September 18, 2009

Back surgery update

I had my 6 week after surgery checkup this morning and the doctor said everything is looking real good! I'll be honest, it has not felt the best, especially trying to sleep at night, but like I was told, it has been only 6 weeks and these take up to 1 year to fully heal, plus I've been perhaps pushing it a bit. The doctor said I was way ahead of schedule, so that is good news! I just need to have paitence! I've never been to a doctor that is so on time! If you have a appointment at 8am or 4pm, I could set my watch to him, he walks right in the door right on time!

September 17, 2009

New Balance Elite Dealer Conference

A big thanks to Dave Shelbourne and New Balance for having Jill and I out for the Elite Dealers Conference in Boston. We got to visit with some of the top specialty running store owners in the country and also sell books (Duel in the Sun and Staying the Course) and promote the Dick Beardsley Foundation, thanks to everyone who dropped by our table to say hi!
On Wednesday night, 150 of us all went to the Boston Red Sox baseball game at Fenway Park. Wow what a historic place!
In the pre-game ceremonies, I was led onto the field and was recognized for the 1982 Boston Marathon that Alberto Salazar and I battled in and also for the Dick Beardsley Foundation! It was a total surprise and I was very honored to have been recognized! I found out that my wife Jill and Dave Shelbourne were in on this and had been working on it for a couple of months. Thanks Jill and Dave, and also a big thanks to the Boston Red Sox organization! :-)

August 21, 2009

8 month knee replacement and recent back surgery update

Sorry for not getting my blog updated as quickly as I should! My new knee is doing great! There is now nothing I can't do on it and for that I'm so very blessed! Three weeks ago I had to under-go back surgery. I had back surgery in 1994 and they had to fuse my sacrum along with L-5 and L-4, that surgery came about because of hurting my back in the farm accident and a car accident, it was doing fine until last fall. Over the winter months it kept getting worse and worse, this past spring Jill and I bought a new mattress thinking that might be the problem, that didn't help. I started getting some chiropractic help but that also did little good. So about a month ago I went to a orthopedic back doctor here in Austin and they took a x-ray and even I could see what was the matter! The L-3 vertebrae was completely bone on bone, no space at all!

Over the past couple of years they came up with a less invasive surgery called XLIF, instead of going through the front or back to get to the spine, they go through the side. They use small instruments, make two small incisions, and only have to cut through one muscle which makes recovery much quicker. In 1994 I was in the hospital for 12 days, this time I was in overnight! They had me up walking within 2 hours after I woke up in recovery!

My back pain was gone, the muscle they cut through still hurts a bit, but that is healing up nicely and is getting better every day. I'm back running again it feels good! Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I could run a marathon next month, but this new procedure was incredible!

July 29, 2009

New knee....check, Lower back fusion/disc replacement.....tomorrow!

My new knee is doing super, I'm running about 50 miles a week and it feels great, my lower back on the other hand has been bothering me since last September and has become worse over the past few months. We bought a new mattress, thinking that would help, but it didn't (it's nice though, so that worked out). Sleeping has been the worst! Anytime I move or roll over it wakes me up and I moan so loud it wakes my poor wife Jill, the other night even our son Christopher could hear me moaning from his bedroom! I finally went to the orthopedic doctor, they took x-rays and the area of the spine between L-3 & L-4 is bone on bone, no space at all! I had a MRI yesterday and that confirmed the regular x-ray. Jill and I met with the doctor this afternoon and my only option is surgery. I had major back surgery/fusion in 1994 as a result of the farm accident and car accident I had. It has not given me any problem until last September.

The good news is, the doctor had a cancellation and I'm scheduled for surgery tomorrow morning and they have a less invasive procedure they do now that speeds up recovery time and I should only be in the hospital for a day maybe 2 at the most. I'm looking forward to getting back out running and cycling in the not to distance future! Take care and have a great day!


July 1, 2009

6 month new knee update

It has been 6 months today since I had my total knee replacement and things are going really well! I continue to do exercises to build the strength back in my right leg and it's making good progress! I'm running 45-50 miles a week now and will keep it at the range for the next few weeks. As the leg has strengthened my pace continues to get faster, I have even run in a couple of 5k races just for fun. I continue to bike when I'm at home and yesterday I gave my knee a good test and biked 106 miles and the knee felt fine, no problem at all!

I will be doing the Gut Check 212 bike race across South Dakota in early August with my best friend Mike Dunlap, Mike does the first 200+ miles and I do the last 186 miles so yesterday was a good test! I get asked a lot if I take any supplements for my knee, the answer is yes and I think it has helped! I take a multi vitamin, 1500mg of Glucosamine/Chondrotin, a Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc supplement, and nuBound, which is the best, in my book, as a Recovery Supplement, as it helps with your immune system and helps with body tissue repair and maintenance.

For all you folks with a TKR or are having one done soon, hang in there especially during those first few weeks after surgery, it will get better and you will be doing things you never thought you could do again! Take care and have a great day! :-)

June 1, 2009

New Knee Update (5 months)

As I write this on the last day of May, it’s been just about 5 months now since I had my total knee replacement and I’m very happy to say that things are going really well! I’m running about 40 miles per week and my pace is starting to pick up along with the distance I’ve been able to go at one time. I remember when I first tried to run back in March, I couldn’t go 100 meters without having to stop and walk because my quad would start to get so fatigued! Slowly but surely I was able to go longer and longer but the pace was extremely slow, some days I think I could have walked faster then I ran! I never got discouraged though and just kept working hard at rehabbing the knee and gaining strength back in my right quad.

As of today I’ve run as far as 7 miles and most days I now go at least 5. The pace has slowly come along as the knee and quad have become stronger. Each week I feel like I’m making at least a small gain and that is very encouraging! Most runs now are at less than 9 minute per mile pace and I’ve even got down to a 7:46 for one of the miles. If you would have asked me years ago if I’d be happy with being able to run a 9 minute mile I would have thought you were crazy, today I’m tickled pink and am so blessed to be back and feeling like a runner again! I’m sure if my orthopedic surgeon reads this he would like to strangle me!

Should I be running on my new knee? Not according to all the doctors, but do they really know what will happen? They are pretty sure the knee will wear out quicker than if I didn’t run. Most TKR’s will last 15-20 years under normal wear and then you may need another one.

Here is my feeling, (I’m sure some of you think, this guy is nuts!) I get such enjoyment out of running! I love everything about it! I’m only 53 years old so if I’m blessed to live into my 70’s and 80’s or beyond, either way I’m going to need a new knee eventually according to the doctors. Let’s say I need a new one in 10-12 years, my thought is by then the technology will be so much better than even today that who knows what we will be able to do with a new knee at that point! I may be eating crow at the end of all this and if I do, I will be the first one to admit I made a mistake. But in the mean time I’m going to enjoy every run like never before.

I promise you I will continue to give you all a honest update on how things are going with each update I write. I figure someone needs to be the “guinea pig” why not me! Perhaps it will help others who have to go through the same thing! Have a great day friends! :-)

May 22, 2009

Dassel-Cokato High School Athletic Banquet, Cokato, MN

I flew into the Mpls/St.Paul area to speak at the Dassel-Cokato High School Athletic Banquet. I picked up my rental car and then headed for the small farming communities of Dassel/Cokato Minnesota. These towns are about 50 miles west of the Twin Cities. I grew up not to far from those towns and hunted, trapped, and fished on many of the lakes and woods in the area as a kid.

