Monday, May 31, 2010

This Is Hard To See, A Moment In Time

AM: 7 Miles Easy
PM: 4 Miles Easy

Yes, a double day. My first in about 16 months. 16 MONTHS. Obviously I have done doubles with bike/run etc but a day with exclusively 2 runs is something from a prior life. Didn't think I'd see this day so soon, not that I should have done it or anything. When Kim goes running I somehow find it impossible to not go too. She runs slow on recovery days which helps and in order to help with my transition to a mid-foot landing I need to run easy miles with others. Still tired from Saturday so I avoided the bike at all costs and after waking up with little to no hangover (ok maybe a little) I decided a run was on the cards. We did The RIC loop with add-on and I felt great. After a bit of a bike ride around the city I came home to cook and when Kim was going for 4 miles it was time to get the shoes on for some more action. I might actually be getting better, or I might be making things worse. Right now I have other stuff to worry about.

One of the other things is the fact that STARS are playing in Boston tomorrow night and I still don't have a ticket. It SOLD OUT and last time I saw them there might have been 150 people in the venue, which holds about 1500 or more. Even Torquil (one of the lead singers) joked at how small they felt considering last time they played the venue it was to open for Death Cab For Cutie and the event sold out. Amy (other lead singer) told him to stop feeling sorry for himself, which he did, and proceeded to play a great show. I would never have imagined that a year or so later they would sell out venues. I have about 6 emails into craigslist and no one has gotten back to me. I think I'll still go and scalp a ticket outside if possible. Bought tickets for Interpol in Rochester today so June is shaping up to be decent seeing how busy I am going to be.

Well done to Jimmy Carney for a great run at Bolder Boulder today. Love that event and reminds me of some of the great times out west.

Stars live on Jimmy Fallon from the other night,

Love Kel

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now

AM: 3:02 Bike (about 58 Miles)
PM: 30 Minutes Run

The temps were high even at 8:30 when I hit the road for my ride. I needed to stop at Starbucks on Wayland Sq to meet Coxy and lash in a small dark roast (burned and very average). Things felt great until about 2.5 hours in when I went from being generally tired but still riding with ease to nothing in the tank and desperation to find the nearest gas station for some snickers bars and sugary drinks. Clearly I buried myself yesterday and didn't replenish. I stopped at CVS and got my fix, feeling amazing very soon after. It was a great day to cruise around P-Town drinking coffee. When I got back I decided to hit the road for a short, easy run. T'was lovely and just what I needed before a night of scoops with Jimmy Harvey. The British Cellar Ale House is a new pub just off Thayer street and they have an epic selection of swill. Stuck to Dogfish head and was very happy I rode my bike so I could enjoy a good few bottles and discuss running/life with Jimmy. It is fair to say that these days I spend as much social time with dudes who are 50+ as I do with dudes my own age. Getting buzzed off a little amount of swill usually tells me that I won't spend much money, and that I am still tired from training, not re hydrating. Tomorrow there will be no biking, just some easy miles and a lot of food/fluids.

I'm still listening to the sounds of Apparatjik. Such great music. The video is a DIY by some creative soul. The song is beautiful and I'm not embarrassed to say that I've listened to it about 15 times today. Tomorrow is a day off and one of the few days I can do nothing work related for the next 5 weeks. So I'll deal with the hangover I'll most likely suffer......

Love Kel

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Snow Crystals Melting In The Sunhine

AM: 83 Miles Bike, 4:01
PM: Dogfish Head 60 Min I.P.A + Buddha Bowl @ Garden Grille

I decided to challenge myself to do a harder ride this morning and if I felt good I was going to complete a 100 mile loop. My first 2 hours were into a stiff headwind and maintaining 18 mph was hard. By the time the turn around finally arrived at 41.5 miles I was pretty much cooked. The temps were warm with a lot of humidity in the air. I still maintained the same effort coming back although the speed was more in the 23-25 mph range with the most welcomed tail wind. I arrived back in Providence and had full intentions of swinging by my house to get some water and add on a loop that is just short of 20 miles to get over 100. Things went pear shaped about 3 miles from home. I don't know if it was mental or a coincidence but when I hit 80 miles I bonked. I looked at my Garmin and it was like a switch, 80 miles and an invisible wall. Its all uphill back to my place from down town and I could barely turn the peddles. Legs had nothing and my HR was very high. I cruised home very easy and lay on the floor for 40 minutes. Unlike many folks, I enjoy bonking. I love pushing myself on the bike and having that feeling of sickness/fatigue after. I will be taking it very easy tomorrow with a Bike/Run day.

