Broken Goat at the Broken Goat

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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 didn’t seem so important anymore. 🙂  Waiting at the finish line were all of my teammates. I got the elbow patched up (a mere scrape) and the celebration began.  Racing was secondary to sharing this accomplishment with the rest of the team.

Nevertheless, while I was finishing the last half of that race, I thought about my THR.  It was as happy as a lark.  No issues whatsoever with the THR.  Fellow Hip Runners,  as I have said before, the only thing that is stopping you from getting back to what you love…..is you. 🙂  Don’t be afraid. There will be good days, and there will be bad days.  Listen to the hip and stay optimistic.  Every day will get better.  Keep believing.  Never give up hope.  You will run (and enjoy running) again. 🙂

 

 

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 it has got me through some tough times. But if there are some cemented hip runners out there have you had any problems.

Zero Runners for Everyone

You all know that I have been hyping the benefits of the Zero Runner to everyone on this site, simply because I believe in it.  I mentioned it most recently in My Bloomsday Post when I showed a video about how I was finally able to run hands free.  I have probably logged close to half of my Strava Miles on the Zero Runner.  Well guess what?  The Octane Fitness Folks want to give all of you Hip Runners an opportunity to enjoy the Zero Runner for yourself.    With a MSRP of $4299 for the ZR8 and $3299 for the ZR7, the price can be a little steep.  But here’s a secret if you are interested, i have a code that can save you a bit-o-money.  🙂

Follow these steps to save $600 on the ZR8 or $400 on the ZR7.

  1. Go to www.zerorunner.com
  2. Click on ‘Shop Home Zero Runners’
  3. Click on ‘View Product’
  4. Click on ‘Add to Cart’ (Fill out all information that is needed to process)
  5. Enter the coupon code ZR33 to get your discount.

The unit will be delivered by your closest local dealer.

Simple!  Right?

Zero Runners for Everyone! 🙂  Happy summer to all of you.

 

Here is that video if you want to see it again…Hands Free….it only took me 11 months….

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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.

 

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!

 

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!

 

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.

 

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 180. Try number 2.  2017 is the year!
  4. Beat the Rut.  Last year was a trial run.  I survived.  This year I know what it is like.  Let’s see if I can beat last year’s time.
  5. More Strength.  If I have learned anything, it is that overall strength is necessary to avoid injury.  Especially for us Hip Runners.  This year I will focus more on overall body strength especially strengthening the glutes and the legs.
  6. Hip Runner Shirt..Version 3.0.  Version 2.0 was good, but Version 3 will be even better.
  7. Stay Optimistic.  I have to close with this one.  Where am I without it?

Where would Hip Runner be without optimistic people who believed that they could continue their running pursuits after their hip replacements?  Stay tuned for my next post which will focus on the most noteable posts of 2016 from this Hip Running Community…..

 

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.

 

Grand Canyon Adventure – Done!

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The Grand Canyon Crew. Near the North Rim, the start of our Grand Canyon Adventure. L-R: Jim, Mike, Andy, Fitz and me….

Earlier this year, my SDP Teammate Mike, told me about his friend Jim  who had the Rim-to-Rim Grand Canyon Run on his bucket list.  Jim’s wife knew that Mike had run the Grand Canyon the previous year and asked if he could arrange to do it again as a surprise present to Jim.  When Mike started describing Jim to me, I realized who he was.  Jim played basketball at Gonzaga University  back when I was going to school.  I watched him play, and his wife Dana ran on the track team.  I knew them both.  I was in.  Mike also corralled 2 other SDP teammates Fitz and Andy.  Andy had run rim-to-rim-to-rim last year (that means he ran across the canyon and then back again – He is a crazy, super talented mountain runner).  Like me, Fitz was going to be running it for the first time ever.  On Friday Morning, October 14th, we flew out of Spokane and into Las Vegas.  From there, we rented a van and drove east for 4 hours towards the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  On Friday night, we stayed at a quaint campground/motel called Jacob Lake Inn.  There wasn’t much to the place, and for the cabin that Fitz, Andy and I stayed in, it looked like plumbing had been added long after the cabins were built.  But the little camp served its purpose and in the morning, we drove the final 40(ish) miles to the North Kaibab trailhead at the north rim.  Mike’s wife Mary, and Jim’s wife Dana would then drive the van around the canyon and meet us at Grand Canyon Village at the Bright Angel trailhead.  (A 4 hour drive).  The picture above is one that we took shortly after we started descending into the canyon from the North Rim.

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This pic from strava pretty much describes the run.  Steep downhill first, followed by easy downhill for several miles, then steep uphill.  Miles 6 to 14 were our fastest.  We had a fairly easy descent through the canyon to Phantom Ranch, which was located at the base of the south rim.

There were plenty of moments to enjoy the scenery and since we weren’t in a hurry, we did just that….




 

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Fitz, Andy and Me along Bright Angel Creek near the bottom of the canyon.

At the bottom of the canyon we followed the Bright Angel Creek through the gorge.  The area was surprisingly lush with greenery.

