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topaz: (respect the bike)
So [livejournal.com profile] omegabeth and I rode from Boston to Provincetown on Saturday, on a tandem bike borrowed from [livejournal.com profile] moominmolly and [livejournal.com profile] dilletante.

What happened?

  • Tandems are way cool. Everyone we rode with seemed to be cheered up just having a tandem on the road. We became known to the rest of the riders, and later, by apparently random people in Provincetown, as "those crazy tandem people."
  • [livejournal.com profile] omegabeth did not keel over and die from biking on her broken ankle.
  • [livejournal.com profile] omegabeth actually finished in way better shape than I did.  By the end of the ride, she was doing the bulk of the hard cranking.
  • [livejournal.com profile] omegabeth is clearly a mutant who has supernormal healing powers and possibly an adamantium endoskeleton.
  • Good bike fit is really important.  Really really important. Like, as important as you thought it was, and then more important than that.  I did an okay job of sizing the tandem to me, but "okay" is not good enough, especially for a trip like this.  I finished the ride with severe numbness in the ring and little fingers of both hands, and profoundly diminished gripping strength.  Right now I can barely turn a key in a lock, put on my socks, or write my name.  Calling the doctor first thing in the morning.
  • As important as it is to wear sunscreen, for the love of god remember not to wear it on your face. Because then when you start sweating, it melts and trickles down your forehead into your eyes, and it stings and you can't see and THAT WILL MAKE YOU DIE.
I have many many heroes today, but especially [livejournal.com profile] keyne and kids for their love and ongoing support of my madness, [livejournal.com profile] moominmolly and [livejournal.com profile] dilletante for the loan of their contraption and for invaluable technical advice, [livejournal.com profile] soong and [livejournal.com profile] sandhawke for sharing their homes (sometimes unexpectedly), [livejournal.com profile] bubblebabble and [livejournal.com profile] bitty for sharing their home and for gamely going along with our insane plans, [livejournal.com profile] inseriatim for repaying the favor and registering me when I started acting lame, and [livejournal.com profile] omegabeth for being such an amazing, untiring, perpetually upbeat and inspiring ride partner.  This life is sometimes an amazing place to be.
topaz: (respect the bike)
No more picture spam, I promise.

Time this year was around 11 hours 20 minutes.  This is only slightly longer than my time two years ago, which surprised me for a lot of reasons.  I think that if I trained reasonably well for the ride and spent less time at the rest stops / checkpoints, I could bring that time down quite a bit.

I am never, ever, ever doing this again without training.  Never ever.  You heard me.  Never.  Oh my god that was a bad idea.  I'm still glad I rode, but, wow.  Now I know why they tell you to do that.

By the end of the day I had sharp pains between my shoulder blades (no doubt from my hunched-over road bike posture), nasty saddle sores, and very sore Achilles tendons.  Other than that, however, I didn't really have sore muscles.

The back pain has gone away; the saddle sores are probably still there.  The Achilles tendons worry me.  They started hurting about 30 miles into the ride and I knew I was in trouble.  I tried to take it easy and stretch them whenever I could, but they are still not happy, particularly the right one.  Time to ice them and stay off the bike for a few days.

Also: it's a good thing you got a new bike, but not having time to make sure the fit was good -- very unwise, my friend.  (The officemate reminds me that poor pedal positioning may have contributed to the Achilles injury.)

Despite all that?


[livejournal.com profile] omegabeth has decided she's going to ride it with me next year.  We are going to be "Team Helpful," and this is to put you on notice that you will be joining us.
topaz: outside the Akamai NOCC (Quinn GNARR)
This is the penultimate weekend before the closing on our house.  There is an enormous volume of stuff still to put in storage or to move to my parents' house.  We've been expecting to spend pretty much the whole weekend packing, hauling and storing stuff.

It is also the weekend of the Sawyer Hill Cohousing Open House -- on Sunday there will be possibly hundreds of people converging on our site to tour the development and see finished units inside and out.  It's our biggest marketing event of the year, bar none, and what time we don't spend packing we've been planning to spend at the open house.

So why the gods picked today to give me a nasty gastrointestinal bug?  I don't know.  But damn, they must be enjoying themselves.
topaz: (Default)
Woke up this morning to moderate back pain.  Not too bad, probably a 3 or 4 out of 10, but unusual -- back pain is uncommon with me.

