Tuesday, March 20, 2012

End of a Hair a

Birds nest in a Bradford pare tree.
Hair today, gone tomorrow. My Tom Petty roadie endorsed haircut is no longer viable. Trail running barely allows you license to a whimsical pony tail when your 40th birthday is less than an Asian elephant's gestation period away. Without trail running, a pony tail at my age implies you are either starring in an episode of COPS or are a confident jazz saxophonist. Since my medical running ban continues and as there are no upcoming auditions for Jesus Christ Superstar or Hair, my 2 year  impersonation of Swamp People's "renegade alligator man" Bruce Mitchell has officially ended. For the moment, I am keeping the 26.2 tattoo, although I would be interested in any sketches which help me convert it into a picture of president Fillmore high-fiving a fish.

Bruce Mitchell alligator hunter.
Ryan McCarty trail runner.

Running with long hair feels a little tribal. You can imagine yourself, in a past era, chasing down an antelope or nimbly cornering a can of beef-a-roni, before dragging it back to your cave. Now, I am restricted to biking, swimming and the occasional elliptical. Getting a pony tail through a bike helmet requires ambidextrous fingers and creative cursing. In a police line up, its hard to distinguish a bun in a swim cap from a row of suspicious prophylactics. And, swear to Dr. Frank-N-Furter, with your front to the TV you never want to be whistled at by Lou Ferrigno on an elliptical in a gym.

Last look before the Wahlpocalypse.
After sporting a Lex Luther for 9 years, I started growing both my beard and hair out for my first trail marathon, Umstead 2011. I ran that race with a zipped off pair of convertible khaki pants and a long sleeved, plaid, vented Columbia fishing shirt. My beard was a beauty that boasted a holding capacity of over 28 ounces of rice crispy treat crumbs. I looked like a lumber jack and ran just as fast. I finished late in the standings, but I did win most likely to appear on a roll of paper towels. As I am not a big fan of abstinence, the beard soon succumbed to my wife's pleas and was dispensed with after just 4 short months. Somehow, in spite of local health ordnance and good taste the Kenny G locks held on until Saturday.

All that hair was hiding this beautiful face.
MRI is finally scheduled for Monday. Consult with the medicine man does not take place until April 9. On the bright side, June has been reviewed as one of the best months to wear a boot. I am still holding out for an allergic to wool socks diagnosis, but my faith is starting to waver. The pessimistic money is on a peroneal tear. In the mean time, I am getting much better at biking and hope to take the training wheels off soon. In an effort to feed my racing shirt addiction, I am signed up to work a double at aid station 1 for the Umstead 100 Saturday from 7:30pm-2:30am. Looking forward to seeing my more able bodied friends out there. Good luck fools. Hope to join you soon.

Special thanks to my wife Penny for the new hairdo and unbelievable patience with my serious, but not terminal Peter Pan syndrome. Thanks to you for reading my running blog about everything but running. CROSS TRAIN!



  1. Sad really. End of an era. Or is that end of the hair, uh. Never mind.

    I went down to the #1 guard on the Wahl last time. I plan to keep it that way all Summer. Oh, who am I kidding?! I have no hair!

    Sorry to hear that the tendon isn't recovering on it's own. I still hope you get good news from the MRI. If you end up in surgery, I'll rent one of those off-road racing wheel chairs and we can hit the trails. I'll bring the camera. We'll make million from the comical Youtube video...

  2. Ryan, it's truly a sign of significant life changes when a man cuts his long hair. May this action symbolize something marvelous in your near future, sir. And, make sure you wear sunscreen!

  3. LOL, Bruce is my brother. I have been collecting pictures of look alikes for fun. I like to place on facebook for fun. Looks like I just got your picture in time...I dont he can cut his for a long time now.

    1. Thanks David. That is very cool. My parents love Swamp People. I told my mom you responded to my blog. Now I'm famous. Good luck on your pic hunt. I bet you have a very funny collection.

  4. Your transition to the Dark Side is complete young pupil

  5. Great to meet you on Saturday (or was it Sunday) at the U100, Ryan! We looked for you out on lap 8. I wanted to put you in touch with my friend Diane Huis, who captains Team Cheetah for the Tour de Cure (an ADA ride). Here's the link to her team page: http://main.diabetes.org/site/TR/TourdeCure/RaleighArea?team_id=518978&pg=team&fr_id=8060

    I couldn't find your email address but you can contact me if you'd like her contact info. steph_jeffries@yahoo.com. Oh, and my blog is http://stephjeffries.wordpress.com/.