Friday, May 21, 2010

I'm Flying!

Even though I may still be down and out of the running scene because of this foot, that doesn't mean I can't keep cross-training.  And what better way to work those back and shoulder muscles than to do some indoor skydiving!  I was up in Nashua doing some testing on our shiny new Cisco Nexus 7010 switches; seen here.  Oh, so shiny. So expensive.
So my coworker, who just so happens to be a competitive skydiver, says that we should head over to Sky Venture after work and do some indoor diving.  Ok, I thought.  Sounds cool, I guess.  So after struggling all afternoon with VPC and LACP issues and getting nowhere we packed up and headed over to have some fun.

After getting the mandatory briefing on what the hell to do in there we suited up and they spun up the tunnel.  At this point I had no clue what I was doing.  I've never done anything like this so I had no idea what it would be like.  It looked easy, but I knew that it wasn't going to be.  And it wasn't.  I spent the first of several times in the wind tunnel (we traded 2 minutes in/out) just trying to figure out how to float without crashing into a wall.  My biggest fear was suddenly rocketing to the ceiling and being stuck.  Although the chances of that were next to none since the wind speed was controlled and there was no way to get to the top even if I wanted to.  That and my instructor Dereck never let me get too out of control.

My biggest problem was that I kept fighting it and straining to move the way I wanted to.  That just didn't work out so well.  But finally it all started to click.  I began to relax and let the air do the work.  I could move around the room on my own, I could control my actions (mostly) and best of all, I was actually flying!  See:

Woo hoo!  Once I got that part down it was totally kickass.  Unfortunately it all came to an end too soon and after a few jumps to the ceiling with the instructor leading it was time to go.  Definitely worth the time and I hope to get back again.  And as I said, it was a great workout for the shoulders and back judging from the soreness this morning.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Turning the corner

I think my foot has finally decided to turn the corner and get on with the healing.  Today I can finally walk with a semi-normal stride without too much pain.  I still can't flex it too much but at least the limping has subsided a bit. I've been waiting for signs that it was truly getting better and I think today is the first time that I have been encouraged by its progress.  It just seemed like this was taking forever to even marginally heal up.

Luckily I had no races planned but it is only two weeks until the Gilio 5K, the Run to Remember Half (which I had hoped to run again) and then Mt. Washington in June.  The first two I could sit out without too much angst but Mt Washington isn't the kind of race you feel good about bowing out of since it is so hard to get in to.  I really hope the foot heals for it since the worst pain comes from landing on the ball of the foot and flexing it forward.  Pretty much exactly what I would be doing for 7.6 miles.  Only time will tell at this point.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


The relay is over. We did great. Came in about 4 minutes below our estimated pace and managed to pass a metric ton of teams. Kim blazed the bike trail and Jen ran crazy to the beach. Don had a tough leg after getting the handoff from Mel. It was warm and running 8.2 miles in the heat after limited sleep and crappy food will do that. Of course a tough leg to Don is running 8 minute pace, so honestly, not that bad.

Dan then took over and finished his last leg exactly on time, despite the weather. And then it was my turn.

The foot still killed and I took off looking like a wounded albatross. But I toughed it out and got into a groove by mile 1.5. By this point in the relay my right leg was totally exhausted because I had been using it so much to compensate. Needless to say my last leg was a bear. I managed to squeek out a 7.27 pace but the last mile was brutal.

Eventually I made it to the finish. The team was there and we crossed over the finish. It was over. 200+ miles was finally behind us. It was a great trip and I had a lot of fun. I wish my foot had been better since that really overshadowed everything I did over the weekend.  But even with that I had a great time.

Go time

About ten minutes until David gets here and Van 2 heads for the finish. Kim is ready to roll and anxious to start. The sun is out and it is going to be a hot one. Looking forward to my 5 miles in unprotected P-town at the height of the heat. Good times.

One to go

We wait at the last major exchange. One leg left for everyone. The sujn is shining. The birds chirping. I can walk again. Next stop, P-town!

Second exchange

Van 2 has completed the second exchange with Van 1 and we are off to rest. Dan Bair came shuffling out of the mist at 5AM and it was down to me to close out that leg. As I limped my way to the exchange they asked if I was going to be ok.

