Thursday, September 9, 2010

Half 'n Half

Since my last post I have received a new running socket, and with some adjustments it seems to have resolved my tibial tuberosity problem. However, the skin finally broke down some so it still requires attention. Last night I applied some Nu-Skin over the raw spot and covered it with a waterproof band-aid. I had to cut my treadmill run short because I thought the prior bandage was coming off and bunching up under my liner, but that was not the case. There did seem to be a spot of blood on the liner but none to the touch so it may have just been some discoloration. During the day I am giving it as much air as I can to try to speed the healing.

 "One more mile" at Bass Lake

Last weekend we drove up to Blowing Rock, NC, so my mom could place flowers on my brother David's grave. Being a holiday weekend the crowds were insane in the little town, so we avoided it as much as possible. Jennifer and I did get some training around Bass Lake, also filled with people, many of whom apparently have never walked on a trail before. Often large groups would completely block the trail walking abreast each other and chatting. The earth is no longer the center of the universe; it has been displaced by the knowledge that many individuals consider themselves to be that special place.

We also had a pleasant dinner with my cousin Ken Lynn and his wife Monica who live near Boone. I had a nice conversation with Ken after our meal; I have not seen Ken in perhaps 20 years so we had a little catching up to do. 

When we came home I contacted my CP Larry Wiley and he squeezed me in to do some fine tuning of my socket. I had one other hotspot that needed work because I knew during my longer run the obvious friction would translate into skin irritation and then breakdown. With an ever-changing residual limb and minor, unavoidable changes during the fitting process, it is still a constant struggle to achieve the moving target of a great fit. Many thanks again to Larry and the good people at Floyd Brace for being able to help me on short notice.

My last two long runs have had to be abbreviated because of these socket problems; instead of 16 and 17 miles they were 8 and 11.25. With my first amp half marathon, the Francis Marion Dirt Dash this Saturday, I feel under-prepared for it; I know I can cover the distance but it will not be at the pace I had hoped it would be. The weather promises to be warm and humid as usual, so having a fast time is going to be very unlikely.

With all of these considerations, I must start my race slowly because if my heart rate gets up too quickly I could have a very bad day. There will be little to no breeze in the forest which will cause additional stress to the body.

Our friend and fellow amputee Kelly Luckett with her friend Holly will be joining us for this race. Kelly is an amazing endurance runner and was at the Getting2Tri National ParaTriathlon Camp this past March where I got to meet her. Kelly will also be doing the Kiawah Island Marathon in what may be the first ever mobility impaired division in the state.

Francis Marion Dirt Dash national forest road course

Other than this being my first amputee half marathon race, it is also endearing to me on two other levels. First, toward the end of my running career as an able-bodied athlete I could not have done this race; the uneven though relatively smooth road would have been very painful to my old ankle. Secondly, this reminds me of so many days of my youth, running around the old clay pits near my home. I will have many sources of inspiration this day, golden threads of time spinning past.

As my friend Joe Marruchella would say raceday morning: Time to go to work.

And I will reply: It is a good day to run.

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