March 28, 2018

Bits of This and That

Last week, we stayed home, ate healthy home-cooked meals in, worked, and just sort of had an uneventful life.  (So uneventful that I have no photos to post.)

I'm doing strength, stabilization, and PT exercises and my shoulder seems to be holding up okay.  There are some new clicks and its obviously more loose, but it's not an emergency.  I can do pushups and dips and have full range of motion with very little pain.  I eased back in to running and got in 12 miles for the week.  I'm comfortable that I can build back up to my previous mileage without too much trouble.

I looked at a local highly regarded sports medicine orthopedic surgical practice to find someone who specializes in dislocated shoulders and was shocked to recognize the name of my original surgeon from 20 years ago.

I had assumed he must have retired by now because I remember him being firmly in middle age.  Turns out, 20 years ago, I thought someone in their mid 30s was older than they were.  20 years later, the surgeon is only in his mid fifties and still practicing.

Unfortunately, their clinic doesn't accept my current insurance.  But, as the intake nurse made clear, I'm nowhere near as bad as I could be.  She asked how often I was dislocating my shoulder, was it *every* *day*?  YIKES. [Clarifying comment -- Eegads, no.  Just the one time this year.]  So, I'm still in pretty decent shape as these things go.

The current plan is to strengthen the arm back up, keep running, aim to get back into yoga and reach back out when I get an opportunity to change insurance.  If I have to use a different surgeon, I will.  But, ideally (fingers crossed and a quick prayer) nothing will force me to have surgery in the short term and the original artist will get another crack at his work.

Other than that, I finally deactivated my Facebook account.  I downloaded all my data and confirmed that my browser isolation policy had kept me fairly clean on the unintended data collection side, but when I reviewed everything they had (52.7 MB, small by FB standards, but still a ton of data), I had a very strong sense that there is absolutely no reason a third party should have that much detailed data about my life. 

A while back I'd considered terminating, but after evaluating it, I'd been staying on for 2 running groups, a tortoise club, and a book club, but with my shoulder issue turning me purely into an easy flat surface runner for the forseeable future, I figured the running groups were less likely to be useful, I confirmed with my book club that they'd keep me in the loop via email, and I decided I could just use YouTube for my tortoise fix.

My original thought was that I'd give it a month of deactivation and assuming nothing serious on the regrets side came up I'd formally delete my account.  But, after a few days, I feel such a sense of relief.  When I'd done the inventory of my own personal cost/benefit of using Facebook, I hadn't realized that it also made me feel an odd sense of obligation -- now that I'm free, I'm realizing that I felt like I *had* to look at and process a bunch of posts whenever I logged on.  Subconsciously, I'm sure this is part of why I'd slowly been decreasing my FB logins over the last year or so (and I was never a super-frequent poster).   I'm not sure where that feeling came from or what it was all about, but not having it feels great.

March 17, 2018

The Shoulder

This was my situation for over an hour and a half of awesome fire-first-responders,
paramedics/ambulance folks, nurses, etc, who couldn't put it back in, and it hurt.
 I have a bunch of things to process so I can plan the rest of our year vis-à-vis life/professional obligations/medical care, but after some basic research, it appears there are 3 main approaches to my situation (what they call an "unstable shoulder" post previous surgery):

1. Aggressive physical therapy, because you probably weren't maintaining the level of physical stability pre-injury that you could have been, if you'd been doing the exercises you'd been told you'd need to do for the rest of your life (true, I had not been doing those things) -- not sure I trust that I can get strong enough not to dislocate just from falling while tripping and running, but, maybe... my doc said it looked like a bad fall from the other bruising and scrapes and thought that perhaps I would have fractured a wrist if I hadn't dislocated, so maybe this is more of an option than I think...

2. Surgical intervention, because we told you that it was necessary 10 years after your last surgery and why the hell didn't you listen to us instead of keeping on dislocating your shoulder for another decade, just go ahead and schedule it?

3. #1, followed by or consecutive with at least 2 opinions from well regarded surgeons, which is likely to take 3-6 months just to get on their calendars...

This relocation was slow, controlled by me, and resulted in immediate pain reduction. 
I'm sending a fruit arrangement thankyou to the ER this week to show my appreciation.
I'm probably going to go with #3.  Which means this year is now spoken for.  Any and all running is now purely bonus points.  But I already registered for the Peach Tree Road Race post-injury. I'm optimistic.

March 14, 2018

Speaking of Reality Getting in the Way of Training

Despite the travel, I started last week quite well, cooking vegetarian meals at home before our departure, and getting in just under 5 easy miles over the first 3 days.

Brown rice mushroom risotto, Turkish salad, broiled broccoli rabe.
Thursday, I headed out for hill repeats, as we were staying with friends who live on a serious hill.

