Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Last 2 Days & Week in Review

Sunday 05.11.08. Started the day by taking the kids and Oslo out for a walk around scenic Erie Lake. Other than being colder than it appeared, it was a beautiful morning. We saw a fox during our drive over, and a total of 8 hot air balloons. I love seeing the balloons - it's something I miss from the morning runs. They're certainly not uniquely Colorado, but this is where I've mainly seen them, and they're a fairly regular thing. Anyway, we picked up flowers and cinnamon rolls for Mother's Day (we were letting JL sleep in and get up and work out at her own speed this morning - the least I could do). I figured on getting my main workout in this evening - which I did: 4.5M on the Precor elliptical (44:57), for a total of 1:08 on the day. Oh, I weighed in at 178.8#, which I still feel will go up despite my best efforts - probably a bit dehydrated.

05.05.08 - 05.11.08 In Review
Total Activity (9:51 - goal 7:00)
Oslo Walking (2:59 - goal 2:00)
20.5M Elliptical (3:19:36)
26K Rowing (1:39:14)
40M Exercise Bike (1:21:14)
2 Weight Lifting Sessions (33:00)

All in all - a good week. I would have gotten well over 10:00 without getting sick and having a weak Friday, and not much on Saturday. Also, even adjusting for the stomach flu aided weight loss (similar to wind aided - I DO actually weigh less, and I didn't cheat, BUT I can't really count it for record purposes), I made a nice dent in my weight, and returned to some good habits. I weighed in every day last week, which I'm continuing this week as well.

Monday 05.12.08. Mondays & Tuesdays, despite the fact that I work 9:30-7 both days, tend to be good activity days. I don't always get a lot of quality, but I have room for multiple smaller workouts. This Monday was a good example - 3M in the morning & 3M in the evening on the Precor elliptical, 15M on the LifeCycle Upright at work, a 32:00 walk w/ Oslo and JL & LL, and a 22:00 lifting session. All told, 2:21 for the day. And I weighed in at an even 180#.

Goals for 05.12.08 - 05.18.08
Weigh in every day
Walk Oslo 3:00+
10:00+ Total Activity

Fun plans for this week include:
  • One of RG's paintings from school was chosen a few months back to become one of many banners lining Public Rd in Lafayette. It's a very cool owl painting, and Lafayette is having an "unveiling" celebration this Wednesday. JL will unfortunately be out of town, but LL is in town, and it's always nice for a grandma to get to see something like that. We're all looking forward to it, and I'll try to get some pics up later in the week.

  • The annual Balloon Launch kicking off the Erie Town Fair on Saturday morning. This is always a fantastic event, and despite all the people who show up, I always end up running into everyone I know who's there. And then fireworks at night. Good stuff.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Saturday 05.10.08: One way to lose weight


  • 184.2#
  • 8K Rowing - easy building into hard (29:59.4), 2K WD (7:45.2)
  • Walk w/ LL, KG, Oslo (35:00)
  • 3M Precor elliptical - "Hill Climb" (28:34) AHR 124 / MHR 131


  • 183.8#
  • 10M recumbent bike (27:07)

I woke up with apparently the same stomach flu that had hit JL & LL earlier in the week, and it WIPED me out the rest of the day. So not a lot of activity, but barely any eating (some Gatorade, 2 crackers and 1 bagel).


  • 179.6#*
  • 3M Precor elliptical - "Fat Burner" (39:57) AHR 133 / MHR 140
  • Walk w/ KG & Oslo (17:000)

Felt a bit weak this morning, but my faucet butt seemed to finally be turned off. * I'm sure my weight will again self-correct due to the water loss from Friday. That said, it's nice to see a sub-180# number.

I've made good on most of my goals - already exceeding 7:00 for the week, weighing in every day (so far), walking Oslo for 2+ hours, and putting in 2 weight lifting sessions.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Wednesday 05.07.08: Last 2 Days

  • 183# weigh-in
  • 8K rowing - easy (30:56.3)
  • 15M LifeCycle C9i upright bike (26:13)
  • Weights - abs, arms, legs (21:00)
  • Walk w/ Oslo (15:00)


  • 182# weigh-in
  • 3M Precor 5.37 elliptical "Fat Burner" (28:44)
  • Walk w/ KG & Oslo (27:00)
  • Walk w/ JL, RG, KG & Oslo (41:00)
  • 3M Precor 5.37 elliptical "Aerobic Endurance" (28:15)

Not much else to report in this mundane life. Just keep plugging away, puttin' one foot in front of the other...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tuesday, 05.06.08: At this rate, I will cease to exist in 54 days

As I expected, I reverted back to my trend with a morning weigh-in of 183.0#. I'll still take my "starting point" of 186.4#, as a) it's true, and b) it's more motivating. And I can use all the motivation I can find.

