Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Brilliant Running In The Mizuno Wave Cabrakan 3

I've got more than 120 miles on my Mizuno Wave Cabrakan 3's so I thought it was time to post my

thoughts on this tough trail shoe. I participated in a Fitfluential Twitter chat and was lucky

enough to win shoes from Mizuno as part of their Mezzamashii Run Project. So to start I

have to thank Fitfluential and Mizuno for giving me the chance to run in them for FREE!


I'll be honest, I've stayed away from trail shoes made by companies who's primary focus is road

or track running. Not that I have anything against them, I've just been skeptical of their trail

running shoes, considering them an afterthought of those manufacturers. So I had the opportunity

to get a free pair of Mizuno running shoes and I could choose from most any of the shoes they

make. The Mezzamashii Run Project is all about experiencing the "brilliant run". To me road

running is for maintenance and brilliant runs really happen in the forest on mountains, so I decided to

try one of their two trail offerings, The Wave Cabrakan 3.

Most important to me is fit and I know right away if a shoe isn't good for my feet. These were
coming by mail and with no opportunity to try them on, I had my fingers crossed. The Wave
Cabrakans were a great fit. In many other manufacturers I wear a size 12, for Mizuno I need an 11.5. A nice wide lacing area ensures a good supportive fit pulling the upper snugly around your foot. The last eyelet at the top of the lacing is welded onto the upper pulling the narrow heal cup into

That narrow heal cup in the back is the perfect contrast to the open toe box up front, ensuring
the comfortable fit and support necessary for long runs on varying trail terrain. The upper is
made with a water reinforced AIRmesh. I have run them through rain, water and mud and no my socks didn't stay completely dry, but they also never got saturated. They never soaked through, so I don't know if they drain well. That's pretty cool this time of year in Pennsylvania. A men's size 9 weighs in at 12.1 oz which is slightly heavier than the shoes I've been using, but the weight difference has gone unnoticed. The upper also has deep flex grooves across the width of the forefoot which make it seem tougher as they provide protection from the unpredictable debris you can run into while trail running.

I saved my favorite part, the sole, for last. Mizuno's pretty proud of their unique sole design. First is the Mizuno Wave Technology they say is "Inspired by nature...Wave’s unique shape dissipates impact forces away from the foot for a smoother, more cushioned feel on every step." If you're more of a minimalist, this shoe isn't for you. When I first saw the shoe out of the box I thought
the sole seemed slightly over built. Once on my feet, I quickly recognized the low to the ground
trail shoe feel and dismissed the over built concern. The Wave Cabrakan 3 is built with something
Mizuno calls AP+, which provides an "increased rebound and a bouncier feeling run while
maintaining the light weight performance". Along with the comfort of AP+ comes a full-length Wave
plate for protection from rocks and other stuff you step on while running through the woods.
Probably my favorite feature of the out sole is the rugged tread that provides great traction
through mud, but sticky enough on rocks.

I did a 13 mile trail run last weekend and the first and last half miles were on the road and that Mizuno Wave Technology felt great on the blacktop too. That's the longest run I've done in the Wave Cabrakan 3, but I already know that their durable comfort and breathability will perform well on my next 50k or 50 mile run. Simply put, this is a comfy tough trail shoe and perfect for ensuring long brilliant runs on the trail of your choice.

Here's what Mizuno says, in case I missed something:

With a water reinforced AIRmesh, a reinforced vamp, and a full-length Wave plate, the Wave
Cabrakan 3 provides protection without sacrificing fit or flexibility. Water Resistance -
Designed to keep you dry and comfortable as you tackle the trails.

