An insight on my 100-miler recovery

I really miss running.

It’s been three weeks since I ran my first 100.  I had heard that 100-miler recovery varies depending on the individual, but for a first time you can expect to be out of the game for quite a bit while the endocrine system recovers.  Fair enough.

During the race I ran on a pained arch in my left foot for 35 miles.  Immediately post-race I could tell this arch would be the limiting factor in my recovery.  Yes, my muscles were tight and walking resulted in a stabbing sensation in my quads, but I’ve had that feeling before.  The arch was an injury (my posterior tibial tendon to be precise), and as I’ve learned from the countless tendon injuries over the last two years, you have to be patient with the natural healing process.

I’ve been going to physical therapy and, after two weeks, the posterior tib finally progressed to the point where it doesn’t hurt when walking.  Sweet!  So, with my therapist’s advice, off I went for a 2-mile test run.  I am happy to report that the posterior tib held up wonderfully with only marginal discomfort at one point.

…BUT, during this test run I discovered some pain in my right IT band.  WHAT THE HELL?  Apparently during the 35 miles of running on an injured foot, my compensation with my right leg caused some IT problems that are only apparent when running, and since I haven’t run since OD I haven’t noticed it.  Bummer.  So, the left posterior tib is just about back to 100% but I am now rehabbing the right IT.  It doesn’t seem too bad and I anticipate another week of rest will do the trick.

In the meantime I am doing what I can to cross-train.  Lots of good time in the saddle, more time in the pool than I typically care for (I prefer to breathe when exercising), sauna time (to prepare for Badwater pacing duties in 2 weeks), and finally, after an 8 month hiatus, I’ve gotten back in the sky!

Back to my student days (Photo by Ahmed Kurtom)

(Note to skydivers: No, I didn’t have to go through AFF like you might be thinking from the shot above.  That would be cruel and unusual punishment for a former instructor.  I just thought it would be funny for my first jump back to do an AFF exit and see if I could do the whole AFF dive flow off the hill.  Success!  We then ditched the flat flying and did some good freeflying the rest of the day.  5 jumps.  Looking forward to getting back up there this summer… as training allows of course.)


RIP Scott Doyle

I know most of my content on here is ultra-related, but I just wanted to post a brief tribute to a good friend of mine who passed away today after battling a coma for six months.

Scott and Steph after their first antenna jump

I first met Scott Doyle (aka “Moose” or “Other Scott”) at Bridge Day ’07 where Scott and his lovely wife Steph were both enjoying the six hours of legal BASE jumping that happens every year at the New River Gorge Bridge in Fayetteville, WV. As it turned out, Scott was a fellow Marylander, so he was quickly indoctrinated into the MD BASE Crew (which I am not technically a member of because I do not BASE jump).

The day after Bridge Day, some folks headed out to a local less-than-legal antenna where Scott and Steph both did their first antenna jumps. I hung around and took pictures. Fast forward a couple months to the beginning of skydiving season ’08 and who else is joining me in the ranks as staff members at Skydive Delmarva? None other than the safe, caring, and funny tag-team of Scott and Steph Doyle. Scott and I were both somewhat newly-licensed tandem instructors while Steph taught AFF students. Over the course of the year we had our share of fond memories – the overweight students, the puking students, the close call malfunctions and the late-night dropzone shenanigans. It was all good fun that we shared together, and as per usual in the sport, we grew closer as part of the Delmarva family.

Since ultrarunning has come into my life, I have spent a significantly less amount of time at the dropzone, but that didn’t make it hurt any less when on May 10, 2009 I got a call saying that Scott had suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury and had gone into a coma while BASE jumping in Idaho with Steph. For six months he fought his hardest to wake up, at some points showing movement and responding to external stimuli, but today his body had enough of the fighting and decided it was time to move on to a more peaceful place.

It is with great sadness that I remove my “Wake up Scott” wristband that I have worn these past six months and add it to my desk alongside a picture of Bert Brooks, another good skydiving friend who lost his life while BASE jumping with his loved one. Scott wasn’t the first skydiving/BASE friend to go, and unfortunately he won’t be the last. BASE truly is an unforgiving sport.

As a tough-as-nails firefighter saving the lives of others and also as a skydiving instructor sharing the gift of flight with those looking to experience something new, Scott definitely earned his angel wings. Fly free my brother. I will miss you…


Here is the LINK to Steph Doyle’s blog from the past 6 months.