Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Dog Attack

       On June 16th 2012, Amy Surrette and I began our run from Bethel Baptist Church at precisely 6am according to my watch with the intentions of enjoying a long day of running. We were proceeding easterly on Grassy Island Road in the left hand lane facing traffic. After approximately 1.5 miles around 6:15 am we heard a dog barking and observed a large hound dog on the right hand side of the road near the  edge of the woods just before the intersection of Bethany Rd. As we got closer I begin to talk to the dog in a calm friendly manner calling him a good dog and he seemed to respond in a friendly matter. He approached us with his tail wagging and quit barking so we assumed he was friendly and was just going to run along with us. I was closest to him and Amy was to my left near the shoulder of the road. The dog circled behind me and then suddenly charged up behind Amy and bit her hard on the the upper left thigh. I immediately jumped between her and the dog and began yelling at him to get away but he was standing his ground. I began to search around for a stick or rock or anything on the side of the road to use as a weapon but there was nothing there when he suddenly charged me and gave me a hard bite on the upper outside of my right thigh.
At that time as I was trying to fend him off, a slightly smaller chocolate brown mixed breed dog joined in the battle. Fortunately two other smaller dogs were keeping their distance. At first I had just been angry but now I knew that things could take a much more serious turn for the worse. The two dogs were engaging in typical pack dog tactics of having one come to the front while the other tried to attack from the side or rear so I was doing all I could to keep an eye one both of them. The brown dog came at me and as I tried to scare him away the hound once along lunged and gave me another hard bite on the upper left thigh and then retreated. My fear now was making sure I stayed on my feet or I would have probably died  or been mauled badly soon after. Sure enough the brown dog moved in again but this time I was able to land a solid right hand punch to the side of his face which seemed to take away his desire  to fight and he retreated far enough away that I was confident to give my full attention to the hound. The hound charged once more but I was ready and just as he nicked my right leg I was able to grab him around the throat with both hands. As I held on to him his attitude changed to fear as he struggled to get away and unfortunately before I could choke the devil dog to death his collar slipped off and I lost my grip and he ran away and finally the owner who I had not seen at all since I had my back turned to the house which was about 50yds away. I think this is what I find most disturbing about the whole ordeal. Why was he not running out and calling the dog during the whole time I was in battle with his two dogs?  I estimate the total time of the fight was about 2 minutes from the first bite on Amy until the owner controlled the dog. At least he did apologize for it happening and when he asked if there was anything he could do for us I just told him yes, to please make sure he restrained the dog for the remainder of the day.
      I then examined my wounds and found huge bites on both legs. There were several deep punctures that were oozing subcutaneous material so I could tell that they were indeed serious. I also had a small one tooth bite on my wrist just below my right thumb from him trying to bite me when I had him around the neck.
Once I finally decided to quit my day and go to the emergency room I was treated by scrubbing and then irrigating the wounds. The ER nurse showed me how far she was able to insert the catheter into a couple of the punctures and it was over an inch on one and a half inch on a couple of others. I was also given an IV of fluid and a IV dose of Unasyn, a high powered antibiotic. The Dr. did not apply any stitches to the wounds because the risk of the high risk of trapping infection inside so for the past two days I have been oozing blood through the dressings which I change about 3 times a day as well as through my clothes and at night through the sheets and mattress cover on my bed. I will be taking an oral antibiotic for 10 days and I have a follow up dr appt on Tuesday to make sure that it is healing properly and not getting infected.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Boogie 100 miler ???

  The first time I ran in the Boogie was back in 2005 which was the first year that Doug had added the marathon to the event. Karla and I had just began training together the month before so I thought it would be fun to run with her for training for my upcoming 100 in Vermont. The slogan for the new "half " Boogie was "A little Boogie is better than none at all" which I paraphrased in the song I wrote into "a little bit of Boogie is better than none".  Well, that got me to thinking that twice as much Boogie should be pure ecstasy !

 Right now most of you are thinking, ok, he has finally completely lost his mind and you may be right.

 I got the idea to do this on the way home from the 50 miler last year. I was joking about it but by the time I got home I had made up my mind that unless I got into Western states this year that my summer 100 would be the Double Boogie. Of course I had to wait until the lottery for WS in December but as soon as I got the rejection from them the plan was set.

