Dopey on the road… again.

Greetings from “Sin City”! Yep, we are in Las Vegas getting ready for the Rock “n” Roll Half Marathon (and 5k) on November 11th & 12th. Got here a little early to go see Elton John at Caesar’s Palace… an incredible show by the way!

Lloyd and Sandy at Elton John
Ready to “Crocodile Rock!”

Once again, we’ve taken our Dopey show on the road.

Week 18 was a little hectic preparing for a month-long road trip, not to mention my beloved Astros being in the World Series (my heart is racing even thinking about it now). Throw in a trip to the podiatrist, and it’s a wonder we got any of our workouts in. We did, however, manage to get a 1-hour run in on Wednesday, a gym workout (while watching the Astros) our first day on the road, and a better late than never 6-mile run in on Monday (our Saturday long run). All things considered, the week went well.

In case you were wondering, my trip to the podiatrist was to address a couple issues, both on my left foot. A couple years ago I was diagnosed with Morton’s Neuroma in the area of my 4th toe. I have had a corticosteroid injection in the affected area once before and got some relief, so I thought I would try it again since I have several longer training runs and races coming up.

The second issue is that I have developed a large and painful calloused area on the ball of my foot, under the second toe. It’s bothered me for several months, but I got a pretty bad blister under it after running the Plano and Mother Road half marathons, so I thought it would be a good idea to have it checked out. Come to find out, the cause is a deformity (probably since birth) in my first metatarsal, causing it to be “higher” than the second metatarsal. Basically what this means is that the smaller joint of my second toe is taking the impact that the larger, big toe joint should be absorbing. This results in the pain and callousness. The Dr. also told me that I have lost some of the fat pad on the ball of my foot possibly due to my weight loss, age or other factors, one of which could be an adverse effect of corticosteroid injections for Morton’s Neuroma… damned if you do. Either way, the course of treatment is some additional padding in the arch/ball of my foot, and possibly a custom orthotic in the future. I’ve completed a couple runs with various combinations of padding, with mixed results. It’s a work in progress.

Lloyd and Sandy Running on Route 66 in Williams, Arizona
Another Run on Route 66!

Our week 19 fun started a day late, on Wednesday with an afternoon run in Williams, AZ. We were distracted by the promise of pie from Pine Country Restaurant, so we kept this one short.

Fatman Tip: it’s never a bad thing to end your run at a pie shop!

Calories don't count outside your zip code
Sound advice

We got back on schedule with our 45-minute run on Thursday, our first day in Las Vegas.

Our 8.5 mile Saturday walk was blown away by high winds, so we reset on Sunday and did an awesome 8-mile hike on the Hoover Dam Historic Railroad Trail. This is another rails to trails project and it did not disappoint.

Hoover Dam Historic Railroad Trail
I love tunnels!

The highlights included 5 tunnels, and panoramic views of Lake Mead, not to mention a walk across Hoover Dam! Of course, a stop at Chilly Jilly’s for Dole Whip after a great hike is an unexpected but welcome treat. (Is there a trend developing here?)

Dole Whip at Chilly Jilly's
It’s NOT just at Disney!

Which brings us to long run day. I’ve been looking at that “20 Miles” on our schedule for several weeks. After my physical struggles on our last long run (17 miles), I have been looking with equal parts trepidation and excitement. Trepidation for obvious reasons, and excitement for the possibility of redemption.

Once again, being away from home added the extra element of planning a long run in an area you are totally unfamiliar with.  We inquired at the local running store, asked for recommendations from friends on Facebook, and of course looked at routes on the various running apps. We eventually decided on the 14-mile Clark County Wetlands Park Trail, which was conveniently located about 3.5 miles from the RV Resort we are staying at (I’ve become a LOT better at math since becoming a runner!). The idea of wetlands in the Mojave Desert was intriguing to me, and although most of this trail was through desert terrain, there was indeed a wetlands area in the middle, complete with numerous species of waterfowl.

Clark County Wetlands Park Trail
An Oasis?

I am happy to report that I made it through this run/walk (20.53 miles in total) with no physical ailments like in my last long run. Obviously Sandy and I were both tired at the end, but neither of us had any major difficulties, at least none that could not be considered expected on a 20-mile run. We’ll call it a success!

Lloyd and Sandy at Las Vegas RV Resort
We did it!

So ends this installment of my Dopey Challenge Training saga. I’ll leave you with this thought… no matter how bad you want to quit, don’t. There is no pain worse than that of knowing you let yourself down.

Stay Dopey, my friends!