Monday, June 30, 2008

Week 18 ... or Bust

The Doctor can see no tear. There is definite inlammation (yes, thank you, I knew that) but if there is any subcutaneous damage, they cannot find it with the MRI.

So my options begin mildly and get progressively invasive.

1. Maximize my intake of anti-inflammatory agents. 2 Aleves, twice a day. This may be all it takes to bring down the swelling and the body will absorb the fluid. Check back in ten days.

2. If there is no improvement in ten days, they may inject cortizone to achieve the same result.

3. If that also does not alleviate the problem, they may put a camera in there to find out what is wrong.

NY08 training begins tomorrow.

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Visit to the Doktor: Part Two

Had my MRI. They are so classy out in Richmond Hts. - they even had a list of albums you could choose to listen to. Well, not albums, just artists (let's not get too confusing) so when I chose Miles Davis I could have laid even money the album would be Kind of Blue. Which it was.

I dozed on and off, listing to Mile and what at turns sounded like either a music-free techno beat or a cat-grinder. I've had an MRI before, a few years ago. That time it was on my head, checking for a reasonable source for migraines (there is no reasonable source for migraines) and I have to say, I like an MRI better with my feet in it than my head.

They gave me a disc and said they would send the info over to Dr. V. and meanwhile I called Dr. V. and the folks there said the technology was different and so they couldn't just transmit it - I HAVE A DISC AND I WILL BRING IT OVER - I interrupted and they said great, see you soon.

So I drove the disc over, and five minutes later (I have been reading Billy Bragg's The Progressive Patriot by the way, it's very good) the Doctor said that while I definitely have swelling, he cannot tell if I have any tearing.

So I have to call on Monday.

Sigh. Anyway. I do feel fortunate I got the same amount of business done in one day that I may have accomplished in one month. So I got that going for me. I did hope to do housework, get some editing done, possibly have dinner ready by now, those were my other plans for today. But oh well.

I did stop at Coldstone Creamery after my last stop because that's what ice cream is really for. To cheer you up.

A Visit to the Doktor: Part One

I injured my knee three weeks ago. The day finally arrived to see the orthopedist. It is a day I have been waiting for ... and dreading.

They are super efficient and helpful at Chagrin Highlands-UH. Really, they are all fabulous. I was whisked in to get my knees x-rayed before my paperwork was through, and I barely had time to finish it before the doctor was ready to see me.

Dr. V. was very helpful and sympathetic. The good news is that the x-rays show that I have "the knees of a 20 year-old." The spacing is identical in both knees, no signs of arthritis or other joint complications like that.

The bad news, of course, is that I probably have the knees of a 20 year-old with a meniscus tear. He recommended and MRI, which I agreed to have. I mentioned I was - supposed to be - beginning training for NY08. He grimaced, but only a little, suggesting it's possible. When I mentioned I can always defer to next year, he thought that was a sound idea.

We shall see.

So my 2.5 minutes with the doctor through, I was sent out to schedule an MRI. Earliest opening: July 3rd. Two days following I can follow up with Dr. V ... oh, but he'll be out that week. And the next. Could I see him July 25th?

A month to follow up on my MRI. I was, as you could imagine, a little depressed about that. Three weeks of vacation? Doesn't suck. So I was making plans, but I asked if there wasn't anywhere, any time I could MRI sooner, or be seen by another doctor.

We were negotiating this possibility - when one of the folks there found an opening TODAY at 1 PM t a different facility, am I available? YES, I AM.

AND Dr. V. wants me to call this afternoon to confer on what it says, he told me this himself. And I found out he's not going on vacation, he's having shoulder surgery. Oh. So, uh, sorry.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dazed & Contused

Still fluid under the tissue. Which makes my knee stiff on occasion. No other pain. Running is not a problem. I take Aleve, I do my carefull stretches. I apply ice. I do not run very fast. I see the doctor on Friday.

This is my four mile route, one with which I will become very familiar beginning next week. Training begins a week from today.

1975 Playlist
Low Rider - War
Rock and Roll All Nite - Kiss
The Hustle - Van McCoy and the Soul City Symphony
Love Rollercoaster - Ohio Players
Mamma Mia - ABBA
Sufferin' 'til Sufferage - Essra Mohawk
Slow Ride - Foghat
Rip It Up/Ready Teddy - John Lennon
Young Americans - David Bowie
Tush - ZZ Top
Cooldown: Time Warp - Richard O'Brien, Patricia Quinn, Little Nell & Cast

Run stats:
Distance: 4 miles
Weight: 166 lbs.
Stretches: yes
Push-ups: 30
Sit-ups: 80
Temperature: 68º
Weather: warm. nice.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The calliope crashed to the ground

Did I ever mention Heart totally rocks?

So. Yes. Shame. Boat loads of shame. I have disobeyed doctors orders and gone for a run. Not running has been driving me absolutely batsh*t. It's like when I broke my heel three years ago. Just wanted to kill myself.

