Healthy Doses of Optimism

With four and a half months down since my partial knee replacement, I am finally starting to build up real miles.  The Zero Runner has been instrumental in helping me work my way back to this point, but there is just no substitute for running outside.

My doc said I could return to ‘normal’ activity at the 6 month mark.  Since the 6 month mark won’t be until August 20th, I am a bit ahead of schedule with my training.  Even so, running right now is far from comfortable and I find myself getting discouraged periodically.  The hip on my left side seems to be in a battle with the new knee on the right side.  This battle is really messing with my stride and I am unable to get into that ‘zone’ that all of us runners like to escape to.

And the pace…..ohhhh the pace……..sooooooo slow……soooooo frustrating.

Yesterday I decided to run a route that I have been running and see if I could pick it up a bit.  Just a little 3.4 miler to see what I could do.  It was a hot run.  It wasn’t fast by my past standards.  The average pace was 7:52 per mile.  Way off my pace from past years.

But…….

Strava showed that I was ‘trending faster’.  It was the fastest I’d run this year and the first time I had averaged a consistent string of sub 8 minute miles since before the surgery.

It reminded me that I need to practice what I preach.  I always tell everyone to ‘Stay optimistic!’  ‘Believe that it will happen and it will!’  ‘You will run again!’  This site is all about giving you support so that you can achieve your goals.  Now it’s my turn to hear those words and take them to heart.  Based on how I feel right now, I would understand why people might give up running after trying a few times after their hip replacements.  It just doesn’t feel right right now.

I picture this recovery period much like running through a long dark tunnel.  That light at the … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Knee Report

Hi everyone.  It’s been a while since I last reported.  The reason was……well…..I had nothing new to report. 🙂  I had my partial knee replacement surgery on February 20th and began the slow recovery process.  It has been a slow process.   I also learned that if I ever had to choose between a knee replacement and a hip replacement…….I would take the hip hands down.  For the first 2 months after my knee surgery, I battled a tingling pain in my calf and constant swelling of the knee.  I am sure it didn’t help that I had to travel a lot for work.  It also didn’t help that the track season started a little over a month after my surgery(I coach at the elementary level).  Oh, and then there was Bloomsday.  I had a lot to do for that as well.  The knee tolerated my constant busy-ness,  but the recovery ended up being slower than I expected.

I knew I wouldn’t be able to run the Bloomsday race this year.  At 2 and 1/2 months, my knee still was not ready for running that distance.  It was my first “miss” in 36 years.  There was a little voice in my head that was telling me to get out there and do it, but my lack of training and my inability to “run races for fun”, made me think better of it.  However, I did get to ride on the back of the media truck ahead of the elite runners.  Staring down the street at 40,000 plus runners was awe-inspiring.  Then, being able to watch the elites battle it out over the 12k course was ridiculously fun. It  was a great experience.

My Zero Runner has been good to me, and I was able to start using it at the 2 month mark.  Because there is zero impact when using the machine, there was no negative effect on my knee.  Starting back to training in the weeks leading up to my 3rd month was still hit and miss.  The lower leg was still a bit swollen so I had … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

It’s not you hip…..it’s knee

After 3 and 1/2 years of tolerating knee pain that was caused by a knee injury I sustained while playing hoops (I first mentioned it in this blog post and then again in this blog post), I finally took care of it.  Last Tuesday I had a partial knee replacement.  For the last year and a half, my running was pretty much limited to my Zero Runner.  Thank God for the Zero Runner.  It maintained my sanity by allowing me to keep my miles up when running outside was becoming less and less of an option.

After the surgery, I felt great.  I felt so great, I thought I was invincible.  In fact, here is a video of me a day after the surgery.  Hey!  This is no problem.

Little did I realize that nerve block can take longer than 24 hours to wear off.   Needless to say, I overdid it.  I pushed my PT exercises a little harder than I should have.  By the end of the day, my wife Colleen had to take me to the ER because my bandages had completely filled up with blood.  Luckily, no stitches were popped and a few days of doing nothing (so hard),  got me to where I am today.  The pain has subsided a bit and I am ready to head back to work tomorrow.

