Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Rain Falls Hard On A Humdrum Town

No news is good news however the lack of news here is actually neither good or bad. Frankie and I spent the weekend eating well, drinking well and forgetting about knees, injuries, running etc. I did have a session with the AAA on Sunday afternoon. That was awesome, especially considering we had our chat over the blackest of dark roasts at the Exchange.

I went to see Dr. Brian McKeon today and as usual he was pretty upbeat, surprising given the fact that he reckons my knee injury is exceptionally rare. The chances of a post meniscus surgery resulting in a new tear are very slim unless trauma or a ridiculous load was placed on the joint. I answer no to both questions. So he thinks that the tear showing up in the MRI is not a tear at all and rather it is scar tissue, swelling, and a major inflammation of my Popliteus Tendon.

It is hard for me to accept because it really feels like a tear but he swore to me that he has seen my case before especially in fit sports people. And to be fair I have never treated this as a Tendonitis because I never thought it would be. He asked me did I ever know someone with bad Achilles Tendonitis, which I have, many times. And he asked me how bad it hurt. I know guys that missed months because of chronic tendonitis and I know a couple of guys who's careers were ended by it. So his point is that a bad case can be very painful. I am undergoing an intense 4 week treatment at Foundation Performance and then I will get a shot of Cortisone. If after 2 months its not better then he will operate. I asked for an operation right now but he looked at my MRI and my last surgery concluding that surgery right now is not the best option and that I am welcome to get a second opinion. I don't need one. I have total faith in this guy because he pointed out my injury and the inflammation on the MRI and in detail explained why the surgery option is bad now and why treatment is the right option. I'm just an impatient bugger.

I did have a laugh when the Doc asked if I had ever taken Celebrex and he thought I was joking when I said I had probably necked about 300-400 Celebrex pills in the last 9 years. When he saw I was serious he simply shook his head, sat down, and laughed hard himself. Myself and Mark Carroll used to take Celebrex all the time because our Sacrums and Pelvis injuries were so bad at times that it was all we could do to get through some runs (and I wonder why I'm so screwed now!). So I'm back on the Celebrex and hoping it helps.

I am a little miffed and confused but at least I have a plan of attack. And I did get the green light to start biking in 2 weeks, only if I take Celebrex and get about 8 therapy sessions. I'm going in head first so time to be optimistic and positive.

Thanks for all the support, and please have a listen to the new Broken Social Scene, its class.

Love Kel

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Theres Eyes In The Sky Tonight

Man, I miss the daily posting here on Fitterhappier - talking about the great training sessions and reflecting on the work put in. Hopefully the Doc will have answers for me on Monday. This was a great week all the same. I've had things going on that helped make me forget about the brutal pain in my knees and the impending, gloomy news I await.

On Thursday night Frankie and I joined Coxy and Mylene to see Editors in the House Of Blues. Talk about a perfect place and situation to experience given the condition of my mental state. The show was awesome and with the great music my bad vibes drifted away. I recently got the new album by The Antlers whos lead singer, Peter Silberman, sounds a lot like Jeff Buckley. This album should have been in my top 10 of 2009. They were the opening act and I was floored. Literally listening to the songs and watching the pouring out of emotion by Peter took me to a completely different place. If you get a chance to see these guys live please do yourself a favor and go.

I didn't expect the warm up to be so good. I could have easily gone home after the short set and been completely content. Thats a sign of a great show. Editors on the other hand I expected to be great and they were. The power of the music, the amazing vocals of Tom Smith and the energy in the crowd all contributed to a truly excellent performance. All three albums were well represented in the 19 track setlist including some of my personal favorites like Escape The Nest. They did a three song encore that blew the roof off HOB and for my troubles I had a sleepless night due to be being so hopped up on energy, emotion, and PBR. Fantastic.

The show and listening to lots of The Antlers since has certainly mellowed me out. I've always felt that musical talent like these guys possess simply crushes me. There is so much beauty in music and the music I listen to reminds me that without Running (also so much beauty) there is still another passion that will give me the same highs and same drive. Its just when the two are together that life is easy. Of course friends and family etc are more important than both but type A people like myself need outlets. Running and Music are mine. One is supposed to be really healthy but results in constant depression, surgery, and let down while the other is pretty unhealthy - late nights, beer, musical arrogance! And yet I feel amazing after shows and full of life while running is the complete opposite. Answers on a postcard as to what thats all about!