Nothing to write home about with my workouts on Monday, but it was as active of a day as I've had in awhile:

  • AM 8K easy - Concept 2 Rower (30:33.4)
  • AM Walk w/ Oslo (21:00). Great to be outside!
  • PM 15M - LifeCycle C9i upright bike 27:54. The calibration on these things crack me up sometimes...
  • PM Weights - quick workout on chest & back (12:00)
  • PM (late) 3M - Precor 5.37 Elliptical "Aerobic Endurance" program (29:09) L10, AHR 128 / MHR 135. I'm enjoying the fact that the Precor elliptical feels great on my foot. It was also nice to return to an old habit of a night workout (started about 9:30), and it was fun to watch the New Orleans Hornets embarrass the San Antonio Spurs 102-84. I really can't stomach the ides of a Lakers-Spurs series - no one to cheer for.
  • Total of 2:00 of activity - well on my way to 7:00 for the week. It's depressing to think that 14:00/week used to be fairly normal, often with 8-10 hours coming from running.

I've been able to continue the daily workouts, but now I just need to establish some consistency with higher activity days. It's so much easier to get that done when there's an event to focus on, but right now that "event" needs to be my return to running. The sooner I can get down to 180#, the sooner I can set the next goal and start focusing on that. One nice thing about being larger is that it takes more calories to live and move, so the early pounds should come off a little easier. I'm not writing down any food restrictions at this point, but I will be eating smarter and living healthier across the board.

So RG had "Track & Field Day" at Lafayette Elementary this morning. Funny. I took my mother-in-law and KG along to watch and had a good time watching a kindergarten version of "track & field." The closest events to track & field would be the sack race (always a classic), the one foot in a swim flipper race (RG had a nice conservative technique that worked well for her), and perhaps the mole race - they used the same "hurdles" the older kids would be using (cones with a foam bar across the top), but they went under the hurdles, you know, like moles. RG enjoyed it, and like everyone was very excited about the popsicles at the end of it. I would have liked to see one actual running race, and maybe a broad jump or something, but hey, they're in kindergarten. But next year, NEXT YEAR, I'm pushing for the 10K for everyone across the board - maybe hold it at the sight of most local epic races: Spangenberg Field at Centaurus High School. I wonder what the 1st Grade girls record is at Lafayette...

Monday, May 5, 2008

Monday 05.05.08: 186.4 stinkin' pounds

OK. I need to start focusing on dropping some pounds if I'm going to have a shot at running. It's been about 3 1/2 weeks since the surgery, and since May 1st I've been allowed to walk around without my walking boot on all the time. While the boot was still on, I pretty much stuck to an indoor recumbent or upright bike for my daily habit. Now I've been able to use my rowing machine and my elliptical machine, and yesterday and today I took Oslo out for walks. Dr. Thomas has told me all along that I could return to running 6-8 weeks post-surgery, and I've told myself all along that I may wait longer to get back to it.

My foot feels better (and looks better) and much of the swelling has gone down. There's still swelling and pain in it, though, and I'm nowhere near the point where I'd want to try running on it (even on the treadmill). I go back and forth on it. Sometimes I think confidently that the surgery has corrected much of the problems I've dealt with the last 2+ years, and that when it's all healed up, I'll be able to gradually ease back into running. And other times, I think that's a pipe dream (no, I'm not on the pipe) and that my foot's gonna be fucked for the foreseeable future. I worry that there was more than just the stress fractured sesamoid bone causing me pain in that area, and that I'll have to deal with that problem. I worry that my neuroma pain will return with all the swelling and trauma to my foot causing the neuroma to grow again. I worry about scar tissue. But then I'll remember that I had surgery to correct a problem, and it may have just done that.

