Sunday, November 11, 2012

What's Up Between Drawings

Looming in my future.
I haven't written a REAL blog post in many weeks. I don't have much to say because I've been so busy - mostly at work. I feel like I should be doing more in the way of planning for next racing season, but every time I sit down and think about it, I lose interest and find myself going down a hole of sadness. I only have two races to focus on next year. The first one is the Boston Marathon in April. It will be my third Boston - the last time was 17 years ago. I can't believe it's been that long since I ran Boston, but the last time I ran it was the 100th anniversary in 1996. The other thing on my schedule is the 2013 ITU Age Group World Championship in London in September. Someday I will fill in the blanks for the rest of the season, but not today. There are several health issues that need to be taken care of first:
  1. Determine what went wrong in Kona. So far, the only thing that turned up was a blood test showing I have a Vitamin D deficiency. I don't know how much it affected my race - will have to find out more when I talk to my doctor about it. In the meantime, I have to take huge weekly doses of Vitamin D.
  2. Diagnose what's wrong with my shoulder. Since my fall in the summer, it hasn't been right, and it's now getting worse. I can't reach backwards with my right arm without being overcome by severe pain and a few minutes of recovery time. This is the weirdest injury I've ever had because of the weird recovery phase required after I trigger the pain.
  3. Get my jaw fixed. For many many years, I've been grinding my teeth down. It got worse when I developed severe TMJ after a head-on collision with a biker on the sidewalk back in the mid-1990s. Nothing about my jaw really works well due to both that accident and the fact that I have what's called an "open bite" (my front teeth never came together even after four years of braces in high school). Anyway, my dentist(s) have been on my case to have it fixed for over ten years because in my subconscious hours, I'm slowly destroying my teeth.
So, that's the health side of the coin. On the flip side is mostly work. I've been working on a huge web development project for my employer, The Cleveland Museum of Art. The project required that I spend a week in Philadelphia at the contractor's office helping with development tasks, answering questions, and learning as much as possible about our awesome open-source content management system, Drupal. While I was in Philadelphia, I endured Hurricane Sandy, ran everyday either on the treadmill or along the Schuylkill river, and worked long hours. On the way home, I took a side trip that involved figuring out how to get into New York City without at least two passengers in my car during the hurricane HOV ban (answer: the George Washington Bridge) and an all-nighter with a good friend on the upper west side. On the drive home, I collided with a deer on I-80 after it was hit and bounced into my lane by a semi-truck. The next day I found myself in bed with a 100-degree fever. I can't say any of it was unexpected because this is par for the Disaster Magnet course. Since I got back, I've been working long hours and training has been almost non-existent.

Here are some random photos from my trip to Philadelphia:

I ate breakfast at Jean's three times - in fact, it was the ONLY place open
the morning Hurricane Sandy hit.
This is the Khyber - the place where I first saw Turin Brakes - it's no longer
a concert venue, but I had to go back for the memories.
Monks might very well be the most famous Belgian beer joint in the USA.
Scene from my morning run
Another scene from my morning run
The Philadelphia Museum of Art with its famous "Rocky" steps
View of Philadelphia from atop the Rocky steps

And this is what happened when I got together with my friend Col├ętte-Elizabeth in New York:

We're not telling.
Seriously. Not. Telling.
We got artsy...
with our phone cams.
And it was gin o'clock at Kennedy's bar.
This is what happens at gin o'clock.
No, THIS is what happens at gin o'clock.

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