Another improvement.

A different update, here. So instead of adding to the below list of 10Ks around a coupla lakes that I do, here’s a something-something.

So I have a near-20k route that I used to do two to three-times-a-week when I was running 110-150k/wk. So if you look at my first outing since that evil masochist sliced me open and sawed off my femur on Dec 2, 2016, nearly a year ago, I took my downhill ski poles and took 2:04:00 to hobble around the lakes – no running.

About a month ago, I ran for 2:03 and covered a hair over 20K – hilarious – twice as fast. The 20K has a big hill on it…and a few small hills, and really the first 5K is net up.

Now I used to run that route 1:20-1:30 depending on the purpose, so have come along way, but got a long way to go too!

I notice the skeletal muscle around the hip is healing much quicker that it did months ago, for example two days ago I ran 19.86K in 1:58. Today I ran around those lakes in 59:59 it was I would call moderate effort. I think in the fall I would need at least three days of recovery before running again….woohoo!

Everything is great.

54:40 – Friday, February 2
54:58 – Friday, January 19
55:47 – Wednesday, January -something
56:56 – Monday, September 26
57:55 – Thursday, September 20…
58:38 – Tuesday, September 12…finally sub-60, 21 minutes to go!
60:43 – Saturday, September 9 – haha cruel and unusual treatment.
1:01 – Friday, August 25 – Ugh…almost there.
1:04 – Thurs, June 15 – 1 hour faster than Feb 26th, first time out.
1:06 – Tues, May 30.
1:07 – Thurs, May 25*
1:08 – Thurs, May 18. (note to self: lose 30 pounds).
1:09 – Thurs, May 4. May the 4th was with me.
1:13 – Sat, April 29 – Need to do more physio. These are the only effort outings I have done….
1:15 – Thurs, April 13 – Taking a week or two off this route as I am just chasing time…
1:16 – Sun, April 9 – ran about 11-12 minutes – 48:00 improvement in 42 days – 10 laps.
1:18 – Thurs, April 6 – ran about 10 minutes
1:22 – Fri, March 31 – ran about 6-7 minutes total – 33 days since first trip around lakes.
1:25 – Sun, March 27 – ran about 6-7 minutes total
1:29 – Wed, March 23 – ran about 5-6 minutes total
1:35 – Sun, March 19 – ran about 1 minute total
1:38 – Thurs, March 16 – no running
1:47 – Sun, March 12 – no running
1:57 – Sun, March 5 – no running
2:04- Sun, Feb. 26 – no running

 

The off-road 10K that I have been doing (see efforts above) is actually about 6.06 miles, so 9.82 kms. In racing, it is typically one minute slower for runners around from 30:00 to 45:00 +/- a little on either end of the spectrum, because of the surface in comparison to their road 10K.

 

I used to run this in 37-45:00

34 thoughts on “Another improvement.

  1. Good progress Christopher, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll be under an hour. Don’t push it too hard and rest when you need to, patience will get you over the end line.

  2. Ditto. I can always tell when I’ve pushed it a little — not really sore, but I notice that it feels sort of stiff. Has happened after running, or if yoga poses were particularly “stretchy” in the hip area that day. But stiffness has gone away quickly after rest. Ah so, grasshopper. Being patient is tough.

  3. Nice work Christopher. At the rate you are improving, you’ll be running world record times in 2 months.

  4. Thanks.

    I plan to break the marathon world record of 2:02:57 before Eluid does. Or Kimetto. BTW I interviewed Kimetto at Athletics Illustrated.

    Looking to go sub 1:20:00 Tuesday or Wednesday see if I can run 50% of the route. If I do, I will be sub-1:15. bloody slow, but so much faster than the 2:04:00 for first trip around….

    Mowed the lawn like a boss. Killed it. Probably set a standard that will be difficult to break. Too bad I didn’t time it, my personal best on the lawn mow is 38:00.

    Rototilled the garden too. Like a boss.

    Totally turned the soil into a fine, rake-able with a hair comb layer….

  5. Wow, what an improvement!

    I’m eager to start running again myself at the moment. Surgery was 6 months ago today, and I’ve had a really slow recovery with lots of problems with leg length discrepancy. I walk around an hour each day with my dog, and am thinking about throwing some jogging into the mix.

    One question: How on earth do you manage running with walking poles? I have a pair myself, quite useful during the first months of recovery, but I never contemplated using them as a running aid.

    Thank you for an inspiring story! 🙂

  6. Hi,

    Ever downhill ski? If you have, each pole plant is on the side you are about to turn into….

    Similar rhythm. My arms are getting a workout at the same time, so it is like being on the eliptical sorta.

    I try to lean forward a tad and plant well ahead…..and almost use the end of the plant to push a little…..but you have to remember that – tough with nice scenery!

    They keep the stride straight, so instead of running like Ray Charles, I am running smooth like a…..runner! But with the poles.

    C

  7. Thank you, Cristopher! Yes, downhill skiing is one of the other things I’ve been looking forward to doing again. Will try the poles sometime soon, sounds fun.

