Rusty – Why the Heck Did I Ever Get My Hip replaced !?!?!!!!

Well let’s see…. I had both of my hips replaced before I was 50.  Before I had my Hips replaced I ran with my family and I skied hard with my family.  Towards my late 40s, the skiing and running were extremely painful.  About every 4th mogul included a stabbing pain.  My morning run had turned into a morning limp.   I told the Dr. that I was not a candidate for replacement, because I refused to give up my activities, no matter how painful they were.  Luckily I was talking to a Dr. that understands our drive and need to carry on.  He laughed and promised I’d be skiing and running a half marathon within a year.  Five months after surgery I was skiing in Breckenridge and I had run two Half Marathons within 6 months of surgery (They weren’t pretty, but what the heck)  THAT’S WHY I GOT MY HIP REPLACED!

I didn’t want to get my hip replaced because I was afraid it would limited my activities.  I now know that it’s quite the opposite.  If I had not gone thru with it, I wouldn’t be skiing with my family and I wouldn’t be running.  My kids are getting older and this year I skied Tahoe, and Park City with them.  We are heading to Breckenridge this week.  In Late May I will be running a Half Marathon with my family.  I am so blessed and Thankful.  If you are wondering, If you are on the fence … get moving.  You can’t take a huge leap forward until you take a small step back.


Here’s a Picture from Last month.  My oldest was out skiing Double Blacks so he missed the picture, maybe I’ll be with him next year!

3 year Left, 2 Year Right Update

OK…It’s been a while since I posted. I’m still alive and well.  Last time I posted, I was training to run the Bay Shore Half Marathon on Memorial Day weekend.  Thanks to a pulled hamstring, that did not happen.  The past 9 months have been riddled with injuries.  NO problems with my hips.  I’ve had hamstring issues, calf issues, Achilles issues and some IT band issues.  Seems like every time I start feeling good, I train too hard and end up injured.  Take my hamstring for example.  Leading up to the half marathon I was adding 1 mile to my long run per week.  I felt really good on my 8 mile day and decided I could run 9.  Nope….. at 8.45 miles…. Bang….my hamstring decided to let me know it was not happy.   That was a long and slow recovery.  Small injuries have continued to set me back.  I’m hopeful that I will be back training for something soon, but in the meantime, I’m just thankful that I’m out running.  I have signed up for the half marathon again.  Not sure I’ll train hard for it, I’ll just be happy to finish with a decent time.  Bottom line, my hips are holding up.  I just need to realize I’m not 30 anymore.  I have hips of an 18 year old, but the rest of my body is screaming to me that I’m 52.

Cross training continues to keep me fit. I’m running about 30 – 35 miles a week on the road.  I’m fortunate enough to have a home gym with a rower, stationary bike, elliptical, treadmill and Zero-Runner.  Since my injuries have kept me at bay, I spend a lot of time in my gym.  I now row every day, which is awesome for my core.  I mix in bike, treadmill walking and elliptical.  All have their virtues.  My big savior is the Zero-Runner.  HipRunner Tom introduced us to this machine about 7 months ago.  It feels really strange at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s awesome the closest thing you can find to running, without the impact.  I’m probably logging an addition 20 miles a week on the Zero-Runner.   The other great thing about the Zero-Runner is it forces me to run anatomically correct.  The near zero impact and the alignment of the foot pedals force me to run near 100% correctly.  There is no need to over-compensate for some small injury.  If you have any opportunity to get access to one of these, it’s the best.  (Netflix is a must for the indoor stuff)

That’s it for now. I promise to keep up on my status.

One more thing.  My beloved Vols (Tennessee) play Tom’s beloved Zags (Gonzaga) today.  GO VOLS!!!!

Rusty – 17 Month / 28 Month update

I wish I had some really cool inspiring stuff to post. It’s really hard to beat everyone else’s stories of triumph.   I’ve been battling various non-hip injuries for the past year.  I’ve had some really good runs.  Some good long runs.  Some faster runs.  Some long – kind of fast runs.  And lots of injuries.  So I put away the Garmin and concentrated on getting my full body healed.  I did lots and lots of walking and lots of slow runs.  I finally brought the Garmin back out this week.  I was pleasantly surprised that my speed and endurance are slowly coming back after the long break.  My goal is to run The Bayshore Half Marathon Memorial day weekend.  Hopefully I stay away from injuries.

