Saturday, August 23, 2008

running for a cause

As many of you know, I'm training for the Chicago Marathon this October. My brother is also running it, although with a higher purpose. While my main goal out there is to have fun and maybe set a PR, his is significantly loftier – he's working to raise funds for Team Duke, John Wayne Cancer Foundation.

This foundation's cause is especially close to us since our family is no stranger to cancer. While most have survived and are in remission, two members, my aunt and my grandmother eventually succumbed to the disease. So as a way of honoring them and to help future victims afflicted the disease, my brother has joined Team Duke in their fight against cancer.

Please show your support by making a donation or by signing the guest book on Rhodri's Team Duke page.

Sincere thanks to all.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

karno in the house, part 2

What does one do on a lazy Saturday afternoon?

So I think my blog has done a bit of public service, well at least to two runners. I got a text from Abbie saying that she'll be at Barnes & Noble to see Dean Karnazes speak and have him sign her copy of his latest book. Apparently she read my last post about Karno coming to town and that's how she found out about it. Had she not read it, she might have missed the event.

Having an "A" day with Alexa, Alyson, and Abbie. Oh, and with Paul too :)

I drove to Costa Mesa and met up with Abbie, standing in line with Alexa, Alyson, and long lost Paul. We chatted while we stood in line which was moving very slowly. When I turned around, I saw fellow Happy Feet runner and blogger, Jovie aka Bald Runner who apparently also found out about the book signing through this blog. I came over and introduced. I'm always happy to meet other runners in person whom I've gotten to know through the blogosphere.

Meeting BR for the first time and goofing off while the dean isn't looking.

When I got to the front of the line, I handed Karno my copy and chatted with him about how his last book was the catalyst for me to start running ultras and completing 8 of them in the last year, and hoping to one day run the WS100. He wrote some words of inspiration in the book and after the obligatory picture with the dean he bade me farewell with, "I'm sure we'll cross paths again."

What an interesting background. Seems appropriate for trail runners, doesn't it?

Hmm, I thought, if I keep up this crazy pursuit, I'm sure I will.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

karno in the house

If in case you haven't heard, Dean Karnazes (aka Karno) is coming this Saturday at 2:00pm to Barnes & Noble in Costa Mesa to sign his latest book 50/50: Secrets I Learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days -- and How You Too Can Achieve Super Endurance.

I met Karno in February of last year for a book signing of Ultramarathon Man. Before I'd read the book, I had no realistic expectations of completing an ultra. I struggled with the previous marathons I'd done, and I'd resigned to the thought that ultras belonged to elite and gifted athletes of which I have never considered myself as such.

Reading his accounts of how he got started and his exploits with endurance running was inspirational to say the least. His dedication on the book said, "Best wishes in running & in life. You will do great at your first ultra and beyond." Three months later, I ran and finished my first ultra marathon, the San Juan Trail 50K.

While some people have been critical of Karno for what they perceive as his commercialization of ultrarunning, his accomplishments in the sport and his ability to tell his stories fueled my interest in endurance running and have helped me achieve something that I previously thought impossible.

If you'd like to see him, click here for more info about the book signing event.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

the five stages of an injury

With injuries being a common concern amongst athletes, runners included, I'll put in my two-cents worth. I'd like to propose that most go through 5 stages of coping with an injury not unlike the K├╝bler-Ross model of the 5 Stages of Grief and Loss.

1. Denial - at first we deny that we are injured. "I feel fine. This can't be happening."
2. Anger - we suffer a certain amount of resentment that we are unable to run. "Why me? It's not fair."
3. Bargaining - we try to to make a bargain with ourselves, our doctor, the higher being. "If I can just make it through the next race, I'll take care of myself next time, and not let this happen again."
4. Depression - with the realization that we are going to be sidelined for a period of time, we go through some moments of despair and sadness. "I'm so sad I can't run. How will I make it through?"
5. Acceptance - we reach a level of awareness and understanding of our injury and accept that we are injured and will need some sort of recovery period. "It's going to be OK. Rehab, although painful, will allow me to run again."

And so I have this calf thingie that's been bothering me. It started a few weeks ago, and I was able to keep it under control during the TRT Run. I gave it a rest for over a week, but I felt it again when I ran last week's VTR.

So which stage am I in? I think I've gone through the denial stage (1) in the beginning after which I was pissed at myself (2) for not taking the time to get proper shoes and stretching before my runs which I'm sure was the culprit for this. I did make some sort of bargain (3) to take care of this calf if I could just make it through the TRT 50K. I think my spirits might've been dampened about all this (4), but fortunately, my Bahamas trip took care of that. And well, now I've accepted (5) my situation that I need to get my leg checked out should this persist.

And just in case, some of you might take this too seriously...
The above information is not intended to replace the services of a physician, nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a medical or health condition. You should consult a physician in all matters relating to your health, and particularly in respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention. Any action on your part in response to the information provided in this web site is at the reader's discretion. Readers should consult their own physicians concerning the information on this web site. Habang Tumatakbo, E-Rod, and make no representations or warranties with respect to any information offered or provided on or through this web site regarding treatment, action, or application of medication. Habang Tumatakbo, E-Rod, and are not liable for any direct or indirect claim, loss or damage resulting from use of this web site and/or any web site(s) linked to/from it.

Don't say you haven't been been "disclaimed." ;)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

i run because it hurts

Sometimes the pain is so much that the only way to get rid of it is by running long and hard.

There is an old wive's cure of taking care of a headache – pinch yourself and soon enough you'll forget about the throbbing in your head and be diverted to the concentrated sting caused by your fingers.

Running long and hard, when my body doesn't want to go anymore and my lungs can not find the air they need, my mind moves from the pain deep within me and focuses on the external and physical. At least for the moment, I am enveloped within the suffering of which I know how to deal rather than the one which I can not control.