Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day and then some...

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads in the world!  I hope you all had a fantastic day...I had a wonderful day, thank you very much!  In fact, I had a wonderful weekend!  A special Happy Father's Day to my Dad, the superhero named Ron Nelson.   I've never seen a man with more drive, determination, and resourcefulness.  Given enough time, I think he could fix the world...he sure has the tools for it ;-)

When I was in grade school we had to write a story about what our Dad's did for work.  Most Dad's had jobs like police officer, doctor, salesman, etc.  You could get your head around those professions.  My Dad had his own business as a mechanical contractor.  Now, Mechanical Contractor is hard enough to understand conceptually as a third grader, and I sure as heck didn't know how to spell it.  So, I wrote an essay titled, "My Dad can do anything".  My Mom still has it filed somewhere and pulls it out to remind my Dad once in awhile.  I guess my love of writing took root early.

Anyway, it was a beautiful weekend with wonderful dry weather.  Now, to catch up on the recovery effort....

First, many thanks to all of you who read this blog.  I am regularly humbled when I look at the stats of the viewing audience.  I know I don't know all of you, so please drop me a line sometime to say "Hi".  I write this for myself primarily, but very glad people enjoy the material.

This week was a tough week for fitness, but we still managed to make some progress.   Since the last report, I improved my one mile time to 11:06.  I only time myself about once per week and that was almost a week ago, so I'm looking forward to shooting for a 10 minute mile soon.  Woohoo!

On Wednesday, I visited my Physical Therapist, Eric.  He routinely asks me, "What kind of crazy stuff did you do this week?".   He has given up on asking me not to run.  Now, he just asks how far I am running.  He also gave me some exercises to do before I run, so I'm pretty psyched about it.  Eric is awesome, and I know I will owe him a huge thanks when I'm back to real running again.

I traveled for business on Thursday and Friday.   I always enjoy traveling as it gives me time to do some self-reflection and meet new people.  I was a little nervous because it was my first trip since the accident, and I wasn't sure what to expect at the airport.  Luckily, the metal detector did not notice the rod and giant screw in my leg.  Yeah!  No need for body frisking.  I picked up a book called "The Happiness Project".  It's one of those self-help books written by a very energetic young woman(Apologies - I don't remember the author's name and am too tired to go find the book at the moment).  Anywhoo, when they were passing out beverages on the plane, I happened to glance at my napkin which read "open happiness".  Well, there you have it!  It was an advertisement for Coke.   I guess I just need to open a coke to find happiness. Thank you very much Mr. Buffett and all the Coke stockholders.  Too funny!

Anyway, the first chapter of the book was focused on increasing your energy level which is something I think we all can use.  The two primary tools she uses to increase energy are getting adequate, quality sleep and de-cluttering.  So, I decided to try it out this weekend.  I used an eye shade to improve my sleep since I have two skylights without shades in my bedroom.  Second, I attacked some of the clutter in my house.  It's not that my house has a lot of clutter (I don't own enough stuff to characterize it as clutter), but I certainly have room for improvement.  As luck would have it, my friend Bob was coming to pick up my 98 Honda Civic Friday night.  Cool!  Step 1 in de-cluttering.  While Bob was there, I convinced him to take a few other items I no longer needed.  Excellent!  Thanks Bob!  On Saturday, I cleaned the garage, made a trip to Goodwill, turned in the plates for the Civic at DMV and filled 2 garbage pails.  Yeah!  I even did some weeding!

Give it a try!  I had more energy this weekend than I've had in a long time.

Charlotte came over in the afternoon and we decided to go for a hike.  Char is very competitive, and was still bumming that Goat and I broke my record for Pinnacle to Rt. 6 and back without her.  The route is another benchmark for me to see how my fitness is improving.  Actually, my fitness is's my darn leg that's the issue!  Anyway, it's 4.5 miles round trip of fairly technical single track with a lot of ups and downs (crosses over Rattlesnake Mountain and other high points along the ridge).  Char and I did it in about 1:30 about 1 month ago, and Goat and I did it in 1:20 a couple weeks ago.  Since hearing about 1:20, Char wanted to be a part of a new record attempt, so off we went.

I thought we had a reasonable shot at 1:10, but it was very warm out (upper 80's?).  Char started off moving quickly up the first hill and I was concerned I would slow her down.  After jumping onto the single-track blue-blazed trail at the top of the ridge, Char was shocked that I was "running".  I still don't think of it as running, but she said it looked good.  It feels like a limp still.  Eric, my PT, asked me to try a shim in my left shoe for a few days, and I agreed to give it a shot.  I knew from my own experiments that the shim took some pressure off my back and it seemed to even out my gate.  This was the first time I was "running" with a shim.  I used the insole from an old pair of Asics, so I basically had 2 insoles in my left shoe and 1 in my right.  If any of you wonder what it feels like to have one leg shorter than the other, just add another insole to one of your shoes and try to walk normally.  YEAH!  That's how it feels :-)

Anyway, we were moving along pretty well and reached the halfway mark in 33 minutes.  I knew it would take longer heading back as it was warm, my hip was hurting a lot, and Char was really suffering from the heat.  I was actually moving a bit quicker than Char on the uphills, but she was still doing well on the downhills as I could not put much force on my leg.  We walked a bit more on the way back, but Char was determined to break the record.  She hung in there, and then opened it up on the last downhill to the trailhead.  I poked along behind her, and hit the watch at 1:10 when we got to the road.  She was ecstatic and exhausted.  I was pleased, but concerned about my hip pain and lack of a decent running stride.   We walked back to the car tired, but happy with our effort.  I noticed that I was walking much better after the run than when I had previously covered that route with the Goat.  Hmmm...maybe I am making progress.

I've kept the shim in all weekend.  It seems to help, but it's annoying moving it around with each pair of shoes, and other shims aren't quite the same thickness.  I don't know what I'll do tomorrow with my work shoes :-)

After doing my PT and other exercises (I was pleasantly surprised to be back up to 40+ push-ups, 7 chin ups, and lots of other good stuff), I showered and threw some salmon on the grill for Char and me.  While eating, we saw the most beautiful sunset from the deck.  It made for the end of a wonderful day!

Today, Tara, Jamie, and Maliyah had breakfast at the house with me and Char for Father's Day.  It was great to sit there and listen to all the gals chat.  They gave me some aqua-training accessories, so I can start pool running as well as a Boston Red Sox BBQ apron and mitts.  Sweet!  Go Sox!  Isn't life awesome?  What a great Father's Day!

After hanging out with the gals for a while, Char went home, and I drove to New York to see my Dad.  Oh yeah, I should mention that Char gave me a haircut on Saturday with the clippers.  It was a first time experience for Char, but it came out pretty good.  We really wanted to get our "trail run" in, and didn't feel like waiting for my haircut appt.  In the end, it didn't save us much time, but it was a fun adventure.
Anyway, I thought my Dad would be happy to see my crewcut as he always wanted me to get my haircut short as a kid.  Today, he said, "What is it with all you guys getting your heads shaved these days?"  Oh well!

After hanging out, BBQing with the family and watching my nieces and nephew play in the pool, it was time for the long ride home.  I considered going for a bike ride when I got back, but I opted to rest the leg.  I'm still quite sore from yesterday's effort, and I really want the hip pain to improve.

If I can get the hip pain to subside, I think I have a good shot at doing some decent running.  We'll see what happens....time will tell.


My Dad asked me what a blog was today.  I told him it was like an on-line diary where I told stories.  I told him some people even like my stories.  Go figure!

Have a great week everyone!


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