Thursday, August 12, 2010

As If You Didn't Know That It Would Sting

The week off has been very good to me. Knees have settled down and while I didn't (actually couldn't) get in to see Dr. McKeon he sent me an email reassuring me that I needed to take days off when my knees swell up because that is all he will tell me to do, along with maybe giving me another shot of cortisone although we both agree that it does nothing for me. I have tried to look back on everything I've been doing and frankly its been a little too much. The buzz is better and tomorrow will be a week off and I should be ready to get back into light jogging.

The Bobby Doyle 5 miler is on Saturday and I am tempted to do it given I missed last year. I am good friends with the Doyle crew and would like to support the event although it could result in my running too hard and going back to square 1. At this point there is no way I will take it easy. Impossible.

In other news I have decided to book a ticket to Chicago to see Wolf Parade in November. I've been having some anxiety about not seeing these guys again so when they added a second round of shows I needed to make a decision which has resulted in my flying to Chicago and hitting the House Of Blues with fellow music scenester Ryan Hall. Can't wait.

The Thom Yorke solo stuff at The Big Chill festival has been nothing short of magical. "Give Up The Ghost" has been played for a while but Thom mentioned (very quietly) for the first time that it was a new Radiohead song. The wheels are in motion. If we get this album by the end of the year, 2010 may be the best year of music I can remember. Then again, I think it will be early 2011 before we see the record surface. Check out the vid below and maybe allow yourself some time to watch it again, immediately. Its haunting and very beautiful. Thoms voice is majestic. And below that we have Planet Telex played on Piano. First time I've seen this action. And how wonderful is it to see Thom playing a song from The Bends amid all the new material. Epic stuff altogether.

Love Kel

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Try Pleasing With Stealth

I finished out the rest of the week with one run. Just a sneaky 5.5 miler with Martin Fagan who was in town for the Interpol show and on a much less important note, to run Beach to Beacon 10k. We did the Blue Hills loop in what was the most humid conditions I've experienced this summer. Brutal. Not to sound like a broken record but knee was sore and swollen. Same result, but a great run with a great friend in anticipation of a great gig keeps the negative energy far away.

My third Interpol gig this Summer was as good as Rochester and better than New Haven. A lot of people (me included) are very negative about the House Of Blues. PBR cans for $6? Please. The attitude of the staff, the fact that you need an ID to get a bracelet and then you still need to show ID every time you order a drink. Whats the point in getting a wrist band if thats the case. Bollox. However, corporate music venue bullshit side, the sound is excellent. The stage is nice and high, and the floor has ample room. I haven't experienced a bad gig in HOB and I've been to 5 this year. All great and all sounded better than any of the other gigs I've been to. Myself and Fagan got a good spot on the floor about 10 rows back from the stage. Cool people around us sang the songs and smiled all the time. A complete d'bag came in late with his girlfriend and started chatting. I lost the plot and got very angry with him. He left and I got high fives from 3 or 4 people who stood around him with the same frustration as I had but lacking confidence to tell him to shut up. Paul sounded excellent and was genuinely surprised at the response from the crowd saying it was the best crowd they played in front so far on the tour. Personally I thought the atmosphere in Rochester was much better but then again there were about 500 people at that gig and about 2000 people at HOB. Small, intimate crowds always seem louder but I'm sure looking down at 2,000 people with their hands in the air gives the band a little more energy. Set list was very similar again with Heinrich Maneuver played in place of Mammoth. Not Even Jail ended the main set and the encore had Hands Away, C'Mere, and Obstacle 1. Absolutely smashing.

I took Friday completely off all exercise and had Tommy McArdle in town for the evening. Always great to see Tom. We headed out for a few scoops to some of my favorite P-Town spots, Garden Grill and The Avery. On Saturday morning we met up with Coxy for a 48 mile ride. I promised to take it easy since Tom has not been riding much more than an hour and Lee is only getting back into shape. We had a lovely ride on one of the nicer mornings this Summer. Tommy got the knock after about 40 miles and after an opportune puncture he decided that since his tire was wrecked he would lay in the grass and have Coxy pick him up since we were only 2 miles from Coxys house. I continued on riding hard all the way home. We did a lot of attacking in the second half which is what buried Tom. It all started out as a bit of a laugh but it still hurts. We kept the attacks going for about 10 miles so ultimately it was a great workout. Took it easy down at Mark Brissettes house for the rest of the day having a few scoops and playing some Bocce Ball. Lovely day.

This morning my plan was 4 hours over hills to proper bury myself. I got about 5 miles in and punctured. I went to get my spare tube but forgot that I gave it to Tom the day before. Lovely. I had my hand pump and was able to get air in to free wheel down hill. The puncture was tiny and releasing air very slowly. I had to walk the last 3 miles but it was no stress. My knee was sore on the first climb so maybe its a good thing. Kicking around some ideas for what to do next week starting with scheduling an appointment with Dr. McKeon to see what my options are.

