This Patient Won’t Let Surgery Keep Him Down – Part 2
Welcome to the second installment of the story of Chris Bauer, my former patient, who is recovering from knee surgery and running in long-distance races.
Last weekend, Chris participated in a grueling 100-mile race. That’s right . . . 100 miles . . . on a newly repaired knee!
Things didn’t go according to plan, but Chris said the day was fulfilling and inspirational nonetheless.
Here is a bit from an e-mail Chris sent me after the race.
Mentally, I was in a good mindset the whole time to go the full 100 mile distance even when things got rough. Physically, my body started shutting down and not accepting fuel around the 31 mile point (turnaround for the 1st loop). Without proper hydration, it was going to get ugly.
At the 44 mile unmanned aid station I came to the aid of Julie. She had just been running (actually, we were mostly walking) the last 6 miles sometimes in front and sometimes behind me through the sun drenched meadows without any shade from about 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. She was severely dehydrated.
She asked if I had a cell phone on me, and luckily I was carrying mine for just such a reason. I reached her “crew” awaiting her at the next aid station, and they came and got her. I accepted a ride back with her crew. Back in the 80s, I would routinely lose 20 lbs during a 7-hour race. I knew she was better off getting help sooner rather than later, and I was also aware of what awaited me if I “mentally overrode” and didn’t listen to what my body was telling me.
I considered walking the 18 miles to the start/finish line (100k = 62 miles) and seeing if my body could recover enough to consider doing the 2nd out and back loop of 38 miles (highly unlikely), but I decided to save my body’s internal organs for another day and another attempt at 100 miles.
Even though I dropped at 44 miles, I feel like I accomplished something. I mentally ignored my body for over 13 miles (i.e., mind over matter), I helped another runner in dire need and I was smart enough this time to not inflict further damage to my overall body.
Next stop: a 100-mile race on July 9 in Scranton. Wish me luck!
Check this blog often for updates on Chris’ athletic exploits, and feel free to leave messages of encouragement for Chris. I’ll make sure he sees them.