Monday, June 24, 2013

TRANSCEND trailer: A New Film Starring The Boston Marathon Champion Wesley Korir

It looks like the movie will begin to be shown in film festivals worldwide beginning January 2014 and from there it will be shown at selected theaters and available for purchase in DVD and Blu Ray.

Previous trailer here.

Official Facebook Page: 
Official Website: 

This feature length documentary follows the dramatic journey of 2012 Boston Marathon Champion, Wesley Korir, and brings the audience into the world of distance running: a sport of endurance and belief.
After winning the 2012 Boston marathon, Wesley sets out with his coach to improve on his 2nd place finish at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and to shatter the course record. Weeks before the race, however, Wesley feels a calling to move into Kenyan politics. 
After a disappointing performance at the Chicago Marathon, Wesley decides to spend the money he earned as a professional runner and run as an independent candidate in the 2013 Kenyan elections, in the hope of winning a seat as a Member of Parliament: a feat that had never been accomplished.
The corruption and difficulty of campaigning as an independent in Kenya leaves Wesley with very little time to train for the 2013 Boston Marathon. Training runs would be forfeited because of late night campaigning and while his competitors would be training 120-150 miles a week, Wesley would be fortunate to run 50 miles a week.
After an exhausting election campaign, Wesley returns to the 2013 Boston Marathon to show his country and the rest of the world that in the midst of hardship, despite physical limitations, when coupled with a relentless belief and a slightly delusional mindset, the human spirt has the potential to transcend all adversity.
Wesley's story in the film is intermingled with several segments of elite distance runners who face their own obstacles and who must put their belief in something, in order to get through their adversity.
Commentary throughout the film from famous runners, authors, physiologists, theologians, therapists and coaches will leave the viewer questioning what it is that really propels the greatest distance runners in the world to the finish line.
Directed and Produced by Michael Del Monte and Tad Munnings

Saturday, June 22, 2013

First two days on the ElliptiGO and training again!

Yesterday, I got an ElliptiGO. Running is not working and I can't spend the summer not exercising. What a blast! I did 14 miles yesterday and again today.

It rides quite nicely and best of all, I can closely approximate running without the pounding. I can also work on my hips and stride as I go and the best news is, that when I am done riding, my hips feel great-no limping. In fact, I actually feel better walking around with a better range of motion and a more balanced stride after both workouts. It feels better than all the therapy I have been trying put together (although I am sure they are helping). I also get that tired muscle feeling that you get from running that I had been missing. It should be a good summer getting into shape.

Yes, it is expensive, but my wife knew I'd be getting one before I did for my own mental and physical health. I would rather pay for one of these than go through another surgery or just sit around like I had been doing waiting for a miracle so I could start training again.

I hope that the ElliptiGO can help me get back to running some day again. If not, this is as close as it comes (except I get to be faster). One of America's top runner's my age had two hip surgeries that were worse than mine and could not run any longer. That is until he got an ElliptiGO and eventually returned to running and winning National Championships as well as running a 1:12 half-marathon. Brian Pilcher is my new role model. If he can make it back, then I, too, have a shot. Read a bit of his story here.

I got mine at Extreme Fitness in Newton, Ma. I had to wait for a new shipment to come in and I was there as soon as it did. Matt was very helpful and an ElliptiGO owner himself. He said a bunch of guys went out and back on the Boston Marathon course the day before the marathon this year. That sounds like a fun event to do until I can run Boston again. His store also is sponsoring the ElliptiGO race I signed up for last month.

There is quite a list of elite runners and other endurance athletes who are turning to the ElliptiGO to supplement their training or because they can no longer run. Check this out.

