Wednesday, January 30, 2013


12:15am stream of consciousness... was angry the past few nights about not eing able to run. I thought i was ok, and had accepted it due to my health, even told someone last night that once I found out about my osteoporosis I didnt care about running anymore ...

that's not true.

some nights i just want to throw my phone in anger, reading about running, and running quotes, and motivation ... when God damn it I'm already motivated... I never needed the "just do it" and "never give up" speeches because i just loved to be out there running... and now i can't.

BUT. I dont want to be injured again. working everyday on crutches or a scooter is annoying. who the hell wants to go through this again.

better thoughts...

cant wait to go on our Disney cruise! then WDW!

Friday, January 25, 2013

I can't run right now ... and it's okay.

It's amazing what perspective can do.

I saw an endocrinologist today, in regards to my osteoporosis, specifically why a 39 year old otherwise healthy male would have low bone density (thus the cause of my stress fractures).

Without going into too much detail right now, I do have a hormonal imbalance, and more workup is needed.  Just for the sake of asking, I said, "so I can't run?" And he said, "No, you have the bones of a 70 year old."

And, to my surprise, my feeling after being told that I can't run? I'm okay with that.

Really.  The whole purpose of this blog, and my own personal fitness and success goal this past year and half has been to train myself to complete the Walt Disney World Goofy Challenge ... to run a Marathon and a Half.  And maybe I will someday.  Who knows.  My doctor didn't say don't run ever.  But no matter.  As of right now, my health is important to me.  I can still hold that goal ... and I will walk it next year.

I'm okay with the answer because my DOCTOR advised me not to run right now.  My doctor.  Not because my coworkers told me not to run.  Not because random people, especially nonrunners, are telling me "find another sport," and "you gotta stop this running stuff," and "when are you going to stop."  Not fellow runners, not random people who I run into who don't know my health, who don't know medicine, who don't have my health as a priority.  I take advice from my doctor.  And I'm content with that.

But I want to go through this workup, and figure out why my hormones are so out of balance.  And fix it.

Wow.  I didn't think I would have this reaction.  I thought that I would be devastated to hear that I can't run.  And maybe I will feel it tomorrow.  In fact, on my drive on the way to my doctor, I listed to the WDW Today Podcast, and the episode was about the Walt Disney World Marathon.  And I really wished I could run it.  And I still do.  But right now, let me just get healthy first..

I'm okay with that.


The following will be more technical for my own documentation and notes.  This should not be construed as medical advice and should not, in any circumstance, be a substitute for any reader's own physician's history, physical exam, and clinical judgement.
Endocrinologist visit notes:
Low testosterone and low free testosterone for my age, but ok.
Low LH, normal FSH
LH --> estrogen, FSH-->sperm.  men should produce estrogen for bone growth.  testosterone converts to estrogen
No celiac disease, no sarcoid (normal ACE)
prolactin low, which is good
previous results: ionized Ca, PTH, SPEP, UPEP ok.  Vitamin D mild low.  would like Vit D level to be 40, but can't give too much right now bc of h/o nephrolithiasis

Hypercalciuria (idiopathic) -- potential Tx thiazides, to retain Ca
other low estrogen producing
if negative workup, think bone disease, including Marfan's?  (less likely given arm span and no other fracture hx other than my recent stress fractures). Mastocytoma?
not varicocele bc would destroy testosterone in which case LH and FSH would be elevated.

24 hr urine calcium, to be followed by fasting labs the next morning (estrogen, etc).  Also MRI pituitary.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Baby steps ... AGAIN

Quick update on my status ... (mainly for my own documentation really)

I got some labwork done this morning -- LH, FSH, ACE, prolactin, testosterone, and endomysial antibodies.  I already got CBC, CMP, Ca, PTH, Vitamin D, SPEP, and UPEP.  My endocrinologist is just trying to rule out secondary causes of osteoporosis, given that I'm a 39 year old male!

I just saw my orthopedic podiatrist ... he says there is good healing on the MRI and ankle Xray of my tibial stress fracture, and now I can partially weight bear!

Yay!  but what does that mean?  Well, I can put 40-50 pounds of weight on my ankle (I tried it on a scale to get a feel, as the doctor prescribed) for 2 weeks, then on to full weight bearing during the 3rd week.

That means I still need the scooter and crutches.  I'm working with no day off for the next 2-3 weeks (including weekends), and am on call this weekend.  I was hoping to be walking fully this weekend, but this is actually okay, I'd rather use the scooter than crutches anyway.  I can just practice my partial weight bearing at home.

