Thursday, September 29, 2005

Couple of things

After my ankle test yesterday (Wed) AND that good run at PIM AND being on my feet all night at work, I decided to put off my rehab session till Friday morning. I got some good rest today. When I woke up, my first steps felt awesome. Ususally I have to walk around the house a while before I can even stop limping. So, I think the combination of therapy, 3 days of running, a pretty intense motrin regimen (800mg 3x/day, Dr's orders. Really!!!), and of course the cortisone shots have me feeling great. This really gives me clarity to think about my course over the next weeks and months and to really concentrate on my patience, my diet, and purpose for every workout. I think when I'm in pain, all I think about is 'What can I do to get rid of this pain? Rest? Try to walk a little? Maybe a little running? Should I lift weights? Should I or Shouldn't I do calf raises? Yada...Yada...Yada' Now, I can really concentrate on my real goals, to lose this weight, to get into good condition, to run a marathon in 2007, to eat better, that kind of stuff. It's kind of liberating to be rid of that pain for a while. Don't know if that makes sense but those are some thoughts of late.

I'm on my way to Dr. Bob's for a CPR/AED course. I wanted to volunteer some with the HARRA CPR/AED team this year and inquired about it just as courses were forming. I'm really looking forward to it. This also means now that I HAVE TO buy a bike. Yipee!!! I've been waiting for a great excuse.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Feelin good at PIM

PIM (Power in Motion) was sure a lot of fun tonight. The Aeorbics group started week 4 of our training program. Tonight's workout was 5x(3walk/1run). However, since I just started back running this week I am relegating myself to week 1 which is 7x(2walk/1run). I'm not going to push myself to 'catch up' with the rest of group. I'm going to stick with the plan and work my way up gradually.

Tomorrow's a rest day. Well, not really. I start day 1 of rehab so should get a pretty intense workout at Koala in the morning. No running though tomorrow. I'm really jealous of the folks running the Space City 10-miler. Good luck to all of you and I hope you have fun. I'm trying to see if it is at all feasible to come out and maybe take a few pictures. I don't know yet, though. I may do a rehab session on Saturday morning. We'll see.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I'm cheered up

I went to the podiatrist this morning for a follow-up and he said I'm doing just fine. He took x-rays and showed me how the bone density was really pregressing well. Also, for the pain I've been having in a couple of places, he gave me 2 steroid shots. He told me that everything I'm going through is normal. Also, he's all for the sports medicine stuff. He encouraged me to continue therapy/rehab at Koala. I'm going Wednesday morning. I asked him if I should take it easy, he said, NO! Just do what you would normally do. Unsolicited, he even offered that running would be GOOD FOR IT!!! WOW, that's not the report I was expecting. I could not have asked for more encouragement. And now, with the shot, I'm pretty much pain-free.

I did have a bit of trouble with my health insurance. Despite the fact that I've gotten steroid injections without pre-authorization in the past, they insisted that I need pre-authorization. So, at first, the office said I needed to make ANOTHER appointment to come back and get the shot. I really didn't know who to be mad at because this really didn't make sense. To save money and manage my care, it was necessary to pay for 2 doctor's visits? Why not just say 'OK' and let me get it done while I'm in the office? Once I found out that the doctor's hands were tied, I got on the phone with the insurance company and got the ball rolling. After an hour and a half, I was approved and I got the shot. It was worth it.

I'm going out for a walk/jog now (7 pm). I'm anxious to see how it feels.


Monday, September 26, 2005

1.3 to start the week

I was able to go out for 1.3 miles at Memorial Park this evening. I ran out from the stretching area at the tennis courts to the little road that leads into the golf course on the east side and back. I did a lot of stretching before and after which is always a good thing.

