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Planes and Princess 1/2 Marathon

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Part 1: September 1st, 2011, 7:35 AM CDT Minneapolis/Saint Paul airport

I have been traveling on business this week. Traveling is fattening. Trying to eat well, while traveling with portly colleagues, is a bit more challenging than I would like to admit. I have to keep secret that I try to squeeze in a workout by getting up at 5:30AM. My traveling companions often ask, “You did what?”

I am sitting at a gate area waiting for my flight to Denver. A lady just nearly ran over my feet with her rolling suitcase. Everybody is starting to queue up at the gate. It is 7:40 am on September 1st, 2011. The flight is allegedly leaving at 8:11 am. I suppose traveling is stressful. But there seems to be a lot of nervous people here. I don’t think I am going to miss the plane. Getting overhead bin space for the 8,257 carry-on bags is going to be a challenge. I have a small carry-on garment bag and my laptop case. But if I have to gate-check my garment bag the world will not end. Well, I don’t think so.

I gotta go. They just called my row. I need to hit the men’s room before I get on the sardine can with wings. More later.

Part 2: September 1st, 2011, 9:20AM CDT - Cruising between Minnesota and Colorado in Clear Air Turbulence

I am on the plane with my carry-on stored above my head. Mon Capitan had mentioned prior to takeoff that when we hear the ‘ding-ding” we can turn-on “approved” portable electronic devices. I didn’t hear the “ding-ding” but I turned on my laptop anyway. I can just hear Mon Capitan calling air traffic control, “May Day! May Day! Passenger in 26A just turned on his laptop computer! We are going down! I repeat - we are going down!”

Part 3: Princess Half Marathon, Walt Disney World®, Sunday, February 26, 2012, Lake Buena Vista, FL

My wife is running the Princess Half Marathon on February 26th, 2012 at Disney World in Orlando Florida. Her cousin, Anne, invited Annette to run the race. Anne lives in Florida. Annette goes down to Florida to visit her cousin frequently. Anne is coming to Colorado for Thanksgiving. Anne and Annette are more than cousins - they are best friends. Anne has several friends and co-workers that are also going to run the Princess half.

When Anne asked Annette to run the race, Annette automatically said “yes” before she gave it any thought. Anne is going through a horribly messy divorce and wants to focus on something to take her mind off her personal turmoil. Annette has supported Anne through this dark time. Anne decided that training for a half marathon would be just the ticket to get her mind off her troubles. Anne has never run a race before. Anne’s friends and co-workers have never run a race - ever!

Here is the big issue. My wife is a lean and mean running machine! She is an experienced runner with many 5K, 10K, half-marathons and full marathons under her belt. She is fast! She generally places near the top of her age group.

Can you see what is coming?

When Annette told me about the race, I calmly, but inwardly cringing, mentioned, “You know, Anne is going to expect all her girl buddies will stay together in one happy little group during the race.” I cringed because I knew what was coming. Annette shot back, “Ain’t gonna happen! I plan to run! I got one gear and am going to use it!” Annette’s “gear” is her natural pace, which happens to be pretty fast.

Anne sent a training program to Annette. Annette showed the training program to me. First, the program looks like a 5K training regime to me. The mileage per week is between 9 and 12 miles. There is no training run that even comes close to 13.1 miles. Even a “beginner” 13.1 training program has weekly mileage in 20 to 25 miles per week range. Anne is going to follow this low-mileage plan. She will likely do a walk-run strategy, which is great. Annette is going to blast off the starting line like she is shot out of a cannon.

Annette plans to kick off her training with a run up Webster pass to the top of Red Cone. This run starts at 8,400 feet of elevation and tops out at 12,470 feet. This is an out-and-back run of 22 miles. She can drive up the pass and shorten the distance. She may ride her bike part way. Lock her bike to a tree and run the rest of the way. For Annette a half marathon is an eye-blink!

Here is part of the Webster Pass Trail called Handcart Gulch. It would be advisable not to trip.

Annette is a mountain runner. The Princess half is at sea level. She is thinking of taking our daughter, Katie, to Florida. Katie has blazing speed and was a competitive runner in college. I am thinking that Annette’s cousin is going to be hugely disappointed.

This is the top of Red Cone. Is this the way that everyone trains for the Princess half?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TYKXBOY 9/7/2011 1:20AM

    Those trails and hills are what I used to train for cross-country races on. But, wouldn't expect to use them to train for any road races I've ever seen... I really hope this story has a fairy tale ending!

