Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Marine Corps Marathon, 25 Oct 2009

Well...I ran my first marathon since breaking my leg over a year ago and I was thrilled with being able to do it.

To catch you up since my last post...many months ago...I have been running an occasional race during my training build up. After running my first half marathon in February I was a little disappointed in my fitness and endurance level as well as the discomfort to my leg during and after the races so I thought it would be good to back off a bit and slow down my rehab and training. My next race was the Dismal Swamp Stomp Half Marathon in April and finished with a time of 1:48:31...a three minute improvement from the Anheuser-Busch Colonial Half but 21 minutes slower than last year...but it was an improvement. The next race was another half...the Marine Corps Historic Half...in the rain...with a finish time of 1:42:48...almost a six minute improvement. I felt really good during and after this race and everything seemed to be coming together so I decided to do the Elizabeth River Run 10K a couple of weeks later with a disappointing time of 50:16...about four minutes slower than my 10K split during the MCHH. I just ran out of gas about three miles in...no idea why. Also my good leg calf started hurting after the 10K so I again backed off my training even though my long runs had progressed to 16 miles. I stopped running for 10 days until the pain went away and then restarted my training plan slowly again. My next race was the ASYMCA 8K Mud Run...yes the very race where I broke my leg last year. I just had to do it. I didn't expect to go fast but I expected to finish running across the finish line this time. I joined a team for this one to ensure that I would take it easy since we all had to finish together...we made it all together in 1:24:20...Oh...Our team name??? Someone thought it would be fitting to be called the "Help! I've Fallen & Can't Get Up!"...but we all had a great time! I caught a bad cold or flu a few days after the race and again didn't run for over a week and then again, slowly started up my training. Next up was the Virginia Beach Rock n Roll Half where again I found my energy and endurance lacking and finished in 1:49:21...seven minutes slower than the MCHH...it was very disappointing to be going backwards and I was seriously considering deferring the Marine Corps Marathon. The latest I could defer was 27 Sept...my longest run had been around 16 miles back in May and there was no way I could get in shape to do a full marathon when just the half was kicking my ass. I was wishing the deferment date would have been after the Army 10 Miler on the 4th of October, which I was a member of my company's team, so I could better asses my training and fitness. As I went to the website on the last day to defer, there was this message that said the deferment date had been move to the 7th of October! It was like they heard me! I ran the ATM in 1:11:02 which I was very happy with because all through the 10 miles I felt strong. The time was about six minutes slower than my fastest 10 mile time but I knew considering everything that I had gone through, it was a great time for me. Even though I only had three weeks to get ready for the MCM and with only the half and 10 miler as my long runs for the last four weeks, I decided to step up the training so that I would build up to the marathon. The week after the ATM, I ran an 18 mile long run...I had only planned on 16.5 but I met up with my lady gym friends and ran the extra with them. The week after and only a week before the MCM, I wanted to run at least a 20 miler and ended up doing 22 in under 3 hrs. Everything felt good, endurance was coming back and I was beginning to think that not only finishing but finishing with a decent time in the MCM was very possible. I got ambitious and started dreaming of a BQ finish. Foolish Me! I tapered the rest of the week doing two easy five milers in the six days left and then it was marathon time!

Drove the three and a half hours to DC on Saturday, went to the Expo and was surprised to see Paul manning his booth for "Hope for the Warriors". It was great to visit with him for awhile. Then I checked into the motel and finally enjoyed a great dinner with a bunch of MCM forum members. Went back to the motel to get everything ready and laid down to a sleepless night. I can never get a good nights sleep the day before a marathon for some reason. I got up at 5:00, ate breakfast as I looked at the weather forecast...49-61F, sunny with a bit of wind...almost perfect weather! Took my shower and put on my race stuff along with a hoodie and drove to the Pentagon City mall, parked and took the Metro to the Pentagon. We walked the mile or so to the staging area and waiting in one of the tents to keep out of the cold wind. At 7:15 I checked my hoodie and extra stuff and started the walk to the starting line. Staged myself near the 3:30 flags and tried to get into the middle of the crowd of runners to keep warm and keep the wind off. But a few minutes before start time I had to make a nature call and went down the hill to the trees where everyone else was doing it too. Got back in the corral and the starting gun fired and we were off.