That being said, I have to be realistic about the races I had registered for.

There is the Allstate 13.1 Marathon in New York City on March 23, 2013.  Even if I was running (and I'm not), that would only give me 8 weeks to train.  Doable, but I'm only partial weight bearing.  I was planning on walking it anyway, but even then, even if and when I am full weight bearing in 3 weeks, that gives me 5 weeks to train.

C'mon now.  I'm positive, and optimistic, but I have to be realistic, and NOT FRIGGIN HURT MYSELF AGAIN.  So I'll back out of the Allstate Half, maybe defer till next year.

Now ... I am also registered of the NJ Half Marathon (Long Branch Half) on May 5, 2013.  now that's certainly interesting.  If and when I'm full weight bearing in 3 weeks, I can do a walking program and train to walk the Half in 11-12 weeks.  That sounds doable.  It will be great rehab.

So that's my short term goal for now.

(yes, Goofy is still in my sights for 2014).

I am seeing my endocrinologist on Friday (2 days from now), so we'll see what transpires then, based on some of the labwork that was done today.

Monday, January 21, 2013


Those who know me may describe me as generally positive person, quick to smile and offer warm words (I think, anyway) ... but not today.

I woke up at 5:30am as I have been for the past couple of weeks, not to go to the gym or to run like I had looked forward to in the past, but to get up and go to work.  I looked at the daily affirmation this early, dark, morning, "I love to get up in the morning and greet a new day," and said, "YEAH RIGHT!"

There was something about today ... maybe I was just in a bad mood ... the whole osteoporosis thing is gnawing at me, hitting me in weird ways.  Being non-weight bearing, getting around work -- rushing around, mind you -- is just getting old.  The jokes and comments are getting old.  I understand and appreciate everyone's concern about me.  To be truthful, I'm sure it's more curiosity.  Look at that scooter!  Scooter boy!  How much longer do you have to be on that thing?

It's not their fault.  They're curious.  I'm just getting tired of everything.

I know there are worse things, and many people are dealing with worse illnesses and circumstances.

I'm guessing others would be jealous of my circumstance:

 Heck, I'm married to a wonderful, beautiful, and loving wife, have an awesome healthy son, have a great career which pays well, own and live in my dream home in a great community ... and look, even with all of this I'm just so focused on running again.  But now what?  I get hit with this osteoporosis diagnosis and all of a sudden I'm living in uncertainty and doubt.

But full confession, I'm jealous of others:

When I see runners outside, I get jealous.  Whenever I drive past my old running routes, the reservoir, or whatever, I wish I was there.  When I look on Facebook and see other runners' posting pics of recent races, or PR's, I get jealous, and I get frustrated to no end to see that my own PR's weren't that bad.  I don't think I was bad for a 39 year old beginner/recreational runner, or at least a less-than-one-year runner.

5k PR: 23:48, 7:40 pace (official)
Half marathon PR (in training): 2:04:23, 9:30pace

Not by any means elite, and still a ways to go from the front corrals, but, hey, I think I could hang with an average 39 year old recreational runner.

 But hey, I really enjoy (enjoyED?) running.  It gave me joy, made me feel good.

I'll be getting some bloodwork (testosterone level) done tomorrow, will see my orthopedic podiatrist on Wednesday, and an endocrinologist on Friday.

In the meantime, I'm free to speculate, read, worry (or not), or whatever.  I did read that beers have the OSA form of silicon, which is bone building, especially the India Pale Ale kind!!

So hey, why not?  I just enjoyed a Founders Centenial IPA:

So, we'll see.  So many thoughts all at once, so many things to figure out ...
Why do I have osteoporosis?  Not sure if I want a reason or not ... hopefully it's correctable, hopefully it's curable ... I want to run ...Can I run again?  Will I be able to run again?  How about walking?  yeah, I can walk ... bought Chi Walking, I'll look at that, we'll see ... oh man I have the Allstate 13.1 Half Marathon in March! I can walk that, right?  Can I train in that short of time?  Wait, what the hell?  I'm still nonweighbearing!!  I'm so selfish.  But c'mon, I want to run.  There are a bunch of runners with osteoporosis that I see online.  I can be like them, right?!?!  God, just slow down.  Why, oh why, do I want to run so much.


Why do I want to run?  Why do I want to run a marathon?  And the GOOFY for God's sakes?  Why?