So I weighed in at 186.4 pounds this morning. Here's my previous weigh-ins that I have handy:
  • 04.29 183.2#
  • 04.16 182.0#
  • 03.31 183.0#
  • 03.28 185.6#

We had some pizza last night, so that may have spiked the number up a bit, and I could see some "self correction" for tomorrow's weigh-in. I do plan to weigh myself most mornings going forward. Here's a list of short term plans and goals to increase my activity, increase my fitness, decrease my weight, and get myself prepared for a run at running:

Week of 05.05.08-05.11.08

  • Update the blog regularly
  • 7:00+ of activity for the week
  • 2:00 of walking Oslo (this has really slipped with my foot issues and then the surgery)
  • 2 weight lifting sessions
  • Weigh-in each day this week

Short-Term Weight Goals/Plans

  • 180# by 05.22.08 (6 weeks post-surgery - make next goal when I reach 180#)
  • No running before I'm down to 175#

Ultimately, I should have an easier time with my weight - I have one less bone weighing me down, right? This week, I'll work a mix of the rower, elliptical, bike, and weights along with walking Oslo, and possibly walking some on the treadmill.

More tomorrow...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

One ugly foot

As promised, I unwrapped my foot and removed the gauze so I could get a photo for the blog. Swell looking foot, huh?

Dr. Thomas said that the large red area is kind of a subcutaneous blood bruise. The bruised toes are a nice touch, too, as if the incision wasn't nasty enough.

I got good news from the doc yesterday afternoon when I called him with some followup questions:
  • I can now get my foot wet! That means I can finally shower (I had to take baths before - there's another funny picture that won't make the blog - my 6'3" frame stuffed into a normal sized bathtub with my lower left leg & foot hanging out the side). Last night's shower was fantastic. I even figured out how to rebandage & rewrap my foot afterwards.
  • I can now ice my foot, which I have done a few times since getting home last night. That should help reduce some of the swelling that runs throughout much of my foot, and should help it feel better than even the vicodin or ibuprofen.
  • I can exercise with my walking boot on! I rode a LifeCycle R9i recumbent bike for 10M in 30:56 yesterday at the store. All I had to do was remove the pedal straps, and I was all set. I think I could probably use an elliptical machine, but it might feel a bit awkward as the boot doesn't let my foot/leg move the normal way (that's kind of the point). The boot is mainly really nice as I can feel a lot more comfortable walking around and not worrying about my foot.

All that said, my foot hurt more last night than at any time since the surgery. My good news this morning is that I weighed in at 182.0 pounds. I was 181.8 pounds a week before the surgery, so I survived a period that I could have very well added another 4 or 5 pounds.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


As a runner, my feet are rarely pretty looking. And when my training and racing has included marathons and long trail races, they look decidedly worse. But damn if my left foot isn't the ugliest fucking thing I've seen in awhile! I got a good long look at it this morning for this first time since surgery. I should have taken a photo and used it for the main blog photo - I've heard that's the cool thing to do...

