Vegan Ultra Runner

Can a middle aged, slighty overweight smoker run 50 miles…Did I mention I was vegan?

Running with Zuzu

Here’s 3 out of 4. It’s like pulling teeth to get Jesse in a picture.

I finally got to run today. I’ve been sidelined for the last week due to pain in the ball of my foot. More on that later. Today I got to get out there with my running partner Zuzu. For those of you that don’t know me you might think Zuzu is my dog. I do have a black Lab mix named Callie who loves to go running. As a matter of fact, if she sees me leave with my running hat on, she howls like some old coon dog untill I get back. But no, Zuzu’s not my dog, she’s my two-year-old daughter.
Zuzu’s name is actually Zoey. I tend to just call her “God’s little sense of humor”, mainly because everyone said that “Oops” was an inappropriate name for a girl. I mean, we are in our forties and surprises do happen. My other daughter came up with “Zuzu” from “Zuzu’s Petals” in It’s a Wonderful Life. So when she’s being sweet, it’s Zuzu Petal. If she’s in a playful mood then it’s Zuzu Monkey and if she’s mad then it’s Zuzu Monster. If you hang out for about half an hour, you will get to meet all three of them.
Now Zuzu is not my only child. I have three other kids, but they aren’t around during the day. My oldest, Jesse (20) , doesn’t live with us. He just started EMT school and tends to be pretty busy. Rachel (13) is in seventh grade and Parker (9) is in fourth. My wife Janet (age not spoke of) is a teacher, so on the week days they are all gone. I’m pretty lucky because I work for 24 hours and then I’m of for 48. During my 48 hours off, Zuzu stays with me and we have a pretty set routine. Either we’re out running, or we are watching Dino Dan….endlessly!
If you don’t have small children, then you are probably lucky enough to have never set eyes on this kid named Dan. Dan is this 9 year-old boy who apparently is not only delusional, but suffers from hallucinations. Dan sees dinosaurs all over his town, and nobody seems worried that he is the only one that sees them. This all seems to stem from the fact that his dad, a paleontologist, has abandoned Dan’s family. His mother says that he is away at a”paleontologist seminar”, but it’s been 8 episodes and we haven’t seen him yet.  Apparently his friends and teachers feel so bad that they let him live this fantasy. Well, at least that’s how I interpret the show. Zuzu sees it a bit differently. This is her favorite show, and so we watch…and watch…and watch some more.
So, I guess that since this blog is about running, I should probably get this ship back on course. As I mentioned, I haven’t been able to run for the last week due to metatarsalgia. Don’t worry, I’m an RN and I can’t say it either. Basically, it’s pain in the metatarsal heads, better known as the balls of your feet. It’s probably caused by either doing too much, too soon, or too many road miles in minimal shoes. I love my Merrell Trail Gloves, but I’ll have to save them just for trail runs. After a week worth of rest, My foot was feeling pretty good today. I taped it up with a mole skin pad and some Kinesio tape and it did alright. The secret is to place the pad just behind where it hurts, and not directly over the tender area.
Zuzu kicked back in her stroller, and we set off for an easy 5 miler through the neighborhood. Where I run is usually determined by whether she is with me or not. If we’re running together, then we run either in the park or in the neighborhood. I don’t trust drivers enough to get her out on the main roads. If I’m by myself, then I will either go run the University of South Alabama trail system, or I’ll just take off down the road. For any one in the Mobile, Alabama area that is interested in trail running, I highly recommend the trails at South. The local mountain bike group does a wonderful job maintaining them.
Now if you have stuck with me hoping for some exciting story about getting chased by wooly mammoths, wild baboons or even some of those feisty slugs we have, then this is where you will probably be mad. It was a nice run, but nothing exciting. Zuzu fell asleep within the first 5 minutes, although she did occasionally wake up and yell “Dino Dan” for no reason. The temperature was fairly cool, not like the 95 degree and 150% humidity days we had last month. My feet and legs felt pretty good after a week off, and I idled a little closer to my 50 miler. Tomorrow I’m off to the trails where I hear that a band of vicious koala bears have been heckling the local mountain bikers. Stay tuned.
For anyone interested in following my progress, I’ll post my Garmin GPS data on my Training Log page.

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