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The Fox Cities Redemption

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The Fox Cities Redemption

Post  Jim fredericks on Sun Jul 08, 2012 3:33 pm

So how did I get here and really, I am not even sure right now where here is. I am starting this blog after completing my first training week for the Fox Cities Half-Marathon in Appleton, Wisconsin on September 23rd. What a long, strange journey the past 4 and 1/2 years have been. Since I ran my first sub-4 marathon in Las Vegas back in December of 2007 everything has been tumultuous. I have been through a knee injury with subsequent surgery, a bout with cancer that required two more surgeries, the purchase of a new house, a marriage, and now a bitter and painful divorce. but hey, blogs are supposed to be fun right?

I got back into the running game last year with 2 forgetful half-marathons in Green Bay and Chicago. My weight had ballooned up to 185 disgusting pounds and life was hell. But as Taylor Swift says in her song "Mean", "the cycle ends right now". I recall something Bob Winter reminded me of last year. It is consistency that leads to success in this game and that is the road that I am back on. I started running regularly again back in March. I have dropped 23 pounds and now stand just 12 more short of my goal. I plan to be at the starting line weighing a trim and muscular 150. In spite of the recent heat wave this past week I knockd out 4 good runs and got the last mile of the final one down to 9:07. I am thinking that I will be seeing 8's sometime soon. My goal for the September race is to finish in under 2 hours. My PR at this distance is 1:54 back in 2008.

I will use this blog as a weekly diary of my progress. Running is a way to overcome other obstacles and hardships that crop up in life. The next 11 weeks are going to be great and the finish line in September is going to be redemption!
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Re: The Fox Cities Redemption

Post  Bob on Sun Jul 08, 2012 3:57 pm

Thanks for the shout out, Jim, and either I haven't been keeping up with everyone, or nobody was aware of your recent personal setbacks. I hope that life gets better for you as you look forward.

Excited to read your blogging as you move towards reaching your goals.
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Re: The Fox Cities Redemption

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:32 pm

Thanks for sharing, Jim, and I hope that you keep up the blog. Congrats on getting a handle of a tumultuous few years.
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7/15/12

Post  Jim fredericks on Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:46 am

Second week of training behind me and it was a good week for the most part. The unusually hot weather we have been having around here has made training a bit more challenging. I am essentially following Hal's novice program but tweaking the mileage up a bit. This week I ran 3 miles, 2 miles, 3 miles, and 6 miles for a long run. The 2 miler was supposed to be a speed run but temps in the 90's that day dropped my time to 18:53. I have done that distance in a little over 18 a couple weeks ago. Used to do it in 16 and a half but that was a while ago. My friend Becky who is training for her first half knocked out a 3 miler in 27 minutes this week. I was so jealous! But she is 20 years younger than me. I did the 6 miler in 59:37 in very warm and humid conditions so I was pleased with that and my fastest mile of the week was again 9:07. getting closer to the 8's. Looks like another hot week coming up so I will keep my expectations within reason.
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August 1st

Post  Jim fredericks on Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:24 pm

4 weeks in. A third of the way and the past 2 weeks have supplied some reasons for optimism.

A couple of 3 mile runs in 27:17 and 27:07, including a couple of sub-9 minute miles in 8:52 and 8:48. Had a feeling Iwould be seeing 8's before too long. The first time in 3 years.

A 5 miler in 48:32. Also the fastest at that distance in 3 years.

There is a small hill conveniently placed next to my house and I have taken to running uphill repeats on it a couple times a week to improve leg strength and drive.

Weight is down to 158. That is a 27 pound drop from the beginning of the year.

Despite the turmoil in my personal life I have been able to keep focus on my training and the goal
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Re: The Fox Cities Redemption

Post  Jim fredericks on Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:12 pm

It has been a good couple of weeks. Some highlights:

A 3 miler in 27:42 with the last mile in 8:57.

A 4 miler in 38:02. Fastest 4 in 3 years.

