Archive for the ‘Footwear & socks’ Category

Had a follow up with my surgeon on Tuesday. He took the first post-op x-rays and pronounced everything in order. I see him in two weeks and he said, “Bring a regular shoe with you.”

Wha-wha-what?!?!?

I might be in a legit regular shoe in two weeks?

Feels like Christmas has come early.

It gets better, though. As I changed the bandages yesterday, I realized that fir the first time in nine months, I felt no blister or no ulcerations of any kind. I can’t look at it too well as I don’t want to put any torque on the toe that might cause problems with the healing of the bone, but damn it felt good. I ever noticed that my mood was greatly improved, just with that little news. I might even be able to do the Troeg’s 5K, albeit while walking. I don’t want to risk reinjuring the toe in any way, shape or form.

Wayne's x-ray... note the two "Plaples"

Wayne’s x-ray… note the two “Plaples”

The x-rays look kind of cool. You can clearly see the plaples (combination of plate and staple) that are holding the tip of my toe onto the rest of my foot. The surgeon told me he went that route because he didn’t want an issue with a screw that might work its way out of the bone. I am appreciative, that’s for sure.

Note the "Shoe of Embarrassment" in the background

Note the “Shoe of Embarrassment” in the background

It was a combo appointment, though, as Supportive Partner Woman (badly sunburned!) had a small procedure done to her foot to drain a ganglion cyst that was causing her problems. SPW’s compression bandage should be off today. She says it feels a little better, which I take as a good sign. Or, she could be not minding it due to the sunburn. I guess having the cyst done the way she did beats the old school way, which was to slam it with a heavy book. Ouch.

Other than that, things are moving along.

We also did the local flea market on Labor Day. It was crazy humid and the turnout wasn’t quite as good as we hoped (it was too freakin’ hot), but we managed to unload stuff and didn’t come home with anything extra. That’s a good sign. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but there are some incredibly cheap bastards out there. I understand wanting to get the best deal that you can, but don’t expect me to give it away. Case in point, a woman wandered up to our tables, picked up a barely used (literally, less than five times) T-fal griddle pan. She asks how much it is, we tell her $3. Rather than attempt to haggle, she slams the pan down on the table and storms off. I would’ve taken $2 for it, but I guess she wanted it for free.

It’s good to want, chump.

At any rate, there’s always going to be idiots. It’s not against the law.

Sigh.

Good news!

I’m finally cleared to exercise again.

Yeah, I can go and hit the elliptical starting today. Still need to stay off the treadmill, but I’ll take what I can get. First thing I did was call Ryan and Cory, since I still have a few weeks left with them. Hard to believe I’ll be a year post-op at the end of this month.

I also started the Back on Track program at LGH. It’s for folks who are struggling a little. Dr. Collins, the bariatric psychologist, leads an eight-week session focused on getting you refocused and rededicated before the wheels completely fall off. It’s a small group, six people, and Dr. Collins has a whole program set up. I think being able to get back to regular exercise will help me… I had gotten so used to working out that it really took a toll on me when I couldn’t. Dare I say some depression set in, and I’m someone who tends to eat when depressed. Ergo, not a good combination.

To help, I did buy a resistance band at my local Target. It has helped me at least get some strength training in while I was sidelined. I would usually change things up by using the bands. The fact that you get a constant force working against you seems to make sense.

The feet are feeling good in the new kicks. They are a little flashier than I’m used to, but I can’t argue with the comfort. I was able to rehab my old Beasts by putting a spare set of orthotic insoles in and they feel pretty much brand new.

So, I’m actually thinking that the WDW 10K in January might be the last runDisney event for me. Not because I don’t think I could do it again, but because of the price. RunDisney is getting a little out of hand. The prices for the 2015 weekend are going up like a rocket ship and that’s not cool.

The prices for 2015 are as follows:

Dopey Challenge: $530 (this is the 5K, 10K, ½, full, extra medals for the Dopey and for the Goofy, and a load of shirts)

Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge: $360 (1/2 and full, plus extra medal and required shirts)

1/2 or full marathon: $170

10K: $105

5K: $60

Add to that price the need for airfare, lodging, meals, park admission (granted, not required, but you’re in Disney, you should probably get to a park), getting up at 2:30 AM on race day, and you start to wonder if it’s really worth it. Supportive Partner Woman and I will be doing it, as we are hoping our niece joins us as she will be done with graduate school at that point and could probably use a vacation. If it wasn’t for that, well, I’d consider not even participating. But, it’s all about the profit and 55,000 folks participating brings in a lot of scratch.