I actually stayed at a hotel in the larger town of Litchfield, about 12 miles west of D-C. I checked in, took a short nap, then went for a run around Lake Riley. It brought back some memories! I ran a 25K race there back in 1979, the reason I remember it so well, not because I won the race, but because it's one of the only times I've ever dropped out of a race!

I had a nice 5 mile run, then back to the hotel for a shower and supper. Wednesday morning I was up and back out at Lake Riley for another run, my golly it was windy! When I got on the north side of the lake, the waves were hitting the shore so hard I was getting wet and I was on the far side of the road! That afternoon I drove up to the Dassel-Cokato High School. The wind was blowing so hard and the dirt blowing off the newly planted fields, I had to have my lights on! I met with the boys and girls track team and spoke to them out on the track, I had to shout so they could hear me because of the wind!

After meeting with the kids, I headed back to the hotel and got cleaned up and headed back to the high school where I was the keynote speaker at the Athletic Banquet. We had a great meal and then we all headed into their beautiful auditorium where the awards were being presented and where I would give my talk. They had over 350 kids and parents at the event. My talk went really well and we all had a great time!

I love speaking in small towns, the people are so appreciative and I love the spirit and the togetherness that small towns have. Thanks Dassel-Cokato for your great hospitality! :-)

May 10, 2009

Dick Beardsley Running Company, Fargo, ND

I was on the road by 6am from Grand View Lodge to head for the Fargo Dome where the Dick Beardsley Running Company had a booth set up at the Fargo Marathon expo. I arrived around 9:30 and the place was already packed with people! We have a great bunch of owners and employees and they were all there with smiles on their face's ready for a long day ahead! Then New Balance Shoe Company was kind enough to make up some awesome posters for me to sign. They sent us around 150 posters and they were going like hot cakes!

I spent most of the day signing posters, race numbers, getting pictures, and chatting with people, my goodness the day went by quickly! It was so fun chatting with everyone! I love race expo's as you can just feel the energy and excitement throughout the day! The expo ended at 9pm and then it was time to take everything down and pack it up to haul back to the store. Needless to say we were all exhausted!

I get way to much credit for the success of our store. Yes it has my name on it, but my partners and our employees deserve all of the credit! They are the ones at the store every day working hard not only at the store but with their "real" jobs plus raising family's, I'm so proud to be associated with such a wonderful store but even more so of the great friends I have there! Keep up the great work gang! :-)

May 8, 2009

Minnesota City/County Manager's Association's Annual Conference, Brainerd, MN

On May 6th I flew into Fargo, ND for a visit to our running specialty store, the Dick Beardsley Running Company and for my talk over in Nisswa, Minnesota. I had been invited to speak at the Minnesota City/County Managers Association Annual Conference held at Grand View Lodge on beautiful Gull Lake. I drove to the lodge on the morning of Thursday May 7. My friend and former Becker County Manager Mike Williams had put the word in for me to speak at this event. Becker County is the county I was from as I lived in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota before I moved to Austin.

Mike was also a runner and a darn good one at that! I got all checked into my cabin and was fortunate to run into Mike. We chatted a little about my talk and then it was time to get my head together and get ready for the dinner and banquet. After a great meal it was my time to get up as the keynote speaker. The audience was awesome and my talk went really well! I had planned to possibly drive back to Fargo that night but as with most talks, I'm just drained after them so decided to get to bed. I got up at 4 the next morning, got in a nice 5 mile run through the forest roads and headed back to Fargo.

Thanks everyone and especially Mike Williams for the great time I had! :-)

May 3, 2009

Jeff Bostow Post Boston Marathon Party -Minneapolis

My friend Jeff Bostow is one crazy guy! (all in a good way!) Jeff is a coach with Life Time Fitness in the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis/St.Paul. This past winter he led a training group of folks that were running the 2009 Boston Marathon. A couple of months before the race he had a idea to surprise his athletes and give them all a copy of the book "Duel in the Sun" not just to give them a copy, but to have it signed by myself, Alberto Salazar, and the author John Brant! So as they climbed on board the bus heading to the starting line in Hopkington, they all received a signed book.

Now you would think that would be the end of the story wouldn't you? Noooooooo! Jeff contacted me to see if I would be able to come up for their post Boston party to surprise everyone! Well, it all worked out and I arrived in Minneapolis from Austin the morning of the party. Jeff and I went for breakfast and we layed out the plans on how it would all unfold.

By 4 pm I had to be in one of the bedrooms in his house so no one would know I was there. At around 5 guests started arriving and they were enjoying the nice day outside talking about the race and other things while a big ole kettle of stew was cooking on the fire pit.

Jeff started the official program around 7, he then showed a video of the "Duel in the Sun" race from 1982, then he had another short video off of "YouTube" of me telling the "Duel in the Sun" story to a group in Chicago. By this time I was now down hiding in a downstairs room waiting for my cue to walk out. After the video Jeff said even though Dick now lives in Austin, Texas, let's give him a big round of applause for all he has done for running here in Minnesota.

That was my cue, I walked out onto the patio at that point, people at first were speechless and dumbfounded all at the same time! I will never ever forget the looks on their faces when I walked out! After the shock, we took lots of pictures and had a great time for the next couple of hours. Jeff, I can't thank you enough for what you did not only for me but more importantly for all your athletes! You're a good man my friend, keep up the great work you do! :-)

April 27, 2009

Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon

Jill and I flew into Oklahoma City to be part of the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon on the evening of Thursday April 23 and Kevin from FedEx picked us up along with my good friend Bill Rodgers. By the time we got checked into our hotel it was after 10pm and I had to get up early for a run and TV interviews. But before I went to bed I went down to the hotel fitness center to check out how Brendan Brustad was doing on his attempt for a world record by running on a treadmill for 168 hours (6 days!) Brendan was tired but in incredible good spirits! I wished him well and told him I'd see him in the morning. At 4am I was back at the fitness center to run and there was Brendan still plugging away at the record! He still had over 24 hours to complete his journey and get the record. After my run I headed over with my friend Randy Swanson to the local NBC station where I did a couple of interviews. After a nice breakfast with my wife Jill, we headed over to the expo where I spent the day signing posters, numbers, taking pictures, selling books at the OKC Memorial Marathon booth and at the Oklahoma Runner and Triathlete & New Balance booth. At the New Balance booth, Tim from the Oklahoma Runner and Triathlete along with Len Chatwin the New Balance rep, printed up some great New Balance tech shirts with my picture on them, all the proceeds from the sale of shirts and books went to the Dick Beardsley Foundation. I can't thank Tim and Len enough for their support for our foundation! Friday afternoon myself along with friends Bill Rodgers and Joan Benoit Samulson were on a panel speaking, we had a great turnout and had lots of fun!

Friday evening Jill and I were guests at the VIP dinner, it was lots of fun and saw lots of old friends! Saturday morning anyone that wanted to could join myself along with Bill and Joanie for a 3 mile fun run, what a great turnout we had! Afterwards we chatted with folks, took pictures and signed autographs. No time for breakfast as it was on to the expo that started at 9am. It was a very busy day and great fun! I gave a talk that afternoon and had a super turnout and my talk went well, I love runners! Saturday evening we went to the Memorial for the pasta dinner. Bill, Joanie, and myself took questions from the crowd and posed for lots of pictures. It's an incredible venue to have the pasta dinner at the Memorial!

