I like quotes. I use them all of the time. Ask my boys. Ask the grade school XC Team that I coach. I like to motivate with quotes. They are not mine…but I like to own them and share them. One of my favorites that I use on my kids all of the time is “Argue for your weaknesses….and they are yours”. When one of my little XC runners is anxious about a race and says something like….”I’m feeling sore today….I’m not going to do well”…..or “I Can’t do this..I have a cold”…. I look at them and say…..”Argue for your weaknesses…and they are yours”. I want them to know that negative thoughts hinder their ability. I want them thinking positive and being optimistic.
So last night I ran the first of another series of weekly 5k’s sponsored by the Tri-Fusion Triathlon Club. Some of my friends had asked me how I was going to do…and guess what I said? “Well…this course is a little tougher….so it will be harder to beat my times from the previous series of 5k’s I’ve been doing”. So last night when the race started….I settled into a comfortable pace. With less than a mile to go….I hit the hill that I was anticipating would slow down my time. As I trudged up this hill……my friend Frederick…..a runner I had beaten in previous weeks…..zipped right by. He easily beat me by 20+ seconds. I settled for a 19:29. My little XC Team of runners would have been so disappointed in their coach. The point is…..I “talked” myself into believing I would be running slower……and Frederick did not. It was a reminder to stay positive and avoid the thoughts that prevent me from achieving what I want to achieve.
At any rate…it was good to be back with my running club….the SDP boys. Next week…..that hill is mine!
I have to say the men’s 10k race was the highlight of my Olympics viewing week. For those of you who didn’t watch, Mo Farah of Great Britain took first and Galen Rupp of the US took second. What is even more special than a British runner taking gold in his home country is that he and the number 2 runner Galen Rupp from the US are training partners….under the same coach. How cool is that to train together for this huge event and then take the top 2 spots in the race? It was great to see how happy they were for each other. Friends. It was a special moment to watch. You can read more about it here.
Tonight I’m running another 5k….I’m loving the heat and the chance to bring my times down. (Can I go sub 19 tonight?) I’ll finally be running with the SDP boys again. My schedule has kept me from training with them….but now I think I am set to meet and train with them weekly. They make me better.
The hip feels fine. I played volleyball at a going away party for a family friend last night. I could NOT get to balls. I felt old. This is the hip. I am reminded by those moments that it is not fully healed. Running straight ahead is a LOT simpler than darting, turning and twisting. But I am not worried. 7 months into this hip replacement the hip feels a little like a healing bruise. I know that next year….when my nephew calls me “old man” while we’re playing volleyball….(oh and he DID taunt me)…..I will be able to walk the walk….that kept me from talking his talk…..
I have a new hip brother….(the list keeps growing). But the unique thing about this hip-brother….or “hippie” is that he really is related. He’s my brother-in-law. Rob is a little older, and not a runner. He’s a former wrestler and now coaches at the High School level. He is 2 weeks in to his new hip….
In the last post I talked about not holding 6:15’s for my races……that was until Tuesday when I ran the last of the U-District Summer Series 5k’s. I hit the finish line at 19:09. That is 6:10 mile pace. Sweeeeeet!!! And in true Prefontaine style….I went out hard and popped a 5:56 first mile. This is crazy fantastic!! Next week another summer series of weekly 5k’s takes place on the north side of town. The course is tougher…but my goal by the end of it….is to be closer to that elusive 6 minute/mile average……my ego has been rewarded ……. the optimism continues…..… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
With the Olympics in full swing now, I felt it was appropriate to put up a picture of one of the greatest American runners of all time – Steve Prefontaine. When I think of (Pre) his nickname, I think of a runner who went out hard and challenged everyone to come and get him. That is pretty much my approach to running. I’m not patient and methodical, I need to get out and hold on. It has served me well enough and works with my mentality…
That said….in my previous posts, I’ve talked about running 6:15 miles. Well although I have been able to clock miles as fast as a 6:05 in my races, I have not been able to hold it. Unlike Pre, I am not quite ready to hold that pace. But it doesn’t keep me from trying. In the last 2 weeks, I’ve run 4 actual races. This is more than I expected to do so quickly….but the races are serving me well….the official results and times are below. My watch and these results are a bit at odds, but i will accept the official ones…because they are officially official. I don’t post them to brag….believe me, considering where I expect to be….these times are nothing to boast about. But for all of you runners out there…..thinking about a hip replacement…..they may serve you well. Almost 7 months in, these are what I’m running…..
