Saturday, January 12, 2013

Crunch Time

Next week will be a decisive one for me. I should be able to submit Dr. Ohlson's notes to the health insurance company as part of my appeal to their denying me new prostheses. I am hopeful I will not be rejected again. If so I will have to continue to fight through other avenues, but those would take longer and possibly no resolution would come before the Boston Marathon.

Assuming I can get the good doctor's notes to BC/BS on Monday, the insurance medical director will have to review and then if approved, I will have to schedule an appointment with my prosthetist at ProCare to be fitted for the new prostheses. This could take an additional 2 - 3 weeks to be fitted and get all the parts needed to complete the work. At that point I would have about 8 weeks of training left before the taper for the marathon.

With these setbacks, I have had to adjust my goal times for the race upward. I believe I can still have a decent race with consistent training. One thing I have learned in my amputee running experience is there are just too many variables to assume you can have consistent training, especially at higher mileage and longer race distances. I can control getting my butt out of bed for a 4 am training run, but I cannot control the issues like I had last year that caused my residual limb to get smaller.


Tomorrow I am planning a 15 mile long run. I will not be running a step today when I usually go 3 - 6 miles easy. I am hoping to let the swelling go down in my leg, which seems mostly to be concentrated at the distal end of my fibula.

If I can't make the 15 I will not run the planned half marathon next weekend at the Charleston Marathon. I have been considering not running it anyway as I need to increase my long runs, so we'll see. We could even switch to the 5k and I could run long on Sunday, but no final decision will be made until later in the week. In the best possible scenario I will be at ProCare getting fitted for my new running prosthesis. This would make me happy. Very, very happy!


The track is not a playground
This past week I backed off my training to help minimize the swelling and other skin issues I am having with my current running prosthesis. I was able to complete shorter training runs with less discomfort and did not have to use the crutches again. On Friday I was able to complete my scheduled workout on the track, albeit slower in some unusually warm temps and having to deal with kids on the track once again.

I should mention although the teachers make an effort to keep the kids to the outside lanes; being kids, they do what kids do as you can see in the photo. I now believe my meniscectomy was caused by my trying to avoid a little girl who walked in front of me last year. I had to twist off to my right to avoid knocking her down; this was the incident when the "teacher" was at fault for not doing his job. He said something like: "I yelled at them to get out of the way." Yep, that is how the kids were taught that day.

When that happened I called the Town of Mt. Pleasant Recreation Director, Mr. Ken Ayoub, with a message that I am certain conveyed my frustration over the then complete lack of oversight at the track. After this call I did notice the teachers made a better effort to keep the inside lanes cleared for runners. However, the kids still stray into the lanes whether through inattention or intentional testing of the rules.

The past Friday was more of the same as you can see in the pic. The teachers simply cannot control the children on the track. I will not injury myself again or the kids because I am unable to stop quickly with my prosthesis. I have been making an effort to avoid this situation entirely by running early in the morning and late evening (which has usages problems too), and probably will just do so to keep my calm so I can do a workout without this nonsense.

It sucks. But I am tired of fighting this battle for now, I need to concentrate on my training without hearing kids screaming and wondering if I will have to call out to them to get out of my way while busting my guts running. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. It is not right I can't run safely at this town track. I am simply asking to use the facility as a track, a running facility, the very thing it was designed and paid for at a cost of around one million dollars. I need just one lane, about 30" wide, on an oval meant for an athlete to run on.

Mr. Ayoub, I know you and many teachers are trying, but these kids should go play on one of the many other athletic fields and leave the track to citizen runners. The track is a running facility, not a playground, and it is irresponsible for the way it is currently being misused. 

I have older post I have not published about the town's incredible mismanagement of the old town track I suppose I should drag up and finish. Perhaps if someone else gets injured they will choose a more direct legal path to change. Unfortunate, but entirely one needed to fix this problem since nothing else is working. Sad.

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