Posts Tagged With: running

Knee Surgery

I had my knee surgery on Wednesday and so far so good. My surgery was scheduled for 1:15 pm and with no food or drink, not even water, from midnight on I was hungry and board. We arrived around 11:15am and left around 3:30pm. I remember them giving a sedative as they started pushing me down the hall and then everything started moving in slow motion and then I work up in recovery talking to my wife and a friend that is a nurse at the hospital on the same campus as the surgery center. The next thing I remember I was getting in the wheel chair and heading out to the car. I don’t remember getting dressed at all. Very odd how the memory is kind of like Swiss cheese. I walked into our new house with minimal use of the crutches. After laying on the couch most of the day on Wednesday, I got up fairly early on Thursday and took the dog for a walk, not very far but I used only 1 crutch just to minimize the weight on the leg and still be able to hold onto the dog leash. It wan’t too bad and then I walked him later in the afternoon as well. A little sore in the evening. I went to the grocery store with my wife but this time I pulled out both crutches and kept the weight off the leg. I only took the the narcotic pain pills the day of the surgery and just ibuprofen after that. Well the countdown is on till I can get our and start running, last time it was about 4 weeks. I’m hoping to get on the bike sooner than that just to keep up the exercise and get the running back up quicker. For those that know what they are looking at, here are the pictures that I get from the doctor.

Knee Surgery 16-Oct-2013 - blurred

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Weekend 5k Race

Went to Western Michigan University for the Campus Classic 5k and to spend homecoming weekend with my daughter. It was great seeing her again after about a month she was home the last time. We had a good evening out on Friday with a little shopping after dinner, college students always need things and never have any money.  We met our daughter early Saturday morning on the campus.

2013-10-13 08.59.19 (Here we are at the Bronco statue near the start/finish line).

My daughter and I decided to go out at around 8:00 min/mile pace and see how it goes. The Western Michigan University campus is fairly hilly so this was not going to be an easy run.

Campus Classic 5k Altitude.

That initial uphill was tough and the next major hill was even tougher. I lost my daughter in the crowd early, she needs more practice in fighting through the throng of runners. Although I have an advantage of being bigger than her and I can cut my own path most of the time. I pushed it hard through the hills, a little slow during the 2nd mile, and hovered around the 8min/mile for the last mile. My daughter passed me at the 3 mile mark to finish and i did my best to catch her but she finished 7 seconds ahead of me. I finished at 25:42 officially which was about what I had been running for a 3 mile run, so I finished about a minute faster than my training pace.

After the race we all got cleaned up then went to the open house the fine arts college, my daughter is in that program in the photography program, and then went to a school sponsored homecoming tailgate for some lunch. We went to the football game and sat in the student section which was a bit crazy. Unfortunately Western’s team is in a rebuilding year and is now 0-7 on the year. Not a good year. Then we took her out for some more shopping and then out for her birthday dinner a few days early. On Sunday morning we took her out for a late breakfast and then we headed home.

All in all it was a great weekend, so nice to see our daughter again. Still trying to get used to her not being at home, but we are so proud of her. I hope to get a couple of more runs in before surgery on Wednesday.

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MRI Results

I got the results from MRI this past week and found out that I another tear in my meniscus. I need to have another surgery in a month, same as last year. The doctor says the cause is likely osteo-arthritis. The plan is to repair the tear and smooth things out to minimize the chances of a another occurrence. The doctor said at some point in the future, hopefully not for many years, that he will have to tell me to stop running. He recommended developing other cross training activities so that when I can’t run anymore, I will still have something to keep busy.

At least this time I have been able to keep running and riding the bike to keep the muscle strength up. Last time I basically had 5 months of almost no activity prior to surgery then the recovery time. This time I hope the recovery is quicker although I don’t really have plans to run another marathon but likely a half-marathon, maybe the Dexter Ann-Arbor again just to see if I can improve on last time.

I have a 5k on October 12 with my daughter at her college for parents weekend and then my surgery on October 16.


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MRI today

I have an MRI scheduled for today. Won’t know anything until another visit to the knee doctor later in the week.

The knee has shown improvement over the last couple of weeks. Not sure if it the knee brace, the rest, or the running strengthening the knee. I’ve wearing the knee brace for each run as well as walking the dog since the dog forces me start/stop and twist which was hurting the knee. I have been keeping the runs to 3-4 miles. I should be ready for the 5k in mid-October with my daughter for her university homecoming weeked, also coincides with her birthday. I’d like to get that time down to 25min but I’m not sure that will be possible. 