  I met with Doug "Boogieman" Dawkins the race director at Weymouth Woods back in January to let him know what I was planning. He just looked at me and said OK. Is there anything I needed for him to do ? I told him no, that I had planned on being self-supported for the first 50 miles and then I would use the race aid for the second 50. We agreed that it was best to keep it quiet which I had planned to do anyway. The only ones that were let in on the plan were my trusted Angels of course.

  If things go according to plan I will begin my race at 6am Saturday morning giving myself 12 hours to complete the first 50 miles so that I can start the official 50 miler with everyone else. Ultramom Amy  is planning on coming out early Saturday to keep me company and run a little bit and crew for me until around noon. After that I'll be on my own again until later. Ultra Angel Jenn is running the 50 and Mountain Girl Lisa is in the marathon. Hopefully they can give me a little encouragement before their races start and then afterwards Lisa is going to drive me back to Raleigh so I can get some rest after completion of the first and only Boogie 100 !

 With the great weather report it looks like this won't be quite as much the ordeal I was expecting. I had planned on temps in the 90's most of the day but now it's looking like about 82F is the projected high. It is still pretty warm and a challenge on this hilly course and the pounding of the pavement will still give me a beat down I'm sure. Barring injury I plan to finish this thing and secure my spot in the Idiot's Hall of Fame.

 I look forward to seeing many of you competing  and volunteering out there this evening !

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

35 years and still loving it !

   Today marks the last day of my 35th year of running and tomorrow on June 7th I''ll begin with year 36. To celebrate this milestone I organized a run in cooperation with Capital RunWalk  on a course that would include the 3 mile loop that I used to run on when it all began back in 1977. The store where I have been happily employed part-time for nearly 5 years now is just about 1/2 mile away from that loop so it was very convenient to use as a staging area.

Thanks Sophia Frey for the wonderful picture
  It turned out to be a beautiful evening for it with temps in the mid-70's and moderate humidity.  I was joined on this tour down memory lane by about 20 friends including all 4 of my most frequent Angels and training partners for an easy paced run. A few others including The Labella sisters and kids came by to wish me well but didn't run.

   I mostly led the way until about the 2 mile point where we came by the house that I was living in at that time. We had a humorous moment there. There was a lady with a baby sitting in the front yard and I stopped and was telling her that I used to live in the basement of her house and that was why we were running by. Just as I started to run ahead her husband stepped out and  said he would love to hear the story sometime because he had heard people used to live in the basement. He had a heavy accent which I would guess was Eastern European and I then realized why his wife was looking at me so strangely. I don't think she understood a word I was saying and just thought some weirdo was pointing at her house and yakking about something.

 So anyway after everyone had gone by the house I took off at tempo pace to try and catch back up to the front of the group making sure to speak to everyone as I ran by. Once we returned to the store I did a little show and tell with my first real pair of running shoes which I got for Christmas in 1977, a pair of Nike waffle Trainers. I also had some bibs and race info from several of my first races in 1978 and a couple of t-shirts including the one I wore from the 1st Great Raleigh Road Race of June 1978. Among the archives were newsletters form 1978 for the North Carolina Track Club, The 1981 North Carolina Roadrunners Club and 1982 Cary Express Track Club. I even brought out the plaque and newspaper article from the one and only race I ever won, the 1987 Featherfest Turkey Trot 5k in Goldsboro.

  After the show and tell we shared a toast with some sparkling juice followed by some delicious cake and Yoohoo's ! Woohooo !

  5 years ago, before I was working at the store and before Facebook made it so easy to connect I celebrated 30 years with a run from Pullen Park which is on the loop with my very dear friends Karla, Jenn and Jerry. Here is a link to the post from that run which includes a little more of the history of how it started.  I'll not repeat it over in this post. I would like to say how thankful I am to still be able to run as well as I am now at 56 years of age after so many years. A lot of life happens in 35 years as you can imagine and many of you can relate so it really seems a miracle in so many ways that I have been fortunate enough to stay healthy over all these many years. And what is really amazing is that over half of my lifetime total of over 39,000 miles has occurred in the past 10 years. And after all that time and all those miles I am enjoying it as much and feel as passionate about running now more than ever.

 Here is another link with a bit more history.

 and here is a link to some pictures Baker took yesterday

  Thanks to Mike Zimmerman and Jon Baker for hosting this run and the cake and refreshments. And a big thanks to all that came out to support me and the many many friends and family that couldn't be there but had us in their thoughts.