Boston-area folks, any recommendations for a chiropractor who takes Blue Cross?  The closer to Kendall Square the better, but I'll take referrals for practices in the hinterlands too.

Edit: Thanks all. I did in fact end up going with [livejournal.com profile] keyne's chiropractor after she persuaded me not to attempt going in to work. Which was probably good, as it turns out I have a strained rib joint. Who knew?
topaz: (Quinn - at hospital with dad)
parent or guardian

So, we had this hospital trip thing.  But it was no sweat after all was said and done, really.  All of the doctors and nurses were excellent, having shrewdly figured out that keeping the parents relaxed was as important or more important than keeping the kids relaxed (since the kids look to the parents to see whether they should be scared).  They worked as one single well-oiled machine to usher us gently through the process.

The actual adenoidectomy barely took a half-hour, and since we did not end up having Q's tonsils removed as well, we didn't have to stay overnight.  He recovered like a champ.  He was awake within about half an hour of coming out of surgery and was ready to be discharged about 90 minutes later.  We hadn't even left the hospital before he was getting up and literally running around.  Today we have been wondering aloud whether the anaesthesiologist makes house calls.

Too early to tell how dramatic the impact of the surgery is likely to be.  But this is worth noting: the moment we saw him asleep in the recovery room, [livejournal.com profile] keyne turned to me and said, "Look at him.  He's asleep with his mouth closed."  Yes indeed.

Thanks to everyone for being there.  Y'all rock like the Rock of Ages.

Quinn & DadQuinn & Dad


Feb. 12th, 2008 03:59 pm
topaz: (Default)

....pation, originally uploaded by qwrrty.

the biggest popsicles EVER!

topaz: (Default)

ready to roll!, originally uploaded by qwrrty.

topaz: (grinnybike)
Readers of my "triathlon" filter may have noticed that I haven't posted to it much in the last month.  That's because there hasn't been much to post.  When we left for Maine in August, my training went down the drain and I never really got it back together.  I've still been biking to work, and that sure helps a lot, but I have been doing almost no swimming or running.

So I went into this morning's triathlon mostly unprepared.  My goal today was to finish without dying.  If I was really lucky, I might not get so discouraged that I wouldn't want to do it again.

And so?

I had a blast. )

One of the most interesting things about this event were the other participants:

1.  They were all really collegial.  When we were all standing around at the start of the race, and at the finish line afterward, everyone was really friendly and cheerful.  I expected a very unfriendly elite-athlete vibe.  Not in the slightest.  It was possibly the most chummy athletic event I can recall ever having attended.  That was a really lovely thing and helped set the tone for the rest of the day.

2. A lot of them were not visibly athletic.  [livejournal.com profile] keyne took photographs which confirmed my hypothesis: no matter how out of shape you are, or how ridiculous you think you look in a Speedo, there is going to be someone else competing who is worse off than you.  I liked that a lot too.  It made me feel really good about the social dynamics of the event.

I am so grateful: to [livejournal.com profile] keyne for getting up at the ass-crack of dawn with me on this fool's errand and for taking such fantastic pictures of the day, to [livejournal.com profile] omegabeth for being an unfailing support all along and for being the awesomest running buddy ever, and to [livejournal.com profile] mort, [livejournal.com profile] kcatalyst, [livejournal.com profile] aroraborealis and everyone else who has been giving moral support along the way. So much rockage.

Overall it was an unqualified win for fun.  I have no doubt I'll be doing another one of these.  Maybe even before the end of the year!
topaz: (sun-moon-coffee)
The latest news from our ever-toiling medical research industry is that caffeine and exercise together reduce your risk of skin cancer.

HA!  At this rate I am going to LIVE FOREVER!
topaz: (tiger!)
The contingent of runners on my friendslist continues to swell.  I have always been antsy about the idea of running (shin splints! fallen arches! side stitches!) but I want to do more cross-training, and running is one of the most convenient options for me.  Therefore, in lieu of doing actual research, I ask you!

What are the most important tips you all would want me to know?  What do you wish you knew before you started?  I know I need decent running shoes, so I'll be making a trip to Marathon Sports, maybe later this week -- but what else?  Running on pavement vs. dirt?  Different kinds of pavement?  Are there secret posture tips I really need to know?  etc. etc. etc.  Is there some web site that will tell me everything the world knows on the subject (like sheldonbrown.com for biking or stumptuous.com for lifting)?