I’m taking my boys to Breckenridge next week. Hopefully that doesn’t lead to more injuries.  But keeping up with 3 boys can lead to some crazy skiing, big bumps and steep hills.  Along with that comes big falls!  I’ll be a Hip Skier next week and then back to getting back in the game.

My only advice today….If something doesn’t feel right, back off and don’t push it.   Especially in the first year.

Rusty – How To Get Back In The Game

It’s been a while since I posted, mainly because I’ve had a lot of ups and downs. I’ve experienced two recoveries; one was 25 month ago, the other 13 months.  I thought the first recovery was easier, but that may be jaded by the failing of my other hip. Many ask how to get back to running form.  I think I have a good handle on what to do and what NOT to do.

Where to Start:

– Stationary Bike / Spinning after two weeks (Min) Slowly Build up time and resistance.

– Elliptical after 4 weeks (Min) Slowly build time and resistance.

– Walking.  Lots of walking!  I was walking up to 8 miles 6 weeks after my first procedure.



– When?  8 weeks for some, 6 months for others, everyone is different.

– Cross Train.  Continue bike & elliptical, Try Yoga, Dance, Swim, etc.

– Develop a 10-15 minute core routine and do it religiously. (more on that later)


– Start real slow and slowly build distance.

– Concentrate on form.

– Develop the base distance and maintain that for a few months

– After base is developed, start building speed WITHOUT the Garmin

– Reintroduce the Garmin

That’s the skinny basics.  I’ve had some great triumphs this past year and some even greater let downs.  I built my weekly mileage to over 50 miles in 8 months.  I ran an 11 miler with the final mile at 7:30.  Why, because I COULD. Then I spent the next 4 – 6 weeks NOT running.  Just because I COULD doesn’t mean I SHOULD.  That’s when I put the Garmin away.

I realized my body wasn’t ready for my new hips.  I had spent years running wrong.  The medical professionals said I had a high pain tolerance.  No, my body adjusted and found a way to work around those deteriorating hips.  That’s why some of us have those funny gaits that our fellow runners make fun of.  Many of us have spent years slowly adjusting and then bam, new hips and our bodies aren’t ready for the new smooth action.  Some muscles are too strong, and some are too weak.  I really believe many of us need to concentrate on returning to good form.

That’s how I believe I got so many darned many injuries.  I was pushing hard, but everything was out of whack.  Lots of over-compensating going on!

My everyday Core Exercise routine.  Start with a few and add more along with increasing repetitions:

– 30 Push-ups

– 120 Bicycle Sit ups (for stomach and Flexors)

– 20 forward lunges each leg (For lots of core muscles)

– 20 Kneeling Leg Raise (For the Glutes)

– 20 Side lying Scissor Lift ( Abductor and Adductor)

– 20 Air Squats (Lots of Core Muscles)

– 20 Bench Dips (Tri-Ceps and Core)

Lastly, for Cross Training, I am very fortunate to have a stationary bike, elliptical, treadmill and Concept rower at home.   Along with NETFLIX and an addiction to binge-watching various season long shows.  Cross Training is a little more convenient for me.

My biggest recommendations:

– Start slow and listen to your body

– Develop core – Cross Train


– Work on good form

That’s it for now.  I’d love it for others to comment and maybe we can all develop a “what to do and what NOT to do” list.

Big THANKS to Tom for helping and encouraging us all.  Merry X-mas and Happy New Year!!!!

Rusty – 5 Months

I guess I’m like the over-weight Dr. that tells you that you need to lose weight.  I’m real good at telling everyone to “take it slow and easy” however, I don’t follow that advice myself.  That is why I’m at 5 months and nowhere close to where I had hoped to be.  I have nobody to blame but myself!  I continue to have setbacks simply because I think I’m ready for more intense workouts or longer runs, when I’m really not.  Last year at this time, I was preparing to run the La Jolla half marathon in a few weeks.  This year I’d struggle to finish a 5K.  I was much smarter and disciplined after my first THR as compared to this THR.  Most likely due to overconfidence.