More news to come early next week. Until then have a listen to a track from The Antlers. Warning: Strange emotions and lots of Joy guaranteed.

Love Kel

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

This Is My Final Fit, My Final Bellyache

My fantastic run of self diagnosis continues. Another posterior meniscus tear on the lateral side. I could have told the Doc without the MRI so when he told me today that indeed I have another significant tear I was silently happy. Being right about my diagnosis, adding to my last 4 correct diagnosis, offers little in the way of condolence. I'm trying to figure out why it keeps happening and whether its all worth it.

I spoke with my friend TJ tonight about how important running actually is, I mean when you look past the whole addiction and passion etc. Its just running. And that is exactly what I miss most. I know I'm not hitting the Euro track circuit again and I doubt I'll ever run a PB again (unless I do a marathon and just finishing that will be a PB) but all I want to do is run. I love it, love the feeling after a run, love the nerves before even the smallest of races, love the friendships, love the burn, the suffering, pushing myself. And even though I get all that stuff riding a bike, its not quite the same.

So next Monday the Doc and I will decide whether or not I want my fifth surgery, fourth on my right knee. He will of course oblige me because he understands when he looks in my eyes how important it is for me to run again, but what he wants me to understand is that there is a slight chance my body is telling me something. I have long lost any belief in fate and for many years I thought it was my fate to overcome these hurdles and achieve something very satisfying in the sport. Maybe I should just accept that I have achieved a lot, I've be part of many great races and if I never get it back I should still be happy with where I've been. And just as I wrote that I had a little chuckle to myself. Of course I'm not stopping and of course I'm going to try again. Maybe a little more sensibly this time. Maybe.

Peace, Love, And Thanks,


Monday, February 15, 2010

It Could Be Wrong, Could Be Wrong, It Could Never Last.

I explained a few months ago why I love the crew up at New England Baptist and in particular Dr. Brian McKeon and his PA Jason Rand. Today reinforced that faith and trust. It took all of 2 minutes for the Doc to put the wheels in motion. He thinks I may have another tear but needed a MRI to rule out any other complications. Usually I wait a few days but he simply rang up The Baptist and told them to fit me in today. 2 hours later and I am in a machine getting pics. Tomorrow morning I'll have the answer and if I need surgery again it will be a case of when we can both fit it in. He told me I'm getting priority. Obviously he feels pretty frustrated considering his reputation but its not his fault. I did something or missed something in my post surgery rehab. So if we have to get the knives back in I'm ready to go. I've no choice but to be positive and I hope it shows another bad tear so I at least have an answer and this time I'll be beyond anal about recovery. I'll lock my bike up and have Frankie hide the key. Seriously. A few long bike rides and road races this Summer might still be possible.

The Winter Olympics has me in its grips. I'm usually not a big fan, being Irish n' all (and being a typical arrogant runner) but given my ties to Canada (and America) I was fired up for the Mens Moguls last night. It was great to see Canada get the Gold, particularly in light of the Woman's race the previous evening. And whats the buzz with Nordic Combined? I found myself engrossed in the Cross Country race cheering for the American seeing as he made a huge move for home from a long way out. I watched more of it today, the 15k interval start to be specific. These guys are tough as nails and their ability to annihilate themselves is very inspirational. Cross Country Skiing is awesome and if I could anything on snow or ice that would be my event of choice.

Today the blogosphere introduced me to Jump Jump Dance Dance. I think I heard these guys somewhere before but I can't put my finger on it. Very happy, poppy, and perfect for a good frame of mind.

Love Kel

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Make Your Voice Break, Sing It Out

That was a long week. I feel like I've spent more nights in hotel rooms and on planes in the last six weeks than I did all last year. And it shows no signs of slowing down. We are hammering it out and its going well. If only the buzz at Reebok could be translated into my personal well being. Tomorrow morning will see me finally make the trip back to the Doc. I am so on edge that I either drink too much or stay awake all night. Either way its not good and I'm hoping he can help me. At this stage I can safely say that my knee is actually worse than it was before surgery. I literally haven't done a lick of exercise in 2 weeks and the swelling is still very bad. The general pain scale sits at about 8 and thats just from walking around.

