Based on APORES
scoring “Amusement Park and Other Rides Excitement Scale,” which ranges between
the penny ride at Meijer on the low end and Millennium Force on the other end,
my injury rates somewhere along the excitement level of a bidirectional carousel.
I went to the sports
doctor today and they did an X-Ray, just to be sure it was not a stress
fracture.The conversation went like
Dr: “Your tibia
and fibula look good.”
you.People always say that, but it just
seems like the type of thing people say to be nice.When you see them in black and white, you can
really tell they are awfully nice.”
(In case you forgot what they look like without their meat.)
fracture.So, they have scheduled me for
some physical therapy.I start next
Monday.They will be using the Graston
method.Painful they say, but effective.
Well, I can only
hope that, like the penny ride, it will be over quickly.
My injury was
not shin splints, nor the dreaded stress fracture.The doctors were sure of that after pressing
all up and down my right shin—at least buy me dinner first eh.So they flipped me over like a flap-jack and
decided it was a tear in my Soleus muscle.That was on March 6th.I haven’t
run since February 26th.It will be
three weeks next Tuesday, but it seems like forever.Ffffoooorrrrrreeeeevvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
These things take 6 to 8 weeks they said.So, I’ve been an elliptical god, spending as much as 3.5 hours straight
on the lower-body-gerbil-wheel.It had
been feeling better, not hurting from walking or standing around, so tonight I
gaveit a little test on a
treadmill.I walked .1M at a 15m/mile
pace, and then tried to run at a 9m/mile pace.I didn’t get to .2M.The pain was
Looks like more time
on the elliptical for Spike.And thusly
a few things stand out.It seems very
evident that racing Glass City is out.If I’m lucky I can maybe keep enough fitness to trot it, or maybe the
half.Moreover, Racer and I have
switched places and it will be my turn to support her marathon while I’m
Only, I wish
this injury was something more serious.Something that would justify sitting on the couch and issuing orders
through my megaphone.Or, maybe I just
wish I injured a muscle most people have heard of.
I love my Garmin 405. It has suffered with me through
countless terrible runs and half-hearted efforts since I purchased it on
Thanksgiving 2009.Dark Atlas has seen
eight states and even Paris, France.It
was with me for my 50M race, was with me for my marathon PR, and has carried me
to three of my four consecutive BQs.
But we are both getting older and sadly showing signs.Myself, I have a mildly serious case of shin
splints that may or may not be a stress fracture depending on a doctor’s diagnosis…which
I have conveniently avoided.I’ve had
shin splints before, and always reduced my running and mileage to ensure they
didn’t evolve (like a Mogwai into a Gremlin).But this is the first time the pain in my right leg has forced me to
take off primary runs (skipping a 8M tempo run and a 18M long run this past week).In
lieu of my long run, I did two hours on the elliptical on Saturday and then a
three hour cardio session on today (elliptical, bike, elliptical); all pain
free.My hope is to make it through my
speed workout on Tuesday and then maybe skip my tempo run and hopefully be pain
free for my 20M next weekend.
Now, back to the important matter; Dark Atlas.The battery lifespan is getting shorter and
shorter.A 20M all but exhausts the battery
starting out on a full charge.Worse,
somehow the satellite reception is off, causing me to add about .02M to every
mile I run.Many times I’ve run next to
Racer and her Garmin is right on while I keep adding hundredths.Also, running my base 4M, 5M, or 7M routes
all coming up about .02M per mile short.
I’ve spoken to the fine people at Garmin and run completed
both a satellite reset and a factory reset. Nothing solves the problem.“They just get old and stop performing as
well,” the Garmin representative told me.Don’t we all.
However, Garmin no longer makes the 405.Or even the 410 for that matter.They do make the 610, which I’ve never really
loved and is perhaps more watch than necessary.But the 210, which Racer owns, lacks a simple feature I really like…the
ability to look at the individual laps of a run on the watch (the 210 requires
you to download the run before you can dissect each mile).The good news is that I can find new 405s and
410s online—relatively inexpensive.
Or should I go with the Nike GPS?Does anyone have this watch that really likes
it?Can you review your splits on your
watch?Is there anything annoying about
the Nike GPS watch?
While I await your input, I will continue to be an elliptical
god as I rest my leg.Because there is
little need for an aging Garmin on the elliptical.
Runners are more loyal to their shoe brand than their alma
mater.Seriously, how much money do you
spend per year on a particular running shoe while wholesale ignoring the
repeated high-gloss mailings begging for a small annual contribution?Sure, you may root for them on Fall Saturdays
and even be lucky enough to have a basketball team worth its salt and therefore
extend the spectating season until March, but no check is sent off to the College
of Fancy Letters or the School of Legoeering.Yet, without fail, around every 250 to 500 miles the same brand gets
another donation.And I am no exception.
