Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Garmin Forerunner 910XT - Product Review

As soon as I saw the Running Warehouse blog entry titled 9.1 Reasons You Need a Garmin Forerunner 910XT, I was sold, and I bought one immediately.
Some would say, "But it's so expensive." And some would say, "But do you need all those features if you aren't a triathlete."

Well, I don't routinely buy a bunch of running outfits like other friends. I'm a very practical runner and will wear and rewear the same set of 5 running tops because I know they won't chafe and will keep me cool or warm exactly as needed. So it's an easier thing to budget money for this. And if I use it for just one year, that's maybe 1200 miles this year, so that's 33 cents per mile. Easy decision.

Here's what I loved in the write-up, and what I have further confirmed that I love now that I've gotten to use it 2 times since it arrived in the mail.

  • It has a 20 hour battery life.
  • My Forerunner 405 would only last about 7 1/2 hours into a 50K, which takes me about 8 1/2 hours to run. And someday I may move from the 50K to the 50 Mile, so having a 305 with a 12 hour battery life would not be enough for my 50 mile time based on my pace. So I wanted something that would grow with whatever my eventual goals were.
  • Location and design of buttons is awesome. I am a left-hander, and Garmin people did not consider left-handers in my opinion when they designed my 405. It's awkward to hold down the lap button on the side and press the Enter/Start/Stop button with another finger. And the touch bezel was just annoying and, while I don't consider myself a heavy sweater, you put us in any humidity at all and Texas summer heat, and it would get "wonky" and on the fritz 10 miles into a run! So I was so done with touch screens. These new buttons are so easy to use, and it's no longer a pain to switch data screens right in the middle of running.
  • So...Much...Data! Yes, I have a math degree, and I'm very analytical. The more data the better, for me. With the 405, I could only have 3 data fields per screen and 3 total screens. But with the new 910XT, I could customize up to 4 fields on each of 4 screens! I have fields for things that seem silly but I'm loving. I set up mine as follows: 
  • SCREEN 1 - Lap Pace, Lap Time, Lap Distance. SCREEN 2 - Avg Pace, Total Time, Total Distance. SCREEN 3 - Time of Day, Sunrise, Sunset.  (Because when you can show this many fields, why not?) SCREEN 4 - Total Ascent, Total Descent, HR, Calories.
  • Increased Elevation Accuracy. Since running 50Ks is my current love, and I seem to be picking some hilly ones, and might be increasingly doing that, I think this is an important feature. Best explained by Running Warehouse's blog entry: " For real-time, highly accurate elevation data, a barometric altimeter leaves GPS measurement in the dust. GPS can get pretty inaccurate in mountainous terrain – the barometric altimeter is ideal for ultra runners who want to know exactly where they are on a climb or descent, along with their total elevation gain and loss."
  • Great fit! The new 910XT is sleek and thinner, the notches on the strap are well done. It's just a comfier fit!
So yes, I can totally recommend the Garmin Forerunner 910XT. Now if your pocketbook just won't allow it, I will say I have many friends with the 310XT that they love as well!

What do you love or hate most about your GPS device?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Bought a Hydration Pack - the new UltraSpire Surge

I have a big race I'm shooting for in 9 weeks, the Gorge Waterfalls 50K.

I planned to use my 20 oz Amphipod handheld that I LOVE. I had sent friends Fiona (@theasgwifey) and Alicia (@trailscaredycat) someone's race report about the 50K. I was telling them I contemplated converting to Ultimate Direction's Wink hydration pack because so many girlfriends have it and really like it (even referred to as #bestpackever in my twitter frunner girl circles). But it was so expensive, $90, and I'd already missed out on the sale when they were changing out an older version of the Wink. And did I need to spend $90 when I had something that worked? And I'd just gotten a good deal on a running vest, so did I need the couple pockets?
From Ultimate Direction's website - the Wink that my friends all love using (older version was lighter blue and grey)
But then Fiona brought up from the race report I'd sent them that there were rock climbing and slippery conditions all over this race course. And it might not be a bad idea to have both hands free! Such a good point, Fi!