On that happy note, I’m going to get myself moving and over to the gym. I have two months to catch up on.

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That would be the overtime wheel at work.

Let me just say that I’m not opposed to overtime, on the contrary, I like the paycheck, at least until Uncle Sam decides to do his personal version of armed robbery. I hear the politicos talking about how it’s tough for everyone, and as Ann Richards once said, “There must be equity in suffering!”

Still, it doesn’t seem quite fair when you put in the hours and get hosed on taxes just so some low-life congresscritter can get a couple point bump in the polls just so he/she/it can stay elected. But, it seems to be the reality these days, so there’s not much use complaining about it.

My new Beasts

My new Beasts

In the good news department, I did get fitted for new running shoes. I am able to get the Beasts, and this time, I opted for the snazzy red and black trim. I’m really hoping they come in soon… I’m wanting to get back to the gym ASAP, feet or not.

See, I’ve gained seven pounds during my layoff. I’m not happy about this. I’m primarily frustrated in that I discovered how much I like exercise, and now I can’t do it. Sigh.

So, the Super Bowl was kind of a laugher, unless you’re a die-hard Broncos fan. It was tough to watch, because Peyton Manning is an amazing competitor and his team just was not prepared. I was always a big fan of the commercials, but they seemed to be lacking this year. One of the standouts in my mind was the entry from Radio Shack. I’m not a big fan of the Shack, but this was hysterical, to a child of the 1980s. I’ve decided to include it… bonus points if you a) can spot Qbert and b) know who/what Qbert is.

I think it’s well done and it might inspire me to visit the Shack, even if it will mean I’ll get talked down to by a bunch of dweebs who still live in mom’s basement.

Not to be outdone, the Brits unleashed some über-cute ads, so in the interest of trying to make heads explode, I give you puppies and kittens, in that order.

I do this as a public service, people.

So, I also see that the Beebs has been classing it up. Apparently, he and his entourage hot-boxed the private jet they were taking to the Super Bowl to the extent that the pilots had to go on oxygen masks. The entourage included his father. Parent of the year, folks.

That about does it for now. Hope you all survived the northeast ice storm!

I had a follow up with my podiatrist yesterday, before the snow got to be too bad. I went totally redneck, though, wrapping my left foot in a plastic sack before putting on the Boot of Shame. It worked, too… kept the foot mostly dry.

To make a long story short, Stubby has been released from care. I still need to keep an eye on him, but he’s really shown improvement. Wayne has also shown improvement, but nothing like what Stubby has achieved. Wayne’s wound measured 12mm yesterday, which was less than the 16mm it measured last week. I’m taking heart in this, hoping that I will be able to get back to training sooner, rather than later. The other good news from the appointment concerns footwear.

Dr. Miller said that I really needed to get fitted for better shoes. I restated my objection that the shoes are simply butt-ugly. He asked if I’d take a look at the selection before I dismissed it as out of hand. I agreed.

Brooks-Adrenaline-14_3In a bottom corner of the display rack, I found something I could more than live with… the Brooks Adrenaline GTS. I’m more of a Beast guy, but if I can get a pair, fitted to my particular feet and have my insurance cover part of it, well, I’m OK with that. I just want to stop the blisters. If they can’t do it right, there’s also a selection of New Balance that I can work with. The point is that while I’m not very vain about what I wear, I was drawing the line at plain white grandpa sneakers with velcro closures. I’m 43, not 73.

I did manage to get my cardio in today… in the form of shoveling snow. For whatever reason, Wanda, evil bitch queen of our HOA, didn’t dispatch the crews throughout the development until late and they never got to our house until late morning. No worries… I just did the whole driveway, sidewalks and out into the street. Felt pretty good to get 90 minutes of cardio. The downside to the whole snow thing is that Supportive Partner Woman was stranded at the office. Fortunately, she was prepared and had food and a sleeping bag, but I’m sure she can’t wait to get home. I opted to not even go in yesterday, when it took me just under an hour to make it home from the foot doctor (it’s normally 10-15 minutes tops). It means that I had to forgo holiday pay for Monday, but my life is more important to me than a day’s pay.