I started this blog 18 months ago to capture the daily training and energy around my comeback from quitting the competitive side of the sport. It was really great and I loved logging my training and the music that accompanied me. It was even successful considering I hit my first goal. But now it seems empty. This blog is about Running and Music and the running side is slowly disappearing. However if I get my knees sorted I may just have to push the reset button and set goals again, and of course log training. That is what its all about.

Frankie comes into town this week for the first time since September. We are going to see Editors on Thursday night which should be awesome. Of course Four Tet happen to be playing on the same night and same time. Typical Boston!

Please send some positive energy for the Doctors visit tomorrow, I'll give it all back,

Love Kel

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sing Me To Sleep

I'm down in the ATL with the Reebok crew and even though I'm surrounded by great friends I feel like ass. This flu is lingering in a pretty major way and I turned down the option to go on the swills in favor of swilling nyquil and trying to get some sleep. I'm on the floor so it should be all good. I love sleeping on hard surfaces. I got my tix to see Jonsi and I'm very pleased. To celebrate I will show you his new video for the song "Go Do". Feeling somewhat positive about the decisions I made regarding my knee and the course of treatment I've outlined.

Love You ALL,


Monday, February 8, 2010

To The Basement People, To The Basement

I am getting over a flu brought on by a lot of travel, late nights, and stress. The stress has nothing to do with work, its all related to the brutal pain in my knee. The weekend certainly didn't help. We had an athlete summit and it was followed by a good lash of vino and swill after. Managed a few hours of kip before waking up and feeling like complete ass, and not the hangover type. It was a long day at the Boston Indoor Games but some of the performances were really inspiring. I can say without bias that the Mens 5k was the race of the meet, not only because Bernard Lagat broke the American Record but because when Galen Rupp took up the running with a K to go I've rarely seen such energy at a track meet. There were chants of U-S-A followed by chants by the large Ethiopian contingent half way down the back straight. There was similar action in the Womens 3k but the 5k was a different animal altogether. It was the strongest indoor 5k ever on American soil. And it was a privilege to be part of the wonderful crowd and team that help Global Athletics make this meet happen. Unfortunately I couldn't enjoy the post race activities the same way I usual do (which is not necessarily a bad thing) but I still had a good time hanging with the old Providence crew and some of the runners who were up for a bit of a laugh. I was trying to get some kip to kick this bug I have but alas it didn't happen so now I'm paying for it.

Tomorrow I'm off to Atlanta and Philly for 5 days and when I get back to P-Town next Sunday I start to prepare my recovery plan. Monday sees a visit to the Doc up in Boston and hopefully a MRI to rule out a further tear. Assuming there is no tear I will ask for a shot of good old fashion Cortisone and if there is a tear I want the Doc to go back in as soon as possible. I have a bunch of sessions lined up with Mike Silva at Foundation Performance and Dr. Lani's chiropractor center. Its not for lack of trying as far as I'm concerned and if i don't get better I need to know I've exhausted every angle. So thats the latest buzz. New Video by Two Door Cinema Club who hail from Ireland. Little bit poppy but as I've said its softer I'm getting. I'm looking forward to hearing this complete album at the end of the month.

Love Kel

Thursday, February 4, 2010

On The High Rise Estate

Had a thorough examination down at Foundation Performance and Mike reckons I do need another MRI to rule out further tears. My leg length discrepancy is actually getting worse and on a basic test of hammy strength its been reveled that I have more power in my little toe than I do in my Hamstrings. Obviously the biking is contributing heavily to this. So we think that the tear came as a result of severe muscle imbalance and the fact that my orthotic needs adjusting. I am very fired up about the session because if I had to diagnose myself I'd say I have a micro tear and if that was ruled out I'd say exactly what Mike told me. So the formula is clear, MRI to rule out tear, and if thats the case go head first into getting the glutes and hamstrings stronger. If I'm going to continue riding so much I may go and actually get fitted for my machine. Might be worth it.

