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Organizing the Beaver Ranch 5K - Mean or Happy Race? Help me decide!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Organizing a 5K Race

I have the ball rolling for hosting a 5K race at Beaver Ranch this summer. I am working through the details with the executive director of Beaver Ranch. I really enjoy running in Colorado mountains and particularly enjoy running at Beaver Ranch. I have been thinking about hosting a race at Beaver Ranch. The proceeds would go to maintaining the Conifer Community Park at Beaver Ranch.



I took this photo yesterday. There is a reason that there are no mountain races in February around here. I am really shooting for a race around mid-July. The snow may be gone by then.

There are a few options for a race at Beaver Creek.


Option 1: The Happy Beaver 5K

There are two USA Track and Field certified 5K courses at Beaver Ranch. One certified course is a hybrid trail and road race circuit that has some easy sections. This hybrid course starts at 8,100 feet of elevation and has only one pretty steep hill. The hybrid course in not a "gimme" but is as easy as a mountain race gets. I call this course the Happy Beaver.


The steepest hill on the Happy Beaver course is at the beginning and climbs from 8,094' to 8,245' in 1/8th mile . This works out to about at 23% grade. The good news is that once you climb this short hill you get to turn around and come right back down. The rest of the course rolls up and down at about a 10% grade. This type of race makes for a happy race. Here is the Happy Beaver Logo:


If I decide to host the Happy Beaver race, every runner would get a nice green T-Shirt with the a sweet beaver logo. The Happy Beaver is for runners of all fitness levels, well sort of. Even the Happy Beaver race would tend to attract very fit high-altitude mountain runners.

Option 2: The Mean Beaver 5K

The other certified course is a bit more challenging. The Mean Beaver course is a 100%, rock and rut, kick your butt, up hill both ways, hope you don't get lost, true trail racing course. As a matter of fact, it is downright mean! Hence the name, "Mean Beaver." Here is the Mean Beaver Course:


This is the "official" USTAF certified course. Since this course is quite steep, and the USATF assumes a flat track, this course is somewhat longer than 5K.


This is the course that I created. My version is actually a little more challenging. The start and finish are at 8,147'. The grade at the start is +10%. The "CC"s on the map stand for "Cross Country" and indicates areas where there are no trails. It is just you running through the forest. (BTW - The course will be well marked and easy to follow. Not easy to run - but easy to follow!")

The Mean Beaver gets progressively steeper reaching +25% then drops off very quickly (-35%) onto Valley Trail at about the 1K mark. You then climb out of the valley on a trail that has a +45% to 60% grade that takes you to the highest point on the course of 8,530' . You then drop down a brutally steep downhill section (-65%) to Chapel Trail. Chapel Trail is a -15% and would be a good place to roll. Unfortunately, Chapel Trail is rough, rocky and pasted on the side of a hill.

You then turn right on Black Hawk Trail and up a long 50% grade. (Tired yet?) At this point you are panting and your legs feel like lead. After you reach the summit, you get to come right back down. You drop to the low point on the course down a -40% grade to 8,060'. You hit the Horse/Walking trail at the 4K mark. Now you can fly! You have one more Kilometer to go. Of course, it is all uphill to the finish line from the 4K point. This is one Mean Beaver!


Anyone that finishes the race before dark gets a black or blue t-shirt with the Mean Beaver logo. I also considered this gruesome fellow below as an unofficial mascot:




Question: Which Race - Happy or Mean Beaver?

I really want to host a race that is fun. I run a lot at Beaver Ranch so I am familiar with the challenges. Even though the Happy Beaver is a partial road race, the Happy Beaver is no push over. I don't like running on pavement, but that is just me.

Which race appeals to you?


Parting Shot: Snowy Photos of the Mean Beaver


Here is a photo of the main building that I would use for registration. This building has very nice restrooms. Runners know how important a pre-race pit stop can be! I took this photo on February 11th, 2011. The snow will likely be gone by July. May is too early for the race. We have three seasons in the Colorado Rockies: Snow Season, Mud Season and Fire Season. May is still in Mud Season!



This tree is at the turn from Chapel Trail onto Black Hawk. This snow is deep. But I wanted to get out and check out parts of the Mean Beaver trail.


This is Chapel Trail. Runners would be flying down Chapel Trail getting ready for the climb up Black Hawk. Just imagine this same scene all lush, warm and green and you have an idea of the beauty of this course. Lots of winter snow = lots of summer green.


This is a lot steeper than it looks. I had on my snow shoes and it was still hard to get traction.


This is at the summit of Black Hawk. The trail goes up. Then the trail goes down. The trail is never flat.


The trail is dropping to the low point on the course. This is a bad place to trip.


After this bridge it is easy running on a wide rolling trail.


"Easy" running is a relative term. You still have to climb a 100' to the finish line.

Thanks for your input.




  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

L3DESIGNS 2/15/2012 2:34AM

    I would say Happy Beaver... you want people to come and race!

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CHANGINGHORSES 2/13/2012 8:22PM

    Although I like the sound of both runs, I think the Happy Beaver would appeal to more people therefore make more money. It looks like a cool place to run and I hope that it is successful no matter which you choose.
Happy Beaver!


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LIVE4THETRAIL 2/13/2012 3:57PM

    Love the idea of the both of them. As a fan of hills (never run at altitude though) my heart is saying mean beaver. But my head is saying happy beaver to draw the crowds to get the charity cash.

LMB100's idea of holding the both of them could be also an option. Hold the Happy Beaver at a good time of the year when the weather is good and will help with the crowds. Hold the Mean beaver when there is maybe still a bit snow on the ground or when the weather is a bit more challenging. This may draw a good crowd of extremists.

