Perry’s Testimonial

“Five years ago I had both my hips done seven weeks apart. My doctor wanted me to get back to running so six weeks after my second hip I started a run-walk and slowly increased distance. three years later I did the Twin Cities marathon in 4:22:23. I was 56 at the time. I know of others with THRs that run most of them don’t tell there doctors. My right knee has been arthritic for a long time and two months ago I had it replaced! My doctor does not want me to stop running so working with a therapist I have started a
run-walk and things seem to be going fine. My hope is to run the 2014 marathon. I just wanted you to know that there are a number of us out there that are not going to let arthritus stop us from doing what we love!”

“When I had my hips done all I could find was people saying it was stupid to try to run after hip replacement, now after myknee replacement I decided to look again and found you, this looks like a wonderful blog.” – Perry

Thanks for the input Perry.  Good Luck with that knee!! You’ll be running before you know it.

Tom – Week 50 Report

Wow what a week.  I played basketball last Wednesday night.  Thought about taking a charge but decided otherwise….err…..mid-charge.  I took an elbow to the ribs.  Breathing was hard for a few days afterwards.  Without realizing it, I was babying my right side causing a bit more stress on my left side (hip side).  I also was running slower.  Running slow is much harder on the hip then running a more brisk pace.  I’ve found that when I run faster, there is less impact on the hip due to forward momentum.  So after Saturday’s 6.2 miler, I decided I’d better not run the Sunday long run.  Instead it was an easy/slow five miler around the river.  Today feels better.  I am stuck in a quality audit at work this week.  This negates any chance of running during the lunch hour.  So I will take a much needed running rest for the next couple of days.   Basketball is a different story… tonight!  Noooo charges…


Brian – Week 14

My recovery from a THR of my left hip is going very well. However,  I have decided to wait a full six months before I begin to run again,  Unlike some of the other hipsters, I have been advised by my surgeon not to run “ever again”.  Although I have decided not to take his advice, I do intend to take it slow.  I have been riding a stationary bike for 45 minutes  4 or 5 days a week. I am also weight training 3 – 4 days a week. I do full body weight training and have spent more time training my lower body then I ever have in the past.  I want to condition my lower body as much as possible before I begin to run again. I have done some swimming and intend to start pool running workouts in January. I have been reading a lot about pool running and am considering substituting some pool runs for “real” runs.  Also, I am considering entering the triathlon world as a substitute for the marathon world I lived in prior to my hip problems.

Another consideration for me is that I am headed for a THR of the right hip sometime in the future, probably in the 3-5 year timeframe. Therefore,   I could be looking at  a “double” hip revision surgery when I am in my late 60s or 70s.  With or without running, I will likely need the revision surgeries if I live long enough. Maybe I should run as much as I want to and have the revision surgeries when I am still relatively healthy? Food for thought!!


In recent years, I have become a Brooks guy. When I started training with the SDP boys, I noticed many of them wore Brooks running shoes.  Once I tried, them, I never looked back.  I just received notice that Brooks will be sponsoring me as a “Unique Story”  in their 2013 “Inspire Daily” program.   I am excited.  There are things I have to do to commit to the contract.  For instance, I can  only wear Brooks running gear at racing events  and advertise Brooks on this Blog.  That will all be easy enough, but the coolest thing is that in return, I will get some gear and some swag.  I am especially excited about the swag because I can use it to motivate kids that I coach in XC and Track.  I am also eligible forI some positive media awards.  I’m not completely sure what that means, but its exciting to be a part of the program. And with the help of my friends in the “Hip Runner’s Club”, I am hoping that 2013 will bring more depth and breadth to this blog as more individuals come on board to tell their stories.

Senseless Tragedy

I have never been preachy.  I started this blog to use as an outlet and a distraction while I recovered from my total hip replacement.  Today I am using it as an outlet again, but not for anything health or running related.  Today, I was reminded how small and miniscule my worries, pains and concerns are compared to others. Today a tragedy beyond comprehension occurred in Connecticut that resulted in the loss of many young school children and several adults.  It is haunting me at this moment.

A young and disturbed man came into a  classroom, and then proceeded to kill kids at random.  Some other adults were killed as well.   WHY???!!!  How could someone’s soul become so dark that they would be willing to act out in this manner?  I want to try to understand the motives of the gunman and what caused this senseless act to happen, but it is not working.  HOW COWARDLY!!! HOW SELFISH!!!!