I was quite proud of this workout.
Friday, I took the day off, as I was speaking in two sessions at the conference.  But Saturday AM, I headed out for what I'd hoped would be a nice solid 6 miles.  Instead, around 1.5 miles, I tripped on a curb cut and flew forward.  When I tried to catch myself with my right hand, I felt and heard the terrible noise of my shoulder dislocating.

Unfortunately, I couldn't put it back in and I couldn't get ahold of E to come help me because he was in the shower.  So, a kind passerby stopped to call 911 and I begged with the fire and paramedics to relocate my shoulder... nope.  I rode to the hospital with it out, and then spent time being checked in, evaluated, x-rayed to confirm that yes, it actually was out (and nothing was broken).  After over an hour and a half, the doctor finally helped me to relocate the shoulder.

Santa Monica Sunsets never get old.
Folks, even if you have a loose shoulder with some of the supporting structures damaged, it REALLY hurts to have your shoulder dislocated.  Every extra minute that it is out is quite painful.  Thankfully, once it was back in, I could manage the pain with ibuprofen.  E and I got out of the hospital in time for him to give his talk at the conference and then we spent a nice day in Santa Monica before flying to the annual E family ski trip.

Telluride is beautiful, even if you can't ski.
Needless to say, I'm not skiing this ski trip.  I'm bruised and a little sore, but the real danger is just that I don't want it to dislocate again.  Today, I'm going to head out and try some easy miles on a very flat path that I saw on the drive in -- I'm hopeful I can still complete the 12K I'd been training for, but only time will tell if that's a good plan or not.  Long term, I likely have some shoulder surgery in my future, which is not going to be fun, as it'll likely include 8 weeks of aggressive recovery, with much of it in a sling (no real running).

March 6, 2018

Heading Into Spring

My 7 week plan to prep for a 12K seems very simple:

3 harder running workouts per week: 1 long (6 or more); 1 speed session (track group or solo); and one of either tempo/strength intervals/hill repeats.  2-3 additional days of easy runs, walking, biking, or yoga.  Continue to maximize consumption of healthy home-cooked meals.

But, like anything, reality is more complicated than making a plan.

A beautiful Simpson's cloud day -- perfect day to show off the farmer's market to a visitor.
The week after the Austin 5K (week -6) started off wonderfully.  I hit a 75 minute Vinyasa class with a friend in Austin on Monday and spent the next two days enjoying the random muscle soreness of all the parts that were surprised by sudden attention.  The rest of the week was meh.  I got out every day and did something, but I returned home with a virus (because the friends we were visiting have children and I pretty much always get sick after we visit friends with young children).

On Saturday, feeling like I might be recovered, I cobbled together a very slow 12:38/mile 4.75 miles and finished it off with 30s/60s of medium effort run/walk intervals for a total of 5.95 miles, which I called the week's long run.  The next day, I did 2X1.5 mile strength intervals at 11:43 and 10:42 and looked back on the week as a whole with a little disappointment, but happy to hit (barely) all 3 of the target workouts.

Carrot, celery, lime, pickle, olive, jalapeno,
giant caper bloody mary -- another
splurge with our visitor. 
Last week didn't start out much better.  Monday's and Tuesday's workouts were both shortened and I couldn't join Wednesday's track group.  When I tried to do the track workout by myself on the treadmill, in the afternoon, I could not hit the paces prescribed by McMillan for my target 12K, so I opted to do as much of the workout as I could at the prescribed paces instead of slowing down.  I know I can run 12K without stopping.  What I need to increase is my speed, so in the interests of doing so, I'm going to try to hit the assigned paces as best I can on the speed and strength intervals, even if it means cutting the distances short a little bit -- this approach is very different from my normal approach of "do whatever you need to do to get the assigned distance done" so I'm hopeful I'll see some benefits, if only because it's a change in the type of loading I typically take on.

It was pouring buckets of rain on Thursday, so instead of the planned for 6 miles, I made a deal with myself and did side lunges, push-ups, dips, abs and 0.5 easy warm-up, followed by a solid 9 X 400 at 10K pace at 1% incline and walking recovery plus a nice easy 0.5 mile walking cool-down.

Nothing like touring your own area with a visitor to remind 
you just how amazing it is.
This ocean view is just 45 minutes from our house.  NBD.
Friday I took a rest day to tour local towns with our visitor (she may move *to* the bay area, which would be a welcome change from all of our friends who have left). Saturday was an easy 3.5 with our visitor and Sunday was another rest day.  So, week -5 was not a success on the 3 workout minimal plan -- I only hit 1 of the 3 target workouts.  But, we hosted a visitor and executed on some big life stuff that we'd been wanting to do for a long time, which took quite a bit of time, so I'm going to cut myself some slack.

Grilling.  In March. The Chi-town visitor was happy.
This week and next week are full of travel, so it'll be interesting to see what, if anything, I manage to pull off in the running realm...