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Against doctor's orders - Long Scraggy Race report

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Ok, I have never had an abundance of common sense. On Saturday, April 16th I step in hole on running down Webster pass. My left knee exploded in pain. I got an MRI. The orthopedic surgeon told me my left ACL was partially torn. She told me no running, biking or working on an elliptical. She told me to lay off the knee for 4 to 6 weeks.

This is a photo of Webster pass road. One of these holes got me.

For two weeks I was good boy. I didn't take a single running step. I did nothing strenuous. My knee was healing nicely. But April 30th was the Long Scraggy race. The Long Scraggy is not just any race. For me, it is the coolest race in the history of races! The people that run the Long Scraggy are cool. They are high-altitude mountain runners. They are fit, friendly and modest. I know them on a first name basis.

I think that sign accurately shows the profile of the 4.25 mile course.

The Long Scraggy has two events. One event is a 4.25 mile run over brutally hilly terrain. The other event is a 1.5 mile walk. When I packed my race bag on Friday I really intended to do the 1.5 mile walk. In retrospect, I think this may have been self-delusional.

On Saturday morning I got dressed in my running stuff. When I got to the Long Scraggy Ranch I noticed that the walkers were wearing hiking boots and long pants. The runners were dressed like me. I told the race organizer, my friend John, that I had a bad knee. I asked if it would be OK if I walked the 4.25 mile course. John was cool with that.

I warmed up a bit and the knee seemed to be working well. I jogged a bit and the knee felt fine.

See, I was being good! The race started late. We call it being on Mountain time. Mountain time is not a time zone. Mountain time is very relaxed attitude. We all ambled up to the starting line. I am standing behind the runners with the walkers. I am standing right by a lady with a baby stroller and dogs on leashes.

You can guess what happened next. John said, "Go!" All the runners took off like a shot. And so did I! I really didn't mean to do that. I couldn't help myself. The first part of the course is relatively flat for 1/4 mile . I am slowly jogging along thinking I will break into a walk pretty soon. I am dead last by a long ways. No worries. I have 20 very good runners in front of me that all have good knees. I am feeling pretty good. My left knee feels fine.

We all turn left and start climbing the hill. The hill is 1.4 miles long with a 20% grade. I am really poking along. Then, to my surprise, I pass a couple of people. I glance down at my Garmin, which I shouldn't have been wearing anyway. I am running at a 9:05 min/mile pace! Holy smoke! I pass a few more runners. This was not part of the plan. I am getting a little twinge from the knee but nothing serious.

This is a monster. Photos don't do it justice.

At the top of the hill we turn onto the Colorado trail. This segment is rocky with tree roots. I really throttle back to a crawl. I cannot afford to trip. I run this segment at a 13 minute per mile pace. I have to gingerly have to step over rocks and roots.

Colorado trail - my knee is saying "stop".

After the trail segment we get back on the road. Here comes a dreaded downhill segment. I start moving slowly down the hill.

I am concentrating to make sure my foot strike is gentle and mid-foot.

I know that a single heavy left heel strike and it is sayonara to my left knee. The knee is protesting this treatment. I am paranoid that the knee is going to buckle. I start walking down the hill. I know that any minute I am going to get passed. During a mountain race you have to take advantage of downhill and flat segments. Last year I hit 5 minutes per mile down the hills. Ain't going to happen this year. I walk a bit and jog a bit. I really want to rock-and-roll down these hills. I just can't do it. I look behind me. There is no one there! I am all alone nursing my knee.

I know I am stupid. When I told my wife I was going to do the Long Scraggy she asked, "Are you out of your mind?" I reply, "Is that a rhetorical question, or do you want an answer?"

As I am jogging down the last hill there are a couple of walkers taking photos. One of them snaps a shot of me and shouts, "Great form!" I know I am a poster child for smooth gait right then.

Here is the home stretch. I am trying to run down this hill without blowing my knee to kingdom come.

Here is the home turn. I am almost there and the knee just might make it.

Running toward the finish line. Just one last hazard. I have to miss these holes.

I run toward the finish line. My friends that finished ahead of me are cheering me on. I cross the finish line. John's wife has the stop watch. She shouts, "43:39". I look around and count the runners. There are 7 of them. I am in 8th place! That is a 10:09 minute per mile pace! John asks me, "How is the knee?" I smile and lie, "It is the only part of me that doesn't hurt."

