Saturday, February 18, 2012

Under Water

Still no running since February 7. Eleven days off; a new PR!  I am a bit discouraged with the ankle's speed of recovery.  The swelling appears to have peaked and is slowly abating.  The shooting pains in the peroneals and 5th metatarsal's attachment are reporting less frequently and with less fervor.  I can still numb the top of my left foot by lightly touching the peroneal brevis tendon at its turn around the lateral malleous.  A sensation as creepy feeling as it is impossible to stop practicing. In my professional medical opinion, this area presents with remaining nerve impingement.  I am employed as a machine technician and have closely observed at least two episodes of Doogie Howser, M.D.. Unfortunately, my swelling concern for the rapidly approaching Umstead Trail Marathon has not peaked or abated.  Its going to be real close.  A last minute call with an experimental 4 week zero miles taper.  I have formally petitioned God, and promised my body only reasonable 10 percent millage increases in the future.  I can be trusted.  I have experience with these promises.  I have made them before.

And now... the good news.  I suddenly find myself with the extra free time of a part time job.  I visited my family in SC, fixed the remote control for the DVD player, sanded and stained a table (two coats), cleaned my room, eaten 3 refrigerators of food, and made the top of my foot numb by lightly touching the peroneal brevis tendons countless times. Did I mention the sleep?  Very easy falling asleep without the New Balances on the bed.  No longer rushing to beat sunset at the park, or mooning half the Glenwood entry parking lot in a breakneck transformation into shorts and trail shoes, I am suddenly noticing my surroundings. Apparently, I am married.  Have been for over 10 years.  She's hot.  Tomorrow I am going to try talking to her!  I'm not entirely pleased with my surroundings.  All of my running paraphernalia is squeezed into one tiny room upstairs.  At the very minimum, you would think my 2nd place, age group gold turkey trophy would be the tastefully lit centerpiece of the living room.  If this leg does not heal soon, I see big changes.  Maybe shelves.  A television cabinet!  I have lately acquired polyurethane skills.

In an effort to stay sane and alive, (my new hot wife is not used to having a part time job's worth of husband underfoot directly after work everyday), I launched a quest for an endorphin replacement program without hypercritical left leg weight bearing prerequisites.  My completely legitimate fear of horses ruled out equestrian events.  The etiquette of wearing sunglasses indoors eliminated poker. Attention Deficit Disorder disqualified fishing.  Common sense and local ordnance ixnayed archery and throwing knives.  So I gave up.  Luckily, Michele Rivera had insomnia preceding one of her 49 upcoming triathlons and read my blog from last week as an Ambien substitute.  What kind of trouble could a triathlete in a pharmaceutical induced sleep haze get into?  

Michele endorsed a beginner swim clinic for triathletes hosted by One Step Beyond Multi-Sport Coaching at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary.  Rumor has it that this group of under-challenged athletes have somehow discovered a technique of running in water.  When trying to visualize this concept; think of stream crossings that are deeper than you are tall.  SWIM or Slowly Wondering If Moving is the earth haters answer to momentum.  The class is only offered on 3 dates this year and as this oddity sounds foreign and unnatural, I am sure it will soon be banned by decent people.  

Bermuda vacation picture stand in.  Its hard to
take pics in a pool situation.  I did sport the
speedos.  Can't wait to get back to something
less ridiculous, like my race kilt.
Egged on by my recent status as dorsiflexion challenged, Michele's recommendation, and my general disdain for many decent people, I decided to try this new fad.  Now I did not roll off the turnip truck yesterday.  Michele is Tri.  And these Tris are all the same.  They are always trying to peddle their odd propulsion on the rest of us vanilla runners.  Good upbringing and America taught me that swimming is a gateway to a very dangerous place....BIKING.   But, I went into this eyes wide open.  My velcro fastened tri-fold is not coughing up 3 Grovers (yes 10 Benjamins to the Grover) for a Cervelo, Felt, or Cannondale anytime soon.  I went just to see what the other kids were doing.  I wasn't getting hooked.  I just needed a quick fix.  Just a little serotonin enhancement.  I NEEDED some cardio.

You can not spell Phelps without "elp" which is what I yelped, as the h is silent with a mouthful of water, while nearly fending off drowning.  I have not swum freestyle since high school in Greencastle Indiana.  A state renown for its large quantities of water and palm trees.  The class of 8 triathletes, 2 coaches, and I studied swimming techniques for an hour and then tempted the Fates in the water for 2 hours of drills.  My cardio base and brute force wrestled my clumsy form to a draw and I finished alive.  I disassociated during the harder stretches by counting 9 year olds passing me by in a nearby lane.  Much like your first adolescent experiment with Mexican tar heroin, the experience was awkward and not flattering, but left an odd compulsion for more.  

Overall I enjoyed the coaching and the company.  Even if good folk frown upon their flamboyant bicycles, the Tris were as friendly and supportive as I have always found the long distance community to be.  Albeit a little less talkative underwater.  They even run among us.  One of the coaches, Seth, is running Umstead 100 this year. Maybe fortune will have me pacing him into the finish, 50 yards at a time without hyperventilating this time. Thanks Michele.  I have mad reverence for you.  Your sport is hardcore.  And yes, my google history is now full of pool searches for Raleigh/Durham.  It felt great to be moving again.  But no bikes!  Those shorts are ridiculous and I am still pulling speedos out of my pork chops!  Doc reevaluates on Monday!  Digits crossed.



  1. What is this "running" thing you write of? That was only a dream in the Matrix, right? Just hazy memories from a past life? A dream within a dream...

  2. Swimming? Hmmm, that whole cross-training concept is foreign to me. Good luck with your recovery. Your turkey trophy should most definitely be the centerpiece of the living room.

    Heiko - who just now feels like running after Uwharrie again