Sunday, November 29, 2009

Well...that was hard.

We've gotten in the most wonderful habit of spending Thanksgiving in Medina, Ohio with really, of my wife. Several years ago Mary Lou got the idea she'd like to do a race on Thanksgiving day. I took a look around and found the Run for the Homeless in Akron, just down the road from Medina.
ML had done the race twice now and since I didn't do the JFK 50 Miler this year I, well, I had no excuse.
Now ML had told me it was hilly...but well, to be honest I wasn't worried....this is northern Ohio, right? How bad could it be?
The Run for the Homeless is a nice affair but no frills...still, this year they pulled in three thousand runners all for a good cause!
The race got off to it's start a few minutes late and it took me a minute to cross the start line but the street was still so packed I couldn't open up...If I do this again I'll be nearer the front.
Downhill start...then flat then the first on ramp to a local throughway with a great view of downtown Akron. Down a bit then into the Glendale Cemetery. There are audible gasps from the crowd and in unison many folks yell "OH MY GOD!" Look to the left and it looks like the race is going up the side of a building! The whole cemetery is like that...UP...down...UP down...The UPs are steep and the downs steep and the roads packed so, while you are having fun, but can't make great time. Before too long though we are through it and up one final steep hill before we head back through a residential area and to the downhill race finish...
A stiff four miler. I finish in 33:46 (my time). Chip time 34:44. ML finishes in 44 and I hand it to her...kudos for her third finish of this race!
The picture is of one of the grave statues in Glendale Cemetery. Founded in 1839 it is the resting place of many of Akrons notables, including two women who had survived the sinking of Titanic. It really was quite beautiful.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Dr. John

No, not the Dr. John of "Night Tripper" fame, but Dr.John Sarno.
That's him in the picture.
Tiny, 83, Head of Rehabilitation Medicine at NY University. This guy is no slouch.
But what he has to say may kick your athletic ass.

I read about him first in a Runners World article titled "The Big Hurt" by Ben Cheever.
He goes on about a problem with his Piriformis and his inability to run...and then he gets to Dr. Sarno. The Good doctor examines him, tells him there is nothing wrong and that his problems are coming from his head.
Having been through a bout of pains this summer, my foot my neck and left shoulder, this really made me come to attention.
I surfed a bit and found several books by Dr. Sarno. "Healing Back Pain" and "The Divided Mind". Both books deal with an idea of his, TMS (Tension Myositis Syndrome). The sort version of this is that often the pains we suffer are due to rage and anger we carry inside of us. Anger over any number of issues or problems or things that have happened in life. This anger manifests itself in physical pain...pain that can be debilitating. His ideas are discounted by a doctors schooled in a era when the power of the mind in illness has been givin short shrift. (This is so far outside the mainstream of medicine, that even Runners World buried the meat of the article in the back pages and the only letter to the editor they printed on the subject though it was irresponsible for them to have printed the article in the first place.)
Having a Masters Degree in Counseling I have to say that saw this almost immediately as a real possibility of my recent pains. Over the years I've seen the power of the mind do some really strange stuff. I'd had pains that had led to a sub par Ironman finish and having to drop out of another race as well as all the money I'd spent on PT this year on my neck and shoulder.
I read the books, thought about them and was thankful I'd finished Anatomy and Physiology last year as it gave me a good back ground to understand how Dr. Sarno's ideas work.
All I needed to do was test it out.
Several times in the past weeks since I was able to return to running, I've had a few issues pop up during a run or a bike ride...I asked myself, out loud even, What was I angry about. I even answered myself...sometimes out loud. The pain went away almost immediately.
More reading to do, but as far as I'm concerned...nuff said!
I'm back up to running 50 mile weeks with no problems.