Preemptive gym stop

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends, and Happy Thursday to everyone else!

Nothing big this morning, other than following through on my “pre-New Year’s rededication!”

Walking into the gym at 10:15, I was far from alone!

A short but intense half hour on the elliptical, followed by two fast miles on the treadmill.

 

That should effectively wipe out any guilt over consuming mass quantities in a couple of hours!img_1424-1

On Muhammad Ali

Ali In Training
American Heavyweight boxer Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali), training in his gym, 21st May 1965. (Photo by Harry Benson/Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

While I normally post about running and training, with the death of Muhammad Ali, I felt the need to post on this today.  It’s been on my mind for most of the day, and has kept me from really plunging into anything else.  I remember watching the fights toward the tail end of his career (thanks to ABC’s Wide World of Sports), and I remember the kind of stature he held among boxing fans, even in the twilight of his fighting days.

I held him in pretty high esteem then and ever since, despite his flaws.

With his death, there have been lots of stories in the media about how truly noteworthy he was.  Of course, anytime something is posted online, people feel the need to comment.  Some offer thought-provoking insight, while others simply flame away without regard to fact.

One comment in particular caught my attention.  It was from a person who remains incensed over the boxer’s decision to not report for military duty when his draft number came up.  The guy ranted for a couple of paragraphs on how Ali was a draft-dodging traitor, an ungrateful citizen, and much worse.

Whatever you think about Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay), the man was not a draft-dodger in my eyes.  Our American system gave him two options:  report or pay the price.  He chose to pay the price, and I respect his willingness to stand up for what he believed.

People who fled the country instead of serving were draft dodgers. People who abused the system to get deferment after deferment were draft dodgers. People who used political connections to ensure they didn’t have to serve were draft dodgers.

Those people who cowered behind borders or behind the system deserve the vitriol. A man who stands up for his beliefs and owns his actions deserves respect, even if you don’t agree with him.

That said, I’m proud to be part of an all-volunteer force and proud that our nation doesn’t have to resort to conscription to fight our wars, even if it means we are probably a bit too fast to spend blood and treasure abroad.

What to do with unwanted down time?

So I can’t run right now.  Since it’s early in the year, I feel like I should be developing my annual plan, but I have no idea when I’ll be back on the road.  I don’t think the last treatment on the Achilles (PRP injection) went well enough to be optimistic, so I suspect more is in store on that front.  More treatments, more down time.

So, now what? Continue reading “What to do with unwanted down time?”

Why do I run?

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It’s hard for me to explain to my non-running friends why I like running.  I don’t always love it.  In fact, there are times I hate it.  I’m not always as successful as I’d like to be, but I keep at it anyway.

And they don’t get it when I say that even though I have been injured a lot over the last few years, that it’s part of who I am.  It always has been, and probably always will be.

I remember watching Bruce Jenner finish the 1500m, as the last event of the 1976 Olympic Decathlon.  For some unknown reason, that really captured the attention of my six-year-old mind.  Continue reading “Why do I run?”

Running Addicts

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As a guy who’s been injured for most of the past two years, I’ve dealt (and continue to deal) with the frustrations of missed workouts, unwanted down time, and the empty feeling when you just know  you should be on the road logging miles.  A day doesn’t pass without me thinking about what it would take to get ready for race x or race y, even though I know I’m not going to be able to start a serious training program for at least another couple of months.

This led me to ask the question:  Is there such thing as a running addiction? Continue reading “Running Addicts”

Thoughts from the finish line

Rock n Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon - finish lineHaving been injured off and on for most of the last three years, I’ve sadly spent more time spectating and supporting than actually running.  As frustrating as that is, it has given me a chance to look at the sport with a different perspective.  For most of my life, running has been a personal thing for me, and something that I don’t really share much with others.  Treating it like “my thing” instead of seeing the big picture never seemed like a bad thing until I stood at the finish line of the Virginia Beach Half Marathon a couple of years ago, waiting for Sandy to finish.  Despite running races with thousands of people, I always felt alone in the effort – until that day. Continue reading “Thoughts from the finish line”

Two Week Update

So, two weeks on, things aren’t quite as far along as I would have hoped, and I suspect it’s my own damn fault.  After about 3 days of hobbling around, the Achilles soreness subsided, and I was moving around pretty well.  Then the family made an impromptu trip to the local hill for snowboarding.  BAD IDEA.

After about five hours of boarding with no issue, I hit a mogul at just the wrong angle, and I felt it.  I knew right then and there that things were not right.  That was a few days ago.

While the soreness isn’t what it was, it’s more than what it was before the trip.  I’m hoping things calm down a bit in the coming days.  We’ll see.

1/7/16  The PAIN

Man, the doc was right.  Woke up this morning, took one step, and nearly fell over.  That was some EXTREME soreness.  I’ve got a pretty good tolerance for pain, but that was ridiculous.  So, percocet, it was, and I hobbled off to work.  Nothing like having to explain the limp every half hour.  Hopefully, this subsides in a few days.

1/6/16  Unexpected Progress

So I went into the medicine clinic, expecting to set a date for a PRP injection.  The appointment went about as I expected – the doc listened to my history, and the different treatments and physical therapy regimens I’ve had.  He agreed that the PRP injection is the way to go.  He left to set the appointment up, and then something unexpected happened….

He came back in, said his next appointment cancelled, and asked if I just wanted to knock out the procedure right then.  Knowing that this was probably the first time in the history of healthcare systems, I agreed.

Within a half hour, my blood was drawn and put through the centrifuge.  The injection process sucked.  The initial injection wasn’t bad, but even though it was a single shot, the doc moved the needle from point to point within the tendon.  It was like getting about 20 different shots.  Damn painful.  But for the greater good, right?

The pain ratcheted up right after the procedure was done.  As I limped out of the office, the doc told me that the next few days would be pretty bad, in terms of soreness.  Given the discomfort I was feeling right afterwards, I figured I’d need the percocet he prescribed.