•Weight: 12.1 oz.
•Dynamotion Fit: Reduces lateral stress for optimal fit
•Mizuno Wave: Combines cushioning and stability
•SmoothRide: Minimizes the rapid acceleration and deceleration of the foot during transition
•VS-1: Shock absorbing cushioning compound found in the heel
•AP+ Midsole: Offers increased rebound and a "bouncier" feeling, which extends the cushion
durability, while maintaining the light weight performance
•X10: The most durable carbon rubber that allows for longer wear in high impact areas and
supplements traction at heel strike
•Mizuno AIRmesh: Provides the utmost in breathability and comfort of the upper
•Wet Traction: Trail specific outsole rubber compound breaks through water, improving grip in all

**Sorry for the stock photos, but they give a much better depiction than my muddy pair sitting by the front door.**

Posted By Blogger to Perry's Trails at 12/18/2012 06:11:00 PM

Friday, October 12, 2012

Team Refuel Hits The Trail - Blues Cruise 50k Race Report

October 7, 2012

Nothing seemed to be going right leading up to this race. I felt as though my training was lacking, I caught a cold 2 days before the race and the weather took a turn for the worse. I didn’t get enough sleep the night before the race and for some reason I couldn’t finish my breakfast on race day. Earlier in the year I had two disappointing ultra finishes and I was hoping for a little redemption here and that idea looked in jeopardy before I even put on my shoes. (So that’s the negative part of this post.)


The Blues Cruise 50k is put on by The Pagoda Pacers at Blue Marsh Lake near Reading, PA. Considering the high for the day was to be 52° with rain, the Jeep was packed with various combinations of clothing. The race advertised 7 well stocked aid stations, but I came prepared with hand-helds and a hydration vest. At the last minute the race directors also emailed that they would not provide gels at the aid stations due to racers pickiness for specific gels in the past. It made sense to me, but I think they still could have provided gels by some generous sponsor. (That’s just my opinion & it didn’t really matter to me, I typically carry my own gels) Running caps for those registered & a cool jacket for finishers!  Janice had an area map and planned to make it to most of the aid stations so I was all set for support. I planned to start carrying a bottle and then depending on conditions I would switch to a hydration vest later.

Pagoda Pacers Volunteers Were Everywhere

It was a damp 50° before the start and all the talk in the Porto-john lines was about what to wear. The chilly air felt perfect for running; but that feeling could go south in a hurry if the forecasted rains came. I wore my Team REFUEL t-shirt with a sleeveless lycra layer underneath with arm warmers and shorts. (Luckily the rains never came and my combination of layers worked out perfectly)

The race started down a short park road before hitting the trail. In the first half mile I felt awful. My body temperature felt like 120° and my lungs felt like cement. Maybe this little cold I had was worse than I thought. I looked down at my watch and my current mile time just over 7 minutes and I thought well I can fix that, just slow the heck down. That became my mantra on the day, “slow the heck down”. My goal was to finish in under 6 hours and I was determined to run the smartest race I’ve ever run to achieve that. Averaging faster than an 11:30 mile wasn’t necessary and I knew I’d blow up if I tried to maintain that for 50k. With all that said, every time I checked my watch, I was still going too fast. It felt great, but I knew I would implode eventually. It’s very easy for me to get caught up in the excitement of a race and run outside my ability and ruin my day. I kept telling myself to just let it happen, ignore the other runners, stop forcing the pace, think more about refueling and the next aid station and the things I needed to do to keep going. Even in the early miles, I was forcing myself to power walk the short steep hills, even if I could run them. If I felt like my walk would be as fast as my run, I walked it. I ran only the hills that I could actually run. I was certain to conserve energy for the finish. I would go back to real running on the flats and down hills making up for the slow climbs.  

Well Stocked Aid Station


Everything about the aid stations was perfect. The aid stations were no more than 5 miles apart, so there were 7 for a 50k which may be more than you’d expect, but it pays off for that runner who may be experiencing a bad patch and needs something quickly. I was carrying Gatorade and they had that. I like Coca-cola for energy and they had it. They seemed to have everything a runner could need (except gels). They also had incredible volunteers who would take your bottle as they were asking what it was you needed and it was refilled and back in your hand in seconds. Near the end of the race, my bottle had become an extension of my left hand and this nice guy at an aid station tried to take it from my hand and I guess I wasn’t paying attention. I heard someone say, “you’re gonna havta’ let go” and then I heard (directed at me) “let go!” ~with a laugh. I figured it out eventually and let go and my bottle was refilled and back in my hand in no time. I survived the day on Gatorade, PowerBar Gels (Berry Blast) and Hammer Nutrition Endurolytes tablets, all of which Janice had a supply of in the Jeep. I really only used the aid stations for guzzling Coca-Cola and Mountain Dew. With the temperatures being so cool and the aid stations being so nicely spaced apart, I never did change to the hydration vest. (That’s a big deal to me, that hydration vest is like a security blanket on longer runs.)

