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Bad Leg, Bikes and Less Food

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Part 1: Short Introduction

On August 14th at the start of the Leadville 10K race I seriously injured my right calf when I had to slam on the brakes during the start. I ran the race on a torn calf muscle. I finished the grueling race. This race is at 10,152 feet of elevation and has 1,035 feet of vertical climb. This race is tough on two good legs.

Part 2: Status on Healing

I can almost walk normally. I accidentally did a little jog to retrieve my car keys from my hotel room. Bad idea! My right calf would just not move right. It is hard to explain. It felt like my right leg didn't belong to me. I am still a couple of weeks away from any type of aerobic activity.

Part 3: Biking - Maybe

According to the Physical Therapist I need to start stretching my calf. Of course the stretching hurts. I was thinking that I could maybe ride my bike, Stumpy. However, I would have to take it easy and stay on Stumpy. Since I tend to take a lot of chances, me and Stumpy crash a lot. I can't imagine a bike crash would do me much good.

Part 4: Stablemate for Stumpy

I like Stumpy a lot. Stumpy is blazing fast and has all the right components. Stumpy is a hardtail. I am thinking I would also like to get a full suspension bike. I have not decided if I want a carbon frame, or not.

This bike is a Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert Carbon model for a paltry $4,700.

I save about $2,000 if I opt for an aluminum alloy frame.

This bike is a Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 29er for a bargain price of $2,700.

There is a good carbon frame bike that is in between the two Stumpies".

This is a Specialized Epic Comp Carbon 29er for $4,300.

If I want to go cheap, I can pick up a Specialized Camber Elite 29er.

This bike has an aluminum frame that is a bit heavier than the Stumpjumper. The Camber has decent components and goes for $2,150.

The Specialized Stumpjumpers and Elites are the top-end bikes in this class. I need to go test ride a few of these bikes when I get a bit better. I am thinking about taking up mountain bike racing. I can hurt myself during a running race. There is no telling the damage I can do in a bike race.

Part 5: Less Activity = Less Food

Now that I am grounded for a while I have been trying to eat less and eat better. Traveling to San Jose this week did not do me any good. Trying to find healthy food on the road can be challenging. So far I am doing OK. I have even dropped a few pounds. But I can feel myself getting soft. I want to run or ride Stumpy. I can do neither for a long time. Rats!

Thanks for reading my blog.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SARAHMAC1978 8/29/2011 5:41PM

    I know nothing about bikes, other than what I just read here. So I'd probably just go for the cheaper one (particularly if I knew I was going to be crashing on it regularly, like you say you tend to do!).

I'm glad you are healing. Calf soreness is the pits. Some people get tight IT bands or shins. I get tight lower calf muscles. Good luck with the stretching - it'll suck but you'll be happier in the long run.

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TRULYVISIBLE 8/28/2011 7:17PM

  I say buy the bike you want and not to worry about the price of it if you don't have to mortgage your house or sell your first born, lol. Your kids are grown, you worked hard your entire life so I think you should have what bike turns you on the most. You are spending your money on something that is good for you, you are not buying five thousand dollars worth of weekly deliveries of chocolate cake for the next few years. Post the pic when you buy it.

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WONDERWOMAN 8/28/2011 4:45PM

    I say get the carbon....not that I would know, I have a $98 Huffy from Wal-mart. My nephew is a serious biker and spent way too much on others before he finally went all out; and never regretted it. Then you can come up here and participate in the Ore to Shore Epic Bike Race. They say it's an awesome race.

Hope you heal quickly and are able to be "out there" again soon. emoticon emoticon

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SUZWARNR 8/28/2011 11:45AM

    I'm sorry you get to neither run or ride your bike. That totally sucks. It sounds like you are doing this recovery the right way and I hope that will be good for you in the long run, no pun intended. The bikes look really nice. I hope it won't be long before you can get yourself a new one. Take care of you and your leg.

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STRIVER57 8/28/2011 8:10AM

    i saw your status and was going to ask why you should resist such a temptation. now i've read your blog and i understand. unless you have a big birthday or something coming up ...

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ELYMWX 8/27/2011 11:30PM

    Ha! I can look (and drool) at new bikes, but I think that if I were to touch I would get my fingers slapped! Good luck on the MTB race - if you showed up at the start line wrapped in bubble wrap do you think they would laugh?

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KA_JUN 8/27/2011 11:28PM

    You should race.

Some light reading for you while you recover.



emoticon emoticon

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ITSHOWYOULIVE 8/27/2011 10:43PM

    Take care of yourself and be careful on Stumpy. You will get back where you want to be soon.

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LKEITHO 8/27/2011 10:22PM

    Keep being good to yourself. Some of those bikes do look seriously tempting, though!

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KKINNEA 8/27/2011 8:04PM

    Nice looking bikes you have under consideration. I'm interested to see how your less activity=less food goes since I'll be in the same boat after the marathon. What will you do for calf stretching?

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NATPLUMMER 8/27/2011 6:33PM

    I know how you feel about not being able to get in a good run (since I don't have a bike to ride I can't do that either). It is hard to keep the calories low. Good job losing some pounds.
I think any bike you choose will be a great stablemate for Stumpy.

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LMB-ESQ 8/27/2011 5:10PM

    Price Range $2100 to $4700 LMAO

I paid $80 for my bike brand new. You are into some serious toys! Is this what happens when someone gets injured and can't play the toys they already have? Dream about new ones? LOL

Happy recovery, Bruce

Comment edited on: 8/27/2011 5:11:17 PM

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DENISEUTAH 8/27/2011 3:31PM

It is pretty impressive you finished your race
Hope you are 100 % soon

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Torn Calf Rehab - Being Good (Mostly)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Part 1: Background

On August 14th at 12:01 PM MDT, at the start of the Leadville 10K Trail Race, I tore my right calf muscle in an effort to avoid a collision when the runner in front of me stopped. A torn calf muscle can occur when a runner changes direction suddenly.

My wife was watching the start of the race and told me what happened.

A number of hyper-competitive guys on the front row jumped the gun. The field surged forward in response. The group of false starters jumped back when they realized the gun had not gone off. She said they were moving backwards when the gun went off. This sent a shock wave through the field.

When the woman in from of me stopped, there was hole a half a step ahead to my immediate right in the row in from of me. I made a short step toward the hole. A runner behind me flashed by heading for the same hole. For a brief moment there was chaos in the field. I slammed my right foot forward and pushed back in a tippy-toe maneuver. Pain exploded in my calf as the muscle tore itself apart with an audible "pop". At first, I thought it was a cramp, or I had been kicked. I had never injured a calf before. I have injured almost every other part of my body. I have torn muscles before but the calf tear is like nothing I had ever felt before.

I limped and hobbled my way through the 6.22 mile race to finish in a distant 191st place out of 260 runners. I walked a lot and stopped nine times. The Leadville race is at high altitude over a very hilly course. I think this challenging course saved me from being dead last. A lot of runners have to walk during the race. My time was 1 hour and 12 minutes. I expected to finish in the mid-50 minute range.

Part 2: Injury

I was diagnosed with a Grade 3 calf strain.

The ultra-sound showed to deep vein thrombosis (blood clots). The doctor was concerned about blood clots because of the severe swelling. Under normal circumstances, my calves are 17 inches in diameter. My injured right calf measures 23"

This diagram shows an intrepid person running with a torn calf. My right calf is starting to itch something fierce. The doctor told me this is because the blood that spilled from the torn muscle in an irritant.

Part 3: Treatment

I am trying to be good. My calf is improving. The doctor told me this was a good sign and surgery may not be necessary. I also think the grade 1 strain to my right hamstring makes the calf injury look worse that it actually is. I know my calf is recovering because the hamstring is bothering more and more.

Here is a shot of my rehab kit,

I have three classic ice bags of various sizes. I have ace bandages to hold the ice in place. These bandages are also used to wrap the calf. The ACE cold compress bags are sealed and gel filled. T cold compressed work really well. I have a cane for hobbling around. The drugs included Aleve as an anti-inflammatory and Vicodin as a central nervous system-depressant. Although Vicodin makes me mildly nauseous, I decided to have the prescription filled. Vicodin is effective against pain, and my normal central nervous system-depressant, beer, has a lot more calories.

I very much need to watch the caloric intake and nutrition very closely. The Runner's World magazine has all sorts of weight-loss tips that pretty much square with SparkPeople.

Runner's World is THE running magazine. My wife thinks the cover photos are re-touched just a bit. Do you think?

I have a lot of good movies. These are some of my favorites.

The dramas include "Boondock Saints", "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and "To Kill a Mockingbird." Comedies are "Second Hand Lions", “The Gods Must Be Crazy Parts 1 & 2" and "Pirate Radio". In "Pirate Radio" the character Quentin exclaims "Spectacular mistake!" I keep hearing those words as I try to rehab my right leg.

This little box is an Electric Muscle Stimulator and gives a really neat little deep tissue massage. This EMS is a bit of a controversial treatment. But I think it works.

