Running and Songwriting

How quickly we can fall from our superhuman pedestal. Today marks 18 days since I turned my ankle and got sick. Since then I have done pretty much jack shit. I feebly tried to run a couple days ago and threw in the towel after a few blocks, since my left ankle was already begging for mercy. Oh how I dearly miss running and how I dearly miss having a functioning body. Today is just a gorgeous day and I would love to head out for a nice 6 mile trail run, but I am going to hole up for awhile longer.

I have continued to cheat on my vegan diet, but not by much. Yesterday for lunch I had some cheese. Horrors! I have also been embracing my sedentary existence by delving heavily back into songwriting and beer drinking. The songwriting is tremendously humbling. I am not in writing shape so yesterday marked my first day in quite awhile of trying to brainstorm a song. I got something, but it definitely falls into the category of sniveling drivel.

As I get back into songwriting I am reminded of its similarities to running. It is solitary, humbling, challenging, rewarding, and is about putting one foot in front of the other. It is something you have to show up for, to stay in shape for. Yesterday was the songwriting equivalent of going for a jog after a year long hiatus from exercise. Today I am very, very sore.

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6.5 weeks left until marathon

Yes, less than 7 weeks until the San Luis Obispo marathon. I have been sick for 10 days and have been nursing a bum ankle. And there were some serious cracks in my vegan facade this weekend as I ingested bacon, eggs, carnitas, and cheese. Basically, I am kinda sorta throwing in the towel. I am not going to beat myself up trying to prepare for the marathon. No point.

On the musical front, my good friend and ex-Shambler bandmate Mike Marotto visited this past weekend. We hung out on Friday night and played guitar and it was pure bliss. Mike is basically a fantastic human being and an incredible musician. Too bad he lives in Vermont.

So, the silver lining of being laid up with sickness and such is I am getting back into the guitar. I think I’ll book a gig.

SICK

What a weekend. A twisted ankle on Saturday, then a creeping sickness on Sunday, which turned into a full fledged cold. Now it is Wednesday and I hope and pray that the worst is over. Yesterday evening was brutal. I had the worst sore throat ever. Today I slept until noon. Now it is 3:00 and I am going to go out on a limb and say that the worst is behind me.

By the way, I did go to the doctor yesterday and got my foot x-rayed. Results were negative. so, another week to let the foot heal and let the lungs heal and let the body heal and then…

Twisted Ankle and Maybe a Broken Bone. Yeah!

I am starting to feel a bit like the boy who cried wolf, but this time I think it is for real. 10 days ago I thought i had torn a calf muscle. After a day of grieving I realized it was not so. Then a week ago I thought I had destroyed my left arm in a skateboarding accident, but that too was a false alarm. But This past Saturday took the cake. 8 miles into a great trail run, i twisted my left ankle badly and I think I re-broke my foot in the same place i broke it two years ago while playing soccer. It was a wicked twist and I had to stop running immediately. Tomorrow I go to the doctor and will hopefully get the final word.

The lesson: Well, I was running fast, trying to chase my running cohorts who were well in front of me. Had I been running solo, I would not have been trying to run so fast. Also, I stayed out late the night before. I went to a Dr. John concert, had too many beers, and had a very short sleep. I actually felt great on the run, but did that play into things? Who knows.

So I am done. My valiant 4 week old effort to whip myself into shape for the San Luis Obispo Marathon comes to a screeching halt after turning an ankle. I am very bummed, because I was feeling good and running well. Now I will have to see how rehab goes and will maybe consider doing a marathon next year. Maybe this is a sign that I need to stick to my guns and NOT gear up for any races, as they always just seem to get me into trouble. Maybe this is a sign that I should get back to playing guitar and writing songs. Maybe I stick to swimming. But that is all bullshit because I will run again. It is too much fun.

Running While Vegan

It was three weeks ago yesterday when I bought a new pair of Brooks Pure Flow shoes, took off on a 6 mile run, and decided to get in shape for the San Luis Obispo Marathon on April 7th. Four days after that I decided to try a raw food diet for the day. I ate a lot of potatoes and almonds. And from that point on I have been eating a vegan diet. It will be 3 weeks on Sunday, and I have no immediate plans to stop. I feel like I am more energetic, slimmer, and healthier. Basically, I see no downside. Well, there is of course the downside of no meat, cheese, dairy, etc. but it really has not been all that bad. Mainly, I have become so much more conscious of what I eat and therefore I am eating better. When you have the freedom to eat whatever you want then you sometimes eat whatever you want. Eating Vegan forces me to think about putting healthy meals together. I am eating a lot of tempeh, quinoa, broccoli, grilled vegetables (fennel, brussel sprouts, potatoes), and salads. To some people this sounds like pure, miserable torture. To me it is empowering.

It is very odd how nasty people get when they find out you are eating vegan. I do not know why this is. Maybe they think all vegans are self righteuos assholes. Maybe they realize a meat-based diet has major planetary issues and they feel threatened by someone who does not participate in that. Maybe they just think veganism is totally lame. I do not know. However, it is irrefutable that a vegan based diet is better for the planet. I found out that simply by not eating meat for a year it is the equivalent in carbon offsets of selling my 20MPG car and driving a hybrid. There are also several other fascinating anecdotes that I will not get into at this time. Suffice to say, it is the path I have chosen and I plan to walk it for awhile. Apologies to my meat loving wife.

Oh, and I technically cannot call myself a vegan. I am wearing a leather belt. And leather shoes. And I eat honey. And a week ago I had a tempeh shepherds pie with butter in the ingredients. And yesterday I ate a bowl of soup with a chicken based broth. Bad vegan.

Running Fiend

SAMSUNG
After my scare last Thursday I decided to regress to my old running style (mild heel strike) for a bit in order to ease up on ye olde calf tendon. It worked. I ran 15 miles with my cousin Earl on Saturday and it was a smashing success. We went slow and averaged 10.5 minute miles and when we were finished I was DONE. However, I recovered fairly quickly and felt good by that evening. I took off the next two days and then ran 6 miles yesterday and felt good. Then last night I had a really close call. I was skateboarding and I crashed and went down HARD. I broke my fall with my left arm and I came very close to breaking it. I have a slight sprain my my left wrist, so no guitar for a bit, which is very very sad. However, I can still run. I can RUN!! I really really do not want to get hurt. I want to run and play guitar forever and ever.