USA National Championships Men's 1500m final

Men's 1500 finals
1Matthew Centrowitz
2Leonel Manzano
3Lopez Lomong
4Matthew Elliott
5William Leer
6Mac Fleet
7David Torrence
8Miles Batty
9Russell Brown
10Benjamin Blankenship
11Craig Miller
New Balance
12Andrew Wheating
Nike / Oregon TC Elite

Mary Cain makes the 2013 World Championship team in the 1500m

This 17 year old girl can run and she is fun to watch.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

New Balls: Foot Rubz and The Orb

I had to go pick up my race number for the Hollis Fast 5K at Runner's Alley in Nashua and I remembered to bring along a gift certificate I had received for winning my age division at the Freeze Your Buns series this winter. I really don't need any more foam rollers, massage balls, sticks, or other tools for sore muscles, but I found two new balls to add to my very large collection. The Foot Rubz is a small massage ball with "stimulating fingers" that hit the acupressure points on your feet. I have used golf balls, lacrosse balls, tennis balls, and other products but this was the best feeling of anything I have yet tried in past. I used them for about 5 minutes on each foot using the techniques in The MELT Method book and it felt really good. The bottoms of my feet were not overstressed and they felt more loose afterwards. I even got a few nice clicks of the tight bones around my toes as things settled into place. I am pleased with this one and now just have to remember where I put it last.

 I also got The Orb Deep Tissue High Density Massage Ball in the 5"size which was perfect for hitting the really tight adductor magnus muscle that the Neuro Kinetic Therapist said I needed to work on earlier in the week. A roller or a lacrosse ball would not get deep enough into that muscle and I was advised to try a softball. The Orb is about the right size, but I wasn't sure if it would be hard enough to hit the muscle where it needed it. The orb was not spongy and does a great job, I also enjoyed using in on other muscles like the calf and soleus as you can direct the pressure right where you want it. I am pleased with this one too, now I just have to find out where my daughter last kicked it.

Speaking of which, there are two things that can happen when you get aggressive and go for it in a race. What happens in an Olympic final when someone show this aggressiveness. Check out the video of the 1988 Olympic final for the 5000 meters held in Seoul, South Korea. One runner, the great Kenyan cross-county runner from Kenya John Ngugi goes all out early in the race in an attempt to steal the race. Only one runner, Portugal's Castro Dominguez eventually decides to give chase. Both men deserved a shot at the gold medal. One would be victorious and the other would be outkicked for a medal so close to the finish. Watch the full youtube video here as it cannot be embedded. If you don't know who wins, wait for the finish to find out.

Here is another view of the final lap and finish showing the battle for the remaining two medals. Oh, the agony for the fourth place finisher.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Bill Rodgers on Breakfast Sausage

Someone recently dug up this old 1970s commercial starring Bill Rodgers on can get more wisdom from Bill  Rodgers in his recently published biography. My review here.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Start "The Theme from Rocky" - and What was said!

It has been two weeks since I have even run a step and I feel like I am hanging onto the edge of a cliff, hoping I can scramble back up to the top, but not really sure of what my fate will be. In that time, I have got a lot of suggestions about what to do regarding running and my hip and some of them involve quitting running completely. Others are more hopeful. My best bet is to be careful, listen well, think things through, be smart, and ultimately hope for the best.

What the hip surgeon said:
Two weeks ago, my hip surgeon said he "could" do another hip scope, but wanted to try a cortisone shot first, which didn't seem to work, but about 5 days later I started feeling somewhat better. I am thinking if it was another labral tear the cortisone would have made things feel good quickly and only for the short term. That is not what happened and I find that interesting.

What the physiatrist said:
I went to a new physiatrist and he recommended seeing an osteopath (I will hold off on that as I am already having work done on me and I am hopeful that it is pinpointing some things to fix). He said the pulling in my adductors when I lift my leg is just the labrum loading. I haven't heard anything like that before. It could be or it couldn't be. He suggested a Heel Lift . I had already ordered heel lifts before the visit as I "feel" a tilting of my hip to the right side. My MRI notes also noted the higher left hip. I put a small amount of lift in my right shoe last week and felt much better balance right off the bat. He also gave me some meds for pain, but I haven't used them. He said my hip tightness is just my piriformis. I don't agree. Doing piriformis stretches makes things worse (see below).

What the best hip surgeon in the country may say?
I sent all my surgery results and records to the best hip surgeon in the country and he will evaluate them in the next week or two. I am curious if he notices any bony issues.