Selfish?  Well ... because it will make me feel good.  And isn't that what we all really want?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Thank you, Coach Jay!

"Just get moving."
                                                        -Coach Jay Stephenson

A couple of weeks ago, (before I found out about my osteoporosis), I spoke with Jay Stephenson on the phone about my running injuries, and we discussed strategies for recovery and prevention.  Jay Stephenson is the former head coach for cross country and distance track at Shorter University in Rome, Georgia.  His wonderful website,, is a wonderful resource for training and fitness plans, with load of informational videos on all things running -- training, races, nutrition, and more.

After I contacted him and explained my situation ... as you know, a 39 year old runner suffering a second stress fracture in 6 months, he graciously offered some time for further discussion and advice on the phone.

The first question to answer was : "Why and how did I get injured?"
(please note that this was before my DEXA scan revealed osteoporosis, and the reason for that is still being investigated).

To answer this, he asked in detail what my running schedule was leading up to my injuries; he asked about my shoes, my form, and the surface I ran on.  Here is my breakdown

Schedule: From November 2011 to May 2012, I started by completing a modified Couch to 5K Program, (modified because I skipped ahead a couple weeks when I felt good, something I should not have done) then had a rather irregular schedule because of work, but tried to stick with 3 maintenance runs of 3-5 miles during the week, and a long run on weekends from 6-13.1 miles, increasing each week.  If I am to be honest, my schedule not regular at all, and I could go for a week without running, then would run several days in a row, and not really pay attention to increasing mileage.

Shoes: did a lot of experimenting.  Video analysis at both a Foot Locker RUN store and Road Runner Sports showed that I have a neutral gait.  Foot analysis at Road Runner Sports showed that I have a high arch.  I played around with Nike Air Pegasus, Skechers GoRuns, Mizuno Wave Creation 13, Brooks Ghost 3, and Brooks Pure Flow 1.  (man I loved the Pure Flow.)

Form: the Foot  Locker Run store analysis showed heel strike, neutral gait (I was wearing shoes).  In contrast, the Road runner sports analysis, showed that I had a forefoot strike and neutral PLUS gait (needed a little more support). (I was barefoot).
Personally I knew I was a heel striker, but tried hard to get onto midfoot (Chi Running) and forefoot.  I wasn't always successful, but the concept of minimalism and form made sense to me, at the time anyway.

 Great video on the basics of proper Chi Running form:

Surface: Almost pure pavement.  I ran on streets and sidewalks leading up to May 2012.  Also a lot of wooden boardwalk.  Very rare grass, and rare treadmill. 

Cross training: none at that time.

Circumstances of my first injury: After a half marathon distance long run in training, 13.1 miles in my new Mizuno Wave Creation 13 with heel strike on pavement, I started to feels a nagging pain in my right groin that didn't go away.  I kept running for a couple of weeks, and thus my femoral neck stress fracture.

So, what did I do then? I was on crutches and a cane for 5 months, I thought I learned my lesson, and then I tried to correct them when I got back to running October 2012 - December 2012

This was my strategy:
-even more gradual acceleration -- I walked more, then did coach to 5 k, then tried Hal Higdon's Novice 1 marathon training program.
-I tried to change my form to a more forefoot strike.
-I varied my surface, and more regularly ran on treadmills and softer trails.
-I cross trained -- elliptical and bike


In December 2012, I felt some left ankle pain after a short 3 mile trail run, so I stopped, then when it felt better, I ran 30-40 minutes on a soft treadmill, and then I found out I got my second stress fracture, a left distal tibial stress fracture.

So now what?  What do I do now.  Coach Jay helped me to identify the reasons for my injuries again -- maybe I was still accelerating my mileage too fast, and I was still doing too much too soon and I had too many fast workouts during the week.  I also figured I was overcompensating for my right hip injury and heel strick by (unconsciously) putting on extra weight on my left, and using a lot of forefoot strike, so that's how my left tibia got injured.

Now, again, this was before my DEXA bone density showed osteoporosis, but his prescription in addition to a modified training schedule? 


He suggested increasing bone density with weight training:
2-3 times a week,
workout with moderate weights (not to bulk up, but to tone), 3 sets of 10.
both upper and lower body.
either free weights or machines, whatever keeps you motivated and consistent.