Sunday morning I was up early for a run then did TV coverage with the folks from NBC and my good friend Mark Bravo. Afterwards it was off to pack for our flight home to Austin. Jill and I can't thank the folks of the marathon enough for the wonderful time we had! A special thanks to Chet Collins, Thomas Hill, Jeff Kidder, Randy Swanson, and Mark Bravo! Over the years we have all become good friends and they work so hard to make this event the great event it is! Next year will be the 10th anniversary of the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon , I can't hardly wait! :-)

Here are all of the pictures that Jill took.

April 22, 2009

Boston Marathon

How can a person not get excited about the Boston Marathon! I wasn't even running the race this year and I was super excited! I flew from Pierre, SD on Friday and arrived around 11pm. My wife Jill was flying in from Austin and was suppose to have arrived around 10pm, but bad weather in Austin and Houston caused incredible delays, she did not arrive until 6:30 Saturday morning! I had to be at the expo by 9, what a trooper Jill was! I could tell she was exhausted but she sucked it up and went to the expo with me to help, as usual she was awesome! I spent the first hour and a half at the Marathon & Beyond booth signing books, numbers, cards, and taking pictures with folks, then after that I went to the New Balance booth for a couple of hours and did the same thing. After that I was on the Boston Legends Panel with Amby Burfoot, Greg Meyer, Katherine Switzer, and Jack Fultz, what a fun time we had! It was then off to our hotel for a little R & R ! Saturday night we spent with our friends Dave and Ivette Shelbourne along with their kids and some of the New Balance elite dealers from around the country. They had rented a few lanes of a bowling alley and we had a ball! Good food and fun bowling, I even rolled a 164 with my new knee!

Sunday morning I was up early for a morning run and then Jill and I headed back to the expo for more meet and greet at the Marathong and Beyond booth and with New Balance. I also gave a talk about the 1982 "Duel in the Sun" Boston that Alberto Salazar and competed in, had a great crowd and movie producer and friend Paul Martin was there filming my talk for a movie he is producing about my life, pretty exciting stuff!

Sunday evening we drove to Ipswich, MA where I gave a talk at a local church. We had a wonderful time and a large turnout of folks, thanks so much to Dave Shelbourne for arranging my visit there!

Monday morning Jill and I watched the race on TV and then it was time to head home to Austin. A HUGE thanks to New Balance for making my trip to Boston such a great one!

My wife took a gazillion pictures, all of which are here!

April 18, 2009

South Dakota Banker's Association, Pierre, SD

I was the keynote speaker for the South Dakota Banker's Association final day luncheon in Pierre, South Dakota. What a great time I had and they were a wonderful audience to speak too! I flew from Austin to Minneapolis, then a small puddle jumper to Watertown, SD, then onto Pierre. Pierre is the capital of South Dakota and it's a beautiful city right on the Missouri River. When I arrived I met Deb Gates who is the Administrative Vice President for the Association and checked out where I would be speaking the next day. Friday morning I was up early for a nice run along the river, then it was back to my room and then I had breakfast with my good friend Dave Shelbourne's Uncle Dan and Aunt Clara who live in Pierre. What a couple of wonderful people and we really enjoyed our time together! It was then time to get my notes together for my talk. My talk went very well! I didn't have any time after my talk to stay and mingle as my talk got over at 2pm and I had a flight at 3! I made it in plenty of time. That's the nice thing about small airports! I would like to give a huge thanks to the South Dakota Bankers Association for having me back this year! I was suppose to speak last year but they had a blizzard and I was stranded at the airport in Denver! This year the weather was perfect!

April 12, 2009

Illinois Marathon, Champaign, IL

What a great time I had at the inaugural Illinois Marathon! My good friend, Mark Knutson, who is the race director of the Fargo Marathon has been working along with good friend and Marathon & Beyond publisher Jan Seeley for two years on this event and what a great event they put on!

I arrived Thursday afternoon and that evening headed over to the expo site at the University of Illinois to meet many of the volunteers and to eat supper. My good friends Bart Yasso and GP Pearlberg were also invited speakers, it was fun catching up with them! Friday morning got up and did a run on the treadmill as it was raining. After a quick breakfast, Bart, GP, and myself headed over to the expo and spent the day in the M & B booth selling books, signing race numbers, chatting with folks, and taking pictures. I gave my talk at 6:30 that evening to a packed house at the pasta dinner. By the time I got back to my hotel I was whooped and went right to bed!

Saturday morning the rain had moved on and it was a nice cool clear day to run! GP was the main announcer for the race and Bart and I through our 2 cents worth every now and then. At 8 the race went off on schedule with the 5K following about 15 minutes later. Between the Marathon, half marathon, marathon relay, 5k, and kids run, they had over 9,000 runners!

All the races ended at the 50 yard line of the University of Illinois Memorial Stadium football field. I stood by the finish line cheering people on until it was time for me to leave for the airport and my trip back home to Austin.

This is a super event that will continue to grow and grow, I would highly recommend it to anyone that is looking for a great spring marathon!

Thanks to Mark Knutson, Jan Seeley, and the wonderful people of Champaign/Urbana for having me there for a fun weekend, keep up the great work!

April 6, 2009

Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, Washington, DC

What a wonderful time I had in Washington, DC this past weekend! I arrived in DC on Thursday afternoon and took the subway to the Grand Hyatt Hotel where I was staying. My friend and owner of Pacers Running Stores in the DC area, Chris Farley, picked me up at 6:30 to get me to my talk at The Dome at Rosslyn. What a great place to speak! We had a really good turnout and my talk went well! Friday morning I headed over to the US Senate Building to greet the employees who were going to be running the race, I spent a couple of hours there as they were picking up their numbers. I had a couple of nice workouts that day and Friday evening I made a quick appearance at the volunteer meeting and said a quick hello to everyone.

After a nice 45 minute run on the National Mall on Saturday morning, I headed over to the expo for my morning talk. I had a good turnout and my talk went really well! While at the expo, a lady approached me who had heard my talk on Thursday and handed me a check for the Dick Beardsley Foundation. It was for $1,000!!! I was so overwhelmed I could not believe it! That's our biggest single donation to date! Jill and I can't thank her enough! Saturday evening I attended the VIP banquet and got to sit with my good friend Bill Rodgers. I was asked to get up and say a few words.

Sunday morning was a perfect morning for a race! Sunshine, little wind, and about 50 degrees. The men's race was very close! A young runner from Morocco won the race for the second straight year in a time of 45:57, he was followed closely by 5 Kenyan runners. The women's race wasn't as close but very fast! A girl from Kenya won the race in a little over 53 minutes!

After the race it was time to head back to the hotel, pack my bags, and head to the airport for my flight home to Austin.

A huge thank you to Phil Stewart, a old friend and the race director for inviting me to speak at this 37th running of the Cherry Blossom 10 mile race, what an incredible job you and all your staff and volunteers do! Also, a huge thanks to Chris and Kathy from Pacers Running Stores for having me speak on behalf of their stores and the New Balance Shoe Co. Great job!