 

This recovery period, (day 5) has gotten me thinking back to when I was recovering from my hip surgery.  Gone was the excitement of realizing that the old hip pain was gone.  All I could think about was “How long will this recovery take?”  Ugh! Ugh!  Ugh!   I have caught myself in the middle of this self loathing and I’ve smiled.  It’s been 5 days and I am expecting myself to put my cape back on and save the world.  That’s when I look ahead to a year from now.  Imagining myself running a trail race with my running team,  knee pain gone, and nature all around me.  This makes me optimistic and reminds me to keep my head up.  Every … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Hip Runner 2018 Is……Drum Roll Please….

The first ever Hiprunner/Zero Runner® marathon is complete!  Thanks to all of you who turned out.  Winning by a landslide was Hip Runner Larry Schmidt.  Larry is actually double hip with 2 THR’s.  Additionally, Larry’s age gave him a handicap deduction of 5 seconds per minute spent exercising, which gave him an adjusted marathon time of 3:02:26.  Larry Schmidt is 2018’s HipRunner of the Year.  His pic and link to his Zero Runner® time will be prominently posted in the side bar for the remainder of the year.  Way to go Larry. We look forward to seeing if you can retain the crown in 2019.

Thanks to everyone who participated in 2018’s HipRunner/Zero Runner Marathon!

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17 Days and Counting ……..

Hi Everyone!

We are just 17 days away from the first ever HipRunner/ZeroRunner® Marathon.  Every participant will earn an orange Octane Fitness towel.  Top female and top male will get a Hip Runner hat and some more Octane Fitness swag.  Not bad for a free marathon right?  Don’t let the February doldrums bring you down!  We have treadmill runners participating!  We have road runners participating!  We have Zero Runners participating!  It’s going to be fun!  If you don’t have a Zero Runner, you should try to get access to one in your area.  Put in a few hours on it and see if you’re sold!  Sign up for the race  in the right side bar and learn more about the Zero Runner at this link!… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

25 Days Until the first ever Hip Runner Marathon

Hey everyone!   Be sure to sign up for the Hiprunner Zero Runner Marathon.  We are only 25 days away…..

On that note I would also like to add that I won’t be participating.  I have been holding off on letting you all know that I am finally getting my knee taken care of.  The reason I was holding off is because my superstar doctor couldn’t do it until July.  July?  Shoot!  Half the running season would have been over by then.    So I went to see my other superstar doctor (Dr. Tim – the one who replaced my hip.  For some reason, I thought he only specialized in hips).  Happy to report that he does knees too!  In two weeks.  I will have the knee taken care (partial knee replacement) and I will be on the road to recovery (hopefully in time to get some summer runs in).  So I will be ‘officiating’ the Hiprunner Marathon from the sidelines.  (I really think the Zero Runner would still allow me to do it, but common sense says I shouldn’t) So if you were on the fence about participating,  you now have a better chance of winning since I won’t be able to run in the first annual …..… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

HAPPY NEW YEAR HIP RUNNERS!

Hey Hip Runners!  Happy New Year!

By now all of you have probably noticed the countdown timer on the Hip Runner site.   On 2/10/2018, we will be having our first ever Hip Runner marathon.  Even though it is geared towards those of you with Zero Runners, anyone can take part in the event.  To find out more, go to the Hip Runner marathon page.  Stay optimistic for 2018!  I hope to see a lot of Hip Runners taking part!

Hip Brother Tom

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Hiprunner Nation!

Hey everyone!

I haven’t posted in a while and wanted to check in with you all to provide an update.  The hip is doing fantastic.  But the knee on the opposite leg is giving me all sorts of grief.  I will be seeing the ortho later this month.    We will see what he says.  The hoopfest injury I sustained a few years back is catching up with me.  An attempt at micro-fracture surgery failed to correct the bone-on-bone issue.  So…we’ll see what the doc says.  I am optimistic.

