Saturday, March 17, 2018

Bad Knee. 50 State Map.

Speaking of not running, that's me. I was able to get into a knee guy on Tuesday. Only had to wait a few days, so that was a win right there. First they took some x-rays, then an intern came in and twisted my knee around some. He thought it was the inside meniscus and maybe they'd have to scope inside there and clip off some damaged tissue. Then the real doc looked at it, poked, prodded, turned and torqued things some more, then ordered an MRI. The x-ray looked fabo, with zero sign of damage either from a trauma or arthritis (always a possibility when the knees get as old as mine, I guess). Now I have to wait for another week and a half to get into the MRI machine. Those things have to generate billions of dollars for hospitals. They cost a fortune to run the tests and run 24 hours a day, yet they staff the place like it's the DMV. I waited 15 minutes just to get a receptionist on the phone.

Anyway, in the meantime I continue with my resting. And officially have written off a spring race.

IMG_0953.thumb.JPG.adad4246c7724318c52e4c4ccc62dcb3.JPGI've had in mind a new display idea for my (hopefully) continuing marathon finishes. Big Mac (DD1) bought me the perfect gift on my birthday, and I've been tossing different setups around in my head since January. I looked for several weeks, trying to find the perfect frame. Once I did, Mrs. Dave made me wait 3 days before buying it, like I was getting a handgun. She's convinced I always buy things on impulse. 

Don't know where she got that. I finally ordered it, then three days later it came on the UPS truck. Except it was the wrong one! I sent a note through Amazon to the seller (turned out to be a place not far from here in Michigan), explaining that they'd sent me a different size of frame that wasn't even the right style or anything. I guess it was the right color. The next day they replied to my email, asking for pictures.

Really. So I sent them pictures and another nice note. Five more days went by with no word, so I called and talked with a lovely woman who said she'd send out the correct frame right away. So, how do I send this one back? "Keep it," she said. It costs more to pay shipping on a return than was worth it. OK. Now I have two frames, one of which is the one I want.

Took a few more days to get it all put together. I can continue to add bars as I move towards getting all 50.

Here are some closer shots.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Bouncy Ball Trauma

Remember when I used to write every day? Seems crazy now. Maybe it was crazy back then, too, at least to everyone else.

Still not running.

However, there's progress at last. Today is the third day in a row where there's been little or no pain at the MCL site. Not going to run until at least Saturday, and that will only be something really short, testing things out. This morning I sort of felt something on my way down the stairs, letting me know that this isn't over just yet.

Speaking of Saturday, this weekend is the 2018 Snowbuster Festival of Virtual Races. Hope everyone who isn't hurt is planning their runs. Send me a note with your results by next Wednesday (that's a sort of soft deadline, of course).

The drain repair went well on Saturday. I made only one trip to the Home Depot - no mean feat in itself. I'd already cut out the side wall of the cabinet to investigate and saw what I was going to need. Coupler/Adapter, length of PVC, elbow, adapter to connect to the drain. Figured to re-use the old j-pipe and I've had primer and cement in the basement, left over from previous plumbing work. Sometimes it pays not to throw out leftovers.

Getting much leverage with a saw was a challenge, so I used my Dremel to cut the old copper pipe most of the way through, as far as I could reach. There wasn't much clearance behind it to the wall, so when I got to a certain point, there was no angle that worked. Hacksaw for the last inch. My elbow had a slightly different angle than the old one, but it was close enough with some adjustment of the trap from the sink. I'd say the only nasty part of this was cleaning out the old one, with had a 1/8" of sludge in it. Anything to avoid an extra trip to HD, amiright? Things went together easily after that. Screwed on the coupler, cut and glued the elbow and adapter (after checking the measurements 3-5 times), tightened all the other connections and ran the water. No leaks!

One of the first things I noticed when I opened the side of the cabinet was a pair of small rubber balls on the floor. If you can picture with me these custom cabinets, you can imagine my surprise at finding anything inside this absolutely (apparently) closed off section in the corner of the kitchen. A mystery for another day, I thought, putting them on the counter.

About an hour later, T-Rex came downstairs. I've been up, eaten breakfast, fixed the drain, and cleaned everything up by then, because college student. Suddenly, she squealed, "My bouncy balls! Where did you find my bouncy balls? I lost these when I was five!"

WTH? My daughter is on drugs.

One of her games back in the day was taking her handful of little rubber balls, tossing them across the floor and chasing them down. Like playing fetch with your dog. Unnoticed by me all this time is a gap underneath the cabinet where it hangs over the floor. A gap just large enough for a tiny little bouncy ball with the right amount of speed at the proper angle to pop through and behind the wall. Suddenly, all my daughter's emotional issues have been explained. Trauma from the lost bouncy ball.

Me, I'm just working through the trauma of an old runners' injury, wondering if this is the final nail in the coffin. Do I need to keep placeholders in my display for future marathons or am I done? Will there be another Boston, or was 2016 my one moment of glory? Was my last marathon ever that hamstring plagued party in Rehoboth? Brooding. Moody.

That's how I roll.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Another not running post.

