Sunday at the river

28 07 2008

Got up at 6:50 to try and get a longer run in today. I had to work this afternoon, hence me getting out fo bed earlier than normal on a weekend. I had every intention of running ath Kennesaw, but as I awoke a little late I had a inkling to go to the river. Maybe it was the shorter distance helping to influence this decision. Started out at the Sope Creek lot and stayed on the main trail all the way down to the river, and managed to keep from seeing anybody until I hit the gravel path.

Snuck under the bridge at 285 and crossed the river and headed down the trails on the river left side for a few miles. Ran all the way down to I-75 with no challenges. From the bridge onI- 75 down to highway 41 the trail does not get much use, and a has what i would call a plethora of underbrsh including some thorns & stickers. Hit Hwy 41 and used the BP as aid station at about mile 7.5 and then headed upstream on river right and back toward the car.

Felt good about the run, but was shocked to see it took me 2:20 to cover 14 miles. I’d like to think the heat was a fator, but since it was realtively ealry run I’m not sure I can blame it on that. Maybe I’m getting slower. I’m using the Garmin 405 now so maybe it can help speed me up. Oh another thing that could have slowed me down, was when I was cleaning up I found 3 freeloading ticks on my legs. They could’ve been on me the whole run, that should add 30 minutes or so right? I hate freeloaders, I think I’m going to blame being slower on them for right now until I come to terms with something people call acceptance.



27 07 2008

Weekend started early Saturday morning, well at least early for me on a Saturday, I was out of the bed by 6:30 and headed to the Ocoee for a little paddling tune up with Preston.  I planned on sleeping in the car a little bit on the drive, however I made the mistake of drinking 4 shots of espresso which blew that idea out of the water.   

We arrived and were on the river relatively early, and it was not crowded at all.  I have been paddling for over 20 years, but I came across a two things on Saturday that I had never seen on the river or at the river.  First Preston caught a shuttle with a guy who scubae dives in the river looking for buried treasure, that have been lost by those having out of boat experiences.  Preston told me about his shuttle and I had to go talk to the guy. He was proud of his assortment of things he had found, and his most prized possesion was the Mr. T gold necklace he was sporting.   I tiold him I was jealous.  He also dives in the Tennessee right below the aquarium in Chattanooga, and among his treasure finds are lots of old bottles and essentially trash.  But what was most interesting was the guy told me the river is only 18 feet deep in front of the aquarium. There is a very slim chance you will ever find me scuba diving, much less in the Tennessee, even if you can guarantee me finding a gold necklace.

Secondly, I saw a guy wih no legs on a raft trip.  I saw him coming down the ramp at the put-in, using his hands to propel himself down the concrete ramp while the rest of his group listened to their trip talk.  I’m not even sure what to say, other than this guy is an inspiration for me.  We left the put-in and paddled down to the staging area and did some drills and tweaked rolls.  After a few minutes they guy wiith no legs paddled down with his raft.  He was hanging onto a rope in the raft and was sitting directly in front of the guide, and had the biggest grin on his face.  He was sitting up like everyone one else in the raft on one of the thwarts.  It can be difficult at times when you have even  both your legs to stay in the raft, but I suppose this guy wanted to experience the raft trip like veryone else, physical disabilities be damned.  No doubt he is going to be my inspiration this week. 

The rest of the trip was uneventful, which is good.  Preston styled everything and seemed confident in his abilities.  Now to see if we can take that away from him.  Glad I’m not learning to kayak from myself. 

Got back to Atlanta late afternoon because of work so I was unable to run in the mountains, and knowing I was going to do a long runer Sunday, I decided to do some sppedwork at the track at Wheeler.  Ouch, now I know why I never had anything to do with track in high school, and will hopefuly not ever again at any point in my life.  Managed 4 quarters, each at 1:24, so I am stoked with my consistency, but destoyed by the fact that some people do that at a much faster pace with hurdles thrown in.  I could not have jumped over a creal box!


24 07 2008
Got the rock back!

Got the rock back!

Well at least from my vacation and today’s run. Getting caught back up at work and doing my best to adjust to running in Atlanta again with the summer heat. I ran 9 miles today at a slower pace than normal, but it was nice to be able to run on trails, relatively alone, after work, in a city with 5 million people.

Vacationing in Seattle and then heading up to Canada did not help with my acclimation, but at least is not been as hot as it usually is.

I went to the Dr, guess what she told me, guess what she told me… my vision has improved! Not that I did not notice it, but to what degree the improvement is was lost on me, I just knew it was “better.” She expects it to keep improving and if I continue at the same rate of improvement this next month I should have x-ray vision, and be the envy of eagles everywhere. Ok, well maybe that is going slightly overboard, but you can dream.

