Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Air Force Marathon --- HALF to be FUN!

Howdy Internet! It's been awfully quiet on this blog. Unfortunately, I mostly blog about running and there really hasn't been any running to speak of. I normally run about 1200 miles per year. I have only run 100 miles since the first of the year. Crazy! I would usually run 100 miles in a month, but haven't done that for nine months. Yep, I'm going a bit stir crazy. I miss my running friends. I miss the races. I miss the emotional journey that running has taken me on.

It's been a sad set back by the knee injury experienced at the New Years Double race. I had knee surgery to try to fix things, but have not fully made my way back. Recently I had knee injections on both of my knees to try to relieve the osteoarthritis pain. It’s slightly been helpful.

This Saturday is the Air Force Marathon. Yep, it's race week for me! I've been wanting to run this race for quite awhile since it's held on the Air Force Base that I spent the first 4 years of my military career - Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio. I had a lot of great memories at this base. The biggest highlight is that WPAFB is where I met the love of my life, my wife, Ursula. Ahhhh... memories.

The crazy thing is that I hated running while in the Air Force. We had a yearly fitness test of 1.5 miles in a certain time. I completed it every year, but I thought I was going to die every year since I didn't really train for it. My physical activities at Wright-Patt were racquetball, golf, bowling, and short sprints chasing my bride.

I'll be running, walking, and skipping the race with Denise, my uber cool running sister. We were suppose to run the full, but opted to drop down to the half because of our physical setbacks. My base mileage has not been very high, but I was able to complete a 10 miler this last weekend. I’m about 2-3 minutes off of my old pace and I take a bunch of walk breaks. The worse case is that we'll do a lot of walking, but that's OK. My goal for this race is to have fun. Enjoy what I can do and make the best of it! This has been a hard journey for the last 9 months. My mind yells at my body and is frustrated that the body cannot do what we did last year. I have to get used to the new me. I have to FB_IMG_1442334072582 - Flipsomewhat start over in my running career.

My sister and I will be representing Team RWB. Team RWB’s mission is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity. We’re the ones carrying Old Glory during races. I love running with these guys. I have so much pride running with the flag especially when cars are honking at us during training runs.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Knee Surgery Update

Good news! God is awesome! As mentioned in my previous post, the MRI showed that there was a radial tear of my meniscus. However, once they got in there with their HD camera, they found out that it was not torn and that there was a bunch of fraying of the meniscus. The doctor was able to clean up the fraying.

image    image

Above are the before pictures and below are the after pictures. Since the meniscus does not have to be stitched together, I can definitely run again! As well, my recovery should be easier and shorter.

image   image

Thanks for everyone’s well wishes and prayers! I really do appreciate them! I cannot wait to see everyone out running! Vroom vroom!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Knee Surgery

nychalf-croppedHey, running friends, non-running friends, and family!

For my very observant running friends or non-running friends that were tired of hearing about my running or races; there has been a lack of running posts since New Years Eve. Unfortunately, I tore my meniscus in my right knee during a Half Marathon that I was running. Reader’s Digest version: I’ll be having surgery on my knee tomorrow morning.

I’ve been pretty bummed that I haven’t been able to run with friends and experience the sport that I love. The picture on the right is the last picture of me running. Yes, it was cold on New Years Eve. I have suited up several times since, but have not been able to run more than a block to get past the pain.

Initially I thought the injury was my hamstring because of the initial location of the pain. I was seeing an awesome Chiro-sports doctor who has taking great care of me. With treatment, I still couldn’t run more than a block without the pain being killer. I experienced the pain when I ran with each impact of the ground. We finally had an MRI done and saw the damage.

I’m not 27 Anymore!

10690058_10203417413937761_3720933618893094766_nHere's how it happened. I've volunteered in the New Years Double race over the last few years and thought it was my time to run it. I was going to run a Half Marathon on New Years Eve and then another on New Years Day. I was thinking of it as a Marathon with a very long break between the first and second part of the race. Anyhow, I'm in the middle of the race, having a good time, pacing well and I'm coming out of a tunnel underneath a road. At the end of the tunnel is a ramp. Along the ramp, there's a handrail. Thinking that I'm 27 instead of 47, I grab the handrail to swing myself around the sharp turn. BIG mistake... I had a huge pain shoot through my right leg. I thought it was my hamstring as the pain was more in the back of my leg. I walked up the ramp and tried to run again, but the pain was too much as I couldn't plant my leg from the impact. 

I had a friend that was working the race drive me back to the start line. I met with the medical staff and they didn't see anything major from a torn ligament standpoint, however, recommended that I don't proceed. This is the first race that I couldn't finish in close to 100 races. I was totally bummed!

The Prognosis

imageAs I mentioned, I met with an Orthopedic Doctor which shared the results of the MRI. This doctor was highly recommended to me and is also a triathlete. So, he knows what’s going on in my head. In his words, he would have preferred that I break my leg instead of this injury. I could heal from a broken leg. He explained that a radial meniscus tear is one of the worst injuries for a runner. (It’s the tear shown on the right in the picture) My heart almost broke when he said that this injury might be career ending. I felt like I just lost a best friend in that doctor’s office.

He explained the knee arthroscopy surgery and how he could possibly stitch together the torn meniscus. He definitely didn’t have a lot of optimism during this explanation. He said that he gave the procedure a 50/50 chance of repairing the meniscus, A big challenge is the meniscus is like crab meat and might not be able to get a good stitch. He won’t know until he gets in there. If he cannot stitch it together, he’ll clean it up as well as possible.

Besides wanting to run, I’m also having the surgery done to prolong the signs of arthritis that are appearing in my knees. If I don’t have this surgery, then the onset of the arthritis would be sooner. It’s rough getting older!

He’s in control

I haven’t mentioned any of this on Twitter or Facebook as I like to keep all or most of my posts as positive as possible. It’s easy to be a bit down when you cannot do something that you love. However, the positive in this is that God has given me a peace throughout the experience. Yes, I miss being able to lace up and run, but there are bigger things… such as my comforting and loving family.

I’ve been planning on the worst and hoping for the best. I might have to take up cycling as I can handle no-impact type of activities. However, I’m not sure if I can get into wearing spandex, lycra, or whatever you call it.

I’m ready to get the surgery over tomorrow to see what can be done, what I can do, and ultimately, what He will do. I’ll post an update after the surgery.