I guess the surgery went well. That's what Dr. Thomas told me. Here's a recap of the past several days:
  • Thursday 04.10.08 - I started the day off with 4M on the elliptical (36:58), knowing I wasn't likely to get in a workout later that day, and maybe not for awhile after. My mom and I arrived at the Foot Surgery Center of Northern Colorado a little after 9 am. Everyone was very nice that morning, but it did take 2 tries to get the IV started (yippee!). I then met the anesthesiologist, who explained her process, and I headed into the operating room. They started the medication into the IV, I asked someone if they could prop up my arm a bit as the IV was bothering it, and then I was in the recovery room. Bizarre. I didn't even see my doctor until afterwards. My mom drove me home, and while I was prepared to be out of it then and for the rest of the day, but I seemed fine. After a late breakfast (couldn't eat before the surgery), I headed upstairs for a nap. I noticed that there was a fair amount of blood saturating the dressing. Great. I decided to go ahead with the nap (I rarely get the opportunity) and called the doctor's office afterwards. "Can you be here at 9 am tomorrow?" Sure, what's another trip to Ft. Collins. The bleeding didn't seem to continue, and I didn't really have any pain that day. I tried to sit around with my foot elevated most of the day. I took a couple of vicodin and took it easy.
  • Friday 04.11.08 - Back in the car, my Mom drove me back to the doctor's office, and Dr. Anderson (Dr. Thomas' partner) checked out my foot and said it looked OK. He had the dressing changed, and we headed back home. More lying around with my foot up. I was able to walk around using my right foot and left heel, as the left foot was somewhat protected by a surgical shoe. Later that day, I was able to exercise. I "rowed" 5K on my Concept II rowing ergometer, using my right leg and both arms. It took me 22:56, wheras a normal easy row for me would take under 20:00. The streak continued. I ate a couple more vicodin per doctor's recommendations to not wait for it to really hurt.
  • Saturday 04.12.08 - More of the same, another 5K of one legged rowing (23:22), still not much pain (only took one vicodin).
  • Sunday 04.13.08 - Lifted weights for 31:00 while watching the London Marathon (wow!) on the computer. I haven't read a whole lot on it, but I'd say he's easily the best American marathoner ever through 3 races. 1st, he ran an American debut record in a tough, fast race in London ('07). 2nd, he dominated the Olympic Trials in NY with a Trials record and fast time on a rolling course. And 3rd, he ran 2:06:17 in London, surviving a scorching early pace to place 5th with the best American born performance EVER in an amazingly fast race. More lying around, yada yada yada. We had friends over for pizza, and later I headed out to DQ for a Blizzard.
  • Monday 04.14.08 - Back to work, keeping the foot up much of the day (we were SLOOOOOOOOW). 30:00 of weights. My foot started hurting more, and I only took one vicodin before heading to bed.
  • Tuesday 04.15.08 - Drove to Ft. Collins for my first official Post-Op appointment. The assistant took off the old dressing and left me there to stare at my foot for several minutes before Dr. Thomas came in. As I looked at the incision, and the bruised and bloodied foot, I wasn't bothered by the "ickiness" of it. It didn't make me feel nauseous. It made me worry about "getting back" and really running again. I really don't know if my foot will work right in the future, and staring at my hideous foot brought that home. I guess we'll see... So Dr. Thomas examined my foot and re-dressed it, and then had an assistant get me set up with the walking boot. It's nice to be able to walk more "normally" - much better than the surgical shoe. I took some ibuprofen awhile ago, as I'm having about as much pain as I've had. I may try to use an elliptical machine a little later - whatever I can fit this boot onto.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Sesamoidectomy tomorrow

So it's been awhile since I posted. I need to get into a regular habit of blogging. I've been out of sorts for, oh, a long time now. I've managed to still be a creature of habit in one way, but that is currently being threatened.

I've worked out everyday for the last 10 years, and 2 1/2 months. I'm having foot surgery tomorrow, and while I'm hopeful that I'll be able to continue some type of workout, it's not a sure thing. Stay tuned...

So, yeah, I'm having a sesamoidectomy on Thursday morning. My podiatrist, Dr. Michael Thomas of the Poudre Valley Foot & Ankle Clinic and the Foot Surgery Center of Northern Colorado (who I've been seeing for my foot issues for the last 12 years) will be performing the surgery. I'm having the fibular sesamoid in my left great toe removed, as it has likely been stress fractured for at least the last 2 years. Oh - you HAVE to click on the above link to see the picture of the 70's guy running in vintage Nikes and long 3 stripe socks. Wow.