Last year my time was 42:56. So what does this all mean? I am faster uphill this year. My down hill pace this year was 7 minutes per mile. Last year my down hill pace was 5 minutes per mile. I think I would have been a lot faster with a good left knee.

I am also very dangerous to myself.

After the race I asked john for a baggie with ice. He got me the ice. I sat there with ice on my knee listening to the Mountain Holler Blue Grass band and feeling very relieved that I could still walk.

Mountain Holler blue grass band.

The guy on the left is John. He is the race organizer. The guy on the right is John my running buddy. I am slower than little John and faster than big John.

The woman with the bib is a runner named Marsha. The woman in the blue is John's wife Sharon.

I still think this race has a cool name.

This is the race t-shirt. Proverbs 4:12 - " When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble" Good thing for me!

Ice and elevate. Next Saturday I may run the Lake George, "Flatlander". Unfortunately, the Lake George race is not flat.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Oye! I don't know if I should scold you or cheer for you!
I am so happy that you are doing better.

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DAVIDMU89 5/3/2011 12:37PM

    congrats on the fortitude!

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KKINNEA 5/2/2011 3:45PM

    Oh SpeedyDog, I would scold you if I hadn't done the same kind of thing - less than a week after injuring my right hamstring I ran a race on pitted, muddy, uphill and downhill roads.

So glad I saw the ice pack there at the end - very smart!! I do belong to the school of working through an injury in a smart way, meaning you should slow up a little bit more! Great job and fun sounding race.

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ANNIE7205 5/2/2011 3:15PM

    Damn, this sounds like something I would do. :) Glad it worked out okay, just take it easy (or as easy as is humanly possible for you).

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AQUAPOWERS 5/2/2011 9:55AM

    Great job Speedydog! Don't push too hard. I see on the Master Runners-40 page you posted that you ran 15 miles today. I'm not sure the Doc would like that.

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IRONGRANNIE 5/1/2011 10:24PM

    You are a bad, bad boy Bruce LOL!!!! Glad you had fun without further injury!

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SUPERDUPER26 5/1/2011 5:06PM

    Glad it worked out, and with such a good time too, thats exciting!
I'd do the same thing, especially on a run with such a great name. Good luck next weekend! emoticon

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    You are such a runner-lol!! I think you are not alone in the "do anything for a race" club :). Now that the Long Scraggy is over though, try to behave and give that knee a chance to heal. Give it time to heal and you will be back racing sooner than if you push it now. Glad it was a good race though :).

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BANDMAMAPC 5/1/2011 3:13PM

    My two fingers rubbing together, tsk, tsk. You are like a child that has been told not to do it and you do it anyways. You are really a risk taker. Tell me, are you like that when you gamble? You are so very lucky that your knee didn't explode. Since you did the big race, I think you should skip this next one.

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EVIE55 5/1/2011 3:06PM

    Well you at least got to run in it, right? sounds like you had fun even though you shouldn't have ran in it. lol. :)

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ELYMWX 5/1/2011 2:34PM

    Oh, boy.

Take care next weekend, Bruce. Or at least as much care as you can!

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LKEITHO 5/1/2011 2:18PM

    Glad you didn't do too much damage! Great run for only having one good knee!

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CBAILEYC 5/1/2011 1:48PM

    I chuckled at your opening line, and kept on while shaking my head.
I'm glad you had a good time. I echo other calls to take it easy and not do further harm to yourself in the meanwhile.
Good job!

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MAGGIENCALI 5/1/2011 1:17PM

    I would have probably done the same thing. Glad you were able to do the race. Take care of that knee and take it easy.

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TREEBW 5/1/2011 1:10PM

    Be careful!!! You dont want to tweak it so badly that you have to stop for months or years!

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LUNATIFF 5/1/2011 11:54AM

    I'm right there with you. A foot injury has kept me down for the better part of a month. I'm going crazy and I'm about to just say forget it and work out even with my foot hurting. I hope you feel okay today and will continue to heal.

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TEDDYBABE 5/1/2011 11:44AM

    Oh your wife has her job cut out for her! Somehow I don't think this is the moment for the "use it or lose it" theory! Glad you got some of the cobwebs out, now hopefully you can concentrate on healing thyself!!! lol...you are too much! Such great spirit!!

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SUZWARNR 5/1/2011 11:31AM

    Whatever are we going to do with you? Tsk tsk. Just don't make it so you can never run again. Imagine how awful it would be. Please try to take it easy. I know it's hard, but sometimes you have to miss a race. You know what the good thing about races is? Most of them continue year after year. So remember, there will always be a next year. There might not be another knee though.