There are no good videos from the Interpol show in Boston. I'm sure some will surface. I did go back to watching some Wolf Parade from Portland, ME and found a great sounding "Kissing The Beehive" that will bring a massive smile to any face.

Love Kel

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Be A War Child Form A Circle

After taking yesterday off I hoped my knee would feel better but it didn't, its just as bad if not worse. I ran an easy 35 minutes around the Green Street trail to see if easy running on soft trails would be cool. It wasn't a complete failure but it wasn't great either. More of that going through the motions stuff that never ends positively. The whole concept of going through the motions does my head in. It lacks any passion or spontaneity. It is as good as giving up, accepting that life offers nothing great and to use a Radiohead lyric, we are all reduced to not living but killing time. The same is true in running and I don't want to go down that road of getting through a few painful miles here and there because I can tolerate it. It takes the fun away and once the fun is gone whats the point? I accept that like many runners I'm addicted to the activity. I am addicted to racing and very addicted to the pain associated with hard training. But it is not all I am and sometimes when I am limping around a trail or down a road because I can't deal with not running I question myself. What is my plan or at the very least what do I hope to achieve by further damaging my body. Should I not spend that time in the gym working on getting things stronger, something that will help rather than hinder. Should I spend the time doing yoga, or having a nap. I know these are things that will help but I always go down the road of choosing activity either in the form of running or biking. So maybe it is all I am. Maybe I'm in denial that at 32 slowly something I love is being taken away. When I was running at my best in 2000/01 and 2003, I used to take days off all the time. Ray would have me take 3 recovery days between sessions and I loved it. I didn't really care if I had to miss a morning run. But now its like a race against time. I can't bare to miss a session and even though I do take days off the anxiety is still present. I turn to my favorite pass time outside of training which is hearing live music and that helps a lot. So anyway, while I suffer through a down week to let the inflammation go down in my knee I need to really think about the bigger picture. Do I want to still deal with this pain everyday or do I move on and start a new challenge, taking on more of what living has to offer. To quote the wonderful poet Morrissey, "There are brighter sides to life, and I should know because I've seen them, but not very often". I have seen them often and I know there are brighter sides so its time to bring them back. Few days off will help, and it will bring back the positivity that is missing right now.

Love Kel

Monday, August 2, 2010

They Keep Erasing All The Streets We Gre Up In

I just got back from an Arcade Fire show that lived up to the hype many times over. The Bank Of America Pavilion is not one of my favorite venues in Boston. I find the seats to be very sterile and they contribute to a pretty dull atmosphere. In the case of a show like Sigur Ros it doesn't make a difference, that show is all about listening. Some of the other shows I've been to in BOAP were not sold out and the crowd was chatting with lots of background noise by people who decided to "check out" the gig, maybe not knowing any of the wonderful music being played. Seeing Feist was a real let down because she was awesome but the idiots who decided to treat the gig like a pub show were muppits. I didn't build up this gig at all expecting it to be great music but shitty everything else. Not the case at all. Volume is always an issue, the venue is just not loud, but the crowd, the atmosphere, the passion were all very evident and alive. The people around me either sang the songs or got taken away to a different place. I thought Arcade Fire were magnificent. They opened with one of my favorite songs from the new album, "Ready To Start", and from there it was all new tunes spattered with old favorites. By the second half of the show we got the classics; "Rebellion", "Neighborhood #3" (Power Out), and an amazing closer in Wake Up. The new songs sounded really tight live and even though the album just came out that day everyone around me knew the words to all the songs. I'm not the only one who stole an early copy that was making the rounds online. I'd give the gig a solid 8/10.

One of the issues that contributed to my average mood was the pain in my knees. I really messed up this weekend. It kicked off on Saturday morning with a 3 hr ride. I felt amazing and really strong so when I got home I jumped off the bike and immediately ran 3 miles for no reason. I felt great and was running 5:30 pace, hence why I stopped at 3. I knew I was doing damage so I took it easy for the rest of the day and hung with Myles at the downcity arts and music festival. Went to Garden Grille for a few scoops and hit the bed early. I planned on doing my longest run this morning and I was very fired up. I hit the road with my Garmin (first time I've wore it running in over a year) just to get an idea of the pace I was running. I didn't look at it until about 8 miles which I hit in 46 flat. Right at that point my left knee, the one with the real problem and the one that's actually been pretty good started hurting bad. I needed to stop so took a short cut and ran home. Ended up with 56:40 for 10 miles (pace felt easy) and two swollen knees. My femur and tibia bones have been kissing for the last year but today they made out big time and now the femur has a bruise right where the defect is. I know I'll need time off again. I am an idiot but truly felt that if I run a steady 10 miler it would be find. Everything up to this point has been 45 minutes with the occasional hour and I've only felt my right knee. Now I am limping on each leg.

On a positively positive note, the video below, while not great, captures some of the wonderful energy from the show. The set was too short but for the 90 or so minutes they played things were a little better. Interpol next Thursday, so excited for round 3 with Paul and the lads.

Love Kel