President Throws Down “Last-Ditch” Gauntlet

June 19, 2010

Okay . . . most of us are in our 50’s.  I know that in the last 3 years I have actually felt my age and perhaps a couple more.  Tigger remains timeless, showing virtually no sign of accumulating birthdays.  Skipper doesn’t have a joint on his body that is pain free.  Gimli . . . well he has a Harley and a goatee to match . . . looks pretty good too.  Does anyone know if Gringo has entered his fifth decade?  I do know that the Argentinian training program is terminal for most of us especially seeing its effect on the one who developed it.

There are some younger ones . . . yes.  The kids and the kids, aside from Ruperts commitment aversion, seem fairly good with the last reduction in the President’s Challenge.  And maybe in reality, this is simply a dose of 50 + years of reality hitting hard.  I don’t know.

SOOOOOOOOOO . . . . .

I am prepared to throw down one last effort at making the PC palatable to all of you old farts.  The young bucks can do this with ease and perhaps inspire the rest of us to reach a bit farther as well.

  • Whereas these and other circumstances constitute the current reality of an aging runner’s club;
  • Whereas there seems to be a general lack of grass roots response to the 1st and 2nd readings of the President’s Challenge;
  • Whereas the cost of the Gulf Coast clean up will likely impact our gas prices adversely . . . at some point;
  • Whereas the early morning noise of socks being pulled up over hairy legs, is a sleep deterrent to at least one of the wives of the 6AM’ers;
  • Whereas, coming to coffee dressed up like you ran, actually constitutes a run equal to half of what you would have run . . . if you had actually run;
  • Whereas coming late and leaving early, although unverifiable, also constitutes a 1 count in the monthly totals;
  • Whereas coming to St. Timothy’s, in and around the time that runners would converge on our early morning edifice, is important for the health and longevity of the group;
  • Whereas the motto of the group has recently changed from, “6AM Runners . . . not to fast . . . not to slow . . . half fast.” . . . to . . . “6AM Runners . . . running is optional and coffee is mandatory.”;
  • Whereas, the President, in life transition and exodus from pastoral ministry, has a little more time to waste on this kind of stupid stuff;

Be it therefore resolved once more that the President’s Challenge be further reduced to 12 times* a month.

Now if any of you continue to struggle with this, let’s just pretend that it is going to work for  you.  Pick up the oven mitt that I have thrown down and in the spirit of all that is feminine, rise to this “not-real-challenging” challenge.

I love you . . .

May God bless us every one . . .

President Warthog

*12 times a month is the reasonable suggestion of Johnnie O


President Throws Down Smaller Gauntlet

June 17, 2010

Okay . . . so Johnnie O., Tigger and Dexter were out today.  Dexter chased a terrified squirrel up the backstop in the ballpark . . . this squirrel narrowly escaped with his life.

When Dexter is not out in the morning, this is Tigger’s job.  He didn’t get the squirrel today but he got a raven yesterday . . . nailed him.  On the way to Woodstock I think . . . the raven was either sick, stupid or arrogant, all potentially fatal.  There is a dent in the grill of Tigger’s new car, to commemorate this rare occurrence.

Oh yes . . . Skipper showed for coffee around 7:00a when we were all leaving. Sorry Steve.

So . . . on my run today, I was doing math in my head and talking to God.  Perhaps I was a bit over zealous when I put yesterday’s challenge at 20 times a month.  Today, . . . out of pure concern for the rest of you, I have decided to reduce the size of the gauntlet and suggest that our target should be . . . ummm . . . let me see . . . let’s say 16 times a month without prejudice to distance covered.

So that’s my final offer . . . unless my run/prayer time produces something additional tomorrow.


Throwing Down the Gauntlet

June 16, 2010

Starting July 1, I am throwing down the gauntlet as opposed to throwing in the towel. This year has held tremendous change, physical challenges and upheaval in my personal life. Running has been a lifeline for me over the years in many ways. The obvious benefits are physical. The not-so-obvious benefits . . . mental, social, spiritual, perspective, stress management . . . the list goes on.

Currently, I am unable to log any great amount of distance. I was doing the Math as I was waddling along yesterday. 5 times a week at an average of 3 miles per run would give me 780 miles in a year. That would be a great year for me at this stage of my life.

Here’s my challenge to the 6AM buddies. I’d like to challenge you to 20 times out in a month. I don’t care how far you run . . . just that you come out 20 times. If you fall behind in a given week, you can make it up here or there. Or that would be 240 times a year. You can miss 125 times a year and still be “bang on”.

So, . . . respond to this post brothers . . . let me know if you are in?? I’ll keep the stats and chase you for them if you become a bit delinquent in your reporting.


Runner’s Etiquette

March 10, 2010

There’s a contradiction in terms . . . a paradox . . . ? One of the 30 yr. old freedoms that I enjoy as a 6AM runner is the freedom from behavioral expectations.

Many times I have reflected that my early morning, “not-so-polished” companions have been absolute angels of God, sent to keep me sane in the otherwise periodically maddening world of pastoral ministry. Every once in a while I realize that I haven’t shifted out of “Rev.” and then one of my buddies brings me back to early morning reality.

They don’t look so good in the morning. They don’t smell so good. They rarely say, “Excuse me . . . “. There is absolutely no sympathy to be had and quickly a fledgling 6AM’er surrenders this expectation to the therapeutic value of learning to laugh at oneself as opposed to feeling sorry for the same.

