Living with Mr. Awkward

Do you know Mr Awkward that s my new best friend. otherwise known as the obnoxious boot on my left foot. Not fun at all oh well i try to remind myself that the more i keep it on the quicker it will heal. And at least i don’t live in Japan or lost my house back home in ChCh.

Having to adapt to not running, it’s really hard to describe and really only a runner understands, and it’s not that i have always been a runner either. Yeah i use to be the chubby kid, ask my parents or siblings. but over time i have re invented myself into becoming one.

And running is an amazingly freeing activity to think that the human body with all its bones, tendons, muscles etc can fire in movement harmony to move a human across terrain at a faster pace than a walk. to coordinate ones self to make the ground beneath ones feet move faster than a walk.

which leads me to think about the broad spectrum at which humanity can exist on. for example that Jamaican runner Bolt and his ability to propel a human over a track of 100m in length at a speed & time that NO OTHER HUMAN HAS DONE BEFORE. then to have another human who has not taken care of their health look exhausted at merely walking 50  meters or so. hmmmm don’t get me started.

As i was saying … running, what a beautiful creation it is. what a great piece of mechanical harmony it truly is. And i miss it, but my time will come again. And as i adjust it means more biking. since friday i have rode my bike 3 times. the last time was this morning before church on the trainer partly becuase with daylight savings its still dark out, and it was raining.

We had a wicked storm pass through last night, or should i say almost continously from mid afternoon through 1am. there was even a Tornado Warning for a while. i did leave the house around 3.45pm to do a short road ride, only to be chased home by heavy rain and even hail.

Won’t be ridinng or paddling tomorrow, currently at Columbia Seminary in Decautr Ga to begin this curriculum writing project for the PCCCA/CTS Certification Program. As i sit here realize that i haven’t slept in a city for a while use to being in the country not the hum or a city

Sleep 6hrs… Boo-storms all night kept waking me up!!!

And the Verdict is..

A stress fracture!!!!

What, No Way, you are kidding, really…. #@&%*#$%@)&@ hmmm

i guess it could be worse. i looked at the x-ray and the doctor who is a triathlete (so there was some sympathy) although he did say that “unfortunatley you adventure racing/endurance nuts have such a high pain tolerance that you (Me) have been sucking it up for so long that i could have made it alittle worse.” that wasnt helpful either.

he went on to say… 6 weeks NO RUNNING, which might as well be a death sentence for me. Amongst other things running is a spiritual/mental/emotional thing for me. what will i do. He did say i could bike, paddle and swim as long as i dont do hills. havent seen many hills in a pool. So we did both laugh when i said that.

Oh and it gets better, i have a big ugly boot to wear too. WOW. i feel really dumb wearing this thing around. At least i can ride and paddle etc. not with the boot on of course. i came home with the boot and immediately left on my road bike to finish my ride from earlier this morning.

What does this all mean…

  1. I miss one race (Blue Ridge AR) i havent told my team mates yet
  2. Should be back for Atomic AR in mid May
  3. Then will have to bust my @ss to get in run shape for that and then Raid the North in Canada at the end of the summer

But on a good note i did have cold meatloaf sandwiches for lunch with fresh bread made by Robin. I guess i do have many things STILL to be thankful for.


8hours… SWEET!!!


Some say Lucky…

Last night while walking our dog Cora i discovered a 4 leaf clover!!! and in my 37 years on this earth its only the 2nd one i have EVER found, unlike Robin who has a whole collection. I dont beleive in luck AT ALL, however as i nervously wait for my trip to the orthapedic specialist tomorrow i will take anything.

I have been riding and paddling more and so far so good. But was greeted with a flat tired on my bike trainer this morning and so had to scramble and go to the lake for a paddle. still too dark to ride the roads at that time. oh well…

Making meatloaf for dinner tonight, not sure if i’m more excited about meatloaf for dinner or cold meatloaf sandwiches for lunch tomorrow, hopefully with Robins now weekly Friday ritual of baking bread (which i LOVE)

I have started recording the amount of sleep i get each night so i can keep track of when and why i might be fatigued


Wednesday 7 1/2

Tuesday 7 1/2

Monday 5 1/2 ugghh

Fragile Foot Freakout

ok so I ran this morning for 2 1/2 hrs this morning or at least tried. the last 30mins were complete agony. the first 45 or so was fine but then my foot started hurting… BAD!!!

