Thursday, April 30, 2009

?s answered?

A final diagnosis? Maybe, so that probably means that I should admit I have a problem. I hear that's the first step. My left leg is the issue.

If you refer to the previous post about snowboarding on Tyrol's last weekend open you will see there is no mention of an injury. "Made a perfect end to the snowboarding season" is what was written. I kind of glossed over the part about me uncontrollably crashing off the chairlift not once, but twice. Seemed kind of embarrassing, a beginner problem, not worth mentioning. I looked cooler by not writing about it. Chad said the crashes were awesome, worthy of a funniest video maybe, but maybe not since I got hurt doing it. I limped off and kept snowboarding after each incident. Seems like maybe I heard a pop when it happened, but I thought I was imagining that as splints and ambulance rides flashed through my mind while it was happening.

Just a little swelling and some faint bruising around the knee by that night. I iced, rested, elevated, and medicated and it seemed better. I favored the leg, well, because it hurt. I had pain in the knee area, just above the knee, the ankle, top of foot and somewhere in the middle between the ankle and knee. OK, maybe that was a sign to have it looked at medically. Didn't happen. Seemed to be getting better, I didn't have trouble walking or getting around, just twisting and turning. Well the turning point was last Friday when I wore a pair of wedge sandals for a few hours and when I took them off that night my knee hurt and the pain was pretty constant and continues still.

Chad encouraged(threatened) me and I made a call to my doctor. Was there yesterday for evaluation and xrays. Choices were to go to physical therapy for an evaluation or go for an MRI. Probably had a ligament tear in the ankle, and three or so ligament tears around the knee, based on all the names of different ligaments being tossed around. Each in various stages of healing, and wearing the heels most likely reinjured some areas. Everyone seemed to have a "well no kidding" attitude about wearing heels and knee injuries, but the shoes don't come with a warning label so how was I to know.

PT eval today with a complete work up. Ligament tears are most likely healed and the pain is mostly from one torn meniscus, and the other is potentially torn as well. Well all the favoring has affected my hip stability on that side, so I have exercises to do, and a list of things not to do to help heal the meniscus. Back in 4 weeks for a checkup at PT, and hope it is healed.

Wishing good luck to Chad on his half marathon run on Saturday. I hope for good weather for him.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Rain and Running road trip

So the weekend plans look to be canceled due to rain. We had a bike ride planned but pouring rain sent us to Madison hoping to catch a break for a trip around the farmer's market. No such luck we turn for home stopping at REI and Atkins Bicycle Shoppe. Jenny reported back to Dan about the Sharkies from her post and got more energy snacks for when the rain does finally end.

Next weekend I will run the Door County half marathon, I really hope it does not rain then. I never even considered the possibility of rain back in February when I signed up...oops. If it is 50 and raining I'm not sure what will happen. I've spent long hours on the bike in the rain but it is usually warmer. 9 hours of driving to get in a hopefully 2 hour 13.1 mile run, what was I thinking?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sharkies Sport Chews

Chad and I went out for a 20 mile ride yesterday. The kids opted out of a family ride to the Farmers Market and went to Grandma's house instead. The weather was beautiful, 70 degrees, sunny, a little windy. You know, that wind that no matter which way you're riding you are always riding into it. Chad rode his single speed Specialized and I rode my Klein. Probably a few more hills than I was expecting, but I managed. Chad taught me some new techniques for getting up the hills without mashing and near hyperventilating by the top.

Mid-ride we took a break so I could try out a pack of Sharkies Sport Chews that I was reviewing for Dan at Atkins Verona Bicycle Shoppe. I had a pack of Fruit Splash that Dan gave me a couple weeks back. The package states that the flavors included are cherry, blackberry, tangerine, and lemon. I will go by red, pink, orange, and yellow. Although I can probably figure out the color/flavor relationship, I guess I'm not sure because it seems like blackberry should be darker colored than pink, and I didn't savor them long enough to be certain of the red/pink flavor. I shared the bag with Chad. The package is listed as one serving, and if you want to know the nutritional info breakdown you can check out the back of the package. I tend to consume "stuff" when I start feeling funny, so numbers don't mean that much to me. I had the bag in a back jersey pocket so they were warm, but they didn't seem melty or overly sticky. Each fish was still seperate. There was an even mix of colors in the bag. I liked the flavors of the red and pink the most. Yellow was all right, and orange I didn't care for. I have no aversion to the fruits listed as flavors on the package, but the orange just tasted a bit off, chemically maybe. They were soft, but again they were warm. There was some teeth stickage, but not the entire fish. No bad aftertaste, and did not require a lot of water to wash down. In fact I did not drink water with them while consuming, just a couple swigs before heading off again. They provided quick energy and will try them again avoiding the orange colored ones. I'll check next time I'm at Atkins for the other flavor options.