Little did I know two weeks ago how important and spot on this advice would be, now that I found out that my bone density is low.  I haven't gotten to work out yet, I am still on crutches and a scooter.  First things first, let's heal.  My orthopedic podiatrist called my the other day and said to stay off of it, and he will see me this week, and probably well let me put some weight on my leg.  And I am going to get a testosterone level this week and see an endocrinologist.  Boy, this is turning our to be a  roundabout way to get from Couch to Goofy.  Let's do it right.

But, for giving me your generous time and advice, I thank you Coach Jay!!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

File under "Too much information"

I've been reading a lot today about osteoporosis. You know, because research is "me search." As a 39 year old otherwise healthy male, and not a postmenopausal woman , I should not have this low bone density disease ...

unless there's a secondary reason. Well, i can rule out: excessive alcohol use, glucocorticoid use, anti seizure medications ...

the question now is hormonal imbalance. Testing showed that my calcium and parathyroid hormone levels were ok, Vitamin D was mildly decreased, and my SPEP and UPEP (to check for mutliple myeloma) were fine.

But, my testosterone wasn't checked, and I believe low testosterone is a common secondary cause of osteoporosis in young males.

Could I have low testosterone?

Then it hit me, (warning, TMI part coming up) ... as an adolescent I was diagnkawd with having a varicocele.

So ... varicocele --> low testosterone --> osteoporosis --> stress fracture!

Well, I still have to have testing next week and see my endocrinologist next week, but if this pans out ... then I have to thank RUNNING and my INJURIES for unveiling an otherwise hidden health problem.

Weird how things work out, and how there are reasons for events in your life.


I'm so conflicted. I just want to run again. I want to run. That's it, that's all there is to it. I rationalize and explain that i want to be healthy, and I want to run safely ... but if I am to be honest, I just want to run. I don't want to walk.

I miss being outside, running down the boardwalk, the side streets, the reservoir path, the trails. I miss getting up really early in the morning, going for a run in the cold weather, and getting back home just as everyone is just getting up.

I miss being at work and looking forward to going home just to run. I miss being excited realizing that I had an afternoon off so I could squeeze in a run.

I miss doing a long run, feeling great that, wow, I actually ran that far, and that feeling of accomplishment. The distance, the time, the goal, running it nonstop -- that was a runner's high.

I even miss looking into new gear, new shoes, new whatever.

This is the weird part ... I now miss about 4-6 months ago, while recovering from my first stress fracture, when I KNEW I would be back to running ... then I even miss 2 weeks ago, during my second stress fracture, when even then I KNEW I would prove everyone wrong and would run again.

But now.

Now I know I have osteoporosis. And I just don't know. Everything I'm reading is contradictory -- weight bearing exercise is good, running ok, but not too much??

I will have to ask my doctors.

But I want to run.


Not walk.

I don't want to straggle in the back of the pack or worse during the races, during the Goofy. I don't want to be one of those. I know that might not be the right thing to say, and it is selfish, but that's how I feel right now.

Please let me run again.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

The plot thickens ... osteoporosis?!?

Ever since I got my first stress fracture, and especially now that I'm enduring my second stress fracture from running, the question remains -- How did this happen?

The obvious answers from a running standpoint are:
-the case of the "toos" -- too much, too fast, too soon, and:
-technique: heelstrike? midfoot strike? forefoot strike?

The above can be explored in depth, but today I went for my DEXA bone density scan and a repeat MRI, and while the good news is that the MRI is showing good healing of my tibial stress fracture, I was kinda caught by surprise when the radiologist told me that


(credit to

What? huh? osteoporosis?  How can I, a 39-year old, MALE, non-alcoholic, nonsmoker, non-steroid-taking, relatively active, everyday-milk-drinking guy, have osteoporosis?

I don't know.  As I sat there in the waiting room after my MRI, I googled (naturally) "causes of osteoporosis in young men," as would be the obvious thing to search in this case ... but

... as I was just skimming through the entries ...

... a more important question took over, and I searched:


Yes.  I could be reading about medical causes, including hormonal irregularities, like Cushing's and others, and possibly even cancer ... but, what is more important to me right now is:

Can I run again?

I know that sounds silly to a nonrunner.  (you might have cancer but you just want to find out if you can run again?)  Running is that much of an addiction and it means that much to me.

Luckily I am finding some support that weight-bearing exercise is good for osteoporosis, but I am also finding articles warning to take caution with that.  Studies have shown (at least in one article I read) that long distance running is no guarantee against osteoporosis, and even cited marathoner Bill Rodgers as an example, and that other exercise is as important to perform as well.