In the meantime, my time has been occupied with a very  VERY busy work schedule and volunteer time as the head XC coach at St. Aloysius Grade School here in Spokane.   I just wrapped up another stellar Cross-Country Season with a great GREAT group of kids.  We just had our end-of-the-year party and the kids presented me with something that was pretty special.

Running is therapy and coaching is too.  Since my running has been minimal lately, I thank GOD for coaching.  Even on those days when I have had the worst day at work,  those kids just change my attitude and make me smile.   This little gift was such a wonderful gesture.  I am simply honored.

I continue to run, although not as much.  In fact, a few weeks back, I finished a little outing of beer bingo with my SDP teammates.  This was a fun little event where everyone wrote down the name of a bar within a 2 mile radius of our starting point.  We then proceeded to draw a bar out of the hat, run to that bar, quench our thirst and repeat.  While the knee was not totally happy, the running was tolerable, because there was rest (and medicine) at the end of each run.  A fine time was had by all.

The Zero Runner has been my saving grace.  It has enabled me to keep up my miles  and maintain fitness.  No pain, at all.  I freaking love that thing.  I probably talk about it too much, but honestly, it has kept me sane.  For those … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Broken Goat at the Broken Goat

It’s been 5 and 1/2 years since my hip replacement.  My right knee has been limiting my running to mostly Zero Runner miles, but that didn’t stop me from signing up for and running the Broken Goat Trail Race on July 15, 2017 in Rossland BC.   For 25 and 50k racers, this unique point to point race takes runners up 5 peaks along the 7summits trail in Rossland BC.  My SDP teammates and I ran the 25K(15.5 Miles).  There was a mix of single track and alpine trails along with a little bit of trail marked only by ribbons.  My SDP teammates and I had been looking forward to this trip all year long.  I wish I could have taken in more of the scenery, but I was too busy watching the trail in front of me.  We hip runners need to be ultra careful of the hidden and not so hidden things that can sneak up and trip you.  In my case, I am not sure what it was, but halfway through my race, between 2 mountain peaks, I kicked something (probably a rock) and went flying.  Luckily I was wearing padded gloves to keep my hands from getting torn up.  My elbow was not so lucky.  Up until that moment, my race was going well.  I kept reminding myself to pay attention to the trail, watch for things and step high.  But then I started looking at my time, calculating if I was on course to break 3 hours.  Let’s see 7.2 miles in……at 1:26……if I pick it up a bit between these 2 peaks, I might just have a chance to….WHAM!  I almost became the broken goat.

The first thing I did was get up and make sure nobody saw me.  Then, I assessed the damages.  My gloves saved my hands.  The elbow bore the brunt of the fall, but it was so caked in dirt that I didn’t know how bad it was scratched up.  The non THR hip took a hit too.  A little bruising, but otherwise ok.  Continuing on…finishing in under 3 hours … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)

Question & Zero Runners for Everyone!

Wow.  I have been busy and I have neglected a few individuals on this site.  14 in fact.  I activated 14 new Hip Runners today.  Sorry for the delay on that, but we are happy to have you all as new members.

Question to all of you from Elaine:

One of them, (Elaine) had a good question that I couldn’t answer.  It was a question regarding Hip Runners with cemented hips.  Since my hip implant is not cemented, I couldn’t answer it.   Here is what she asked:  (For those of you who have cemented hips, could you please respond with your own experience?)

