Monday, September 14, 2015


I've been hesitant to post about my running progress, because there's a part of me that's hugely disappointed. I'm thrilled that I did more than I thought I would or could this summer, but the athlete that hasn't completely died in me is not happy. Given how often I thought I would have to give up running completely in the last few years, I know I should be elated with where I am, but I can't help but think that I want more.

After the 5K "race" (I can't really call it that, but it was something more than a jog), I realized how beat up my body felt, mostly because the restrictions and imbalances that may look slight are more than meet the eye. They end up causing some major tweaking the faster I try to go. I was forced to back off any kind of training, and finally ended up going back to the doc for some cortisone shots in my left foot. It helps some, but the trade off is that I lose some proprioception each time.

Shots in the foot are never fun, but these were even more challenging, because one nerve is so trapped in scar tissue, the doc couldn't get the needle in very well. Then, once he got it in, he had trouble pushing in the plunger. The other nerve is deep and was also a bit squirrely, rolling around trying to avoid the needle. The end result is that the burning and occasional sharp pains are still there, but they're much more muted. I have some other options to explore, but I've been able to run with a bit less pain lately.

The Rattlesnake Ramble 2015

Well, that was embarrassing...

Over the weekend, I jumped into the Rattlesnake Ramble. I keep wanting to call it the Rattlesnake Rumble, but it's not about snakes fighting. I learned a lot in this race, mostly that I completely suck going downhills. Anything technical isn't quite my thing either. I managed to do quite well on the wide uphill roads, though, and I even made some real runner-like moves out there on those sections. Unfortunately, the downhills and super rocky terrain got to me. One or two of the people who were hiking the gnarly ascents were going faster than I was jogging, but I noticed a few of them were also cutting the corners on the switchbacks.

The recap:

Things started out just fine. I felt pretty strong and was doing well initially. When the sun got in my eyes after we turned onto the first rocky section, I was running blind, and I started to get discouraged. A few people, one of whom threw a hard elbow into my side, passed me while I was trying to figure out how to run by braille. Despite losing some places, though, I rallied and passed a few people back once we hit the main road before the second big ascent.

I also ran right by the water station without realizing that's what it was. Nobody was holding cups of water, so it didn't register until well after I had passed it that a big white table in the middle of nowhere was a water station. D'oh! It seems obvious now, but I missed a much needed drink of anything liquid as a result.

On I charged, though. I sort of held my own, even though I'm not that great on the real technical stuff going up or, especially, down. Because I didn't know where the top was, I was hesitant to really go for it at any point.

The downhill was what did me in. I think somebody's grandma passed me near the bottom of the single-track trail. It was ridiculous how awful I was on this descent. Frustration made me let loose a nice string of expletives while I was dodging people and trying not to trip. Oops. I was basically jogging, just trying to stay upright, though at one point, I did sit down in order to get myself down one of the steeper corners. I also crawled over a rock on the ascent, so I'm guessing I wasn't looking very graceful out there.

I had the feeling that nobody would be around at the finish line, but I somehow managed to not come in last. This may be my worst placement in a small race, but I was second to last in my age group, which means I got 7th in the 40-49 category. The race was limited to about 100 people.

I didn't feel like a runner after that adventure. No more gnarly downhills for me.

I'm just hoping my body can recover enough to squeeze in a few more good workouts and maybe even a race or two before I wimp out in the cold weather and decide to do more stationary biking or yoga. Come on left foot; you can do this!

Making up lost ground where the trail was more runable.

This wasn't even the technical part! 

Heading back toward the road. 

Trying to stay upright.


  1. I thought I saw your face in some of the pix I saw from the race. Nicely done getting out there!

  2. At least you didn't catch a toe and end up with a broken wrist or collar bone. The scenery looks spectacular but I guess you wouldn't be game to take a look. Anyway, go left foot in the next one!


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