|Back on the bike|
|Back on the bike|
Our neighborhood, and today a piece of our yard, has been under construction to make way for the new Swampscott Rail Trail. It's been a contentious project in town, but we are trying to stay above the fray and maintain our optimism. It's hard to do sometimes -- and I admit to harboring some underlying bitterness over the process -- but that's a blog post for another time. Right now I'm just trying to block out the constant drone of big machinery outside our home, and impressed that the project is moving quickly. Today we saw our fence removed and the back end of our property scraped down -- but on the plus side, the town planted a new maple tree(!) in front of our house, (yay!), so I'm still floating on a happiness wave over that. There will be a new trail outside our door probably sooner than I can ride it.
My knee surgery is tomorrow -- a partial meniscectomy -- which I cannot even pronounce -- with some cartilage cleanup around the knee. (My time in the boot was extended just a little while longer, until a few weeks post-op). I made the mistake of looking at some photos online of the surgery and it's made me unsettled today. Ugh. Big mistake. Sometimes its better not knowing the details, right? Hopefully, the recovery will go quickly and I'll be back to running and more enjoyable rides in the new year. I might take this forced recovery time to plan out some bike adventures and a few race goals for 2021. A return to Alaska or Norway or someplace different could be cool.
Surgery first. Let's get it done.
|Pond selfie, final ride, Coffeeneuring 2020|
I rode an out and back ride on the rail trail, with a side detour through the Ware Pond Conservation Area. The combined sounds of the rain hitting the leaves, and honking from nearby geese who haven't yet flown south for the winter, were amplified by the humidity near the pond. It was surprisingly loud, but also peaceful.
After leaving the conservation area, I headed out towards the main road to stop at Evan's Deli for a late coffee. Sadly, their coffee is just trash -- I didn't even finish it -- but I had a mini brownie that made up for it. Coffeeneuring 2020 complete, making it #5 for me (of 7 attempts).
|Tomorrow I will find better coffee |
to make up for this
|Welcome back, Java Sun|
|Black Joe's Pond, Marblehead|
The weather this week has been crazy warm. Seriously whacked. We had snow and temps in the teens last week, followed by several days of 70 degree weather. The leaves are starting to rain down in clusters and trees will soon be bare. I took an easy ride around town and stopped by Black Joe's Pond, near where I grew up. I learned to ice skate on this pond when I was a kid.
My coffee stop was at The Blue Canoe, where I had an iced cold brew coffee with a shot of white chocolate -- or a white iced mocha, if you will. It was surprisingly not sweet, yet tasty.
Easy miles today. I'm not even going to bother trying to get a road shoe on and will continue with the mountain bike for now. As soon as I got home from my ride, my foot went right back into the boot. No damage done.
After two days of solid rain, I was actually excited to see the snow today, and took a break from some house projects to go for a ride. Bundled up, (not very well, I might add), I headed over to the Forest River Conservation Area for a few loops through the woods. The snow was coming down pretty steadily, and I enjoyed a peaceful and fun ride. (Unfortunately, I didn't wear the right gloves for the cold. Rookie mistake.)
A week ago I learned that the MRI on my knee is showing more damage than I anticipated -- a complex tear of the medial meniscus and cartilage wear. I'm contemplating surgery to clean up the damage, but in the meantime, a shot of cortisone has helped tremendously.
My coffeeneuring stop today was at The Baker's Daughter Diner -- a vegetarian diner new to town. I picked up a coffee-to-go, as dine-in service during Covid isn't an option. (I also picked up an apple strudel to go as well, and shared at home.) It has to be extraordinarily difficult to open a new business during the on-going pandemic. It looks like a great little place and I hope it does well.Control Card Notes:
|A clam's perspective|
|Nahant's characterization of Northeastern U.|
We had a low key summer due to safety measures surrounding the pandemic, but managed to muddle through the summer. Massachusetts kept a steady hold on Covid infection rates, but life definitely felt at a standstill. I've yet to get together with friends on a regular basis, and my nagging knee injury has curtailed any running and riding. It was a lazy summer. I can't remember a time when I've ever been less active or not had an event to train for -- my fitness has definitely taken a nosedive. I miss my friends, I miss my bike, and as hard as it is to believe, I miss running, too.
|We loved you, sweet dog|
We lost Rigby at the end of August, which was incredibly sad. He was a massive shedder, and caused a lot of trouble when he was young -- barreling through the door and running full speed down the street, or chewing on things he shouldn't, (he once chomped down on the dining room table while standing next to me); and I often complained about having a 120 lb shadow constantly behind me, (if he wasn't standing next to me or underneath my feet, I was always within his line of vision) -- but the house feels empty now that he's gone. He was a sweet boy.
|Ready or not, UMich|
The boys left for Michigan a few weeks later, so the house is really quiet. It's amazing how much noise they must make because it's really quiet now. I miss them tons. I'm hoping to get back to the bike, and running, soon-ish? Honest to god, I've been such a disaster the last four months that I've managed to injure myself again -- so on top of my meniscus injury, I've got a strained ligament in my foot. (How I injured it is embarrassing, so no details). I was told it will likely take about six weeks to heal -- and I'm crossing my fingers that it's the last of my 2020 mishaps. I need to get back to something normal.
|No runs, rides or walks, but baby bunnies for the win.|