Friday, May 9, 2008

RUR Injured Reserve...or....The Trouble with Charlie

RURs Valliant and Charlie Andrews after completing the Tuckahoe 10-Mile loop. Is this where things began to go wrong for Charlie?

If you want to read about the latest RUR run--the quest for Rise Up Coffee--I encourage you to scroll below and check out Landy's excellent report. I am going to take a different tack here and focus on one of those running stories that runners aren't supposed to talk about...

Soon after getting our morning runs going, I ran into Charlie at the Avalon, who seemed very interested in running early in the morning and in trail running. What's more, this conversation happened on a Saturday night, and come Tuesday morning, sure enough, Charlie showed up! And not only did he show up--he came to bear and even suggested a couple 4 a.m. starts. Landy and I have started runs in the 3's (much to Joel's considerable chagrin), but Charlie rolled out smiling and with perfect hair that early ;)

Charlie had been regularly running 3-5 miles a few times a week in the afternoons. He came out a few times, picked up the pace with us, then stepped right up to the Tuckahoe 10-mile challenge, and nailed it, seemingly without much effort. He made it to one or two more runs after that then some pain started in his shin. He hoped it would roll out on its own and when it didn't he got it checked out: stress fracture, out for 6 weeks or so. Dude, that sucks.

A tough blow for Charlie, and for the group, as his energy and humor are missed in the mornings and during our more substantial weekend adventures and races. Get rested and back soon, Charlie - looking forward to running again...

At least that's what we thought, or what we were told. Then the reports and sightings began. "Man, did you see Charlie at the Y? I thought he was busted up?" "Yo, what was Charlie doing at Cross Courts?" "Dude, I heard Charlie is working out at Curves!"

They were seemingly random at first, and we thought harmless. Then a pattern began. Co-workers began seeing boxes of vintage L.A. Gear leg warmers and aerobics shoes being delivered. Charlie's son was heard singing Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," after riding in the car with him. Then it happened: an anonymous RUR blog reader sent us this photo:

It had to be a joke, right? Our boy Charlie couldn't be busting out an aerobics step class instead of running mornings with us. And where was he keeping that hair? Talk began to get serious. Then he went from taking classes to teaching them. And from teaching them to home video. We couldn't believe it either. I'm still scared to order, "Disco Sweat."

We hope that this is just Charlie's means of coping with an injury. A temporary setback. We're still willing to welcome him back to the ranks, if he'll just shoot straight with us. We can take it. And let this serve as a warning to runners and trail runners nursing an injury and waiting to get back to more serious training: 1980's aerobics is not an alternative to trail running.

Get back out here soon, Charlie...I'd hate to see where you end up next ;)

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