Saturday, June 16, 2007

Mt. Evans Ascent

A lot of people think runners are crazy. Call me crazy then, because this morning I joined about 350 runners at Echo Lake, at 10,640 feet elevation, and raced them from there to the summit of Mt. Evans at 14,264 feet. Ok, that's an exaggeration - the finish line for the Mt. Evans Ascent was about 100 feet below the summit. I ran the 14.5 miles and approximately 3600 vertical feet in a time of 2:25:15 - I think that was 21st place overall, although I haven't seen the official results yet. My average pace of 10:01 per mile was one #@$%*! second short of my personal goal. I thought I was on track to meet it, but in the last mile, I lost track of the time. I'll blame it on the lack of oxygen. There ain't much of that stuff up there, and every heaving gasp I took in the last few miles was a painful reminder of the low atmospheric pressure. I did pass one guy in the last few hundred yards of the race, so that makes up for it, I suppose.

It was the perfect morning for a race, though. Clear skies, nice temperatures, and no wind, which is very rare in those environs.

The lunacy doesn't end there, however. The Mt. Evans Ascent is just a training run on my preparation for the Pike's Peak Ascent in 2 months. That one will be more of a fast hike than a run though. With more than twice the elevation gain over just 13.1 miles of dirt trails, Pike's Peak will be much tougher.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Dr. Ponseti

We met with Dr. Ponseti yesterday and from all the glowing reports I’d heard about him I practically expected him to walk on water. He didn’t do this for us, but I can see a definite improvement in the position of Elizabeth’s foot in the cast. He expects to change the cast on Monday and then have a tenotomy (a procedure to improve the up/down motion of the foot) performed next Friday. After this procedure we will be able to return home.

There are at least 4 families staying in the Ronald McDonald House that are here to see Dr. Ponseti; one from Canada, one from the Domenican Republic, and one from Mississippi. Add in our Colorado family with the Chinese born baby and it’s quite a crew.

The local media was at the hospital doing a piece on Dr. Ponseti yesterday and we were asked to sign a media waiver and all that good stuff. I doubt we will make it on TV though since Elizabeth screamed like a banshee through most of the visit. Everybody loves a 93 year old doctor curing the world’s children, but nobody wants to listen to my daughter scream.

I’ve heard that crying during the casting is pretty unusual and I believe it. Elizabeth cries whenever I touch her right foot – even if it is just to play “This little piggy”. I know that this does not cause her pain and I’ve felt what the doctors do and I’m sure it is not painful either. Uncomfortable, maybe, but not painful.

Iowa City is a pleasant enough town. We went to a concert in the park this evening and had a good time. The town has a nice everyone-knows-everyone feel and the parks are really nice. We also went to the children’s museum today and Andrew had a lot of fun there.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Iowa City

We made it to Iowa and managed to keep our sanity. I think this is in large part to the portable DVD player that my brother loaned us - Thanks Jason! We'll see Dr. Ponseti today and are staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Iowa City. The facilities are perfect for families and are open to the families of any child under 18 being seen at the hospital here. We have a room of our own which is like any hotel room - except with a sleep number bed. However, there are also shared facilities that make things much more like being at home. There is a playground, several shared kitchens and a big dining room, a play room with tons of toys and a staff that really knows how to take care of people. The Lions Club brought in dinner for everybody last night which was a relief after being in the car so long to not have to brave a restaurant or cook.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Off to Iowa to see Dr. Ponseti

After 6 weeks of casts, Elizabeth's right foot, which was more deformed than the left, isn't making the progress we hoped for with her club foot treatment using the Ponseti method. Her doctor, Daniel Hatch, recommended that we visit the man himself: Dr. Ignacio Ponseti, who pioneered the method decades ago. The good doc is 93 years old - that's right - ninety three! And still practicing medicine. Now there's someone who loves his job. He does have another doctor working with him now, at least.

The good news is that the expert doctor is available to work this us. The bad news is that he's in Iowa. Iowa City in fact. Amy, her mom, Andrew, and Liz all loaded into the family wagon this afternoon and headed east. That's 15 hours of driving with 2 kids in the car, and no scenery worth seeing. I won't be surprised if the 2 adults need some professional help after they arrive, too. Fortunately, Iowa City has more physicians per capita than any city in the US.

The clan will probably be in Iowa for a few weeks, and I'll be living a bachelor's life back home.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Big Head Todd at Red Rocks

Last night, Amy and I went to see Big Head Todd and the Monsters at Red Rocks - the world's best concert venue. Jeremy Lawton, who plays keyboards and a mean slide guitar for the band, is my college roommate and fraternity brother, so and it was great to see him on stage in front of a big crowd. The Samples had a good opening set as lightning storms lit up the sky over the city, and as soon as they left the stage, the skies opened up over the amphitheater, pounding us with a 10-minute hailstorm. Someone in the row in front of us brought a big tarp, which we crowded under to wait out the storm. It was great show!