The refreshing thing is that they are REAL!

In the early morning pre-dawn hours before the world puts its masks in place, no one expects or wants anything else.

One thing that I am struggling with these days is the “No man runs alone.” thing. As I have tried to regain my slow status, I want to run alone.

Now this is one of those few “polite” gestures that we offer to people who want to start running. I think the intent is good and the sentiment . . . so lusciously thoughtful.

But . . .

leave me alone . . . please. I’ll meet you at coffee. The new motto of the aging group. “The 6AM Runners . . . where running is optional and coffee is mandatory.” This of course replaces the old one for those of us over 50. The old one was: “The 6AM Runners . . . not too slow . . . not to fast. Half fast!” Say it fast and let me know when you get it. So these days I am a half fast runner dedicated to coffee or tea in my case.

I really do love you guys. but I know what happens to people who get lured into a good “Tigger Tale”. I have seen too many people verbally dragged over the dark streets, trying to keep up with one of his addictive narratives that has little to no sense to it at all. The only one of the group who can tell a better story with no point at all is Gimli and he is on the “half fast” list right now as well.

Could someone else help me to develop our list of protocols?

Pumba

PS . . . there is a non polite origin to this nickname that has earned me my uncontested place at the back of the pack.


KNEE PAIN

October 1, 2008

KNEE PROBLEMS

 

It has been quite a period of time, well actually, it has been two months since I have had the time to write an article for this most worthy publication.  In any event I am sitting at home with a non-running injury, a tooth extraction to be exact, which has stopped me from running for a short period of time.  So as I reflect upon my situation, I am reminded of the common injuries that runners to which runners are exposed.  I believe that without doubt, the most common injury is related to the knee.  And when you think about it, there is no wonder.  After all, this joint is single-handedly (pardon the mix up in anatomy) responsible to make you move.  So, have you had any issues with your knees?  Do you think it is structural in nature (i.e. related to the skeletal make up of the body) or related to muscles?  It has been my experience over the last number of years that most knee injuries have a muscular component that is initially responsible for the pain in the knee.  So how can you discern this?  In this article I will touch upon the most frequently asked question.

 

What causes ongoing knee pain?

Knee pain may be age-related. If you are over 40 and have knee pain, one reason to consider is the overall wear and tear on your joints, which is also sometimes referred to as osteoarthritis or degenerative arthritis. In younger people, knee pain is commonly caused by trauma or bursitis, usually related to sports or some physical activity.


 

Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of knee pain and affects many Canadians and more than 16 million Americans. Its is the gradual and painful deterioration of the cartilage in your joints. That cartilage provides a pad between your bones. When it thins, your bones rub against the lining of your joints, which is full of nerves sensitive to pain. Osteoarthritis is more common in people over 40. However, it can strike anyone and often develops earlier in former athletes who suffered knee injuries during their youth. Its early symptoms are pain and stiffness in the morning or after strenuous activity. The morning stiffness usually resolves in less than an hour.



 

Another disease to be aware of is Rheumatoid Arthritis, an inflammatory disease, triggered by the immune system.   It does not affect the proportionally the same number of Canadians as Osteoarthritis, but it damages the cartilage and joint lining. The damaged tissue releases enzymes that eat into the cartilage, soft tissues, and even bone. No one knows what causes the immune system to begin attacking the body’s joints. The problem tends to strike between the ages of 20 and 45, is more common in women, and usually affects many different joints in the body — not just the knees. Early symptoms are fatigue, flu-like aching, joint pain, and morning stiffness that lasts longer than an hour.


 

Pseudogout occurs when the body forms calcium crystals that are deposited in joints, typically in the knees and wrists. It usually strikes later in life. It can cause quick, severe pain but can produce long-term pain in about half the people it affects, appearing much like osteoarthritis. Early symptoms are red and swollen joints — painful to touch — and sometimes fever in bad attacks. Treatment usually consists of anti-inflammatory drugs or injections of steroids directly into the joint. 

 

Bursitis of the knee occurs when the bursa, a fluid-filled sac that serves as a cushion between a bone and soft tissue, such as a tendon — becomes inflamed. It can be caused by extensive kneeling, infection, or an injury to the knee and usually lasts a few weeks. Early symptoms are pain and swelling just below the inside of the knee. Treatment includes stretching and anti-inflammatory drugs, either pills or injection of steroids. Rarely, surgery is needed.


 

Tendinitis is one of the most mis-diagnosed conditions for runners and falls within the major group of muscular injuries that I mentioned in my opening paragraph.  The tendon that connects the hamstrings in the back of the thigh to the knee can become inflamed and cause pain in the knee area. Treatment includes rest, anti-inflammatory drugs, and physical therapy for stretching and strengthening. Tendinitis requires a doctor’s care because rupture of the inflamed tendon can occur.



 

Finally, let me speak about Runner’s Knee which is caused by inflammation of the tendons, such as the Iliotibial Band (IT Band).  This symptom often develops when you run, ski, or bicycle too much or incorrectly. Symptoms are pain, and sometimes swelling, at the front of the knee. Ligaments are tough bands of tissue connecting bones in your joints that can be stretched or torn when your knee is twisted or hit. Symptoms are immediate and severe pain. Don’t attempt to walk on the leg until you’ve seen a doctor, but remember that often a massage therapist can offer more assistance in treating this injury that a doctor.