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Wallowing in self pity - part deux

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Recap: On April 17th I went for a run up Webster pass in Colorado. On the way back down the hill I stepped in a big hole with my left leg. My knee immediately started to hurt and didn't work well.

Deadly holes on Webster pass.

I got an MRI yesterday and had an appointment with an orthopedic specialist today. I figured I go running before my appointment but it was snowing.

This is the view from my front door. The snow is still coming down!

I go down to see the specialist. She has the results of the MRI. She comes in the room and asked how I hurt my knee. I give her the story of the hole in the road. She grabs my knee and starts doing things to hurt me. She moves my lower leg left, right, up and down. She pushes and pulls on my knee. She watches my reaction to see when I would wince. She then gave an evil smile and put her hand on the inside of the knee and gave a mighty pull! My knee explodes! She gives a triumphant smile and says, "I thought so. I just wanted to confirm my suspicion." I screw up my face and wipe the tears out of my eyes, "And what suspicion is that, pray tell?" She looks very concerned, "Your ACL is torn. But not all the way through". I look her right in the eye, "I have a race next Saturday. This the first mountain race of the season. Will I be able to run?" She gives me a long face, "NO, your knee is badly injured. " I reply, "The race is the Long Scraggy and it is only 4.25 miles." She is a mean lady, "You are lucky you can walk. You absolutely cannot run!" I am thinking, "I was a lot better before you wrenched on my knee." She continues, "You have to baby that knee. You need to stay off it. You need to ice it. The whole knee is inflamed. You may be able to run some races later this year if you take care of the knee." I ask her, "Can I ride a bike or workout on an elliptical?" She is getting exasperated, "No, you can't put any strain on that knee." I make a face, "I need to train for the race up Mount Evans in June." She answers, "You look like you are in pretty good shape already!" I reply, "Not good enough. It is a tough race." She looks at my chart. Then she drops a bombshell, "Given your age, you are not going to heal quickly." I admit I am a bad patient. I ask her, "How long is it going to take. " She says, "I don't know. Four to six weeks maybe."

She gives me instructions on what I need to do. She tells me to wear a knee brace and take 2 Tylenol three times a day. She tells me to use ice and really baby the knee.

I am very disappointed.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    This really stinks Bruce! I know knee troubles myself, I have had a torn ACL since I was 13 years old. I have knee braces for when it really blows out. It really does set you back, I know. It does take some time till it feels better again. But you will get back out there. May be better off on flat surfaces for awhile though. It doesn't take much to re-injure it now. I feel your pain and I'm sorry about your race, I was rooting for you.
Can you and are you doing any other exercise?

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MARATHON_MOM 4/25/2011 11:09AM

    Oh NO! SOOOO sorry to hear this! I know how hard it is to have to take time off... I've been there for the last few weeks.
Better to stay off of it now for a few weeks, than try to do too much on it and need surgery, though
We runners are stubborn, though.. I know....
FOLLOW THE DOCTORS ORDERS!! (Just don't tell me to take my own advice on that one...)

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    Yikes - that's tough! I'm sorry to hear it. But it's better to stop and rest and take the time to heal now than have to go through surgery and a lot longer recovery period! Sending you happy/healing thoughts!

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ROOT4HOME 4/24/2011 11:58PM

    Man, what tough news! Like everyone's said though, the only good news is no surgery. Hope you heal quickly so you can get back to training & racing!

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CAROLCRC 4/24/2011 6:37PM

    4-6 weeks out of a lifetime of running. A frustration to be sure. Surgery would be 8-12 or more... or much more... This was actually probably good news!

There are things you can do to keep in condition - with the brace on, do leg lifts, crunches, side leg lifts, etc - anything that doesn't put weight on the knee and works the muscles around your hips and core will help when you are allowed to go back to running.

Hang in there!

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IONA72 4/24/2011 2:10PM

    Patience now for satisfaction later! Good luck.

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IRONGRANNIE 4/24/2011 2:59AM

    Oh Bruce! I can really feel for you with this one! Even if you can't do anything else, just being in a pool will help you heal faster (hydrostatic pressure). Don't believe you are too old to heal quickly, Doctors don't know Sparkpeople!

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SROBERTS82 4/24/2011 1:59AM

    Ugh! What disappointing news! I guess you better start being really good to it now in the hopes it will heal up fast! Good luck!