Some more info on the surgery and recovery:
  • There are 2 sesamoid bones in the great toe joint. A sesamoid bone is basically a "floating" bone that adds stability to a joint. I'm having the fibular sesamoid bone in my great toe joint's flexor tendon removed. So it's the sesamoid bone to the left in my big toe (closer to the rest of the toes).
  • One of the likely side effects is that my big toe will drift away from the other toes (don't laugh - it will remain attached). My doc tells me that's OK, as wearing a shoe keeps the toe in line. He said this bone being removed is slightly more work for him, but it generally has a better outcome for the patient. With the other bone removed, the big toe moves toward the other toes, which can lead to bunion problems.
  • One of the risks during the surgery is that he could cut my flexor tendon. That would be bad. Dr. Thomas said he hasn't done it yet, and he's performed hundreds of these surgeries. So that's some reassurance. Unless you're a half empty type, then he's due...
  • I'll be undergoing IV sedation, so I won't be going completely under. Apparently, one of the drugs I'll be getting has an amnesiac quality, so I'll be foggy and won't remember much. They'll also administer a local anesthetic to my foot, so I shouldn't have any painful memories anyway.
  • I find this funny (but I do get it): One of the items on the consent form states "I realize that impairment of full mental alertness may persist for several days following the administration of anesthesia, and I will avoid making decisions and taking part in activities which depend upon full concentration or judgement for at least 24 hours." And they mentioned this a few times - no important decisions for the first 24 hours.
  • I was able to convince my mom to fly out here from Illinois to help out (and help watch the kids next week while our nanny is gone). It will be nice to have her out here for this whole deal, and she'll be driving me back from the surgery. She's also a retired nurse, which adds some reassurance for the recovery process.
  • The initial recovery consists of mainly staying off my feet most of the time. They've recommended I stay off my feet with my foot elevated 12" above my waist at least 45 minutes out of every hour. I'll be wearing a surgical shoe and they recommend icing my foot on and off for 2o minutes for the 1st 4 hours after surgery, and as needed after that based on pain. Oh, and there's vicodin for the pain. And even more fun - if I have nausea from the vicodin, I have anti-nausea anal suppositories. I'm not planning on any nausea. I don't get any crutches, and Dr. Thomas said I should be fine to walk around as long as on the left side I only use my heel. And while I can't shower for the first 4 days, I am able to take baths with my left foot hanging out of the tub.
  • I'll see Dr. Thomas to have the dressing changed on Tuesday 04.15, and at that point I'm supposed to get a walking boot that will allow me to get around a lot easier. I think I should be in that boot for 2-3 weeks. I think as soon as the boot comes off, I can return to 2 hour trail runs, track workouts in spikes, and 80 mile weeks.
  • He told me I should be able to return to running somewhere in the next 6-8 weeks. Right now, I don't feel particularly anxious to jump back into it. I haven't run since early December - what's a little longer? Plus, I have plenty of cross-training options in my basement (Precor elliptical machine, Concept II rowing machine, Sportsart recumbent bike, etc.) and at the store (everything else) to keep me relatively fit. It will be based on how everything feels. I'll start with the treadmill, and eventually head to soft, even trails. I asked my doctor what should be easier on my foot, and what will be harder on the foot. He recommended initially focusing on distance over speed, soft controlled surfaces over roads and technical trails, and no track workouts. Makes sense.

So, back to the workout streak. I know I could (and may) just let it go. But the streak has gotten me out the door, or down into the basement, many times over the last decade. And we're only talking the first 4 days - after that I should be a little more freed up with the walking boot. A couple of my options:

  • Rowing with one leg. I just tried playing with this in the store, and I can probably make it work.
  • Weightlifting - I have dumbbells, a fit ball, exercise tubing, etc. which could work.
  • One legged elliptical is NOT going to work (tried it), and the treadmill is out.
  • Recumbent bike as an upper body ergometer type exercise. I just tried that, too, and while I don't know how long I'd want to do it, it's certainly a possibility.

As you can tell, I'm leaning towards keeping the streak alive. But I am reminded of what my urologist said before my last surgery: "We always tell everyone to take it easy after the vasectomy, but one patient had planned some rock climbing and didn't want to back out of it. He was back in the office with a scrotum the size of a grapefruit."

It's always good to close with a scrotal reference. More later...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Solid row, MRI, kids, politics

I started off today with a solid rowing workout in the basement. Sandwiched between a 2K warmup & cooldown, I rowed a hard 4K in 13:59.5. I felt like I was working at about as sustainable of a pace that I could handle for the first 2K (7:05), but I was able to squeeze it down a little more, rowing the next kilo in 3:30, and the final kilo in 3:24.5 (last 500m in 1:40.5). I'm just now starting to get some confidence back with the rowing workouts.

After getting RG to the bus, I attempted to stalk GZ at work, by having an MRI on my foot at nearby Flatiron Imaging. They gave me a CD of the MRI pics, but I haven't viewed them yet. Would I really know what I'm looking at? That said, I should throw the disc in and take a look. Maybe my foot will look better on the inside than it does on the outside. Or better than GZ's 9 toed wonders, there for all the world to ogle.

The rest of the day was spent hanging out with RG and KG, and taking care of the usual home front stuff - laundry, cooking, etc. These days can actually be stressful at times. I did OK most of the day, but by dinnertime, the kids were wearing on me a bit.

