Roxy training diary month 36
May 2006


May 31.  Some good news on Dylan today.

The Colorado State veterinary neurologist feels that the only significant problem is the blown-out intervertebral disc at C6/C7.

The other discs are not great, but are apparently not causing him problems.  That means there is only one site to do the surgery.

So, he will be able to have surgery nearby, in Salt Lake City, Tuesday of next week. 

Roxy had her stitches out today, so she is ready to go for the trail starting this weekend.


May 29.  I finished my third 5K today, and set a new PR.   I ran in the Kaysville Memorial Day Classic.  With my bum knee, I passed up the 1/2 marathon, although I saw Craig Oberg and Tony Spanos there at the check-in.

My goal was to break 30 minutes, and I did that.  Since I've been resting the knee, I haven't done much training, but I went ahead and pushed myself a bit so I could shave a minute or two off my time.  On October 8 of last year, I finished in 31'34" and January 28 of this year, 30'35" (on an icy, frigid day).  Today was cool, almost cold, and the course was dead flat. 

My time was 28'16.94".  That put me at 83/170 overall, 60/93 amongst males, and 9/14 amongst males 40 to 99. (A sobering thought, that.  Appears to be a typo, because there were others listed in the 50 to 59 class, and so forth.  Among those was Matt Domek from Microbiology, who finished in under 24'.  

That's a 9 minute mile pace, up from my usual 10 minute mile.  If I could get that to 8 minutes per mile, I'd be doing well.

I spent the rest of the day first mowing the lawn and then cleaning out the garage, which was a good use of my time.  I got everything organized and hung up and put away, with just a little bit of unpacking from the move left to do. 

Roxy and I practiced some agility in the evening, and she was spectacular.  I set up a near-impossible weave pole entry and she needed some coaching to get it, but once she saw the light it was fun to watch her run it.  We also did some contact work and some dog walk/tunnel discrimination out of a tire jump.

Our first trial since her spay surgery is Saturday.  Since Dylan is a scratch, we have a new team partner that I've not met.  I sure hope she has a sense of humor.


Dylan at the Waterfall, Oct 29 2005

May 27.  I had been hoping that Rosemary and I could hike up Waterfall Canyon this spring, at the peak of the runoff.  We can see the waterfall from down at Wall and 36th Street, and it looked to be really cranking.

This time of year, the hike can get pretty crowded, so I had originally thought we'd hike up Sunday.  But the weather report was for cold rain today, and snow above 5500 feet.  The falls is at about 6000 feet, and I really didn't want to be sliding on snow on the way up (or down), so this morning was about the only time to go to avoid the snow predicted for overnight.

We were not disappointed, even though there was cold, misty rain throughout the hike.  It was worse on the way down.  The rain, plus the places where the trail was flooded by a stream tributary, made for some treacherous hiking, but we made it up and back without incident.

Compare the amount of water coming over the waterfall in this Oct 2005 picture of Dylan to the amount today.  Where I had taken the picture of Dylan was basically too wet to stay, so we had to clamber up the hill opposite the waterfall to get a dry spot to sit and think.  Dylan's spot is at the middle of the photo below right. 

It was weird to hike up Waterfall Canyon without a dog.  Dylan enjoyed that hike so much last fall, and it was sad to not be able to bring him.

MRI has shown that he has at least three intervetebral disks that are herniated, putting pressure on his spinal cord.  We had expected the one at L6/L7 and L7/S1, but that doesn't seem so bad on the MRI.  The lumbar cistern gives the cord a little room to move along there, I suppose.  More troubling is the lower thoracic one (at about T10/T11) and the lower cervical one (at about C5/C6).  We just don't know if they can do surgery on all three at once.  So for now, we are trying to take good care of him, and waiting to see what the vets at Colorado State University want to do. 

If they want to operate, then Rosemary and Dylan may head out that way, leaving me and the girls here.

Roxy is about ready to get back into the agility game.  Rosemary took her over some jumps Friday and said she did quite well.  I have her signed up for everything I can here in town, figuring that she needs the trial experience.  Maybe we can get serious about her obedience training, too. 

My knee continues to heal, and I think I'll be ready for the Kaysville 5K Monday.  My goal is to break 30 minutes, and I plan to do my regular jog for two miles then try to sprint the last mile to make my time. 

A Random Husky at the Waterfall

The Waterfall, May 27 2006

Rosemary is Happy

Rosemary's View


May 22.  Roxy did fabulously with her spay on Friday, and I suppose that's a tribute to Dr. Pam's surgical skills.  The pictures at left show the spay scar from several hours after the surgery, and from three days later.  There was just a little bit of bruising at the incision site, but that was gone the next day.  No redness or swelling of any sort. 

