Friday, September 23, 2011

Puffer Butte Huff and Puff

Last Saturday I participated in a 4.6-mile trail run against the advice of my ENT doctor.

The back story: I've been struggling with what to do with myself these days.  I've had two septoplasties in the past two months, but I haven't wanted to give up exercising altogether. 
Pic from my first surgery
Technically I am not supposed to run and engage in activities where blood rushes up into my head (and swollen nasal capillaries/tissues), but it has felt like a long recovery already, and I am ready to feel like me again.

So, as I was putting on my running shorts on the morning of the Puffer Butte Huff and Puff - a 5-mile trail race in Fields Spring State Park - I worried that I would regret my decision to ignore my doctor's advice.  "I'll just walk most of it," I told myself; and this made me feel better.  At least temporarily.

Before the race I warmed up a bit in the lodge and made small-talk next to the fire.  Then I lined up in the back of the smallish pack of people gathered for a picture at the starting line.
63 runners participated
The gun went off, and I started a slow jog that I maintained for nearly the whole race.  My plan to walk was destroyed when I realize that there was only one person (who was my mom's age) behind me.  I kept about a 13-minute pace, which isn't "race fast," but it pushed me to my limit that day.

The last mile of the trail was the best, by far.  It was a single-track dirt trail, and (because of my pace and the size of the race) I was the only one on it.  I wish I had pictures to show you.  Even though my nose was hurting me pretty bad, I remember enjoying myself on that path.

I came in at 1:01:08 and got a 3rd place age group ribbon.  Both of these are kinda funny since the website later showed that the 5-miler was actually 4.6 miles, and the list of runners shows me as 9th in my age group.  Oh well. :)
I was feeling pretty miserable at this point.
Smiling for the camera - post ice and pain killers
As always, I am glad to have participated. 


P.S. This is one of THE BEST-marked courses I have ever seen.  Thanks to Race Directors Jennifer and Shaun for showing us the way.


  1. I've had surgery for a deviated septum and broken nose, so I feel your pain. Good for you on going out and getting some fresh air. Even if it was painful.

  2. You're tougher than a petrified cookie.