A kid’s point of view: Foot doctor frustrations + Christmas fun

My cousin Garrett is playing in the NCAA Division III National Football Championship today in Daytona, Fla. He broke his thumb in the last game and has a special athletic cast so he can still play even though he had to have surgery and get screws put in. As for sixth grade athletes like me, I couldn't even get to see the doctor -- the podiatrist wouldn't see me because I didn't have the right kind of insurance!

My cousin Garrett is playing in the NCAA Division III National Football Championship today in Daytona, Fla. He broke his thumb in the last game and has a special athletic cast so he can still play even though he had to have surgery and get screws put in. As for sixth grade athletes like me, I couldn’t even get to see the doctor — the podiatrist wouldn’t see me because I didn’t have the right kind of insurance!

By Colleen, age 12

So yesterday I went to Fort Wayne Orthopedics to get my foot looked at, but get this: I never got to see the doctor because he doesn’t take our insurance!  And this is the same office where we were last time when they scheduled the appointment! Isn’t that weird? Boy, was I mad!

Check out the awesome Santa hat I got at the Blue Team auction. It cost me $60 Blue Bucks. (We earn Blue Bucks for stuff we do at school).

Check out the awesome Santa hat I got at the Blue Team auction. It cost me $60 Blue Bucks. (We earn Blue Bucks for stuff we do at school).

Everybody was really apologetic and rescheduled me for Tuesday, with a different doctor who will take our insurance. But I was REALLY hoping to work out last night and now I have to wait until Tuesday. Grrrr!!!!! At least I haven’t gained any weight during the past two weeks, but I haven’t lost any, either — and just one week til our weight-loss contest is over.

We are having an awesome party at school today called the Blue Bash. (I am on the Blue team in the sixth grade. There is also a Gold Team.) After school we are going to watch my cousin Garrett play for the NCAA Division III National Football Championship in Daytona, Fla.

Grandma and Grandpa and Garrett’s family drove down for the game. I wish we could’ve gone but we had final exams, so we will watch it on TV. The bummer is that Garrett broke his thumb in the last game and we don’t know how much he will get to play. Hopefully a lot because he got an interception AFTER he broke his thumb. Man, he is tough!

Do you realize that by the time of my next blog post Christmas will be over? Seems kinda crazy that it’s almost here already, but Christmas Break here I come! Merry Christmas, everybody!

Some of my friends and I at the Beef and Boards production of "A Christmas Carol" last Friday in Indy.

Some of my friends and I at the Beef and Boards production of “A Christmas Carol” last Friday in Indy.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Old running shoes get a duct-tape makeover

ductshoes2The cover story: I’ve been reading on some other blogs how some runners duct-tape their shoes in rainy/snowy weather to give them a few extra miles before they get completely soaked. There’s a 20 percent chance of snow forecast for Saturday’s Huff 50K, and it rained earlier in the week, so it doesn’t hurt to be prepared…

The reality: I’m too cheap to buy a new pair of shoes, so I’m just giving makeovers to a couple of older models.

These holes shouldn't be a problem once I apply some duct tape.

These holes shouldn’t be a problem once I apply some duct tape.

The Saucony Kinvara 3s pictured above were so worn out this time last year they were giving me shin splints. But it turns out they don’t bother me at all running on trails. In fact, I kinda like their lightweight feel and snug fit; makes me feel a bit more surefooted out amongst the roots and rocks, especially since I added some screws to the soles for extra grip. Heck, these guys are practically as good as new.

Next up: My Saucony Kinvara 2s, a year older with several hundred more miles on them. But they’ve gotten new life thanks to an insole transplant, and once I patch up the holes on the uppers and add some screws to the bottom, they’ll be all set!

Now this pair could be a challenge -- but I'm not ready to give up on them yet! (Step one:  Toss in the washer.)

Now this pair could be a challenge — but I’m not ready to give up on them yet! (Step one: Toss in the washer, after first removing the transplanted insoles.)

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

How did I miss this?

So it turns out the first-ever Beer Mile World Championships were held earlier this month in Austin, Texas, and not only was record-holder and 44-year-old mother of six Chris Kimbrough dethroned, but she was beaten by a woman from Fort Wayne.

Turns out Elizabeth Herndon, a 29-year-old environmental geochemist at Kent State, grew up in Fort Wayne and graduated from Snider High School. She’s been a runner most of her life — wining the local Fort4Fitness Half Marathon in 2009 — and presumably been a beer drinker for some subset of that time.

For this event – in which she shattered Kimbrough’s record of 6:28 with a time of 6:17 – Herndon downed a 12-ounce Fat Tire Ale before each of four laps around a quarter-mile track.

Wonder how fast she could do it without getting bogged down by those beers

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The best Christmas present of all came early this year

One of the nice things about being part of a ginormous extended family is you never know what will turn up in the way of ancestral artifacts. Turns out my Great Uncle Ken shot some video at my grandparents’ house back in 1996, and he recently made a DVD copy for my dad.

