Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 Year in Review

After running 4 miles in Kenya!
The good news about this year is that I started what I hope is a small running comeback at the end of 2015. My heart never strays far from my love for running, but I have developed one rule since my many painful attempts at coming back post hip surgery in 2011. That rule is to not run if it leaves me limping the next day or sore in my hip joint. Over the past two years, I keep making attempts and each attempt would end up with me limping and frustrated. In 2014, I only totaled 88 miles of running and this year the grand total was only 66 miles. I did hit two running goals this year. I ran a 7+ mile run on my old favorite route (I could do it, but ended up limping), but that was to get my mind set to run while I was in Kenya and I did do a 4 mile run through the Kenyan countryside in July. Other than that my running was going nowhere. That is until I came up with a new thought and plan. I wondered what would happen if I ran uphill on the treadmill? So a couple of weeks ago, I tried it out, setting the treadmill at 5% and then running. My stride is shorter and my cadence is slower going uphill and my joints don't take as much of a pounding. I found I could do two to four mile runs like this easily (but slowly) and for the past two weeks I did 1/3 of my mileage total for the year running two double digit weeks (11 miles and 10 miles). I get tight the day after these runs, but not in the hip joint so all is good. I hope to continue this uphill running while increasing the pace and lowering the elevation. I did do a four mile run outdoors last week that I survived according to my rules.

Who knows where this will lead? Might I do some snowshoe racing this winter, uphill mountain runs, Mt. Washington, regular 5ks? Another reason I am being more successful at this comeback attempt is I am learning which stretches, band distractions, and mobility drills work best on my hip and other misaligned parts of my body and when they work best.

The close finish with Jeff Caron at the Spring Classic
On the ElliptiGO front, I noticed last night that I needed 11 more miles to hit 6000 miles for the year. I just had a tooth extraction and implant under anesthesia earlier in the day, but I hopped on my ElliptiGO (on a trainer) and got those 11 miles in. That is 215 miles less than the previous year, but I did have two bouts with kidney stones and the past month I have been dealing with a tooth infection and those have slowed down some of my riding. I have totaled over 15,000 miles on my ElliptiGO in the 2 1/2 years I have owned it. Can I mention what a great machine it is!

I rode a total of 350 miles one week in August and did three century rides in September and won the ElliptiGO Spring Classic after having one of the most thrilling battles in all my years of racing! I have now won all three EllitpiGO races in New England over the past three years. It has been mentioned that this year's Spring Classic will have a new location and might be over the 1/2 marathon distance. This year I was also honored by ElliptiGO as one of their Riders of the Month (interview here). I love my ElliptiGO for allowing me to keep moving, training, and racing even though I can no longer run!

This year, I hope to have a great race at that new ElliptiGO Spring Classic, hit another 6000 ElliptiGO miles, get under 6 hours on my ElliptiGO for 100 miles, and to see where my running comeback takes me (my goal as of now is just to run over 10 miles/week for as long as I can without any hip problems and see what happens). I hope everyone else had a fulfilling 2015 no matter what your sport and for those fighting injuries: never give up!

2 comments:

David Pittman said...

Congrats, Jim, on hitting 6K miles for 2015! That's especially impressive given the health issues you had and the 11th hour 11 miles to turn over the odometer! Wishing you all the best in 2016!

Jim Hansen said...

Thanks David!
That end of year dental surgery sure didn't go well! The implant compressed a nerve and a week later I had to have a second surgery to remove the implant and now I am still waiting to get rid of that numbness in my mouth! Haven't had a good day yet in January as I have been dealing with the pain and then a really bad cold virus. Hope to get riding more again and then start back at running so I can continue that bit of running where I left of in 2015!2106 is off to a slow start.