stride. Max brought his bike in the afternoon so we could do a few hours but a couple of delays quashed any opportunity we had of getting in the long ride. We will have to wait for the weekend.

The big news of the day is that Blue Cross Blue Shield of New England has denied to pay for my surgery. I am not going to rant too much about it. Earlier on I was beyond upset. I had to listen to a lot of Amiina to get through the afternoon. They have a new EP out called Re Minore and it is beautiful. This kind of music mellows me out and encourages a more positive outlook.
According to the "experts" at BCBS of New England my Knee Surgery is not a medical necessity.

Services are denied because you did not meet the medical necessity criteria required for coverage of an osteochondral autograft transplantation because you did not have the symptoms of disabling localized knee pain for at least 6 months, which has failed to respond to conservative treatment. The size of the lesion is not documented to be between 1.5 and 2.5 cm squared in total area, the criterion used to guide the decision was BCBS of MA Policy #374 criteria; policy encolsed.

So what they are saying in lay terms is that because I can function in society, ride my bike, walk, swim, and even jog with average pain I do not qualify. My lesion is about 1cm so slightly smaller than the required minimum. Furthermore I am high risk based on the policy because I do not have an intact meniscus and I have "wear and tear from years of overuse". The doctor is one of the best and has made it clear that if I ever want to run at a high level again or if I want to compete in events such as the marathon I may have to get this procedure done or else I will be limited to using pain as a guide of how much I can run. Not being cocky but I am not the average person. I am a serious runner but there is no distinction and after a shouting match with a lady on the phone I was told that they make no distinction between serious athletes and regular sedentary persons. So I said, I could be an overweight, high risk patient who has a defect because I am fat and the surgery would be covered but because I am fit and very healthy I do not qualify. And she said that because I run so much I am considered high risk. So runners are basically considered the same as obese people in the eyes of the healthcare companies. Finally she said that I am more than welcome to pay for the operation if I deem it necessary. I think she was being condescending but I'll give her the beneift of the doubt. She was nice and was following rules. Think outside the box for 30 seconds? No, that would be too much to ask for.

I am going to follow up with the Doc tomorrow or Friday so I should have a new plan in place. Right now it is to start training and tolerate the pain. If the legion gets worse then maybe I'll get it covered. I ain't giving up hope.

I just got the new Asobi Seksu - Transparance. Looking forward to hearing it.

Here is some Amiina Live, with one of the tracks off the new EP.

Love Kel --

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Strung Up By The Wrists

PM: 8.25 miles, 49.15, Fruit Loop and Blvd

Hhhmmm, another solid run with minor pain. I was tempted to run as hard as I could for the last mile but quickly realized that I may be loosing it slightly and made the rational decision to actually slow down (I didn't) and finish the run feeling good. The disturbing thing is that when I went into my house to get some cytomax I actually felt some stiffness and pain in my knee and it made me happy.

I don't sleep well. Its not something I talk about much but I am a light sleeper. My mother is a light sleeper so maybe I get it from her. I would be a night owl if it wasn't for Frankie trying to improve my sleep hygiene and encouraging better habits before I go to bed. It has helped but sometimes the old head will not switch off. Last night was one of those nights. I did not actually fall asleep. No dreams, no nodding off, nothing. Just laying there thinking and getting up every few hours to walk around my apartment, drink water and read ROAD magazine. I even read some Sam Harris this morning at 4 am. My point in mentioning this is that the catalyst right now is my forthcoming knee op. I know I need it because there is something wrong with my knee but why does it have to feel so good the week before? Why couldn't it be in the same agony it has been over the last 6 months? Obviously, like I said before, I am going ahead with it but I need to be more accepting of the situation. Perhaps the other changes in my life are contributing to my high energy levels or maybe I just have more energy than the average person. I often think about this when I reflect on all my injuries. Sleeping is a time that the body recovers and since I don't sleep much surely it has contributed to my inability to heal seemingly basic injuries. I know a lot of athletes that sleep 10 hours a night and nap an hour + per day. I can't imagine what that must feel like.

There are lots of end of decade lists coming out on the blogosphere, scary. I have not found one that I agree with yet although the I Guess Im Floating blog has a lot of tracks I truly love. I need to start thinking about my own best of the decade lists. There has been a lot of discussion around the need for such lists. Some people think its a load of bollix and a way for poseurs to show everyone how cool they are. I don't agree with this stance at all. I have been introduced to so may great bands through blogs and many great bands owe the world of blogging a little piece of their success. Some lists are obvious (see Pitchfork) and lack any depth but many others are insigtful and offer great selections. I am looking forward to reading them as they roll in.

