Monday, September 17, 2012

Weekend Results

George Heeschen took yet another win this weekend, this time at the Duck and Run 5km in Athens, AL.  George posted a 16:41.7, which was just ahead of Rob Youngren, who posted a season best 16:44.2 for 2nd place overall.  The race was directed by team mate Eric Patterson and based on times at the top, this was the most competitive 5km race in the area since Spooktacular last October.

Official Results

1 George Heeschen 16:41.7
2 Rob Youngen 16:44.2
7 Tim Vinson 18:26.6

At the Talladega 21000, Dana Overton ran a fast 1:37:55 to finish 8th female overall and 1st in her age group.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dink on the Run

Dink on the Run
By Dink Taylor
September 13, 2012

So my head was just not feeling right, it was two weeks ago on Thursday morning. I had a very sharp pain that even blurred my vision for just a moment. I shook it off and it left me puzzled. I was about to do a short workout, 3 x 2 minute surges with a 3 minute recovery between. This would be a shake-out run to turn the legs over a little bit before Sunday’s Tupelo Marathon, a race I had already run several times. My plan was to just run 7 minute miles on Sunday, nothing fancy. Instead, I just ran easy back home and thought maybe I would go back out that evening and see if I felt more normal. If there is one thing I do, when I am not feeling right, I go home to run another day. I do not push it in training if things are not going right. While this only happens a few times per year, it is advice I recommend not only for your safety but to continue running in the future and keeping you feeling fresh and excited about running.

When I got home, things began to get worse, my head was aching so I took a couple of Aleve and tried to lay down and rest, I thought to myself, I might not be able to work today. That is odd for me as I had not been sick in over 4 years. I sent Suzanne a text and told her that I maybe sick. The pain continued to increase and I started throwing up by now from the pain. I sat in the shower for a while to help ease the pain but no luck. I finally gave in and text Suzanne and told her she needed to hurry home. She offered to call an ambulance but I refused. Things moved fast from there because I was having a hard time functioning in any way, I could not move. There was painting going on in the house so we thought it might be the fumes, I went outside only things got worse. Suzanne and one of the painters took me and put me in the car, I told them that I thought I was having a stroke at this time. I laid down in the back seat and though it was a short trip to Huntsville Hospitals ER, I knew exactly where I was and I could feel every bump in the road there.

I could not keep my eyes open. I was wheeled into the ER but I could not keep my head up. I looked
around once and saw it was crowded. They wanted me to fill out paper work but I could not respond.
I’m not sure what was going on. I only had a pair of shorts on because I was so hot, but I did not care. They laid me down and started poking needles in both arms, I am normally squeamish when it comes to needles but again, I did not care, I just wanted something to ease the pain. They said rate your pain on a scale from 1-10. I thought, you got to be kidding, I said 10, I would not be here for any number less than a 10! The morphine took affect pretty quick as it lowered the pain to about an 8, which is still bad but I could tell better what was going on. When I say things moved fast, it probably only seemed fast to me because I look up and see my Dad, well he had to drive 65 miles to get here, so that tells me more time went by than I was aware of. I was thinking, man, these migraine headaches are something else, I guess they’ll give me a prescription and I can get to the house, wonder if this might affect my marathon Sunday?

In rolls the Nero surgeon, first things he says is, “we got some bad news, you got a lot of blood on your brain.” He assured me that this was very dangerous. So, I am thinking now, no marathon on Sunday and this dude is about to cut my head open! Then I am thinking, I bet I am going to have to stay at the hospital overnight for the first time in my life. I also knew, that the pain I had been suffering was worse than at any point in my life. Even when I ran Vermont 100 mile on July 21, the last 20 miles was rough, but nothing compared to this. I definitely believe I have reached a new level of pain tolerance and I don’t know if that is a good thing or not. My pain tolerance was already pretty darn high.

Not only did I get to stay in the hospital, I got to go to ICU for the first 4 days. That place is like being in prison. No phones or computers but I did have a TV. I could not move and visits from anyone were only 20 minutes at a time, a few times a day. Lots of people came to see me and all my runner Doctor friends made special visits. I understand now why the visits in ICU are so limited, I was in so much pain that I could not handle much talking. My goal in there was to get out and at least be in a normal room. I usually could not tell if it was night or day in ICU, they checked my blood pressure 48 times per day, that is every 30 minutes and I stayed hooked up to all the machines. Nurses checked on my constantly at all hours, poked me with needles constantly, it was not good. Folks would tell me, “just use this time to rest up” it was anything but restful.

So my stretch in the hospital went 10 days. I don’t know how I was in there so long. I will say, that there were 2 days where I did not think I would live through the pain in my head, I had the feeling of giving up. I never once felt I was going to die though. I also was not fearful of dying. I believe my 35 years of running was a major factor in helping me survive. I had a lot of visitors. They brought me lots of candy, cards, balloons, gifts, etc. I am just not used to being on the receiving end of this kind of treatment. Most importantly I had a lot of people thinking of me and sending me positive thoughts and I am thankful for that. I am also thankful it happened during a taper, when I was running the least and it did not wait until Sunday during the Tupelo Marathon, if it had happened during the marathon, you think I would have stopped? Training I will stop, racing, I will not stop until I am finished, it is a pretty safe bet. That race could have been tragic and lead to my demise.

It was concluded that I had a subarachnoid hemorrhage, a brain bleed. There was no reason for this to happen to me. I had no signs or warnings nor was a good candidate for it to happen to me. My Doctor says it was a fluke and I say it was a “stroke” of bad luck. 1/3 die, 1/3 suffer paralysis and 1/3 are good. I am good. My Doctor says I am having the best case results right now. I also believe it was the weakest link in my chain so to speak and it gave away because I do push my body to its limits, it is all I have done my 47 years of living. Don’t worry, I will take it easy, a second bleed is also 70 percent chance of death and I am really not ready to die just yet.

