Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Um...About That Last Post...

Crow Eaters Unite!

I guess I made my bed, now I'm eating crow in it. Or some such mixed metaphor.

Remember that "I'm retiring from running" post I put up back in July? Yeah, let's just forget about that. For now, anyway. Why? Well, I started "running" again about 3 1/2 weeks ago. I was curious to see how my surgically repaired hip was doing. I did a couple of run-walks with my dog. They felt pretty good. I moved up to complete runs (however short) and kept them pretty slow. The left knee started to hurt again, which has been an issue for a few years now. I saw my hip surgeon for a follow-up on the hip, and mentioned my knee to him. A different doctor had done an MRI on my knee a year ago, so he had to go look it up. He said there was no structural damage (cartilage and knee cap look fine), but there's some edema (fluid buildup). He gave me a cortisone shot, and said he could scope the knee before the end of the year if the shot doesn't help. I've since done two runs. Monday of this week, I ran 2.5 miles, and the knee felt a little better. Today, I ran 4 miles at 9:15 pace. I felt a dull ache in the knee as opposed to the sharp pain I usually felt. Although, my hip ached a bit after the run. Maybe I won't start increasing the distance nor the pace for a while.

But, I guess I'm "resurrecting" my running once again. I've lost count how many times this is.

One reason I'm trying to get back to some running is that I really want to do a triathlon next year, even if it's just a sprint. I finally bought a new bike this week — a 2016 CervĂ©lo R3. It's a very nice bike, probably better than I deserve. This was to be my Christmas present last year, but plans changed after I tore my right bicep tendon, which required surgery (and paying a huge deductible).

But, the delayed gratification was worth it. Here's my new baby:

Let's hope this bike is crash-proof. Not sure the rider will be...

I also want to start swimming again soon. Haven't done that for about 5 years!

So, that's the story and I'm sticking to it. Until I do my Brett Favre impression and retire yet again ;-)

Onward, my friends!

Friday, July 22, 2016

End of an Era

So...a rare post!

I'm sure nobody reads this blog anymore, and for good reason — I haven't posted anything in six months!

I started this blog in 2009 to document my return to running, after a several year layoff. I wrote about running my first half marathon (and several subsequent halves), my first (and only) full marathon, and all training involved en route. I wrote about my diet, my weight training, weight loss, my injuries... oh, did I write about injuries! Some of them sidelined me for months (over a year in one case), yet I "resurrected" myself as a runner, as best I could, after most of them.

As the years wore on, my body kept sending me messages that it wasn't tolerating the running any longer. Be it from poor training choices, insufficient rolling/stretching/mobility, my propensity to "overdo" things, or just biomechanical flaws. Perhaps a combination of all of those.

After my marathon in May of 2010, I developed "Haglund's Deformity," which was basically a heel bump and very aggravated achilles tendon. After months of rehab and physical therapy, I resumed running. Long story short, I then managed to pull a hamstring, tweak a calf, endure hip pain, and permanently (?) develop a sharp pain under my left knee cap every time my left foot landed while running.

I went to physical therapy for said knee issue, only to discovery that I also had a torn labrum in my right hip. I'll be having surgery for that less than a month from now.

So, with my running more or less shut down, I decided to take up the sport of road cycling in early 2015. All was going swimmingly until I crashed in May, due to a leg cramp. The urgent care clinic didn't detect it at the time, but I actually fractured my left wrist in the crash.

Riding resumed, fitness improved, enjoyment increased as I continued to ride into summer. Then, one fateful day in August, I had a violent crash that snapped my left radius. Surgery was required to insert a plate and 8 screws to hold the bone in place.

Five months later (January of this year), I tore my right distal biceps tendon, requiring yet another surgery to repair it. Yes, I had surgeries on both arms within a 5 month period. Quite fun.

To continue this ride on the "Woe Is Me Train," I tore my left calf muscle a couple of weeks ago while doing stunts off a diving board (trying to keep up with teenagers) while visiting relatives in Texas. No surgery required for this injury, thankfully.

With all that said, I believe my running days are now behind me. It took a while, but I've come to terms with it. I fell short of several of my goals (I did hit 10,000 lifetime miles last year, though.)  I can't say I'll never run again, but I can pretty confidently say I'll never again approach running like I did when I started this blog. That's not to say I regret what I did as a runner. Sure, I could have been smarter, but I enjoyed the process. I met a lot of great people in the running community (both in person and online); many that I'm still friends with today.