I went online again yesterday. Because of the change over into a new version of the Wink, I was finding a lot of stores were generally out of stock right now. Boo. But in looking around, I happened upon the UltraSpire Surge. It just came out on the market December 15, so it's brand new. I was happy to find that iRunFar had a detailed video review of the Surge.

From the UltraSpire website - a picture of the Surge pack in purple. I ordered it in Blue!
I watched it, read the tons of comments after the review, and then Googled around some more. I was worried it wouldn't fit well on a woman so wanted to check, since it's gender neutral. But the two sternum straps are lower than most. I'm more on the flat-chested side, so that's less of a issue. At the same time, I'm bigger than the average woman, both in height and weight. 5'8" and 153 pounds. Reading more and more, it appeared I'd be okay. They have lots of room in their cinch straps.

This pack is constructed by some longtime ultra trailrunners, so I loved the little details. The pulls for the pockets and the clips are even thought through as something you should be able to do with cold numb fingers or while wearing gloves! Love!

So I ordered it, and while supplies are limited until February, I'm hoping I get the email shortly that they are shipping it! I'll post how I like it once I get to try it out!

Monday, January 16, 2012

First Long Run Post-Surgery - Trailrunning with Friends

After sinus surgery January 5, I was cleared to start easy running again Thursday, January 12. So 4 miles that Thursday with a walk/run with Alicia, 5 miles Saturday again walk/running with Alicia, and then decided to join dear frunner girls Alicia, Catherine, and Fiona on a trail run Sunday at Brockdale Park by Lake Lavon - a new location for me.
Picture by Alicia. Out on the trails with my frunner girls!
I was told it was 5 miles south to the dead-end at the next park, and I thought I probably wasn't up for 10 miles roundtrip. But I would see how I felt and do what I could. I could always turn around and walk back so the girls would catch me when they came back running.

This trail is heavily traveled by horseback riders. And with rain early the previous week, the trail had turned into soft deep black clay. And then cover it completely in the pockmarks of 8 inch deep sunk-in hoofmarks. I passed some riders late in the run and asked them about the trail, and they said it's NEVER that bad. Yippee. Welcome to Lake Lavon.
See all the divots!
It was an ankle-turning nightmare of a trail. Welcome back to running too!!! We all managed to get through in good health.
Divot closeup
I actually felt really good, never felt like I really pushed too hard. At 5.07 miles on the Garmin, we weren't at the southernmost park yet. I was nervous about how far I'd gone and how much further it would be, so I said I would turn back and probably be walking a lot of it, so they would catch me soon anyway.

I still felt great on the return trip. All my complaining that I thought it was uphill most of the way on the out portion came true, I wasn't hallucinating, because I was able to try to ride some of the gentle downhill. I had run 1 hour, 19 minutes on the "out" portion of the course and decided it would be cool to negative split the "back" portion. Of course, feeling chased, as I tried to stay ahead of the girls - I didn't want them to have to wait for me by passing me on the way back - that didn't hurt my determination and pace either. So I took less walk breaks than I expected. I finished 4 minutes faster than the out at 1 hour, 15 minutes. And I beat the girls back by a few minutes - that park ended up being another 0.15 or so further from where I'd turned around.
Beautiful view! Beautiful day!
So my third run back was a 10 mile trail run in harsh terrain for 2 1/2 hours. I hope my return to running continues to go this smooth, but we will see! You take it day by day, and you never take an active day for granted!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Overdue: Race Report for New Years Double, From the Race Director - Part 2, DAY

A friend suggested they'd like to see a race report from the actual race director. I thought it was a fun idea. So first I wrote about Why I Love Race Directing, and then I wrote Part 1 - EVE race. Today I tackle the joys of producing the same race TWO exhausting days in a row.

