Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A Father Who Didn't Have To

(Can ) Father-son bond of Dick and Rick Hoyt

Have you heard of Team Hoyt? Dick and Rick Hoyt.....(turn up your speakers)

Eighty-five times he's pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in marathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars--all in the same day.Dick's also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. on a bike. Makes taking your son bowling look a little lame, right?

And what has Rick done for his father? Not much--except save his life.

This love story began in Winchester, Mass., 43 years ago, when Rick was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs.``He'll be a vegetable the rest of his life;'' Dick says doctors told him and his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. ``Put him in an institution.''But the Hoyts weren't buying it. They noticed the way Rick's eyes followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was anything to help the boy communicate. ``No way,'' Dick says he was told.``There's nothing going on in his brain.''"Tell him a joke,'' Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a lot was going on in his brain.

Rigged up with a computer that allowed him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words? ``Go Bruins!'' And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the school organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, ``Dad, I want to do that.''Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described ``porker'' who never ran more than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he tried. ``Then it was me who was handicapped,'' Dick says. ``I was sore for two weeks.''That day changed Rick's life. ``Dad,'' he typed, ``when we were running, it felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!''And that sentence changed Dick's life.

He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon.``No way,'' Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren't quite a single runner, and they weren't quite a wheelchair competitor. For a few years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway, then they found a way to get into the race officially: In 1983 they ran another marathon so fast they made the qualifying time for Boston the following year.

Then somebody said, ``Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?''How's a guy who never learned to swim and hadn't ridden a bike since he was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon? Still, Dick tried.Now they've done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii. It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don't you think?

Hey, Dick, why not see how you'd do on your own? ``No way,'' he says. Dick does it purely for ``the awesome feeling'' he gets seeing Rick with a cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.

This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best time'? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992--only 35 minutes off the world record, which, in case you don't keep track of these things, happens to be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the time.``No question about it,'' Rick types. ``My dad is the Father of the Century.''And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had a mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries was 95% clogged. ``If you hadn't been in such great shape,'' one doctor told him, ``you probably would've died 15 years ago.''

So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other's life.

Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston, and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland, Mass., always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some backbreaking race every > weekend, including this Father's Day.That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy.``The thing I'd most like,'' Rick types, ``is that my dad sit in the chair and I push him once.''
----------Story from Sports Illustrated--------------

Monday, August 28, 2006

I'm Ready.... Are You?


And.... we're back.

To reality that is.

Saturday was the 12 Auburn Run. But, instead of running anew rout (to keep my ankle off the unstable gravel part of the way), and to drive there to drop a car off so we can get back, etc, etc. we decided to make it the Silver Lake Run. Our house is 6 miles north of "in town" Silver Lake. So we dropped our drinks off along the way to town and then ran to my house and back.

the first six miles were great. the first three miles were a little fast but by the time we got to my house - the half way point - we were averaging 11:30 minute miles; right on target. but i was feeling a little tired. a mile back from my house i was fumbling with my bottle of gatorade and trying to open a gel pack and dropped my bottle. as i tried to slow down and bend down at the same time, i almost fell over (losing my balance).

that one single event kick started a rapid downhill progression. it seemed to immediately wipe out my energy. at mile 8 i was really feeling it - tired. my legs were leaving me. and for all purposes, by mile 9 i "hit the wall".

but here's a little back ground info that contributed to that failed run:
1. we walked only during the fluid breaks - or every 30-35 minutes (i'm used to walking every 12 minutes tops)
2. i probably didn't eat enough for lunch (quality carbs and protein) to support my run.
3. i tried to eat less on the run - to see if too much gel, too early was contributing to my upset stomach on long runs.
4. the gel i DID bring were new flavors i had never tried before. and they were nasty. so i couldn't even eat the gel i did bring.
5. i didn't have enough fluids in my body when i started ( i didn't pre-hydrate).

so, yes, i was probably doomed from the start. and though dropping my bottle is not what sabotaged the run, i think it was that i expended what energy i had left when i tried to pick it up while still running.

afterwards i couldn't eat or drink for some time due to my stomach queeziness. i did at least walk the remaining 3 miles. my knees were throbbing with pain and i could not stop sweating. i lost approximate 10 pounds of fluid on that run and i couldn't rehydrate my self til at least an hour or so after the run.

hard lesson learned.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Changing my mind?

Okay, if only all my workouts were this awesome, i might i have to rethink my "retirement" after the Chicago marathon!!!

