Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Two Jims at the Great Gobbler

For the tenth year in a row, I ran in Nashua's Great Gobbler Thanksgiving Day 5K race. It is the only yearly race streak that I have left. The strategy was to jog through it and keep my hip safe and pain-free. After a year of trying to get my running going, I did about the same as I did last year just months after my hip surgery. I checked and I have only done about 50 miles of running since the beginning of September so that explains a lot  and I have done no run longer than 4 miles since then. Last year, I had put in some 8 milers before the race. I will say however that I felt so much more symmetrical this year. I enjoyed the mechanics of the race. I am just horribly out of shape. Last year was my slowest 5k race ever. This year I was a few ticks faster on the clock. I don't often get to do race reviews anymore, so I will recap the race from my slow-motion vantage point. There is nothing exciting here, expect if was a slow motion replay of many races I have run in the past.

Before the race, I was talking to a few Gate City Strider teammates  rows behind the front line including Jim Belanger. We are  both old-time gung-ho marathon runners who have lost our mojos. The gun went off and it took awhile to get to the starting line (at least according to what I am used to!) and off I went jogging in a pack of slowish moving runners of all types (young, old, male, female, skinny, fat). I was in the pack. I felt good as I merrily jogged along and was very happy that my hips felt centered and great as I only got little twinges in my glutes and adductors throughout the race. The course changed this year and had over 800 runners. Most of the first mile was on the paved surfaces of the high school parking lot and entry road. It was right before this point that something very familiar happened. Jimmy B. caught up to me. We ran together for a while and entered Mine Falls Park. I recall remarking to Jim, that this was like racing just a few years ago at The Boston Marathon. Here we were running in a large pack of road clogging runners, but both of us were going slower that the marathon pace that we used to run. I usually start out races fast and have run countless races where Jim catches up to me, we run together, and then he slowly pulls away to beat me. A couple of years ago, Jim ran his 15th and final Boston Marathon. I seem to remember him constantly running between 2:50-2:55 year after year. Here is a photo of us both after finishing one year (late 1990's or early 2000's-I have no clue what year this is).

Spacemen after the 1996 (100th) Boston Marathon
Sure enough after about 1 1/2 miles of running, just like the old days Jim started pulling away as I slowed down. He finished ahead of me (23:37 to my 24:33). We have seen better days, but it was good to run with Jim again and enjoy the pleasures of racing, even if we were doing it at a much slower pace. Here I am at the start already getting ahead of Jim for a short while. He is behind # 497. At least according to today's Wall Street Journal: One Running Shoe in the Grave: New Studies on Older Endurance Athletes Suggest the Fittest Reap Few Benefits maybe we are finally doing things right! I just don't buy it.

I am still anxiously awaiting a visit to the physiatrist next week to see if there is something to do about the tightness around my hip and glutes. I have good days and bad days. I was happy with the race as I was only limping around a little bit afterwards and my hip did not tighten up much at all during the day. I was even able to put in a couple miles the next day. It was another low mileage week.

Monday: 2 miles
Tuesday: 0 miles
Wednesday: 0 miles (resting up- ha ha!)
Thursday: 3 miles
Friday: 2 miles
Saturday: 2 miles
Sunday: 0 miles
Total: 9 miles

The muscles around my hip are extremely tight and I finally found a hip flexor stretch that doesn't stress out my joint. I have been using it that past few days to some success. Kneeling stretches just haven't worked well for my hip.

I also have started doing some deadlifts for my glutes. I wish I had more weight than my 50 pound kettlebell. Gray Cook expertly teaches the deadlift here:

Here are my Great Gobbler Race results over the past 10 years:

Great Gobbler race results:

2003 19:59 16th originally called a Nashua High School Alumni race.
2004 19:38 15th
2005 19:19  7th  (Awesome snowstorm during the race!)
2006 18:16  13th
2007 18:09  18th
2008  20:10 28th
2009 20:46 31st
2010 22:00 77th  (off the fumes of summer training as the labral tear kept me from running much)
2011 24:45 170th

2012 24:33 Chip time 24:42 Net time 166th

It should be easy to improve on that next place and time next year, but that is exactly what I said last year and nothing much changed!


Triple F said...

I feel your pain!

My hip continues to "tighten up" too. But I've started just running / walking through it. Seems to help . . . the tightness usually goes away after a mile or two . . . only to return 3-5 miles later! I just repeat!

Hope your recovery improves soon!

Jim Hansen said...

My tightens up more after the run or during the night and it pulls my hip off. I am trying to limit my running with limited miles so it doesn't tighten on the run. The running part feels good if it is not tight! I am sure it will clear up eventually. Keep with it! Has your hip joint stayed improved after the 100 miler?

Triple F said...

A little backsliding . . . maybe scar tissue re-building some. But still way better then before. Thanks for asking! Good luck.

Laura said...

Glad to hear you were able to do the race.

For what it is worth...the Runner's World Quote of the Day, earlier this week, stated that the slower you go, the more calories you burn! That has been my encouragement this week.


Jim Hansen said...

Frank, You need another 100 miler then! I am starting to wonder if the tightness has something to do when they pull you hip out of the socket to do the surgery. IT is taking a lot longer than I thought to heal, but maybe that is the age thing, too.

Jim Hansen said...

Laura, That may be true, but you have to run more than the 10 miles I week that I have been doing! I actually started a gluten-free slow-carb diet right after Thanksgiving, so I hope to feel better, be healthier, and lose some weight. No more junk food for now!