3 years

3 years ago I was invited by Columbia Sportswear to join a team of 3 other trail runners from across the country to race at OCC as part of the UTMB weekend of events.

We were to travel to France, run all over, experience Europe – And the best part – I wasn’t going to pay a dime!

I was in “ultra” shape but felt like I should really up my game and be where I knew I could be to represent the company well, keep up with my teammates and thank Columbia for their commitment to me. It was a huge deal for me. I was excited.

Then I wrecked my hip – The spring of 2015- At Seneca Park, on a dead flat section of trail – I was running fast and snippity snap that was it. It took me forever to get back to the car, Sheila was worried about me and everything hurt.

I tried to rest and ice for a few days and finally called and made an appt. I met with the doctor, and she ordered imaging to be done. Boom, the hip flexor was strained but ok but the adductor longus was fucked up – Partial tear.

I explained my plan, where I was going (in like 7 weeks) and asked what we should do. Her response dry and unforgiving…. “Cancel your flight. You aren’t running anytime soon.”

That was 3 years ago. I was upset, down trodden, but decided I would make the best of it. I got through it, with a ton of scar tissue that Josh Stratton LMT took care of and I got back out trying to run.

I had known that I had developed heal spurs on both legs in this process, but they weren’t terrible until #ThanksJay happened.  It was at this event that I ended up pretty much not being able to run again after this. 9 months of this garbage went on as I was required to try every “conservative” approach.

More doctors and a “chance” to fix this without surgery. Enter PRP –   August 2016

A few more months of no running, time in a boot – Give it a go and nothing. It did not work at all – in fact things may have gotten worse in this time frame.

I dealt with it for a few months – Nothing made it better, I could not train, and worse off I was in pain in both feet and never really had any pain-free moments even when not running – So on Feb 16th of 2017 I had surgery on my right leg – Removed the achilles tendon from the bone, cleaned it up, took off the bone spur and put me all back together. 8.5 months of rehab getting stronger (learning how to run again a little bit) and trying to lose some of the gazillion pounds I gained while not running.

As soon as I was strong enough to run again, I made the appointment to get my left leg fixed. It was still in pain every day like the right leg had been.

New doctor, more aggressive, same surgery – added in a calf lengthening for good measure – Throw in a blood clot for adventure – and here we are, 1 month post surgery.

I have about a full year before I will be “100%” according to… um… everyone.

3 years will roll towards 4 total. In the process I have gained around 50 lbs. I have learned a lot about myself. I have learned a lot about those around me. Some observations –

People really do want you to get better and those that want that check in.

Bad food and no exercise is a horrible way to live

The world is different from 1 leg than from 2. 

It is hard to be surrounded by something you love if you cannot participate –

This would be my version of hell if I believed in hell. 3 years of directing races, organizing group runs, leading meetings for #TrailsRoc – Creating MOTG with Sheila, etc…3 years of being surrounded by the thing I wanted to do but could not. At least there was an end date in sight.

It taught me patience (which Valone will deny)

I can’t wait to run again. There are people running our races and coming to our group runs who have never known me as a runner. I have always been the overweight dude at the trail head or finish line of races, but many of these people have never known me as a runner.

I look forward to the day sometime next year when that changes.

I can’t wait to run, but I will – – – – a few more weeks and I get to learn it all over again from scratch!

Eagan5k – – I’ll make an app –

Call it a comeback.


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