Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Meet list 2018 - season in review

My annual summary.  2018

- USATF National Indoor Silver Medal M55 400m 

- #1 Rank USA M55 indoor 400m - 57.02  (#6 in World)

- #3 Rank USA M55 outdoor 400m - 56.65 (#10 World)

- #5 Rank USA M55 outdoor 200m - 25.30

- World Championship M55 Team USA 4x100m relay, WMAC Malaga

Season PRs in Blue


1/13 - Nashville -  Commodore Invitational (flat 300m)
  • 400m - 57.02

1/28 - Birmingham Crossplex, KMS Invitational
  • 400m - 57.71

2/3 - NYC Armory - Millrose (200m banked Mondo)
  • 4 x 400m - 3:51.21  1st (57.7 split)

2/11 - Atlanta, Dunamis Meet
  • 400 - 59.03 (foot injury)
3/16-18 - USATF Masters Indoor Championships
  • 400m - 58.57 (Silver)
  • 200m - 26.36 (prelim)
  • 200m - 26.30 (4th - injury)


5/27 - Atlanta Relays 
  • 400m - 57.30
6/2 - Birmingham - SE Masters Championships 
  • 400m - 56.65
  • 200m - 25.30
6/9 - Rome, GA - USATF GA Assoc.
  • 400m - 56.82
  • 200m - 25.32
7/27-29 - Spokane, WA - USATF Masters Nationals
  • 400m - 57.50
  • 400m - 57.43
9/7-16 - Malaga, Spain WMAC World Masters 
  • 200m - 25.72
  • 200m - 25.70
  • 400m - 57.00
  • 400m - 57.54
  • 4 x 400m - 3:51.31 (Silver) 56.6 split
  • 4 x 100m - 47.40 (Gold) 11.40 split
9/30 - Nashville, district meet
  • 100m - 12.22 (h)
  • 200m - 25.62 (h)

11 meets
7 races indoor
13 races outdoor
22 - total races including relays

2 - 100m (1 relay)
7 - 200m
13 - 400m (2 relays)

2017: 12 meets / 29 races
2016: 18 meets / 40 races
2015: 12 meets / 30 races
2014: 19 meets* / 42 races) *not including 3 fall senior games meets 

Considering one of my worst seasons as a masters, to still be top 10 in world is an accomplishment... I guess.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Change of Plans

I called off my Friday surgery. It was too soon and I had some reservations about this surgery. I have confidence in my Nashville Dr. but I think I am going to go out of network to seek the treatment of one of the world experts on this procedure at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Co. Dr. R. LaPrade has apparently treated masters sprinters successfully before and has numerous published articles and clinical trials on this specific procedure. I sent him a personal email asking him if I could contact the masters sprinter he worked on cited in this article. I was surprised that he responded personally to me and said he couldn't remember the guy's name but he may have been from the NY area and if he is still competing would be M60 now.

Telling Dr. LaPrade I was going to have this surgery in Nashville he said this surgery is "pretty complicated" and ... "-make sure he does a big release and pulls your meniscus back into the joint or the surgery may not restore your cushion well enough to return back to running."

 From what I have read, if anyone can do this surgery successfully, LaPrade can. So, I am trying to arrange a date for the week of Jan 14 to see him and have it done. Not to say my Dr. in Nashville can not, but I think LaPrade has researched this procedure perhaps a bit more extensively. He certainly has published a lot on it. And the fact that he has treated masters sprinters before is a plus. I was pretty much a basket case about having surgery tomorrow. Wasn't mentally prepared.

 I do feel a huge debt of gratitude toward Steve, Burton, and the team at Elite Sports Medicine in Nashville for their understanding, expertise, care, and scheduling me so quickly.

 I do not want to do anything at all that might contribute to a poor out come so I'm going to shut down all workout activities involving legs, save for some casual bike riding. I don't need to extrude the meniscus any worse than it is.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018


I committed to Dr. Elrod for surgery Friday.   Doc said he'll know when he scopes my knee how he'll approach it. He said due to the ACL reconstruction I had almost 28 yrs ago that it makes me a bit more susceptible to this type of injury.   Repair of a meniscus root tear is not always successful.  Stats show anywhere between 50-70% full healing of such repairs.  If after scoping it he decides to not attempt the repair, I may go out of network to a specialist in CO.

I'm considering the good possibility I may retire from masters track.  If the repair is done, it's possible it might not heal or might be reinjured.  So, more chances for negative outcomes.

I never thought at the time that this injury would be as consequential, because unlike a ligament, it's not really painful and I can do pretty much anything except sprint. 

I just hope for the best and hope this decision works out.