Among the most impressive things here is the best shaving job I've ever seen on a dog.  The nipples were not even touched, and every speck of fur is clipped.  Whoever did this deserves some sort of special medal.

Roxy seems to feel great, and although we're restricting her activity somewhat, she's ready to roll.  I've already scratched both Roxy and Dylan for the Memorial Day weekend, and Roxy at least should be ready for the USDAA trial on June 3. 

Dylan is not going to be ready for a while.  We need to get an MRI on him to be sure, but it looks like back surgery is in his future.  Dr. Pam assures us that if the intervertebral discs are in good shape (other than the obvious blowout that has occurred), and if the surgery and rehab go well, he may be back on the agility field later this year or next.  We'll take it day by day. 

Alas, my knee is not healing as well as I had hoped.  I'll have to get serious about rehabbing it.


The cancellation of our Memorial Day plans means that I might be able to run the Kaysville 5K next Monday.   I have been off the knee, and took it out for a hike with Annie last night.  That didn't go as well as I had hoped.  It is giving me some trouble, and we started off too late for the distance I had planned to cover.  As it turned out, it got dark as we had about a mile of trail left, and I we had to pick our way down from the Bonneville Shoreline Trail in a deepening twilight.  Luckily, it was a section of trail I knew pretty well, and there was enough leftover light to make it, but I felt like smacking myself for being stupid.

Rep. William Jefferson (D-Louisiana) is mad at Federal prosecutors.  It seems they found 900 $100 bills wrapped in foil and stashed in plastic containers in his home freezer.  Shockingly and inexplicably, they think he is on the take.  Prosecutors are "inclined to view the facts in the worst possible light", says Jefferson.

So, Congressman, what would the best possible light be in this case?  You obtained $90,000 in cash selling drugs? 


Dylan Feels Electrified

Dylan Gets Tanked

Dylan Dries Off

May 17.  It's been a long time since I updated; both work and home lives have been busy and I haven't had that much free time.

Today's Phun Phact

"Michael McGowan, an albino who heads the [National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation], said "The Da Vinci Code" will be the 68th movie since 1960 to feature an evil albino." —

Don't believe it?  Rosemary found this web site with 19 of them.

The knee is healing apace.  I saw the physical therapist again on Monday, and he taught me some quadriceps stretches and other stretches to use.  I'm supposed to ice it daily, and progressively increase my walking, then start running on it Friday with maybe a half-mile or so.  I plan to run across campus and back just to see how the knee is doing. 

I have decided to see if I'm a candidate for LASIK surgery with Dr. Moshirfar down in Salt Lake City.  My appointment (for further evaluation, not surgery) is June 20, and between now and then, I need to put away my contacts and wear glasses.  That's a drag.  It's ironic, because if I wanted to wear glasses, I wouldn't be trying for LASIK, would I?

I went back to the Denver area for Mother's Day.  It was good to see the family again, and take advantage of the closeness of Denver and the cheaper airfares.  Lisa and Doug came up for lunch and we all supped together.

Dylan was a bit out of sorts while I was gone.  I had hoped he was just pining for me, but it turns out his back is in bad shape.  He has narrowing between two of the vertebrae and it's causing him to lose control of his back end.  Rosemary took him to see Dr. Pam today and he got electrostimulation and hydrotherapy.   He'll need an MRI, and there's a 50:50 chance he'll need surgery.  So Dylan Fans should keep him in their prayers.  He's retired from agility, at least for the season and perhaps for life.  We'll just have to see.

In the meantime, we've decided to spay Roxy.  She's not in season yet, but will be very soon — we can tell from her decidedly nasty behavior.  Since we are having to clear our agility card, she can go in Friday.  If we don't do the surgery, we'll have to drop out of the agility trial pretty soon as she will go into season and not be in shape to show. 



May 8.  Today's visit to the physical therapist produced some not-bad news.

I have a tendonitis of the quadriceps insertion onto the patella.  In plain English, the tendon that connects my upper leg muscle to my kneecap is swollen.

Not surprisingly, I'm supposed to RICE it, and keep taking plenty of vitamin I.  My physical therapist seemed pleased that I was able to run on it, and also seemed fairly confident that running in my next half-marathon on August 12 would be okay, as long as I rest it for now and keep with a training regimen that prevents another injury like this one.