The course was like that old wooden roller coaster we’ve all ridden. It had plenty of rolling small hills, with some nasty steep ones thrown in and one big climb that used to be a ski slope. This year the course was run in the clockwise direction which meant we climbed the ski slope from the back and descended the steep face. The treacherous downhill may have been tougher than the climb. My watch recorded 6700’ of elevation gain(unofficial). The trail is rustic and rocky in places and smooth dirt in others, or it was deteriorating old abandoned roads. Running through forest, farm land or along the lake bank itself made for quite an enjoyable 50k loop around the lake.

What a beautiful place! Blue Marsh Lake was created in 1979 by the Army Corps of Engineers when they dammed the Tulpehocken Creek to create the reservoir. With 6100 acres surrounding the 1150 acre lake, it's a perfect place to host a 50k trail race in a single loop. Of course through eminent domain, property was taken so now remains of homesteads and abandoned roads are evident throughout the park. There was a fox hunt the same day as the race so in the first 10 miles of the course we heard baying hounds on the chase. I saw a few dogs on the trail, but other runners said they saw the actual pack of fox hounds. At one aid station there were parked Amish Buggies and Amish girls in their traditional clothing chasing others, out enjoying the nice weather.  

As usual, Janice appeared everywhere, even some places where I didn't even see her. We crossed over some old dirt road early in the race and there was the Jeep with Janice waving to me as I passed. Crews weren't allowed at the first 2 aid stations, but I think she was at each, just not with the Jeep and she didn't go where she was told not to (now I'll probablty be DQ'd). Other runners and supporters came to associate Janice in the yellow Jeep with my position on the course. Two men knew there wives were keeping pace near me so if the yellow Jeep was near so were their wives. One guy said, "your maintaining a good pace, your driver's having trouble keeping up". I knew better.

When I reached the aid station after the ski slope, I saw Janice and I told her that the climb “wasn’t nothin’” which means a lot coming from me, I’m the worst hill runner I know. Maybe was it that my strategy of conserving energy was working. I had given her a paper with splits on it and she told me I was 10 minutes ahead of my goal and I now had about 10 miles to go. By my estimations, my pacing was working and with a 10 minute cushion, I even had time if something went wrong. Then I hit mile 26.2. I like to check my watch at the marathon point and when I did it I was faced with mountain bikers coming down an extremely steep hill while I climbed it. Two got by me safely and the third lost control and bailed hard. I saw bike parts skidding by me and when I took a weird step to avoid the carnage, my left thigh cramped.  Oddly having some dude body surfing downhill on his chest helped me to ignore my pain. I was able to walk through it quickly and considering the steepness, I was already walking. I lost minimal time because of the cramp. Was that it? Was that all that was going to go wrong? I hit the aid station at mile 27ish (the one I forgot that Janice had to remind me of), refilled my bottle one last time, climbed some short steep gnarly climbs in those last miles and got to the finish line in 5:50:31. I would have been happy with a 5:59:59 so I was elated to know I beat 6 hours by 10 minutes! I didn’t do stupid stuff and get myself into trouble. I raced within myself and just let it happen instead of forcing it or chasing it and it all worked out in the end.

Another fun day running while flying the Team Refuel colors. By the end of the day, I was answering to "hey Chocolate Milk Guy”. Countless runners asked me about refueling with low fat chocolate milk or they had stories to tell of how that’s their refuel drink of choice now. A woman asked me about my Team Refuel jacket and told me she was a finalist for this month to win sponsorship with Team Refuel. I wished her luck and encouraged her to get all of her family, friends and co-workers to vote for her every day. One runner had to point out his quart cartoon he was drinking from and told me it’s been his refuel drink for many years. Others stopped by the Jeep while I was changing and refueling with Rockin’ Refuel to talk refueling. I’ve been getting the choclate milk word out, one mile at a time.