There was one challenge though with my eye, there is still fluid behind one portion not allowing the retina to lie (or is it lay, either way you know the point I’m trying to make) completely flat. The result is by closing my right eye and looking through only my left, I can shrink your head. Sure this has some fallbacks, but for keeping me entertained when I have a troublesome eyesore, well that’s just priceless. So if you happen to be talking to me, and I start to giggle, and you know for a fact you are not funny, check to see if I’m winking at you, if not perhaps you have something hanging from your nose.

To try and rectify the Dr suggested we take a conservative approach and is having me administer 4 drops a day for a month of some new very expensive eyedrops. In addition I am back on steroids, which means by the end of the summer my lefteye is going to be looking totally buff. I’m going to buy him some trips to the tanning bed once he is fully pumped to round out his new persona.

This is the conservative approach to help my retina get back to normal. I like conservative and I hope it works because the alternative, (and keep in mind the dr. said this in passing like it was no big deal) is an INJECTION. I know, I know, being conservative has never sounded so good to me in my life.

But wait an injecton… why do Dr’s just not lie to their patients anymore. Really, there was a time when they would tell you it was not going to hurt a bit, or that it was ok not to floss, or that smoking was good for you. I am disappointed in their honesty. I am putting the drops in on schedule according to an atomic clock as to avoid this whole injection thing and I hope it works. Needles in general do not bother me, they help deliver some great chemicals to all sorts of people, but one to the eye, “no thank you,” no matter what’s in it. And for the record I’ve not made the “cross my heart hope to die promise” since the first ordeal, so maybe it’ll work in my favor.

O Canada!

18 07 2008

Back in Seattle after a few days in Squamish & Whistler.  Most of my sentences while I was there began with “in my country,”.  This does not seem to be the way to win over the natvies, eh?  

Plan on downloading some pics and will post them when I get back to Atlanta along with some of the reports on the local runs.  As for the trails up here, no more making fun of the Canadians for anything for me, these people have amazing trails in their parks.  Pretty sure these trails would not be open to the public here in the states, well at least not in Georgia.  We climbed 2000 feet in 1.2 miles.  More on that when I can post a few photos.

And speaking of things visually, the pacth has come off & I am no longer masquerading as a pirate.  Vision in my left eye is still a little off, as I can not tread the font size I am typing in with only my left eye.  I have a dr’s appointemtn on Tuesday and will know more then.  On a good note, I do not currently have to worry about blood vessels popping in my eye and making everything I see look like a scene from Carrie.

Snowball fight in July?

13 07 2008

Somehow I managed to fly 1st class out here to Seattle, and I feel like it really suits me.  You know when you just feel like you belong?  I was kind of disappointed when I got on the plane because we turned left to get to first class, so I was unable to watch all those poor, poor souls march it back into coach.  What’s the point of living it up if you can’t rub anyone’s nose in it?   

Anyway 1st class was not what I though it would be.  You can get free aclohol, but you have to pay for Vitamin Water…. I feel jipped.  I arrived in Seattle at about 2 am eastern time. and was a little groggy to say the least.   

We got a late start after allowing me to sleep in some and we headed for our first adventure of the week  a hike to Snow Lake.  We started at about 3000 feet at a local ski area about 50 miles outside of Seattle.   A remote secluded hike, this is not, there were about 60 cars in the parking lot for the trailhead, but do not let that deter you, this is worth it.  We hiked for 2 miles passing through snow fields, trees, & rock gardens until the junction of the Snow Lake trail. 

The mountains are huge here compared to Kennesaw!

We climbed about 700 feet in half a mile to reach the rim.  We thought we would have a great view of the lake, which we did, but it just happened to be covered in snow. We ate lunch at the overlook and then made our descent.  Somewhere along the way down through the snowfields we had a snowball fight in 90 degree weather.  I think I could get used to this.

Vacation- All I ever wanted

11 07 2008

Leaving in a few hours to go to Seattle, and then headed to Canada to… well I’m not sure what we are going to do other than climb in Squamish, hike some and a few runs. There is rumor of an attempt at Ranier, but I will not know about that until later.

I will give a full report of my runs, as I received a 405 Forerunner for my birthday! I am elated. I’ve never trained with a watch before, much less a device that can launch rocket ships ( I swear I saw that on the manual) so we will see how it helps with my performance.

Running pirates… really?!

7 07 2008

Sedentary life is now history. Today I finally got to run again… with my patch! I got a few funny looks from some people along the flat loop at Cochran shoals. I even managed to keep the run relatively classy by staying on the flats with only a small diversion into the single track and one nice little hill.

All said I managed 5 miles and it felt great to be out and running again, albeit as a cyclops. I never thought running would have such a hold on me, but it does, and the past 2 weeks of not being in the woods have been more painful than any run.

With that said, I now finally understand when people would say “well at least he has his health” when referring to someone down on their luck. I did not grasp what it would be like to not be healthy, and I have now been given a very brief (thankfully) idea of what it would be like. Gratitude is not a word that fully explains how I feel now for what I have, but it comes close.

Back to the trails tomorrow, I’ve got my rock back, and in case you’re wondering I’m smiling.