Abbott Majors 5 done 1 to go

It’s been awhile since I last posted but have enjoyed keeping up with so many of you on Strava.  Since my new hip in Feb of 2014 I have managed to run 5 of the 6 major marathons.  Those being Chicago, London, Berlin, New York and Boston that leaves just Tokyo.  I got super lucky this year and received an entry through the ballot so I’m off to Tokyo in 2018.   I’m upping my strength training and working through a long training plan for this one and hoping for a good run.   Has anyone else done this one ? Or has anyone completed the Abbotts 6 cities majors ?

Keep up the good work everyone.  I think we should pick a race that has multiple events over the weekend and bring as many runners together as possible….anyone up for that ?   Or create a calendar that says where everyone might be running.  Would love to meet some of my Strava friends who encourage me so often.

Third Marathon after hip surgery

Nov 22 – not yet 2 years post my first hip replacement. I say first because the other side will be replaced when it rears its ugly head. In the meantime, I’ve set some lofty goals for myself. 10 weeks after surgery – Run the largest 10miler in the country the Broad Street run. Done. 7 months after -run the Philadelphia Half marathon. Done. 8 months later run the Chicago Full Marathon. Done.
At this point one would think that’s enough but no. Last April I returned to London to run for the charity “Children with Cancer” and completed the Marathon in my fastest time. In between all of this I have continued to strengthen and listen to my body. Rest properly, eat properly and try to preserve the other hip for as long as possible. Yesterday I ran, what is now, my third marathon since Feb 2014. I revisited the first marathon that I ever tried to run. Possibly somewhat undertrained but not detered by the wind or the chill in Philadelphia- I managed to break 3hr 39mins a full 10mins faster than Chicago a year ago. My new hip was magical, my old hip mysteriously felt nothing, my feet – well that’s another story. My point being here – listen to your body, treat it kindly and with care but don’t slow down – there’s way too much out there to think that you can no longer do it or shouldn’t.

London Marathon coming up April

In 2013 I ran my first London Marathon running for the charity Children with Cancer. Believe it or not it was the most enjoyable 26.2 miles I have ever run. The crowds were over flowing, not a section without 4 people deep on the pavements. The London Marathon is still the biggest fundraising one day event in the world.  Some 9 months later I had my first Total Hip Replacement.  My X-rays suggest that hip number two should also be replaced but as the surgeon said – “we treat the symptoms not the X-rays” .  My symptoms are right now totally under control. I’ve kept up with all my rehab and strengthening exercises for both hips, get regular massage work done, listen very carefully to my body and rest when a few years ago I would have kept going.

Last year, some 11 weeks after surgery, I ran Philadelphia’s prestigious Broad Street 10 mile Run, followed by The Rock ‘en Roll half marathon in September, followed by the Chicago marathon in October. Since then – I have decided to revisit the London Marathon.  Some have asked me why are you pushing your luck and speeding up the need for another surgery ? My answer “If there’s something I can be doing while waiting for the inevitable  to happen I would rather achieve something and stay physically and mentally strong than have something else control me”. So – I have  trained sensibly on a three runs a week program and cross trained in between.  I’ll be running again for Children with Cancer and fund raising for children who are really in pain.  My left hip can last a little bit longer.  Check out my link if you would like and if you’d like to help out and donate anything would be well appreciated.

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/RuthDickinson

Thanks for reading and for those who are recovering  – be patient, listen to your body but don’t let it control you. Push yourself and rest properly before you try to go a little further the next time.

Ruth – Windy City Marathon – DONE !

It’s almost 8 months since my right hip replacement and it’s two days after I ran and finished the Chicago Marathon. Every run that I’ve managed to do since February has been a process. Each run has become easier and stronger with the occasional hiccup from my left hip. I set myself a small series of goals. Half a mile, a mile, two miles , a 5 k a quicker 5 k, maybe a good pace 10k, Broad Street run through Philadelphia, a few 10 mile runs through the Wissahickon park and Forbidden Drive, the Philadelphia Rock ‘en Roll half marathon and maybe just maybe a Marathon.
Chicago October 12 – by myself with a determination but a reasonable expectation. I’ve run a few marathons, I think I know how to deal everything that can happen in a marathon – the self doubt, the hills and valleys of emotions that can happen throughout. I wanted to finish it safe and healthy – I didn’t want to stop and walk but I think I would have had I needed to. But with limited training and a massive determination I am happy to say I finished on sunday morning with a time of 3hr 47mins. I’m a little sore but nothing more than what I think I should feel. My new right hip is feeling great and better news my left hip seems to be in a holding pattern and felt just as good.
For those of you who are wondering if you’ll ever be able to…..Yes you can. Small goals, step by step.