I finally stopped ignoring it and have an appointment with orthopedist on friday. freaking out a little about this. never really had a bad injury and nervously wait for Friday. still hoping for the best. we have a race in 2 1/2 weeks Blue Ridge AR and a title to defend. not if I should bail now and tell my team mates or wait till Friday

if I have to lay off the running for a while it will drive me nuts. In the healing time my bike and boat and i will get really acquainted. may even get back in the pool

back to it

we are on our way back from Pennsylvania after the weekend at Crestfield, one of our camps about 1hr north of Pittsburg
it was a good weekend, lots of facilitating EE stuff

back into the training tomorrow, I have written a program tentatively through the end of the years but specifically through end of may

for this program I have reverted back to the old schedule of running 4x
biking 3x
paddling 2x
as opposed to ultra training of 4-5x/ week with back to back heavy days

CPZ now has new team mates we have combined with EMS who were once one of our biggest rivals (we beat them 1 1/2 ago to win a national title) & now they are team mates… weird but exciting. I’m sure some teams. will find reason to complain but it’s not like we are close by with them living mostly in New England
but excited about new team mates especially the caliber of these team mates

a few weeks on

Currently at Crestfield a camp and conference center. about a hour north of Pittsburgh. Started running this week and will get abck to full training schedule next week.
my left foot hurts and i think i may have a stress fracture and any bruising should have gone by now.
Fun to be here seeing good friends for the weekend and co leading a retreat.

Finally Done

This is what your legs will look like on a muddy wet day at an ultra marathon

Well its over. i finally completed my 1st (& quite possibly my last) 100 mile ultra marathon.

Here are a few reflections on the day.

Finished the race in 26hrs 26mins. Wanted to go under 24hrs and was on target to do so running about 60-65 mins ahead of schedule. However somewhere in the night i started losing time on each lap, more on that later.

The day dawned clear & sunny, WAIT no it didnt in fact it rained the ENTIRE race. no joke, somehwere between drizzle and heavy long downpours. Started at 6.30 along with the 50K & 5omile runners. This made it a little confusing as i had to make sure i would ‘run my own race’ and not get sucked into keeping some crazy 50K pace & pay for it later. Felt good and comfortable as i kept a slow pace.

Was trying to run at between 14-15mins/mile which seems really slow, but hey this is 100miles. This would give me a 20 min break each lap (5 laps total) which was figure-8 course of 20miles wit 13miles on one side of the ‘8’ and 7.5 on the other. Yes the race was over 101 miles in the end. For the 1st 2 laps or 40 miles you were on your own with no pacers allowed.

after lap 2 was still feeling good, well hydrated and eating well. Peter (one of my Checkpoint Zero Team mates joined me) he paced me for the remaining three 13 mile loops and rest while Anna & Robin paced me for the 7.5 mile loops.

Time flies at these races and before we knew it darkness had descended. of course the race had really thinned out now, b/c the 50 race folks had finished. so i had gone from 3 races of over 250 people to 1 race of 80, running for 100 miles.

By now the weather was really settling in. Between the rain, cold night and now increasing wind the attrition rate was increasing with many people dropping from the race. this is where i count on my Adventure Racing experience to get me through. As a team we are all very stubborn and none of us wants to quit. i didnt think i would have to draw on this experience but did and it helped.

by the time i got to the last lap the course was a boggy mess, single track trails that were wet but not churned up on the first lap were now a 15-20foot wide chin deep boggy mess. this made Peter and i laugh at one point as we plodded through that same mud to stop at one point for me to stretch out my hips.

As i got to the last 7.5 mile loop i had announced earlier that i really wanted Robin to run this last one with me. It meant A LOT to have her there with me, for lots of reasons including putting up with long hours of training for the past 6 months, the cold night she had just spent out putting food in my mouth, changing shoes, socks as well as playing cheer leader (WE decided a few weeks back to have both have no negativity surrounding this as race as that would only make me want to quit)

Each of the 13 & 7.5 loops that made the 20 mile lap were while repeatitive they were very different in their terrain. the 13 miles was a combo of 4WD track, single track, dirt road and MUD. the 7.5 miles was a tiny bit of pavement, dirt road, hills and very muddy gully’s to run up and down.

The reality is by lap 5 (the last lap) was wasnt do hardly any running on the last 7.5. I think Robin was happy to be able to hear me say that i didnt want to run & for this one time in life she would be fast than me. by lap 4 i was losing time and knew i wouldnt beat 24hrs, but between the mud and the rain and cold it was starting to take its toll. not just on me but more evidently on the amount of people who DNF.

out of over 80 runners in the 100mile only 17 completed the course and i finished 7th. I wasnt wanting to place top 10 or anything like that, just finish the race and go under 24hrs. so 1 out of 2 is not bad, and a top 10 finish.

I’m Happy.

One has lots to think about when running for this long, and its as much a physical achievement as it is emtional and spiritual. While i am still processing it all there were several things that kept me going.

  1. My hardship of 100miles & 26+ hours is nothing compared to my people back home in Christchurch NZ, my home town
  2. i dont quit easily
  3. the thought of running that last 7.5 miles with Robin was a hug incentive. to be out there doing this for the 1st time with the woman i love, my wife. she has been though most of the training for this with me. while not physically running, but there with me every step of the way.

Now my body aches and has pain in places i didnt know i could get. deep bruises from running on stones, sore tendons in my ankles and calves. Speaking of ankles, or should i say kankles. the list goes on.

None the less very satisified i finished, got the finishers t-shirt and belt buckle. but so much than that from this experience. and more processing to come.

Would i do it again… NO!!!! and i say that confidently too. and if you want to, call me i will try to give you an un biased opinion.