Friday, August 7, 2009

6 mile recovery run & Karl’s RANT

It was cool out this morning. It felt like fall! There is no way this can last, its only August 7th. I got in an easy 6 miler in 48 minutes (8min pace). The route was from my house to Lane Park, three loops, and back home. I was a little stiff from my hard effort Wednesday night.

So here is my rant. I was reading Dick Beardsley’s blog the other day and was amazed to find that he was now up to 50 miles a week running on his total knee replacement. If you don't know who Dick Beardsley is google "1982 Boston Marathon" (he is also the Grandma's Marathon course record holder). “Good for him”, I thought, "that is awesome". He is about 7 months post op now. Then I went on to read that he had been having some back pain at night and had tried a new mattress but it wasn’t helping, so he went to see an orthopedist. In Dick’s words, the doctor told him he had no other options but surgery and wouldn’t you know it, the doctor had an opening for surgery the next day! So he went in for his second lumbar fusion (he was in a bad farming accident and car accident many years ago) this time with disc replacement.

Ok, I am not one to judge, and I certainly don’t know the whole story or have a full medical history on Mr. Beardsley, but if he was able to run 50 miles a week and had some bad back pain at night, I would think that surgery wouldn’t be the ONLY option. The people I have seen that needed lumbar fusion couldn’t walk 50ft! Now there may have been other symptoms that I am unaware of, but unless the doctor thought it was life threatening, why not get a second opinion or try some physical therapy. Am I way off base here? Would any of you rush into serious back surgery the next day after one doctor said it was your only option? Read Dick’s blog post here.

It was 25 years ago this week that Joan Benoit Samuelson won the first ever Women’s Olympic Marathon in Los Angeles. She was 17 days post op arthroscopic knee surgery! I have this picture autographed. Read a recent interview with her at looking back on that race.

Finally, I have to mention Kara Goucher’s win at the Rock n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon last weekend. She was the first person to finish, male or female, with a time of 1:08:03, just 30 seconds off the American Record! I think she is ready for the World Championship Marathon in Berlin.


Chuck said...

I strongly agree with you on Dick Beardsley's lumbar fusion surgery. I find it hard to believe that anyone could run 50 miles a week with back pain that requires surgery.

I also enjoyed the cool weather this morning. How is your son feeling?

Ron said...

WOW....are there no informed consumers these days? I cant believe that.....there are so many conservative ways to handle this!

Daniel said...

I know I might be opening up a huge can of worms here, but is it possible he is on PED's? I'm not accusing him; I know next to nothing about him. But I follow MLB and that is pretty much all they talk about on ESPN.

Hey Karl - I know you're doing Twin Cities, first weekend in October. I'm wondering how the event will affect your training plans for CIM. I would assume you are doing the full marathon, right? Are you shooting to PR? I see there is nothing more than a 150 ft change in elevation. What will your mileage be like the weeks prior to and following the event? I'm thinking of doing a half marathon in Long Beach the following weekend, and I'm concerned how it will affect my training for CIM. Any thoughts?

Karl Stutelberg said...

Dan, Dick Beardsley is over 50 years old. He is an endurance athlete not a power athlete. He runs only for recreation these days. If you look at my post his glory days were in the early 80s. His injuries were caused by a farming accident and a car accident. Recently he twisted his knee at the beach and had arthroscopic knee surgery, but it got infected and the infection ate away at his cartilage and he had to have a total knee replacement early this year.

Daniel said...

To be honest, I felt pretty bad just suggesting it. Now I feel worse, thanks Karl! :)