I'm concerned because I've gained back some of the weight I lost, and it will be hard to find an exercise that burns calories without using my knee much.  I will manage, somehow, because I must.  I'm back to journaling my food, and sticking to the WW program more rigorously than I have for a while.

After 12½ miles*

*just for the record, I finished ahead of

everyone else in this picture.

Not My Knee                      My Knee


May 7.  For those who care, this link gives you 2006 Ogden Marathon results.  I finished in 2:12:30, which was a little over a minute better than my Apr 1 half-marathon time (despite two stops to tie shoes, and a stop to pee).  Since I beat my only previous time, it's also a PR.  In terms of placement, I was 368/564 overall and 23/28 in my age group.  The Standard-Examiner wrote a story about the race which also had complete results.  It may be the only time in my life I appeared in the Sports Section.

Today, I felt surprisingly good.  Roxy and I ran in a local agility trial.  Her problems with focus continue.  It may be that Open is too hard for her, or it may be that she just needs to get some more trial experience.  I'm going to continue showing her in Open for a while, and if things don't improve, I can always bump her back to Novice for a while.  One nice thing about showing in Open is getting to leave a bit earlier.  Our next agility trial will be May 19 in Logan, so we have some time to practice.


May 6.  My right knee and I ran the Ogden Half-Marathon, and everything is fine.

Recall that I was a bit chuffed because I had some swelling on the knee after Monday's training run.  I kept off of it, and iced it down, but it kept swelling Tuesday and Wednesday. 

After a lot of RICE and a lot of Vitamin I, it got much better Thursday and Friday which was good, because I needed it for graduation ceremonies those two days.

We got up early: 4:30 am.  I needed to catch a bus from downtown Ogden up the canyon to the half-marathon start at the Eden Town Park in Ogden Valley

The event organizers had a little trouble getting enough buses up the canyon, and it was cold up in the valley.  We all waited around burning barrels at the edge of the park while things got put together.  Finally, about 7:30 am, we were off.

I had my "Ogden Half-Marathon" mix playlist ready on my iPod.

Love is the Drug, Divinyls.  A slow and crowded start, but we got ourselves sorted out and ...

...damn.  My left shoelace came untied.

10 Rocks, Shelby Lynne.  This is where the big hill is.  It's not as big as the hill I've been training on, but...

...damn.  My right shoelace came untied.

I Can't Stand the Rain, Ann Peebles.  This is the way I planned it, with painful songs on this painful hill.  That part is working out just fine, and...

...damn.  I need to stop and pee.

Harmour Love, Syreeta.  Top of the hill, and now I'm starting to feel like I might be able to pull this off.  It's a happy song, and I feel pretty good.  The knee is not bothering me much, although my left quad is tight.

Out of the Canyon


A Post-Race Massage

Finish Line Ambiance

The New World, X.  This protest song from the 80s is where my iPod conked out on the Washington Mall.  It's running fine now, and it's got a great beat for running.  I stop at the Portapotties to take care of that bladder thing.

Boys in Town, Divinyls.  Coming around the northwest side of the reservoir now.

Blame it on Your Heart, Patty Loveless. 

Control, Poe.  This is a long one.  The time seems to go by fast, though.

Way Down in the Hole, Blind Boys of Alabama.  A reminder to run my race and not try to push too hard.

Wild, Poe.  What a soothing voice she has.

I Melt With You, Modern English.  Just what I needed, a sappy love song from the 80s.

Across the Great Divide, Nanci Griffith & Emmylou Harris.  Just as I planned it, now we're up on the dam...

damn is right.  The fricking iPod died on me!  I try flicking the switch and rebooting, to no avail.  So I yank off the headphones, stow them in the waistband of my shorts (no pockets here) and start running silent.  It's pretty enjoyable, actually, with the birds and the wind and the rush of the river.

The canyon stretch (starting about mile 5) was absolutely perfect.  I have been dreaming of this for a year, and every time I've driven the canyon road (which is too narrow for foot or bicycle traffic), I've thought about how nice it will be to run through it.  Now I am doing it, and it's just as wonderful as I imagined it.  This is another five miles, but it really seems to flow by and now I'm getting in the groove.  Rosemary will be waiting for me at the canyon mouth (mile 10).

There she is!  She doesn't see me at first, because we're running late and it's hard for her to know where I will be.  It's great to see her here, and it really gets me pumped for the last leg.   I dump my dead iPod and headphones with her.

The last three miles is just a long slog.  We're along the Ogden River Parkway, but it doesn't seem pretty anymore.  I just want to get through this.  People are along the route, saying, "you're almost there"; I'm NOT, you jerk, and don't lie to me. 