My ankle just doesn't seem to be doing well at all. I'm really confused as to what's wrong. I don't know if it's just weakness and atrophy or if there's really something wrong with it. Fortunately, I have a post-op visit with my podiatrist tomorrow. I have a lot of questions for him. Also, I'm going to be getting back on track with treatments/rehab at Koala on Wednesday. I'm fearful that I am continuing to spend $$ at Koala and there may be something really wrong with the ankle. I guess I will get this all sorted out tomorrow. I'm going to insist on much more than a cursory exam and a quick in and out, like some doctors do.

It seems our city is getting back to normal. There were sure tons of people at Memorial park. And the gas station on Washington had gas and no lines, just a few people getting gas (normal). Traffic is still light. Cassie, Sarah, Holden, and Edwin are back in town. Haven't heard anything from Jessica or Jen. Hope all is well with them. Later.

Saturday, September 24, 2005


If anyone out there is thinking about coming back, DO NOT!!! Pres. Bush, Mayor White, and Judge Eckels are urging evacuees from all affected counties to stay put. There is already beginning to be a major traffic jams. Most people do not have power. THERE IS NO GAS!!! in Houston or anywhere surrounding and on the way in. Schools will definitely not be open on Monday. They're thinking about staying closed even later. There have been police cars patroling my neighborhood since dawn so don't worry about your property. Police are out in full force. Just take the weekend and stay where you are at. Most importantly, they need to keep the lanes clear for emergency relief vehicles to get to those areas that need relief. Also, CenterPoint needs to be able to get around. Gas trucks and food trucks need to be able to get through. Nothing is open. Not Kroget or Denny's or anything. We're not even having church this weekend. PLEASE STAY PUT!!!

After Rita

We are so fortunate. We still have power and the only wind damage, if you want to call it that, is a lot of small limbs all over the yard. I know that others are going through a tough time and I certainly sympathize and hope that I can find a way to help. Anyway, God bless those who are making their way back home. Be safe all.

Awakened but all ok

I was awakened at about 2:30 by something. No really any noise. Maybe I just sensed some change in the conditions outside. The wind has really picked up... not so much sustained wind but gusts really whipping the trees around. I'm so lucky not to have lost power. If I get through the night with no loss of power, it will be a miracle. I heard a transformer BOOM!!! a few streets to the north. Still, all in all, I doubt that these gusts are even tropical storm strength. Edwin says he's getting rain now in Lufkin. I hope this storm just moves on through east Texas and on out. That would really be lucky. Hope everyone is safe.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Elderly couple die in bus explosion

Jan just called crying. She said she knew 2 of the elderly folks, a man and his wife, who were on the bus that exploded this morning. The couple had just moved to the Bellaire community from Jan's place. She had cared for them and knew them well. The wife was killed in the accident while the husband was rescued. Sad that this tragedy happened.

50,000 without power already

Of the 1.9 million customers serviced by CenterPoint energy, 50,000 are already without power as early as 7 p.m. Most of those outages are localized in the southern part of CenterPoint's service area. If your power fails, KHOU - Channel 11 is broadcasting audio on 3 FM stations and 1 AM station.


Earlier this afternoon, I put our garbage can into the garage to keep it from blowing down the street. Thus, my garage really stinks!!!


5:30 p.m. - WOW!!! I just looked out my window and there was a significant gust. The chinaberry tree next door was bent over in half and there was about 30 seconds of serious rain. All is calm now though. Very strange!!!


5:45 pm - I know it's early but I just filled the tub up with water for flushing the toilet in case we lose water.


Unfortunately, we have DirectTV so we will probably lose TV a lot sooner than if we had cable.


OMG! There's a bar open in Galveston and there are a bunch of people there partying. How stupid!!!


6:30 pm - Radar shows that light rain bands are beginning to reach Jon's part of town (Spring).


Sophie, our little dog is a nervous wreck. She usually just lays around the house and is pretty mellow. Well, she keeps pacing around the house, just going from room to room. Maybe she knows what's brewing.

Bloggers online with updates

Just wanted to link to some blogs that are still active as Rita approaches. I'll add to this post as the night progresses so check back.

