Tuesday, April 27, 2010

PR Disappointment?

How is it I can set a PR and yet be disappointed? I knew I could run better, in fact my tempo run a week ago was faster, and my 10k bridge run pace was faster, so what's going on here at the iFive:K on Thursday evening, April 22?

Two things, but the most important was I did not take a puff from my asthma inhaler prior to the race and paid dearly for this oversight. I rarely really need it, and prefer not to use anything at all, but I suppose with the allergy crud I went through the lungs needed an assist. Given the sharper pain in my right lung, I might even have a little bronchitis remaining; it definitely was not a side stitch, something that pestered me in my youth. I also did not warm up sufficiently, mainly because I didn't want to start The Sweat Monster in my liner even though I had used Drysol the night before.

Still, I felt I could waltz through a significant lowering of the PR, and that did not happen. Jennifer and I arrived at the race with plenty of time to spare, and stood around at the starting line for about 15 minutes prior to the gun. I noticed some of my older peers who I have run with over the years, fewer now as attrition takes his cut. I am aware of his bony grasp.

We take off and at a quarter mile I am exactly on the pace I wanted but did not feel comfortable at all. I was running in my Renegade foot, which was the one smart move on my part, because with the uneven payment, crowd, and old rail lines I am certain I would have wiped out trying to use Jato. Score one for the gimp.

Somewhere around 1.25 miles I started noticing the discomfort in my lower right lung. It would hurt for the entire rest of the race but fortunately did not continue to increase in pain or I probably would have had to walk. I ran reasonable splits at 8:40, 8:47, 8:44, with the last bit in 1:21. I did not see a single mile marker although Jennifer said she did so I just missed them. I manually recorded my splits on the Garmin so those are the numbers you see here. My chip time and watch time were in rare synchronization, both 27:37 for my finish.

Jennifer dislikes evening races and this one was no exception; it has more to do with the time of day than the race itself. However, with pizza and beer awaiting the finishers and a great view of the harbor from the Charleston Maritime Center, it tolerable for her. We get our goodies and Jennifer checks the results; since they are in non-standard 10-year increments, it makes it harder for us to sneak out with some hardware, which we did not do this day.


After the race a young woman, Madeleine, approaches me about my running and asks to interview me for her blog here. We have a nice chat and I direct her to my blog for background info and I'll soon answer some questions for her blog post. Madeleine will be training for her first marathon and I told her I was as well, mine being the first one as an amputee. She tells me about the challenges her dad faces and I never fail to realize that my loss is small. My life has been given back to me in a finer fabric. I had to choose, yes, but the choice was one I was allowed to have.

Madeleine gives me a hug and tells me I am inspiring and I try to let her know how her kindness likewise inspires me. She understands what I once did not; I had to be on this side of the fence to open my eyes.


On Sunday I attempted my long run with Jato, and after about 8 miles my hip adductors, primarily the gluteus minimus I think, called it quits from the new foot strike. It is possible I simply don't have good mechanics yet with the blade, but it did feel okay once I got warmed up although I think the build is slightly high. I'll get this fixed when I go in for my new carbon fiber socket which I hope is later this week.

There is a new high activity/running foot I might try that I have seen advertised and Larry mentioned, the Endolite Elite Blade. Apparently it can be configured without the creepy foot shell and with only a shoe outsole. I am thinking of giving this a try if we can work out an evaluation from the manufacturer.

I believe this blade allows a heel-to-toe foot strike, which is the case for most runners, especially when running long, slow(er) distance. I want to keep an open mind as newer foot technologies and styles emerge, and will always be willing to try the latest and greatest.

Just no creepy foot shells PLEASE!


  1. Richard, I am just catching up on my favorite bloggers... thank you for your post-- you made my whole week :)) My Mom saw this too and was also very touched- you are beating the odds and we are ALL cheering for you. I just want you to know how much your kind words meant to me! It's a blessing to have met you and to get to know you & your family through your blog -- can't wait for the next race. :O) Madeleine

  2. I know your parents must be very proud of you...your compassion and enthusiasm are rare. As I remind myself of all that I may have missed had I not gone down this path, well, I would have been much poorer for the loss.

    - Richard