I am 57 and have been running since I was 18. I ran mainly 1/2 marathons and 10k with 6 marathons under my belt. I had my hip replaced 3 March 2016. It is a cemented stem with CP. My surgeon told me I could never run again. I was devastated. However, I came across this website and thought if they can still run then so can I. I have started slowly, I followed all the strengthening exercises, walked everywhere building up to 10 mile walks with friends.
At six months bought a cross trainer and then became a member of a gym at 9 months. I attend HIIT classes, do weight training 2 days a week and have built up my muscles using a cycle and walking at the highest incline. At 1 year I ran on the treadmill for the first time. A few minute on and a few mins off. I am now running for 15 mins non stop with the aim to get to 30 mins.
Once I have achieved this I am aiming to run 10k trails eventually as there is less impact on softer surfaces. What I would like to know is there any of you out there who has had a cemented hip as my understanding in-cemented hips are stronger and I am concerned about the damage I may do.
I feel so much happier that I am able to run as I have run most of my life and
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Bloomsday 2017

This year’s Bloomsday is in the books.  With a finish of 50:36 for this 12k course (7.46 Miles), this was by no means my fastest race, but considering the issues I had with my achilles,  it was one of the most rewarding.   After my rim-to-rim run through the Grand Canyon in October 2016, my achilles tendon on my left leg tightened up on me.  Numerous attempts at running after a few days rest caused me to injure it more.  So I resigned myself to the Zero Runner and pool running, trying to stay away from any real outside running.  The trick worked for the most part.  After the achilles started feeling normal again in mid-march, I battled other injuries related to trying to “catch-up” with my training in time for Bloomsday.  From calf strains to hammy tightness, it was a constant battle to get quality miles in.   So when Bloomsday rolled around, I was thinking I would be happy to get 7 minute miles in and hopefully break 53:00 minutes.  I thought that goal was appropriate given the fact that “Cemetary Hill” and the dreaded “Doomsday Hill” stood in my way.   When I finished and the clock showed 50:36, I couldn’t have been more relieved.  6:46 pace for the race.  I’ll take it…..today.  Tomorrow is another story….I am back to training.

Speaking of training, this result is just another justification for the zero runner.  This zero impact trainer got me through those tough months when the achilles just wouldn’t loosen up.   I have owned the machine for 11 months and just a month ago, I finally went hands free.  This is just a great machine for training and preserving your body.  Here is a little video of me training on it.  It truly is an awesome machine for injury prevention.

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Bloomsday in 1 Week

After a long (and I do mean LONG) winter, my achilles is finally bouncing back.  Prior to last weekend, my runs seemed painful and felt slow.  Last weekend I signed up for the Pink Ribbon Run.  It was formally known as the Race for the Cure, but was rebranded this year.  The race is only 5 kilometers long, but I figured I needed it to get some speed training in before Bloomsday weekend.   Admittedly, my mindset has not been good.  The achilles injury had me behind on my training and every run seemed to tell me that I was getting too out of shape and too old to run.   I was seriously thinking that I would be lucky if I could average 7 minute miles.  When the gun went off I settled into a decent pace and was surprised to see that I was hanging around 6:30-6:45 pace.  My finish time of 20:14 was not a world record, but I was very pleased with it.  I was thankful that I signed up for that race.  It reminded me that sometimes a race is all you need to get back into the swing of things.

Speaking of getting back into the swing of things, the hip runner store has been updated with new product.  I have had to turn a few Hip Runners away due to the a lack of inventory, but new product is in.   So check out the store and see what we’ve got.  I’ve even added a new item….hats.  Very cool and very hip.  Check out the Hip Runner Shop here.

Happy Running everyone!

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Go Zags!

Rusty is correct!  I am a H-U-G-E Zags fan.  I went to school there, Ran XC there, Coached XC there (4 years), met my wife there, and now I live 2 blocks off campus. Me and 3 of my running buddies made the trip.  We’re getting in some running and we are taking in some good basketball.  On top of that, I am winning my basketball bracket at work.  Big BIG game tonight for all of the marbles!  Cheer on the Zags fellow hip runners!  Or give me a bad time about your Tarheels!

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Staying Optmistic – but currently on the sidelines

Hi Everyone.