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ELYMWX 9/7/2011 12:47AM

    Tell her that if she's running fast, she won't get to get all the photo's with the Disney characters!

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CAROLCRC 9/6/2011 8:08AM

    When I do races with my daughter I always joke that "we start at the same time and end at the same place"... But we both know we aren't going to try to stay together. Important to get the expectations right!

Most beginner half programs have a long run that tops out at 10 miles. My longest week for my first half was only 25 miles... doing run/walk, she may be okay with lower mileage.

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HEALTHY4JEANNE 9/5/2011 7:50AM

    I think that Karen had a really good idea. I have done a tri with my sister in law. There are different legs that we excel at. We have a race next week. We are making a weekend of it, but race day, we are on our own. I think I would just have your wife mention and clear the air before the race.

Sounds like a lovely race. And WOW your wife is my inspiration.

:) Jeanne

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    Uh...no...most people don't train for the Princess by running up a mountain. We use a nicely sized hill and some hiking to supplement our training. And you are right that the training program doesn't include enough miles. Maybe the stress can be headed off with a little talk..."I'm going to go all out and be at the Finish Line to cheer you across. I want to be there to see you finish your goal" ? My mother, sister another sparker and I all train together, but we know that on race day we are each going to do our own thing and this has always been the way. We were all on the same page to start with so it worked. Your wife would torch me in a race, but I would know that it is a race for her as much as for me and we are all out to do our best. Hope things work out and everyone can enjoy a fun, fun, fun race. I just did the Disneyland 5K today and am training for the Tinkerbell in January. Good luck to all the racers :)!

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BLACKROSE_222 9/3/2011 5:19PM

    Oh no... this is the exact reason why I just don't do 'family/friend' runs anymore. Even if it is just a jog together. I found myself saying "Sure, I'll run that 5K with you", and it would be so outside my training regime that I ended up doing my 'real' run when I got home.

Now it isn't always nice, but I do say No.

Good luck to everyone on the Half!

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LMB-ESQ 9/3/2011 4:51PM

    So... your wife's cousin wants to run a HM when she's never run in any race before. I think of myself running a HM when I've only managed to finish a 5K all of once without walking, and that not an official race with actual competition. And I nearly fall over with laughter.... emoticon Man... and here I thought *I* didn't know what *I* was doing

So the way I see it is your wife has two choices. One, she can run her own race and do her best and blow everybody away, or two, she can forget that it's a race and just be out for a "walk in the park" with her cousin. I guess the question is, which way would be better for her cousin? But either way, let her cousin know what she plans to do so there's no surprises. And either way, it sounds like a fun trip, and I'd love to go visit my best friend, even if I wasn't running a race.

Good luck to your wife!

And BTW... I despise airports and traveling, so I'll hand it to you for being patient in the airport emoticon

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LKEITHO 9/3/2011 12:42PM

    Wow, that's some training program! As for running an event with others, I always tell them we'll be together until the start, then we all run our own race. I'll met you at the finish line! Now, for me that's because nearly everyone is faster than me, but knowing they'll be there to cheer me on over the finish line is a great help.

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HAKAPES 9/3/2011 11:39AM

    It's the same for me with travels - needs double energy to keep up with eating, squeeze in the workouts, and get 8h of sleep.

Now, I do prepare - I bring my scale, bring my running gear, take some healthy snacks and some critical food I wouldn't find during the trip, take all time the stairs and walk when possible, poriton control and healthy choice for eating out. In the end, if I pay attention, it works.

That landscape looks gorgeous for running - lucky to have it!

I see the injuries in your other post - hope it starts to get better soon. Looks scary!
I had a knee pain from a 2.5h downhill fast walk in the mountains, end of July. Now it's Sep, and I still feel it. Just to say it take so much time for these things to heal.

Comment edited on: 9/3/2011 11:42:17 AM

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JANNEPERRY 9/3/2011 11:20AM

    Seeing that you finished your post, I guess the plane arrived ok. I'm a sometimes age group placer and know what this scenario is all about. Your wife wil just have to decide what her goal is for the race and stick with it. Place, run back, or run with Anne.

I did a half marathon with my non-running daughter this spring. She did the galloway run-walk interval and had a bad day the day of the race. my goal was to support her and get her through it, which I did--and she and I finished together.

When we went on to do an Ultra this August. Since that was potentially my only Ultra ever, I did NOT promise to run with her. I did stay with her through the first hill and then we parted. As long as she makes it clear ahead of time--I think every one will be fine with it.