This is where I sit, prop up my leg and watch my movies.

I have gotten proficient at applying ice and wrapping my leg.

I have a cold compress on my upper calf and another on my shin. My shin is very swollen due to blood pooling. I also have shin splints. Due to my terrible gait during the Leadville race, I think I may have damaged, strained or inflamed every muscle in my lower body . I suppose "limp -limp - hobble - hop - hop - limp - stumble - fall" is technically not a gait.

My whole darn leg is purple.

Part 4: Taking a Chance

The weather has been perfect lately. I really want to go running. My wife points out that I am barely able to walk, much less run. I drove to target to get some more Aleve and short PJ bottoms. I got a veggie wrap for lunch. I decided I want to go on a private picnic to the Fly J Ranch. The Flying J is a great place to run and I miss the natural beauty.

Once I got to the Flying J, I had to gimp my way to a picnic pavilion.

This path looked pretty treacherous to me. But I wanted a quiet place to eat.

The trail made me tremble with excitement. Maybe the weather will still be nice in a month or two when I am healed. I am hobbling down the trail holding my drink and wrap.

I got to the picnic shelter intact and without hurting myself.

I pulled the cheese out of the wrap. Since a very slow hobble down a 100' path represents the height of physical activity for me, I got to watch what I eat.

The view from the picnic area is great.

Doesn’t this trail look inviting? This is a long trail. On two feet or two wheels, this is fun.

It would also be fun to take off and trail blaze!

I need to try and be good. I know I am going to really suck at running when I am all healed. I watched "Secretariat" yesterday. The movie starts with a quote from the Bible.

Job 39:21-24

"21 He paws in the valley, and rejoices in his strength; He gallops into the clash of arms. 22 He mocks at fear, and is not frightened; Nor does he turn back from the sword. 23 The quiver rattles against him, the glittering spear and javelin. 24 He devours the distance with fierceness and rage; Nor does he come to a halt because the trumpet has sounded."

I like the idea of devouring distance with fierceness and rage. Right now I sorta limp around trying not to nose dive with meekness and resignation.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKINNYSOON13 9/25/2011 11:23AM

    I guess seeing how BEAUTIFUL it is there, I'd have a hard time staying down too :-)

I love your rehab section, and that wrap, etc. is awesome. Love the bruising - remember that! The EMS is fantastic - that might be the secret to your healing so quickly BTW, I wonder why it's controversial? If you could get in there and massage that deep, it's the best thing I would imagine you could do - so, I give a thumbs up.

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ITSHOWYOULIVE 8/26/2011 12:16AM

    Awww man, your poor calf!! Glad you have lots of good movies and a regimine to get back at it. I could watch To Kill a Mockingbird over and over :). Keep being good and I'll cross my fingers that the beautiful weather holds out so that you heal and still get to run!

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LKEITHO 8/22/2011 10:10PM

    Keep being good! Hopefully you'll be able to jog those trails again soon.

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SUZWARNR 8/22/2011 5:35PM

    I hope the healing goes well for you. I'm sorry you're in so much pain. I know it sucks to be good and follow the rules, but we have to try to remember that doing things we aren't supposed to might make it worse and recovery longer. I'm glad you enjoyed your picnic. Your spot looked lovely.

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TEDDYBABE 8/22/2011 3:30PM

    Yes, you fed your need to see the trail and tortured yourself at the same time. What a beautiful spot. So envious. Glad you could make it to the pavillion. Soon enough, you will be running down the trail! Hang in there. My 10K training has gone backwards. BUT I am attacking this heat. Trying to conquer it. haha... so far it wins! Later... Speedybabe.

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KKINNEA 8/22/2011 2:14PM

    Love the kit shots - I think I need to assemble the same for my ankle, which just does not want to heal up. I was able to run my HM yesterday but last night and today that ankle is complaining something fierce.

We'll keep rehabbing and trying to be good!

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BAILEYS7OF9 8/22/2011 1:34PM

    I was getting worried there for a minute that you were going to try to run! Yes, that trail looks very inviting! I have not trail run yet, but I am really wanting to. I ride my horse all over the woods, like it there... I should run there too!

I like the EMS stuff.. I have one and I believe it really helps!

"Spectacular mistake!" how fitting.

Feel better soon!

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CBAILEYC 8/22/2011 10:41AM

    For what it's worth, I'm very proud of you!
Good movies, good reads, good icing.. good for you! Literally as well.
Plus, you can always use this contemplative rehab/healing time to plot and plan how you're going to pull together and put on your first-ever trail race! If you can't be out in the midst of the pack, then figure how you can torture.. erm.. entertain! those who are.

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LINDAKAY228 8/22/2011 8:31AM

    Can really see the swelling in that shot of your wrapped leg. I know it's hard but you'll get through this. I love the pics of where you had your little private picnic and can understand the almost overpowering temptation to strike out on the trail. It does look so inviting.
Runner's World is the only magazine of any kind I subscribe too. I'm not much for magazines but gotta have my Runner's World LOL! One of my favorite movies is Spirit of the Marathon about several people of different levels of experience and ages preparing to enter the Boston Marathon. Hope you feel better very soon but don't rush it. As I'm sure you well know taking time to heal properly now will make sure you don't have further problems. Patience, patience patience. Such a difficult thing for us.

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GSCOTTC 8/21/2011 10:35PM

    Does that muscle stimulation actually work? What does it feel like? And where did find this machine?

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TRILLIUM22 8/21/2011 6:09PM

    I have total confidence in you. You can do difficult things. You can make it through recovery. You can rest and let your body heal.

You Can, and I hope you Will.

Take care so speedydog can be all recovered.

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HEALTHY4JEANNE 8/21/2011 4:46PM

    I swear I will pass out if I read about your injury one more time. HEEBIE JEEBIES!
Great news that you might not need surgery. Second hand lions is a great movie.

Take care of yourself and listen to your wife!
:) jeanne

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KAREN42BOYS 8/21/2011 4:23PM

    this does sound like a man recovering. glad that's the case. the last blog post sounded pretty darned scary from longterm damage potential.

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BARBIETEC 8/21/2011 3:28PM

    I hope you will get better soon and please be good! so you can start running again!

Take care!

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GRATEFULBOB 8/21/2011 3:25PM

    feel better get back on the feet asap with clearance from the doctors emoticon

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NATPLUMMER 8/21/2011 3:16PM

    I hope you heal quickly. I do understand the wanting to run but not being able to. Don't push it to fast or you may be out longer than you think. emoticon

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KA_JUN 8/21/2011 3:12PM

    Heal up fast, and keep visualizing your trails. That's what kept me sane after being sidelined off the bike for 3 months.

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TYKXBOY 8/21/2011 2:59PM

    Looks like you're on the right road to recovery. You can sit back and enjoy the sights for now and game plan your return. Might want to do your initially return runs with meekness and hope before you move on to fierceness and rage...

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ELYMWX 8/21/2011 2:59PM

    I hope you heal quickly and without complications, Bruce. Enjoy the scenery, but please don't let it tempt you; if in doubt, just ask Annette :-)

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SARAHMAC1978 8/21/2011 2:03PM

    As always, love reading your blogs! The picnic area is lovely. I can see how you'd want to brave the treacherous path to eat there. Please get plenty of rest...I hope you mend quickly!!

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LMB-ESQ 8/21/2011 1:39PM

    Good recovery wishes!! Your wrapped and swollen leg is very pretty. Love, Love, LOVE To Kill a Mockingbird and Pirate Radio. Some part of me still aspires to be Atticus Finch, although small town lawyers like that don't exist anymore. **sigh**

Enjoy the scenery when you can, but please do not be stupid and stubborn and go out too early.

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KCNEWF 8/21/2011 1:37PM

    Great to see your post. You obviously still have your Spark. Heal right and well! The trails will be waiting for you when your calf is ready!

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REDSHOES2011 8/21/2011 1:29PM

    I hope you recover soon.. emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/21/2011 1:31:37 PM

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Leadville 10K Race Report - Torn Calf Muscle

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Part 1: Leadville 10K Trail Run Background

Leadville, Colorado, is home to some of the most grueling biking and running races in the World.

Several months ago, I decided to run the Leadville 10K Trail Race on August 14th. As a bonus, my wife and I arrived in Leadville early enough on August 13th to see the finish of the Leadville Trail 100 mile Mountain Bike race. These racing bikes were awesome. For $10,000 a copy, Specialized will build you the lightest 29" full suspension mountain bike in the world. Then you too can ride in "The Race Along the Sky".

S-Works Epic 29er does not come with pedals.

The Leadville races are serious business. The 10K is by far the shortest of the Leadville Series and is the only race that does not have a time limit. Here are the particulars of the 2011 race:

Race: Leadville 10K Trail Run
Date: Sunday, August 14th 2011
Start Time: 12:01 PM
Starting Elevation: 10,152'
Total Vertical: 1,035 feet
Maximum Grade: 20%
Surface 20% Pavement, 80% Dirt
Weather at Start: 59.0 °F and Overcast
Field: 260 (All Finished)

The starting and finish line is at the corner of W6TH Street and Harrison Avenue in bustling downtown Leadville. This photo is about an hour before race time.

