Monday, May 24, 2010


This is part of the dislocation and broken arm.

Not sure where the bruising is coming from. It might be blood deposits from minor internal bleeding, not necessarily classic bruising from the locations that are discolored. The bone break is like a knife in there. It doesn't hurt, but I think moving as little as possible is best.
Days have been easy, but nights are rough. I'm a tosser-and-turner, but I can't do that. There's only three positions that are comfortable, and each take some work to get just-right.
My arm hurts at night. I tried sleeping sitting up but I can't sleep. So even though days have been less painful, I'm becoming a sleep-deprived zombie. I don't think I sleep more than 10 minutes at a time.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Broken Arm

I was running at Lair o' the Bear, had finished all the initial climbing and was enjoying some downhill on the other side. I cleared a big rock, toe caught the next small rock, and the timing of my stride absolutely could NOT have been worse! My shoulder had slammed into the trail before I knew I was falling.
Dislocated. So I tried to remember the fancy motion for putting it back in the socket. I chose a tree as a volunteer, but was doing a lousy job. My friends asked the bikers that came by if they knew how to fix a dislocation and one was a physician!
He told me to lay down and he worked it. We both thought it went in, but nope - almost. So he tried again as I stood. Bingo! Lego-man back together.

I thanked him and he left us.
Gayle told me "You're done."
I insisted I was good.
She insisted.
I insisted, but I would go very slow. I had completed the climb and I wanted my reward on the other side.
So I ran with John and the blonde visitor from Pennsylvania for another 20 minutes. Then I turned around and headed back.

As if that wasn't enough, on the way back, I sprained the HELL out of my right ankle. Again. The same one as last Thanksgiving.
Honestly, after all these years of ripping my ankles, the ligaments are too long, loose, and weak. I'm basically running with no real lateral support.
So I jogged back even slower, but still holding good form. Then I plopped down next to Kristen and her sons as we iced our feet/ankles in the absolutely frigid river.
The ligaments on my ankle swelled up like golf balls.

It was the night of the Denver Trail Runners 1st potluck of the season. There were about 40-50 people and all sorts of food. (YUM!)

Finally at home, it was a rough night. Two Percocets helped me through the night, but my arm still hurt - more than when I was running.
Next morning, I was pretty sure something was broken.

When the doctor and his PA jammed the x-rays onto the screen he exclaimed, "Holy cow!! Is that a crack? Look at that! He must be the toughest man alive."
The only benefit of having had Guillane-Barre and being a temporary quadriplegic ten years ago is that I only have about 20% of the nerve tissue the rest of you have, even after "recovery". So I don't get the full brunt of the pain. But it hurts plenty enough for me. Still, the doctor was used to moaning patients, not happy guys telling jokes with big cracks in their bones.

Very disheartening, though. After 13 months of plantar recovery, finally getting back in shape, I wrecked myself.

I'm not sure where the break stops. It kind of looks like it might go all the way through, but the doctor says it stops under the head. Then how does it open up 1/8" or more?

The doctor's PA thought I was a clear candidate for quick surgery. He said, Naw! and sent me home with a sling and a bottle of Oxycodone.
- Tape it up and get back in there, son! - Well the pain isn't very bad, but looking at the x-rays, I'd think something more than a sling would be in order.
I wrapped an Ace bandage around my bicep with a thick hiking sock in my armpit. The theory is this will help close the 1/8" gap in the crack. Even if the doctor won't treat it, knowing the direction and angle of the break helps me do the right things and avoid the wrong.
I'm thinking about a 2nd opinion, because it seems to me that leaving the 1/8" crack to fill in naturally will make it take 3-4x's longer to heal. Summer will be over by then.

Now thinking of how I was trying to get my shoulder back in the socket, and the helpful doctor on the trail, it's a wonder I wasn't howling in pain, and if it's not broken all the way through the head, I'm lucky relocating my shoulder didn't finish the job. I could have had a compound fracture.

I don't think I'll bother to register for the Imogene Pass Run in September. It should be healed, but I won't be trained-up. I'll be back down to 9min. miles.

I hope everyone else is doing well. Post photos of your adventures.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Did It!

A 38-mile week!
Not only that, but my pace was 8:15/mile. Still shaving off the seconds. 30sec/mile left to shave off to reach where I was at when I got injured.
My body is starting to feel good again. The endorphin factory is getting into high production.
Muscles have memory - getting back to where I was won't be so hard and testosterone is helping to speed it up. That's one advantage guys have.

Cool, Wet Week

It's been a cool, sometimes cold, week in Denver. The mountains have been getting snow. It's been raining every day since Tuesday. Finally today, Sunday, it's a perfect Spring day.

I'm so averse to heat that I've actually enjoyed the cool weather. Even running in cold, slushy rain is okay. But Tuesday, my left nipple was rubbed RAW! (Oops, sorry. TMI alert!) There's not much of a Spring/Fall. It's just Winter/Summer fighting over the weather. But today is definitely Spring!

