Richard Nelson

Archive for March, 2007|Monthly archive page

Fear of puss!

In infection, running on 2007 March 22 Thursday at 23:54:00

(Google Images is interesting. When I googled puss, I mostly got pictures like these. When I realized I wanted pus, I got pictures so gross I didn’t want to look at them, much less post them. Which I guess is rather the point here.)

When I had my knee “done” (Mar. 6), the orthopædic surgeon said that I could swim all I liked until the stitches came out, and then I shouldn’t swim until the incisions fully healed. When my family doc pulled the stitches out (Mar. 16), she said I shouldn’t swim at all for two weeks. As I’ve posted below (here, here, and here), I’ve swum twice this week, and without benefit of bandages.

After I posted about it, monado called me, and pointed out that while an infection was very unlikely, its consequences would be terrible—so perhaps I should not swim for a few more days.

I took her advice. But at least I got out again for my one-mile walk-and-run loop, as I did two days ago. I had hoped that I might do a two-and-two, but as soon as I started running I knew that would be wrong. There wasn’t any pain, but my injured knee felt injured, so I limited it to the two-and-one thing, and I was, I think, fine. (As I type this, I’m in my hotel room, icing the knee prophylactically.)

Tomorrow is an off day as I fly home. I haven’t been upgraded, which I always find a disappointment. As I once read in the American Airlines in-flight magazine, frequent flyers live for their upgrades.


I forgot to stretch!

In health on 2007 March 22 Thursday at 17:32:00

I wondered why I felt a little uncomfortable this morning—I forgot to stretch!

Based on one of the best articles I’d ever read about being a better cyclist, I’ve taken to stretching every morning after my coffee and before breakfast. Nothing elaborate, just some eight or so basic stretches that really seem to help.

But today I forgot. Sigh.

By the way, in looking for a good image for this post, I found a French Web page devoted to stretching for the obese.

Not so waterproof on hairy legs

In swimming on 2007 March 22 Thursday at 13:22:00

When I had my stitches removed, the doc reiterated that now I shouldn’t go swimming—for two weeks, i.e., until it was certain my sutures had healed. (Mind you, they looked healed to me!)

So before I went on this trip I bought a box of waterproof bandages (illustrated). I, er, forgot to put any on for my first swim, Tuesday. Yesterday, though, I put one over each suture—and they lasted, maybe, one length before they started flapping, and then two or three lengths before they just plain came off.

The problem is not the bandages themselves but the hairiness of my knee. The bandages don’t have enough purchase on my skin to stay on. It’s been a problem since my teens.

Not sure what I’m going to do today.

Splash! (IV)

In swimming on 2007 March 22 Thursday at 00:48:00

(Found a new picture of the Doubletree’s pool, showing the furniture as it now is. Beyond the hedge to the left and in the background is Carson Street, a busy arterial that could also be called 217th Street. Beyond the hedge to the right is the hotel’s parking lot. To the right of the canopy is the hotel bar.)

Did as Coach Kelvin recommended, doing lengths of freestyle without breathing in the 12- or 13-yard pool, alternating with body rolls, usually doubles, sometimes single or triple.

The six or seven strokes of swimming without breathing were kind of interesting. It was fun how easy it was!

Oddly, I “felt” my knee more during the body rolls than during the freestyle.

As usual, I was alone in the water, but not as usual two women were lounging in the sunny end (near the canopy) carrying on a low conversation. It was sufficiently sunny that midway through the work-out (such as it was) I switched from my clear-lensed Aqua Sphere Kaimans to the mirrored pair.

Splash! (III)

In swimming on 2007 March 21 Wednesday at 21:13:00

I forgot to mention … so I went “swimming” before I did my “run”. The swimming wasn’t really quote-mark-worthy, except that—unlike last April—that tiny pool is a real problem. In six short strokes I was at the end of the pool; I could never get my rhythm. I put this problem to Coach Kelvin, and this was his reply:

Short pool?

Try doing length totally under water in one breath. Rest to recovery at each end. Don’t loose control when needing a breath. Be sure, if you decide to surface and breathe that you are (for sure) going to catch a breath.

Body core rolling is good. Single, double and 3x.

Work on the pull stroke for breaststroke (knees might not be ready for the breast stroke kick), us a dolphin kick.

Find another pool.

Unfortunately, it turns out that the nearby 24 Hour Ftiness centre does not have a pool; the nearest is in Long Beach; I’ll stick with the hotel pool, whatever its limitations.