Ruth – 6 months on and counting

Had my 6 month check up last Thursday – I could have written the script – “replaced right hip looks fantastic, strength is great, range of motion great but hows the left feeling ?” Well – considering last October we were discussing replacing the left and 4 months after that the right decided it had had enough I’d have to say the left these days is doing well. The X-rays suggest it shouldn’t be but thankfully “we don’t treat the X-ray we treat the symptoms” – it was music to my ears. I promptly bought an entry on Craiglist for the Philadelphia half marathon last sun Sept 21st and ran a comfortable 1hr 45min run around Phili with no problems at all. I’ve been running three times a week – a 5k, a longer 6-7mller with a few hills and a longer slow run on the weekends – probably not what is expected 6 months after a new hip but so far so good. I decided I’m not going to slow up waiting for the left to say enough like the right one did rather I’m going to continue to run like I would like to. A 10k here and half marathon there and a marathon on the horizon. Strength training I believe has allowed me to be this way and patience while listening very carefully to my body. Keep working at it – there’s no end to what we can all do.

Ruth D says

I’m approaching 6 months into my new right hip. I’m now at the stage of “wow” I can’t believe what I’ve had done and how it’s possible to recover so well so soon. I’m 46. I was told I have hips of an 80 year old – let me back up a few years. I’m a tennis pro. First a player and now a teaching pro. I estimate that to be about 36 years of shuffling laterally. Compliment that with a few marathons and many half marathons plus some competitive road racing it might be said I’ve had my fair share of hip usage. 6 years ago I was hit on my bike and broke my left iliac crest (Pelvis) – the most painful accident ever and from that point on my reference point to all pain. Breaking my pelvis led to a lot of overuse of the right side protecting my left as much as possible. Eventually it all caught up. Injection after injection in both hips some PT. 2013 I ran two marathons Miami and London – London being the best experience ever running for the Children with Cancer Charity. I ran just fast enough to qualify for the 2014 event. By October 2013 I couldn’t run, couldn’t jog and couldn’t walk without limping,couldn’t lay on hip in bed, it kept me awake basically my quality of life was not so good.. Eventually I could feel the bones literally grinding. i started interviewing surgeons looking for one that would simply tell me I could run again – not just a 5k here and there for the heck of it. After talking to 5 surgeons in and around Philadelphia I found my man at Rothmans Institute. Dr Sharkey. The ironic thing being some 20 years previously I had had dinner with him and his wife as I used to teach tennis to her. I was told there would be no restrictions …none and that I could run as far as I wanted within reason. That was all I had to hear. A couple of weeks later – I had a new hip. In at 6am monday morning out at 1pm the next day with a walking stick. My muscle atrophy going into the operation was significant but compared to coming back from a broken pelvis I knew what to expect in order to get back to where I wanted to be. I hit physical therapy immediately. I ate my super foods, watched everything I put into my body. Rested. Slept. Got my strength back and read Hip Runner blogs.My girlfriend and friends were wonderful in trying to keep my spirits up. We all need motivation. Dr Sharkey recalled a patient he had run into who had just run the Dopey event in Florida – a 5k, 10k. and a marathon all in a weekend. I was allowed to start jogging 5 weeks in to therapy – one min on one min off on the tread mill. The amount of time and distance slowly built it up but i listened carefully to my body. The Philadelphia Broad Street 10 miler was approx 11 weeks after my surgery – it was a long shot but after determining that I couldn’t hurt myself I ran it. Amazingly only 9 mins slower than the year before. 1hr 19or so mins – I’d run but a handful of times – i loved it but I knew it wasn’t the most sensible of things to do.
I graduated PT after 7 weeks – but continued to do all my exercises every day. I got back to teaching but not to the level I wanted. I’m working with a trainer now, once a week, but we concentrate on functional movement to strengthen both my hips. My left hip will need to be replaced but right now I’m back to running very comfortably and getting stronger every week. There’s a half marathon coming up at the end of the month which I hope to run in.
I know we are all different, we all recover differently, we are all motivated differently but I have to say with a broken pelvis, a new right hip and a new left hip down the road – that there are situations in life that might seem scary and the end of life as we know it but there’s always a way to know you’re in a better place than someone else. I had a best friend until January this year this year. A few years before she had breast cancer – she beat it and 6 weeks before I told her i was going to have a new hip but I was scared she simply said “If I’m brave enough to beat cancer you’re brave enough for a new hip” A month before I had my hip my friend died she never got to see it. I’ll be running a marathon this year in memory of her – I’ll let you know how it goes.
Thanks for reading
Ruth