Love Kel

A track that will almost certainly be on my best of the decade list:

Monday, August 24, 2009

Coming To At Dawn

PM: 90 Minutes Trainer Ride
PM: 7.45 Miles, 46 Minutes

I rode the trainer so I could watch Liverpool play Aston Villa. An easy game, a mere formality. I mean, we beat them 5-0 at Anfield last year. So there was a moment of shock when Lucas steered Ashley Young's free kick into his own net. And from there it went down hill. Liverpool lost 2 games last season. They have lost 2 of their first three this season. We will not win the league. But I'll be there supporting hard through it all because football's a funny old game and you never know.

I didn't do a brick. Rather I opted to get some food in after my trainer ride. I lost a lot of fluids considering it was like a greenhouse in my front room. Once I did get out running I felt fantastic. Not wanting to beat this issue to death or anything but my knee was really not that bad. It gave out a couple of times but where is the pain? Where is the feeling that my bone is crumbling. I had it in Peoria 2 weeks ago. Answers on a postcard please.

Through all this madness I still enjoy my nightly writing and music listening. This evening, after watching a "Real Time with Bill Maher", I listened to Julian Plenti's NME radio performance. Beautiful. I need to figure out a way to get a ticket to his forthcoming NYC performance. My knee should be decent by then. I only have Sunset Rubdown to look forward to this fall so this gig will be welcome with open heart. Speaking of Sunset, I think I listened to "Coming To At Dawn"from their "Introducing Moonface" EP at least 10 times today. Amazing, amazing song.

Love Kel

Sunday, August 23, 2009

But Enough About Me

PM: 6 Miles 35 Min, Blvd

My confusion is at an all time high. I am feeling better everyday I run. It is as if my knee pain has decided to go away for a few days. I am running with less pain than I was last February and I don'tt know what to do. I know I have to snap out of this buzz but I am getting a pretty serious surgery next week and I actually want to be in pain. I want to feel that awful stabbing pain I had for the last 6 months so I can feel really good about getting my second left knee op in 18 months. Now on the flip side I did take a lot of down time over the last few weeks and I have not done any long bike rides in 3 weeks so maybe I am just feeling a little relief. I also know if I don't get the surgery or put it off the next day I am going to feel the pain. Bottomline is that I am getting it done and if he goes in there and says its not as bad as we expected he won't do much and I will take 14-20 days off, or he goes in and sees a hole (as the mri shows) and he has to fix it. Hopefully its the former and if that is the case then I could be on the way back! I am going to bang out miles every day this week but I will slow down and see how a little longer time on the feet affects the joint.

Radiohead played in Prague tonight. Similar set list to last night. Next stop is Poland before the UK gigs. I also just saw that Sunset Rubdown are playing in NYC in October and I will be going, that much I'm certain of. Packing up the apartment these days is pretty depressing but these things happen and its time to move on and look forward. Last week at 27 Humboldt.

Love Kel

Friday, August 21, 2009

Make A Deal With God

Just got back from a lovely 4 days on the road with 3 days spent at the annual running school. Awesome. Its really refreshing to see unbreakable youth loving the training. I even got out for a couple of runs myself including an 8 mile run where my knee was actually not too sore? It is kind of Ironic because I just got off the phone with Dr. McKeon en route to Swan Lake and I am scheduled for the surgery on September 1st. So with hearing the operation was happening I decided to run an 8 mile loop and I felt fine. My body is playing tricks on me! I am going to run 8 miles each of the next two days and make sure my knee is still proper wrecked and worthy of a cartilage transplant.

Being up in the mountains has messed with my music and world champs listening/viewing. Great to see Ireland get a medal in the Womens 20k walk. Olive has been a super hard worker over the last 10 years and has been there or there abouts for a long time. Derval finishing 4th has solidified her position as a world class hurdler and its fantastic to see David Gillick get stuck in finishing 6th in the 400m. Ireland a sprinting nation? Shane McGowen with new Teeth? Times are a changing.