I look forward to going back the the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run and running it next time! :-)

April 1, 2009

12 week update on total knee replacement

Three months out and my knee is doing really well! I'm able to do most anything I want including kneeling! I'm back running 4-5 times a week, 3 miles at a time, very slow, but its' still running! I still have a long way to go to strengthen the knee and quad, but I'm working hard at it! I've been doing a lot of cycling and that does not bother my knee at all. I go back to the doctor at the end of the month for a checkup. I still can't completely straighten it, although it doesn't seem to bother me as I don't walk with a limp. I will talk to my doctor about it, at one time he said he may put me to sleep and then crank on the knee to break away the scar tissue. We will see.
Have a great day!

March 27, 2009

Thames Valley School District Talks, London, Ontario, Canada

London, Ontario is a beautiful city located about halfway between Detroit, Michigan and Toronto, Canada. Like London, England, it's located on the Thames River. I arrived in London on Tuesday and Chris McCrady, the Vice-Principal at West Elgin Secondary School picked my up and took me to my hotel, the Spencer Conference Center. I took a short nap, then headed for the fitness center for a workout. Chris picked me back up at 6pm and we had a wonderful supper with some friends of his. One of the folks there, Jerry, was such a fun guy to talk with! He is a walking encyclopedia of running over the years! Friends of mine, Paul and Cathy Roberts who own Runners Choice specialty running store along with their son, Matthew were also there. I was in London a few years ago to speak at the London Marathon that Paul directs, it was wonderful to see them again!

Chris picked my back up early Wednesday morning, we stopped and had a nice breakfast in a small town cafe on our way to West Elgin School. I spoke for a hour to around 600 kids and faculty, my talk went very well and the kids were awesome! After my talk, it was back to the hotel for a short break and then onto Beal High School, it's a large tech school in the heart of London. I spoke to around 1000 kids in a beautiful auditorium, once again my talk went very well and the kids were wonderful!

After some down time at the hotel, I gave my final talk of the day that evening that was open to the public. We had a great turnout, my talk went very well. Afterwards, I signed New Balance cards and chatted with folks for over a hour, what a nice bunch of people!

Thursday morning I gave my last talk of my trip to the students and faculty at Park Dale High School. Once again I was fortunate that my talk went well, and once again the kids were awesome!

It was then onto the airport for my trip back home to Austin. A huge thank you to Chris McCrady who set my whole trip up and shuttled me everywhere I needed to be! Also a big thanks to all the schools that I spoke at, the students, and Paul and Cathy Roberts, along with New Balance.

I had a wonderful time and I sure look forward to my next trip to London, Ontario!

March 17, 2009

Dick Beardsley Marathon Running Camp

Hi everyone!
Just wanted to let you know that registration is now open for the 8th annual Dick Beardsley Marathon Running Camp held at Rainbow Resort in beautiful Northern Minnesota lakes country! We only take 35 campers and it fills up quite quickly! Jan Seeley of Marathon & Beyond is our Camp Director and does a fantastic job of putting on a great camp! It's held in early September when the bugs are gone and we get nice mild days and nice cool nights! Running in the north woods is breathtaking! Like one of our campers said a few years ago "I came to Dick's camp to become a better runner, I left a better person" It's a running camp like no other! If you'd like more information please check out the brochure.

Take care and I hope to see you in September!

March 16, 2009

Pole, Pedal, and Pant Winter Triathlon

I left Fargo Friday morning and headed to Lake Park, Minnesota which is about 40 miles east of Fargo on Hwy 10. My very close friends Bud and Judy Buchta live on a small farm just north of Lake Park and they are like family to me! I stopped into say hello and we enjoyed catching up with each other along with their son Steve who stopped in. It was then on to the Twin Cities!

I was invited by Amy Xu the race director and a good friend to help announce at the Pole Pedal Pant Winter Triathlon, held at Elm Creek Park Reserve. I arrived into the Twin Cities around 5pm, worked out at the fitness center then headed for the park for a meeting of all those involved.

After our meeting I grabbed a quick bite to eat and then headed to Amy's house or at least that's where I thought I was! I pulled into their driveway around 9pm, drug my big ole suitcase up to the front door and rang the doorbell, no one answered so I started knocking on the door, still no one answered. I called Amy on my cell phone and she was surprised Mike was not home yet. She told me to hang tight and she would call Mike. To make a long story short, I was at the neighbors house not theirs! That wasn't the first time that has happened to me! We all had a good laugh and then it was off to bed.

Saturday morning I was up real early to workout and then headed to the park to start my announcing. They had close to a 100 entrants that XC skied 10k, biked for 7k, then ran 7k all out on the snowy trails through the park. It was a beautiful day and everyone had a great time!

A big thanks to Mike and Amy who's hospitality is second to none!

March 14, 2009

The Dick Beardsley Running Company

The day before I left for North Dakota, a huge blizzard shut down the interstate from Fergus Falls, Minnesota to Jamestown, North Dakota! They had a foot of snow and winds of 50 mph! I didn't think I'd be able to make it when I landed in Minneapolis on Wednesday for my drive to Fargo, North Dakota. I should have known better! I lived in the area for 50 years and there is no one better then clearing the roads then the Minnesota DOT! I had clear sailing all the way to Fargo but boy was there ever a lot of snow, especially when you got about 100 miles NW of the Twin Cities!

I arrived to Fargo around 4pm, went to our store, the Dick Beardsley Running Company, then went next door and worked out at the fitness center. That evening we had dinner and a meeting with all of the owners, and the great news is the store is doing real well! We will be open 2 years now in April.

When I'm up at the store, I always stay with my good friends Greg and Stephanie Hammes (also part owners) they have three of the nicest cutest daughters you'd ever meet, it's always great to see them!

Thursday morning Greg and I were up early to meet the runners at our store at 5:30, over 20 runners showed up on a morning that was 21 degrees below zero! Since I'm still recovering from my total knee replacement, I ran on the treadmill as I didn't want to slip on the snow and ice, plus living in Texas now, my blood hadn't had a chance to thicken up and it felt to me like it was a 121 degrees below zero!

After our runs I had two radio interviews to do that morning. Thursday evening I gave a talk to our Fargo Marathon/Half Marathon training group. We had a great turnout and afterwards I signed books and took pictures with lots of folks, it was a fun evening!

Thanks to everyone in the Fargo area and especially the folks at the Dick Beardsley Running Company for making my trip such a fun one!

March 7, 2009

The Texas Independence Relay

I had the opportunity to travel to the nice town of Gonzalas, Texas on March 6th to give a talk before the start of the Texas Independence Relay, a 8-12 person relay team that runs from Gonzalas to Houston, Texas, a span of about 200 miles. Joy and Jay Hilscher are the race directors and started this race last year. I'm sure it will continue to grow and grow!

I spoke at the registration area the afternoon before the race in this neat old courthouse. I was there on behalf of Mark Connell who owns Nubound. I've been taking this recovery supplement for a few years now and it really does help you recover faster from hard workouts or races. Since I was on at 3pm, I will be honest with you, there were not a lot of folks in attendance at that time of day as the pasta dinner didn't start till around 7. Saying that, I had a great group of folks from the Houston area who got there early and came to listen and they were a fun bunch! I told a few stories, answered some questions, and then we all took a group picture.

