Why I Stopped Running After 51 Years: A Goodbye to Running / by Phil Ringman Why I Stopped Running After 51 Years: A Goodbye to Running / by Phil Ringman

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Thread: Why I Stopped Running After 51 Years: A Goodbye to Running / by Phil Ringman

  1. #1
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    Default Why I Stopped Running After 51 Years: A Goodbye to Running / by Phil Ringman

    Hey Phil,

    Nice job with your recent article: Why I Stopped Running After 51 Years | Phil Ringman


    I remember reading the first piece you wrote a few years back. Running is definitely an addiction and I can't argue with anyone about my past struggle with it. I think what hit me from your recent paper was how the Dr. did not encourage or discourage you with your injury and really you may still be able to run, but is it worth it? I tore my meniscus in my last marathon a few years back and I had surgery. I know I can run and I know I can hang with the best of them at my age even after surgery but like you I wonder if it is worth it to beat my body up like that. Case in point I ran this week in the Naugatuck Valley woods in CT. I figured let me give it a try as I love the woods in the rain. The point however is that I woke up the next morning after a 5 mile run (honestly lets just call it a jog) and I felt like I was hit by a truck and sore everywhere. to make it worse when I got home I downed an entire container of Pringles (probably for the tasty salt) and I was so tired I could not even get my lifting started, let alone finished. So basically I did not squat that day and therefore I was a . . . . . well we know how RIP feels about that.

    I have never come even close to being tanked and sore from using the prowler, Echo bike or rowing machine. Those machines give great cardio workouts with HIIT or LSS, without being miserable the next day. Even better, if I have the urge to go out in the woods, I just hike or walk allot more now and can actually enjoy the scenery instead of breathing heavy while missing it all.

    I just want to let you know your not alone in hanging up your running shoes. I know its tough but you made the right choice. I have stated before on the forum and I am sure you will agree, when I ran allot I was only good for one thing and that was running. When I lift I am better at everything and more useful for so much more than I thought possible.

    Great Article!

    Sparky

    Oh and by the way, being able to Squat and or deadlift 405 at any time at my age of 47 makes me feel more awesome than running ever did.

  2. #2
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    Enjoyed this article. But I've got to ask - what parameter of "fitness" are you maintaining or improving by doing so much cardio? Do you think its making your heart healthier? If you just enjoy the activities, then enjoy on...but if you think you need to do that sort of stuff for health and longevity of the heart and lungs, I think you need to question your reasonings. Again, thanks for the article.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatButWeak View Post
    But I've got to ask - what parameter of "fitness" are you maintaining or improving by doing so much cardio? Do you think its making your heart healthier?
    This is a very good point. I think we need to be more aggressive with this approach, instead of reacting defensively by saying that strength training works too.

  4. #4
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    I agree with you Rip. It will be an uphill battle but one that can change over time with help from runners like Phil, myself and others. If we continue sharing our personal experience with strength training and its positive transformation in our lives I am hoping things can eventually change. If not, well at least I will still be strong

    As a Vet all I did was run. My Dad was a cop and it seemed like all he did back in the 80"s was chase people on foot and therefore he ran. He was fast, but also sprained his ankle 3 times in pursuit. Imagine if he squatted and just drove the dam patrol car instead. Aerobic training is ingrained deep in people as it was with me and my Dad and its hard to shake off.

    I think what I related to most with Phils articles, both of them, is we are runners deep down inside. So I connected right away. We never did your program as you lay it out and still there were and are extremely positive changes in strengrh that we have made. I am sure there are many more stories like ours. So be aggresive with your approach, I agree while at the same time continue to share stories like that of Phil as this will really testify to what the world of strengrh had to offer from experience rather than just data from studies etc. . . People may not quickly dismiss the information when its told from a human in their story. Keep up the great work at SS as it has definately changed my life for the better.
    Sparky

  5. #5
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    My first memory of running was with my dad and mom and my brother. I was 3. We lived in Miami and we would go to the University and my dad and brother would take off running. My mom would walk and I would play...and then I would run the track. They would stop me and make me rest because they were afraid I would hurt myself. My father ran marathons in the early 70s. He ran across the Everglades once. He did "ultramarathons" in several countries. Pushups and pullups and Ab-wheel exercises and more situps than you can possibly count. He and my brother would come back from TaiKwondo class and go for a run. We lived in Africa for a few years and they ran. Both of them ran Marathons in that horrible heat. When I was about 11 I wanted a weight bench and some weights. My father was afraid it would "stunt my growth." In retrospect, that is funny to me because everything he did physically was a form of self torture. I ran cross country in junior high and high school. I sucked. I lack the genetics to be great. I trained, and trained, and trained., I also lifted weights....but more like an endurance event than a reasonable strength program. There is something attractive about the torturous nature of distance running and obstacle races and "mud-runs", especially when you lack athletic ability. If you can take more pain, you can be "tougher". Who doesn't want to be tougher? At 51, I look back and I wish I knew how badly it would wear away my joints. I would still have run and lifted, but I would have run much less miles and performed much less repetitions and sets and maybe my joints would still be a mess, but at least I wouldn't have wasted so much time. I never got stronger....mile after mile and repetition after repetition and set after set....I never got stronger. And ultimately, that is what I wanted. To be stronger.