Whatever one you opt for i wish you every success with it.

Frankie.

Comment edited on: 2/13/2012 4:29:24 PM

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CBAILEYC 2/13/2012 12:58PM

    Let's hear it for the Happy Beaver! I do like the idea of offering both once you're established. You know your runners and area best, so you would know whether or not your Mean Beaver would draw a crowd sufficient to really make the event worth the while as far as fund raising is concerned.
Yep, the mean beaver pin is awesome LOL
emoticon
C~

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LINDAKAY228 2/13/2012 12:29PM

    THe mean beaver race sounds extremely challenging and would probably draw some of the runners that like that type of race but how many? The happy beaver would probably attract a larger group and thus the possibility of making more for the charitable donation. Just my thoughts. If you're going to do it as a fundraiser you might want to go with what will draw the biggest group. Good luck with whatever you decide!

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ELYMWX 2/12/2012 11:02PM

    I think I'm with everyone else, and say Happy Beaver. Maybe if you make an annual thing you can alternate, or if people want it you can offer both starting in the second year.

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LKEITHO 2/12/2012 10:08PM

    Have to say, I might do the Happy, but I definitely would not do the Mean! I'm just not a great hill runner, so that's just me. Either of these sound like great events!

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AIMLESS07 2/12/2012 8:05PM

    I say Happy Beaver, but thats b/c I am a wuss and want the easiest route :o)

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JENN03275 2/12/2012 7:41PM

    I would go for the Happy Beaver. Reason being,I do like a challenge, is that if you want to raise money, you will get more people to register for something not as challenging as the Mean Beaver. I think you would have more people scared off by that trail. Yes, the Happy Beaver is still challenging but does not seem as scary!

Good luck!

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KKINNEA 2/12/2012 7:32PM

    I'm going to vote Happy Beaver but loved the beaver gnawing on a leg. Looks like my July is packed but would love to try to get out for something like this!

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NWFL59 2/12/2012 7:20PM

    Happy Beaver, not that I'm a runner but you did say it was supposed to be for all levels of fitness and I think the Happy Beaver could attrack newbies and older runners emoticon

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NATPLUMMER 2/12/2012 4:39PM

    I'd rather run the happy race because I'm not much of a trail runner.
I do love the mean race shirt though.

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LMB-ESQ 2/12/2012 4:18PM

    How about both? Give people the option and have a staggered start?

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Running on Dirt

Friday, February 03, 2012

Part 1: A Good Day

I had a good day yesterday. I went to a dog and pony show by some software vendor. I won the drawing for the $50 AMEX gift card. I gave it to my wife Annette. She is going to use it to buy some new pants.

The Nike Pegasus running shoes I ordered had arrived at the Boulder Running Company. I was told they would be blue. They were actually a beautiful Cool Grey and Sonic Yellow. The sales lady just gushed on how pretty these shoes were.



The photo does not do the shoes justice. They are stunning. I don't buy shoes just because they look good. I have put a bazillion miles on Nike Pegasus shoes. It is just a big bonus if the shoes look good.

Part 2: Testing The Shoes

After I bought my shoes, I changed into my running clothes in the bathroom of the Boulder Running Company. A big blizzard was expected in a few hours and I wanted to test my new shoes. I had spotted a Jefferson County open space park just south of the Boulder Running Company. I made a beeline to this park called the "2005 Massey Draw Stream Improvement Project."



To my delight the park was in a pretty "rustic" condition. I am certain this area had not been touched in 7 years.



I love "watch out for wildlife" signs. I have to deal with bears and mountain lions where I live. Coyotes are way down on the pecking order of dangerous animals. I felt pretty safe.



The trail was nice. I like running on dirt.



Temperature was a balmy 34 degrees F. I am running down on the "flat" as we mountain folks call it. The altitude here is a "low" 5,620 feet above sea level. The term "flat" is relative, there are some people that might call this hilly. "Hilly" is a lot better than "mountainous".

I am still taking it easy. I ran 2.5 miles in 26:15 at an average pace of 10:30 minutes/mile. I am getting faster! My ratio of running to walking was 3 to 1. My running intervals were about 8:05 minutes per mile. My fastest pace was a 6:47 minute per mile. And it felt great!

I owe it all to the cool looking shoes! I think I am going to slow down a bit and go for some longer runs. I am really digging this. I can move again! Unfortunately, it is snowing like crazy now. I won't be able to run for at least a few days.



This is what my deck looks like today. The snow is still falling. Time to break out the show shoes.

Thanks for reading my blog.




  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIVE4THETRAIL 2/13/2012 4:21PM

    Very nice shoes. Betcha they are comfy as. As well as looking the part.

Had a wee snigger about how coyote's are down the pecking order as you have to deal with mountain lions and bears. Fortunately we don't have anything like that over here. Saying that i nearly stood on a seagull that was nesting down for the night on my night run along the beach last night. That was enough to scare the bejesus out of me. Goodness knows what i would do if i came across a bear.

emoticonPost

Frankie

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BAILEYS7OF9 2/10/2012 11:11AM

    Glad you got a run in w/ your cool new emoticonbefore the snow hit! I'm looking forward to a long run tomorrow!

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LMB-ESQ 2/5/2012 6:56AM

    I like your new shoes! And if you're averaging 8 to 10 minute miles after having been injured and away for so long, then maybe there's some hope for the rest of us. Looks like Bruce is back! Woo Hoo!

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LKEITHO 2/4/2012 9:10PM

    Great looking shoes! And it sounds like you had an excellent first run in them. Glad I don't have to deal with that snow, though!

