Author: randycook48

2016 In Review

A lot has happened in the past year but I will just give a summary of our races and travels. After a great fall and winter of training I tweaked a hamstring in the middle of May so I could not run the big Elizabeth River Run. In fact, I was in PT for 4 months doing stretching exercises, foam rolling, heat, ice and help from a sports medicine doctor. I got to spend some quality time with my favorite PT, Alex at In Motion Physical Therapy. I started back very slowly in the beginning of September with pool running, the elliptical machine, and riding the bicycle.

It is true what they say that as you age the injuries come faster and take a lot longer to heal! Life is not fair that’s for sure.

I am afraid to do anything resembling speed work, hill training, or to increase my mileage. As luck would have it I tweaked it again in December during a 10K on a cold, windy day so it is back to rest and stretching! Yippee! I am almost certain it is sciatica and that is no fun.

I want to give a huge “shout out” to our good friends, sponsors, gurus, and all around good guys from Running Etc. in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Notice we wear their clothing at almost every event and send customers to them on a regular basis. Mike Robinson, Pam Robinson, John Lomogda, Doug Dugroo, Drew Midland, Carol, Walt, Vince, Becky Bean, Jonathan Harris, and Shannon are all so professional and know their stuff. We are so fortunate to be Ambassadors of the best running store ever!



I was a “Group Leader”/ Pacer on Saturday mornings for the J&A Training Team from January through the middle of March so I did not get to participate in races until April. This is Debbie and I before the Run For The Animals 10K in Onancock, Virginia on April 10th.


Debbie and I each won our age group. We love this race on the Eastern Shore especially since it benefits the animals throughout the area. We love to stay at the Spinning Wheel B&B with hosts Tom and Linda.


In April I ran the Bunny Hop 5K in Old Town Portsmouth, Virginia. This is my old buddy and competitor Bill Hart in the blue singlet above. It is amazing how he has stayed injury free over the years and continues to run so well! Bill was just elected into the Tidewater Striders Hall of Fame for the Class of 2017!

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One of the highlights of the year was getting to visit our daughter Brittany and her husband Josh in beautiful Boulder, Colorado in June. The weather was perfect, 50s for the low and 70s in the daytime. Britt took us to a different trail everyday and we got to sport our Running Etc. clothing.


On Halloween weekend we ran the Bertie County, NC Spooktacular 5K in Windsor, NC. This town was hit hard by flooding the week before but it was cleaned up in time for the run. We formed a team and won the team title. It was Team Mallery from the owners of the B&B in town called the Inn at Gray’s Landing. Larry Mallery came all the way from Los Angeles to win his age group and beat me. The girl on the left is a local school teacher, Taylor Snyder. I highly recommend this race in a quaint town in eastern North Carolina.



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In November Debbie and I ran the Redneck Romp 5K in Wachapreague, Virginia on the Eastern Shore. I wore this retro Tidewaters Striders singlet. In the pic above are our new friends and neighbors, Rachel and Bryce Thummel.


Debbie is kicking it in and winning her age group in the Redneck Romp 5K. She has been amazing since she started running just over 3 years ago!

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In December we ran the Ward’s Corner 10K in the beautiful neighborhoods near the Ward’s Corner section of Norfolk. Both of us got 2nd place in our age group. I made the local newspaper (in the neon shorts) my favorite color!

We are looking forward to a great 2017 and plan to take more trips and spend more time with our grandson.

See you on the roads and Happy Holidays!


The End of 2015

2015 Harbor Lights

2015 Harbor Lights Half


I have been remiss is writing in my blog the past few months because I haven’t had anything significant to write about. Recently, we lost two of our three dogs; one to cancer and one to symptoms of very old age. Debbie and I still have our 8 month old Golden Retriever puppy, Bailey and we plan to spoil him rotten since he doesn’t have Marley and Teddy to play with.

I see the trend on FB is to list how many races you ran in the year but I am not going to bore you with that because you can care less. I don’t feel that anyone should race more than twice a month anyway. But, most people don’t actually race all out, they jog the event and often in a costume just for the “bling” and the beer. They get a drawer or wall full of medals to show for how much they spent to run a “race.” I don’t mind getting a finishing medal for a half marathon these days since I am handicapped and running on borrowed time.

I was fortunate to have been selected to be a Pacer for the Crawlin Crab Half and the Harbor Lights Half. In addition, in the past year I was a “Group Leader” on Saturday mornings in the fall and the winter for J and A Racing to help people prepare for half marathons in the fall and for Shamrock in March.