After my run yesterday I was pretty down. My knee swelled up like a balloon and I couldn't bend or straighten the leg. Very depressing because I literally have no idea what is going on. All the treatments are a joke because they don't work. Time off doesn't work either. So I am just going to keep trying and most likely keep complaining. I went for a few Pints with Coach Kenny White last night and we didn't talk injuries or running (well not too much) and it was really nice. I polished off a lovely Dogfish head tonight and even though I am very tempted to go to the store and pick up a six pack I know I need to rehydrate after today.

Interpol went ahead and canceled the Providence show and New Haven show. I was so excited for these gigs and now I have nothing but frustration. They are playing in Rochester, NY in 3 weeks so I may need to make the drive up. Its a long way to go, especially knowing that Interpol will reschedule but like I have said many times before, I get very anxious that I am missing something and I also feel like a pseudo fan if I don't make the effort to see my favorite bands. I'll prob go. I am also hesitant to buy Crystal Castles tickets for the HOB gig in August because I am pretty sure I won't be here and then I see them on Jools Holland and have really no choice but to buy a ticket. Amazing band, beautiful music, and I forgive their arrogance. Its all about the tunes.
I also came across the band Apparatjik and they are phenomenal. A bit of a mega band really made up of Jonas Bjerre, the lead singer of MEW, Guy Berryman, the bassist of Coldplay, and the keyboard player from A-HA (great keyboards, no one can deny that) Magne Furuholmen. I got the album tonight and its great (even though its not out yet. I will be buying it when its released on June 15th) Really joyful synthpop and shoegaze.

Love Kel

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Angel Echoes

I am comfortably writing this from 33,000 feet on a US Airways Flight from San Diego. Technology is awesome. The internet is fast too. And it was free. Only positives. I was in San Diego with Coxy for meetings so the old training took a bit of a hit. Got in nothing on Tuesday, however on Wednesday morning I did get in about 55 minutes of easy running with Rich Verney and his dog Boston. We ran on sandy trails that snaked through wealthy neighborhoods in Carlsbad. A great start to the day. We then hit some stores and I got a tour from Sean and Coxy through some of their old stomping grounds. Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, etc. Very nice.

My knee is slowly adapting to a mid-foot strike and even though I still get swelling after the run it feels decent during the run. Obviously swelling is a sign that something is very wrong but getting in miles is so joyful that it trumps any rational part of me that thinks it could get worse. Really, nothing a few Celebrex doesn't fix. That and a lot of bike riding to keep the fitness at a reasonable level.

These work trips are awesome because I work with great people who are mates outside of the 9-5. However, it hampers training and keeping up with the latest music news. I get a little nervous if I have not read several blogs about new releases. Silly, I know. I love a site called The Music Slut, and when I typed it in the URL I was blocked based on the obvious use of the word Slut. It was categorized as an adult site. Terrible. But I understand. Although it would take a pretty demented individual to surf porn sites on a plane.

Anyway, it is good to see that Arcade Fire is releasing a new Album in August called The Suburbs. I love the dudes that wear t-shirts saying I was in to Arcade Fire before you. They are that kind of band. Fans don't like their popularity and I can completely relate. I read that many critics think the new Wolf Parade album could see the lads have an Arcade Fire style rise in popularity and while I think its awesome that more people will hear the magical sounds I also like being able to roll up to a show and not be bothered by newbies. Very selfish and maybe a bit arrogant? Just being honest though. You can hear a couple of the new songs here My initial reaction to both tracks is lackluster to be honest. Its not fair to judge an album on 2 songs but I am thinking that the weight of expectation is going to hurt this LP. So I am going to reserve judgment until I hear the whole record.

So thats it. Back home in a few hours and putting the head down over the long weekend. Should be very nice.