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CBAILEYC 9/3/2011 11:05AM

    Due to the fact that you posted your blog, I am able to reason out that you turning on your laptop did not, indeed, take down the plane! Bravo!

The ladies who have already commented said all I would have said. I like Karen's idea of Annette running back to find Anne and run her in.

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NATPLUMMER 9/3/2011 11:01AM

    I hope you have finished your business traveling for a while. Yes, it does take it's toll.
I think it's great that your wife is doing the HM with her cousin. I do think people should run their own race at their own pace and not worry about the others they're with. Even though I'm not going to do the October HM with my husband, if I had, I know he would have been way ahead of me and that's okay.

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ROOT4HOME 9/3/2011 9:58AM

    Wow!! Your wife and daughter are FAST!! And, I agree with her, everyone should run their own race, so everyones happy. Also, by Annette and your DD finishing early, they can cheer on Anne as she crosses the finish...maybe even be allowed to put the medal around Anne's neck! It may motivate Anne to finish when it gets tough...especially if she's never run a race before, let alone a HM!

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KAREN42BOYS 9/3/2011 9:58AM

    If I were your mountain goat of a wife, I would want to place at DW. Then I would run briskly back to my cousin to encourage her on her first half. I would finish the race with her at her coz's pace. And I would definitely tell my coz in advance what my plan is

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HARRINGTON5 9/3/2011 9:54AM

    I think it is just wonderful that your wife is doing the race with Anne and has given her a training plan to work with. Annette sounds like a seasoned athelete and I don't blame her for wanting to run. Anne is getting the benefit of training slowly and will have that wonderful sense of accomplishment when she is done. Annette can join her at the finish line and I would think that would be enough support. Although I am nothing like your wife, in speed, when I walk with friends, it drives me crazy. So I would probably take my own advice too, especially if Anne has other friends to walk/run with her. As always, I love your blogs and want to thank you for commenting on mine too. Cynthia

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TEDDYBABE 9/3/2011 9:40AM

    Can't wait to read chapter 2 on this one! I have a feeling both are going to benefit in some way! lol

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ELRIDDICK 9/3/2011 9:39AM

  Thanks for sharing

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Torn Calf Photos, Bike Ride and Waxberries

Monday, August 29, 2011

Part 1: Keep Going Until it Hurts

I am slowly starting the long process of rehabbing the injuries I got during the Leadville 10K Trail race on August 14th . My doctor and physical therapist told me I can do low-impact exercise. They warned me to stop doing any exercise that causes pain.

The Genie is out of the bottle. emoticon There is nothing that is fun that hurts so badly I have to stop!

Part 2: First Photos of Injuries

Warning: The following photos could be pretty gross!

I think I am starting to get a good inventory of my wounds. This morning I just realized I have a sprained right ankle. I remember during the race that I stepped on rock with my right foot. I was having trouble getting my right leg to cooperate since my calf was torn to shreds. I rolled the ankle sideways and barely stayed on my feet. I didn't notice my ankle was hurt because my calf hurt so darn much. As I start my rehab I have a lot to do. Here are my injuries:

Grade 3 Right Calf Strain
Grade 1 Right Hamstring Pull
Right Ankle Sprain
Right Glute Strain
Left Glute Strain
Right Shoulder Strain (caused by fall during the race)
Right and Left IT Band Syndrome
Attitude is shot

I do have some good parts still:

My left arm is fine. Both quads are good. My knees are OK. My back doesn't hurt too badly. I have all my teeth. My heart and lungs are good. All my bones are intact.

See, I have basis to build on!

I finally had the heart to take a few photos of my owies. The following images don't quite capture the vivid black, blue and green colors of my banged up body. You can use your imagination. I am going to start with the most gruesome photo.

There is a little knob on the inside of my calf. The muscle is ripped above and below that knob. The big dent in my upper calf is a deep muscle tear. The muscle fibers have ripped apart leaving the black and blue dent.

Although the upper calf tear looks bad, the more serious tear is below the little knob. The tear below the knob runs across the muscle fibers. The knob is actually a ball of loose muscle tissue. The upper tear is more lateral. The lower tear is traversal. The traversal tear may not heal on it's own. I have quite a bit of bruising on my lower leg. One or both of these tears may need surgery. The swelling had to go down to clearly see these injuries. I really had no idea I was hurt this badly!

There was damage to both sides of my calf. This bruising is on the outside of my right calf. The tears are on the inside.

The photo is blurry but shows the color of the bruises very well.

I have some bruising from my hamstring strain. There is also a bruise behind my knee but is hard to see in this photo. These bruises are blood that pooled from the hamsting damage.