This morning was a PMP (predicting marathon pace) 7 mile run. Since i want to run a 10:30 mile i set my watch for 2 minute, 40 second 400 meter intervals. the Shunga Trail where we run is marked off every 400 meters. and 2 minutes, 40 seconds every 400 meter gives me a little more than a 10 and half minute mile (i was cautious).

now i've been sick with a cold since last Friday afternoon and i almost went home early yesterday and stayed in bed ALL evening. that's why i gave myself a few extra seconds per 400 meters.

plus, even though Bob and i run together - we will no longer really be running "together"... he's a faster runner period and to run "with" me would hinder his own performance. so this morning i also had to run the whole 7 miles on my own. yet one more reason to get discouraged.

As expected, within the first 400 meters i was feeling pain/burning in my lower legs. and i was struggling to run "on pace".... i was going too FAST. within a mile i was able to maintain my 2:40 pace. and a really cool thing was happening; my legs/feet didn't get worse. they actually subsided some. i focused on my breathing and counting the 400 meter red stripes. before i knew it, i was half way done and ready to turn around. i hadn't yet stopped for a walk break. a half mile into the return run and i decided i should stop for some water at least. so i stopped for a mere 15 seconds for water and was off again. and i was running FASTER. i decreased my 400 intervals by TWENTY seconds! i was now running faster than a 9 minute 30 second mile! and i MAINTAINED that pace for two miles.

but it doesn't stop there... that last half mile i decided to kick it up a notch again! i shaved off another 15 seconds per interval (now a 2 minute, 5 second 400). i ran the last half mile of the run at a little over a EIGHT AND A HALF MINUTE MILE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

now, does that mean i'm ready to run a 10:30 mile marathon? heck no. but it does mean my speed is increasing and judging by the way i ran the last half mile, i could have run the first three and a half miles at a faster pace. this morning my time averaged out to be about a 10 minute mile - for seven miles straight!!!

and i've never run that far without taking walk breaks. and i've never run that far, feeling so good about it.....

this morning was just amazing!!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Third Time's a Charm?

I just got back from a men's retreat this afternoon. Tracy said Josie woke up saying her throat hurt. So while Taylor was at football practice, she ran Josie into the doc real quick.... and low and behold, she has tested positive for strep AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that's three times in about three weeks.

the doctor gave us a different prescription and we are to take Josie back when the medicine is complete. He wants to see if Josie is a "carrier" or something. Geez.

but hey, all else if fine!! i better get back to playing dolls.

oh, i forgot to tell you in the last post, Josie's next surgery is scheduled for February 16, 2007 (i think. i forgot to write it down). it's in February.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Post-op Visit

i took josie to Children's Mercy yesterday for her surgery follow up appointment. they took off her bandages and took post op xrays. she will need a replacement next time on the right side. they will CT only her cradles (the loops that connect to the ribs) instead of her whole back. they want to see how they look on her bones - if they are migrating or moving. after this last expansion, the rod on her right side is pushed up higher into her neck. if you push down on the muscle between her neck and shoulder, you can feel the top of the cradle. once i get digital pics of the xrays, i'lll post them so you know what i'm talking about. basically, the rod is pushing up on the rib with such pressure, her rib is bending. maybe i'll scan the paper xray i have to see if it comes out.... nope the file size is too big too upload. i'll see if Dr. Price's nurse can email me the digital pics.

Bob and i ran the 9 miler last saturday. i ran too fast. we ran the first 6 miles at sub-10 minute per mile pace. i was losing steam at 5 miles. by the last two miles, i had to take extra walk breaks to finish. this weekend is the 'timed 10k' (6.2 miles). this would be the run i would be shooting for 10 minute miles cause you are 'racing' basically. i will be shooting for 10:30's though - which is my goal marathon time. i'm gonna train as much as i can at a pace of 10 minute 30 second miles for the marathon. but i'll be satisfied if i can maintain 11 minute miles in October.

welp, that's it for now, i think.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Texas is out

i'm slacking a little on the updates....
Tuesday Josie came down with a fever. That same day we learned Cami has strep that she probably got from Josie a week ago. Wednesday Tracy took Josie in and she has recontracted Strep.

For this reason, and among other things on our plate causing us stress.... we are cancelling our trip to Texas this weekend. This is hard for us, knowing Dr. Smith is ill and we will likely never see him again, this side of Heaven. On the site i learned today he is in the hospital having fluid drained off his lungs.

But we've got to do what's best for us. We are already stressed. in all actuality the trip to San Antonio would be stresfull as we rush through a 1500 mile round trip in 72 hours. But i really wish we could go. Dr. Smith is a wonderful man and the medical field is losing one of it's best surgeons. I'm not yet counting out a Miraculous intervention....

My running Tuesday was terrible. lots of fiery pain in my shins and lower legs in general. this is what made training for Lincoln so miserable. And it started out so well this time around... no such pain. But all it took was that two weeks off with the ankle sprain to ruin it all. This Saturday is the "Gage Street" 9 mile run. i hope it's better than Tuesday's 4.5 miler.