Other stuff I used on race day:

Asics Running Shorts - so old they're no longer sold

Garmin Forerunner 205 Watch - trusty & simple - also no longer sold

Headsweats Running Cap - got it from the nice people at Gu Energy Labs

Injinji Socks - love 'em! Janice got 'em for me at the Philly Rock 'N' Roll Half Expo

Nathan Performance Quick Draw Plus Handheld Bottle - got it from the nice people at Nathan

Nike Pro Combat Compression Shorts - support for quads & exhausted stabilizer muscles

Salomon XR Mission Trail Shoes - simple shoe with great fit

Zensah Calf Sleeves - keep those calf muscles firing properly to the finish line


Zensah, Injinji & Salomom - Great Combination

Posted By Blogger to Perry's Trails at 10/12/2012 07:39:00 AM

Monday, September 17, 2012

TeamREFUEL Rocks The Philly Rock n Roll Half Marathon

Wow what a huge event! From the expo packed with runners to racing around Center City Philly with thousands, this RockNRoll Philly was enormous! Something I've never experienced. I had run a half marathon inHershey, PA a couple years ago that had 2700 runners and I thought that was a huge crowd. This race reports more than 15,000 finishers yesterday. Throw in legions of event staff and volunteers and throngs of spectators and you have a Woodstock-like event in the City of Brotherly Love on a sunny Sunday morning.


Got Ready To Rock At The Race Expo


When GotChocolateMilk TeamREFUEL offered me a free race entry to this spectacle I couldn't resist. The course was as advertised, flat and fast. It's too bad I'm not; I'm more slow and lumpy. I've been trail running so much lately, I wasn't really sure how to get ready for an event like this. As a trail runner I'm used to looking at elevation changes and planning what I need to eat and drink as the miles tick by. I knew I can run a road half marathon, but how do I manage a decent pace and finish in one piece. So of course I went out too fast, crumbled at the 10 mile mark and scooted across the finish line with whatever I had left. So there's my race report, now to get to everything else!

Cool sculpture outside the hotel. 


I know Philadelphia pretty well and I was psyched to run through the city. Running past City Hall where traffic is usually crazy was very cool. Here I was in the center of the cheese steak universe running right down the middle of the street and no one was blowing their horn at me. As I ran past Logan's Circle and Eakins Oval I couldn't help but think of the annual pro bicycle race and the late Jerry Casale.  After that, it was like a scenic tour on foot up and down the Schuylkill River. I was really looking forward to running across the Falls Bridge; unfortunately that’s where I started to feel like crap. My last time on that river loop I was toddling along as a pacer for my buddy Jeff Thompson on his Back On My Feet 20 in 24 Ultra Run last July. The memories of many fun times in Philly came back throughout the run, even through the cloud of pain in the final miles. 

This wasn't the first event of mine where Janice volunteered, but this one was a bit different.  She needed to be at Eakins Oval at 5:30am to get her assignment(s). Our hotel was just a few blocks away, but as a volunteer she now had a most excellent parking pass to park behind the Art Museum.  Arriving with her at that hour was no stretch considering I'm used to start times before sun up, so I went along for the pre-dawn ride. With roads blocked off, the Rock N Roll Marathon folks were hard at work building their event.  Janice got her t-shirt and waited for her day to start. Little did she know what would be on her schedule.  She built cardboard trash cans, unpacked medals, controlled corral #5(which I never knew darn it) and rounded out her day handing out medals to the exhausted runners as they finished. I started a few minutes after 8am and finished before 10, while Janice worked her tail off from 5:30am till about 1pm. At a previous race, volunteers worked shifts while yesterday the volunteers signed in before dawn and got a break when they were done 8 hours later. Yep, she was exhausted. Every race has its “Janice moment”.  For Philly, I had a dream that she got the job handing out medals and she was the volunteer who met me at the finish. Dreams apparently do come true, at the finish there she was and I made sure to get my medal from her. While other family and friends of runners were behind barricades, I was stealing a hug and a kiss along with getting my finisher’s medal.  Pretty cool! 

