Well, it’s been a year since I posted about being accosted by the gang in blue. My THR was in March 2016. I am a long distance runner who hasn’t run anything long since before my operation. From the start, I planned on getting back to trail running. I had a meteoric improvement for the first 8 months or so, up to 10 miles at a time with maybe 15 or 20 miles for the week. I started trail biking, which was great, first and foremost because it got me out there. There is also some conditioning from cycling and time off of my legs. (Cycling is great! You get to coast all of the downhills, it’s not very hard and you get your miles in less time!–my running friends think that’s funny. My cycling friends, not so much.) My problem was some radiating pain in my thigh, which I took to be the titanium / bone interface there. So I stayed at that level for several months and finally a month or so ago, went to a PT for a running evaluation. He thinks that what I have is adductor tendonopathy, likely a result of my operation. The symptoms fit with that diagnosis. Not a big deal and somewhat common for post THR, he says. The exercises that he gave me are few and simple. First, balance: (the proprioception system gets whacked when you muck around with body parts) Stand on left foot for 30 seconds, then right. Then again. Then stand on left foot and look slowly all the way to your right, and swing your eyes over to your left and back and forth for 30 seconds, then right foot. Then do the first moves again with your eyes closed. Glute strengthening: get a 10″ stool, stand with both feet on it, then dip down backwards with your foot, just barely touching the ground, then back up to the stool (no push off, all leg). Do it a dozen or so times, then do the other foot. Repeat. The exercise that really is showing results for me is with an elastic band. (Green in color, two inches wide and just under 10″ long, unstretched. I got it at the local running store.) Put it around your ankles and scoot to your left 30 feet in 6″ or so increments and then go to your right. Repeat. This has really ‘tightened’ up my hip area. Before, it seemed somewhat ‘loose’ and now it is feeling tighter and more normal and more under my control. Doing that before running has been great. Lastly, use the band around both ankles and balance on one leg (30 seconds) and then the other. I started doing these exercises only 3 times a week, but after only a couple of times I increased and I will probably do them every day or more. (If you can run a mile, why not 26, right?)
I am now trying to push the distance. I still have at least four 50 mile runs that I need to do before I don’t want to do fifties anymore. So two nights ago, I ran up and down a 3 mile (round trip) paved hill, two times with about 800 feet of climb. This morning I ran a 13 mile trail (round trip) with about 4,000 feet of climb and maybe more importantly, 4,000 feet of descent. No issues at this time with my hip. My biggest problem is that I am slow and out of shape, and I keep remembering when I was young and immortal, running much faster times. Oh well! I hope to be at 25 or 30 miles per week on a regular basis by the end of summer. So far, so good.
By way of pinning me down and hopefully encouraging others by knowing my age, I don’t want to say how old I am (I’m still getting used to the numbers) but I will say that I just got a $700 raise last month, as I qualified for Medicare. (Some of you will get that right away, others might have to ask some older friends (who pay their own health insurance) what I’m saying.) Also, I am now a firm believer in wide forefeet and highly cushioned shoes. I use toe spreaders in the evenings with the goal of getting my feet back in order after many years of running in tight shoes.