"Only those who risk failing greatly can ever succeed greatly." –RFK
Saturday, June 02, 2007
New Orleans --> HOME at last!
(pic: Desert moon by Dave Remington.)
After 9 days away, I am finally home. Now, I have a tons of catching up to do!
The ACSM conference was good. Not great like it usually is, but certainly good with several excellent speakers on good topics like:
Dietary protein requirements for endurance athletes Glycerin supplementation for hydration Glucosamine & chondroitin Central nervous system & running in the heat Exertional heat illness - how to treat in the field and many many more relavant topics
Of course, Jeff, Joe and I presented "Research and Clinical Medicine of the Toughest Ultramarathons." It went well; good questions at the discussion.
We also had our Endurance Medicine Special Interest Group meeting on Thursday night. That went very well....we keep growing in size. I will do my best to keep promoting research and to keep it growing even more.
I spent all day today traveling and am now ready for bed. It is supposed to be in the 90's tomorrow, so looks like I'll hit the roads at noon for a 20-miler in the heat. Yippee! Finally, it's summer! (...though I hear it's supposed to cool off again after the weekend.) I'll take what I can get and am just happy that I'm home on a Sunday. I ran only once in New Orleans. We did about 5+ miles with temps in the 80's with, of course, bucket-loads of humidity. I was never hot. A good sign!
I think I may head back to Death Valley again before the race. Maybe over Fouth of July weekend. I don't really need it; I just really WANT to go there. Did I tell you HOW MUCH GLORIOUS FUN I had running down the west side of Towne Pass. It's 13 miles all downhill, with up to 9% grades!! Wheeeeee! There are DROP DEAD GORGEOUS views of the valley and also of the road to Panamint ahead. The top of Towne Pass at just about 5000 feet is, for me, the start of a new race as I start running down. But a WARNING to all Badwater rookies reading this: The top of Towne Pass is mile 58.7 of the race. You will be happy to run downhill after the 15 mile climb up the hill; HOWEVER, remember, you have another 76 more miles to go and the downhill can literally make your legs crumble and your toes scream. It's a looong way down. Heed the warning, yes, but don't forget to HAVE FUN, gaze around as you descend, smile at the valley below and at the long stretch of road (your road) up on the horizon, throw your arms out to the side, and yell something fun, positive, loving to the valley below.
(pic: the road to Panamint levels off as it gets nearer the valley)
I am an ultra runner, physician and have been medical director of some of the toughest ultras. I tend to be a mover and a shaker and louder than my size suggests. However, my Gemini twin is gentler and contemplative, an artist, a writer, and a poet. I am a dog lover, a believer in souls, and have a special affinity for those who struggle because I have been there.
This is my crazy lovable huggable Weimaraner, Steely Dan. I call him Steely. He left us in January of this year at only 6 years from lymphoma that did not respond to chemotherapy treatments. Steely was a total goof. He loved trail running, road running, treadmill running, new experiences, making eye contact, sleeping on his back, me, kids, and liver treats. He was Zappa's best friend. We miss him dearly.
This is Stella. A rescue from the shelter. She's about 6 months old and a Border Collie. She is a joyous bundle of energy and curiosity and now also Zappa best friend. She will make a nice running partner when she grows up.
This is the now the big brother of my family - a rescued Greyhound. His name is Frank Zappa. I call him Zappa. He's 7 years old and has learned all about life beyond the track and crate from Steely when he was with us. It was very rewarding to watch his personality bloom as he settled into the family. And yes, he runs like the wind!
This is Natasha, my dearest friend. She was with me through college, medical school, residency, and she moved with me from Chicago to Spokane several years ago. She was my best running partner for 10 years. My sweet Natasha died from bone cancer in 2006. I miss her still. I hung a windchimes over the deck outside. When it chimes, I smile and think she has finally -- wherever she is now -- caught a squirrel!