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Phantom Ranch. Base of South Rim.  Fitz mailing his post card and Andy hydrating …….

At Phantom Ranch, at the base of the South Rim, we took a break to grab a beer and mail out post cards to family.  The post cards were packed out by Mule.

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A view from just below the top of the South Rim. We trekked 24.4 miles across this canyon.

The ascent from Phantom Ranch was nothing to write home about.  By this time, my calves were aching and my left achilles was tightening up.  Andy completed the 24.5 mile run first, followed by Fitz and then me sometime later.  Mike and Jim followed about 20 minutes after me.

As far as the hip goes.  I had zero issues.  There was no pain in the hip.  The left achilles (THR side) was super tight and both calves were screaming at me.  My calves are now fully recovered.  But after a nice tempo run yesterday, my left achilles is barking back at me again.  Time to sit on the Zero Runner for a few days until I can hit the trails again.

Tom – Mountain Run Done

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Mile 10 of this 17.4 mile race was just over the top of this 11,000 foot peak

Wow!  Just Wow!  Hip replacement or not, I just completed the single-most-difficult-thing-I-have-ever-done-in-my-life.   I….ran…..The Rut; a 28k course that took me over Lone Peak, the  11,000 foot mountain pictured above.     There are 2 races over this mountain; a 50k  and a 28k (17.4 Miles).  The 28k race was on Saturday and the 50k was on Sunday.  I am thankful I didn’t run the 50k on Sunday because the course had to be diverted from the top due to bad weather.

I am happy to be done.  For me, it was a great accomplishment and I couldn’t have done it without some help along the way.  I had the help of my Zero Runner, my understanding family, my SDP training buddies and some advice from my friend who is a physical therapist.

In order to train for the Rut, I needed elevation.  To do this, I spent a lot of time training with my SDP buddies away from the city.  One of the places we trained regularly was on Mount Spokane, the closest mountain to Spokane.  The runs were long and the travel time kept me out even longer.  Half of my weekend days were devoted to this, which meant less time with the family. I am very lucky to have a family that understands my desire to run.   When they’d see me walk through the door after a dirty and dusty day on the mountain, they’d give me big smiles and tell me “I’m Crazy”.    So thankful for them.

Earlier in the year, my THR hip was hurting.  I am pretty sure this was due to the knee surgery I had had in July of 2015.  As I trained, I favored it keeping the weight off of it while I ran.   This put more stress on my THR on my left side.  Enter the Zero Runner.  ZR8-Octane-ZeroWhen I first learned about this machine, my body felt completely broken.  After seeing the endorsments it received from running greats like Alberto Salazar, Paula Radcliffe and Kara Goucher, I was sold. I began to run on this machine in mid-May and it changed my life.  Half of the miles that I put in getting ready for this run, were put in on this machine.  It allowed me to workout in a full running motion with zero impact on my joints. It was instrumental in my ability to come back from what felt like a point of no return.

I also had been using gel inserts in my right shoe to accomodate for the leg length difference that I had (around 3/4″).  One of my running buddies who is also a physical therapist, gave me a real insert and suggested I move to a different shoe for trail running.  I had been training in Hoka One Ones (which are great for road running), but I kept tripping on the trails.  The Hokas with their extra cushioning gave me less ground clearance, and I was constantly tripping.  So I switched to the Brooks Cascadia, a shoe with a much lower profile, and I stopped tripping on the trails.

In the days leading up to races, I usually get a little quiet and a little cranky.  My wife Colleen noticed this wasn’t the case with this run.  On the morning that the team left for Montana, I was whistling and feeling good.  This attitude took me right to the starting line on Saturday morning.  Initially I had agreed to run with my buddies who were planning on taking their time and enjoy the Rut experience.  But when I saw the age group results from the previous year, I had second thoughts.  When the Elk Bugle (that’s what they used for the starting gun) went off, I abandoned my buddies and took off.  I worked my tail off, but I was able to take a few pics along the way……

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Leaving the tree line and heading into the scree
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Getting Higher…

 

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Eerie landscape
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Running up the mountain over these plate sized rocks was hard, running down the mountain over them was worse.
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Excuse me, would you mind taking my pic? There was time for that. Picture taking was how I disguised my rest breaks.
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Over the cloud layer
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The first really hard climb towards Headwaters
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The Bonecrusher segment after Headwaters
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Top of BoneCrusher
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The tip top of Lone Peak. I made it.  11,000 feet high.
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Feeling Good at the finish. 5 hours, 25 minutes (I started in the second wave, 5 minutes after the first wave)
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Boom!

I remember when I finally arranged for my hip replacement.  There was no doubt (even before speaking with the doctor….even after speaking with the doctor) that I would run again.  This race reminded me that the only thing that stops anyone from achieving anything, is themselves.  I am crazy.  This race was crazy.  But at the end of my life, all I will have are my cherished memories and this one is now a part of them.

I’ll close with my motto which many of you have seen before…..

“You don’t stop playing because you grow old.  You grow old because you stop playing….”