  • Of course, this blog will be active with updates as long as the power is on.
  • As we would expect, Jon's staying connnected and providing info and updates on his family as well as general info on what's going in Spring and the Woodlands.
  • Edwin Quarles is blogging from Lufkin. Edwin is from Angelton and I believe has evacuated to Lufkin to stay with family.
  • As busy as Lisa's been, she's managed to keep us updated on her Run Strong/Run Long blog.
  • Blogger and Houston Strider Holden Choi just updated his Twenty Six Point Two blog. Today's update is worth reading.
  • Check out what's going on with Sarah's blog from Conroe.
  • Channel 11, KHOU-TV's blog features the latest updates from 11 News and on Tropical Storm Rita.
  • Pet lovers and those concerned with animals can go to Animal Attraction for updates on pets and animals affected by Rita and Katrina.

All of these bloggers are working hard to stay online and post updates (actually, it's more fun than work!) so be sure and comment if you visit any of the blogs.

These are just a few blogs that I know of that are active. Thanks all for posting and commenting. Again, I'll edit this post as I find more blogs open. Post a link to your blog in a comment if you want me to add you to the list.

Passing time getting ready for Rita

Ben got out his colors and is working on a couple of pages in case Houston MFA has room for his work after the storm."
Ben coloring
Dalton, keeping us all calm with some soothing sounds.
Dalton's jammin'
Here's a shot out our front door at around 1:30 pm. The calm before the storm.
Calm before the storm
Sophie's suitcase is packed. She suggests we leave town, LIKE NOW!!!
Sophie's packed and ready

Friday morning in Houston

Well, I guess I should give an update on me and mine as Rita approaches. I hesitated to do so as I really didn't think anyone would be cruising the blogs at such a time. Note to self...that's really stupid! Of course the bloggers are still up and cruising!

I guess I'll go back to Wednesday morning to start. First of all, Jan is a GM at an assisted living community in Cy-fair and has been non-stop since word of the storm hit the news. Her company evacuated several facilities from Zones A and B. Jan has been a bit frustrated as her corporate offices, who have 'taken charge', are not should I say this? thoughtful in making decisions as those 'closer to the ground' (i.e. the managers at the properties). I told her it's just a fact in any organization (IMHO) that the higher up you go, the less efficient things become. (again, IMHO) I think that was the whole problem in New Orleans. There was poor leadership and inaction at the lowest levels of government (city AND state) and whenever you just defer to the federal government, the highest level of government, for planning and emergency management, it's just not going to be as efficient. Anyway, I digress. So, Jan has been working pretty much non-stop since Tuesday. She was home Tuesday and Wednesday night but has been at her property since then. Many of her employees did not show up, despite Jan's securing gasoline for them. She even told them they could bring their families to the property to stay while the employees worked. They have a kid's area set up. But she is down to less than a bare minimum staff to care for the residents. However, my wife is a special individual and somehow, some way always gets done what has to be done. She loves her staff and employees so much and it really shows in the job that she does.

As for me and the kids, we planned to go to Ft. Worth to stay with my sister and her kids. Hermann Memorial has been great in understanding that some employees need to take care of their families and they let me off Wed and Thurs night. My mom and dad were going to go with us so we planned on leaving Wednesday night. About an hour before we planned on leaving (10 pm), Mom told Dad how long we were going to be on the road in traffic. I think we estimated 10-12 hours or possibly more. Dad said he wasn't going to go. Mind you at that time, the storm was heading straight for Galveston. So, it ended up just being me and the kids. I got a little sleep and headed out around 3:30 am. Jan had spoken to a friend that got out earlier in the day and got a shortcut from her. The route was through NW Houston, onto the beltway feeder and over to 249. From there we could go through Tomball, Magnolia and then backroads over to 45 at about Centerville. She had not problem getting there and after Magnolia was travelling 50-70 mph. GREAT!!! So, we took off. 249 was flying most of the way out and I'm thinking, 'Aren't I smart?' Then we hit the traffic. We went 20 miles total from my house in about 5 hours (keep in mind that 12 of those miles were smooth traveling out past Cypresswood to where 249 ends. The rest of the way was creeping along. As Steve said in a comment on Jon's blog, EXCRUCIATING!!! I decided (early enough into the trip, thank goodness) that this was not going to work. I had a prescient vision of running out of gas, nowhere for the kids to go to the bathroom, just misery. Turns out that this came true for so many people. So we turned back and came home.