The Colfax Marathon is finishing as I write this. I don't bother with it because it's not my cup-o-tea. Why would I pay to run in a city? Pavement, crowds, no scenery... I'll leave it for others to enjoy. Sure, I'll do the Steamboat Marathon and Rim Rock, but look at the scenery!!! No comparison whatsoever. And Steamboat is definitely my time-trial marathon course - mostly downhill. In spite of that, I might still not bother, except that Strawberry Park Hot Springs beckons. Marathon+springs is an unbeatable combo.

I'm about to go running. I'm on the brink of logging more miles in a week than I have since my pathetic attempt to get my money's-worth out of the Leadville 100 last August. (I shouldn't have even started that race, injured, but couldn't help myself.) I ought to be able to break 50K for the week. Chump mileage in the old days - today a milestone. One small step for an ultra-runner, one giant leap for a cripple.

I hardly ever feel any pain in my plantar anymore, but I feel something. It's a sensation of discomfort; a knot that isn't quite right. There's no way it's "healed", past-tense. I'm still very much in the process. I've got the rest of this year to go.
I hope (hope [hope]) to be ready to run the Bandera 100K next January. Last time I had serious blisters at mile 5. Next time, I hope to kill that race. Totally want to finish 1-2 hours faster. So this will probably be my next ultra.
My next "planned" race is Imogene.
It's becoming increasingly harder to hold myself back from racing. It's not in the plan, and it could unravel months of healing. I keep telling myself, "steady - keep your eyes on the prize".

I guess this post is also a milestone. I haven't been allowing myself to even THINK about racing. Now here I am starting to map out a schedule.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Healthy Drink

I have a new drink that is both healthy and tastes as good as any soft-drink. I mix almond-vanilla milk and oat milk 50/50 (both non-dairy), with a dash of grade B maple syrup. If this sounds gross, well it doesn't look great, either. But it sure tastes great.

The oat has tapioca and calcium phosphate. They both have some sea salt. Between the syrup and the starch, it's the best complex-carb pre-run drink I can imagine. In fact, I wonder if it would be great to drink at aid stations during an ultra?

I also bought a small Sharper Image Citrus juicer a month ago.
So I've been drinking healthier than ever.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

13.2 on Sunday

I ran the equivalent of a half-marathon on Sunday, averaging 8:25 pace. I still need to take 40 seconds per mile off my pace in order to get back to where I was before my injuries.
Tonight was the Wash Park run. I couldn't get enough oxygen, so I'm still worn-out from Sunday's run.
Even though I'm doing the same mileage as several months ago, I'm doing it faster. So things are still moving in the right direction.

The Wash Park group is all but gone, now. Except for tonight, that is. For some reason, several people showed up, plus a new girl.
It seems that the key ingredient in running groups is women, especially under-40. If a woman shows up, and there aren't any other women, she won't come back. If guys show up, and there's no women, they won't come back. If a group is all women, women like it. And if they allow guys, guys sure like it!! No one cares if there's guys.
Since we ran out of women, getting new members is nearly impossible.

Another problem is, there are often women who are not very social. They come, and stand around, waiting to be catered to. Maybe they're feeling insecure? They often get mad if guys don't treat them exactly the way they want - but how are we to know how they want to be treated? And WTF, anyway?
Most of us aren't touchy about how people treat us. We just show up, gab a lot, run, gab some more, maybe eat dinner, and we're done. We're just out to relax and have some fun. It's not rocket science.
I try to make everyone feel comfortable, but everyone is different, so sometimes my efforts backfire.
Tonight, though, Sara showed up. I think she might return. She showed up and just started talking. She seems secure, out-going, and well-adjusted. Maybe if she keeps running with us, the Wash Park group will grow again.
All it takes is one (the right one).

My son keeps having music gigs on Thursday nights, so I keep missing the DTR runs. One more year of high school.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Some Trail Running Pix

Golden Colorado from the Castle Rock (an old volcanic core).

This infamous chunk of rock once had a trolley line and restaurant on top.
It also had the KKK burning crosses before the town became more civilized.

A flock of deer hens on South Table staring and chewing.

North of Fruita, CO. Another example of why I hate rednecks. These are our tax dollars getting knocked down by 4x4's, and shot full of holes. So now I'm more likely to get hassled about my own guns and camping. The BLM wants to start charging fees to use the area. BLM charging fees?!?! Then it's not BLM land!! If you want to charge fees, turn it into a "park". But vandalism like this is a prime example of why fees are going to be charged.

Arches National Park, my son in the foreground, the LaSal Mtns in the background.

From the north end of North Table Mountain, looking north towards Boulder.

More deer, near North Table Mtn.

North end of North Table, looking northeast. Beautiful powerline tower, huh? They grow naturally up there.

Denver Trail Runners

South end of North Table Mtn, looking southwest over Golden. The trail drops-off the edge and it's a bit of a scramble as you get off the lava-flow cap-rock.