Part 2: Injury Report

I am not sure I can be as jocular in this blog as those in the recent past. But I will do my best.

As I write this blog, I have a severely torn left calf muscle. I have two ice bags strapped to my right leg. My right calf is so swollen the skin is drum tight. My calf is turning a hideous rainbow of green, black and blue. My right foot is swollen from blood draining down from the ruptured calf muscles. The doctor told me I have a Grade 3 strain. He says this will take at least 3 to 5 months to heal. He prescribed pain pills, which I am not going to take. Those things make me sick.

I also have a pulled groin, pulled left hamstring, pulled left glute, stiff neck and really bad attitude.

How did this happen?

Part 3: Leadville 10K Photo Essay "Are you stupid or something?"

When I finished the race, Annette was waiting for me near the finish line. I limped toward her. She looked at me with a puzzled expression, "What's the matter? I was starting to get worried when I didn't see you after an hour." I sat down on a planter, "I think I tore my right calf. It hurts like hell!" She looks really concerned and asks "When did you do that?" I asked her, "You got any idea of my time?" She looked puzzled, "The clock said about 1:12 when you crossed the finish line. Why?" I replied, "I tore my calf about an hour and twelve minutes ago." My wife is a bright woman. She asked me in her level voice that means danger, "You ran 6 miles with a torn calf?" Through the fog of intense pain I heard myself say, "Well, it is really more like 6.22 miles." She exploded, "Are you stupid or something?" I didn't answer. As hurt as I was, I kinda thought it was a rhetorical question.

Now we need to back up the clock to 11:50AM. Annette told me she saw another runner that looked like an ex-football player. In a sea of skinny runners, the big guys stick out like a sore thumbs. The crazy people that run high-altitude mountain races tend to look like cover models on Runner's World magazine.

Here I am with my new friend, Darrell from Ohio. We chat about the weather and running. He liked the lower temperature of Leadville compared to Ohio. He was wary of the altitude.

I bought this cup at the hotel. Mountain racers enjoy gasping for each breath in a futile attempt to get some oxygen.

At 11:55 AM runners started to trickling into the starting area. I found a comfortable place to stand that was just a few rows from the front. I like to get off to a fast start. Plus, the first part of this course is downhill. I am geared up for a blazing fast start.

I have determined that, left to my own devices, I instinctively find the right spot. Darrell is standing with me. He tells me we are too far forward and we should move back to give the faster runners a clear path. At the time this made sense to me. I have since realized that where you need to start has nothing to do with your average pace and everything to do with your starting pace. I am used to starting like I am shot out of a cannon. Some big races use the wave or stagger starts. Even though I don't like big races, I always want to be toward the front of my wave.

Here we are just moments away from the start. The motion picture camera truck is ready to roll. Annette took this shot. I have just seconds to have two good legs. I am standing next to Darrell feeling very claustrophobic. I know I am in the wrong place! The countdown starts to the gun. Too late now. I am stuck!

"Five..four...three...two...one" BANG!

The field surges forward. I take off. I feel great. I have closed the distance between myself and the woman ahead of me. Everyone is moving well. Then, inexplicably, she stops. I have no place to go. Annette told me there was an odd surge then stop as the race began. To avoid a collision, I slam on the brakes. I feel a "pop" in my right calf, then an intense horrifying pain! It felt like my calf had been hit with a sledge hammer. I enter another world. The field moves forward again. I see the red timing mat that marks the starting line. The World is in slow motion. I am not even in my own body. I am floating. There is no reality except pain.

Words cannot describe the terrible white hot agony I felt as my calf muscle tore itself apart. Here is what sportsmedicine.about.com says about a calf sprain:

"A calf strain or pull often happens during acceleration or an abrupt change in direction while running. A torn calf muscle may spasm, and contract forcefully so that the toes will automatically point downward."

You may think you've just been hit in the back of the leg and hear an audible "pop." There will be sudden, sharp pain in the back of the lower leg, or pain, swelling and even bruising over the calf muscle. Most calf injuries will make it difficult to tolerate weight on the injured side and make it very difficult to stand on the toes."

"Bruises show up over the injured area as well as in the foot and ankle due to pooling of blood from internal bleeding."

I think this little blurb was written by somebody that never experienced a ruptured calf muscle. With each step, the calf muscle feels like it is being sliced open with a red-hot butcher knife, then hit with a hammer!

I ran about a 1/4 mile at a 7:19 min/mile pace and stop by the side of the road. I had tears running running down my face. I am thinking I have a cramp. I massaged the muscle and do some stretching. The massage and stretching does no good. I limp down the course.

Here is a readout from my Garmin305 for the Leadville 10K. The dark blue line is shows my pace. For those of you familiar with the Garmin Training Center, you can see that my pace is erratic. The spikes on the blue line also show where I stopped. I stopped nine times. I mostly just leaned against trees standing on my left leg. I just had to get the pressure off my right calf when the pain got too intense.

I got to the 5K turn-around at 31:55. I had been running for 32 minutes. Ordinarily, I would have been happy to get to the half-way mark. On this day it meant that I had an impossible 5K more to go. The field had stretched-out a lot. I found myself running with a little group. At the front of a the group was a very fit husband and wife running together. At the end of a the group was a young woman that was wearing a "Boulder Running Team" shirt. I generally don't pace myself with fellow runners. When "Boulder Running Team" would pass me, I would speed up. When I started to pass the honeymooners, I would slow down.

The race was endless. My gait was gone. I could not push off with my right leg. But muscle memory is a powerful thing. Sometimes my natural gait would take over and I push off with my right toe. My destroyed calf would explode in pain. One of my biggest running asset is extremely powerful calf muscles. When I am "in the groove" I love the little burst of acceleration I get when I push with my toe with each stride.

At about the 4 mile mark my right leg buckled and I went down hard! I got up and hopped on my left leg and sat down on an embankment, I knocked the dirt off my bloody knee and hand. I folded arms on my knees and laid my head on my arms. I rested just a moment. I got up and caught Ms. "Boulder Running Team" again. I had a fuel belt with one bottle of water and another bottle of recovery drink. This fuel belt was a life saver. I had some energy beans and some GU Chomps in my belt. Generally, I don't need this stuff during a race. On this day, I needed all the help I could get.

My jogging stride is about 3 feet long. A 10K race requires 11,000 steps. Every step was an eternity of pain. I finally, topped the last hill and could see the finish line. It was so far away! I had only 1/2 mile to go. 880 steps to the finish line. Due to my torn calf, I was running "improperly". I had shin splints, pulled left hamstring, pulled left and right quads, pulled left glute. My right hand was bruised, bleeding and swollen. My left knee was bruised and bleeding. My shoulders and lower back were hurting. I had nothing left in the tank. The finish line kept getting further away.

Annette took this shot. These are my legs. Do you see I just pushed-off with my right toe using my demolished right calf? This really, really, really hurt! I am moving at a 7:19min/mile pace and have 100 feet to go.

How did I do?

I finished in 1 Hour, 12 Minutes and 12.6 seconds.

Chip Time: 1:12:12.6
Overall Finish: 191 out of 260 runners
50-59 Male Age Group Finish: 14 out of 19 runners

This is may be last race report this season. I have some rehab to do.

Here are some closing photos that I took during a picnic on August 13th at Turquoise lake near Leadville.

This is Annette eating a sandwich.

My favorite bird is a Gray Jay. This bird only lives at 9,000 feet+. The Gray Jay is also known as the "Camp Robber".

I don't always fall down. Here is a shot of me successfully navigating a log.

Part 4: Straw Poll - Should I have stopped?

After about a mile, I knew I was seriously hurt. I also reasoned that the damage had already done so I might as well keep going. This was a bad idea. A Grade 3 calf sprain may require surgery since the ruptured muscle fibers may have torn away from the rest of calf muscles.

I want to find out if I am sane. I am also interested to find out about you.

(1) Given the circumstances, would you have stopped?
(2) How do you know you are hurt and not just feeling some pain?
(3) What is the worst injury you have had and kept going?
(4) Have you ever called it quits because you got hurt?

In retrospect, I should have stopped when I realized I had a serious injury. Here is a description of a Grade 3 Calf strain I found on a running rehab site that scares me a bit:

- A grade 3 calf strain is a catastrophic injury. (Not nearly as catastrophic as my wife's reaction - she is still is not speaking to me)
- There is an immediate burning or stabbing pain and the athlete is unable to walk without pain. (It also make it challenging to run 10K without crying)
- The muscle is completely torn and there may be a large lump of muscle tissue above a depression where the tear is. ( I got this)
- After a few days with grade 2 and 3 injuries a large bruise will appear below the injury site caused by the bleeding within the tissues. (This bruising appeared in less than a day - my calf is amazingly tender to the touch and feels like it is about to burst open )

My doctor, wife and my common sense (always in short supply) told me I should have stopped immediately.

