Friday, March 17, 2017

Chi Running

Sell me 'Running injury free' and I am buying.
Coach Mike suggested that this method of running in harmony with your body, from your Chi - center of mass for us non-believers, could be of some interest.

What is obvious is that after we did a quick running evaluation, I realized I was not where I thought I was from a running technique. No surprises, it happens to me a lot.

Heel strike was the most glaring issue, Hip drop, and few others details.
Back to the design board.

Working hard of changing the feeling of running.
Falling from the belly button.
Rolling the hips.
Cycling the legs.
Stop reaching.
And stop reaching.
Loosing the arms and shoulder.
Light. And fluid.

Don't get me wrong, I have the basics.
90 strides/min. (Usually) forefoot landing. That's about it.
A little sad after reading all those books, doing those training camps and running... running...

After one week of filming myself and trying to forget everything we learned for years, go back to our natural - childish - way of running, I am starting to have some form that look like the pro(s) in the book(s). At least, As far as I can tell.


Can't wait tomorrow morning and see what Coach Mike will tell :)
Pretty sure there is room for improvement, but if you saw my previous showcase .... Nothing to be proud of.

Limiting my running to 30 min / day - more and start to ache my Achilles tendon - allow me to try to be qualitative, and really focus on technique.
And hopefully, eventually, one day, maybe, who knows, stay injury free.

Now with a video that works. The session with Mike was really good. Of course, I was not there yet. my trailing leg is way too short, knee drive not deep enough, and -of course - that cause me to over-reach. However, we agreed I was on the right track.
The main work is actually not where I thought it will be : Loose the upper body, swing shoulder and hips, and Loosen the ankles - the secret for 'ninja' running. He gave me a couple of drills to 'reset' the posture every know and then.
Toward the end of the session, I seemed to get it and have a very smooth and efficient running.

Now.... You do not unlearn decades of bad running mechanics in 30 minutes. It is gonna takes time. I have a 'strong' hip drop - either weakness or compensation because of my right groin pain - TFL. And the left shoulder is totally out - TLN.

But at least we have a good starting point.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

This will have to wait...

It is no secret I was planning to go south next Spring, the good weather window for a sail from Hawaii To French Polynesia. It was not official - as I am starting to post about it in the blog - but kicking off the boat repairs, pouring the money into the project....

Well, this will have to wait one more year.

South Pacific

First, this happened.


We still have no real clues of what's going on, and I am not hopeful on tearing apart the injector pump. Bu I am no mechanic, and two mechanics confirmed it. Let's follow the flow. A tweaking round of that pump cannot be a bad thing anyway, since the time.... This engine is almost as old as me.
But that's a serious project to take on (next week), and who knows how long the boat will be immobilized ( I am actually moving it to another marina to start again the 120 days clock - hopefully, that will be enough).

Then, This happened.


I am not sure when I hurt myself, but I know for sure I do not have much power left in my left harm. I actually -somehow- damaged a nerve running from the next to the shoulder blade.
It is a not uncommon injury, but there is not much to do except waiting - waiting a long time - 6 months to a year ! Nerve tissue is slow to heal.

(more details for the curious :

It is more impressive than painful, but all activities implying the back muscle should be avoided, as you might compensate with (weaker) shoulder muscles. And not much physical therapy to do until the muscle activate itself (I cannot even trigger it at the moment).

Surfing, paddling, swimming and winch grinding - sailing, all unadvised.

Well, that's all for the bad news - so far.

The good news is that I found an awesome Physical Therapist on Oahu, and with me, he will have work for years :P

Michael Turner, DPT, OCS, MTC, FAAOMPT

Well, actually we will see how that turns out :)
    - Achille tendinitis
    - Hip Impingement
    - TFL Issues
    - LTN - Winged Scapula

But so far, I am back at running - not fast, not long. I am actually spending twice the amount of running in stretching, then maybe I should consider my self a 'Stretcher'.

Jeez. I just did a 26.2 in stretching.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Aloha From Portugal

As we are slowly but surely planning our trip to Portugal for this summer, and I relentlessly surfing the web of catamarans - my new, we found this affordable - sizeable - french cat named Aloha in Portugal.
Too many coincidences to be ignored.

