Sunday, December 19, 2010

Just a few...

Just a few thoughts as we head toward the end of the year...
Things that rock: (in no specific order)

Dr. Skippy
KT Tape
New running shoes
Hand made custom steel
A job
Great co-workers
An awesome wife
Trail runs
Home made chocolate chip cookies
Being on this side of the dirt
Being there for others.
A really good baseball stitch

Our Holiday card

Don't care what you believe in.
You can be a runner, a triathlete, a bikie, a shredder, a climber, a couch potato, a Jew, an agnostic, a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a non believer or even a Jedi, all the best to you and yours this Holiday season!
Anton and ML

Saturday, November 27, 2010

All"s Fair in Fun and Sore

Folks that do triathlons are familiar with the term "brick." Basically it's stacking two workouts on top of each other to mimic race conditions. They are supposed to be hard.
Lately I've been using "reverse bricks" to help bring my fitness level back up after the broken ankle hiatus.
( I tried to find a picture of a reverse brick on the web...but this is as close as I could get)
A reverse brick involves running first then riding your bike as opposed to the other way around.
On the schedule for today was a ten mile run and a great way to get in a longer workout, without all the pounding, is to hop on the bike and go for a ride.
Off to the canal this morning in what could be called our first winter morning with wind and temp in the 20's. The ten miles goes well. I have no speed and that's fine. (It bothers me a little) I'm only trying to get milage back up and endurance is king right now. While I used to be able to hammer out a ten miler in 1:20 it's more like 1:40 now. I'll start working on that this spring.
It's just beautiful on the tow-path this morning although it's the first day of rifle season for deer and the staccato hammer of small arms echos in the woods to the north. I run and ride South bound as there is no hunting down toward the city. North bound and I'd have to wear one of those nifty orange camo suits. A few folks out running and a few biking who are gloveless and in shorts and are obviously cold. Summer's over folks.
Come in off the run switch out the shoes and sweaty clothes for dry stuff and grab the mountain bike and go south. Now...I've turned my bike into a single speed MTB since I only really ride it on the canal and the shifting wasn't working anymore and the beast is on it's way out.
The gearing is sporty. 44x17 which I'm not going to explain here, just suffice it to say that my legs get pumped...but that will happen pushing a 28 pound bike in a single gear on a dirt road!
The ride toward the district is SA-WEET! A very nice ten mile spin. (tail wind) On the ride down my mind is sort of ignoring the fact that the wind is picking up and is getting quite blustery!
At the turn around I start north and am just smacked by the wind. I mean it's sort of like trying to pedal into a wall you can't see. Despite feeding and drinking the power level drops so much that the last two miles it's seems I'm pedaling through wet concrete.
Done and heading home the radio talks about winds to 30. The funnel of the river just sends the wind right up your kilts...
My legs are tired and I'm just a little wacked.
Ankle is holding up well, right knee a little sore but no worries. (It took a hit last summer with crutches and walking boots and such)
I loved it.
W had a great Thanksgiving here at home. Big thanks to Kim and Jim and Janet and Fiona for joining ML and I. Here's to friends.

Friday, October 22, 2010

I hate it...

I hate cancer.
It killed my parents but that was self inflicted.
My last remaining uncle has it.
It got Mary.
Many others I know.
And now it has Mike.
He's a friend. A man who turned his life around and went from an over weight out of control type to someone who runs 100 milers.
A good guy. I admired him.
Lung cancer. Stage four.
It sucks.
No one gets out alive but I've seen that and it's ugly.
But it's is a part of life. It's the way many of us leave.
I wish him well and hope he has all the time he needs.
I've put the bracelet back on for Mike.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Newbie 2.0