My hamstring is healing fairly quickly. The bruises are fading after two weeks. There may be a remote possibility that running 6.22 miles on a badly injured calf was not such a hot idea!

Part 3: If it don't hurt - you ain't trying hard enough!
(Note: This statement is contrary to what I have read on SparkPeople.)

I have a rehab program that I am following. I did 10 easy minutes on my elliptical and did my stretching routine. This stretching is mostly aimed at my hamstrings, glutes and IT bands. After all this stretching, I felt pretty good. I decided to take a gentle bike ride. It would have been better if I could ride on something flat and paved. Unfortunately, everything here is dirt and hills. I decided that Stumpy is too radical for rehab. I grabbed my tamer Giant Boulder SE to have some fun. And, no, I didn't hurt myself.

Big Red has an aluminum alloy frame and 21 speeds. The bike is geared strangely. There is a great big hole between low gear and 2nd gear on the rear sprocket. Often you have to downshift the front sprocket before upshifting to second on the rear sprocket.

Here I am climbing hill at 15 mph. Big Red isn't slow. But Stumpy is a lot more aggressive. Big Red cost me $360. Stumpy cost $2,000.

Although it is tough to see, the speedometer shows 32 mph. I took this photo with one hand while moving pretty well. I wanted to capture the cool feeling of speed on a mountain bike.

I think this is a good shot. Big Red is flying at 36 mph. Big Red tops out at 40 mph. Big Red is classified as a "recreational" bike.

The scenery is nice and it felt good to be moving again.

These are really nice trout ponds. These lakes used to be a source of ice. Many years ago, Maddox ice company would cut ice off these lakes.

I stopped by a waxberry bush and harvested a few berries. The waxberry bush is aromatic and smells great. The berries are edible and have a sweet waxy flavor.

Deer and bears like these berries. These berries are sometimes called candlelberries. I noticed that SparkPeople does not have nutritional information for waxberries.

I rode my bike 7 miles in 30 minutes. This is not setting the world on fire but it felt good. After I got home I did some crunches and reverse crunches. I also did curls and bench press. I did some therapy band exercises and a lot more stretching. When I got done, I iced my calf.

Thanks for reading my blog.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKINNYSOON13 9/25/2011 11:16AM

    I can't BELIEVE your doctors are letting you exercise, and I can't BELIEVE the pain isn't enough to want to stop! :-) That dent is pretty dang impressive though :-) I'm now seeing that if running 6+ miles on a torn calf, and then shredding it some more, and then taking the rest of your body with you doesn't stop you, why should a measly grade 3 calf tear stop you from RIDING 30 MINUTES OUTSIDE ON A BIKE! :-)

I like you, even if you are somewhat insane :-D

(ps hope you don't need the surgeries) :-(

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CHIFANG130 9/4/2011 6:17PM

    OMG! Your injury still looks nasty. But now the doctors are granted your exercise wishes, make sure you listen to what your body is telling you. After my last calf injury, I really take time to warm up before I get on with my running or cardio workouts. Make sure you stop if you feel something is not right. So good to know you are back on the right track and ready to set "fire"! Hurray!

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SUZWARNR 8/31/2011 6:41PM

    I'm glad you were able to get out and enjoy a ride, as short as it was. Your injuries look as bad as you have described. You are tough though. I gotta hand you that. You have handled and tolerated more pain than the average person could have dealt with. I hope the healing continues to go well for you.

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CBAILEYC 8/30/2011 12:04PM

    Oy! At least you're doing your rehab - just don't take advantage of medical permission to the extreme quite yet, yea?

Those pics are vivid. I'm really glad you're doing as well as you are. Keep it up!

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ELYMWX 8/30/2011 1:01AM

    Looking at the pictures, all I can say is OUCH. When do you find out if you need surgery? Another question: did Big Red come standard with the granny gear for hills, or was that an after-market decision?

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MAGGIE805 8/29/2011 11:13PM

    Ouch!!! It hurts just looking at it. At least you were able to get out on the bike and take some great pix's. Take it easy, Bruce. emoticon

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ITSHOWYOULIVE 8/29/2011 7:07PM

    Wow, that is an impressive injury. Waxberries? Interesting. Never heard of them before. I learned something new today. Glad you are following a plan and getting out there. Big Red seemed to enjoy his outing today, his speedometer looks very happy :). You have some very beautiful territory in your parts.