What was said at the chiropractor's office:
I brought my MRI notes to the chiropractic office I have been going to on a weekly basis. She saw two things: dyspalsia of the left hip (mild) and chrondomalacia of that hip in some of the notes and basically said I was done running. I think these are mild and inconclusive, but it made me start thinking my running days are sadly over. I was then told that I needed to give up endurance activities and start doing things like pulling weighted sleds or heavy tires around and to get into weight lifting as another way to get my "runner's high". OK that will be like telling me to grow spots on my own. I said that I had done kettlebells in the past, but was told that is too much for my movement patterns right now. I agree on that. I think the movement exercises I have been doing and getting from them are very helpful, but I have a hard time thinking that my hip is done, when just a month ago after my first visit there, I had my best most balanced run in years. That tells me there is a point where things work together well and I just have to give it time to get there. If I do need to give up running to protect my hip, I will, but I am not sure I have been given the knockout punch just yet.

What the fellow pain sufferer said:
In the last week. I actually had five really good days (including walking around Canobie Lake Park for 6 hours with no discomfort) so the therapy is working at least in my sedentary life. I was checking an FAI blog and saw a post from another blog written by another patient-athlete writing about Anterior Femoral Glide Syndrome. I had found information on this a year before I had my surgery and asked the ART chiropractor  I was seeing at the time about it, but he had nothing for me. Even thought it is written about from one of the most prominent PT people, Shirley Sahrmann, there isn't even written about it on the web that tells you what to do and her book Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes is too expensive and not written for patients. I couldn't make sense of it back then. Heather over at Run, Bike, Swim, Fight provides a really readable explanation of Anterior Femoral Glide Syndrome and its sounds like she is fighting the same battles that I am post labral tear surgery. She writes:
In basic terms, the head of my femur is too far forward in the joint capsule, which was responsible for the constant burning pain I was experiencing. The other issue behind AFGS is that the hip flexors are activating when the glutes should be. So to correct this issue one has to train their body to activate the glutes instead of the hip flexors.
Gosh, that sounds like what I have been experiencing and finding hard to put into words. Reading some of her other experiences, they pretty much mirror my own with frustrations with therapy, similar pains, and finding that certain moves (like stretching the hip flexors or piriformis) seem to make things worsen. I was having a particularly bad 24 hours after doing my exercises that involve flexing my hip flexors (immediately threw things off on a really good day). Heather had a page of exercises for Anterior Femoral Syndrome Exercises and I did the mobilization at the bottom of her page first. I felt a little "pop"and very quickly my discomfort went from about 100% to only 15%. I did the exercises later that night and none of them "lit up" my body, but eased things up instead. I don't know if this is a problem I really have. It does sound about right to how I feel. There are so many things that can go wrong in the hip and they all have similar symptoms, but I am glad I found her page. I may have been knocked down, but I think I found some more information that just might help me climb up off the mat.

What the Neuro Kinetic Therapist said:
A couple of people that I have conversed with on some FAI boards highly recommended that I try something called NKT- Neuro Kinetic Therapy. I found a few people that practice this in the local area and started communicating with Brandon in Beverly, MA because he likes to work with runners. Last night, I went to an introductory appointment. NKT is a bit like M.A.T. which I found very helpful last fall. It was an hour drive to the appointment and it was full of muscle testing which found some of my weaker muscles. At one point, Brandon was pulling on my leg to loosen up my hip, which he said was incredibly tight. As he continued to do so, I felt a pulling or tightness happening in my glute area really close to the femur. I noted something right away. This was the exact area where I felt a tingling in the night of my great track workout about a month ago (last good run was the best I felt in years). My brain went into overdrive. I realized that at the first chiropractic visit the same move was done on my hip, but maybe with more or a sudden pulling. With all the other work that day, I felt great and loose that night at the track workout, until the "electric" tingling. I finished the workout, but was limping afterwards and the next day couldn't run 20 feet without my glute just slamming shut on me. I had trigger point injections, but they did nothing for the tightness. Every run since then my glutes ties up my whole hip by at least 2 miles and I find I can't run or move it properly. Yet, here was this muscle revealing itself as he pulled on my leg. He found the muscle's attachment right in the head of the femur exactly where I was feeling the tightness. It is a tiny spot. He then did some work on the middle of the muscle (the adductor magnus) and showed my some ways to work on it at home. It was rock solid tight. He also said this is the muscle that can pull my femur anteriorly just like in the Anterior Femoral Glide Syndrome as well as rotate my femur to the inside (like what my femur likes to do). Strangely enough, when I looked up this muscle at home, I found that the frog stretch that I had some success with when I did it a few weeks ago during a night of misery is a stretch recommended for a tight adductor magnus. There was a lot more to the visit, but I am thrilled at this discovery. Maybe it is not the hip joint itself that is hurting me. Maybe it is muscular after all! I will see how things go.

