Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! This is what a Vegan spread looks like!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, and so today I'm writing about a few ideas related to this great day:
  • Helping the poor/hungry
  • Keeping things in perspective 
  • Things I am thankful for (inspired by my friend Michaela who posted the question on Twitter)

It's been a year since the Run To Feed The Hungry, and this year sadly will be the first in 3 that I won't make it. The run feeds homeless and hungry people in the greater Sacramento area, and the running community in Sacramento always makes this a very successful day even in rough economic times. In a similar vein since about spring I've done a bit of outreach myself. What my wife did is put together a bunch of energy bars, snacks, etc from various races into a box which I carry around in my truck. When I see people stopped at lights asking for food or perhaps run into one during my travels, I offer them food instead of money. I'm sure you have a cache of stuff as well! Powerbars that are sitting there unused, random gels that maybe you don't like and won't eat, etc. All judgments about chemical dependencies etc, it's nice to share food. We all need it.

Even though I can't run, I am slowly feeling my strength return to my quads, maybe it's psychosomatic who knows. I am trying to keep things in perspective and be thankful not just because of this holiday, but because it helps me deal with life to see the glass as half full. We runners view things differently, how many times have we heard someone say "oh I HATE running" or "you couldn't pay me to do that!" well, it's all about keeping things in perspective. We view running and staying healthy one way, as a way of living life and celebrating life. Other people view it as painful, and don't see the reward. They see the hurt, but not the smiles, they smell the sweat, but don't feel the endorphins, they see the blood but not the heart. I mourn for those that can't see things the way we see them, but what can you do? I try and lead by example, and that's all I can do really.

So, what am I thankful for? I'm grateful for being healthy, for remembering how it feels to put down some miles, for looking forward to running in 2011. I'm thankful for my family who is there for me, for being employed in a tough economy, for having a job I actually enjoy, for having friends that are there for me and the means of meeting new people that share common interests. (That's you!) I'm thankful for my faith, for my children, and for my wife. Get stoked people, there's a lot of reasons to do so. Thank you for reading!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Road Back - Teese Mini-Review

Save yourself a copay, and print this image!

I went to my new physical therapist this week and received "official" instructions on what to do to get back in the game. Bottom line, lots of reps, low weight, and even more reps ! I also found out how bad my leg had atrophied as the PT measured the quad area with a tape measure about 4 inches above my knee. My left leg is currently 18 1/2", the right leg? 17 3/4" ! That's a lot of muscle loss, and if I am to run again without getting injured again and starting this whole horrible process over, I must get to at least 80% of the size and strength.This means a lot of reps, and a lot of eating to build up that muscle mass.  This dovetails nicely into my next topic, my mini-review of Teese vegan cheese! 
So for a while now, Daiya has been my "fake cheese" of choice, but a few weeks ago I had Teese for the first time and have been excited to try it on a pizza pie. We visited "Never Felt Better" in Sacramento the other day and this week we finally tried it. It is delicious! it's a mild flavor and light years away from vegan cheese technology of the mid 90s (remember those tofutti cheeses? yechhh)The only downside is that it's not quite as "melty" as Daiya, meaning it doesn't stay in a melted state for long. So once that pie comes out of the oven, gobble it down with a quickness!
100 % vegan, 200% delicious!
We (well, the Mrs.) made the pie with homemade sauce and crust. If we had a pizza oven the results might be different in regards to the meltability of the cheese. If you are in the greater Sacramento area, say hello to Jen and purchase some at Never Felt Better, then go downstairs to eat at Sugar Plum Vegan, and then head across the street to buy music at Phonoselect. There. Do I get a cupcake yet? :P


One final note , Earlier this week I got a great RT from the folks at Run Addict,  I had great fun responding, hope you enjoy a bit as well!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Finally, Good News

On the road again...
After my horrendous experience at "Keyser" a few weeks ago, I dreaded going back to see another specialist, but left the hospital this week with a huge grin on my face! The verdict? My knee is fine. 100% fine. What's the pain all about? My weak, atrophied right leg is having a tough time because during this injury I babied it too much, thus causing my kneecap to slightly move to the right. If you, dear reader, would grab one leg and then the other you would see the difference in muscle loss. I was honestly shocked but in the end, relieved.  To correct this I just need to strengthen my quads and not do something silly like too much distance running, too soon.  I am still smiling, I also still feel a bit of pain but now know the steps to get out of this quicksand. Apparently the other doctor's claims that I had this and that damaged were total hogwash, I supressed the desire to yell down the hall "SEE?! I TOLD YOU SO!" and just smiled quietly when Dr. G looked at the x-rays and said "I see no damage, everything looks fine, you do need to strengthen your quads though". So here's the timeline of what I did wrong

  • Banged my knee and then went on a huge long run instead of RICE
  • Didn't do RICE properly the first time around.
    Didn't adhere to taking Ibuprofen regurlarly
  • Didn't cross train when healed
  • Ran a 1/2 marathon when healed (whoops!)
    Hiked when I wasn't healed.
  • Put off seeing the doctor
  • Didn't ask for a second opinion
  • Understated my injuries
  • (and finally) Let someone else get me down when I knew in my heart he was wrong.
So what does this mean? It means my road back to joining the running community has a direction, a course, and milemarkers. According to the Dr. if I can get my right leg up to about 80% of the strength of the left, then I should be good to go. Time for me to do a short walk. :) Thanks for reading!