Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Interview with Ryon Lane

I recently sat down with Ryon Lane, otherwise known as the Runner with the Broken Neck. Ryon recently ran the NYC Marathon in November.  He ran that in 2:58:37. He did this just two years after breaking his neck in a beach accident.  As the year comes down to its final days, I felt it was as great time to share his wonderful story with my readers.

How did you break your neck?

On September 18, 2008, at a work beach event, I raced a co-worker into the surf, dove through a wave, and struck my head on something below the surface, presumably a sand bar. I've never been back to that beach in Santa Monica.

How severe was the injury?

My injury was very severe. I fractured my C-4 (cervical) vertebra in half, shattered all of the spiny processes attached to the back of the vertebra, and severely herniated the disk between my C-5 and C-6 vertebrae. During surgery, my surgeon inserted a cadaver femur crafted into the shape of a new C-4 vertebra into my neck to replace the destroyed one, replaced the herniated disc between the C-5 and C-6 vertebrae, and fused my cervical spine from C-3 to C-5 (including, obviously, my new C-4 "vertebra").

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

2010's Marathons in Review

When I started 2010, I knew the only thing that really mattered was putting the finishing touches on getting in shape to run the 202 mile American Odyssey Relay.  This meant I was pretty sure that at no point in the year would I be setting a marathon personal best.  Training to run a fast marathon simply did not go hand in hand with training to somehow run 202 miles.  And if I did successfully run it I doubted I was going to be in any sort of shape to try and run a fast marathon after it.

So the year held a lot of promise but it also held a great deal of doubt.  And sometimes that is a wonderful combination!  I hope you enjoy my year of marathoning in review.
They were tight too.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Kiawah Island Marathon Recap

A Runner's Ramblings: Volume 5; 38th Edition 
984 miles raced; 350 yards swam and 9 miles biked in 2010
Race: Kiawah Island Marathon
Place: Kiawah island, SC
Miles from home: 2195 miles
Weather: 30-50s; Rainy
When you are pretty darn sick for one marathon and you do another one 5 days later, chances are pretty good you are still going to be pretty darn sick. That is, more or less, the background of this particular race at the Kiawah Island Marathon.  However, fortunately, I went from horrific throat pain to your simple headache, fever, and runny nose.  Honestly, that was a major improvement. At least now I could drink on the course!

But the race forecast called for just about a perfect day for running which made me smile.  If that didn’t meeting some fantastic people prior to the race during my book signing definitely did.  Races with smaller expos are always ones that play right into my wheelhouse. Without so many distractions or vendors next to me trying to get people to check out their balance all the time, I can actually carry on conversations with people. You get to know even more about them than usual. You get to reassure some runners that it is smart not to run with a stress fracture. Others get to inspire you with stories of how they are competing in the Athletes with Disabilities division. Still many more quickly become fast friends, in spite of my sniffling and occasional sneeze.

When the day came to a close on the expo, I was ready for bed. I had hoped that I would miraculously feel better prior to the race but it simply wasn’t going to happen. I had thoughts of running a sub-3 hour marathon which would have been nice to book end this year with times beginning with 2 (having started the year at the Mississippi Blues Marathon with a 2:59) but I knew that was not going to happen.  Or I didn’t think it would anyway. As the guest of the race I was treated to a wonderful hotel stay just a few minutes walk from the start of the race (and the end as well) and was happy to see so many people I had met were also guests there as well.  However, I could not mingle as I knew I had to try and sleep.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dallas White Rock Marathon Recap

A Runner's Ramblings: Volume 5; 37th Edition 
957.8 miles raced; 350 yards swam and 9 miles biked in 2010
Race: Dallas White Rock Marathon
Place: Dallas, TX
Miles from home: 1245 miles
Weather: 30-50s; Sunny

In the week prior to this race, I had a family member take ill, another get in a car accident and have my own car demolished in another completely unrelated accident.  A touch of the flu with a sore throat that felt as if I was swallowing razor blades made me consider a DNS (did not start) which seemed far more intelligent than attempting the race.  I had felt mostly fine during my interview with 105.3 The Fan on Friday. And while, on Saturday prior to the race, my voice was diminished to a rasp during a pre-race talk to members of the Texas Team Beef, I was feeling fairly decent. As such, I figured it was just as easy to run the race, my 123rd lifetime marathon, than to stay in bed.

When I awoke in the morning prior to the race and I felt like death, I think my rationale for still deciding to run was that if I already felt horrid prior to the race at least when the inevitable tiredness set in late in the race, the swing would not be nearly as wide as usual.