 I haven't run in two weeks, but I am running a 5k tomorrow night, because I signed up for it in advance. I am limiting myself to just jogging down the hill as mid-packer and to see how things go. I expect it to be my slowest 5k ever. Oh well. I may have been down for the count, but there is a little life in me yet and I intend to battle (sensibly) until I fully realize that my running days are over. Stay tuned. I am not down for the count!

What my brain says:

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Christophe Lemaitre defeats Justin Gatlin who had beat Usain Bolt just 3 days earlier

Three days ago, Usain Bolt was beaten by Justin Gatlin in the 100 meter Diamond League race in Rome. Today, Justin Gatlin was defeated by France's Christophe Lemaitre in the IAAF World Challenge in Rabat. Who would have guessed that either of these events would happen? I hope Tyson Gay's training is going well!

June 9. 201 3Rabat 100 meters
Wind: +2.9
1 Christophe LEMAITRE
FRA 9.98 0.191
2 Justin GATLIN
USA 10.02 0.194
SKN 10.10 0.167
MAR 10.19 0.165
5 Kemar HYMAN
CAY 10.22 0.176
6 Andrew HINDS
BAR 10.26 0.154
7 Ogho-Oghene EGWERO
NGR 10.29 0.147
8 Abdelghani ZGHALI
MAR 10.60 0.180

European champion Christophe Lemaitre claimed a notable scalp on Sunday as he beat American Justin Gatlin over 100-metres in Rabat. The Frenchman recorded a winning time of 9.98 sec with a strong tailwind of 2.9 m/s with Gatlin coming home in 10.02.

The exploit is all the more impressive as 2004 Olympic champion Gatlin, who subsequently served a four-year doping ban, beat Usain Bolt in Rome on Thursday. Gatlin beat the Jamaican superstar, who won 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay gold medals at the last two Olympics, in a time of 9.94 in the Italian capital, with Bolt clocking 9.95.

Lemaitre was slow out of the blocks in Morocco but surged through to gallop past Gatlin in the final few strides. It was the 22-year-old's first outing under 10-seconds this season. His French record is 9.92 set two years ago.

Here is Gatlin outrunning Bolt in Rome.

Rome, Italy, IAAF Track and Field Diamond League, Justin Gatlin (USA) downs two time Olympic champ Usain Bolt (JAM) in the men's 100 m by .01 seconds, posting a time of 9.94 seconds. It's Gatlin's 3rd win this Diamond League season.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Haile Gebrselassie Vs Tyson Gay

Here is a video I haven't seen before: Tyson Gay vs. Haile Gebrselassie in the 200 meters. As one comment put it, Tyson can go sub 20 seconds in the 200 and whereas Geb might be 4-5 seconds behind (after running 9800 meters). How would Tyson do against Geb in the marathon?

