Monday, February 22, 2010

The Road to Recovery

So last year was a disaster. It's not exactly fun to write about disaster. I felt like the fireman. I was always putting out flames. One injury to the next derailed what was certain to be a great year. If you've been reading my irregular posting, then you're aware of the many injuries and my making the best of it every time.

I kind of finished the year off with the Spokane Half Marathon. I ran a very well-paced run, so for that I am thankful. I'd have to say my time was fair, but certainly better than what I expected. Injuries didn't stop there, but it's about where I stopped writing.

Since then, I discovered that my nagging shoulder injury was a torn right bicep tendon in the shoulder area. Part of the recovery/treatment is breaking up the fibrous adhesions. Apparently our body produces these for a temporary fix, like a temporary fix of a pot hole. It works for a short while, but it's usefulness runs out and is as much of a problem as the problem itself. So, I get the chiropractor leaning over me, putting all his weight onto one knuckle and supported by the other hand to make sure all the weight/pressure transfer goes right into that bicep tendon. It's then rubbed, like a noogie, over the the bones in the shoulder for a pain that will bring tears to a glass eye!

My other problem is a muscle in my left ankle is terribly flared up, sore and inflexible. It's been giving me grief for a couple months, but after having it worked on, it became worse. It's just starting to get back to a comfortable pain ... whatever that means.

The shoulder problem has eliminated biking since sometime last fall. I'm still not swimming either. On a bright note, I will be able to start again in two weeks. My overall weight gain went upwards of 15 poinds. My run slowed to the point that I was unable to run my previous marathon pace (sub 6:00/mile) for even 2.925 miles. My baseline test on 01 January was 6:10/mile. Still, as bad as it was and how frustrating it is, I'm thankful to have the ability to run. I can still run faster when in terrible shape than some who train. On the other hand, years of training and constant effort to maintain what I can come into play as well.

In my mind, I have one more hurdle to overcome as my body finishes up it's recovery from about 54 weeks of injuries. I have an oral surgery where my wisedom tooth will be removed to get bone from my jaw in the lower right (bone from the hip was out of the question). This bone will be used to do a bone graft in my sinus cavity on #3 (upper right) where a tooth broke years ago and had to be pulled due to the way it broke. The bone eroded away, so the bone graft will be used to strengthen the area for a post to put a crown on. To get to the sinus, they have to cut my gums, lift it up, drill above and to the side of the bone where the tooth root goes, then they will pack it in, sew it up and then do a bone graft on the bottom side as well.

I'm not going to lie. Like most of the rest of the world, I'm not a fan of the dentist. I haven't had any work done for a long time, but it only takes one time to know I don't like it. This will be about as bad as it gets in my mind. They'll put me mostly under and I always wonder if I'll wake up.

After this procedure is done, I'm not supposed to run for about a week. So, I'll get up tomorrow morning, run before the procedure, then sleep all day, night and most of tomorrow. Then I will get up and run an easy mile, despite the doctors advice. I'm guessing that will be around 10:00 pace. I doubt my heart rate will get over 110 to 115 to cause me to throw a clot. I also should be able to maintain an efficient enough stride that I shouldn't have any terrible jarring. I got a lot of practice when running with a shattered collar bone and broken ribs. I've run for 6 years, 1 month and 24 days as of tomorrow morning's run. I will not break my streak and choose to not put myself into the typical patient category. Perhaps a sedentary person shouldn't run. Heck, it would probably be better if I didn't, but the difference between those two types of people is totally different and most doctors aren't able to account for it. I've worked too hard for this and it keeps me going when I should be going, but otherwise would not.

Anyhow, my run pace going into this mess is almost sub 6 for 3 miles now. I'll try it today. I've also biked a few times recently. It feels great to be on the road, even if it is a struggle to go over 20 MPH. I clearly have a lot of work to do to get back into shape, but I will keep trying.