Liza Howard

Liza Howard

Liza Howard is a national champion runner with multiple records in distances ranging from marathons to 100 mile trail races.

June 2011
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Bad news and excellent news

LizaLiza

So me and the “Rebound Air Walker Low Top” will be together for the next five weeks.  That big oval at the top is a pump.  Makes me feel like I’m wearing these:

And the sports medicine podiatrist says if I run Western States it’s likely I’ll make the fracture far worse and probably not run again for the rest of the season.  So, yeah, that sounds pretty foolish.  He said I could probably run Leadville if things go well.  A friend wrote me that “This is one of those reminders that you better damn well like the journey because you may or may not make it to the desired destination.”  Yup.  There’s no way I would risk not being able to run for the rest of the year for this particular race.  It’s about the running, not the racing.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a bit heartbroken.  In the end, I  didn’t care a lick about how I would have placed; I just wanted to finally run the darn course and be part of the grand spectacle.  Oh well.  Maybe third time’s the charm.  I’m still going to make the trip.  My pacers, Chris and Brian, and I will put ourselves to good use.

So now for the excellent news.  The podiatrist said I could aqua jog or use an Alter G treadmill.  The aqua jogging is obviously not excellent.  And the Alter G is a $75,000 piece of equipment.

It pressurizes the air around you, which can decrease your weight by up to 80%.  Here’s a great piece about the Alter-G by Peter Sagal of NPR “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” fame.  And here’s the whacky thing: my local YMCA has one.  Of course it’s crazy expensive to use.  ($680 for 20 sessions.)  So I wrote the YMCA a letter and asked if they might waive that fee.  (In point of fact, I offered to trade all sorts of teaching for that waived fee.)  AND THEY AGREED!  Never hurts to ask indeed.  So tomorrow morning I will be running for two hours on the Alter-G.  I cannot believe my good fortune.   The kind fellow who rules the Alter-G told me very few people actually use the thing.  (I believe he said four.)  And he said I could book my training times for the rest of the month.  I tried not sound too impassioned as I strung together thank yous.  I did manage to avoid saying, “You’ve saved my life.”

I am stuffed with all sorts of Vitamin D info, but it’s very late, so I’ll save it for the morning.  We all went bowling tonight.  It was a work committment for Eliot.  There was cuteness — and beer.

Comments 12
  • John Howard, Jr.
    Posted on

    John Howard, Jr. John Howard, Jr.

    Reply Author

    This sounds like the greatest news. Never heard of such technology. It sounds like astronaut stuff.
    So does this mean you stand a good chance of running in Ireland?


    • lizahoward
      Posted on

      lizahoward lizahoward

      Reply Author

      Oh yes! (I sold my soul to some leprechauns and they assured me it’d be fine.) I think there is some relationship between the amount of money you spend traveling to a race and the likelihood you’re going to be injured.


  • footfeathers
    Posted on

    footfeathers footfeathers

    Reply Author

    At least you know the details and duration. It makes it so much more settling. You should ask for another pump boot, so you’re balanced (and walking funnier). Looking forward to lining up with you at Leadville, so I can say, “Oh, the 1st place female for the second year, yeah, we were chatting at the start line.”
    The weeks will go quickly. Be smart.


    • lizahoward
      Posted on

      lizahoward lizahoward

      Reply Author

      I’d be so much taller with a second boot too — like 5’3 or something. I wish it was more sign-able. I could get some good autographs at WS.
      Very much looking forward to lining up with you at Leadville.


  • olga
    Posted on

    olga olga

    Reply Author

    Excellent news on the G-TM indeed. I think I am sadder for you not going to WS than you are:) Leadville just doesn’t strike my fancy. But I am so very glad you can run in a meantime. Beats the other option. I’ve been there.


    • lizahoward
      Posted on

      lizahoward lizahoward

      Reply Author

      Thanks Olga. I’m pretty sad, I just can’t wallow in it anymore. Eliot will disown me and there’s just not enough ice cream in San Antonio.


  • Bryon Powell
    Posted on

    Bryon Powell Bryon Powell

    Reply Author

    Heal up quick, Liza! Glad I’ll get to see you in California anyway. 🙂


    • lizahoward
      Posted on

      lizahoward lizahoward

      Reply Author

      Thanks and same! Let me know if I can be of any use to you out there.


  • mtnrunner2
    Posted on

    mtnrunner2 mtnrunner2

    Reply Author

    Cool technology; I had no idea the Alter G existed. You’re pretty lucky to have that available.

    Five weeks seems like forever but it will be gone before you can say “Roll out!”


    • lizahoward
      Posted on

      lizahoward lizahoward

      Reply Author

      I feel unbelievably lucky every time I step onto that contraption. It needs a better name though — or at least a shorter one since I’m going to be raving about it all the time. AG? G?
      And thank you for the link to “Roll out!” 😉 I’m still Transformer illiterate. I mean, I watched hours of Transformers cartoons when I was little, but that was a century or so ago.


  • Trimble
    Posted on

    Trimble Trimble

    Reply Author

    I hope you are tall enough to run in the alter-G! It may just suck your little frame right up- be careful!
    🙂 glad to hear the news- at least there is hope in sight!


    • lizahoward
      Posted on

      lizahoward lizahoward

      Reply Author

      Suck up my little frame? Pot calling the kettle black? And I think it would actually shoot me towards the ceiling if the zippers failed.