After running 2 days in a row, I got the bike out this morning and went for a 20 mile bike ride. I didn’t bring enough to drink but did remember to bring my money and made a quick stop a gas station. Next time I’ll have to bring the Camelback just to be safe or get a 2nd bottle holder for my bike.

More next week after the doctor visit.

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First Ride of the year

I’ve been focused on my running due to the half marathon coming up. Today I went out on the bike for the first time of the year since the knee has been hurting a little and I think I need muscle strength as the overall solution to the problem. Since we have many hills in the area it is good training for the quads. I’m still feeling out the bike since I only had a few rides last year with marathon training. I still need to figure out why at least once every ride the chain comes off when shifting to low gears for a hill climb. I think I need to figure out the proper adjustments for the shifters. Overall the ride felt good and the new GPS watch, FR210, did a good job but it is annoying to have to go through all the setup screens to get into speed display instead of pace display.

Went to the bike store after the ride to day to look at new tires in case I want to do some road training since I bought a mountain bike for the dirt roads around my house. Also I picked up a fork mounting block to start the process of putting the bike in the car. I didn’t want to buy a rack for the back of the car since I’m not sure how often I ‘ll take the bike on the road. If its in the car, I won’t have to worry about locking up the bike since it will be only in the car. I found this during my search and I plan to give this a try, hence the mounting block. I’ll had some shots of my cheap bike in the car when I get it done.

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First run over 10 miles of the season

In preparation for my half-marathon, I ran 11-miles a couple of weeks ago. Overall was pleased with the results, not my best time but it felt good until the last couple of miles. I felt some pain in the left knee, the knee I had multiple surgeries on. The pain is in a new location and I’m still trying to figure out the cause since it wasn’t with every step. I’m a little concerned since the race is in 3 weeks. I plan to take the week off and do a long run on Sunday and see how it feels. Hopefully all will be well, otherwise its off tot he doctor right after the race to get it looked at again. In the meantime, been doing some simple strengthening and stretching.

Goal is still to complete the half in under 2 hours. Based on the 11 mile pace it will be close and minimizing the training with the pain won’t help but I always run a little faster at a race than I do in training.

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First 7 mile run of the season

I intended to run quick 5k on Saturday but it was snowed out. We didn’t get a huge amount of snow but it was enough to make a run a bit dangerous. I went out Sunday at Lunch and it was cold but the snow was off the roads and the run felt good, in fact much better than expected. I did my first 7 mile run of the season. I was expecting to be slow, anything between 9-10 min/mile would have been good. I was expecting to be closer to 10 min/mile and to feel pretty sore afterwards. Not only did I felt great during and after the run, I was able to do the run in 9:05 min/mile . It was a really good running day, not that there is a bad day to run.

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Shamrocks and Shenanigans – Ann Arbor, MI

I ran the 5k at Shamrocks & Shenanigans on Sunday morning. It was fairly warm, 45F,  for an early March run all things considered. I didn’t have to wear the multiple layers or the hat and gloves. The hands were a little chilly at the start but they warmed and felt good after about 1/2 mile. We got a shirt and a beer mug which beats the post race medal.

2013-03-10 21.05.262013-03-11 17.45.40

The local Irish pub was offering a post race beer but it just seems a little wrong to have a bear after only a 5k and at 10:00 in the morning. I stuck with the water and bagel.

I was asked questions about the race by someone in the parking lot. Not sure if she was a reporter for a local newspaper or a blog and not sure if my comments will be used, it was very unexpected and I was kind of stunned to be asked questions. I’m not a famous runner or person, just some who signed up for the race and was on his way home. She asked what I liked about the race and like an idiot I said, it was warm. and didn’t rain. I did add that I liked the downtown area and it was a good hilly course, but I’m sure she thought I was a moron. All in all it was a good run, a nice way to start a Sunday morning. The more I go down there, the more I like downtown Ann Arbor area.

2013-03-10 09.16.14

Waiting for the Shamrocks and Shenanigans 5k to start, you can see the University of Michigan Stadium in the distance. We would run right up to the entrance and back.