"I'll find out.  Only ten more miles to beer!"  Then Dan was on me and off I went.

And it hurt. Bad. My foot was sbooting pain with every step. This caused strain on my right calf because it was doing all the work. At 1.25 a girl with sparkly blue lights caught up to me and said she was impressed that I was running hurt. I had to or someone else would have to pick it up I told her.

Around 2.25 I was hitting my stride and began to pass people. A few here, a few there. Chopping them down and stacking them up, I was later told that Don exclaimed.

I was able to hold a 7 minujte pace. Not ideal but the foot was only mildly uncomfortable. I cruised into the exchange area as the sun began to rise and the birds began to sing. I was happy to habd it off to Michele and be done with that leg.

As I stepped away from the exchabge I could feel my foot bwgin to tingle. By the time I got to the van it was back to crippling pain. There seems to be a bit more swelling now and I can't walk again but that leg helped us as I passed 14 other runners. Steadily we are cruising up the ranks with almost 70 teams behind us. One more Van 2 leg to go.

Part deux

Somehow my last message was prematurely sent. That's what happens at 4AM.

So Mel tore up her leg and handed off to The Machine, aka Don. We had to fly off to the next exchange to beat him there as his leg was only 3.3 miles long. Well, it was actually 2.5. Dan was in the line for the porta-potty when we yelled at to move, Don was approaching. After passing 8 people Don handed off to Dan.

Next leg is mine. Will the foot withstand 5 miles?

Truth time and short legs

Jen cruised through her 9.5 mile (9.2 actual) leg in record time and handed off to Mel who cruised the 2.2 mile (2.0 actual) leg in only 15 minutes.



Just exited Otis Air Force base. Nice running there, flat and quiet with no traffic. Kim was way too fresh for her leg and the f-16 at the end was kickass.

Back on the road

Van 1 shaved off two more minutes and met us at exchange 18 just after 12:30AM. None of us really got any sleep so naturally we are ready to go.  Kim led us out and we piled in the van to chase.

The foot has quieted to an angry pain and not a die, die, die type of feeling.  I am walking slowly again so I hope to be able to man up and run my next leg.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Round two down

I brought home Van 2 to Exchange 12 to hand it off to Van 1. Barely. The foot still hurt. Although I suffered through it the injujry definitely slowed me. Miles 1 and 2 were around 6:20 pace which I was happy about. But the bum foot was affecting my running. It was taking more effort to maintain a pace. This led to a bad stitch by mile 2.5.

I tough it out to the end but was only able to pull a 6:40 pace. Significantly off my best. The foot hurt, badly. Currently it is wrapped up in the little ice we had left in the cooler. The outlook is grim and I am not looking forward to my next leg.

Off to rest

Sobering leg

Don took the bracelet from Mel after her grueling, but spot on pace, leg and took off to catch the competition. We piled back into van and set off to meet him halfway.

A couple miles down we came to an intersection where police were diverting us off the route. An ambulance and firetruck was on the scene and there was a runner on a gurney. There was blood, it was not good. As we turned I saw a car parked in the road, its widnshield was shattered and dented from top to bottom. It had been hit so hard there was a hole in it.

This was exactly what no one wanted to have happen. Brings it all home.

Ahead of pace

Kim came in about 6 minutes ahead of pace an Jen was only off by a minute so we are ahead of pace. Mel B is out on the course slogging through a tough leg and trying to cath the MV Islanders who were about ten seconds ahead at the exchange.

And the gang runs on.

First exchange

David handed off the baton to Kim at precisely 3:36PM, the exact estimated time, to begin Van 2's start. We are now at exchange area 7 anxiously awaiting Kim's arrival.

Let the games begin

The relay has begun. Originally slated for a 12pm start I cajoled them into letting us start at 11:30 instead. Michele led the team off and the relay was on.

We bid a fond farewell to van 1 and set out to Marshfield where we promptly stopped at Wendy's for lunch.  Then it was off to the exchange area where we are currently awaiting Maureen to hand off to our team. Only 2 hours more to wait!