So here we are, hunkerin' down. We have plenty of food and water. Not doing too well on batteries But I do have a lantern with 2 or 3 butane canisters so I'm ok on light. My MP3 player receives FM radio so if I want to use that, I will. Channel 11 simulcasts on several FM radio stations. There is also a live WebCast for our out-of-towners to watch through the storm. Man, I wish I had one of those big battery backups for my computer. I'm going to fill the bathtub with water to flush the toilet (if needed). We have plenty water with backup at my parents' home just a few of miles away.

We are a little anxious here. Actully, I am. The kids are just kids and oblivious to anything but the current moment. They've almost eaten all of the chips and junk food that we bought in preparation for the storm. Hopefully, they'll just store thos calories and be able to use them later. :) I hope everyone stays safe. I'll be bloggin this evening as long as the power stays on.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

CCR photo album

I've set up this photo album to share pics from the CC Relay. Enjoy!!!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

CC Relay pics

Here are a couple of pics from Saturday's Cross Country Relay. The Houston Striders had BOOKOO folks and it was a blast. I wish so much that I could have been out there running. It was a real bummer but getting to see all my fellow bloggers/Striders/coaches/comrades out there made an awesome afternoon for me. More pics to follow (I've got over 100). I need to get them up to a sharing site. Just don't know where yet. I may just send them all to Steve. We'll see.

(Jen, sorry my camera malfunctioned when you sped by. Darn batteries!!! Jen, I found a pic. It's below. Also, Tiggs, sorry your pic is so far away. I blinked and you were already past me.)

Strider Nation Blog This! Striders team Jon Tiggs (Cassie) Jessica Jen Holden

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Podium, lectern, or pulpit?

I know this does not at all fit into the description that I published for this blog but I just have to get this off my chest.

At the front of my biology classroom at UHD, as in most classrooms, there sits a podium where the professor stands to teach the subject at hand. At least that's what simple ol' me calls it. In this particular class, however, the professor refers to the podium by its 'proper name', lectern. I'm so tired of his saying that word. "Please pick up the handout from the lectern. As you pass by the lectern, please ..." It's certainly not that I am averse to the word. It's just that this professor really bugs me. Let me tell why."

This is supposed to be a biology class. Moreover, this is supposed to be a university where students come not just to learn facts but to start to really learn how to learn. It really annoys me, though, when professors use the podium (or lectern) to preach their worldview in a manner that denigrates others. I won't get into the specifics (maybe another time and another blog) but this professor presented a list on a transparancy of 'irrefutable facts.' These are facts that have been 'proven' and 'we can at least agree on these.' Well, one of the irrefutable facts was 'the earth is 4.5 billion years old.' Then this guy starts to talk about how for so many years, Judeo-Christian ideas 'clouded and confused' the truth about life and the universe. I think he even took a couple of less than thoughtful shots at Republicans. I think it does a disservice to students, especially younger ones, to not encourage discourse and thinking and to be so close-minded and dogmatic. Usually, Christians are the ones being accused of this.

I have a new word for his lectern. PULPIT!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Short walk/jog per Drs. R & N

It's Wednesday and tonight was week 2 of PIM (Power in Motion). My plan tonight was to just show up to see some friends and get some free water but I ended up running into the Koala folks. Drs. Nell and Rodriguez were on hand and after a bit of pleading, I talked them into letting me run a little since the ankle has been feeling better. What a great present they gave to this depressed runner. I had to promise if there was any burning or if my gait began to change in any way, I would stop.

