Adventures In Running

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Switching blogs

This is my last post in this blog.  I am moving all my content over to  I hope you continue to follow me there.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Bryce Canyon Volunteering

On June 14 and 15, the Wasatch Mountain Wranglers ran the Blubber Creek Aid Station at the Bryce Canyon 2014 50/100 mile race. This aid station was at mile 27 and then 73 (for the 100 mile). Volunteering is such a great adventure. When you are unable to run - it helps to be hanging with other runners. I will admit I took a couple of short hikes/runs because it is impossible to be in a location like this and not take advantage of the trails.

 Here are some pictures from this race.

One of my goals when "racing" down to the race was to see my friend, Ed Ettinghausen. Ed runs as The Jester and is a truly great runner and gentleman. I was thrilled that we got to the aid station just a few minutes before Ed passed through at mile 27.

This was the core of the aid station. Krystan Williams kept the food coming and helped make this one of the best aid stations I have ever seen.

The Blubber Creek Aid Station in all its glory.

You can't beat Mother Nature.

Sunset- so very beautiful.  Just wish I had known that we would soon be freezing.

The Jester - part 2. Ed coming through again at mile 73.  Ed is in the process of trying to set a world record for "Most 100 mile races completed in a year" in 2014.  I was thrilled to spend some time serving Ed during the race and learning more about how he accomplishes these races.  All I can say is "Jester On!"

I really hope that next year I will be out on this race actually participating in the 50 mile race. If not - I plan to help out the Wasatch Mountain Wranglers if they are running an aid station again.

U of U Graduation Day

May 2, 2014 was an excellent day for our family.  Our son, Kevin Christopher Lee, graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Chemistry.  Kevin worked really hard on this degree and it was a tough one and we were so proud of him.

I have to admit that Larry (Kevin's dad), Jennifer (Kevin's sister) and I (Kevin's mom) alternated between beaming with pride and crying during the ceremony.  And that had nothing to do with the most boring commencement speaker we have ever heard.

Just a few pictures to commemorate the big day.

The graduate

 Kevin and his dad's side of the family

Kevin and his mom's side of the family

I adore these kids! 

Running Again

It's been a long time since I blogged.  While I was not running or working out much there didn't seem to be too much of a point in keeping blog posts coming.  Time to get my act together and get back into the habit. 

Nothing super exciting has happened - but here are some of the highlights:

1. Plantar Fasciitis - Dr. Brady basically told me to not walk, run, or do much or anything that would have me be weight bearing from the start of April until the start of July.  Boring!  And hard to do.  This was a total mind challenge for me. During this time I did a lot of swimming and pool running.  I could have taken up biking again - but I am not thrilled with a sore bottom.

Treatment for the PF also included the following:
  • Rolling my foot several times a day.  I used a variety of torture instruments to do this including a lacrosse ball, a foot massager,  a foot rubz, and The Stick Footroller.
  • Calf massage - by keeping the calf muscles loose using various massage techniques including the stick, a foam roller and other torture devices, we have been able to loosen up the joint.
  • Lots of chiropractic adjustments.  Dr. Brady would almost yank me off the table each time but we were able to break loose most of the scar tissue preventing my foot from bending. 
  • Probiotics to help with the arthritis in the joint. 
  • Lots of foot, ankle, and calf stretches. 
  • Taping the foot to keep the PF from tearing.
  • Altra Shoes/Orthotics/Vibram Five Fingers.
At this point in time I have almost the same flexibility in my left foot as I have in my right.  This is a huge improvement.  I am pain free about 97% of the time.  If I overdo things or twist wrong, the PF pain comes back - but not for long.  I have been told I will probably deal with this somewhat the rest of my life - but just need to make sure I keep it under control.

2.  Volunteering - I volunteered at the Bryce Canyon 50/100 in June.  My next blog post will be more about that.

3. Dropping out of races and selling off race entries.  At this point in time I am only planning two races in 2014 - the St. George Marathon in October and Across the Years in December.

4. Starting to run - I have been allowed to run 2 days a week since the start of July.  For the first two weeks this was only 15 minutes at a slow jog each time.  I am still pretty slow, but up to 30 minutes each run and increasing by 5 minutes each time I run. It feels good to be back.  I have very little endurance, but truly missed running and can't wait until I can get back on trails - even if it is for only short amounts of time.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Rock Bottom

After almost two years of pain of one type or another in my left foot, I have reached the point that I need to find out what is going on and if I can overcome this. It is one thing to be sore and stiff from hard training or a long race. It is another to be sore and stiff from very little activity. If I run one day - it takes 2-3 days before my foot quits burning. We are not talking long runs - more like 4-6 miles.

