October 1st, 2007


(no subject)

So yesterday was kind of a mistake. The Pittsburgh Great Race is an amazing race course, and I will do it again. But maybe next time I will try running more than a mile within the weeks leading up to it.

I finished in 1:01:00 -- just below 10 minute miles. In May I was at 7 minute miles. Too much biking, too little running, methinks. I am going to have to improve my 10k time before I attempt an olympic length triathlon.

It was a mistake because I may have injured myself. It is very hard for me to recognize actual injury. The pronounced limp and a persistent inability to put weight on my foot is hard to ignore. I think a preemptive health measure caused it, which makes me feel even dumber. Earlier in the year, I had been feeling ankle pain while running, and so I got a simple Ace wrap brace for it which seemed to help. I have not worn it in a while, but I thought it might be helpful for distance. A side effect on distance is that it has a tendency to "ride up", giving me a "foot wedgie".

At the time of completing the race, I couldn't tell how bad it was. After crossing the finish line and having my chip cut off, I wandered to the food tents for a bagel and smiley cookie. Then I sat down to remove my ankle wrap and figure out where to go to catch the shuttle back to the start. I sat down and unpinned my race bib to look at the map on the back. I put my hand down to my lap, and stuck my hand into a safety pin. Or that's what it felt like -- it went in faster and deeper than I expected. I looked down and there was a bee in my hand. The racer next to me, seeing my fast brush-off of the bee, asked if I had been stung. A brief hesitation, and "I guess so". A brief moment after that, and I knew so... oww. Very therapeutic, that beesting -- for the next couple of minutes, all of the other pain I was in went away. Became irrelevant.

So I limped home, and then helped with Tessa's grandmother's 90th birthday party. Tessa's mother, a consummate hostess and Martha Stewart devotee, threw a wildly successful party filled with extended family, old neighbors, and a crazy amount of food. It was quite nice, but after getting back (soon after the Steelers lost), all I could do was go to bed.

I tend to walk, if I don't think about it, on the ball of my foot. I can't do that. And weight on my heel feels awful. If my foot is still bad in a day or two, I suspect I will have to see a doctor. Such is the price of non-conditioned running. I know better than that. By this time, I should be feeling sore but mechanically intact.


My last entry was fairly negative, and I figured I would let it be and put the positive as a supplemental. While I was dumb about conditioning, I was smart about clothing.

I ran in a pink bike jersey. Not just any pink bike jersey -- a TwinSix FatCyclist Pink one.
At the Pittsburgh Triathlon, I saw a member of a relay team wearing the original FatCyclist jersey... it was very clever and very nice looking. And, for someone who will likely always be a Clydesdale (200+ pounds) by frame alone, I appreciated the motto: heavyweight horsepower. On the sleeve: 201.

I decided to check out the site, and this was my first entry. I was drawn in by the detailed description of an epic ride. I was hooked when I discovered An Open Letter to Triathletes. His build-up to, and full write up of Leadville 100 (one of the few races I read about and still have zero interest in ever doing), was fun. His heartbreaking stories of his wife's current second battle with cancer are inspiring. When Fatty posted two weeks ago about being almost sold out of originals (only Larges, and they went fast), I realized I should pull the trigger on getting a pink one. It arrived last week, and is very nice.

In retrospect, I see that it says "Team Fatty" on it. But at the time, I got a real boost by the occasional yell of "Go Team Fatty!" as I passed or was passed. And other FatCyclist references. I got a lot of positive comments about the shirt, which is fairly uncommon in a race. And it was nice to have a jersey that has the self-depreciation bit down, and also gives a plausible excuse for why I run slowly ('not my sport'). Maybe I should keep wearing 5K race shirts during my bike rides...