Aloha From Fountaine Pajot

Living aboard has been on my dream list for quite a while now. We tried - unsuccessfully - On 'Mobylette' - A Beneteau 43- half a dozen years ago already.
It is tricky.
Very few marinas allow for official liveaboards. Most of people 'sneak-a-board'. Which is certainly a valid strategy if you are in your twenties without money and family, but less appealing as a grown-up with responsibilities.
Living on a boat is quite complicated in places where there is real seasons. Cold is really an issue as boats are usually very badly insulated. Of course, bad weather is extremely hard to cope with.
Livingaboard is living outside before all.

Now I slowly accepted that a boat is not the best adapted house for our family - with pets and kid.
Sure people are doing it. all around the world. Mostly traveling.
Well, sooner than later Kids and petz will leave home to live their own (kid and petz) life.
And (soon-tm) will be the time to revisit that statement.

Now, Catamarans have a very appealing advantage over monohulls. They are roomy and comfortable AT ANCHOR.
This simplify a lot if you can actually be on the boat at anchorage and not rolling left and right all day long. Now, you are not relying on expensive private marinas slips for docking.
Now, you are auto-sufficient.
Making your own electricity.
Your own water.
Simpler, smaller, outdoor life.

And there is a cheery on the cake.

When the world goes deep - after the flood,
You are already floating.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Taking a Break

The main purpose of that Oahu trip was the haul-out and the bottom paint. I never did it myself, and it was long overdue. We had some damage with a previous buoy, and the old one was anyway totally inefficient.
It was meant to be an adventure, indeed.

1-2-3, Lift !
I lived on a yard before, in Oxnard, while preparing Traces for the Pacific crossing. It is uncomfortable, noisy, dusty, without easy access to clean water or shower.
This time was a bit better, mostly because the Hawaiian sun allows you to take a shower at the hose, outside, in shorts.
But the sun made it really uncomfortable to work during mid-day hours, sweating under the protective suit.

1-2-3, ready
The hard part in a bottom paint is the sanding, depending how deep you want to go. I went pretty deep because I knew I would not do it again soon. Depending how many blisters you got. I had a few hundreds of them. Started to be better at them toward the end, but I did a couple of major mistakes that took hours to fix.
Learning curve.
And I got rid of an annoying vinyl decorative band that was in really bad shape but a real pain in the butt to take off.

Sanding, Sanding, Sanding ...
The paint job is straightforward. A bit tiring for the back as the curve of the hull force you in awkward positions toward the keel, but it is very gratifying.

Voila !
Going back to the marina after the work, forced to motor all the way due to lack of  wind, I realized that the engine issue - rpm dropping slowly - likely fuel starvation - was getting - if not worst - not better.
Something had to be done.

On the way back to Ala Wai,
under (failing) engine
My first attempt to isolate the leak ended up causing another leak - major, on the inlet of the injector pump. Few days later, I eventually fixed that one with new parts, call it a day and flew back home.
Has been one month short have been off Maui and far from family, it was time to take a break.

Looking back, a lot has been done during that month, and on the 'major' items list, only few remains.

 - Engine
 - Garmin Windvane (changed to a wired one after endless disconnection issues)
 - Mast lights

Those can wait March. I need a break.
But We are closing in.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Cruising around

Without a car, simple things like picking a scuba tank become a real chore and a real issue for your back. That time, I found a solution, cruising around with the dinghy (and testing the new Honda 2.5hp 4 strokes), I went very close from the scuba shop, at the other side of the marina.
Pretty fun actually, even if I cannot plane the dinghy anymore.
(The previous 9HP 2 Strokes was way more powerful but... capricious... And heavy)


With this new ladder (WIP),
it is way easier to go back on the boatr.

Getting ready to scuba .. explore the deep.....
... of the boat's bottom.

Unrelated but I am still amazed of what you can polish on a boat.

Before / After
The bad news is that with one tank and one hour and half of scrubbing, I only did 1/3 of the boat. I am actually really scrubbing the bottom, not just a simple clean. Takes a lot of efforts.....

For the fun, a quick video.


Still dreaming about that cat.