Talk to me!


May. 9th, 2007 01:47 am
topaz: (madblog)
If I had to get three flat tires in a week, I would really have liked the final one not to hit me in Bedford at 11:30pm.

On the plus side, I now know that I can walk five miles in an hour.  That's kind of cool!  I'll just think of it as cross training.
topaz: (grinnybike)
I noticed a long time ago that when I have the option of riding my bike to work or taking the T, I always prefer biking.  Always.  Every single day that I chose to take the train, I found myself wishing I'd biked, and on the days that I biked, I never regretted making that choice.  Even in the pouring rain and the freezing cold.

(Okay, I think there was one day that I decided I shouldn't have taken the bike.  When it was 40 degrees outside, and icy cold pounding rain, in a hurricane, and I got a flat tire, and I was attacked by rabid lemurs.  Both ways.  But seriously, that was the only time I felt like I would have been happier not biking.)
  • Last Friday I rode from Bedford to Kendall Square, about 13.5 miles, to see if I could still do it.  I could.  (I hurt, though.)
  • My average speed from Bedford to Kendall was 15 point something miles an hour.  Average speed on the return trip was 13 point something.  My goal this year is to bring that up by 2mph each way (a 12-15% speed increase).
  • Achieving that is going to require losing a bit of weight.  It'll be a lot easier to improve my speed by 12% if I can reduce my weight by 12%.  Less wear and tear on the bike, too.
  • I have fallen into this pattern: when I'm biking heavily, I let myself eat pretty much whatever I feel like.  Riding for two hours a day means I can get away with that, but it also means I'm not losing weight.  Problem.
  • Discussing this with [livejournal.com profile] moominmolly over lunch last week led me to a revelation.  When she's actively biking she's motivated to eat things like salads and veggie wraps, because she associates biking with taking care of her body.  It's all about the framing, baby.  I should keep myself in a "taking care of your body" mindset when I'm riding, and see if I find it any easier to resist the siren call of the double cheeseburger with fries.
I really needed to get back in the game.  I knew I missed riding, but I didn't realize how much I missed it.  I forgot how much better I feel when I get to ride every day.
topaz: (qwrrty)
.... or something:

Dear Member:

After careful review by the Clinical Coordination Department of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, I am pleased to inform you that the request for hospital services made on your behalf has been approved.

Place of Service: Inpatient Acute Care Hospital
Type of Service: Medical Care

An "acute care facility" is what we were fighting to get [livejournal.com profile] keyne sent to after MGH, since her surgeon had stressed the importance of her getting "active, aggressive physical therapy" as soon as possible.  Because they would not approve acute care, on June 14 we accepted their offer of a "skilled nursing facility" instead.

The letter is dated June 16.  We just received it today.  Imagine -- that their costs have risen so that they have to use fourth-class mail for everything!  It must be horrible for them.  Just think, soon they may not even be able to afford enough staff to reject every initial claim that gets filed.
topaz: (profile)
Ten stitches, if I'm counting correctly.
topaz: (gormy gull)
So, on Thursday evening at around 6:30, Ellen lost control of her van and hit a tree at about 45mph. She broke a clavicle and fractured her ankle badly enough to require reconstructive surgery. The surgery took place early this morning and went well, but there is a possibility of long-term bone damage and nerve damage.

At this hour she is recovering in Mass General Hospital in Boston. She will be there for at least the next 3-4 days and, while she's still in a great deal of pain, she would welcome visitors. She's in Ellison 612A -- she has her cell phone with her, and I will find out the phone number for the room as soon as I can.

The long-term recovery prospects will be challenging, to say the least. The surgeon told me this morning that at the very very best she can expect three months in a cast with no weight on her right leg whatsoever, and  [livejournal.com profile] docorion  confirmed my guess that the realistic outlook is more like six months. In the meantime, with a broken collarbone, it doesn't seem as though she's going to be able to use crutches either. I'm sure the medical staff will help us figure out a solution, but we're kind of bewildered at the moment.

More as it happens. Ellen does not have Internet access in MGH, so if you have trouble reaching her on her cell please feel free to contact Tim.
topaz: (frowny)
Do not attempt to practice slide guitar when the wrist on your fret hand is sprained, no matter how much fun it is at the time.

April 2012


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