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Knee Surgery Anniversary

Today is the 1-year anniversary of my 3rd arthroscopic knee surgery. I tore the meniscus in the fall of 2011 and tried to rest and rehab my way out of surgery. After the MRI, it became clear that I needed surgery to repair. I was walking the next day and running again within a month. I ran the Detroit Free Press Marathon a little over 7 months after the surgery. The run didn’t go according to plan but I finished which was the primary goal for a first marathon. It was probably too big a goal for such a short time after the surgery but I thought I could handle it. I had a really good 22-mile training run a few weeks before and everything went fine. I tore the Meniscus in my left knee mostly likely while running Dances with Dirt which was an unplanned, and untrained for, race. A friend asked me just 2 days before the race to fill in for an injured team mate on his relay team. It sounded like fun, it was an absolute blast, but I hadn’t done any trail running for several months. I can’t say for sure that is when the injury happened, although it is the only thing that makes sense, but my knee started hurting within a couple of weeks and continued to get worse. After a couple of months of therapy to try to prevent the need for surgery and an MRI, it was determined that I needed surgery.

It was my 3rd surgery on the same knee but was unrelated to the other surgeries. The first surgery was to remove a bone chip over 1 inch in diameter. It turns out that this chip also had all the cartilage from the upper bone in the knee joint. The missing this cartilage would leave me in pain if I walked or ran for more than 10-15 minutes at a time. This caused me to avoid exercise due to the pain. More than 10 years later, I started having a new pain in the back of the knee. The doctor said it was just another bone chip and was no big deal to remove but he noticed the missing cartilage and told me of a procedure , microfracture, that would likely solve the pain issues. Unfortunately, this meant 6 weeks on crutches after the surgery because as the doctor explained it, the new cartilage would be like new grass grown from seeds. If you walk on it too soon, it will die due to not being strong enough. This new cartilage would need to strengthen before I could walk on it. After 6 weeks on crutches, I could barely walk on the leg without falling over due to muscle loss. I lost 2 inches in diameter in my calf during this time. After several months of therapy and then a follow up round of therapy 8 months later, I was pain free for the first time in close to 20 years.

I started running a couple of years later because some friends convinced me I could run a half marathon even though I had never run more than 3 miles in my life and hadn’t done that in 10+ years. I thought they were crazy but 1 of these friends had never been a runner and had lost a large amount of weight and done the half marathon. I started running in February and successfully ran a half marathon, 13.1 miles, in just over 2 hours in September of that same year. I was quite amazed and before I realized it, I was addicted to the running. I completed my last half marathon in 1:54:43, 8:45 min/mile pace just 1 year later. 2 years after that, skipped a year due to the knee injury, I ran the full marathon.

3 surgeries and several scars later the knee is in pretty good shape, maybe a little weaker than the other knee but still as pain free as the “good knee”.

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Running in Florida

We went to Florida for a Gymnastics meet this past weekend. The weather in Orlando was much better than Michigan but cold for Orlando. Even with the cooler temperatures for the area, it was perfect running weather, in the 40’s and 50’s. I ran 3 days in a row with a 5 miler on the last day. Each run was at less than 9 min/mile pace, which is very satisfying. It was so nice to just be able to throw on a shirt and shorts and go running. Having to get all bundled up and run in the below freezing temperatures is getting old. It looks like the weather is breaking in Michigan, so I have to start increasing the mileage to get ready for my half marathon. In addition, the group I ran the GLR with is looking at several runs over the next few months that I might join. The first is a 5k/10k/25k run in Grand Rapids. Not sure which distance the group is thinking, but the 25k might be a difficult thing to do at that time. The 25k just 3 weeks before the half marathon might not be a good idea, I think the 10k fits the training better but we’ll see what the rest of the group is doing. I had to skip the North Country Trail Relay last year, due to my knee surgery and it looks like I’ll have to miss it this year as well due to my daughter’s graduation party.


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Nice Winter Run

I decided to go run today. After shoveling snow earlier in the day, it was still right around freezing so all in all not a bad day. Ran an 8:37 pace which is the fastest I’ve run in quite a while. My training is going better this year than last year. I’ve forced myself to leave work at a reasonable hour more often this year than I was able to last year. If I can keep it up, I should be in good shape for the half-marathon in early June, Dexter to Ann Arbor Run. Now that I achieved my 5k goal on SuperBowl Sunday, I can now start adding the longer runs into my training. We have a gymnastics meet in Florida next weekend, so I hope to get a couple of runs in the warm weather over the weekend. Looking forward to not having to get bundled up to go for a run.


