Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Salty Dogs

Heading home on my morning run, I find a man standing at the bank of Crane Creek, just staring at the sun-flecked water.

"Gator?" I asked.

He turns to me. "I saw something flip, thought maybe it was a snook."

What he saw was a manatee eating grass, he said with glee. A huge smile broke out on his face.


"Gotta love it," I said.

Moments later I encounter a hawk sitting on the road. He turns his head as another hawk flies over and takes off.


If I leave, which is a distinct possibility, I will miss Florida deeply. It has been home to me for most of my adult life. I spent most of my career in journalism here.

But Thursday I will find out whether I still have a job at my newspaper. If I am let go, I will take my running shoes elsewhere.

I will miss many things about Florida, especially the wildlife, the beautiful rivers and lakes, the seashore.

But I won't miss the humidity.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Let's Get Physical (Therapy)

Long-term recovery from traumatic injury is a war of attrition. Every advance is followed by a fallback.

You inch your way forward through time and space, learning to adjust to the body's healing rhythm.

I've spent nearly two years recovering from a deep tissue injury to my right hip sustained during the Tupelo Marathon.

I was in a good place for most of the year through spring, running a 5k and upping the mileage on my roadwork.

I also was hitting the pool for workouts of up to 40 laps.

One day in June, the pain in my right hip exploded. I started a pain management regimen that involved Tramadol and copious amounts of red wine. It was not fun. Nor was it healthy.

I told my doctor and he sent me to a physical therapist. After about a month of therapy involving core-strengthening and hip-stretching I am able to run again. Gingerly, but healthily.

I've put in two runs this week at about 4 miles, concentrating on form -- running on the balls of my feet and tilting my pelvis forward while trying to keep my hips loose and swinging.

I'm not even thinking about getting back to my old pace yet. Slow and steady, you know.