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CHIFANG130 2/4/2012 5:31PM

    Hope you've got a good back in shoveling your way out of the snow. Maybe you have a snow blower. In Maryland where we get little snow, I often find that shoveling snow is a good exercise even though it kills the back. I am sure they'd clean out the roads fast to get everything back to normal. If not, hope you can find a community center with exercise rooms. Keep warming up and strengthening the muscle. Once you can get out to run, you'd be glad that you've been active indoors as much as you can.

Can you tell the weather that the east coast can really use all that snow now? Make a snowman if you are up to it!

Oh! I LOVE your SHOES!!! Great taste as usual!

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CAROLCRC 2/4/2012 4:14PM

    Glad you got a good one in before the snow hit. We've been avoiding snow all winter here in Buffalo! Nice shoes.

Love the contrast of the "dogs on leash" and "coyotes active" signs...

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ROOT4HOME 2/4/2012 12:47PM

    Very cool shoes! Nike Pegasus' were my 1st running shoes and I loved them but over time I've needed more stability in my shoe. Great to hear you were able to get a great run in before the snow fell!

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STRIVER57 2/4/2012 11:13AM

    glad you got that run in.


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HKARLSSON 2/4/2012 10:39AM

    Sweet shoes! I'm glad you got a run in before that snow hit. And if you could send us some snow here in Texas, I'd be much obliged. :)

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NATPLUMMER 2/4/2012 10:25AM

    I've seen them in real life (and may order some in that color scheme myself) and they are very nice. It's always a bonus if you can get them in a cool color :-)
Yay, nice run!!! I wouldn't want to go out in that snow except to build some snowmen.

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CBAILEYC 2/4/2012 9:47AM

    Nice new rides, Speedy! They look awesome, and anything that helps you get out there and feel good about running is an added bonus!
emoticon
C~

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TEDDYBABE 2/4/2012 9:41AM

    haha! Dogs on a leash sign and STILL Speedydog forges on! Love that you are getting back in the swing. Heard about your snow! Yippee!! The shoes really are cool looking. Bet that felt good to get out and run. I got into some Saucony Grid 5's and I really like them! Have fun!

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LAURIE5658 2/4/2012 9:20AM

    Bruce is stylin' in those awesome shoes! Now he is stylin' in snow shoes. Quite the snow there, buddy.

emoticon

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CHANGINGHORSES 2/4/2012 7:29AM

    Groovy new sneaks, running ahead of the snow storm, that is the good life! Yay Bruce!

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DEUSMACHINA 2/4/2012 3:05AM

    OMG, I love where you live! It's just amazing for us dry, flat, hot Aussies!

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DOUG_HAAS 2/4/2012 1:38AM

    Glad to see you're back running. I think you have the right idea. Slow down a little and run long. I's easier on the body.

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APIRLRAIN888 2/3/2012 11:12PM

    Awesome! That's what I have too

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New Shoes, Ugly Calf, First Run and Pink Tutu

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Part 1: New Shoes

Yesterday, January 28th 2012, I went down to Boulder Running Company to get a new pair of shoes. I had called ahead to verify they had my shoes, which are Nike Zoom Vomeros in 13D.



I wanted black Vomeros. The only pair that they had in my size were Red and White. I plunked down the $130 for the Vomeros. I also ordered a a pair of Nike Pegasus +28. The only pair they could get in size13 were blue.



The Vomeros are a real cushy ride. The Pegasus are more durable. I wanted the Vomeros for rehab. The Pegasus comes in a trail version that I was temped to order. Although I do 95% of my running on trails, I have never liked a trail shoe. Somehow they feel clunky.

Part 2: Packed Out Shoes - I had No Idea

When I got my new Vomeros home I compared them with my old Vomeros. I had no idea that my old shoes were so darn packed out. There was over 1/4" difference in the height of the cushion material.


This photo shows the huge difference between the old shoes and the new shoes. I did a quick calculation and determined I had over 650 miles on my old shoes! I needed to retire the old shoes a long time ago. Vomeros are a very soft and break down quickly.


I had no idea my old shoes were in such bad shape.

Part 3: TIme to Go Running - Ugly Calf and All

Today, January 29th, the temperature got above 20 degrees F. I put on my running shorts, a long sleeve shirt and light windbreaker. WIth trembling hands I laced-up my new shoes. I really wanted to run. In August I had torn my right calf during the Leadville 10K. In September I broke my left foot falling down the stairs after my injured right leg gave out. Here is a photo of my torn calf.


I took this photo a few days after the race in August.

The following photo shows what it looks like today.

The little knob of torn muscle is still there. The huge gash is now just an indentation. The muscled stitched itself back together across the tear. When I run my fingers down my leg through the indentation I feel rough ridges of bumpy muscle tissue. It is really hard to describe. You may be able to see the ridges in the photo. The good news is that it doesn't hurt and my calf works just fine. It is kind of a bit ugly though.

I have had my share of injuries but I have not been hurt like this before.

Part 4: At The Track - Cold and Windy

I decided that I needed to run on something flat. The only place that is flat here in the Colorado Rockies is the high school track. When I got to the track it was 23 degrees F with a 20 mph wind from the West. The conditions have been very dry and sand was blowing around.


Here is a shot of the track. You can see the tracks of the sand on the track surface. This stuff comes off the nearby highway. Getting a face full of this coarse sand in the snoot does not feel good. I almost gave up before I started.


I got my new shoes on and I am ready to go. I hate running with anything on my legs. I did wear a headband and gloves though.


This is a lot colder than it looks.


I had some company. The deer were trying to figure out what the heck I was doing. To be honest so was I.

