Monday, September 5, 2011

This and That

Random pic of jackass parking at Charleston Bagel

I have several posts in the works, including a rather negative one about the way runners are treated by the Town of Mount Pleasant Recreation Department. I don't like dwelling in the negative, which is why that post has been in editing mode for over a year.

This post will cover several things that happened this week and a few rambling thoughts as well.


First, two things have happened for the 5k at the Francis Marion Dirt Dash on September 10. We thought there was a chance the race might have national network television exposure for our cause, the International Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva Association. However, scheduling did not work out despite our best efforts to come up with an event with the extraordinary help of Chad Haffa, the race director.

Second, Ashley Kurpiel, our friend and FOP champion, had a previous engagement before the network expressed an interest in this story. Considering all of the circumstances, she decided to attend the prior event since it would be very expensive to come here for the 5k. The trip would be by car and it is uncomfortable for her to travel 6 hours. We'll miss having her at the race, but I know she is doing what she needs to her life every day.


Last week's training went well, only downside was missing my run on Monday due to travel and then my speedwork suffered from a bit of fatigue. I rallied and ran 10 miles on Saturday and 16 on Sunday to make 50 miles for the week. My goal was 55 miles so a little short, but the two back-to-back longer runs was a great workout. The weather was a tad cooler, something I felt out on the road on Sunday where I kept a good pace and finished strong.


Small cut on skin from pinching liner with benzoin protectant
I still have trouble with my liner pinching my skin at times. For protection I had been using A&D ointment at the direction of my prosthetist. However, it was clogging and disabling my vacuum pump far too often. We were then told to start using mineral oil, but it does not protect the skin as well as the A&D. In short order I had some skin breakdown in the creases of the liner where it bends behind my knee.

I decided to try some tincture of benzoin as a skin protectant. This worked for shorter runs, but the mineral oil tended to break it down and I still had some broken skin. For the past weekend run I used the benzoin and then a layer of New-Skin the night before my runs. This protected my skin but I still noted the covering was breaking down and wondered if it would eventually clog my pump again.
Sweat in the frame when vac pump goes on vacation

Doing a bit of research, I found another skin protectant I have ordered. It has great promise and if it works I'll blog about it later.


Boston Marathon registration is in one week. I can't find anything about signing up as a Mobility Impaired athlete. My friend Kelly Luckett, a veteran of the race many times over, is trying to get in touch with her contact to see what our procedure is. I still feel a little hesitant to say "I am running Boston in 2012!" until I am confirmed with a number. So for now we'll let this pot simmer.


I have nearly finished the book "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand. It is the life story of Louis Zamperini, Olympic runner and B-24 bombardier in the Pacific in WWII. I could not help but think of what he and so many other POWs endured during the war, horrible, inhumane things. I think of whining I hear at work and at times online, and wonder how any of us would survive a day, an hour, hell, a few minutes of the abuse these men endured. My patience is short with these malcontents knowing we have life so easy even in these challenging economic times.

Read this book. It will make you a stronger person. And you may just remember it when you think about whining the next time you have to reboot your computer and think you are enduring the unendurable.


I am looking forward to the 5k on Saturday and hope to run well. Last year I ran the half marathon, my first as an amputee. It was a hot, humid day and a struggle for me to finish. This year the races start an hour earlier so there should be more shade. Given I am running 3.1 miles instead of 13.1, I suspect I will fare better physically, plus my prostheses last year was not the extraordinary one I have now.

I will run thinking, a little, what might have been had this event received a national audience, highlighting our friend and, I think, life-teacher Ashley Kurpiel. I will run for her, knowing every, every day is precious and none to be wasted.

And I will try to fly.


  1. And you will, my friend.

  2. Thanks brother, still have a long way to go but it sure feels good getting there.

  3. Richard, I'm sorry you had a negative experience with the Mount Pleasant Rec Department.

    I had a bit of a negative experience at my first half marathon this weekend.

    I know how you feel regarding the drivers in the Charleston area, that was one of the things I disliked most about living down there, though I know it is rude to generalize.

    I hope your 5K went well.