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FREDDYB29 4/23/2011 10:40PM

    Yeah best wishes on you getting back to full strength. Hope you won't be out of it too long.

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LKEITHO 4/23/2011 10:38PM

    Well, at least no surgery! That would have taken you out of action for a lot longer. I hope things heal up well for you and that you're back at it soon!

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KA_JUN 4/23/2011 9:21PM

    Heal up fast and correctly, live to run and fight another day!

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NWFL59 4/23/2011 9:15PM

    Good luck surviving your recovery period.

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BANDMAMAPC 4/23/2011 9:03PM

    At least she didn't say surgery. You will run, but not now. I'm sure your wife will get you back to your runs if she keeps up with your meds. Rest up.

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CBAILEYC 4/23/2011 8:30PM

    Oh gosh. I'm very sorry for the news, but as someone else said, there is positive in the message! You WILL run again, you just need to do a bit of maintenance on your equipment and let it heal up proper. If you keep running, you could potentially make it worse and be out of the loop for much longer. Think of time off to heal as the lesser of two evils?

Take care of yourself!

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MOMJMGR 4/23/2011 8:09PM

    So hard to hear news like that! I hope you take care of your knee so you can get back to what you love...pain free!!! Good luck in healing and so thankful you don't have to have surgery.

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ELYMWX 4/23/2011 7:11PM

    From this I get three pieces of good news:

1. It doesn't require surgery
2. It will heal
3. You will run again

However being not even able to bike or use the elliptical will really suck. Check with the specialist regarding deep water running, however I suspect she's going to give that the kibosh as well - in your case it's flexing, not impact, that will be the issue. Give Annette a big hug and apologize in advance - I'm sure you're going to be driving her nuts in the coming weeks.

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DAVIDMU89 4/23/2011 5:29PM

    I have been following along with your blog and just wanted to shout out some words of encouragement as you heal. Remember this is a temporary situation and with your "dogged determination " you will come out of this stronger and faster than ever!

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GSCOTTC 4/23/2011 5:12PM

    I really hate it when I get told " it's you age". In my mind I am still 19.

Can you aqua run or speed walk?

PS ----- I avoid doctors like the plague, they always find something wrong with you.

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LOREENYK 4/23/2011 5:02PM

    On the bright side she didn't say you couldn't run anymore - just not for awhile. I know, it is little comfort right now, but there will always be another race. You know what they say...what doesn't kill you makes you stronger (or something like that)!

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ITSHOWYOULIVE 4/23/2011 4:57PM

    I'm glad you went (I still haven't seen anybody about my foot injury---ooops). Sorry about the news. I like the comment a few down...maybe if you are really good to your knee you can prove her wrong. Age is NOT always a determination of how you are going to heal!! You can do this (I say with utter confidence since my mud run is in 3 weeks and I am still babying my foot).

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MELLYBEANS0919 4/23/2011 4:54PM

    So sorry. That must be really frustrating. I hope you are able to heal quickly. Take care of yourself!

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KKINNEA 4/23/2011 4:52PM

    Sad to hear - prove them wrong and heal up fast!

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MAGGIENCALI 4/23/2011 4:46PM

    I'm so sorry about the ACL tear and can understand the frustration. Being sick or injured bites.

There will be other races. Just keep icing and taking the Tylenol. I'm crossing my fingers for a speedy recovery.

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SUZWARNR 4/23/2011 4:40PM

    I'm so sorry. I understand how disappointed you are. I am as determined as you are and hate being sidelined. I'm sure she's right that you need to take care of yourself, but it doesn't make it any better in the meantime. Do these docs understand that our hearts are in the running? I have my appt with my doctor on Tuesday. I don't want to be told anything I don't want to hear either. I'm stubborn and impatient too. I did a short run with the inserts and it went much better. So hopefully maybe all it is is a tendon issue and nothing more. I hope your knee recovers quickly!

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PRETTYPITHY 4/23/2011 4:29PM

    I'm so sorry to hear your news! This must be very disappointing. Do take care of yourself though. Maybe if you really baby it, you can prove that mean old doctor wrong! emoticon emoticon

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Wallowing in self pity

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I decided to go to the doctor about my left knee I injured while running on Webster pass on Sunday. Big mistake! I pretty much thought the knee was getting better. The swelling had gone down. The knee wasn't as a purple and I could bend it. Still the knee was crunching and popping a bit. I tried to work out on my elliptical. After 10 minutes the knee exploded in pain. Rats!