A big thanks to Mark Connell, Joy and Jay Hilscher, and the folks from Houston for making my trip to Gonzalas Texas a fun one!

March 6, 2009

The New Balance Michigan Summit

After Napa, Jill and I were to fly home from San Francisco, but with the rainy weather in San Francisco our flight got delayed to Denver and we would miss the one flight that evening from Denver back to Austin. I made a quick call to Dave Shelbourne at New Balance and got the OK to fly directly from Denver to Detroit. So after a night in Denver I was on my way to Detroit.

New Balance rep Ken Larschfield picked up myself along with Dave, Claire Wood, Eric Vassall, and Tera Linafelter all of New Balance. On our hour and a half ride to Lansing, Ken had picked up some sandwiches for all of us to eat on the way. With all the luggage and 6 people in the Tahoe we were packed in there tightly!

We arrived at Playmakers, a specialty running store, around 2:30pm. I'd been there once before and talk about a awesome store with awesome employees, Playmakers is it! We met with some of the top folks at Playmakers and Dave, Claire, Eric, and Tera did there magic about New Balance shoes and clothing, they really know their stuff! Afterwards we all went out for a nice supper and then headed back to the store where it was my turn to speak.

I signed books and New Balance posters for about a hour and my cousin Sue and her husband Tom drove from Cheasaning, Michigan to hear me speak, what a wonderful surprise it was to see them! Curt and Brian and the rest of the crew really know how to promote an event! We had a packed house for my talk which went well! Afterwards I signed more books and posters and then we headed for our hotel.

Wednesday morning I was up early to workout and then we headed for Grand Rapids, Michigan to meet with Ken Sung and his staff at Gazelle Sports. WOW, what another wonderful store with awesome people! Wednesday night I gave a talk at Celebration Cinema to a full house, and my talk went really well! Afterwards they watched the movie "Spirit of the Marathon" then after that I signed books and New Balance posters, took pictures and talked to folks attending the event, what a wonderful evening we all had!

Thursday morning I was up early to workout and then we headed back to Gazelle Sports for breakfast and the New Balance presentation to the staff. Now it was off for the Detroit area and Hanson's Running Store in Royal Oak, Michigan to meet with owners Kevin and Keith Hanson. I've known Kevin and Keith for a number of years and spoke at their store a couple of years ago. They are so enthusiastic about the sport of running and over the years have put their own hard earned money into the Hanson/Brooks Distance Project. They have given a number of post collegiate runners, men and women a chance to continue there running by offering free housing and insurance, a job, coaching, travel, gear, and so on. They have been very successful at what they do and last year produced Olympic Marathoner, Brian Sell. We had a great lunch together and then went to their store and chatted for a bit before it was time to leave for the airport to catch our flights home.

I'd like to give a big thanks to Playmakers, Gazelle Sports, the Hanson's, and Dave, Ken, Eric, Tera, and Clair from New Balance for making my trip so enjoyable!

March 2, 2009

Minnesota and Washington and California Oh My!

My goodness its been awhile since I wrote on my blog, sorry about that! On Monday February 23 I flew to Minneapolis, then drove to Eveleth, Minnesota arriving there around 6pm. Tuesday morning I gave a talk to the students and faculty at East Range Academy of Technology and Science, the students were wonderful and had lots of good questions after my talk. After speaking, I headed back to the Twin Cities and stayed with my sister Sheila and her family, its always nice to see them!

Wednesday I checked into the Millennium Hotel in downtown Minneapolis and that night gave a talk at the Land O'Lakes annual meeting. I got to see my old boss Gary Weber, for a year back in the late 80's, I was a Livestock Production Specialist for Land O'Lakes and worked in the Volga, South Dakota area. Since that time Gary has moved up in the company and continues to do a great job for Land O Lakes! My talk went very well and afterwards I signed a bunch of my books that Land O'Lakes had bought for the folks that were there, all in all it was a very fun night!

Thursday morning I was up early to work out and then onto the airport to catch my 6am flight to Spokane, Washington. I arrived around 10:30am and my good friend Don Kardong picked me up at the airport and took me to my hotel where I checked in and then took a nap, I was whooped! Don, who was a 4th place finisher at the 1976 Olympic Marathon is also the race director of the huge Lilac Bloomsday Run held in early May, they usually have over 50,000 runners every year! Thursday evening Don picked me up along with a friend and we went out and had a great supper, I had ribs and were they ever good! After supper it was time to head to the high school and deliver my talk. They had a nice turnout and my talk went well! It was now time to get back to the hotel and get to bed as I had a very early flight the next morning!

Friday morning I was up at 3am to workout at the fitness center, then grabbed a shuttle to the airport at 4:30 to catch a flight for San Francisco.

I was heading to Napa, CA to speak at the Napa Valley Marathon, and the great thing was, Jill was coming in from Austin and would meet me at the airport! I got in around 1:30pm and saw a message on my phone from Jill, their flight from Austin was canceled and they would be in later.

Jill along with John and Stacey Conley who were special guests of the Napa Valley Marathon arrived around 4pm and I was waiting with our rental car for the ride to Napa. For some reason even with my Garmin I always have trouble getting to the Golden Gate Bridge, I finally got there and it was worth all the missed turns, as crossing the bridge it was kind of foggy and cloudy, it was gorgeous!

We arrived to Napa around 7pm and went right to the restaurant to meet our good friends Paul Martin and his wife Patti and Janet Cain and her husband David. We all had a great time and shared lots of laughs and stories! We got back to the hotel late and needless to say were very tired so we went straight to bed to get some rest for the busy weekend.

The Napa Valley Marathon is one of the best races you could ever be part of! They cap the race at 2,300 runners and it's held on the old Silverado Trail from Calistoga to Napa. The road is closed to traffic and the many volunteers and aid stations along with the stunning views makes it one of my all time favorite races! I got up early Saturday morning and worked out at the fitness center, my knee seems to be getting stronger every day and can handle more and more work. Jill and I then had a nice breakfast with the John and Stacey and met some of our wonderful friends we see every year at Napa. I then spent about a hour and a half at the Marathon & Beyond booth signing books, taking pictures, and chatting with the runners at the expo. At 1pm, I was the keynote speaker and we had a fun time telling some funny stories to a packed house. Afterwards I helped with the incredible gift baskets they raffle off and then it was back to Marathon and Beyond for another hour and a half.

Jill and I were in the 6:30 pm sitting for the pasta dinner, one of the best pasta dinners you will find anywhere! It was fun talking with everyone and listening to some funny stories from folks. It was time for some shut eye after that as we had a early morning wakeup call.

I was up very early Sunday morning to workout and then we headed for the starting line on a cloudy rainy but fairly warm morning. The race started right at 7am. Jill and I then drove our car to the different cross roads along the route to cheer on the runners as they came by. Luckily we were able to buy a couple of umbrellas at a gas station or we would have really gotten soaked! My good friend Mary Coordt won the women's race for a third time and ran around 2:48, Peter Gilmore running the race for the first time and only as a long hard run, won the race in around 2:22. Peter is getting ready for a spring marathon and he really looked good coming across the finish line. Peter is a 2:12 marathoner and he wasn't even breathing hard when he came in.