Nice day for a winter run. @rngfit

A post shared by Don McDonald (@dmmacs) on


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Super 5k Results

The results are posted for the Super 5k I ran this past Sunday. My expectations are realistic, I like to finish in the top 3rd of my age group. I was close this time at 36%. Looking at the overall results, I’m at 27%. This is a bit curious to me. My age group was the largest in the race for both male and female. Its possible that this is because of it was Super Bowl Sunday and only older people felt the need to get out in the cold and snow to burn off calories before the game. I’m wondering if it is just that people of my age are more active runners, just curious.

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Running Fit Super 5K – Novi, MI

I ran in the Super 5k today as planned. It was cold, around 10F and the roads were a little snowy and icy. With the usual adrenaline flowing from the pre-race festivities, or maybe just the hopping around trying to stay warm. I intentionally went out with a fast group to try to get my time below 26:11 which my 5k last year shortly after my knee surgery. I faded a little towards the end but still beat that time fairly significant amount. I ran the race in 25:45, although my pace feel off at the end due to tired legs and the hill. All in all it was a good.

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Another 3 mile run

Since it is winter in the northern Midwest, I continually have to work around the weather. I got a 3 mile run in before the sleet and snow today. Pace is getting a little faster at 8:47 so I really pleased with the progress. I don’t think I’ll make my desired pace for my upcoming 5k since it is only 1 week away but we’ll see. I only need to shave 45 seconds total out of the run to get there, might actually be possible with the extra adrenaline. This assumes that the weather is reasonable. I’ve had 10 runs so far this month, which is really good for the amount of time I’ve had over the last year and also for the snowy month of January. Hopefully I can keep this up for the and meet my mileage goal this year.


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Snowy run today

After a busy couple of busy days, I finally got to go out for a run today. Finally got my 3 mile time under 27 min, 26:56, but still under.It was a bit snowy and cold but not bad enough to stop me. I wore the new shirt I got so I would be more visible to the cars when I run during the week around dusk,,pdp,ctr-inline/cid-1/pid-689571/pgid-509335. It’s alot brighter than I would normally like but it meets the visibility criteria. I like the extra long sleeves with the thumb hole, it keeps my wrists warm. Not much else to say.


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Sub-zero temperatures

Today was the first deep freeze of the winter. We had temperatures around during 5 Fahrenheit (about -15 Celsius). I got home from work early enough for a run before dark but the risk of frost bite was a little too great to chance it. Stuck at 22/725 for at least one more day.

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Windy, Cold Run

Woke up this morning to the house being hammered by winds up to 50mph. By mid-afternoon, winds had calmed to 20+mph causing a windchill of -1 F so I decided I would go a for a run before the playoffs start. Went 3 miles today and it felt good but it was damn cold. Just can’t seem to get my pace under 9:00 min/mile although running half my run into that frigid wind took alot out of me. Unfortunately, the weather forecast is calling for more cold for at least the next week. I have a new bright green shirt on order to make it easier for the cars to see me a little better which should give me a little more piece of mind. 

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Got my run in between the ran and the snow today. Just a quick 2 miler to get some speed work in. Would like to get my 5k time under 26 min by Feb 3 for the super 5k race. Not sure I’ll make it am since I came a little short on the 2 miles today, but it still felt good. Hope to get back out on Tuesday unless it snows and the shoulder isn’t clear enough. I should really try to run around the office since there are sidewalks and streetlights.

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Run goal for 2013

I set a running goal of 725 miles for 2013. The most I’ve done in a year is 609 so this is pretty aggressive. I set the same goal for 2012 but came up short due to knee surgery in March an no running until April. This is only ~14 miles per week which should be doable especially with a half marathon on the schedule for before the half way point through the year. I’ve only got 13 miles on the year so far but I’ve committed to myself to leave work early at least 1 day per week until it is light enough where it won’t matter anymore, even booked an appointment in my work calendar. If I can stick to my training plan, I should be more than halfway there by June, fingers crossed.

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Will humans one day run a marathon in under two hours?

Considering I can run a half marathon in a little under 2 hours, the world record times are already incredible. I hope to one day finish a full marathon. 13.2 MPH for 26.2 miles is an almost unbelievable speed.

Will humans one day run a marathon in under two hours?

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