Monday, March 29, 2010

Clinging Onto Bottles

AM: 1 Mile, Treadmill 7:20; 30 Minutes Precor, Core Work.

Day 2 back in training. Changing into running gear, getting the stretches in, the adrenilan, I love it. Had to get on the treadmill because there was a monsoon up here in the North East and I see no point in getting drenched for 7 minutes of running. I don't particularly want to get changed to get on the elliptical trainer. I ran 1 mile and felt terrific. Much better than yesterday. There was minimal pain in my knee and other things actually hurt more. I jumped onto the Precor straight away and did a steady 30 minutes at a high cross ramp level and some decent resistance. I really should have done 45 minutes but decided to stop while I still felt good. My training was followed up with a thorough core session and a cold bag of ice. I missed training so much and I cannot wait to start doing more. 37 minutes is pretty unsatisfying but significantly better than doing nothing.

When I returned home I found a nice little package containing the new Jonsi album. I kind of wish I didn't spoil it by listening to the leaked version online. Even so it is still lovely to get the CD delivered. Its now on my iPod and it will be perfect listening on my flight tomorrow morning to ATL (if we get out). Nice and tired now even though I hardly broke a sweat, is this what being very unfit feels like? The long hard road awaits.

Kaki King is playing the Middle East in Cambridge during the Boston Marathon expo. I'm pretty sure I'm going and I'm disappointed that there is even a question of not going. Getting old sucks ass.......

Love Kel

Sunday, March 28, 2010

We Are Revolving Doors

AM: 5 Minutes Run, 35 Minutes Trainer
PM: 5 Minutes Run, 30 Minutes Trainer

Kicked off the new training with 5 and 5. Myself, Pat and Kim named my route, Rome 5 since it only encompasses 4 streets and our street name is the best. Sharon 5 just sounds idiotic, Enfield 5 sounds like a road race in the middle of Ireland, and Isabella 5 has no ring to it what so ever. Rome 5 will eventually get longer because after some debate we figured out that it is 1172 meters. Hopefully I will add another street and keep Rome 5 but make it 1350 or so meters. Pat and Kim did Rome with a twist adding on 25 minutes. The time it took to get my running gear on was longer than the actual run itself but yet in both cases the whole experience was very uplifting. I might have done too much by adding on bike rides after each run but there was no resistance and the Doc suggested that I start cross training and taxing the joint with non-running, low impact exercise. Overall it was a great day of training and I feel amazing right now. Best of all, there is little or no pain in my knee. My calves on the other hand.........

To celebrate my first day of any real training in 5 months I listened to lots of new music. New Wave, Techno, Down Tempo and even a bit of Indie Rock (whatever that means). French band Fortune have been putting out some good tunes. They sound a lot like uber popular French band Phoenix which is not necessarily a bad thing. However, its the remixes that they've been recording and the remixes of their songs that have been getting most of the play. The below song is a remix of their song Mission recorded by M83 (major French music buzz going on right now) I obviously love M83 so it was easy to jump all over this. Fortune have offered up a lot of remixes at their website. All you do is enter your email address and some tasty music gets sent your way. Easy. Happy way to end the week,

Love Kel

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Its On The Rise

This has been a pretty great weekend so far and I imagine it getting better. The Reebok Global Marketing Meeting started out with a great evening of drink and cheer and really kicked off this AM with a fantastic show. The company is doing really well and has some very cool stuff happening so the energy was very infectious. I don't watch the show but I have come across it, its called Americas Best Dance Crew and I think it airs on MTV. Anyway they had a couple of groups from that show doing a dance off and they were amazing. One group called JabbaWockeez and the other called The Beat Freaks. They both had fantastic routines but the JabbaWockeez ran away with it as far as I'm concerned. Lots of DJ Shadow playing during their performance and from style to substance they were superior. Having said that, the Beat Freaks were still brilliant. The place went nuts. Nick Willis and Katie McGregor did a great job representing the running world so big ups to them.

I am on my way home now. Free Wi-FI on the commuter rail. Awesome. The temptation to stay in Beantown was rattling me but I'm wearing my sensible hat these days and going home to ice, take Celebrex, and get ready for a bike ride tomorrow morning. Getting back into shape trumps good nights out right now and with my knee improving I am very motivated to start training. The initial buzz of Cortisone has worn off and some of the strain is still there but that was expected. Dr. McKeon told me to test it with some biking and an easy run/walk deal. I'll be doing both tomorrow.