U-District 5K Summer Series #1 07/17/12: 19:34.1 (6:18 mile pace)
Life’s little surprises come about….because……maybe without realizing it….we are hoping for them. It’s not to say that we are always hoping and wishing for something better…..but why settle for the status quo? Why complain about the current situation? Why not want more? Better to aim for the stars and get the earth thrown in then just aim for the earth and possibly get nothing right? When I think of hope and optimism, I think of the Chilean miners who were trapped underground for 69 days in 2010. They went 2 weeks without knowing if anyone even knew that they were alive. Can you imagine? I wondered what it would have been like for me to be down there with all of these men. Would I have cracked? I think not. Negativity is like a bad apple. If left to mingle with the other good fruits….the good fruits go bad too. I would want to be so positive that any hint of negativity would be squashed before it was even fully uttered. When you think of the alternative to being optimistic, why would you choose it? What is the reward for negative thinking? Give me HOPE! Give me OPTIMISM! I will always wish and hope that another even better day is around the corner because the alternative does NOTHING for my psyche. It is with THAT mentality that I have been able to ride through these months of recovery. It is the approach that I take to life in general. Ask any of my friends. I prefer looking forward to better days rather than complaining about the current one. My hip recovery timeline…was optimistic…..but you know what? I hit those dates….I believed I could get there….and here I am….I’M RUNNING 6:15 MILES FOR GOSH SAKES……6 months after surgery…….not trying to boast….it is just plain fact. That is what optimism does for you…..it keeps you going….keeps you believing and keeps you looking forward to that next better day.
Last week I was able to get 2 races in. On Tuesday, I ran the first of three weekly 5K’s hosted by a physical therapy business near Gonzaga University. It was hot and muggy, but I was pleased with the way it went.
The other race was the Cherry Picker’s trot. This race is a 4 mile road race run among acres and acres of fruit orchards and berry patches. I saw many old friends from my days running with the Flying Irish Running Club. The Flying Irish Running Club is a group of runners who meet once a week to run. They were happy to see me and I was very happy to be back running with them. They talked about the unfairness of my bionic hip and were very complimentary to me about my return to running. It actually made me think that I would be able to keep up with them. When the race started, I learned otherwise. By mile one (6 minute pace), they quickly broke ahead and it wasn’t long before I was eating their complimentary dust.
All in all it was a good first week of racing. My Tuesday 5K time was 19:47 (6:23 Pace). My time for the trot was 25:37(6:24 mile pace). The hip felt great. It was my conditioning that was holding me back. Last year, with a bad hip, I was running just over 6 minute pace. I’m getting close….but since my hip isn’t aching anymore, I expect to be faster than last year. My optimism is not without warrant. Going into the 5K, I just wanted to break 21. Maybe I won’t see those 23/24 seconds drop off as quickly as I expect. But I am near certain that it will happen………
Spending time off at the lake gave me a chance to get into a book that I have put off for far too long. Back in the day….I ran Track/XC at Gonzaga University. Then afterwards, I coached the team for 4 years. On some of our road trips one of the runners on the team would pull out this book and read out loud to those lucky ones who happened to be travelling in the same van. The van was always quiet….the story was worth listening to. Maybe that is why I stayed away from the book for too long, I wasn’t a collegiate runner anymore. At the time, the parts that were read related strictly to running. Whether it was an impossible workout or a meet in which the best competition was there, the story was always about competitive running. These were the parts that were read aloud to the group and they were very appropriate for the captivated audience of competitive runners in the van. Last week I finally picked up the book and started reading the whole story. What I found was that with all of these stories about killer workouts and sub 4 minute mile goals, it also described a college life and comradarie among a bunch of runners that