John Conley continues to recover from flesh-eating bacteria

John Conley continues to recover from a case of flesh-eating bacteria that has affected his left leg. Photo courtesy John Conley
John Conley continues to recover from a case of flesh-eating bacteria that has affected his left leg. Photo courtesy John Conley

John Conley, former director of the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon, continues to recuperate from a case of necrotizing fasciitis, or flesh-eating bacteria, at a hospital in Hawaii.

Conley was diagnosed with the infection about two weeks ago. He underwent two surgeries to remove affected tissue, and remains at a hospital in Hilo. He says he’s still experiencing pain but getting stronger and able to tolerate more activity.

“The wound is pretty gnarly,” he wrote. “I got to see it yesterday and then had to avert my gaze. It looked like I stepped on a landmine. I lost a lot of blood and 7 percent of my skin surface area. The remaining tissue is healing well and I’m probably going to stay in Hilo for my skin grafts next month.”

John Conley, center, credits his fitness for helping him improve.
John Conley, shown here with his care team at Hilo Medical Center, credits his fitness for helping him improve.

The infection is mostly resolved and doctors have discontinued one of the three antibiotics he was taking.

“I’m definitely making progress!” he wrote. “I’m also really happy that I was in the best shape I’ve been in since 2013, so my overall fitness level has helped me through a traumatic surgery and a challenging recovery ahead.”

He adds that he’s making steady progress toward a full recovery. He and his wife Stacey appreciate the notes of support and love.

Yoga amid fossils? Try it at Texas Museum of Science and Technology

The Texas Museum of Science and Technology has launched a yoga program. Photo courtesy Texas Museum of Science and Technology
The Texas Museum of Science and Technology has launched a yoga program. Photo courtesy Texas Museum of Science and Technology

Tired of doing downward dogs in an ordinary studio?

The Texas Museum of Science and Technology in Cedar Park is launching a new yoga series that includes classes among fossils, in a planetarium and amid a physics exhibit.

The program, dubbed MuseOm, marks a collaboration between the museum and Trybe Yoga. It begins Friday, Aug. 5.

The yoga classes begin Friday, Aug. 5. Photo courtesy the Texas Museum of Science and Technology
The yoga classes begin Friday, Aug. 5. Photo courtesy the Texas Museum of Science and Technology

 

The classes will rotate monthly between three themes:

  • Ohms & Oms: One’s a unit of electrical resistance, the other is an energy-flowing yoga mantra. Together, they describe a yoga class held in the physics exhibit of the museum’s main gallery. It’s scheduled for August, November, February and May.
  • Stellar Asanas: The stars always shine in the museum’s planetarium, where this flow class will unfold in September, December, March and June.
  • Stretch of Time: Participants will move their mats through fossil-filled galleries depicting life on earth through the ages, ending with some relaxation in the planetarium. It’s scheduled for October, January, April and July.

Classes are scheduled for 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. the first and third Friday of each month. The first Friday class is designed for adults with children; the third Friday class is for ages 12 and up. (For fees, go here.)

The museum is located at 1220 Toro Grande Drive in Cedar Park.

Use the Butler Trail? Take this survey!

A bicyclist rides along the Butler Trail as the sun rises over Lady Bird Lake in July 2015.  RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN
A bicyclist rides along the Butler Trail as the sun rises over Lady Bird Lake in July 2015.
RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN

How do you use the Butler Trail around Lady Bird Lake?

The Trail Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to maintain and improve the popular running, bicycling and walking path, wants to know.

The organization has created a survey to help guide its future actions. The survey will be posted until Aug. 15 and includes questions on users’ proximity to the trail and type of activity for which it is used.

The survey is posted here and will be up until Aug. 15.

Early morning runners get in their exercise on the Roy and Ann Butler Hike and Trail as the sun rises on Lady Bird Lake in March 2016.  RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Early morning runners get in their exercise on the Roy and Ann Butler Hike and Trail as the sun rises on Lady Bird Lake in March 2016.
RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN

For more information about the Trail Foundation, go here.

Former marathon director John Conley recovering from flesh-eating bacteria in Hawaii

John Conley is recovering from necrotizing fasciitis at a hospital in Hilo, Hawaii. Family photo
John Conley is recovering from necrotizing fasciitis at a hospital in Hilo, Hawaii. Family photo

Long-time race director John Conley is fighting a case of necrotizing fasciitis at a Hawaii hospital.

Conley, who spent 19 years as race director of the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon and 20 years working with the 3M Half Marathon, was vacationing on the Big Island of Hawaii when he came down with the rare bacterial infection, also known as flesh-eating bacteria.

“For a guy whose leg looks like a shark attack, I’m really doing pretty well,” Conley said by phone Tuesday from Hilo Regional Medical Center in Hawaii, where he was recuperating after two surgeries to remove affected tissue.

Conley hopes to head back to Austin later this month. He'll need skin graft surgery. Family photo
Conley hopes to head back to Austin later this month. He’ll need skin graft surgery. Family photo

 

Doctors told him Tuesday that he may be discharged from the Hilo hospital by mid-August. He plans to return to Austin, where he’ll need skin grafts to cover wounds on his left leg.

Necrotizing fasciitis, a serious bacterial skin infection, spreads quickly and kills the body’s soft tissue, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since 2010, approximately 700 to 1,100 cases of necrotizing fasciitis caused by group A strep have occured each year in the United States, according to the agency.

Read the full story in Wednesday’s print and online editions of the Austin American-Statesman.

Rogue closing Cedar Park retail store; new training center to open

Rogue Running will consolidate its retail sales at the Pressler Street location. The Cedar park retail store is closing, but training programs will remain. RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Rogue Running will consolidate its retail sales at the Pressler Street location. The Cedar park retail store is closing, but training programs will remain. RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN

 

Rogue Running will close its Cedar Park retail store and move into a smaller, training-only facility in September, according to founder Steve Sisson.

“To be clear, we are definitely staying in Cedar Park and will be moving into a smaller, training-only facility in September, while consolidating our retail operations to our downtown location,” Sisson wrote in an email.

The move will allow Rogue to reduce its overhead and improve retail offering downtown, while continuing its training programs in Cedar Park, he wrote.

The new training facility will be located at 930 S. Bell Boulevard, Suite 104, about a half mile from the Brushy Creek Trail. An exact opening date has not been set.

The Cedar Park location of Rogue opened five years ago.

“Maintaining two small-format retail stores in the midst of the ever-growing world of online retail is challenging,” Sisson wrote. “The biggest reason for that is the level of inventory required in each location so that we can have your shoe in your size in the color you want at the exact time you need it.”

Customers have turned to online sites like Amazon and Zappos instead of buying at a brick and mortar store, he wrote.

“In today’s world, not a day goes by that a customer doesn’t walk in to use our fitting services only to walk out moments later to buy the shoe online or elsewhere under the guise of ‘I need to think about it.’ In our minds, that’s like walking into a restaurant to eat and paying for the food but leaving no tip,” he wrote.

Training programs in Austin and in Cedar Park are as big and strong as ever, he wrote.

“Our decision to close the Cedar Park retail location and open a training-only facility will allow us to concentrate on what we do best: Creating great running experiences and fostering a community in a world that needs more physical connections,” Sisson wrote.

The downtown Austin location of Rogue Running is at 410 Pressler Street.