Against my better judgment I made an appointment for 5:00pm on Wednesday.

Enter the doctor. He asked, "What happened?" I replied, "Left knee hurts a bit." He tugged on it for awhile and asked, "Didn't you notice that tibia rotates independently of your femur?" I asked, "In English doc?" He looked grave, "I think your meniscus is OK." I leaned forward, "I guess that is good. What about the other parts." I will paraphrase what he said in non-medical terms, "Your knee is destroyed!" That is not what he actually said. He used words like, "Torn, ligaments, PCL, slow healing, MRI and arthroscopic surgery." I used words like, "No way, and cold day in hell"! I told him I have a race on April 30th and need to train. He told me, "Not happening. You need to ice the knee, rest and elevate. I can give you something for the pain. I can write a referral to an orthopedic surgeon." At that point I am shell-shocked. He scribbles on a pad and hands me some papers. He tells me, "Here is a script for pain killers, a referral to an orthopedic surgeon and an order for an MRI." I have known my doctor for 17 years. He gets serious, "Bruce, you need to go get that knee fixed." I humor him, "Ok doc, I will." He says, "You better - I am going to call Annette (my wife)"! Darn! He is ratting me out!

I ain't going to no saw-bones. I know from personal experience the knee is fine. The knee pops and crunches but I think that is normal. I have been abusing my knees for 40 years. There is bound to be some noise from my protesting knees. I worked out on the elliptical this morning and the knee was pretty much OK. I can't run yet but I am going to give that a shot over the weekend.

In the meantime I got to stay on track with my nutrition and workout my good body parts. I did buy a few more ice bags. I don't need any pain killers. I am really trying not to feel sorry for myself.

Thanks for reading my blog.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EVIE55 5/1/2011 2:59PM

    wouldn't you want to know for sure that you are alright or not? I would worry that something is really wrong with it. Good luck either way. I hope it gets better for ya, so you can run like you want to.

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ELISA322 4/23/2011 10:57AM

    I agree, get the MRI! Sorry you're going through this and wishing you a speedy recovery.

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BSTAKINGACTION 4/22/2011 10:13AM

    ok, tough guy...they've all said it. Don't make me put on my mommy voice. emoticon

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SUZWARNR 4/22/2011 7:19AM

    I think you should go for the MRI. Don't let things get worse. I've been putting off a new pain in my foot ever since my race on Sunday. I'm really worried about it. I've been hoping it would go away but it hasn't. I don't know what's worse. Ignoring it or calling and finding out it's bad news. So I'm going to call, but I'm scared the answer will be something like, stress fracture, no running. :(

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L3DESIGNS 4/22/2011 1:02AM

    Get it checked out - go for the MRI. Rest & ice!

Take care!

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ELYMWX 4/21/2011 11:16PM

    Humor us, Bruce. Get the MRI...

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NWFL59 4/21/2011 10:45PM

    I encourage you to continue to listen to your body and take the appropriate steps to enjoyed continued good health.

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LKEITHO 4/21/2011 10:42PM

    I hope you are right, but if it starts giving you a lot of pain, back off. A torn ACL will give you trouble for a lot longer than a simple knee scope to clean up the joint. Been there, done that. Hope it stays out of trouble for you!

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IONA72 4/21/2011 6:26PM

    You are the best judge of you, go with your gut. Good luck!

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KA_JUN 4/21/2011 5:15PM

    Aw man, if he's known you for that long, may want to consider the sawbones. Don't want to do something to endanger your ability to enjoy your sport over the long term.

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HEALTHY4JEANNE 4/21/2011 3:00PM

    I would go for the MRI and get a better Idea of what is going on inside.
I agree with you on no pain meds. If the pain is not that bad. Ice is a great way to go.
Good luck.

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RAWKNRUN 4/21/2011 12:26PM

    Awe big hugs! Umm, I am not a good influence and I will probably get yelled at by someone for this but I feel as if you could do the race THEN go to the orthopedist, if he has to fix it anyways you cuold at least get one more race done before? THis is what I did when I knew I had a stress fracture. (runs and hides)

Comment edited on: 4/21/2011 12:29:33 PM

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ANNIE7205 4/21/2011 11:28AM

    I have to agree with everyone else - at least have the MRI done. I sprained my ACL last fall and at first didn't realize what I had done, thought the best thing to do was to just keep moving - "walk it off" if you will. Turns out I could have done a lot more damage by stressing an already weakened ligament. As much as it sucks, don't let a stubborn streak cause you more pain down the road. You may be right, but until you get the MRI you don't know for sure. (Not trying to be too harsh since I don't know you, but I'm getting the impression that you have the same tendency I do to just "struggle through" - ask my sweetie, he was ready to strangle me for my refusal to sit still and stay off my knee.) Best of luck and keep us posted.