Jonsi did a little session with Nico Muhly at Bethnel Green in London. The result is so beautiful.

Love Kel

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Its Just Business

I am very, very close to being back on board, posting training, and dare I say racing goals. I saw the Doc today and he reckons my knee is really improving. He shot some cortisone into the Popliteus Tendon that has been giving me major headaches. It feels a lot better already. I know it will wear off and he told me that tomorrow I'll actually be sore but next Monday he wants me to run, slowly but regularly. I might be getting ahead of myself but I'm already planning out the next few months. Time to back off the pints and time to get going on more aggressive cross training and conditioning. I'm exceptionally unfit and actually kind of heavy compared to my normal self, but that was a rational decision. I needed to let it all go and hit rock bottom so I would find myself in this position, ready to build it all back up again, just as hungry as ever.

Needless to say I'm in a jovial mood. I have a lot of travel coming up and good things are in the works at Reebok. We will be hitting the road next week and selfishly it helps with my over-training tendencies. I'll be running with the lads in the mornings and its going to be fantastic.

I'm really looking forward to April. The gigs start early in the month and continue all the way through until the Jonsi shows at the beginning of May. Frankie will be coming into town for the AFP show and in the middle is the Boston Marathon weekend. Even though I say this annually, and fail miserably, I am going to take it easy this year. I really hope my knee will be very much on the road to complete bliss and I want to be there for it every step. So no hangovers or excessive hours on the floor at the expo.

Song for the day, Kissing The Beehive by Wolf Parade. Cannot wait to see these guys in Toronto in 2 weeks! Its fair to choose a song where vocal duties are shared between Dan and Spencer.

Peace and Love


Friday, March 19, 2010

I Only Want One Life

Today was beautiful. I drove around Providence and saw so many smiling faces, couples walking hand in hand, kids sitting out on any available patch of grass and literally everyone was in a good mood. Its one of the nice things about living in an area with seasons, the first hot day is outstanding. I can't imagine (although I wouldn't mind) life in a year round warm climate because days like today would never happen. I was buzzing around a little too much and took a step back in terms of my knee swelling. Right now its very sore and crunchy. It probably didn't help that I ran from Rhode Runner to my car which was parked up the hill because I was late for a meeting with the race director for the St. Pats 5k. I mean, I can't live my life wrapped in cotton wool so I'm not too bothered. Dr. McKeon is giving me a cortisone shot next Wednesday anyway so its all good.

I usually post music on here for people to listen to or get exposed to for at least a few minutes but tonight I am posting an actual Video because its brilliant. Hot Chip, an excellent electro pop band from the UK released a new album recently. Its good but not as good as Warning, their 2006 effort. One of the criticisms of the album was that it sounded mainstream. I don't really think its commercial radio material and its certainly no more mainstream than many of the acts the same publications drool over, errr Phoenix, Passion Pit? So to poke fun at themselves they made a music video to the wonderful and very infectious I Feel Better staring 4 members of a muscled up boy band in place of the actual members. They find themselves being confronted by good, evil, and a lot of mayhem. Its awesome and must be watched.

Love Kel

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Red Wine And Sleeping Pills

Needed a hiatus from this site. It was very nice to see the comments below my last post about the lads from St. Joes winning the All-Ireland schools champs. Its basically like Nike Team Nationals here although obviously a lot smaller. That said its a real big deal in Ireland and pretty much every successful runner in the history of Irish Athletics has a national Schools title. Its a rite of passage in the Irish running world.

I am swimming. The first consistent exercise of 2010. Managed to get 3 sessions in this week, all totaling about 1200 meters each. Swimming is really hard and I am really weak. My form is horrible and it feels like I have consistent drag on every stroke. But my heart rate gets nice and elevated for the 25 minutes or so that I spend in the water. It would be great to be able to swim for an hour, so thats my goal. Next week I get some cortisone in my knee which might lead to a return to bike and potentially some jogging. That will be amazing if it happens.