2015 Crawlin Crab Half in Hampton, Va



I want to put in a plug for Ryan Conrad from J and A and his sidekick, Josh for their hard work on the Saturday morning runs.

Also, to Mike Robinson, Drew Midland, John Lomogda at Running Etc. for allowing Debbie and I to continue as their Ambassadors.

Run For Animals Finish

2015 Run For the Animals 10K, winning my age group.

2014 Maui Randy and Debbie with medals

Debbie and I in Maui representing Running Etc. We each got 3rd place in our age groups.

I also want to recognize Tommy Neeson from Virginia Beach and Terry Lederer from Northern Virginia for helping me get my second book published in 2015. The book, “Are You Sure? From Tennis Player to Official” was published in February. Tommy and Terry are the best people ever and they helped me with content, grammar, encouragement, and patience.

In 2014 the same two wonderful people helped me with “Hip! Hip! Hooray! I’m Running Again!” Both books are being sold on Amazon.Com.

Terry 2014

Terry Lederer, one of my editors


To sum up 2015, I averaged almost 30 miles a week with no major injuries. Just a few aches and pains here and there but that’s to be expected at my age and with two total hip replacements.

I just take one day at a time and one step at a time and thank God for giving me another chance to run again. I am trying to run smart and not push my body too hard so I can make it another day, week, and year. I feel like I have the Saturday morning training group waiting for me so I cannot let them down! I also enjoy being a Pacer in the longer races too much to risk getting injured.

Happy New Year everyone and have a productive 2016. I hope to see you on the roads.

My Brand New Book: Are You Sure? From Tennis Player to Official

On February 14th, Valentine’s Day, a day about LOVE my latest book was published on The title is: Are You Sure? From Tennis Player to Official. Just as Valentine’s Day is for lovers this book would make a great gift and you friends, tennis partners, and teammates would LOVE you for it!  It is full of photos and stories about my 50 years on and off the tennis court.


The book can be found and ordered on Amazon at the link below.

2009 Banana Open photo

This is me on the right with my tennis partner after placing second in the Banana Open in Virginia Beach in 2010.

Randy and Nick B. Randy and the famous coach Nick Bollettieri in Virginia Beach for the Girls’ 16s National Clay Court Tournament in 2014.

Terry 2014My editor, Terry Lederer. A top tennis player from Northern Virginia and a swell person to boot!

2008 First match at ODU with Dom ManillaMe in the umpire chair at Old Dominion University.

My first book was released in April, 2014 and is titled Hip! Hip! Hooray! I’m Running Again.  It can also be bought on Amazon at the link below.


J and A Pacer/ Group Leader

Randy and Steve Lambert

     This is my buddy Steve Lambert, a fellow ambassador for Running Etc. We first got involved with pacing when we heard they needed pacers for the Harbor Lights preview run. It was one of the neatest things I had done at least until I was asked to be a pacer for the entire Harbor Lights Half Marathon. I had a group of 10-15 people around me at all times running and smiling and having a good time. The weather was awesome and, since I knew every street like the back of my hand, I gave a running commentary about where we were on the course and what was coming up next etc. The 7 1/2 mile mark went right past my house in Colonial Place. I must have done okay as a pacer because Ryan Conrad of J and A asked me to consider being a group leader/ pacer for the Saturday morning training sessions leading up to Shamrock in March. I jumped at the chance to meet new people and to also have company on my runs as well. More and more members of the Training Team are coming out each week, even today in a light rain. If you did not come you missed a nice event because we only had a few sprinkles.

     I have learned a lot more about J and A Racing such as what a class act they all are. I already knew Jerry and Amy from being Tidewater Strider Hall of Fame Members but Ryan and Josh and the rest of the staff are so helpful to runners of all ability.

Harbor Lights 2

The picture above is me nearing the finish line of the Harbor Lights Half Marathon. Hopefully if they want me again they will give us a sturdier sign to carry. Maybe in a small PVC pipe. I was afraid I was going to whack the runners around me!

The Maui XTerra 5K Trail Run

Debbie and Randy with awards in Maui2014 Maui Randy and Debbie with medals

Debbie and I after the Maui 5K extreme trail run on October 25, 2014 with our age group medals.

