The email that ensued was beyond anything I could have dreamed of. He was starting a project about vision loss among ultra runners and it turns out my qualifications were exactly what he was looking for. How many ophthalmology MD, PhDs want to do research in ultra marathoners? It was as if he had made the whole study up on the spot to make me happy (no no, he didn't do that). He sent me a protocol draft and suddenly he is okay with me taking the lead role in the project with him as an advisor. And there is even an ultrarunner optometrist, Kim, who will be helping with the project.
So I'm going to Squaw Valley (and then to Auburn) this June! Not as a runner, but as a physician and researcher. And if you are going to be running (Amy Sproston, Ashley Nordell, OTHERS...???) I hope you participate in our project and then you can have your vision, corneas and eye pressure measured by yours truly.
The greatest part is SR is thrilled. I'm going to be spending time at UC-Davis, getting to know the people in the PM&R department and hopefully taking steps to find a residency spot. Dr. Hoffman has introduced me to the residency director and others - suddenly I have contacts! If I don't do residency there, at least I can gain experience and perhaps letters. Although SR is already salivating at the thought of living near the Sierra Nevadas.
Soon I will be posting a link to our questionnaire for all ultra runners on this website - so I hope you take time to fill it out if you have experienced visual difficulties/impairment during an ultra. Previously I had only heard of hallucinations, but I trust Dr. Hoffman when he says it is a real phenomenon that happens year after year and sometimes prohibits people from finishing.
It feels like a job, it is very hard and I love it. AND my injury seems to get better every time I run. Finally I think I am really over the hump. And it seems all of this fast-paced running (with low mileage) is forcing me into a good running position. Or at least one that doesn't exacerbate my injury.
Mon: recovery (swim + bike + core)
Tues: 55 min - 7.5 miles/12km + body vive + home yoga
Wed: 13.1 miles/21.1 km in 1:49:44 (with Nicolas Feltsen - these days I defnitely prefer company on my runs), brief bike, home yoga
Thurs: 50 min: 10.9 km/6.77 miles, CX worx, body flow
So far I have followed Ole's plan exactly.
Tomorrow is a rest day.
My legs are feeling toned and tired. I feel like if I had to run tomorrow I couldn't - and that's probably how I should feel. It may be coach Ole does indeed know what he is doing.
|Wednesday - me, Nicolas, Annette & Malene (ever adorning the flawless hedge)|
Coach Ole looked at my video from the track and said I needed to actively lift my foot as soon as it hit the ground. He sent me some videos about pose running technique. I feel like I tend to have more of a pose running style the faster I run. Steve Q wrote a good blog post about that topic. And maybe the more years you run fast in minimal shoes/no shoes, the more likely you are to develop this technique over time.
So I'm thinking in a couple of months I'll have Triunesh Dibaba's running style. See here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTI5cuIWGcg (she ran barefoot as a girl in Ethiopia and I think you can tell - watch that butt kick!! Bet you'll get goosebumps!)
I don't like it right now. It has played such a central role in my life for as long as I can remember and I have no desire to listen to it. hrmph