Monday, April 30, 2012

Meet the Newest Member of the Family

Seems for the most part that we've always had two dogs. Companionship for the brace being one of the reasons. So when we lost our girl, Glynis, at the age of 15 1/2 last November we sort of started investigating puppy possibilities.

First, a brief history of our most cherished family members.

In 1992 we brought home our first dog, The Dalmatian was Olivia Kachina Kodak. Olivia was the name we picked out. Kachina was the breeder line, Kodak because Olivia’s mom was the dog used in Kodak ads in the early 90s.

Olivia was Mommie's girl

In 1996 we brought home our second dog. The first whippet was Glynis Cyfie Bryn. Glynis was the call name. Cyfie Bryn is the name of our favorite bed-and-breakfast farm house in Wales.


Glynis could outrun snowmobiles

Olivia and Glynis got along very well

In 2000 brought home a human puppy. The dogs protected him. Seriously. You could not approach the baby without first passing Dog Security.

Glynis and Olivia protect the Boy
And the security was 24-hours a day.

Olivia passed away far too early (10 years old) in 2001. We waited until 2004 to get a second dog. The second whippet is Northwind’s Pont Robert. Call name is Pont. Northwind is the breeder line. Pont Robert is the name of the small town near Cyfie Bryn Farm. Pont means ‘bridge’ in Welsh so Pont was our bridge back to Olivia.

Pont, always playing with toys

He and Glynis were inseparable.

Our Frisbee dogs

Pont has been lonely after the death of Glynis. So it is time for another. This dog is Northwind’s River Song. Call name will be River. River Song is the wife of Doctor Who in the British sci-fi series. So we stay British themed. And Doctor Who and River Song are both capable of ‘regeneration’ so River will be the regeneration of Glynis.

River at 11-weeks

She is adapting well.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Race Result: 2012 The Old Deer Park 10K (London)

Event: 2012 The Old Deer Park 10K (April 1, 2012)
Location: Richmond, England
Weather: 44F, sunny
Goal: Finish
Actual: 43:57
Overall: 47th (258 total)
Age Group (50-54): 2nd (13 total)
Results Link: PDF; XLS
Previous Results: First time at this event

I'm a little late with this recap to be sure. But then, I should have never run it. My 2012 race season, while perhaps not a lost cause, is certainly in jeopardy regardless.

Let us backtrack for a moment. I've been having an issue with my inside shin along a line that begins on top of the ankle to just below the mid-calf. No, it is not shin splints. I have a pretty high pain tolerance and can run through that aggravation. I decided it could be Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome and did a little write-up on that in early March.

During March, I was able to swim and bike fine. I just could not run. Could not push off going from the toe. So I took off two weeks from running. At the end of this time, I was walking normally. I did some short runs (less than 1/4 mile) to determine the current state and the pain was still then, albeit much less.

Time came to pack for London. I packed all my running and race gear. I then unpacked it. Literally 30-mins before we departed for the airport, I packed it all again. I figured I could try a short run while there if nothing else. I was pretty sure I would not be racing. But just to be prepared, I brought the gear.

The day before the event, I went out for a short 2-miler. I was able to hold a pretty good pace at easy effort although the pain was still there. I was on the fence. Race. Not race. Race. Not race. I set the alarm as if I was going to race, still not having made up my mind.

I got up the morning of the race. I thought I should just go back to bed. Then I decided to just stay up and start the day early. I found myself going through my typical pre-race routine. I found myself dressing in my race gear. I found myself heading out the door to catch the Underground to the race site. I found myself a fool.

I arrived, checked in and received my chip. It was a weird little thing. The size of a credit card with four holes at the corners that you tied into your shoe-laces using twisties. Haven't seen that before. But the chip didn't hamper me at all. Since it was so rigid I was worried it might be a constant source of irritation while racing. But, no worries.

Yes, they still use port-a-potties across The Pond in case you were wondering. Plenty of them. Annnddd, flushable! You don't have to stare at a bucket full of someone else's meal from the night before. Looks and acts like a regular flusher. After you are 'complete' with your morning nature call, you simply use a foot-action pump to fill the bowl with water and then 'flush'. American port-a-pottie are behind (pun intended).

