Thursday, December 31, 2009

My Year Running and Otherwise

This is the time of year when we look back and remember. We think of our year past and the one standing before us. Family, friends, health, running, money, environment and every imaginable part of our lives.

Here a a few of the many highlights from my year running and otherwise. I hope you will share yours too.

I......... married to the most beautiful woman in the world (Tani). She is kind, caring, unselfish and we love her. Oh yeah, and I think she actually likes me:)

...forgot to tell you about the bachelor party in NOLA:) Probably set back training for my first ultra a bit (although you may notice the Rucky Chuckys on the bar) and certainly put my political career in jeopardy.

...saw my father’s closest friend Ben, my Godfather courageously live the final year of his life with pancreatic cancer. He presided over our wedding back in March. Truly special.

...ran approximately 1,600 miles including my first, second and third ultras:

The North Face Endurance Challenge 50k Bear Mt.

The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 miler DC

The Knickerbocker 60k Central Park, NYC

and my fourth marathon at The Stone Cat Marathon Trail Race, Ipswich, MA.

Guess who was there supporting me?

...saw my children continue to learn, mature and grow. They are so special and make me proud every day, even the tough ones.

...had the most challenging year of my career. Phew, glad that's over.

...raised over $11,000 for cancer research (Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation MMRF)

...became a Godfather to our dearest friend's son Miles.

...had a few good meals, but this is my favorite (breakfast from Five Guys the morning after the 50 miler). Bacon egg and cheese burger and a beer.

...had foot surgery, UGH.

...made a new friend in Tony, and reconnected with old ones (Todd and Patty, nice to have you back in our lives, we love you).

...ran my final seven miles this morning at Rockies with Tony. A great morning to cap off a great year of running

AND I (we) am getting ready for a new baby!!!

I am looking forward to another year of friendships, relationships, fundraising, child raising, volunteering and of course running.

I hope everyone had a successful year (whatever that means to you) and I wish you all happiness as the future continues to become the past.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Stormy Nights Bring Beautiful Mornings

The last two days brought intense rains to the NYC area with last nights storm raging for hours. I heard the wind and rain outside most of the evening as it woke me several times. When I left the house a little before sunrise the rain had just slowed to a slight drizzle.
When I arrived at Rockies the sun was just starting to rise, with temperatures in the mid 40s and the rain all but gone it was perfect for my first run since foot surgery 24 days ago. I love being out right after any storm, rain or snow. Something about being out there first to enjoy the calm that always follows, everything always seems so fresh and new to me at that time.
After about 75 minutes I managed to squeak out 4.5 miles running and walking. The running was uncomfortable but the morning was beautiful. The streams were overflowing and the wildlife was active.

No its not the Colorado! Its the Pocantico River.

Hope you got out there to enjoy your morning too. Peace!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

19th Day Post Op "ALMOST READY"

Here it is 19 days after foot surgery and looking good. Stitches removed, PT ongoing and I am really itching to get out there and run. I am definitely frustrated living vicariously through the other blogs I follow, and runners I am friends with although it helps a little. I do need to thank my wife Tani for her unwavering support and patience. She always keeps me positive. I also want to thank Heather and Tony Portera for their encouragement the past couple weeks.

So, every morning I wake up and hope this is the day I will run and then after a couple of steps I realize it's not. Today on the way to the gym I thought I may try a few minutes on the treadmill. Then I had to run about 15 feet crossing the street to get out of the way of a wild NYC cab driver. Even at 5am they are nuts. Needless to say those few steps changed my mind so no running today either. While the swelling has gone down dramatically (actually in a regular shoe for the first time yesterday) there is still substantial stiffness with both up and down movement and of course the post op soreness which turns painful with enough weight and pressure.

That being said, I continue to improve and I may actually be ahead of the schedule given to me by my doctor prior to surgery. 4-6 week before I could run he said. I am hopeful I will be on the short side of 4 as my recovery has gone like this:

1. 3 days crutches & boot
2. 3 days 1 crutch & boot
3. 11 days boot only
4. 2 days shoes:)
5. 2 pt sessions (3rd tomorrow)
6. Daily pt at home
7. 1st good workout today at the gym
8. Crossing fingers for a short run this weekend

Sunday, December 13, 2009

First post op walk at Rockies!