I took it pretty easy. I sort of followed the Couch-to-5K week one program. I ran 60 seconds and walked 90 seconds. I covered 2 miles in 23:10 at a pace of about 11:30 mins/mile. I feel pretty good about this run. I ran slowly on purpose and resisted any impulse to go faster. I iced my foot when I got home. I think I can start the long way back. I know I need to stretch a lot and cross-train. It felt pretty good to run.

Part 5: Princess Half Marathon and Tutus

Annette has her plane ticket to Orlando for the Princess Half Marathon that is Sunday, February 26th. She is flying into Orlando on Thursday, February 23rd and leaving Monday, February 27th. Her friend and running partner Lindsey is going with her. Annette submitted a qualifying time from a recent 10K that puts her in a corral that is reasonably close to the front. Her friend Lindsey, cousin Anne and the other women in the group do not have qualifying times so they will be in the last corral.

Annette has decided that (1) she is going to start the race in the last corral with Anne and Lindsey, (2) she is going to stay with Anne and Lindsey during the race, and (3) she is going to wear a tutu!

Stay tuned!


This is the line-up of the official Disney princesses.

Thanks for reading my blog!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEABREEZE64 2/15/2012 7:17AM

    Just sort of ran across your blog.
I like the comparison photos of your shoes and think I should do the same.
Also that muscle tear looked nasty. Glad it healed and you are able to get out and run again!

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LIVESTRONG2010 2/5/2012 10:22PM

    Wow never been hurt like that and I pray I never do. I've had a few falls with pretty good road rash but that's it. Really like the red and white shoes might just have to check those out! Not much into running but really like walking and doing the 5K and half marathons but riding is my passion. Love the view of your run nothing like that in San Antonio!

Glad you are healing and getting back into it! emoticon

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LMB-ESQ 2/2/2012 4:30AM

    Glad you're feeling up to running again. Even after so much time away, you are still doing better than me. You run in shorts in 20 degree weather??? Ugh... I can barely stand to go outside in 6 layers and a parka in that weather.

Tutu???? Will she let you post pics??? LOL

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MOM23CUTIES357 2/1/2012 4:48PM

    great picks and gl

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KKINNEA 2/1/2012 4:46PM

    Nice job back to recovery - I'll bet with patience you'll come back pretty fast. Amazing shoe wear tale with those pictures - I can't get anything more than 300 miles on my shoes but maybe that's because I wear fairly soft shoes too!

Annette is the best friend/cousin for starting in the later corral and running with the other ladies - I hope she has another shot to see what she can do at sea level with her speed some time soon!

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CHIFANG130 2/1/2012 3:38PM

    Great picks on the shoes. 23 degree and you were out running?! Wow! That was some hardcore die-hard running fanatic behavior. Glad to know that you are recuperating from your injury well. How excited that your wife is going to wear a tutu and I know she is going to have a blast in Orlando running with her friends. That was so cute that you posted Disney's princess picture. So very thoughtful. You definitely need to show Annette that. I think she will crack up like I did when I read your blog post. Take care!

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SUZWARNR 1/31/2012 7:20PM

    I hope the re-entry to running goes well. Slow and steady now, huh? I jogged real slowly on the treadmill last. It went well. On to try again Thursday night. Glad you can be out there again. Getting new shoes at the right time is very important!

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HARRINGTON5 1/31/2012 5:44PM

    The Princess race sounds like fun and what a sport your wife is. I stayed with friends a few times and frankly, it drives me crazy. I guess I'm not too gracious, I just want to run and see what I can do. As for you, OMG, I had no idea you were hurt that badly. I Haven't been paying attention as much as I should have. I am so glad you are healing. Your slow run is my fast run...lol So, I think you are doing great.
I'm amazed at how running shoes really wear. I'd hate to think what it would cost if I was more dedicated and ran more races.
Take care of yourself. I will never complain again when I think it is a little chilly outside. You are just amazing.

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PINKBEANBOO 1/31/2012 10:20AM

    Hi there!
Thanks for the comparison pictures of the shoes. Very interesting. My first pair of runners were Vomeros. They are cushy-cushy.
The picture of your calf - yuck! I didn't know you'd be able to see a torn muscle from the outside. That is gross! I'm going to add that to the list of things I never want to happen to me. Then you broke the ankle on your good leg? Poor guy. I bet you've been waiting for this day where you could do a little running for a long time. Congrats!

PS: I think the red & the blue/yellow shoes are cool :)

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IFDEEVARUNS2 1/31/2012 8:25AM

    Glad you got back out! Love the shoes - both pairs.

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LKEITHO 1/30/2012 6:11PM

    Glad to hear you are able to start out again! And those pictures look plenty cold to me!

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NWFL59 1/30/2012 5:26PM

    Enjoyed reading your blog and seeing you're getting back into something you love doing. Glad you got yourself some new shoes for your running program. WooHoo!

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BAILEYS7OF9 1/30/2012 11:23AM

    You are a BRAVE man! It was 24 w/ a 20 MPH wind yesterday in SE WI and I opted to run on the treadmill! Glad you got a run in though, that is great!

I only have a little over 205 miles on my Saucony's and they are starting to break down. emoticonI don't know why I can't get more miles out of shoes? I even have another pair that I alternate with.

Nice of your wife to run in the corrals w/ her friends, wow, the tutu??

Comment edited on: 1/30/2012 11:29:25 AM

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TRILLIUM22 1/30/2012 10:55AM

    Okay, all these pictures of shoes. I try to retire mine at 300 miles, I then use them for walking and indoor rowing, so they get plenty more work. Interesting to see really wear and tear. 650 mile on one pair of shoes, oh my.