I'll close with some political talk of the last couple of days.

On Eliot Spitzer, I found Al Lewis' column in the Denver Post yesterday right on the mark. After discussing why a lot of folks in Wall Street and elsewhere in the business world were happy to see his fall from grace, he closed with the following lines:

"People spend a lot of time challenging my motives," he said. "But
. . . challenging the motive of the prosecutor is the last refuge of
the guilty."

I loved that line. I loved his righteous indignation. I loved his ability to
humiliate powerful wrongdoers.

Too bad he blew it all on a

Wow. I agree. While at the time, I didn't see Bill Clinton's work with Monica Lewinski as that big of a deal, I've come to realize the consequences of his actions and the resulting mess. He certainly wasn't able to accomplish much as President after the scandal broke. And he wasn't able to really campaign for Al Gore, which led to the disgrace of the last 7 years. Spitzer may not have been loved in many circles, but he was a guy who had been mentioned as Presidential material, and while things weren't going swimingly as NY's guv, he had big things ahead of him. I guess we've all got our issues.

And as for Geraldine Ferraro, she made her comments (about Obama being where he is because he's black) more than once. Her words weren't an accidental slip. Like much of the Clinton campaign, they're calculated. And they were calculated as another desperate move by the Clinton team to scratch and claw there way back into this thing. Like Clinton's line about her and McCain having all the foreign affairs experience, while Obama gave a speech in 2002. Oh, but I forgot, they want Obama as their VP candidate...

Ferraro's comments simply hold no water. According to her, when running for President in the USA, it's suddenly a great thing to be a black man. That makes a lot of sense, what with all the black presidents we've had over the years. I won't call her an outright racist, but it was another attempt by the Clinton camp to cast Obama as "the black candidate." Clinton has already lost most of the "black vote" so they probably feel there's nothing left to lose there. This is another example of why the Democratic Party needs to push Clinton out of this race - for the sake of Obama's chances in the fall against McCain, for the sake of the Democratic Party itself, and for the sake of Hillary Clinton's future as a respected Democratic politician.

Obama has won twice as many states as Clinton. Obama has the lead in pledged delegates and overall delegates. Obama is leading in the popular vote.

It's time for the official to step in and declare this a TKO for Obama. It's time for the Clintons to get out of the way, and make room for a more tolerant, more experienced, and more inspiring candidate. It's time for a change.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

"Down in it"

"Kinda like a cloud I was up way up in the sky"

3 years ago. March 5, 2005. The scene was Dempsey Indoor at the University of Washington in Seattle. The result? The line below tells a lot:

11 728 Gelbean, Tim Fleet Feet 14:20.00 14:46.96

Interpreting this little line of information for you goes like this:

I placed 11th (out of 21 starters/20 finishers).

They spelled the name wrong, as I had all kinds of trouble getting entered into the meet, and as of the day before the race, I found out I still wasn't entered at all (even though I had flown to Seattle!).

Next, I was racing for the Fleet Feet Racing Team in Boulder, and managing the team at the time. Those were definitely the proverbial good ol' days. I can't put into words how much I miss the racing, the managing, and being a teammate. It was a big part of my life.

"I was up above it"

14:20.00 That was my seed time. Yes, I was ambitious and optimistic. But I had good reason to feel that way. I was in the best shape of my life. The spring before, I injured my achilles shortly after (during?) a 4:08 (1500m) / 8:49 (3000m) double at CU early in a planned track season. I came back later that summer and felt fantastic running a 15:09 5000m, again at altitude. An injury-free stretch ensued, in which I got stronger and stronger. I ran 19:09 for the Purple Runner 5.8K Buff Ranch course that fall. In early January, I PR'd at 3K - indoors and at altitude - with a 8:48.7 at CU. After that race, I talked with CU's Mark Wetmore, and asked him for recommendations on where to attempt a fast indoor 5K - he said the University of Washington (sea level, raised but flat oversized track, great competition). That became my focus, and based on my performances, and several track workouts, my "if everything goes well" goal became 14:20. I really felt I was ready to step up to another level, and was planning on running in a "big time" 5000m race at Drake or Mt. SAC later in the spring. I was ready to go.

