Monday, June 18, 2012

Eliana Beth

My whole world changed for the better about a month and a half ago as Sarah and I added little Eliana Beth to our family. Born May 2nd, 2012. Didn't know I could love this much!

Camp 2012

Probably my favorite 2 weeks of the year are spent at Camp Quaker Haven the first two weeks of June every year.  As a camper and then a counselor/youth pastor and in other leadership capacities, 2012 was my 21st consecutive year at camp.

Pikes Peak Summit and Back

On Wednesday, May 30th, Rebecca Angell (Sarah's youngest sister) and I hiked the 13 mile trail from Manitou Springs, CO to the summit of Pikes Peak, a 14,110 foot mountain. We started at 4am with headlamps and summited about 10:30 am. We staggered around at the top and refilled with water, took a few pictures, and then started the long trek down. I found the downhill part much more physically and mentally exhausting, especially on my ankles and knees. The downhill part took over 5 hours and the whole thing took 12 hours, arriving back at the trailhead at 4pm, weary and exhausted, but thrilled to have just completed the 26 mile journey.

For Rebecca, it was her longest mileage covered on foot by far in her life. The following days I could barely walk with my calves especially locked up. I believe it was 5 days before I was able to run again.

Andy Payne Marathon

Just 15 days after my sprained ankle, and with it still a bit swollen and stiff and with only a couple of runs after 11 days off, I ran the Andy Payne Marathon at Lake Hefner, in Oklahoma City. The course is a double-out and back along the bike trail at Lake Hefner. I had run Andy Payne before, in 2007, I believe, and enjoyed the small race atmosphere. This time was no different.
With a pretty big half-marathon going on at the same time, the course was pretty full the first half but was a ghost town the second half. I ran with some guy from somewhere in the Dallas area from mile 3 to mile 25.5, but I can’t remember his name. I learned his whole life story.
The temperature was in the mid-70s at the 6:30 am start and climbed into the 80s by mid-morning. The whole day there was a strong wind from the south and it gusted to probably 30-40mph regularly. There was hardly a cloud in the sky the whole time and it was hot and miserable the whole way. This was very likely the hottest and worst conditions for any marathon I’ve run, though many ultras have been worse.
I was shooting for a sub 4 hour finish but it just wasn’t happening with the heat and humidity and sun and wind. I finished just a few minutes over 4 hours but wasn’t discouraged in the least. In fact, I was just relieved to be done and glad it was over and glad that I didn’t experience any nausea which often comes with the heat.
My ankle swelled a bit during the marathon but didn’t necessarily hurt any more than before the race.  Sarah and the baby joined me on the trip there (leaving at 3am) and back and rested in the shade while I ran. We were home in time for lunch at 1pm from OKC!

Lake Perry Rocks 50K

My 70th marathon/ultra-marathon was more eventful than I would have liked and also was a “first” in many ways. It was a 50K at Lake Perry which would make my 3rd 50K there, this time run by the Trail Nerds. It was a nice cool dry morning on a perfect course under nearly perfect conditions in every way.

I picked some of my favorite people to run with, Coleen Voeks and Deb Johnson, and we stuck together pretty much the whole way. We came through the exactly half way mark right at 3 hrs and we all feeling great. I was leading our pack most of the way between miles 15 and 25 and gaining a lot of ground and we were narrowing in on a negative split, sub 6 hour finish. But, that’s not how it went down in the end this time.
At mile 27-ish I rolled my ankle and fell into the shrubs. My foot was flat to the rock and the ankle hit the ground as I fell. The flash of pain was intense and I thought I was going to puke. I got up and tried to walk it off and after 5 minutes or so was back to a slow run, with my confidence coming back, though it still hurt a bit. Then I bit it again, this time much harder and much worse. The pain was just so intense. My face turned white. Deb shared some ibuprophen and the foot started to swell really fast…though I knew not to take my shoe off until after I crossed the finish line.  I got up and hobble step walked and sometimes ran really slowly on the safe flat debris-free areas, though there weren’t very many of those.
I crossed the finish line in 6:12, I believe, which is still a decent time for a 50K, especially with having to nearly crawl the last 4+ miles.
My ankle swelled up to nearly cantaloupe size after the race and stayed that way for a few days and continued to be sore and stiff for 10 days. On the 11th day I ran 2 miles pain free and started back in. 15 days after the sprain I ran a marathon (Andy Payne) pain free for the most part. 18 days after the sprain I hiked Pikes Peak. 5 weeks after the sprain it’s just slightly swollen and just slightly awkwardly stiff but I am still running on it, as long as it doesn’t really hurt too bad. I’m staying off the trails until it’s truly healed, though.