If you have been running down the path with me (which is funny now, because I can only run on paved paths) you know I am the owner of a repaired ankle. Following the advice of a stellar running coach and author of a great book on running and having been through the RRCA certification process to become a running coach myself I've set a schedule for my return to running. Things have been going well for the last few weeks, but the milage has been low and slow.
I'm a newbie. I'm starting over. Being off from running for almost 15 weeks means I have to start over. Sure, I was able to bike and build my CV system and my muscles up some, but that was on the bike. I could bike for about four weeks before I could start running again.
Running is running. Nothing prepares you for the pounding on the pavement like pounding on the pavement. Biking doesn't help though walking does. Still...I feel like I did years ago and I mean years...
It hurts some times. Breathe hard when I shouldn't be. Dread hills. Feel all akimbo (my favorite word) when I run. Have no speed. Have no endurance.
I feel like I did 40 years ago this October when I first started to run in PE class after Coach Payne (Coach Pain!) asked for volunteers to help flesh out the cross country "B squad" for the Allegany County Cross Country Championships. I was over weight from stress eating. I wasn't an active kid...although that summer I had started to rock climb near home with a few friends and knew I need to drop fat. Running was it. Ran every day in PE class and a few weeks later the race came. I ran in cut offs and Chuck Taylors ("B squad" didn't get uniforms). Dad watched. I threw up. Loved it. Haven't stopped since. Had some thin years, like when I was raising a daughter, but I still managed to get out and run a few days a week. Mom said I lost my hair because I was running so much. Raced everything you can race from the 100 meters to 100 kilometers. Run all night. Run all day. Like Forrest "From that day forward, if I was going somewhere...I was Runnnning!"
So, I'm back at it. It sucks from time to time. I love it, this new rebirth to running.
Yes, I'm a Newbie!
Get your shoes! Lets go for a run!

Friday, September 3, 2010


Two-thirty in the morning with a sore crotch. Yup! it's the 24 Hours of Booty! The only 24 Hour road bike ride that benefits the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
Last weekend was the time and Columbia , Maryland was the place for riding a long time on "The Circuit of Suffering".
As events's not a race although some treat it that way. It's not Ultracycling, but there are some UC's out there crawling into that little space they go to.
It's not a party, but you'd be hard pressed to find someone say it isn't. It's full of bike posers in the latest kit with 6K bikes and full of folks on cruisers with out a stitch of spandex.
What it is, is a group of people coming together who have been touched by cancer. Their Mom's or Dad's, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Sons, Daughters...themselves, touched by the disease.
They ride to raise money for the LAF and the Ulman cancer fund, great organizations that do so much to help cancer victims with quality of life issues.

It was up in the air that I would even be able to ride this year since, having broken my ankle, I was still on the mend, when i started building milage to get ready for the event. With the Doc's Ok, I could cycle and so I started with about 7 weeks to go. Lots of hours on the trainer in the basement. In fact most of my milage was done down in the dungeon. After a few weeks, I got the go ahead to begin cycling outside...which was a huge rush having been limited to what I could do during recovery (NO running!)
In a few weeks I had built up to 150 mile weeks, which is nothing compared to what I had built up previous years. I would be enough though.
On the events weekend, after a week long taper I was off to Columbia in what would prove to be just stellar weather. Riding began about 1 in the afternoon after speeches and and what not.
The first miles were nice... settling in and getting used to the flow. I tend to turn inward at events like this..saving energy for what's to come. A few hours pass and the crowd thins out. It's HOT and I think it's taking a toll and I even hear a few folks talking about bagging it and coming back out in the evening after the sun goes down. Dinner break REALLY drops the numbers out on the loop. I stop for a nosh but am back out quickly. I had been coming in regularly for fresh bottles of Infinit and pocket snacks. Dinner break just came at a time when I needed to break, or I may not have stopped.
Miles fall away and it's fun to see the other folks riding...Full kit bikies hammering the loop. It's obvious they are taking long breaks on a regular basis. They come out fresh, mash for awhile, whip past you, then disappear for quite a bit of time. If you're not stopping, your either getting passed on a regular basis or you're doing the passing. I talk for a bit to a couple of UC's (Ultracyclists) quietly cranking out miles. Turtles and rabbits, and we all know how that turned out. 1 in the morning...2 and the number of riders thinned out to the point that for awhile I feel like I'm riding alone.
For my part, not much to tell really...just a quite spin paying for the donations so many kind folks made in my name for the event. Keep pushing food and fluid, keep checking the color of my pee to make sure I'm not dehydrated. Crawling into that little space in my mind.
100 miles, 120, 150, 180 and I'm done. The lack of time for proper training, which includes getting my bum used to being on a bike seat, takes it's toll. I tell my self to get some sleep and see what the morning will bring. It's 3:00. At 5 I'm up and decide that's it.
No worries. Very happy to have been a part of the event for another year.
Not going to wax on about mom or dad or the other folks I know who have died from the disease or who battle it now. Death is, after all, " Just another path. One that we all must take."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Snap Crackle Pop (weather,not ankle)

