Richard Nelson

Archive for February, 2007|Monthly archive page

Cheap music, cheap!

In Uncategorized on 2007 February 28 Wednesday at 17:50:00

This post is not about triathlon.

I often read Arts & Letters Daily, which is itself a true blog (Web log) of interesting articles around the Web. It sent me to this online article from Gramophone about the Joyce Hatto scandal. The online article had an ad beside it, for Naxos Web Radio. Basically, for 9.95 USD or 9.95 EUR a year—essentially free—you can get a feed of any of seventy-three different channels from Naxos’ huge catalogue of definitive recordings.

It has some funny quirks: with 73 channels, the categorization if quite atomic, so you don’t get what you’d expect from a classical-music radio station, i.e., a Romantic piano concerto followed by an opera selection followed by some baroque music. Each of these has its own channel! But you can jump around as much as you like.

The other quirk is that each channel plays through an entire CD in sequence, so, for instance, you’ll get a bunch of Mozart followed by a bunch of Beethoven, etc.

Anyway, if you like “serious” music, I highly recommend it!

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Splash! (II)

In swimming, training on 2007 February 28 Wednesday at 17:12:00

No more drowning for me. A good, solid session of Coach Kelvin’s Triathlete Swim Training this morning in the 50-yd pool at the John Innes Community Recreation Centre in Toronto’s Moss Park neighbourhood. I’m still (by far) the worst of the five triathletes that Coach Kelvin is working with, but my swim technique is really coming along. Oh, 75 or 100 yd of freestyle tires me out, but now I have a freestyle to work on. I can breathe, my breathing-side arm has a nice high elbow, I need to work on my catch, but I know I can … altogether a positive feeling, especially after feeling I’d “lost” my swim a few weeks ago.

During Monday’s private, Kelvin had had me try to use a pullbuoy, the thought being this would be good practice for after my knee surgery. It was comic: I kept rolling over as I fought the pullbuoy. But today, with paddles on my hands, it worked; it was hard, but it worked.

Afterwards, Alison had a lot to work on during my weekly shiatsu treatment: my shoulders, my mid-back, my concrete-like legs.

I’ll tell you a really nice feeling, though: that I have no serious work-outs until tomorrow afternoon! Being a work-out machine is tough!

An inspirational video?

In Uncategorized on 2007 February 28 Wednesday at 09:20:00

Not sure if I find this “inspirational” or not.

“Working” at home

In Uncategorized on 2007 February 28 Wednesday at 00:54:00

Last night’s swimming lesson with Coach Kelvin lasted until nearly 22:30, and it was almost 23:00 by the time I got home. So I let myself “sleep in” this morning—it was 6:45 when I glanced out the bedroom window. Today was garbage day, and we’re supposed to have our stuff at the curb by 7:00 but I decided it just wasn’t very important today, and snuggled back under the covers.

In due course, I had my mandatory mug of coffee; I actually did put the garbage out before the truck came by; Monado went to work; and I did a bit of work in my home office. And then I realized it was 11:00, I was still in my warm-ups, and I hadn’t showered or shaved. I had no meetings today, so I just e-mailed my secretary and my team that I was, ahem, “working at home”.

Not sure how much work I got done—but at least my training for Ironman Wisconsin is on track!

After a post-lunch nap, I got on my bike and did my “A” work-out for the day. According to Coach Steve: “Cycle 90″ total with 2 x 20″ tempo low cadence cycling (70-75rpm max, stay seated)” (for some reason, Steve uses a double-tick for minutes). Pretty straightforward: the old Trek went into the ergotrainer, and off I went, with the 2004 Giro d’Italia for entertainment (hence the picture of Damiano Cunego).

Two digressions here. First, I had the Giro d’Italia (or rather the first DVD of it) through zip.ca, which I’ve been very happy with.

Secondly, seeing Cunego and his teammates in their bright-red Sæco kit reminds me that my Sæeco Superautomatica coffeemaker needs to find its way to the local Sæeco office at the edge of the universe (Steeles Avenue!!!) sometime soon. It is not a happy coffeemaker, which makes me not a happy coffeedrinker.

I’ve been drinking Gatorade Endurance the last few trainer rides, the official drink of the U.S. Ironman races. I had to order it from Performance Bicycle (because it’s not available in Canada), but I actually think I like it better than the usual Gatorade.

Anyway, about halfway through the bottle I wondered what was wrong with it, and I realized it was soapy—I’d decanted it into a bike bottle not entirely rinsed of soap. Sigh. Just cold water from the cooler, I guess.

So a pretty easy ride as I watched a highly abridged three-year-old bike race unfold. It reminded me how much I enjoyed the much longer live or pseudo-live coverage of the Tour de France on the Outdoor Life Network. Somehow the hours spent watching very little happen seemed, well, more interesting than the twenty minutes, or sometimes less, I got per stage on the DVD.

I capped a reasonably easy day with my core strength work-out. Coach Steve has set one for his athletes, but I kind of liked the one in the March 2007 issue of Bicycling, so I’ve been doing it the last couple of weeks. As the article hinted, it’s hard, and I’m reminded how much better my core was when I was doing Pilates once or twice a week.

Anyway, the end of the day had me packing my swim kit for my 7:00 swim group (yawn!). It’s coming up on 21:00, so time to get to bed, and read the April issue of Bicycling, their annual buyer’s guide. Thus I will dream of carbon and aluminium and cool wheels.

“Pre-op”

In Ironman on 2007 February 23 Friday at 20:09:00

That’s the Holland Orthopædic & Arthritic Centre of the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre on Toronto’s Wellesley Street. It’s where I spent two hours Friday morning in the mandatory “pre-op” for March 6’s arthroscopic partial meniscectomy. A clerk asked me questions and filled out a form, I had an ECG done, and then I saw the anæsthesiologist who confirmed that, yes, I was healthy. The heartrate on the ECG was slow, my b.p. was 124/73 (that’s good, right?), and there is, basically, nothing wrong with me. 🙂

The news buried in this post, of course, is that I’m having surgery.

I haven’t run, really, since mid-January ’06. I’ve done various work-outs, “probe runs” (as Coach Pimm called them) of one or two miles, and just accepted the pain. By late fall ’06 I accepted that the problem wasn’t going to go away with non-invasive physical, chiropractic, or shiatsu therapy (though each has its virtues). My family doc requisitioned an MRI, which I got in early December. The result: a “small radial tear of the medial meniscus body”. (Also “severe chondromalacia patella”, but that’s the subject for another post.) So my family doc referred me to a specialist, an orthopædic surgeon. That was December 4.

In mid-January I called my doc. Any progress? Well, no; it would be months, perhaps eight months, before I saw the orthopædist. Eight months! What about my Ironman?

I spoke to my doc, and she said she’d “grovel” (her word), and the next day or the day after I got a call from the ortho’s office: I had an appointment for the next week. It was the day I was booked to return from Los Angeles, but I resched’d my flight to return over night (I ended up flying on a late and nearly empty flight from Los Angeles to Boston and then taking a little EMBRAER jet to Toronto.) Dozy, I saw the ortho. He recommended no surgery—unless I wanted to run. Yes, I did.

So they put me on the cancellation list—and less than two weeks later, I had my date.

I know it’s odd, but I’m excited at the prospect of surgery!

The one negative, if it is a negative, is that my schedulaholism cannot be satisfied. I have my March work-out schedule, but it’s not much more than Coach Steve’s wild guess as to what I’ll be able to do. The ortho will talk to me after the op, and we’ll take it from there. I’m kind of hoping I can go to the triathlete swim training class three days later and do some work-outs with a pull-buoy between my thighs, but, sigh, we’ll see!