Janice With Her Arm Load Of Medals

I did prepare for this race. I now own an actual pair of road shoes, I studied the course and I even had an idea of a finishing time I could deliver. What I couldn't plan for was running in a pack of thousands, but let's back up a bit. This race had its own shopping mall disguised as a race expo/packet pick up. While I'm used to running through the woods with guys from PA, MD and NJ; The Philly Rock N Roll Half attracted elite runners from around the world. Janice packs a cooler when we go to race with low fat chocolate milk. This event had a TeamREFUEL chocolate milk refueling station at the finish line. I'm usually the "chocolate milk" guy at races. Yesterday I got to meet other TeamREFUEL members and staff. That was very cool to find out that Facebook and Twitter friends actually are living beings.  

TeamREFUEL Pre-race - Me, Julia, Steve & George



Low fat chocolate milk has been part of my workout recovery routine for 2 years. Jam packed with vitamins, protein, carbs, electrolytes and other good stuff I'd probably just spell wrong, low fat chocolate milk rocks as a refueling recovery drink. I recommend it to all. It was cool to have so many other runners ask me before, after and even during the race about refueling with chocolate milk. To top it off having the opportunity to help hand it out at the finish was very cool. One runner told me "this is my savior right here" as she held up her bottle of low fat chocolate milk. I hate to keep repeating myself, but I had an absolute blast being part TeamREFUEL at RockNRoll Philly!


Refueling The Runners

Next up for me, The Blues Cruise 50k Trail Race around Blue Marsh Lake just outside Reading, PA. Back in the woods with a hundred or so other trail crazies, Janice will be back to chasing me in the Jeep from aid station to aid station and yep, I'll be the ONLY "chocolate milk' guy at the event. Right now I’m gonna’ go for a run.





Posted By Blogger to Perry's Trails at 9/17/2012 07:21:00 PM

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Running August - Race Reports of Sorts

Colin's 5k Run - 8/25/12

Man, I had a blast this morning. I ran a 5k, first one in quite a while and this one was on my alma mater high school cross country course. I didn’t run cross country in high school (I played football) so I was psyched to actually get to run on the course. Very cool format for the start and how can you not love running primarily on grass? No I don’t typically run 5ks, but today’s race was a fundraising event in memory of Colin Nosworthy. September marks the tenth anniversary of his passing. Since then, eleven scholarships have been awarded to a deserving member of the Central Dauphin HS Track & Field Team.

At The Finish - One Young Gun Caught Me/The Other Got "Geezered"!


I chased the high school kids as long as I could, but in the second mile I found myself running alone.
Just before the finish, a ninth grader passed me and with 100 meters to the shoot, Janice yelled, “he’s catching you”.  I “geezered” the next high-school challenger and pushed to the finish beating him by a whopping 2 seconds. One of those boys later spoke with me and admitted that the “chocolate milk guy” had become a rabbit for he and his friend to chase in the final mile. It was fun run to start the day and especially cool to see Rick Leuschner and Jim Seidler, High School Track Mates now Cross Country Coaches. Fun stuff!

On The Rocks 30k Trail Run - 8/18/12

Last Saturday Janice and I took a drive down to Rocky RidgeCounty Park near York, PA. What a beautiful woodland park high on a mountain with great vistas to the north and south and on this day it was the venue for the On The Rocks Trail Run. There was a 5k walk, 10k, 15k and 30k trail runs.   The mountain top start line was shrouded in fog and after brief instructions, 10kers headed south while the 15k/30k group went the opposite direction. After a short stretch of gravel on the power line-cut we turned into the forest and the rocks began. As advertised, the trail was rocky and the first downhill did a good job of waking up my legs.  With 25k still remaining, I stepped to avoid a stumbling runner, stepped on a loose rock and rolled the ankle that I sprained in July. I limped and hopped for a few hundred feet and I eventually got the now hurting ankle running again. That little episode seemed to take some of the fight out of me and my goal on the day was now to beat 4 hours for the 18 miles.  Lots of tricky technical downhill and numerous little climbs made the challenge a fun one.  Excellent course, crossing only one road in the 15k loop.