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ITSHOWYOULIVE 4/21/2011 10:43AM

    Listen to all of these other people, I think they give good advice :).

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DMGABBETT 4/21/2011 10:29AM

    Bruce - This really sucks, but maybe your Doc is wrong. Let's hope.
At least with an MRI, they don't have to cut you just to get a good look.
Handle with care, my friend.

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BANDMAMAPC 4/21/2011 9:35AM

    That's horrible! I'd go for the MRI, be on the safe side.

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LOREENYK 4/21/2011 9:13AM

    Sometimes doctors are overly cautious which means sometimes they are wrong. Hope that's the case here!
Take care, Loreen

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ROOT4HOME 4/21/2011 9:04AM

    I agree, maybe an MRI could clarify what's going on w/your knee so you can make the best decision on how to treat it and move forward. Until then, I hope the ice helps. Wishing you the best!!

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    I'd definitely go for the MRI - it can't hurt to see what's really going on. I'm sorry to hear that you're dealing with this! Keeping my fingers crossed for you!

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CAROLCRC 4/21/2011 7:59AM

    Personally I'd go for the MRI so you have some semi-concrete info on what the status of the knee is. Then you can decide how much to listen to the doctors and what to do from a stronger knowledge base.

Our son was once told he'd torn all the ligaments and would need surgery. The MRI showed strains and no tears... might be worth checking out?

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TEDDYBABE 4/21/2011 7:57AM

    Oh I am sorry to hear this. I really am. I know this is a blow, big time. Hope the doctor rats you out to Annette. Sorry but you do need to take care of it. That's what us wives are for, helping you through this self denial part. Have the pity party. We will all attend with you. Then get busy with getting it fixed. You will be better than new on the other side I know, all unsolicited advice on limited knowledge coming here from me, sorry... but outside of a second opinion, sounds like your trail just forked. Take care, you can do this!! Hugs!

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Just call me gimpy

Monday, April 18, 2011

I need to do some high-altitude training. I decided to run up Webster Pass. I decided I would run up the road until I ran into impassable snow drifts. This road is good training for the Mount Evans race. Webster Pass is relentlessly uphill. I ran about 10 miles. The road started at 8,500 feet. Managed to get to 10,200 feet. This is about a 15% grade.

This is the sign. Webster pass is closed. I am going to try to get as high up as I can.

I really wasn't planning on shooting a moose. Moose pretty much mind their own business. I am puzzled by the $1,370 fine. Add 30 bucks and make it an even $1,400. I have seen moose in the wild. They are big!

The road is steep and rocky. What else is new?

These puddles are one degree above freezing.

Hit snow at about 4 miles.

I got another mile up the road until I could go no further. I ran into a guy snowshoeing. He said to me, "No one should have that much energy. Well done!" I was hurting pretty badly at that point. I did like the compliment.

I stepped into one of these holes an - POW - my left knee went bye-bye. My wife looked at this photo and said, "Those holes look like you could easily have missed them." I said, "Yeah, I there were 700 holes and a missed 699!"

I still had 2 miles to go when my left knee got wiped out. I decided to just keep running and not baby my left knee. It hurts pretty badly now. I have iced it. I can't even climb stairs. Not good.

Thanks for reading my blog.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DMGABBETT 4/19/2011 12:35PM

    Bruce - I'm sorry buddy, I hope you are feeling better soon.

Comment edited on: 4/19/2011 11:48:39 PM

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CARLY9578 4/18/2011 11:30PM

    Sorry you're hurt! That's the worst. Hope you get better soon.

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ELISA322 4/18/2011 4:01PM

    LOL at the $1370 fine.

I agree, you're a machine!! I so hope your knee feels better.

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BANDMAMAPC 4/18/2011 12:20PM

    Those are not holes, they are craters! Like everyone here is saying, Ice it baby! Between my bad left knee and my daughter's many past injuries from cross country and cheerleading, knee brace, icey hot, ibuprofen are our friends. Oh, that sign with moose fines, who would kill one? Those are three times bigger than a horse. It can kill you, not the other way around.