Then we come up out of the parkway and onto Grant Avenue.  It's still about a mile, but you can see the finish line festivities and that's a great motivator.  I think I can make it.

Up at Farr's Ice Cream on 19th, just where they said they would be, are the Crawfords.  No one else is there, so I wave and they snap a picture.  They inquire about my knee; it's not great but I'm able to run on it, and I tell them so. 

I expected to be passed by the elite marathoners, but they haven't gotten to me yet.  I do get passed up by some people wearing blue bibs, and they're moving fast.  Who are these people?  Later, I find out they're the marathon relay entrants running their last leg.  As it turns out, I made it in just before the elite marathoners started finishing (I ran about 2:10, they ran about 2:40).

The chip on my ankle marks my time and tells the announcer who I am, so he calls my name as I cross the finish line.

Rosemary (who has driven around the road closures to meet me again at the finish) and the Brewers, Jane and Rich, are there at the finish line.  I take advantage of the free food and a free massage. 

I actually ended up feeling much better than after the April 1 half-marathon.  Maybe this training has paid off.  I'm planning to run the Georgetown to Idaho Springs half-marathon on Aug 12, if they ever open up the entries.  I'm really coming to enjoy this canyon running.


May 3.  Well, this is depressing.

As regular readers of the RoxyLog know, I've been looking forward to the Ogden Marathon (actually, for me, half-marathon) for the better part of a year now.  I started running in earnest last fall, and trained through the winter on the elliptical.  I entered and completed the Northern Utah Training Series (N.U.T.S.) over the last few months, and finally decided that I wasn't going to put in the time to prep for a full marathon, so I entered the half-marathon on May 6.  Best of all, I ran the first half of the Ogden Marathon course on April 1, and the course on May 6 is the "other half", so I could say I ran a marathon — it just took me five weeks.

What a load of hooey.

I've actually worked in two of the "10 Hottest" professions listed here, and this is errant nonsense.  Kids, don't believe it!

More importantly, training for a marathon carries a significant risk of injury and I didn't want to deal with that.

The half-marathon course has a pretty significant hill at the beginning.  I wanted to be ready for that hill.  I wanted to destroy that hill and laugh as I ran the downhill part of the course through Ogden River Canyon.  I decided to become The Hill Dominator. 

So, I started running up the hill behind my house as I started my training circuit.  Monday, Rosemary and Dylan and I walked up the hill, then Rosemary and Dylan went back home while I started my run.  I felt pretty good in spite of a funny bump that had been coming and going on my right knee.  So I ran and ran and ran.  I ran from the water tanks east of campus to the 29th Street trailhead, where I normally turn west and then south for home.  I felt so good I ran north of the trailhead and up to 24th Street, then west, then south, making the running loop about 6 miles.

Tuesday morning, I woke up to a huge right knee.  It got worse during the day.  I have prepatellar bursitis.

I started taking megadoses of "vitamin I".  Tuesday night, I iced that sucker down with a bag of frozen corn.  I ate the corn for dinner, and then elevated the knee. 

Wednesday morning, it felt like the swelling had gone down significantly.  But by tonight, it was swollen up again.  A couple of rounds of ice packs and elevation drained it out again.

It's not painful, but it does stiffen up the knee from the swelling.

So now I have two choices: I can pull myself from the race, or run it.

I have really been looking forward to this.  I don't want to scratch.

If I run, then one of three things can happen. 

  • I can run on it, finish the race, and be sore for a couple of days.  This is what I am hoping for.
  • I can run on it, and really mess up my knee.  That would not be good.
  • Or, worst of all, I can run on it, not finish, and really mess up my knee. 

It looks like I will have to wait until Friday night or Saturday morning to make a final decision.


Previous RoxyLogs
2003 2004 2005   
The Pre-RoxyLog Days RoxyLog January 2005 (month 20)
RoxyLog February 2005 (month 21)
RoxyLog March 2005 (month 22)
RoxyLog April 2005 (month 23)
RoxyLog May 2005 (month 24)
RoxyLog June 2005 (month 25)
RoxyLog July 2005 (month 26)
RoxyLog August 2005 (month 27)
RoxyLog September 2005 (month 28)
RoxyLog October 2005 (month 29)
RoxyLog November 2005 (month 30)
RoxyLog December 2005 (month 31)
2006 2007 2008    
RoxyLog January 2006 (month 32) January January    
RoxyLog February 2006 (month 33)
RoxyLog March 2006 (month 34)
RoxyLog April 2006 (month 35)