Another fun day running around in the woods with Janice hustling to catch me at trail intersections. At this event she did quite a bit of walking to find me and that Coca-Cola hand up was right on time. The first lap I ran in a pack of runners and the second 9 miles I ran basically alone. I prefer the less crowded trail, but now with no one to follow/chase, I had to pay attention. Yep, a couple of times I found myself looking around for trail markers or realizing I was slightly off course because I wasn’t paying attention. The aid stations were very cool and quite generous on the second lap as there were only 31 runners doing the longer event. I didn’t know anything about them though before the race so I wore my Nathan hydration vest which worked out great. I had just seen Janice along the trail near the southern vista(mile 13ish) and I thought about the fact that it was starting to get warm, but I was happy with my hydration as I was running cramp free. Just as I finished that thought I got one of those race-stopping cramps in my right thigh. Back to limping and hopping for a few hundred feet before the muscle would relax and run again. So I’ve rolled my already injured ankle and struggled with a cramp, what else could go wrong? Yep, at mile 17 I caught a toe on something and fell. So yes I waited till I had just 1 mile to go and I took a dive. Thankfully it was a lovely soft spot in the forest, but unfortunately both of my legs cramped when I hit and I couldn’t get up at first. I eventually got moving, but now that 4 hour goal was in jeopardy.

Long story short, I forced my pace as best I could and beat the 4 hour monster by the skin of my teeth. I was honored to find out I won the 50-59 age group and stoked to find cold low-fat chocolate milk Cool Moos from Turkey Hill Dairies amongst the other goodies at the finish.


Another fun event and this one raised funds for the MargaretE. Moul Home. The Home is a private, non-profit long term care facility that provides services for adults with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, and other neuromuscular disorders.

Chiques Challenge 4.5mi Run/2.5mi Kayak - 8/11/12

Two weekends ago we continued a tradition we started in August 2011. Last year my friend Jeff tipped me off to a new event called the Chiques Challenge, a duathlon of sorts where you start by running and finish by kayaking on a beautiful stretch of The Susquehanna River near Columbia and Marietta Pennsylvania.  On the same day, Janice’s family holds their family reunion so why not get a bunch of family to run and paddle together before we head to the reunion? This year (our second year) we had 5 entries, Becky, Grant, Katie, Janice and me. The run stage was lengthened slightly to 4.5 miles and Becky and Grant took off while Katie, Janice and I took our good ole time.


The year before, the girls waited for us at about the halfway mark of the kayak portion, but this year we instructed Becky and Grant “kill it” and we’d see them at the finish. I'm happy to report our run was done without being delayed by any of the pubs along the route. We saw Sister Debbie (crew & team photographer) at the kayak transition and she reported that the kids looked good and were way ahead of us. 


Sure enough, not to break a set family tradition, at about the halfway point of the paddling stage we found Becky and Grant waiting in their kayaks. Of course all of us were equipped with squirt guns so we have the most fun of any of the racers. It’s hilarious to see the serious guys there with their game faces when we show up delaying our finish because we’re too busy squirting each other. This year we had even more fun by insisting we finish in numerical order.


It’s a hoot of an event to benefit the SusquehannaValley Chamber of Commerce and we’re hoping it continues for a long time because we've committed to growing Team Squirt Gun with each edition.