I had a giggle when I'm looking at the shoe picture, and you said you did not like things on you legs, but you were going to wear headband and gloves. I'm assuming you wore shorts and a shirt, but maybe that is why the deer were so confused.

Hope Annette feels good with her decision to start with Ann and Lindsay ant wear a tutu. She may make a big difference in their race experience. A good first race experience can lead to a second and a third.

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CBAILEYC 1/30/2012 10:51AM

    Glad you're well shod once again! The new shoes are a great way to start out your re-entry to running. Even your 'slow' pace is speedy!
Annette's decision made me smile. We can always run by ourselves... it's special when we are able to run with people we love.
A big W00T! for both of you!
emoticon
C~

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STRIVER57 1/30/2012 10:45AM

    congratulations on starting to train again. that is great! i'm glad Annette decided, and in time to adjust to her decision.

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NATPLUMMER 1/30/2012 9:25AM

    Yay for new shoes!! Yes, you really did need to replace them.
Yay for a run!! I bet it felt great to run!!
That is very sweet of Annette. I hope they all have a great time!!

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LAURIE5658 1/30/2012 9:04AM

    Welcome back to the running world! Woot!

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CAROLCRC 1/30/2012 8:36AM

    Smart decision on her part - she either had to decide to go for it, or run with her friends... the smartest part was making her decision well ahead of time rather than risking frustration and hurt feelings on race day.

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BSTAKINGACTION 1/30/2012 7:38AM

    Woo hoo! Back in training!
Loved the before/after of the SHOES (still feeling queasy about the calf photos :s)

I'll be cheering both you and Annette!

Enjoy the journey!

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TWEETYKC00 1/30/2012 5:44AM

    That leg is looking plenty better now, glad you can get back to running even if it isn't the running you would hope for. I would love to see that 10k with the tutu, will there be pictures to come?

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CHANGINGHORSES 1/30/2012 5:32AM

    Glad that you are back on the track and soon on the trail. Smart idea to start out easy.
Very interesting shot of the shoes. I only ever had the same style once, never thought of that. Do you think that your shoes had anything to do with the tear? That was pretty nasty, the photo makes me cringe everytime I see it.

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DEUSMACHINA 1/30/2012 1:58AM

    $130 for Vomeros????? OMG, I really need to shop online. Vomeros are $250 in Aus. Awesome shoe! I love them!

Meanwhile, the calf is looking a lot better, isn't it? I can't believe you say it's colder than it looks. There's snow, dammit! That looks pretty cold to me!

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SUPERDUPER26 1/30/2012 12:58AM

    I've never compared my old shoes to a new pair before, thats a pretty good visual on used shoes you shared, I could learn from that!
emoticon

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CAROLYN1ALASKA 1/30/2012 12:36AM

    Love your shoes, but I sure understand your disappointment on having to get a different color than the one you wanted. Every time I go in to buy new Nike's, they don't have the color I want... emoticon
Mine are Vomero's too and I hadn't noticed but they are beginning to look a lot like your worn pair. Thanks for the head's up.
Now I wish that I had written down my starting mileage on those shoes. My total since I started recording a few years back is 1668, but that was several pairs of shoes ago.
Your calf healed up great!

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TAICHIDANCER 1/30/2012 12:29AM

    Any YOU aren't wearing a tutu?!?!? Where's your solidarity? emoticon

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Still Gimping Around

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Part 1: That is going to leave a Mark

On August 14th I severely tore my right calf during the Leadville10K. This race is also known as the "NOX 10k" since it is a hilly trail race at 10,152 elevation. "NOX" stands for "No Oxygen". Standing at the starting line I was in the best shape I had been for 20 years.




This is a photo of my mangled calf. The good news is that after 6 months, the calf has pretty much healed.



On September 11th I hurt the heel of my left foot trying to run/limp down the stairs to answer a phone. I slipped and "surfed" the last five stairs and banged my left foot very badly. This injury has been nagging me for months. I have had to curtail my running. I used to run no matter what. Regardless of injuries or weather I would be out there, as the Nike commercial says, just doing it. I am having a little trouble getting over the memory of intense pain associated with running 6.22 miles over rough terrain with a severely torn calf muscle.

Part 2: Missing Football Games

I officiate high school football. Due to my injuries, I had to sit out 5 games. In 12 previous seasons I had never missed a game. This season the pain just got to be too much. I still worked 17 regular season games. I was happy when the season ended. I then got a call to work a quarter-final playoff game. Being selected to work a playoff game is an honor. I couldn't turn it down.

Part 3: Television

This season I worked three games that were televised locally. I also worked one game that was nationally televised. This is a record for me. I hate to say this, but my fortunes as an official have greatly improved since I lost 80 pounds. The notion is that coaches are used to dealing with very fit players and respond better to fit officials.



The guy in the stripes is me. This was a televised game. I work at the umpire position a lot. This means most plays come straight at me! I was clobbered twice during this game. This game was played on September 16th. My foot and my calf still hurt like heck!

Part 4: The Princess Half Marathon - Pink Tutus

Background: My wife’s cousin Anne invited my wife to run the Disney Princess half marathon on Sunday, February 26, 2012. My wife, Annette, is a serious high-altitude mountain runner. Annette accepted Anne’s invitation. Anne planned a big event with several of her friends. Anne and her friends have come up with costumes that include pink tutus and “team” shirts. Annette is really fussy about her running outfits and is aghast that she is expected to wear a tutu. Anne is my wife’s best friend. Annette really wants to see how fast she can run at sea level. Annette also knows that when the race starts she is going to run!