I could relate to from my days as a collegiate athlete. I especially enjoyed the part in the book where the lead character represents a freshman runner in the student honor court. It was all a ruse set up by the lead character. The entire court dialogue was scripted unbeknownst to the the poor and somewhat obtuse freshman runner. Many students stepped up to try out for different roles in the mock trial. Here is just a sample of how the trial went…with the lead character defending the poor freshman who had been singled out for cheating on tests and boasting about it. Imagine the poor freshman….head in hands knowing that his attorney is putting up a great fight but being shot down with every motion he takes……..(Remember…this is all scripted by the lead character….Cassidy)…
Summers in the Pacific Northwest are fantastic. This week, we’re taking some downtime at a local lake just north of town. Known for the birds that nest there, the lake’s name is Loon Lake. It is the perfect size. A run around the entire lake is 9.2 miles (That’s 14.8 Kilometers in metric speak). My days have been tough. Wake up stretch out….go back to bed……wake up again…..go on a run…..swim……play in the sun…….eat…..then swim and play again. Ahhh Vacation…..Hard hard times for me and this hip. I’ve noticed a little soreness in the hipside knee the last few days…..so today…..I’ll take some downtime and keep the run short. Same old story……my mantra……listen to the body…..stay in shape….remain optimistic.… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
I have played in Hoopfest for 23 straight years. I’ve been there since the beginning. It’s always been fun, even when I’ve occasionally walked away with a few scratches and scrapes. In all those years….I’ve never found myself diving or falling straight on my hip…..let alone a hip that was just replaced 6 months ago…….
So here is the 6 month skinny on the state of my hip. Hopefully this will be good info for you runners out there who are wondering when can you get back to training like the crazy person you were before the hip started limiting your activity. For me….I still need to wait. I don’t think I will be there until I am at least a year out. Right now, the hip occasionally aches if I sit too long. I still can’t dart around or make quick movements without feeling a little bit of discomfort. I try to take a day off after every run, more for allowing the hip to fully heal than for anything else. There is a little bit of soreness after each run…..but as each week goes by, it becomes less and less. While I’m waiting….I’m doing as much as I can to maintain a fitness level that will allow me to get back into that running form that I enjoyed just over a year ago. I have taken to heart what my friend Greg told me in the early weeks after my surgery. I continue to Take it easy, and be patient. It doesn’t hurt to be hopeful and optimistic…and I am trusting that the patience will pay off. So at 6 months….I know I’m not there yet. I’m running…..maybe 20 to 25 miles per week, not pushing too hard….but staying in shape…..knowing stronger days are coming….
So back to hoopfest…… This bracket that I play in, I know many of the teams. For some reason we just can’t shake each other…..and now we’re all friends who meet up once per year at Hoopfest. Every year it is the same old thing; friends prior to the start of the … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
If there is one activity that I like more than running (yes even more than running), it is basketball. Every year on the last weekend in June, the streets of downtown Spokane come alive with basketball. The world’s largest 3 on 3 tournament (Hoopfest) takes place in my very own hometown. This event started in 1990, three days after my oldest child was born by C-Section. Crazy me….but if I could get to Hoopfest THAT year, then surely, I could get to the rest of them. And so I have. I have not missed a single Hoopfest. I thought this might be the year that I might have to step aside…..but the basketball gods have been kind to me and my recovery timeline has been on the money. I will be able to play yet again. I won’t be my normal self, but I hope I will at least be able to contribute a few points for the team…..we’ll see. Either way….I’ll have fun. Two of my boys will be playing on their own teams. So between my games, their games, my nephew’s games, my friend’s games, my friend’s friend’s games, and my friend’s friend’s fiend’s games, I’m going to get plenty of basketball in this weekend.