The row of Port-A-Potties

Also cool was the call to the line. We all had to remain outside of the starting chute. The race director then called for any sub-30-minute 10K runners. No one stepped forward. Then called for sub-35 minute runners. Again, no one stepped forward. He then called for sub 40 and a few of us, including myself, stepped forward. He then continued with this progression. It was organized, quick and easy. It certainly eliminated giving a dirty stare to someone pushing a baby jogger toeing the starting line with you. I thought it a wonderful idea.

The Start
We started on turf. This was not good. My ankle was already starting to roll. We then hit a sidewalk (complete with morning pedestrians) which then had some cobblestone. My ankle was rolling all over. About the 2-mile mark we hit gravel. The gravel had chunks of concrete and such. Not good.

Even with all that my first 2 miles was fine. I was hanging in the top 10 and running with the eventual female overall winner. This is typically where I find myself. I should have been a chick! But I was well under 40-minute pace and very happy. Breathing easy. Pace felt easy. The only question was would the leg hold up long enough to let me finish at that pace. A little before the 5K mark, I had my answer.

Shortly after the start
I was essentially running on one leg, hobbling along at the 5K mark. I went through it at 20:10 and then really started to fade. I was looking for a way to just quit and get a ride back but the course was circular. I figured I had come this far, I might as well limp it in and gather my finishers medal. My first international event.

So, I sucked it up and limped along. I finished in 43:57 so the second 5K took me 23:47. Walking pace. When I signed up for this event all those months ago, I was targeting a sub-39. So, that hurts mentally. But I did finish.

My 1st international finish
A view of the finish area
The Garmin Info

Elevation, 28 feet of gain and 30 feet loss

The splits tell the story when the leg gave out
After finishing I received my finishers medal which was cool. There were no Age Group awards so I was very happy to receive the medal as a token to remember the race by.

The finisher's medal
So, while my first international experience was sort of a downer, I would like to try another international race again some day. Hell, the Brits even have a triathlon series that circulates around some of their finest castles. We even visited one (Hever) last year. That would be ÜBER cool.

When we returned stateside, I made an appointment to see the doc. We took an Xray and it showed no breaks. He stated my ankle joints look 'spectacular' as usually he sees arthritis brewing by my age. That was nice to hear. He thinks it is tendon/ligament and even if one had popped he would not consider surgery. He thinks worse case is there could be a stress fracture in which the tendon might have pulled away some of the bone but he doubts that. So we are:

  • Going to give it 4-6 weeks to heal. I can bike/swim if it doesn't bother me
  • If it is not progressing during that time or at the end, he has an ankle ortho guy in mind and would hook me up. He would let them decide on a MRI at that time and suggest to do a MRI as last recourse
It is slightly improved two weeks removed from the race. Just not as much pain but no where near walking normally. I have not biked or swam during this time either. I'm getting fat. I am hoping to get back into the pool and cycle by this coming weekend (4/21). And then it will be some more weeks (months?) before I can slowly start running again. Hopefully. I do not want to go through a surgery. I have accepted that 2012 will boil down to a lost race season and not be too depressed. There are bigger issues in the world than not being able to run. Then come back stronger than ever in 2013.

Next Events:

Just what the next event will be is a guess. Hopefully, it is yet in 2012.

Apr 28 (signed up) - Falls Duathlon - Cannon Falls, MN 2mi run, 14mi bike, 3mi run
May 19 (signed up) - Fargo Half-Marathon - Fargo, ND
June 3 (signed up) - Buffalo Triathlon - Buffalo, MN 1/4mi swim, 12mi bike, 3mi run
Jun 24 (signed up) - Graniteman Triathlon - St. Cloud, MN 1/3mi swim, 15mi bike, 5K run

I will be skipping the April 28 Du I had already signed up for. I have already cancelled the Fargo hotel for the May 19 half marathon. So the next one that I just might be able to compete in is the June 3 Buffalo Tri and I would skip that if needed as well as that would only be 7 weeks away. I just want to be ready to at least race by June 24 for the 1st Graniteman Tri. The Graniteman is a 3-race series. One in June, one in July, one in August. Sort of a big deal. If I can be running by June I should be able to be in OK run shape for that one.