Anne came to visit a before Thanksgiving. Annette took Anne to the top of Kenosha pass to train on the Colorado Trail. The elevation is over 10,000 feet. Anne told me she ran about ¼ of a mile and was completely out of breath. She loved the scenery. Anne is also asthmatic. She has terrible episodes triggered by her allergies where she lives in Florida. She was pleased that at high elevation in Colorado she had no asthma attacks whatsoever. There is far less plant life at 10,000 feet and what little there is was dormant . Anne wants to move to Colorado. She said she would gladly trade her asthma for cold, snow, wind, rocks and thin air.

Part 5: Who is That Speedy Woman?

Annette is getting ready for her Princess Half Marathon. I came home one day and found her running in place tethered to a post by a monster resistance band. She had a chair in front of her with her laptop playing some exercise DVD. I think the DVD is either Kenpo or P90X. She also does yoga and lifts weights.



She also runs. Her minimum workout run is 5 miles. She mostly runs 10 miles. About a month ago, I was coming home from work and I saw this woman blazing down the road. It took me a while to realize it was my wife! Annette has always been a good solid distance runner. Her nickname is Putt-Putt because she always kept a nice even pace. When she got home I asked how far she ran. She told me she had run a little over 8 miles. I asked her how long it took her to run the 8 miles. She looked at the clock and said, “A little less than an hour.” That meant she had run better than a 7:30 minute per mile pace for 8 miles at 9,000 feet of elevation over hilly terrain in freezing temperatures! She also told me that when I drove past her she had decided to sprint the last ½ mile. I guess we can’t caller her Putt-Putt any longer! She told me later that she had dropped 7 pounds! And she wasn’t heavy in the first place.

Part 6: Still Gimping Around

While Annette is getting leaner and faster, I feel I am getting softer. My darn left foot is healing so slowly. The last time I went running was on December 11th, 2011. I only ran 2.5 miles. Even though my pace was a gentle 12 minutes per mile, my foot could not take the pounding. Fortunately, I have not gained weight but I feel spongy. Right now it is very cold and icy outside. I can put on my boots with Yaktrax and go walking with my Beagle, Lucas. That is all about the exercise I can handle right now.



Thanks for reading my blog.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEDDYBABE 1/29/2012 12:16PM

    First of all, Annette is my new hero. What a woman! Wow! Built in inspiration. No wonder your kids are so athletic also.

Then, happy to see you are hanging in there. I bet you really miss those trails. Glad you are not giving up. You will be back.

Thanks for the blog. AND I love the "stripes" photos!!

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NOELLIEMAE 1/25/2012 11:03AM

    WOW!!! you're wife is doing amazing things and I'm so sorry you're still gimping around :( that's rough!

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CAROLCRC 1/25/2012 8:11AM

    You could always volunteer to wear the tutu for her while she runs (LOL). Glad to see you back and hear that things are improving, however slowly.

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BSTAKINGACTION 1/25/2012 6:41AM

    Thanks for the update! And, yeeek, that calf looks painful! I'll channel your wife during my workouts this week. I could use the oomph.

I love that you're a football official...and such an accomplished one! Well done!

Hang in there...this too shall pass!

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LMB-ESQ 1/24/2012 10:55PM

    Good to see you back Bruce! Sorry you're still having pain, but at least it sounds like you're heading in the right direction.

Haven't those pink tutus been kiboshed yet? I suppose it could be conveniently "lost" on the run... LOL

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RAINTHIEF 1/24/2012 9:01PM

    Keep fighting, gimpy!! You can do it!!! Start small, work with the doc, and build yourself back up. Whew - that injury was a nasty one, but I know you'll bounce back!
emoticon emoticon

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NWFL59 1/24/2012 8:52PM

    Thanks for the recap of your recent experiences and glad to see you can at least walk without reinjuring yourself. Great about your umpire success. Take care of yourself and you'll be rewarded in the long run.
Terry emoticon

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DEUSMACHINA 1/24/2012 4:33PM

    OH MY WORD!!!! That CALF!!! *shudder*

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KKINNEA 1/24/2012 1:56PM

    Hey friend, glad to see you back. You'll have to live virutally through your wife - she sounds like she's doing all the right things to be speedy!

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CHIFANG130 1/24/2012 1:38PM

    You know as long as you get out the door and do something, that's all it matters! Remember to stretch your muscle. The more stretch workouts you do, it's going to help you heal better and faster!

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SUZWARNR 1/24/2012 1:32PM

    I so feel your pain. I am not sitting idly anymore but for a couple months, I wasn't doing much at all. My friend and running partner gets faster while I can't run at all. I injured my psoas muscle in October and it still is far from better, I fear. I tried to go running this past Sunday and it didn't go as well as I'd hope. I can't and am not meant to run in pain. But I miss it so much. I hope the both of us will be out there again one day soon...

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CBAILEYC 1/24/2012 1:15PM

    Boy do I understand feeling spongy! emoticon

So glad to hear from you. Like the others, I've been wondering how you've been. Big WooHoo Props on officiating the games, televised and not.

Atta-girl for Mrs. SpeedyDog, No-Longer-Putt-Putt Annette!
Keep on healing.
C~

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BLACKROSE_222 1/24/2012 10:59AM

    Thanks so much for the update. I've been wondering about you, my friend. And what an amazing achievement for Annette!

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NATPLUMMER 1/24/2012 10:29AM

    I'm glad you are on the mend. It's taking forever for my left foot to heal, too. I totally understand your pain.
emoticon

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BAILEYS7OF9 1/24/2012 10:21AM

    Loved the blog, sorry you are still not able to do what you really want to do! emoticonis your wife going to wear the tutu??