The Unexpected
After going to bed New Year's Eve about 11:30 pm, hubby Steve couldn't get to bed with our two dogs being a little wired up with the ruckus outside of people celebrating and little firecrackers. About 12:15 am, he heard a boom and it woke up the baby. He rushed upstairs to take care of her, raised a fist with a "hooligans", and I went to look out our bedroom window into the grassy area next to our house. I expected to see some kids being idiots, and I'd have to go outside and scatter them. Instead I peeked through the blinds and saw flames.

Panic! Evacuation! We got the kids, and the dogs, and evacuated the house within a minute and a half. Someone had shot a firework too low, and the mortar had exploded in the greenbelt, sparking the dead grass and catching it on fire.

High school kids having a party across the street and neighbors helped put the fire out. Had the wind blown the other way, we clearly would have lost the house. The fire came within 50 feet of the house. It was one of the scariest moments of my life.
That dark line on the left is the burned area, the house on the right, yeah, that's my house.
Learning to Ask for Help
This has been my lesson of the last 6 months. I act like I have everything under control, and I need to learn to ask for help when I'm in trouble. Steve and I got the kids back to sleep after the fire quickly, but we were twitchy, nervous wrecks. I kept looking outside for more fire. I couldn't help it. I posted on Facebook what had happened with a begging for help for the upcoming race day. We were already exhausted from a 19 hour work day making Day 1 happen.

1:30 am, dropped asleep until 4 am. Wow, let's do it all again after the scare of our lives and on 2 1/2 hours of sleep. This truly had turned into, as my friend Mike called it, the "ultra of race directing." At 5 am, I reposted, now to the New Years Double Facebook page, what had happened and asked again for help. It was hard to put myself out there and be so open and vulnerable with tired we were, but I've been learning that people really do want to help, they just need to know you need it! I didn't want to seem overly melodramatic, I mean we were all okay, the house was okay, the kids were okay, but it was the wear on me and Steve that needed to be addressed in the day ahead.

Another Day, Another Attempt at a Great Race
5:30 am. At the race site. Cold. Still shaken from the night. Happy to have asked for help, but still scared enough that I'm almost in tears any time someone brings it up.

6:00 am. Thankful for Ryan, who heeded the call for help and came to help my husband Steve set up all the aid stations. I met Ryan waiting for the airplane back to Dallas from the Hood To Coast Relay, and had only seen him one other time, at the Chupacabra 10K race. But runner friends come in all frequencies of contact! We're all still connected by our love for the sport!

6:30 am. The DJ has told me he has some changes to try with the sound system to help reduce the chance the neighbors call the police on us again. He sets up. Great job as usual, Jon, with your own Plan B, as we had NO calls New Year's Day morning from residents. We really want to be good neighbors and a good community event, so this made me really happy.


7:00 am. Volunteers are checking in and reporting for duty. I'm seeing how smooth it's all going when 70% of your runners have already done the previous day's race. They all already know what to do, what to expect. It's really nice.

8:15 am. The energy isn't quite as high today. Everyone looks kinda sore and tired. But the challenge of the double is too great to avoid.

8:30 am. Volunteers at the second aid station report that runners are saying an arrow on the course has disappeared. Steve runs out to that spot. He thinks it's hilarious how nice all the runners are, yelling out, "It's that one that's missing." and guiding him to the right spot. That's what happens on day 2. Looks like the wind had picked up and just taken that sign straight off the wire frame, or it was teenagers up to no good (happened last year to a couple signs on the old course)!

8:45 am. 5K finishers are coming in. I think everyone's going to mingle over their victory a little, visit with and cheer on finishing 5K friends, get some food, and make their way to the Challenge Plate table. I guessed that one TOTALLY wrong. Beeline of runners to the Challenge Plate table. Luckily, a great group of volunteers are over there. I run to the timing company and ask him to print a couple more copies of the previous day's race results for checking off the Challenge Plate eligibility. So appreciative he could jump aboard Plan B too! Get those back to the volunteeers, I man the megaphone, and start directing people to individual lines to move that line through faster. Luckily, while the volunteers and me are feeling rushed and panicky, the runners seem to be in good spirits. They're hanging out like I thought they would, but they're doing it in line.


