Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Near Wreck, Race Reports, and the End of this Blog

It was an interesting weekend. Salome & I went for a bike ride and nearly got taken out by a stupid driver pulling out of a parking lot into the bike lane from behind a hedge without looking. I hit the brakes and had to swerve to the left without time to shout out to Salome who was hugging my wheel. Fortunately, the driver of the car hit his breaks too. Meanwhile, Salome is forced to swerve left of me and we bump hard into each other. I felt certain we were both going down. We both held firm to our bikes, however, and neither of us fell. Good thing too, as Salome was to appear in a charity fashion show that afternoon. Road rash would not have been a good fashion accessory.

On Sunday, we decided to run the 3 miles from our house to the finish line of the A1a Marathon & Half Marathon. Our friend Jen Jones was running in defense of her overall woman's win in last year's half marathon. Jen not only defended her title, but hit a PR in 1:26:40. We met up and congratulated Jen on her repeat victory. Check out her husband Matt's fine video work of her finish at her blog Yeah, I Run Like a Girl... We also met up with Aussie, Deb Mrky and her running buddy Scott, who were running the half marathon as a training run for April's Boston Marathon. After mingling for a while, we ran the 3 miles home.

That night, I once again felt knee pain. It stayed sore for a couple of days. As I had only recently gotten back to running 2 miles on the treadmill, perhaps it was too much, too soon. But to be honest, I'm concerned that I may ultimately need that arthroscopic knee surgery. I'm also doubting whether I can get back into running shape for the London Marathon in late April. Thus, I'm bummed about my near running future, not to mention tri events. While I can ride and swim, I doubt I can participate in much more than a sprint tri in the coming season.

Added to that happy thought was the report of training buddy and fellow triathlete Tony Whittaker. He and several friends were scheduled to run the Austin Marathon. It was to be Tony's first full marathon. His foot had been bothering him, so he finally went to his doctor to have it examined. He report's back that he has almost no cartilage in his foot. He started Austin, but ended up having to stop after 3 miles due to foot pain. Training friend Miranda didn't even start due to a nagging muscle injury. Our other friends John, Bernadette, and Melissa all finished between 4:30 and 4:45. Buddy Bob Kazar finished in 3:45. Congratulations to all finishers. Condolences to Tony and Miranda. I feel your pain.

Given my situation, I've decided to pull the plug on this blog. I feel an athletic blog should be about the trials and tribulations of training leading up to race reports. I just don't feel like reporting on my setbacks and efforts to get back to a base level. I'll keep training and get necessary treatment or surgery to get back to this great sport, but I'll be doing it in private. I'll still check in on my fellow bloggers from time to time, so keep your training posts and race reports coming. When I feel I can come back with something more noteworthy, I'll consider blogging again. But for now, I am out of here. Thanks for reading. Bill

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Slowly, But Surely

I've been on the spin bike several times over the past week and today finally got on the treadmill for a mile run. Everything seems OK. I've got the Riverwalk 5 Miler/5K coming up in 12 days. I'll probably roll back from the 5 Mile event to the 5K. I don't want push my luck.

Meanwhile, I've got a number of friends heading out to Austin this weekend for the Austin Marathon. Buddy Tony Whitakker is off to try his hand at the full marathon distance for the first time. Buddy John Clidas is going along as his pacer to keep him from going out too hard early on. Best of luck to Tony in getting that first one under his belt. Best of luck to the rest of you running Austin this weekend.

And stop calling me Shirley.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

3 Weeks of Recovery and All's Well...So Far

Yesterday marks 3 weeks since my knee was drained. I spent 2 weeks on crutches and a week putting partial weight on the knee. I am now crutch free and passed my medical exam with flying colors. Now for rehab. I'm allowed to swim and start using that new spin bike I bought for myself as a birthday present. Who knew it was a lay-away plan?

In the meantime, I got to hear a bunch of stories regarding rest vs. arthroscopic surgery for a slight tear in the medial meniscus. It seems about half the people swear by knee surgery and the other half curse them as a worthless waist of time. Given that things are going well for my recovery, I'm glad to have taken the more conservative approach. As my doctor said, "You can always have the surgery if rest doesn't cure the tear. So far, so good.

I've had to watch several events go by without participating and watch my race registrations go to waste. I was scheduled for a New Year's Resolution 5K, the Disney Goofy (Half Marathon & Marathon) during my birthday weekend, and the Miami Half Marathon this past Sunday.

Oh yeah, and a ski trip to Snowmass, Colorado with friends that was scheduled for last week. My wife and friends had encouraged me to go with them and hang around the fireplace drinking hot chocolate, but I knew there was no way I could be that close to the slopes and not ski. So I listened to my head and not my heart, knowing that I had to do the right thing to get healed. It was tough, however, as Salome kept texting me pictures from the ski slopes during what looked like a gorgeous week in Snowmass. Thanks for sharing honey.

With Salome also registered for the Miami Half, I went down with her as an athletic supporter. Having run it the past 8 years, it was an odd sensation to watch as a spectator for 20 minutes as all of the approximately 20,000 participants crossed the start line. I had time for a nice breakfast at Bayside before going to the finish area grandstands to try to find my friends crossing the finish line for the half. With several friend running it, I only managed to spot my wife coming to the finish line. She had some knee swelling of her own from a solid week of skiing and so ran it slow. I hope knee issues aren't contagious.

Anyway, its a slow return to cardio activity for me. Spin bike for a couple of weeks, then the elliptical machine, and then running. Let's hope all continues to go well.