Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Who Still Shoots With Film?

I did today. I grabbed my old 35mm film camera and shot some stuff for fun. I use a simple compact digital most of the time. It works well, but I miss the selection, control and options an SLR gives.

Look at all that glass! This thing weighs a ton, is fully mechanical (except for the exposure meter), and makes a wonderful *snap* when the shutter is fired. I wish I knew how many photos I've taken with this old friend. There was a time I was shooting several hundered frames a week.

I'd show off some of the photos... but... must wait for them to be developed...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Quest Fulfilled

Since my arm's been out of commission cooking has been a challange. This weekend I went on a quest to find things I can cook using fresh ingredients, that don't require two-handed prep. On VeganYumYum.com I found this receipe for Hot and Sour Cabbage Soup. Sounded good, but slicing cabbage out of the question. On my trip to the grocers...

TADA!~ pre-prepared cole slaw mix and pre-chopped onions!!

Perfect! Although I'm not vegan, it doesn't prevent me from eating vegan food. In fact, I really like vegan food as it relies on spices and natural flavors rather than resorting to the "throw some fat in it to make it taste better" method. Nothing prevents me from taking some pan seared chicken into the soup. And that's exactly what I did.

Otherwise... I followed the receipie, but added VN chili sauce in lieu of the chili flakes. I liked this soup. A wonderful mix of hot, sour, and sweet notes to the pallet.

Also from VeganYumYum... I made some homemade No Kneed Bread.

This also worked well. One change. I used 1/2 whole wheat flour, 1/2 all-purpose flour. I've never scratch made bread before. This was a great experience and quite tasty!

There's something about fresh from the oven bread. Another high recommend from me.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Lies, Damn Lies, 2009 Statistics

Is it too early for a 2009 retrospective? No. My season's been over since November! As audited by the accounting firm Dewey, Cheetum & Howe here are my non-impressive stats for 2009:

Miles ridden... 3,405
Calories burned... 138,457 (equal to about 480 donuts)
Time in saddle... 290 hours, 2 minutes, 6 seconds
Maximum level speed... 42.7 mph (not for long!)
Longest ride distance... 102.3 miles
Maximum heart rate... 191 beats per minute
Coldest temperature... 36°F (January 28th)
Highest winds... 22 mph gusting 30+ (February 8th)
Best race finish... Pffft! not worth mentioning!
Number of DNFs... ZERO!
Best Cycling Experience... Mas-o-Menos in Terlingua!

Ride type breakdown...
Road... 68%
Trail... 24%
Trainer... 4%
Commuting... 3%

The only real surprise is how much road riding I've done. Need to put more trail time into the plan for next year. Hard to do living in the city... hmm... I see much travel in my future. Keep in mind because of my injury this is only 10 months. It's going to be difficult to compare next year's stats to these.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Doing What I Can

The slothiness has to end! I haven't stepped on a scale. Too scared. Don't need to. My eyes tell the tale. My shoulder and elbow are functional enough to no longer be dangling in the way of moving other parts. Can't put any weight on the arm, but I can move it out of the way. I sat down with a couple of core exercise guides yesterday to pick out a menu of things I can do one-handed. More than I thought. I can hit legs (squats, hamstring curls on ball), abs (reverse crunches w/ball), obliques (windshiled wipers), and lower back (leg levers). Next, a few yoga stretches for the body. Followed by my elbow stretches. Not a complete workout, but better than couch intervals. The result was good. Slept much better last night. And feel much better today.

I'm dedicating the rest of this recovery period to working on core strength and flexibility. Two things that always need improvement and I can never find time to address during cycling season. This is a golden opportunity to do something special.

Rehab proves to be tough. Extension (arm straightening) coming along nicely. Flexion (arm curling) is not as good. My tricep is very tight. Almost like it's too short! So bending the elbow feels like a rope being tightened across the back of my arm. My therapist worked this over on Monday. It was sore yesterday. Movement was only marginally better. Felt like negative progress, and I was pretty down last night. Today feels much, much better. The motion range is better today, too. This is my range as of this eve...

I may... might... possibly... perhaps... chance of... mebbe... put the bike on the trainer this weekend. Not sure how comfortable it will be with my right arm in a sling. More importantly... I'm a bit torn as to whether this will make me feel better, or more deprived of riding.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Leaving a Hole

Coming up on five weeks post-op. I haven't been away from a bike this long in almost 3 years. For anyone that trains with purpose... the process creeps into all areas of your life. The 'training lifestyle' eventually invades your food, your friendships, your schedule, your relationships, your clothing, even your choice of home town. It becomes intrinsic to your personality. Abrupt involuntarily removal of training has left a big hole in my life. I've felt a bit lost at times.

I confess that in the days following the accident; I found myself questioning my desire for cycling. I recalled the informational warning about the anesthesia- "don't make any big decisions today." So I didn't. I've avoided thinking about a return since then. Naturally, many folks have asked "Are you going ride again after this?" I always answered "Yeah"; but it was a reflexive mindless answer. Any return was too far away to think about.

Riding is still a long way away. However, I've begun to think about it. Despite some wavering in those first post-op days, I am absolutely certain I will resume cycling as soon as I'm able. I have concerns about being gun-shy. Taking things slow will be important. But I'm ready for that day to arrive.

I haven't yet mustered the courage to ask doc when I can ride again. Too afraid he'll say something like... a year. That would be crushing. I need to keep my spirits up. But... I've progressed enough that I can kinda piece things together. I figure the fracture won't be closed for another 4-6 weeks. Then I can start weight bearing exercises. I'm guessing around 12 weeks until I'm able to fully support my bodyweight. By then I should be pretty close to being cleared.

It can't get here soon enough!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sneaux Day

Snow in Houston. Didn't accumulate much because it rained all night preceeding. But it snowed solidly from about 8AM to 1PM. An unusually long time. Neat. I stayed home from work and drank lots of warm coffee.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

In the Words of Ollie Williams...


That's right 3-5" of snow in Houston, Texas. We had a good snow last year too. If this happens it will be the earliest Houston snow ever. Currently the earliest snowfall is December 10... that happened last year. Global warming? Glad I'm not trying to push training through this cold weekend!