Thanks for reading my blog.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IONA72 8/20/2011 3:22PM

    Your wife deserves a medal!
I "think" I would have stopped.
An awesome time even without injury.
Get well soon.

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STRIVER57 8/19/2011 8:04AM

    i don't think i'm mentally hard enough at all to not stop in such a situation, although i am also pretty stubborn about overcoming what i tend to think of as my wimpiness. otoh, everyone has things they will keep going for and they vary. when i tore my meniscus and had a grade 2 knee sprain early on a vacation in Tuscany, i didn't see a doctor because i was sure they would tell me to stop moving, and the first trip in 17 years to my favorite city, Florence, and the first family trip there with our daughter ... no way was i blowing that. the doctor could not believe when i got home that i walked for a week with it. the silver lining is that the pain led me to start sparking seriously, because i think it would have hurt lots less schlepping 50 fewer pounds around. so i do understand you ... and your wife ... and i hope she forgives you soon.

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DLEDBETTER11 8/18/2011 1:50PM

    Oh - BTW

(1) Given the circumstances, would you have stopped?
After what I went through with my ankle, I would like to
think I would stop...but honestly...knowing me...no - I would have continued.

(2) How do you know you are hurt and not just feeling some pain? Unfortunately that comes with experience, which from the sounds of it, we will get a lot of.

(3) What is the worst injury you have had and kept going?
Broken bone - twice! Once was the ankle (think upper outside of foot) then this past year was the big toe. I finished the trail run on the broken ankle because I was running alone and had no alternative but to continue back to the car. The toe - same thing! you would think I would learn. I was actually stupid enough to run a marathon on the ankle less than 2.5 months later...it took a year to fully recover thanks to my decision to run on it before it healed.

(4) Have you ever called it quits because you got hurt? No - not that I shouldn't have but because I'm inherently stupid and stubborn when it comes to things like that.


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ANNIE7205 8/18/2011 12:15PM

    While I would like to say that I would have stopped, I don't know. That was basically how I sprained my ACL last fall. First race out of four in a dragonboat (long story) but kept tweaking it for 3 more races throughout the day. Jeff got really mad at me when he found out that I signed up for this year's race (Sept. 24th) and made me promise that if I feel ANYTHING at all off, I get out of the boat and he'll take my spot. Of course he said that after 2 days of basically not speaking to me because he thinks I'm an idiot for even attempting it again this year.

So sorry to hear about the injury. That really, really sucks. Keep us posted on the rehab.

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DLEDBETTER11 8/18/2011 9:56AM

    I've done it too - run while injured. When will we ever learn? HATE to hear about the injury...feel free to use me as a venting post!

Take care my friend!

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MULEDOGGIE 8/17/2011 8:56PM

    Thanks for posting this. Very well done. Sorry about your injury.


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SUZWARNR 8/17/2011 8:25PM

    I am so sorry to read this. :(. I can't imagine the horrible pain you must've been in and are still probably in. My crappy race pales in comparison. Would I have stopped? I don't know. I think I'm as stubborn as you are. I wish you the best. What happens next?

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LINDAKAY228 8/17/2011 10:28AM

    I'm so sorry this happened to you. That really sucks. Would I have stopped? I think I would have but then I'm never sure exactly what I will do until I'm in the middle of the circumstance. And I tend to be stubborn and sometimes push harder than I should in something like that. It would obviously be best if I stopped but what is best isn't always what we do. Hope you feel better soon. Hope your wife also enjoyed the "haunted" hotel LOL.

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SKINNYSOON13 8/17/2011 12:57AM

    Oh MAN!!!! Dude, I feel for you = and I am with your wife - YOU ARE INSANE! LOL I can't BELIEVE you ran that entire 10K with a torn calf muscle, and not just torn, but TORN!!!!

I already know I would have stopped, because when I tore MINE, I immediately stopped because I knew something really bad had just happened. I was hurt because I like to think I'm pretty "in tune" with my body - so if something pops, and I feel the release - I know something is wrong. I initially thought it was my achilles, and when I put my weight down and realized it wasn't I was SOOOOO relieved, but then when the rest of my foot came down and I felt the pain in my CALF, I knew I was in just slightly less trouble :-( And I gotta say, NO WAY would I have run 6+ miles once I realized I was injured! LOL No way would I have been as tough as you.

To answer #3 - it would have to be every sprained ankle I've ever had :-) hehe Never bad enough to stop - through a brace on it and go :-)

You can see that dent in your leg in that picture your wife took, and that leg just looks like MUSH! Then, you add on all the other damage you did BECAUSE you didn't stop...

But I still FEEL for you! LOL If you aren't sorry now, you'll be sorry for the next 3+ months. Because being immobile SUCKS! Let me just say though, you GOTTA let that thing heal right, or you will ALWAYS have problems with it. I did mine right, and I don't have any problems, but I've seen a LOT of girls who didn't heal theirs right, and they are constantly restraining it.

I didn't need surgery, and I followed all the rules by the book for healing.

I hope you'll keep your blog updated. I'm going to be your #1 blog follower as this progresses.

BTW - the bruising is FASCINATING!!! I have never had anything like that happen to me. It's been 2 years next week since my injury, and I STILL cringe thinking about it. Good luck!

(BTW - your poor wife!)

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ERLYWA 8/17/2011 12:52AM

    Oh, this is such a terrible turn of events for you...I am SO sorry you are going through this! At this point it doesn't make much sense to beat up on yourself, my guess is that you've learned a very valuable lesson about injury and stopping when you hurt so bad that you have tears running down your face. Time to move forward into healing. I will be thinking really good thoughts for you that you don't end up needing surgery.

Hang in there, and follow doctor's orders! :)

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WALKOFFWIN 8/16/2011 10:59PM

    First, the most important thing of all... Bruce! I am just sooo sorry this happened to you man! This just really sucks! I've really admired all the training and racing you've been doing, and I respect and admire YOU! And to have it all just go to hell like this, is just hard for me to accept on your behalf! I can only begin to imagine how you must feel.

The only thing I can add, is that this thing, with the proper medical care and rehab - will eventually heal, and you'll make a complete recovery. You're a very tough man - maybe too tough for your own good... but now after the disaster, turn your toughness into a real asset and show us all how a real man, a genuine tough guy OVERCOMES something like this, and COMES BACK!!!

That can be your purpose now, Bruce. Document the ongoing success story of what you are doing to rehab and recover from a catastrophic injury. Show us how it's done! No matter how long it takes... Put that amazing and astounding determination we all know you have, to work - and work your way out of this! Show us how a REAL MAN makes a REAL COMEBACK!!!

It's not important what I would've done, or what I have done... Knock on wood, but I've been ridiculously lucky my entire life avoiding serious injury - while repeatedly taking foolish risks and doing incredibly stupid things! So often I see bad sh*t happen to people doing the same things I have done, only I got away with it, in large part, because of dumb luck!

All I'll say, is that I don't take as many insane chances now, as I used to, because I can sense the odds getting higher that I am now that much closer to running out of luck, and maybe that very next time I decide to toss the dice and gamble with my life and wholeness of body... I'll finally be sh*t outta luck.

Hang in there, Bruce!


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LKEITHO 8/16/2011 10:37PM

    I would like to say I would have stopped, but history tells me otherwise. Back in about 1997 or so I tore out my left Achilles tendon while going up a flight of stairs to my bank. Fortunately, I landed on my good foot on the top step and didn't fall back down the whole flight. The feeling was pretty much what you described - like being hit in the back of the leg with a baseball bat. So what do I do? I go in and do my banking. Then I hobble back to my car (a stick shift at the time), and drove one footed (which was a good trick when trying to change gears or stop) to the emergency room. They had a look, agreed I had torn the tendon and needed surgery, and set me up to have it done 2 days later. So I went and did my rounds at the hospital before going home.

I hope you heal well, and that you are able to run again by the spring!

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GSCOTTC 8/16/2011 7:04PM

    I know that the right answer to the question should have you have stopped when you knew you were hurt is YES. Would have I stopped? Most likely not. Would Loreen have been PO'ed? Yup in spades, but I still would have finished the race. Something in me refuses to give up physical challenges. Loreen hates it when I am in the gym and there is a bunch of young guys showing off, cause I will lift more then they can even if it means sever pain the next day.

I am a man therefore I am stupid about pain.

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JONAHSADIE 8/16/2011 4:31PM

    Good Golly you are tough! I definitely would have stopped almost immediately. I have a low tolerance for injuries and may have passed out from the pain, lol.

Take it easy!

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CHIFANG130 8/16/2011 4:08PM

    (1) Given the circumstances, whould you have stopped?
YES. If you would have stopped, maybe it was just grade 1 calf strain. My calf muscle popped back in June and that was the worst pain ever. Spent the first 2 days jumping on one foot. Took me 3 weeks to be back to walking normally. Make sure you put your feet up and don't ever try walking for a week or even longer. I know it's hard, but it's very important for your speedy recovery. The doctor may tell you longer hearling time. You can speed it up but not walking and put any stress on it.

