Fitness & Health - Running
After my track days in high school, running always took a distant 2nd place to weight lifting. My brother-in-law, Steve Fleck, got the marathon running bug in his mid 30s (after having been a competitive athlete in his earlier years) and slowly set about converting me into a runner. As my 40th birthday loomed I took stock of my worsening physical condition (blame it on being CEO of Intrinsyc for the prior 6 years) and decided that the cure for my ills wasn't more weight lifting, but instead a major dose of cardio - and running is the most efficient way to burn calories there is (in comparison to biking or swimming or any stationary equipment use).
So in January of 2001 I started to walk/run/walk until I managed to complete my first 10K race in under 60 minutes by mid April. After that I steadily increased my speed and distance via interval training. During this period my weight dropped from 185lbs to 168lbs and I felt stronger and younger than I had in years. I started to run with a number of co-workers and business associates who had always been strong 10K runners and soon I was targeting breaking the 45 minute 10K barrier, and eventually hoping to break 40 minutes.
I was performing some home renos in 2003 and stepped off a ladder 2 rungs too high (I misjudged the number of rungs and thought I was at the bottom) and stiff legged down 3 feet onto my left foot. I felt the knee 'give' un-naturally and spent the next 3 days icing it down to try and get the pain and swelling to go away. When I went running the next week I found that my knee was 'stiff' but not painful so I ran on it for a number of weeks, always finding that I could not really finish my runs due to the stiffness and dull pain. Finally I got an MRI and booked myself in for the necessary surgery (see torn meniscus web page) to allow myself to get back to the running which I had so learned to enjoy.
MRIs aren't that high resolution so I did not know before hand how badly I had injured myself. It turned out that I had to have 2/3rd of my medial meniscus removed and the advice was to stop running for long distances. I had a rough rehab period and it took me 6 months before I tried running again. Within 2K I had to stop due to the pain and swelling. That was a shock to me. I bought a sports brace and tried again and it helped, but I am still limited to attempting the occasional 10K race - non-competitively. At least I can run when I really need to now.
Running another 10K race with my brother-in-law Steve Fleck in 2002: