Friday, June 22, 2012

Life Happens....

I have waited a long time to write this post. Mostly for good reason. There have been many, almost too many, life changing events happening in the past several months. There just has not been to motivation to do it. However, I really must give you an update. That countdown clock has been running and some people have been watching it.

It is with some, but not a lot, of regret that I must say that Death Valley Express III is postponed. I thought long and hard about this. The fact remains, that I might have been able to get out there, but it likely would not have been good. Several months ago I started the process of ending a 15 year job to start a very new and different one in a different city. That included selling a house and finding and buying a new one,  plus packing up and moving. My bad back also started to give me extreme trouble. Also. I had surgery for a bad plantar fascia. That went extremely well, bye-the-way. But, it was just one more thing. 

With all that, I declared I would not be able to train properly for DV Express III. It has been officially postponed until 2013.

Last day at Caltech
My new backyard in the Mojave desert. It could not be better.
First new neighbor to stop by. Friendly place. His name is Gopher, Gopher Snake.

Now, the real issue has become my back. No amount of training will change this. Because I started feeling weakness in my legs, my spine surgeon requested a quick MRI. We found that my ruptured disk has completely deteriorated. I have virtually no space between vertebrae. To make matters worse, the adjacent disk is also gone. This much was not expected. I went under a general and received nine injections of steroids to relieve the pain. It helped, but not like it has before.

Surgery is now required. There is no longer a choice. My surgeon and my internist are very concerned I will do real nerve damage without it. It is no longer about just suffering and enduring pain. We are talking bad stuff here.

A cut from my MRI. The one of the bad disks is pretty obvious.

To help make sure I will have full function and can run, the surgery will be a double fusion with replacement disks. This requires two surgeons, entry through my back to apply the brace, roll me over, and entry through my front to insert the disks. Six hours with an hour to turn me over, at least three days in the hospital, more than two weeks initial recovery, and months until full recovery. 

This will all happen on July 6th, 2012.

The good news is that I will run again! I will run again without pain, or at least much minimized pain. That will make it all more than worthwhile. I can't wait!!!

So, watch this space for updates on the surgery and recovery. Death Valley Express III will then go off as planned for 2012 in 2013 -- and I will be running!


"Badwater" Bill
Acton, CA


  1. All good news, Bill. And, you know, with neighbors like that, I might just have to visit sometime :-)

  2. I am glad you have surgeons that say something other than "stop running."

    Nice kidneys ;-)

  3. Best wishes on a successful surgery and recovery, Bill! Love the new backyard...