Sunday, November 6, 2011

Catch Up

Two weeks Jennifer traveled with me to ProCare in Buford, Georgia. It is a 5 1/2 hour hike, and I was glad to have her company. The impetus for the trip was twofold, my running prosthesis had caused a couple of hotspots to arise on my residual leg and I needed to have my new walking prosthesis modified as well.

My running prosthesis has had no changes since the Charleston Marathon, where I was fitted and had one adjustment just before the race without me present to test it. Considering the speed at which all of this work was accomplished - replacing a plastic prosthesis that had opened my incision line from a prior company - it is a testament to their work that I've experienced so few problems until now.

Skin abrasions - blister bandages relieve pressure in socket
When one of the hotspots bled a little a couple of weeks ago, I decided it was time to get the problem fixed, as I must be able to train consistently to perform my best at Boston next year. Additionally, the spot on my tibial crest was getting larger and quite red, leading me to believe it might be infected. Indeed it was; when I got home I saw my family physician, and was given an antibiotic that started clearing it up in a couple of days.


White hot Jato cooling it
Stephen Schulte worked with me to determine how we could take the pressure off these hotspots while making sure we didn't move the problem elsewhere. I was given a clear, hard plastic test socket that I wore on a couple of training runs and didn't notice any specific areas of concern. Given the green light, Jerry Brown at ProCare fabricated my definitive running prosthesis and they shipped it to me, along with a new foot for my walking prosthesis that I am very excited about. It is an improved version of the Freedom Innovations foot I currently have and is called the Renegade A·T. I will be installing it on my prosthesis soon and will review it in a later post.

This is the first of several upgrades to Jato, some of which is proprietary to ProCare and invaluable to me as a runner. Also, at age 58, my body is not as resilient as it used to be 25 years ago, so a good fit just won't do, it must be a great fit. And these are the guys who can deliver.


I just ran a half marathon in this prosthesis and will do a race report as soon as I can get to it. Although my time was a little slower than I expected, I knew by reviewing my run logs and knowing the training I have been doing meant my endurance was less than optimal for a faster 13.1. I think it is human/runner's nature to always expect a faster time for a race even if we know we aren't quite prepared for such an effort.

Prior to the race I knew I might run as slow as 2:10; not that this really qualifies as slow, but of my 3 prior halves it would be the third slowest. I did run faster than that, but the last 3 miles were more of a struggle than I would have liked. I believe this may have been because of the recent skin infection and antibiotic's effects on my body, we are human beings and not machines.

I have a lot of upcoming news and hope to blog it over the next week. From my guides selected for the Boston Marathon (Guides? You need guides?) to my Savannah Rock'nRoll half marathon report there is much to tell. And I will...after the next run.

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