As I got in the corral, I noticed the 3:30 pace group balloons about 50 feet in front whom I wanted to run with to ensure I didn't start off too fast. I couldn't get any closer to them because of so many runners all around but around the first mile, I finally caught up with them and the first mile was in 7:52. I kept just in back of the pace group for the first four miles but had to make another urgent pit stop. Off to the side of the road to water the bushes and back on course and I see the balloons are about a minute up the road. We go across the bridge to Georgetown and I'm only about 30 minutes back. We start the final climb in Georgetown and I catch up to the pace group and stay with them as they maintain a steady 8 min/mile pace. The 10K mat comes in at 48:53. It feels easy and I think I can go all day at this pace. On the downhill I leave the pace group and slowly pull ahead. We go into Hains Point and the 20K mat reads 1:36:24 and I'm still on pace and still feeling good and the half comes in at 1:42:04...faster than my MCHH time! My stomach starts rumbling the last couple of miles and now I feel something knock at the back door...wanting out. As we get to the far end of Hains Pt I see a wonder sight of half a dozen port-a-lets...but when I stop they are all full! I wait a few seconds...which seems like an eternity and finally one becomes available. I go in and do my business and a minute or so later I'm back out running. I was about three minutes ahead of the pace group and by the time I get back on the course they are only about a minute back...no worries...still on pace. We finish Hains Pt and do the Capital loop and cross the 30K mat in 2:28:46...still on pace and feeling good. Then comes the 14th Street Bridge! That thing seemed to go on for miles and my energy starts to wane. The 3:30 pace group passes me and I try to hang on to the group but they slowly get further ahead...no worries...I can still finish between 3:30 and 3:36 and still BQ. We finally go down into Crystal City and cross the 35K mat in 2:55:08...and it's less than 10K to go! The crowds are cheering and clapping and should be giving me energy but I start to feel some twinges in my calves and hams. Oh No...my dreaded muscle cramps...Please stay away for a few more miles! I try to vary my stride. We make the turn at the end of the Crystal City loop and head back towards the Pentagon and the finish line. I see the 23 mile marker a few yards ahead and the first big leg cramp hits and brings me to a walk as I try to stretch and massage the cramp out. I start running again and about a minute later both legs are cramping bringing me to a stop. I try to stretch and massage and walk some and then start running again. I cross the 40K mat in 3:30:30...the time I was suppose to cross the finish line in...how disappointing it was. I kept walking and running trying to massage out the cramps when they occurred. There's the final turn going up the small hill to the finish line and I am determined to run up the hill and cross the finish line in 3:49:09. Not the time I was hoping for but I was still happy considering that this was the first marathon in almost one and a half years. Besides the cramps the rest of the body was feeling good except for one blister on my right foot, which I felt forming around mile 11. I got my wonderful MCM medal, got my picture took, got my goodie bag and went to retrieve my hoodie and phone from the UPS trucks that seemed to be a mile away...but the walking help calm my leg cramps down. I went back to the finish area to wait the others to finish. I cheer and yell as I see Paul rounding the final turn and into the finish and a few minutes later my two gym ladies triumphantly make the turn and finish...one the lady's first marathon.

I met up with my ladies near the UPS trucks and we make our way to the Rosslyn Metro. When we get there, we see a line of people two blocks long waiting for the Metro. We see the buses even further down the road but there is also a long line of people waiting. We decide to take a cab to the next nearest Metro and there's a long line for that! I ask a sheriff directing traffic where the next nearest Metro is and he says it's about six blocks up the hill. After what seemed like about a mile and a half up the hill we finally find the Metro and make our way back to our cars and motel. I think all the walking did us good because we all felt pretty good. So...I got home and signed up for the Richmond marathon which is on 14 Nov.