"Just then a tiny little dot caught my eye It was just about too small to see"

14:46.96 In talking with PH, GZ and JL shortly after the race (on PH's phone - funny, I had forgotten that), I wasn't celebrating my small PR (old best 14:47.2, outdoors in 2002). I had a bad day. I tried to take the perpsective of "on a bad day, I PR'd, and I'm disappointed - in a way, that shows how far I've come, and how good of shape I'm in." I had just never imagined the race going that way. I never felt too good, lost focus for much of the race, and rallied for the fractional improvement to my best time. I had assumed that no matter what, I would run sub-14:30.

The full results from that meet:


"But I watched it way too long That dot was pulling me down"

I headed out for a classic, post-shitty race, extra long warmdown. Of course, GZ and I had been doing XL warmdowns a lot in those days. I remember feeling a bit light headed at some point during that one, but I still probably covered 8 miles or so. After heading back to the hotel, and getting cleaned up, I then headed out for dinner (Cheesecake Factory), and a solo walking tour of Seattle. Eventually, I headed back, picked up a quite large amount of Cold Stone Creamery ice cream, and returned to my hotel room. After a stretch of stubborn focus, my binge eating had returned. The next morning, I enjoyed a long run at nearby Tiger Mountain. The long run was planned, but with my issues, it also served as a bit of a purge. More eating followed, including the leftover ice cream from the night before, and eventually I made it to the plane. I remember not eating on the plane, not eating when I got home, and not eating again until the next afternoon. Bad move.

"Now I'm down in it"

I continued to struggle with my eating, and the consequences soon became evident. A week or two later, and already heavier, I attempted to warm up for a meet @ CU, and my hip hurt me so bad, I finished the warmup and scratched out of the 1500m race I was scheduled to run. Despite being in great shape, I basically ate my way out of that track season. I eventually saw a psychologist about my eating disorder, which helped somewhat, but after several sessions I stopped going as I didn't feel I was progressing at that point.

"I used to be somebody"

I continued training and racing, and actually had some successful races (Greenland Trail 50K & Boulder Backroads Marathon come to mind) and logged some significant miles that year. However, in late July 2005, my left forefoot started hurting me. My painful neuroma that I had dealt with off and on since 1993 was back. I have dealt with that and/or a problem with my big toe ever since. At the same time, I struggled with my weight, and much of the racing and mileage took place 15-20 pounds heavier than my norm. At my height, that's not a good thing - 185# and competitive distance runner don't go together. My training and racing suffered, and eventually the racing came to a stop at 2006's West End 3K.

"I used to have something inside Now just this hole it's open wide Used to want it all I used to be somebody"

I thank Trent Reznor for the "Down In It" soundtrack to my tale of woe. While I obviously had problems prior to March 5th, 2005, I do view this day as a turning point in my life. While I have had some happy times in the last 3 years, on the whole, I've been dealing with some dark times.

Tomorrow morning, I have an MRI scheduled for my left foot, with a followup/review of the MRI on Friday. I'm looking for a definitive diagnosis of my problem(s), and I'm actually hoping for a solution such as wearing a walking boot or cast for several weeks.

I want be a runner again. I want to run, talk, and live with my circle of running friends. I want to plan, and dream, and race. I want to live.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

If I'm not running, are non-running workouts really cross-training?

Some good discussion with GZ earlier - some re: MAF, some re: my life. Thanks.

A couple of easy workouts today:

10M on recumbent bike (27:35), Level 7

4.93M on Precor 5.37 Elliptical (46:00), "Fat Burner" Level 10

Looking forward to some positive results tonight from Obama. The more I hear about the Clinton camp, the less I like what I'm hearing. It's time for Clinton, and then Bush to move over. 20 years is plenty. If Clinton hangs around much longer, it's gonna get a lot uglier for the Dems.

Monday, March 3, 2008

30:00 on the Arc Trainer

Work was sloooooow today, so I managed to hop on the Cybex Arc Trainer at the store - 1.21M of the Hill program in 30:00 @ level 7. Easy enough that I wasn't sweating through my clothes, difficult enough that I burned a few calories, stayed awake, and added to the total activity for the day. JL and I decided today to finally order an elliptical machine of our own - the Precor 5.37 EFX Elliptical machine to be exact. JL has actually been driving the purchase for the first time ever, and combined with my need for quality, alternative cardio options, the time was right.

