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July 11, 2010

Running and Grooving

Filed under: My Running — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Carmel Papworth-Barnum @ 7:52 am
Carmel Papworth-Barnum

Just got back from a great T&F meet, the Western States Masters International Invitational in Davis, California. Mary Woo, Parker White and Liz Palmer, all competitors themselves, did a fab job putting on an athlete-friendly meet.

We rolled up Friday night and with the temps still in the 90′s, appreciated that there was plenty of iced water on hand. They scheduled the 3k for 8pm, perfect timing with the sun setting behind the stadium. A rock band was playing at the end of the home straight. I chilled out before my race listening to Tom Petty, The Doors, Bad Company, etc.

As there were only 2 women running I was grateful that the starter agreed to put us in with the men. I’ve never raced to music and it was a hoot. But what was the band thinking playing Jackson Browne’s “Running on Empty” in the first laps! Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Good” got me going in the back straight with the “go Johnny, go, go, go…”

Sheila Natho, visiting from Texas, and I ran with a group of guys the whole way. I finished with 11.16 and Sheila was only a stride back in 11.17. The next morning I was up early for the mile and there were 8 women starters so we had our own race. This pleased Race Director Mary Woo and there were some bad fast women on that start line. Midori Sperandeo W43 showed her class kicking away to win (5:12.00) from Mary Coordt W41 (5:16.63) and Jaymee Marty W42 (5:17.40). Jaymee won the 400 an hour later and blogs about her races here.

My training mate Jeff Mann blitzed a large field in the men’s mile, leading from gun to tape in 4:39.01. My hubby Larry Barnum had two good races and head to head battles with Matt Pruitt who has just moved up to Larry’s age group (M65). Matt won the 200 and Larry won the 400.

The meet continues today. Click here for full results.

With their largest field (over 220 competitors) the Western States is growing strong. It’s a perfect lead in to the USTAF Masters nationals and with the 2011 Worlds Masters in Sacramento should have a big turnout next year. Mary is looking for a major sponsor and already has some generous donors. They should break even this year and the long term goal is to make a profit to assist local children’s charities.

Putting on a track meet is a huge commitment of time and effort, so a big thanks to Mary, Liz, Parker and the rest of your team!

Band playing at the Western States Masters Invitational

Band playing at the Western States Masters Invitational

October 16, 2009

Larry’s Silver

Filed under: My Running — Tags: , — Carmel Papworth-Barnum @ 9:44 pm
Carmel Papworth-Barnum

Larry and I are heading to the warm up track to get ready for his 400 on Friday morning. This guy stops us and asks, “Are you Larry Barnum?” He was a training partner of Aussie and 2009 M65 400 World Champ (from Lahti) Colin Buyers. Colin had meniscus surgery last week so couldn’t make it to Sydney. He wanted to send his best to Larry and was sorry that they wouldn’t be racing. Had to smile. Track is wonderful.

Larry ran a great 400 getting the silver. I could see his legs run out of steam in the straight. Of course I was hoping and wishing that he could hang on. But Aussie Roy Fearnall charged in the last 50 to get the gold. Canadian Doug Renwick took the bronze. Roy was so happy. After 10 years of injury and problems Roy had put together a good year of training. As we Aussies say, “Good onya Roy”.

Standing around after the medal ceremony this bloke is writing down Larry’s competition number. He wants Larry to run in his relay team. You’re kidding me. No way. My man’s only got so many races left in those legs. I’m sure the guy thought Larry’s wife is way too pushy. But he got the idea and crossed out Larry’s name quick smart.

I couldn’t stop Larry from running the 200 heats two hours later. Didn’t really try. After all you can only push your luck so far. He qualified so it’s a 200 final on Sunday if his knee holds up. Larry said all the guys in his heat had had knee surgery in some shape or form. So there was plenty of advice and knee surgery talk in the call room. I guess that’s masters track!

Larry, Roy & Doug M65 400

Larry, Roy & Doug M60 400

Language Problems

Filed under: My Running — Tags: , , , , — Carmel Papworth-Barnum @ 2:12 pm
Carmel Papworth-Barnum

Thursday was a big day. Larry had heats of the 400 and my 5k. Damn wind was blowing hard again. Larry warmed up with his knee brace, “the bionic knee” as I like to call it. It takes the pressure of his bone on bone but it sure looks awkward. I’m amazed he can run with it. Bill Collins spotted Larry in it and said, “Our prayers are with you”.

Sans the brace Larry looked smooth as his won his 400 heat. He didn’t feel that confident about getting around in one piece so it was relief. Lined up at first aid for ice and Phil Raschker told us “just be aggressive and get it”. Phil’s should know. I’ve seen her icing after each event, trying to hold her body together.