SXSW is on right now so that means lots of new music and live video footage. There is a lot of rubbish that comes out of SXSW but there is also a lot of magic. I haven't paid too much attention thus far due to lack of time but this weekend should provide a great opportunity to find out whats been happening.

I've been listening to the new Jonsi album which found its way onto the interweb. I was determined to completely avoid it but my lack of will power and control reared its horrible head and I caved. The album is beautiful and I cannot wait for its release. I already bought it so I don't feel too bad. When I got my tix to the show I purchased the album at the same time. So check out the song below and experience epic in all its glory.

Love Kel

Thursday, March 11, 2010

You Took Me Up The Stairwell And Back Down Again

I need to stop listening to the Dreamland EP by Spencer Krug because I'm starting to hear Marimba in my head all day. Lovely sound but enough's enough. So just one listen tonight before my very own dreamland. Even though I'm hitting my knee with a silly amount of treatment it has regressed. Maybe I should just start riding my bike again and see what happens with that. It can't get worse than it has been and at least I'll feel good about myself. Running is out of the question. I'll talk to Mike about it tomorrow morning. And from that point we'll decide if I can continue to treat the injury while riding. The mental side to Injury is just as significant as the injury itself. I haven't been pain free in my knees in over one year now but only recently have I been mentally destroyed by it. Because I can't bike and because I'm treating it and spending lots of energy and cash on it the sense of satisfaction has pretty much disappeared. Right now I can't imagine being free of pain. I also have a feeling that my injury might need some exercise because rest has done little to nothing. I can convince myself that its responding but thats because I'm doing nothing on it. As soon as I go to a show or walk around town the pain is back. Nice one, you gave me a rest but I'm still here.

Off to bed. And hopefully to sleep. Not likely though because I had a very enjoyable and rare 7 hours last night. I got in super late and went to bed at 2 AM sleeping until 9. My alarm didn't go off and when I woke I was in a mild state of astonishment. Had to go and get treatment and get my day started sans coffee. Very hard thing to do. I am reading American Psycho for the third time and it will keep me entertained for the next few hours.

I know I've been dropping the ball on new music lately. For this I apologize. The thoughts of running have been dominating my head space lately and only the Dreamland EP has been answering my questions. Its not on youtube or any video I can find but until then here is a nice rendition of Phoenix - Lisztomania that brings much joy and shows why music education is so important. Look at the passion in these kids, so lovely.

Love Kel

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Not Living, Just Killing Time

Peoria Airport is a dump. I guess thats why they are building a very nice, modern terminal next door to this one. Airports suck ass but my beef with Peoria is the lack of coffee. I am super early for my flight to Detroit and I really want some dark coffee. I tried the stuff up at the store and it was muck. This trip to Peoria was awesome. Great times with the crew from Running Central and Steamboat. But more than anything it was the joyful news I received last night that contributed to my getting fairly drunk. Frankie called at 10pm to tell me that Wolf Parade are playing in Toronto on April 7th, right between my two Thom Yorke shows. It might potentially be the best week of my life.

April 6th - Atoms For Peace - Roseland Ballroom, NYC
April 7th - Wolf Parade - Phoenix Concert Theater, Toronto
April 8th - Atoms For Peace - Wang Theater, Boston

Obviously the travel is going to be a pain but travel is easy when your floating which I will be. I have never seen Wolf Parade live. Missed them every time they came to Boston, work or being out of the country. Same old story. This time however I ain't missing anything. They are playing in a small venue in Kingston on Tuesday. If I had of known I would have bought Monday tix for Atoms in NYC and traveled up for 2 Wolf Parade shows. If that was the case it would certainly be the best week of my life. On a similar note, Johnny Depp referenced Sunset Rubdown as one his main inspirations for the Mad Hatter character he plays in Alice In Wonderland. Spencer does this to people. Maybe that is why I've listened to The Dreamland EP non stop for the last 48 hours. Really, I've listened to nothing else.

My knee is really bothering me today. Everytime I go on the sauce it hurts? Not sure what thats about because I was sitting down all night except for a quick head to head against Tim Broe in one of those basketball games at the back of sports bars all over America. I'll be back on the treatment table tomorrow so all good, hopefully. My concern with these types of injuries is that they seem to get better and then one day its back to square one. I almost feel that right now I've undone all the work over the last 2 weeks? Maybe its because I am fat right now and my poor knees can't deal with my girth.