As I approach the age of 50 in a few months, and as I endure one injury after another, my goal now is to do whatever it takes to be fit, healthy and injury-free from here on out. Much easier said than done, especially knowing myself, but I do know that the extremes (which may not be extreme for others) don't work at all for me. My "all-or-nothing" approach has been a recipe for disaster in most cases. The well-worn cliché of "moderation is key" seems to contain more truth than I ever realized.

So with my with that, my 549th post here, my friends (the one or two of you that may accidentally read this!), I bid you farewell. Thank you for your friendship, your comments, your support, your encouragement, and for buying my parody songs! Unless there's a reason to post here again as a "resurrected runner," I think the purpose of this blog has been met. Maybe it's time to start a "Moderate Fitness" blog!

Be well, run strong, stay safe.


Monday, January 25, 2016

I Couldn't Make This Stuff Up

If I could throw in the towel I would. But that requires your throwing arm to NOT have a torn biceps tendon.

From the "Here We Go Again" files...I will be having surgery soon to repair a torn right biceps tendon. It popped clean off of my bone a week ago today.

Here's the exciting tale:

Two Thursdays ago, I was at my dad's house, getting ready to load my sister's belongings into my truck and other vehicles to help her move into her new house. My dad has a riding lawnmower that wouldn't start, yet had to be moved out of the way. While my dad was inside taking care of something else, I decided that I could take care of this problem by myself. So, I dialed my testosterone up to "HIGH" and proceeded to push the mower. The back wheels were locked up, so I had to push hard. I had forgotten that the seat flips up (it hinges near the front), and I was pushing against it. The seat suddenly flipped, my right arm hyperextended and I felt something pull around my elbow. I was in quite a bit of pain, but I continued helping my sister move that night and the next day.

Over the weekend, it slowly started feeling better. I bowl league on Monday nights, so I decided to give it a go. On my first warm-up throw, I felt a "pop" and sharp pain. I knew exactly what I had done. My orthopedist (the guy who operated on my broken left arm last August) confirmed my fears two days later and recommended surgery. I'm still waiting to hear from the scheduler on the date.

Fortunately, the bicep & tendon didn't retract too far up my arm, so hopefully they won't need to cut a huge incision to fish it out and pull it back down. It is slightly deformed, though. I have a bigger gap around my inner elbow now, below the biceps. I also had a good amount of bruising below the elbow (where the blood pooled).

Ugly, but I've seen worse after biceps tears...

After surgery, I'll be unable to use the arm for 2-4 weeks. Recovery will be gradual after that, with "full" recovery taking 6 months, so says my doc.

So much for attempting my first triathlon this spring. This also delays my new bike purchase. With a high insurance deductible, my body will be a financial burden for a second straight year.

As for the hip I've mentioned in previous posts, I'll tentatively get that surgery done in mid-August. By then my deductible will be met, so might as well get it taken care of, too. I'll also have to endure physical therapy after both surgeries.

So this year will pretty much be a wash, as far as any serious training goes. This will be three surgeries (four, if you count my root canal) in the span of one year, after basically going my entire life without any. Hopefully, this will be it for my stretch of misfortune for a LONG time.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Hip Update

Well, it has been confirmed that I do have a labral tear in my right hip. The cause is likely from the top of my femur having a very slight bump in it, and over the years it has pinched that cartilage and torn it.

I will need to have surgery, but after meeting with the specialist, I've decided to put it off for the time being. After my recent broken arm, I'm not exactly ready financially nor mentally to go through that process again. The recovery and PT involved just doesn't appeal to me right now. The doc said that I should be fine, as long as I don't put it off for too long. Otherwise, it'll lead to arthritis and, possibly, a full hip replacement. Tentatively, I'm thinking about getting it done this fall. In the meantime, I can get a cortisone injection if/when it bothers me too much. I'm hoping to train for a triathlon or two, so we'll see if that becomes necessary due to my training.

With that said, I'm planning on heading out for my first run since I broke my treadmill over a month ago. I can tell that my left knee is still an issue, so hopefully the pain won't be too bad.

Maybe I should get that cortisone shot in my left knee instead...?

ADDENDUM: I did have surgery on my right hip on August 18th, 2016...which is the one year anniversary of my first surgery, on my broken left arm. It was a sweet way to bookend my 3 surgeries.