I just want to run again.  Yes I still want to run the Goofy.
But yes I have to do this right.

I will make an appointment with my endocrinologist to figure out WHY I have osteoporosis.

In the meantime I'll take my milk, calcium, Vitamin D, and multivitamins with joy.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Pride -- swallowed, again.

The calendar today had this quote for me:

"I am constantly creating more good in my life."

Well, I must admit I did create good for myself by putting my pride -- as well as my crutches -- aside for a day, and I brought my doctor-prescribed KNEE SCOOTER to work today:

For the last five weeks, I have been dragging my crutches to work, and hopped up, down, and all around at work.   I do a lot of walking at work, and although it is undeniable that the knee scooter relieves a lot of stress on my good leg, not to mention my arms, armpits, shoulders, and hands from the crutches, I was resistant to using it at work.

I was stubborn.

Why? I've been through this before.

Six months ago, July 2012, we took a trip to WALT DISNEY WORLD.  I was in the midst of my recovery from my first stress fracture, and by this point I had been on crutches for two months.  No way am I going to trek around the parks on an electic scooter, I said.  I was going to crutch around.

Well, I came to my senses and, needless to say, with the encouragement of my family and friends (and online forum advice as well), I made the right decision and rented an ECV, an electric scooter (thanks

(credit to

 I must say, that out of 20-30 trips that I have made to the World, this was easily in the top 5.  Once the male, feeling-healthy, 30-something proud me got over the fact that I was injured, and stopped caring about the looks I was getting (or was it looks I *thought* I was getting), being on that electric scooter was so freeing.  It was relaxing, I was relaxed, I got to enjoy the parks with my family without really slowing them down ... and if I was slow, well, hey, I finally got to really experience the parks, the atmosphere, and appreciate the little details. 

I lived in the NOW.

And as a wonderful side effect, the physical rest that the scooter provided, as well as the spiritual and mental relaxation and positivity that was generated, actually helped me to heal. (It didn't hurt that I was at Walt Disney World, see my post on The Healing Power of Disney).

(credit to

(I believe in Pixie Dust, so sue me).

So.  I was resistant to using a scooter six months ago, but I got one, and realized it was a great decision.  So why was I so stubborn now?  Perhaps because I knew it would be at work, not vacation, and ... I don't know.  Self-conscious?  I can't rationalize it, because last week I was more comfortable bringing attention to myself on crutches ... but I also brought pain.

Today, on my knee scooter, I felt free.  Again, once I got over the fact that people were looking at it (in amazement, perplexed perhaps, of why I was riding a "bike" to work?), well it was actually fun ... as fun as work can be anyway.  Definitely a conversation piece, to be honest stopping for all the conversations about it negated the speed factor.

But in any case, the most significant part of the day was when I stepped into my car to go home.  (After maneuvering the scooter somehow into my trunk, balancing precariously on one foot).
I sat in my driver's seat -- sat, not slumped -- and felt good.  Not tired.  Not physically tired anyway.  Mind you today was a busy day at work, but I still had energy left at the end of the day.

I swallowed my pride, brushed my stubbornness and ego aside, and got something in return -- comfort, energy, efficiency,  power.  And no pain!

How can I translate this to life?  No, that's too broad, philosophical, and profound ... how can I translate this to running?

Simply stated, Olympian (and official runDisney consultant) Jeff Galloway promotes walk breaks during running. Basically in any run-walk ratio, e.g. 4 min run, 1 min walk ratio, or 1:1, or whatever.  The idea is that these short walk breaks will help you recover during running, reduce injury, and let you finish strong.

There is a lot of controversy (at least online) about Jeff Galloway's method, whether it even helps your time, or perhaps just breaks your running rhythm, and there is even some animosity among some runners towards the so-called Gallowalkers, who in some peoples' minds can not say they "ran" a marathon if they took walk breaks.  Cheating, perhaps?

My view was this -- I would never look down on anyone who took walk breaks, heck, you can walk an entire marathon and in my opinion if you finished it within the specified time then yes you can say you completed a marathon.  "Ran" a marathon?  Not really.  The thing is, part of me would not be satisfied if I personally took walk breaks.  That was the thrill I got from running, from the runs, from the distance accomplished ... that feeling after a good long run and thinking, "wow, I RAN that entire distance without stopping!"  That's what kept me going.

But maybe I should swallow my pride when it comes to running.

