Super fit at 50 – CW50 on my new hip

Centurion Running, Chiltern Wonderland 50

Thank you to the 51 Centurion Staff and volunteers who put on a really great event for 250 competitors. The route was beautiful, seeing some of the best of our English countryside; with 5,600ft of nice elevation; perfect weather, with some rain during the previous week leaving the ground firm but nicely, soft. Ideal! 

What is being super fit at 50 to me?

Anyone in the 50+ age group will recognise that you start to lose that feeling of invincibility the older we get. We could have our own health issues to deal with or we see our friends and loved ones dealing with theirs. My definition of being super fit at 50, is to have the long-lasting health and strength to enjoy doing the things I want to do for as long as I can; to be the best that I can be, each and every day.

Completing felt like a victory for me

During the six months prior to the replacement of my right hip in June 2021, I could not sit on the sofa due to pain in the hip joint, having to lie stretched out on the floor to watch TV. The cause was Lyme’s disease, which I contracted July 2020. The Lyme’s was transmitted by the bite of a tick infected with Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria and once in the human blood stream, the bacteria heads to points of inflammation. 

Unbeknown to me at the time, the hip was at an early stage of Osteoarthritis. As a good friend rightly pointed out, I was very fortunate. The hip is simply mechanical and could be replaced. In some cases, the bacteria heads for the central nervous system or brain, when the consequences can be far more serious FAQ | Lyme Disease Action

Completer not a competer

I completed the CW50 in 12:43:01 and my previous 50-mile finish was the Centurion South Downs Way in April 2019, when I finished in a time of 11:51:58. So, in my mind, I am back in the ballpark level of fitness to where I was pre-Lyme’s. Which I think is pretty OK, given what the body has been through. 

Post hip-replacement recovery dictated 10 weeks recovery and strength building before I started running again (Life changing – Life is a Sine Curve). As I have previously written in this blog, I now need to keep my weekly running mileage down to a sensible level so as not to wear out the ceramic hip! Although, being around in my eighties to have the hip replaced again would be a quality problem to have 😊

I don’t know what a sensible level of weekly mileage is, and of course I don’t know how long I’ll live for … so it’s all a question of balance and trying to achieve my running goals whilst maintaining a sensible approach to the rest of my life. I have averaged 19 running miles per week during 2022, including the 50 covered last Saturday. Rowing, indoor cycling and some kettlebells have supplemented the missing mileage and helped to maintain an element of ‘endurance’.

Next steps

I want to step up to a big running challenge next year. I am about to turn 55 and I feel great and am determined to be my physical and mental best. So, watch this space once the decision is taken on which event to focus on. 

In the meantime, I know that I need to seriously increase the intensity of my training without increasing my running volume too much. Re-engaging with my Wattbike and WaterRower as part of weekend back-to-back endurance type training sessions will be the way to go. And I have just started Pilates to increase inner core strength and mobility, this is new to me, but I think it might prove game changing for my running!

I wish you well with your own running goals and planning for your 2023 events, take care

Andy

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