Happy (belated) New Year’s. I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year.
So why did I title my blog entry as “New Year, New Me”? Well…for starters I entered the new year without the use of crutches. My medical history has prevented me from starting the new year healthy. Two hip surgeries later, I feel great.
And as I enter the new year pain free, 2014 will be a defining year for yours truly. In 2010, I was at my healthiest and strongest. Upon feeling healthy and vowing to never look back at my old 250+ pound self, I decided I wanted to run the NYC Marathon in 2012.
Fast forward to 2011, I felt my body breaking down. Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI) was the cause to my malaise. My hips hurt. My confidence shattered. And my desire to run in the NYC Marathon in 2012 was in question.
Enter Dr. Bryan T. Kelly in the spring of 2011. His experience in arthroscopic hip surgery has been mentioned in this blog countless times over. But once again I must state, we approached this head on. One option given to me was to alter my activities. Running and working out has become a constant fixture in my life. While I stopped working out for six months at the discretion of Dr. Kelly, my confidence was not completely deflated. And my dream of running in the marathon was not dead. The dream was and to this very day remains ALIVE.
Two hip surgeries later I have never felt better. My hips no longer ache. The running path is clear. I am now running without worries or fear. Today I prepare for my toughest and most probably task, the NYC Marathon.
Training has not been kind to me. But I recently realized I was the one to blame. For instance my cardio lacked intensity. I became too complacent. The monotony of using the elliptical machine five days a week mentally drained me. On the first day of the month, I decided to mix my cardio. I re-included the use of the spin bike, the treadmill/running path, stair master, etc. It truly feels like 2010.
My goal between now and the NYC Marathon (November 2) is to mentally and physically prepare myself for the grueling 26.2 miles of fun. Yup fun.
The first item on my checklist is to lose the weight I gained from the two surgeries. In 2010, I weighed 150 pounds. Three years and 15 pounds later, I do not want to weight 150 pounds, but I sure as hell do not want to weigh 165 pounds. In the coming weeks, I plan on finding a personal trainer. I also plan on going for more runs. But of course that last item is contingent on the weather. I do not mind running in the cold, but when a “polar vortex” hits the area, my limbs mean more than a run in the park.
Is this really a “New Year, New Me”? The answer is simply “no”. For one I am not keen on resolutions. Secondly, I met my goals in 2009. And now that I am healthy, “it’s go time”.
Stay tuned. I will go through a lot of peeks and valleys.
The last time I posted an entry I was two months removed from my second and final arthroscopic hip surgery. Since that last entry, a lot has happened in my recovery.
In February, I struggled. Setbacks was the norm. But I overcame those setbacks.
Since those setbacks I slowly returned to my old self.
On March 12, I saw Dr. Bryan Kelly for my three month post-op follow up. To no surprise they were content with my range of motion and quick recovery. The only difference this time around was the amount of atrophy I sustained in my left hip. Dr. Kelly acknowledged I need to build strength and muscle. It was also on that date where I was cleared to return to the gym and resume a limited running plan.
Life is good.
Since that date I have returned to the gym. With the exception of physical therapy, I ran once on my own. If you follow this blog you know how much running means to me. Just last week I signed up for a 5K sponsored by the company I work for. I am ready. But since the event is a week from this Wednesday, I will participate with caution. My body is not where I want it to be.
Hopefully July, I will have the stamina and strength I desire.
It is only April and already I am planning for three to five running events this year. I am excited.
To avoid injury I am actually learning new stretching techniques. My lower body is tight. And the last thing I need is an injury. I am using tools such as the foam roller, balance board and even a towel. Since the two surgeries I learned how vital stretching is for the success and overall health for an active individual.
I look forward to what my running future holds. After all, all I ask is to run in one marathon. Once I begin and end that 26.2 journey, I plan on retiring from long distant running. I just need to get through this year and next year. My goal is to run the NYC Marathon in 2014.
I am looking forward to this journey.
Welcome to the dog days of summer. In three days we welcome a new month. As soon as you know it, schools will re-open, summer slowly turns into autumn. Cooler weather also allows many to run at any point of the day.
I enjoy the later months as I am currently preparing myself for three races. On August 12, at Yankee Stadium, I will run the Damon Runyon 5K at Yankee Stadium Run/Walk For Cancer Research. For the last two months I have trained hard for this 5K (3.1 Miles) and the subsequent races I am participating. As I prepare for my second hip surgery this December, running the NYC Marathon is out of the question. However, running two 5-K races and one 10-K race in a matter of three months is reasonable. After all I did receive the blessing from my surgeon and physical therapist to get out there and run.
