Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Good Week

It's been a week of good news for my running cause, an article appeared here that shows a cure for FOP may indeed be closer than we thought. 

"To my knowledge, our discovery is the first to show that the effects of a disease-causing genetic mutation can be replicated and used to treat other diseases," Medici wrote in an e-mail.

With an increased focus on the understanding of FOP, researchers may find keys "to treat osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, muscular dystrophy or Alzheimer's disease."

As I thought about this, it occurred to me that in the future not only will FOP be cured, but the thing that caused me to lose foot may also benefit from this finding.

Our friend Ashley wrote this: 

"FOP in the news!!!!! My future is looking brighter!! There is hope!! ♥"

If you would like to hasten a cure to this disease - and it can be cured - please help us here.


From left, Linda Scheller, Roper Hospital Volunteer; Kristy Hill, RN, Roper Hospital Oncology; Blake Ohlson, MD, Orthopaedic Specialists of Charleston; and Estelle Whitney, Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital Volunteer, were recognized at the Nov. 18 Health Care Heroes Awards Banquet sponsored by the Charleston Regional Business Journal

I was also surprised to learn a few weeks ago that my nomination for my surgeon, Dr. Blake Ohlson, for local "Health Care Heroes" was going to be a finalist for an award.

Several Roper St. Francis hospital health care professionals were nominated for awards, for recognition that is often goes unseen, yet include acts that go beyond that of self in helping others; acts of compassion and caring that make define our humanity. Their stories are here on Facebook.


All this makes me again think with solid conviction that I made the right choice, the only choice for me. To have lost running was an amputation far exceeding a lost limb. Not to have met all of the people I have come to know and the experiences this new life has shown me, that "the amazing will be seem every day" would have been an inconceivable alien world unseen.

It is not often to know you have made the correct decision when a hard choice presents itself. The apparent randomness of life is an equal opportunity employer; what we do with the decisions we make, even when wrong, depends on us. To keep trying in the face of a mountain of adversity, to never quit, to stand up when crushed, to be honest and truthful and deceive no one, to dare to live...that is a righteous way of life.

I have been given a unique opportunity through this hard choice. It has taught me much about myself and more about others, another level of understanding. It is true, many lessons can only be learned through experience. To make a difference to those who will never know it, that is a good thing. To remember those who reached out to get us there, that is a good thing too.


I plan to run my second 20 miler tomorrow, maybe 21 if I feel strong and am not struggling. On Wednesday I have a 6 x 1 mile workout and then a tough Daniels long threshold run the following weekend. My speed is taking a backseat to long endurance; overall, I am feeling strong and my socket is cooperating by not beating up my residual. I'll contact Larry next week to see about going back to a carbon fiber socket. Any weight I can save will make it easier on my right hip flexor, which seems to be the one weak link I feel at times.


We - Jennifer and our friend Nancy Cumbee - ran our traditional Turkey Day 5k on Thanksgiving morning. Last time I ran it I was wearing my everyday prosthesis in a plastic socket; this year I had my running blade "Jato" but still in plastic. It was on the warm side, more noticeably the last mile on King Street where there was little breeze. About a half mile into the race, I heard myself wheezing and realized I had not taken a hit of my inhaler. Nothing to be done but to remember not to forget next time, another lesson learned. Shortly thereafter Jeff Nolan and Josh Wiley pass me and disappear ahead.

For such a large race I don't understand why they don't use timing mats; everyone loses large chunks of time due to the crowded start. My watch time was 25:41 but the gun time was 26:21. Actually I am surprised it only took me 40s to cross the starting line. Just got the official results, my place was 30/177 in my AG, not too bad!

From left, Nancy, Jennifer, and me
My time is around 6 minutes faster than the previous year. I'd love to be 6 minutes faster next year but suspect the improvement will not be nearly as great. There is still room for more PBs that will come with dedicated 5k training, and I am looking forward those future races.


We had Thanksgiving with the family at my brother Mark and his wife Debbie's house. I was smart enough to pace myself prior to the big dinner, and it seemed especially delicious. Watched some football with the nephews and was entertained by their banter. Good boys.


I am not nearly so anxious thinking about my 20 miler tomorrow. My knee is looking good so that shouldn't slow me down; I will listen to my body and know 20 is all I need for now. The high tomorrow should be around 62o, which should make for a comfortable trot. All I have to do it.

From Gallipoli (1981):

Jack: What are your legs?
Archy Hamilton: Springs. Steel springs.
Jack: What are they going to do?
Archy Hamilton: Hurl me down the track.
Jack: How fast can you run?
Archy Hamilton: As fast as a leopard.
Jack: How fast are you going to run?
Archy Hamilton: As fast as a leopard!
Jack: Then let's see you do it! 


  1. sounds like you have a tough week of running ahead of you. good luck!

    and that's awesome news about FOP.

    and congrats on the race. was that a 6 minute overall PR or just 6 minutes faster than last year? either way 6 minutes is HUGE so great work :)

  2. Thanks mm,

    I have the week off so I am going to be able to get some additional rest. My weekly mileage is pathetic so I will give more emphasis to the quality.

    The 6 minutes was from last year, which was my second race as an amp.

    I hear DWW is a good course for a fast race, go get it!

    - Richard