(2) How do you know you are hurt and not just feeling some pain?
I know I am hurt because the pain is not going away after 10 mins and I realize it's real... not that I was imagining the pain.

(3) What is the worst injury you have had and kept going?
I once twisted my right ankle wearing heals. Since I wanted to look nice, I continued to wear the damn heals and pretended I can still walk in them for the whole day. Fast forward 10 years after, my right ankle acts up every now and then. I now no longer wear high heels because the bone structure of my right foot has been compromised.

(4) Have you ever called it quits because you got hurt?
Yes, definitely. Think this way - If I acknowledge my defeat today because of the injury, it's only temporary. Think that today's rest is in preparation for tomorrow's thousands miles. You can defeat defeat by knowing when to stop and start.

Take care. I know it's going to be frustrating for not able to be active. You will heal. You just have to be patient!

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KA_JUN 8/16/2011 3:49PM

    Love your race reports.

That mug you bought says, "serious".

(1) Given the circumstances, would you have kept going?

Since you traveled out there on short notice, I might have. Then again, you injured yourself pretty badly, so there's an argument for stopping. Reading your description, probably have stopped, but that's just me.

(2) How bad do you have to be hurt to stop?

Head injury, motor skills or balance off, or the sense that continuing would cause severe and possibly irreparable damage.

(3) What is the worst injury you have had and kept going?

2 crashes during a race where both my hands swelled up and I couldn't squeeze the brake levers.

(4) Have you ever called it quits because you got hurt?

Yes. During a race where I crashed and hit my head (helmets are our friends) and was dizzy afterwards. Considering my condition, there would've been more of the same and additional injuries were imminent.

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HEALTHY4JEANNE 8/16/2011 2:55PM

    Ok, Lets just say that I got weak a couple of times reading this blog.
I would have stopped. I am sorry maybe it is the wife/mom in me but I am with your wife on this one.

I pray that you have patience during this recovery process and that you do not need surgery.

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TRILLIUM22 8/16/2011 1:51PM

    Ouch, It's hard to figure out if I'd have stopped, I know sitting hear in front of my computer I'd say I'd stop if I had gotten a serious injury. I've heard stories of how you can make things worse by running on an injury. I suppose the crying during the race should have been a big red flag--I don't see you as a regular race crier.

It's hard because you don't have much time to think in a race. You've planned and visualized what well happen and then you run. I suppose next time you have an injury you've got a bit more experience to bring to the situation.

I sure hope the rehab goes well and quickly. I've heard of people who feel that water running is great -- as a non weight bearing alternative.

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JOPAPGH 8/16/2011 1:46PM

    (1) Given the circumstances, whould you have stopped? Yes

(2) How do you know you are hurt and not just feeling some pain? If it is intense enough pain I would assume I was hurt

(3) What is the worst injury you have had and kept going? Stress fractures at the top of each heel (separate occasions) for overly tight calves. fininsed a 10 mile training run on rt foot and an 18 mile training run on left

(4) Have you ever called it quits because you got hurt? Not during a race but have a Did Not Start due to stress fracture

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KKINNEA 8/16/2011 1:31PM

    I probably would have kept going. I remember last year limping the final 5K in the duathlon in spite of my right hamstring that was screaming and screaming at me to stop.

Here's hoping your rehab is as quick as possible.

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CBAILEYC 8/16/2011 12:30PM

    Oh Speedy Speedy Speedy! I'm so sorry to hear of your injury. I'm also wondering about the pushbutton coffee and the ghost LOL

For goodness sake! I'm shaking my head, wincing, and admiring your grit and determination all at once. Would I have stopped? I think I would have tried to continue, depending upon the level of pain, and if it were too bad, I'd have walked. I get/understand stubborn and determined.

I've had a pretty bad shin splint (pretty bad to me because I've never been injured like that before, so it was terrible, but not nearly as bad as yours!) that developed while I was training for my first ever Half. I kept trying to run, which just made it worse. I maybe should have bagged the Half and tried again some other time, but I didn't. I completed my first Half, then took two weeks off from running. I could barely walk a day or two after that Half, whereas I had been fine when I ran 13.1 for a training run several weeks before.

Annette looks like a very lovely, very understanding lady. I think you're lucky, and hope she can help you remember it's all about rehab now! Take it easy, my friend!

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TYKXBOY 8/16/2011 12:28PM

    Good God, man! I can't believe you continued to run, let alone walk, or even finish in 1:12! While I admire your determination and ability to push through the pain to run a full 10k, if you had stopped you would only have had a pulled muscle and not all the other series of ailments that you listed. You are definitely a fighter! Reminds me of Rambo getting stapled and stitched without any anesthetic.

To answer your questions: 1) If it's painful to run, I would've stopped to not make it worse. Discretion is the better part of valor. 2) Depends on where in the race I hurt myself. At the beginning or anywhere along the first half of the race, if I could barely walk/run, then I would stop. If I was almost finished, then I would probably finish. Anywhere else on the course and I would probably stop if I could barely walk. 3) Worst injury I've had during a race was rolling an ankle. I did have a training run where a previously injury flaired up and I had pain from my hip down past my knee and had to limp back.
But I've finished every race I've started except for one. 4) I've never been seriously injured during a race, but I did flip over the inside curb of the track during my first 800m race - I didn't finish because it was semi-on-purpose (long story).

I hope you get a lot of rest and that you take care of yourself during your rehab so you can come back strong. Sounds very painful, so I hope that pain goes away quick! Get better, soon!

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ELYMWX 8/16/2011 12:07PM

    The only word that comes to mind is "OUCH".

As for your questions, I'll answer the sanity question with one word: NO. Mind you, I think I would answer the same way for myself too. And I won't touch Annette's question with a ten foot pole! Oh - did she get her push-button cappuccino and get to see a ghost?

#1, would I have stopped? I suspect I would have stopped after 1-2 miles; I would have tried to run it off, but once it became clear that it wasn't going away, I probably would have walked from there, and then talked to someone at the first aid station (if there was one).

For #2, my answer is "I don't know". I would like to think that I would stop for an injury like you've sustained, but that would presume that I realized just how badly I was hurt. For #3, it's my stress fracture - while I felt a little bit of pain during the 15K race, I didn't know what it was, and the truly horrible pain didn't come until the next day, so I didn't realize just how bad I was injured. Finally, for #4, the answer is no. I've cut my long training runs short a couple times, but not for injury or pain.

Cool pick of the Whiskeyjack! We had them around our cabin in the BC interior every summer growing up - those birds sure aren't bird brains!

Take care, Bruce, and heal.

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CHANGE_4_ME 8/16/2011 11:21AM

    Here's a trophy for your efforts. emoticon I have to agree with your wife. I would have asked that same question. I wish you a speedy recovery. The brain gets us into so much trouble when we should really be listening to our bodies instead. What good is the brain when the body is so dammaged it can't perform the task the brain craves so eagerly? I hope I said that right. Take care my friend.

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BAILEYS7OF9 8/16/2011 11:12AM

    OUCH.... You are NOT having good luck lately.

Would I have stopped? Probably not right away until now that is! Now I know what that popping means! I probably would have tried to run it out a bit but I doubt I would have continued.

good luck on your rehab!

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NATPLUMMER 8/16/2011 10:29AM

I would not have kept going. I got some tendonitis on 7/31 at the end of my 5 mile run and haven't run since (tried a week later but still sore). Hoping to run this weekend.

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BLACKROSE_222 8/16/2011 10:28AM

    Ouchie. I am so sorry to hear that you went through this, and I probably would have reacted the same way as your wife, if you had been my husband... but the devils advocate comes in when I say if I had been you -
(1) Given the circumstances, would you have kept going?
Probably, even though I know it was a silly decision. You get it in your blood - and stopping is hard.

(2) How bad do you have to be hurt to stop?
I have run through some pretty bad stuff - one time I did stop, on a LR and get my hubbie to come pick me up... but I was hurt pretty badly.

(3) What is the worst injury you have had and kept going?
The one above - I kept running for about 2 miles before I called him. It was a pull in my lower spine. Hurt like a mother.

(4) Have you ever called it quits because you got hurt?
Once again, see above. LOL.

Good luck with the rehab and take all the time you need - listen to your body, your doctor and your wife. :)

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KCNEWF 8/16/2011 10:14AM

    Ouch. I'm not a glut ten for pain and punishment, so I can state I would like to think I would have stopped. But my history does show otherwise.
1. I started and completed a ride after staining my driveway red and picking up bits of gravel with my knee (still healing 4 weeks later)
2. I continue to ride my bike almost daily as I may adjustments to avoid arm pain and hand numbness.

Nothing to compare to the pain you endured, but I understand the rush of adrenaline and the commitment to finishing a goal. You're completely motivated! Not nuts!