Just a final reminder Tuesday (July 31) is the last day I can collect donations for the charity. Up to this point I collected $330. I am appreciative to those supporting me and most importantly the cause. But I would definitely like to collect more. If you have not done so please click on the link to donate. And if I may please pass the link on to your friends.
As I prepare for the race my hips feel great. My right surgically repaired right hip feels great. I have minor discomfort, which is expected since I am less than eight months removed from surgery. Earlier this week I began the journey to my second surgery by requesting and receiving an injection in my left hip. The injection, which took less than a half hour to complete, localized the discomfort in my lift hip.
Prior to the injection, Dr. Andrew Collins, documented the range of motion of my left hip. After experiencing some discomfort in various angles, he was ready to commence the procedure. In order to precisely get into the hip joint he used a “live x-ray” called, a Fluoroscopy machine. After locating the joint, he applies an anesthetic in the hip area. A few minutes after that, the needle was inserted into my hip joint. Three different anesthetics and an anti-inflammatory cortisone were used.
The only discomfort I felt was the initial pressure in my hip joint. The whole time on the table I observed Dr. Collins and even looked at the image of my hip. We even had a brief conversation. Upon completing the minor procedure he once again documented the range of motion in my hip. To no surprise (from experience), I was pain and discomfort free. He wanted me to stay off the hip for at least 2 to 3 days. Initially I wanted to refrain from working out for 3 to 4 days. But after thinking it over, I am active. The procedure occurred on a Tuesday, I returned to the gym on Thursday. I felt great.
With the injection out of the way and both hips feeling strong, I can now prepare. Preparation for these three races is crucial. To some these races are minimal. But to me these races will show how determined I am. There is no stopping me.
While I have a total of three races in three months to worry about, my main focus is on August 12. I am excited and nervous rolled all into one ball. Hell, I even purchased my first apparel for the race. What is it? Well I am going to keep you in suspense.
In preparation I have taken my workouts to another level. This morning I did an hour and a half of cardio. Typically I spend the whole time on one machine. Today, however, I spent the whole time between two cardio machines. First, I spent an entire hour on the spin bike. After re-discovering the spin bike I surely missed the workout. Again the hips felt great. Sweat streaming down my face made the workout well worth it. Once I completed the spin bike I journeyed to the elliptical for a 30 minute workout. I did not get intense with the workout. But rest assured I worked my butt off. I felt great. To cap off the morning/afternoon, I had a session with my personal trainer. We kicked ass. He complimented my look. According to Mitch, I look a bit leaner. I do not see it but I am humbled by his comments.
I am ready. Let’s do this.
As another week has come to an end I must share with you the insights to my life, in particular health.
Heading into Monday, I ran on an emotional high as I ran the equivalent of a 5K in 28+ minutes. If you were to tell me if that would be my best for a while I would have been content. But as I soon would find out 28 minutes was just the beginning.
The next day (Sunday) I met up with Mitch for my weekly personal training session. On this day we were doing two things. The very first item on the agenda were measurements. He took down the measurements, unfortunately, I do not have the measurements in front of me. But rest assured I will hound them from Mitch and dedicate the results in a future entry. After the measurements, we focused on a lower body workout. Compared to an upper body workout my lower body is my strongest area.
Mitch had me working with the leg press, lunges and squats. I broke into a sweat during each workout and set. The most challenging workout that day were lunges. Why are lunges challenging? Well there is a form and technique to lunges. Plus it’s also a matter of balancing. Unfortunately one of my biggest weaknesses in staying fit is maintaining a good core system. Lunges are challenging but they can also be fun. When I have my core at a strong level they will be fun.
As for the week itself, well I had my six months consultation with Dr. Bryan Kelly on Tuesday. After meeting with Dr. Kelly he was once again impressed and surprised at my recovery. His amazement came in the form of what I did over the weekend. Running the equivalent to a 5K six months after hip surgery is not common. Let me rephrase that, considering the amount of inflammation in my labrum, running in six months seemed to be out of the question. But without tooting my own horn, and I am not, I defied those odds. And as I have written in previous entries, I thank Dr. Kelly, Jeremy, his assistant, and of course my physical therapist, Jeremy Crow and Amanda Wohl for their time and support in getting me back into shape.