Catching the shuttle bus to the start, I was freezing.  In my Team Beef singlet, which normally would have been perfect for me with the temperature hovering around 40 degrees prior to the gun being fired, my teeth were chattering.  The sponsors of the race had people randomly passing out rain ponchos (none was forecasted) and cotton gloves near the start.  I took both and immediately felt better.

Getting close to the start I saw the corrals were labeled by letters and I had an “E” on my bib.  I guess this was by estimated time but as I looked at the hundreds of people in A-D I was disheartened.  I definitely did not want to have to pass all these people in the race and I was fairly certain I would.  Before I could make any further thoughts about this placement I saw an older gentleman, in almost slow-motion, go flailing toward the ground.  Jogging to his own corral, he had tripped on something and went down.  With his arms locked up in a garbage bag to keep warm, he could not brace himself and took the brunt of the fall with his face.  Immediately a cut opened on his nose and he rolled over in obvious pain.  I saw a woman come to his side in a flash and surmised it was his wife.  We locked eyes for a second and I said: “Wait right here.” 

I sprinted toward the start line where I saw a vast amount of volunteers.  I told one of them we needed to get some medics to a man who had fallen.  She immediately pointed me to a man with a walkie-talkie and within seconds he was on the horn.  I then led the gentleman back to the poor runner who took the header.  His wife was bracing his head in the seated position and every time he took a cloth off of his nose it spurted.  I told her she needed to get him level on the ground and elevate his legs.  With the man with the walkie-talkie standing by me, I could hear the person he was speaking to was unsure of his position.  So I asked where the other person was and then ran in that direction to get him.  Finding an EMT who looked like he was looking for someone, I figured he was my guy.  Pointing him in the direction, I figured there wasn’t really much I could do.  But before I could decide to follow, the countdown for the race began over the loud speaker.  I happened to be standing right near the “A” corral so I just jumped in.

By this point people were throwing excess clothes brought to keep them warm to the side.  As I stepped into the corral I got hit in the face with a long sleeve t-shirt.  Almost without hesitation, I took my singlet off, slipped the t-shirt on and had the singlet back on just in time for the fireballs (yes, seriously), confetti, and gunshot signaling the start of the race.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Partnership with FLUID

Back in February I met some of the representatives of FLUID at the Pasadena Marathon.  I was interested in the muscle recovery drink and what it could do to help me recover from all the various events, traveling and racing I do.  As I have tried it over the past few months I have had a chance to see the positive effects it has had on me.  I then spoke with more than a few of my very athletic friends who were using the product as well and was pleased to hear that they experienced many of the same benefits I had.  That is why am more than happy today to announce my partnership with FLUID, the muscle Recovery Drink!

At the Santa Barbara Half-Marathon last month, I went immediately from running the half-marathon to going back to signing books at the post-race expo. No time to even grab a shower, I was still sweating from the run when I was already talking to other runners.  As I continued this for the next few hours, I was happy to have FLUID by my side. I could feel it even more the next day when I went surfing for the very first time.  Muscles I rarely used in this completely different sport felt not nearly as taxed or weary as they should have.

You can see why I am excited to see what heights FLUID helps take me in the upcoming months. I highly suggest you try it for yourself and why, in its first year on the market, Fluid was awarded "Best Nutrition Product of the Year" and "Best Sports/Recovery Drink of 2008".

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Interview with Bob Fleshner- RD of the American Odyssey Relay

Bob and I at the finish of the AOR 202
As many of you know, in April I ran the 202 mile American Odyssey Relay as a solo participant.  Quite possibly the most difficult physical feat I have had the good fortunate to complete, it was made easier by dealing with the director of the entire event, Bob Fleshner.  Bob and I had become acquainted over the past few years and when I was choosing a race to run solo in this fashion, I knew Bob’s race would be the one to try.

After I learned he was going to go for a Boston Qualifying time at the Philadelphia Marathon (Bob needs a 3:45 as a 55-year old male) I asked him if he minded if I sat down with him after the race and interviewed him.  He agreed and the below is what followed:

Dane Rauschenberg: Bob, great to be talking with you.  Thank you for taking the time to speak with me.  So let’s get down to brass tacks.  Philadelphia Marathon.  Did you get the BQ?

Bob's BQ at Philly!
Bob Fleshner:  I did. 3:39:39. As you know, every once in a while, it all comes together!  I had told Phyllis (Bob’s wife) the night before that if everything went absolutely perfectly, I might slip in just under 3:40. I made it with 21 seconds to spare!

DR:  This is not your first marathon.   What was?
Marine Corps Marathon in 1981.  This was my 25th marathon in my lifetime.

DR: What is your marathon PR?
BF: 3:13 when I was literally half my current age!

DR: What race distance is your favorite?
BF: 1/2 marathon.  You feel like you've worked at it, but there's virtually no recovery period.