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ELYMWX 1/24/2012 10:06AM

    Hey, at least you and Lucas are getting some quality Man Time!

I hope you heal up soon, Bruce. Tell Annette that the tutu won't slow her down (much) and to remember to enjoy the race.

Take care,

-Bill

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Torn Calf - Six Weeks Later and The Guy Nobody Loves

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Part 1: A Little History

I tore my right calf muscle during the Leadville 10K on August 14th. This grade 3 tear happened at the beginning of the race. I ran the 6.22 mile race stopping nine times when I couldn't stand the pain. I finished the race in 1 hour and 12 minutes. After the race I could barely walk.


Part 2: Six Weeks Later

My right calf is still swollen and still hurts a bit. My calf is healed enough that I can run in short bursts. I managed to run 1.10 miles in about 10 minutes and even sprinted the last 200 yards at 6:15 minute/mile pace. I couldn't stand to go much over a mile. But I was happy I could go a mile!

Then I hurt myself again.

Two a weeks ago, I was flying down the stairs to answer my work phone. My right calf gave out and I "surfed" the last four stair with my left foot. I hit the ceramic tile at the bottom of the stairs really hard. My left foot exploded in pain! I think I broke my foot. I hope just bruised it. Whatever I did to it, my left foot hurts really badly when I run.

Why am I running?


Part 3: Football Referee - The Guy You Love To Hate - That's ME!

I started officiating high school football 12 years ago and have worked over 400 games. This season, due to my injured calf, I have cut back to only 21 games.

I have to work these 21 games. There is a huge shortage of officials and there are no substitutes. When I started officiating, my "rookie" class had 29 new officials. Now, 12 years later there are 4 of us left. That means the attrition rate is 86 percent! Only 14 out of 100 officials stick with it.

I am hurt. But if I am not on the field, there will be a great big hole where I am supposed to be. I can't even take an Advil. I need a clear head.

Why is there a shortage of officials? I can just speak for myself. First, the modest game fees that I am paid do not cover my expenses. It costs me about $1,000 every year out of my pocket. I have to buy all my own uniforms and equipment. I wear out shoes very quickly. A new pair of officials turf shoes costs over $150. Association dues are $125 a year. I spend a ton of money attending off-season training clinics. Driving to the games burns a lot of expensive gas. What do I get for my $12,000 investment? I will tell you:

(1) I have been spit on by fans.
(2) A coach ran up to me during a game and screamed in my face that a seriously injured player lying on the ground was my fault. I know the coach was upset but his tirade still hurt.
(3) I have lost track of the number of police escorts I have had while leaving a stadium.
(4) Coaches scream and holler at me. I have to answer in a calm talking voice.
(5) Players and coaches make lots of mistakes. If I make a mistake, just one, I am labeled by fans and coaches as a horrible human being and a lousy official. I have been told so on many occasions.
(6) I have been "booed" by 10,000 people simultaneously for making a good call they didn't like.
(7) I have to break up fights like this one:



This is a photo from the Denver Post. I was the referee for this game. I am not in the picture. I am intercepting six players that wanted to join the brawl. The guy throwing the flag is my back judge, Tim. Tim is 6'1". The official in the middle of the battle is my umpire, Scott. Scott is 6'7". Comparing the size of the players with Tim and Scott should give you an idea how big these players are. Breaking up fights like this is strenuous. I noticed that SparkPeople doesn't list an exercise that includes jumping between battling football players and pushing them apart.

(8) Coaches holler for flags to be thrown on the opposing team. Coaches have fits when their team gets a flag. They say things like "They are holding my linebacker! That is right in front of you! Can't you see that!" I have a lot of forbearance and rarely throw a flag on the coach for this behaviour. But as all of you know, coaches that make such comments are in violation of Rule 9, Section 8, Article 1 items b, c and d. This rule states that a coach shall not (b) disrespectfully address an official, (c) attempt to influence an officials decision or (d)indicate objections about an officials decision. The comment, "They are holding my linebacker! That is right in front of you! Can't you see that!" Is actually two unsportsmanlike fouls, which is a 30 yard penalty and results in the ejection of the coach for two games. Since almost all coaches have a very tenuous grasp on the rules, they have no idea that I can toss them out of the game. In 400 games, I have never ejected an abusive coach.

There is always a first time.

Working games with a torn calf and a broken foot, my forbearance is getting thin. The next coach that questions my integrity, judgement or eyesight is history!

I work these games for the players. There were officials working games for me when I was player. There were officials working games for my sons when they played. It is called "paying it forward".

Even hurt, I am not slow. Yesterday at a Junior Varsity game, I raced the Umpire down the field at the change of the third quarter. We had to run 98 yards to reset the ball. My Umpire had a slender athletic build. He was also 30 years younger and 30 pounds lighter than me. I beat him by 4 yards! Surprised us both!

Thanks for reading my blog.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAKAPES 12/24/2011 2:58AM

    Hi Speedydog, so what's up?
How things are going with your sparklife?
I haven't read a blog from you for so long!


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HEALTHY4JEANNE 12/9/2011 7:20AM

    How is the calf healing? Thanks for posting this. Makes me have a little empathy for refs...

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ITSHOWYOULIVE 10/31/2011 11:26AM

    Oh dear, hope foot and calf are feeling better now and that you are healing well. Hope that your games are going well too and that nobody has been too out of line. My husband used to ref children's soccer and that was bad enough...I can't imagine what it would be like for you emoticon. Hope all is going well.

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CARYNW 10/5/2011 12:07PM

    Well thank goodness you do referee, they couldn't have a game without you! Too bad they don't appreciate it.
Big ouch on the foot / calf.. that's an impressive 10K time to have been run WITH an injury! Hope you feel better soon!