I have never known Eeyore to be a “glass-half-full” kind of guy. Perhaps he made the above statement on an off day. But its true. In many of my posts, I have spoken about my optimism of getting back to a good place with this hip. Each day gets a little better, but I am not there yet. I choose to remain optimistic though. In fact, I’m not just optimistic and hopeful…..I am certain. I am certain that I will get there. Yesterday I was at the Y talking to a couple of older gentleman. One of them had had a hip replacement a year earlier than me. I asked….”does your replaced hip still feel achy sometimes?” He looked at me and said….”It’s as if I never had a hip replacement”. So even though my hip is not 100%, I am going to follow the rare inspiratonal advice of Eeyore and choose to remain positive and optimistic. The alternative…..is simply a waste of good days. Today is a warm day. I will be running at lunchtime. It won’t be fast…but one of the advantages of running slower is that I get more sun…..more vitamin D. The glass I’m drinking from….is more than half full….its overflowing. I am certain.… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
Last night was my 2nd attempt at basketball since the hip replacement. I participated in year #8 of “Steltfest” a friendly 3 on 3 tournament hosted by Rick Steltenpohl, the organizer of Hoopfest. This year’s theme was the magic 8 ball (since it was year 8 of the tournament). My team’s name was “My Sources Say No”. I played with former NBA star Craig Ehlo and another old basketball buddy. In our first game, we were “lit up” by former GU player Andrew Sorenson which begs me to question, “why didn’t that guy shoot more when he was playing for Gonzaga”. In the end, we were taken out by 2 of the last 3 teams standing. David Pendergraft’s (Another former GU player) team beat Sorenson’s team to win the title. It was fun to be a part of and watch.
My hip held out. My jump shot was terrible…but I was able to get to the ball. I figured if I was going to miss, I’d better be able to get to the ball. I was very pleased with my ability to move, shift, and turn quickly. Today…..the hip is a little tender, but this was to be expected. It was just the confidence booster I needed before Hoopfest starts in 2 weeks.… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
I went in to Dr. Tim’s office today for a Post Op Checkup. All is well with the hip. The one thing about the hip is since the pain is gone…..it has magnified other areas of my body that seem to ache. One of the nurse’s referred it to the hammer and the thumb syndrome. I wasn’t noticing these other aches because the pain in the hip was so severe. I think I’ll just carry a hammer around with me. That way….I’ll never worry about these aches and pains. All is well on the hip front. I’m supposed to go back in 6 months to a year.
I received some inspiration from a gentleman named Colin who found my blog. He is looking at getting either a replacement or a resurfacing. When you’re a runner or an active person….a bad hip will really kill your quality of life. So I always encourage active people to go for it. The sooner the better. Colin gave me a link to another inspirational testimonial about a guy named Norman who had a double hip replacement in 1998. He is now in his 60’s and is doing 40 miles per week, living the good life of running and staying active. You can read more about Norman here…..
I love hearing my boys giggle. Last night I was helping my youngest, Tommy, with his homework. I had to run upstairs to get a pencil and on the way back down, I noticed that I was squeaking. Very concerned, I started making funny motions trying to reproduce the squeak. Every time I heard it, I would have a fretful look on my face. When Tommy would see me shake, then hear the sound, then see me look fretful….he would start giggling uncontrollably. I had to leave the room so I could try to hear where the squeak was coming from. It sounded like it was coming from my hip, which I thought might indicate a major setback. So off to the living room I went to try to reproduce the squeak. Again I heard it, and again I couldn’t pinpoint it because right behind me was Tommy….giggling out of control. So I decided to employ his listening skills. After jiggling around and making all sorts of contorted moves….I was able to reproduce the squeak. When I asked him where he thought it was coming from…..he giggled out loud again and laughed….”yep! it’s your hip”. We both started laughing. In the end after many more jumps, shakes and jiggles……it turned out to be a false alarm. It was my belt buckle that was causing all the commotion. Still the laughs we got out of it made for a good evening.… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
