Monday, January 25, 2010

Shoot the Amputee

After my extraordinary day at the Riverfront Race festival, the week turned bipolar when I lost my sister. I did run 15 miles for the week with 5 miles on Sunday. I have been religiously doing several Achilles exercises and running every other day; the 5 miles was essentially pain free and I only have a minor amount of swelling around the Achilles. Beginning this week I will add to the length on my runs and then next week, if all goes well, I will add more running days.

I will continue to use races as speed work - tempo runs - with alternating weeks of shorter intervals, but no Emil Zatopek heroics. I have to get it though my thick Blalock skull that I need to build my mileage these days.

 Baxter and his littermate at the Pitt Street trolley bridge during recovery

On Friday I met local runner/reporter David Quick at Alhambra Hall in Mt. Pleasant for a pic session. David is writing an article or column about my amputee running journey; we've talked on the phone and I gave him my blog info for more details as even I can't remember them all anymore. We were going to run together but he is nursing a sore hamstring so he wisely chooses to not stress it further.

David took a few pics of me and my prosthesis and as I ran toward the old Pitt Street trolley bridge, he would drive and stop along the way to get some shots of my running. I kidded him about needing to use his high speed settings as even my sprinting is reminiscent of that old joke:

Q: How can you tell when an ultramarathoner is sprinting?

A: You can't.

We finished up the shoot and I continued on my run. I was hoping to make 4 miles but my Achilles would not loosen up enough to do that comfortably, so I headed back to the SUV after 3. I use to often train in the old village of Mt. Pleasant; since a popular 5k race is done there I liked to do a 3 mile tempo run on the course. There is plentiful shade from the mighty live oaks lining the streets, something much appreciated on long summer days.

After the run I stretched against a handicapped parking sign - well, I just had to, it seemed to be the right thing to do for a one-footed guy. It was a good run. And in time it will soon be better.

Larry Wiley, my prosthetist, wrote to me on Wednesday that I should come in for a followup and discuss the "real" running leg.

Odd that timing.

And not at all.

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