I have done what reading I can on the subject, and I got nothing. It's not inflamed, infected, there's fluid under the tissue which makes bending my knee more difficult than it should be. The wife did some searcging as well, and said it would be all right if I took it easy and went for a short one.

It was less than three miles. To me that's short. And I went slow - or I tried to. Had to stop at most stoplights. Walked down hills.

So. Will my knee swell up more than it already has? Will there be pain? I guess that was the test. What I can say is this - just the aerobic breathing has me feeling more cheered than I have been in days.

1976 Playlist
Car Wash - Rolls Royce
Lonely Boy - Andrew Gold
Blinded By The Light - Manfred Mann
Crazy On You - Heart
Play That Funky Music - Wild Cherry
Sir Duke - Stevie Wonder
Turn The Beat Around - Vicki Sue Robinson
Cooldown: Blitzkrieg Bop - The Ramones
(I'm) Stranded - The Saints
Step Right Up - Tom Waits

Run stats:
Distance: 2.75 miles
Weight: 167.5 lbs.
Stretches: oh, yes
Push-ups: 10
Sit-ups: 80
Temperature: 72º
Weather: warm with light rain

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Interlude: She brought me on my knees. Please, baby, please.

Almost two weeks ago I got what is not an unusual complain in my left knee. I have had this trouble since I was twenty. It comes it goes. This time it did not go.

I ran again a few days later, which was not painful. But a day went by and me knee appeared visibly swollen, if not in any additional pain. It did not hurt to touch the bit which bulged out when I bent my knee. I decided I should see my doctor, which I did on Friday.

She was confused by the lack of pain in the joint itself, the only irritation is in the back of my knee, not the front, and not very much. Just what you might call "stiff." She recommended me to an orthopedic specialist - and forbid me from running until I saw him.

It took me until today to get the appointment ... which is ten days from now, on the 27th. I am supposed to begin training for NY08 at the beginning of July. Does anyone know what this guy is going to do? Drain fluid from my knee? How effing painful is that going to be? Will I be able to run soon after? Is this a recurring condition? Am I finished?

Water on the Knee Info

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Interlude: It takes a very steady hand ...

Water on the Knee:
Colloquialism for fluid accumulation around the knee joint.
150 points

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Running down the avenue (pant pant pant)

Mr. Smartypants has had a swollen left knee since the run last Thursday, when I first received my acceptance to NY08.

I am going to call the New York City Marathon "NY08" from this out, to be precious and expeditious.

"Run run run, run run, run away."

1977 Playlist
Dust In The Wind - Kansas
12XU - Wire
Got To Give It Up - Marvin Gaye
Night Fever - Bee Gees
Oh Bondage (Up Yours) - X-Ray Specs
Your Generation - Generation X
Mr. Blue Sky * - Electric Light Orchestra
Welcome to the Working Week - Elvis Costello
Psycho Killer - Talking Heads
Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment - The Ramones
No More Heroes - The Stranglers
Cooldown: Orgasm Addict - The Buzzcocks

This was the soundtrack to my 9th birthday. Ye gods, what a pscizophrenic mix.
    (Last Year's 1977 Playlist)
    Second Hand News - Fleetwood Mac
    Nothing Achieving - The Police
    Cretin Hop - The Ramones
    We're A Happy Family - The Ramones
    Turn To Stone - Electric Light Orchestra
    (Get A) Grip (On Yourself) - Stranglers
    Stayin' Alive - Bee Gees
    Solsbury Hill - Peter Gabriel
    God Save The Queen - Sex Pistols
    Warsaw - Joy Division
    Heroes - David Bowie
Run stats:
Distance: 3.6 miles
Weight: 168 lbs.
Stretches: yes
Push-ups: 30
Temperature: 71º
Weather: sunny and warm

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Splattered all over Manhattan


... maybe.

Okay, here's the deal ... after completing the 2006 NYC Marathon, I swore I would never do that ever again. That was Sunday. On Monday I was trying to imagine how I could improve my time, how to train with less stress on my life personal and professional life, and how soon to return. This while padding delicately around the Central Park Zoo.

Toni agreed 2011 would be a good year - five years between New York runs, if I were madly compelled I could run one somewhere else in the meanwhile. I have done two Halfers since, training for those was not difficult, time would still be an issue for a full 26.2 but I thought it won't be as grueling as the first.

I knew two things; you can only get turned down three times in the NYC lottery (as my time is nowhere near qualifying) then you get in automatically on the fourth. I also knew if you do get accepted, you can cancel any time before the last week of October and keep a place in the marathon the following year.

So I applied this year. If I didn't get in, no problem, and if I did, I could roll it over until 2011.

I didn't catch the fine print ... I can cancel today and apply for the race next year by paying the non-refundable entry fee all over again.