Woke to a big 'ol thunder storm this morning...A right gully washer. All around us the community is without power but the neighborhood here is just fine...
Got out this morning for my longest run since ankle surgery. Four miles. Yes, I know it doesn't seem like much but baby steps getting back up to where I was.
I'm following the Galloway method...a mix of running and walking. Gives me a chance to keep an eye on my ankle and to make sure I'm not overdoing it.
Have used this method since it really took off and have done a goodly number of marathons Ultras and Ironman using it.
For training right now I'm going 5 minutes running and 1 minute walking, or 5/1. For marathons walking for one minute at each mile marker works well for me. I've finished everywhere from 4:00 hours to 5:12. No injuries. No burnout and I actually like myself the next day.
The pic above is from a event last year where I ran 100K (62 miles) in about 16 hours following Galloway's method.
Still riding the bike well and am almost two weeks out of the 24 Hours of Booty.
Hope to get in a bunch of miles this weekend before I start my taper.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ankle at 12 weeks...

12 weeks since ankle surgery! Mobile! Moving! Biking! Running! Pushing metal around! The ankle no longer flops around! ROM sucks!
Actually the ROM is improving and I just have to work at it everyday. PT says that I'm advanced now and that she's quite happy with where things are now. At the doctors last week he was very impressed to see me able to do toe raises on the foot and ankle involved.
Running continues to improve but I'm still acting the soul of caution. No reason to push it. Pushing it now could set me back and that's the last thing I want.
Biking is sorta normal...was out for 51 miles on the canal towpath yesterday and it went well. Could have used a bit more food...just wasn't sure how long I was going to be out and one thing led to another and 3:15 later I'm back at the car and starving. Ankle held up well and no swelling post ride or this morning.

Have to keep up the biking...24 Hours of Booty in 23 days. I may not be able to bike as much a I'd like but here's the plan: Bike as consistently as possible taking frequent breaks and hit a century. Take an extended break then lather, rinse, repeat. Just see what I can get into.
This event has become important to me even though I'm not much of a fund raiser. I'm not interested in providing funds to find a cure for cancer. I'm interested in the quality of life that cancer victims are leading and how best to improve it...since that is the aim of The Lance Armstong Foundation and the 24 Hours of Booty, I'm in.

As noted at the top of the page I'm also pushing metal around..body weight exercises and work outs with kettle bells...curls for the girls. that sort of thing. feels good and Mr. Ankle tolerates it well.

School starts soon...and that's fine with me. I left school early due to surgery and hated to miss the end of the year. It really wasn't a longer vacation since the first three weeks I was propped up and painless. After that it was life on crutches or in the boot or at PT....getting back to school will make things seem normal.
Had a great time at IMLP even though I didn't get a chance to volunteer all day on race ankle finally started barking after 8 hours and I couldn't ignore it anymore. It was great to see Scott and John and meet some new folks. Made some more observations about IM's and the folks that do them...but that's fuel for another post.
ML and I got out for a hike to the top of Cascade peak ( near Lake Placid) one day...beautiful and tough...that's our summit pic above.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


10 weeks ago, I was in bed in a narcotic induced haze, just having had my ankle flayed open.
Today I ran 2.1 miles.
Yes, things are coming along nicely!
Have been doing other stuff too. Should be up to around 100 miles on the bike this week.
I hope to run/walk 10 miles or so...and even swim a tad.
PT has been great and Gwen is workin' me good. Some of the things I'm doing involve a ball and if you follow this blog at all, you know that I bloody well SUCK at anything that involves a ball. Home PT is just as tough as in office, but no complaints...that's a self inflected wound.
We're off to Ironman Lake Placid to volunteer at the boat house aid station, and there will be plenty of opportunities to have fun!
I know some folks doing the race (My friend Scott is shown here with his wonderful wife Melissa among them) that has really piqued our interest and to be honest...we love it there. Sure, race week is crazy and much less pleasant than when we go up at other times. Still, the energy is fantastic and it's a good way for me to kick off coming back to the active world.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A 'New Wave"?