Best Group of Runners I Could Ask For
The rest of the morning goes pretty swimmingly. This was really the greatest participants I could ask for. They used the trash boxes, which we helped along by having plenty and trying to make sure the aid stations knew to spread them out. They treated the volunteers immaculately, again helped along by pre-race notes on Facebook outlining the awesome groups that would be volunteering and reminding people to thank a volunteer. Calm, courteous, excited, you guys really rocked.




A Very Touching Moment at 2 PM
In my call to arms about the "almost fire", I had asked for help at teardown time of 2 pm. And help with picking up race signs. And a ton of people turned up. Sabrina brought her battery-operated moped to go out on the trail and pick up signs. Tanya has crutches and walked part of the park to pick up signs, and her friend Lydia picked more up. My sister Elaine ran the 5K to earn her day 2 medal and Challenge Plate and picked up the park perimeter signs as she ran. Elizabeth masterminded the start/finish for those still completing the race so I could help direct all these volunteers that showed up.  To Jeanne, Rachel, Susan, and many others I'm not sure I even got your names... thank you! Even hubby Steve was shocked at how quick the UHaul got loaded. I was so out of it and tired, I'm not sure I thanked everyone enough. I tried. I was also really emotional watching strangers come help. I can't tell you how often you look around at about 1 pm, and *zoom* all your volunteers have just disappeared. It's a lot of trash and hauling and work after that point, and I've been there multiple times where there's no one left to do those things. I took a moment and snapped a picture of this awesome crew of volunteers.

Again, Just Because the Course Closes...
...Doesn't mean the race is over. Back to the house. I'm posting race results, checking Facebook and Twitter, checking the email address for the race. Steve and my sister are washing out Gatorade coolers. Then the long trip to Irving to the storage unit (thanks to Heels and Hills for lending many pieces of the aid station equipment), unload everything, and back home. Day ended about 6 pm, at which point the kids were tired and frustrated. But thankful for my parents who let Steve and I go out to a short celebratory dinner, complete with our own glass of bubbly (Cava) to celebrate the new year, and two days where we felt like we changed lives.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Overdue: Race Report for New Years Double, From the Race Director - Part 1, EVE

A friend suggested I should write my own race report about the New Years Double, from my point of view as a race director. Well, first attempt turned into a general, gushy "Why I Love Race Directing." So now that I've gotten that out of my system, on with MY New Years Double race report...  (This is DAY 1, the EVE race. Click here for the Part 2, for the New Year's DAY race)

Packet Pickup
I could not believe how many people showed up an hour before packet pickup even opened on Thursday afternoon! Picking packet pickup hours are always tough. You want to balance the best use of the volunteers' time with the right hours that people will want to pick up their packets. Too many packet pickup hours and it'll be hard to get enough volunteers, and your volunteers won't feel very useful if they are all just standing around and fill only a handful of packets in an hour. But too few hours, and it's going to be crowded.

So Thursday was CRAZY. It's really hard to train a whole bunch of volunteers while people are standing in line an hour early. It was really stressful for them - I've gotten used to it, but they were feeling the pressure! And even the volunteers expressed surprise at people who couldn't understand why their packet couldn't be filled early. Do you not see the stack of shirt boxes here and the unorganized bibs? Do we look ready to do packets early? But I get it, it seems really easy and obvious until you try to do 2,000 bibs and shirts and packets in a compressed small area with a handful of volunteers.
Awesome volunteers doing an amazing job at packet pickup
I guess everyone had off Thursday afternoon based on the lines. Looks like we need longer hours on Thursday next time! Meanwhile, Friday was much quieter. But those Friday hours seemed appropriate, with a steady flow of runners.