Lots of repeats on the hill.

A 7 miler today in 1:08:44 which is an 8 minute improvement over the pathetic one I ran getting ready for Rock and Roll Chicago last year.

Weight is now down 29 pounds since January. 6 more to go and I will be back to my 2009 weight.

Yesterday was my "Survivorship Day". It was 3 years ago that I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Every single day since then has been a gift from God. The good ones and the bad ones.

I would take this opportunity to encourage all you men over 40 out there, and you know who you are, to get yourself screened for prostate cancer.

Just 5 more weeks until Fox Cities and I am feeling very optimistic.
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Re: The Fox Cities Redemption

Post  Jim fredericks on Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:20 pm

9 mile run today 1:26 with the last mile in under 9 minutes. Have started to get some closing speed back. Race is in 2 weeks and everything is looking good. Not even a single injury issue and that is almost unheard of!
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Re: The Fox Cities Redemption

Post  EugeneGreenie on Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:19 pm

You're doing great!

I hope that everything continues to go smoothly and that taper is a breeze!

E Greenie
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Re: The Fox Cities Redemption

Post  JohnP on Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:49 pm

Jim, great to see the training is going well and your weight is good (though it seems low). Keep it up, sounds like it will be an injury-free training program and mentally you seem really ready for the race.
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September 19th

Post  Jim fredericks on Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:06 pm

The training cycle is completed. I ran the final 2 mile run today. The 10 miler over the past weekend went well and clocked at 9 minutes faster than the one last year.

The weather forecast for Sunday in Appleton does not look promising. Currently calling for 36 degrees with northwest winds and wind chill in 20's. This after training all summer in record setting heat and humidity. Makes no difference. I will be there on Sunday. One of my best marathons ever was on a cold day in Chicago back in 2006.

I feel fortunate that I am a runner because it has helped me focus on something positive and allowed me to tune out, even temporarily, some of the negative things going on during a tumultuos time of life.

So here goes!
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Re: The Fox Cities Redemption

Post  Julie on Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:14 pm

Have a great race! That does sound cold but cold is better than really hot.
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Re: The Fox Cities Redemption

Post  Nick Morris on Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:36 pm

Jim, I am excited for the cool temperatures and NW winds. The half marathon, for the most part, runs southeast and should equate to some fast times Smile
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Re: The Fox Cities Redemption

Post  Jim fredericks on Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:44 pm

Well, the bad news is the forecast for Sunday morning is 35 degrees with 20mph northwest winds. The good news is that it looks like the wind will be at my back for the last 9 miles. So you might be right Nick!


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Re: The Fox Cities Redemption

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:28 pm

Good luck, Jim. Awaiting a positive race report!
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Re: The Fox Cities Redemption

Post  Jim fredericks on Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:15 am

A couple of weeks since Fox Cities and settling in to the "off season" routine. Running 3 days a week. Hitting the gym 3-4 times for strength training and cardio stuff. Tentative plan is half-marathon in spring, maybe Green Bay. Then full marathon in fall if my knees can take it. Maybe Chicago or Twin Cities. I am obviously not much of a blogger since I don't get in here all that much but will try to keep up over the coming months. So much to do!
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My password still works.

Post  Jim fredericks on Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:56 am

Wow. Surprised that my log in still works. I have been away from these boards for so long. I have really been meaning to check in but something always seems to get in the way. I am really, really going to try to check in more this summer.

I was supposed to run the half-marathon in Green Bay last month but the injury bug struck again. On April 11th I was running on a treadmill and felt a pop in my right knee followed by excrutiating pain. MRI revealed a posterior root tear of medial meniscus. Surgeon can't really fix that with arthroscopy. The tear does not hurt that much but have really bad pain in my upper tibia. Severe arthritis caused by the erosion of cartilage from all these years of running. I am going through physical therapy now trying to avoid more extensive surgery like knee replacement or osteotomy. They have me running on this anti-gravity treadmill called an Alter-G. Lets me run at whatever percent of my body weight I want to. It is pretty cool. See the surgeon again in August and will take things from there.