    Actually went for my first “run” today. 5 minutes jogging in total. Felt amazing! A bit tight in the groin area, but nothing I can’t handle. So happy about this! 😀

  8. Thanks for the log. So about 3 1/2 months post op to try jogging. I am 7 1/2 weeks post op THR after a crash running around Pass Mountain in AZ. I was wondering about time frame to try jogging. I can bike 20 miles and plan to swim 4K end of June, but will have to patient with trying to run. But your log gives me hope.

    1. Every doc is different Phil. The key is, when “you” decide to do it, let the hip be your guide. Initially, its going to feel really weird running again. But over time it gets better. Just be sure not to push beyond what the hip is telling you on that day. This is important early as the surgery site is still recovering.

      Hip Brother Tom.

  9. I would consult your bone mechanic. I find each one is so different, for example, you cycle 20 miles after 7.5 weeks, I am not allowed to cycle outdoors until early May, which is six months considering it was Dec 2 – so counting all of Dec….

    I see some people can go at it quite early. I am wondering if that has to do with being cemented vs uncemented.

    Do you know if you are cemented? I am not, perhaps therefore the longer wait for the bone to adopt the prosthetic??

  10. Hi Christopher! Thanks for this series of performances, I am of a mind to join you in your pursuit of the magical 60 minutes. My op was May 2nd 2017 and I have a BHR from 2014 as well. I am still at racing weight of 135lbs though so I have an instant advantage!
    15th June I did my first offroad 10k (field paths, golf course, canal towpath) and rounded it up to full distance with a couple of laps of my front garden to keep Garmin happy, in 1:46 with no running. Will probably repeat in a couple of weeks as a test but 5k is my regular running distance so am focusing on that. I ran last Saturday (to become an official Hiprunner) in a time of 31:43 – 5 weeks and one day since leaving hospital. Saw surgeon on Tuesday for my 6 week check, he smiled and said carry on, and OK for road biking if I am careful…
    Cheers, Pete

  11. Thanks for the message, Pete.

    I have lost a couple of pounds, but you do have me, I still need to lose another 25+.

    I would be below 60 if: I was 30 pounds lighter.

    You lose, two seconds per mile per pound over optimum weight. So I can knock off six minutes that way ….

    Is a BHR a Birmingham ?

    1. I heard that to Christopher. 2 seconds per mile per pound. Wow! Losing 10 lbs would do wonders for me. 🙂

      1. I really believe that for people within the range of average height this is an accurate formula. A road race series we have here, they line up the top-10 in the five-year age-groups, so as you can images, here are a lot of awards given out. I get a chance to see 1 and 10 a lot and observe. the rows end up being what looks like a lose weight contest, number 1 is almost 100% of the time thinner than number 10 by quite a bit….and 1-4 underweight 7-10 almost always.

        I have looked at people and said, “you have lost X pounds, yes?” and they agree and the math works out nearly every single time……

        I can’t wait to lose that weight. Now with a THR, I am sure the fatigue and atrophied muscle’s pain will be a lot less, if I can lose 30 pounds, so the training will be better…..

  12. Yes. I was supposed to get the other the same but my femoral head broke off during the op. I have a Zimmer ceramic device instead..

  13. Yes. I was supposed to get the other the same but my femoral head broke off during the op. I have a Zimmer ceramic device instead..
    Today’s 5k went in 30:55 but felt really hard work, and a bit limpy, in the unaccustomed sunshine.

  14. Congrats Chistopher! I love seeing the progression/updates. It really paints a great picture or the progress one can expect to make!

    1. Thanks. earlier you wrote sub 1:00 by mid-July, that’s a month away.

      Might be able to do that, I am at 1:04 and am losing weight….might just make that a serious goal, ha.

  15. Easy pickins’, Tom.

    I would have had that Friday, if I started faster. I started faster yesterday and was sub-6:00 for the first two K, then the leg (a tendon?) got a kink and it hurt too much so quit just before for k, and not put out about it, as I know there will be lots of shitty days.

    The real money should be when I go sub-50 and then sub-40.

    Drops the mic.

  16. Hi Chris, congratulations on the recent improvements!
    I had stopped trying to run 10k because it seemed a bit counter-productive (I got slower over 5k and it hurt a bit) but this morning decided to try again, on a flat pavement & riverbank course, and managed 58:08. According to my Garmin this was ‘overreaching’ but I thought it was reasonably steady. Will try again in a couple of weeks perhaps, at the moment you still have the edge over me!
    Pete

  17. Hard to say. The runs are off-road, so I would have you there, but they are 9.7 -9.8K in distance…..so pretty even.

    I find the IT band and perhaps another tendon don’t like anything over 4K or so, so I need to roll and massage the area…..fade in all runs…..takes two years or 16 months to two years??

  18. Nice work Christopher. Remember when you were talking about trying to break an hour? Now look at you…..
    Well done. It won’t be long before you are back to sub 45…..