So, on Thursdays I used to write about how intervals went on Wednesday.

I love intervals. Intervals are fast, and I like fast. I always liked fast. Not racing 100 mph in the old LTD at the top of the canyon fast. That was just scary. But running fast, leaning in around the tight corner of a XC course or blasting down a hill,just barely in control. Pushing hard through a long set of 400s (10-12-16 of them), with Coach calling out as we thundered across the line, "...57-58-59-60!"

Those were the days.

I think best intervals I've run in the last several years was a set of 6 x miles in 2014. I was in as good a place running as I'd been since ten years before that, at the height of training for Marshall. Strong up the hills, cruising easily down. Six miles, all under 7:00. That was a good day.

Today I'm sitting in the kitchen, watching the snow come down in those great big, light, fluffy flakes you get when it's just barely below freezing. There are three inches or so on the ground so far, with another 3-4 coming by tonight. Not a bad storm as winter snowstorms go. Sure, it's wet and messy and cold and if I were outside running what's supposed to be my Thursday recovery run my feet would be soaking by the first 20 yards. I wouldn't care.

Because today, I'm just sitting in the kitchen because my knee hurts. And yes, I have an appointment with a doctor. I will, anyway, as soon as his office gets back to me with a day and time. I might not mind so much if I'd done something to it that caused this problem. I'm not that old. My joints don't just go all weird spontaneously.


Received my rejection notice from NYCM late last night. Thanks for applying, but you just couldn't beat the 1-to-8 odds.

I'm only sad because I had hoped to hook up with some cool Loopsters in the Big Apple this fall. I have run this race before, so I don't need it for my 50 state quest. In fact, as a repeat race it would set me back. Good news and bad news, I guess.

Discovered a leak under the kitchen sink earlier this week. Seems the old copper drain pipe has reached its end of service period. The last three inches had begun to split. Yikes. So I duck taped it up for the night, then trekked to Home Depot for something a little more permanent. I got a rubber coupling the right size and that's keeping us dry until Saturday when I can make a full replacement. It's behind a wall of the cabinet and I had to cut out a piece to see what I'm dealing with. Seems like when they did their kitchen remodel however many years ago (this isn't the original 1966 kitchen), they'd have provided for access, but no.

And we're setting up appointments for estimates on new siding. It's been due for a few years, but hasn't made it to the top of the priority list at the same time we had the cash until now.

I'd rather talk about intervals.

Friday, February 23, 2018


Let's focus on the positive.

It's Friday.

I don't noticeably limp most of the time.

Each day now the MCL pain is a little better. In fact, the progress is good enough that I haven't called the doctor yet.

Temps around here are staying consistently at or above freezing, even overnight. Spring appears to be forthcoming.

I'm well rested again.

Couple of days ago we got a flyer in the mail from a local Cadillac dealer. It said if you scratch off the card and find a match you would win. It looked for all intents and purposes like I was a $2,500 winner. So I dropped by the place last night after work. I was directed to an area of the showroom with a few high tables and some salespeople milling around, where I discovered that in addition to the scratch off prize indicator, I also had to match a numbered code on their poster. It didn't match. No problem, the guy told me. Everyone wins a lottery ticket. I don't buy lottery tickets, but I take free ones if offered. Think I won $2 once. At least if I'd felt it was worth figuring out how to redeem the thing, which I didn't. Anyway, he talks to be about buying "the car of my dreams" - a new Caddy. Told him I wasn't really a Cadillac guy. Then he asked what I drove. I think, "2003 Honda Civic with 178K miles," was when he lost interest. He was writing down my information at that point, including my brag-worthy credit rating (thanks to Mrs. Dave's stellar accounting skills and ruthless budgeting, as well as my own world-renowned penuriousness). He asked me a little about my used car interests, then appeared to go over to a manager's desk. Next thing I knew, he had disappeared from the showroom. I waited a few minutes at the table, expecting him to come back with a few suggestions and a test drive. Spent several more minutes wandering around, looking at the various large and overly expensive cars. No guy.

So, I went home. No cash, no new car, not even the promised lottery ticket. Racing is so much better. At least I can be assured a t-shirt and a medal.

Did a temporary fix on the washer last night. I was on my way to bed and the machine from hell had just started another house-quaking spin cycle. I decided to have a quick look. Then I decided to do a quick leveling adjustment. To reach the adjustment nut I had to remove the front cover. When I did that, I saw that one of the dampening arms had separated from its attachment point. No wonder the thing had started to dance around the laundry room like a mechanical bull. One of the mounting pieces had broken off and the arm had worked free, so the drum had only three of its four anchors in place. Since 10:30 pm is no time to run out for a part, I went down to the workbench and found an appropriately sized bolt and nut, re-attached the arm, replaced the cover and turned the machine back on. No dancing. Still need to order the new part, but we shouldn't be registering 3-5 on the Richter Scale for the near term.

If only I could fix my knee like that.