Friday at the Race Site
Tents went up midmorning. Managing and unloading a race site while having packet pickup across town? Tricky. Happy for return volunteers that I could trust to get it done. Friday night, Elizabeth helped me put out race signs in the dark. Over 100 race signs but I had them organized by section, so it went quickly, which means just a couple hours.

Saturday, EVE Race
4 am wakeup. At the race site by 5:15 am. Packet pickup was a smooth process, and it was evident a lot of people had chosen to pick up ahead of time. There was so much energy in the air. It was incredible.

7:00 am. A lot more volunteers show up. Happy for the help of my sister Elaine, who is my Volunteer Lead for the day.
Alicia, left, sponsor for the National Honor Society students who were volunteering, and Elaine, left, my sister and  Volunteer Lead for the race

7:10 am. One aid station has not shown up at the dropoff time for supplies. Hubby Steve, who's in charge of all aid stations and the big UHaul truck of supplies, has to move on to the next aid station and will come back to see if they show. Sister Elaine (Volunteer Lead) and I prep for the possibility of rerouting some of our volunteers to this aid station. Luckily, they are there and going when Steve gets back.

7:20 am. I see Suann of Team Wheaties Fuel and remember I need a pic to show the Wheaties people that the samples they gave us (courtesy of team member Judy E.) made it to the race site to be handed out. So we pose!


7:55 am. The police show up. Oh goodness. Neighbors had called in to complain about the noise from the sound system. The police officer was very nice - he didn't think it was too bad - but we abided and turned it down.
Frunners (Runner friends!)


8:15 am. Time to start the first race. Ready to see how this corral system works in practice.

Choosing the size of each corral and seeing how moving each corral with each wave start is a complete guessing game. It's not like we all have a race director's manual that says, "200 people in Corral B? Give that corral 40 feet of room for gathering." Wouldn't that be nice. It was really cool to see the front runners in each corral. They seemed to enjoy feeling truly elite for the day. And they're all off! As a race director, it's the moment of truth - how many people will fit on this trail? Would my guess be totally off?

8:25 am. Same start process with the 5K. Let's get this party started. Sigh of relief once they've all gone. What's done is done.

Time to get ready for 5Kers to finish. Prep the food, get the medals ready, and prep the aid station for the first loop finishes of the half and full marathoners. The calm before the storm.

When the 5K runners start coming in, the next check for crisis... is the timing system capturing everyone? Yes? Great!

5K finishers are loving their medals, makes me so happy to roam around and see the reactions. How many 5Ks give you a finisher medal AND a tech shirt? And how can you not be inspired to perhaps take on a longer distance watching these fast half marathoners and marathoners come through the end of their first loop?!?

9:00 am. Word comes that a handful of runners have completely blown through some volunteers, cones, and signs and had to be called back onto the course. Amazing to me how much some runners can zone out. Steve heads out to the site and they move around some signs and add some more cones. Life must be different when you run as fast as some of these speedy people, but I don't really zone out to the level that I could miss signs, cones, AND volunteers directing you. So always surprises me.

Half Marathoners Come In - How Is The Course?
10:00 am. Half marathon runners start finishing their race. And how does everyone feel? Do they hate me for giving them a multi-loop course? I feel good that at least the course was well-communicated: you know what to expect. It's 2 loops for the half marathon and 4 loops for the full marathon, and it was documented that it was city-paved concrete trail since everyone's feet handle distance on terrain differently.

