Saturday, September 25, 2010

Jato's Got Bling

Jato in repose
This is my second carbon fiber socket for Jato. The first socket proved far too restrictive in the knee area, something the new one would share as well. I had no issues with the old socket at the distal end (bottom of my residual limb) but the new one, for whatever reason, was not kind to me there. 

Cutaway to relieve pressure
Just before the Kiawah Triathlon, Larry made some major modifications including cutting out part of the top and blowing out some on the distal end. These changes did help, and I think I found another reason for the extreme discomfort on my lower limb...sweat. Yes, the thing I was worried about since starting this journey remains a trouble-making foe.

At Kiawah and the Dirt Dash I had used Drysol, an extremely strong anti-antiperspirant, to effectively stop the sweat from causing trouble. Specifically, the sweat in my liner causes the fit to become loose and the prosthesis to not be as stable. I did not reapply the Drysol for a few days after Kiawah, and on a longer run found my liner had loosened on the distal end, having about an inch or more separation from liner to the bottom of my stump. This causes an action called pistoning on the distal end and, I believe, the irritation to my lower leg that produces the vice-like sensation.

Today I will be running 16, maybe 17 miles. Due to socket issues it will have been 6 weeks since my last long run, outside of the half marathon. I did apply Drysol last night in hopes to test my theory. If this run goes well then I am on my way to longer runs, if not I will be on my way to talk things over with Larry again. We have already discussed changes to my next socket based in the modifications to this one. I also would like to have a little more motion at maximum knee flexion (the point you see the better runners nearly kicking their own butt) as the liner, socks, and sleeve bunch in the back of the socket to restrict my movement. This bothers me when I ride the bike which is not often, but something I will try to do in marathon training as an occasional cross-training workout.


The graphic on Jato is for the Phoenix Athletes program (on Facebook) of the Floyd Brace Company. Larry is committed to not only his athletes, but for providing inspiration and incentive and help to other people in their care. My sleeve covers the top part of the graphic on my frame, and I've been told it looks like a tribal tattoo. I was initially thought it might look too much like the old Pontiac Firebird insignia, but after the Dirt Dash it grew on me more. 

A lighter colored socket is also better in our southern climate; the basic black carbon fiber does look great, but given our heat it is not the best choice, I think, for a running prosthesis. I might go with a white socket at some point for this reason. Amy Palmiero-Winters wore one for the Badwater Ultramarathon and it also looked very cool, complete with a white blade. Given the extreme temperatures, you'd need to take such measures to keep your residual from being cooked in the socket.


Next weekend we run the Lt. Dan 5k as part of the Beaufort Shrimp Festival. If you've seen the movie "The Big Chill" you will have a good mental picture of where Jen-nay and I will be running. Son-in-law Chris Winn will be running with us as well, and we look forward to good times. I am thinking I will wear Marine Corps colors since Parris Island is nearby and that is where I ran my best 3 miler so many years ago. As I write and think about this I know it is going to be a new day to remember. Semper fi!


  1. hope your long run is going / went well! and that there were no socket issues. i know how tough a long run is without having to deal with socket issues and sweat / pressure there. way to get out there still. gives me some pep in my step for my next run :)

  2. I ran 9 on the treadmill and about a mile into my outside run my residual felt like it was in a vise or ready to explode. Ran/wobbled 2 more and called it quits. Will try again tomorrow.

    Hope your runs goes better!

  3. Looks fabulous. We all need a bit bling in there somewhere to perk us up now and again. You are at the peak of your game and therefore always need the best tools for the job!