Do yourselves a favor and go HERE and download this 20 minute epic track by Spencer under his Moonface moniker. Donate a few bucks, or don't. Maybe download it for free by entering in $0 and if you like it throw in a few quid. He used the Radiohead model. Great minds think alike. When its downloaded, listen to the song and read the lyrics. So powerful.

Off to catch a flight,
Love Kel

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Running And The Running It Around

Very solid weekend with high temps, high energy and even a few Gansetts. On Sunday after helping out at Rhode Runner for a few hours I needed to hit up the Wild Colonial for a scoop because if I didn't I would have went home and got on my bike. It was 58 degrees in the afternoon! I text my Physio and told him that it was taking everything I had not to exercise and he suggested I go for some swill, so I did.

What was also interesting was yesterday marked the one year mark of my crushing knee injury. I have only ran over 45 minutes on one occasion in the last 12 months. That was with Pat Tarpy and Kurt Benninger. I ran 45 minutes on the nose with Kim Smith and Pat on a rainy Saturday last October also. Both runs were silly. My total volume over the last 12 months was probably 200 miles. The strange thing is that I honestly believe (and I don't believe much, but will believe in anything) I could jump straight back into training. I feel fit and I've only put on 10 pounds of beer weight. It would fall off within a month.

Speaking of exercise, I am getting the green light to get back on the bike next Monday. It will be really easy but just sweating is going to feel fantastic. I am also starting to swim on Thursday. Given my awful stroke and general upper body weakness I can't really swim enough to get a proper workout. Does doggy paddle even count as a swim stroke coz I can do a fair few laps of that. I'll be joining my fellow gimpy knee comrade, Ken White, with some hard efforts and hopefully more than 20 minutes of swimming.

There is a lot happening on the music front right now. I bought tix to see The Album Leaf at the Paradise. This is a guy I've been listening to Jimmy LaValle for many years but have never seen him or his band live. Its an exciting time because I am seeing so many new acts in the next two months. So with these epic shows ahead, Atoms For Peace, Jonsi, The Album Leaf, and a marked improvement in my overall health, I have a lot to look forward to.

Congrats to Mark Kennelly who won his first Irish Senior XC title yesterday after finishing 2nd on no less than 4 occasions.

Some slowed down Spencer to usher in the good times,

Love Kel

Saturday, March 6, 2010

We Think The Same Things At The Same Time

Today could beheld in sharp contrast to yesterday. I was online at 9:55 ready to purchase Atoms For Peace Tix and at 10:00 AM I got through on my first effort. Bought 2 tix for the Tuesday night show and 5 minutes later both nights were sold out. It was all very fair. Five minutes to get tickets to see an amazing ensemble of musicians. If one was not there within the five minutes they don't deserve to go. Or rather they could go to the show in Chicago which my friend Ryan told me didn't, and may not, sell out (although Saturday is sold out, Sunday is still available). I will see Thom Yorke twice in one week. I have done this with Radiohead many times but always in big venues. Couple of nights in a row in Dublin or a Boston - Montreal - New York triple. However, this will be much different. For starters the venues are much smaller and in New York I have GA tix so I will be up front. Also its not Radiohead (I'd take Radiohead any day) its Flea, Joey Waronker, Nigel Goodrich, and Mauro Refosco supporting Thom's solo work some of which was released as The Eraser a couple of years ago. I'm still super excited and my mood is very much elevated after securing tix to 2 shows.

My knee is feeling better. I don't think its just the joy I'm experiencing with the whole Atoms For Peace thing. I legitimately think my knee is getting better. The Celebrex is helping and I have an ice pace around my knee all day. I'm surprised I haven't done damage to my peroneal nerve. I heard that happen to someone before, although I can't remember who. Tomorrow is going to be amazing weather wise and I am very tempted to go for a ride but I'm not going to. Another day of ice and rest nay boredom.........