Sunday afternoon all the invited guests headed up to a bed and breakfast for the night where we also had a wonderful dinner with all of the Napa Valley Marathon board. One of the invited guest was my very good friend Rob Reid and his wife Joan from Victoria BC, Rob, who is the race director of the Royal Victoria Marathon and I are like brothers so it was really good to see him again!

Jill and I would like to thank so very much Rich Benyo, David Hill and the entire Napa Valley Marathon board for the wonderful time we had, keep up the AWESOME work you do!

Here are the pictures from the Napa Valley Marathon.

February 22, 2009

6 week post knee replacement surgery

Hi everyone one, time for a update as I just saw my surgeon Dr. Matt Heinrich this past Friday. They took x-rays for the first time since surgery and everything looks great!

I can pretty do everything like a normal person now. I walk without a limp, can go up and down stairs like you should be able to, I "run" on the elliptical machine, do weights, power walk with nordic poles, and have been doing quite a bit of biking. In fact today I did a 35 mile ride and felt quite good! Sure feels good to work out again and get back into shape! I haven't tried running yet but as I continue to work on strengthening my right quad, I hope to give a try in the next few weeks.

Thanks to all of you for your thoughts and prayers, I really appreciate it! Have a great day!

February 19, 2009

Austin Runners Club Winter Party

On Wednesday evening my wife Jill and I along with our good friend Laura Nye went to the Winter Party of the Austin Runner's Club held at Fiddlers Hearth in Austin. What a great time that was had by all! Our good friend Clemmie Cummins sat with us and we had lots of fun visiting with everyone and enjoying a great meal. After dinner the Dick Beardsley Foundation was presented with a check for $1,000.00! In December the Austin Runners Club hosted the Decker Half Marathon and the Double Decker Marathon, and the Dick Beardsley Foundation was the beneficiary of the folks that ran the Double Decker. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for the generous donation to the Dick Beardsley Foundation. It will be of huge benefit in helping those fighting the terrible disease of chemical dependency!

February 16, 2009

Austin Marathon

What a wonderful event the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon is! I first was invited to speak at the Austin Marathon back in 2004 and if my memory serves me correctly this was my 4th time to speak here. This was the first year they did not have a title sponsor but as always race directors John and Stacey Conley put on another great race! I spoke at the expo on Friday afternoon to a full house and my talk went well. I then spent the next hour in Jan Seeley's and Rich Benyo's Marathon & Beyond magazine booth selling my book, Staying the Course, a Runner's Toughest Race, signing New Balance cards and posters, and taking pictures with folks, it was a lot of fun! That evening at the Hyatt was the VIP get together and I was there with my wife Jill and we had fun mingling with lots of people.

After a good workout on the elliptical machine early Saturday morning Jill and I headed for the expo where from 10-11am I spent time in the Marathon and Beyond booth, afterwards I spent the next hour and a half at the New Balance booth that was part of Hill Country Running Company's booth. I so enjoy speaking to people and hearing their stories about their running and what they were hoping for in the marathon or half marathon. After that I went to the other end of the expo and spent time with New Balance rep Len Chatwin and again signing things for people and chatting about running. After my hour and a half there, I had a hour to get my head together for my final talk at the expo. My talk went well to a full house and afterwards it was back to the Marathon and Beyond booth for the final hour of the expo. After my time there I had to skedaddle back over the the Hyatt for the annual Austin Marathon pasta dinner. Myself along with my good friend Bart Yasso of Runner's World Magazine, told a couple of stories, we introduced the veterans that had run all previous 17 Austin Marathons and then it was on to race director John Conley for his final words before next mornings race.

Sunday morning Jill and I were up early to get over to the Stephen F. Austin Hotel where Jill was in charge of the VIP area. People could buy tickets with part of the proceeds going to the Dick Beardsley Foundation, they could leave their clothing there, get something to drink and eat, and then afterwards could come back to a great breakfast or lunch, get a massage and meet with family and friends. Thanks to everyone of the volunteers that helped make the VIP area so special.

The race started at 7am and I was fortunate to be able to ride in the lead vehicle to watch the race. Jeremy Borling, 28 of Chicago, saw the lead pack move away from him after the first mile, but decided to run his own race. Later Borling learned that he was, in fact, already leading the marathon and that the pack ahead of him consisted solely of half-marathon runners. Borling, whose past achievements include a third-place finish at the 2005 Disney World Marathon, continued alone to win the 2009 Austin Marathon in 2:30:05. Local favorite and my good friend Gilbert Tuhabonye, who was the eighth place finisher at the 2004 Austin Marathon in 2:22:37 - during the days of big prize money, finished second in 2:31:58. Adam Nevens, 29 of Santa Monica CA, set a nearly ten minute PR!?! to finish third in 2:33:48.

Among the women, Elle Pishny, 23 of Durham NC, was the winner in 2:52:32. Nora Colligan, 26 of Austin who was the runner-up at the 2008 Nike Women's Marathon, finished second in 2:58:32. Maria Yamin, 44 of Mexico who was 17th in 2:49:47 at the 2006 Austin Marathon, finished third in 2:58:32.

I do need to mention that I had two athletes that I coach, George Uribe set a new Personal Best by 3 minutes with a time of just a tad over 3:09 and Stephen Fuentes ran the half and did a Personal Best by 4 minutes with a 1:21. Way to go guys, I'm so very proud of both of you!

For you folks looking for a great winter marathon or half marathon to run, I promise you there is no better one then the Austin Marathon! A big thanks to John and Stacey Conley for having me back, keep up the awesome work your doing!

February 12, 2009

12th Anniversary of Sobriety

Today is a very special day for me as I celebrate my 12th anniversary of sobriety.
My sobriety means the world to me, with it I have everything in the world to live for, without it, I'm nothing. Has this past 12 years been a breeze? Not at all! In the early years it was always on my mind, would I make it or would I fail. As the years have gone by it has gotten easier but it is still my number one priority when I wake up in the morning! Recently I was tested big time. This past fall my right knee really started giving me lots of trouble. I had to go in for surgery to clean it out, unfortunately I came down with a bad infection, more surgery and lots of pain. I was given narcotic pain pills to help with the pain. The good thing is this time I was NOT in control of my medicine, my wife Jill had them and when I would need some she would dispense them out to me the way they were supposed to be taken. This time the doctors knew about my addiction and I was monitored very carefully. On January 7th I had a total knee replacement of my right knee, major surgery and more pain meds. Could I have gotten by without them? I suppose I could have but it would have been very difficult as the pain was relentless for the first 3 weeks after surgery. As the pain decreased I was able to use less and less pain meds, I'm happy to say that I no longer need the pain meds, only some ibuprofen or Tylenol from time to time. It was scary going back on the pain meds, but knowing the support I had surrounding me was very reassuring that everything would be OK. Over the years I have received so much support from so many people, I want to say thank you to all of you from the bottom of my heart. Your thoughts and prayer mean so much to me. I give my word that I will continue to do my best through the Dick Beardsley Foundation ( to get the word out about the terrible disease of chemical dependency, to work with all my passion to raise money to help those afflicted with a chemical dependency to get the treatment they need so they can get there lives back, to talk to our young kids about leading a healthy, active lifestyle, chemically free. This is my mission, we have a long way to go but with your help I am certain we can get it done. For those of you who would like to donate to the Dick Beardsley Foundation you can do that through our website. Please don't think for one minute that even one dollar won't help us, I promise you it will help tremendously!