Hang in there and make the doctor a liar. I'm guessing you'll back at it sooner than the quoted 3 month healing time.

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SCOUT1222 8/16/2011 8:20AM

    Ouch ouch ouch. I'm not sure if I'd have stopped or not. It would really depend on how I felt about the pain, and I'm thankful to have little experience testing my limits.

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CAROLCRC 8/16/2011 8:09AM

    It's really hard to stop when you are committed to a race. But, as you found, not-stopping can just compound the injury. Had you stopped right away, you might just be re-habbing the calf and not had all the associated injuries to hamstrings, quads, etc. Frankly, I'm amazed you are still walking!

I'm hoping your re-hab goes quickly and that you are feeling much better in a few days. I'm still rehabbing a hamstring from a much lesser injury and after the first 2 weeks things started to heal pretty fast. The problem then is not to push too hard too fast.

Admire your grit and determination, I have to admit. Don't think I'd have stuck it out.

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LMB-ESQ 8/16/2011 7:27AM

    Wow... well... Maybe I should stop taking lessons from you. But maybe not, since I have to say I admire your sheer guts and determination. I ran my best 2 miles yesterday, that is still not anywhere near what you ran injured, and I feel like I've been hit by a truck. Today is a rest day for me.

Would I have stopped? Yes. How badly do I need to be hurt to stop? I don't know yet. I've never been injured yet while running. I'm pretty much a coward and I tend to avoid risky situations, at least for now. I do have a nasty bruise on my knee right now (from something else, not running) and it feels weird to run on it, but I can do it.

Are you sane? I don't know. Athletes tend to do crazy things in the name of their sport. I think you did an awesome job, even if you probably should have stopped. But, please, now it's time to rest.

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TEDDYBABE 8/16/2011 6:46AM

    Very sorry to hear of this bad luck. I hope next year you can smoke this race. You will be back. My vote would be to stop and look towards the next race. But I am thinking your challenge is always in the moment. That's awesome. Take care. emoticon

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APED7969 8/16/2011 6:44AM

    Good luck in recovery. I have to say if it hurt enough to make me cry I think I'd make myself listen to my sensible side and stop. The more you run in pain the more damage you may be doing. It's hard to do during a race though! Hopefully you'll heal at as fast a pace as you run!

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GRATEFULBOB 8/16/2011 5:55AM

    emoticoneven more that you were hurt. your pace hurt is faster then mine healthy. i learned young playing soccer for college tore a hammy i could not walk on it at all . my leg did not feel right for over a year .needless to say soccer playing was over for a while. wish they had the sports therapy that they have today back then . time to rest then rehab.

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PAPAMIKIE 8/16/2011 2:27AM

    Sorry to hear you are hurt. Now is the time to rest and begin to create a recovery strategy.

We do need to learn when to stop. It is a runners problem, listening to your body and then doing what needs to be done. Sometimes that is backing off, and taking a break, sometimes that is to continue.

This is particularly a hard call during a race. It is easier in training to assess an injury and consider the consequences of pushing on and of recover.

Hope you are back running as soon as possible, and absolutely no sooner.

Good running and be careful out there.


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Running, Biking and Haunted Hotels

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Part 1: Stumpy is Good

Stumpy and I went for a nice easy ride Wednesday on a nice easy trail. We did a Forest Service fire road that had just a few ruts - no biggy.

Stumpy and I did 8.22 miles in 45:30 minutes. Average speed was 11.1 mph. The fastest Stumpy and me hit was 32 mph. I had to hold Stumpy back or we would have gone much faster (sure Bruce, blame it on the bike). I managed to stay on the bike and did not involuntary hit the ground.

Part 2: Leadville 10K on Sunday, August 14th

Last March I registered for the Leadville 10K race.


When I registered for this race I figured I would train like crazy and be ready to go. As luck would have it, or maybe just my luck, about a month ago I was scheduled to go to Seattle on business the day of the race. I got pretty lackadaisical about training. Then the Seattle trip was canceled earlier this week. I made a hasty hotel reservation and got the last room in Leadville. I got in at the historic Delaware Hotel.

I tried to talk my wife into running the race. She vociferously declined saying, "I am not going to pay to run!" She actually does run races. She was just being difficult. Then I tried to talk her into going and just hanging out. She asks, "Does the hotel have a pool?" I reply, "The hotel is 125 years old. I doubt it." She then asks, "Does it have a hot tub?" I reply yet again, "The hotel is 125 years old. I doubt it." Then she asks the big question, "Is it haunted?" BINGO! I smile, "The hotel is 125 years old. Absolutely, positively, most certainly - YES!" I know I have her at that point. Then she asks, "Can I get a push-button cappuccino along the way?" Magnanimous in victory, I reply, "I will even push the button for you." She likes the sweet coffee drinks you get at convenience stores. You know, that stuff that comes from a noisy whirring machine that dumps 16 ounces of coffee and 4 pounds of sugar into a 12 ounce paper cup at a temperature of 4,000 degrees! Push-button cappuccino is her only weakness, Push-button cappuccino is the only weakness I don't have.

My wife and daughter take trips to stay in haunted hotels. They really like the Fairplay Hotel.


I personally have a binding blanket agreement with all ghosts - I refuse to believe in them and they refuse to believe in me! Check out the haunted Leadville site.


Go down the page a little and you will see all about the haunted Delaware Hotel. My wife is going to dig this! I am pretty sure the main ghost at the Delaware Hotel, Mary Coffey, is a signatory on my binding mutual non-belief agreement.


Part 3: Race Course

This will be the first time I will run a Leadville race. Because I neglected to train for this race, I was worried about the course profile. The starting line is at 10,200 feet. I was concerned that the highest elevation of course would be 12,000+. I have not trained for 12,000 feet. I was relived to find that the highest point in the race is the starting line. Then it dawned on me that this is an out-and-back race. The first 5K is mostly downhill. The last 5K is mostly uphill! Darn! This could be a hard 10k.

Part 4: Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race

Today, August 13th, is the 100 mile "race of all races". As I write this blog, the MTB 100 started 6 minutes ago.


I was thinking that me and Stumpy could do some mountain bike racing. I am not talking about a 100 mile event that draws the best bike racers in the world.

Check out the video on this page:


Pretty jazzy! However, a race where Lance Armstrong has to walk his bike up hills may be a little over my head! I am pretty sure I can find a few local amatuer bike races.

There is a race in where I live called the Bailey Hundo. The race is over the trails where I ride. Unfortunately, the Bailey Hundo is also a big international 100 mile invitational race.


What is this world coming to? Bailey? A bike racing mecca?

This drawing is pretty cool. Here in Bailey we use mostly crayons.

This is the Buffalo Creek trail profile. It is a tad hilly.

At least I don't have to push Stumpy up the hills. Here is an elite racer pushing his bike, Sometimes I think it would be wiser to push than to crash. I generally reflect that pushing would have been a good idea right after I am picking myself up off the dirt.


Thanks for reading my blog.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEDDYBABE 8/14/2011 8:46AM

    You go Speedydog! Take the ghosts with you. You may need some lift assistance at times! haha... you can do this and I know will really enjoy it! go get em!

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WALKOFFWIN 8/14/2011 5:25AM

    My wife and went through a phase together when we were younger (I was 7 and she was 5) when we were fascinated by the idea of looking for ghosts, and we spent many a night at many supposedly haunted inns and hotels. We were so eager to see ghosts that we even camped out for the night in a few cemeteries that were supposed to be promising for paranormal activity.

It is true that we had a great deal of fun ghost hunting, (no, we didn't blow lots of money on ghost hunter gear) and we actually did succeed in achieving a perfect score for ghost sitings, of 100%.

As in 100% of all the places we ever went to, in our search for ghosts, we never saw, heard or even felt the presence of a single solitary one.

Although there was one place where we stayed in New Hampshire on a very cold night in February, when we were both awoken in the middle of the night, by a very chilling experience!

But this had no supernatural cause, and just a stupid explanation. I left open a window and forgot to close it before we went to bed.

There were 100% NO ghosts, anywhere we ever went. The end result was that I was deeply offended and my wife's feelings were very hurt. It was clear that all ghosts treated us like social outcasts.

I eventually came to the conclusion that any self respecting ghost becomes very annoyed by people who are too eager to see it, and we became the unwanted guests that all ghosts avoided like a plague, and vanished from our presence altogether.

It seemed that we were to ghosts, the same as visiting in laws who spend the night at the home of newlyweds. We were never victims to be terrorized, but just a greatly irritating imposition for them. Ghosts want to appear before people who will be severely frightened by them, and then flee in terror.

Not people like us, who will be positively delighted to meet a ghost, attempt to engage the ghost in boring small talk and ask it many stupid questions. (No, we don't ever really wear sheets! And we have much better and more dignified ways to scare people, than just shouting "Boo!" Sorry, but I really must disappear now or I'll be late for the seance!)