I have 4 new albums to listen to over the next few days. 2 of them I downloaded for free off the blogosphere. I never heard of the artist so its nice testing ground and 2 I bought including "Riceboy Sleeps", the new Jonsi project. I've had it for 2 months from a dodgy download but felt horrible about it since Jonsi has provided some magic moments for me. Its amazing how $12 bucks can make me feel so good. The other albums I got are "Porn Sword Tobacco - New Exclusive Olympic Heights", "Hammock - Raising Your Voice", and "John Tejada - Daydreams In Cold Weather"

Tomorrow Night Radiohead play their first summer festival. I am obviously pretty down that I am not seeing them this summer and to say I am excited to hear the new material is an understatement. I love the interweb because at about 8pm I have no doubt youtube will host some action. Guess what this looser is doing on Saturday night.........

Time to see how I swing Julian Plenti tickets.

Love Kel

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tell ME Why

AM: 4.2 Miles, Blvd
PM: 60 Minutes Trainer with Fartlek

Bekele is unreal. His stride and efficiency are unmatched. I mean if he is on drugs that is one thing but you can't take a drug to have that form. I'm not sure how efficient it is for the marathon but on the track he makes it look so easy. What Usain Bolt is to 100 and 200m KB is to 10k. You get the feeling that if the pace was quicker it would have been just as easy. He never looked like he was hurting despite running his second 5k in about 13:05.

It was a fantastic 3rd day at the champs albeit a bad day for Reebok distance runners. Hats off to Leo Manzano for truly running his semi like it was the final and hats off to the women in the steeple who made it honest from the start. I was even interested in the pole vault. Talk about lessons learned there eh. I guess thats what thinking your too good gets you.

I ran an easy AM opener on the blvd and my knee was in agony the whole way. For the PM I jumped on the trainer thinking I would do 45 minutes to feel good about myself and ended up going the hour. I rode very hard at times, based on the song playing on my iPod. Knee wasn't too bad. Working from home makes the day go by very quickly if you ask me. I listened to tonnes of music today, especially Thom Yorke. I revisited his cover of Neil Young "Tell Me Why" and it put a nice sized smile on my face. I can't find a great version on youtube but from checking out the below vid you will get the picture. I fortunately have the mp3 so I don't need to listen to the idiots talking.

Thats the buzz,
Love Kel

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Our Name Is Legion

AM: 65 Minutes Trainer Ride
AM: 5 Miles Training Run
AM: Watch An Awful Liverpool Performance
AM: Experience Depression Take Over
PM: Pack Stuff
PM: Drink Boatloads Of Coffee and Ride My Bike
PM: Walk Fausto
PM: Eat Nice Slice

Strange day today. Francine has gone back to Canada for a while to do her introduction course work for her MPH Program. So I had very little human interaction outside of service and bumping into Mylene Cox. Ordinarily I am a social animal but I didn't actually mind not seeing anyone and I thoroughly enjoyed riding my bike around Providence listening to Sunset Rubdown and visiting places like White Electric.

I was pretty happy with some of the training I did this morning but it really leaves very little in terms of satisfaction. Its so little and insignificant but that is what I'm limited to given the current pain level in my knee and the fact that I got a flat on the trainer. How that happens, I don't know. Hence why I took my single speed out for a jaunt. It wasn't a training ride mind you but coming up college hill in a big single gear is not easy.

Now its off to bed and time to think about what I am going to do in terms of training since I am on the road all week. I also find out a date for my microfracture/oats surgery tomorrow so that should be good.

I found some clips of Bat For Lashes on youtube. It was really dark in Paradise so capturing video was going to be difficult regardless of where anyone was in the crowd.

Love Kel

Saturday, August 15, 2009

These Are My Twisted Words

I did a lot of travel this week. I did little exercise. I saw Bat For Lashes at the Paradise in Boston. It was amazing, beautiful, inspirational, emotional, and very satisfying. And to cap off the week, a new EP by Radiohead. From Stereogum:


It's looking likely. The most compelling piece of evidence: redirects you to the W.A.S.T.E. store. So what's the significance of "wall of ice"? The phrase turned up in the metadata of that "These Are My Twisted Words" MP3 we all feel reasonably certain is a new Radiohead song. And according to this guy's sleuthing (via TDS), its full file title was "01-radiohead-these _are_my_twisted_words-(advance)-2009-woi.mp3," where woi probably = wall of ice. And: The phrase also pops up in this cartoon slagging the record and film industry, and we all know how Radiohead like slagging the industry and also love their cartoons right, Stanley Donwood? OK.
So, why Monday 8/17?