That was the good news, the bad news, we discussed the options of my left hip. Dr. Kelly mentioned some numbers and jargon at both Jeremy’s and while I had no idea what they were saying, I knew it was not good. And to my dismay his comments confirmed my concerns but at the same time they were not too bad. He did say surgery is inevitable, the inflammation in my left hip may not be in bad condition. To me that sounds like a plus.
But with all that said, I scheduled the surgery. On December 17, I am going under the knife. Quite frankly I am not concerned nor afraid. I have been there and done that. For the interim I plan on dealing with the discomfort of having an abnormal femoral head. At some point this summer I will request the hip injection. The injection will buy me time as I would like to run at least two 5K races.
Despite the news I left his office with my head high and with a smile. I am feeling great and healthy.
On Wednesday I debated as to whether visiting the gym or going for an impromptu run in Central Park. Okay in hindsight I do not think the run would have been an impromptu. The day before I read on twitter through the New York Road Runners official page June sixth would be “National Running Day”. In a way I had motivation to partake in national running day.
By the end of the day I decided to go for a run instead of going to the gym. I changed into my workout clothes and left the office for my very first run along Central Park Drive. I was excited and elated all in one. In a way I was about to fulfill an item off my “bucket list”.
As I arrived to the stretch of road on East 59th Street, I had no expectations. To top that since I decided to run at the last minute I forgot my Garmin watch. I decided to use the timer on my pedometer to time my journey. I figured the run would end quickly since I have never completed a task of that nature. I hit the button on my pedometer, the clock was ticking, and I was now off.
The difference between Central Park and the track is the elevation. Running through Central Park Drive I realized there a number uphill peaks. As I ran uphill I realized I needed to pace myself and slow down a bit. It took me some time to adjust and continue through my run. Halfway through I did not feel exhausted. But I was concerned about my time. My pedometer was fastened on my shorts – I had no intention on stopping or slowing down to check my time.
Running along unfamiliar areas in Central Park allowed me to take in the sights. Tourists taking pictures. Runners running in opposite directions. Skaters and cyclists trying to beat one another. But then I started to take in the sights of the park itself. I discovered some new areas. I found a wooded area with a pond. The minute I saw that I told myself to visit the area and photograph the serene setting.
I then entered areas I was familiar with. I ran across the NYC Marathon finish line, albeit the opposite way. I imagined how I would react to completing the marathon. Yes that sounded cheesy but my biggest dream is to complete the marathon. It will happen but until then running in Central Park will be my inspiration.
I was nearing my end. All of a sudden a shot of adrenaline kicked in. As I approached the finish line I had to fight back my emotions. The time soon became irrelevant. I was overcome with joy and emotion. I overcame weight issues by 2009. In 2011 I had hip surgery. Six months later I ran Central Park Drive.
I crossed the finish line. As I slowed down and made a complete stop, I stopped the pedometer. In 57 minutes and 16 seconds I ran the course of Central Park Drive. At that point I had no idea the distance. In due time I would calculate the mileage, at that time I wanted to enjoy the moment.
After stretching I walked back to the office. As I walked back I held my head high. Smiling from ear to ear, I knew nothing nor anyone could take what I had accomplished away from me.
I arrived at the office. Instead of quickly gathering my belongings I turned my computer on. I logged on to mapmyrun.com to track my run. After calculating the distance it turns out I ran the equivalent of a 10K (6.23 miles). I was in awe. The completion of the run was great but seeing the distance was the icing on the cake.
Now that I have that out of the way, I am exhausted. But quite frankly I am still elated days after the run. I cannot wait to do it again. Wanna join?
Have a great one folks.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mother’s out there.
Prior to spending the day with my mother I had an early morning workout with my personal trainer, Mitch. We focused on upper body training with free weights and cables. I put a lot of effort into the session. To make a long story short after the session, I decided to get a quick run on the treadmill. In 30 minutes I completed the equivalent of a 5-K on the treadmill. Not too shabby.
I then started reminiscing of the events that lead me to today.
February, 2011 – After a long run on the treadmill I felt some discomfort in my right hip and groin. I opted to rest for two weeks. Two weeks later, I returned did not feel any better.
