Friday, July 6, 2012


There are two kinds of people out there that I really admire: surgeons and marathon runners.

I admire surgeons, even though I sometimes hate them, because they do something amazing that I could never do. They are ordinary people, yet they gown and glove in the OR, cut people open with a scalpel, and fix their insides. To me, that's amazing, even superhuman. It almost makes me wish I were a surgeon, except not really.

I admire marathon runners for some of the same reasons. Here they are, these ordinary-looking people who run these incredible, superhuman distances. 26 miles? I can run, like, a mile. Not even. Maybe two blocks.

I had a patient a little bit ago, let's call him Clark, who was a very nice, benign-looking 35 year old man, who was also a marathon runner. A few years earlier, Clark had a femoral stress fracture, which basically means you've been running so much, your hip's about to crack in two. =That fracture healed up with rest, but now his other hip had started to hurt in exactly the same way.

Me: "When did your hip start to hurt?"

Clark: "About a month ago."

Me: "Are you still running?"

Clark: "Well, I cut back my mileage."

Me: "By how much?"

Clark: "I was running 80 miles a week and now I'm only running 30 miles a week."

Your hip is broken so now you're ONLY running 30 miles a week? Awesome. You're practically a couch potato.

I think if you totaled the distance I've run over my entire life, it probably wouldn't add up to 30 miles. That's why I admire the hell out of these guys. I don't know how they do it.


  1. Have you ever heard of ultra-marathon runners? I agree with you though, runners and surgeons are awesome.

    1. Exactly what I was thinking - look up ultramarathon runners, Fizzy. Much more impressive :)

  2. Thank you. I love to run-it keeps me from killing people.

    I do get the raised eyebrow when I go in for a referral for PT and say I am still running 30 miles per week instead of the 45-50 though.

  3. For obvious reasons, I really love this post. thank you!

  4. I love running marathons because I love to eat and I don't want to be one of my cardiac patients because of it someday. I think if I stopped running, I'd have a BMI of 40.

  5. Run 30 miles a week? That's why I have a car....

  6. My uncle is a triathelete and an Iron Man. He is also the nicest guy and totally laid back. You'd never expect it!

  7. Runners and surgeons are awesome. But their lifestyles are way too intense for me to contemplate following.

  8. I admire surgeons right up until the point that they consult me to write "Continue home meds" on their patients. Intensivists and nephrologists are far more interesting because they avoid grunting through most of their conversations.

  9. I agree. My mentor is a neurosurgeon and a marathon runner. Imagine that.

  10. You should have a look at the Marathon des Sables. It covers 243km/151 miles run over 6 days - equivalent to 5 1/2 regular marathons - through the Sahara desert (mid-day temperatures up to 120°F), while carrying your own backpack.