At least your binding blanket agreement with all ghosts, was based upon a mutual respect for each others boundaries and personal space - My wife and I were just annoying and unwanted visitors, totally lacking in supernatural social graces, and we never got that kind of respect.

Anyway, good luck with the race Bruce!


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KA_JUN 8/13/2011 10:53PM

    Awesome, you should try a race with Stumpy, go for it! Cool ghosts, too. Hopefully they don't keep you up and throw off your race! emoticon

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LKEITHO 8/13/2011 10:19PM

    A haunted hotel is certainly an interesting way to convince a spouse to go on a trip with you. Wouldn't work on my wife unless it was a 4 star haunted hotel! I'm with you on the non-believer pact!

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LINDAKAY228 8/13/2011 8:11PM

    Hope your wife enjoys the haunted hotel and you and the ghosts keep your contract to not believe in each other. Sounds like a fun trip but a little bit difficult run with the last half being all uphill.
My area of New Mexico (Silver City) has a couple of mountain bike races here. One is in late August or in September I think called the Signal Peak Challenge and is on a weekend and not as well known. The big one is the Tour of the Gila bike race usually the end of April or first part of May. That is a 5 day event with people coming from all over. Lance Armstrong has been here a couple of times but it's not nearly as bad as his usual races. There are different events on different days. One day is a race up a paved mountain road that climbs quite a bit and loops around another way and comes back into town. I'm not certain of the total mileage on that but I think it's about 80 miles. Another day is a race a different direction out of town and about 80 miles or so to a historic ghost town of Mogollon in the mountains. Another day is headed south of town and not sure how far it goes. I forget what the other day is but the last day is a criterion (sp?) through town racing fast in a pack around corners etc. They have races for the more experienced, and also a "citizen's race" for those who don't do the longer treks and a kids race and stuff. It's a really big deal around here. We have a lot of local mountain bike racers plus the tourism draw is a big thing to our small town.
Glad you didn't need a first aid kit today.

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CBAILEYC 8/13/2011 4:16PM

    I just finished reading 'Born to Run' which talked about the Leadville 100 emoticon Maybe someday, eh?!

Have a great 10K tomorrow!

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SARAHMAC1978 8/13/2011 2:08PM

    Your blogs are always entertaining! Good luck at the 1ok tomorrow - I'm sure it will go great! The part about your wife and her cappuccinos was pretty funny! I just watched the movie 1408 yesterday, which is about haunted hotels...spooky!

Have a great weekend!

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LAURIE-RN 8/13/2011 1:25PM

    Love the blog and the links!


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ROOT4HOME 8/13/2011 1:07PM

    Too funny! At least there are moments when you can use your wife's weakness to your advantage! lol! Have fun on your 10k! Oh...and I agree, great drawing over in Bailey! emoticon

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DOUGDC 8/13/2011 12:31PM

    How did Stumpy get his/her name?

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GRATEFULBOB 8/13/2011 11:54AM

    good luck tomorrow at the race .it is great you where able to find a common ground to get the wife to go , sounds scary emoticon

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LOREENYK 8/13/2011 11:20AM

    I'm willing to give ghosts the benefit of the doubt...I'll be staying at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, BC when I do my marathon in October - it is reportedly haunted as well....

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MAGGIE805 8/13/2011 11:04AM

    Sounds like fun! Especially the haunted hotel part. emoticon

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NATPLUMMER 8/13/2011 10:55AM

    I think the haunted hotel would be a big draw for me :-)
Good luck!!

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ERLYWA 8/13/2011 10:32AM

    The entire paragraph where you were describing the conversation with your wife about the race, hotel and push button coffee cracked me up!!! LOL

Totally enjoyed the blog and the links :)

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MOMONTHERUN1 8/13/2011 10:32AM

    Biking and haunted hotels....interesting!!

They like them hills in Colorado don't they?


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Biking and Running the Colorado Trail - Blood, Dirt and Bent Wheel

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

I read a blog posted by PRINCESSRUNNER7 called "Triple Brick = 1,500 calories burned!"


She explained that a Brick was a combination of biking and running. On Sunday, August 7th, I decided to try a brick. I wanted to bike 12 miles and run 4 miles.

The results? My bike, Stumpy, is in the bike hospital. And I got to use my brand-new first aid kit. Poor Stumpy! Here is my photo essay:

I decided to go to ride and run the Colorado Trail near Buffalo Creek. The Colorado Trail runs 500 miles from Durango to Denver with numerous offshoots along the way.

I started by the Little Scraggy. The pinkish areas represent recent forest fires. The trails are marked in yellow.

Just so you can feel sorry for me, here is the temperature when I left for my brick.

The temperature got up to 85 degrees F at about 4:30 PM. I know that some places in the country my be a tad hotter.

I grabbed Stumpy and loaded him on the bike rack. My wife wanted me to weed wack some of the native grass that has grown quite tall. Fat chance on a nice day!

Stumpy is healthy and happy. He is ready to hit the trails. With 30 speeds, Stumpy can climb a tree in low gear or fly down the road in high gear passing anything in his way. Stumpy is awesome!

The Colorado Trail is well marked. The segments are numbered. Theoretically, you can tell where you are by know the trail segment.

I am getting jazzed. The weather is perfect!

This segment of the Colorado Trail is described as "fast single track with a few technical segments". Fun!

Bump over a few roots down a hill and across a little bridge. There is a gulch under the bride that is about a yard wide and a foot deep.

There are a few roots and rocks along the way. The technique for handling these roots requires perfect timing. You compress the front forks to store energy. Then at the right moment you pull up on the handle bars and jump the roots. When the forks rebound, Stumpy sails over the roots in smooth air.

On the way back down the trail I jump over some big roots. I am not watching down the trail because I am timing my jump. As me and Stumpy clear the roots, I see a guy stopped in the middle of the trail not more than six feet away. Me and Stumpy are airborne. I jerk ol' Stumpy sideways. We miss the guy but hit the embankment on the side of the trail and go down. We don't hit hard so there is no damage to me or Stumpy. I look over at the guy as his wife pulls up. He says, "Oh, sorry!" He is an old guy like me. I notice he is riding a comfort bike with skinny tires. Not an optimal bike for this trail. I think he was going to wisely walk his bike over the roots when Stumpy and I came roaring up the trail. I forgave him. Besides he and his wife were out there doing it.

I took a detour off the Colorado Trail and rode into the Buffalo Creek burn area.

The fire in Buffalo Creek was 16 years ago. Fires are strange. A burn will leave some trees untouched and scorch others.

The undergrowth is pretty. The forest that will spring up from this burn area will be beautiful and healthy.

I came back to the Buffalo Burn Trail for the running part of the brick. This trail was pretty flat with only 680 foot elevation gain in 4 miles. My bike ride gained only 1075 foot in 8 miles. These trails are pretty flat when compared to other trails in this area.

On the way back with Stumpy we had a big crash. This is hard to explain but there are certain obstacles that you can handle going one way that are deadly going the other way. The army uses a thing called a tank trap that is one-way. At any rate, I hit a ditch and went "high-side". High-side meant I went over the handle bars.

This is not me. But it should give you the idea. When I saw the ditch I was going too fast. I couldn't stop and I knew this was going to hurt!

Here is part of the damage. I am now black and blue from hitting the ground. Poor Stumpy has a bent front wheel.

I bought this first aid kit a week ago. Little did I know I would be needing so soon!

I cleaned the open wounds on my elbows and left leg. I pretty much used up a kit that is supposed to last 2 hikers for 3 days. I had to dig a lot of dirt and gravel out of me. I also sprained my right wrist and left thumb. I have bruises on my right thigh, left forearm, right ankle and left shoulder.

After I patched myself, I went for a 4 mile run. By the time I was done the sun was going down.

I burned up a 2,640 calories during this torturous brick. My average speed on Stumpy was a modest 7.2 mph. I had to slow way down with a badly bent front wheel. My top speed on my bike was 19.2 mph. My running pace was an abysmal 11:42 min/mile. I stopped to get a Qdoba Steak Burrito on the way home.

Post brick meal included a Moose Drool beer. Of course, I log onto SparkPeople and there is an article on the evils of drinking beer.

So I took this article to heart and only had two beers to dull the pain.

This is a shot of my home office. I have lots of computers. This is the place where I sit and think up new and creative ways to hurt myself in the name of fitness and well being.


I took stumpy into the bike hospital. The bike doctor declared Stumpy's front wheel to be hopelessly bent. Stumpy is getting a new front wheel, Stumpy is an expensive bike with expensive components. I think I am actually buying Stumpy again one part at a time. The front wheel for Stumpy lists for $249 but I got it for $180. The wheel has the following components:

Shimano XT M785 Front Disc Hub from Japan: $60
36 DT Swiss Champion 14 Gauge Black Spokes from Switzerland: $63
Mavic EN 321 Rim 6061 Aluminum Alloy from France: $60
$45 Labor – Mount, Tune

Total : Wheel $183 + Labor $45 = $228

I think I need to be more careful. My wallet is now injured too! I get Stumpy back tonight. But I think Stumpy and I need a rest.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUZWARNR 8/10/2011 4:19PM

    Do you ever not get hurt? I think you need to be encased in a bubble. LOL. I'm glad it wasn't too bad and what a torcher for calories! Whew! You earned those beers!