The 5k’s were out at the warm up track not the main stadium. It was good to hear that the events were running on time. Was approached by my Russian competitor, Irina Lyamina as I warmed up. Irina had won bronze in our 1500 and had a seed time of 18.30. In broken English (but better than my Russian) she asked if the 5k was really at this track. I assured her it was. We saw each other again in the women’s toilets and I told her that it was time to go to the call room. Then Irina asked, “What time will you run?” Around 19, what about you? Irina just smiled and feigned a language problem. I was laughing to myself as we headed to the call room. The woman was foxing. Let the race begin.

13 starters on the W40 5k race line. Irina was slapping her face hard, then her legs as we got last minute instructions. Gun off and it was a tight group running together. I settled in and tucked out of the wind. As the laps went by the main group got smaller. Larry’s yelling, “Good position.” Irina’s coach or partner is barking instructions and sounded pretty demanding. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t saying, “relax and you look good”. Nancy Newsome had plenty of support from her family. “Go Mum and you can do it” was the chant from her 3 boys.

Main pack was down to five and I’m still there. With a mile to go my friend Julie Norney takes the lead just like she did in the 1500. Julie surges and I drop off the back. So it’s now a race of four. I’m working hard to get back on but they pull further away. Irina takes the lead and is a real fight to the finish. Aussie Lisa Harrison (19:00.2) runs over Irina (19:02.5) in the last few strides. Nancy gets the bronze in 19:05.7 and brave Julie has to settle for 4th again (19:08.8).

I come across the line in 5th in 19.40. Pretty good effort but of course I can’t help wondering. Should’ve, could’ve, would’ve…. But loved being out there and enjoyed hanging with the girls after the race. It’s a shame I don’t speak any Russian, as I’d have liked to chat with Irina. But she was already doing her warm down and wasn’t joining in the post-race banter.

The only other non Aussie was South African Heather Kappmeier winner of the 8k cross country. Heather has run 10 Comrades (90k) so 5k was a little short for her although she set the early pace. She was hoping to run sub 20 but as they pushed us out to finish in lane 4 Heather just missed it with her 20:00.6. Everyone’s got a story. Who knows I might discover Irina’s one day.

September 18, 2009

Rollercoaster Ride

Filed under: My Running — Tags: , — Carmel Papworth-Barnum @ 12:26 pm
Carmel Papworth-Barnum

It’s been 2 weeks since Larry’s knee arthroscopic surgery. We’ve rolled with painkillers, icing, resting, recovering, gentle exercises and then back on the stationery bike. All the while wondering if the clean up would do the trick and get him running again.

This week Larry picked up his knee brace. He looks like the bionic man with this black and blue contraption that starts mid thigh and finishes on his shin. It’s supposed to take pressure off the inside of his knee, which is now bone on bone and arthritic. The guy who designed and fitted his knee orthotic normally works with skiers. Larry is his first runner. When I saw it strapped on I’m thinking no way you can run in that. It’s so cumbersome.

But I know my man he’s gonna give it his best shot. It was straight to the track for a test drive. Walking felt awkward. Larry had to focus on not favoring his braced left leg. Striding was weird and painful. Hey he’s used to pain, it’s being going on for a year now. It started to feel ok.

Larry comes home smiling after running a few 100’s and 200’s. He hits a 14 (100) and 30 second (200). Wow after months of no running. We hug and high five. This brace might just work.

Then the pain returns, back to nights of interrupted sleep. Another let down. Was it too soon? Does he need more time off? Maybe the surgery and brace weren’t the silver bullet. It’s frustrating. We’re still searching for answers.

September 4, 2009

Love that Heals

Filed under: My Running — Tags: , — Carmel Papworth-Barnum @ 9:40 pm
Carmel Papworth-Barnum

It’s been a long day. Took Larry in for knee surgery at 6.30am. We’ve had a summer of ups and downs. Misdiagnosis, visits to specialists all the while wondering if Larry will run again. Too early to tell if today’s surgery will move us forward. It was the least invasive option, removal and cleanup of some of Larry’s meniscus. Total knee replacement, which means the end of his running career, is what 2 docs recommended. So like true runners we kept searching for another solution.

My Gran had this saying “If everyone threw their problems in a bucket, they’d be scrambling to get their own back”. Ain’t this the truth. Just read Ken Stone’s blog and the news of Harold Morioka’s heart surgery. Perhaps I’m tired or overly emotional as I started crying. Harold sent a message to friends saying, ” What else they do will depend on what they see when they enter my heart. They will probably find that my heart is filled with friends. Don’t take them out!”

At the Nationals this June we received so much support and advice from our masters friends wishing and wanting a solution for Larry’s knee. Today family and friends called and emailed. If love is the answer, which I believe it is, both Larry and Harold will be back running soon.

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