I went back to the doctor last week and he released me to train!!! I'm certainly not 100% yet. I have technical "full range of motion" but not MY full range, and not what I need for a strong swim. I also have to start back as if I am a new beginner. However, he told me, "you are as good as you could even possibly be right now. It is not possible for you to be any better." I thought he was giving me a line...you know, comparing me to me (you can't be any better than you are because you aren't better than you are...); just making a play on words to make it sound positive and encouraging. But then he added, "If you could see the patients I see, you would realize how far along you really are right now." So, okay...I'll take it. I did ask for, and receive an injection. It hasn't been magic, but I believe it has helped a good bit.
Where I Am Now
I have been swimming a handful of times. Tuesday I was able to "swim" for about 30 minutes, mostly doing drills with 350 front crawl yards interspersed throughout, mostly with fins but some without. I was only able to swim 50 yards straights at most, but most intervals were 25 yard "laps".
I'm going back today. The plan is to continue with drills being the bulk of the workout but I'll increase the yardage to 400 and my plan is to increase the number of 50y intervals as well. I'll probably stick with the fins because it really takes pressure off the shoulder joint and allows me to move the arm much better.
I haven't been on my bike AT ALL since IMLT. I've been teaching Spin 2-4 times a week for about six weeks. I'm ready to see what happens on the road. I'm not going to lie, I'm more than just a little nervous. I do LOVE to ride my bike now, but 1) I haven't ridden in almost SEVEN MONTHS!!, and 2) I've seen way too many stories about people being hit by cars lately. However, I refuse to live in fear of anything so I'm going to get my chain cleaned and greased and my tires pumped and get out there. Maybe even today!
I been running about as much as I've been swimming. The longest distance I've covered with walk/run intervals is 3.5 miles. The longest distance I've run straight is just over 1 mile. My shoulder does bother me when I run, but my legs are the biggest limiting factor right now. There are muscles you use when you run, but you don't work them by running. When those muscles aren't used or worked, they balk a little bit at being brought out early retirement!! I've been thinking about those muscles for a couple of months, but I haven't done a lot to reignite them in preparation for a return to running. So, that process will restart today!
Overall I'm pleased with how I feel when I run as far as my shoulder goes.
PT has been going VERY well. I'm now working on aggressive strengthening and have been making progress every time I go. Yesterday I did several new exercises and increased weight on some older ones. It's the strangest feeling when I do hammer curls. The right bicep tendon starts feeling fatigued and feels like the limiting factor for the move. Because I don't have a tendon there in the left arm, I feel NOTHING on that side in that spot!! STRANGE.
Overall, I am READY to get started. The first race on the plan is Wet Dog on July 19 (or maybe Cotton Row 10K on Memorial Day-I haven't decided about that one yet). I did fairly decent at this race last year, winning second in my age group. My overall time was 1:04:something. I would LOVE to beat that this year, but I'm fairly certain I was farther ahead of where I am now at this same time last year. However, I was also actively fighting with a wonky shoulder. My plan is to train hard and race hard and see what happens.
Until next time...