First Post Op 5K

I was convinced that 2016 would be the year I would qualify for Boston. In 2015 I had taken over an hour off my half iron distance tri. I was conversationally running in the mid 7’s. I was dialed in and focused, it was only a matter of time. I would finally achieve the elusive goal that I had previously toyed with but never really took seriously. The only mild issue was a nagging deep groin pull and pain that I couldn’t shake. At the time I incorrectly thought, this is just par for the course when you’re middle aged. No pain no gain.

I was able to deny the pain for awhile but during a 1/2 marathon BQ speed trial, I was forced to face the music. First 3 miles were right on pace but my hip radiated pain throughout my body with each stride. It was excruciating. I ended up hobbling to the finish line, but was never able to shake the pain.

I knew something was wrong but was in denial about the severity. The first x-ray and MRI conclusively showed FAI and DJD. It took the doctor 0 seconds to blurt out – I’m sorry to say but you need a hip replacement.

He must’ve been speaking Chinese, because I certainly didn’t accept his diagnosis. I spent most of the next year exhausting non surgical options and searching for better doctors who would surely find a different diagnosis and solution.  As I searched the pain increased and quality of life decreased.

In many ways the hip diagnosis felt like death. Fear and loss consumed me. I slowly accepted my running days were over and came to terms with the death of my youth. As unpalatable as having my femur amputated and hip replaced was, my first waking thoughts became: I’m in pain, the day is over. I usually had been awake for 15 seconds before this reality arrived.

Once the pain took over the only realistic solution became surgery.

Surgery was 10/3/2016.

I walked that day, climbed stairs the next.

I ditched the walker almost instantly and walked a lot.

As it became medically approved I appropriately added non impact cardio machines and lots of swimming.

This past Saturday I did not intend to run a 5K. I though I might push the kids in the stroller and cheer on my wife and sister. When I found myself at the start I was overcome with excitement and decided to just give it a shot and play it by ear. Running does not feel the the same, but it doesn’t hurt.

I pushed the girls at a 12+ min pace for the first mile. Slow and steady. My sister could see I was itching to go and graciously offered to push. I took off. Adrenaline surged with each person I passed. I settled into a pace, found my breath and it dawned on me – HOLY SHIT  – i’m running ! I became a sensory sponge, taking in the beautiful scenery of the park, feeling the crisp air in my lungs, and the glorious warm glow of the sun. Pearl Jam’s Alive came blaring through my brain, like it had been waiting for me to hit play. I chanted the mantra – GET SOME  – as I passed more people. I’m still alive. Then as quickly as it started it was over. My new hip PR and final time 29:56.

I couldn’t be happier or feel more complete.

The doctors will tell you that you cant run.

Most other will tell you that you shouldn’t.

Don’t believe them.

You can and you will, if you want too.

You are a HipRunner !! GET SOME !

8 thoughts on “First Post Op 5K

  1. This is a brilliant post. I’m so glad you had such a great experience – very encouraging!

    I’m a little bit behind you (op was 28th October) and have just started jogging a little. Can I ask: Have you had any reaction from your hip post-run? I’m finding that I’m very stiff the next day and the day after that too. I’m assuming this is adaptation because I haven\t run since August 2016. It’s hard not to worry a little though.

    Once again, congratulations!

    1. Thank you ! Fortunately, nothing negative from the run.
      There is general body soreness from running but nothing hip specific. Thank God !

  2. This is a FREAKING AWESOME post! Gave me chills reading it. I remember how that first run felt for me too. You nailed it! Thanks for posting and congrats. More and better days are coming! Get Some! Love it!

  3. Congrats, it was 4 months before I ran my first 5K and haven’t looked back since then. Be careful, don’t get too ambitious, our hips need rest and also building. Make sure you cross train and do some strength and flexibility training. Good luck. Dave.

  4. Very encouraging news!! Had my surgery 5 weeks ago and while my recovery has gone pretty well, I’m still walking with a limp unless I really focus. When were you able to walk normally? I’m hoping I only have another month or so.

  5. Wow mirrors some of my same emotions and experience. My replacement was due to a bike accident, I remember the devastation when my doctor said the words, no more running. That was 5/16, Dec was my first official 5k. I remember the outright joy of that run, it seem d to signal a return to running. Great day! Recovery continues to go well, looking forward to a 10 k in April, and triathlon in June or July! Thanks for sharing your experience, and thanks to all others for sharing. This site and your words continue to inspire. Running is possible just be smart about it, do the PT and don’t push it to early!

  6. Hi Guys:
    Thanks for the encouragement!
    I am a 65 year old with 35000 miles of lifetime running, last mile ran was a 6:47… before falling and dislocating my hip.
    Had hip replacement in 2011, and just now starting to run again
    Since the surgery I cycle (50-200 miles/wk), swim, deep water running with belt, hike extensively including half dome and HuaShan, and lift weights 5 days/week.
    Yesterday was my first run. I ran 8 quarter miles jogs during a 6 mile hike. All of the jogging was done on a cinder-like trail. I ended up with little hip pain or soreness and have now set my sights on a Turkey Day 5k later this year. My plan is work up to a mile and incorporate some longer hill repeats before looking at a watch.. I also need to remove a few of the pounds gained lifting weights.. And plan to buy a pair of Hoka (thick cushioned) running shoes..
    Let’s dream/plan about a putting together a bionic team of Titanium Hipsters for a future Hood-to-Coast race!!

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