Monday, May 24, 2010

When being one of the 90% would be OK...

So much for my last run with a numb foot. I had my apt with the foot doc this afternoon. After a few attempts, he numbs up the ankle area, cleans it and then punctures the skin with a rather large syringe. I am watching it intently - I love this stuff - expecting the syringle to fill with a bloody mess of fluid and gunk. Nothing. Not even a drop! Well okay, maybe like half a cc. Let's try this again... puncture #2 about a half inch to the right. Nada. Puncture #3. Nada. "This works about 90% of the time"... the other 10% the cyst either moves about too much or is too dense. The MRI showed mine to be somewhat dispersed around the nerves and tendons but the bulk of it is right there and the doc can hold it pretty good with one hand as he tries for a final time. Nothing. It ain't being sucked out. Not today, and probably not ever.

I have three options: surgery now, live with it a while longer and have surgery later or ignore it and see if the symptoms go away (unquantifiable probability). So two options really.

Now or later. I feel it on every run, almost straight away on roads, a few miles in on trails. The ball of my foot goes numb (so I suppose technically, I don't feel it), then the base of my toes get painful. And sometimes my whole foot and lower leg feel like they are full of fluid. I could live with it and run the summer races and then take care of it. But it's not like I feel I am in super shape right now so why put it off. It's hard to tell if it's really 'impacting my racing' but I suppose it isn't helping it. And after all the donughts I had for breakfast today, I need all the help I can get. So one option then.

Now. But how soon is now? The soonest I can get surgery is 2 weeks time. So my big dilemna is do I have it then and skip Bighorn and Afton and see if I can race Voyageur. Or do I run Bighorn, then have it, skip Afton and probably Voyageur - and focus on Where's Waldo. On the one hand the choice is obvious - run the races I may never have a chance to again vs the local ones. But Afton and Voyaguer are probably my two favourite races!

I'll sleep on it.

In the meantime...

I've not yet gotten around to the Superior 50K race report. But soon. Can you tell I don't write up race reports ASAP for the races I don't seem very happy about ;)

I almost titled this post "Book Review" but I am too lazy to write an actual review...

Let The Great World Spin by Column McCann

This is the first book by Column McCann that I have read. It caught my interest about a month ago when I heard McCann interviewed on NPR and I realized the book was linked to Philippe Petit's walk between the Twin Towers in 1974. I watched the documentary of that walk last year - Man on Wire - and found it truly fascinating. I would recommend seeing that first and then reading the book as the visual impact of the walk is stunning.

But either way the book is a wondeful read. McCann's ability to weave in and out of his characters lives is impressive, linking them by the flimsiest of threads while leaving you with the feeling that six degrees of seperation might really be two or three. The parallels to today's world are quite intriguing. Though maybe you can always find those parallels if you look hard enough. The backdrop of the Vietnam war vs today's unpopular campaign in Iraq. The start of the internet vs today's explosion of social media networks. And an image that leaves you with a sense of wonder about the world. A man standing on a wire high in the sky vs (for me at least) a plane landing on the Hudson river.


Had a good week. Finally got back to see my old PT whom I fell out of the habit of visiting. My hamstrings have been getting worse over the past few months despite regular hot yoga which has a lot of stretching and strengthening. I couldn't believe the difference I felt the day after the 25 minute ART (active release therapy) session. I felt so good running at Hyland Friday morning that I then had to go and ruin it all with a fall on the heavy duty plastic grid on one of the hills. I slammed down on my hip and gave myself a lovely bruise and what looks like several 4 inch long claw marks - it could easily pass as a large animal attack! But alas, it was my own fault as I should know to run on the side going down that hill...

Saturday morning went over to WI to meet up with Karen who I'm crewing/pacing in a few weeks time at KM 100M. We ran the Chippewa course along the Ice Age Trail. Not quite the full thing as we decided to turn around rather than negotiate a major blowdown. Got eaten alive by mozzies - very silly not to have put on bug spray. I have bites all over my arms and legs. And I must have picked a dozen ticks of each shoe. Yesterday was an even more humid run at Afton. And then a nice bike ride in the afternoon - I am going to try to bike one evening a week also as I think it'll be good for my hamstrings. AND I've even visited the GYM twice in the past few days. Whatever it takes. I can't run another race with that sort of tightness.

And hopefully yesterday was my last run with foot numbness - getting the cyst aspirated later today.

I've been looking at my training plan - and race schedule - and will be making some more changes. I need to focus on a few races and probably drop some of the planned ones. OK I'd better finish before I start to sound like I'm retiring without retiring.