AtEase says that date popped up a bunch in the metadata, too.

The internet is such a nerd.

But then, Radiohead make it fun to be a nerd. All of this comes on the heels of Thom telling the world he's "not very interested in the album at the moment." So everybody ran wild with that as a statement of hibernation, but everybody ran wild in the wrong direction. An EP would make sense given Thom's quote. Clearly they're at least single-minded of late.
Meanwhile, Jonny Greenwood affirmed Thom's LP disinterest in today's Australian (via AtEase), while also hinting at the band's overall productivity by saying "there's a bunch of [new material] slowly growing." It's all happening! Probably!

Next step: Gather your £s and we'll see you 8/17 at 12AM GMT over at

I will most certainly but up and at the laptop 7AM Monday morning. The track itself soundsa little incomplete and very much a b-side that might be found on the Airbag/How Am I Driving EP. I am really enjoying it because of that very fact. Its like a track I never knew existed but was released in 1999-2001. I am jonzing for a lot more.

Love Kel

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Boulder, CO

No Running today. It was a day of travel. We left Peoria early this AM and hit up Naperville to stop in at the Running Company. Great store, great people. Then I left Chicago for a trip down memory lane again and the mountains. Driving into Boulder with Steve and Annette made me a little sad. Its such a wonderful place, full of great energy that it is hard not to miss it. We went straight to the old stomping grounds of the Hungary Toad and now I am back in the basement. It feels like I never left! Completely natural. I am looking forward to grabbing coffee at Espressoroma tomorrow while discussing athletics with Jimmy Carney. I may even hit up wonderland lake for an easy jog.

Love Kel

Monday, August 10, 2009

Peoria And Dreaming

PM: 28 Mins run, river front, Peoria.

Meself and the boss man Kev Adams hit the waterfront of Peoria for some easy running this afternoon. It wasn't great to be honest. I love talking to my boss but I don't love feeling stabbing pain in my knee when I'm jogging. At the end of the day this seems to be par for the course and I have to accept it until I get my operation.

After the run we went out for dinner with the Running Central crew, Adam and Marie White, Ian White, and Bekah Aavang. Had a lash of lovely dogfish head IPA and plentiful discussion about vegetarianism and religion. Two of my favored subjects. These are great people and I love them. If your in the area please hit up running central. They will fit you for the right shoes and maybe you can talk music with Bekah or Tattoos with Adam!

In total respect for my trip to Peoria I want to dedicate the below you tube clip. I will see Bat For Lashes on Thursday night and the crew at Run Central had to hear about it repeatedly!

Love Kel

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Games For Days

I am not training at all. My knee is too sore. Very down.
On a positive, Julian Plenti put forth a great effort on Jimmy Fallon this weekend.

Love Kel

Thursday, August 6, 2009

No Alarms And No Surprises Please

PM: 60 Minutes Trainer, Easy

My knee is officially jocked. After many solid weeks of improvement the inevitable has happened and I am glad I have my surgery planned. My knee hurt on the bike tonight. Running I can handle, but when it hurts cycling, and this is the first time it has, then I know the issue is significant. I hope to truck on for the next month but I may have to back off volume and intensity. If I spin at high cadence with little resistance it is not bad. I planned on doing at least 90 minutes steady tonight but I was struggling after 40 minutes (prob should have stopped). Brutal but again, it was expected and it has hurt all along, just today it hurt more than it has since Irish XC Champs.
So its safe to say that I am in a pretty poor mood and generally let down by things. We are having a yard sale on Saturday so that will take my mind off not training too much and force me to not do a crazy Saturday AM session with Cox. Ended my day watching Entourage and was pleased to hear some Empire Of The Sun on the closing credits. My favorite track on the album too!
Love Kel

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I Could've Sworn I Aaw A Light Coming On

AM: 70 Minutes Steady Spin, High RPM, Trainer
PM: 4.3 Miles Blvd

Used the Trainer this AM because I only wanted to spend an hour or so training and figured I would get more out of a steady spin while listening to tunes rather than deal with morning traffic. Good session with high cadence all the way. I was pretty tired after yesterday but thats to be expected. In the afternoon I hit the Blvd for the usual up and down, only this time my knee really hurt. It also started lashing again which was nice. Both Frankie and I were caught in the downpour. I am not running for a few days. Need to let my knee settle down.

