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.



  1. Colin... Never say never! You're still a young guy... I started running at age 56 and plenty of others start later than that. I have some friends who run triathlons but I've seen and heard about so many bike crashes that I'm scared to try it. I do believe you would be wise to stay off bikes as well, and with fewer broken bones your running will benefit. My other reason for staying away from triathlons is the swimming part. I specialize in syncopated sinking. I do hope you'll consider coming back to running though... no broken bones (or not as many anyway), no drowning, and all you need is a decent pair of running shoes. Hope to hear that you're back up and running before long!

  2. Don't be a quitter! You write ' 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.' Same here, but I'm still running - at 84 years old!
    When I started my blog I was a racing machine, all fired up and ready to go. Now, I just climb out of bed, put on my runners and get out just to enjoy all the morning has to offer. I don't have the stresses of training any more but just take it easy, plodding around, watching the sun rise, smelling the flowers, hearing the birds, feeling gossamer across my face, viewing the views, marveling at all the wonderful colors - then going home feeling enriched, my batteries charged and ready for anything else the day might throw at me.
    Come on, get out there, just take it easy. Forget the negatives and discover just how much there is to enjoy. Good luck!
    PS. 'End of an Era' is a brilliant heavy rock album by the Swedish band - Nightwish.

  3. I appreciate the encouragement, but as for being a "quitter," I'll have to disagree with you there. I've come back from various injuries more times than anyone I know (thus my blog title), and have run through ridiculous amounts of pain (when I shouldn't have). Sometimes, discretion is the better part of valor. I do enjoy the outdoors immensely, although now it's via walking and hiking rather than running. I couldn't tolerate the constant pain in my left knee any longer. Went to physical therapy for it, which is about the only time PT didn't help. Feels like a knife stabbing me every time my left foot lands. Probably ran my last 500 miles with that pain. When there's nothing but pain and no joy in the activity, should one continue doing that activity? Do I risk my ability to even walk pain free as I get older? Like I said in the post, I'll miss it greatly, but there are other journeys that can fill that void. Who knows, down the road I may test the knee again. Thanks for stopping by.