Oh, today's rowing workout

Nothing exciting today, as I had a short, hard row yesterday morning - a 2K TT (time trial) in 6:57.9. So this morning, I did a building 10K row in 37:59.7, splitting 19:24.1/18:35.6. My entertainment this morning consisted of a mix of watching MSNBC political coverage (yes - I'm a junkie) and listening to Beck's The Information on my iPod, which kept me occupied enough to get through a steady (read: boring) workout on the rower.

My name is Tim, and it's been 19 months since my last race...

When I finished the West End 3K on July 27th, 2006, I wouldn't have guessed over a year and a half (and counting) would go by without lacing up the racing shoes. I've certainly done some running. I even had hopes of getting my foot feeling better in time to run the Boulder Backroads Marathon that September. At the time, I was dealing with a neuroma between the 2nd & 3rd toes of my left foot AND possibly a stress fracture in the sesamoid bone in my big toe joint of the same foot.

In layman's terms, my left foot was fucked, and had been for some time. I had dealt with the neuroma off & on since 1993. The stress fracture was new, having been diagnosed in May of 2006. My podiatrist, Dr. Thomas, requested an MRI to determine whether the pain I was experiencing was a neuroma or a stress fracture. The answer basically came back: yes.

So August gave way to September, and with my foot not any better, I painfully decided to take some time off from running. Initially, I gained some satisfaction and fulfillment from some indoor rowing on my Concept2 rowing machine. That lasted for a couple of months, and I decided to ease my way back into some running. My thought was that if my foot was bothered by faster, flatter running, then perhaps I could get by with slower, hillier running. I did some trail runs, and played on my treadmill; experimenting with previously ignored incline levels per GZ's recommendations. This lasted for awhile, but ultimately, while my foot would do OK on the mill, it was never anywhere close to full strength outdoors.

In late spring of 2007, I began a series of 6 alcohol injections into the neuroma, with the goal being the destruction of the nerve. I also began on working on a common struggle of mine - dropping some weight to give my (hopefully) healed foot a break when I returned to outdoor running. As the shots went on (every 2 weeks), the weight gradually dropped off. Upon recommendation from my doc, I gave the foot some time to heal up from the shots (they can cause some tissue damage as well), and started running outside again a bit in late summer/early fall. While I enjoyed some of the running, my foot never felt right outdoors, and I think my big toe was more of the problem. So...back to the treadmill. But as the fall of 2007 wore on, eventually my big toe was bothering me even on the treadmill, and just walking around.

My last run was in early December, 2007, and I've filled that time rowing, riding my recumbent bike, and some elliptical machines. My rowing progressed through January into February, but I did something to irritate my upper abdominal/rib area back on February 8th and am only now getting some quality workouts started up again.

Also on February 8th, I visited an orthopedist in Boulder, Lorri Fulkerson, and based on some x-rays, she diagnosed my left big toe joint as arthritic, with some bone spurs to deal with as well. She told me to check in with my podiatrist, Dr.Thomas, to have some adjustments made to my orthotic to better support/protect that big toe/joint. She didn't tell me not to run in the future, despite the chance my foot might get worse down the road (she's in Boulder, after all, and people play). But she did mention that while I might not be able to run 40 miles/week, I might be able to run 10-15 miles a week. Similar to what GZ had touched on recently re: doctors and running, I refrained from telling her I was hoping for 80 miles/week...

I guess I would say the last few weeks since that appointment have been yet another mourning period for me, as I dealt with the "A word" (arthritis) and the recommendation of heading up to Ft. Collins again to see Dr. Thomas. I had hoped for a MRI, the diagnosis of a stress fracture in the big toe (which I do feel I have - one spot specifically hurts when I press on it), and wearing a cast or a boot for 6-8 weeks. I just want a definitive answer of what will make my foot healthy, pain-free, right. This foot hasn't been right since July 2005, when the neuroma started acting up for the first time in a few years. Since then, I've dealt with the neuroma, the big toe/stress fracture, and achilles pain - all in the same foot.

So I scheduled an appointment with Dr. Thomas for noon this Friday. At this point, I refuse to give up running, and I really have to fight for it.

I have to keep putting one foot in front of the other...