Returning from Injured Reserve

I last spoke of the return of the plica syndrome in mid-December, so I’ve stayed off the bicycle since then. And even though I’ve been doing short easy runs through the holidays, plantar fasciitis struck in mid-January. I know from past experience (believe it or not, I had PF years ago from bicycling!) that I don’t dare do anything which could aggravate it. So I’ve been completely sidelined for the latter half of January.

In the meantime I added a couple of pages to the website: Race All 50 and Bike All 50.

Today I decided to hop on the bike for about 10 miles through the local hills.  Continue reading

Ditched Verizon for Page Plus

My two year contract with Verizon ended last December. Normally I’m skeptical of entering into contracts for cellular service, because I figure they make more money for the provider. But two years ago my wife and I upgraded from the iPhone 4 to the iPhone 5 since the latter was 4G LTE capable. And, if I recall correctly, at the time I could only get 4G LTE service through a contract with Verizon.  Though at least I got the phones at a discount, and the FCC required that Verizon provided the phones unlocked, giving the option to walking away with useful phones after the contract was up. Continue reading

Plica Syndrome is Back?

Back in the late 1990s, I had pain and swelling in my left knee during and after bicycling. Orthopedist after orthopedist told me it was tendinitis, but it never went away with physical therapy and rest. Finally I saw an orthopedist who thought it was something else: plica syndrome. Long story short: conservative treatments didn’t work, so in 1999, I had arthroscopic surgery to have the plica removed. I made a quick and full recovery, and I had no problems during my 2001 ride across America. Since then I’ve had the occasional ache and pain, but nothing more than stretching, ibuprofen, and on occasion a day or two of rest couldn’t handle.

Then one cool morning (45°F) last week, I went for a bicycle ride, and after only seven miles I felt the unmistakable pain and swelling of 15 years ago. My orthopedist had warned me that the plica could grow back. Many people have a medial plica, so it’s not the presence of such that is an issue, the concern is if it somehow becomes inflamed. And now it was back and inflamed with a vengeance. Continue reading

VO2 Max Testing

I recently read the book 80/20 Running by Matt Fitzgerald, which makes the case for doing 80% of training at low intensity and only 20% at moderate/high intensity. I’ve been making the mistake of running too hard on every run, increasing my chance of overtraining and injury! But if I hold back and go easier on some runs, how do I know whether I’m going too easy or too hard? I know the answer is in using my heart rate monitor (dusting the cobwebs off as we speak), but where to set the heart rate training zones?

That’s where metabolic stress testing, or more commonly known as VO2 max testing in exercise circles, comes in. I found somewhere local where this test is done in a doctor’s office, and so in my case it was covered by insurance. Continue reading

Photos from Tahkenitch Dunes Trail in Oregon

On another forum, Raina mentioned her run on the Tahkenitch Lakes Trail in Oregon earlier today. What a coincidence, this was an area where Clint and I made a pit stop and did a hike during my Oregon Coast bicycle tour! I shared a few photos on my Day 4 writeup, but there’s no better time than the present to share the rest. (By the way, at the time, I was less than enthused about getting sand in my bike shoes, but the scenic detour was worth it after the fact.) Enjoy! Continue reading

Four Runs in New England

I just finished up a week of visiting family and friends in Massachusetts and Connecticut over Thanksgiving. Since I don’t talk too much personal stuff here, this blog entry is (mostly) about the runs.

I already wrote about the Norwood Turkey Trot I did the day after arriving. Nice weather, and 4 miles in 31:53 for a great run.

Then it was off to our hosts in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The unseasonably warm weather held out for Run #2, where I was able to stay in T-shirt and shorts. I had planned to run 3.1 miles, but I missed a turn, and it turned into 4.3 miles. Continue reading

Orange County Tour de Cure Recap

At the end of October, I supported the American Diabetes Association “Surf to Summit” Tour de Cure bicycle charity ride in Orange County, California as a bicycle mobile radio operator.

For most of the other bicycle charity rides (such as the MS ride the weekend before), I just show up with my bicycle on the day of the event and then ride bicycle radio support for the selected route. But for this event, I wear multiple hats, as I am also on the planning committee as the route chair, with the main task of being the one who comes up with all of the routes for the bicycle riders. Consequently, that meant I woke up at 3:30AM in order to help set up at 4:30AM. Continue reading

Norwood Turkey Trot Race Report

I wanted to squeeze in a race during my trip to New England, and so I found the Norwood Turkey Trot. It was on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, which fit my schedule better than a run on Thanksgiving morning, and it had the added bonus of being a good halfway point to meet up with my friend Bruce at the race. Continue reading

Dino Dash 5K Race Report

As I posted a few weeks ago, I went to the track and ran 5K in 22:44, a personal record pace of 7:19/mi!  Then a couple of days later I was in Houston on business and managed to clock 5K at 8:08/mi pace, not bad for rolling terrain along a creek.

But after that trip things went a bit downhill. I returned home with a nasty sore throat, although besides that, I was feeling fine. I decided to do some 8 x 400m intervals on the local track, and I was able to do them at about a 6:30/mi pace. But that was hard enough to hurt the ball of my foot and my toes again, just like I did about a year ago. Continue reading