Monday, November 28, 2016

Beware the dried mango!

It's been a while since I've last put something up here - that was the post about the Emerald Bay trail run at Lake Tahoe where I did my right ankle in. It has taken a long time for that ankle to heal, and I've tried to be extremely patient with it. This post is let me know that I've haven't exactly been idle during that time, even if the longest distance I've done since September 18th is a 10K just a week ago.

For the first two weeks, I was pretty much useless, activity-wise. I religiously took the elevator to and from my office on the third floor since the stairs were pure torture, especially going down.

Week two after the injury, I volunteered at Brazen's Rocky Ridge race while Mrs Notthat ran the 10K. My volunteering ended up being dominated by guarding a yellow jacket nest (and getting several stings in the process).

A semi-brave ranger trying to convince the yellow jackets to leave the runners alone. (It helped, but yellow jackets don't give up easily.)
Week three, Htenaj (not her real name) was trying to get a ride from the beach to the start of the PCTR Skyline to the Sea race. Mrs Notthat and I decided to give her the ride and then hang out to see all the friends we had running in the race. I ended up taking a bunch of pictures as an unofficial volunteer, and it was all a blast! No FOMO for us!

This was pretty close to the start, but still, that's an impressive jump by Essej (not his real name). He takes a LOT of trail running pictures for Let's Wander Photography, and he knows how hard it can be to catch a runner in the air like that - I was thrilled that this came out!
Week four was the one month anniversary of the ankle thing, so I decided to try walking a fairly mild 5K - the Brazen Tarantula race. I mean, I had the huge spider and it needed to get some trail time!

Picture by Brazen volunteer Jay.
That race went OK, but hills caused some pain so I decided that I wasn't quite ready yet, and that I should stick with volunteering for a bit longer.

Week five saw me at the Cardiac aid station at the PCTR Eldrith Gosney's Pure Ultra.

It was all Htenaj's fault (still not her real name) - De (not his real name) and I were just collateral damage.
The spider made an appearance, greeting the runners with either a friendly wave or a rude gesture, we weren't sure which.
Week six was spent volunteering at the ITR Oakland Hills race. It had rained a lot the previous day, and was supposed to rain more later, but it turned out to be perfect weather for the race.

Helping Rimidalv (not his real name) and his daughter set up his aid station.
Week seven saw my ankle feeling a lot better - I had even done short bits of running during the week and it responded well. So I bravely signed up for the Brazen Diablo Stomp 5K with the intent of being careful on anything technical, but trying to run as much as I could of the rest. (By this point my fitness was pretty laughable, so running a whole 5K was not going to happen.)

Picture by Brazen volunteer Nosaj, not his real name. 
That race went really well, not counting that I was pretty well done in by such a short distance. But wow - the gloves were off and I was ready to get after it!

But first, we decided to spend a week in Maryland visiting Mrs Notthat's sister Nwad and her squeeze Nnelg (not their real names) - so no racing in week eight, although there was a lot of hiking (I suspect Nwad hasn't quite recovered yet).

That's Nnelg, Nwad, and Mrs Notthat doing the worst re-creation ever of the Beatles Abbey Road cover, although the fall trees add a really nice touch.
For week nine, I decided to open it up at the ITR Peacock Gap 10K. It rained the whole race, and while the trails held up well, I was a bit tentative so my "opening it up" was very cautious and conservative. But still, it was a blast and I came out of it very well.

This excellent shot was by the same guy doing that jump way back on week three. Note the rain and the puddle that I emptied by stomping in it.
Now, it's time for the bad news, and the explanation of the dried mango bit in the title.

The day after I "ran" that 5K in week seven, I bit into a dried mango and broke a front tooth. My wonderful dentist spent his Sunday afternoon fixing me up with a temporary tooth, but my eating was going to be severely cramped for a while.

And as week ten approached, I found out that that wasn't even the worst of it. The day before the Brazen Nitro Turkey race (on a Thursday known mostly for football), I had surgery to remove the tooth. When I told the Dr. that I was going to make the most of my missing tooth by being a redneck in the race I was running the next day, he didn't take it well. In the end, he grudgingly agreed that I could walk the 5K, but doing more of a "mall stroll" than a power hike. (The worry was my heart rate - he wanted to keep it low for at least seven days.)

So I strolled it with the grandkids.

Picture by Brazen volunteer Annahs (not her real name). Gap-toothed grin courtesy a piece of dried mango. The cans on the head were labeled "Turky Gravy". My first race ever wearing jeans!
This turned out to be a lot of fun, even if I had to take it easy. On the following Saturday, I walked the 5K at the rainy Brazen Quarry Turkey, this time doing something between a mall stroll and a power hike.

This time the cans were filled with Pesto-Bismol.
And that's about it - you are officially caught up. Next weekend will be spent running the 10K at the Coastal SF race (my favorite SF-based race) and volunteering at the North Face Endurance Challenge on Sunday.

It's been a long road recovering from that stupid little hole that ended up causing me to twist my ankle, but it's all pretty much over now. I'm still wearing a brace when running, but things feel almost 100% at this point. It's going to take a bit for me to regain my trail running confidence though, not to mention getting my fitness back to a decent level.

And don't get me started on the dangers of dried mango.

That's it - move along…

1 comment:

Beth said...

Well, it seems you managed to fill the time well. Glad to hear you are on the mend!