My grandparents on my dad's side, Ervin and Anna Isch.

My grandparents on my dad’s side, Ervin and Anna Isch.

So over the weekend our younger kids got a chance  to see their great grandpa – who died in 1998 — telling stories rather than just grinning at them from a photograph.

It also raised an intriguing question: What was it that people in this area saw in the sky back when Ken, now around 80 years old, was a boy?

In the video he poses the question to his older siblings and their spouses, wondering just what it was that “made people think the world was coming to an end?”

It was hard to make out individual responses, because everybody in the room started talking at once. (Also, my dad began talking over the soundtrack to add his two cents, which is that it was an unusual but not unprecedented case of dislocated northern lights.)

Whatever it was, nobody who’d seen the sky that night had forgotten about it more than 60 years later.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Rebuilding 50K confidence ‘from the ground up’

When my sister and I line up this coming Saturday for the HUFF 50K, I’m going to be thinking of Temple Grandin – a 67-year-old autistic professor who as far as I know has no connection whatsoever to running, unless it’s in relation to cattle, which is her field of study.

templegrandinbookBut Dr. Grandin’s personal philosophy of improving oneself  by “building from the ground up” (improving on past successes) rather than “from the top down” (struggling to emulate others) really struck a chord with me when my daughter and I went to hear her speak at Manchester University last year.

What does this have to do with the HUFF? Well, for the past several weeks I’ve teetered between sheer terror that our training has fallen so dreadfully short of what “the experts” recommend and a quiet confidence that comes from knowing we’ve done something similar before – with even less training.

Most marathon training calls for weekly mileage of 40 miles or more. As a 30-mile race, this is considered an “ultramarathon,” which would seem to call for even more mileage. And yet not only have we never hit 40 miles per week at any point this fall, we sometimes don’t even get to 30.

Every time I freak out about this, my sister rolls her eyes and reminds me of our 50-mile run/walk last fall. We didn’t have proper mileage training for that, either. But we’d practiced a couple of times a week on the 10-mile loop that formed the basis of that project, and worked out our run-walk patterns ahead of time. Though we were hurting the last few miles leading up to 50, we felt pretty good through the first 30 miles.

This fall our long runs have maxed out at just under 17 miles – three laps around trail 5 at Ouabache State Park — primarily because of time constraints. It’s not too hard to imagine finishing a race that required us to do six laps instead of three. But that’s on our “home” course.

The HUFF course at Chain o’ Lakes State Park is much tougher, primarily because of all the hills. After our test run there last weekend, it was Traci who was feeling discouraged.

“My legs are still sore,” she said during Thursday’s run back on our home course. “We should’ve done more hill training.”

I’d like to think her gloominess had more to do with going a couple of days without sleep than because her confidence has been shaken.

If we’re going to do this, we’ll need her stubborn determination to resurface – and soon. She hasn’t read all the training plans I have, so she’s not constantly reminded, as I am, what other runners think.

All she knows is what we’ve done in the past. We’ve done the distance, on much flatter terrain. And we’ve run the 2-loop course one time through.

If we can build on those experiences – rather than worrying what the other runners would say if they saw my mileage log — we should be able to finish the HUFF.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

A kid’s point of view: Missing the basketball tourney:(

colleenBy Colleen, age 12

Tomorrow I will watch my team make or break the basketball tourney. And whatever  happens, there is nothing I can do. My stupid foot has not healed enough for me to play.:(  I hope that at least I might help my team by moral support. I’ve been going to practices this week and trying to help my teammates learn the new plays.

The good news is, my dieting has really been up to par. I maintained this week, which is good considering I couldn’t really exercise. Even with last week’s 2-pound gain, I still have an 11-pound loss.

Today my class is going to a dinner theater in Indianapolis to see “A Christmas Carol.” Then tonight I am going to my friend Rachel’s (yes the fast one) house for her birthday. I am so excited!�

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

A short test run in ‘screw’ shoes

screwshoesI’ve been debating whether to get a pair of shoes for the HUFF, but as of now I think I’m going to just refurbish a couple of pairs I already own with new insoles and some screws for better traction.

I tried this screw arrangement out on the school’s cross country course yesterday afternoon, but it was so stunningly flooded it was hard to tell if my shoes had better traction or not.

If nothing else, this short test run did alleviate any concerns I had about the screws poking the bottom of my feet.  (This pair of Saucony Kinvara 3s is fairly lightweight to begin with, pretty worn out, and has yet to be fitted with its new insole, so there’s not a lot of  padding there.)

The screws I used were No. 6, 3/8 inch. (Other posts I’ve seen have recommended No. 8, but my local hardware store didn’t have those.) I just made a tiny hole with the screw tip and then used a screwdriver to work the screws in. Takes a little patience, but not all that much time, really.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments