Friday, January 25, 2008

Hockey Ice

The Weston winter triathlon is not happening for me on Saturday. Knee is still a mess from Monday's 21 minute run. I've concluded that running is evil and not something I should be getting into at my age. I reason that even if I ease into it over many months, it will just mask damage that will occur none the less. It just won't hurt bad all at once.

I get every other Friday off from work, as I work for a defense contractor where "9/80" workweeks are popular. I tried to ski nearby at Great Brook Farm State Park today. No hills there, and when I called, they claimed conditions should be quite good for skating. I wanted to test the knee to see if it was ready for skiing. I talked my friend Arvid from work to come down with me, as he was thinking of heading more northerly. Big mistake. Conditions were deplorable, possibly the worst I've skied on ever. We had to take skis off multiple times for bare spots, and other areas were hockey ice. Did the Nordic center think we were skating with hockey skates?

Anyway, the knee felt marginally ok starting out and proceeded to get increasingly tender as we skied on the hairball crud. Made my ankles hurt even, trying in vain to find an edge somewhere on the rock hard surface. But the times I had to walk, my knee throbbed. The ski session was going to be short.

Arvid and I did stop to shoot 10-15 seconds of hi-res video of each other with my Panasonic FX100 camera. My technique is not very good to begin with, so when you factor in crusty conditions and a bum knee, I look terrible. The clip is 16MB, shot at 30fps in 16:9 aspect ratio, 848x480 pixels. This was best patch of snow we found, about 150m long. It looks like Blogger/Google messes with the image that gets uploaded though. Click here to see full-res. We did a bunch of small laps around a loop here, as it was the only place to get the heart rate up a little.

It was good to get out for a while, not having skied all week. But when I got home and pulled the tights off, my knee was visibly swollen. Probably should not have skied at all. So what is it about athletes and injuries or illness? We seem to push ourselves even though we know recovery is best for our bodies. Is it the addiction to endorphins? The fear of losing fitness, and we attach high self esteem to our fitness? Or is it the emotional release hard workouts provide? I suspect all three of them are wrapped up in our desire to keep going when we shouldn't. I have big ride planned tomorrow...

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