Mrs. Cheater

A couple of days ago my good friend and running machine put a post on Facebook. She had a picture of a runner she named as Cheater who had just “won” an overall 10K victory.

Mrs. Cheater had signed up for the 10K and then completed the course in 32:17 minutes. If it’s true that is an amazing feat, the world record for females is less than 3 minutes faster. But it doesn’t seem as if it could be true. Mrs. Cheater ran a race two weeks prior and while it was twice as far (a half marathon), her per mile was over 13 minutes in that event compared to just over 5 in this one. Now there was also a 5K race and as it started and finished at the same point it seems likely that was the race that she ran. So at what point does something like this become cheating? Did she simply follow the wrong signs, take a wrong turn, make a mistake? Sure, I can see how that could happen, but what about being awarded and accepting the overall winners award?

Running seems to be becoming rampant with cheating. A quick google search shows that it is widespread. There was one race that I passed the same runner 3 times, always just after a timing mat. She finished several minutes in front of me but I saw her go by once in a car. I really don’t understand it, when I run a race, in reality I’m just running against myself. If I cheat, I’m not cheating anyone except myself. Maybe it’s because I rarely find myself among the leaders? No, if that were true then wouldn’t I be one of the ones trying to cheat so I could get a medal I didn’t earn? Like I said, I just don’t get it.

Again, I was not there and maybe it was a mistake this time but what about all the others? What I do get is that we, the running community need to stand up and do something about cheaters. We should keep an eye out for those that break the rules and report them when it happens. If the race organizers chose not to care then what? Do we hit the social networks about it? If we do then do we go after the runners or the organizers? I really don’t know what the answer is. Maybe Runners World, Run UK or some other group that can reach thousands needs to take the lead and help us decide how best to handle this because if we don’t stop it now, it will only get worse! It’s a matter of character, a matter of honor and this is our sport.

Goldilocks- A Shopping Story

We all know the story of Goldilocks and the bears. But recently, while shopping with my teenage daughter I learned the modern equivalent of the story. It goes kinda like this:

Once upon a time, there was a teenager named Goldilocks.  She went with her family to shop for clothes.  Pretty soon, she came upon a store called Levi’s.  She opened the door and then she walked right in.

On the wall of the store hung many pants but only three she liked.  She tried on the first pair.

“These pants are too small!” she exclaimed.

So, she tried on the second pair.

“These pants are too big,” she said

So, she tried on the third pair.

“Ahhh, these pants are just right,” she said happily but then added, ” but they are the wrong color!”

After she’d looked and looked there were none that were the right color so she she left.  So, she walked into the Marshall’s where she saw more jeans.  Goldilocks grabbed a pair that was the right shade.

“These pants are too big!” she exclaimed.

So she tried a second pair.

“This pair is too big, too!”  she whined.

So she tried the last and smallest pair.

“Ahhh, this pair is just right,” she sighed.  But just as she settled down and started to pay for them she noticed that the pockets were not right!

Goldilocks was very tired by this time, so she went to T.J. Maxx and looked at pants.  She tried on the first pair, but it was too rough.  Then she put on the second pair, but it was too soft.  Then she threw down the third pair because they were too blue.  Goldilocks left the store.

As she was walked through the shopping center she entered a fourth store but didn’t look at pants at all but shirts and jackets and things. This store never has the right size or shade for me in jeans she told her anxious, exhausted family (bears).

“Someone’s been looking at pants everywhere and these are the right color,” growled the Papa bear.

“Someone’s been looking at pants everywhere and these are the size and cut,” said the Mama bear.

“Someone’s been looking at every store and these are not too rough or too soft!” cried the Baby bear.

But Goldilocks wasn’t sure so she tried on other clothes instead.

“Someone’s to picky,” growled the Papa bear.

“Someone’s needs to relax,” said the Mama bear.

“Someone needs to find some food,” cried the Baby bear.

Goldilocks decided to look around some more and so Papa bear growled, “I am kinda hungry too”

“Maybe you should find a place to sit” said the Mama bear

“Someone’s been trying on clothes all day and she still is!” exclaimed Baby bear.

Just then, Goldilocks looked up and saw the pants they had been pointing too.  She screamed, “There they are, I knew I would find them there!”  And she jumped up and ran out of the room to try them on.  Goldilocks ran from the changing room and asked for a credit card.  And she explained that if we had just come to this store, the one she KNEW the pants were at instead of making her go to all the others we could already be home by now!


How I miss the open trails and winding paths! Rehab has finally started and hopefully it won’t be long now. It’s hard, doing things like leg lifts and calf raises again, getting the stiffened joint to move.

Today they added the seated bike to the mix. This has to be the most evil contraption know to man. Once the feet are strapped in, the bad knee HAS to bend as the good one straightens. Each rotation brings a new agony. During the work I often think of my running buddy Lilyan… Her hard work, all the therapy she endures. I owe it to her to push with the same resolve.