I just wanted to send out a quick post about my goings on for the last few months. In October, I ran the Grand Canyon and strained my left achilles. It has been getting better.   Inspired by the fact that I signed up for the Snake River Half Marathon scheduled for March 4th I overdid my training.  About 3 weeks ago, I went out on a 14 miler in Seattle. We were visiting my son Daniel who is a student at the University of Washington. Seattle had no snow. It was so nice to be away from the east side of the state.  My hometown Spokane was still covered in snow.  The combination of no snow and my need to get ready for the half marathon put me in a good mood for a 14 miler. My achilles was feeling better so I figured it wouldn’t be a problem if I didn’t push.  I headed out on the Burke Gilman trail from the University of Washington district and headed out 7 miles. At abooooouuuut mile 7, my right calf started tightening up.  I stopped and stretched and took it a bit easier on the way back.  But the damage was done.  I tweaked my right calf.  Needless to say, I did not run the Snake River Half Marathon last weekend.

But I am staying optimistic…I will ALWAYS stay optimistic.  My 5 year old hip is doing GREAT! 🙂

I am so thankful for my Zero Runner.  It has allowed me to put in the running workouts without experiencing pain.  I am also very thankful for all of you active posters and responders,  (Dave Whiteside you know who I am talking about).  We all know that nothing beats running.  I appreciate the active support that I get from this community.

I have some mountain runs coming; the Broken Goat in Canada in June and  I will be back at The Rut mountain race in September.  Those runs are keeping me motivated as I try to stay fit through the healing process.

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2016 Recap

At the end of the each year following my hip replacement, I have provided a recap of the year and established new goals (See 2012 Recap, 2013 Recap, 2014 Recap, 2015 Recap).  These recaps have helped me to assess my progress and establish goals for the new year.

Here is a recap of my goals for 2016….

2016 couldn’t have turned out better given my circumstances….Here is how I did.

    1. Snake River in under 1:35.  My time: 1:30:48.  Boom!  Good way to start the year with this goal.
    2. Bloomsday in sub 49:00.  My time: 49:02.  OK.  Not bad.  Close
    3. Weight under 180. This was one that I couldn’t get to.  I will be carrying over this goal into 2017.
    4. Survive the Rut.  Not only did I survive it, I took third in my age group.
    5. Increased Leg Strength.  Summer training for the mountain runs helped with this very much.  I spent a lot time doing elevation training and this helped with my leg strength.
    6. Hip Runner Shirt..Version 2.0.  Yep it came out. 🙂
    7. Break the record for the most Hip Runners gathered together at one time – Currently 3.  Some day it will happen, but it didn’t happen in 2016
    8. Stay Optimistic.  Scheduling (and completing) a mountain run and a rim-to-rim Grand Canyon run in 2016 is a good indicator that I reached this goal.

So what is in store for 2017?

As I plan my goals for 2017, I am still recovering from my achilles issue incurred during my Grand Canyon run in October.  But I am taking PT and hope to be back at it soon.  So in no particular order….here are my goals for 2017…

  1. Snake River in under 1:35.  I ran in it in 1:30 last year but a I suffered a set back with my left achilles tendon after the Grand Canyon run.  This has severely limited my outside running.  I have been getting workouts in on my Zero Runner.
  2. Bloomsday in sub 49:00.  Same goal as last year.  I will be happy to achieve this.
  3. Weight under
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Tom – Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Hey everyone!  It’s a while since I last posted.    I’m still alive, but my work has been keeping me pretty focused over the last few months.  Additionally, my body has needed a little rest.  Ever since my Grand Canyon Adventure, I have been nursing a sore achilles.  This has relegated me to running on my Zero Runner and treading water in the pool.  Nevertheless, the break has been nice and I am looking forward to reloading and getting back to running in 2017.  I already have some races on the schedule, and I am staying optimistic.  The hip is doing fabulous and I am looking forward to posting my 2016 recap in a few weeks.  Thank you to all for your posts throughout the year.  This site wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the fresh content and conversation.  Speaking of content and conversation,  I am hoping to bring some changes to the site in 2017.  At the suggestion of a fellow hiprunner, I am going to see about adding a new forums area so that the chats can go on and on and on.  Stay tuned.

Set your goals and strive to achieve them.  Stay positive, and stay optimistic.  Good things happen when you do this!

Happy New Year to all of you.

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