Debbie and I went to Maui for our daughter’s wedding on Monday, October 27. The day before our son in law competed in the Xterra  Triathlon World Championships. We signed up for the 5K trail run and it was the hardest thing we have ever done! There were over 700 competitors and after a few hundred yards it funneled down to a single file course so it was almost impossible to pass anyone. We came to a complete stop 5-6 times to crawl under large fallen trees or climb over them. Needless to say, my hips were screaming! Finally, we exited the woods and trails only to have to run 1/4 mile on the beach then onto the grounds of the Ritz Carlton Hotel up hill to the finish.

2014 Xterra Randy on beach

Yes, the scenery was beautiful and it was the experience of a lifetime and we are glad that we did it and especially glad that we were able to finish!

Debbie at Maui 2014  Here is the amazing Debbie crossing the finish line AND she got 3rd place in her age group. I might add that she only started running in October of 2013!

Randy at Maui 2014

Here I am crossing the finish line and also getting 3rd place in my age group. We are representing the best running store ever…..Running Etc. in Norfolk and Virginia Beach!

2014 Xterra Randy at finish

Next to Britt and Josh getting married, the next best thing was on Friday, October 24. Debbie and I renewed our vows on a secluded beach in Maui. We have been married for 5 1/2 years and I am the happiest I have ever been!

Ernest, Debbie, Randy On our left is Ernest Puaa, our minister from Maui who also married our daughter Britt and new son in law Josh Lee.

Kissing in Maui Ahhhh, kissing my bride with our feet in the Pacific Ocean!

Randy singing to DebbieSinging to Debbie while she does the hula. Sorry about the tan line and the pale feet!

Randy and Debbie on the beach Debbie and I at the conclusion of the ceremony to renew our vows. Am I lucky or what?

The Boo Yah 5K

2014 Boo Yah 5K

On Saturday, October 11, Debbie and I entered the Boo Yah 5K in the Port Norfolk section of Portsmouth, Virginia.  There was a field of 237 runners with many in costumes.  Debbie and I each won our age groups while wearing our Running Etc. uniforms! I am so proud of Debbie who only started running in October of 2013. Now, she has already won awards in most of the races that she enters and is getting faster and faster. If she only had more time to train!  On October 18th Debbie enters a new age division so we found a race at Cape Henry Collegiate to celebrate her birthday.

I am going to Physical Therapy at In Motion in Norfolk 2-3 times a week for IT band and hip flexor issues.  Alex and Carrie made me promise to take it easy on my old body and devote at least one day a week to complete rest and to stretch more. I will obey them but it won’t an easy thing to do. However, I know they are telling me the right thing to do.  I want to be able to continue running for a long time now that I am able to do it again after a 25 year lay off due to injuries and surgeries.

We are heading to Maui next week for our daughter’s wedding and we just so happened to find a 5K race while we are there. I will let you know how the trip went with pictures when we return.

Physical Therapy on My Legs (Again)


I have been having a lot of trouble with pain in my left hip flexor and IT band so my physician recommended PT again.  I showed up on Wednesday, Oct. 1st so they could assess the situation.  As Alex  said, I am “a repeat offender” and this is my own fault because I don’t stretch enough. She did say in a nice way that it has been an entire year since I was there for my last sessions.

For some reason, it is difficult for most people to realize that runners hate to stretch. I actually stretch more now than I ever did before but I have a lot of tightness and scar tissue built up in both hips due to the surgeries and it HURTS to stretch like I need to!

My first actual treatment was today, October 3rd. Carrie of the In Motion site on Newport Avenue in Norfolk had the honor of showing me some stretches and giving me “homework” to stretch and stretch some more. She asked what my typical training week was like and was shocked when she saw there are no total “rest days”. I either run or do the elliptical machine everyday that I possibly can. Rest is a 4 letter word, right?

Hey, I am not getting any younger and since I started this come back I need to keep at it right? Or should I just be happy to be out there a few times a week running at a slow pace?

So, I have sessions scheduled 3 times a week through October and November. But, the real purpose of this blog is to put in a plug for In Motion Physical Therapy. I know that there are several locations but the Norfolk office on Newport Avenue has the nicest group of people you could ever hope to meet!

In Motion is one of the sponsors of the upcoming Harbor Lights Half Marathon and Carrie Case just had an article featured in a J and A email to all runners.

If you need PT, this is the place to be and tell them Randy sent you!