I’m a coach.  I’m a father.  I revel in the way kids teach me about the joy and excitement of life through their sheer wonder of the little things in their world.  But today, I hurt for the children who died.  I hurt for their classmates who had to witness the terror;  many will be scarred for life for what they were exposed to today.  They were just babies!!!! And the thing that tugs at me the most is that there are many parents who will not be able to hug and kiss their child tonight before bedtime.

As simple as it may sound, I’m imagining those babies…in God’s arms, laughing, giggling, and feeling safe in his warm embrace.  That is what is getting me by at this moment.  Admittedly, I don’t sit down and pray too often, but I’ve said a few today.  If you have a moment …. say a prayer for those children, their parents, and every single person on this earth who was affected by the acts of this one disturbed man.

Week 49 Report

So after a “giddy” week 48, and week of increased effort, I now have to pull the reigns back a bit.  My week consisted of  two days of basketball, more running with additional quality, and a Sunday long run  that I finished in 1:09 and change.  ( I call it a 10 miler, but it’s really 9.6).  Although that is not even 7:00 minute miles, I am very pleased considering the middle miles were up the back side of the Spokane’s South Hill and I was hitting 8 minute miles on those.  In the last 4 miles of the run I was hitting sub 6:30’s.  It was an effort.  I felt it.  But I made a challenge to myself to finish the run in under 1:10.   It was one of those, “If you finish in under 1:10, you’ll ……(fill in the blanks)”.  I tend to do well on those challenges.   The effort was awesome and it felt great to hold that pace.  But today, the hip is tender……I overdid it. 🙂   I took two steps forward, and now I have to take one step back….but I am still going forward.

In other news, we now have a hip “sister” to add to our group of hip brothers.  Kathryn contacted me this week and I will be telling her story soon.  I have also gotten updates on hip brothers Brian, Colin and Ira.  It occurred to me that they have their story to tell too.  So in the coming weeks, I am opening this blog up to them, so that they can add to the weekly reports and post their progress.  That way, future runners who may be having hip problems can get the hip replacement recovery perspective from other runners besides me.  Stay tuned.

Week 48 Report

I have to admit I feel a little bit giddy.   Month number 11 has been a good one for me.  It feels like a gift.  The difference I feel now compared to just 30 days ago is hard to compare.  In the weekly reports leading up to the 11th month, I talked a lot about being stuck at 90%.  Truthfully, I was at 90% for so long, it made me wonder if that was as good as it gets.  But this last month has proven otherwise.  I have been seeing constant improvment since the week of the XC Championships.  It is safe to say that my hip is AT LEAST at 95%.  I feel so much stronger.

In fact, yesterday, I actually worked out twice, once in the morning and then again at noon.  In the morning I split time between running and lifting weights.  At noon I split time between basketball and more weights.  I discovered that mornings are the perfect time to listen to the “Lefriec Brothers” Podcasts.  Two of the Lefriec boys run on the Spokane Distance Project.   These guys are a cross between the Car Guys and Howard Stern.   Their discussions cross the gamut of public interest, covering everything from good dog food, to geology (or is that geography?)  The best part about it is that their podcasts are exactly the length of my workout.  Hanging with these boys after workouts, I have gotten a sense of what to expect in their podcasts.  They have not disappointed.  Noon basketball was fantastic.  My game is improving.  I no longer feel like I would be the last one to be picked on the playground.

I know I have to be cautious, but I am very anxious to start bumping up my weights, increasing my mileage and expanding my activities.  I am re-thinking  my goals for next year.  Maybe raising the bar a bit.  Although I swore them off after I had run 5 of them, that “M” word keeps popping into my head.  If not that, than for sure a half of an “M”.    Who knows….if month 12 is as good to me as month 11 was, I may even want to run an ultra.    Maybe that’s a stretch…but right now…my running mood is a good one.

Tonight’s workout should be a good one.  Start from the Elk Public House, run 5 miles up to B&B Physical Therapy for a good workout with the SDP boys, then back to the Elk for a brew or two.  It feels so good to be strong again.

