Monday, May 10, 2010

Me, Jato, and Speed *

Last week I ran 4, 5, 5, 7, 0, 5, and 10 miles for 36 miles total. I missed my Friday 4 miles due to several other activities and felt fatigued so I gave into a late nap. My current socket had been uncomfortable to wear for much more than 7 miles. I have been able to run 13 miles in an older socket with the Renegade foot, so I was disappointed I had taken some backward steps with Jato (the Nitro foot) on my long runs.

My Thursday run was speedwork at the track. I was somewhat anxious that The Church would be in use by the heathen, but when I arrived around 8 pm (after doing 2 miles on my treadmill at home) there was not a mortal soul in sight. Woohoo and hallelujah! I did another half mile warm-up and then settled into a 4 x 1 mile workout. This is the first speedwork I have done with Jato so I wanted to do it on the track with the Mondo surface; it would be way more forgiving than the asphalt street if I fell.

Oh, Mr. Ayoub, the Mt. Pleasant Recreation Director, told me about a button at the entrance to the track that would turn on nighttime security lighting. For some reason I thought some of the taller field lights would illuminate, but apparently only a few standard poles come on which do not light the entire track. I don't mind running in the dark, but I do not like not being able to see where my foot falls. This makes running a little more challenging and a bit harder on the knees. This track has a low aluminum curb on the inside lane so if you step on it bad things might happen to your wee bodkin.

My plan was to run moderately hard at a speed where I could control Jato. The first mile was 8:30, then 8:09, 8:10, with a final easier mile at 8:45; I jogged/walked 200 - 300m for my rest interval. I did miles for two reasons: one, I would not be tempted to run too fast and two, this is good preparation for the Bolder Boulder 10k we will run on Memorial Day.

After track running with Renegade in stylishly contrasting shoe.

I have to wear my Renegade foot to drive, and I didn't feel like changing it to match my running shoe just to mosey over to the track and back home in the dark when no one would see me. So the pic above gives the world a chance to see this (a) fashion faux pas or (b) edgy fashion statement. Now for some plaid running shorts....


The Sunday temps were very nice, upper 60s when I started my run and perhaps low 70s when I finished. In an attempt to extend my LSD, I drank a few sips of Gatorade every mile while walking for about 15s. Around 5 miles I sat down and took my prosthesis off for a while to allow the residual to rest, hoping the sensitivity I had been feeling in later miles would ease. I closed my eyes and listened to the leaf symphony and thinking...very little.

After about 8 miles the sensitivity did seem to diminish instead of getting worse, so I completed the 10 feeling good. Naturally I wish I could have gone a little further and could have pushed on, but I wanted to make sure I had no leg issues and have all summer to build my long run distance.


I should finally get my carbon fiber socket for Jato this week. It is being customized and I am not sure what it will look like. Larry asked me if I wanted any specific graphics and I told him the Floyd Brace logo would be fine. I am hoping no flame-art is involved as that is not quite my style. = :-)

After my blade project is finished I hope to get a minimal bike really can be simple. I just don't want it irritating my residual because when I ride it will be for recovery or cross training. I still have no real desire to do triathlons; I want to get a couple of marathons done and am just now thinking about doing Boston in 2012.

I had thought I would only run Boston if I could qualify at the same time as my able-bodied peers, but more and more I am thinking this might be an artificial bar that I should set aside. In looking at the mobility impaired results, I would do well to run as fast as some of my slower (most!) marathon times, and sub 4 hours is likely a pipe dream. I don't want this to be a case of sour grapes, so running a couple of 26.2s next year should give me a more accurate indication of my new-found ability.


We will be running a 5k this Saturday morning, which will likely be in my new socket and definitely with Jato. The weather forecast will be on the warm side with higher humidity as summer approaches. I plan for us to get there at least an hour early so I can warm up with Jato, then get everything nice and dry prior to the race. I should be able to PR again, but mainly want to get experience with Jato before we run the Bolder Boulder 10k.

Jennifer wants to do speedwork with me at the track this week, but knowing how she prefers morning training to evening we shall see. I will probably do 6 x 800 on Tuesday night to run a little faster in the blade as my last hard training before the race. The race will serve as speedwork and everything else will be easy runs.

This race will be a milestone event, and I am looking forward to it. New socket, first race with Jato, and a course I have not run before. I like the tingle of the nerves, indicating this is not just another race. I hope Jato's song will be one to remember.

* insane tip of the hat to "Mother, Jugs, and Speed"


  1. You're making some massive progress and the speed is there too. Can't wait to see and hear how well you do. Take care and best wishes to you!

  2. Richard, great post and congratulations on all that you are accomplishing!! I think plaid running shorts would be great-- why can't runners dress like golfers? Looking forward to your updates and hearing about your upcoming 10K -- it sounds amazing!

  3. Thanks my friends for the support, really, it means more than I can say...thank you for taking the time to comment.

    I'll tuck these words away and when the race distress comes to call, I will have an answer.

    - Richard