I read a piece by someone the other day where they said they just LOVED the "New wave" of minimalist running. The trend that less is more and you should be running bare foot or in Vibram five fingers...
"New Wave" my ass!
Pictured above are my first real pairs of running shoes. Look at the soles on these things!
The left is the Onitsuka Marathon (Onitsuka later became Asics) And the right is the Boston '73. I went through three pairs of those and several pairs of Marathons before trying Addias, Etonic Street Fighters and then on to Nike Waffle trainers....
The first great running wave, that I was part of in the early 70's were bolstered by shoes like the ones could wear them till they fell apart the soles almost never wore out and you could run 100 mile weeks in them, and I often did when I lived in Colorado. If the bottoms got funky you slapped on some Shoe Goo and went back out on the road.
Talk about strong feet!
Now were into the third (some say fourth) running boom since running really took off in this country. During every up tick in running in this country, at some point someone runs out the less is more thing, the Tarahumara indians, and running barefoot. It's here for awhile and then fades.
Oh, to be sure...there are people that run barefoot all the time and have for years and that works for them. There are folks that never stopped running in minimalist shoes all the time, but they call them running or racing flats which is what the shoes above were called, even though you ran in them ALL the time.
Running this way ISN'T for everyone...just like running marathons or even 5k's isn't for everyone. Many folks would have you believe it is. Don't be a sheeple. Try it and if it causes problems switch to what WILL work for you.
Vibram Five Fingers look really interesting and couldn't have existed years ago because the technology wasn't there to make them.
I've talked with many runners who have tried running barefoot or with VFF's or even minimalist shoes...they they talk about about their injuries and how much they still love the VFF's and happy to say they still get out "once in awhile" barefoot.
Now, tomorrow, I hope to get off the injured reserve list and get back out on the road. (read some previous post to find out what's been shaking with me, if you don't already know).
I am going to return to running the way I started, in "minimalist shoes" Nike Frees and racing flats and see if I can re-build the kind of foot strength I had 30 years ago. I believe that running in super cushioned shoes have made my running more sloppy and have caused more injuries than they prevented. I can say that...I have a frame of reference.
Recently had a chat with a lass who waxed on quite well about how people were meant to go about barefoot. "Why, they have always done it." she said.
I pointed out the the "Iceman" from an Italian glacier was found in leather shoes with moss stuffed in them. The Roman legionaries walking across the globe in leather hob nailed boots with foot clothes in winter. Felt shoes in ancient China, leather shoes on European mummies, rope sandals on the dead found in the High Dry of South America.
Yeah, sure people walk about barefoot, but given have a chance they'll put shoes on and with good reason. Going around barefoot will mess up your feet.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Thera -Band Land

Six weeks post surgery now...Wo-Hoo! One more week and I'm off to the doctor again and hopefully get this bloody walking boot off, can go back to shoes on BOTH feet and being able to drive.
Any way...WHO came up with the term "walking boot'? It's really a "hobble boot"! If you limp in it you run risk of messing up the opposite side hip or knee, so if you try and walk in it's all baby steps.
Have been going to PT for two weeks now and things are improving daily. I'm in the office three times a week and continuing PT at home, x2 daily, in between. The exercise shown here is just one of the ones I do.
It's done with a Thera-band which is a big rubber band. They come in different strengths. I'm on "Green" which is the easiest one. It's where I should be. The last thing I'd do is jump into a hard one out of hubris and mess up my ankle. It's not my choice really...PT handed me that color and and when I asked about harder...they pointed to the green one. Nuff said.
The therapist does some massage, ultrasound to help break up the swelling, stretching and working with the bands, some ankle weights, toe raises...then electrical stimulation, icing and done. Doing the same thing at home...
I like the office and the PT is just aces.
I'm keeping the PT time in my training journal, as well as some upper body work I'm doing and also working on the next 50 Core Challenge over on the Trifuel website to get my core nice and strong.
Looking forward to next week...I'm ready for this to be done and despite what some folks think (and you know who you are) return to running.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Arg! Pfffft! ugh! huhhh!

Don't use a muscle for four weeks. I dare you. Not some weenie muscle but one you really need like...your quads or hammies or your GASTROCNEMIUS! (calf)
After four weeks of being bound up in fiberglass and having no use of my lower leg muscles now I can use them again.
Wednesday I was off to the doctor and got my walking cast, as noted in a previous post. Yesterday morning I woke up and following doc's orders I used my crutches until I got the feel for my walking boot...It didn't take long. I'm in good shape and have good balance and know my body pretty by yesterday at lunch time I'm clunking around the house like a zombie in "Thriller." At least I'm mobile!
By yesterday calf was cramping and seizing and I even noticed it in my quad.
OK ,so I walked a bit too much on it. The doc did say use it "just a bit" at first...well my "just a bit" is one hell of a alot bigger than most folks!
Still...I hadn't used those muscles in 4 weeks, not to mention the abuse of surgery that my ankle had undertaken...Sore today. Wearing a compression sock under my walking cast.
So today I'll back off and ease into it.
PT starts Monday! I'm sure that will be "fun!"
I have been able to keep up with some core work during all this but not much. I even managed to lose weight instead of pack it on...but that may have been partially because of the narcotics!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

They Gave me The Boot.