When (not IF, WHEN) I get back to running ... perhaps I should incorporate walk breaks into my running.  Perhaps after a run with walk breaks I will feel just as I did when I used my electric scooter in July and when I used my knee scooter today -- perhaps I will have more energy, more comfort, more effiency, more power, less pain.

Something for me to think about.  

I want to run an official half marathon, and official full marathon, and the Goofy Challenge.  And yes I'll admit it, I want the medals.

But I want to earn them.  I want to feel proud of them.  Proud of myself.

And that's what I will work on.  I must brush aside my pride and ego, or maybe even expand my ego, and really get to a point where I'm comfortable in saying, "yes, I walked part of this race, and yes I am proud I finished it."

If I'm being honest, at this exact second I'm not there yet.  My goal is to RUN the Goofy challenge, nonstop.

I am a still a work in progress in so many ways.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


I'm sitting down next to my pneumo-boot, crutches, cane, and scooter are downstairs, I'm injured yet again (second stress fracture), but I am going to run the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge next year.



If you think that a marathon is just a walk in the park, put your endurance to the test and compete in Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge! A 39.3-mile adventure held over two days, participants will run the Half Marathon on Saturday, followed by the Marathon on Sunday. If you finish both races within the pacing requirements, you will be awarded the coveted Goofy medal in addition to your Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse finisher medals.

Much has been written and said about inspiration, quotes from historical and spiritual books abound, from poetry, from speeches, from films.  I won't even try to pretend to come up with something more moving, or ground breaking, or motivating, than what is already out there ... but this:  out of all the quotes, and self-help and motivational advice out there, I believe the best, and the best said, was said by Walt Disney himself:

If you can dream it, you can do it.

                                                                                                 -Walt Disney

(credit to for this pic)

It is perfect, and can't be said any better.

Today is the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.  The Half Marathon is finishing up as I type.  I was supposed to be there at the World this weekend, and I was to run my first marathon tomorrow, the Walt Disney World Marathon.  Well, things happen, and I know my injuries is just a way for me to get better. This obstacle will be something I will overcome, to propel me to something greater.  I will run the Goofy next year, and it will be great.

I do not consider myself particularly religious, and at this time I do not mean to take this into a spiritual direction, but something interesting, the random affirmation for today from Louise Hay is,

"I allow myself to think big dreams."  Nice. Goes perfectly with Walt Disney above.

And, for those of you with a New Age slant, a random affirmation that caught my eye right now is,
"Whatever I can imagine, the Universe can deliver." Again.  What Walt Disney said above.

I must say I am in pretty good spirits about the whole thing.  I have been on crutches or cane now for about 5 out of the last 7-8 months.  Pretty frustrating, especially when I set the Goofy as my personal goal.  Frustrating when all I want to do is be physically active and run.  There are a lot of motivational articles and speech, etc, about "getting up in the morning and taking the first step for the run," and "finding a reason to run," and "not stopping," etc.  I'm frustrated because I'm already motivated, I already want to run, and I have my own reasons, and I don't want to stop ... but I can't right now because of my injuries.

When I do get down, there are a couple of videos that pick me up:

This is about Roger Wright, who lost over 100 pounds and trained for the Boston Marathon in less than 10 months, for his health and for charity. Very inspiring:

Roger Wright's website is called Running for my Existence, and he is raising money for his niece and charity for cystic fibrosis.
The above video is a must-see.

The next is about Derek Redmond, you may remember from the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.  The video and music may be too much for some, but what happened is still inspiring, whether you are religious or not.

Ok, ok, I'm not sure I really wanted to go this way, the emotional, sentimental, inspiring, motivational, positive-thinking type of discussion ... but hey, isn't that what Disney and running are both about?  And aren't we in the middle of the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend?

Good Luck runners!  I will join you next year.  And yes, I really will.  Last week my family and I started to plan a trip to Walt Disney World January 2014, specifically for the Marathon Weekend (January 10, 11, 12).  My sister and her running family are going, and my parents are already looking into booking a Disney Vacation Club Grand Villa at Old Key West.  And -- via a deferral form from this year,

I registered for the 2014 Walt Disney World Goofy Race and a Half Challenge.

Not just a dream.  This is real.

This is my goal, see this sticker?:

The next time I post this sticker will be EXACTLY ONE YEAR from today, when I complete the Goofy Challenge on January 12, 2014.

"Yes, really."