    1. Thanks Hip Brother Tom,

      Doing lots of research on muscle atrophy versus growth, we lose at something like 20x the rate we gain…..yikes.

      So when I am running, I know I am not powering nearly as well after some fatigue sets in on the surgery side.

      Sub-50 coming soon….;o)

      THanks

  19. Well done Chris – I suspect the 54:40 was 2nd February though..
    I have been struggling with something very like what you describe, weakness in the op leg which hangs around the ITB and makes me limp a bit and threatens to give way when jogging downhill. I am at 9 months now and it seems to be getting worse rather than better. Where did you find info about muscle atrophy etc? This leg is a good 30 lbs weaker than the other when tested in the gym (but it does not show on the bike) – how do you rebuild muscle without working it?
    Cheers, Pete

  20. Pete,

    Thanks. Changed the date. It was indeed February 2.

    The surgeon told me that it takes 16 months to 24 months to fully regain strength in the op hip area. I am at 14 months and it is still smaller (quad, glute and right around the femur). He told me that he angled the femur out a half inch, I think with the atrophied muscle and the half inch outward angle, it appears more atrophied – could that also be your issue?

    All I can tell you about rebuilding the hip is to do exercises that create a stimulus with those muscles, squats, cycling, walking, running (up big hills) etc etc. I have seen video of people doing leg press with a lot of weight and that concerns me, if many surgeons say “say goodbye to your running,” due to impact, then how the heck do you press a ton of weight? The ball must be pressing hard into the cup. Too much stress for me.

    I talked to Professor Luc Van Loon of Maastricht University. He is a leading skeletal muscle and exercise scientist.

    I wrote a couple of articles about the timing of protein and quality of protein and cited his research about atrophying at least 10x the rate in which we build, which leads to the next question, how old are you?

    He says that atrophy due to age doesn’t come in a smooth even curve (picture a line graph) but in staccato steps. Imagine being bed-ridden for two or three days with the flu. You lose 1% or so. Or sit all day every day at a desk + sleep + watching TV etc etc. What is your net exercise at the end of the day? Is it just a little joggy-run and that’s it? For example, I have a stand up desk at work, so I stand five hours of the eight hour work day, play table tennis at work two to three times, spin on my bike while watching hockey (so that’s three hours) and we have three flights of stairs at work and one flight at home – I never take the elevator.

    Do you roll, do physio exercises, massage etc the leg/hip/glute area? I would do it to a point of stress and fatigue and then don’t do it for a couple of days so that you have STIMULUS + RECOVERY = ADAPTATION. Then you have to do all those exercises again at slightly more or slightly harder effort. For more of that S+R=A to take place.

    I have a manual transmission, so because it is a six-speed, I am clutching all of the time with the left leg. The right leg (OP) is the gas of course. I think my quad is bigger in the left than it would be anyway on the right, due to the clutch work.

    Anyway, the older you are, the more you are going to fight the re-building of the leg. Lesson: DO NOT lay in bed when sick, get up. Even some action like walking about slows the atrophy effect.

    Here are links to a couple of articles that may be of interest about age-related atrophy as well as protein timing and quality.:

    Move it or lose it: http://athleticsillustrated.com/editorial/move-it-or-lose-it-to-avoid-drastic-muscle-atrophy/

    Well-timed protein….: http://athleticsillustrated.com/editorial/well-timed-and-healthy-protein-consumption-improves-adaptation-to-exercise-but-not-performance/

  21. Thanks for the info Chris, pretty scary reading for a lazy 67-year-old who likes nothing better than putting his feet up after a bit of exercise!
    My painful right leg is supposed to be 4mm longer than it was, and now my foot points nearly straight instead of 1 o’clock so the ITB must struggle a bit to cope with the changes. But things were better when I was just running and cycling – adding rock climbing/bouldering to the mix seems to have upset the steady progress I was making.
    I don’t stand much, never have been able to (lower back pain) but I can walk for hours, but most days only 2 or 3 km walking. Indoor biking about an hour at 140 watts, occasional gym work (weight machines, rower) and no swimming unless on vacation. Always take the stairs. I have started massaging the glutes with a hockey ball and taking sports massage from a professional – this does seem go help a lot.
    Will start following exercise with protein rather than sugar (have been using gelatin sweets immediately after but these are not complete protein) and try harder with squatting etc.
    Just disappointed that at 9 months I am in more pain than at 4 months, especially because resting is apparently not the answer! My Birmingham hip was much less trouble and by 9 months I was back in business…
    Thanks again for such a comprehensive response to my questions.

    Pete

  22. I wonder if you are stressing and recovering enough? Even with stretching and massaging, as well as regular stimulus, you need time to recover….to adapt. If you have a robust physio session, I bet if you asked the physio if you should do the drills daily, he/she would say no, two or three times per week…..

    Sounds like you are doing things the right way. At 67, I would think you would have to do some pretty hard work to regain all the muscle you lost…..

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