Sooooo…..  I have taken a big step back.  I’m rebooting.  I’m walking a ton.  5 – 7 mile walks.  Yesterday I walked 7 miles at 13:40 pace.  I walked a ton after my first THR and it seemed to work.  I don’t seem to get the intense cardio I seek, but I do feel like I’m gaining strength.  I’m also mixing in a lot of PT strength exercises.   I’m heading to Breckenridge tomorrow.  I intend to walk long walks every morning and ski hard during the day.  Both activities should help build strength.   Once I return, I hope to ease back into the game.  I really need to build the strength before I try to boost the cardio while running.

My advice to new Hipsters.  Walk, walk and then walk some more if time allows it.

I’m hopeful to report better personal news next month.

Rusty – 4 Month Update

Things are starting to look up since my last post.  The Hip Flexor isn’t 100% better, but I’ve made significant progress. PT and the mini “Orb” have really been helpful.  I’ve been going on some 3 and 4 mile runs.  Usually a couple outings per week at 10 minute pace.  I’ve also been doing interval workouts on the treadmill. I can run 8 minute pace for fifteen 1 minute intervals.  (House of Cards helps ease the pain of the treadmill) I just need to slowly work on my endurance. I also continue to use the stationary bike and elliptical.  (80 minutes of Elliptical today)  I’m hopeful to run a half marathon in early June.  Nothing smokin’ fast, just running 13 miles should be an accomplishment

My hips can ski!  I went on a 3 day ski trip with the family this past weekend.  Everything held up, so I should be ready for spring skiing out west this April.  This is one of our annual family trips.  I timed both surgeries in hopes of making this trip.

Lastly, my biggest problem which I need some help with.  My wife just can’t seem to keep her hands off me.  Maybe it’s the haircut?  Maybe the “Gladiator” shave?  Maybe it’s that I’ve lost a few Lbs?  Just can’t put my finger on it!


Rusty – 12 Weeks

Holy Cow…Time Flies.  I’m coming up on 12 weeks since my second hip replacement.  My last post was at 4 weeks.

Lots of up and downs to discuss.  First, I was doing great.  Lots of elliptical, stationary bike and long walks.  At 6 weeks the Dr. gave me the go ahead to resume normal activities, which included running.  I held out and started running at 7 weeks.  I started with a .1 mile walk flowed by a .25 mile jog.  I would do that routine 8 – 12 times.  Not a screaming fast on the jog.  After about a week I figured I could up the pace on the .25 mile portion.  One day, during my 7th circuit, I decide to try a sub 9:00 pace.  Too early for that and my hamstring let me know in a big way.  I was back on the sidelines.  Finally the New Year arrived and I found myself in Playa Del Carmen.  I started a real slow jog.  The hammy was barking but I took it real easy.  By the end of the week I was running 3 straight miles at 10:30 pace. I even snuck in some wave crashing with the wave runners.

Wheels came off again when I returned to the Great White North.  I went for a 3 miler and decided to kick it up to Sub 10 minute pace.  The run went great and I felt pretty good.  By the same time next day, my surgical side hip flexor was shot.  I couldn’t lift my knee at all and the pain was killer.  I finally gave in and let PT work on it.  After 2 weeks I’m feeling good again.  Still holding off running but I’m hitting the elliptical, bike, rower and treadmill (walking) real hard.  I may be days away from giving running another try.

Things to learn.  Don’t be dumb like me!  Take it slow.  (Something I have trouble with)  My surgery was 2 week ahead  of my surgery last year, but I’m behind in my progress.  I don’t think I’ll be running any Spring Half Marathons this year, as I did last.  I may shoot for Dexter to A2 in early June.  In the meantime, I’ll live my running adventures vicariously thru my son’s indoor track meets.