Saturday, June 21, 2008


When life deals you blowdowns, make firewood.
Lemons.... make lemonade.
Scraps.... make quilts.

So I'm no longer training for SavageMan because if I don't get this Achilles issue cleared up, I won't be hiking the Appalachian Trail next year. Actually I'd be out of SavageMan anyway even if I kept training, because I don't think my tendons would let me finish training.

This gives me a couple hours a day of time I didn't have before. Time is money.

So I'm working more at the campground. I'm now on Pool Maintenance. This is easy, peaceful work, running a water-vacuum over the bottom of the pool sucking up leaves etc.; putting clear drops in a test tube of clear water and watching it turn a pretty pink or yellow to indicate the chemical balance; and sweeping up leaves and grass.

What I do now, here at Candy Hill:

Clean bath-houses, laundry room, game room, club lounge, trolley (for ferrying groups around town, a fun thing), and anything else that needs cleaning; tend front gate and welcome guests during busy check-in periods; care for the managers' 2-yr-old son; clean and maintain the pool and its deck; and do grounds and yard work.
In a nutshell, my job is to make this the cleanest, neatest campgound you'll ever stay at. And friendliest, if you stop and talk to me :-) This is a great place to work. Training for a humdinger triathlon? They plan my schedule around my training (or let me schedule myself.) Need the race weekend off? You go, girlfriend. Want more hours? Hey, we'd love someone on regular pool maintenance.

With the pool added to my responsibilities, I have one more skill on my resume, and I can save for a down sleeping bag, SmartWool socks and hiking apparel, even a little down pillow (I saw one in the outfitter's, $40 and sooooo cushy and it compresses to nothing in a backpack.)
My buggered-up tendons have killed SavageMan for me but have made other things possible.


ShirleyPerly said...

Ellie, you are the ever optimist! I love your attitude. Have you heard about Steve in a Speedo's experiences with ART? He also had some major anchilles tendon issues recently and it seemed to have been able to him get to the start line of Grandma's Marathon today.

Have fun pool cleaning. I need to do mine too, come to think of it!

Flo said...

When one door closes a window opens. Love your positive attitude.

I was going to recommend ART (Active Release Therapy) also. I had it done for my plantar, IT band, and shoulder. It is amazing. They move the muscle/tendon while applying a lot of pressure and it helps break up old scar tissue. If the damage is pretty bad it can be unbelievably painful and take a couple of sessions, but once it heals it feels great. If you can find someone in your area who does it you should give it a try.

Anne said...

Great attitude. And we once had a pool and I agree: cleaning it can be therapeutic.

As for the achilles, right around this year mine started aching and I ignored it until one afternoon I couldn't. Turned out I had microtears and was about two weeks away from a severed tendon, which means you can never run. So, you are doing the right thing there too.

I swear, I'm already excited to read about your AT adventures and it's still awhile away.

Anne said...

Eeks. I should really make sure of the preview function.

I meant right around this time last year my achilles problems began. Maybe my brain needs a good vacuume to suck up the dead leaves.

bunnygirl said...

Man, that pool looks good! I did a long run in the summer heat and it'll take another few hours to not want to throw myself into every bit of water I see!

Emily, Maggie, and Angel said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! It is not apparent at all from my blog, but I thru-hiked the AT (southbound) in 1998. I was not an athlete at all so it took 6.5 months ;) I also hiked the southern 1000 miles of the PCT (Mexican border to Toulomne Meadows) in 2000. I then moved to Colorado and have done lots of backpacking here but no long hikes. This summer one of my friends who hiked the AT with me (we were just out of college) will be out here and we will probably spend a few weeks either on the Colorado trail or the CDT. Until then I am totally preoccupied with the animals! I am working on a master's in special education to be a teacher of the visually impaired (goes along with the guide dog thing!) but currently teach high school chemistry. So yes, it does seem that we are kindred spirits! I will have to read more of your blog and fantasize about another long hike. I'll let you do the marathons though (I have done 2 half marathons and am now certain that I hate running!).

Marshamlow said...

Hi thanks for stopping by my blog. My husband and I plan to through hike the AT when our four year old is grown. She will actually be five in a couple of weeks so that is 13 years to train.

I hope your achilles heel feels better soon. Mine tends to give me trouble and it seems to take forever to heal.

I am exicited to meet you and read about your adventures.

Jade Lady said...

Ellie - sorry to hear that your achilles heel has been bothering you. Good call to relinquish Savageman. I wouldn't be doing any trainingn for races with injuries like that. Best to spend the time to heal up (no pun intended).

So glad to hera that the campground is so flexible with your schedule!