Posted by: runwithgarrison | August 6, 2013

Finally, back to running…


The last time I wrote on the blog, there was quite a bit of uncertainty about my running plans for the rest of 2013. My performance at the Ohlone 50k finally forced me to actively address the hip pain that I had been running with for several months. A quick trip to my GP Dr. Florimonte led me to the MRI machine for some excellent tests and evaluation. I then hooked up with Dr. Nick Crawford–an amazing orthopedic surgeon who happens to specialize in hips.

I initially freaked out when the MRI report stated that I suffered a labral tear in my right hip. Yep, straight up freaked out! I read everything that I could online and I reached out to several of my super-smart friends to ask for advice. Of course, I did all this while I was waiting for my appointment with Dr. Crawford. When I finally talked with Dr. Crawford, he acknowledged my labral tear but he told me that the true concern was the tendonitis in my upper, deep hamstring. Bottom line, if I could get the hamstring back online, then I would be fine. That was July 3 and I have now completed 7 trips to my awesome physical therapists Cat & Seung at Jaco here in Honolulu. We are working to strengthen my core as well as my right glute. I think I may have been working thru this hip injury since February 2012 when I ran Rocky Raccoon 100 and I have been compensating with my gait ever since. My right glute has atrophied considerably and is much smaller than my left (funny how nobody has checked me out as I ran by and noticed the difference). Since this is the case, we have been working out the inflammation with deep tissue massage and working out the muscle with a great series of exercises. I am now growing closer to running and walking pain free. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

After that July 3 doctor visit, I started to slowly get back to running. I had missed several races on my calendar and I worked hard to not push myself to the point of re-injury. After putting in a few 30-40 mile weeks, I felt that I was ready for a nice, easy long run. As it happened, the HURT Run with the Pigs hit the calendar just right. The race was 22 trail miles out and back from the top of the Pali lookout to Waimanalo and back. I had never run on these trails before and I was excited. The best part was the starting configuration…. The race was run like the Dipsea race in the Bay Area, utilizing an elaborate handicapping system based on age and gender. Small groups were sent off from the start in 2-3 minute intervals and it was just what I needed. I did not think at all about racing, I was just out to get in a nice, long trail run to test my hip and hamstring. I know I am not in shape, but a nice experience would give me a great idea as to how I should proceed for the rest of 2013.

Overall, I am very happy with my run. On the way out, I met some pretty cool runners and after a while, I was able to get into a nice rhythm. I turned my head off and just ran. By the way, did I mention that my longest run over the past 4 weeks was 11 miles and that was on Thursday. Anyway, when I arrived at the turnaround, I was greeted by Pauline and the awesome HURT volunteers. One of those volunteers was an old friend from my Coffeehouse days at UC Davis—Johnny L. It was great to catch up and introduce him to Pauline. I see Johnny at races sometimes around the island but i was so happy to be back at a race, that I just hung out at the aid station chatting for way too long! Once I took off to head back to the start, things had started to stiffen up a little bit and my lack of fitness started to show itself. I was able to put in a mixture of running and hiking on the way back up the hill and I was happy to get the race finish under my belt. I was pretty sore the next day but i am attributing most of that to my lack of fitness and toughness. Totally fixable issues. Big thanks to Pauline, Johnny, and the great team at HURT for a fun Saturday morning.

A quick heads up for all of you Pauline fans out there… She is starting to get back to running this week. She has been working thru some knee pain since Poland and she went to see another amazing orthopedist on island who is also a friend of mine, Dr. Spencer Chang. Pauline is starting her rehab @Jaco this week and I am sure that she will be posting about her training as soon as she starts to string a few weeks together.

Speaking of HURT… A few weeks ago, my training partner and friend Jeff, and I decided to sign up for Sunday’s lottery for the 2014 HURT 100. The HURT 100 is one of the toughest races around and it is right in my backyard. It has grown in importance for me personally and I am now of the opinion that it is a “must race” for me. Unfortunately, 2014 will not be my year for HURTing. Neither Jeff nor I got in on the lottery…back to the drawing board and back to focusing on the rest of the 2013 calendar. A very full calendar as it is….. I had already signed up for my 2013 races prior to my injury so I am planning on using them to help build my fitness and to use them as benchmarks along the way. I am planning on adding one race to the calendar—the Javelina Jundred 100 miler in Arizona. The race takes place October 26-27 and I think I have enough time to get ready. I just need to make my accommodations, register for the race, and then I am all set. I think running another 100 will help me regain my swagger and set me up well for 2014. I will also need to start to put a crew together to hang out with me in the Arizona desert. Should be a fun time!

Next up is the first race in the Honolulu Marathon readiness series, the Norman Tamanaha 15k this Sunday at Kapiolani park. Jeff is coming off injury as well and is training for a November Ironman so we should have a fun time chillin out along the 15k course Sunday morning. I also have 3 more ultras planned heading into Javelina— the HURT Tantalus Triple Trek 50k here in early September, then the newly revamped (due to a nasty forest fire) Noble Canyon 50k in San Diego September 21 and the Dick Collins 50 mile in NorCal October 12. The big goals are just to improve fitness and gain more valuable experience. Of course, I will need to run a Western States qualifier at Dick Collins so I can have a shot at running the 2014 Grand Slam….

Ok, now I am getting excited!

Happy Running



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