Friday, November 20, 2015

Hmmmmmm . . .

I'm continuing to walk.  But still can't wear shoes.

Most days I walk about 3 miles but I managed to complete about 5 miles on Medoc Trails the other day!  That is GREAT for me.  By the end neither my hip nor my foot were really giving me trouble!  So I'm trying.  Not running at all, but the walking wears me out!  Hahaha!

I know now that my hip pain is arthritis and not a repeat of a torn labrum.  So the doctor said that there was a hip replacement in my future at some point.  He suggested a series of hip strengthing exercises which I've been doing.  And surprise, surprise . . . they seem to be helping!!  I think these exercises are the reason I was able to walk 5 miles!  So I'm pretty excited about this.

But if the hip keeps hurting, I think I'll go ahead with a hip replacement even though the pain isn't all that bad.  I just don't see the point in waiting.  Hip replacement surgery is proven and with the new surgery approach, recovery is very quick.  And time marches on for me!  So if I want to have any chance of running again I probably need to be proactive and get it over with!

My freakin' foot is the other obstacle that I have to deal with.  The last surgery in December 2014 has worked to a degree . . . my toe itself no longer hurts!!  However, the metatarsal bone they cut off now hurts!!  I can't wear shoes any longer than an hour or so.  Plus, the bone hurts on the bottom of my foot.  Soooo . . .  what to do?

My ortho doctor wants me to try some custom orthotics, so I'm waiting on my pair to be made.  He believes these will at least relieve the pain on the bottom of my foot but I can't see how they will help with the pain on the side of my foot that prohibits me from wearing shoes.  But . . . it seems these orthotics may be worth a try.

And if this doesn't work?  Well, I really can't see me not being able to wear shoes for the rest of my life.  I don't know.  I just need to take this one step at a time.  Hopefully the orthotics will be the answer!

So . . . why this post?  This year is the 10th year anniversary of the Rocky Mount Endurance Club (RMEC).  The club started just after the Richmond Marathon that a group of us trained for.  The group wanted to continue on and the RMEC was formed.  Well, Michael Forrester sent out a challenge to all RMEC members to relive the Richmond Marathon next year . . . together by running it again.  That would be cool!  Realistically it would probably be my last marathon if I could do it.  And the chances of me actually being able to do it is slim to none.

The Richmond Marathon has a 7 hour time limit.  That means at least 16 minute miles.  So I would HAVE to run some but I could walk most of it.  Again, being realistic, I can't expect to really train much for this!  If I trained much (running, etc) I doubt if my foot and hip would hold up.  So my training would be only walking and probably not all that much of that.  And if I need to have a surgery, then I need to do it sooner rather than later!

But finishing the Richmond Marathon does seem like a great way to end my long distance running.    Richmond has always been one of my favorite traditional road marathons.  Right now . . . it's like I ended my running on a sour note.

In my heart I would like to do this . . . but realistically is it a check my body could realistically cash?  I just don't know.

(A couple of days have passed)

Another option might be a better option.  Honestly . . . with my body in the condition it is I don't believe doing a 16 minute mile for 26 miles is even close to possible.  Today (Nov 20)  I walked 6 miles about as fast as I could and it ended up taking an average of 17:20 per mile!  So I'm left with the question of can I go faster?  Or should I go longer?

Ever since my college days I've dreamed of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail.  Several years ago the dream became much more real when my semi-son did it after he graduated from high school.  Then, in recent years I've considered the Pacific Coast Trail as an alternative.  But I'm afraid these just may be too much for too long . . . each would take 6 months or more of constant hiking with a pack.  That most likely would be too much for my body.

But my last "bucket list" challenge has been to complete the "Last Annual Volunteer State Run," a 314 mile adventure requiring you average ~31 miles a day for 10 days.  That would mean hard hiking 12 hours a day for 10 days in mid-summer across Tennessee (actually you cover Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and finally Georgia).  Actually, I understand it's quite a bit harder than it sounds . . . but to me it just might be doable!  Maybe not finish in the 10 days allotted . . . but it is possible I could finish!!!!  If I chose this option, I wouldn't be able to share it with friends . . . I would be alone virtually the whole way.  That would be a plus for the Richmond Marathon.  I just don't know.

Anyway . . . I'm thinking.  Or . . . realistically I'm just dreaming.

Realistically I just need to move on and quit dreaming about being able to do any of these.  They just aren't realistic.

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Littleton, North Carolina
World's Slowest Runner . . . well, at least in contention for the honor. Just your average "below average" runner.