Thursday, December 12, 2013


In October, I ran too many long races on an already janky right piriformis, which led to hip and hamstring jankiness and three weeks of no running.

During the second weekend in November, I traveled "on business" to Newcastle, UK, for the annual congress of the EAP, the circuit of track meetings of which the Amsterdam Open is a part.  Short of heading first to Asia, my itinerary to and from the northeastern corner of England ranked high in inconvenient routes and modes (by train, via Rotterdam, Brussels, and London), but I didn't pay for it and the scenery was great.

The EAP gig is one of a few ways I've been contributing to society while otherwise leaching off the fruits of my fiance's labors.

Waaaaaaaayyyy back in August, on a single Sunday, the Amsterdam Olympic Stadium hosted two elite-level track and field ("athletics" in European English) meets ("meetings" 'round these parts).  Sitting on the organizing committee for one of those meets is the closest thing resembling a full-time job that I've had in the last year.  Look how pretty our website was!

The EAP is a circuit of European track and field meetings designed for whom you might call the "slowest fast athletes."  Or the Blue Collar Professional athletes.  Or the rookie-level professionals.  Yes, maybe that's it... the "Farm Team"-caliber athletes of the track and field world.  EAP meetings offer these athletes an arena to excel with peers... and also allows "hometown favorites" the chance to compete with the big dogs.  The meetings are internationally low-top-tier, but often attract the top picks of the host country.  At our meeting in August, one of our Phanos athletes broke the Dutch national triple jump record.

In any case, planning an EAP meeting and communicating with semi-professional and professional runners/jumpers/throwers is insanely cool, and especially so if you are an American expat who has been involved in the cross-country and track scene since kindergarten, but whose expertise tops out at coaching high school girls.

Happily, I get to do it again.  Segue!  We're not moving to Switzerland.  Segue again!  We went to Luzern in September, thinking we were still going to move there, and then the memory card from Ed's camera acquired some kind of Swiss Bank information retention virus and refuses to release the 100-some photos from the weekend (or the 1000+ photos from preceding trips).  So, no pictures until I can find a savvy computer geek to recover them.

I used my own camera in Newcastle, so here you have some color to alleviate this monochrome monotony.

This high jump mat at the Gateshead indoor facility cushioned the flops of many a 2012 Olympian! 

Gateshead Millennium Bridge: the coolest of many bridges spanning the Tyne.

It knows many tricks.

I took a rest stop in York on the train ride back to London, and had the most satisfying pies ever from a shop at the station.  I would stop in York again only for the train station pies.

The weather in York:  Not forecasted, not short of perfect.

Part of an old medieval abbey.

The water seemed a bit high.

After my 11-hours-each-way trip, I left Ed home alone with his furtive McDonalds dinners for a second weekend and attended the annual Wimpies Weekend with my training group from Phanos.  Here, I attempted to run again after my three week furlough, and succeeded in re-tweaking my piriformis, losing a 5.8 km cross-country race with freight train lungs (in the really loud sense) to my 61-year-old coach, and finally acquiring a nasty bout of right-knee crappiness, which is officially called something more anatomically-correct.

LAST RUN of the weekend... my knee feels odd.  Kid on the right of the frame ran for a year at Mizzou.

My knee feels ow.  I see the ocean.  Mission accomplished.  I'm turning around.

Zo alleeeeeeeen...
This path looks like... every other path in this forest.

I am lost.  M knee hurts.  If the world's tiniest violin is playing in the middle of the Texel forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it still make noise?

Oh hey!  Lead on, GPS!

I limped back to our bungalow and took another three-week hiatus from running.  I just started taping down my patellar tendon so that I can bike and walk with reduced discomfort.  Based on my year working at MarRan, I have a pretty good idea of what I need to do, and am trying to do it, but have yet to see an Amsterdam PT for this new problem.  I'm getting into the pool about once a week, but riding a bike is pretty uncomfortable and thus my cardio is now abhorrent.  *Sigh*.  CrossFit doesn't bother it, though, and Ed and I have been hitting the 7:15 WODs a few times per week.

So, thanks, November, for rendering my right leg useless.  Maybe I'll just get a new one in December.    

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