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Biggest Medal Ever

20140405_091228Not sure if you can see how big these medals are. Everyone above, the Gutierrez family, the Ruble family, and I, ran the LA New Years Half Marathon. If you did that and also ran today’s Hollywood Half Marathon you scored a huge bonus medal. 20140405_091228b

Not so sure it was worth it…..

The race course was a mess. We started on Hollywood Blvd heading East. First thing we did was make a right turn, go down a block and make a U-turn back up to the Blvd. I thought, well, they must have had to add this to make the course long enough – glad it is over with. Little did I know. This run was like my leap frog run I do with my kids’ except I was not allowed to skip any side streets….

Hollywood Half Map

The web site said it was a new flatter, faster course. Nothing in Hollywood is flat. There were no steep hills, but it was all rolling. The first out and back was on our right, but the rest of them were left turns off of the Blvd. This meant that most of the u-turns were to my right. My left leg, with the achy knee definitely did not like it. Furthermore, since each time you got to the blvd, you were preparing to go left again, it encouraged you to run toward the edge of the road on the sideways slanted surface. My left knee did not like this either. My final complaint about the course was the inclusion of a 10k. They had a 5k, 10k and a half. All 3 races started together. After a few sideways detours the 5k people u turned back. After 4 miles of detours the 10k people turned back. On our return leg of the half, the slower 10k people merged in. There were thousands of people on pace to finish a 10k between 1 1/2 and 2 hours (lots of walker) which were sharing the half road with the 1:30 – 2:00 half marathon runners. Us Half runners had weave and dodge our way through them. At one point stopped dead in her tracks and bent forward to fix her socks. I had to dodge quickly sideways to avoid bowling her over, I side swiped her a bit, but did not knock her over.  Like I said, my knee did not like this course. More on the knee below….

The Rubles and the Gutierrez family had many of the same complaints but Eric and Oscar still had very good races. Erik still got under 1:30, just barely 1:29:49 and Oscar had a huge PR run at 1:34:47. Oscar’s time was less than 1 second faster than Joe Kim – also a huge PR! I believe that Dora 1:49:21 and Monsterrat 2:02:09 also notched PRs on the course today. Natalie 1:58:49 ran most of the way with Montserrat. Cade 1:44:31 ran it, but took a couple of pit stops on the way.  Krysti “ran”, or should I say, walked the course on her stress fractured leg…..

The left knee has been bothersome quite a bit lately. Clay and I discussed that I should go see him again to work on getting stretched out. I have a real hard time not tightening up on all the muscles on my backside. I went to see chiropractor, Dr. Tony Smith at AVORS, as he is the one who is usually willing to give me physical therapy prescriptions. He administers treatment aimed at healing – cold laser, stem and ice, etc. When I saw him and was describing the exact same pain that became an issue more than a year ago, I asked for an MRI. I figured that it would be a good idea to rule out more serious knee damage. Part of the impetus for the request was that Krysti, who has been running in some pain for some time, got one and discovered a stress fracture just above her knee – in her femur!

Here is the findings of the MRI:

1) Gross tear is seen involving the junction between the body and posterior horn of the medial meniscus with extension to the inferior articular surface and extensive intrasubstance degenerative changes.

2) Mild reactive bone marrow edema is seen in far medial aspect of the medial tibial plateau where there is also focal severe articular cartilage thinning.

3) Mild amount of reactive bone marrow edema is seen involving the far medial aspect of the medial tibial plateau.

4) There is mild joint effusion

I am not yet sure what all of this means. I just received the diagnosis yesterday with the recommendation that I see an orthopedic specialist. I had mentioned my plan to run a half and Dr. Smith did not tell me not to do it. I figured I have been running this way for a year, so I would go for it. I ran in my Nike Structure Triax shoes to provide extra stability and extra cushioning when compared to my typical race shoes – Saucony Fastwich.  I am not sure if the shoes backfired, or if it were the course, but I had more trouble today than on any of my other recent races. In fact, I have been fighting mild Plantar Fasciitis in my right foot for awhile and by the end of the race it was (and is) really acting up!

Looks like I need to step back, see a Doctor and see what happens next.


2 replies »

  1. Reading your post reminds me of how my knee would feel after running certain races. With all the twists and turns the Disneyland Half Marathon was especially hard on my knee. Your first WAVE Race around all the rides at the Fair Grounds was also very painful. I have not run since the LA Marathon and my knee feels great. I miss running, but not the knee pain.

    Best of luck with your knee!

  2. There is more damage than just the meniscus tear. You will have to get off of pavement for awhile post surgery.

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April 2014


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