Week 47 Report

Me and the SDP Boys – An easy 5-miler on Thanksgiving Day

Every year on Thanksgiving morning, it is a tradition for me and my family to run the Turkey Trot in Manito Park. It is very low key and full of goodwill.  It also “counts” as a run with the Flying Irish Running Club – a fun and crazy running club here in Spokane.  The club keeps track of every run that you attend and once you hit a mark (6 runs, 50 runs, 100 runs) you earn the right to a shirt.  It’s a badge.  Admittedly, I have not been able to run as much with the group this year, but after a full year with the new hip under my belt, next year will be better. On the way to the Turkey Trot, I was dropped  off at the nearby Starbucks where the Flying Irish were checking in runners.  Only the regulars were left (Hans, Brendan, Todd, Donny and a few others).  They were dressed mainly in loin cloths, prepared to run.  (I DID mention they were a fun and crazy group).   So I jogged over to the park with them.  Needless to say I looked a little out of place running with these skin clad running natives.  As is typical at this event, there were a lot of old friends that I hadn’t seen in a while and I lost track of time while visiting with them.   When the gun went off I was way in the back of the pack.  At one point my wife and kids could see me running on the other side of the course.    They said I had a look of determination on my face.  It was a fun run…..why was I so determined?  I think I must have been trying to catch up with the SDP boys (In the picture above – L-R:Dave, me, Andy, Fitz, Kyle)…who got off to a much better start than me.

The race was a good start to the day.  It was followed by the traditional stop at the downtown Starbucks for a round of cocoa, mocha and cider, and then the annual James Kerns Memorial Turkey Bowl, a front yard football game that includes a trophy honoring James Kerns, a family member to some and friend to others who passed away a few years ago.  James always seemed to have a smile to give.  My house reclaimed the trophy with the help of a few friends.  Here’s the winning team’s pic.

I am back.  The hip is at 95%.  Running hardly bothers it anymore.  Turkeybowl football hardly bothers it.  I have been playing basketball.   2012 has been a much needed rehab year.  I couldn’t rush the process of getting back to my old self…..every time I rushed it…..I felt it……I had to let go and let it just happen.  As much as I wanted to control it, the healing process was something I just couldn’t control.  Finally after what seems like too many months (but not really), I am looking beyond the hip.  I am setting goals and looking forward to what I will accomplish in 2013.


Week 46 Report

Saturday was race day.  It was perfect.  OK…maybe the weather could have been a little better, but through most of the day….it really wasn’t bad.  I spent the day up at Mead High School in North Spokane cheering on a bunch of kids that I coached during Cross-Country Season.  It was great to see them out competing at the Junior Olympic Region 13 XC Championships here in Spokane.  Several of them earned the right to advance to the National Championships in Albuquerque on December 8th.   I also enjoyed watching the kids of two of my old college XC teammates compete.  Eric and Colleen both ran at GU and then went on to get married.  Now their kids are super fast.  Both of their boys ran really well with Daniel winning his race and Cameron placing in the top 10 in his race.  As soon as Daniel finished, they hurried off back to Portland for the Nike Borderclash, a race that pits the best Washington Prep runners against the best Oregon Prep runners.  Their oldest son Kyle, one of the top runners in the entire state of Oregon, was racing in that race.

By the time the USATF Northwest Region Open & Masters XC race came up later in the afternoon, the clouds started getting darker and a deluge was imminent.  Luckily the rain held off until after my race was underway.  It could have been so much worse.
I keep thinking how miserable it would have been to be standing around in the downpour waiting for my turn to race.    Instead, I welcomed the cooling effect that it had on me during my race.  I was happy with my results too.  My verbal goal for this race was to finish in under 32 minutes.    But what I really wanted to do was break 31 minutes.   I ended up running a 31:16(about 6:15 miles).  I’ll take it.  My long run on Sunday never felt better and I spent the entire day in a great mood.  With  Thanksgiving right around the corner, I have a whole lot to be thankful for.   It’s been just under 11 months since I had my hip replacement and I competed in a high level race with some good talent.  The best part about it is that I didn’t embarrass myself.   I have a new trail that I like to run on……it’s called “The Comeback Trail”…….


Week 45 Report

So Not me...but funny just the same.....

This weekend I am all signed up for the USATF NorthWest Region XC Championships.    I haven’t been able to run for the last 2 days due to other commitments, but I have convinced myself that I am “in my taper” for this race.  It’s going to be a cold one.  We had snow over the weekend (See my hiptwits from my Saturday and Sunday runs – beautiful).

On Friday, an old college XC buddy of mine is coming to town. His kids are running in a USATF sanctioned event at the same location as my race.  So we plan to meet up that night and do a little bit of …..errr…..”carbo loading”…… at Jack and Dan’s (one of the fine drinking establishments that we regularly frequented while we were in college).  It will be great to catch up with him and reminisce.

The hip feels good.  I’m excited to see how the weekend goes.  I would have never guessed that I’d be running a USATF race with the SDP boys 10 months after surgery.  With the recent pause in my training, I hope I have enough in the tank to run an acceptable race on Saturday.