Monthly Archive: May 2016

New York State of Mind


An old favorite….

In early 2015 while happily training for my first marathon (in Paris), after a particularly great training week I decided to register for the NYC Marathon. A couple months later I was barely walking a month out from the Paris Marathon and got the email saying I was in. Panic/despair/depression ensued. See here.

After, I somehow made it through the Paris Marathon, despite being grounded barely able to walk for over 2 weeks a month out. I had regularly been going to the PT anytime pain came up, getting sports massages, stretching, seeing all the quack doctors I could…. I kept being told that it was a muscle imbalance. So post Paris Marathon I decided to defer my NYC Marathon entry the 1-year that is allowed and I pretty much took a year off of running…focused on horseback riding.

Now 2016, I start doing some sprint work, half-ass train for a 10-miler that I wasn’t able to do due to family emergency, and start increasing my days on pavement. And I feel, just slightly, that little twinge of pain I recall from the year before. I decide to go into another PT and tell her what’s wrong and ask for some stretches to stay ahead of the game. Within 5 minutes she tells me she thinks I have a labrum tear, there’s nothing she can do for- go see a doctor.

Easier said than done.

In Scotland, even if you have private insurance, you have to get referred to them by a NHS doctor. So I made an appointment, I couldn’t get in for a couple weeks, then once I got her referral, I couldn’t get in to the Orthopedic guy for another few weeks, then I needed an MRI, that took another few weeks to book, and concluded with another few weeks to get back into the consultation.

Diagnosis: Labrum Tear, Labrum Cyst, and Ligament Teres Tear.

I haven’t had long to process this…an hour or two actually. But here’s what I’m thinking. I’m thinking I’m going to train and try to run the NYC Marathon. While my original plans were to get as close to 4 hours as possible…I am going to chill out on the time goal, and like a degenerate 5th year high school senior…just try to walk across the stage and get the diploma….errr finish the race and get that medal.

But hear me out, I’m not totally being an imbecile. Basically, due to my history – Both shoulder dislocations COUNTLESS TIMES with torn labrums (spoiler alert- a couple weeks ago I also ripped through my previous shoulder surgery and they are recommending another surgery, post on that in the next few weeks), 2 knee dislocations, my overall hyper mobility…and now these tears in my hip…If I do have the surgery for repair, I will need the surgery again at some point- even if I never ran a marathon again. It’s just the error of my body…my ligaments suck and fall apart apparently. Also, running a marathon will not further damage me for later in life. It cannot be proven it will make me more likely for later arthritis or any other issue. Of course, putting my hip through another round of marathon training will at the time have some impact- the pain will return. I already talked to the doctor about a little cortisone support for the race- he’s down for that. I’m also looking for some professional coaching support to create a plan more tailored for me…. thinking no run more that 15 miles, and more back to back 10 miles type of situation.

I don’t know. Scary to sign up for another pain of marathon in general, without the actual injury pain. Also wish I was a little more conditioned at this stage in the game. But my registration is already paid, there’s no further damage to do, I might as well give it a try.  So, let’s begin focusing on those stupid, cheesy, Rocky Balboa-esque quotes for the next 5 or so months.  Here’s a good start.


American TV Hack

It’s been about 18 months since I gave my tips and tricks to watching American TV in the UK. See the original post: HERE. Seems about time for an update, don’t ya think.

I have grown slightly accustomed to UK TV. They have pretty great game shows- the Chase and Pointless, some fun UK spins on shows like Bargain Hunters and House Hunters, still loads of reruns of the Big Bang Theory, The Simpsons, and my new favorite show: This Farming Life which follows, “the struggle and triumphs of five very different farming families in some of Scotland’s most beautiful and remote landscapes.” I mean, hello…. my new reality TV dream is to be on that series.Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 7.05.44 PMAnd if you can get cable TV (we can’t because we live in the middle of nowhere) you can get better (read American) channels, and Sky Atlantic is basically HBO a day later…. but you can find all that on your own. This is a tip of those Americans craving our biased morning news programs, over-the-top juicy dramas and weight loss challenges featuring the most cringe-worthy Americaners.

So my first post was all about a VPN and either watching your TV programs on an ipad/computer and/or using an Apple TV airstream to watch them on your TV. Which is all right but not always the best quality because you’re VPN lessons your quality, and then air streaming lessons that a step further.   My new find is Unlocator. Another VPN service that you can use on your tablets or computers, but even better, is designed to be used with your Apple TV.Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 9.01.02 PM

There’s a free week trial, but after that it is about $50 for a year of VPN service. You are given a DSN number to manually input in your Apple TV settings, and then as long as you have an American Cable TV login (Comcast, Direct TV, etc.) can now unlock all the American TV apps on your Apple TV. I will admit the apps are a little limited. But E gets to watch Pardon the Interruption and Sports Center, I start my day with the day prior’ Good Morning America, and we both love having HBO Go.IMG_3334

As with most bootleg ways to beat the system and pretend you’re still in America…. there can be frustrating flaws and hiccups you have to work around. Most notably, HBO Go is really picky and if the weather is not perfect, doesn’t work for some reason. I don’t get it because ALLLL the other apps work, but c’est la vie. How else would I get to maintain a front row seat to the demise of America politics with Donald Trump leading the march?Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 8.57.10 AM