Race Results:
There were 1064 finishers in the Male 50-54 age group and 21176 total finishers
Overall finish place was 3131 of 21176
Age group finish place was 141 of 1064
Time: 3:49:09 for an overall pace of 8:45 per mile

Happy Racing You All!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Second Race in Second Week

Well, I ran another one. I had a choice of running Saturday in the 20K/30K of the Strider's Distance Series...the last in the three race series, or run in Sunday's Anheuser-Busch Colonial Half Marathon…a half that I ran last year and remembered having fun doing it, even if it doesn’t hand out Bling. But why race two weeks in a row when I’m suppose to be recuperating? My plan for this week called for a 10 mile long run and I figured running 20K or 13.1 miles would fit kind-a-sorta. What’s three more miles? I decided on the Half.

I should have picked the 20K because Saturday was absolutely gorgeous…sunny skies and cool temps, where as Sunday turned out to be a dismal cold drizzly day. But, I drove up there…got lost a few times…registered and waited around for the 1:00 pm start. I was surprised to see Steve there ready to run…he had just ran the 30K yesterday and was here today to do the half! He is an amazing runner! The start line is about half a mile from the finish, so I ran my warm up jog to the start line and waited around under the overhang of some large trees to keep out of the drizzling rain.

Finally the race starts and we are off on the rolling hills course…rolling hills that I didn’t notice very much last year but this year was very apparent. I noticed that going uphill was okay but going downhill put a lot of stress on my recovering leg. My goal for the race was to treat it as a training run for the upcoming Shamrock Marathon in mid-March. I wanted to see if I could maintain a 7:30 pace which would bring me in around 1:40. The first three miles wasn’t bad and I was almost spot on with a 22:09…the first mile was faster than I wanted, but then the wheels starting falling off with the downhills really taking a toll on my leg and was affecting my stride. So I decided to pull it back a bit especially on the downhills. By the turnaround at mile 6 I had slowed quite a bit and it wasn’t fun anymore. I was just counting down the miles…I would be slow but I was determined to run the whole way…no stopping or walking even the downhills. We finally arrive at the front of Kaplan Hall…the finish is around the back, up a ramp and inside…and I kick it in a bit around the turns, up the ramp and across the finish in 1:51:37. Not the time I envisioned but it was done and I had run all of it. But it did give me a realization that I still had a long way to go before I was even ready for a marathon, so I deferred my Shamrock marathon registration to next year. No marathons this spring but by the fall I expect to be ready. In the mean time I will work on my long runs, endurance and speed with a few races sprinkled here and there to check my progress.

Race Results:
There were 62 finishers in the Male 50-54 age group and 735 total finishers
Overall finish place was 318 of 735
Age group finish place was 30 of 62
Time: 1:51:37 for an overall pace of 8:29 per mile

Happy running every one!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Valentine's Day Running!

Well, I did it...the first race since a little over six months ago! I ran the Virginia is for Lovers 14K, which was run on Valentine's Day. I had been trying to find a first race to run in since the beginning of the year, but each race up to this point was either too soon or too long. In January, I was still building up my running minutes, progressing from my walk/run program to finally being able to run at least 30 minutes continuously by mid month and to finally being able to run a whole hour by the end of the month. So 14K on the 14th sounded very doable. This was an inaugural 14K and there was Bling…a shirt and a medal! So yes…I did this one for the Bling! I kept reminding myself that if I was to do this, I couldn’t go out there expecting to run it the fastest that I can but to try to start off slowly and then get to and maintain a nice easy pace. So, the goals was a nice, slow 9-10 minute first mile, gradually build up to 8 minute miles and maintain till the end…hopefully finishing around 1:10.

The race is run in Virginia Beach around and about the Virginia Beach Amphitheater and Sportsplex, a flat looping course with.