Next ride I'll try the Power Bar Gel Blasts in lemon flavor.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Back to a tent

Our family camping experience started with Jenny and I in a cheap department store tent. We quickly moved to a Northface four season tent we purchased used, we still have it but the family is too big now. We ditched tent camping after a big thunderstorm when Kevin was along at Point Beach park on Lake Michigan. Next up was a small pop-up camper which also proved too small when Zack came along, oh yeah and the huge storm the first time all four of us went didn't help at all. So now we are back to a tent after four years of no camping.

Last Friday afternoon we loaded up the Jeep and headed off to Devil's Lake to camp for the night. It was to be a test run for a week long trip later this summer. What we learned was that the boys sleep just fine in a tent even as the temperature dipped into the 20's. At best Jenny and I had a long hard night with little good sleep. Jenny and I need to replace or over inflate the Therma-rest sleeping pads we have right now to get a good nights rest. Jenny was also cold and might need a sleeping bag rated for even lower temps.

Our meals at camp this trip were dinner cooked over the campfire and breakfast prepared in our friend's heated camper. Dinner was hot dogs, beans and chips followed by smores. Nothing fancy this trip just a test run. Breakfast was pancakes and scrambled eggs, test run here was the freeze dried eggs. I think they were good but the heat of the camper was all I really needed.

After breakfast we tore down our camp and went for a short drive to warm up before doing some geocaching but the warmth of the Jeep won out and geocaching was cancelled. We headed home and unpacked, did laundry and at least Jenny and I napped.

Everyone had a good time and we will head out again once it warms up a bit more.

Photos for this post were taken by Kevin

Thursday, April 9, 2009


The first ride of the tandem plus trail-a-bike went better than Jenny or I could have hoped. We rolled out of town figuring maybe 4-5 miles at most. We stopped so Zack could get a drink 2 miles into the ride expecting one of them to be ready to turn back. Both of them wanted to go more so I offered up an 8 mile loop that was acceptable to all, no major climbs and mostly low traffic roads. Jenny smoked us on the climbs on her single bike and I could not open it up on the down hill runs. Zack the daredevil was leaning off center to see around Kevin and myself on the biggest hill we descended. I limited us to 25mph or so, hard on the brakes on a hill that would have sent us over 40mph easily.

Once back home the boys are ready to do more rides and interested in working up to longer distances. Guess we will be shopping for some cycling clothes for the boys soon.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sundara escape

Kicking off a week of vacation with an overnight at Sundara Inn and Spa, dropped the boys off at Grandma's house and headed off. This was our second visit, and although we had a great time on our previous visit, I hoped for a better experience overall since I was sick with stomach crud the first time. Like our first visit, we had a couples massage soon after arrival. 50 minute aromatherapy massages side by side. I had knee pain since Friday after a 10.4 mile run, and shoulder pain that has been getting worse, so when the masseuse asked about existing issues, I spilled all. She said she would start with the shoulder issue first and asked if I wanted just my upper body done. Telling her to do the whole body so my knee would get worked too, she said she would see what she could get too because I was a tall man with a lot of area to cover. My thought was since Jenny is smaller than the average person in surface area, her masseuse could have finished up quicker and joined in on me. Next time we will go for a longer duration, or maybe next time I won't be plagued by injury.

Dinner later that night was great. We shared a cheese plate, since we both enjoyed that on our first visit. Different cheeses served with a variety of fruit and crackers. Have to figure out what the one cheese is so we can serve it at our house for a party. It was white, cream cheese like, and served in a small dish covered in honey. We split two entrees for dinner. The first was a crab cake served on watermelon, orange and avocado slices, smothered in hollandaise sauce and the second was surf and turf, a filet with shrimp and scallops. Not much meat and potatoes here so get adventerous or go out somewhere else.

We were expecting a huge snowfall to be dumping on us, but never saw a flake. The last time we were at Sundara we swam in the outdoor pool while it was snowing out, a cool experience. The outdoor pool is kept at an incredible 80 or so degrees year round. We did still enjoy the pool and hot tub outside on this visit.

On our way home we swung through Devil's Lake State Park to check out the campsites that are open. We may have an upcoming camping trip if we can manage to drag the kids away from electronic devices. Stopped to take the picture posted here with the self timer camera on the cell phone. Didn't turn out too bad. The rocky hills in the background are the site of the picture at the top of our blog.
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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

100 mile tour of.....

My basement?

I think I found my challenge ride for this year. With the Horibly Hilly Hundreds out due to a conflict with vacation and the Madison Urban Assualt Ride canceled I need to do something that makes people shake their heads more than usual. Enter the Fat Cyclist's, 2nd Annual 100 miles of Nowhere. 1o0 miles on my rollers in the basement? I'd pass but the ride is for a good cause, the schwag bag is huge, and I've never done anything like it before.

No April fools joke even though it seems crazy enough to be one.