In The Future,

Love Kel

Friday, March 5, 2010

Atoms For Peace

After experiencing a total emotional meltdown last Tuesday I'm happy to report that everything is back in its right place. I missed out on the presale Tix to see Thom Yorke's band in Boston at the Wang Theater. I NEVER miss out on the presale and quite frankly I have no idea what happened. I was refreshing every few seconds and it went from not on sale to sold out in one refresh. It was bizarre. I must have literally missed it by a split second. I was deflated. Another crushing blow. It sounds silly but to see Thom with his solo band lead by Flea of Red Hot Chilli Peppers on bass is very important to me. Thom Yorke is someone I idolize and with Radiohead becoming bigger and bigger its very difficult to see him in small theater settings.

I woke up to the dreaded general sale today. Frankie was in Canada ready to go too. Refresh, refresh, refresh....Boom! Site goes down. Obviously the Wang theater underestimated the traffic because it crashed as soon as the tix went live. I was awash with panic and on the verge of tears. I am miking the whole Patrick Bateman thing here but its not far from the truth. After 20 minutes of being told that the connection is not happening I jumped on a Radiohead fansite. Someone knew the ticket company that Citi (the sponsor of Wang Theater) uses and went directly to that site and got great seats so he shared the love. Given that there was a 2 ticket limit and all tickets were will-call with credit card and email print out required it wasn't like he could milk it tout style. I like to think Radiohead fans are not like that anyway. So I jumped on and got myself and Frankie some decent (not amazing presale) seats, lower tier half way up on the right. Once I was set I needed to inform friends and allies so I posted on a couple of Radiohead message boards (I sound like a complete tool I know. I'm not proud of being a groupy at 32) I called Coxy and he got his, I called another friend, Dave Healy, and his wife got tix and I called/text Sean D so he got his. At the end of the day it took 90 minutes to sell out even though there were enough people trying to get on to sell the show out in 2 minutes. Only those that went to the actual ticketing company site were getting tickets so it took a while for the news to spread but I like to think that since the Radiohead messageboards and friends were the only people who knew the score it was all dedicated and very deserved fans that got the tickets. It was a bit of an emotional roller-coaster and I was drained after it. Very, very happy mind you. And I want to apologize for not telling more people. Some friends would have loved to go and were maybe trying but my head was spinning so I only called those who I knew were sitting at computers wondering what the hell was going on.

Tomorrow morning New York City tickets go on sale through Ticketbastards and I will be back refreshing..................

Knee is feeling better. I see lights at the end of many tunnels. Check the video below and you'll get an idea of why this mini tour will be so special. The clip is of Harrowdown Hill performed at their first live show ever.

Love Kel

Thursday, March 4, 2010

You Hid There Last Time, You Know We're Gonna Find You

Fitter, Happier isn't exactly aging gracefully. Never a day would pass without a post whether training or music related. Now days pass, even weeks. Energy and motivation are a true reflection of ones state of mind and presence. So its pretty easy to guess how I'm feeling right now. The quite desperation of an athlete is kind of sad. However, with that being said, I don't miss the raised hands breaking the tape or the local interview, I miss feeling normal and enjoying my favorite thing in the world (outside of being front row at a Radiohead concert) which is going running. How can I explain to someone who doesn't understand? I mean, most people think we're mad running 10 or 15 miles everyday. They can't comprehend it. And even more, they can't comprehend how someone can literally be at their lowest ebb when they can't do it!

Despite the quite desperation I feel Fitter, Happier, More Productive still has the lights on because frankly so do I. The fire doesn't burn out and there is a light that never, never goes out. I am working extremely hard at rehab. Everyday hitting the ultra sound, the ice, the exercises (so slow and painfull) and the deep tissue massage. I'm investing in getting this right. Racing is not part of the plan for the near future but optimism abounds and joy is raging deep down inside.

I enjoyed a night out with Kenny White and we watched PC narrowly loose to 18th ranked Pitt. A great game that I loved watching, but more than that I snapped out of the really dark place I was in because I didn't think about how crap I feel. Maybe the treatment is working and I'm actually feeling better, who knows. Tomorrow morning I'll be back in therapy at 6:30 and the dream will still be alive.

Passion Pit remixed Two Door Cinema Club and its so cheesy yet so awesome and happy. Its been on regular rotation at work, in the car, and at home.

Love Kel

Monday, March 1, 2010

Waiting For This Madness To End

When I feel bad for myself (which is a lot lately) I turn to the sounds that put a smile on my face. Finding this youtube video by Maggie Bear when I woke up this morning completely changed the course of my day.
Love Kel