New Radiohead song out today. You can buy it here for a quid. I don't love it on first listen but thats because "Present Tense" is so good that it is hard to listen to Thom sing anything new! It has haunting but emotional strings that sound very apt and evoke sounds of the era the song is dedicated to. The song is called Harry Patch (In Memory Of) and is dedicated to the last survivor of the WW1 conflict. He died last week at the age of 111. Amazing. The funds go to the Royal British Legion. I have posted it as the first youtube below.

I also need to post a second youtube. I cannot stop listening to the tunes of Julian Plenti. The second youtube video is called "Only If You Run" and is off his new album Julian Plenti Is Skyscraper. So far this is my favorite song on the album. He is on Jimmy Fallon on Friday night. For this I cannot wait. You can make it.....but only if you run,

Love Kel

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Kiss Of Life

PM: 1:32 Trainer w/ 15 x 1min on /off Very Hard
PM: 4.2 Mile Run Easy, Blvd.

My first interval session in  a while took place today and I pretty much smashed myself. Minute efforts are short enough to really push it but long enough to make me want to vomit at the end. That was how I felt on the 15th effort doing an out of the saddle effort. Great workout and even better mental test. I took a few hours to do some work before running up the Blvd and back. I didn't time my run and kept it easy although my knee was in real agony today. I can't wait to get the surgery. I am moving it forward to early September if I can!

Today Frankie turned 31. So to celebrate we hit up AS220 for some Burritos and Gansetts. There was a nice crew out and we had a great laugh. I love the weekly trip to AS22o, it is truly a highlight even though I never sleep after it due to the sugar in the beer and the mass amounts of cheese they put in their excellent food. 

I finally caught up on some music action today. Frankie has also decided that Spencer Krug is her favorite singer and has surpassed Thom Yorke in her rankings. I don't agree but obviously see her point. My song of the day is the new tune by Friendly Fires called Kiss Of Life. Its on the YouTube below. Lovely tune and very different to the stuff I'm listening to lately. They are a British band who have been around for a few years and admit they are heavily influenced by the German techno sound so they must be good. I hope to catch them in concert soon. 

Peace and Love


Monday, August 3, 2009

I'm Not Living, I'm Just Killing Time

AM: 6 Miles, 37:00 Minutes, Blue Hills
PM: 1:40 Bike, Seekonk, Blvd

I missed the old posting yesterday due to the fact that it looks like Frankie and I will be resting at Humboldt for August but not beyond. Our Landlord is less than cooperative and we have been forced to not renew our lease. Unless something drastic happens we will be looking for lodging elsewhere. Sucks but thems the breaks and we have to deal with it. There will be a garage sale happening next Saturday on our front lawn. I am looking forward to purging myself of things I don't use or need. The timing of everything is bad and after my long ride yesterday Frankie and I went to work and will continue to for the next few weeks while Frankie is still around. I ended up riding 4:02 with Lee. We covered around 76 miles. Nothing Crazy at all.

Today I ran at work and hit the track at the end of a lovely trail jaunt. I finished with 2 laps of the track nice and snappy in 2:21. My knee actually doesn't feel better running faster but I thought I would test it anyway. Great run, fantastic weather, and no iPod. For the PM I rode steady on the flats and pushed hard on the false flats. Again no iPod, just a head full of crazy thoughts about what the near future holds. Keeping it very positive mind you.

Passion Pit made their network TV debut on Jimmy Fallon. Check it out.

Love Kel

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Its A Long Way Round

AM: 2:07 Bike (42.7 Miles), 4.6 Mile Run (28 Minutes)

Great ride with Coxy out in North Providence. We took it easy for 10 miles out the Blackstone Bike Path before hitting rt.116 and hammering away at tempo for 15 miles. The road is nice and rolling with some good climbs and descents. We pushed the pace to get a good workout in. I flatted about 5 miles from home but managed to make it back without changing tubes. Upon arrival we had a quick turnaround and hit the blvd for an easy run. My knee was really sore today for some reason and I had to stop. It was good to run with Lee because I cannot control my pace when I am running solo. First day of August is off to a great start. I'll see if I can maintain good training all the way through. And to welcome in the new month, another video from Thom's solo show at Latitude.
Love Kel