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An interesting start to an interesting time…

Posted Feb 14 2011 11:19am
Posted by Brandon on Feb 14, 2011 |

Happy Monday and happy Valentine’s day! Today is the beginning of a very interesting period in my life and I thought I’d take a minute to share some thoughts on where it began this morning and where it may be headed. It does have something to do with running, triathlon and the like so, read on!


A few weeks back I mentioned that while out on a run on a day with a lot of ice on the ground I over-extended my trailing leg and “tweaked” my achilles. Since then I’ve had to kind of knock back the intensity of some of my runs and, to be completely honest, I’ve not run 100% pain free since. I’m not sure that I’d call this a true injury per se, but rather a small stumbling block.

I had a run last Friday where I was feeling my oats a little bit and so I took it out quicker than I have been. I wasn’t in pain while running, but I was aware of the tweak. After my run (about 8.5 miles at about 7:00/mile), as soon as I stopped at the front door of my building and began walking in the hallway, my achilles lit up. P-A-I-N. It seemed that the pain came not really when I put pressure on it but rather when I took it off.

I stretched immediately but couldn’t take too much time since I still had to get to work (yes, I managed to make it out for a pre-dawn run). Throughout the day I forced myself to alter my walking gait so as to avoid any pain. I guess I looked like I was limping a bit but it was a self imposed limp rather than my body NEEDING to limp, so that has to be something.

On Saturday morning I headed out the door for a 2.5 hour brick workout. I had spoken to Coach Jeff the night before and he told me to just do the ride and to forget about the run. So my ride, which was scheduled to be 1.5 hours got upped to 2.5 hours. It’s been a while since I’ve gotten to ride outside so this was a welcome change from the monotony of the indoor trainer. Upon getting on the bike my achilles, which had been largely immobilized and set in ice for most of the previous day, was feeling quite tight and sore. I made and effort to gently stretch it out when I could and after about 30 minutes of riding it loosened up and even let me ride some large-ish hills harder than I thought I’d be able to.

When not chasing my daughter and packing/cleaning, the rest of the day was spent, leg elevated and on ice. Sunday’s run was also canceled and we’re now in some odd stasis waiting to see how I feel this week. I don’t have a run scheduled until Wednesday and then I hope my patience and wisdom don’t lose out to ego and pigheadedness. There’s no point in sacrificing an entire season for a few missed runs.

As an aside, and not to go down the technical road; when I was home and able to, I spent the ENTIRE weekend in just socks. I even walked my dogs in just socks on Saturday night. When I was barefoot, I hardly felt anything at all. Today I decided to wear a pair of Newton Gravitas ‘ to work since they’re effectively flat and thus far, I’m doing well.

The Subway

I got on the subway this morning (the ever so pleasant downtown 1 train ) at my usual stop. The train was not very crowded and I easily got a seat at the end of a row. I tend to go for those seats since that means that I’ll only have one person squeezing in beside me rather than two. The train went from my stop (215th St.) to about 110th St. without incident, or even that much of a crowd. At 110th St. a bunch of people got on the train including one of those people who like to stand IN the doorway and block the door for those trying to get on and off the train even though there is plenty of room to stand elsewhere.

It was this door-standing, super classy individual that started my day off on the wrong foot. This guys elbow was just about level with my ear. Since he was holding onto the rail attached to the seat I was sitting in, this is not out of the ordinary and no big deal. However, as the doors would open, he would lean basically into my seat (yes, I’m aware of the sometimes overstated “American bubble” that we prefer and are spoiled with. That said, I’ve been on a subway in Japan at rush hour and I know what “close” really is). Each time he did this he was coming about 9 inches across where he needed to be and he would push, not very hard but just inconsiderately so, his arm into my head. He did not say, “I’m sorry” or even acknowledge this annoying and obvious invasion of my space.

Now, had this been simply an invasion of my “space” and not an actual instance of me being touched repeatedly in the head by some stranger, I would not really have a problem with it. At about 72nd St. there was a rather aggressive push of my head with this guy’s elbow. So, I put my hand on my head, in between my head and his arm and gently moved his arm away and said, “Excuse me, your arm keeps hitting my head.” I didn’t say this loudly of in any kind of a rude tone. The rest of the conversation went like this:

Douchey McA-hole: Don’t touch me again.

Me: I’m sorry?

Douchey McA-hole: I said, don’t touch me again.

Me: I’m sorry but you’ve been hitting me in the head with your arm for the last forty blocks.

Douchey McA-hole: I’m just trying to let people on and off the train.

Me: Well, you could go stand somewhere where you won’t have to do that and hit me in the head.

Douchey McA-hole: Don’t touch me again.

Me: If you don’t touch me again then we won’t have a problem.

Douchey McA-hole: Don’t touch me again.

Me: Or what?

Douchey McA-hole: *silence*

He got off the train at 59th St. ( Columbus Circle ) without further incident. I don’t like confrontation, but when I’m put in that situation, with someone literally standing over me (since he was standing and I was sitting) my hackles rise very quickly. However, I did maintain a calm demeanor which was bolstered by the very nice woman next to me who was encouraging me to ignore him since he was clearly “that kind of person”. I just don’t get it. Why do people have to be like that? I was tempted to stand up and just stare at the guy since I had about 20 pounds  and 3 inches on him, but I figured that would only serve to exacerbate an already tense situation.

So, Douchey McA-hole, have a happy Monday and I’m not hoping at all that you get dropped like a sack of potatoes by someone with less patience than I have.

Looking forward

Danielle and I are going to Milwaukee this week to sing Mozart’s Così fan tutte with Skylight Opera . Being there will be a nice break from living in New York for a while, though I must admit that I doubt it will instill in me the affection that some feel for this town.

While there I hope to take Gearist TV on tours of SRAM , Saris and Trek Bikes . Gearist is doing well and is further expanding passions of mine that have been emerging for a while. Upon returning from Milwaukee, we will be looking to the future. Our lease is up in October and we are moving. We don’t know where just yet but to us, anywhere is better than here.

The spring and summer will be spent training hard and racing. The biggest race of the season of course, is Ironman Canada. I’m still toying with the idea of doing a 24 hour live podcast to help raise money for Athletes for a Cure ( PLEASE CLICK HERE TO DONATE!! ). If I do do a live 24 hours show I am certainly going to need people to call in and stop by to keep me awake!

I’ll be touching more on the reasons and desires of our move in the coming months as well as the direction we’re moving in. Please keep our family in your thoughts and prayers.

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