Pity, party of one, your table is ready.
The pity party is over. It's been a week and while I know I have a long (loooonnnnggg) road ahead of me to recovery, I'm ready for the challenge. Down, but most certainly not out.
A big help was getting back from NJ on Saturday to spectate the Rockville Twilight 8k, a race I've done the past three years in conditions that would rival Papua New Guinea weather. This is the area's premier summertime event and a veritable who's who of local beasts. I was really excited to get to see my friends for the first time in 10 days and I love running into our competitive neighbors to the south - all of whom had words of encouragement for me as I crutched around the race.
It was such a crazy week, I obviously had not planned on being in NJ for that long so I didn't have many clothes to wear, and because my dad had scooped me up from Baltimore the previous week, I had no means of getting back down here. Melissa was kind enough to pick me up and for that I am quite grateful! I met with a lawyer last week, who is an awesome guy and cyclist to boot. He got me setup the very next day with an awesome ortho surgeon, who confirmed that my shit is most definitely a mess - torn ACL and torn MCL, massive trauma to my hamstring and knee, couple of fractures, other torn ligaments, and now a probable torn rotator cuff. It wasn't among my original complaints, but as the pain lessened in the knee it crept up.
Either way, I have to wait at least a month before I can get surgery. I'll actually have to go to physical therapy for those 4 weeks to rehab my knee to the point where it can withstand surgery. Then I'll have another 4-6 weeks of physical therapy to get it back following the operation. I'll be lucky to be able to run by November.
The good news is that once I can actually bend my knee, and as long as it doesn't kill me, I am allowed to ride my bike. Inside - so on the trainer, definitely not on the road - but it's better than nothing. And if I can get my shoulder healed up I should be good to swim a little. Pretty psyched on that. I'm going to make my new 2009 goal (singular) to run the Celtic Solstice 5M in December as my comeback race.
Back to yesterday. So we get down to the race and it's unbelievably cool out. Light breeze, low humidity. Not July weather. At this point no one has an excuse not to run fast. Prior to the race I spotted Jake "the Red Fox" Klim and Pat "PR" Reaves, and Jason Tripp from HoCo. I also met Dirk from Holland and Sari Stenholm, who runs for HoCo with her husband Pekka. Then I spotted Robert Jarrin, who I've met once or twice and is a real standup guy. We really do have a great running community in this area and more than wanting to get home just to be home, I knew that I needed to be around motivating and positive people.
Kip and I watch the start and see the runners pass at 2 miles. Our friends were doing remarkably well. A newcomer to Baltimore, Jeff Gaudette ran 34:13 at Arbutus 10k a few weeks ago. He's a guy with some serious PRs but was just looking to run around 26 at Rockville. Instead he goes 24:51 for 5th overall. Dirk was 4th and the first white guy across the line and to see his stride - you know the guy can run fast. Klim had another great performance, despite what is probably a nagging ulcer. Then two more of our guys finished, Greg Jubb and Ryan Stasiowski, at 25:41 and 25:55.
Less than a minute later I see the small, tight shape of one Chrissie Ramsey, crossing the line in first for the women. 27:15 was her time, a 2:16 improvement from her PR (Rockville 2007) and probably one of the faster times ever run at this race. Just behind her were Justin and Brennan, who each recorded very fast times (post-collegiate best for J, PR for Bren). Then I got to witness Old Ass Kris Simms finally have a good race at Rockville, clocking 28:23, with Brusewitz and Berardi in quick succession.
Our women's team was as gnarly as it could have been, with Chrissie leading the way and then Denise, Eileen and Melissa finishing 13th, 15th and 17th separated by just 13 seconds, and all under 31 minutes.
Nothing gets me more excited than when my friends all do well. We rolled out after the race and hit the appropriately named Hollywood Diner before making it back to Baltimore at the late hour of 2am. Sleeping is very difficult as I tend to move around a lot when I'm "sleep" and every movement seems to destroy my knee.
I've officially not done shit now for 9 days and it's killing me. I feel pretty gross and I need to start burning some cals. I'm going to post updates on my progress, mostly as a way to document the process and keep myself motivated, but also so I can keep feeling connected to the sport. It's easy enough to fall out of touch with things when you're not hurt and you're just lazy, so to have something like this going on makes it even easier.