In fitness, training on 2007 March 21 Wednesday at 20:49:00

It’s been two weeks (15 days precisely) since my knee surgery. I’ve been taking it pretty easily—too easily, I think.

I think I should’ve been doing more upper-body exercises, and my core strength work-outs—but I was so afraid of hurting my knee—and maybe I just liked the idea of time off!—that I did almost nothing.

I’m going to pay for it over the next few weeks, I think. I’m chunkier, and of course less fit.

But no time like the Now to start catching up!

Five a day!

In diet on 2007 March 21 Wednesday at 20:39:00

One of the problems of business travel is that it’s easy to fall into bad, bad eating habits. This is particularly true at the Doubletree Hotel Carson Civic Plaza (sic) where I think they mean well, but where there’s not a lot of variety on the menu.

So I’ve been having rather a lot of bar-type sandwiches with fries and beer, high in fat but also low-ish in fibre, and without any freshness to it. This morning I resolved to address the breakfast buffet in a better manner: I had a small bowl of oatmeal, a bagel with cream cheese and jam—and a plate full of fruit and a whole banana. Not that felt better!

At lunch my colleague took me to an Italian restaurant in Torrance, and I had the pasta primavera, which was a nice choice. I executed my “food rules”, and it worked.

I am a runner!

In running on 2007 March 21 Wednesday at 18:01:00

Well, okay: I’m not as good-looking (or young!) as this guy; I’m not running in the fall somewhere (it’s March in the northern hemisphere); nor am I running so athletically.

But last night, about 5:45 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time, in the City of Carson, County of Los Angeles, State of California, I “ran” pretty much exactly one mile on my reconstructed knee.

“Run” is a bit of an exaggeration: I’d walk two minutes, then run one. My knee never hurt, and afterwards I spent almost ninety minutes alternately heating and icing my knee. There was no swelling, then or now, 18 hours later.

I’m still pretty fit: but running-fit? Nah.

I wore my heart rate monitor, and during my little jogs my rate got up to 149 bpm!

During the run I could feel tightness in my leg above and below the knee. I wondered if this was from a year of having problems, and not running, because it wasn’t bad. And today I can “feel” my knee, but it’s nowhere near painful. If it’s okay this time tomorrow I may go out for a repeat.


In indoor cycling, swimming on 2007 March 17 Saturday at 22:52:00

Tuesday evening (March 13; I won’t remark on the number!) I had my first swimming lesson since my knee surgery.

I felt great. It wasn’t just the joy of working out; it was that my kicking felt so much better. My vertical kick, never that bad, was suddenly better. With better kicking (as any fan of Terry Laughlin’s Total Immersion technique knows) comes better body positioning which means better (or at least easier) swimming. (See the Wikipedia article on TI for a good summary of the criticisms of TI.)

About midway through our hour my knee began to hurt, and we switched to drills using a pullbuoy. But it was too late; after a week of wonderful recovery, my knee has been sore since. I took a couple of days off, and since then I’ve resumed light cycling. Yesterday I did another session of Coach Kelvin’s Triathlete Swim Training but only for half an hour. For one thing, trying to do stroke drills with a pullbuoy is (for me) nothing less than comical. I’ve also been babying the knee, spending hours each day alternating heat and cold.

I biked easily 40 minutes today (watching the last two stages of the 2004 Giro d’Italia on DVD). I think I’ll do an hour tomorrow, and then I fly to Los Angeles for a week of meetings with my client.

The week in Los Angeles I’ll be staying at the Doubletree Hotel Carson Civic Plaza (sic), whose pool I’ve described before. But an alternative to the Doubletree’s modest facilities is a brand-new 24 Hour Fitness facility about a mile from the hotel. The building looked great from the outside in January, but its home page doesn’t mention the pool I thought it had. Anyway, my plan is to swim a bit, pool-run a bit, walk a bit, and maybe even *gasp* run a bit. As with so much: We’ll see.

Back in the saddle …

In indoor cycling on 2007 March 12 Monday at 20:03:00

First, an apology for using a cliché as my title; I couldn’t think of anything else.

Second, the pic is also just the best I could find. I’m not female, I don’t have long hair, and I was riding my old Trek 2200 (a diamond-frame road bike) on a Tacx Flow ergotrainer, but …

for the first time in six days, I worked out. And, to my pleasant surprise, my refurbished knee didn’t complain; indeed, it liked it!