March, 2011 – After seeing an orthopedic doctor, he requested an x-ray, which revealed a condition on both hips called femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). He told me that with physical therapy and continuation of my workouts I would be fine. I believed him at first. After telling my best friend, she mentioned her colleague had the same condition as I had. She recommended I seek a second opinion. Only catch this doctor was in demand. In March I stopped working out for six months.
Late March, 2011 – Landed a second opinion appointment with Dr. Bryan T. Kelly at The Hospital For Special Surgery (HSS). To no surprise, I scheduled my appointment for the day after Memorial Day.
May, 2011 – He requested a CT Scan before the appointment. Afterwards I met Dr. Kelly and his staff at HSS. He checked my range of motion and discovered some decent range. He too confirmed FAI, but put me at ease when he recommended physical therapy. That day I met Jeremy Crow, STAR Physical Therapy. They both recommended PT before even considering surgery. My condition at that time was not as severe as other cases. After completing the consultation he recommended I see him in August for a follow up.
June, 2011 – I began STAR Physical Therapy with Jeremy Crow and Amanda Wohl. They treated me well. After exchanging pleasantries they had me working. The first two weeks felt great but soon after I began to regress.
August, 2011 – My follow up with Dr. Kelly. He recommended I get a hip injection. The injection would determine if the discomfort is coming from my hip or back.
Mid-August, 2011 – The hip injection determined the discomfort was coming from my hip and not my back. Dr. Kelly recommended surgery. I agreed. And on that day I made up my mind on when to get the surgery. Later on that week, I spoke with Dr. Kelly’s staff member on scheduling the surgery for December 19.
September, 2011 – During my last consultation, Dr. Kelly recommended I return to the gym. On Labor Day, I returned to the gym. It was a bittersweet and monumental return.
December 19, 2011 – Surgery. It was the beginning of living with a perfectly normal yet surgically repaired right hip.
December 21, 2011 – I started physical therapy with Jeremy and Amanda. It was an arduous ride at first but I soon regained my momentum.
January 17, 2012 – I returned to work. Walking in NYC with one crutch was not easy. But thankfully the NY/NJ area endured a mild winter.
January 31, 2012 – Six week post-op follow up with Dr. Kelly. He checked my range of motion and was as content as I was. He then cleared me to return to the gym. (Writer’s note: I did not return to the gym until March.)
March, 2012 – I resumed my workouts. Returning to the gym was not easy but it certainly was not difficult. For the first few weeks I opted for elliptical training.
Mid-March, 2012 – I purchased 20 personal training sessions with Mitch.
May 1, 2012 – After four months I completed physical therapy. I am blessed and grateful for Dr. Kelly, his staff at HSS, Jeremy and Amanda from STAR.
After all this, I am now going to enjoy the summer and the autumn. In December, I will prepare for the same procedure, but this time on my left hip. For the interim, I will enjoy sporting events, run a 5K or two, and proudly accept my Master’s Degree next Sunday from NYIT. I have a busy schedule ahead of me. I could not be any happier.
It’s Go Time!
The Kentucky Derby is considered the fastest two minutes in sports. However, I had my own version. Granted it was not quite two minutes but instead it was the fastest three minutes in physical therapy.
Yesterday during my 12 week post op follow up Dr. Kelly cleared me to resume running. Okay he gave me some restrictions – but the fact I can begin my training is a God send.
Honestly I have no idea who was happier to hear the good news. First there was Dr. Bryan Kelly who seemed content with my recovery. Then there was Jeremy Crow who is my physical therapist. But in the time we have known each other he has become a coach and a friend. Of course I can say the same about Amanda Wohl – more on that later. Lastly, was I the happiest?
The winner is…All four.
All I needed to hear was you can move forward. With Jeremy’s guidance I will start the treadmill for the three minutes. It is not ideal but I have to start somewhere.
Prior to the end of the consultation I asked about my left hip. Dr. Kelly asked if I had a surgery date in mind. Of course I said “December.” With that he then reiterated you can hold off on the surgery but do not hold off long enough. He said holding off to December will be keen since he does not believe my labrum is as damaged as my right. But recommended to get the procedure when I can.
Quite frankly if summer was not around the corner and I was not graduating in May I would have opted for the surgery now. My left hip has been a sore spot as of late.
With that we parted ways until my six month post op follow up in June. By then I will have a decision on my December surgery date.