Thank you for your kindness and continued support, I really appreciate it!

Have a great day "one day at a time"!

God Bless you all!


February 11, 2009

5 weeks post-op total knee replacement

Hi everyone,

Today is exactly 5 weeks out since I had my total knee replacement surgery of my right knee. Things have been going very well but I've really made some big improvements in the last three days! For the past two and a half weeks I've been able to workout on the elliptical machine without any problem at all. I've also been doing weights, worked on bending and straightening my leg, things like that. The worst part of the day has been the night time and trying to sleep! For some reason my knee would just throb terribly at night. It seemed like not only the knee my my quad muscle especially. I knew I had lost a lot of muscle in the quad and I was working hard trying to build it back up. When laying down that was when my knee hurt the worst. Finally all the hard work has paid off and for the last three nights I've actually slept quite well! I can now lay down without my knee hurting anymore! I can't begin to tell you what a relief that is! It gets a little stiff during the night from being in one position for so long, I do a little bending of the knee and that seems to really help.

Yesterday I actually got on my mountain bike and did a 40 minute bike ride! This morning I grabbed my Nordic Poles and did a 3 mile brisk power walk and felt very good, although my knee did start to tire towards the end of my walk. Needless to say I'm tickled pink about how things are progressing! I still have a lot of work left to do though. My physical therapist wants me to be able to bend it to at least 120 degrees, presently I'm at 115 degrees so that is good. I can now walk up and down stairs like a normal person and I can even sit on the floor and rest on my knees! My main work now is trying to get it to straighten out more. Ideally zero degrees is what everyone strives for but anything under 5 degrees is considered good. As of yesterday I'm at 14 degrees so that is a little disappointing but I'm working hard at it! I see the doctor next Friday, February 20. Hopefully I will have much better extension by then, if not the doctor may decide he might have to put me to sleep and manipulate the knee to break up any scar tissue that is keeping me from extending it, I will keep you posted on how things are going. Thanks to everyone who has sent me well wishes, thoughts and prayers, I really appreciate it! Have a great day!

Cruise to Run 2009

Jerry, Bart and Wallace Williams

Shoes for kids!

The ship in the background!

Wow, what a wonderful time my wife Jill and I had on the 2009 Cruise to Run! Jill and I flew from Austin to San Juan on Saturday, January 31, we arrived to our hotel around midnight and went right to bed. I woke early as my knee was not feeling the best and went for a nice walk along the ocean. Once Jill woke up we had a nice walk along the beautiful beach and found a nice place for breakfast. Once breakfast was over we walked around San Juan for a bit and then packed our bags and took a taxi to where our ship was docked.

I've never seen such a huge ship! It was over three football fields long and it weighed 113 thousand tons! That a ship that large can float is more amazing to me then how a plane can fly! Boarding the ship was very orderly and we got into our state room around 1 PM. The rooms on these ships are quite small but they were very nice. We were fortunate in that our room also had an outside balcony so it made the room seem larger.

Our hosts Jerry and Jody Friesen came by our room around 4pm along with Bart Yasso and his bride, Laura. I had only met Jerry a year earlier at the Toronto Marathon so it was wonderful to reintroduce ourselves and meet his wife Jody, they are wonderful people and were very excited to have us on board!

That evening we had a meet and greet with the rest of the Cruise to Run folks, over 300 in all! Besides myself and Bart, Lisa Bentley was also one of the invited speakers. I had the pleasure to meet Lisa and her husband Dave, great down to earth folks! Lisa and Dave are from Canada and she is a 11 time Ironman Champion!

We set sail that night at 11pm and were heading for Barbados. I had a patch I put behind my ear to prevent me from getting sea sick and it seemed to work. I have to admit though, there was very little rocking on this huge ship! We docked in Barbados early on Tuesday morning and Jerry and Jody had a wonderful very organized 5k race all planned. It was awesome with chip timing and a police escort along with the help of the local running club! All of us brought extra running shoes to donate to the local runners, many who can't afford running shoes. They greatly appreciated our donations! Because of my recent knee surgery I was unable to run but Jill did and I was there to cheer everyone on! It was very warm that morning but everyone had a wonderful time.

That afternoon we all took buses to a beautiful beach on Carlisle Bay, Lisa Bentley led everyone who wanted to on a half mile swim in the ocean, I bailed out on the swim as I'm not the best swimmer plus the water seemed a little chilly to me! That night Jill started not feeling well and unfortunately came down with a bad cold/flu and had to spend the next two and a half days in bed with a fever!

The ship had a beautiful fitness center so I was up bright and early each morning working out on the elliptical machine, stationary bike, weights, etc, working on rehabbing my knee. For me the worst part of the day was the night time. My knee would just throb at night and no matter what position I tried to get in I was very uncomfortable, if I got a couple hours of sleep at night that was pretty good! Each night I would wake around 1 or 2 am and go for a walk on the deck, it was very peaceful and the moving seemed to help my knee feel better.

Wednesday morning we docked on the island of St. Lucia and everyone had a beautiful 5 mile run to the Vigie Lighthouse. We also donated more running shoes and again they were greatly appreciated! After the runs in the morning, the rest of the day was free to do whatever we wanted, many folks went on extra excursions or just hung out on the ship and enjoyed the 5 swimming pools that were on board!

Wednesday evening, Lisa gave her talk to the group and it was very inspiring! She is an incredible athlete who has competed in triathlons around the world, but she and her husband Dave, are as down to earth people as you will find anywhere!

Thursday morning we docked on the island of Antigua, and everyone that wanted to ran around the harbor and past beaches to Fort Barrington and a climb to the top with a incredible view of the bay! We also were asked to bring a book to donate to the Antigua Public Library, it was amazing seeing the hundreds of books donated to their library, runners are some of the most giving people I know!

Thursday afternoon we took a bus to a beautiful beach where we all enjoyed the ocean and some of the runners did a "Hash Run" set up by the local running club. A hash run is a non-competitive run with blobs of paper set out for the runners to follow on a trail. There are false trails set and runners are redirected. Everyone had lots of fun.

Thursday evening it was my turn to give my talk, my talk went very well and I so enjoy speaking to runners, they are already so motivated, it makes my job that much easier!

Friday morning we docked at the island of Tortola and everyone was excited about the run up to Fort Charlotte. It's a run out and back for a total of about 6K but there is a climb of 947 feet that is at a 25% grade! Jill and I were stationed about 3/4 of the way up to cheer everyone on, everyone made it! Jill was feeling a little better and we got to enjoy some time together on the beach. Friday evening my good friend Bart Yasso of Runner's World Magazine gave his talk which is a very funny slide show presentation of some of the many races Bart has been to around the world.

Saturday morning was our final port before heading back to San Juan. We landed in beautiful St.Thomas and we all headed out for a 5K prediction run. Some of the local runners from St.Thomas were there to run with everyone including three Virgin Island Olympians! Wallace Williams, the first athlete to represent the Virgin Islands in international competition in 1979 and 1988 Olympian, Marlon Williams, a four time Olympian in the 5k, 10k, and the marathon, and Calvin Dallas who represented the Virgin Islands at the 1988 Olympics and holds the Virgin Island Marathon record of 2:27.

