Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Knee update

In my last post, I said that my Doctor thought I had a "probable lateral meniscus tear" in my left knee,

I had the MRI last week and got the MRI results today and the news looks good, kind of. Meaning no lateral meniscus tear that is visible, he thinks I may have some loose stuff floating and/or my knee went through a bit too much wobbling or something that got it inflamed. He did note that I do have a tear in my medial meniscus but it appeared small and since I don't have pain there he wasn't worried (he also knows that I don't have a lot left either as he did my last knee surgery). 

We discussed options and he felt my best option was as follows (which I agreed to do).  

Image result for dean karnazes running quotes
A cortisone shot today and he asked me to not run long or often over the next 2 weeks, he is hoping that with some rest that the knee will come back to pain free. We discussed how the cortisone shot could mask my pain which could potentially cause additional damage if I got carried away. So he is hopeful that with some rest, I can then run all of the TCM events with ideally no pain, so my plan is to run when I can, walk to recover, repeat and just work my to the finish.

We discussed that there could still be a tear on the lateral side or loose particles and if so the cortisone shot wouldn't help long term or even at TCM and that I should continue to look for signs of catching or the sharp unexpected pain when I resume running and if it happens we will need to discuss things further.  Last, he was not optimistic that my knee will ever tolerate uneven surfaces (i.e. trails), I am still optimistic that if I strengthen the muscles around my knee I have a chance (my winter project) but first things first. 

He also gave me my MRI scores for my knee (0 - Perfect, 4 - Not good (basically bone on bone). 
    Image result for images of dealing with running knee injuries
  • Medial meniscus for cushioning 2 to 3, stability - not rated, previously he said a 3 to 4 as all that remains is the outer rim
  • Lateral Meniscus - 1 to 2 for cushioning, from what I have read it doesn't help as much with stability, so this seems good
  • Articular cartilage - 2 to 3, not great but he said fairly normal for someone my age. So all in all good, hopefully the cortisone helps me get back to normal. 

So with this all in mind, stay tuned for my TCM race weekend reports for how things work out. Here what I hope to report:

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Monday, September 12, 2016


I have not been blogging much as I just haven't had alignment on wanting to blog and my running so here is a quick update until I get the posts out.

In process are posts for the following:

  • Grandmas 2016 - my 16th Grandmas, my worse ever marathon time and my first marathon with my youngest daughter. All in all we enjoyed ourselves but neither of us had the day we expected.
  • Afton 25k - my first trail run in a couple of years and potentially my last. Lack of knee stability resulted in my inability to run downhills or even run much.
  • Marquette Marathon - Michigan completed but not as originally planned as I hobbled through it, my daughter ran the 1/2 marathon plus an extra 5 miles to get in a long run for TCM and my wife ran the 5k. A fun weekend.
  • My hobble was caused by a "probable lateral meniscus tear" in my left knee, so I will have the following to look forward to - MRI to confirm, possible surgery but prior to that a cortisone shot to help me get through Twin Cities
  • Twin Cities Marathon Weekend - running the marathon with my youngest daughter, the 10k with my wife, the 5k with my oldest daughter and watching my granddaughter running the Toddler Trot. Oh did I mention when I finish it will be my 50th marathon.
  • Thoughts on not running marathons
  • Thoughts and plans to try to return to trails and ultras
  • FANS 12 hour in 2017
  • Grandmas 2017 - my 17th Grandmas to be run on June 17th
  • My plans for completing all 50 states (13 complete)
    • Bucket list marathons
So in the coming weeks I will look to catch up on my planned posts by at least doing short versions of each race I have done this year and then I will hopefully keep going on the other posts. 

Keep running and never ever take it for granted.....................

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Afton 25k

Afton Trail RunWhen Minneapolis got canceled I decided to go for the 25k at Afton, my original thought was to go for the 50k and then decided no better go for the 25k as with no runs on trails this year the 50k would not be a good idea.

Well, turns out the 25k probably wasn't a good idea. Initially I felt great, running at Afton again felt so good. Kind of like going home, it just felt right. The first 5k went really well, then when I came down a hill in the back forty, the knee kind of buckled or I guess it was more of a wobble and from that point on, it was just about getting through it. I could not run down hill very well at all. By the time I got to meat grinder, I couldn't walk down the hill, I had to turn sideways and kind of side step my way down.

I made it eventually to the finish, it was great seeing some familiar trail faces but I will need to figure something out to be able to run trail :-(.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Med City, Minneapolis & Grandmas

I did a quick update on Facebook but figured I should do a bit longer version on my blog, here's the Facebook post:
I had a plan this spring, run Med City, Minneapolis and then Grandmas, which would make Grandma's my fiftieth marathon. Seemed poetic since it was also my first, then Minneapolis canceled so I was looking for another marathon until today when I decided to pull the plug on MedCity at 20 miles. My daughter was running the 20 mile event as her last long run so I figured I would do the same.
Now in my case, I was having foot and knee pain and was cramping up (both legs and stomach as it was a warmer day with the wind at my back for the first 12 miles and I had become overheated). Having not fond memories of enduring cramps and expecting things to only get worse, I think it was a good choice and now I can make my 16th Grandma's my 48th marathon which seems poetic again
So what happened at Med City, that can best be answered by looking at my running log for the year.

Started out sick so I missed Zoom Yah Yah, and then I began ramping up the long runs but notice all of the pink squares, those were days I didn't run, usually a by product of my work interfering with my life (and those are the runs needed to provide a solid base). I was  getting back on track in March into April when the wheels came off again, that correlates with work again and getting sent to Puerto Rico, followed by Kristin's graduation and Katie's wedding. I did get in a 19 miler the first weekend of May and I was hoping that would be enough and it probably was but I pulled the plug anyway at Med City.