Yeah. Well. Oops. Duh.

My wife was not as pissed as I thought she'd be, seeing as how we are trying as hard as anyone not to throw cash in the street. I had no intention of suggesting I pay the fee over and over for three more years. To my relief, she has at least entertained to idea that I actually do it this year. This is something I had not intended ... but really, why not?

I ran 4:15 last time. I will, again all rational belief, shoot for four hours. Four hours at 40 - yes, I am turning forty this summer. I will train well. I will cross the city of Cleveland again - this time with food. And as God is my witness, I will run the 2008 New York City Marathon without headphones.

Maybe. If I go.

1978 Playlist
Heart of Glass (The Disco Song) - Blondie
D.I.Y. - Peter Gabriel
Shattered - The Rolling Stones
Thank You For Being A Friend - Andrew Gold
All Along The Watchtower - XTC
Digital - Joy Division
Masoko Tanga - The Police
Safe European Home - The Clash
Cooldown: It's Looking Good - The Rutles
11:59 - Blondie
Goodbye Girl - SqueezeRun stats:
Distance: 3.6 miles
Weight: 168 lbs.
Stretches: yes
Push-ups: 20
Temperature: 69º
Weather: cool (??!!)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Meet me at the turnstile

Craptastic! I have eaten so much garbage since the end of the year party ... everything was going so well but now it's peanut butter filled pretzels every five minutes (thanks, Mike) and cans of leftover soda pop.

Tonight was not a great night for running, it's so freaking hot. But I have been in bed at midnight every night and no time during the day, I am sick of waiting four to seven days between runs.

But OH the sweat.

1979 Playlist
Born To Be Alive - Patrick Hernandez
She's Lost Control (The Peel Sessions) - Joy Division
Look Back In Anger - David Bowie
Voulez Vous - ABBA
Crazy Little Thing Called Love * - Queen
Dreaming * - Blondie
Cool For Cats - Squeeze
Pop Muzik - M
It's Alright For You * - The Police
London Calling - The Clash
    (Last Year's 1979 Playlist)
    Killing an Arab - The Cure
    I'm a Cult Hero - Cult Hero
    When You're Near Me I Have Difficulty - XTC
    Cleveland Rocks - I an Hunter
    Got the Time - Joe Jackson
    No Time This Time - The Police
    Touch and Go - The Cars
    Life During Wartime - Talking Heads
    24 Hour Party People - Happy Mondays
I actually had some good news today ... but it's not exactly good news. It's dumb news. I'll save it for when I feel less dumb.

Run stats:
Distance: 3.9 miles
Weight: 169 lbs.
Stretches: yes
Temperature: 88º
Weather: hot

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Love's Not For Me

Pengo's Priorities
    1. Family
    2. Work
    3. Household business
    4. Running
    5. Writing
    6. Sketching
Writing should come before running, but I actually run more often than I write. My artistic pursuits fall behind my work and family, and I have to run because I have to run. If I do not run, I will die.

This makes weekends very difficult. I want to, need to spend as much time with the kids as possible, to make up for my time at work during the week - like everyone else. I try and squeeze in housework and maintenance between and through time with children - like everyone else. And running is time I can easily justify for myself. If I do not run, I will die.

So how can I take time to write or (gasp) draw? Well. I do not know about any other weekend, but this has been a good one. In spite of, or because of, a lot of outside activities - end-of-season soccer games, trips to alpaca farms - I have either been the recipient of watching-the-boy-sleep time or stay-home-and-work-on-the-big-presentation time.

The first gave me time to sketch yesterday, alone, for well over an hour, and then write for another hour. And today, after a week off the road, I stayed home from the alpaca farm (yes) to finish the presentation, and then reward myself with a run in great, bright, sweaty late-spring weather.

Good times, good times.

1980 Playlist
I'm Alright - Kenny Loggins
Can You Feel It? - The Jacksons
Coming Up - Paul McCartney
Only A Lad - Oingo Boingo
Turning Japanese - The Vapors
Funkytown - Lipps Inc.
Kit Mambo - Graham Gouldman
She's Lost Control - Joy Division
He Can't Love You Like I Love You - Michael Stanley Band
Let My Love Open The Door - Pete Townshend
Canary In A Coalmine - The Police
Crosseyed and Painless - Talking Heads
Warmdown Lap:With You I Can Run Forever - Graham Gouldman
    (Last Year's 1980 Playlist)
    Antmusic - Adam and the Ants
    Ah! Leah! - Donnie Iris
    Call Me - Blondie
    Enola Gay - Orchestral Manoevres in the Dark
    Driven to Tears - The Police
    Transmission - Joy Division
    Pretty Boys - Joe Jackson
    Take This Town - XTC
    Play For Today - The Cure
Run stats:
Distance: 5.7 miles
Weight: 167 lbs.
Temperature: 62º
Weather: sunny & Warm