Saturday evening Jill and I enjoyed a great meal with Jerry and Jody, Mike and Helen, and Bart and Laura.

Sunday morning when we awoke we were at the dock in San Juan where we started from. Jill and I departed the ship at 8:15 am and took a taxi to the airport for our trip back home to Austin.

We can not thank Jerry and Jody enough for inviting us along on this wonderful trip! It was wonderful to meet so many fine people on board and we wish you all the best!

Jill and I look forward to our "Cruise to Run" trip next January, we hope you can join us for a fabulous time!

Here are all of the photos from the trip!

January 21, 2009

Brand New Knee - 13 days and counting!

Really need to get my leg straight!

No more stitches!

Hi Everyone!

It's 13 days post-op, so I thought I'd give an update on how things are going.

Last Tuesday January 13, I "dumped" my crutches, cane, and walker for my own two feet! I have to admit the first couple of days walking on my own I was a bit shaky as it had been over two months since I walked on my own! Absolutely no pain from bone on bone while bearing total body weight, post surgical pain was another story but that continues to get better! The worst part of the day is the night time when trying to sleep. If I get a hour and a half to two hour of continuous sleep that's very good, at that point my knee aches so bad that I usually have to get up, walk around a bit, put ice on it, take some meds, anything to try and get it to settle down. It usually does and then I will fall asleep for another hour and a half or so until around 3:30-4:00AM when I get up for the day, thank goodness I've always been a early riser and have never required a lot of sleep! If any of you have any ideas on what I can do to get a better sleep, please let me know! I know eventually things will get more back to normal, I just need to stay positive and keep working hard at my rehabbing of my knee.

I met with my doctor, Dr. Matt Heinrich yesterday and he said things were really looking good and he took the stitches out. His biggest concern and mine also is the inability to be able to completely straighten my leg out, the bending part is way ahead of schedule and I can now walk up stairs pretty much like a normal person! Dr. Heinrich said if I'm unable to get it to straighten completely, he will have to put me to sleep and "crank" on the leg to break away the scar tissue. If I don't get it to straighten I will always have a little hitch in my step, so I'm working real hard at it!

Besides working on my own and going to PT, he ordered me the "ERMI Knee Extensionater II, sounds like something from an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie!
I will use that 4 times/day, it won't be fun, but hopefully it gets me to my full extension and the doctor won't have to "crank" on my knee!

Take care all and have a great day!


January 13, 2009

My brand new knee...22 week later

Hi everyone!

I know one thing, I won't ever have a problem finding my right knee, I'll just follow "The Yellow Brick Road"! WOW, that is quite the scar! Last Wednesday January 7th I went in for my TKR (total knee replacement) on my right knee. My wife Jill and I arrived at the hospital at 7:30 AM and we got all checked into my pre-op room, the hardest part at that point was the wait! My surgery was scheduled to start anywhere from 10-11, but it all depended on how the other surgeries before me were going.

I had a wonderful pre-op nurse who came in and explained everything to Jill and I and made sure we were both comfortable. At about 10, my anesthesiologist came by to explain his procedure and to let me know that before surgery they were going to put a nerve block into my right leg. They would run a small catheter into my right groin down to the top of the knee, this would help immensely with the post-op pain I was told. To be honest with you, at that point I wasn't worried about the post-op pain, I was worried about the pain of them putting a catheter into my groin! He promised I wouldn't feel a thing as they would give me some "feel good" medicine to make sure that wouldn't happen.

At 11 they came to my room and said it was time to get the catheter put in and Jill was not allowed to follow along anymore. It was hard for me to say "goodbye" to her, as that seems to be such a permanent thing, so I said, "See you later Honey"! She gave me a kiss and a nice squeeze and I was on my way.

Once in the surgical unit my anesthesiologist came in and gave me some of that "feel good" medicine, and I don't remember a thing as they put in the catheter! I was still awake but nothing really seemed to matter at that point! My doctor, (Dr. Matt Heinrich) came by and explained everything to me, had me mark my leg to be operated on with a marker and off we went to the operating room. The next thing I remember was waking up in my room and my wife Jill there by my side, a very nice comforting sight to see! The surgery itself took about a hour and a half.

Wednesday night was pretty much a sleepless one as the great nursing staff I had were in checking on me quite often and giving me medicine when needed. I really wasn't all that uncomfortable, the worst part was anytime I tried to sit up in bed, I would get sick to my stomach! The gave me some medicine to try and combat the nausea but it didn't seem to help a whole lot.

Thursday morning, Jill was there to see me bright and early at 6:30 to see me before she had to go to work, she is one of the most caring persons I've ever known! After Jill left they brought me some breakfast, I tried to eat something but I couldn't keep anything down. About 9, Dan from the physical therapy department came in and got me out of bed and I started walking (with a walker). I had another PT session that afternoon, otherwise I was pretty much in bed the whole day doing what exercises I could for my knee in bed.

Thursday afternoon my good friends Joey Trimyer and Stacey Conley (both of Conley Sports here in Austin) came by and we all had a nice visit, plus they brought me some of my favorite cookies! Jill came back to visit that evening and we had a nice time together. At this point I was feeling so good I thought I'd walk out of the hospital without a limp! I slept better Thursday night so that was a real treat!

What a difference:

Friday morning Jill was there to visit bright and early, she always brightens my day! They then came in and took the catheter out of my right leg, they said I would more then likely start to feel a little more uncomfortable in a hour or so. Before that happened, PT came and took me to the swimming pool for some "pool therapy" It's amazing how much better you can bend things when you have the water there to help! By early afternoon my knee started to really hurt so I started using my pain pump like I was supposed to use, up to this point I had used it very little, that helped to take the worst of it away but it continually was throbbing. The good news though was the pain I was having was from post surgical pain, the pain before surgery from bone on bone was gone!!

Friday evening Jill came for a visit but they had given me a shot for my nausea, it took the nausea away but I got so loopy I could barely remember she was there!

Saturday morning Jill was there for a early morning visit and a good cup of coffee, breakfast even tasted good! More physical therapy that morning, and I was also up on my own doing as much as I could. Saturday afternoon Jill brought our boys Matthew and Christopher for a visit, it was great to see them! I even "walked" down to the cafeteria with them for supper! I probably could have gone home that evening but thought it might be best to stay one more day.

Sunday morning Jill and the boys were there and the doctor came in and gave the OK to go home and we left the hospital! I know my biggest challenge now will be the rehabbing of my knee and I'm working very hard at that!

I want to thank all the wonderful people that have sent nice notes and have had me in their thoughts and prayers, it means a lot to me! A big thank you to the doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and everyone else at St. Davids Hospital in Austin who took such great care of me, and of course to my incredible wife Jill who has been right there with me every step of the way!

I will update everyone on how things are going at least once a week. Take care everyone and have a great day!


January 6, 2009

Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Hi everyone!
Just wanted to give you all a update. My doctors office called today and they have moved up my surgery to tomorrow! I'm very happy to be able to get it done earlier, but also very nervous as this is a biggie! Thanks to everyone who has sent me their thoughts and prayers, it's very much appreciated!

I will be in the hosptital about 4 days, but I will let everyone knows how things went when I get back home.

Take care all and have a great day!