Home Life

As much as I have moaned and complained about my knee, it might seem as if there was no up side to life lately. The truth is kinda the opposite of that. There really are some good parts going on right now.

Living the EMS lifestyle means long hours away from home and family. When you throw in the time spent traveling to and from, teaching and special events and then top that off with running 30-40 miles a week life can get pretty hectic sometimes. Not that I’m complaining about it, this is the life I chose and the one I love. Still, it has been nice to slow down and enjoy a different pace.

I have not missed a play that Daniel’s been on the field this season in football (and the Warrior’s are kicking some tail, undefeated so far), binge watched TV series and even went to school with Sophia, chauffeured Ladonna to work and become more involved with the men’s group at church.

As much as I miss running and miss work, the upcoming return will mean missing this time I’ve been blessed with.

35 Years Later

Happy Anniversary to me! It just occurred to me that as my birthday looms yet again there is another date fast approaching, my EMS Anniversary. On about the same day, 35 years ago, I joined the Lee County Junior Rescue Squad, Pennington Gap Unit in Virginia. 30 years ago I worked my first shift for a small private ambulance service and was paid for the first time for providing medical care. For the last several years I have had the joy of serving with some of the best in the world at Sullivan County EMS and teaching with the Southwest Virginia Paramedic Program.

Somehow I’ve managed to beat the odds. National statistics show that EMS is such a hard life that the average paramedic lasts just 5 years. Along the way I have changed from the youngest, least experienced person to the ancient one in a blink of an eye. There have been so many changes in the profession and so many hardships and so many people.  I can’t wait to see what the next 35 years hold!


Versed Is My Friend!

Ok, so I think that I am free of the effects of medication enough to write a blog. Evidently earlier today I texted a Deputy Chief at work “Versed is my friend” which might indicate that I am not in the best of conditions.

The staff at the surgery center next to Fort Sander’s Regional in Knoxville was very nice, very professional. After a brief wait it was back to the pre-op and answering questions, changing into a very stylish gown and sitting with Ladonna as various docs and nurses wandered through. I do remember having a nice discussion with the Anesthesiologist about different types of airways, especially supraglottic types such as the LMA and King. I found it refreshing that he wanted to talk about it “with a medical professional that has a different perspective on the issues.”

Dr. Jaquith came by and spoke with us about the surgery to come and then the nurse said she was going to give me a little bit of Versed, not enough to do much. Ladonna said within a few seconds I was thick tongued and then there is no memory beyond that. I really must be a cheap date! I somewhat remember waking up in recovery and the good doctor saying something about he would explain it to my wife. I very clearly remember him asking me to move my toes and saying that it was good they still worked…  Wow, I am glad they are still attached, somehow I didn’t think about that until now but maybe I’m confusing realities, I have been watching a show about Mt. Everest?

Now for the report, mainly from Ladonna…

The piece of stuff free floating must have been sucked up almost immediately as he never truly visualized it. The lateral meniscus must have healed as he thought it would because it was intact as was the ACL. The PCL showed some wear and tear but was intact. The medial meniscus tear was clipped out and some good news there was that he was able to leave some. There is a divot on the lateral side of my femur, most likely where the floating piece came from. All of the surfaces show a pretty good amount of osteoarthritis, perhaps the worst news of all. Then again, it wasn’t like I didn’t know that I had arthritis before this.

A very special thank you to my family and friends and my running buddy Lilyan for their thoughts and prayers for today. And my beautiful Ladonna, for taking care of me and all that you do, you are my blessing. Now to see if I can clear this Versed Fog and in a week or so time for the rehab to began.

Doctor’s Report

Ok, I finally made it to see an orthopedic surgeon about the knee. So here it is in a nut shell. The medial meniscus has what’s called a bucket handle tear (see picture) that has also flipped upside down. This is one possible reason for the popping, locking, swelling and bruising. The second finding Continue reading Doctor’s Report

The Lazy Crazy Tri

I am starting to realize more and more what I have put my wife and family through the last few years. This was day 33 since my knee injury and FINALLY I had an MRI to determine what the actual injury is. This evening was supposed to be when I did the Lazy Crazy Tri with Daniel. A first Tri for both of us. Now it was Daniel’s first and my chance to crew him with Ladonna.  Continue reading The Lazy Crazy Tri

Dogs with Diseases

While I am moaning about myself, there is some news that is more good than bad. Bentley is feeling much better and is showing some signs of his old self.

The long and short is he has the dog version of Addison’s Disease. His body no longer produces the hormones needed to deal with stress like it should. Because of this he has electrolyte imbalances and whenever he becomes stressed he can go into crisis mode. The great news is this is very treatable and he is already improving. The bad news is this is an ongoing process and he will require medication daily throughout his life and will need to go to the vet often for blood work.

Still, just seeing the very loving dog we adore coming back to us lifts our spirits.