Friday, November 19, 2010

Life keeps on happening...

Well... a lot has happened since my last post... Sydney turned 10 and has started playing the guitar, Colby's team won the Alabama DIV III State Championship in soccer, Maddison moved from 16th chair to 3rd chair on the clarinet, Cassidy was inducted into the National Honor Society, Sherri has become a workout machine at the YMCA and I took over both the Joint Operational Planning Process block of the Air War College curriculum as well as the Naval Advisor to Air University role at work... all movement in the positive direction!

In October I started a 20 week training plan for the Mercedes Half Marathon scheduled for 13 February 2011 but following the Spinners 5K on 23 OCT I started having significant pain in my left foot... the head of my 2nd metatarsal to be exact.... after some self evaluation and internet diagnoses I laid off of it for 10 days... then tried to run again... unsuccessfully! I eventually made my way in for xrays and a visit with the Podiatrist... he decided it was a combination of hyper-extension of the joint, sprained ligaments and inflamed bursa sac which resulted in a Toe Alignment Splint, Naproxen and zero running and elliptical for a couple of weeks... SO... after following his advice... today I am pain free and decided to put it to a test.

If you recall... I signed up for the Heritage of Air Power racing series here at Maxwell Air Force Base a couple months back and completed the 1st of four events... the Mitchell Mile... today was the 2nd event in that series... the Quesada 5K. Elwood Quesada was a member of the famous Question Mark endurance crew of 1929. In the first week of January, Second Lieutenant Quesada flew as a crew member with Major Carl Spaatz, Captain Ira Eaker, and others in the Question Mark plane which set a sustained inflight refueling record of 151 hours - more than six days in the air over Los Angeles. The trimotor Fokker with Wright engines flew 11,000 miles and was refueled 43 times; nine refuelings were at night. Quesada was instrumental in developing many of the principles of tactical air-ground warfare for the Ninth Air Force during the European campaign. Innovations attributed to him included adapting a microwave early warning radar (MEW) for real-time direction of fighter bombers that were already in-flight, as well as placing pilots as forward air controllers inside tanks equipped with VHF aircraft radios on the front lines. This latter technique allowed for direct ground communication with overhead fighter-bombers by personnel who understood what pilots needed to identify ground targets. Besides reducing friendly fire incidents, such tactics allowed attacking ground troops to use close air support with greater precision and speed, allowing for air cover to take the place of artillery support in a rapid armored advance. These improved tactics enormously expanded the contributions of tactical airpower to the Allied defeat of Germany on the Western Front. His career in the USAF and foreward thinking have earned him a spot of honor in this racing series.

Anyway... I decided to run the event this morning as I want to complete the entire series and given the time off thought I would test out the toe. The goal this morning was to simply run comfortably without referencing time on the watch and take whatever it yielded. I did lock the bezel of my watch on the heart rate screen and took a look a couple of times to see where I was so I would a relative marker of my fitness level. I have continued to stay in the pool the past couple of weeks as well as some stationary bike rides so I did not expect to much of a decline. To my surprise... I finished with a 24:34 and ZERO TOE PAIN!! So today was a huge confidence booster for me and an indication that I can once again get back to my half marathon training plan... albeit a 12 week plan... but a plan nonetheless! Hope the joints stay healthy...

Attitude trumps pain!