Sunday, February 26, 2012

Look I Am a Biker

Rest in Peace running.
Last weeks swimming experiment yielded more swelling.  The ART doc looked at my ankle for less than a minute and said, "Shut it down."  Six weeks.  He considers me lucky.  An Ortho would have wanted to boot it.  The hypothesis is a partial tear in the peroneal brevis that never healed completely. It pulls on the 5th metatarsal and inflames it. I keep forcing it for 8 months.  Eventually Uhwarrie gives it enough twists at one time to completely inflame the tendon and its housing sheath. Now I have a new lumpy friend on my L ankle.  I have named him Morry. As in, you have to be a complete Morryon to keep running on strained soft tissue.

Their is something on my shoe. I think I
may have stepped in bike.
Now that swimming has been eliminated, too much ankle movement relying on dorsiflexing overtaxes the tendon, I have hit rock bottom.  The bike.  A torturous instrument famously named after a jock strap. I dropped my dusty Trek mountain bike off at The Bicycle Chain for a complete tune up, directly after leaving my doctors appointment.  The same Trek that introduced me to the mysterious arts of Urology 4 years ago. A 29 inch high street curb, a bad jump attempt (the sun was in my eyes), and the conviction that I was related to Evil Kenevil, familiarized a bike seat to the nerve packet in my perineum and left me with a Flomax habit for 6 weeks.

A biking benefit: very few hats this cool
in running.
My last couple of posts began to drift toward self pity. I am past that now. I am now working on the sixth stage of Kubler-Ross' 5 stages of grief, delusion. The proscription rules out my favorite race of the year, Umstead Marathon. Although, today brings me up to 19 days without a run and Umstead will be held on my 25th day off, I fear this may be my first DNF. I am holding out for an Umstead miracle, but absent a squirrel herd hoisting me through the park I would put my odds of completing this race at less than 5%.  It should be noted that squirrel activity was unexpectedly high today.  

My strategy now is an all out NSAID attack and a reevaluation race morning.  I am going to pick up my number Friday night. If still swollen and/or numb I will take one large step at the start and then report my DNF to the race officials. I plan on bringing my bike to the race and impersonate a benevolent forest elf by delivering water, gel, shot blocks, human growth hormone and new shoes to the exhausted at the later miles.  Some guy on a bike saved my bacon last year with a timely gel around mile 24 between aid stations. I might take some pics of all the other healthy kids and document the event. And I did prepay for my delicious cold foil wrapped Moe's burrito. I would rather be at the race unable to run than at home whining about it. Besides, a lot of my running compadres are in this race. Maybe one of them will carry me.

Running, I always assumed this sign
 was an accusation. Biking, its
actually a caution.
So I tried the two wheeled approach to Umstead today. I covered all of the bridles from the race for just over a 1/2 marathon distance.  The leg held up pretty well. Tomorrow's swelling will provide the overall gauge of success. I was very grateful to be moving again. Body resistance just can not replicate the high you can get from cardio. I averaged 149 BPM HR.  Most likely held down by my terrible biking skills. I hit 28 mph down Reedy Creek and am insisting the tears in my eyes were from the wind, not terror. It is amazing how fast you can cover Turkey Creek on a bike. At one time, I was pretty sure I passed myself running from last month.

Bonus: crossing Turkey Creek with dry legs.
I may have been a little hard on the biking aficionados. Its not really my cup of tea, but after more than 30 days since my last Umstead appearance I have found it to be my best worse option. If I have to hit the trails on a Hover Round personal mobility scooter, it still beats daytime TV. I feel like my sit bones, quads, and lower legs handled the route pretty well. I hope this can be my fill in until the leg heals. There is a lot of room for improvement. This may be my opportunity to get into a healthy cross training habit. If I can return to running I am going to try to take a less is more approach. Alternating swimming and biking in between runs makes good sense to me. And who knows with all this practice time ahead of me, maybe a tri in the fall?

Good luck Umstead Trail Marathon runners. If I leer at you too long Saturday, I am coveting your healthy legs, not checking out your running shorts. Well, for most of you anyway.

Finally, an exercise induced hypo.
Slightly bulkier than trail shoes.


1 comment:

  1. "At one time, I was pretty sure I passed myself running from last month." Ha! Awesome! The time warp ghost of good health.

    Don't be stupid and run Umstead totally unprepared and still injured. That's my job. Oh, and leave the cargo rack on your bike. I'll need you to haul my carcass off Turkey Creek and back to the lodge when I DNF.