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HARRINGTON5 9/28/2011 5:39PM

    You are one amazing man! It is a shame there aren't a whole lot more people like you on this earth. I hope you heal quickly. You are a ROCK STAR!
emoticon

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ROOT4HOME 9/28/2011 12:47AM

    Oh man, it sounds like your legs just never get a break! Hope they heal up soon! Wow...I'm glad you posted the pt of view of an official...I had no idea. You never fail to amaze me...keep up the good work!

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SUZWARNR 9/27/2011 7:02PM

    I'm glad to hear that your calf is getting better and I hope your other foot is okay. Be safe and try to stay uninjured at those football games. Running a mile is great. Soon it will be longer than that, I'm sure.

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TRILLIUM22 9/27/2011 6:06PM

    Refereeing sounds like a truely thankless job. Don't know about the no one loving you though. That hostility stuff is all situational. Maybe the guy that people love to hate?

Hope you get that calf to heal. Don't run for the phone.

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LMB-ESQ 9/27/2011 8:17AM

    Why are you still running? Because you're a certified addict. I hope that foot is just bruised too.

Ahhhh, the job people love to hate. We were never into football here, but my kids played basketball, baseball, soccer, and they swam. I think officiating sporting events is an equal-opportunity abuse fest. I've seen refs, umps, officials get spat on, sworn at, and screamed at. This abuse has come from coaches, parents, even the kids. They all take it in stride. Some ignore it, some eject people. I do have to wonder why they think it's worth it. The only place I've seen consistent enforcing of the respect for officials is at a swim meet. These people do not screw around. Officials will talk to a kid they have had to DQ, they will talk to a coach whose swimmer they have had to DQ, they will talk to an official timekeeper. That's it. For a parent to even approach an official on deck is cause to throw them right out of the pool. And to swear at one? LOL... your entire team will forfeit the meet. Frankly, I think that's how it should be. That's why you hire officials.

Kudos to you for keeping up the good work....

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IONA72 9/26/2011 5:48PM

    You are one of the good guys, good things will come your way.
emoticon

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BAILEYS7OF9 9/26/2011 5:31PM

    well glad you are hanging in there! I hope no-one gets stupid in front of you.

And now I feel really slow... I ran a 10K Saturday in 1:08 and my calves are not torn! emoticon

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CHANGE_4_ME 9/26/2011 11:36AM

    Hopefully it's just a bad bruise. Wishing you a speedy recovery on all your injuries. Thanks for sticking with ref'ing. When you guys are on the field there's no way to see everything, most people don't get that. There are so many people "on the take" in so many professions that it gives the rest (the honest) a bad name. I have respect for umpires and officiators that are on the field. I do however have beef with ref's that have playback opportunities but still get it wrong.(NFL) LOL =] You have a great day!

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BLACKROSE_222 9/26/2011 10:42AM

    Wow - that's a thought that I bet lots of parents/coaches/and even players don't think about. Thanks for sharing, and I'm sorry you are going through all of this. Talk about a Thankless job.

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L3DESIGNS 9/26/2011 12:37AM

    Ouch!

Congrats on sticking with the reffing, even if you are hurt. Hope you get a chance to heal, and that your foot is just bruised.

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LKEITHO 9/25/2011 10:48PM

    Good for you for doing a job most people won't, and doing it while hurt into the bargain! You are definitely to be commended. I hope the injuries heal up soon!

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KAREN42BOYS 9/25/2011 10:10PM

    Your frustration and pain really come through. This just stinks.

Can you at least deduct your reffing costs from your taxes?

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KKINNEA 9/25/2011 10:05PM

    Amazing insight into being a referee - I had no idea! I hope you have some time to heal soon - I've been thinking about you!

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LINDAKAY228 9/25/2011 7:56PM

    Wow! First of all you are sure having a tough time lately with injuries. I'm so sorry about that. Second of all, I commend you for sticking in there with a job that no one seems to really want to do. It's not a job I could handle. Thank goodness there are people like you who do care about the kids having refs so they can play. But boy you sure can take more than I could.
Hope everything gets better soon!

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TEDDYBABE 9/25/2011 7:44PM

    Okay, I am thinking plastic bubble wrap for a year?! My hubby used to coach high school fb also and loved it. Just said the other day, wished he could get back into it. Hang in there Bruce. You have used up all your injury and bad day cards. Sunny days are ahead I am sure!! Speedybabe

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NATPLUMMER 9/25/2011 7:40PM

    OUCH!!!!
Whew! I have to commend you for being a referee. It is certainly something I could and would not do.

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SKINNYSOON13 9/25/2011 7:21PM

    Oh no! When I was healing, I was working with a trainer to "strengthen" my calf (at about the 6 week mark because I was feeling pretty dang good). So, she had me doing these "jumping" exercises on a bosu and I was hopping on my left foot and whammo - turned my ankle inside out! I too thought I'd possibly broken it because that baby hurt for 2 weeks BAD and started doing things no sprained ankle had ever done, so I went and had it looked at and it was just a bad sprain. So, now I was a DOUBLE gimp :-( I was SOOOOOOO MAD! I'm like, "I'm paying you to make me better, and you just made me WORSE!" not to mention set me back another 4 or so weeks in my healing! grrrrrr

But hey, it's been 2 years, I should move past it, right? :-)

Wow, I'll definitely think about the ref's more in the future. I don't go to many football games, but this year we've gone to one and I'll be easier on the ref's! I hope you'll get through the season in one piece. If you need me to come kick someone's butt, just let me know, otherwise, I can only commiserate from afar :-)

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