So the reaction from runners: they're happy! They aren't mad at me! In fact, the volunteers are so awesome, the energy is so high, that the course is just one big runner party! People are high-fiving, chatting, encouraging each other. They feel like the time passes quickly since they are often looking for oncoming runners to spot their friends. And they love that they get to see their friends often, regardless of their pace. It's exactly what I hoped for. It's a big race (because 1000 each day IS big) that feels like a small race. Even my husband Steve says that each time he visits an aid station, he's surprised how many runners he recognizes seeing again and again.
This race had the best spectators!
They love Marci's awesome handmade neon-colored signs. They love their volunteers. They love the spectators. It's a touching moment for me because I feel like I put a lot of heart into events I help produce, and today feels like a day that the volunteers felt that and reflected that towards the runners, the runners felt that and reflected it back to the volunteers. :-)

What a big sigh of relief!

10:45 am. Short dance party and love fest in the middle of some friends, where I can really jump up and down and feel happy for what's happened today.

11:00 am. Half marathon awards time. People seem to enjoy the awards. Like last year's smaller day-only half marathon, the awards are champagne flutes with the race logo and the word WINNER on them. 1 for half and 5K and relay age group winners, 2 for overall and masters winners in every distance. And 2 for top winners in the marathon. So if you can place both days, you'll get 2 or 4 flutes - you can get a full set. These are cost effective because they are all the same for both days and for overall versus age group winners. I expect annoyance from some top winners at the awards not being specific or special enough, but I don't get it from anyone. That's a good sign!


Does everything end at the course time limit?
Never! Pack up some things, clean up others. Go home to post links to race results, answer any pressing questions across all the platforms (email, Facebook, Twitter). Wash out all the Gatorade coolers so they won't be sticky/ucky for day 2. Load up the truck and take 2nd day medals and Challenge Plates to the race site. Steve and I review all the numbers for aid stations and adjust for the next day based on how day 1 had gone. We then realize that not all the finish line water was delivered, and we're short 12 cases. So a run to the Walmart to stock up, especially in case it's hot. Always better to have too much than not enough. Bedtime at 11:30 pm.

Next... the details of Day 2, the DAY race in Part 2 HERE

Why I Love Race Directing

I hadn't blogged about the New Years Double and then a friend suggested I do a Race Report from my perspective as the race director. Cool idea! Although finding time for it was harder than I thought. As I sit recovering from sinus surgery and at a moment where I'm awake and not currently on a pain pill, I'll try to spill out my thoughts quickly. I want to tell you about my love for putting together running races, and then next time I sit down, I'll prepare a little race report of my race weekend with the New Years Double.

My Elevator Speech on Me and Race Directing

My name is Libby, and I have a passion for race directing. Yes, I'm a runner and love running too. But what an adrenaline surge to put together a run for others, and then what a fantastic payoff when people cross that finish line and have that huge smile on their faces. It's a moment where you feel like you had an impact in someone's life. Really truly. It's absolutely addictive.

And yes, I can have thin skin. But I'm working on toughening it up. People need to recognize that this race comes from passion and is put on by one person, not a team of staff members. I need to understand that people don't realize when they are critical that I feel like I'm putting a part of myself out there, vulnerable, ready to be rejected. I'm learning that sometimes people want changes that they don't realize will cost them more money to put into place, money they usually don't want to pay. And I'm learning that the races I produce are not the right races for some people. And that's okay. If you're my friend, I hope you'll still support me, but if my race isn't your cup of tea, I get it.

However, if you question my motives or objectives, you obviously don't know me at all. I'm about as open as a person can get, and trust me, if I was making a six-figure salary directing races, you'd all know it. And the entry fee wouldn't have started at $45 either. Instead, it's a chance to raise a lot of money for a great cause, and a cause that is important to me, because I'm the race director and I can choose that. (for this race, the money is actually going to several different awesome causes!)

But I've watched something I create change the life of another. I've seen sobs at the finish line. I've seen people drop to their knees at the finish and praise God (although please recognize that may cause me and the medical staff to come running!). And those race days are each engrained in my memory for all eternity, and they carry me through each of my days and each of my own runs. And I'm thankful for each person who has been a part of it all!