Later that evening I saw Jeremy and Amanda for my regular Tuesday physical therapy session. Amanda approached me with a huge grin. She says, “I heard the big news. You are going to run today. Jeremy excitedly told me.”
To witness all of them be as happy for me to run made me feel great. However I would not be where I am at without their support and guidance. I truly owe Jeremy, Amanda and all the folks at STAR a lot.
I ultimately ran on the treadmill at a speed of 5.0 for three minutes. It truly did feel like the “fastest three minutes in sports”. At least in my mind it did. In a way I did not skip a beat.
Overall though I had a lousy therapy session. No not because what we did but because of my sore quads and hamstrings. A few days ago at the gym I focused on lower body weight training. The leg press, leg extension and leg curl machines did me in. Now do not get me wrong it was a good sore. I just felt I could not live up to my expectations at PT.
I am hitting the gym tonight to celebrate. Care to join me? Well meet me at the NYSC in The Crown Plaza hotel on Broadway and West 49th. We will have a blast – bank on it!
Until next time.
For the last two and a half months I have been a shell of myself. Today I finally picked up those pieces. On December 19 of last year, I underwent hip arthroscopic surgery. Initially I was told returning to my old active life would take four plus months. In my case I returned in two and a half months. After spending time listening to others talk about their workout habits today was officially my time.
Initially I wanted to return Monday; but I scheduled an appointment with my chiropractor and massage therapist after work tomorrow. I then thought to myself why wait until the start of the week let’s return Sunday morning. And low and behold I did just that. This morning I went to the New York Sports Club (NYSC) in Downtown Hoboken and rocked!
In a way I picked up where I left off in December. Okay not quite. But I had a better than expected workout. Considering where I was two and a half months ago I did a lot. And by a lot I mean cardio and strength exercises. The exercises at the gym, as Jeremy Crow has stated countless times over, should compliment my exercises at physical therapy. Of course I had to add some additional time to my cardio workout. Let’s just say, I did not skip a beat.
One thing I learned the hard way during my recovery was to stretch my hip as often as I can. Last Tuesday after getting caught up in a productive day at the office, I did not get the opportunity to stretch my right hip. By the time I arrived at physical therapy my right hip felt tight. After doing my exercises I mentioned to Amanda how tight my hip felt. She stretched the hip and agreed. We discussed why my hip tightened up. She advised me to take a few minutes every few hours to stretch my hip. Those were words I now take to heart.
This morning before leaving for the gym, I took five minutes to stretch my hip. Quite frankly I think those five minutes were critical and ultimately helped in my workout. The flexibility and motion I showed during my cardio prolonged my workout.
Unable to run or use the stair master, I got re-acquainted with my old friend the elliptical. Okay, I have been acquainted with the elliptical for about a month already, but we need to suspend disbelief and pretend I got re-acquainted with the elliptical.
Initially my goal was to get 30 – 45 minutes on the elliptical. Low and behold I managed to complete 65 minutes. Lasting that long proved to be monumental. Who would have thought that after two and a half months I would have a long and productive workout? Yes after 65 minutes I felt a bit sore but my spirits soared. Usually I would not be content with a 65 minute cardio. For those that know me, I usually complete 90+ minutes on any cardio machine. But for my first time back I opted to take the conservative approach. Okay that’s not too conservative. By not wanting to overstep my boundaries I ended it at such.
My legs felt like jello. My shirt absorbed in my own sweat. Water never tasted so good. And my hip was not as tight or stiff. Overall I had a successful start to my workout.
After completing my cardio I once again stretched my hip. The stretch felt great with no pain or discomfort. After stretching I started my physical therapy. After stretching I did some favorite physical therapy exercises such as: the balance board, the BOSU, side steps, planks, side planks, leg extension and leg press. Each exercise has its meaning and purpose. Ultimately I broke out in another sweat. With no physical therapist in sight I took control over my own therapy and made the best of it.
Overall I felt great. Now my main goal is to get to 100% – and that will obviously take time and patience. The one thing I want to do is to lose some weight. At this point my pants barely fit. On December 19th, I weighed 158 pounds – this morning I weighed in at 165 pounds. Sure I gained seven pounds. To some that is not a lot but to me I am on a mission to get to where I was.
At some point this week I will look into swimming lessons at the NYSC in midtown. And as I slowly transition back into my an old habit, I will include upper body weight training into my workouts.
As I have been saying since September, “It’s Go Time”!