Love Kel

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Give To Me Your Eyes, I Need Sunshine

AM: 3:05 Bike Ride (60 Miles)
PM: 4 Mile Run

Humid, cloudy, windless mornings are my favorite. Especially when I know that eventually the cloud cover will dissipate and the sun will shine all afternoon. When I set off on my morning ride it was almost cold and very sticky. It looked like it might rain but the forecast called for a cloudy start and lots of sun. By the time I met coxy I was sweating. We did a nice, steady 2 hours together just cruising along side by side. I had another 30 or so minutes to add on to get over 3hrs and I finished hard. Admittedly I was pretty trashed after the ride, a combination of yesterday, pints last night, and lots of humidity made sure of that. Overall, the ride was really great and I am getting closer to being able to ride hard back to back days. Fitness comes so quickly but unfortunately the healing of my knees likes to take its good ol' time.

Kim had a session in the AM so I joined her for the afternoon recovery run. Ryan Hall (comments from yesterday) pointed out that after a long ride, an easy run will contribute to getting my injured rather than more fit. He is dead right. No arguments here. Its the mental state that needs the work. The act of putting on running shorts and running shoes, the act of heading down the street running, the feeling of the road underneath my feet. Its all so much better and regardless of how much I ride, the few miles I run later in the day offer satisfaction and help me sleep a little better. I am very pleased with the run tonight and to celebrate I am having a cold can of Narragansett and listening to the new Wolf Parade album that is out in June. I love it so much. Kim is watching the last ever episode of "Lost", a show I know nothing about what so ever.

I have been speaking a lot about Jonsi lately, especially on my facebook page. However due to my lack of visits to the blog I never mentioned here how the gigs I saw in Boston and New York are among the best and most emotional of my life. Going through some things right now and to stand and listen to Jonsi and his stunning band is something that is very hard to describe, and I am not a good enough writer to try. Believe me, the shows took me far off to a very different place and it felt like the show lasted about 10 minutes. It was too much for a guy in my state to take. But arguably the best medicine. Since the video footage on my favorite song is so bad, I included a good video of perhaps my second favorite from the show. Could easily post 15 Jonsi songs here! Check em.

Love Kel

Saturday, May 22, 2010

To Say The War Is Over Is To Say You Are A Window

AM: 4:09 Bike Ride (81+ Miles)
PM: 4 Miles Run

Great day for a bike ride. I took the steed to Narragansett and loop around Point Judith before returning home. It was 81.4 miles and I covered it in 4:09. I didn't stop the watch at intersections so my real time was prob about 4:03-04. Nothing super fast but quick enough considering I was by myself and I had cross winds most of the way, coming off the ocean. Not that the wind was strong, just gusty at times. The ride is pretty flat. This was my longest ride since last summer and I am feeling good about getting in shape to do 100 miles most weekends that I am not working. This morning I was happy to be done, the legs were cooked and my heart was not in it for another hour.

In the afternoon Kim called me a "pussy" for not joining her on a flat 4 mile recovery run. You'd think that I'd be mature enough to take this as some fun banter but no, I went in and got my running gear on and went. Since Kim was very dehydrated and had a bowl of Sugar Puffs before the run she felt like crap and actually had nothing in the tank. I felt fantastic and even my knee felt decent. I rubbed it in but in all fairness she would crush me right now.

Today is Morrisseys birthday. He is 51 years old and continues to inspire with his amazing poetry and activism. Regardless of whether you like him or not, you cannot deny his consistency through his work with The Smiths and his solo material. I personally would never want to meet him, I don't want to meet any of my idols and the people who have had a profound impact on my life. There is no reason for this other than I would want to respect their wish to be left alone. Their voice and music is enough for me. I was late to find Moz but since I listened to The Smiths - Singles, given to me by Ben Noad my freshman year of college I was infatuated. The lyrics, the voice, so perfect and speaking to me in that unique way that only Moz fans hear. Keep the tunes coming Moz, there is a light that never goes out. I was at one of the gigs sequenced in the below video. Unforgettable.

