Friday, May 11, 2018

Shedding expectations

Seaton Soaker is tomorrow. I'm registered for the 50k - by the time I even tried to drop down to the 25k, I was told none of my registration fee would transfer and I'd have to pay full whack for entry into the 25k. Given that I'm on the hook for a couple of thousand dollars worth of storm damage, extra expenditures just aren't on the menu.

Because of this.

Just to add to the fun, I got a call from our neighbour up the street just before I left work on Friday to tell me about this:

Fortunately, since we're the house on the far left, there was no damage and we don't have to worry about getting rid of the enormous pine tree - it belongs to the neighbour two doors down, and the neighbour in the middle enlisted the younger generation of his family to clean it all up.

Less fortunately..

Oh, bloody hell..

Yep, the OTHER tree in our backyard failed to withstand the winds clocked at a maximum of 122kph - torn right up by its roots, landing on the roof of the neighbour behind us. The tree straddles our property line, so we don't have much choice but to contribute something to the cost of its removal. We were very lucky that we didn't sustain any damage, especially since our awesome canoe was sitting in its cradle along the fence to the right of the root ball. That fence was torn right off its moorings when the tree toppled - tilting precariously into our yard - and the canoe was resting on the roots when we got home.

You can actually see the hole that Bob had to include for the tree when he built the new fence a couple of years ago.

I did manage to get a nice ride in down to the market on Saturday morning - some kind people had been hard at work while I still slumbered, clearing a path for us late risers.

It was a beautiful morning.

We did our shopping and came home, had some brunch, then while we digested Tanker pulled out a ladder to check our roof for loose shingles - we'd seen a lot of bare patches on people's houses in our area when we went for a stroll on Friday evening. Ours was ok; apparently the new roof we had put on in 2012 was pretty solidly built.

I figured that while we were still digesting - before I headed out for a run on some technical trail to see if I was going to be able to handle Seaton at all - we should make a start on clearing out our crushed pop can of a shed. We got everything parceled out down the side of the house (being basically out of space in the backyard between a giant root ball, the new shed sitting in boxes on a pallet, and the canoe resting up against said boxes) and covered it all with a tarp anchored to the chain link fence. 

Then, well...I grabbed a screwdriver..

..and suddenly things started coming apart.
Yes, in a dress and Birkenstocks.

We worked all afternoon, dismantling the probably-at-least-20-year-old aluminum beast with a screwdriver, box wrench, pliers, and (on 2 or 3 occasions when things were too rusted to budge) a chop saw.

If you think building a shed is tough, try taking one apart not knowing how it went together.

By the time 7pm rolled around, we were both exhausted and never wanted to see another screw in our entire lives.

This is only about half of them - the rest went into an old mug we found in the shed whilst cleaning it out.

We had been victorious, though - all that remained was the rotten wooden floor and foundation, which we figured could wait for another day.

There was no run.

Since we wanted to get the path cleared to remove the rest of the tree behind the shed when the arborists were by to get the other tree off Bob's roof, Sunday morning brought brunch, sunshine, and crowbar time.

No dress and sandals this time, though I emerged from the shed destruction miraculously unharmed..

The rotting plywood sheets actually came up more easily than expected, and were stacked off to the side for disposal.

The broken, decrepit skids on which the shed had been built by the previous owners of our house came up next, along with all the bricks and assorted other items (like weight plates, pop cans and other junk) they'd thoughtfully included in the foundation.

Just spanky.

Then things got a little serious. The roots of the Manitoba maple that dropped its trunk on the shed during the ice storm had surfaced over the years, shoving the patio stone that sat in front of the doors of the old shed several inches into the air and posing a serious impediment to leveling out the foundation for a new shed.

They had to go.

So I made them disappear.

By 4pm I'd chopped no less than five sections of root, most approximately two feet long by six inches thick, and had been swinging an axe for almost 2 hours straight. I was thoroughly knackered and we needed to run some errands before the shops closed, but our mission was accomplished.

No more shed, but also no run.

With the shed completely removed, we contacted the tree service who had brought down and limbed the original fallen chunk and asked them to come by to remove the rest of the tree. We were told we'd have to wait 2-3 weeks, but actually came home to a pleasant surprise last night:

That's a lot of wood.

Sad to see the trees go, but happy they can't do any more damage.

Not having run since Wednesday, I duly packed up kit and brought it to work with me for a lunch run on Monday, with aching shoulders and hamstrings from my exertions over the weekend. I got changed just before leaving the office, and did my usual pre-run warmup.

It didn't go well.

Whatever is wrong with my right leg hadn't really improved over the weekend, and something in my ankle got very, very angry with me when I tried to do knee-wall touches.

Everything from the knee down was basically on fire.

So once again - there was no run. I went for a walk in my running kit.

..and you can see exactly how happy I was about that.

I haven't run since, either. I saw my osteopath (for the last time this year, since my benefits have run out) on Monday evening and he had at my damaged leg with no holds barred - I yelped a few times under his bear-trap hands and nearly levitated off the table a few times. But, between the manipulations and some shockwave therapy on my lower leg and ankle, things got a bit looser. There was measurable improvement by Tuesday morning, though I still have a great deal of pain trying to lift my right heel from the ground. Not super optimal.

I've done nothing but walk and swim (once, on Tuesday evening) this week, with a little easy-going bike ride on Thursday evening just to spin my legs a bit. Acknowledging that part of the problem seems to be some weakness in my hips and glutes (despite having done dedicated hip and glute work 4 times a week for the last few years), I've been trying some new exercises to wake them up and get them firing as they should...which has left my butt really sore since Tuesday morning.

Oh yeah, and they made it longer for this year, too.

I only did some mobility yoga on Thursday morning and I'm taking today fully off (well, maybe a short walk..) in hopes that things will heal up before the starting gun tomorrow, but not having run in a week and a half I have no idea what to expect once I'm out on the trail.

It may be a short run, it may be a long power hike, and it will almost certainly end up in a DNF. My only real hope is that I don't do any catastrophic damage, as we've got a backpacking trip next weekend to which we've been looking forward for months now.

And adventures with this guy are far too much fun to miss!

I realised last night that I was approaching this in totally the wrong way, though. I had somewhat been dreading this race, because it's assuredly going to hurt, and be a bit of a slog...but then I figured out just how lucky I am to even be able to line up at the start and go for a traipse along through the trilliums.

Photo by Ken Niemimaa from the Seaton Soaker facebook page

So, I'm going to try to just enjoy myself out there. Yes, it's supposed to rain. Yes, I'm going in injured. No, I don't have much hope of finishing the race...but I always have plenty of time for a lovely walk in the woods, and I'm grateful to have the chance to do so. I'll take some tasty food along, plus my poles (if they'll let me; I haven't got an answer to my inquiry yet) to help me if I get too gimpy, and a warm jacket in a waterproof stuff sack in case I end up having to spend some time with the lovely folks at an aid station while waiting for a ride back to the start. Tanker will be out at the Bridge aid station, being his amazing self and checking up on me as the day goes on. If I start with a poor attitude, I miss out on the simple joy of a journey through mud and water (especially as we now do the river crossing each way on the out-and-back course), over hill and dale, with friendly faces out on the trail and spring bursting forth all around.

I mean, bad could it be?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Go on, have at me!