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cruise Countdown

I may be injured, and sidelined from running, but one thing I can certainly do to keep my spirits up is plan a vacation.  I vacationed injured last year, we went on The Disney Magic 2 night NYC Cruise, and also to Walt Disney World (see my WDW beer tour here) ... both times I brought my crutch, and I even rented a scooter for the WDW trip.  No matter, they were AWESOME trips.

But I don't plan on being injured for our upcoming trip ... the countdown is on ... for our 5 Night Western Caribbean Cruise on the Disney Wonder:

I love cruises.  To be honest, my family and I only discovered cruising a couple of years ago, when we first went on a 3-night Bahamian Cruise on the Disney Dream.  We had been going to Walt Disney World every year, for, I don't know, over 20 years.  That was our pasttime.  And we still love Walt Disney World, no doubt about it.

But a cruise.  Wow.  just, a perfect vacation.

So I'm really excited about this upcoming cruise.  It will be our first time on the Disney Wonder, one of Disney Cruise Line's original 2 ships, and our first time in the Western Caribbean. Here's just a preview of our planned itinerary:

1. arrive in Miami
2. Cruise Day 1 -- embarkation day!
3. Cruise Day 2 -- Day at Sea, Palo Brunch
4. Cruise Day 3 -- Cozumel, Mexico -- Mayan Ruins and Explore Mexico Excursion
5. Cruise Day 4 -- Day at Sea
6. Cruise Day 5 -- Castaway Cay (hopefully I'll be healthy enough for the Castaway Cay 5K (see my review)
7. Debarkation Day, Miami day
8. leave Miami

In contrast to a Walt Disney World vacation, where I am obsessive compulsive about planning every little detail, including every meal, touring plans, and the like ... what I love about cruising is how much down time there is.  In the 7-8 days of our vacation above, the only "extra" things I planned so far is one Palo Brunch, and one excursion.  The rest of the time will be vacation in the true sense of the word -- eat? sure.  explore? sure.  relax?  whatever? absolutely.

One new thing we will be trying on this cruise will be Palo.  Palo is the adult upscale restaurant on the Disney ships.  It has a pretty reasonable premium of only $20 per adult.  We may go for the famous Palo Dinner, which always gets rave reviews, but we're not sure we want to miss any other dinners, especially since this will be our first time on the Wonder.  We are, however, opting for the equally famous Palo Brunch:

This will also be our first time in Cozumel, Mexico.  (It may be my 4th time in Mexico I think, but first in Cozumel.)  There are at least 20 different shore excursions offered through Disney in Cozumel, from Dolphin Encounters to tours and the like.  I only had two criteria: 1) no beach (since we would be spending a day at Castaway Cay) and 2) needed to include the Mayan ruins.  There were a couple of Mayan ruin choices, so I picked one:

So, we'll see how it goes.  One brunch planned, one excursion planned, the rest ... well, we will REST!

I can't wait.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


So ... I have the afternoon off today.  Without going into detail into what I do for a living, any time off is golden.  I worked all weekend through New Years Day and even through this morning Jan 2, 2013.  Happy New Year.  About 74 hours from Friday morning to this afternoon, Wednesday.  Yes, some nights were included.

Anyway, I used to look forward to half days off ... because then I could RUN!!  And run in the daylight.  But with my friggin' injury, can't do much of that.  I did see my podiatrist, who checked xrays and said that there were signs of healing of my left tibial stress fracture!!  That's great, that really is.  But more has to be done.  I have to remain nonweightbearing for at least another 3 weeks.  Ouch.  Yes, I guess I'm a pro at crutches now, but that doesn't mean it isn't a pain.  Can't carry anything, hard to open doors, can't move a few feet in between chairs to grab a  pen or whatever.  Big pain.

He is ordering another MRI and also a DEXA scan to check my bone density.  See if all is normal.  I want, and WILL, get better soon so I can back to running.  Yes back to running.  No matter what the naysayers think.

But for this afternoon, since I can't run in this cool crisp air and bright sunshine ... let me enjoy my other favorite activity ... beer tasting.  Today we have:

STONE IPA.  What a wonderful IPA.  Stone has become one of my favorite breweries.  My beer palate has come a long way from my Walt Disney World Beer Review;  I really should go back to WDW and either re-review those beers ... no actually I'm sure I'll just choose others.

Well, I guess I'll take a nap.  Nonweightbearing for another 3 weeks.  have been on and off crutches for 9 months.  Whatever.