The morning was cold but hardly any wind and after picking up my bib and timing chip I met up with a couple of my gym ladies and we waited in the warm tent until they called the runners to the start line. We mingled into the middle of the runners and waited for the starting gun. The race was delayed about 15 minutes because of traffic and runners arriving late but finally we were off. We had to walk towards the starting line which took us about a full minute before everyone started jogging as they crossed the start line. It was really crowded the first mile with hardly any room to get a good tempo going because of being jostled and all the stop and goes as well as trying to weave around groups of slower runners. The first mile was around the amphitheater and when I looked at my watch realized it hadn’t started when I pushed the button at the start so no splits. By this time I lost contact with my gym ladies and was still weaving around slower groups of runners. At the beginnings of a different loop in the course I was happy to see fellow blogger Steve heading back from the loop…he’s an amazing runner who has always been fast but has been getting faster and has been regularly finishing up in the top three of the Open class…and he looked strong with smooth strides. After this loop we hit a gravel parking area loop which I was leery of because of the loose surface and I for sure didn’t want to misstep and twist something so I tried to be careful where I stepped. We came to the first of two water stops…mile 3…and I took a cup just because although I really didn’t need it. We finally got back on hardtop and I concentrated on a nice easy pace again hoping it was around the 8 minutes miles that I had planned but I seemed to miss most of the mile markers so couldn’t really gage what my pace was. We looped around one of the main roads towards a mid point of the race named Cupid’s Corner, which was where those that were running the two person relay changed runners. Half way point and everything felt good…it felt sooo good to be out there running a race. I picked it up a little bit and started concentrating on picking off runners and in no time we were at the six mile water stop in front of the Sportsplex. One final loop around Damneck Rd and we’re headed for the finish. Around the eight mile mark there was a group of high-schoolers lined up, cheering us on. I high fived every one of them and about a minute later made the final turn to the finish. With visions of what happened in my last race in August there was no sprint to the finish…just a nice pace to enjoy the cheering of all the people near the finish line. And the clock read 1:09:55, chiptime: 1:08:50. Got my Bling and a banana and went back out to find and run with my gym ladies.

Race Results:
There were 46 finishers in the Male 50-54 age group and 1308 total finishers
Overall finish place was 268 of 1308
Age group finish place was 12 of 46
Time: 1:08:50 for an overall pace of 7:56 per mile

It felt good...Really Good!

Happy running you all!

Friday, December 26, 2008

T'was the Day After Christmas and...

I'm finally updating my blog. Haven't been too inspired or motivated to add anything here so it's been quite a while...almost three months. But...now...I'm motivated again so a short note!

I went to see the ortho doctor this last Monday and after a thorough examination and more x-rays, he told me I could start running again. Oh Yeah! At my last physical therapy evaluation, a week earlier, they had given me a training plan to slowly incorporate running into my regular PT sessions...but...I was to wait until the official OK from my doctor...and now I have it. An early Christmas present!

I was still a little apprehensive about starting running since I hadn't expected to get the clearance to run until the end of January. I was still getting some uncomfortable sensations in my lower leg during some of my PT sessions and although I could walk up the stairs, It was still difficult going down the stairs. But, according to the doctor, everything was healed up and I could start right away, with the realization that I needed to take it really easy.

Now I didn't rush home, change into my workout gear and go for a run. I had worked out quite hard on the elliptical, stationary bike and leg weight workout the day before and decided to be sensible and give my body a rest day first. But Tuesday, I was at the gym ready to try this running thing. My training plan called for a 10 minute walking warm up, then alternating one minute runs with one minute walks for 10 cycles and finishing with a 10 minute cool down walk. I deviated from the plan by warming up 12 minutes on the elliptical and then five minutes walking on the treadmill at 4 mph. Then it was time for the first run...Any sign of pain or discomfort I was going to stop. I set the treadmill for 6 mph and started running...I almost anticipated some type of discomfort during the run, but...no pain...a little tightness but no discomfort either. One minute was up in no time and I started my walk at 4 mph and continued my walk/run for 5 cycles when my leg did start feeling funny...no real pain but it was aching, so I decided to stop and did my 5 minutes of walking cool down. Then to the stationary bike for another 12 minutes and everything started feeling fine.

I planned to run Christmas day but too many things were going on so that didn't happen. So, after two days of rest I went back today and did the whole 10 cycles of walk/run with no problems what so ever. Also got in 22 minutes on the elliptical, 3 miles on the stationary bike and my PT prescribed leg workouts. Everything felt fine afterwards...a little tight in places...but fine!

