Sunday, May 3, 2009

Possible Blown Knee will NOT prevent Teton Pass Run on D-Day

Lyle Shafer, 390th BG B-17 pilot and former POW at Stalag Luft I, Barth, and I finish the run together, with the WWII Memorial Banner. June 6, 2002. I am confident that a painful knee injury today will not prevent me doing the Pass this year on June 6. Lyle passed away in early 2005, and was one of the greatest men I ever knew. This year, I honor another WWII hero--Leonard Herman.

I took a long run back during Spring Break in early April--a run that included some serious hill-climbing. When I got home, I noticed that my tendon/muscle/ligament on the outside of my left knee was sore and stiff. It almost felt like the outside of my knee was going into full cramp mode, but with just a hint of something more serious going on. The next time I ran, it was worse, but I have a high pain threshhold and worked through it. I use the Galloway running method, which means that every eight minutes, I walk for one and a half to let me muscles and joints recover. This has extended my running career, which by all accounts should be over. Now 50, I have had three knee surgeries since 1991, two on my right knee and one on my left knee. The main culprit behind most of the knee problems is a car wreck in '91, but considering I've been running since age 18, it is also likely that the body just ain't what it used to be.

I have kept running in the ensuing month, most of it in pain, but I've noticed that the pain never gets above a certain level, and that the knee seems to recover overnight to the point where I can run the next day with no more pain than the day before. If I was not training for the Teton Pass, I'd take some time off, but it all hangs on making that Pass on June 6--just a little over a month from today.

Today, I ran out to Iona, a round-trip of roughly 8.5 miles. There was more pain than usual, but I finished up, stretched, and went inside. An hour later, when I attempted to walk, I found I could not lift the leg off the floor. Pain was nearly unbearable. I'm writing this propped up on some pillows with ice, and more certain than ever to make that run on June 6, no matter what.

I do ask for your prayers as I try to keep in condition for the run. Remember, the funds will go to pay for my late friend's tombstone on his grave. This World War Two hero passed away in October and there is no money to honor him with a stone. Please consider contacting me and donating to honor Leonard Herman. Even a dollar or two would help, if enough people did so.
God bless and pray that my old bones don't rebel too much.

By the way, this will be the fourth time I've run the Pass, so I know I can do it. Be part of the dream, friends. Please consider donating to the fund. Email me through this site for information. Every penny earned goes towards the stone. Visit this link for more information:

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