I have my show fitting appointment as well as another followup with the podiatrist next week. I’ll keep you posted.

I also have have wonderful team news to report. A teammate of mine, Ed, was told by his doctors that he was not to run anymore. Undeterred, he got a handcycle on December 26 and was at Walt Disney World to complete the Dopey Challenge two weeks later. His is an inspiring story that I hope to share in more detail in the future, but he was able to let the team know that his regional VA has asked him to represent the regional VA team at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Philadelphia. If he finishes well there, he can earn a place on the national VA team. That is such an amazing opportunity for such an inspirational guy.

At any rate, going to call it a day for now. Hope you all manage to stay warm out there.

 

Yes, I’m STILL coming down off the weekend’s good feelings, but I’m headed back to work soon, so I’m pretty sure it won’t last much more than three or four minutes once I get back.

Them’s the breaks.

I’m planning on doing a couple of upcoming posts on some of the inspiring people I met over the course of the weekend. Hoping I can make that happen, because these are stories that need to be told.

One of the best first-hand reports of the weekend’s experience has been put on the WDW Happy Place podcast. I recommend you give it a listen… Ashley and Sam do a great job and it’s inspiring to hear Sam talk about his personal journey.

I had also told you that there was video of my running across the finish line… without further ado.

With Bryan and Melanie after finishing the 5K and receiving our medals

With Bryan and Melanie after finishing the 5K and receiving our medals

It’s not much, but it’s way more than I could’ve done last year at this time. I just hope to keep improving as time moves on. Now if only my stupid big toes would cooperate.

I know I had previously stated a desire to compete in a half marathon by next January. Sad fact is that the evil toes will probably not allow that. Instead of setting my sights on a 5K and 10K back to back. The reasons are varied, not just my toes, but I saw the kind of grit and determination those folks show and I know I’m not there yet. Maybe by 2016? Who knows… maybe the feet will cooperate.

Speaking of feet, I think my trusty Beasts have given their last. I have put well over 300 miles on them in training, and that doesn’t count the times I’ve worn them for every day use. Soon I’ll be heading back over to Inside Track for another pair. I’ve become quite enamored of Brooks… they have pretty much surpassed New Balance as my footwear of choice.

Alas, I must return to my daily humdrum life. More in the coming days!

 

So, Supportive Partner Woman and I tried something new the other day. I’ll get to that in a bit. First off, I set a new record for distance in a day. Well, not totally, but since I started this little project, After going to the gym and doing 4.3 miles on the elliptical, I went home and decided to go back out with SPW to the Lancaster Junction Rail Trail and did another 4.993 miles. All told, over nine miles (intentionally) in one day. Woot!

So, Wednesday, we decided to try something different. Most of the rail trails are, by necessity, flat or have a very minimal grade. There might be a few spots where the trail has a slope to cross a road, but that’s about it. The slopes are only in there because an underpass was opened up when the railroad abandoned the right of way. So, in search of a challenge, and a good view, we headed to Chickies Rock Overlook Trail.

We were slightly underprepared, not knowing what kind of terrain we would be looking at. For future reference, any future return to the site will involve hiking boots, as running shoes and rocks don’t necessarily make for good bedfellows. The climb is not a long one (only about 1/2 mile from the trailhead to the overlook) but for the two of us, it was challenging enough. The view proved to be worth it.

Panorama from the top of the rock

Panorama from the top of the rock

From one of the secondary viewing areas

From one of the secondary viewing areas

The actual overlook itself is on a couple of levels. The easier ones to approach are set back from the edge of the rock itself. They still provide some views, but with the trees still in bloom, you are limited to seeing what’s right in front of you. This makes me want to go back, both when the leaves start to turn and when the trees are bare. It should make for some good photographs.

There’s apparently another trail at the base of the cliff that runs about 1.5 miles. We did not try that, as it doesn’t quite meet our distance needs. Might try it in the future.

Mr. Tortoise

Mr. Tortoise

Thursday, we went back to the Enola Low Grade Trail. Sadly, we were unable to get the full distance in, due to a forgotten appointment. We did, however, come across a very cute little turtle (tortoise?) just kind of on the trail. I’m not sure if (s)he was alive or not, but was very tiny. If I would’ve had something to put in the picture to establish size, I would’ve. Given a chance to search Google images, I think it’s a baby snapping turtle.