Today was just great! Just as I reached the "Get me out of this thing!" point with my cast, I had a doctor's appointment. Esposa Favorita drove me as I 'm unable to drive. Once there, waited for just a bit and off to get the bloody hard cast cut off. Wonderful little device. Looks like a Dremel Moto Tool ( the coolest tool ever) except that this one vibrates back and forth instead of whirring. No damage to skin that way... The tech cut through the cast, which I kept.
Skippy ( the teen age looking doctor came in) and took out my stitches and complimented me on being a fast healer. (I had an advanced healing class in got to love a liberal arts education) He said it looks like I'm doing everything right. Yeah!
He dressed the wound and said I could start showering again tomorrow. Yes, I've been keeping clean but when you're a one a day shower(at least) guy cutting way back makes you feel...yucky.
Three weeks in the walking boot, take it easy and walk on for short bits at first, start PT and still no driving. I don't think the boot would fit in there anyway and he really wants to make sure the reattached bone stays put.
Hopefully in three weeks I'l be able to get back to some form of aerobic exercise.
Feeling good about things right appointment on June 30.
I d have to say...I am absolutely pleased with this doctor and his office and the staff. They have done a great job and I have no complaints....

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

S-l-o-w M-o-t-i-o-n

Now...three weeks post surgery and everything seems to have shifted into slow motion...At first the time seemed to be going quickly, but now it's not. I have to check a calendar to see what day it days are marked by what time Mythbusters comes on and bed time is usually after Cash Cab.
I miss work like mad. I know if I were still able to get to work and, the time would be just ripping by. It always does this time of year. But here at home with my leg up the time just drags...I miss the kids.
I'm not having much pain now, but still take a half a pain pill from time to time when I get this disquieting uncomfortable feeling inside my foot. I understand why I have to keep my foot up most of the time. My skeletal/muscle pump can't work in my right foot as it's completely leaving it down for short periods of time makes the toes turn blue and look like gets uncomfortable. Put it up, and in a few minutes, it's good to...not go anywhere.
One more week till I'm back at the doctor and get my stitches out. I'm hoping for a walking cast, but ML reminded me that I'll probably be in a removable boot...but still unable to walk on it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Two Weeks

Two weeks have gone by since surgery...and my! It seems like it was yesterday! That, I suppose, is a good thing. It means that time is going quick and that in only two more weeks I'll be out of this cast and in a walking boot and into PT.

I'm dealing OK with it but that's probably because I'm NOT one of these wrapped tight folks that go nuts if they aren't doing anything. I actually like having to take a break...I've been going fairly hard for a number of years so don't mind the time off..
Have been watching a lot of movies. reading some, spending time on the computer and watching the Giro d" Italia bike race, live, everyday. I'd have missed it if I was still able to go to work.

Pain comes and goes and the pain meds REALLY help with that but I've noticed that I'm needing them less and less which is good. I'm not a fan of narcotics so the sooner I can leave them behind the better.

ML has been a jewel waiting on me and carrying things around the house for me since I'm crutched...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Baseball stitch

Here's a shot from yesterday, when I was between casts. Doc was great and he explained the cut well. The curve under the malleolus was for reaching and repairing the three ligaments. He had to go high in the back to replace the bone that had broken off the talus.
He used a baseball stitch.
Now casted again for three more weeks , then be in a walking cast after that to start PT.
So I'm thinking a little tattoo of a ski jumper? Incorporating it into the Nike Swoosh? A lopsided smiley face?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

1000 Channels

Have been relegated to sitting on the couch and watching movies, reading and...watching TV.
Many of you who know us know that ML and I are not TV watchers at all. So much of it is inane and vapid and that's not snobbery. It's the truth. You can find some interesting things though:
The weight of the Sun in grams is 92 to the 36 power.
You can be fined $10k if ANY of your crabs are undersize.
The Strada Bianca get muddy when it rains:
Plasma coolant can destroy organic matter.
Folks that win the London Marathon are impossibly small.
"Gold diggers of 1935" was probably just as bad then as it is now.
There's a 90% chance that the world will be destroyed by a meteor...and we won't see it coming.
The only news channel worth watching is the BBC.
You can make "happy trees" very easily using the tip of the brush.
Rick Steves has a VERY cool job.