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L3DESIGNS 8/10/2011 1:33AM

    Ouch! Somehow when I read the blog title, I wasn't surprised it was your blog.

Hope you heal as easily as Stumpy. Remember to refill your first aid kit - I'm sure you'll need it!

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ELYMWX 8/9/2011 11:13PM

    Ho, boy! You must have been prescient to pick up that first aid kit when you did, and what an amazing coincidence that your math of 1 Runner = 2 Hikers worked out so well. Do they sell those kits in bulk?

I'm sure that you and Stumpy will be out tearing up the trails in no time.

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DOUGDC 8/9/2011 10:30PM

    Great story. I like bicycle touring, and have just begun to think about trails where fat knobby tires would be an advantage. No experience jumping. I've got a lot to learn. I'll start with an inexpensive bike -- but the body that will be learning is the only one I have. I'll take your blog as a cautionary tale. Great ride! Thanks.

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LKEITHO 8/9/2011 10:30PM

    You do manage to fit injury and mayhem into almost every workout! Good thing you bought that first aide kit when you did!

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LMB-ESQ 8/9/2011 6:25PM

    Well, you do win awards for thinking up new and creative ways to get hurt! And this time you brought an innocent bystander into the creativity... poor Stumpy! Are you sure you don't do this stuff just so you'll have something interesting to write about? Which was more fun? Getting hurt? Or having two beers after? LOL I vote for the beers! emoticon

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GRATEFULBOB 8/9/2011 6:02PM

    hno guts no glory, everytime you get it back another wreck emoticon

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KA_JUN 8/9/2011 4:27PM

    otb, ouch! Heal up fast, lol re: only the 2 beers. Nice new wheel, too bad about the tacoed old one.

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HARRINGTON5 8/9/2011 3:43PM

    I didn't know whether to laugh or cry! You are one adventurous dude. Your pictures are always beautiful and you tell a wonderful story. I am just amazed at how well you hold up. Good thing you had that first aid kit with you. After you patched yourself up, you went for a four mile run!!!! I thought I was totally awesome for running 3.1 miles and I wasn't even injured. Take care Bruce and mend quickly.

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DIVEMASTER01 8/9/2011 3:23PM

    You wrote about your "ahem" adventure real well, I hope yours and Stumpy's booboo's get better fast. The wallet will take a bit longer. Take care!


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HEALTHY4JEANNE 8/9/2011 3:01PM

    I loved your blog. I only wish you did not hurt yourself in the mean time.

I had an old bike a couple of years ago and did the same type of fall on a rail trail when i got distracted putting my earphones on. I was so bruised and beaten from the fall that I almost did not wear shorts for the fear that someone would think that my husband beat me. My bike hit the boneyard for the repair costs would outweigh its worth. My friend that is into biking told me that my bike was a bar bike, the type that you could ride to a bar and no one would steal. He shamed my hubby into buying me a new bike.

I am glad that stumpy could be repaired.
:) Jeanne

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CAROLYN1ALASKA 8/9/2011 2:07PM

    Oh ouch... for both the crash and the wallet!
Hope you're better soon. Stumpy will get well more easily, if more expensively.

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CAROLCRC 8/9/2011 1:49PM

    love the photo blog! Hope you and Stumpy are back on the trails soon.

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    Awesome job on the brick! That trail sounds like a very challenging course for a bike ride. You're really hard core going for the run after your fall. It's a good thing you had your trusty first aid kit handy. I'm glad you tried the brick and enjoyed it despite the obstacles you encountered. The meal and beers were very well deserved after your calorie burn for the day! Sorry about Stumpy, I'm sure he'll be as good as new and ready to hit the trails soon.


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BAILEYS7OF9 8/9/2011 1:05PM

    Loved the post, pictures are emoticonI am so jealous!

Poor stumpy and your wallet! great calorie burn though!

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KAREN42BOYS 8/9/2011 12:58PM

    great entertaining blog! sounds like quite the ride, and yowch about the front rollover on your bike! heal quickly, so you can get bricking again!

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SKINNYPOWELL1 8/9/2011 12:50PM

    Great blog, sorry about your wounded arm and your wounded wallet from fixing Stumpy. That was one heck of an adventure.

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CBAILEYC 8/9/2011 12:46PM

    Oh my. You and Stumpy. Goodness sakes! Stumpy sounds like he's part of the UN with all those international parts!
Fortunately, you didn't have to replace any of your parts. Scabs and new skin are free emoticon

Heal well, and enjoy the Drool!

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JOPAPGH 8/9/2011 12:21PM

    You spin a great yarn; so depricating. Hope the next brick goes better.

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NATPLUMMER 8/9/2011 12:01PM

    Ouch!! Poor you and poor stumpy!!
You definitely earned the burrito.

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ROOT4HOME 8/9/2011 12:00PM

    Oh man, what a day you had! It's a good thing you had a fresh first aid kit w/you! The pic of your cut up arm looks a lot like the one I got on Sun morning when I lost my balance after running on a crab apple in the rain and fell...cutting up my left arm. No first aid kit but had a handkerchief and wore it for another 3mi till I was home. Sorry to hear about Stumpy though...he sounds like a loyal friend, albeit, expensive! ;)

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SARAHMAC1978 8/9/2011 11:18AM

    Kudos to you for running after all of that! That arm injury looks like it huuuuurts! Really enjoyed the photo essay...sounds like it was a fun adventure. Makes me (almost) want to get a mountain bike.

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TYKXBOY 8/9/2011 11:06AM

    With all those calories burned and electrolytes used, you deserved those beers and that burrito! I hear a burrito and a beer should be stored in everyone's first aid kits - or at least the beer. I'm keeping my heart healthy one beer at a time! Anyway, sounds like it was a great ride up until Stumpy took a header! Hope you heal up nicely and can use the time to pick up another first aid kit for you next ride.

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DLEDBETTER11 8/9/2011 10:55AM

    Good thing you had that first aid kit. By the way...http://www.roadid.com/Common/

I use the 'Wrist ID Elite' because the bracelet doesn't hold water/sweat so I never have to take it off. I also have the old standard (military issued) dog tag that I wear for everything but swimming.

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MOMONTHERUN1 8/9/2011 10:41AM

    WOW! Sorry that your bike got hurt and that you also got hurt. I have never heard the term "brick" before. So, it is biking and then running and they call it a brick?

I think I also would have had a emoticon after all of that.

Well you tried something different, burned some calories and maybe will have a scar? Good job!!!


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LINDAKAY228 8/9/2011 10:37AM

    I love the way you tell a story and put humor into it. I am so sorry for stumpy and his bent wheel, as well as your injuries to your body and your wallet. Hope all feel better soon.
We have a lot of burned out areas around where I live too. It is amazing to see how with time they do grow back even better. This year was really bad for fires for those of us in New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona. Plus we had so much smoke here where I live.

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KCNEWF 8/9/2011 10:33AM

    As usual, excellent blog! I think having that first aid kid around is just bad luck for you . . . burn it and don't replace it. You've had that kit for less than a month and have already had two 'accidents'. Heal quickly . . . . My road rash from 3 weeks ago is almost gone. Don't let the injuries slow you down!

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KKINNEA 8/9/2011 10:29AM

    Wow, injuries all around! And I think someone got it right on your previous blog that the kit would only equal one SpeedyDog!

Loved the blog and sorry you're hurt, but I'm guessing the beer and optimism will be allowing us to see another of your stories another day soon!

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SOVERDAHL 8/9/2011 10:11AM

    Awesome blog! It felt like I was there with you. (Love the pictures!!) I love reading about your adventures and am truly impressed that you ran after that crash. I don't know if I could have convinced myself to finish the "brick". I haven't heard that term before, but I think I might try it some day soon. I usually bike OR run, not both. Well done! Hope you and Stumpy heal quickly and can get back out there soon. I also think I will invest in a first aid kit as well.

By the way ... Moose Drool is one of my favorites! Excellent choice.

Comment edited on: 8/9/2011 10:12:30 AM

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TRILLIUM22 8/9/2011 9:51AM

    Love it. You did great going "high side", if all you needed was your first aid kit. I did that once onto an asphalt bike path. I was back boarded away and needed to get my entire right elbow surgically put back together. Shortly afterwards on a trip to the library my kids saw a book about bike tricks. From that point on they've teased me about following the "Bike tricks for Mothers" book, but not reading all the directions.

Your flat route sounds pretty hill for us in the midwest, but your temps sound great. I was so relieved that I started my 23 miler yesterday at 86 degrees.

Take care and buy another first aide kit. Maybe 1 Speedy Dog = an weeklong wilderness backpacking trip for 6 emoticon

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