Love Kel

Friday, May 21, 2010

Its The Eskimo Blood In My Veins

AM: 45 Minutes Trainer Ride
PM: 45 Minutes Run (about 6 miles)

Pete Rea and Tommy Morgan stopped by Reebok today to join us for our usual Reebok Racing Club group run. It was great to have them on campus and we had a good crew run the 6 mile loop that has become our daily ritual, complete with fast lap on the track (I said I wasn't doing that again). Pete took up the pace, going like the clappers on the first bend. Paddy J slotted in behind and while I kept telling myself to just have fun and sit back I found pats heels and ended up taking up the pace on the second bend. Dan Maz decided to have a go with 110 to go and we ended up sprinting the home straight. Again, stupid. Fortunately I had a visit with Dr. Tom Michaud planned for later in the evening. Tom is legendary for accepting patients after hours. I was on his table until 9:20pm. That is why he is awesome.

In the morning I jumped on the trainer for an easy 45 minutes to try and get some blood flow to my swollen knee. Tom thinks I have an inflamed "bakers" or what is more commonly referred to as a "bakers cyst". It makes perfect sense when I read it, and in fairness Dr. McKeon said a chronically inflamed Popliteal has the very same symptoms. So I buying that right now and treating it as such. Another potential piece of the puzzle. And its a big puzzle.

Wolf Parade are one of my favorite bands. In my top three actually. I have a total man crush on Spencer Krug because his voice is nothing short of infectious and his genius is rare. Love Dan too, just not as much. Together they put out amazing songs. The Wolf Parade show I saw in Toronto last April was one of the highlights of my year and I have in my possession tickets to see them in Portland ME, Boston MA, and New York NY, on three consecutive nights. Some people think I'm nuts following bands around. "Isn't once enough?", no its not. When I see bands I love my first thought after the show is when can I see them again. Walking back to the hotel after Wolf Parade in Toronto I told Frankie I could see them again next night only we had Atoms For Peace to attend. Some people spend money on vacations, on cars, on flat screen HD tv's, on drink and drugs. I spend it on shows, and I cannot wait for Wolf Parade.

Love Kel

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Theres Nothing Left

Noon: 5.5 Miles Run

That was the session, one short but thoroughly enjoyable run. My knee was killing me all day. This AM I woke up and couldn't bend it very far at all. You could have paid me a million bucks to touch my heel to my ass and I wouldn't have been able to do it. I'm pretty sure I can still claim to be injured and without a proper diagnosis as to what is going on.

I met the crew at lunch time for a solid loop around the local golf course. We had 8 out today and spent a lot of time stretching on the track. Reebok was alive with people working out today. Amazing what the first day over 80 degrees does for the soul. I tried to enjoy the run but my knee really pissed me off. Despite my very happy facade and the fact that I really enjoyed running with the crew, inside my mood was below par. I went for a pint after work at the Hillside Pub, aka Building 6 with Coxy, Ryan, ALee and Skater T and my knee problems faded away. The ice pack wrapped around my leg right now is telling a different story however.

What about the Floyd Landis buzz? Nuts. I believe 50% of what he is saying but his motivation is what has me disturbed. If you want to take down one of the biggest sports stars on earth and the entire cycling industry perhaps there are better ways of doing it than sending emails at 4AM contradicting everything you've said for the last 4 years. He sounds like a bitter, twisted, and very depressed ex cyclist who wants to throw everyone under the bus. Whether Lance cheated or not is somewhat moot because he has been accused since his first Tour win (some one say he was being accused when he won Worlds pre cancer) and no one has been able to prove anything. The lay person, the cancer survivor, the average sports fan is not going to believe the nut job that is Floyd Landis. Someone like Paul Kimmage wants to see Lance busted but goes about it in a strategic manner being fully aware that he may never see Lance busted. Landis on the other hand is using a method of accusation with no proof that will further polarize him from the community he so desperately wishes to be part of. It made for a very unproductive day and I am eagerly anticipating the next move and how it all plays out. Dare I say I'm on the side of cycling because there is too much self serving going on here. There are easier ways to steal the limelight.

I have been on a bit of an electro kick this week and while banging out work today I was listening to some of the new work from Tom and Ed chemical, aka The Chemical Brothers. I loved their new single, Swoon and played it regularly over the last few weeks, however it wasn't until I heard the Don Diablo remix that I fell in love. The track was playing while I rode the bike and I found myself very quickly replaying it again and again. It keeps the melody and energy of the original and evolves it into a more housey, dancefloor tune. Its very simple and infectious. Excellent workout tunage.


