Got Tangled

Two posts coming this week!  One to catch up and one to be on track…

My last blogpost concluded with my upcoming sherpa-duty for Meredith at Ultraman Florida, which I’m proud to report back was a TOTAL success: she was the 2nd woman finisher and 11th overall!!! All that hard work and early mornings on the bike trainer really paid off for her. Unfortunately we weren’t able to stay for the awards ceremony on Monday night (the race ended Sunday afternoon/evening), but hopefully we’ll get the opportunity to stay for the awards ceremony at another Ultraman.


Upon returning to Texas, my training resumed full bore and firing on all cylinders, navigating a week of training called “the Gauntlet” by my coach Steve Sisson, a relatively easier week which included a course reconnaissance of the first Rogue 30k Trail Series races “The Tangle” out at Flat Creek Ranch, only to be followed a week later by ANOTHER beast of a week which unfortunately was not named but should have been called “the Gauntlet II”. Seriously, it was awesome, wouldn’t have it any other way, and it was all systems “GO” going into the Tangle 30k on March 23…


By now, I’m used to toeing the line before the sun rises or just at daybreak, and I’ve learned to bring a headlamp or small handheld light and not unduly rush things right out of the gate, especially on technical terrain. No use in taking a tumble or getting off-course for no good reason right? Fortunately, a local young-gun 22-year old Moses Luevano took the bull by the horns early leaving “seasoned” Andrew Letherby and I to give chase at our own leisure.   Andrew and I easily made it to the first aid station about 3 miles into the 10k (aka 7-mile) loop with plenty of daylight and embarked upon the 2nd half of the loop back to the start/finish line for the first of three loops. With the course reconnaissance from the weekend before still fresh in my mind, I deftly followed Andrew down a short steep “craggly” limestone grade which quickly turns into a wooden footbridge over a dry-streambed…except before I reached the footbridge my left ankle rolled ALL the way over to the outside after the slightest of misteps on the limestone, OUCH! MOTHER F’ER! and a host of other expletives left my mouth before regaining some sense of composure as Andrew looked back at me as if to say, “C’mon let’s go we have a race to run!” I waved him on and amazingly stayed upright and making slow forward gimpy progress as I assessed the damage. The good thing was relentless forward progress could still be made without rolling it again, the bad thing was it was not nearly enough to keep up with Andrew. As a wave of nausea and light-headedness came over me, I kept moving forward in the hope that like other less serious ankle sprains and twists, this one would loosen up with some running and everything would be okay. Washed a gel down with water to get some calories in my bloodstream and my mind wrapped around making it back to the start/finish line. By now, my ankle was already swelling and pressing against the shoe upper, and proactively I took some Tylenol to start taking the edge off the pain which was multiplying with each step. Fortunately, I made it the 3 or so miles back and knew that continuing on for another 14 miles was not going to further my fitness any nor start the healing process any quicker. Huge thanks to race director Diana Ferguson’s Mom for quickly getting my ankle iced and wrapped up! Moses went on to win handily and Andrew finished 9 minutes later in 2nd place.

Later that same evening, I served as host at the inaugural “Rogue Family Dinner” held at Uncle Billy’s on Barton Springs Road, with all proceeds benefitting Team RWB . Can’t thank Leslie at Rogue for helping put it all together and for everyone who attended to share running, & life stories, and hopefully run/walk away inspired. Special thanks to our anonymous Rogue Family Dinner “angel” for picking up the dinner tab and as a result channeled over $600 to Team RWB!

Needless to say, the last 4 weeks were spent on getting the swelling down and maintaining mobility without reinjuring the ankle. Although I was able to load it pain-free, it was awfully tender when doing anything laterally. Huge thanks to Dr. Z and his staff Bryanna and Evan for getting me back to running as quickly as possible and my wife Meredith for encouraging me to get in the pool, on the trainer, and even hike hills at every opportunity! Very thankful that I didn’t need an x-ray, MRI, or a boot. I’ll definitely be spending the next couple months continuing to re-strengthen and mold the ankle ligaments. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the invaluable resource that Allan Besselink provides in his book RunSmart to help understand the phases of injury and the best approach to healing and preventing future injuries.

Sprained Ankle - March 23, 2014 Sprained Ankle - March 26, 2014(1)

Unfortunately, I had to pull out of the Austin Rattler 100k on March 30th and Lake Sonoma 50 on April 12th. Bummed for sure but there was no way I’d be toeing the line that soon. That being said, I’m now looking forward to the inaugural Brazos Bend 50 miler as my first race back and then the Quicksilver 100k!qsracing/csjf 2 weeks after that before heading back out to California for Western States training camp over Memorial Day weekend!


Thanks for reading y’all. -Paul

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1 Response to Got Tangled

  1. bryanmorton says:

    Solid post and write-up, dude! There’s a lot to be learned in here

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