I started running at Rockies nearly 3 years ago and have spent many many hours running several thousand miles there. Today was my shortest and dare I say one of my favorite run/walks ever. After just 10 days since my foot surgery I got out there and walked about 2 miles and spent about 10 minutes on a bench at Swan Lake doing crunches and leg raises (Heather suggested I get some hip work in).

I feel as though my recovery has been going well but limping around the house has still not released any of the tension I have felt from not running. Although this was not a run it was exhilarating and uplifting for me emotionally. To be at my local escape on my feet walking for about 35 or 40 minutes with others running by on this beautiful, chilly fall day was energizing.

I took my time, took lots of pictures and just enjoyed the moment. All of the pictures in this post were taken around Swan Lake including the shot below of my gear today. On my left foot is The North Face Rucky Chucky which has been my trail running shoe of choice for a couple of years now. I always loved the crazy red because I thought it looked fast, now I enjoy the solid sole, breathable mesh and versatile terrain you can run with it. On my right foot is the Lenox Hill Post Op. boot. I do not recommend this shoe for any technical terrain. Its open toe design leaves you vulnerable to rocks and roots, its Velcro straps leave much to be desired for support and the only color option (hospital blue) is boring don't you think?

I hope you enjoy the photos. See you on the trails soon. Peace

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Day 5 Post Surgery - Updated & Uncensored

So I took off the bandage this past Sunday as directed. I love posting all photos but thought I would spare the queasy the visual (per AnthonyP's comment/request the photo is now below so continue at your own risk although I don't think it really looks that bad:) You may also notice the nice shaving job they did which may have taken longer than the surgery LOL). The incision is 2.5 to 3 inches long and at this point resembles a zipper or according to Tani, a caterpillar. The kids agree with Tani.
I had a brief visit with the Dr. yesterday and all is as it should be. I began putting weight on my foot yesterday and after encouragement from him to do what I feel I can I really began to push my comfort zone today and have actually been getting around the house with one crutch tonight. So physically I could not be feeling more positive. No problems to date and moving forward I plan to take extra steps each day to improve beyond what I mentally feel may be possible (suck it up as they say). Mentally I am very encouraged the last 2 days. The first big move was to stop taking the pain meds. Don't get me wrong, I am a huge fan and am very thankful I had them the first 3 days. However I feel better now that I am done with them. My head is clear and I can see how they easily become a crutch and could have lengthened my recovery as they drained me any motivation.
I miss running more and more each day but I am trying not to think to far in advance and look at each day of my recovery as part of my training, every day adding something new to my routine to improve. I would not say this is easy by any stretch but so far, good support, mental focus on the short term and doing my best to stay positive about every step has worked for me. Peace.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Surgery Done - Recovery Begins

Its always fun to share the great experiences of running. Great races, new places and faces. Unfortunately a couple of my recent posts and the next few will be about injury, surgery and recovery. While not as much fun many of us will go and have gone through it so I think its important for us to share these experiences too. In my previous post I described the diagnosis and treatment, "Hallux Rigidus", an arthritic condition which combined with excessive use grew to a stage which required surgery to relieve the pain and regain flexibility in my big right toe.

The entire procedure was a little over an hour. My surgeon was Craig Radnay from the Insall Scott Kelly Institute for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in NYC. Not sure yet how large the incision is as my foot is still wrapped until late Sunday. After the incision was made the bone spur on the top of my toe was shaved down and the area between the joint where there is no cartilage was also shave to make more room and reduce friction.

The Dr. says the procedure went well and I should now have 90 degree flex without pain when my recovery is complete (4-6 weeks). Mean while the first few days have been uncomfortable. I am taking pain meds and trying to rest. I will keep you up to date as I progress (mentally and physically). Peace
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