What a fun August especially since I spent much of July sitting on my butt with an ice pack strapped to a badly sprained ankle. The ankle's still a bit swollen, but I'm back at it. Now I'm devoting my upcoming mileage to prepare for The Philadelphia Rock N Roll Half Marathon next month(Sept 16th). My Team REFUEL sponsorship got me a free entry to the race and I'm going to do my best to tear it up on the streets of Philly.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ice Packs & Low-fat Chocolate Milk


I’m sitting here with a large zip lock bag full of ice strapped to my left ankle and I couldn’t be happier.  Yep, I’m injured.  I got caught in a lightning laced hail storm while I was out for my daily lunch hour 10k. I was hustling through a wooded trail trying to make it back to the office in time for a staff meeting when it happened. [I had never been out in a hail storm. It’s nasty; you don’t want to experience it. It’s like a much taller person is chasing and throwing rocks at you. This storm was producing hail the size of peach pits and when they hit my head, they hurt like they really were peach pits] The injury happened when I slipped in mud and rolled my left ankle. Running primarily on trails, ankle rolling is typically no big deal, but this was different. It happened at the top of a descent and all my weight rolled the ankle and sent me stumbling down the hill in pain. I did my typical 5-stride/hop routine telling myself to run through it, but the pain wasn’t going away. I still had 1.5 miles to go so I worked out out some sort of stride and eventually made it back to the office in the down pour amongst awesome lightning bolts.  Now if I could run more than a mile my ankle must be ok, right? Wrong. I pulled off my sock and calf sleeve and saw the damage. At this point it looked as though I had a fist sticking out of my ankle. I showered, found some ice, drank a chocolate milk(serving as both refuel & comfort food) and I dialed into the conference call. In spite of the ice, my ankle was now growing. Long story short, I made my way to the doc and after an X-Ray and a conversation about a piece of my Fibula that never fused from a past injury, he told me that my grapefruit-sized ankle wasn’t broken. My only focus now was how long would it take me to get back to running.

X-Ray Candidate

I mentioned earlier that I was happy and I should explain. Today, 11 days after that hail storm 10k, I finally went for my first run. I went to my “go-to” route, a trail on a nearby mountain ridge which is an out and back to a radio tower site with a spectacular vista high above Harrisburg, PA. It’s only 6 miles, but it’s rocky in places with numerous downed trees and ascends/descends about 700’. I expected to walk most of it and maybe run some. Instead, I ran most of it and barely walked at all. Yeah, I ran slowly, but I was up off the lazy-boy without an ice pack lashed to my leg. Encouraging progress! Yep, that’s why I’m so happy.

Purple Toes


Injuries are a bummer for obvious reasons. In endurance running, most common are over-use injuries. I do all I can to lie to myself while backing off the training miles and settle in to ice and Ibuprofen my way through them. Now and then, injuries require drastic measures. For instance the week prior to this ankle sprain I gave in to Plantar Fasciitis and actually went to the Podiatrist for an injection to fix it. For something like a rolled ankle, I would typically never think of going to the doctor. One of my biggest challenges while rehabbing an injury is my appetite. Running gives me a massive appetite and not running and allowing that appetite to persist would result in added injury pounds, so backing off the calories is step one. Step two is finding some other way to burn calories while not running. I turned to weight lifting for that. Refueling with low-fat chocolate milk was also part of the repair program. Every serving of low-fat chocolate milk delivers protein, carbs, Vitamins A, B & D, Calcium and a bunch of other essential goodies that put you back the way you were before exercise. I use low-fat chocolate milk to recover from a workout so it made perfect sense to use it to recover from an injury.

I’m not completely healed, but I’m definitely on the road to recovery. I spent the entire weekend watching the Olympics iced and elevated and today my toes might still be purple from the injury, but I was able to run 6 miles.  When I went to the doctor the next 3 races I’m entered in flashed in my head as improbable. When he told me it wasn’t broken, they improved to ”maybes”. After today’s slow encouraging run they were moved to the “yep, I’ll be at those start lines” column. My next event is a fun one with my family, The Chiques Challenge 3.5 miles on foot & 2.5 miles by kayak. After that I’m running a 30k trail race that may now be just a fun training run in preparation for The Philadelphia Rock ‘n’ RollHalf Marathon. Half marathon is a fun distance and it’s a beautiful course; looping through town and an out & back on Kelly & MLK Drives along the river. On top of that I’ll be running representing Team REFUEL. I look forward to crossing The Falls Bridge heading for the finish at The Art Museum. I can almost hear the Rocky Theme now, but first I’ve got to get this ankle back to 100%!