The physical therapy I did earlier this year was good and helped me get over the three types of tendonitis I was battling. But it caused my plantar fasciitis to flare up - that was not so good.

After reading some blog posts and asking around on Facebook - I set up an appointment with Dr. Brady in Provo. I've seen a chiropractor several times on my foot and he helped some, but nothing long term. So, with some skepticism, I did the long drive to Provo. Boy, was it worth it.

A technician started off my massaging my foot. She found lots of tender spots in the foot and ankle. After applying heat, Dr. Brady came in and started asking my foot history. And the injury history to my left leg. He wanted to know anything that might be a contributing factor. It was almost embarrassing to say the list: born with partially formed hip sockets, knee surgery at 19, three foot surgeries, tearing out a tendon in a fall but not seeing a doctor on it, the infamous dog brush to the ankle episode, etc.

Within a few minutes of comparing my feet/ankles, he pointed out what is probably been my problem all along. My left foot does not pronate (roll in) and seriously supinates (roll out). In fact, I had to work hard to pronate the left foot at all. He then did some massive alignments in my foot as well as massage that about shot me through the roof. After that he put an herbal patch on and taped the foot and sent me home with the initial plan.

Right now I am wearing a boot for at least two weeks and working on pronating the left foot whenever I can while sitting and standing. I basically need to relearn how to walk correctly. I will also be working on massaging/stretching the foot, ankle and calf and letting the PF heal.

It may take a while to get this to heal and learn to walk and run correctly, but it will be worth it. He cautioned me that I probably have quite a bit of arthritis in that ankle and that might determine the long term prognosis. Let the fun begin.

Or maybe I should say, let the healing begin.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Starting Over (can I skip 2014?)

2014 has been off to a rough start. Most of January and February were spent recovering from my foot injury at Across the Years. In February I got hit with perfect storm of illnesses. In less than an hour I went from feeling great at signing paperwork on my new vehicle to crawling into bed and wishing I could die. 36 hours later I went into the Instacare to be told I had bronchitis, asthma, sinus infection and an ear infection. I was started on my inhaler and a z-pac of antibiotics. A few days later, I still had no energy to even watch tv, read, etc. I just laid there. I had no appetite, so when I did eat I just forced down junk food to get in calories. On Wednesday I tried to go to work. After an hour or so things started spinning around and then I got vertigo so bad I had to have co-workers drive me home. Back to a different doctor who said, "Oh yeah - you have the flu on top of everything." Too late for Tamiflu - so I just rested as much as I could and started forcing liquids. I have never been as sick as I was for 12 days. I hope to never be again. At this point I have lost all of my endurance. Hopefully a lot of my nagging injuries are healed. I started walking over the weekend and took my first run/walk last night. Basically - I am starting over. Hope things get better from here on out.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Tendonitis and PT

Other than a few steps, I haven’t really run since my ATY race finished on December 30.  I spent a few days totally on crutches with no weight on the foot and then 2 weeks in a boot until I could see my podiatrist.  This was just in case it was a stress fracture.

The podiatrist was able to narrow the foot injury down to tendonitis stemming from the tendon on the middle toe. So – now I have tendonitis from the large toe, middle toe and small toe.  It was obvious in an ultrasound that there is a lot of fluid around those tendons.  His recommendation was a couple of weeks of physical therapy.

My first PT appointment was last Thursday.  My physical therapist spent over an hour analyzing my feet, legs, and hips and then gave me my assignment for the week.  She had a valid point that since all of my injuries are to my left foot (and knee) that there is probably some imbalance on the left side that is causing me to adjust for the imbalance and resulting in the injuries.  She also found that my glutes are very week and we are going to work on those and the hip abductors to get them stronger. 

The left foot was slightly swollen in the measurements, so am increasing the icing to 2-3 times per day (from 2-3 times per week).  The most obvious difference between my two legs is the flexibility of the soleus muscle in the calf.  Ever since my second foot surgery in 1999 (I fell two weeks after this surgery and apparently tore a tendon, but that was not discovered until last year) I have had significantly reduced ability to stretch the soleus. So – I am doing a lot of calf stretching in addition to the hip work. The final exercise at this time is balance work to strengthen both my balance and my foot muscles.  I am being limited to a daily walk of no more than 1.5 miles.  That’s probably a good thing, because the foot hurts even walking that far.

I’m dropping plans for most of my races early in 2014 and figure the Ogden Marathon will be my first race of the year.  I hope to do lots more time this year on trails and get back to running stronger and doing more vertical than I was able to do last year.