2014 Virginia Beach Rock N Roll Half Marathon

Randy and David before the start

My good friend and ex tennis partner, David Kidd talked me into running the Rock N Roll Half Marathon. We certainly did not know that it would be 80 + degrees with high humidity.  What a crazy idea that was! All last week the high temperature was in the 70s so we got spoiled then, just in time for the race, the heat and humidity returned. Our longest run was 8 miles and we were definitely not prepared for 5 more miles in the heat. My goal was to take it easy and have a “good time” and try not to walk. We planned to stay between 10:20 and 10:30 pace but the 10:18 pace group leaders took us out way too fast. The first 3 miles were right at 10:00 pace or 10:05 and we paid for it later. It was hard to have a good time in these conditions. I want to give a “shout out” to Drew Midland of Running Etc. for being on the course yelling encouragement and passing out frozen towels about mile 11. They really helped! The Running Etc. folks are a class act!

I was hoping not to walk but by mile 11 everyone around us was walking/ jogging so I said “what the heck” and we alternated walking and running to the finish line.

My advice for this race is “don’t do it!” It is too costly, the course is horrible, and the weather is awful in southeast Virginia for Labor Day weekend. I have no business running anything this long with my replaced hips and I am sure my doctor would kill me if he knew.

Randy and David at finish of RNR 2014

David and I agreed to stay together during the race and help each other out. I am in the neon yellow shirt and David is wearing the white t shirt. I am sure he could have run faster so he really helped the old man today!

David and Randy showing off our medals

At least we got a nice medal and shirt for our efforts! I am sure we got some sun too! Running through Camp Pendleton is like the Bataan Death March. It is so wide open and no shade. Thank God for the hundreds of volunteers at the water stations and the residents of Virginia Beach with their water hoses, frozen pops, Gatorade, and water. There were even people passing out beer and cigarettes. Hopefully  there were not any serious injuries like last year.

Randy after RNR

Posing in our front yard with the RNR medal. I think I deserve a nap for the rest of the day!

My Return to Running, “One Day at a Time and One Step at a Time”

2013 Cemetery Run

I want to thank Kacee S. for coining the phrase that I used to title this most recent blog. I had to stop running in 1987 due to severe arthritis of the hip joints and had the first hip totally replaced in May, 1996.  I was told that I would never run again so naturally I was quite depressed.  Then, in 2008 I had the second hip totally replaced. I decided to lace up the shoes in March, 2012 to see if I could jog a slow mile. I have since built up to running several 5Ks, some 10Ks, and one half marathon non stop.  I plan to run the Virginia Beach Rock N Roll Half Marathon on August 31st.

Being a type A++ I have a problem. Because, although I am extremely blessed to be able to run at all with two total hip replacements, I yearn for the good old days of winning races or running fast times. I forget the fact that I aged 25 years in the interim and naturally gained a few pounds over my racing weight. I should be satisfied to just be jogging period yet I wonder, “why can’t I run faster?”

I have some good friends that I am fortunate to run with a few times a week that are much younger than me. I don’t want to slow them down too much so I do my best to “push the pace”.

The best part of my new journey is to be able to run with my wife, Debbie who recently took up running. I am not too proud to run easy with her but she is getting faster and will be running 9 -10 minute miles with me before too long!

I want to thank the best tennis partner I ever had, David Kidd, for running with me. David is a lot younger than me and I am sure he can leave me in the dust but stays right there with me helping me finish those 4-6 mile runs. Here’s to helping each other stay in shape and enjoying our runs and sharing a beer afterwards!

I think it would be the coolest thing in the world to be able to keep running so I can jog a couple miles with my new grandson, Bennett!

Capture (2)

It was a great feeling to win an age group award at the 2013 YMCA 5K Run in Virginia Beach on July 4th!

Running Etc. Ambassadors

Running Etc Ambassadors

Running Etc. of Norfolk and Virginia Beach recently selected their “Ambassadors” for 2014-2015.  We come from all walks of life and all ages and speeds. I am in the front row near the middle in the white t shirt and khaki shorts next to my wife, Debbie in the blue shirt.  We are proud to represent the finest store in southeast Virginia!


Above is a group of us Ambassadors at the 2013 Virginia Beach Rock N Roll Half Marathon.  From left to right:

Kris Lawrence, Steve Speirs, Randy Cook, Andrew Hoffer.

Ambassador Logo

Above is the new logo for our uniforms that should arrive any day now!