2013 Prefontaine Classic Highlights

If you didn't get a chance to watch the Prefontaine Classic last week, here is a good video recap of some of the races by Athletics Now.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wanted: Used ElliptiGO Elliptical Bike for sale

UPDATE: I bought a new ElliptiGO and I am thrilled with the purchase!
After 10 weeks of ElliptiGOing, I have accumulated a total of over 1500 miles. I do not get the joint pains  that I was getting when I tried to run post hip surgery. Sure, it is expensive, but I am selling stuff on eBay to pay it off and it is the best purchase that I have made in years. Make sure, if you are serious about getting one to get at least the 8 speed model. You can see many posts I have made about the ElliptiGO, but here is one on how I did a 104 mile hilly century (8000+ feet of elevation after only 6 weeks on the ElliptiGO). Here is a post about the first ElliptiGO race on the east coast. I was fortunate enough to win it and I hoping to see many other races pop up as it was a total blast. I give the highest recommendation to the ElliptiGO. I haven't had so much fun exercising and being pain-free while doing so in years.

This is a serious post. I am hoping that maybe someone with a used ElliptiGO is looking to sell it for some reason or another. I would be interested in hearing from any such people. The news I am getting this week about my hip is not good. I tried one of these at the Boston Marathon Expo and enjoyed the running motion (it was only on an indoor trainer), but it felt natural and easy unlike the feeling I get an elliptical machines. Last week I signed up for the first ElliptiGO race to be held in New England at the New England ElliptiGO Summer Classic. I am renting an ElliptiGO for the race. The race is only five miles, but the next day there is a 20 mile or so group ElliptiGO run. If my hip feels better, there is even a 5 mile running race soon after the ElliptiGO race. But that is not enough for me. I could see me doing this full time if I can no longer run.

While I am not hearing good news about my hip, I am hoping for the best (it is hard to believe everything you hear and whether it is the real truth), but I am not anywhere close to even running right now as I work through therapy. I do have a 5k race in Hollis next week that I will just jog through (a first)  and the Falmouth Road Race in August that I am signed up for (another jog and hopefully not my final Falmouth), but a small part of me is dreading the thought that those might be my farewell races to running.

I can ride my bikes, but cycling is what started this whole hip thing years ago and it does aggravate my back. I can also ride my Kickbike a bit. It is gentler than running, but I am not sure the pushing off and the positioning is best for my hip. If I had the money, I'd buy an ElliptiGO right away and start training as much as I can. That is the problem with the ElliptiGO. It is too expensive. However, if someone has one they are looking to sell at a good price, I would be very interested. I would put it to good use right away.

If someone has one to sell. contact me at marathonnh (at) or through this page. I do not mind the dorkiness factor. I would not let it sit idle in my garage. I would ride it 100 miles as soon as I could. I have done 127 miles straight (see Concord Monitor article) on a Kickbike and this looks to be a more gentle motion. My hip might start liking me for a change, instead of reminding me that I have put too many miles of running over the 40 years I have called myself a runner. I also like being at the beginning of fitness trends. I started running in 1973 at the beginning of the running boom, ran my first marathon in 1977 as that was taking off, completed my first Ironman distance triathlon in 1983, before fewer than 10,000 people had completed one. I got into bike racing before Greg Lemond won his first Tour de France and I got into kickbiking and snowshoe racing pretty early. I am still waiting for kickbiking to take off, but maybe I can be one of the first ElligtiGO racers, before all the other broken down running discover this new way to move and it gets more popular!

Here is an interesting video showing how similar riding an Elliptigo is to running featuring Ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes.

I am getting tired of sitting on my butt. This looks like the next best thing that is similar to running that I can find. If you are interested in selling a used ElliptiGO and this post is still up, then I am still interested in talking with you.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

A Visit to the Hip Surgeon

On Wednesday I went to visit my hip surgeon after Friday's MRI. It ended up being a long day. Traffic was horrible and it took two hours to get to the appointment. Without traffic it is under an hour. I was 30 minutes late, but so was everyone else shuffling in. The surgeon was real busy and it took 2 more hours before he saw me. He decided I should get another cortisone injection in my hip, so I waited another 2 hours until I could do that. Nothing was coming up as good news.