Today is big day number one in the recovery phase. Off to the Doc this afternoon to have my bandages removed and then get casted. I am excited as I'm dying to know what the incision looks like. Have been trying to cut back a bit on the pain meds but sometimes it just hurts like a mamma jamma. Not sharp pain but a throbbing ache deep inside...the same kind I had as a kid in the hospital.
One week down and five more till ML and I can have a normal life...If you can call our life normal!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Weak End Uodate

The doctor told me the surgery went fine...I was asleep at the time.
This is going to be short, because the pain meds are making it sort of hard to type and I keep making mistakes!

Turns out that Larry, Moe and Curly were damaged. This marvelous drawing shows the three ankle ligaments torn...
In my case one was torn completely through the second was stretched badly and was flopping around and the third was torn running with the grain. Doc stitched the tears and tightened up the floppy.
The BEST news came with the broken bone on the Talus. It was still viable and was partly attached. It was still innervated and vascular! All he had to do was put it back in place and sew it on!
Just great pins, screws ,staples, chicken wire or spit!
Still stuck on crutches for 6 weeks ABSOLUTELY no weight allowed on it.

In a side note, I couldn't have been more pleased with the level of care received at Frederick Memorial Hospital! The staff, from the folks in registration to the woman who rolled me out the door were just top shelf! Was very comfortable and was well taken care of...Many thanks to my ankle geek, the gas passer the OR nurse and the surg tech!
On the road to recovery!
Many thanks to all those folks on Facebook for their kind words and support and to my family too. Mary're aces!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Nyuck, nyuck...woo woo woo

Here's a great drawing of the three lateral ligaments of the ankle. I've named them Larry, Moe and Curly. (L to R) Two of mine, Moe and Curly) are what degree, we don't know yet. The large hunk of bone below the Tibia/Fibula is the Talus...that's the one that's broken.
The official procedure I've consented to is Right Lateral Ankle Ligament Repair/Right Open Treatment Talus Fracture.
I've been told by the Doctor that he'll fix the ligaments and see what he can do to the bone fragment...If it's viable, he'll drill holes in it and the talus and put them together and let the osteo-genic cells do their thing. If that's not possible he'll put a pin in it. If that's no good...he'll toss it. That will mean 6 weeks non-load bearing. Crutches. a brace/cast and NO using it. I can't even drive. I thought I might be able to drive left footed, but I tried it...YIKES! Breaking was fine but I couldn't even reach the gas safely, so no dice.
Maybe I could one leg it around the neighborhood on the bike? I'll definitely try biking on the indoor trainer with just my left leg...but not too much. Can you imagine that? After six weeks my left leg a bulging mass of knotted muscle and the right one that looks like the leg off a sixth grade girl? I'd be biking in circles after that! Running will be a different matter. That may take awhile, but pool running will help.
Plan on downloading some music while I'm down...listening to Moby right now.
The HRM (heart rate monitor) won't be that hard to figure out but it has features I haven't checked out yet. The Nano? Oy! does have video!
My boss has been awesome and folks at work supportive. I may be out the rest of the school year and I'll for sure miss the kids.
This time Wednesday night, I won't know what the hell is going on! Better healing through Chemistry!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Lemons? Lemonade!

As many of you know, I've been struggling with an ankle that won't heel since I rolled the bloody thing on the 29th of November...
Saw my doctor, did some PT...even ran a 1/2 marathon,Marathon and 10K on it...I mean It doesn't hurt when I run! After though, it swells. Gotten to the point where it swells after biking, standing on my feet all day, driving the car, hurts all the time, interfering with get the picture. Last weekend, a short run brought lots of pain and a big swell.
Finally have had enough and went to the ankle surgeon...a fine young man I call "Skippy" because he looks like he's 16. He's young it seems (to me anyway) and that's what I want. Someone young who knows all the latest "ankle geek" stuff. I have great confidence in him. Anyway, an x-ray and MRI later Skippy and I have a sit down and he gives me the news. (drum roll) Two torn ligaments and a hunk of bone off the back of the Talus that's floating around in the gunk. Wheeee!
Surgery this coming Wednesday.
If things go well, four weeks on crutches. If not six weeks non-load bearing.
No worries here. It's the first time in 40 years I've had a running injury...well there was that sprain In "The Valley" after a fall on this big climb. Oh, and the busted ribs from the bike wreck....then that sprain at mile 6 of the JFK 50 miler (I finished)...there were those several skull wacks (climbing) that required stitches...ok, ok I have had a few injuries over the years but this is the first one from running that's going to require surgery!
(I can't tell you the number of times I should have been dead, but got up and walked away without a scratch.)
Routine stuff in an active life where you go to the edge sometimes.