Which is why, when the outstanding folks at Online Shoes give me
the opportunity to road test a new pair of shoes—any brand of shoes my wild
little heart desired—I elected to test a pair of the bard I know and love so
well…Asics.I always alternate between a
pair of the 2100 series (that is, until they elected to eliminate the series
and/or rename it) and either the Nimbus or the Gel-Kayano.I rotated to the new Gel-Kayano 19.This Gel-Kayanos are a little sturdier than
the 2100 series, with added cushioning and a slightly different lace wrap.
Like all new pairs of shoes, I break them in easily with a
few easy 3 to 5 mile runs.But you never
really know a pair of shoes until you take them out for some speed work.So, after several comfortable easy runs totaling
around 20 miles I gave the new pair, the Grey Starks as I’ve named them, a go
on a six mile tempo run.And, because the
running gods are aware that no running kindness (the ability to try out a new
pair of awesome Men’s Asics shoes for free) goes unnoticed, they elected to
infuse my run with a combination of rain turning into sleet which turned into
hail.Yep, little frozen balls of water hurtling
down from the skies in an attempt to strike you with sufficient force as to
produce an audible thwacking sound.This
meant quickly deteriorating running surface conditions during a speed
But the Gel-Kayanos were superb.They handled the rapidly changing conditions
and I was able to pull off my best tempo run of the training cycle.Best of all, as I finished my last mile the
clouds broke and the setting sun shone triumphantly down upon me.No joke, Michigan weather is just that
What I feel makes the Gel-Kayanos such an
excellent running shoe is its ability to take a severe beating while still
delivering comfort with every foot strike.This is something I never felt about my Saucony Kinvaras.And so, a speed workout done and the
Gel-Kayanos having proven themselves, I look forward to the remainder of my
training cycle with my Grey Starks.
I would say I mildly trained for the Goofy Challenge.If pressed, I would define that training as
doing almost every long run with the Redhead and that my longest long run was
16M.Regardless, I sat fearless with my
Cuz Saturday morning as we watched the fireworks start the half-marathon at
5:30am.And we waited.And watched more fireworks for more corrals.And waited some more.And at 6:25am our corral was finally sent
Our plan was to take the half easy but comfortable.And that we did.However, this is Florida, and Florida sure
enjoys cooking pale white folks like me.So it wasn’t long before the sun went up. FN2
I wouldn’t say there is anything special about the course
for the first few miles. But, once you enter the Magic Kingdom and run down
Main Street, you know it is worth it.Cuz and I ran and sang and refused to let the angry sun getting angrier
to stop us.As we rounded Epcot we knew
that we were only steps away from finishing the first third of our
That night we had an excellent dinner and went to bed both
sore and giddy.But then the morning
came, and the soreness was still lingering, and I’m sure I had the same thought
every Goofy runner has ever had on marathon morning: “Why don’t they run the
full on Saturday and the half of Sunday?”
This time, Cuz and I decided to take a different approach
and sneak up into corral B (my corral).But we got on the wrong bus, and found ourselves on the VIP bus.The bus took us to the start line and
bypassed the mile long walk from the gear check to the starting line.This would not really be a problem, except
that I had my bag and they weren’t going to let us continue to mooch off the
VIP status.So, I mean why not?, I ran
mile to the gear check and ran back after sneaking Cuz into corral B.
The marathon was by far my favorite of the two races.Perhaps it is because it includes more
parks.But, maybe mostly it is because Cuz
and I started 50 minutes earlier than we had the day before and that allowed us
to hit the Magic Kingdom while it was still dark and lit up.
Pretty early on, we decided to use our own improvised
Galloway program.Really, it didn’t
matter, we were there for the adventure.Only, the sun got even angrier on Sunday, and we worked hard.Some course highlights included the Animal
Kingdom where I was able to kick a goat and hug a llama, running through
Champions Stadium at the Wide World of Sports, and down the boardwalk.The least impressive part of the course, for
me, was running on the racetrack.
I will tell you that, like my idol, we had to use BioFreeze
to make finishing possible.But still,
we persevered and Cuz even managed to set a marathon PR even having run a half
marathon the day before.
Having been deemed completely Goofy, and sporting the bling
to support it, I think my days of ultra running are at an end for now as I
focus on the more traditional marathon distance.But, I do want to say that I had a lot of fun
and that I’m so proud of my Cuz who dug deep and ran had even when he thought
he couldn’t.I’m proud of you buddy. FN3
FN1: If you ever run the Disney full or half, lie or cheat
or steal or whatever you need to do to be sure you start in a higher
corral.Seriously, an hour to get to the
winner of the half ran it in a 1:05:26.So, the winner finished before we finished our first mile.If you read the article, you’ll notice how
the winner stated the race is run entirely ‘in the dark.’Well buddy, not for everyone.
FN3: I also want want to say thanks to the Redhead for her support and say congrats on your awesome half.