I ended up doing 5 x 2walk/1jog. It was just about 3/4 of a mile. Still, it felt really good. I had done weights earlier this afternoon and some very, very light calf work. I think the short jog and the weights were just the right amount of stress at this point. Now, I'll rest and recover. I'm due at Koala on Friday morning for treatment which I think fits perfectly into the plan. I may even be able to repeat my light workout on Saturday morning. It was great tonight to see fellow Striders/bloggers/friends. I talked with Andrea Chan a little about cycling. I told her I wanted to do a tri one day. Andrea is riding a Cannondale R500 currently. She said she did her first tri on a hybrid which made me feel better about not having to drop so much money just to get into it. I ran into Brett Riley who was going out for a 10-miler. I saw him again later, flying by everyone during my run. Also, it was great to talk injuries, stretching, and pets with fellow blogger/Strider/friend Cassie. Cassie will be running in the HARRA Cross Country Team Relay on Saturday along with a ton of other Striders. I'm planning on being on had for moral support and to take some pictures. That's all for now.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Rehab Report

According to Dr. R, my rehab is progressing. Here's a short report from this week and some thoughts.

Since last Friday, I've spent $240.00 at Koala Centers for treatments and consultation. I only mention this to remind myself not to BLOW IT!!! by trying to do something stupid like go out and run 2 miles or something just because I'm feeling better. That would be money down the drain. Dr. R wants to see me two times next week. In the mean time, I'm doing ice and warm soaks along with some exercises on the wobble foam. Maybe a little bit of walking.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Fall '05 PIM underway

Tonight marked the beginning of the 14th (I think) semi-annual session of PIM (Power in Motion), a 10 week, adult, 5K running clinic, for new and intermediate runners put on by the Houston Area Road Runners Association. This will be my second time to attend the PIM program and I must say that I am very proud of all those involved in making this such a quality clinic. I know I haven't participated in many running clinics but PIM must be one of the best around, especially for beginners. The environment is so encourging. The coaches are great and the event tonight went on without a single hitch. It's so obvious that much work and planning went into the program. Kudos to Pam and Lisa for making it all look so easy. I know they have worked hard and it shows.

Certainly the highlight of the evening was getting to meet Cassie, one of my fellow Houston bloggers. Funny thing was that even though we had never met, I felt like we were already good friends. It was awesome to finally meet Cassie. She's really a neat person who's been through a lot this past year with her dual ITB injuries. Looking forward to running and racing a lot with Cassie in the years to come. Cassie recently joined the Houston Striders and it's great to have her on our team.

It was wonderful to see many of my fellow Houston Striders in attendance as coaches, participants, and event workers. It's been a long time but it was great to see my friend, Debbie Rodriguez. Debbie was in the Carbos group with me during the Fall '04 PIM session. Both she and her husband Charlie are runners and members of the Houston Striders. Debbie recently posted an awesome 36:46 at the Fired up 5K this past weekend. WTG, Debbie!!! We both ran the Houston Press 5K last January. In fact, we somehow found each other during the race in the sea of I don't know how many thousand people and we spoke for a bit as she was passing me. Also got to speak to my former PIM coach and all around awesome encourager, Andrea Chan. Andrea did a loop around the park before we even began the festivities. She's awesome!!! Jack Rubalcava was on hand helping with cool refreshments (water and juice) and it was nice to visit with him. Jack has a great attitude about running and is a great down-to-earth guy. Jack, too, ran the Fired up 5K (38:27). Also good to see so many other familiar faces, Steve and Barb, Rose, Doug, Juan, Amalia, Megan (I didn't recognize her at first), Pam, Lisa, and so many others. I really need to learn everybody's name.

Hey, I just realized something. I had so much fun and I didn't even get to run tonight. Dr. R sidelined me while she is working on my ankle. Still, it was a great event and even if I were unable to run at all during the whole 10 weeks, it still would be worth every dime to be around such a fine organization and to be with such good friends, especially my good friend Cassie. More on PIM in the coming weeks so stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Big runner sidelined!!!