One thing I have yet to mention about our visits to these trails are the sheer number of raptors seen. There are hawks aplenty and I’m pretty sure I saw a bald eagle. It makes me want to return to Hawk Mountain just to see the birds. It would be worth the trek up the hill and yes, I would wear hiking boots.

Hope you have a great weekend, folks!

So, it’s Saturday, and it wouldn’t be a good Saturday without some entertainment.

Here’s my story:

We live in a townhouse. We don’t know all of our neighbors… it’s kind of hard to keep track, because there is a certain level of turnover. That kind of sets the stage.

This morning, I was cleaning/packing up the freshly repaired mixer. I noticed some commotion across the street. There was a lot of people going in and out of one of the homes. I also noticed a lot of strange cars. I assumed that they had a house party, no worries. As I let the mixer spin and work the grease throughout the gear system, I saw a guy come out of the house carrying a very long, white garment bag that he proceeded to put in his low-riding. buzzy-mufflered street rod. He shut the door, which was followed by a very loud, “Oh, shit!”

He locked the keys in the car.

With the wedding dress.

Whoopsie.

He first tried to get in the car by pulling on the (locked) driver’s door. Now, keep in mind that door latches are designed to stay latched in the event of a severe collision. The fact that a 160 pound guy is yanking on the door is probably not going to work out well.

As he’s yanking futilely at the car door, the bride-to-be and countless bridesmaid-types file out of the house. Each time a new one comes outside, the bride has to fill them in. Loudly.

There are some other dudes present who keep offering advice. Ranging from the helpful to the “Seriously?” At one point, there were eleven people standing around the buzzy POS, all trying to get in to rescue the dress. Maybe I’m getting old, but I would’ve called AAA by this point. I know it doesn’t build character, but it’s probably a bit quicker

Finally, a random stranger manages to get the lock popped. All it took was a coat hanger/dowel rod combo and about three guys prying at the driver’s door with screwdrivers. Probably real good for the finish and for the watertight integrity of the door seals.

The capper on the whole thing was that the aforementioned POS did not start and it took about five people to get it push started.

Hope the marriage goes smoother.

So, later tonight, it was decision time. It was lunch time and I had brought some pulled pork carnitas. It came down to taking a walk or eating my carnitas and reading a book.

I’m pleased to say I opted for the walk. It was only about 1.3 miles, but I did it with enough time to heat up my pork and it was yummy. See? Best of both worlds. But, looking at my Daily Mile totals, I see I’ve covered 11 miles this week. Used to take me a month to walk that much. And, there’s still another day in this week (by their bizarre accounting), so I could easily make 13.1 miles, or the distance of a half-marathon.

This got me thinking about something.

There’s a group that runs a series of virtual races called Nerd Herd running. They do three races with a decidedly nerdy flair. There’s a Star Wars themed race, a Harry Potter themed race, and a Banned Books race. I’m so thinking of the Banned Books race. I could read some really subversive stuff, like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in order to get ready for it. The best part is that the virtual races benefit Stupid Cancer, which is a cause near and dear to me.

I’ll keep you posted.

Went on to have a reasonably active weekend. Since Supportive Partner Woman (owner of a synovial cyst!) is on the DL, I went to the Lancaster Junction Rail Trail yesterday and proceeded to walk the length of the trail (just under five miles), then went to the in-laws for a yard work party. I think it’s safe to say that I got some exercise. I did notice that my old New Balance 1123s are finally dead. I kept them around for working in the yard, but by the end of the day my ankles and feet were so sore that standing was painful. When we got home, I switched back to the Beasts and I was ready to go. Go figure.

IMG_2133The final bit of good news is that I weighed myself today and the scale said 272.2.

That’s 108 pounds since I started, and I feel pretty darn good.

That’s all you can really ask for.

Once again, I’d like to encourage you to support my fundraising efforts for the Avon Walk. If folks would be willing to pledge $1.00 per kilometer that I’m doing in January, that would be $5.00 and it does add up. Thank you in advance, and if you already have contributed, thank you for your kindness.

http://info.avonfoundation.org/goto/BrianT

Song of the Day: Peace and Love, Inc. – Information Society

Currently Reading: The English Girl – Daniel Silva