Love Kel

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

There Is Love In You

Its been an overwhelming 24 hours in music. We got another new Jonsi song handed to us and I went and bought the new Four Tet Album, There Is Love In You. The Album is really beautiful and soulful. It even has some elements that make me want to get up and start dancing. I listened through 4 times at work today (productive few hours) and found myself wanting to breakdance in my cube. The album is certainly more dancey than my other Four Tet albums. While certainly not in the genre of hands in the air, trance beats or anything like that, it certainly gets the head nodding, the shoulders swaying, and the mind thinking. Kieran Hebden has been DJing for many years at London's Plastic People and I can certainly hear the influence of dancefloor builders, minimal techno, and obviously house music. While Hebden has ventured these paths many times this album is the most complete dance album he has done. The cymbals and keys from earlier work are very evident but the bright, uplifting energy is consistent throughout the record unlike its predecessors. I found the songs to be extremely emotional and ones I'll revisit many times this year.

Speaking of emotional, the full studio recording of Go Do on the new Jonsi album was played on Zane Lowes BBC Radio 1 show and its available for listening and smiling. The track is very Boy Lilikoi sounding and now that we've had two tracks from the forthcoming album its very clear that outside of Radioheads new work (when they release it) it may be the album of the year. Check out the track below.

I ran 1 mile today in a lot of pain and I did a lot of core work. I blame Four Tet for my actions. I couldn't bare to sit at my desk any longer.

Love Kel

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Luv Deluxe

Back into the swing of things at work and another day of no training. Some major positive news coming out of today is the fact that Radiohead have apparently completed their new album. I have no idea how this one will be released but needless to say I'll be on edge until it happens. Jonsi is releasing tickets for his forthcoming US tour very soon. I'll be going to at least 3 shows. That much I can guarantee. Even though there is still zero improvement in my knee I am not too down which is no surprise really considering I've been listening to Cinnamon Chasers all night. Riding the bike tomorrow morning because rest isn't doing anything.

Love Kel

Monday, February 1, 2010

Pausa Caffe

My flight back from Geneva is delayed by a solid 90 minutes making my connection to Boston looking more and more like its not going to happen. The free internet in the airport, all one hour of it, is most welcome and sitting down with black coffee while listening to Joy Division and surfing the web will see this hour pass quicker than any other will today.

I had a fantastic though very short (too short) stay in this strange but beautiful city, however I'm looking forward to getting back and sorting out my knee. I am not sure where or when I made a balls of it but I only have myself to blame. Dare I say that I might have torn some more meniscus or cartilage because seeing as my recent self diagnosis has been bang on it is safe to assume that I'm right again. We had a conversation last night over some Scotch about how many athletes are so in tune with their bodies that a visit to the doctor is usually just a clarification of the problem and a request for some prescription meds. I can't remember the last time I asked a Doctor what was wrong with me, and neither could the other guys in the conversation. So back to the point I'm making. Clearly something is causing major instability in my knee and by avoiding a very thorough rehab the underlying problem has not been corrected. Maybe I had my puncture repaired but there is still a sharp piece of glass in the tire and it has re-punctured me. I am going to get another MRI as soon as possible so I can be very specific on what needs to be done and on what time line.

Runners are a bit of a twisted breed. I haven't really trained hard in 6 weeks so naturally I've put on a couple of kilos. Given the mass amount of partying I did over Chrimbo and even this last 4 days I should really be grateful that I'm not worse off. Nevertheless, I still feel fat and out of shape. If I can't run I will have to figure some other way to get my "fix". Maybe a bit of swimming for the time being will hit the spot. Swimming and I don't mix and I can't really do much of it but if it keeps me sane it will be very much invited into my life. The rest of my energy over the next 3 weeks will go into getting my knee right so I can at least use the Alter-G and get back on the bike. I wish I could let it go and enjoy the rest of what life has to offer (I kind of do that anyway which isn't necessarily a good thing) but I can't so I'll do what I do best, get healthy again and over do it with massive amounts of hard training, chasing the dream (which isn't really a dream anymore) and telling myself that this time will be different.

Peace and Love,