I am being treated as though I had an aneurism even though I did not. This means I can’t do anything to raise my blood pressure for 2 months, including running. Doctors’ orders to Suzanne was to treat me like a King and she is holding up on her end of the deal. I am on a lot of medication and I have worked my way down to one pain pill a day now. My head is still ringing, it is especially disturbing at night. The pounding has gone way down and that is a big relief, it sounded like someone was driving a big steel pin in my head with a sledge hammer, yes that bad. The second worse pain is from being in bed for 10 days. My legs feel horrible still. As soon as they let me start walking, things have gotten better. After walking the last several days, I am finally getting a much more positive outlook on my future. In fact, I am having a blast watching my 3 mile walk times comes down, this morning I was pretty excited about my 17:30 miles. I know that does not sound like much, but when you are coming from nothing, at rock bottom just a few days ago, it is a big deal to me. I even signed up for Mt Cheaha 50k trail run for February and now I am thinking I may be ready to finish a marathon in November, this year. I am a little disappointed that I won’t be able to run JFK 50 miler this year, it would have been my 5th in row and this year marks the 50th anniversary. I am still going only I will crew for David Riddle and see if he can make magic happen again this year like he did last year, another course record perhaps?

So, On the Run will continue. I just wanted you to know what happened and next week we’ll be back on the running topics as I choose. I am excited about running and already looking forward to running. I am excited to see so many out doing what we do best, reaching goals and keeping on the move. I hope to inspire and help be a part of your success as I plan to follow you while you do so.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Weekend Results

Fall is quickly approaching and the racing temperatures are starting to improve in the south which everyone is excited about!  In even better news, store owner, team member and friend Dink Taylor is recovering well now at home after suffering a stroke just over a week ago and already walking 2-3 miles a day.

This weekend the Nike Fleet Feet Racing Team was lead by Rob Youngren and Kathy Youngren who both took the overall wins at the Redstone Arsenal 9.11km Commemorative run.  Rob posted a 32:06 for the win, followed by Tim Pitt in 2nd at 34:24.  Kathy was also 5th overall in taking the women's title with a fast 38:10.

Official Results

1 Rob Youngren 38 - 32:06 5:41
2 Timothy Pitt 33 - 34:24 6:05
5 Kathy Youngren 38 F - 38:10 6:45

Photo courtesy of Carl Smith

Photo courtesy of Carl Smith

At the Fleet Feet Sports / Earl Jacoby Memorial Cross Country Invitational run, Marty Clarke posted a 19:21 to finish 2nd place overall.

Official Results

Friday, September 7, 2012

Weekend Results

This past weekend Blake Thompson from the Nike Fleet Feet Racing Team completed the Smokies Challenge Adventure Run.  SCAR is an unofficial 70+ mile traverse of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park along the Appalachian Trail, starting at Fontana Dam and going to Davenport Gap. The total elevation gain is 18,660', 12,800' in first 40 miles and 5860' in last 30 miles. On course aid and bail-out is only possible at 40 miles at Newfound Gap Road. All food and gear must be carried and water must be pulled from streams. The trail is technical, and there are a lot of steep climbs and descents all on singletrack.

Blake started just after 6pm and ran the first ~40 miles overnight with Zach Koch and Dave Varoujean (shown below) in 15:10. Then after a 50+ minute break at Newfound Gap for breakfast, Blake finished out the last ~30 miles with Will Barnwell in 8:40.  He noted his "official" time was 24:35 and wanted to thank his entire crew, including Sarah Bowden, on the logistics of making this happen.

Locally in Huntsville, Brandon York ran away with the overall victory at the Monte Sano Road Race 10km.  Brandon was almost four and a half minutes ahead of second place.  Eric Charette rounded out the podium with a 3rd place finish.  Candace Jacobs was the overall female winner in 39:01.  Numerous team volunteers were on site to make this race happen!

10km Official Results

1 Brandon York 27 - 32:32 5:15
3 Eric Charette 36 - 37:19 6:01
4 Gregory Reynolds 30 - 38:23 6:11
5 Candace Jacobs 32F - 39:01 6:17
6 Timothy Pitt 33 - 39:30 6:22
11 Eric Patterson 40 - 41:05 6:37
12 Randy McFarland 51 - 41:32 6:42
43 Dana Overton 37F - 46:54 7:33
63 Christy Scott 39F - 48:36 7:50
92 David Rawlings 40 - 50:59 8:13

Photo courtesy of Gregg Gelmis - We Run Huntsville

Just an hour later, Brandon York also won the Monte Sano Road Race 5km men's race with a time of 16:18 and Eric Charette was 2nd.

5km Mens Official Results

1 Brandon York 27 - 16:18 5:15
2 Eric Charette 36 - 18:15 5:53
5 Gregory Reynolds 30 - 19:06 6:09
10 Robert Whitaker 53 - 19:39 6:20
11 Timothy Pitt 33 - 19:52 6:24
24 Eric Patterson 40 - 21:02 6:46
25 Tim Vinson 48 - 21:05 6:48
69 David Rawlings 40 - 24:56 8:02

Photo courtesy of Gregg Gelmis - We Run Huntsville

In the women's running of the Monte Sano Road Race 5km which started just minutes after the men's race, Dana Overton was 3rd place overall with a time of 23:36.

5km Womens Official Results

3 Dana Overton 37F - 23:26 7:33
6 Christy Scott 39F - 24:08 7:46

Photo courtesy of Gregg Gelmis - We Run Huntsville