Now at least I'll have time to catch up on reading, movies, watching "The Giro" live on TV, plotting the next adventure and actually figuring out how my heart rate monitor and iPod nano work..not mentioning getting to be near my awesome wife...

I'll be blogging here pre and post op and during the recovery and return to an active life.

Oh, if you're looking for a piece of bone in this's not me. Just an ankle pic.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Day!

Finally! May is here. April just dragged, the school days and workouts and yard work just all being blenderized in a mess that was hard to keep track of.
On the athletic front, things are improving. Bike rides are getting longer and I have my running up to 30 miles a week on a regular basis.
Last weekend I ran the first 10k I've run (as a stand alone event) in probably 3 years! The Pikes Peek 10k runs from the Shady Grove metro station to White Flint on a course that drops almost 200 ft. It has it's up hill sections but the downhills are fast. Smooth road surface and great organization make for a good time.
Hadn't been doing any speed work so I felt I'd be lucky if I broke an hour. Of course that's the beauty of having poor self confidence. You always do better!
I ran in :50 minutes and change...I'm running in the 55 -59 age group now and it's interesting to notice that the times generally slow. However...if I had been doing speed work and had been working at it, I would have run my usual time of 43 or 44 minutes, which would have put me on the podium in my AG.
Felt good the whole time...afterward my ankle even felt ok. But I'm still guarded on that. Still have bits of discomfort and at times it feels weak despite PT and my keeping up with that program.
Wanted to bike a century on the eastern shore today, but am fighting a cold...better to lay low and do something short.
Have to look at the various schedules for bike, runs, and other races and see what I can get into.
Realized I haven't been here much as of late...too much time on Facebook! Need to get back over here..this is much more fun!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Keeping Track

When I came in from my run today one of the first things I did, after icing my ankle, was to head for my training log. No, not the kind of log people carry around for a workout, but a written log of every run, bike ride, swim, hours in the weight room, rock climbs in West Virginia, Colorado or California, cold sniff, illness, busted ankle, sore shoulder, miles on shoes, static line jump, replacing of a chain, five pound weight gain (or loss), new apartment, first kiss, big mistake, death, life... Not all, but many of the moments of my life. For years. There are 17 logs in the stack to the right. Number 18 sits on my desk.
There were another 20. They were lost to an ex-wife who thought they took up too much space and pitched them when I wasn't home.
"All those moments, lost in time..."
Altogether 38 years of that stuff. 38 years of running logs, triathlon logs, Sierra Club Desk Calenders( before real running logs) and an Accounts Receivable ledger which I really miss. It was from my first year that I kept a log...1972 when I graduated from high school and went off to college.
They mark the passage of my life...
On March 13, 1996 I worked on my flexibility and ran for 30 minutes, and turned in my time sheet.
On New Years Eve at midnight 1999/2000 I can't sleep and run laps UP Washington street in Cumberland.
On June 8th, 2006 I did...nothing.
All those moments are still in my memory, but just in case...I can look them up. Well at least the last 18 years.
I've kept an electronic log the last 5 years...but to be honest, it has no soul.
I can't pick it up and feel it, see it, smell it. There are no tea stains or dog eared pages, no crisp sound when I flip the pages... On a rainy day, like today, I can grab one of the logs at random and be transported to another place and a different time. As soon as I read an entry...I can shut my eyes and see, and feel, and hear and sense all that went before on that day.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Yikes! Part 2

"Nothing like this has ever happened before."
That's what they're saying around here. Since they started to keep these kinds of records there has never been a case where the Mid-Atlantic has been hit with two blizzards in one week. In-fucking-credable. This area is already a mess and to think were getting 16 to 20 inches more on top is nuts....or will drive folks nuts. This area of the world tends to be hyper mobile and in some areas ya just can't get out. We were out a bit yesterday and everybody was in panic mode...
And don't give me this "AL Gore was wrong " stuff. It's Global warming...not local.
For whatever reason you believe, man made or not, The world is getting warmer.
I just wish it would here for a bit.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Yikes! What a storm THAT was! We had 31 inches here in the front yard this morning...Very cold. Teens last night and calling for single digits tonight.
No organized workouts yesterday as ML and I shoveled snow three different times in a effort to stay ahead of the mounting white stuff. About 4 hours of digging altogether, if you count the time we spent on a neighbors drive way.
I here tons of folks bitching about it and even some complaining about missing work.
How often does this happen? What's wrong with a little down time? Can't you just see the beauty of it all? I feel sorry for them.
The cats are in a snit as they hate the snow. I dug paths for them to their favorite pee spots. Mrs. Norris won't even go out. She just uses the box and spreads cat litter everywhere. Riley is out now but he is a fan of warmer weather and won't be out long.
Ankle gave me a bit of a fit yesterday shoveling...all the twisting and torquing. It feels ok now. Back to the Dr. on Tuesday and on to some PT on Friday.
Riding the indoor trainer today. Contemplated X-C skiing but it's actually too deep. I'll let it melt off a bit then set some track in the woods near here..