So I played hoops on Friday. I wasn’t my normal basketball self, but I held my own against the noontime regulars. I went on a run on Saturday and then another long run on Sunday. Today…..its raining outside and my hip aches. It has GOT to be weather related doesn’t it? So….I’m listening to the hip yet again….. I was going to join the SDP boys for a good workout tonight……”The Handicap Mile”……I’m sure it would have been a good one. I couldn’t join them regularly up until now because I coached track practice. Now that the season is over I can’t wait to get back to running with them. But it will have to wait one-more-week. Besides….I need to be ready for Hoopfest. In fact, I need to be ready for Steltfest. Steltfest is a pre-hoopfest 3 on 3 tourney that is put on by the coordinator of Hoopfest himself. I just got word last night…..I’m in. With that in mind……I really must listen to the hip and save it for the bumping and jostling that I’m sure to see in the next few weeks. Like the quote stated above…..I believe I can do this, I believe I deserve it, and I believe I will do just fine.… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
Every year on the last weekend in June, basketball takes over the streets of downtown Spokane. On that weekend, I basically live downtown. When I’m not watching one of my kids, nephews or friends, I am playing the game myself. I haven’t missed a single one. There are only about 80-90 of the originals left. I am not going to let a silly hip replacement get in the way of THAT string. So tomorrow, at noon, I will get in a few pick-up games with the regular “noon-ballers” over at the Y. It will be the first real test for my hip to see if is “basktball ready”. After my Long Run on the weekend…….I feel good about my chances.… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
It has been over 6 months since I went on my “normal” long run. It’s not really long…..11 miles by my estimate…..9.75 by my Garmin. (I don’t trust my Garmin). It was a gift. I stopped running the weekly long run late last November. It just hurt too much. The run takes me from my house, through Riverfront Park towards the west part of Spokane. After a series of railroad tracks and side roads I find myself on the bottom part of the back side of Spokane’s South Hill. I’ve always enjoyed climbing the switchbacks (I call them goat trails) and getting to the top of the South Hill where Bernard meets High Drive. Whether its an early spring day and the sun is rising over the valley, or I am placing the first tracks on the trails after a fresh snow, I have always enjoyed that part of the run. At the top of the bluff when I headed down Bernard, the wheels would fall off. My hip would ache badly. The jarring from the downhill running became too much. Down Bernard, then weaving my way past the Sacred Heart Emergency entrance, and then down the steep hill next to the hospital that led me straight to division. I’m a creature of habit. I ran this run most every Sunday…until it became too much last November. Today….for the first time since my hip replacement surgery I ran it. Not fast…but still….I ran….and it felt awesome. The hip didn’t ache a bit. Not 1 bit. I’m always amazed that one day it will ache, and the next….nothing. So I thought back to what I did during the week. I added some leg work to my lifting routine. I ran on the treadmill and then followed it up with biking. These items were noted….because while I was running…..I was puzzled as to why everything felt so good. It set the tone for the rest of the day.
This is one crazy hip. I’m listening to it but it is very wishy washy. One day its telling me to slow down, and the next its like a horse waiting to be let out of the chute. Today I ran on the treadmill. A very quick workout….but the final 2 minutes were at 6 minute mile pace. The hip could have gone farther……When the hip is telling me to slow down….it wears on me. Little doses of these small achievements help me to remain optimistic.
Over the weekend, we traveled back to Washington DC to see our oldest son Ryan graduate from Georgetown. The weekend was packed and busy, but Ryan and I had time to go on one of his favorite runs. The run passes by several of the monuments. This run had been the longest I’ve done since Bloomsday. It felt good, especially to be out running with Ryan. It’s hard to believe that its been 4 years since we first dropped him off for college. Time flies. Speaking of time flying, my hip is kind of stalled right now. Not getting worse…not improving. Time is NOT flying fast enough for me and this hip. I can’t complain though. The pain is minimal especially compared to how it was before the hip replacement. The hip does get tight and achy, but I don’t limp around like I used to. I should count my blessings. After four and 1/2 months, I was able to run the monuments with my graduating son. I wouldn’t have guessed that. It will be a memory that I will cherish forever.
One would think that running 10 minutes slower than last year’s Bloomsday would be cause for a nervous breakdown. Not me. The picture above says it all. I had a quiet goal when I jumped off of the camera truck and prepared to join the masses and run my first Bloomsday since the hip replacement. Take it easy…..break an hour. Well, it wasn’t quite THAT easy….but I did break the hour barrier and I felt good when I finished. At mile 7, my hamstring started crying foul. It held on though and even though it was tight at the finish, I survived without injury. Day 2 after Bloomsday, and my hip has pretty much asked me to take a little time off…..I’m listening. After all, that hip needs to be ready for Hoopfest in 2 months. Awww optimism……love it!