Monday, April 19, 2010

Jato Comes to Me

On Friday, April 16, 2010, 1 year and two days after my amputation, I received my Freedom Innovations Nitro running prosthetic foot.

Jato has come to me.

My carbon fiber (CF) socket was not ready, so I will run in a new plastic temporary one for now. This will afford me the opportunity to find if there are any problem areas so the definitive CF socket can be adjusted. I was a little disappointed that me entire completed foot was not ready, but in reality this will work out for the best.

I donned Jato and took it out behind Floyd Brace for a few strides down the parking lot, with about half the office watching me try it out. The compression is definitely more of what I have been expecting, in fact, Larry had to add a spacer to make the build taller. I did not stumble at all while taking a few runs back and forth, but the foot strike is so different from the Renegade that I can't tell if it needs adjusting or I need to run a few days/weeks in it to feel more confident. Indeed, it is probably a combination of both.


Jennifer and I did 4 miles around the neighborhood on Saturday. I didn't stumble but sometimes scuffed the bottom of the blade, which has the forefoot of a Nimbus shoe glued to the bottom. Because the blade is actually somewhat taller than my left leg to allow for compression, this is something I'll do less often as I get use to it.

While running I couldn't shake the feeling that the angle of the foot under me needed some adjustment, although I couldn't exactly say what it was. Ah, but I have the handy hex wrench, and have made some adjustments for my next run in it tonight. I carry my little six-sided friend with me to do some fine tuning as needed. It's still an experiment of one, George.

I ran a few steps faster towards the end of our run, thinking it will quite different from the Renegade at speed. This is when I felt I needed the foot strike adjusted more, I sure did not want to fall and break a collarbone or wrist or crater the pavement with my noggin.


On Sunday I headed out for what I hoped would be another small goal reached: the 40 mile week. I have been stuck in the 30s with socket fit problems for a while, and even though I really wanted to putter around with Jato, I needed the mileage boost more.

Jennifer and I ran about 5 together, then parted ways as she headed home and I into the unknown. The weather was decent, overcast at times with a breeze so I did not overheat. I dried the socket off once around 4 miles when we made a pit stop at home, but none after that.

I ran strong through 10 miles, but at 11 and until the end I had to keep my focus to not slow down or start Gallowalking. (If you walk you do not run, it really is that simple.) My stump seems to get an uptick in sensitivity toward the end of the long run, more so since I gave the socket a crash diet a couple of weeks ago where it was causing abrasions at my knee.

I finished 13 miles and was very satisfied with the week's effort. With the allergy symptoms and possible mild infection behind me, I should be in good shape for the 1Five:k run on Thursday. I am confident I will grab a new PR, but I will likely do it in my old trusty Renegade. I'd love to run with Jato, but we have some work to do together before I unleash his fury

Oh yes, I did get my 40 mile week.

So next up is to become one with the blade, do a 5k for the last time (unless x/c or trail and then "depends") in my Renegade, and plan for my next race in May with Jato on even pavement somewhere. It's going to be fun, lots more to learn, with more mountains to scale and enjoy the expanse below before thinking: I bet the view is even better over there.

And it is.

Crawl, climb, or fly, you can get there.


The mundane, everyday training forges the fine steel of glory.
- Random thought around mile 8 by moi, Sunday, April 18, 2010


  1. Its great to hear you FINALLY got that thing! Can't wait to hear how it works out. Let me say I am so glad to hear that someone else besides me isn't afraid to take the wrench to their leg! Congrats!

  2. It takes some time to adjust to the smaller foot strike, but I am getting use to it. Will post on it later, but wrench is definitely needed to tune it up.

    Will need to exercise some patience at first unless you get lucky with all the foot adjustments.