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ROOT4HOME 4/18/2011 11:06AM

    Wow! All I can say is ICE and more ICE!! Hope you feel better soon!

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LOREENYK 4/18/2011 9:55AM

    Aleve is my knee's best friend!

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ADKONKLE 4/18/2011 9:00AM

    Stupid holes. Bravo on the effort. Take care of the knee not that you need to be told what to do. 15% grade. I need to find a tougher trail.

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CAROLCRC 4/18/2011 8:11AM

    Hoping the knee responds quickly. Promising, since you were able to keep running on it (however painfully).

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SUZWARNR 4/18/2011 6:57AM

    Wow, you are a machine! Sorry about your knee. I hope it's feeling better now.

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JERIBERI1 4/18/2011 6:32AM

    Looks like a fantastic place to run -- if you don't shoot a moose or step in a hole. Ice, ice, baby!

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TEDDYBABE 4/18/2011 6:22AM

    Your wife sounds great! Sorry that #700 got you! Keep after that knee. Great blog, and I agree your energy level is great!

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USFBULL 4/18/2011 2:10AM

    Ice is your friend

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ITSHOWYOULIVE 4/18/2011 1:22AM

    Oh No!! Sounds like something I would do :). Hope it feels better quickly. I am a So.Cal. girl, but went to college in Idaho. Couldn't believe my eyes the first time I saw a moose. I had no clue they were so huge!! Your snow definitely beats my snow-lol! Again, hope that knee feels better quickly.

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ELYMWX 4/18/2011 12:17AM

    Ice it some more, Gimpy^H^H^H^H^HBruce...

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Cheap Fitness Equipment and Bicycles

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I generally blog about running. I need to start hitting the weights. So this is a blog is about weight training. Or rather, how my wife, Annette, got started lifting weights. My wife is frugal to say the least. When I go to the grocery store for a few things it costs me a minimum of $100. I find things at the store I didn't even know I needed. She doesn't let me go to the store often. Annette can by a tremendous amount of food for very little money. She buys healthy stuff and she cooks highly nutritious meals. She is a little fitness and health demon.

About 12 years ago my wife started going to a personal trainer named Lisa. Lisa taught my wife how to lift weights. Annette decided to get her own weight set. She went down to Play it Again Sports. She bought a weight set with a barbell, curl bar and dumbbell bars. She still has them.

This is modestly priced 110 pound iron weight set. She paid $80 for the set. This set is a lot of bang for the buck.

She also bought a brand new weight bench for $50.

She found a set set of dumbbells on clearance for $29.95. These included 3, 5 and 8 pound weights.

Her total investment was:


She has used these weights for 12 years, which works out to $13 per year.

She also took up bike riding. She grabbed an old Magna bike that we had bought for one of our sons . He had out grown the bike many years ago. Because kids grow so quickly we didn't spend a lot of money on kid bikes. The original price was $79 at Target. The 18 speed bike had only two gears that worked. The brakes were terrible. The thing weighed 40 pounds. She didn't mind because she said she liked the heavy bike to get a good workout.

This is a new model Magna. $99 at Target. $99 is a terribly high price for this pile of junk. It has been recalled because the handle bars fall off.

I decided to start riding. I bought a new Giant Boulder SE for $325 and could beat my wife's bike seven ways from Sunday.

This bike has an alloy frame and good components. $325 was a great deal.

I bought Annette a new bike for her birthday. She picked out a Specialized Myka Expert. Bikes are one of those items that for a few more bucks you get a lot better components. For $625 she had a great bike. (BTW - that is huge discount -list was $940) I almost had to force her to allow me to spend that much money on a bike.

She loves this bike and has got a million miles on it. My advice is don't go cheap on a bike. She rides mountain passes and long trails. Having a bike break down 30 miles into the wilderness is no fun! A good bike is a must. We also take our bikes in yearly for a tune-up.

Now, having a streak of tool man Tim Taylor, I turned my attention to the home gym. I bought a complete gym with elliptical trainer, smith rack, leg press machine and olympic weight set.

Here is the smith rack with olympic weights. Everything on this smith rack is ball bearing with forged components. This is very rugged stuff. Again, cheap is not an option. I bought the floor model and got a hefty discount.

Here is the squat rack. Strong legs make you a better runner.

This inclined bench was a good deal.

The leg press machine is safe and easy to use.

Dumbbells - lots of dumbbells.

The cost for all the equipment we have now was about $4,000, including $1,000 for a Kettler elliptical trainer.