Went to Kenya for 2 weeks back in February on a medical mission. It was a really awesome experience but I did not get to see any of the Kenyan marathon runners. I was in Mombasa on the Indian Ocean coast. I was told the runners all come from the Rift Valley in the central highlands where it is a much cooler climate to train in. Pretty great experience anyway.

I have a lot of posts to read and catch up!
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Re: The Fox Cities Redemption

Post  Nick Morris on Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:07 pm

Dang Jim. Sorry to hear about the injury.  Hopefully things will heal up and you will eventually get back into running sans anti-gravity treadmill.
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Re: The Fox Cities Redemption

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:25 pm

Sorry to hear about your knee injury, Jim.  Happy to see you on the Alter-G though.  I used one last fall in rehabbing from achilles issues.  It was kind of fun in a weird sort of way.  I always wanted to see how little body weight % you could go too - would that be like running in space?
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Re: The Fox Cities Redemption

Post  Jim fredericks on Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:05 am

It has been 3 months since the injury and I finally got to test the knee out on the road. It was not good. One mile run and 2 mile run with pretty bad knee pain. Sucks the big Haiwy meatball as Kripke would say.

I am also still using the Alter-G. That works much better but can't do that forever. Running at 70% of body weight. Therapist says anything less than that and it would be like "running on the moon". Don't think there are any races scheduled on the moon so have to get back to pain free running at 100% body weight at some point.
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Re: The Fox Cities Redemption

Post  Jim fredericks on Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:16 pm

I think that running on the Alter-G has run it's course so to speak. I do fine when I am on it but I am only running at 75% of my body weight. When I get out on the road for even a brief run my legs feel like concrete. Must be kind of what astronauts feel like when they return to earth. Diminishing returns. Don't think there is going to be any races this year. Daaammmnnn. See the ortho doctor again in 3 weeks.
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Re: The Fox Cities Redemption

Post  Jim fredericks on Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:46 am

Well critical mass has now been reached. Physical Therapy and cortisone injections not getting the job done. I could give up running but that is not an option and I still have to walk. Knee replacement was a possibility but that would also mean giving up running. The doctor told me that sure lots of people with knee replacements run on them and do triathlons, etc. But what you don't hear is that they end up breaking the hardware and then have to go through the surgery all over again. So cross that one off.

That leaves me with one last option. A tibial osteotomy to realign the knee and microfracture surgery scheduled for November. 6 weeks on crutches followed by a lengthy rehab but it may salvage my running career. Do I really love running this much that I will put myself through this? Yes I do. Running has been such a part of who I am and I am sure that everyone who frequents these boards could say the same thing.

I will be doing one race this year however. A 5K in October to benefit Kenya Orphans. That will have to do for now.
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Re: The Fox Cities Redemption

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:49 am

So sorry to hear this news, Jim.  Hang in there.
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Re: The Fox Cities Redemption

Post  Jim fredericks on Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:30 pm

I sit here 2 weeks post op and going crazy with cabin fever. The surgery was done on Nov 5th. Tibial osteotomy to realign the knee. The surgeon came into my room the next morning and told me "It was pretty bad in there". Not what you really want to hear. he said he had to shave down the head of my femur quite a bit. It was pretty much bone on bone in there. Now I have some lovely hardware in my knee and I get to wear this cumbersome knee brace for a few more weeks.

I have also started enduring somewhat brutal physical therapy including attaching electrodes on my thigh to stimulate muscle contractions in my quad to prevent atrophy. Running seems like a long way off right now and it is, 4-6 months and I get to learn how to run all over again.

If all goes well maybe a half-marathon in the fall next year and a full marathon on 2015. Maybe?
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Re: The Fox Cities Redemption

Post  T Miller on Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:26 pm

Wow Jim, that sounds really rough.  At least there is some running and some races on the horizon.  Hang in there man.
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