At the end of my session this afternoon at Koala, I was informed that I cannot run until they get some more work done on my ankle. I can walk a little for now but not if I have even a moderate amount of pain. Dr. Rodriguez really wants me to avoid a lot of extra stress right now while we're trying to get the swelling down and scar tissue worked out.

That means that running at PIM (Power in Motion) is out of the question. Still, since I'm shooting for perfect attendance, and since I'm looking so forward to meeting Cassie(Tiggs) and seeing some other friends, I'll definitely be there. I will probably do a short walk after things get going. And, hey, Free Water!!! Gotta love that.

I'm still excited that I'm getting this rehab under control and making progress. It sure is good to have a plan and the folks at Koala are the best at getting you back on the road.


Big runner says, "Do this right!"

I really want to do this comeback the right way! It's been a long, tiring, frustrating journey with this ankle and I want so badly to progress and not regress. Unfortunately, it continues to be a learning experience and at times it's two steps forward and one step back.

First of all, the good news. After just 2 sessions at Koala Health and Wellness Centers, I have noticed a huge increase in flexibility and a decrease in pain along the side of the ankle where it has really been hurting. I think they were able to really break up some of the scar tissue and get things moving around in there. Saturday's 2 mile jaunt felt really great, compared to earlier in the week.

Now the bad news. I've got a little bit of what I'm sure is achilles tendonitis in that ankle. I think that the cause of this is jumping into training too fast, especially the long, continuous runs from 25-over 30 minutes. I'm definitely going to go back to a run/walk regimen and stick to 3 times per week. I can always do elliptical 1 or 2 other days. I don't think this puts a damper on PIM (Power in Motion). I will definitely join Aerobics or Batons and start out super easy. Both of those groups start out with a walk/run regimen and build up gradually.

I just have to remember the important addage, "just because you can doesn't mean you should!


Monday, September 05, 2005

RW running blogs article (Oct issue)

My October issue of Runner's World has been sitting on the kitchen counter for a couple of days. I just opened it up on the way to work tonight (on the bus) and found something cool. The Training column for this issue is an article on How using a 'training blog' can help you get fit and focused. It's on p. 33 if any of you have your issue.

Interestingly, they actually included addresses to a couple of blogs. One is Alison Wade's Good blog. Former Olympian Joan Nesbit Mabe's blog at is maintained to inspire other runners. Australian runner David Bray gets feedback on his blog at from runners in the US, many of whom are training for the same international races.

So, looks like the running community has really embraced the whole blog thing. I think it's awesome. Just remember, before Runner's World ever reported on runners keeping weblogs, Jon Walk was reporting on it for Stridelines, the monthly newsletter of the Houston Striders. Way to be on the cutting edge, Jon!!!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Visit to Koala

After a day of rest, I went this morning to Memorial Park to run. After stretching, I went to my starting point and started my chronograph. After about .1 miles my ankle really did not feel well at all. About a 5 or 6 out of 10 on the pain meter. So, I just walked back to my truck and went back home.

I've been considering going over to Koala Health and Wellness but my podiatrist has insisted that nothing would speed along my recovery except time. I've just always thought that I should have a more structured rehab program but my doc just said, Fly! be free! Just go and do whatever you can tolerate and I'll seeya later. I trust him. Or, did.

I went over there today, to Koala, and had Dr. Rodriquez look at the ankle. She said that I have a lot of scar tissue and swelling that and I need, of course, to do some strengthening. So, they did their thing and set me up for 4 more appointments during the next 2 weeks. One thing Dr. R said was that I should have come in a long time ago. Then by now, I'd be done. Oh, yippee. LOL Anyway, this should really add to my rehab. I'm going to do a short jaunt in the morning and go for another session at Koala in the morning. Then next Tuesday/Thursday and twice the following week. We'll see then how it goes.

Just wanted to give this little report.