My head tells me I should retire from track, but my heart tells me to try.  Funny, I still have a pair of brand new Hoka training shoes with the tags still on I had earmarked to get me ready for Poland.  I have kept my beloved Puma track spikes in good shape, epoxying the soles when needed.  I've hoarded dozens of spike risers to last me what I thought would be for a decade or more.  Little did I know. 

Monday, December 10, 2018

rowing and biking

Past two nights I've done the same workout pretty much, and I'm challenging myself to work harder.  Have brought my time down on the rower considerably.

Here's the most recent:

2000m - 8:29 Concept 2 rower 
10 x 15 sec sprints w/ 45 sec rest - Cybex stationary bike 
250 lbs x 50 - glute machine
Abs - inclined situps 

I meet with my doc Wednesday to discuss and perhaps schedule surgery to fix this meniscus. 

Saturday, December 8, 2018

The long 'off season'

This will be my longest 'off season' and who knows, it may be forever.  I don't expect to be on the track again til summer, depending on the knee fix.  It's hard to stay motivated for me without the metrics of sprint training... i.e. intervals at a specific time goal, timed rest.   There is NOTHING that burns the calories and is as intense as long sprint interval training.  There is nothing you can do in 6 minutes that compares to a 4 x 200m w/ 1 min rest set of intervals on the track.  However, I've settled into a regime of rowing on the Concept 2 machine and 'sprint intervals' on the stationary bike along with glute machine and various other exercises.  I'll do this likely until the surgery, depending on what Dr says Wed.

2000m row - 8:59  Concept 2 rower 
8 x 15 sec sprint w/ 45 sec rest - stationary bike 
50 x 250 lbs - glute machine

I'm exploring 3 possibilities for this meniscus root repair surgery, my local Dr. Elrod, probably the likely choice, the Steadman Clinic at Vail, CO, and the Mayo Clinic that is doing a clinical trial on this exact procedure  (they asked for my MRI after I inquired).  Sooner the better.  Before end of Feb., preferably sooner.

Looking back, I sure did a lot... 103 meets, probably 250+ races.  In a typical track career, most healthy college track athletes would only run 50 - 70 races in a 4 yr track career, running both indoor and outdoor seasons.  I've done triple that, after age 51.  So, a few injuries are to be expected I guess.

When I have a date for surgery, I need to try and get in as good shape as possible going in.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Out for the season

After review of my MRI, I've decided to not compete in the '19 indoor and outdoor track seasons.  Due to the fact that my knee is not painful, I assumed the damage would heal slowly, but it looks as if the best course for the long term would be to have a meniscus repair surgery.  Overall, except for the single break in the meniscus, the joint is in decent shape.  No ligament or tendon damage, only mild wear on the articular surfaces.  My Dr. initially was going to give me a steroid injection and a lubricant and send me on my way.  After researching this particular injury, that course of treatment would guarantee a rapid degeneration of the joint if I returned to training.  Repair seems to be the best course.

Right now, I can bike, hike, row, even stairmaster ... but I need to get this fixed if I want to train to run by 2020.  The specific surgery I'm looking for is not common.  My friend Alan, a orthopedic surgeon and world champion masters sprinter (member of my Gold relay teams in Lyon) told me he does this surgery only a few times a year.  If anyone in my network can do it, it would be my present Dr. who is THE Sr knee surgeon in Nashville, and it would save me a lot of money than going out of network.  However, I'm still in the decision making stage and considering options.  Two out of network options I'm considering are - 1) the Mayo Clinic that happens to be doing a clinical trial on this exact surgery - I just emailed the director; and 2) a Dr. in Colorado who seems to be the nation's expert on this procedure and is very much involved in treating elite athletes. 

Surgery is always a bitch because it's generally 'creating' an injury to fix one, and will require a lengthy rehab.  I would like to have this done by late Feb which would put me back to full strength by end of summer, plenty of time to get ready for 2020.

There is always the possibility that I won't 'sprint forever' and will walk away from training and competition.  That probably will be decided after I start to try and train again.  I'd be ok with walking away from this sport, I've accomplished a lot in 6 seasons... 5 USATF National Titles, a number of National Silver and Bronze, 4 individual World Medals and a World Championship, a USATF Age Group Athlete of the Year... so I can't complain.  I have a nice life and a lot of other interests, but... all that being said, I am seeking the treatment appropriate to allow me to train and race again.  A decade ago, I don't think this particular surgical procedure even existed.  I'm setting my sights for Nationals and Worlds in 2020.  So, this surgery and the rehab is going to be just another test...

I'll be updating this blog probably less regularly so thanks to all my regular readers who have visited here over the 8 yrs of these blog posts.  Assuming things go as planned, this will be about my journey to repair and rehab this injury, as it was back in '13 when I broke a bone in my foot.  The journey continues....

Here's a photo from the medal stand in Korea.  If I never race again, happy to be a World Champion.

2017 WMACi Masters World Championships - M55 200m medal ceremony