Archive for November 18th, 2008|Daily archive page

Days 103, 104, 105–in the heart of Phoenix

Saturday, November 15

I decided to run on Saturday so that I would have a head start crossing Phoenix. My right calf had been tight but there seemed to be no problem today. Anita left early this morning. Dan and Carol Hockersmith, my State Farm hosts, were crewing for me today. I started off well and ran the first 2 miles before going to the walk/run pattern. I planned to do no more than 20 miles today so I would be ready for the new crew. About 6 miles I stopped by a construction site porta-potty. There was no one around so in I went. I was finishing up when a motorcycle pulled up and the guy was planning the same thing I had just done. He was not expecting anyone and I came out just as he reached for the door. I think he was a bit startled. I said hi and went on with my run. Just after 10 miles, my right calf tightened up and was very painful. I walked ½ a mile more and called Dan and Carol to pick me up. I was not happy about the problem.

Dan drove me to a motel in Apache Junction. That had been the plan, just not so early in the day. I spent the afternoon in the room icing my calf and then massaging it. About 5 p.m. my new crew, Andy Roy and Jennifer Kline of Boston showed up and we went to dinner. Later I massaged my leg again and went to bed not knowing what to expect the next day.

I will not dedicate this day. It was a day of injury and uncertainty.

Sunday, November 16

I am without internet access so I’ll post when I can. Entries will be written daily and copied to the blog periodically when access is available.

We got up at the usual time. Walking around the parking lot proved to be painful so I had to come up with a plan. Andy and I discussed the mechanics of the injury and decided that pushing off the big toe was creating the pain in my calf. I took scissors and a knife and cut off the sole of the shoe that is under the first two toes. Trial showed that walking was not totally pain free, but it was bearable. I decided try it. Andy and Jennifer dropped me out about 10 a.m. There are no longer any mile markers but I think I did about 16 miles by 4:30 p.m. I had to do it slow and stay on good flat pavement avoiding rocks and holes but it was a lot better than nothing. And a lot better than I expected.

Yesterday was Roger Coan’s birthday. I would have dedicated yesterday to him if not for the injury. Today was a very positive comeback though. Roger has been my friend since high school. We got into a lot of mischief back then. Only sometimes did we get caught. I was almost uncontrollable at times back then and he usually watched out for me. He continues to watch out for me. The week before last he flew to Albuquerque, rented a car, and crewed for me a week. His only requirement was that I not make him listen to any of my “radical, liberal political ideas.” I enjoyed his company and only occasionally did we discuss politics even though the election was held while he was out here. We did enjoy watching the antelope graze and looking for elk and mule deer. We also both enjoyed the feeling of being in large, open country. Thanks for your help Roger. Happy Birthday.

Monday, November 17

I did not know what to expect today from my leg. I went on the premiss that if I could not be fast I could still cover lots of miles by staying out there a long time. That’s my usual tactic anyway isn’t it? Andy and Jennifer dropped me out at 7:40. I wore new shoes today and not the cut up ones. There was some tightness in the beginning but it passed and I made good progress all day. Once as I crossed the highway a car was coming and I forgot the injury and tried to speed up. Pain reminded me immediately of the injury and it took a few minutes to get my rhythm back. Andy and Jennifer cruised ahead checking out the turns and the neighborhoods. The checked on me regularly. In the afternoon I finally reached the Arizona Canal. It runs southeast to northwest and will save me some miles and keep me out of traffic. Andy joined me there for several miles as Jennifer drove ahead and met us at the road crossings. We continued until 5:20 before calling it a day. I think today’s milage totaled in the high 20s but I changed streets several times and walked on the canal. There is no good way to measure it.

Sunday afternoon we met Tom Pangborn’s sister, Katherine, her husband Ken, and their son Andrew. Tom’s family is letting us stay in their mom’s house during our time in Phoenix. It’s nice to be able to spread out and have our own rooms.

Today is dedicated to my Hearts buddies. Brady Beck, Jeff Marcus, Pete Campbell and I meet monthly to play hearts. I have missed the games while on the road. I hope they have been staying sharp because I’ll be ready to take them on again in January. I wish you each of you guys the Queen of Spades and 12 hearts!