So, the goal right now is to follow the PT training plan, which will take about a month to get to the point where I will be running for 30 straight minutes.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!
Now have a great New Year!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

On the Road Back...Slowly This Time!

Well, I've started my rehab. I was given clearance from my orthopedic doctors to start riding the stationary bike and elliptical as tolerated, starting with no resistance and no elevation. Was also given a consult to start Physical Therapy to help get my knee and ankle more mobile and to strengthen my quads and calves...and freedom from my crutches and leg splint.

A week ago Wed was my first trip to the gym in eight long weeks of little to no activity. My first challenge was actually trying to get to the gym. Since my right leg was the one that was fractured and healing...my gas and brake pedal foot...I had been practicing for a couple of days putting weight on my right foot and moving it back and forth...like pushing on the gas and brake pedal. A couple of ladies from the gym had already offered to take me to the gym when they went if I couldn't drive so that option was always there. I wanted to go in the morning when there wouldn't be too many people at the gym and my gym mates of course worked during the day so hence my practicing. So with all the practicing completed I hobbled out to the truck and drove to the gym and it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. I was extra careful to allow plenty of time to brake and keeping my distance from other vehicles. It was great to know that I was freed from the bonds of immobility now.

The drive to the gym was no problem and I pulled into the nearest handicapped space by the front doors...I was able to get a temporary handicap sticker...so that was very helpful. I hobbled through the doors and was greeted by the staff and a couple of folks that I hadn't seen for what seemed ages. After about 15-20 minutes of greetings and talking about my incident, I climbed onto the stationary bike and started my first ride in a long time. I started off slow with no resistance and no elevation but just the rotational movement and flexion on my right knee and ankle was stiff and uncomfortable. Even pedaling mostly with my good left foot and leg and letting the right foot and leg just cycle through the motion was uncomfortable but bearable. After about five minutes I was able to use both legs with equal effort, still with tightness but more bearable. I completed seven miles in 31 minutes on the bike and moved on to the elliptical thinking that since I'm all warmed up, I could put in at least 5-10 minutes. But the movement and pressure from the elliptical was to great on my ankle and shin and I got off after just one minute. But, not bad for the first time in almost two months of nothing.

I got home, showered and notice my ankle and lower leg was painfully swollen but with some ice and elevation while I worked out my rehab training plan, the swelling went down. My plan is to build on the first day with only working out every other day for the first few weeks increasing the time/distance in small increments. So this was last weeks rehab/workout:

Wed: 31 min cycle at 0 level, 0 elevation; 1 min elliptical at 0 level, 0 elevation
Thu: Rest
Fri: 32 min cycle at 0-2 level, 0 elevation; 5 min elliptical at 0 level, 0 elevation
Sat: Rest
Sun: Rest...actually I hobbled around the pool scrubbing the sides and bottom...it needed it and it was a good work out.
Mon: 31 min cycle at 0-3 level, 0 elevation; 12 min elliptical at 0 level, 0 elevation
Tue: Rest
Wed: 36 min cycle at 0-5 level, 0 elevation; 12 min elliptical at 0 level, 0 elevation

Not a bad weeks worth of workouts, considering. My discomfort levels are more bearable each time out and my hobbling is slowly becoming more like normal walking. Got to remind myself to take it slow and easy, those old bones aren't mended yet.

Yesterday, Wed morning was my first PT appointment where they took baseline measurements on flexion, extension and strength and explained what type of exercises I was to do there and on my own and how to do them. I also saw my ortho doctor and they fitted me with a pair of support socks...looks like knee high stockings but they help my ankle and lower leg swelling...and I got clearance to go back to work starting Monday...well actually Tuesday since Monday is a holiday! Life is looking good again!

Happy training!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Another Month Gone

Here it is the end of September and fall has arrived. I should be in my final weeks of training for the fall marathons but here I still sit, still broken. Here is a quick update since my last race and post.

Since breaking my right leg on 09 August at the Mud Run, I was in a long cast for a little over 3 weeks trying to see/decide if the cast alone would be enough to keep the break aligned or if surgery would be needed. At the three week doctor's visit the x-rays did not look good and it appeared the fracture site was shifting and it was decided that a rod would be placed in the tibia to keep the fracture site aligned and help it heal faster.

Surgery was performed the next day with a titanium "nail" being place the length of the tibia with six screws to hold everything in place. An incision was made just above the knee for access to the top of the tibia and another incision at the fracture site to help align the two jagged bones. Each of the screws also got their own incisions. I remember being in extreme pain five hours later in the recover room but with drugs and time things calmed down a bit and I was released the next day minus the long cast but in a plastic foam lined boot. I could finally bend my knee but it was sore from the surgery as well as being stiff from being immobilized for three weeks in the cast. I was able to shower for the first time since this happened and what a joy that was...I had been giving myself a wash cloth bath for four weeks...so this was like being in heaven.

Went back for a check up last week...three weeks post-op...for suture removal and x-ray. X-rays showed everything in it's place and all the incisions healing well. Was sent home with instructions to full weight bearing and walking as tolerated with encouragement to use the stationary bike and elliptical with no resistance in a week. Also got a consult to go to physical therapy to help my knee and ankle stiffness from the long time in the cast and splint, but no running or anything that puts undue stress on the leg for another 8-12 weeks.

I am now hobbling around sometimes with one crutch, sometimes with none, but the stiffness in the knee and ankle keeps me from walking normal. Also my ankle and lower leg swells up quite a bit after trying to walk around but goes down some when I sit down and elevate my leg. Hopefully with the start of mild exercise and the PT, I'll be walking normal before too long.

I plan on going to the gym tomorrow for my first cycle/elliptical session...we'll see how that goes.

Everyone have a great week.

Monday, August 11, 2008

ASYMCA 8K Mud Run, 09 Aug 08

The ASYMCA Mud Run is an 8K that combines lots of sand, water obstacles and running. A fun event that I had run last year and already had registered for quite a while ago. I had some reservations of running it because I had just come off rehabbing a stubborn right shin problem for the last three months. After running the Memorial 5K about 10 days earlier, my shin was still tender and after a couple more training runs they didn't seem to be getting any better. I gave them three days of rest from running and on the morning of the race decided to go ahead and run it but to take it easy and run it for fun. Besides I had convinced other people to run it and a few of my gym mates were running it too.

The race is held on and near the beach of Little Creek Amphibious base in Norfolk and in run in waves starting with the young up to the age of 40 and ending with various two people and five people teams. I got to the event in plenty of time and got my chip and hung out a while waiting for my gym ladies but couldn't find them in the 2000+ runners and non-runners. It was a beautiful sunny morning with the temps in the low 70's and a nice little breeze. I did my mile warm up running the last half mile from the finish on the mostly sand covered hardtop road. My shin was still tender but usually after a couple of miles of racing it loosens up a bit. I again looked for the gym ladies and and had a chance to talk with fellow blogger Steve and Ally before the second wave was called to the starting line...my group...and I also found one of the gym ladies and was able to greet her before heading to the line.

The horn sounds and we are off running in the loose sand headed to the packed sand on the ocean beach. We race down the beach dodging waves and tree roots for the first mile or so. We head back across the loose sand and some solid ground before fording a small stream that comes up about mid thigh high...it felt cool and refreshing. We weave through a wooded area dodging overhanging branches, tree roots and small stumps. I'm feeling pretty good and start passing the slower people in front as the opportunity presents itself on the narrow trail. We run through some more loose sand and areas where dunes have been piled up for us to go up and over. After a little over a mile we finally reach the parking lot of the start finish area and I think for a moment that I should stop because my shin is still painful but continue on thinking that the next mile is the easiest part because it's mostly on blacktop roads and I'm already almost half way done anyway. We come off the solid ground back into the sand and climb over a wall chest high wall. I'm careful jumping down the other side and we are then going through the first mud pit...but actually just dirty, sandy water. We come to an area with rope stretched low over the course causing us to low crawl out the other side. Back to running in the loose sand and now the unsure footing in the sand is making my shin hurt even more so I slow it down and make sure that I step solidly on the sand. We go up and down some more dunes on the winding hilly trail and finally get to the blacktopped road that leads to the finish. I think we are home free and step up the pace for a good finishing kick but soon are directed off the road to another mud pit with some rope to ensure the runners get down and muddy going through the obstacle. We go up and down a final dune and back onto the blacktopped road to the finish. I speed up again and the finish line with crowds of people on both sides is in sight. I pick up my pace some more and hear a big thud and pain in my right leg. I'm thinking that someone that I am passing has kicked me and I ran another step and another big thud and I fall to the ground with my right foot in a weird angle. As I look at my foot, I realize that I have broken my leg. The people are trying to encourage me to get up and run to the finish which is so very near but I can't and the pain starts.