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LKEITHO 8/29/2011 1:48PM

    Yeah, that is a definite owie! I hope you don't wind up having to have surgery on that tear. The biking looks like a hoot!

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KKINNEA 8/29/2011 1:47PM

    Oof, the first picture was tough to handle so it makes it all the more awesome you got out on a bike. AT least you're taking it easy on your rehab (well, as easy as I know you would!).

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BURGHGIRL 8/29/2011 1:36PM

    Man, I feel your pain. I just found out I had a torn a lateral portion of my quads today (although I did it during a run in June, I just thought it was a strain and would go away...guess what...it never did.). I have a lovely dent too and then below it a nice little bulge, but hardly any bruising. What are they doing for PT for you? My doctor said she wants to start Ultrasound Therapy on me, so I start in 2 weeks. Until then, I have to take it easy. We can hobble through this together!!!!

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BAILEYS7OF9 8/29/2011 1:24PM

    ouch ouch ouch and repeat! Wow, thanks for showing the photos, learn something new every day! Yes you scenery pics are emoticon

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IMSMILEY88 8/29/2011 12:07PM

    First of all, I had no idea you could see torn muscles like that. And, ouch!!! That looks so painful! I can't imagine you're feeling good enough to ride. Wow!

I hope you heal quickly! That's quite a lot to get healed!

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NATPLUMMER 8/29/2011 10:36AM

    Ouch!! Running 6.22 miles on a badly injured calf is definitely a bad idea!!
I did 7 miles in 30 minutes on my exercise bike yesterday, too!! :-)
You saw beautiful scenery and I watched how they make whips...I think you had the better ride ;-)
Heal quickly!! emoticon

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DLEDBETTER11 8/29/2011 10:33AM

    14 mph is not bad at all! Great to see that you can get out and ride. Good luck with your rehab!

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    OUCH OUCH OUCH!! But the pictures of the bike ride and scenery look marvelous. Is there anything in the world more fun than Coasting on a Bicycle? I LOVE IT!

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LINDAKAY228 8/29/2011 9:47AM

    Those injuries do look nasty! Hope they heal soon as I know it is driving you crazy to limit your activities. Great pics of the bike ride and glad you were able to get out on it for a while.

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ROOT4HOME 8/29/2011 9:42AM

    Yikes! Whenever I feel an injury is keeping me back from my runs, I'll think of you! You're one tough hombre! Glad you had a good ride on Big Red and hoping you'll be back on Stumpy soon!

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BLACKROSE_222 8/29/2011 9:41AM

    Ouchie on the photos, but glad you were feeling well enough for a bike ride. Good for you for making the smart choice, and sticking with Big Red, too. emoticon

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JANNEPERRY 8/29/2011 8:24AM

    WOW! Those injuries are going to take a while to heal. I know it would drive me crazy to "rest" while recovering. I'm glad you can find something to do that doesn't aggravate your injuries too much.

Do TRY to listen to the PT!

IF you can't have fun, tho, what's the point!

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LMB-ESQ 8/29/2011 8:09AM

    Wow, that calf tear looks nasty and painful! Glad to see you're taking it easy, although that's a relative term. I can't do 7 miles in 30 minutes on my best day! LOL

Happy healing!

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TRILLIUM22 8/29/2011 8:01AM

    Glad to hear you are out on your bike. Just don't get ahead of yourself and for goodness sake, I have an imagination, don't tempt fate and take one handed bike pictures at 36 mph for my amusement.

Take care

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KCNEWF 8/29/2011 7:52AM

    Glad to see you are healing and recovering on the bike!

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HEALTHY4JEANNE 8/29/2011 7:30AM

    pictures are icky...you warned me.
at least you can find some parts of you that are not broken.
Question, going 30 plus miles per hour is it smart to take pictures? Dont break anything else!!!!

So glad you got an enjoyable ride in. I am sure that sunshine is a important part of your recovery!!!

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TEDDYBABE 8/29/2011 6:50AM

    Yay!!! Speedydog is on the mend and headed back!!! Good job. Speedy recovery wished for Speedydog!

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APED7969 8/29/2011 5:35AM

    Love the photos! Sounds like you're on the mend

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TAICHIDANCER 8/29/2011 5:06AM

    My favorite line: "I noticed that SparkPeople does not have nutritional information for waxberries." Thanks for sharing as you continue to challenge the wisdom of "that which does not kill me makes me stronger." emoticon

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GRATEFULBOB 8/29/2011 4:32AM

    the calf looks pretty nasty i see taking it slow is not part of your vocabulary lol. feel better emoticon

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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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