Love Kel

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Kissing The Beehive

AM: 72 Minutes Spin Bike, Gym
PM: Massage

My knee was killing me this morning. I knew I shouldn't have taken the bait by getting involved in the 400m of steady/fast running on the track at the end of the run yesterday. Pride kept me in front when various friends tried to pass. Stupid. I had to hit up spin class at Reebok rather than hitting the Blue Hill trails. I don't mind a spin class to be honest although the music is hard to take. I don't know the names of the artists that were pumping from the system but most people probably like it (not the ones reading this though) and they probably top the charts. Not my cup of tea though. I imagine it was Lady Ga Ga and perhaps some Kanye West? I'm pretty sure his voice was in the mix somewhere. So what I do is bang through the class and after 45 mins when it is over I stick on my iPod shuffle and do another 30 minutes, cleansing my ears with the sounds of Wolf Parade. Works every time.

In the afternoon I took advantage of the on-site massage therapy. My first time availing of the service. I mean, 25 bucks for 30-40 minutes, where else would you get it. And its good. She goes hard and deep with a little encouragement. I was very pleased and tipped an extra $10. Going once a week for the foreseeable future. Where I work is actually kind of awesome and sometimes stepping back is very important. The treatment was solid and I am going to join the lunch time running posse tomorrow for 5 miles. No track nonsense at the end mind you.

Song of the day is from the new Crystal Castles album. Which, interestingly, has the same name as the first Crystal Castles album, Crystal Castles. Not sure what their buzz is as far as album titles go (even though for some reason I think its very cool) but the music is infectious and thoroughly enjoyable. I loved their first album and gave it a top 10 albums of 2008 placing. I just bought the new album and I think it may be better. The songs are more immediate and will certainly find them new fans. I am going to make sure I get a ticket to their show at the House Of Blues this summer. Apparently the live show is nothing short of breathtaking. The song I've chosen samples Jonsi of Sigur Ros. When I initially read about this I had a bit of a panic attack thinking it might sound ridiculous but on the contrary its amazing. Kim Smith who is sitting next to me, hates it. I love it, so much.

Great to be back,

Love Kel

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Theres No Earthly Way Of Knowing Which Direction We Are Going

After this long absence it does feel nice and natural to be back online on Fitter, Happier, More Productive. I have a lot to discuss and its going to take many a blog post to catch up, but it will happen. My inability to run and other real life issues have taken me away from writing (any real writer would laugh at that comment) but I have missed it. Maybe discussing the injury and feeling sorry for myself was too much? Either way it was not necessarily an enjoyable break and it brings joy to be ready and poised for another season of "comeback"

This weekend I put in some decent miles on the bike, back to back 60 mile days. The weather has been nothing short of exceptional so staying on the saddle for 3 hours was pretty easy. I am miffed at my lack of desire to to more. I went out for 4 miles with Kim on Saturday evening and on Sunday I did 3 miles right after the bike ride, "brick" style.

The real fun started during the week however. The lunch time running crew at Reebok has gone to a whole new level and taking the bait I joined the crew for 6 miles over the blue hills. Awesome. So much so that when I got home I sent out an email saying I want more (whats that buzz about drugs and addiction?). Since everyone is very motivated it didn't take much and the crew were ready at 12:10 for another 6 miles. I felt amazing and the banter is something I missed terribly. Fitzy, Paddy, Kev, Ryan, Dan, Bob, and Coxy, all getting after it and having a college style stretch on the track after. My knee was screaming but the endorphins decided to shout a little louder. Tonight on the other hand my knee has decided to remind me that two 6 mile days back to back is far too aggressive. Tomorrow I just ride the bike.

I have so much music to discuss. To be fair it will take a long time. We will catch up though, that much I guarantee. Today however belongs to one person. It is 30 years since the magical Ian Curtis took his life. Many of my favorite bands owe so much of their inspiration to the baritone voice of Curtis that affected so many people in so many ways. The rock world has lost many a soul too soon but few have had such lasting and significant affect after their death then Ian. I was too young to appreciate his genius but now I can reflect like so many others and thank him for what he did, paving the way for a new post punk generation that has spawned some of my favorite music. Gone but never forgotten.

Peace and Love