The surgeon saw an abnormality on my labrum, but couldn't tell if it was from the surgery or a new tear. He also mentioned my shallow hip socket and I think he said, "mild dysplasia". I didn't like the sound of a cortisone injection, but he says I can have 2-3 per year. It helped last time, so I thought it might help again.

While I waited for the injection, I went to pick up my MRI disk and the radiologist's report. I learned that this is free, easy to do, and gives me new information. Some things stood out to me.

BONES AND JOINTS: Osseous alignment and bone marrow signal is otherwise unremarkable. There is subtle articular cartilage thinning and irregularity suspected.
ACETABULAR LABRUM: There is prominent degenerative signal within the labrum anterosuperiorly and throughout the anterior labrum. In addition, there is linear contrast undercutting the labrum anteriorly, consistent with tear. The labrum is quite irregular  in appearance anteromedially, consistent with degenerative tearing. There is also mild heterogeneous signal within the  labrum posteriorly, consistent with degeneration.
MUSCLES AND TENDONS: There is minimal gluteus medius tendinopathy near its insertion on the greater trochanter, with overlying soft  tissue edema. There is minimal contrast anterior to the hip joint within the fascial layers consistent with the arthrographic procedure. The visualized muscles and tendons are otherwise unremarkable.
OTHER COMMENT: The examination was not tailored for evaluation of the pelvic viscera, the visualized structures are grossly unremarkable.
My hip x-ray from last month
For the first time in my life, I like being called grossly unremarkable! The rest of it sounds worrisome.

That said, this time the cortisone shot had no positive result for me. The last shot, I had facial flushing for a day. This time it lasted two days, so I am not tolerating it well. My joint felt a little juicier, but the muscles around it still hurt, in fact the inside the hip pinching doesn't really stop any more at all. I feel a pulling, tension, pinching feeling that feels like a little injection most of the time. I tried a 4 mile run the day after the shot and like every time I have tried that in the past month, my hip started getting tight 2 miles into the run. I have ridden my kickbike and strangely enough that doesn't hurt like running. In fact, I have a decent range of motion kicking on that left side. However, I notice it is hard to dial in a correct balance when bearing weight on that side. The back of the glutes seem too tight. 

I am not sure if any exercise is even good for me now. I don't want to further damage my labrum or joint.

Monday, I go  to see a new physiatrist. I hope he has some knowledge and gets interested in my case. I am curious if this is a tendon-muscular thing or something to do with the hip. 

In talking briefly with other hip patients and "doctors" online, there are a few options if things don't improve.

My surgeon said they could go in arthroscopically again and see what can be done. Number one, I am sending my files to other prominent hip surgeons to get their take. I want to see if I have FAI (an impingement) that could be damaging the labrum. I would need a surgeon that fixes those, if so. I saw a mention on a message board this morning from a doctor who says that sometimes a second surgery is necessary to get rid of scar tissue between the hip capsule and the labrum. I have never heard of this, but I remember that sprinter Tyson Gay, who had his surgery the same time as me in 2011 was still struggling until he had a second surgery last Spring that quickly fixed things so he could qualify for the Olympic Games. I wonder if this is the same thing. The doctor did say that, "The good news is the recovery from the second surgery is 1000 times easier than your original surgery. It is more like a knee scope than a big labral repair." He also said that scar tissue cannot be seen on the MRI.

Another hip doctor answered a few questions I had on another board, and some people saw  what they think could be a cam impingement on my femur as well as what could be dysplasia (my surgeon has mentioned my shallow hip socket a few times and a think he said "mild dysplasia" when talking to me Wednesday). They do a surgery for that called PAO to correct it. It doesn't look fun as they cut apart your hip. He said, I might be too old and that I should be looking for a hip replacement instead. Oh, happy thoughts! I do realize that these guys are only offering advice with limited knowledge and I don't know them from Adam except they are respected on the message boards.

My only thoughts are that the better I get aligned, the more my hip hurts. Things have been lining up pretty well from head to toe with some of the therapy I have been getting, but I wonder if that puts stress on my hip joint in the wrong way. That might be why my body thought up all my compensations through the years. 

I really need to go for a run, but I can't!