My sister Elaine on the left and me on the right - race day at the New Years Double

Friday, January 6, 2012

Sinus Surgery Update

I'm conscious and not drugged up and feeling pretty okay for a second, so I thought I'd pop in to update how yesterday's eventful day had gone.

Yesterday morning I had sinus surgery where my ENT, Dr. Thrasher, cleared all the gunk that had completely closed up every sinus passage and to further open up the passage openings. He gave me a 70% chance he was going to have to fix my deviated septum in my nose just to get up there.

This surgery was the result of about 18 months of sinus problems. It probably all got rolling with a couple bad colds during my pregnancy with Sophie. Then I just could never quite shake some sniffles since then even with a few occasional sinus infection treatments. Finally, in the last 6 months, I had lost my sense of smell.

Luckily, I have a pretty decent pain tolerance so when Dr. Thrasher saw my CT scan, he was floored. Most people would have been in pretty intense pain with what he was seeing. It was the beginning of December, and we had to postpone the surgery to January 5 because I'm the only one on a day-to-day basis who is making the New Years Double race happen. I'm happy for all the race week volunteers, but there's no one at my level in the process if I was sidelined.

When the doctor went in yesterday, he was amazed at what he saw. I was given the award for worst sinuses of the year by him, har har, and even though it's early in the year, he thinks it'll take most of the year before he has another person to rival my title. In fact, the buildup and pressure was so bad up there that it had now begun to actually bow the bone in my nose. Hmm, maybe that explains the headaches I'd been having off and on for a week. Good news is he didn't have to fix my deviated septum so that should speed up my recovery a little.

Surgery took 2 1/2 hours. I was completely out on general anesthesia for the surgery, so they got me up and moving around after about 1 1/2 hours after surgery was over. Steve went and picked up all my meds - still on steroids, plus Vicodin pain pills, plus an antibiotic. Well, Steve shows me the antibiotic and it's in the family of drugs that contains Levaquin. If you aren't familiar with Levaquin, heed this warning: this class of antibiotics has been found in patients to cause tendon rupture, particularly the Achilles tendon. So it's rare for it to be prescribed to athletes unless there's a lack of communication going on between doctor and patient, or it's really the only option. So you NEED to tell your doctor if you are a fanatical runner, and you should even ask, "Is this Levaquin or related to Levaquin?"

Dr. Thrasher knew all too well about my running, we'd talked about it quite a bit, so I was really surprised he would prescribe that. So a couple rounds with the doctor's call service, and now I'm on the phone with him directly. Looks like a case of managing expectations in my part and not 100% clear communication to a Type A athlete on his part. I had been told 10 days to 2 weeks totally off, and then I'd be able to go back to normal athletic activities. Well, Levaquin has been shown to cause problems for several days after the 10 day dose. So that was my issue with the doc is that I planned, when I was cleared in 10 to 14 days, to go back to heavy weight sets and 20 miles per week of running, maybe with speedwork or hillwork mixed in, and that's seeming to go against this. That's when we finally met eye to eye, and he now told me 10 days until I can start "light jogging" again and ANOTHER 7-10 days until I'm back to completely normal running and strength training workouts. Is there another drug antibiotic he could put me on so I wouldn't have that extra 10 days? No, not given what he'd given me in the past and how bad it was when he went up there in the surgery. So it'll be about 3 weeks before I'm back running. Since my miles were already low through December, I'm anticipating it taking some time to get my base back up.

Meanwhile, recovery's going okay. I'm pretty tired, but I managed to sleep off and on through the night. You bleed pretty continually although it's starting to be less and less each time I change the gauze. Without the mask with gauze across my face, you wouldn't know anything had happened. Bruising on the face would actually be considered a bad sign. I haven't taken a pain pill since 1:30 am, but may do a couple throughout the day if it helps me rest and recover.

And I live vicariously right now through all my runner friends. So I'll enjoy the next 3ish weeks of reading all your workouts, your runs, your races, while I recuperate! ...And I'm pretty worn out now, so back to bed!