  6. #6
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    I hear you PizzaDad. Most marathon and Ultra runners only talk about running and the hardship . The joy gets lost after a while. I would notice whenever I would just say hello to runners I know they would talk at me about their accomplishments and the hardship they went through. If they had a back story of something they went through in their life forget about it I would be there all day having to listen to their running resume. We all have hardship we are all going through something, yada yada yada . . . We call these types running DB"s.
    Sounds like you totally get it. Do you still run here and there or do other conditioning along with strength? I bought an echo bike and a rogue prowler and absolutely love it!

  7. #7
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    Great article and some posts in this thread that track much of my own history of running.

    I started jogging at age 17 after the end of football season and buying the paperback edition of Aerobics by Ken Cooper. This was 1967 and it was considered eccentric for the first few years I did it. Even when I continued on campus when in college. I only entered on 10k though. Like the author, I ran in all kinds of conditions, including putting on snowmobile boots one night in a driving snowstorm.

    All that running stood me in good stead as a cop where I never failed to catch whoever needed catching. This was despite carrying over 10 lbs. of equipment and a baton on my gun belt often chasing college students younger than me. I kept running until around 10 years ago. The pounding on my feet and what turned out to be a knee more badly damaged than I realized from a throw gone bad in Judo at age 19 caught up to me and I started looking for alternatives. Ellipticals and a few other bits of equipment became my new best friends.

    All that running undoubtedly stunted my progress in lifting. I ran 3-5 miles a day from 5-7 days a week at a "blistering" 10 minute mile pace.

    So why run? A life skill? Unlikely, as most foot chases I've seen and been part of are over and done in about 400 yards. The chasee either trips, runs up a blind alley, pukes from the exertion and/or beer in their belly, or simply gives up gasping.

    Is it the only or best way to approach conditioning? It's among the cheaper, given the equipment required, mainly shoes I suppose. But now there is an amazing array of things to use. Personally, I hate the prowler. It reminds me of the blocking sled from high school football. But that's just my own quirk, I'm sure it achieves it's purpose magnificently.

    These days, I rotate between the speed and heavy bags, rowers, Jacob's Ladder, SciFit arm bike, ellipticals, and several other devices. My favorites are the striking flurries on the bags. Striking intervals of 15-20 seconds get my heart rate up to 85-90% of my maximum heart rate (I'm 67 so my threshold is relatively low) and are a good way to get whatever has pissed you off that day out of your system. As I recall, Sully has said much the same of striking flurries.

    Unlike the author, I wear a fitbit to evaluate the intensity of what I am doing. Interestingly, lifting does a fair job of producing an average heart rate of at least moderate aerobic intensity in itself. At least for me.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky View Post
    I hear you PizzaDad. Most marathon and Ultra runners only talk about running and the hardship . The joy gets lost after a while. I would notice whenever I would just say hello to runners I know they would talk at me about their accomplishments and the hardship they went through. If they had a back story of something they went through in their life forget about it I would be there all day having to listen to their running resume. We all have hardship we are all going through something, yada yada yada . . . We call these types running DB"s.
    Sounds like you totally get it. Do you still run here and there or do other conditioning along with strength? I bought an echo bike and a rogue prowler and absolutely love it!
    Runners are the way you described. I had a boss that made sure the whole office new about his injuries, his training, his travels, his diet. And how many doughnuts he can have because of his grueling training. (Which is code for I deserve them, you don’t).

    Why is this? Because they don’t look like they work hard at anything. They are indistinguishable from the emaciated homeless guy panhandling at the intersection.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Charles View Post
    Runners are the way you described. I had a boss that made sure the whole office new about his injuries, his training, his travels, his diet.
    It's called being a competitive sufferer.

    An illustrative example of what that means from an excerpt of an amusing local news story:

    I've learned to suffer in the heat, but not to talk about the suffering. In Southern Illinois, you can't complain about the heat. Southern Illinoisans are competitive sufferers. I used to think it was a trait of people who lived in cold climates -- to mention snow depths and complain about shoveling and degrees below zero survived without a hat. But it turns out hot weather people are just as good at weather one-upmanship.

    "This is nothing." "You should have been here when ..."
    The difference being, the righteous runners are like the Pharisees praying loudly to proclaim and signal their virtue.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky View Post
    Sounds like you totally get it. Do you still run here and there or do other conditioning along with strength? I bought an echo bike and a rogue prowler and absolutely love it!
    For the most part, i no longer run. I had ACL repaired 3 years ago and i dont want to beat up the joint any worse than necessary. I drag a prowler, because my roads are gravel and it tends to dig in and get stuck if i push it. I have a rower and a spin bike. We live in the foothills of the blue ridge mountains so just walking can get your pulse up. Kettlebells work too. I am thinking of getting a sandbag to carry while walking hills. About the only time I run is with my wife every month or so ill jog a mile or two with her and then she will take off like a gazelle for 30-40 minutes. She is a freak of nature. She actually loves to run. Doesn’t keep track of distance or time. I always knew how long i had beennrunning and how far i had gone. And usually, when i would stop.

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