There are some guys from a rescue/ambulance unit near the finish and they rush over to me and I tell them that my leg is fractured. One goes off to get a splint and stretcher while another cuts the laces on my shoe to get it off. They also notice the chip on my leg and give it to someone and tell them to run it in for me...what a nice gesture! They get the splint on my leg and get me into the stretcher and as I'm wheeled to the ambulance I get to see the concerned but familiar face of Steve as he offers his help. They get me in the ambulance and as they are getting all the vital information from me, they try to clean up the mud, sand and sweat so they can start an IV but have trouble getting a vein. After four tries in my left arm one of them finally get the line started in my right arm. They give me my first shot of morphine for the pain but it doesn't seem to help and tell me they will give me more every five minutes. My first ambulance ride takes me from the race site slowly weaving through the crowds and off the base to the hospital. I'm still in pain and they give me the second shot of morphine but it still doesn't seem to have any effect on the pain and I joke with them that it's probably a bad batch. During the ride to the hospital we keep it light and lively and they keep injecting me every five minutes with the morphine until my max dose of 10 mg is reached but by then I am being wheeled into the emergency room.

I am seen by various nurses and doctors and each one asks what happened and I tell my story over and over again. They seem skeptical that my fracture is that severe and I'm also beginning to feel that maybe I didn't break anything. They order some X-rays and the technician seems to have no idea how to handle a suspected fracture trying to move my leg into various positions. I keep telling him to be careful and the need to support the area that he is moving around. At one point he lets go of my heel while still holding my calf and my foot flops sideways cause a wave of pain and a very surprised look on the tech's face. I tell him to get some one to help him support and move my leg. They take the first films and are a lot more careful after seeing the results. Both bones of the lower leg a few inches above the ankle...tibia and fibula...have complete breaks with the fibula broken in two places. I see it on the screen as they wheel me out of X-ray and back to the ER. The doctor gives me two options. One...they cut an incision just below the knee so that a titanium nail can be driven down through the fracture in the tibia to secure it. The second is that they can try to align the breaks and cast it hoping that the bones will keep their alignment and if they don't they would go to option number one. I don't like the idea of them cutting anywhere near my knee and opt to try the second option first. They give me some more IV pain killers and I am wheeled into orthopedics where they pull, push and twist for quite some time before everything looks aligned...Yes, the procedure hurt a lot! They are afraid of swelling and compartment syndrome so they cast me but cut the cast in half with a lower half and upper half and tape them together. This will give them easy access in case of swelling. I am admitted for 24 hours so they can check for swelling. They put compression leggings on my other leg and give me shots in the stomach to prevent blood clots. Every hour or so one, two sometimes more nurses, doctors come in to check for swelling and wiggle my toes, so I don't get any sleep. All goes well and I am released late the next day with a pair of crutches and box of more injections to prevent blood clots and some pain meds. I am to follow up next Monday so they can check to see if the bones are still in place.

Race Results:
There were 27 runners in the Male 50-54 age group and 1753 total finishers
Overall place was 445 of 1753
Age group place was 11 of 27
Time: 57:24 for an overall pace of 11:32 per mile

Of course I really didn't finish the race but some kind sole did run my chip over the finish line and the above results were recorded and since it will be my last race for a very long time, I feel compelled to list them.

Next race...probably none for long time...but there will be a next.

Happy running you all!