After 1o years and 1,000s of hours this machine is still smooth as silk and works perfectly. When it is cold and snowy we can still get a good cardio workout.

Along the lines of "more power" I recently bought a specialized Stumpjumper Comp for $1,600.

This bike has hydraulic disk brakes and fork lockout. I needed a great bike like this one to keep up with Annette.

I guess if there is a point to this blog is that you can spend whatever you want for fitness equipment. You want to get good value for your money. Annette loves her Myka bicycle, she uses the Kettler elliptical for cross-training and she digs the home gym. I read that the world-wide market for fitness equipment is $12 billion. I think I spent most of that myself!

Thanks for reading my blog.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LKEITHO 4/18/2011 10:39PM

    It is definitely too easy to spend a lot of money on fitness equipment! I agree with you about the bikes - a little more money can get a lot better bike. I love your home gym!

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YOGALOVESBACK 4/18/2011 12:05AM

    Wow!! That's amazing!! I've started on my own mini collected and got a free dumel 1,3 and 5 lb set, and I got a sweet deal for a $50 used stationary bike off of kijiji, love that site!

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MAGGIENCALI 4/17/2011 8:28PM

    I got my first surfboard at Play it Again sports! There is a lot of quality gym equipment out there that you don't have to pay top dollar for. You just need to know where to look.

My yoga stuff is from Target, my running shoes (Sauconys) were half off on Zappos (free shipping) and my gym equipment is free because I have a gym where I work. Free is good.

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BANDMAMAPC 4/17/2011 7:48PM

    Wow, you had me at hello. That is an impressive set!

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MSEBENS 4/17/2011 6:56PM

    That's amazing. I would love to have that set-up right in my home!

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SUZWARNR 4/17/2011 6:52PM

    I love all the equipment you have. You have everything you need for strength training. Definitely don't neglect that in your training. It has helped me tremendously. Do lots of squats and lunges for your legs. Can you find me a good deal on a bike? LOL. I need a racing one for next year. :)

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TEDDYBABE 4/17/2011 5:21PM

    Well you have NO EXCUSES for not doing your ST! LOL Great selection of equipment. You two are set up great!

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CAROLCRC 4/17/2011 4:45PM

    Love your equipment! I thought I had a nice home gym set-up with adjustable weights (5-52 pounds), a bench (new), bike and treadmill! I'm envious...

I admit - I'll definitely pay more for quality - talked DH into a more expensive treadmill - he hates it, (he hates any treadmill and is NOT a runner) but DD and I have put in a lot of hours on that thing.

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TREEBW 4/17/2011 4:16PM

    What does Annette typically cook?
It seems The healthier I eat (which is pretty normal for me) the more it costs (when I include organic veggies and such which I try to do); unless I just stick to grains, tofu, and veggies- which I got tired of years ago.

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KA_JUN 4/17/2011 3:59PM

    Nice rigs! Your home gym isn't too shabby either! I agree, when you look at the long term investment, if one actually uses the equipment, it's money well spent. How much is our health worth, or being able to physically perform at where we want to as we age?

Your wife got a really good deal @ Play it Again Sports on her weight set, well done! emoticon

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ITSHOWYOULIVE 4/17/2011 3:26PM

    Wow!! A tri is on my bucket list. I'm still working on the husband for the bike-lol!! Great blog, love the gear, gives me some ideas my husband won't like ;).

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LOREENYK 4/17/2011 2:35PM

    Wow! Your home gym is better equipped than a lot of hotels that offer a "fitness centre".

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CARLY9578 4/17/2011 2:15PM

    Sometimes paying extra for nice equipment is totally worth it. I am an avid hiker/backpacker, and nice equipment can be life-saving in certain situations. I also bought really nice MSR snowshoes a while back, which cost nearly twice as much as other brands. I have not regretted it for a second. My theory is that good gear is a good investment provided that I USE it.

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SROBERTS82 4/17/2011 1:55PM

    Nice weight room! I just went to the gym and tried an elliptical for the first time - loved it! I went looking for them on craigslist and found some pretty good prices on used equipment. I think that's a good way to go, because so many people buy them and then sell when they discover they never use them. We recently got a free exercise bike that just needed a $20 part. And this stuff lasts forever - I still have an exercise step I bought in college (about 20 years ago). It's money well spent!

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NWFL59 4/17/2011 1:43PM

    Wow, you've acquited some great home equipment and, unlike mine, gathers no dust from disuse. Congrats emoticon

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