Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday, 03/20/11 "Where has JV been?"

As my 2 or 3 loyal readers have probably observed, I have not posted in about a month, so I figured I would give an update as to where I have been and what I have been doing.

First and foremost, I am injured and secondly, I have been spending (and enjoying) a lot of time with my baby twin daughters.


After dealing with an increasingly sore right Achilles tendon since last April, I have been getting increasingly desperate to do whatever it takes to get it healed up. Way back in October, I went to see Jeremy Rodgers for his opinion. After a quick assessment, he assured me that it was no big deal and suggested that wearing a night splint and icing would take care of the problem within a few weeks.

Unfortunately, this was shortly after our twin daughters were born and I could really only focus on taking care of them, as we were pretty much in survival mode and I just could not get around to taking care of myself. Of course, with any free time I had, I ran whenever I could squeeze it in, as we enjoyed warm weather and dry trails most of the way through December.

Once January came (along with snow and cold), I resolved to start wearing the night splint, icing and scaling back my hill running. I thought I was taking it easy, with some flat runs, easy hikes up Green or Sanitas and just general scaling back. On Feb. 18th/19th I ran Green twice, easy on the 18th, then a touch harder on the 19th thinking I was feeling better, then followed that up with an 8 mile run with the babies in the Chariot. After this, I was hobbling for a few days and my Achilles felt worse than it ever had.

I then decided to just stop doing anything and took 2 weeks completely off (this was facilitated by a minor unrelated surgery that required 5 days of inactivity). I was feeling a little better, but every morning, the Achilles was very stiff/somewhat painful and would tighten up after just a half hour or less of sitting still, so I knew it was still very much present.

On March 5th, I decided to give biking a try, as I correctly suspected that with proper pedaling style and cadence, it would probably do more good than harm. Since then, I have ridden 9 times, 7 rides on the mountain bike and 2 rides on the road bike, which I have actually been enjoying immensely. Though I miss running the trails, running friends and local peaks very much, I am surprisingly (or not so surprisingly) content and fulfilled riding the bike, as I have been discovering some great new trails.

From my house in Louisville, I can quickly link up with the Coal Creek Trail, head West into Superior and then link up with the Meadowlark Trail or Mayhoffer-Single Tree Trails and then put together a variety of loops via Marshal Mesa, Dowdy Draw, Spring Brook, Flatirons Vista, Coalton etc….

Most of these trails make for fast cruising, but a few throw in some moderately technical challenges to keep you on your toes. Though I rarely go out for a ride with specific intentions, many of my rides have turned into epic battles with fellow cyclists, sometimes just myself and one or two other riders coming together at an intersection, or more likely it is me riding in seek and destroy mode, my chase instinct kicking in with just about every rider I see. Not sure what it is about cycling that brings this out in me, but I wish I could harness some of this attitude to bring to Pikes Peak.

Speaking of Pikes Peak, I decided to forego the Ascent this year, as I was just getting pretty burnt out with it and frustrated with not living up to my expectations there. In lieu of the Ascent though, I went ahead and threw my hat into the ring for the Pikes Peak Marathon. I feel like my downhill running has improved significantly in the past few years and eagerly look forward to the Marathon as an entirely different challenge. I am hoping that a later start to my training and a more casual approach may yield a more reasonable result on the mountain, but we shall see. I’m not sure what to predict there, as I have never run the entire downhill, but would like to think that 5 hours would be a reasonable goal. Hopefully I can run a round trip or two before August and get the feel for it and come up with a more specific and ambitious goal.

Most recently, I had another appt. with Jeremy and will be seeing him a few times over the next few weeks. We are now pursuing a more aggressive approach to the Achilles rehab and he is hopeful that we can get it knocked out if I am diligent. He confirmed that the biking that I am doing (spinning lower gears, not standing up on the pedals etc….) is indeed a good way to maintain/build some fitness while helping my Achilles by increasing blood flow (I was very pleased to get the green light from him on this).

I’ll try to not let another month go by without posting (though I will admit, have been enjoying the break from blogging).


  1. He's not dead. Yet!

    And he won't ride the bus down in 2011!

  2. I'm guessing that "minor unrelated surgery" kept you off the bike for a while. Total guess, though.

  3. Marathon! Yeah! Minor unrelated surgery! Watch out cuz that thing was loaded!

  4. Yeah Joey, you guessed it, no more kids for us. I waited 8 days until I got on the bike and even that required some extra care a caution (especially on a aluminum hardtail).

    GZ, yep, no longer a loaded weapon. Hoot can stand at ease....

  5. When you are ready for another easy trail run shoot me an email. If it's a good day for me and I catch you at a low spot, I might be able to keep up.

    Enjoy your kids while you can. My oldest is graduating from CSU this spring...geesh. From this end, the time goes way too fast.

  6. It's great to have you back for now. Twins take up a ton of time. The biking may just be the best thing for you when you do get healed. Great to hear about the marathon and enjoy your time off!

  7. Thanks for the update and I hope your achilles gets better ASAP. And welcome to the "fixed" club. :-)

  8. That minor unrelated surgery is a beautiful thing.

    If you can ascend Pikes in under 3 hours, 5 hours should be in the bag for you. I can't imagine it would take you 2 full hours+ to come back down...

    Good luck getting better!