I was cramping (stomach and calf), had knee pain (bone on bone) and my posterior tib pain was kicking in so I said enough and rationalized it as a final long run and a decision to do no more damage. I did have time to finish but why should I put myself through it? I have been beating up my body and my mind by pushing my way through marathons that my health and training should not have allowed. For this year, I have been doing ok throughout the training at avoiding issues meaning no PTT issues, some knee issues and then about a week ahead of Med City my calf was cramping up again so that had me nervous going in.

Then with the wind at our back and warmer temps (for MN) I was in trouble almost from the start. I complicated it by only getting a couple of hours of sleep on Saturday night. That again would be from stressing from work along with having our Granddaughter all week. She is a total sweetie and a delight but I am no longer well equipped to deal with a 1 year old not that I ever was good with 1 year olds. Thank god she is so good. Anyway, I went into Med City tired out both physically and mentally, forgot my knee sleeve which helps avoid the knee wobble that causes the pain, forgot about suntan lotion and then after an hour in the race, totally got off track on pace and fueling.

So I will work on getting my mind and body ready for Grandmas as I can't imagine not finishing Grandmas. After all it will by my 16th Grandma's in the year 2016 and my 48th marathon finish. How I love numbers that work together..............

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Race updates

Yup a bit overdue.

I used to post my race plans for the year in early January, well that hasn't happened and to get the year off to not so good start, I started the race season with a DNS at Zoom Yah! Yah!. Turned out besides my poor training I went into the race weekend trying to recover from being sick all week. The day before ZYY, I went to the club and tried to get in a couple miles on the treadmill and couldn't make a mile so I pulled the plug.

As to this year, we have a lot of things going on in May (youngest daughter's graduation and oldest daughter's wedding) followed by the start of my marathon season.

Med City Marathon -- May 29th

FANs Volunteer -- June 4th
Minneapolis Marathon -- June 5th
Grandma's Marathon -- June 18th

Afton 25k or 50k? -- July 2nd
Turtle Trot Triathlon -- July 16th

St. Paul Urban -- August 20th

Marquette Marathon -- September 3rd
Walker Marathon  -- September 17th
Mill Race Marathon -- September 24th

Twin Cities Marathon (Ultra Looney) -- October 8 & 9th
Surf the Murph (tbd) -- October 22nd

Dates in green are paid for races, yellow are under consideration

You can see I am sticking with the MN marathons and 50k's for this year but with our youngest out of college my wife and I can renew the 50 state marathon quest going forward.

Any recommendations?

Monday, January 4, 2016

Time to catch up - 2015 stats

Well, I am long overdue in posting so I will do a short summary of my fall and then add in my 2015 stats.

When I last posted I was heading to run the Mankato marathon. I decided to DNS and instead I got a Doctor's appointment. We discussed my options, and agreed that the best option was for me to go in for PT. I did and was pleasantly surprised to get the probable cause for my Posterior Tib Tendonitis. The root cause, a pathetically weak core. I flunked all of the hip stability and strength tests. She provided me with some simple exercises (Clam shell, Bridge with leg lifts plus a few more) and she recommended more supportive and higher heel drop shoes to take any pressure off of the tendon. The initial assessment is it is working, I am running pain free for the first time and like forever. I have a long ways to go but am on track.

As far as 2015 goes, I endured 6 marathons for the year (Lake Wobegon, MedCity, Minneapolis, Grandmas, Walker and the TCM Ultra Loony Challenge, the Turtle Trot Tri and the Gobble Gait 8k) and that's my year. I say endure as every step of each race hurt to some degree and the more steps I took the more pain I got to endure.

I found this cartoon of Sylvester the cat and I think he has nicely captured what I have done to myself. My continuing to run through injury after injury has proven to be an unwise choice and what's funny my core has been weak since I popped something and had a lot of hip flexor issues.

Anyway, I am on track for a better 2016. I have my first race scheduled for next Sunday, the Zoom Yah! Yah! indoor marathon in Northfield, MN. My only issue is very poor training in late December where a combination of weather, sickness and work had me miss out on my final 2 or 3 long runs. Add in the normal poor December diet habits and well it could be a challenge and possibly a stupid way to start the year. So is it a good idea to try a marathon with a couple of long runs of 13 miles?

As to 2015, here are the stats:

Miles - 1140 miles
High mileage month - May, 148 miles
Low mileage month - February, 66 miles 

Weekly Avg. - 2192 miles
Longest run - 26.2 miles

Average run - 5.38 miles
Consecutive days - 8
Max days run in a week - 7

Average days run/week - 4.08
Total days run this year - 212

Weekday runs - 46.3% of available days
Weekend runs - 85.6% of available days

Events Participated in
Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon - Sat 5/9th - Completed
Race for the Cure 5k - Sun, 5/10th - Completed
Med-City Marathon - 5/24th - Completed 
Minneapolis Marathon - 5/31st - Completed
FANS 12 hr - Sat 6/6th - Volunteered

Grandmas Marathon - 6/20th - 15th Grandmas in 2015 - Completed
Turtle Trot Triathlon - 7/18th - Completed
Walker/North Country Races - 9/19th - Completed
Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon - Ultra Loony Challenge - Completed
Mankato Marathon - 10/18th - DNS
Surf the Murph 25k - Sat 10/24th - Volunteered 
Gobble Gait 8k - Thur 11/26th - Completed


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