Friday, January 15, 2010

Caw.Caw. Rarrrr!

Adventure IS out there and Mary Lou and I got a bunch of it this past weekend at the Disney Marathon weekend.
As seems to have become habit, we go to Florida every Winter to run at Disney...ML does the half marathon and I do the Goofy Challenge. I run the Half Marathon on Saturday and then get up and run the Marathon on Sunday. Goofy...This year, if completed...I'd become "Perfectly Goofy."
The weather forecast for the weekend is NOT the best. 35 degrees on Saturday and then mid 20's on Sunday for the long one.
The ankle forecast for the races is 80%. It's runable, but gets testy at a slow race. Most every year I tell myself I'll hop out of the race and have pics taken with Disney Characters, but I never do...this year will be the year for it.
Saturday Morning at 2am we're up and rolling to the race. My wave goes off at 5:40. ML at 6.
Thank goodness Disney provides a bus from their hotels...
It's 35 degrees with wet stuff possible. On site we go to the Runners Retreat (money well spent) and while there, the sleet starts. Sleet. In Florida. Last year it was 70 degrees.
We meet Becca, a cranberry grower, who we instantly like. We chat and then about 5:15 we head off to the start, which is a bit of a walk. Into our corrals and getting ready. Besides our race togs we sport nice thick plastic bags for warmth and wind protection....the sleet comes down heavier.
At 5:35 the wheelies head off in a shower of fireworks. My wave is next at 5:40 and off we go in a shower of yet more fireworks!
Not much to it after that just running in the dark...good lighting when needed though and a few places on the course it's a bit tight, but no worries. At one point though, a woman tries to come around me on the shoulder of the road trips and falls right in front of me! Jedi reflexes and I vault over her hoping for a good ankle landing. I stop to help her up and she is quite sheepish and says she's sorry, but sprints away. Over and through the Magic Kingdom and back to the finish area at Epcot. I'm in at 2:12, a PW (personal worst) for me, but the ankle holds up well and I'm ready for the Marathon. ML comes in in 2:37... PR for her! (she IS my hero!)
The sleet and rain never really stopped the whole time.

Folks at cold races bring throw away clothes to wear to the start. Old shirts. jackets,sweat pants, that they toss when the gun goes off. Usually the clothes are donated to charity after cleaning. This was the first race I've ever seen where folks would discard clothes and people behind them would pick them up and put them on! Nothing Compared to what I'd see on Sunday.
2am comes early (duh) two days in a row. and this time I'm off to the bus alone. The TV said 25 degrees. The bus driver says it's 22. In Florida.
Runners Retreat where I meet Becca again (running her first Goofy) and together we walk over to the again at 5:40 this time I'm loaded for bear. iPod, camera, gels and three layers of spandex. More folks scarfing up tossed clothes AND plastic bags. From Epcot over to Magic Animal Kingdom then the long bit to Hollywood Studios and back to the World Showcase at Epcot. This time though I'm snapping pics of the course, mile markers and of course Characters. Mary Poppins IS quite lovely. The Princess and her Frog are out and stunning... Alice, Tweedle Dum and Dee, a Wicked Step Mother or two... and later Mr. Incredible, Mike Wishowski, Green Army Men and the two above. Russell and Mr. Fredrickson from the movie UP! (See it, you'll cry).
The aid stations become skating rinks in the cold but the Disney crews are out quickly with sand...still, trying to run through them is foolish. I see several falls. My energy gels are chewable and I never really break a sweat it's so cold. Definitely Jens factor 5 (see previous post)
All the pictures and the fact I have to pee like a race horse every so often (kidneys over produce in the cold) make for a slow race. Another PW (5:12) but I just don't care. This was F-U-N!

The Jens factor

Jens Voight is a pro bike racer. He wins classic one day races. He wins stages at the grand tours. Jens is a hardman. He's also the niceest most widely loved bikie in the pro Peloton. His fan base is huge.
Here's a little something I found that puts riding (or running) in the cold in perspective.
Click on the image for an bigger view...thanks to