P.S. Don't forget to plan your weekend of March 9-12 for the 2018 Snowbuster.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

It's the 2018 Snowbuster!!!!!! (and an MCL injury - boo)

OK, it looks like I messed up my knee more than I realized. I got a couple of short runs in last week, but that new pain that I thought I would just ignore for a little while decided it didn't like being ignored. From the diagrams at looked at online (thanks, Dr. Google), it's the medial collateral ligament, probably a minor strain. Can't remember any incident that would have caused the trauma, but there it is. Wish my friend the ortho doc still lived here. It's been about a week with little improvement, although some days are better than others.
I'd hoped this injury bug was behind me. Guess I have at least a few more weeks to go.
This also pulls the plug on a spring marathon. I needed to at least have some mileage building by the beginning of February. Now I'm a full month behind and there's no firm date for a restart. No in the mood for an under trained marathon.

In the meantime, if you haven't noticed, it's just about time for the 2018 Snowbuster Festival of Races. March 9-12.

Most Loopsters know how this works, but if you're not, here's a quick run down:
Any day during the weekend of March 9-12 (Friday - Monday), run a race. Any race, any distance. Find a local event, travel to a big race, run a solo time trial or just get a workout in. Nothing matters except that you're running. The Snowbuster began as a pikermi (half marathon), but since not everyone's up for 13.1 this early in the season, it's been expanded to include everything. Results are converted to the pikermi distance using the conversion app at I use this one because it was easy to find and simple to use. Report your race/run to me (PM, fb, email, whatever). I'll do the conversions, tabulate and publish the results. Done.
But wait, there's more. Extra points are awarded for creativity. Wear a hat, a costume, funny socks.  Carry a cat, drag a stick. Take pictures (speaking of pictures, someone should organize a Loop scavenger run - ocrunnergirl? HotPinkSneakers?) because pics are more fun. Run alone or with a buddy. Bonus points for running with Loopsters, of course (photo evidence required).
I hope I'm up for a few miles by then.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

(Not) Runnin' on Empty.

So, I was just starting to feel pretty good at five miles when this knee thing happened. I think the behind the knee pain/whatever is under control, but now there's a spot on the lower inside that has a sharp pain sometimes. I'm going to ignore that for now. With the other problem better, I get to run again, and today looks like a good day for it.


There's a foot of snow out there melting, so I can expect a bunch of ice cold water in spots, but it ought to be better than tromping through 12 inches in feels like 10o or something.

This has put my mileage build up behind schedule, though, which I'm not happy about. Makes me wonder if I should ditch plans for the spring marathon. Maybe do a half instead. We're still deciding at the house.

Truth be told, I'm sort of missing my mojo, what with taking December off, followed by struggling through the ice in January and now this little setback. Just not feeling in the groove, no doubt because I'm not in any groove.

Yesterday would have been a decent day for a run. The last thing the weather did was lay an inch or so of ice on the driveway and sidewalk. Since I wasn't running, I spent 90 minutes scraping and chipping that off. This is when I noticed how really terrible the siding on our house looks. Faded. Streaky. Dirty. We've re-prioritized the tax return money from the new floor to new siding.

Saturday, February 10, 2018


Seemed like I was taking it nice and easy. Careful. Slow build up. No speed. That week I got sick I laid off and the next week repeated the previous week's plan instead of jumping into it where I would have been Smart, right? Sort of hoped I was putting some of the lessons I've learned into action.

It's been a decent winter so far. Just a couple of snows and regular thaws. The coldest weather didn't have much snow to go with it. February has been snowier, but not as cold.

Two weeks ago, I started feeling some discomfort on the back side of my knee after sitting at my desk. It went away after walking a few steps, and didn't bother me when running. And it was getting better. That was a 5 mile per day week.

Donated blood last Monday. Being smart again (so I thought), in addition to taking Monday off, I decided to stay at 5 miles instead of bumping up to six until Saturday. And it snowed on Monday, another good reason for an extra day off.

So Tuesday and Wednesday I ran 5 miles each, on the expected variable footing of sidewalks in suburbia after a snowfall. Most of it fine, some of it with a little and some a lot of snow. Some of that snow with some amount of foot tracks. Normal winter running.

After Wednesday's run there was some pain on the inside of my left knee added to the back of the knee thing (that was still getting better). Hurt so much that I took Thursday off. Big snow on Friday, which would have been fun to run a few miles through, but the knee still hurt, so I stayed in. Still snowing today on top of the 7 inches we got yesterday. Two runs this week.

I've never thought of myself as a particularly fragile runner. I stopped playing basketball when I was 45 because I began to notice a pattern of injury that interfered with my running. That kept me injury free for a good while. One of the things I've tried to learn about training for marathons is where the line between conditioning and injury lies. It's a fuzzy and moving line, making it tough to know when to push and when to back off.

This doesn't seem like a serious or long term problem. I'm hoping the days off I'm taking for the snow will take care of it. My guess is that the poor footing over the assorted areas with snow, loose and uneven with varying amounts of footprints and the like, added stress to the mileage increase I've been doing since the new year. Try again on Monday.

Bad Knee. 50 State Map.

Speaking of not running, that's me. I was able to get into a knee guy on Tuesday. Only had to wait a few days, so that was a win ri...